August 4th, 2005

monkey pirate


I had my first meeting with the writer's workshop "Spinners" last night, who have turned out notable authors like Walter Jon Williams and Damon Knight, amongst many others. They read Chapter One of "Three Lions of March".

The feedback was basically savage. But then, I knew that this chapter was flawed, it's the "problem child" of my book, it clunks in spots and is okay in others. I heard a lot of useful observations - most importantly, and what nearly everyone said - that it's an action chapter which lacks tension and drama because the reader has no attachment to the outcome of the action or the fate of the characters.

Still, they all said they'd like to read more, and assuming that wasn't just fluffery, now I get to show them the much superior subsequent chapters. In talking over the chapter after everyone's critique, I got them excited about the concept. Lesson learned - I need to not be attached to the format of the book following the characters (ala "Song of Ice and Fire") but instead, following the story.

I've got good ideas, and some high hopes. It was a good meeting, and I took some tough knocks - but it was from people who really know their stuff. One of them said, "I think you've got a great idea, and I'll kick your ass if you do it wrong."

I'm excited. I'm a writer!

Giant Squids, yuck

Yet another reason to hate Giant Squids. Isn't it about time we rid the seas of these horrible creatures?

""The male giant squid has to use a puny 15-gram brain to coordinate 150 kilograms of weight, 10 metres of length and a 1.5-metre-long penis," he says. "He physically plunges this penis into the female's arms, which are rather unfortunately right next to her beak. Because he is coordinating so much with so little, I think occasionally bits get chewed off when they inadvertently get too close to the beak."

Source: Gruesome Habits of the Giant Squid