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How to write

Started by Cain, September 26, 2008, 06:35:49 PM

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Iason Ouabache

Quote from: MMIX on February 20, 2010, 10:55:37 AM
/pokes thread

From todays Grauniad [sic]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one


a bit of pick and mix advice from some working stiffs of fiction


/unpokes thread
I'm pretty sure that Charles Dickens broke 9 out of 10 of those rules. (He wasn't much of a fan of exclamation points.)
You cannot fathom the immensity of the fuck i do not give.
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MMIX

Quote from: Iason Ouabache on July 25, 2010, 09:39:12 AM
Quote from: MMIX on February 20, 2010, 10:55:37 AM
/pokes thread

From todays Grauniad [sic]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one


a bit of pick and mix advice from some working stiffs of fiction


/unpokes thread
I'm pretty sure that Charles Dickens broke 9 out of 10 of those rules. (He wasn't much of a fan of exclamation points.)

I think Dickens sucks; though we have had the full set in the house for the whole of my life I have never actually got past page 5 of any of them. The movies almost universally sucked too - except maybe Oliver  :wink:

Elmore Leonard is not exactly my taste either, and his advice [they aren't actually rules at all ] is for contemporary writers, not old lags like Dickens.

I thought the more interesting stuff was the actual article itself - about how different contemporary authors approach their craft . . .




"The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that it is something we make and could just as easily make differently" David Graeber

Placid Dingo

Quote from: MMIX on July 25, 2010, 02:08:53 PM
Quote from: Iason Ouabache on July 25, 2010, 09:39:12 AM
Quote from: MMIX on February 20, 2010, 10:55:37 AM
/pokes thread

From todays Grauniad [sic]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one


a bit of pick and mix advice from some working stiffs of fiction


/unpokes thread
I'm pretty sure that Charles Dickens broke 9 out of 10 of those rules. (He wasn't much of a fan of exclamation points.)

I think Dickens sucks; though we have had the full set in the house for the whole of my life I have never actually got past page 5 of any of them. The movies almost universally sucked too - except maybe Oliver  :wink:

Elmore Leonard is not exactly my taste either, and his advice [they aren't actually rules at all ] is for contemporary writers, not old lags like Dickens.

I thought the more interesting stuff was the actual article itself - about how different contemporary authors approach their craft . .

I really liked Dickens. I read Oliver Twist and found he had a very dry, savage sense of humour in the way he expressed things, such as describing the poor children in the workhouses as 'not overburdened with food or shelter'.
Haven't paid rent since 2014 with ONE WEIRD TRICK.

MMIX

Sorry. I tried again and I didn't even make it past the first page.

QuoteCHAPTER I

TREATS OF THE PLACE WHERE OLIVER TWIST WAS BORN AND OF THE
CIRCUMSTANCES ATTENDING HIS BIRTH

Among other public buildings in a certain town, which for many reasons
it will be prudent to refrain from mentioning, and to which I will
assign no fictitious name, there is one anciently common to most towns,
great or small: to wit, a workhouse; and in this workhouse was born; on
a day and date which I need not trouble myself to repeat, inasmuch as
it can be of no possible consequence to the reader, in this stage of
the business at all events; the item of mortality whose name is
prefixed to the head of this chapter.

For a long time after it was ushered into this world of sorrow and
trouble, by the parish surgeon, it remained a matter of considerable
doubt whether the child would survive to bear any name at all; in which
case it is somewhat more than probable that these memoirs would never
have appeared; or, if they had, that being comprised within a couple of
pages, they would have possessed the inestimable merit of being the
most concise and faithful specimen of biography, extant in the
literature of any age or country.

Although I am not disposed to maintain that the being born in a
workhouse, is in itself the most fortunate and enviable circumstance
that can possibly befall a human being, I do mean to say that in this
particular instance, it was the best thing for Oliver Twist that could
by possibility have occurred.  The fact is, that there was considerable
difficulty in inducing Oliver to take upon himself the office of
respiration,--a troublesome practice, but one which custom has rendered
necessary to our easy existence; and for some time he lay gasping on a
little flock mattress, rather unequally poised between this world and
the next: the balance being decidedly in favour of the latter.  Now,
if, during this brief period, Oliver had been surrounded by careful
grandmothers, anxious aunts, experienced nurses, and doctors of
profound wisdom, he would most inevitably and indubitably have been
killed in no time.  There being nobody by, however, but a pauper old
woman, who was rendered rather misty by an unwonted allowance of beer;
and a parish surgeon who did such matters by contract; Oliver and
Nature fought out the point between them.  The result was, that, after
a few struggles, Oliver breathed, sneezed, and proceeded to advertise
to the inmates of the workhouse the fact of a new burden having been
imposed  upon the parish, by setting up as loud a cry as could
reasonably have been expected from a male infant who had not been
possessed of that very useful appendage, a voice, for a much longer
space of time than three minutes and a quarter.

Did you have to read it at school or something . . . ?
"The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that it is something we make and could just as easily make differently" David Graeber

Placid Dingo

No I just read a lot. Reading Tale of two cities at present (when I have a chance to read).

I love the dynamic between the style and content. The style is sophisticated, matter of fact, elegant, and almost completely inappropriate for the content, which is dirty smelly crowded criminal filled London.

