Good Omens

I’d have to say I am waiting to cast judgment on this book. I know both authors are widely liked. I love Neil Gaiman, I just don’t know about the style its written in. I guess I’ll have to continue reading it. Already I like Anansi Boys better, and I definitely like American Gods more than both.

Problem with Prologues?

There seems to be some feeling out there that the prologue is not necessarily there to be read and that it can be totally disregarded when reading a novel. This kind of irked me considering that both of my current works begin with a prologue. Though I think that people confuse prologue with a long, drawn out thing at the beginning speaking in lofty tones about events before the story.

A prologue can have action.

A prologue can contain suspense.

Both of mine feature death, one of them is written in a very different narrative voice from my normal one. Which brings up another point. Someone called prologues “deceptive” citing that they are to rope someone in with a different tone and then switch it up.

What’s wrong with roping someone in if something is worth the read? What’s wrong with a different tone? That’s part of what a prologue is. If they weren’t really necessary the editor would have usually pulled them. A whole go nowhere section is pretty damning.

Point being, if you’re skipping a prologue in a good book, which people claim to have done, then you’re probably missing out. And if its bad and you’re skipping it, what will make the rest of the book better?

A Word About Word Counts And Drafts

When I first started writing I was all about the page count. I was young and didn’t grasp that the font size, spacing, and margins played into all of this. I would happily skip off to Juliet, from whom I learned to write, and talk about the ten pages I did that day. To me that was so much and it seemed impossible to ever get to any higher a rate.

She would ask me, “How many words?”

I’d never even know what to say our how to check. I was a kid back then and as far as mentors go she taught me a lot. Still it wasn’t as if I knew well enough to listen

Now I’m wanting to scale back this draft. It’s too big, everything I read says agents don’t like huge books from beginners and I’m throwing my weight around with one hundred and six thousand words, actually closing in on the one o’ seven mark.

Then I realized something…as Tacia and Rickey tear through this draft, and as messy as drafts are, there’s going to be a word count reduction.

There’s a tendency to get ahead of oneself. I have it too, I want to think what this thing will look like in print and if it will be too long or too short to get across correctly. Then I remember that before any of that, comes these edits and that’s what this is for.

I used to want to get as much done as I could, pump out some huge beast of a novel. Now I kind of want to slim it down and I’m sure that will happen.

Just remember the things about “murdering your darlings” and “Draft-10% = Second Draft”. They seem a bit dismal to someone who poured their heart into something, but you have to remember, you’re just telling the story. It’s not all about you.

Texas Toast—An Excerpt

Lewis combed his fingers through brown locks of Holly’s hair. “How are you holding up?” he asked.

“How is it we’re doing a shit case like this?” she asked. “I don’t even know why that body got to me, I’ve honestly seen worse…” Holly turned to glance up at him.

He edged the chair out with his foot. “Maybe you’re just stressed. You’re always on the go,” as Lewis spoke he caught a glimpse of her eyes, they were bloodshot and her eye shadow was smeared.

Holly exhaled roughly, “Does our victim have a name yet?”

“Didn’t think to ask,” Lewis said.

“I see,” Holly pushed her bistre tendrils out of her face.

The coke and toast were delivered and the moment the waitress was gone Lewis bit a chunk out of the bread and drank a huge hurried set of gulps. “You really ought to try this,” he said through a full mouth.

“It’s garlic bread. I’ve had garlic bread.”

“Nope, Texas Toast,” Lewis shook his head.

“I’m quite capable of reading the menu,” she sighed. “Don’t you find it the least bit odd that this state seems obsessed with including its name in front of foods that already existed? No one else does that sort of thing.”

Lewis took another drink from his soda. “What about: Turkish Coffee, Rocky Mountain Oysters, French Fries and English Muffins—,“ he rambled the list out as if he had prepared it.

“But most of those were—I mean one of them’s just a euphemism—bugger, never mind,” Holly sat in silence and finished her tea as he ate and drank.

“That hit the spot. Sorry for taking so long—I missed breakfast.”

“Don’t suppose we should try and scrap up some evidence, you know do some investigating?” she asked as she stood up and gathered her coat.

In the Beginning…

Welcome to Pulp & Fiction (the title’s something we’re trying out),

This is the very first post in what I hope will be a long line of posts concerning my writing, my journey to publication and everything thereafter.

I’m hoping to connect to other writers, learn a little more about the process that goes into this and even possibly teach a little bit about what I put into my own work here. From time to time I might post little excerpts or re-blog other posts from around.

Mostly, this is a point of entry for me to get out there and get acquainted with other writers and readers alike.

So here’s where I am, I’ve finished a second draft of the as of yet to be titled novel I’ve worked on for a little over a year now and I’m in the process of starting the second book and editing the first one.

-Justin