News and Creative Questions

Apology!

I have to start with an apology.  I realised too late that I posted twice in a very short space of time about my latest paperback.  I really had no intention of doing so but I was rather swept along by my excitement yesterday, and forgetting that I’d already made the announcement didn’t help!!  My only excuse is that yesterday was caused by my receiving my own copy of the book.  I really have no intention of becoming one of those bloggers who just bangs on interminably about their own works!

An Amusing Fact

This statement is not meant to elicit a cascade of good wishes.  It’s simply something of some mild amusement, in my view.  Today is my birthday, the 56th one inflicted on me by a cruel calendar.  It strikes me as slightly funny that the one thing I haven’t received is – a book!  Don’t get me wrong, either.  I have a large library, which has grown exponentially with the advent of ebooks!  It’s also a truth that, with my increased writing activity, the time I have available for reading has declined significantly.  Of course, as it’s early yet, there’s still time for a book to put in an appearance, and it would be very welcome, naturally.  I also have to say that I don’t make gift buying for me easy!  I admit to only one thing, when asked: that I don’t need anything, and there’s nothing I would dearly love to possess.  More, I reiterate, every year, that I would rather that our three children spend their money on more important things – like their own families!  And I can say that I mean every word – totally!

Of course there are books I would like to get, but so many are out of print and can’t even be found online, or are insanely expensive if they can be found.  There’s not one, single book that matters so much to me that I am willing to pay any price for it!  So I am content.  If I should, by some happy chance, come upon a copy of a desired book at a sensible price, fair enough.  Until then, they will remain on the list.

Work In Progress

This may be a matter of total disinterest to you, some mild interest, or even some resignation.  I have already begun work on the fifth book in the G1: The Guardians series, and surprised myself by its opening!  I won’t, for obvious reasons, give any details.  It has to be enough to say that the beginning is very different, and the story promises to be equally different.  Naturally, G1 won’t be excluded, but there are glimpses of other things, including a bit more about how the police of that undefined future time regard the Guardians.  There’s also a clear indication that the members of the organisation aren’t so insular that they have no contact with people on the outside.  It’s not an ‘international’ story, this time, so we’re again somewhere in England, but perhaps we’ll learn a bit more about future English Society – or maybe not.  Only time will tell.  The one thing I’m fairly confident about is that this is very likely to be another novel.

A Parting Question

There have been numerous new books, and movies, that are quite blatant retellings of old stories.  Everybody seems to be doing it.  Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Treasure Island, and so many more.  This would appear to be a downhill path to stagnation.  But is it?  Are there any truly original stories?  Taking English alone, there may be a very large potential vocabulary at our disposal, but, when all is said and done, it is still a finite language.  And when you start putting words together into comprehensible sentences, the variations available actually diminish.  So, as authors, are we ultimately condemned to come up with rehashed tales, even if we’ve never personally read anything even remotely like the material we’re writing?  It’s reminiscent of music’s difficulties.  We’ve all encountered music tracks which sound very familiar, but which have been honestly composed, without sampling or direct copying.   There being a finite number of possible combinations, however, means that there is an inevitable occurrence of familiar musical phrases.  Surely this applies to stories too?  The basic themes are repeated, with new settings and characters, and maybe as a kind of story stew, with elements from a wide variety of earlier works.  I’m not talking about plagiarists!  All I’m asking is: are we all retellers?

~ Steve

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About Steve

An author since the age of 13 years, writing again dominates my activities. My "Imagineer-ing" blog is my primary site. Also: Beginner knitter since November 2010. Favourite knitting techniques: cable and lace. Beginner cross stitcher. Beginner jewellery maker. With the promotion of self publication and all the other work that has been going on here, Dad decided around 2am this morning (22/11/2013) that it was time to begin his next adventure. He was seen off earlier the previous evening by myself, my brother, my sister in law, and my sister, as well as his wife (our mum), and an enigmatic being known only as A Lorraine. After this time of story telling, laughing, crying, joking and mickey taking, we saw how tired both mum and dad were, and we decided to leave them under the (sometimes) gentle care of The Lorraine. When Dad found the timetable for his travels, he let Mum know gently, which woke her from her drowsing, then, with the same gentleness he showed in this universe, he boarded his favourite mode of transport, the Interdimensional Steam Train, and set off with a smile and a wave. For those of us closest, that smile was a reminder that his pain has ended, and the wave, an indicator that he will pop in to all those that knew him, from time to time. Usually at the most inconvenient and in opportune moments he can. While we are sad that he is no longer here, we are happy he now has no pain, and is experiencing more extraordinary things that his writers mind will be frantically weaving into a new story. Posted by Son Damien

8 thoughts on “News and Creative Questions

  1. Re-telling is part of the human storytelling trait used by Shamans from the far distant past, we can’t possibly know when a story was NEW, but re-telling can add to a story by being twisted or come at from a slightly different direction which may actually help someone to finally “Get It”
    Someone once said “There’s nothing NEW in the universe”, but I disagree.
    When you DO finally realise what a story MEANT, THAT is NEW to YOU :)

      • Occasional flashes of genius followed by prolonged deluges of stupidity for the past 3 million years or so, especially since around the end of the last ice age, when there were no more rivals to keep Homo sapiens on their toes :)

      • I guess the flashes of genius were things like ‘fire burn’, ‘rock hurt’ and ‘check cave no got bear before going in’ :D We’re such a genius species – we’ve run out of ideas for our own name – after ‘homo sapiens’ we evolved into the intellectual giant = ‘homo sapiens sapiens’ LOL I guess we’ve already booked the name of our next evolutionary form: ‘homo sapiens sapiens sapiens’ ;)

  2. Take heart. Yes, writers can’t avoid “re-telling”, since there are “only 7 basic plots in all of literature”. See The Telegraph’s 2004 review of C Booker’s analysis of this very issue: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/3632074/Everything-ever-written-boiled-down-to-seven-plots.html
    But, linguists tell us that humans constantly generate new sentences that have never been spoken or written before. So, even if writers follow tired plot lines, our creative spin is revealed in the language we use. Word power!

    • Thanks Lizzie :) Interesting article ;) Yes, I think language evolution, and altering perspectives combine to create essentially ‘fresh’ stories :) I mean, not long ago, the idea off ‘good dragons’ in the West would have been inconceivable – after all, St George was one of the great saints and he slew a dragon (allegedly) – today, there would be a much different view of the whole affair :D

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