Saturday, October 24, 2009

Truth Can Be Less Interesting Than Fiction

Feeling a little cheated. On Friday I had two of my wisdom teeth pulled. Here are the horror stories I got to hear in the week leading up to that:

"You'll end up spitting blood for two days/five days."

"Your face will swell up for a week/a month/a whole damn year."

"You'll go to sleep and wake up in a Giant parking lot."

The actual result? I was in and out in an hour, have barely felt any pain, and have not had any significant bleeding since yesterday. My meds aren't giving me any hallucinations, pleasant or otherwise, and I don't even remember getting a gas mask shoved into my face.

As life experiences go, the whole thing was very boring (which, compared to the horror stories, is probably a good thing). The only worthwhile part was getting to sit in a lobby that looked like it was pulled straight from The Shining. There's just something inspirational about blood-colored marble floors, which is an excellent choice for an oral surgeon's office, by the way.

Ah, well, maybe I'll mix my meds with a beer or two, see if the great Gazoo would care to impart me with some wisdom. Or else I can just get back to finishing up the pitches.


Author's Log

Ah yes, the pitches. I'm currently standing at four possibles, each one page long, giving a fair description of a possible novel.

Pitch writing doesn't give you a big word count, but it can be a great learning experience, and I'll go ahead and recommend it for anyone writing a novel. For one thing, you'll probably have to draft a pitch eventually to sell the book, and there's no harm in getting started early (except for the possibility of an extra revision or two, of course). For another, distilling a story that runs for 100,000 words down to a single page really makes you think about what the most important parts of your story are. If you're obsessing too much over a subplot or background details, cutting your story down to the bone might be enough to get you back on track.

Current Reading

I've read a fair few books over the week worth mentioning.

Death Troopers, a Star Wars novel by Joe Schreiber, brings the terrifying menace of the undead to a galaxy far, far away. It sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, but it's actually a very well-executed horror story that fits itself into the Star Wars universe surprisingly well. It's not a necessary read to follow the Expanded Universe canon, but if you're looking for something scary to read and don't want to wait for Stephen King's latest, you could do a lot worse.

Shamanslayer, a Warhammer novel by Nathan Long, continues the long-running story of Gotrek & Felix by setting them against a horde of Beastmen (half-men, half-animal, all evil). Some old characters from the William King books resurface, an old and nearly forgotten plotline gets resolved, and lots of carnage and mayhem occurs throughout. It's probably not a good idea to read this book if you aren't following the series, but longtime fans will find a lot to like here.

After a long delay I finished Fool Moon, the second Dresden Files book from Jim Butcher, which concluded in high style with lots of werewolf-on-werewolf action (minds out of the gutter...). I've just started in on the third book, Grave Peril, which looks set to delve into ghosts and the perils of the Nevernever. Still nothing but good things to say about this series.

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