Monday, August 09, 2004

the stomach is weak

I can't do it. I just can't. I've been trying to write ten crits this week, to get "Galatea" bumped to the top of the critters' list.

I've done seven. Out of thirty stories, only seven of them are bearable enough to read top to bottom. What is it with people--gamers, at a guess--who insist on writing these muscle-by-muscle "adventure" stories in which some thief or elf or warlock or whatever is standing, or sitting, or creeping, or lying in bed with insomnia, contemplating the last twelve years of campaigning and never doing anything or talking to anybody?

It's unbearable. Simply unbearable. Some of these people are such tyros that the most helpful crits I could give would consist of a series of links to articles about how to write. Character, dialogue, mood, theme, plot, scene--how can you put so many words on a page and not manage to get any of them in the right place?

One of my favorite books is by a guy named Christopher Derrick, and he lists five qualities that a person must have in order to be a novelist. The last one is, "You must be interesting." Tough to take, but true. There are a LOT of boring people out there, and for some reason they all want to write.

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