sartorias: (desk)
Deborah Ross talks here about beta reading first drafts.

In the comments, I observe the pitfalls of being a visual writer--nothing new to anyone who visits this blog--but it left me wondering if first drafts, however they look, are (except for the genius few) essentially placeholders. Revision isn't just about choosing better words, it's about looking for trapdoors to the scenes that will build toward that climax. Also.

The concept of placeholder works on the plot level, the character level, as well as the prose level. The trick is identifying those placeholders so that they can be unpacked.
sartorias: (Fan)
Book View Cafe celebrates its fifth year by publishing an anthology of members' stories chosen by themselves. Mine was an easy one as I've only written one short story that wasn't a result of an anthology invitation. As it happens, if you go to the link above, it's the one you can download for free as a sample.

Speaking of anthology invites . . . I'll put in a courtesy cut since it's just me blabbering about my stuff.
Read more... )
sartorias: (Fan)
All this month Justine Larbalestier has been answering questions about the process of writing from her readers. It's so interesting reading about others' processes: sometimes it's a relief when someone has as one-legged-rooster-riding-a-rocking-chair messy an approach as I have; other times it's fascinating when someone has a process that obviously works, but seems totally alien to my brain.

Anyway, she shared this question, as the person's process differs from hers so much:

How do you organize all the jumbles of idea generating, plot generating, character generating, and so on, in order to see what you have, so you can then take it and put it all together somehow? In my example, I have a 100 page document focused on one story (one novel) only. It has snippets of scenes, plot ideas, potential background for characters, what ifs and opposing what ifs, outlines and ideas for character’s backgrounds, and so on and so forth. Again, it’s specifically focused on one novel and one story idea, but it also includes multiple options for that novel and story idea etc. I’m finding that I can’t move forward with structuring this story without knowing what I even have, i.e. being able to SEE it so that I can make CHOICES about all of the above. I have never quite seen this problem addressed anywhere. I’ve seen info. on generating plot and characters, generating ideas, how to outline, how to write a synopsis etc., but no one tells you what to do with the disorganized mess you create when you’ve done all of the above. How do YOU do it? And have you heard of genius ways others have done it? How do you take your idea-generating mess and turn it into something cohesive to work from?

If you've got an answer for this person, jump right to comments either here or at Justine's blog when this question goes live: below the cut is my own answer.
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
All this month Justine Larbalestier has been answering questions about the process of writing from her readers. It's so interesting reading about others' processes: sometimes it's a relief when someone has as one-legged-rooster-riding-a-rocking-chair messy an approach as I have; other times it's fascinating when someone has a process that obviously works, but seems totally alien to my brain.

Anyway, she shared this question, as the person's process differs from hers so much:

How do you organize all the jumbles of idea generating, plot generating, character generating, and so on, in order to see what you have, so you can then take it and put it all together somehow? In my example, I have a 100 page document focused on one story (one novel) only. It has snippets of scenes, plot ideas, potential background for characters, what ifs and opposing what ifs, outlines and ideas for character’s backgrounds, and so on and so forth. Again, it’s specifically focused on one novel and one story idea, but it also includes multiple options for that novel and story idea etc. I’m finding that I can’t move forward with structuring this story without knowing what I even have, i.e. being able to SEE it so that I can make CHOICES about all of the above. I have never quite seen this problem addressed anywhere. I’ve seen info. on generating plot and characters, generating ideas, how to outline, how to write a synopsis etc., but no one tells you what to do with the disorganized mess you create when you’ve done all of the above. How do YOU do it? And have you heard of genius ways others have done it? How do you take your idea-generating mess and turn it into something cohesive to work from?

If you've got an answer for this person, jump right to comments either here or at Justine's blog when this question goes live: below the cut is my own answer.
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
In the past couple of days, Justine Larbalestier has posted some nifty stuff, including this one on character building, which caused another writer to add a riff on what works and what doesn't for her in character building seminars and panels. She said she's squicked by techniques like interviewing characters, or pretending characters are in the room, or pretending to be characters.

I posted a comment that I thought I was the only one squicked by this, especially when the interviews are mutual admiration interviews.

Now a bunch of people are upset because it seems that those who spoke up for squickdom are saying that they, and their particular process (which includes interviews, characters posting, and so forth) are wrong, wrong, wrong.

