There Will Be Blood, Evil Monkey, There Will be Blood

Evil Monkey:
There will be blood“, Jeff. There will be blood.

Jeff:
There will be blood, Evil Monkey. There will be blood.

Evil Monkey:
It might not be your blood. It might not be today. It might not be tomorrow. It might be yesterday. But there will be blood.

Jeff:
I’m pretty sure it will be your blood—and it will be today.

Evil Monkey:
I’d much prefer it be your blood. Much, much more than my blood. But: there will be blood!

Jeff:
Blood there will be.

Evil Monkey:
Will be blood, there.

Jeff:
There. Blood. Be will.

Evil Monkey:
Blood. There.

Jeff:
Blood will.

Evil Monkey:
Do you have a will?

Jeff:
No. I have blood.

Evil Monkey:
You should have a will.

Jeff:
Why?

Evil Monkey:
There will be blood!

Jeff:
But it will be your blood.

Evil Monkey:
My blood isn’t your blood type so if there is blood and it is your blood, I will not be able to save you with my blood.

Jeff:
If it is your blood and I have a chance to save you with my blood, I will save my blood for a time when there will be blood and it will be my blood.

Evil Monkey:
Keep your blood, knave. Keep your goddamn effing blood.

Jeff:
I will, sir. I will keep my goddamn effing blood. Do you know why?

Evil Monkey:
Because it is your blood and not mine and it may be that there will be blood one day…and it will be yours?

Jeff:
No. Because in 40 years there will be no electricity, we will be sharpening sticks for swords, and any electronic book will have disappeared magically…like magic.

Evil Monkey:
Signed “the curmudgeon”…in blood.

Jeff:
Your blood.

VanderMeer Story Critique Service Available

I am taking on some critique work on a limited basis, for those who are interested. If you have a novel or short story you’d like critiqued, just email me at vanderworld at hotmail.com for my rates. Since I’m working on a creative writing book for Abrams Image, you’ll get the bonus of some free sneak peeks. This is a limited time offer. When you email, please give me some sense of the subject matter and length of the story or novel and what you hope to get out of a critique. My critiques are intended to help you not just with the piece of fiction you give me but more generally, across all of your writing.

The Revelator Returns! With Special Twins!

Those mis-matched twins (one tall, one shor–…I mean, not as tall) Eric Schaller and Matthew Cheney have re-launched the famed Revelator Magazine, the first time it’s been published via the intertubes. Go check it out—this is the real deal. All kinds of interesting fiction, nonfiction, art, comics. Go support the resurrection of an institution.

Wonderbook and Other Updates–And Your Creative Writing Questions

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I have a deadline to turn in a chapter of the creative writing book I’m working on, working title Wonderbook, by early next week, which has me a little behind on blogging. Above you’ll see one of the rough sketches I’ve done for the book. It’s meaningless without the context, but in a nutshell it’s a visual dramatization of a creative writing concept. The book will have over 150 full-color images, and in writing it I’ll also be working with designer John Coulthart to come up with an effective visual language for teaching creative writing.

I’ll post more on the Mormeck serial next week as well—the next scene is one of those pivot points I really need to work hard on to get right so I’m not spending a lot of time revising later. After that, I should be posting more regularly on Mormeck.

In other news, Cheeky Frawg is getting ready to release both Amal El-Mohtar’s The Honey Month in e-book format and the anthology ODD?—the latter features a short film by Gregory Bossert with music by Danny Fontaine from lyrics I wrote and then Danny revised. Still image below.

Although I’m going to be busy the next few days, I will stop by here a bit. So…if you have any questions about creative writing, ask and I will attempt to answer. Since I’m immersed in writing about the subject at the moment anyway….

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Writers: What’s the Stupidest Story Idea You Ever Had?

This one is just for fun…and to show readers just how many bullets they may have dodged…

What’s the stupidest story idea you ever came up with? Or the stupidest story you wrote, possibly without at first realizing it was stupid? (And if so, how did you find out it was stupid? Did someone have to tell you?)

My stupidest story is probably one in which FBI agents afraid of wiretaps communicate via a secret language composed of farts…I also once wrote a poem that was an ode to my beard. In my defense…I was fairly young.

Now it’s your turn…

Books with Soundtracks, Murder by Death…and “Augmented” Books

The writer of this Atlantic.com article interviewed me about books and soundtracks, since all three of my Ambergris novels come with soundtracks: Robert Devereux’s Fungicide (for City of Saints), The Church’s Shriek: An Afterword, and Murder by Death’s Finch. (I have copies of the MBD soundtrack for sale.)

The reporter couldn’t use everything I gave her, of course, especially as the article is mostly about Booktracks, a company that provides “book scores” for your listening pleasure—something I’m a little dubious about. So I’ve taken my full answers and posted them below.

[Read more…]

Crowdsourcing: Cliches in SF, Fantasy, and Horror: Plots, Characters, Situations

For my creative writing book for Abrams Image—a definitive illustrated guide to writing speculative fiction—I’d like a running column in one of the chapters of cliches. I can’t possibly list them all, so if you’d like the chance to contribute an attributed entry, please comment here. A couple of sentences describing the cliche followed by dash and your full name. In other words:

A man in a bar meets a mysterious woman. They go back to her place. She turns out to be a werewolf/vampire/serial killer. — Jeff VanderMeer

Yes, there are lists out there and I have my own list, but this is more fun.

Thanks! I’ll take them through this upcoming Thursday.