Famous Author Insights
Published by Aeroflot in the blog Surreal Parisian Black Boxx Conglomeration No. 143. Views: 88
I just copied and pasted all this. I take no credit except for the five minutes to post this.
1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
1. Use short sentences.
2. Use short starting paragraphs.
3. Use vigorous English.
It’s muscular, forceful. Vigorous English comes from passion, focus and intention. It’s the difference between putting in a good effort and TRYING to move a boulder… and actually sweating, grunting, straining your muscles to the point of exhaustion… and MOVING the freaking thing!
4. Use positive words.
By stating what something isn’t can be counterproductive since it is still directing the mind, albeit in the opposite way. If I told you that dental work is painless for example, you’ll still focus on the word “pain” in “painless.”
• Instead of saying “inexpensive,” say “economical,”
• Instead of saying “this procedure is painless,” say “there’s little discomfort” or “it’s relatively comfortable,”
• And instead of saying “this software is error-free” or “foolproof,” say “this software is consistent” or “stable.”
"The worst thing a writer can do is to plan everything in a short story. If you do that, it will never find its own way. In January and February I wrote five stories. Five stories in just five weeks. It was an exhaustive and a feverish time. They became Five Strange Tales from Tokyo. I used an old Japanese technique. I had one theme – strangeness and weirdness. They had to be unusual but intentionally, this time. I made a list of certain words and ideas that popped into my head, like a staircase and a female tightrope walker and kidney stones. There were twenty of them that just came to me independently. There was no apparent connection between them. I used three items for each story – fifteen items in all. The rest I threw away. I am sorry – please forgive me. Writing is a game – a tough game but a game! I have to have some fun when I write. If I don’t have any fun as a writer, it is a lonely and hard job, writing all day by myself! Writing is like a making a video game and playing it at the same time. Your left hand is playing the game and your write hand is writing the programme at the same time. There is a feeling of a split in oneself. I have never tried to write stories this way and I wasn’t confident that it would work. But I found I could write the stories more quickly. Working from these key words seemed to unlock the door to certain areas of my brain that I hadn’t used before. I was able to create something different. I am not saying that I could write stories out of any twenty ideas given by someone else. It wouldn’t work. The twenty items, though spontaneous, are linked through me. They are intertwining with each other in a deep place. They had a reason to come to the surface of my mind in the first place, and half the work was done. I just had to hold on to my horse. I knew if I held on tight, the horse would bring me to the end."
"A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us."
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