TASTE

It’s Robbie Burns Day

Speaking of which, I spontaneously gave one of the characters in my current work in progress a love of haggis as a plot device. As a means of bringing a chapter to an end.

The general idea I was going with was to have both my main characters conclude the first phase of their quest by landing on an island that was near-paradise for one of them but the other was eager to flee as soon as humanly possible. The locale I ended up devising for this purpose is called ₪BRANSONVISTA (a name I formed by combining the names of two second-rate things, which I might change in later drafts), an island famous in-universe for its live bluegrass performances that almost always end in violence, and for the local culinary specialty: haggis balls on a stick. A favourite of one of my heroes. Who just happens to be the guy in charge of navigation. It was the haggis that lured him to this island. The other guy is more turned off by the violence than the haggis.

Said violence is not exactly like this, but vaguely similar.

TASTE

Eight Simple Rules

Kurt Vonnegut once wrote down a list of guidelines he personally abided by when writing short stories. I’m trying to keep them in mind with the NaNoWriMo yarn, even though the finished product will presumably be a novel rather than a short story. Brevity is a particular quality in fiction-writing I’m striving to improve upon.

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
  5. Start as close to the end as possible.
  6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
  7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
  8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

TASTE

Gonna NaNoWriMo For Semi-Real

After a summer of getting my Zen on, my Spidey-sense is telling me I’m inspired enough to start writing something again. November’s the best month there is by far to get started with that, what with so many aspiring romanciers composing at the same time and all. Don’t know if I’ll make it to fifty thousand words before month’s end, but at least I’ll have a gas trying.