February 24th, 2010

Rules for Writing Fiction

The Guardian recently posted a fun time-waster in which various writers, including Michael Moorcock, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Roddy Doyle, and others weigh in with their rules for writing.  The article is led off, appropriately enough, by Elmore Leonard's oft-reprinted list, which at one point I found helpful but now think of as far too draconian.  As I've gotten older and more experienced as a writer, I've come to be much less of a nazi about such things than I was when I was a callow youth.  Now I'm a callow adult, and I don't care -- whee!

Still, these lists provide a pleasant-enough diversion, and in some cases even supply some insight into the particular writer's work.  For instance, from Mr. Doyle:  "Do not place a photograph of your ­favourite author on your desk, especially if the author is one of the famous ones who committed suicide."  I have no author photos on my desk, though I do have a picture of Faulkner on my wall, who dispensed some pretty fair advice himself, IIRC:  "Read.  Read everything."  

Here's a good one from Mike Moorcock: "Ignore all proferred rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say."

That's hard to argue with.  Do I have any rules myself?  A few.  Abhor adverbs.  Cut without mercy.  Don't obsess--move on.  Tell the story as simply as it can be told.  Keep to a daily schedule.  Rules are made to be broken.  That's about it for me.

How about my fellow Inferiors?  Other writers?
  • lizhand

A brief history of pretty much everything

Whoever this guy is, he got high marks from his Art professor for this (he also got several billion youtube fans).  A 2100-page flipbook done entirely in ballpoint (biro) pen.  Anyone out there who's still in high school and worried about your endterm project:  if you start now, you might finish something similar before June.


Juicers, Hooray for Utah, and Bansky

Does anyone out there know anything about juicers?  i've been trying to settle on a juicer, and I've begun to realize I'm going to need 2, one for leafy vegetables, and one for hard fruits and veggies?  I know that having frothy juice is bad, and...well, I know a lot of stuff, but I can't figure out what juicer to buy.  Any suggestions?

Here's something fucking amazing.  The state legislature of Utah this week passed a bill making it a crime to have a miscarriage and also making some instances of induced abortion a crime.  Under this bill, pregant women may be arrested for falling downstairs. All a DA has to show is that a woman behaved in a manner thought to have caused a miscarriage, even if there was no intent.  Penalties include life in prison.  Read more here.

You say, it's only Utah, and the law will be challenged, but I'm not so sure the challenge will be successful.  Iswear if this shit keeps up I'm going to take my juicer and move to Anywherelseland.

I enjoyed Exit Through the Gift Shop more than any movie I've  seen this year.  Now this may be purely idiosyncratic, because I love graffiti, but it's  gotten great reviews and this guy, Bansky, is a global graffiti superstar, zealously hiding his identity for years to avoid prosecution, his work appearing on buildings from Palestine (the segregation wall) to Pomona, and his movie Is a pIece of Guerrilla Art in which he turns the cameras around on the people trying to out him.

Not the greatest preview, but trust me, it's fun.