Yes, but is it Art?

Or actu­al­ly, is it Lit­er­a­ture?

I’ve start­ed a short sto­ry that I think will end up being sub­mit­ted to the lit mags when (if) I fin­ish it. The title is “Sons and Daugh­ters of the Builder”, and the first para­graph (still first draft) is

When­ev­er peo­ple ask me if my father is God, I say no. I learned a long time ago that the true answer—“maybe”—was an open­ing for any num­ber of fur­ther ques­tions, ques­tions I didn’t have the answers to.

I have no idea where it’s head­ed. Well, that’s not true; I have some ideas, but I haven’t picked a direc­tion yet. My biggest fear is that it’ll wind up being too spec.fic. for the Lit­er­ary Jour­nals, dahling, but too lit.fic. for the SF pulps, dude.

Sid­ing con­tin­ues apace. The south wall is now blue from bot­tom to top again; sof­fits & fas­cia will go up tomor­row. Then the only part left to tack­le will be the west wall, up above the kitchen roof. We hope to be done by the week­end.

On the oth­er hand, Greg Knauss’s Devil’s Dic­tio­nary v2.0 defines sched­ule as A fairy tale with a hap­py end­ing, told by the opti­mistic to the igno­rant. So I’m hes­i­tant to be too firm about end dates and ETAs and et ceteras.

Lat­ers, gators!

4 thoughts on “Yes, but is it Art?

  1. The spec fic mags & zines see them­selves as pur­vey­ors of cut­ting edge lit­er­ary fic­tion. Methinks they are cor­rect. Unless you want to write bor­ing point­less sto­ries about char­ac­ters with bor­ing point­less lives who, in their inevitable epipha­nies, find mean­ing in said lives, then for­get about main­stream lit fic. My 2c.

  2. From How to Be a Cana­di­an*, the sec­tion on how to write the Great Cana­di­an Nov­el:

    Plot—Avoid this at all costs. Nar­ra­tive sto­ry­lines, where things actu­al­ly hap­pen, are now con­sid­ered “crass”. Instead, the char­ac­ters should just sort of mope from scene to scene, maybe star­ing into the dis­tance now and then to remem­ber events that hap­pened long before. You don’t want a sense of for­ward momen­tum in a nov­el. You want “atmos­phere”. Most Cana­di­an nov­els are built around a series of unmo­ti­vat­ed flash­backs. Let’s keep it that way, shall we?

    * A humourous look at your neigh­bours to the north, which even includes a bit on our fetish for extra U’s in cer­tain wourds.

  3. Extra let­ters in cer­tain wourds, you mean?

    That bit on the great Cana­di­an nov­el applies equal­ly well to Amer­rrrkan ‘seri­ous’ fic­tion. I’ll stick to genre.

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