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May 20th, 2005

Writing Ramble, Continued

Yesterday's rambly post about my writing was more or less a preamble to thinking today about where my writing might go, assuming I find a way to work on it. partiallyclips has recommended I try to publish some short fiction, and I have thought about that from time to time over the past couple of years. My first inclination was to try to get "Stray Cat Strut" into something like Weird Tales, and while it might be suitable, without more Michael Macbeth stuff to back it up it strikes me as a sort of flash-in-the-pan kind of exercise. Maybe it's just because I'm used to thinking in terms of a comic strip, where you always need to know what comes next, but I can't seem to come up with a stand-alone tale without wanting to come up with a series framework to go with it.

I do have a pretty decent premise and largish chunk of an outline for a Michael Macbeth novel, that I came up with last year in a sudden fit of inspiration. It could be that I just need to start focusing on that. Lately, tho, I've been having a lot of fun (and getting a nice response) with Brigid and Greg, so I might try to do something more along those lines. I've recently been perusing more of the mainstream pop lit for things of the "light comedy" or "romantic comedy" line, trying to find something that's comparable. My inspiration is largely Wodehouse, of course, but he's not exactly contemporary any more, and I haven't found a lot of stuff in a similar line.

Most of the stuff I find currently has way too much postmoderney to it, for lack of a better way to complain about it, full of unlikeable characters and stories that go nowhere. (I won't even get started on the fact that they all seem written with the intention of having "A sexy romp!" as one of the cover blurbs.) What's New Pussycat? was fun and different in the '60s ... but it's not the '60s any more. Haven't current readers gotten past adolescence?

To put in a caveat here, I imagine that if, say, Four Weddings and a Funeral were a contemporary book, it would be described as "A sexy romp!" too, but it's actually something I would consider a positive example. So maybe there's something else bugging me that I haven't quite put my finger on yet. I think maybe it's that 4W+F is actually about something else besides just being a sexy romp in its own right, whereas a lot of other things aren't. I dunno.

Anyway, I'm sort of dubious that Brigid and Greg in and of themselves could sustain a whole book; certainly they were never designed for anything other than vignettes. Do they ever leave their apartment, except to go on unexplained car rides? B & G are all about "voice," rather than plot.

I'm not sure. What do you think? And for that matter, can you recommend any good contemporary light and/or romantic comedies in print?

-The Gneech

Fictionlet

"You rotten bastard!" Greg said, tossing his mouse across the room. Or at least, attempting to toss it across the room -- in fact, it quickly reached the end of its cord, snapped back, and landed right back where it had started with a loud clatter.

"What was THAT?" called Brigid from the other room.

"This bloody Mah-Jongg game!" Greg said, waving his hand at the monitor. "I've been playing it for weeks and I finally got to the point where I could win once or twice in a row, and it jacked up the difficulty level. Now every tile that would match, is under the exact same tile, so I can't get to it!"

"The fiends!"

"Exactly so. They just hold out hope as a tantalizing dream, then snatch it away and laugh at my suffering!"

"I don't suppose," she hazarded, "that it could just be random generation?"

"Never!" Greg snapped back. "This game is malicious, and has it out for me. I can tell. But I'll show them! I'm going to play Freecell instead!"

"Somewhere inside your computer, a person wearing an orange neon suit is now saying, 'Curses, foiled again!'"

"Damn straight," Greg said, turning his mouse back upright and closing the program with a smug air of victory.

-The Gneech

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