Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Novella Challenge + Squidly Review

So, now that NaNoWriMo is over I'm working on my novella and the plan is to do it by the end of December. The target is 25,000 words. Not too difficult, and at the end, I plan on having a decent quality story out of it.

At the moment it's been very stop and start. Write. Pause. Rewind. Rewrite. Rewrite. Rewrite. I've rewritten the opening scene so many times it's not funny. But each time it's getting better and better, and that's definitely going to help with setting the scene later down the track. It's like a living, breathing organism. Feed it and it will grow.

The plan is to work chapter by chapter. I've got an outline of events/chapters in place, I just need to execute them. I'm also hoping to wrangle a few writer friends into reading it chapter by chapter to see what they think before I go back and edit and send it to the publishers. Yeah, it's a big goal, but I think I need to take big steps like this if I want to eventually get somewhere with my writing.

Anyway, onto the squidly review:

Squid Pulp Blues, by Jordan Krall.

This book consists of three novellas, each are roughly 60 pages in length, and each of them set in the strange town of Thompson. Without going into too much detail, I'll say that each story sort of interconnects with the next, from the Little Bing Bong comics to the disfigured war veterans known as "the longheads" to the midget prostitutes to the many many squid related objects. Ashtrays, drugs, drinks, and even entire living squids.

You can probably gather from the title and cover that it's a squidly bizarro pulp-ish crime/noir book that is weird and dark and gritty and violent and brimming with style. That's a pretty accurate portrayal, really. And I must say that I love, love, love Jordan Krall's style. There's the distinct impression of multiple intersecting storylines, like of a series of short stories converging at one climactic point. Each of the three stories occur like this. There's something. Then something unrelated, and something else unrelated, and they work their way in to the dark and disturbing focal point. It's like if Quentin Tarantino were a surreal author this is the sort of thing he'd write.

Yeah, it's three stories that work independently of each other, but really, you need to read them all in series to get the full impression of what Krall has accomplished here. It's brilliant. And I'd love to get my hands on his other books and devour their squidly goodness. This man makes his mark giving the bizarro genre his own patented style. If you like noir and you like pulp then you'll love this. I don't even think you need to be a fan of the bizarro genre to enjoy this. It's weird, but in its own universe, it runs so squidly smooth and picks up the pace early on and packs a squidly punch that's so strange and disturbing I found it impossible not to love this book.

No comments:

Post a Comment