My stream of consciousness has a real silt problem and some endangered mollusks.

I’m finally taking time to read Iron Council. It is completely fantastic., and I’m amazed. There are actual people in Bas Lag that I sympathize with and enjoy. My usual trouble with China Mieville’s adult work is that the language and worldbuilding is incredible, the plot is, at best, passable, and the cast is totally uninteresting. (Funnily enough, this isn’t a problem at all in Un Lun Dun. I love everyone in that book. ) In Iron Council, the main characters are all prickly but identifiable and the two storylines are wrapping around each other beautifully. I’m actually enjoying this book in all the major areas; plot, character, world, and writing. Those are my catch-all generic classifications. I find the four main categories will summarize most of what I want to say about a story.

Wow, that was a rambling and tangent-riddled opening paragraph. The point I was eventually coming to is that I do love that man’s writing, and sitting in the graveyard on a beautiful fall afternoon is the best place to read anything. It makes books stick with you better. I just polished off A. Lee Martinez’s Monster. I always like his stories, but that book has really gotten under my skin more than you’d think a silly horror-schmock would. I blame the graveyard. And when a book gets under my skin, it stays there. Like a splinter without the stinginess.

And when books get their hooks in me, I want to write more. I suppose that makes sense, doesn’t it? I have a story roiling around in my head about the cemetery. Well, a cemetery. And the lovely folks that live there. As Talia pointed out, such a tale would probably inevitably be compared to The Graveyard Book, because Neil Gaiman’s tendrils of awesome are everywhere.  But that won’t stop me!

What will stop me is more likely having a hard time findinf a voice for this story. I can’t decide. Should I use the perspective of the resident reaper? It’s hard to get a handle on death, though I’ve got a sort of detached, observant concern to begin with. Maybe I could just be third-person omniscient? But I almost never do that. It’s not a mode I enjoy much. I’ve considered using the human kid who comes to the graveyard to read when s/he’s not working, but that concept is verging on author avatar anyway, and it’d hardly be interesting to just go that way. And there’s also the option of the crusty gravedigger. Or hell, the graveyard dog (always a favorite bit of ghost lore for me, both creepy and endearing). It’s proving a hard story to tell, this cheery tale of, um, black magic and such.

I always have the novel to work on and other short stories to toil over, revise, and expand, right? Like “Toadstone.” I’m adding geology to that. Well, more geology. It is, after all, a tale of love, vengeance, and paleontology already. Ah, my workmanlike rehash of arcane desperation and unholy arts twined around doomed love and the bone wars. I’ve just decided to add more bone wars! Yay for bizarre historical context. And with that, I think a writing I shall go.


~ by badandfierce on October 13, 2010.

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