How to write good

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How to write good

Postby admin » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:35 am

I'm reading Ward Moore's 1942 novel Breathe the Air Again, and while I'm forcing myself to finish it, I'm not enjoying it. I'm also watching all the episodes of Lost, and I'm enjoying that a lot. As a writer, I ask myself what Lost does right that Moore did wrong.

I think the answer is that Moore's characters are alienated from the people around them. The chief protagonist of the novel is not connected to other people, except for a promiscuous lust and a superficial friendliness. There is nobody he loves, nobody he hates. All of the main characters in Lost are driven by strong loves and hates, and that makes for interesting storytelling. I'm trying to make use of that lesson in the short story I'm currently writing.
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Re: How to write good

Postby Brightonian » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:15 pm

Could that be why The City and The City has already faded from my memory after just a few weeks? I can't even remember if the central character had any close friends or serous romantic relationships.
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Re: How to write good

Postby admin » Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:43 am

I haven't read The City and the City, but I did give Perdido Station a try, and disliked it enough to not finish it, which is rare for me. I did finish Breathe the Air Again, and I learned some stuff about the labor movement in the 1930s, but I would have done better to read non-fiction on that subject. I not only will be selling that first edition on ebay, but most of my other Ward Moore books, keeping only Bring the Jubelee, "Lot" and "Lot's Wife", and "Transient" (also Joyleg, but that for the Avram Davidson collaboration).
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Re: How to write good

Postby PaulDayton » Wed May 26, 2010 7:15 pm

I have a long list of books that are my fav's, and when I moved out of Canada and sold all my belongings, selling these books among the pile was impossible. One thing in common with every one - I related to the characters. The hateful ones I REALLY hated, and the heroes I REALLY loved. If you can't relate to the book characters, all is lost.
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