The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘musical’

Throwing The Gauntlet Down – A New Writing Challenge

Posted by BigWords on October 2, 2010

There was a time when I thought it would be a good idea to try and write a Lovecraftian musical, using the extended Cthulhu Mythos as a hook on which to create something utterly preposterous and horrible, and which defied any kind of logic. One of the sequences was to be a character alone on a darkened stage, highlighted by a beam of light, with figures in black moving in the shadows around him. This fragment was the best I could manage to convey the weird eeriness, and you can immediately see why I never managed to get it any further than half a dozen songs and a rough outline… Yes, it is as awful as it sounds, but it was one of those “It seemed like a good idea at the time” deals.

Beyond the farthest hill and vale,
Onwards from man’s remotest prevail,
The dark ones still reside in calm
perpetual mystery.
Do you know where I am?

Beyond the wilderness outside the dale,
So lost am I in the cold, so frail,
They are here with me, and yet farm
perpetual mystery.
I don’t know where I am…

Finding this again, residing in the wrong folder, has reminded me that not every idea should be considered too seriously, especially if there are multiple points at which I could screw up horribly. Risking looking like an idiot isn’t a problem – I have no shame, after all – but with a musical there are other people who would take flak for a bad show. Minimizing the pain my awful material causes isn’t just a matter of preventing your eyes bleeding should you stumble upon a particularly wrought sentence, it also involves keeping my writing safely to myself when it could possible have a negative effect on others. In the case of my attempts at writing musicals, I am certain their inactive status is for the best.

This got me thinking about the reasons why I keep all this stuff, as horrible and useless as the pieces may be… Then it hit me – what may very well be the most ridiculous and horrifying prospect imaginable to any author. I have a new challenge I am setting forth right here. Something which will make grown men weep, and prove, once and for all, who can come up with the worst writing without deliberately forcing themselves to write crap. This is something not to be considered lightly. This is the “Worst. Prose. Ever.” Challenge – and quite possibly the worst challenge ever as well…

Share with me your abominations.

Posted in Misc., Over The Line, writing | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Pick A Genre, Any Genre…

Posted by BigWords on October 16, 2009

NaNo is approaching fast, and I still haven’t even decided which genre I’ll be using for my entry. That’s right, I’m completely and totally out in the wind on this. I should decide soon, but there are so many crazy things that seem like they would be fun to try. If November rolls around and I still haven’t decided on a specific genre I’ll be forced to sit down and type the first thing that comes in to my head, which won’t be pretty…

The options are endless, though somehow intimidatingly small. A western? Nope. Still tinkering with the mess I’ve got the last one into. A thriller? Too plot-heavy to wing it, and there wouldn’t be enough time to come up with an amazing twist or three. A detective story? Maybe. I like the work-backwards’s way (mangling the English language here, bear with me) in which they work, but the one month rule is a bit tight to do one justice.

Fantasy? Very possibly the genre which will save my ass. I like the strangeness I’ll be able to play with. SF? Tied with fantasy, though perhaps too much to deal with in one month. Horror, then? Oooh, yeah, a very real possibility, but it won’t be zombies. The zombie novel I dusted off and checked through looks too good to waste energy on aping, and I will be coming back to it after November.

So I’m left with… Erotica? Sheesh, trying one for the first time with the whole pressure of NaNo would be insanity, and I’m not sure what new insight I would be able to offer that genre. Comedy, possibly? Aaah, yes, my old friend comedy. Though my taste in humor is very, very dark, the prospect of trying to remain in a funny mood for a whole month will probably result in one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever written. Parody might be do-able.

Maybe autobiography would be too self-indulgent, unless I decided to drag up a lot of old shit that is unresolved. I’ve been witness to some incredible, and some very illegal, things over the years, so settling old scores by telling the world where the bodies are buried (metaphorically) would also be therapeutic. It might get me greenlit by an unhappy reader, but at least it would be interesting and a unique angle.

And I have yet to work out if it will even be a novel. I’ve always wanted to write a musical along the lines of the Morrison-era Doom Patrol comic. A giant ball of light in the middle of a stage singing how having sex with one’s self is so grand… Heh heh, that’ll probably be my Christmas pantomime idea, so I better leave it till later. A comic-book script will be tough to hit 50k with, unless I come over all Alan Moore with the descriptions.

A computer game? Which brings up an interesting question I hadn’t thought of until now… Does computer code count towards the final word count? Hell, I could hit 500k (maybe more) if I was allowed to go wild with code, and I could turn in an actual finished (if kinda small) game if I was left alone for a month. Maybe I’ll bolt myself away and unplug the ‘phone so I have no distractions…

Wow. So much choice, and so little time left to make up my mind.

I want to keep clear of anything anyone else is doing as well, just to add to my problems. That’s one of the reasons I’m so picky about my work – I can see so many similarities to the works of others. I’ll check the SYW area of Absolute Write every now and again, and nearly every time I do so – or closer to every time – I end up scrapping a handful of ideas because they have been covered so well by others.

Nathan Bransford said that originality was impossible over in his blog, but I still want to strive for something that feels unique. Something that rings with a sensibility that could not have come from the mind of any other writer. I want, to put it bluntly, to be so fucking original that it hurts. Yeah, that’s the ranting of a spoiled child, but I’m not gonna apologize. I’m in crisis mode here.

Two weeks and counting. This is probably gonna be a very long two weeks, filled with possible storylines emerging, bad ideas being mocked and an unhealthy amount of liquor being drank. Two weeks of worrying – because worry is good – and frantic scribbles to see if I’m able to come up with a unique idea, told in a unique way, with unique characters. Hell, I might as well give up right now…

Maybe nobody will notice if I just re-write my favorite myths as extended superheroes-by-way-of-horror film mash. A drunken, mean Heracles bitch-slapping people for no real reason. I could even write it so it reads exactly like early Image comics. Hmmm… There’s an idea.

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