Jeff Seymour - Author of Fantasy, Literary Fiction, & c.: All Hallows Write Wrap-up

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Friday, November 1, 2013

All Hallows Write Wrap-up

Well, All Hallows Write 2013 is done, and I've had a few hours of sleep and am ready to start processing the experience a bit.

First off, it was really everything I hoped it would be. It was fun to have the pressure of an insane deadline and an ambitious project and to try to pull it off. And it feels immensely satisfying to have conceived this thing and brought it to life. I do think I'll try it again next year, though with some tweaks to make it a bit more palatable to people with jobs and lives and families. I missed out on a pretty fun holiday, and I don't want to do that every year.

The story itself...well, to be honest, I can't really evaluate it right now. I suppose I'll leave that up to you. It's here and will go up on Wattpad tomorrow. It was extremely ambitious to try to write in 13 hours, and I'm pretty amazed that I finished it. I got in two revision passes, which means that I'm pretty happy with the bones of the story (the plot details, the characterizations, etc.), but I'm also fairly certain that the language isn't as polished as I'd like.

Maybe more importantly, it showed me how little I really know about the horror genre. I'm wearing my influences baldly on my sleeves in the story. I'm not really breaking any new ground. I wanted it to be fun in the way that a haunted house can be fun, and I wanted it to make you think in the way that my favorite horror stories always do. I have no idea whether my use of the conventions I played with was trite or cliche, because I don't read enough horror to make that judgment.

It was good for several things, though. One, it scratched my itch to do something difficult that I'd never tried before, and that's not an itch I get to scratch all that much anymore now that I've put my adventuring days behind me in order to write seriously. Two, it stretched my mind. I got a chance to try out a new kind of story, a new kind of narrative, a new kind of suspense and atmosphere and tension, and that will probably seep into my other work in places where it's appropriate. Three, it showed me what I'm capable of when I have the time to work on a project properly.

Writing is a funny career, because in order to succeed at it without starving to death or getting very lucky, you must become so good at it that you can make a living working part-time before you jump into full-time. A lot of people never really do write full-time, because if you can make a living doing it part-time...why not relax and take your time and enjoy life? You (probably) suffered for years to get there.

I can't wait until I can do this full-time. Not a day goes by that I don't wonder whether the next project will be the one that lets me get there.

Anyway, if you enjoyed the story, let me know, and if you didn't, let me know that too. I really have no idea whether it's any good, and I'd appreciate the feedback.

Oh, and you can buy Three Dances here if you want more stories (sometimes every bit as weird, but not nearly so horrific) from me.

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