This blog post has a DARK SECRET…

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ABOUT A MYSTERIOUS PAST…

FULL OF FORBIDDEN DANGERS……

AND SHOCKING BETRAYALS………………….

Are you intrigued???

I’m not.

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Excuse me, my characterization is UP HERE

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SIGH

Okay friends. We need to talk about something that’s been bugging me a long time. I CAN’T EVEN COUNT– hold on, this feels like something I need a proper soapbox for.

*rummages*

Hm, looks like I don’t own an  soapbox. I’ll just stand on my desk, then. This will make typing hard but I will do it, in the name of justice.

I CAN’T EVEN COUNT how many back-of-book blurbs I’ve read in which the only mentioned female character is described as ~beautiful~ and nothing else.

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The INSTA-LOVE trope – just add water! (repost in honor of Valentine’s Day)

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There are few things more grating to me than the insta-love trope seen so often in fiction. This device essentially involves shoving two characters in the same room, then poking them with a stick until they have nowhere else to go but each other’s arms.

The development of their relationship usually looks like this:

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You’re a writer? I’ve thought about writing a book someday…

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Many writers respond to the above sentiment with a groan, a smirk, a roll of the eyes so intense they risk pulling a muscle. Some respond with downright disgust. “How DARE someone insult my LIFE’S WORK by thinking they might want to try it!”

I don’t understand this response. At all.

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The INSTA-LOVE trope: just add water!

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There are few things more grating to me than the insta-love trope seen so often in fiction. This device essentially involves shoving two characters in the same room, then poking them with a stick until they have nowhere else to go but each other’s arms.

The development of their relationship usually looks like this:

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Literary classism

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One time I wrote a piece inspired by David Foster Wallace. It was unconventional, not really a narrative, hard to classify. I didn’t think it was genius or anything, but I enjoyed it. I got some scathing criticism from an individual who focused very much on the rules it was breaking. When I mentioned that I was learning from DFW’s example, the critiquer said, “Yeah, well, you’re not DFW.”

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More rules you can occasionally break

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Last week I talked about how you don’t have to write every day, and before that, how you can write slow if you want. Let’s rebel against some more rules! (Occasionally.)

Eugh… “Rules.” Just the word makes me think of similarly off-putting things, like peas or gym class or t-shirt armpits yellowed by old sweat stains. I prefer the more pleasing word “guidelines.” Ahh, that’s better – like a cheerful garden path leading you towards better writing. Or that wise old word “advice,” with its wizard beard and smell of vintage paper. And let’s not forget that perky lil word, “tips!”

Rules are smart, but no rule/guideline/advice/tip is an ironclad absolute.

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You really DON’T have to write every day.

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Two weeks ago I discussed writing slow,  a process often touted against but which I believe has merit. I decided to continue that theme with a post about other rules you can safely ignore.

There are important rules in writing, of course. Lots of rules are well-founded and should definitely be followed. What I don’t support is the attitude some authors have about these Rules with Capital R’s, the ones they shout from their desk with a zealously pointed index finger. “YOU. BAD AUTHOR. YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.”

Let’s start with the one I see pushed most aggressively: Write every day.

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I’m just being honest!

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I want to talk about critiques. Namely, the right and the wrong ways to give them, and there are wrong ways, so if you’re the type who believes honesty equals brutality or that “feelings” should be pronounced with a sneer and a sarcastic waggling of the fingers, I’d like you to read this post.

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