Saturday, December 6

submission updates and the end of MiniNaNo

What news? I've had Ruin and Exoticism back from Clockwork Phoenix and have dispatched Ruin to All Hallows. Absolute Write pointed me in the direction of the latter, being one of the very few ghost story specific publications.

I've also found another couple of thousand words for the selkie story to make it eligble for the Samhain anthology.

I'm eyeing up Supernatural Tales, but there's no real submission guidelines on the site. I'm wondering if they're in the magazine itself, so I'm having a read through of the few PDFs to decide if it's worth subscribing.

I'm also reading through Oubliette for KVTaylor, and I'm very excited. Partly by the word 'Oubliette', to be fair, but that's what happens when you don't see Labyrinth until your twenties!

I watched Ghostwatch last week, and struggled to sleep after. Easily one of the most frightening things I've ever seen. TV and films have an advantage over text in that apparations can occur without any of the characters drawing attention to it. In fact, if there hadn't been three of us watching (and if one of us hadn't seen it before) we'd have missed a few appearances of Pipes. It's not until near the end that the cameraman spots him too.

It's also incredibly well written, with the slow build, and the smooth shifts between learning from the characters and noticing things before they do. Knowing its fiction doesn't seem to do it any detriment, though you are aware that the kids aren't quite a good actors as could be hoped. By the end you've forgotten that as the presents prove themselves more than equal to the challenge - Parkinson the sceptic, Sarah Greene the believer, Craig Charles the joker. That they're all recognisable names and faces helps the verisimiltude, especially since Parky was considered a fairly serious presenter. The real life relationship between Sarah Green (presente in the house) and Mike Smith (presenter in charge of the phones) gives it a good emotional wrench, too.

Of course, when it was originally broadcast if you didn't tune in for the very beginning, and if you hadn't bought the Radio Times, you'd wouldn't know it was fiction until near the end (though many viewers didn't work it out then, some even accusing of the BBC of lying to cover up one presenter's supernatural demise). The use of the format is perfect. Interviews are naturally exposition heavy, telephone lines are a great way to get the 'everyman' involved, satellite links allow for multiple experts and everyone knows how well ghosts and electricity get on!

There are so many elements to it that intertwine. It's not obvious that they're all significant until the end. The video interviews (and Sarah Greene's own ghost story) are all true, and it's a shame you don't get to hear the end of the last one, but the ominous feeling the comes from it cutting out is worth it.

I'm trying to avoid spoilers, but no one whose heard of it doesn't know it's fiction, and, well, if the ghost wasn't reall, what would be the point? Despite this, and despite hving seen multiple clips, I certainly wasn't happy wandering around my own house in the dark afterwards!

It's worth multiple viewings, and I'm going to fork out for the BFI DVD; the BFI is always expensive, but they do make some unusual stuff available. The fact that on DVD you can rewind it to catch all of Pipes's appearances doesn't make it any less scary.

Okay, so I didn't manage every day, but I more than tripled the expected word count for the month, and compared with 'proper' NaNoWriMo I'm actually confident I will succeed next year.

(actual stats: 87% of days and 311% of pledged word count)

I completed two more ghost stories, and a lot of random little snippets. The days I didn't make it were pure bad memory - even on those days when I put writing off if I remembered at the end of the day I wrote (albiet a single page sat on the living room floor just before heading up to bed).

1 comment:

katey said...

Ghostwatch sounds like great fun-- I'll have to try and track it down over here somewhere. The BBC likes to push DVDs on us, so maybe I'll have success on Amazon or something.

I've never see All Hallows before, but it looks really cool (not to mention appropriate.) This is the most frustrating aspect of the whole writing thing, finding a market that wants just the right thing. And why aren't there more places for ghost stories? Everyone I've ever talked to loves them. Seems like someone's missing out, doesn't it?

Labyrinth! I should've had the MC think about that, actually. They were talking about an oubliette on Ghost Hunters one night while they were at Leap Castle in Ireland, and that's why I wrote the damn thing. Now I can't believe I neglected a wonderful Henson tie-in!

Congrats on mini-nano!