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Dragon rolls and burgers


Ohayo! Konichiwa! Konbanwa, Mina-San!

You know what an error in writing is? 

Something that tweeks a reader. 

You know what a worse error is in writing?

Something that makes the writer feel like shit. When the writer feels that their writing isn't genuine anymore because they changed all the Brit spellings to American for an American editor. When some editor decides it would be great to change the word office to studio because they didn't like having two instances of the word office in one sentence and they sure as hell weren't waiting for the writer to be able to negotiate a meaning that mattered. No, they were the all high and mighty editor and they did what they wanted. (I never actually got paid for that story). Lovely. Just freaking lovely. I'm sure it's my fault somehow. 

In my stories, I have some freakishly long sentences. I like them. Sometimes I break them up. Sometimes they're really what I meant and it has something to do with the tempo of how the character is thinking. It's part of the experience. 

I also really like fragments, aka... poetic lines ... stealthing their way into my prose. 

You know what most readers want?

Big Macs. 

You know what I want when I'm kicking my way along downtown and thinking "Food.. I want food."  Very often I'm going to end up with a Happy Meal. A little hamburger, maybe some fries or apple slices, and a piece of plastic that is sometimes cool. I don't walk my gay boy self down to the sushi shop and try something I've never had and I'm not real sure how to fit in my mouth. 

So I want to eat a burger, but I want to cook sushi, and then I get mad because all the lunch customers are at someone else's counter. 

So... that's another post, probably. 


I'm reading Mists of Avalon, because I have to. I'm not enjoying it. Marion Zimmer Bradley had great editors and she is indisputably one of the great authors of Western culture.  She writes all her titles like 'sir Lancelet', 'lady Gwen...'  

That is not the current style of writing. As a reader, it distracts me. It's an error. Marion Zimmer Bradley has errors in her great work.

The above sentence is called a logical error. 

Strunk and White, in their well respected little book "The Elements of Style", said to pick a way of doing it and stay with it.

English just isn't that hard wired. There are different ways of doing things. 

A writer should know what they're putting down, know why they're putting it down on the page, stand freaking by what they put down on the page and know that if it ain't Big Mac, it ain't going to sell like a Big Mac. A publisher's employed editor has the job of making a dragon roll into a burger, and that's just the way it is. Publishers make money from sales, not from high art, and even less money from failed art. 

So all those days that I poured myself out onto my pages, hoping, like I hoped when I was in forth grade and wanting someone to pick me to play on the ball team.. that if people just really knew me - then they'd like me - someone would love me. 

It's true, that someone has to know me to love me, but the person who really has to know me is me. Then someone else can know me, maybe love me.

And in my little word cafe, I need to flip more burgers and make the dragon rolls special order, or only for special customers!



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