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Message From Tyler Durden

15/06/2015

Message From Tyler

thank you, Chuck Palahniuk 
you keep writing ‘em,
we’ll keep reading ‘em

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Rueben Bolling On Every Writer’s Problem

11/06/2015

sfpc150610 million monkeys writing hamlet

find more Rueben here

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More Good Advice From Papa

9/06/2015

Ernest-Hemingway-Quotes-3“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk.  That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway

 

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Hunter S. Thompson On Being A Writer

1/06/2015

Hunter S Thompson on being a writer

“As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says ‘you are nothing’, I will be a writer.”

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Boulet Reveals The Secret

29/05/2015

En-GuerrierChance03

The truth is:  It takes lots and lots of very hard work…

…and we are lucky bastards.

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Thanx to
Tom Spurgeon’s
The Comics Reporter
for the tip off.

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3 More Things Elmore Leonard Wants You To Know

27/05/2015

elmore_leonard

In addition to his previous 10 writing tips,
you can try these on for size:

“You have to listen to your characters.”

“Don’t worry about what your mother thinks of your language.”

“Try to get a rhythm.”

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The Frustrated Communist Architect Blues

18/05/2015

Any resemblance between the following and
any actual real life tour guide we had on our
trip to Central Europe is purely coincidental.

diesel-factory

I’ve got those frustrated
Frustrated communist architect blues
[oh, lawd]
I’ve got those frustrated
Frustrated communist architect blues
[yes, I do]
So let me tell you, comrade,
You don’t
 want to be in my shoes

When I graduated from college
It was in the highest rank
Then the iron curtain fell
And I’m designing septic tanks
[oh, lawd]
I’ve got those frustrated
Frustrated communist architect blues
[oh, lawd]
I’ve got those frustrated
Frustrated communist architect blues
[yes, I do]
Roll over, Friedrich Engels,
And tell Karl Marx the news

I said I would always follow
The dictates of the proletariat
The only thing I’m saying now is
“Do you want fries with that?”
[oh, lawd]
I’ve got those frustrated
Frustrated communist architect blues
[oh, lawd]
I’ve got those frustrated
Frustrated communist architect blues
[yes, I do]
I wanted a revolution, baby,
But they sure put out my fuse

I toed the party line
I agreed that more is less
But all that leaves me now
Is a great big Brutalist mess
[oh, lawd]
I’ve got those frustrated
Frustrated communist architect blues
[oh, lawd]
I’ve got those frustrated
Frustrated communist architect blues
[yes, I do]
You cannot build with concrete
Any abstract political views

© Buzz Dixon

 

 

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Charles Bukowski, A Writer After My Own Heart

3/05/2015

Charles-Bukowski-10

“You know what I’m interested in?  What I’m going to type tomorrow night.  That’s all that interests me… the next poem, the next fucking line.  What’s past is past I don’t want to linger over it, and read it and play with it and jolly it up. it’s gone, it’s done.  If you can’t write the next line, well, you’re dead.  The past doesn’t matter.” — Charles Bukowski (found via Dangerous Minds)

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I Blather On…

3/05/2015

Josh Hadley has posted a special RadioDrome podcast featuring yrs trly talking much too much at length.

Charles Sarka - monkey w martini

art by Charles Sarka

 

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“If You Have A Message…

22/04/2015

…send it Western Union.”

That saying by movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn appears semi-literate and anti-intellectual at first glance, but it’s actually pretty sage advice.

Goldwyn’s point, made in his inimitable Neanderthal style, was that trying to tell a story about A Very Important Matter almost always did a disservice to both the story and said Very Important Matter.

Ya gotta sneak up on these things, and if a writer wants to say something about A Very Important Matter, well, to quote Mary Poppins, a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.

A story is never really about what it seems to be about.  Rio Bravo, one of the all time classic Westerns, is not about seeing a bad guy gets justice; it’s about the necessity of building a community.[1]  El Dorado, a remake of Rio Bravo using the same story and stock characters, with the same star & writer & director, again is not about seeking justice but about surviving scars, both physical and psychic.[2]

Write a story and it will have a subtext / theme / moral / point all its own.  You can’t keep it out.  The very words you choose, the order in which you arrange your scenes, all these things will convey your true meaning, even if you’re trying to hide it from yourself.

Bernard Malamud once said, “I would write a book, or a short story, at least three times — once to understand it, the second time to improve the prose, and a third to compel it to say what it still must say.”

I’ve seen a variant on that which runs along the lines of:  “Use the first draft to tell yourself the story, the second draft to figure out what the story is really about, and the final draft to figure out how to tell the story.”

Theodore Sturgeon once told me a story about how he had suffered a particularly bad case of writer’s block during the infamous Army-McCarthy hearings.

Suffering a writer’s block would have been bad enough in and of itself, but he had already accepted (and spent!) a sizeable advance from editor H.L.Gold of Galaxy magazine for a novella he was now incapable of delivering.

He called Gold up and confessed his problem, telling him “I want to say something about the hearings, but I just can’t figure out how to say it.”

Gold listened sympathetically then said, “Do this:  Start writing a story that begins with a man at a bus station waiting for his wife to return from a trip.  When the bus pulls in, she gets off but doesn’t see her husband at first.  There’s a man behind her on the bus and he’s carrying her suitcase.  That man hands her the suitcase, then she sees her husband, walks over, and kisses him.

“Start your story that way, and by the end of it I guarantee everybody in America will know exactly how Theodore Sturgeon feels about Senator Joe McCarthy.”

(Sturgeon took Gold’s advice and, with slight modifications, turned it into one of his best known works:  “Mr. Costello, Hero”  You can hear a radio dramatization of it here.)

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Poster - Rio Bravo_01Given a choice between Bernard Malamud
looking all pensive and intellectual and
John Wayne blastin’ the @#%& outta sumbuddy,
hoodya think I’d choose to illustrate this post?

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[1]  In this case figuratively and not literally; the town of Rio Bravo is already well established at the start of the movie, the community that forms is the small band of people who come together to defend one another against fearful odds.

[2]  Wayne, Hawks, and Brackett went to the same well a third time with Rio Lobo, of which we shall not speak.  brrr…

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