clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The right advice

The son of a friend has some aspirations. Will it stick ? Who knows. He is however asking good questions.

Besides the usual "how it works" and the "I know somebody who's sister self-published" he's asked about the craft of writing. As we know, that's the bloody hard part.

Oh, the "other stuff" is important. The "other stuff" is just wanking when there isn't a product.

So he asks "When I write something and it's just shit, what do I do. How do I get around it ?"

I'm reminded of learning to cook - seriously cook - in college. I lived in a community hall for fifty guys and we cooked and cleaned and ran the place ourselves with a little help. Cooking was a challenge every fall.

One new man was cooking french fries and they were crap. Half done warm raw potato. Greg Powell went into the kitchen, took over, and cooked the next batch until they were perfectly brown, crisp and delicious. The new cook asked "how did you get them so perfectly done ?" to which Greg answered with out a  second's hesitation "cook 'em till they're done."

What to do when you write something that's shit ? Work it until it is perfect.

I was told thirty years ago by a writer I respect very much : Make a mess, clean it up.

How do you know when it's done ? It's perfect.

Back to work. Reading blogs and getting coffee for more than five minutes at a time constitutes fucking off. Write first. You can always fuck off at work when you're being paid for it.

Don't like the language ? Maybe you were never in fifth grade. You won't make it in this industry if you are sensitive. Get over it.

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