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  • Question For M Moorcock

    Hello Mr.Moorcock, I wanted to ask you a question or two about writting but I understand if you dont feel comfortable about me asking. Please let me know.
    Thanks

  • #2
    Hi, Guest!
    I'm a regular on here. You should just ask away. I'm sure Michael is willing to answer any reasonable question you have. It seems he hasn't been on here for a day or so, that's why he hasn't gotten to you yet.
    I will try to help you out by posting here some of his latest answers regarding writing...

    Michael Moorcock
    Site Host
    Posts: 939
    Posted: Sat May 29, 2004 3:33 am
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    The Eternal Champion, which I first wrote when I was 17, was a parable, if you like, of my own understanding that 'our' side were not necessarily the good guys, after all. It described that shock one feels when, for instance, we learned of Mei Lei or the sadism of our side in Iraq (and by example probably elsewhere). A more sophisticated version of that story was, for instance, Breakfast in the Ruins (which described British torture of Mau Mau suspects in Kenya, for instance). I suppose that what I'm hoping is that my fellow citizens will join with me in holding our own people responsible to be what we are told they are. Yet you also know that evil can come out of the most generous intentions and that good can come out of some of the worst deeds in history (I think the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, for instance, couldn't have hapened without the Nazi Holocaust). Ultimately you have to find a subtler model of your world than 'Good guys' and 'Bad guys' (which infects the rhetoric of Bush, who sincerely believes, I'm sure, that he's a good guy) and for me Law, Chaos and the Cosmic Balance are the nearest I can come, in my
    fantasy fiction at least, to creating that model.
    ============
    On comic writing...
    Michael Moorcock
    Site Host
    Posts: 857
    Posted: Mon May 17, 2004 11:15 am
    ---------------------------------------------------
    It's not a Multiverse series but an Elric four-parter. The Tom Strong's a two-parter. That said, I described a lot of my comic techniques and how I also applied them to early series like the Hawkmoon series, in DEATH IS NO OBSTACLE. I write what at Fleetway used to be a conventional script (not always done by others, especially in the US) with narrative at the top, scene description, dialogue and, if necessary, more narrative below. I try to have the scenes carry the maximum amount of information (it being a visual medium!) and keep my own narrative and dialogue to a minimum, never reproducing the information that's in the pictures. Aside from that, plotting techniques are a simpler version of how I plot for a fantasy novel, for instance. Preferably have a problem in the early part that's solved by the end. Introduction. Development. Resolution. Writing in 'three acts' as with a movie script is pretty much standard, though I'm inclined to make my Development section two parts rather than one, so my individual books tend to run to four parts, with the first part of the Development summarising and condensing dramatic and narrative elements in the introduction and the second part of the Development prefiguring the Resolution. Hope that makes some sort of sense, pard!

    =====
    Michael Moorcock
    Site Host
    Posts: 892
    Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 8:09 am
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    I don't use made up languages, by and large, though I will use the same roots to make up names, since this tends to give them a kind of unity.
    I have used other languages in some of my books, especially the non-fantasy books, and made use of thieves' cant in books like The City in the Autumn Stars and my current book The White Wolf's Son. Many of the names of 'the Dukes of Hell' are the names of demons and spirits from conventional demonology, but just as the point of writing my fantasy books isn't much to do with world-building or language-invention, but to do more with producing some kind of parable, so I'll use anagrams and other word-games to produce my names, such as Corum Jhaelen Irsei. The reason for this is to produce thematic links between books -- sometimes between a fantasy novel and a 'realistic' novel.

    =====
    Michael Moorcock
    Posted: Wed May 05, 2004 4:41 am
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I'm not sure that the moral attitudes and beliefs of writers have much to do with their longevity. E. Nesbit's books continue to be reprinted since the turn of the century and she was an active socialist, sometimes introducing her political opinions into her books. Richmal Crompton was Cof E, but 'William' continues to offer his criticisms of English society, including vicars. I suspect the power of the author's imagination is always going to be the factor determining their lasting power. Personally I find the tone of the Narnia books cloying and unpleasant and I believe that Lewis wasn't a very good writer, but I love the work of his friend and fellow Inkling Charles Williams, who isn't always a brilliant writer and who was a Christian proseltiser. Williams, for some reason, has been marginalised while Lewis continues to sell very well. The probable reason for this is that Williams has no juvenile protagonists and none of the other elements which tend to make fantasy books into best-sellers.
    No furry animals or humanoids and very little comfort. He is in many ways far more uncomfortable, in fact, than Pullman.
    ==============
    check this out...

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&i...is+no+Obstacle

    As it said in the second post, his book Death is No Obstacle is all
    about the writing process, so I'd say get your hands on that!
    It's sure to be a valuable resource!

    cheers

    --J
    \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
    Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

    Comment


    • #3
      Well what i wanted to ask was for some advice..
      Ive been wanting to write a novel my entire life and just decided now its time to start... Then i ran into this little problem. WHERE do i start?!
      Novel plotting has always been a problem for me.. I wanted to know if there were any sites or just plain advice when it comes to making a novel plot before writing it.
      are there any techniques for plotting chapters/scence ect?
      thanks anyone who answers

      Comment


      • #4
        If you are thirsty for any kind of knowledge,
        use google.com