At the very start, Writer A stated that the workshop that sent her out of the room was run by Writer B, whom she admires, so there is no hint of You are doing it wrong! there.

But writers are sensitive creatures--a whole lot of our lives are bound up in our creative work--so it seems worthwhile to take a look at the issues. Of course I don't speak for anyone else, just me, but here's my thought.

Re characters and writers and reality, there are several approaches I see everywhere.

*My characters are fictional dolls. I give them life, I kill them at whim--whatever the story, my editor, my mood dictates, and don't give it a second thought. Because they are not real.

*My characters may or may not be real. I can't even begin to define what "real" is. The only thing I can say for certain is, my characters have never entered my physical space, so I don't pretend that they have.

*My characters are more real to me than the people around me in meatspace. My characters talk to me all the time.

My own take is somewhere around in the middle one. I don't pretend my characters are in the real world because I can't, it makes me dizzy in kind of the same way that lolcat screws with my eyes. I don't tell anyone not to post lolcat. I don't look down on anybody who posts lolcat. I just don't read it.

If I try to read someone's character interview, I get caught in this weird reverb between who's talking, who's faking, is the person flirting with himself, or what? In other words, are the emotions real or not real, because they seem to be mixing this world with that one. So I tend to bail out of such things.

I think the mistake ( or my mistake, I don't mean to be speaking for anyone else) was in using 'squick.' I do try to watch these terms. I won't use 'grok' for example. When I first read the Heinlein, the cannabalistic overtones turned me off so much it's always caught me when people use grok, and I have to remind myself they probably mean understand, or comprehend, but not what Heinlein seemed to be implying, that you don't truly comprehend something until you consume it. Squick seems to have overtones that vary from person to person.

So apologies to all who read this and read there and might have been hurt by meanings that weren't intended, or on my part, anyway. Again, I only speak for myself.
sartorias: (Default)
In the past couple of days, Justine Larbalestier has posted some nifty stuff, including this one on character building, which caused another writer to add a riff on what works and what doesn't for her in character building seminars and panels. She said she's squicked by techniques like interviewing characters, or pretending characters are in the room, or pretending to be characters.

I posted a comment that I thought I was the only one squicked by this, especially when the interviews are mutual admiration interviews.

Now a bunch of people are upset because it seems that those who spoke up for squickdom are saying that they, and their particular process (which includes interviews, characters posting, and so forth) are wrong, wrong, wrong.

At the very start, Writer A stated that the workshop that sent her out of the room was run by Writer B, whom she admires, so there is no hint of You are doing it wrong! there.

But writers are sensitive creatures--a whole lot of our lives are bound up in our creative work--so it seems worthwhile to take a look at the issues. Of course I don't speak for anyone else, just me, but here's my thought.

Re characters and writers and reality, there are several approaches I see everywhere.

*My characters are fictional dolls. I give them life, I kill them at whim--whatever the story, my editor, my mood dictates, and don't give it a second thought. Because they are not real.

*My characters may or may not be real. I can't even begin to define what "real" is. The only thing I can say for certain is, my characters have never entered my physical space, so I don't pretend that they have.

*My characters are more real to me than the people around me in meatspace. My characters talk to me all the time.

My own take is somewhere around in the middle one. I don't pretend my characters are in the real world because I can't, it makes me dizzy in kind of the same way that lolcat screws with my eyes. I don't tell anyone not to post lolcat. I don't look down on anybody who posts lolcat. I just don't read it.

If I try to read someone's character interview, I get caught in this weird reverb between who's talking, who's faking, is the person flirting with himself, or what? In other words, are the emotions real or not real, because they seem to be mixing this world with that one. So I tend to bail out of such things.

I think the mistake ( or my mistake, I don't mean to be speaking for anyone else) was in using 'squick.' I do try to watch these terms. I won't use 'grok' for example. When I first read the Heinlein, the cannabalistic overtones turned me off so much it's always caught me when people use grok, and I have to remind myself they probably mean understand, or comprehend, but not what Heinlein seemed to be implying, that you don't truly comprehend something until you consume it. Squick seems to have overtones that vary from person to person.

