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Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:18 PM PDT

Weiner and Obama Are The Same

by GussieFN

I don't care about Weiner. Is he the best choice for mayor? Then I'll support him. Is he not? I'll support someone else. To me, Weiner is not a person, he's a potential political function.

I don't care about Obama. I don't care if he 'betrayed' me. I don't care if he's an austerity-spouting corporatist or a beleaguered progressive. I support him when I agree with him. I oppose him when I disagree. To me, Obama is not a person. He's a political function.

I don't care about Snowden. Is he wise, is he righteous, are his motivations pure? I don't care. To me, Snowden is not a person. He is a source of political information.

I don't care about Yellen, I don't care about Warren, I don't care about Rubio, I don't care about Cruz. This is not personal. None of these people know that I exist. I am purely an abstraction to them—'loudmouth nobody on leftie blogs'—and they are abstractions to me. They barely exist as human beings. Any scandal they're involved in—any crappy vote, any financial shenanigan, any half-eaten body in the rec room—matters only to the extent that it affects their function.

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Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:00 PM PST

Write On! Snarling Slippage

by GussieFN

Hello, writers.

Tonight I (well, SenSho, but I'm posting this for her) want to talk about POV (point of view) slippage. But you, of course,  can talk about whatever you want.

As we’ve discussed before, most fiction nowadays is written from the POV of one
character, or sometimes two characters—rarely three, and anything more than
three is really unusual. Unusual in the sense of you need to have a really good
reason for doing it.

POV slippage occurs when the writer shows us something the viewpoint character
couldn’t have seen (eg another character’s thoughts). It can happen when the POV
character witnesses something happening in another time or place—though there
are ways to work around this. You just need a plot device. A hidden camera. An
old woman who tells tales. A Pensieve.

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Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 05:01 PM PDT

Write On! The Good Fight

by GussieFN

It's a cliche that 'conflict is drama,' and like all cliches, one in the hand is worth two in the bush.

I think SenSho's done a few diaries on conflict, but I disagreed violently with all of them, so here's another. The thing is, conflict is hard. We spend days and weeks and months and minutes creating unique, fascinating characters--what kind of monster bestows these imaginary people with life, then torments them?

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Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 04:49 PM PDT

Write On? Wrong On!

by GussieFN

Everyone makes mistakes.

Writers, however, live by the mistake. Mistakes are our craft, that's why we talk in terms of drafts and edits and drafts and rewrites and drafts. (There's a word for a perfectionist writer: blocked.) Without mistakes, we've got nothing.

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Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 05:31 AM PST

Walk, Don't Chew Gum!

by GussieFN

Frankly I'm appalled by those of us who recommend chewing gum. Every calorie we burn while chewing gum is a calorie we could apply to walking. And walking gets us places. Walking is honest. Walking is respectful of our democracy. It's heathy--and it's even green!

Do we really want to be known as the people who stand around chewing while others walk?

Do we honestly want to subvert walking?

Have you ever seen Obama chewing gum?* No! But ask yourself this: have you seen him walk?

This scurrilous assault on walking must end. NOW!

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Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 05:00 PM PST

Write On! Help and Little Things

by GussieFN

Hello, writers.

The topic for tonight is help, largely because I need some. SenSho is still dealing with family medical issues, and I'm far too unreliable to handle Write On! myself. So if you're willing to write an installment of the series every so often, drop a comment. (Looking at you, Tara ...)

Now for the good stuff. Have you heard about microfiction, like Fifty Word Stories and  Six Word Stories, Microfiction Blog, and Six Sentences?

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Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 05:00 PM PST

Write On! Smells So Sweet

by GussieFN

Hello, writers.

SenSho's dealing with some pretty awful family medical issues right now, so I'm back again.

Tonight, I've got two things on my mind. One is titles. Mine almost always suck. They're boring and static and so forgettable that I call my books by the main character's name instead of the title.

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Hello, writers.

SenSho couldn't make it this week, so she flashed the Hack-Signal over Gotham, and I answered the call. (And yes, these tights are totally riding up.)

Tonight, because a novel without romance is like a fork without a tine, we're going to talk about love--or as they say in Czech, 'hrczynavci.' However, first I wanna know: do you love any novels that don't contain any romance whatsoever?

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Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 05:01 PM PDT

Write On! Loving the Hate

by GussieFN

Hello, writers. SensibleShoes is cavorting this evening, so you're stuck with the backup auxiliary diarist. I've got three questions and a challenge tonight:

  1. How does writing affect your reading?

It occurred to me, in a conversation with pico, upon whom I have a literary crush, that writing has ruined me for reading.

I write genre stuff. I try to coddle the reader. Are things getting slow? Don't worry, I'll speed 'em up! Did the first page not fascinate you? My fault! I'll try to make the whole thing go down as easy as an inappropriate metaphor in a family diary.

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Hello, writers. I'm sitting in for SensibleShoes this week, because she's stepping out. An orgiastic vacation at some sort of naturalist camp, from what I understand, with plenty of s'mores and peyote.

Because I'm a lazy, lazy man I thought we'd do something a little different tonight. Instead of wisdom, all I've got are questions:

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Thu May 13, 2010 at 05:00 PM PDT

Write On! Bad Writing 2.0

by GussieFN

Hello, writers. SensibleShoes is taking some fancy-pants test today, so you're stuck with me.

"What should I write about?" I asked her.

"Write what you know," she said.

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Hello, writers. I'm filling in for SensibleShoes, who is attending a Saran Wrap convention this evening. I don't know what that means, either. She was vague about the details

So welcome to the off-brand version of Write On!

Tonight's subject is "How to Sell a Novel in 72 Hours (or, Failing to Succeed)." I've sold a novel in 72 hours, and in this diary I will share the secret with you. Of course, you suspect there's a caveat, and you're right: there's a tiny bit of groundwork you need to complete, first. Still, once that's outta the way, it's clear sailing.

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