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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2007-05-03 11:16
Subject: [writing] The end of the story?
Security: Public
Tags:books, mainspring, personal, process, stories, writing
There's a rather nice review of Logorrhea Powells | Amazon ] in the new Locus, with some good words about my novelette "Crossing the Seven."

Lake is in a devilish mood in his novella "Crossing the Seven," a metaphysical picaresque adventure that reads like a cross between Silverberg's Nightwings and Vance's Cugel cycle. ... The odyssey is intensely dangerous, its episodes first farcical and then tragic; there is a moral to be discerned, but what counts is the sardonic grotesquerie of such prodigal display.


The review goes on to speak in glowing terms about bram452's "The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairy Tale of Economics" — a truly excellent story, btw — and on to review the rest of the anthology.

As it happens, I received a note not too long ago suggesting I turn "Crossing the Seven" into a novel. While I was glad the reader had enjoyed the story so much, I was quite surprised. I turned it over in my head, and realized that for me, some stories are self-contained, and some are open-ended.

This isn't really a function of plot or anything obvious like that. It's more about my creative and emotional relationship with the story. For example, I really don't see why I'd ever write more about "The Angle of My Dreams." That story is completely self-contained for me. Likewise "Jack's House" and "The American Dead." Those stories are done.

On the other hand, "Into the Gardens of Sweet Night" Fictionwise ] could easily open up to more stories, as could "Our Lady of American Sorrows" and many other stories of mine.

I'm not sure what the difference is. Like I said before, it's not a function of plot or structure, or even character or world-building. It's just the way the story does or doesn't tingle in my head.

In other news, at lunch today martianmooncrab showed me the June issue of Romantic Times Book Review, which has a very positive four-star review of Mainspring Powell's | Amazon ]. I'll try to score a copy of the magazine later for my records.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-05-03 20:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Um...are we talking about something from 2002 or so? Involving me and Gardner Dozois?

In which case, I have absolutely no idea.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-05-03 20:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I still have that zebra head. It could come to MisCon...
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manmela
User: manmela
Date: 2007-05-03 23:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Reminds me of a joke someone told me this week.

A wannabe writer bumps into a world famous author and begs them for advice on the novel they are writing. The Author, being the polite sort, says "of course".

The writer asks how long a novel should be, and the author replies that whilst there is no set answer, a good target would be "100,000 words"

"Oh thank god," the writer responds. "That means I've finished."
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-05-03 23:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
:: groan ::
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User: ex_paulskem
Date: 2007-05-04 16:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Jay,

On a bit of a tangent, but I noticed the Fictionwise link. Are you willing to share a bit about how that has worked for you? I'm curious about it and wonder how it's worked for a writer with your credentials. I'm certainly not asking for you to share numbers, but perhaps just your general sense of whether it's been a worthwhile endeavor for you. Since I saw only one short story and one collection there under your name, I'm wondering if you cut off participation for some reason (given the large number of stories you have published and presumably could have made available there).

Paul
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-05-04 21:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Paul, I signed up with them several years ago, then didn't really pursue the relationship. My bad, not theirs. They send me modest checks every once in a while, and are very good folks to work with.
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User: ex_paulskem
Date: 2007-05-05 11:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks for the info, Jay.
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Peter Hollo
User: frogworth
Date: 2007-05-06 07:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Please write the "Into the Gardens of Sweet Night" forthwith, and then strike a deal with a publisher to get it published tomorrow, rather than 5 years down the track.

M'kay? Get to it!
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Peter Hollo
User: frogworth
Date: 2007-05-06 07:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's the "Into the Gardens of Sweet Night" novel I'm talking about...
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