Monday, June 27, 2011

Spreading the virus of my inspiration

Nothing I can say today is as good as these gems I've culled from elsewhere, so here they are.

--First, if you're hungry for a thorough post on an aspect of writing craft, Natalie Whipple covers everything you need to know about repetition:

"Repetition is your novel's worst nightmare. Your readers', too. It's like water torture, that little drop plink, plink, plinking on your forehead over and over until you want to scream 'YES I KNOW HE LIKES HER EYES IF YOU TELL ME AGAIN I WILL HURT SOMETHING.'
There are so many ways to get rid of repetition ..."

--For your amusement, Jon Gibbs pretends that the Beatles song "Paperback Writer" is a real query letter, and writes a tongue-in-cheek reply:

"All I could glean from it was that you’ve written a somewhat smutty story about an ill-groomed, unkempt man whose wife won’t give him space and doesn’t appreciate him (or his ambitions, I couldn’t tell which). ... It’s too vague. Give me a reason to care. Give me a reason to ask for more."

If you check out this link, by all means scroll down through the comments to read the one by [info]asakiyume , who wrote an entire song-parody reply (to the tune of "Paperback Writer," natch): "I don't need the rights, you can have it back / I'm shipping it to you a burlap sack ..."

--And, as food for thought, this quote that could apply to book bloggers everywhere:

"The great irony of literature is that our inability to describe what happens to us when we read a book is compounded by our intense desire to do just that, to share the experience with another as soon as we've had it. Books are private experiences, but we never want to leave them private. ... we stumble after one another, inarticulate, hypnotized, hoping to spread the virus of our inspiration."--J.C. Hallman, "Lost and Found: review of The Journal of Albion Midnight," Tin House No. 41.


  1. Whaaaaaat? I've been working on a post about pretending "Paperback Writer" was a real query... :( guess I won't post it, then.

  2. Becca: No reason you couldn't post. You might want to acknowledge and link to Jon's post now that you know about it. I wouldn't be surprised if others have had this idea before! That song is probably even funnier to writers than it is to the general public. ;-)