So apologies to all who read this and read there and might have been hurt by meanings that weren't intended, or on my part, anyway. Again, I only speak for myself.
sartorias: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] matociquala has an insightful post here on her discovery--after years of successful books and met deadlines--that the butt-in-chair, eight-hours-a-day make-that-deadline pressure is not good for her, though many of her peers think that's the way you do it.

I know some will look at that and think, hoo, I wish someone was giving me a deadline. If you look past that (and I know it's tough when you wait month after month--year after year--for zippo response on your sub) and see how one's "professional approach" is another's sure-fire recipe for depression, it proves that not all writers write the same way, or on the same timetable.

She's able to pull it off and keep her quality high, but at what cost? Meanwhile, if you've begun reading a series in which the first book is spifferoo but the ones that come out with gratifying rapidily right after (which is good, right? because you're hooked?) seem to go downhill, the chances are pretty good that the writer is not a lazy no-talent, but might have gotten bedazzled into agreeing to tight pub dates that don't take into account how long it took to write that first book.

A thing to keep in mind for when that wonderful call does come--"Hello, I want to buy your series."
sartorias: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] matociquala has an insightful post here on her discovery--after years of successful books and met deadlines--that the butt-in-chair, eight-hours-a-day make-that-deadline pressure is not good for her, though many of her peers think that's the way you do it.

I know some will look at that and think, hoo, I wish someone was giving me a deadline. If you look past that (and I know it's tough when you wait month after month--year after year--for zippo response on your sub) and see how one's "professional approach" is another's sure-fire recipe for depression, it proves that not all writers write the same way, or on the same timetable.

She's able to pull it off and keep her quality high, but at what cost? Meanwhile, if you've begun reading a series in which the first book is spifferoo but the ones that come out with gratifying rapidily right after (which is good, right? because you're hooked?) seem to go downhill, the chances are pretty good that the writer is not a lazy no-talent, but might have gotten bedazzled into agreeing to tight pub dates that don't take into account how long it took to write that first book.

A thing to keep in mind for when that wonderful call does come--"Hello, I want to buy your series."
sartorias: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] desoyunoencama linked to a thoughtful essay by Matt Cheney, who looks back at the hopes and disappointments of wanting to be a writer--and be published--from a young age.

So much of what he said resonated with me. Next year I will have been at this for fifty years*. Fifty years of trying, and more often than not bruising my nose at the gate. Yet it wasn't until the past couple years that sometimes I thought Why? because right behind the why is the softer, more insidious, Who cares?

But then I sit down, and there are few joys greater than a good writing day. My goals have become so much smaller, and my awareness of the fact that at my age, I could drop dead at any time, makes me appreciate what I have, even if what I have is negligible to someone much younger. I also think that we monkey-puppets are designed to do work, some kind of work, and it's always been my conviction--long before I could articulate it--that writing is my work. (If not my connection to sanity, but that's a different subject, I think.) All the demanding jobs I have had in order to earn money, though those brought moments of satisfaction--clarity--accomplishment (disillusionment, sharp defeat, sadness and regret) and above all experience of life, each day there was always a tiny voice inside counting the ticks of time until I could get home and back to my work.

Enough about me. If you've got this inchoate drive, or even if you haven't, and want to talk about this side of the writer life, well, I invite you to sound out here.

*started at six, but got serious about it at eight. By 28 and still unpublished, I'd learned that serious does not equate successful.
sartorias: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] desoyunoencama linked to a thoughtful essay by Matt Cheney, who looks back at the hopes and disappointments of wanting to be a writer--and be published--from a young age.

So much of what he said resonated with me. Next year I will have been at this for fifty years*. Fifty years of trying, and more often than not bruising my nose at the gate. Yet it wasn't until the past couple years that sometimes I thought Why? because right behind the why is the softer, more insidious, Who cares?

But then I sit down, and there are few joys greater than a good writing day. My goals have become so much smaller, and my awareness of the fact that at my age, I could drop dead at any time, makes me appreciate what I have, even if what I have is negligible to someone much younger. I also think that we monkey-puppets are designed to do work, some kind of work, and it's always been my conviction--long before I could articulate it--that writing is my work. (If not my connection to sanity, but that's a different subject, I think.) All the demanding jobs I have had in order to earn money, though those brought moments of satisfaction--clarity--accomplishment (disillusionment, sharp defeat, sadness and regret) and above all experience of life, each day there was always a tiny voice inside counting the ticks of time until I could get home and back to my work.

