View Full Version : A Big AW Welcome For Your New Mod--Me!

Old Hack
04-01-2010, 07:58 PM
Mac has seen sense, and has given me the reins here. She's been worried for a long time that this part of AW has been languishing a little and has asked me to freshen things up a little, and get you all writing at a higher level.

So I'm going to start cracking the whip and ask for your cooperation. Some of my suggestions might seem a little off-the-wall but trust me, I know what I'm doing, and if you all play nicely then things are going to be GREAT.

First, I'm concerned that a lot of the writing in this room is just a little bit nasty. Yes, I know we want to have an effect on our readers but can't we do that in a softer, kinder way? If you're in any doubt about your writing then consider this: what would your mother think if she read the sorts of things you write? If you don't think she'd like it then you should probably reconsider.

Second, we all need to up our game. I'm a lover of literary fiction and know it has a lot to teach writers of other easier genres. When you're writing, consider if you've really explored the internal landscape of your characters. Show their thoughts, their feelings, their emotional reactions. Don't be afraid of spending some time spelling out these things and remember, details count; memories and flashbacks can be very effective; and if all else fails, get them to light a cigarrette and describe the effect of the flare of the match on the ambient lighting of their environment. If you spend enough time on them, descriptions can really help move your story along.

Third, can you please, please, please, PLEASE stop worrying about getting your work published and pay more attention to truth, and expression. Writing is an art, and should be taken seriously. If all you want to do is get into print then you're missing out on the soul of what we, as writers, do, and are ignoring the transforming, healing power that our words have. Think ART at all times. Make this your priority. Make Art your soul.

04-01-2010, 08:27 PM
What she said.

04-01-2010, 08:28 PM
Old Hack, thank you so much for your kind words and gentle guidance. What is a softer, kinder way to describe a decapitation? I want to make sure I follow the new rules you've set in place.

Old Hack
04-01-2010, 08:45 PM
You have to consider your word choice, and your scene-setting. I don't want to do it for you, but if you're really struggling consider words like slicing and separate rather than hack and chop. Once you've worked through your mss like that, and have corrected all those harsh words, then you can have your characters start to treat each other a little more kindly: perhaps their manners could improve, and you should definitely cut out all that rough-housing. Have them sit about on beautiful, chenille-upholstered furniture and chat, rather than running around a lot: it's much nicer. Less sweaty, too, which is always more appealing.

Oh, and watch your comma-usage. Conflicts over the Oxford comma are always unpleasant.

04-01-2010, 08:47 PM
Thank you, dear one. I think a sofa chat is exactly what my characters need. Instead of bloodshed, they can settle all their difference with tea and scones. You are brilliant, Old Hack! Just brilliant!

Old Hack
04-01-2010, 08:50 PM
I find that a doiley underneath the scones adds a touch of class that most stories lack. As I said earlier, details are important.

04-01-2010, 08:54 PM
Well hi there Old Hack. First off, congratulations! It's nice to have you modding us horror folk. I don't think I've ever encountered you here on AW, so it's nice to meet you too. I'm Effie. I look forward to reading more of your posts. This one is great and I feel just about the same. Horror doesn't have to be ugly. It can be very beautiful and deep, with lively characters that are engaging and fun. Well rounded horror is the best kind--and any decent horror has a literary bent to it.

It's good to meet you and I can't wait to soak up more of your wisdom.

Calla Lily
04-01-2010, 09:10 PM
No one's asked where the FORMER mod is, I see. Fine. I can take a hint.

However, if anyone remembers a certain dogwood story, let me point out that it's spring, the dogwoods are blooming, and with a little sleuthing, I could track you down. All of you. All of you who don't care that I've been deposed and thrown away into a relentlessly cheery forum that doesn't appreciate my...special...talents.

*takes names*

04-01-2010, 09:14 PM
Lily... I figured this one was in ADDITION to you and Haggis. :( You're not modding us anymore?

Calla Lily
04-01-2010, 09:22 PM
*some* people with the word "hack" in their name and resembling yappy four-legged ambulatory furballsobjected to the fact that I'm getting pubbed in mystery and not horror and think I'm no longer worthy.

As in, I'm a hack who eschewed art for filthy lucre.

Filthy lucre 4-EVAH! Art, shmart.

And doilies are good for centering one's severed head displays. They absorb the worst of the blood.

Old Hack
04-01-2010, 11:26 PM
Yes, but where's the JOY in your work, Calla? If all you're thinking of is the practical side of how to mop up all the blood then I think you've lost direction. You should revel in the flow of the spilled blood, rejoice in the various shades of red-to-brown, describe each twist and turn of those lovely little doileys. And even consider crocheting your own. It can be very calming, I find. It might even turn you towards writing in a more thoughtful, considerate genre.

04-01-2010, 11:30 PM
Go on. Off with you. You had your chance. Go on and mingle with the mystery writers. The Hounds and I shall stay here and bask in the warmth of Old Hack.

04-01-2010, 11:37 PM

Some of my characters are going to complain mightily about doing their work nicely.

Calla Lily
04-01-2010, 11:40 PM
*cashes the advance check in singles, and prepares to roll in the piles of money in sensual glee, murmuring "neener" in the general direction of Old Hack and Haggis*

Yep, feeling pretty joyous now. And these shades of green, blue, and pink on the new dollar bills sure are pleasing to the eye.

04-01-2010, 11:52 PM
*cashes the advance check in singles, and prepares to roll in the piles of money in sensual glee, murmuring "neener" in the general direction of Old Hack and Haggis*

Are those gluten free? Cause Haggis will have a terrible reaction, and I'm not getting suckered into any back-end grooming again.

Just sayin'.

Old Hack
04-02-2010, 12:14 AM
I think you've done quite enough back-end grooming today, Mr Leukman. Thank you.

04-02-2010, 12:34 AM

Please put that in a sigline, Hack!

Calla Lily
04-02-2010, 04:54 AM
Okay, going offline to watch Supernatural, so:

April Fool!

As much as Old Hack's sniper kitteh is a good addition to this board. :D

Old Hack
04-02-2010, 09:08 PM
Ah, Calla, thank you: I chose that sniper kit specially for AFD and this board, but Mac is trying to persuade me to keep him now. I shall for a while.

I appear to still be a mod for this board. I'm sure Mac will tidy me away before too long, but thank you all for playing along so nicely. I shall soon whisk this thread away into an April Fool's Day archive, where it will die the slow, lingering death it deserves.