Author and Scriptwriter

'Among the most important writers of contemporary British horror.' -Ramsey Campbell

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Things Of The Week: 3rd May 2016

Paul Pinn
Well, only another four days until I'm a married man. People keep asking me if I'm excited, but I'm not, particularly. Not yet. Things like this tend not to really start kicking in for me until the day itself. At which point I will become a gibbering wreck.

The project I mentioned went off to a writer friend who'd done a lot more work in that vein... and came back with multiple footnotes and, basically, instructions to fix the hell out of this. Which is fine, and as it should be. Obviously (like most writers) I would have preferred something along the lines of 'OMG YOU ARE A GENIUS AND I AM NOT WORTHY'... but you have to earn such things. Maybe I will, or (more likely) a 'yep, this is okay.'

Writing is a constant learning curve, and different forms of it - plays, screenplays, poems, novels - all have different rules and disciplines. It took a lot of hard work and failed attempts to make the jump from writing short fiction to writing novels that didn't gargle donkey balls. Likewise this. There will be failures, problems to fix, lessons to learn...

And that will be good. You have to get outside the comfort zone to do anything worth while.

On a related note, I've been recovering my short story mojo over the last few days. Partly that's to do with the short story 'And Ashes In Her Hair' written for a project in memory of Joel Lane; it may also be to do with a recent interview I did with Graham Masterton (the first part of which will be online later today) on, among other things, the writing process. Anyway, I was approaching the deadline for a story I'd been asked for, so I buckled down and wrote it. I've been heavily focused on planning out my work before writing it over the last year or so - it's been a very useful discipline with regard to novel-writing - but I think it's actually become counter-productive with short stories (although it has helped in the past.) So I dived in. And wrote an 8,000 word story over Friday and Saturday. Then a 3,000 word story on Sunday.  And, this morning, a 2,700 word story.

There was sadder news this week though; I learned yesterday that the author Paul Pinn, who
produced some of the best horror fiction of the 1990s, usually in the small press of that period, passed away earlier this year from cancer. Paul was an incredibly nice guy and a hugely talented writer; I'll be producing a fuller tribute to him soon. In the meantime, let me commend his first story collection, Scattered Remains, to your attention.

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