Enough about me. If you've got this inchoate drive, or even if you haven't, and want to talk about this side of the writer life, well, I invite you to sound out here.

*started at six, but got serious about it at eight. By 28 and still unpublished, I'd learned that serious does not equate successful.

Geek Glee

Oct. 15th, 2008 09:11 am
sartorias: (Default)
"At this rate, I shall not pity the writers of history any longer. If people like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trouble filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate."

--Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

"Geez, you're writing another book? Why? There's already too many books in the world--can't people just read the old ones?"

--A Smith Relative, mid 1980s

Few of us get much respect for our daily labors, but I figured non-famous and caressed writers* who stop by here might get an empathetic thrill when I mention the intense joy--the very intense joy--of of finding the threads connecting up at last, after months and months of overlapping rewrites.

What creatures we are, to get so excited over people who never existed in this world, and situations that could never happen. Yet I shiver with secret glee as I motor about on mundane errands for other people. And getting back to my desk, despite the murderous heat and the air full of ash, makes me sigh with pleasure and anticipation.

I have no idea if any of it will make it to the magic bridge between me and the reader. But oh, after pretty close to a year of hard work on this project (and many years of work on the project overall), I am seeing my way to the end. And there are very few joys greater.

Nobody has to comment about my project--probably 95% of those cruising by who's read this far have no idea what I'm talking about. But if you'd like to share a nifty payoff moment, here's the place. I'll cheer for you.

*the famous and caressed wouldn't read here anyway

Geek Glee

Oct. 15th, 2008 09:11 am
sartorias: (Default)
"At this rate, I shall not pity the writers of history any longer. If people like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trouble filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate."

--Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

"Geez, you're writing another book? Why? There's already too many books in the world--can't people just read the old ones?"

--A Smith Relative, mid 1980s

Few of us get much respect for our daily labors, but I figured non-famous and caressed writers* who stop by here might get an empathetic thrill when I mention the intense joy--the very intense joy--of of finding the threads connecting up at last, after months and months of overlapping rewrites.

What creatures we are, to get so excited over people who never existed in this world, and situations that could never happen. Yet I shiver with secret glee as I motor about on mundane errands for other people. And getting back to my desk, despite the murderous heat and the air full of ash, makes me sigh with pleasure and anticipation.

I have no idea if any of it will make it to the magic bridge between me and the reader. But oh, after pretty close to a year of hard work on this project (and many years of work on the project overall), I am seeing my way to the end. And there are very few joys greater.

Nobody has to comment about my project--probably 95% of those cruising by who's read this far have no idea what I'm talking about. But if you'd like to share a nifty payoff moment, here's the place. I'll cheer for you.

*the famous and caressed wouldn't read here anyway
sartorias: (Default)
Truth, lies, pies and what the kids think of what I do.

My head is full of lyre-backed chairs and the glint of sun far, far in the north as a drakan prow surges, cracking ice, and on the problems of point-of-view and why can't I find a decent synonym for 'trouble' that means what I need it to mean? and no, no, not that character, no, go away images, I want that one to--

"Mom?"

live, no maybe the images will change if I wait, and anyway I need to research early mattresses so that, oh yeah, but first remember to go back through to clarify that yin-thread about the song with the inverted fifth and its yang about how rumor metastasizes--

"Mom! Drive me to Brian's house!"

"Oh. Okay. Sorry. My brain was--"

"Your brain is always--" Hand gesture to match mine. "When are you ever going to make any money, so we can fix the door, and get a real couch?"

"Sorry, kiddo, I'm trying hard as I can." Open door, start car, sit at super long red light and oh, see, there are the lights hissing across the sky, reflections on the rain wet sails...

"Mom, what's for dinner?"

"How about if I make tacos? Nothing that heats up the kitchen too bad."

Biscuits! If they're making pan-biscuits over the campfire when the...
sartorias: (Default)
Truth, lies, pies and what the kids think of what I do.

