Archive for July, 2011


I was all ready to write a very serious and informative blog about writing (you know, something craft-y and poignant) when I saw this on my Twitter feed.

My favorite line that had my brother and I in tears laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe:

Winner: Fantasy

Within the smoking ruins of Keister Castle, Princess Gwendolyn stared in horror at the limp form of the loyal Centaur who died defending her very honor; “You may force me to wed,” she cried at the leering and victorious Goblin King, “but you’ll never be half the man he was.”

Terri Daniel

Seattle, WA

If you don’t get it, reread it and think about it for a second.

These are the results for the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (named after the famous Victorian writer who penned the famous “It was a dark and stormy night”). The other winners and runner ups are here.

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So, I was eventually going to get to this since I can go on very long rants about all kinds of issues in writing, but there are those cleverer (or at least faster) than I who have already written about some of these problems.

This one’s REALLY GOOD so check them out.

As a side note, these are all things you should look at WHEN YOU’RE EDITING! Do not try to stop yourself from writing. If you use an adjective, for example, in a first draft, do not beat yourself over the head with it. Slice it off during editing, but don’t let it derail your writing. The more you practice, the less you’ll do these mistakes.

One final thing: I’m playing with podcasts now. You’ll get to hear me ranting live and in surround sound! Or at least loudly. I’ll link to it when I get the blasted thing done.

I’ve been reading a lot about a seemingly endless blooper reel of people putting way too much information up on their Facebook, Twitter, or personal blog about the people around them. With celebrities, who have a much larger sphere of influence and with more people paying attention to what they say, this whole thing looks a lot bigger. That got me to thinking though: what is the alternative?

Yes, sure, I agree that some people should just not be allowed near a Twitter account (those people usually can’t keep their mouth shut around a camera or a microphone either). But if you were to muzzle some of these outspoken and opinionated people (celebrities or otherwise), I wonder if we would be losing something.

I like the idea of free speech. I like being able to say what I really think and not be persecuted by someone who doesn’t like it. And I think part of that freedom comes the responsibility to self censor or to at least think before opening your big gob.

But what about the people who want to hear all the crazy shit that comes out of people’s mouths? Do we lose something of the truth when we expect people to shut up? What if the whole reason we like certain celebrities is because they speak the unfiltered truth and don’t have it whitewashed through their publicist and agent first?

Little context: I was thinking all of this because I just saw an article about television shows and movie people wanting to include in an actor’s contract that they can’t tweet or facebook spoilers for upcoming episodes. This makes complete sense to me since a lot of these shows build tension from having their viewers not know what’s coming up next, and a thoughtless spoiler can ruin the fun for someone not looking for it (especially because those are the messages that tend to get retweeted).

But again, that means that you are creating a barrier between the celebrity and the viewer. It’s an us-vs.-them mentality, and one of the things I love about Twitter is that I can communicate one-on-one with my favorite celebrities (in my case writers). So what I’m saying is I don’t know. It’s an interesting gray area.

What do you think?

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