Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The Idea Factory

It’s the age old question anyone creative gets asks, where do you get your ideas from?

Stephen King is famous for saying that ideas don’t pop into his head late at night while drinking blood and sitting at a cobwebbed typewriter. Most often, a concept will spring, sometimes fully formed, into his subconscious either driving down a sunny highway or mid conversation at a dinner party.

I’m not so intuitive. My ideas always have a very basic birth; I know what I DON’T want.

When embarking upon a new writing venture, I tend to think ‘Where haven’t I been? What’s interesting to me? What will shock, titillate, amuse?’ Ultimately, it’s material gone before that I find either despising or believing an award winning concept has not been fully realised that prompts me to begin work.

A case of ‘Bah, I can do better than that?’ Perhaps...

As mentioned previously, countless times (maybe I should have it tattooed onto my forehead), ‘Swan Song’ was designed as the ‘antidote’ to ‘Twilight.’ So for me, it’s most definitely a case of knowing what pitfalls to avoid that helps me structure and create something new and, hopefully, unique (I guess looking at it's success, you could hardly call 'Twilight' a pitfall. It certainly was for self respecting vampires!)

The first thing Frances Ford Coppola did before making ‘The Godfather’ (after breaking the novel down scene by scene) was write down the pitfalls, the places where he could screw up. Francis’ father had a good slogan, steal from the best, and what’s good for Coppola’s good enough for me! I have followed the adage of knowing what not to do beforehand as a good mantra for creation since the very beginning.

If I see a film that promises (or should that be threatens? Depends on your taste I guess) violence but doesn’t deliver, I know my next work won’t tease without following through. If I read a book that has all the potential to re-design the wheel but falls somewhat short, I’ll attempt to be far more courageous than I have been previously. If I hear of ONE MORE BLOODY HOLLYWOOD REMAKE....

Ahem, I’ll stop there I think on that one.

I talk to people, find out likes and dislikes, what they want and what they are sick of. It all helps to coming up with something that will hopefully allow people to ‘get their groove on.’

Most importantly, and here I defer to the great Clive Barker, write for yourself first and foremost. If I’m not into what I’m creating, how can I expect anyone else to be? Readers are VERY smart and can spot a fake miles away.

So turn yourself on first...

...just make sure you get some writing done afterwards!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

What comes next for the Mc Crory vampires?

The second novel, or novella if you may.

Technically, my follow up to 'Swan Song' will be my third novella but my second in the 'vein' of the vampires.

I've wrote numerous short stories over the years involving our kindred friends, from patients bleeding from their eyes and gaining sustenance from it to targets laughing as hitman pump round after round into them, yet this is kind of serious, at least for me. I want the follow up to 'Swan Song' to be able to stand proudly side by side with it. In what direction to write is another monster altogether.

The vampire is so popular right now it's kinda scary and there's quite simply one person responsible for the sudden trend, Stephanie Meyer.

Whether you like 'Twilight' or not (I think it's fine as long as you don't view it as a 'vampire' story, it's a high school supernatural teen crush fable, nothing more, NOT a real vampire story, not as far as I am concerned), it's impact on the media has been staggering and as a vampire devotee from the age of fifteen (I'm now thirty), I'm torn as to how comfortable I am with the resurgence in interest in vampires. Ultimately, depending on how you look at it, my debut novella has either surfaced at precisely either the best or the very worst time.

There is serious interest in bloodsuckers, a good thing, kids of all ages are curious in them, possibly a very good thing, every single tv show now seems to feature them, a very bad thing, the vampire is so familiar now he/she has lost all threat, the very worst thing. (Ms Meyer, I am looking at you).

I am proud of my love of the vampire, almost foolishly so, yet now, I'm almost (almost) embarrassed to admit my debut novella revolves around them, so sure I am to receive the response 'Oh, you as well eh? I loved 'Twilight!' How about you?'

Allow me to simplify; 'Swan Song' was wrote deliberately as an antidote to 'Twilight.' It was to be everything I wished 'Twilight' to be and more. Well, now that I have nailed my demons to the page, where now? What happens next for the nosferatu dwelling within the walls of my brain? What will my second vampire novella be like?

Theme? Darker than 'Swan Song' (is that possible?) Story? Self contained in a two part character study like it's predecessor? Violence? More or less? Humour? To be included at all? Shock factor? To up play or down play? And on and on.....

I have a few ideas gestating, one that really amuses me, one I know that will sicken the reader (if I want to go there at all), one that will take all of my presumed talent to retain control of.

What I will say, as I drunkenly type this rant tonight, my second novella will be, if nothing else, passionate. Without passion, you have nothing. At least nothing worth caring about.

I care.

My vampires will care.

Whether they want to or not.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

The Beginning


Extremely pretentious.

I've always thought of them as a waste of time, especially for writers. If you have the time to blog, you should have the time to be actually writing something of substance. Sometimes needs must. This is what I have always been bad at, self promotion.

So why a Jevron Mc Crory Blog?

My first novella just got published.

Not my first story you understand. Just something hopefully worth publishing, maybe the first worthy addition to my 'official' canon. So I felt a blog was mandatory.

The novella is called 'Swan Song' and I'm rather proud of it.

It depenses with a lot of bull shit in that it's simple, brutal and hopefully effective. More than that, I feel it's desperately needed in an age where the vampire has been reduced to a high school crush that's only slightly more dangerous than the average misunderstood jock.

I like 'Swan Song' because it's unflinching, and it's MY idea of a REAL vampire story.

Over the course of this blog, I will try my best to give something unique of other blogs, not my thoughts on who's winning 'Strictly Come Dancing' or my latest movie review (you can check Amazon for that), but more the planning and my thoughts on how my stories come into being. Hopefully, there may be amusement in comparison of my original notes to the final product. This blog may actually essentially turn out to be a drawing pad for my intentions for future work.

I'd like that.

Take onboard 'Swan Song', I'd like that also.

I know Katrina would.