Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Archive for September, 2010

The Book of Eli

Friday, September 17th, 2010

I wanted to see this movie from the moment I saw the beautiful cinematography in the trailer—and once I decide I’m going to watch a movie, I try to avoid all reviews and opinions so I can come to it fresh. So I didn’t know much about it going in, except that it involved a post-apocalyptic setting and perhaps, a reawakening of religion, probably Christian.

Last night I finally had a chance to watch it, and oh my, was I disappointed. No . . . it was worse than that. This movie left me furious with the usual lament: Why spend so much money, why spend so much talent, and not include more than a snippet of actual story?

* * * WARNING: Everything after the jump is a spoiler * * *

Getting it All Down

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

It’s usually agreed there are two kinds of writers. First are those who blaze through an initial draft with minimal planning and editing, powered by a passion that lets the ideas keep flowing—or so I understand the process. Then there are writers like me who plot and think and second-guess and polish (and despair) and who refuse to move on until the base is solid.

So in the latest project, which is a short piece outside of any genre I’ve worked in before, I decided to be the other kind of writer, the one who just writes. I did cheat a bit. I had a pretty decent outline of the intended work to guide me. But from there it was a matter of throwing words down, and when the words didn’t come I went to Write or Die, and punched out brainstorming dialog until I had some ideas to work with.

Was it a helpful process?

Well, yes, up to a point. I got three-quarters of the story down in what for me qualifies as a very short time. But then I hit a wall. When it came time to link up the plot threads and write a coherent, meaningful climax and conclusion, I couldn’t do it. The base was not solid. The story had changed en route. I desperately needed to go back and re-define the theme, the motivation, the goal. So that’s what I’m doing now, and after that I’ll tackle the ending.

But the work was not wasted. I’m guessing 80% of what I’ve got will still be there when this next draft is done. And writing fast was actually a lot of fun.

Galaxies – A French Science Fiction Journal

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

This one’s a little late, but I didn’t want to let it pass without notice. Over the summer the French science fiction journal Galaxies published an issue that included a “dossier” on yours truly, encompassing a review, an interview, a bibliography and a French translation of my short story Liberator, originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Galaxies is a beautiful publication, very nicely designed and put together, and I’m honored to appear there. Sadly, my forebears stopped speaking French long, long ago and I’ve never taken it on myself to learn, so I can’t read a word of it.

In closing, a note to all you budding novelists out there—try to publish a few short stories, because down the line someone, somewhere will ask to re-publish one as a means to introduce a new set of readers to your work. I’ve only ever written a handful myself, but they’re nice to have around.

The Galaxies cover and first page of the dossier.

The Galaxies cover and first page of the dossier.