Category Archives: craft

Exactly

not sure how to embed the thread, so here’s the top one anyway, which leads to the rest:

I wanna talk about ~historical accuracy in worldbuilding for a bit, particularly in secondary world fantasy. Because it’s something that’s come up in discussions w/ friends lately and it won’t let my mind go. So. A mini-thread!

— ⒿⓎ ⓎⒶⓃⒼ 🌈🐋 杨雅珺 (@halleluyang) April 29, 2018

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Jaipur Literary Fest vids from the fall

Which I’m just now figuring out exist. This first one’s “On Cultural Appropriation,” with Anne Hillerman, Jovan Mays, Saikat Majumdar, and Yassmin Abdel-Mageid,  Laird Hunt moderating:

And this one’s “Ancestral Cultures: Legacy of the First Nations,” with Crisosto Apache, Erika Wurth, and Janice Gould, Margaret Coel modding:

Just became aware of these thanks to Bret Smith posting this clip on Facebook:

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Back Cover Copy

Strikes me that the reason a lot of novels start out so slowly is that they don’t take into account the version of the catalog copy on their back cover. That copy nearly always gives away the central conceit or trick or surprise of the novel, but the novel, pretending to itself that it exists as pages only, no marketing involved, plays its central whatever close to the vest for eighty or a hundred pages, taking the reader up an agonizingly slow incline to the first of its twists or reveals or big developments. Except the reader, because of that back cover copy that got them to buy the novel in the first place, they’re not reading in a “wait, what’s going to happen here?”-mode but a “when’s what I read about on the back cover going to happen”-mode.

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On Good and Evil in Fiction

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Landis!

Image result for shockwaves blumhouse landis

This may be the coolest ep of Shockwaves yet. Just listening to John Landis. Man.

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Yep

Truly, I get raked across the copyediting coals for exactly this so, so often. And? It’s not just Indian. In CJ Box’s books, there’s a lot of lip-pointing, a lot of chinning at stuff. Feels so right. Feels like the world I know. Which matters.

First Nations man breaks 100-metre Lip Point record

Thanks to Samuel Matz for the headsup on this.

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Process

This is what writing is: you throw a lot of stupid stuff at a wall, then see what sticks. And you never really understand it enough to do it like that again, and, meanwhile, people say it means this and that, and for reasons you can’t figure out, the story lasts, even though it was just something you thought might make someone smile:

http://www.vulture.com/2017/10/david-s-pumpkins-oral-history.html 

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The Plural of “Venus”

This is a key sub-thing in a novel I just wrote:

The Venus of Brassempouy is one of the earliest representations of the human face. It was sculpted in mammoth ivory about 25,000 years ago in southwest France. Since its discovery in 1894, there has been much debate about the sex and whether he/she is hooded or braided #IceAgeArt pic.twitter.com/OkrVRbZm1k

— The Ice Age (@Jamie_Woodward_) November 19, 2017

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The Nine Circles of (Mis-)Usage Hell

I might heretically add a tenth level for the semicolon clueless. But, yes, I’d be adding it from the eighth circle, I suppose. Which is a fitting fate for me, and one I’m asking for every day, pretty much.

https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/dantes-nine-circles-of-hell-reimagined-for-linguistic-transgressions

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Words per minute

I dream of a word processor that throws a little a WPM gauge up in the right corner, so I can keep a close eye for when I’m backing off the throttle more than I should. Way back, when instant-messaging first came around? I used to write chat scripts to talk to different hardly-remote people, and we’d testrun it, use the chat to IM, all that. What I found out pretty quick with that was that I never cared for the content of our back and forth. What mattered to me was winning the race: getting my reply jammed in faster than the person on the other end could even read it. And have it be proper and right, of course. In short, I wasn’t good to chat with, since it was never about the discussion, always about the speed.

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