Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Whatever Blog

I've just been reading some highly entertaining posts on John Scalzi's blog. The first is What to Know When You Ask Me to Read Your (Unpublished) Work which certainly raises a chuckle or two and is now highly relevant to me. At one time I used to do this but, now, it's just not worth the aggravation, the bottom line being, why should I forgo paid work to do this when the result might well be a wounded artiste bleeding all over me? And no, I'm not going to pat you on the head and say, "Good boy!" The second post is Ten Things Teenage Writers Should Know About Writing which is again highly entertaining but in this case points a finger squarely at the me of about thirty years ago. This kind of post is often criticized for undermining the kind of self belief that enables someone to eventually become a successful writer, however, the ones who succeed are the kind who read something like this and simply don't stop. I stuck a reply in there to that post (in the comment overflow), pointing out that the bar is set by those who have struggled for decades to get where they are, and only rarely does anyone leap that bar without equivalent effort and determination. It's a rule, I feel, that can be applied to success in just about any walk of life.


Paul said...


Somewhere in everyone of your books that I have read there is at least one word that throws me.

And I think my vocabulary is pretty good.

So you can add 'Educational' along with 'violent' and 'visceral' to the back of your books.

Neal Asher said...

'bloviate' was a word Mr Scalzi used. Buggered if I know what he means by it.

Bob Lock said...

Phew he didn't pull any punches but it is all so painfully true and you have to consider that it is a business and therefore he has to give priority to the chrematistic side of his life.

However it makes me feel even more privileged now though, too :)

It's a blessing, I suppose, that it takes me about 40 years to complete a novel and therefore will probably be dead before I ever find myself in the position of asking a SF author for a 'hug' again...

bloviate means "to speak pompously and excessively," or "to expound ridiculously." A colloquial verb coined in the United States

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

the novelty of an audience, never thought of that angle.

i regret reading crappy books because they sold a lot. Dune for one. Orson Scott Card for another.

Neal Asher said...

Total disagreement with you there, Vaude. Loved Dune and all that followed it. Love Orson Scott Card, though Ender's Game isn't top of my list, Wyrms is.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

Dune is meaningless against Herbert's Whipping Star. more concise and alien than what Dune was extrapolating from the Jack Vance short it's based on. thats an opinion tho, you must believe me when i insist. set down the billy club.

dunno if i can bring myself to read Wyrms. he has damaged me in the only way a mormon can. by changing my hands into golden skulls preventing me from having 100 wives and a planet.