The Lead, And How to Swing It

Posted on | December 26, 2009

Insanely prolific blogger and book reviewer James Nicoll has a contest entitled Because My Tears Are Delicious To You. James has a lack of patience for exceptionally bad SF, along with a notoriously long idiosyncratic list of things in SF that especially set him off, and is challenging people to write the ultimate “make James cry” opening sentence. (Really, don’t participate unless you know what makes James cry.)

I wanted to participate– some of them are real groaners.  Much to my frustration, I found that I couldn’t.

Here’s the real truth: I haven’t written anything new since April.  Mostly, that’s because, as I wrote in my previous post, people pay me more to write code these days.  But there seems to be something else going on.  I’m not sure entirely what it is, but it bugs me.  I sit down to write and nothing comes to the fingers.  I do what I’m supposed to do when that happens: I write anyway.  I write crap.  And I mean, real crap. (Okay, some of you might actually want to read a scene involving Wish, a Sterling Y, and a bit of llerkin nobility, but the dialogue there sucks, people)

And many of the novel ideas I had to work with just seem to be equally dead.  A retelling of the Superman story as STL warfare between back-to-the-soil types and posthumans?  Completely hung up on the “just another Anglo writer” complex.  Moon Sun Dragons?  Not enough ideas for a book, not enough eyeball kick for a movie.  Caprice Starr?  Boring.  Automatic Sweetheart?  “Steampunk is so last year.”  The Last Year of the Cat?  “Nobody will ever take catgirls seriously, no matter how much Sarah Waters, Camille Paglia, and Bram Dysktra you throw in there.”  Janae?  “Too obvious.”

Bleah.  Someone find me my mojo, ne?

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