Sunday, December 22, 2013

Matters of Style

   When I wrote my Carnacki story 'How They Met Themselves' I decided not to emulate the style of the Ghost Finder's original writer, William Hope Hodgson. Hodgson wrote his stories in an odd variation of first person within someone Else's first person, which I didn't care to copy, so I wrote my story in third person past tense.
   At the moment I'm writing another Carnacki story for the hell of it, and I decided that I would try and write this one in first person, but still not exactly like Hodgson. I'm writing this one as a letter from Carnacki to Hodgson, telling of his adventure at a Christmas house-party at a country manor house, where Carnacki runs into not only the supernatural, but a mysterious man named Kharrn.
   I had actually written a good chunk of the story in third person, but I felt like I was repeating myself. I read a quote from a writer (and I can't remember who) which basically said that if you find your writing coming too easily you're probably just covering old ground. I think there's some truth in that, so succeed or fail, I decided to challenge myself a bit. We'll see what happens.


qxface said...

Last week, your post about Carnacki: The New Adventures forced me to download some Carnacki stories from LibriVox.

Today, I wanted to ask you how the stories in the New Adventures were handled, but here you are already answering me.
I've only listened to 3.5 Carnacki stories so far. What do you think is the point of the having the stories framed as retellings by Dodgson? It doesn't seem like his friends play any real role in the stories. Does that ever change?

Thanks for introducing me to Carnacki!

Charles R. Rutledge said...

So far I haven't seen the rest of the book, so I don't know how my fellow writers approached Carnacki. I bet some followed the original format and some didn't. I'm looking forward to reading the others.
In the originals the format doesn't change. It's always Carnacki in first person inside of Hodgson's first person, which as I noted, I found awkward. Not sure what Hodgson's thinking was there.
I'm glad I was able to steer you towards Carnacki and hope you like the New Adventures. I plan to write some more stories featuring the character.