Archive for LitReactor

Anatomy of Archetypes Workshop at LitReactor

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2013 by nikkorpon

omar-indeedI’m very excited (and lagging behind) to say that I’m teaching a class over at LitReactor called ANATOMY OF ARCHETYPES. The class runs from 13-27 June. We’ll be looking as classical archetypes in stories and ways to undermine and subvert those archetypes to create new and compelling characters. Things we discuss will include Omar Little, Darth Vader, The Odyssey, hardboiled novels, Rooster Cogburn and more. This class will deal mainly in genre, but go across genre-bnoundaries, so no worries if you have one particular one you’re fond of. The class synopsis is below. You should make like the Deadites and join us. It’ll be fun.

It doesn’t matter if you’re writing hardboiled crime or urban fantasy, space operas or western ballads: The most inventive plot will crack and disintegrate if there aren’t real and compelling characters supporting it. 

These characters, though, are not just arbitrary attributes housed inside a shell. From Luke Skywalker to Phineas Poe to Hamlet, the most memorable figures in literature can be aligned with a character archetype. By studying these archetypes—their characteristics and their place within a plot—we can create characters that readers are able to identify with.

But, will this make the reader follow the characters into Hell? We need to make these characters real, living, bleeding people, and by exploiting the archetypes, by subverting and humanizing them with concise, evocative details, we can create the type of characters that a reader will follow into whatever shadowed alley, extraplanetary prison or damned castle in which their dark fate lies.

This class will focus on genre fiction, which has long been ghettoized by the literati for being formulaic and poorly written. There are several reasons for choosing genre, the least of which is showing why this notion is not accurate.

First, there are as many genres as there are ways to dispose of a body. This is important because each genre has their own tropes and expectations, ones that we will learn to subvert and combine with other genres to create surprising and original tales in a variety of settings.

Second, genre fiction tends to have the most obvious character archetypes, for better or worse, and this will allow us to analyze, deconstruct and rebuild them into more fully-realized people that will work as easily in a noir melodrama as a dystopian western.

Finally, many stories in these genres are fueled by the desire for power or love, an impulse that impacts almost every action in every aspect of society. 

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Like Chinese Democracy, but Marginally Better…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 26, 2011 by nikkorpon

There are no words to describe the enormity of this.

…in that it’s been a while, not that I have dreadlocks, fifty extra pounds and a KFC bucket on my head. By the by. Long time, lots of stuff to catch up on. Most of which I can’t remember at the moment, as is usually the case.

-It’s been brewing for a while, but I can finally announce that I’m proud to be joining Keith Rawson, Patti Abbott, Les Edgerton, my homeboy Richard Thomas and a ton of other wicked talented authors over at Snubnose Press. They’ll be re-issuing my novella Old Ghosts in e-format this winter. Mid-2012, they’ll be releasing my first short story collection, Bar Scars. It’s looking like there will be about ten stories, maybe more if I can write a couple new ones. Most are published or forthcoming, but several are lost in the ether of forgotten sites or small print-run magazines. Covers and such coming as I get them.

Blasted Heath was kind enough to feature By the Nails of the Warpriest as their first of their Friday Freebies. I know I keep going on about that press, but they’re doing lots of great stuff over there. I just finished Anthony Neil Smith’s All the Young Warriors, and in the words of Mrs. Marsellus Wallace, ‘Goddamn, I say Goddamn.’ There”ll be a full review coming soon (ie: when I get a chance to write it) but do yourself a favor a pick it up now so you can experience it firsthand. I’m onto Ray Banks’ Dead Money at the moment, and The Heath have excellent taste. They also have one of the coolest Christmas gifts I’ve seen in a while.

-The LitReactor Book Club discussion of Stay God is still going strong. It technically ends next week, but  I have a feeling it’ll creep into December for a bit.

-I’m slowly making my way through this website to reorganize this thing, get the links sorted, add interviews and reviews and whatnot. Doubt there’ll be any substantial overhaul because, to be honest, I’m not so great about updating a free website. My residual Catholic Guilt won’t let me pay for a nice site to neglect. Either way, there should be more stuff.

‘Til I think of more…

Godspeed
Nik

STAY GOD is the LitReactor Book Club pick!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2011 by nikkorpon

I’m super stoked to say that Stay God will be the inaugural pick for the LitReactor Book Club, discussion starting 1 November. If you haven’t checked out LitReactor yet, well, why the hell haven’t you? It’s technically an offshoot of The Cult, Chuck Palahniuk’s website, but it’s so much more. Take all of the writer material, mix it with literary analysis, books geeks and comma nerds and you’re starting to get the idea. Basically, it’s a writer’s wet dream (see: Keith Rawson’s interview with Daniel Woodrell.) They’re doing great things over there and they’re just getting started.

Suffice it to say: I’m stoked. Thanks to Pete Goutis and Charles King for the support.

In the meantime, you can pick up a copy of Stay God in print, in Kindle format, or other e-formats.

Aside from that, I’m also wicked excited to finally have the print copy of my new novella, By the Nails of the Warpriest, in my over-caffeinated little hands. Print copies are available here, and e-formats here. They should be available in the UK soon, so says the publisher. Pretty much, once Amazon gets off its ass and does it.

Speaking of e-books and being super excited, have you seen the line-up for Blasted Heath yet? BH is the brainchild of Allan Guthrie and Kyle MacRae and will launch on 1 November with new books from Anthony Neil Smith, Ray Banks, Douglas Lindsay, and debuts by Gary Carson and Brian Pendreigh. Yeah. Exactly. Do yourself a favor and go have a look.

More when I think of it.

Godspeed
Nik