12 November 2005 by Published in: writing No comments yet

I read this today on Poppy Z. Brite’s journal :
The only way I have of “explaining” the work is by writing the work. If it’s not in there, then I didn’t know how to say it. There’s no answer key I’m holding back.

Yes. That’s exactly it. I can’t tell people what happened or what things mean, because I’ve already done it in the best way I know how. Anything else I could say would subtract meaning, not add it. At VP, after we’d had our story critiqued in group, people were often given a chance to rebut criticisms. I completely didn’t see the point. When they asked me if I wanted to say something I just shrugged and mumbled something about the work standing on its own merit and if it’s not in there, then it’s not in there. I’m not being coy at all, it’s just that I’ve already used all the best words the best way I can when I was telling the actual story. Also, once it’s out there (which, to be fair, hasn’t happened to me yet) then it’s technically not mine anymore, and my vision of it has no more authority than that of any given person who read it with care and attached meaning to it.

Of course, it’s beyond inane for me to explain why I can’t explain my stories. Navel-gazing of the worst sort. But there you have it.

Also, I note another death in the spec. fic. short market : Sci Fiction is no more. Bummer.


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