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Showing posts from August, 2013

The Pen That George Used

So... this weekend was Bubonicon again.   I'm on my fourth year as Gofer Wrangler (elsewise known as the Volunteer Coordinator or cat herder... actually, my volunteers are awesome) so I was working rather than going to panels (and this seemed like a good idea, why?)   I got to one panel on publishing by a gentleman named Robert Vardeman which was wonderful and informative. Most of the time, though, I was holding down a table.  When I wasn't holding down a table I was badge checking programming venues.  We had some great Guests of Honor... Brent Weeks and Tim Powers. .. but I never saw any of their panels or went to their readings. Because we also had George.   You know George... as in R.R. Martin?   Yeah, him.   Well, I didn't go to any of his panels or reading either.  I was *working*. The pen that George used. Poor guy is local so we're all terribly unimpressed, though that might be rather restful for him, who knows.   But anyhow, we had to close the door

Elmore Leonard 1925 - 2013

Ace posted a link to an article on writing by Elmore Leonard. (One article about him from the Guardian) Elmore Leonard was elderly and passed away and I know nothing about him other than that he wrote "Fire in the Hole" which I've never read but was turned into the first season of the television show "Justified" which I liked a whole lot. After that show came out I noticed his name quite a bit but I still hadn't read anything that he'd written.   Until I read this.  Having partaken in a fair amount of writing advice over the years I will say that his 10 rules for writing (and summation of the 10 rules in the rule "If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.") is short, to the point, and spot on. It's concise and even laconic.  As far as I'm concerned writing fiction shouldn't be about the author, it should be about the story. Part of what I don't trust about "literature" is (other than the mistrust born of sci

Hooks vs. Explanations

"Hey, did you see what I did there?"  I've just seen both Pacific Rim and The Wolverine. Both are popcorn movies and not meant to be particularly deep. Both had obvious and less obvious elements included in their construction. Some of those included details may have been meant to support other parts that ended up on the cutting room floor, but I'd like to think that sometimes an artist/writer/director/actor includes some detail on the sly because the story-word demands it, even if very few people will notice what they've done.  I also think that including open hooks instead of set explanations makes for richer writing and better stories. People think more when you don't do all of their thinking for them or demand that their "take" is the same as you, the creator, intended.  I don't intend to "spoil" either of the movies, but if you're worried about it you'd probably better not read the rest.

Human Wave Garage Sale

Over at According to Hoyt. Ladies, Gentlemen, Beings of Furritude, I come not to bury grey goo plotting but to yawn at it and to sigh “I don’t care what happens to all these characters” and — occasionally, when a novel rises a little bit above the common style –, to sigh and say “I want them all dead by chapter two.” (Ah, for a minion I could dispatch to story world. “Guido, see to it. I want them all dead by chapter two before they all start the belly button contemplating until it reels the mind. Make them dead. Hide the bodies.” Of course, in many cases this would improve the pacing and action of the plot. In others no one would notice.) The antidote is called Human Wave fiction. The Garage Sale is a list of (mostly) Kindle special deals from authors who have promised not to serve up grey goo or contemplate belly buttons. Scroll down, but don't skip reading Sarah's post because each and every word is put there with malice aforethought to engage and entertain