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  Original Music 2014

Scepters of Incidence

  Scepters of Incidence

5 minutes 33 seconds| The importance of happy accidents: Woman mails ladder across country in simple brown parcel paper. It goes missing in Iowa. People start turning up in hospital emergency rooms in strange falling accidents.

Novel Icon The Difficulty of Writing Well| Every great novelist has at least one great novel in him or her; and perhaps only one great novel. One may say that Jane Austen wrote the same novel six times; and perhaps similar charges may be laid at Melville’s door, and so on.  I am doing this with my second novel, since I am revisiting many themes from the first novel.

The best television shows have a deep pool of writers expressly to get around this problem; and moreover since, where working independently or collectively, they act as catalysts on one another. Varied writers bring varied perspectives to character development, from which more character development occurs. Crowdsourcing, of a kind, has its benefits.

I say this to illustrate the difficulties posed where one writer tackles a subject. Time—sometimes, many years—is needed for the writer to live with characters and grow to understand their psychologies and motives. Where time is not a luxury, other priorities come to dominate and short-circuit this education.

Arthur Conan Doyle wrote one novel for Sherlock Holmes, with many chapters, whereas H. P. Lovecraft had a much smaller skill set and so reused the same template repeatedly. A favorite writer on subjects similar to mine is M. R. James. As an academic, James wrote only one ghost story a year, and as such took his time to dwell on subjects of his antiquarian interests. Moreover, like Shakespeare and Dickens, he had a talent for socio-type mimicry and dialogue, and populated his stories with humorous characters. (One hears P. G. Wodehouse on these occasions.) James’ humor is often left out when praising his ability to weave a haunting tale.

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