The passage you posted I don't mind at all; he introduces the character and I quite enjoyed the sequence where this baby has buggereised around working out whether he even has any interest in breathing or not chooses to come into life. It's a tense situation, but I love the matter of fact way it's described.

Also, if i remember rightly, I think Perfume by Patrick Suskind may have subverted this very opening sequence, with the child of that book instead choosing to live out of spite alone. But I haven't read it for a while.
Haven't paid rent since 2014 with ONE WEIRD TRICK.

MMIX

Quote from: Placid Dingo on July 29, 2010, 07:54:48 AM
No I just read a lot. Reading Tale of two cities at present (when I have a chance to read).

I love the dynamic between the style and content. The style is sophisticated, matter of fact, elegant, and almost completely inappropriate for the content, which is dirty smelly crowded criminal filled London.

The passage you posted I don't mind at all; he introduces the character and I quite enjoyed the sequence where this baby has buggereised around working out whether he even has any interest in breathing or not chooses to come into life. It's a tense situation, but I love the matter of fact way it's described.

Also, if i remember rightly, I think Perfume by Patrick Suskind may have subverted this very opening sequence, with the child of that book instead choosing to live out of spite alone. But I haven't read it for a while.

I used to read voraciously until about ten years ago. Your reply makes me feel just a touch jealous that I could never get the same joy from reading Dickens that you obviously do. For me trying to read Dickens is definitely the triumph of style over content :sad:
"The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that it is something we make and could just as easily make differently" David Graeber

Placid Dingo

It might sound weird but there days I kind of 'work at' reading somewhat, to try to push myself to make interesting but difficult or dry stuff accessable.

That said when I find something that actually really excites me, it's on! Last thing I really enjoyed just as a read was Cat's Cradle. I don't know if Vonnegut wrote advice, but CC is the epitome of ensuring anything that you right builds character or moves the actino forward.
Haven't paid rent since 2014 with ONE WEIRD TRICK.

Eartha-ly Delights

If you want to have a go on  something Victorian which is far and away more gripping than Dickens try Vanity Fair by Thackeray. It defecates all over anything by Charlie for writers craft and plot devices, as well as a fine example of controlling a narrative voice
Say what you will about the Nazis, but no woman ever fantasised about being tied up and ravished by a Liberal Democrat, now did she?
PJ O'Rourke

Sometimes glass glitters more than diamonds because it has more to prove.
Terry Pratchett

Placid Dingo

I have one of those '1000 free books' applications, so I do have that on the list.

I am however reading 16 books at the same time more or less so, it may be a little while.
Haven't paid rent since 2014 with ONE WEIRD TRICK.

ranacuaro

Quote from: Cain on September 26, 2008, 06:35:49 PM
Several handy guides on this topic can be found at the below link.  If you are unfamiliar with bookchan, pdf files are hidden in the pictures, and you need to use a program like WinRAR or 7-zip to extract them.

Have fun now.

http://www.anonib.com/bookchan/index.php?t=328
thanks men

hooplala

Quote from: LMNO, PhD on July 12, 2010, 07:41:05 PM
;









I swear, I've been using a semicolon in exponentially greater amounts since the nB flare up; there's probably a down side, though.

Me too.  Especially on here... I found a post I made last spring and thought "Why the fuck did I add a semicolon there?", then I remembered.  I laughed.
"Soon all of us will have special names" — Professor Brian O'Blivion

"Now's not the time to get silly, so wear your big boots and jump on the garbage clowns." — Bob Dylan?

"Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)"
— Walt Whitman

The Good Reverend Roger

Quote from: nostalgicBadger on October 29, 2008, 06:53:28 PM
You guys are ridiculous.

Srsly.

I didn't say there was anything wrong with reading people's advice about how to write - bear in mind that I am a writing grad student. I was simply adding that actively studying the work of writers you admire can help you become aware of technique and how it is used in practice, and it goes a lot farther in helping to develop rhythm (which, by the way, is why Hunter liked to type Fitzgerald books over and over. To listen to the rhythm. )

1.  NB was a bigger prick than I remember, and

2.  As a writing grad student, he is most likely now a fry cook.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

"Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

Quote from: The Good Reverend Roger on November 19, 2010, 04:47:36 AM
Quote from: nostalgicBadger on October 29, 2008, 06:53:28 PM
You guys are ridiculous.

Srsly.

I didn't say there was anything wrong with reading people's advice about how to write - bear in mind that I am a writing grad student. I was simply adding that actively studying the work of writers you admire can help you become aware of technique and how it is used in practice, and it goes a lot farther in helping to develop rhythm (which, by the way, is why Hunter liked to type Fitzgerald books over and over. To listen to the rhythm. )

1.  NB was a bigger prick than I remember, and

2.  As a writing grad student mediocre writer, he is most likely now a fry cook.

He was such in insufferable ass.
"I'm guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk," Charles Wick said. "It was very complicated."


Cain

Quote from: Liam on October 22, 2010, 01:59:46 PM
I figured I could do with reading these downloads, but the links are a-dead. What would I do well to insert into a torrent site to find them again please?



"writing books" and "writing guides" would probably do the trick.  Make sure to find a copy of Strunk's Elements of Style

Placid Dingo

I had King's 'On Writing' reccomended very strongly to me.
Haven't paid rent since 2014 with ONE WEIRD TRICK.