There have a been a number of good blog posts about writing rules recently which lead to me to have the following thought in the shower (where else?) this morning. (Note and caveat: I am not a published author so take my thoughts on writing for what they are. Speculative.)
As a pre-published writer you are always hearing about this or that rule of writing. Some of my favorite rules are: show, don’t tell and kill your darlings. On the face of it, these are good rules. Or should I say, good advice. I find the term “rule” implies failure to follow said “rule” means you will have done something wrong. There is no such thing as a “writing rule”. Or, at least, I can’t easily identify a “writing rule” that some author hasn’t broken to good effect. Which brings me to my shower thought.
Writing rules are context sensitive. You can’t possibly know the entire context, because some of the context necessarily resides with the reader.
One of the things that this implies is that good writers are good readers. They know, explicitly or implicitly, what rules to apply and when. They know when to show and when to tell. They know when to kill their darlings and when not to. A good writer does these things because they grok how their work will be read.
I’m soliciting answers to the following question:
What novels or short stories stand out in your memory as “weird”??
I’m doing this in order to put together a “mind meld” (inspired by http://www.sfsignal.com Mind Melds) blog and wiki article based on your answers to this question (inspired by this question posted on Facebook by my friend and fellow writer, Sherlonya). Feel free to answer with as few or as many novels, short stories, etc as your patience and/or interest dictate. If you are inclined, I am also interested in the reasons behind your answer(s).
For those interested or planning on attending tomorrow’s AAAWG technical session, this is a reminder that it will be running from 10AM to 2PM in the same place as last time. More details are available here:
The slush pile, that place that all entry level writers dread. When I come across advice about how to get out of the slush pile I sit up and listen. And 21 Tips to Get Out of the Slush Pile by James Plath is just such advice. Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait (so to speak).
My book order arrived yesterday and I am wallowing in writing book goodness. A week ago or so I broke down and ordered a number of books on writing and criticism that I have been lusting after. They are:
- About Writing: Seven Essays, Four Letters, and Five Interviews by Samuel R. Delany
- Creating Short Fiction by Damon Knight
- The Jewel-Hinged Jaw: Notes on the Language of Science Fiction by Samuel R. Delany
- West of Everything: The Inner Life of Westerns by Jane Tompkins
Have any notable books arrived in your life recently? Or just books that you are reading now and want to comment on?
If you are planning on attending the AAAWG technical session this Saturday (from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, same place as last time) and you know what questions you would like to have addressed, then I would urge you to post your questions here or email them to me. It will give me some time to look into them.
I plan on discussing plugins, themes, and other management components of WordPress. You can find my notes here:
I’ve listed (with links and a brief description) the WordPress plugins I use on this blog in section on the above wiki page.
The feedback on when to do the follow up session to last month’s technical session on setting up a blog is in. The general opinion is to hold it on Saturday the 20th, from 10 to 2. Please check out the the following wiki article for more details: Q-and-A follow up session on How to Set Up and Run a Web Site
I am now soliciting any specific questions that people would like to have addressed during the session.
I am soliciting feedback on when and if a follow up session to last month’s technical session on setting up a blog would work from AAAWG members. At this point I am suggesting either Saturday the 20th or 27th of February. Please drop me an eLine if you are interested and which of the dates would work for you.
The wiki article, which has additional information about location, time, etc., is here: Q-and-A follow up session on How to Set Up and Run a Web Site