clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Thursday, July 18, 2013

So Much Ink, So Little Time

It is almost time for me to get serious here.

I've been at this blog for nearly a year and have a degree of drivel and unrelated stuff scattered about.

Find a voice. ( Makes me sound like Norman Mailer.)

Time to scrub that old drivel and talk only about writing, writers, mayhem, and murder. It is after all our intended stock in trade.

We cannot have Ms. Reid interested in our own assistant murderer (apologies to Mr. Hammett), come to this site, and see how much we like My Pretty Ponies! That won't do.

So, clean-up is this weekend. The older stuff gets flushed and we stick to murder, mayhem, heartbreak, betrayal, and the deception of the gods.

I had an occasion this week to need to fill a work with mayhem. For a minute, I was stuck with what mayhem I had to invent. Of course! I will mine the self-made slush pile of doom and gloom for mayhem that isn't otherwise being used. Yes, those piles and piles of short stories do have something to contribute.

I found a pair of bachelor farmers (one bachelor, one estranged from frau in the same community for 26 years) pulling fence posts when something goes wrong, a tractor flips, and the brother is dead.

I found a distracted fellow driving a tractor and implement across the train tracks when he's hit and dragged for a quarter mile at about ten miles and hour, then dropped into the creek from the trestle where the tractor cab is bent shut from impact. He drowns. Screaming.

I found the calculated murderer who shoots out a car's tire from an overpass in the rural west, then abducts and binds the occupant in an abandoned farmhouse. Unable to overcome his sense of guilt-induced impotence, he burns the structure to hide his crime, drives into an alfalfa field, and shoots himself. He dies, slowly - from the ill-considered shot.

I found the rancher who dry-gulches the banker one hot August night. The banker has both slept with the rancher's wife and now is calling the rancher's loan. Small communities are like that.

It took about ten minutes to look through the pile of stapled drafts that are forever awaiting revision, polishing, and the heavy tuning necessary to have utility outside the walls of my own library.

Are you recycling your failed stories? You should. I found the ordeal uplifting. Something good can come from those efforts which never quite panned out. Mostly, the stories are poor because of the execution of the writing. The concepts however were smashing.

Maybe you don't have as much penned murder in your library as I do. 

I crashed a Zeppelin into Lyon once just to burn the center of the city and its occupants. Well, I crashed it to illustrate the desperation in the son of a Titus-style father who could not face returning home wounded but without any effective damage inflicted on the enemy. Fascinating part of WW I, actually: the Zeppelin campaign.

Anyway, soon to clean the backlist items here.

Search your own piles of slush and see if there isn't something you've forgotten that could help you this evening.

I hope you're writing. I know you're up to murder.

So much ink, so little time.

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