Friday, June 20, 2008

I've been trying to teach myself how to write plots by reading genre fiction. It hadn't really been working out- I have problems making it through these books, due to the way they read not having as much of an emphasis on voice as what I usually read. Alternately, the plots have been feeling kind of invisible, which seems like the whole goal of good writing, that they feel as organic as possible even as they move towards their ending.

With Philip K. Dick's Ubik, though, you can kind of see the strings. It's a well-regarded book in his oeuvre, but it has the feeling of being made up as it was being written, kind of moving in distinct movements and acts. It creates tension by its gear-shifts into different territory in this way that feels hacked-out at its core, like the secret is just "Okay come up with some bullshit, and then come up with some more." It's just some pretty good bullshit.

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