Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blog Alert - The Case For Writing Poorly, Or Using Straightforward Prose - ILBNH

Blog Alert - The Case For Writing Poorly, Or Using Straightforward Prose - ILBNH

Peta at Insert Literary Blog Name Here* acknowledges herself a literary snob. She says: "I am irritated by clunky prose, drawn out of stories by dry dialogue, and find words like “ain’t” only a few ellipses short of repulsive. I pride myself on being able to craft a good sentence. I’ve also been known to spend hours crafting that one sentence."

So it's a delicious irony that she devotes a powerful and persuasive post to the importance of connecting to a mainstream audience through a straightforward and unpretentious style.

Her motivation is at least in part commercial (a personal irony for me, as I'm non-commercially oriented - but I largely agree with her advice in any event. I think accessible writing is good writing).

In her intro she says: "Writing is a numbers game–the more books you sell, the more money you make. If you write fast, it’s even better. Getting a book out every year for ten years (Jasper Fforde’s goal), if you sell enough, could be quite lucrative (and your hourly rate might actually approach positive numbers). Yet writing, good writing, takes time to craft. Story, characters, and prose itself do not happen overnight, particularly if you’re fond of tight dialogue and polished writing. But here’s the secret: not all readers are writers, and a lot of them don’t care about your perfectly polished prose."

Me, I could care less about money numbers or books per year. But audience accessibility is important apart from all that. More readers = more impact. If I'm writing to tell a story, I want the story heard.

Peta develops a provocative case for an accessible style, along with tips.
Check it out.


Major Life Changes - Blog Changes

My apologies for being gone these past weeks. I've been in the hospital with a major medical issue. For the moment, I'm back in reasonably good health. But this is a serious condition and I'm going to be on a schedule of follow=up treatments to try to prevent a recurrence - but there are no assurances.

This means changes in the patterns of my work, life, and online activity. And what those changes will look like is not clear yet. I'll try to keep up the blog, but it will become more sporadic and less regular.

I'll still try to check in from time to time with resource reviews, alerts to good posts on other blogs, and maybe some of my own reflection on the game, business, recreation and/or hobby of writing. (My own orientation has always been non-commercial and non-career. This will be even more so now that I'm sick). Of course, your mileage may vary.

Hope to maintain some stimulating output.