Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
Wrestling with the proper mix of action and art.

After that last post, I thought I should follow up with some clarification on where I'm going with this novel. Bones of the Angel is, if anything, an "art house action" type of story. Yes, there are things blowing up, lots of high-tech gadgetry and some supernatural elements flying around, but it's also got a very deliberately herky-jerky approach to its plotting. The aforementioned "special-effects shots" are interspersed with long periods of people just talking, primarily about the things that shaped their lives (like Michael explaining his history with one of the might-be-a-villains to Pi) and about how each character is spiritually reacting to the discovery of a fossilized angel.

I've been stuck for so long with this book for different reasons. I'd been hung up on whether or not something like that could work, or even if it should. I'd been peeved that the original concept was done on The Simpsons, and the whole thing was feeling too much like an X-Files knockoff. I'd been flummoxed because Pi, the narrator character, wasn't cooperating with my attempts to flesh him out, and neither was Vicky, the love interest. I was annoyed because the names of the characters were themselves sort of silly: Michael Coldman, Pi St. John, Victoria Ravenswood and Simon Blacknail. I mean, c'mon, they sound like they're right out of a comic book, or a bad TV show.

Lately, though, I've finally managed to shrug all this off and say "Screw it!" I'm crafting the story I want to tell, and if it fuses all these weird postmodern cliches together and lurches forward, plotwise, so be it. It's going to be my little stew of weirdness, and I will love it and squeeze it and call it George.

And besides, then I can finally get on with things and go on to my next book!


The great thing about being a creative artist is the idea that nothing is ever "right" or "wrong." Our work is always in a constant state of metamorphosis as we grow and learn and change as individuals. Don't get too stuck on whether your art fits some standard created by someone else. Remember that what is standard now was once looked down upon and controversial. Just love what you're doing and forget about the rest.

Thanks, K. Like I said, "Screw it!" :)

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