Saturday, August 28, 2010


The first book I can remember reading all the way through is "The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night", and not just because it was the unexpurgated Burton translation. Lots of sex and violence and magic and heroism and comedy and puns and footnotes explaining the puns in cunning linguistics, and there's sex again.

This has colored my style and pacing in several ways.

Most obvious is that I am eager to end a scene abruptly before I've milked all the plot out of it. Snappy scenes make snappy stories, I say.

The second most obvious color is that I like onion plots. You peel it away one piece at a time and it makes you cry. There's no mystery at the center, because you knew already knew it's an onion. But it makes everything else taste delicious.

Third, audience interest is the only thing that matters, so tailor your story to your audience and put in something for everybody. And don't get hung up on flowery language unless you're submitting to the New Yorker.

And while it's true that sex sells, it's characters that are having it. Even in porn.


One of the main benefits of being a writer is that nobody ever asks you to dance. Wait, wait, let me explain! You have other sexy talents that you can display at parties: a complex wit beguiling your fellows, the suave dissipation of the professional artist, the license to wear white in the winter-time above the Mason-Dixon line. And complete freedom from the mores of prudish society just so long as you continue writing while engaging in your prurient interests. It's a Free Pass to Debauchery.

You silly're wasting your lives!

2000 words? Yes
Book "Lived Too Long To Die" - chapter 11
- - - -
Reading - "Remnant Population" (Elizabeth Moon)

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