One of the best panels I attended. Got to hear China Mieville, Terry Dowling, Shane Jiraya Cummings and Carrie Vaughn kick around some interesting discussion topics centered on language, the contract with the reader, and the skill of leaving out the wrong words. Loved it.
back to Lovecraft, as always, thank god
china – fiction is a collaborative enterprise, so while he has not come across a a thing he can’t describe, he doesn’t feel it should always be described.
words are the enemy of the writer – know what to leave out, that is the skill storytellers NEED.
most endings are not the best thing, but give them something different and creep them out
horrific doesn’t equal blood and gore, but it is a visual, a necessary visual
evocative evasion – get good at alluding and evading, but give perfect details
brains think in word, so conceptualization needs words to function
success as a writer = reaction from reader. can you make the reader feel what the character feels, see what they see?
hint, hint, hint – cliche – subtlety revolves around the hint
words have a limit, so that which words are no longer suitable for is the goal
tension between the systemization of words and the awe in that which can be described – true horror
fail better, as true success, by definition, is not an option
words are constantly being destroyed, so choose the right word one
lovecraft fails to describe by vomit of adjective -terrified ajdectivialism
excess of strangeness, lovecraft strength is exact description that still feels it cannot contain the thing being described
unreliable narrator can backfire, description can never be trusted
narration itself is, however, unreliable
many writers create an unreliable narrator without knowing
perhaps the unreliable narrator exists in many works, lovecraft included, did not mean to create unreliable narrators
if you have adjectives you have the wrong noun, if you have adverbs you have the wrong verb. (sometimes)
now somebody doesn’t know what an unreliable narrator is, but that’s cool
a bit of darkness – uses other senses, taste of brass, feeling of cobwebs, smell of burnt linen
reader is collaborator, use them, trigger them, you will get better at knowing what people will bring to the table
witnesses do not remember things perfectly
human mind will create patterns where none exists, will make memories where there are none
when you see the monster, things fall apart, every time
blair witch, no monster shot, one of the few visual medium without monster shot
lovecraft = holding the reader at arm’s length
island of dr. moreau = chant language affects reader
heavily descriptive can work, minimalist not always best, rhythm of prose can hypnotise
lovecraft is a false antiquarian – extraordinarily failure, playing a role – extreme modernist
power in the ritual of words, hypnogogic