Thursday, October 3, 2019

"Ghost Ships" Interview for F&S's 70th Anniversary Issue


Because I had a story in the 70th Anniversary Issue of F&SF, I was interviewed by Stephen Mazur about that story and related matters for the F&SF website. The interview went up yesterday and I think it came out pretty well.

Here's the first question and my my response.
Tell us a bit about “Ghost Ships.”
“Ghost Ships” is one of those stories where the writer claims that “this story is different from all other ghost stories because it all really did happen to me.” Which, of course, nobody ever believes. But unlike all those other stories, every word of this one is true. I didn’t see the ships myself but I knew the people who did and I believed them. The ships were seen on the ocean in broad daylight on a calm and clear day, and I never came up with a rational explanation for them. The incident niggled at my imagination for over forty years before I found the right context for it.
You can read the entire interview here.

 And here's The North Wind Speaks (part 3)

 Gentle she is, 

(continued tomorrow) 

And today's diagram . . .

You can tell that I'm writing quickly because I don't take the time to draw out a careful diagram. So I put the major scenes of Chapter 3 (whose secret title is Clever Gretchen, incidentally) in boxes and connected them with arrows. So it begins with Caitlin's arrest, goes through the moot and a clinic(al) exam with various encounters with Rabbit and her Lawyer. It all leads to three forms of escape, all stacked on top of each other, though Caitlin only experiences them as one.

At this point, I was considering breaking the action into two separate chapters. The diagram helped show that, though a little cluttered with event, the sequence didn't contain enough detail to support two chapters.

Even at this late date, I'm still thinking of Rabbit as a love interest for Caitlin. Amazing how blind I was!

"Wake up!"  is good, though. Had I not scrawled it by the diagram, it might not have made it into the novel.



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