        Just now I went to google.com and typed in

        novel plotting

        this is what I got:

        http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&i...novel+plotting

        Incredible! Check it out, pard.
        If you don't get what you need out if it,
        I'd say take a creative writing class or a fiction writing class.
        You should be able to get what you need.
        If you don't like taking classes, there are books instead.
        Here's one that I have:
        Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft
        by Janet Burroway.
        You can look for it on Amazon.com.
        \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
        Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

        Comment


        • #5
          Sorry. I have some narrative problems of my own to solve at the moment! :)
          Those ideas are good. Also if you can get hold of a copy of my Death is no Obstacle (about writing) that might help you. Might help, I suggest mildly, if you learn how to spell writing, too! Gives your work more authority when you turn it in to an editor... :)
          You might as well start with a bang. The old thing you learned as a journalist, when I was a lad, was to start with a good scene first, then if necessary backtrack to the storyline. Thus: The woman came through the french window with a gun in her hand. She had two shots left and she wasn't going to waste them.
          You set yourself up with a scene and a question (why only two shots left).
          Your narrative can set about answering that question.
          Try writing a tight, well-structured short story and work your way up to a novel. The same values apply in the standard genre story. You just put more incident and plot (and character maybe) into a novel. I started by writing 1,500 word short stories. Then 3,000 word short stories. Then 6,00 worders, then 12,000, then 15,000 word novellas and then I felt able to go to short novel (45,000) length. Learn to walk before you run, in other words.

          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Question For M Moorcock

            Originally posted by Anonymous
            Hello Mr.Moorcock, I wanted to ask you a question or two about writting but I understand if you dont feel comfortable about me asking. Please let me know.
            Thanks
            Mike was just teasing you a little. But there you go! Words from the great one himself. May it be the rocket booster you need to get you to the stars!!!!!
            \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
            Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

            Comment


            • #7
              Mr. Moorcock wrote:
              Try writing a tight, well-structured short story and work your way up to a novel. The same values apply in the standard genre story. You just put more incident and plot (and character maybe) into a novel. I started by writing 1,500 word short stories. Then 3,000 word short stories. Then 6,00 worders, then 12,000, then 15,000 word novellas and then I felt able to go to short novel (45,000) length. Learn to walk before you run, in other words.
              Wow that's some great news! I write a little bit, as much as i have time for, but i tend to write pretty small, something my friends all make remarks about. My friend wrote a 250 or so page story (his first one, not sure about the # of words) and i'm writing stuff that reaching it's climax after about 7,000 words lol. It's great to know that even the greats didn't start out writing huge amounts of words per story (or series of stories).

              Comment


              • #9
                I'm trying to get something done myself, so this all beneficial. Infact, I'm handing in my notice at work tomorrow and have recently sold my house so that I will have time to be creative. A wise move or plain silly? :D
                Call me cockey, but if there\'s an alien I can\'t kill, I haven\'t met him and killed him yet!

                Comment


                • #10
                  Wisdom or silliness will be decided by whether you're satisfied or dissatisfied with what the future brings, of course. I'm never entirely sure about advising people to give up their day jobs, but if that's the way it will work best for you, that's the thing to do. I've earned my living pretty much all my life (from 16) by editing and writing, so my advice is never worth much here. Few people have had my background, or the chance to start editing and writing professionally so young. I did start, however, by doing amateur fanzines and the like. It was my fanzines which got me my first editing jobs on Tarzan Adventures and Sexton Blake Library. Great training. It might help you to take on unpaid work for local newspapers and maybe online magazines and get as much work published as you possibly can.

                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                  The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                  Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                  The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                  Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Thanks for that.

                    Well, the current plan is to focus on our webzine, (whenever it gets up and running) which you kindly contributed to, and on the side, get together the project I've had in mind for a year or so now. I guess the webzine will certainly help to define my writing style and also give me confidence if it becomes well read. I just don't want to get to a point where in a few years, I look back and think 'I should have done that'.
                    Call me cockey, but if there\'s an alien I can\'t kill, I haven\'t met him and killed him yet!

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Numazel
                      It's great to know that even the greats didn't start out writing huge amounts of words per story (or series of stories).
                      Yup, that was exactly the mistake I did a few years ago, when I was 15 or 16 and all like "Hey! Now let's write a best-seller!"
                      Of course, it failed, the plot and characters were all too much copied together from other stories and books I read before, and the style also wasn't that astonishing...
                      After that, I started to write a few rather short stories, at first the things one might call "standard-fantasy"... all the dragon, goblin, dwarf and elf stuff...
                      At the moment, I'm starting my second try at a novel... prologue and chapter 1 are nearly finished. When having a look at my older stories, I'm always glad to see how style and ideas have improved in the last two or three years... and I hope this process will continue the more I write. Perhaps it'll work better this time... :mrgreen:
                      Just because it's a silly young boy's dream to become a writer doesn't mean it's not worth a try, is it?

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Here are some suggestions that I use:

                        I have at least a basic outline of where I want the story to go. The more outlining the better, but be flexible for change.

                        This probably sounds cliche, but let the characters speak for themselves. I try to have scenes and dialogue flow as what seems natural for the characters. That might create some changes in the story, but I think that that makes for a better book (or whatever). My book changed quite a bit from my original idea to the final product.

                        One of the most important things that I learned is to get the rough draft done before rewriting or polishing. It doesn't matter how bad the rough draft reads. Once the basic story line is down, then clean it up.

                        And, keep writing. If I hadn't been discouraged and stopped, my second book would be done by now.

                        I hope this helps.

                        Comment

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