My head is full of lyre-backed chairs and the glint of sun far, far in the north as a drakan prow surges, cracking ice, and on the problems of point-of-view and why can't I find a decent synonym for 'trouble' that means what I need it to mean? and no, no, not that character, no, go away images, I want that one to--

"Mom?"

live, no maybe the images will change if I wait, and anyway I need to research early mattresses so that, oh yeah, but first remember to go back through to clarify that yin-thread about the song with the inverted fifth and its yang about how rumor metastasizes--

"Mom! Drive me to Brian's house!"

"Oh. Okay. Sorry. My brain was--"

"Your brain is always--" Hand gesture to match mine. "When are you ever going to make any money, so we can fix the door, and get a real couch?"

"Sorry, kiddo, I'm trying hard as I can." Open door, start car, sit at super long red light and oh, see, there are the lights hissing across the sky, reflections on the rain wet sails...

"Mom, what's for dinner?"

"How about if I make tacos? Nothing that heats up the kitchen too bad."

Biscuits! If they're making pan-biscuits over the campfire when the...
sartorias: (Default)
I really liked [livejournal.com profile] mychapeau's thoughtful and link-rich post on the recent news that LMM, author of Anne of Green Gables, had committed suicide.
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
I really liked [livejournal.com profile] mychapeau's thoughtful and link-rich post on the recent news that LMM, author of Anne of Green Gables, had committed suicide.
Read more... )

Rewrites

Sep. 24th, 2008 06:54 am
sartorias: (desk)
I'm a visual writer, so my battle is never about seeing the story. I don't just see it, I live it--and the act of writing makes time move in the storyverse. After 49 years of doing this (I started at 8) that part is pretty much habit. It goes fast, once I see the shape of things. But after I discovered that my drafts functioned as code words* for the visions--a threadbare phrase sufficed to evoke a riot of color woven in complicated patterns--I never felt there was any use in bragging about how much wordage I did every day. Why, when most of it is a swarm of half-watted lightning bugs all struggling to be lightning? And failing?

So I had to learn to rewrite. I began another habit: let things sit for a year or two, or more, long enough to tamp down the images, but when a writer is on contract, there isn't that luxury. And as I get older, and peers begin dropping around me, and the generation before me is steadily vanishing--I won't mention how many memorials I've been to, or sent cards for, just in the past four months--one begins to realize that one doesn't have that nice long road ahead in which to attain mastery. I'm stuck with what I've got--not that I won't keep trying.

Okay, so what have I got? I pondered this in the middle of the night, while I lay there with the fan blowing on me, waiting to cool down enough to sleep. I am nearing the end of a long story that has been cut into four parts, and the first three have been published. So I can't go back and do a Prufrock, "No that is not what I meant at all." It's there, with all the confusions that were clear in my head, and the dramatic tensions in small things that were just boring to some readers.

Instead of getting it all down complete, I've been rewriting and rewriting furiously on this last segment, trying all kinds of tricks to 'see' the words I'm putting down. So anyway, I'm lying in bed, thinking of writing as buying a house. I can see the shape of the house, but nothing of what's in it. The writing is akin to getting inside and scrubbing and polishing and taking saw, hammer, and nails to the wooden beams, the stairs, the rooms, the furnishings until I look about me and think, hey, lookin' good.

But then I invite someone else in. This would be my trusty beta, who just began, blessings be upon the person's head. And those first five chapters come back....and I look about the house again, let's say that the first five chaps are the kitchen, and through these other eyes I discover that what I thought was a smooth wall actually hides a door, so I have to peel back the paneling I worked so hard on, and yep, there's this door to another room. Do I need the room, or should I rebuild the wall to be flat? I look over yonder, and ugh, how could I have forgotten to scrape the fly specks off that window? And wow, I didn't see all the cobwebs right overhead, I was so busy cleaning the grouting between the tiles. So I go right back at it, because no matter how much I liked what I saw, someone else's eyes see differently.

Now, sometimes a beta wants a crimson couch instead of a black velvet divan in the living room, or thinks that changing the curtains for blinds will fix the entire house. That kind of thing, you just have to try to see it that way, and may decide that the velvet divan does look better, but curtains are there for a purpose, blinds would only catch dust, and you hate those bars of light on the floor when the sun is low. But for those cobby corners, the flyspecks you got so used to you don't seen, and especially for the hidden rooms and the trapdoors, oh, it's so good to have those other eyes.

