S.G. Browne

Blah Blah Blog Q&A

In response to my last entry, Blah Blah Blog, Sarah Malone commented and posed a couple of questions that I thought would be best addressed here, since they’re not just simple yes or no answers.

And if anyone has any other questions, fire away.  I’ll do my best to answer them in a timely fashion, even if I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Question #1: Are you critical of your own work and does it ever truly feel finished?
I’m definitely critical of my own work, to the point that as I’m writing, I’m wondering if what’s coming out of me is good enough. But I realize that’s what the editing process is for, to take the initial concept, the shell of the novel, and turn it into what I envisioned.

Think of the first draft as kind of like building a house and putting up the walls and the floor and the ceiling, creating a solid structure on a firm foundation. Something that will hold everything I want to put into it. Each subsequent draft fills the house with furnishings and decorations and all of the details it needs to make it complete.

Of course, sometimes, I realize I need to rearrange the floor plan or add another room or a second level or a basement, but fortunately, it’s just an analogy, so it costs a lot less.

And as far as feeling as if it’s ever finished, yes.  There’s a definite sense of accomplishment when I’ve completed the first draft and then again when I’ve made the final edits. But I can always find something six months down the road that I think I could have done better.

Question #2: The novels that you wrote before, are you planning on trying to publish them now that your name is out there?
Prior to Breathers, I’d written three novels that were straight supernatural horror, with the first two being told in third person omniscient and the third told in the first person. While there are redeeming qualities on all three, it’s unlikely I’ll pursue trying to publish the first two.

One, they’re very different from what I’ve doing now, both in style and voice. I’ve found that writing dark comedy and social satire with some kind of a supernatural edge resonates with me more than writing straight supernatural horror. And, more importantly, I don’t believe the quality of the writing is up to par with Breathers or Fated. The third novel, however, has promise, though I’d have to rewrite it to make it more darkly comedic.

Thanks for the questions, Sarah!

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Filed under: The Writing Life — S.G. Browne @ 2:45 pm

3 Comments »

  1. I have a question. When writing breathers did you do any zombie research or was it all sort of off the cuff? I ask because I have decided to give a speech in my communications class about zombies and I need sources…I’m finding it very hard to find nonfiction zombie sources. Novels and movies in and of themselves aren’t much use for this kind of thing (although they will be mentioned and I plan on mentioning Breathers in my speech). Please tell me what, if any, reference matterial you know of that would aid me in my speech.

    Please and thank you,

    Leanne

    Comment by Leanne — February 23, 2010 @ 11:13 am

  2. Hi Leanne. Yes, I did some research on zombies, though admittedly more on what happens to the human body after it dies than after it reanimates. And to be honest, most of the research I did on zombies was more along the lines of The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks and a handful of websites that gave different opinions on what zombies are and what they aren’t. Most of it I made up, especially since I was playing with the mythology to suit my needs.

    As for reference material, I’d recommend finding some sources on the Internet that deal with zombies in popular culture as well as the progression of zombies from their voodoo roots to the Romero zombie to their current incarnation. There’s always Wikipedia, but you never know if it’s accurate. Which, of course, didn’t stop me.

    One web site I found deals with them from a philosophical standpoint and might be helpful: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/zombies.

    Hope that helps!

    Comment by admin — February 23, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

  3. I found some sources I could use. I’m focusing on Haitian zombies and then how the zombie changed over time through American films and then the ways in which zombies are politicized in films and books. Thanks for the feedback, though. I really appreciate that you answered my question. :)

    P.S. This has nothing to do with anything except I’m super excited about it: I’m dressing my friend up as a zombie and bringing him to class as a visual aid! If I don’t get an “A” on this I think it will reflect poorly on my college. Haha

    Comment by Leanne — February 28, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

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