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Monday, May 5, 2014

C. L. Moore on how she constructed stories (idea->character->plot)

"All [stories except collaborations with her husband] started out with some wild but malleable idea for which I had to choose a lead character strong enough to play the action against.... 
"For contrast with the seemingly helpless fugitive, "Shambleau" [she later mentions several other stories fit this model] needed a strong, tall, romantically steely-eyed male....  
"[O]nce I had typed a letter to an N.W. Smith, and the name lingered tantalizing  in my mind.... What would a man named Northwest Smith look like? be like? Occupy himself with?
"[A]fter his use as a defender was over, [Shambleau] might... spring her trap....  So Smith was going to need help.  Preferably someone antithetical to Smith as Smith was to Shambleau.... [A] companion and foil for Smith slouched carelessly into view, thirsting for drink and women."
"All [were written by] asking helplessly now and then 'What should come next?' "
--C.L. Moore,  The Best of C.L. Moore (rearranged)

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