Sunday, February 03, 2002
Chapter Two proceeds apace. I reached page 50 today with another thousand words. There's something very magical about 50. Suddenly a ms. stops being just a pile of paper and becomes the beginning of a novel, which entails a possibility of completion, which brings us back, of course, to the search for endings.
Someone asked me if I feel bad about laying into the urbane Steph of Steph's Book Reviews last night. I replied that, yes I do. Just a little. But not nearly enough to remove last night's post.
In other news . . .
A distinction has been much on my mind lately, and it's simplest to cut to the chase, a quote from Ann Radcliffe, which gets directly to the point.
"Terror and horror are so far opposite, that the first expands the soul, and awakes the faculties to a high degree of life; the other contracts, freezes, and nearly annihilates them. I apprehend that neither Shakespeare nor Milton by their fictions, nor Mr. Burke by his reasoning, anywhere looked to positive horror as a source of the sublime, though they all agree that terror is a very high one; and there lies the great difference between horror and terror, but in uncertainty and obscurity, that accompany the first, respecting the dreader evil."
A great difference between terror and horror.
Terror and horror.
A recent interview question, somewhat slightly paraphrased: "Do you find it more difficult to write stories that frighten people in the wake of September 11th?"
My response will be printed somewhere.
I'm getting tired of telling people that I'm not a "horror" writer. I'm getting tired of them not listening, or not believing. Most of them seem suspicious of my motives.
Which might bring us back to "pretension" and "contrivance," perhaps the two most abused words employed by those who attempt to bludgeon the meaning out of anything they don't comprehend at first glance. What is it that I am pretending to, anyway? What, exactly, have I contrived?
We'll come back to this a little later. I promise.
One young lady (okay, that's a somewhat shaky assumption based on associate photographic evidence) recently posted to her website, upon reading The Girl Who Would Be Death, that "Neil Gaiman needs to have that woman lynched." I thought about writing to her and telling her the whole damned thing was his idea in the first place. Then I decided that she wouldn't believe me. People are cynical. She also pronounced me the "worst writer ever," or something to that effect. That would be a sort of accomplishment, wouldn't it?
Four and a half hours' sleep last night. Fifteen minutes' sleep this afternoon. The sclerae - the whites - of my eyes are turning the color of Red Zinger.