Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Where To Go From Here

As you already know, the new issue of Spinetingler is up. And I do want to extend my thanks to all of those who help spread the word. This is great exposure for the talented writers sending stories our way, plus the interviews are great fun.

Yesterday, I spent the day in the city, strategizing for Wordapalooza so today I’ll be catching up on emails and such here. But there was something that came my way yesterday that I had to talk to Kevin about last night.

It was interesting, but it was new terrain. I was intrigued, yet unsure if I should move in that direction. Am I the only person who finds themselves debating temptations to try something new, uncertain about the ramifications?

I’m the type of person who, once having started on something, doesn’t like to drop it and shift gears. In this respect I’m extremely anal. I don’t typically work on more than one writing project at a time, especially if it’s a book.

This week I have to decide what I’m doing next. And believe me, once I make that decision, there will be no turning back until some time in the spring. I’m ready to go on any of four new books. Completely new characters and settings, so all require research. Except the Micky Rickards book. I know that setting.

So, taking on a new challenge can sometimes be invigorating, but how do I know if it will interfere with the other things I’m going to be doing? How do you guys make decisions about things like this?

Staying in the ‘where to go from here’ vein, Patti asked about my thoughts on the final episode to season 4 of The Wire.

I’ve watched it twice now, and this is the most open-ended season yet. You can see that the stage has been set for season 5. We already know who the target is. And we know how things are proceeding.

I have to say that in season 1, there was the death of Wallace. In season 2, D’Angelo. And in season 4 they have taken away another one of my favourite characters.

I have to say that the intro to the episode shocked the hell out of me.

We recently bought season 3 on DVD and have been listening to the commentary. When you can listen to George Pelecanos and David Simon talk about the structure of episodes and how it all works, you get notepaper and a pen and sit down to learn from the masters. This show is genius, and when you listen to the commentaries you begin to understand why. One of the things I’ll never forget from the first season was talking about the scene where D’Angelo and Wee Bey get out of the truck and Wee Bey reminds Dee of the rules. They’re standing in front of a restaurant, Bey under the word beef and Dee under the word chicken. This show is that carefully orchestrated, down to the details. I learn tons listening to the commentaries, and it makes me think about details and specifics in my writing.

Right, well, exhaustion and a long list that isn’t getting any shorter are prompting me to bid adieu for the moment. We really do appreciate all of you spreading the word on the new issues of Spinetingler. I must say I’ve already received some funny emails from people who had their names mentioned in various places… Didn’t exactly warn them. What would be the fun in that?


John McFetridge said...

Try something new. Go in a direction you haven't before. Don't plan it all, don't know where you're going, just go, find out along the way.

And make the setting a character, not a backdrop.

Just my two cents.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I like that idea John. Although I never plot. Unless it's a short story. Novels? Never.