And since I’m on this thing anyway. As soon as I decided to take my twitter and blogging break, I immediately thought of (or ran across) half a dozen things I wished I’d linked to first. And since I’m breaking my break for just a bit today, I’ll link to them now.
First of all, when I was listing things that came out this year that I really thought were fabulous, I forgot to mention Keffy Kehrli’s “This is a Ghost Story.”
I heard him read this story last time I was at Wiscon, and I’ve been waiting for it to be published since then. I knew it would be, because it was so freaking good.
Second. I’ve said before that every aspiring writer ought to read Hal Duncan’s posts on writing. There’s a new one and, guess what, it’s more required reading. This time it’s “How Not to Cut Adjectives.” Read. It. Do not speak to me again of never using adjectives. Better yet, don’t pass on that sort of bad advice.
Third. The same goes for the thing about the evils of passive voice. Read this paper by Geoffrey Pullum (link is a pdf). Ponder it. Take it to heart.
Fourth. The thing about self promotion. I find I’m with Amal on this. Yeah, the people with the biggest megaphone are going to be louder and get more out of it–forbid it, and the people with the biggest megaphones are going to be the only ones who get any promotion to speak of. It’s all very well to wish that attention just naturally fell on the most worthy work. The fact is, it does not, and rules about who may or may not speak properly, when, and about what, are by and large designed to benefit the people who are already in powerful positions. The fiction that worthy works will (or ought to) just naturally attract attention, and that pointing out the existence of your own work in the hope others will pay attention to it is some sort of perversion or corruption of this noble, beautiful process conceals the fact that actually, particular people, and particular works, tend to get more attention no matter what.
Sometimes courtesy and propriety is just consideration for others. Sometimes it’s a weapon used to keep particular sorts of people in their place.