*a very, very painful discovery

Rewrites

Sep. 24th, 2008 06:54 am
sartorias: (desk)
I'm a visual writer, so my battle is never about seeing the story. I don't just see it, I live it--and the act of writing makes time move in the storyverse. After 49 years of doing this (I started at 8) that part is pretty much habit. It goes fast, once I see the shape of things. But after I discovered that my drafts functioned as code words* for the visions--a threadbare phrase sufficed to evoke a riot of color woven in complicated patterns--I never felt there was any use in bragging about how much wordage I did every day. Why, when most of it is a swarm of half-watted lightning bugs all struggling to be lightning? And failing?

So I had to learn to rewrite. I began another habit: let things sit for a year or two, or more, long enough to tamp down the images, but when a writer is on contract, there isn't that luxury. And as I get older, and peers begin dropping around me, and the generation before me is steadily vanishing--I won't mention how many memorials I've been to, or sent cards for, just in the past four months--one begins to realize that one doesn't have that nice long road ahead in which to attain mastery. I'm stuck with what I've got--not that I won't keep trying.

Okay, so what have I got? I pondered this in the middle of the night, while I lay there with the fan blowing on me, waiting to cool down enough to sleep. I am nearing the end of a long story that has been cut into four parts, and the first three have been published. So I can't go back and do a Prufrock, "No that is not what I meant at all." It's there, with all the confusions that were clear in my head, and the dramatic tensions in small things that were just boring to some readers.

Instead of getting it all down complete, I've been rewriting and rewriting furiously on this last segment, trying all kinds of tricks to 'see' the words I'm putting down. So anyway, I'm lying in bed, thinking of writing as buying a house. I can see the shape of the house, but nothing of what's in it. The writing is akin to getting inside and scrubbing and polishing and taking saw, hammer, and nails to the wooden beams, the stairs, the rooms, the furnishings until I look about me and think, hey, lookin' good.

But then I invite someone else in. This would be my trusty beta, who just began, blessings be upon the person's head. And those first five chapters come back....and I look about the house again, let's say that the first five chaps are the kitchen, and through these other eyes I discover that what I thought was a smooth wall actually hides a door, so I have to peel back the paneling I worked so hard on, and yep, there's this door to another room. Do I need the room, or should I rebuild the wall to be flat? I look over yonder, and ugh, how could I have forgotten to scrape the fly specks off that window? And wow, I didn't see all the cobwebs right overhead, I was so busy cleaning the grouting between the tiles. So I go right back at it, because no matter how much I liked what I saw, someone else's eyes see differently.

Now, sometimes a beta wants a crimson couch instead of a black velvet divan in the living room, or thinks that changing the curtains for blinds will fix the entire house. That kind of thing, you just have to try to see it that way, and may decide that the velvet divan does look better, but curtains are there for a purpose, blinds would only catch dust, and you hate those bars of light on the floor when the sun is low. But for those cobby corners, the flyspecks you got so used to you don't seen, and especially for the hidden rooms and the trapdoors, oh, it's so good to have those other eyes.

*a very, very painful discovery
sartorias: (Default)
I was thinking about some recent posts at three a.m. when, as usual, it was too hot to sleep. In the first, the poster linked to Michael Dirda's review of Neal Stephenson's latest book. The bottom line for Dirda was, "Well written, but boring." A day later, in a locked entry or I would link it, another poster made a cri de coeur against Jane Austen, wondering why anyone would consider her books readable. I'm not going to repeat my response--nothing I haven't said here--the thing that stayed with me is, here are two authors lauded as brilliant, and I will lay a bet of any sum you care to name that neither Stephenson nor Austen sat down to the desk saying, "Well, time to write a boring book."
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
I was thinking about some recent posts at three a.m. when, as usual, it was too hot to sleep. In the first, the poster linked to Michael Dirda's review of Neal Stephenson's latest book. The bottom line for Dirda was, "Well written, but boring." A day later, in a locked entry or I would link it, another poster made a cri de coeur against Jane Austen, wondering why anyone would consider her books readable. I'm not going to repeat my response--nothing I haven't said here--the thing that stayed with me is, here are two authors lauded as brilliant, and I will lay a bet of any sum you care to name that neither Stephenson nor Austen sat down to the desk saying, "Well, time to write a boring book."
Read more... )

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