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The Critique Crypt => General writing chat => Topic started by: SharonBell on September 14, 2006, 08:04:43 PM

Title: Turkey City Lexicon
Post by: SharonBell on September 14, 2006, 08:04:43 PM
Don't know if you've all read this site http://www.sfwa.org/writing/turkeycity.html. It is WONDERFUL.  I found it reading Miss Snark (who rocks, BTW) http://misssnark.blogspot.com/.

I think I've done everything in this list that they tell you is the sign of an amateur. Please note the IDIOT PLOT (as my story was called at Borderland BootCamp):

Idiot Plot

A plot which functions only because all the characters involved are idiots. They behave in a way that suits the author's convenience, rather than through any rational motivation of their own. (Attr. James Blish)

Pardon me, I must be off, as I feel and acute case of the "-INGS" coming on....

(Not Simultaneous: The mis-use of the present participle is a common structural sentence-fault for beginning writers. "Putting his key in the door, he leapt up the stairs and got his revolver out of the bureau." Alas, our hero couldn't do this even if his arms were forty feet long. This fault shades into "Ing Disease," the tendency to pepper sentences with words ending in "-ing," a grammatical construction which tends to confuse the proper sequence of events. (Attr. Damon Knight)


Title: Re: Turkey City Lexicon
Post by: Dan on September 15, 2006, 03:53:52 AM
Excellent site, cheers Sharon.

And yes, Miss Snark rocks - i'm sure it'll be a great idea to have a quick re-read of her site before subbing that novel to an agent!
Title: Re: Turkey City Lexicon
Post by: Geoff_N on September 15, 2006, 04:53:32 AM
Thanks, Sharon. I've bookmarked it and will copy it to my SF workshop - online. I tried to get a 3D one going for NW UK but not enough of us it seems. Plenty of readers, not enough writers.
I recognised myself in
 Dischism

The unwitting intrusion of the author's physical surroundings, or the author's own mental state, into the text of the story. Authors who smoke or drink while writing often drown or choke their characters with an endless supply of booze and cigs. In subtler forms of the Dischism, the characters complain of their confusion and indecision -- when this is actually the author's condition at the moment of writing, not theirs within the story. "Dischism" is named after the critic who diagnosed this syndrome. (Attr. Thomas M. Disch)

Many a time I've been writing then while my piece of toast is halfway into my mouth I think: oh, no one has eaten in my story for weeks! Then they carry on the dialogue over coffee and toast!   And why bloody not!

I also realise that my Left Luggage story is the story type of the Cozy Catastrophe - or nearly so. Oh well, I suppose all plots are bound to be featured in there.

Geoff
Title: Re: Turkey City Lexicon
Post by: Ed on September 15, 2006, 04:01:04 PM
Good tips :afro:  I'll make a point of reading right through the article when I'm feeling more awake.  Also - isn't it refreshing to see the words 'not copyrighted'?  This means anybody is free to reproduce the article and use it in the spirit in which it was written - as a teaching/learning aid.  Kewl :afro:

There is not enough of this type of thing in the public domain.