Selfie Thoughts

Tim Bray speaks wisely on selfies:

Somewhere right now there’s a young woman who’ll lead her nation to war, or write a book that wrenches a generation’s heart, or help make technology that touches a billion lives. Unlike previous generations of such women, her biography’s early chapters will be improved by selfies.

Source: “Photographer”?


Warren Ellis on Writing Dialogue

When you have a character talking, have two things you know about their lives in your head as you let them talk. Two things that make them what they are. What was their childhood like? What was their first job? Do they spend a lot of time alone? Are they guarded around people? Because dialogue is about moving information around and expressing character. What you know about them affects the way they talk. Take a book you like — or, hell, even one you don’t — and select a passage of dialogue, and see what you can learn about those characters from the way they speak. (And, on top of that, see if the way they speak changes during the course of the book.)

Via Warren Ellis.


A Drop of the Hard Stuff

...potential readers are still coming to the genre. Books aren't the entry drug any more. Books are the hard stuff, the crystal meth of genre.

Ian McDonald speaks wisely.


A quote from Amanda Palmer: asking for money for your art is not selling out

ASKING FOR MONEY FOR YOUR ART IS NOT SELLING OUT.

selling out is when you go against your own heart, ideals and authenticity to make money.

selling out is an action, a 180 from a stated position.

i don’t consider pop stars to be sell-outs. the lady gagas, britneys and madonnas of the world are UNABASHED about why they got in this game: fame, money, über-success, chart-topping hits.

but if neil young were to suddenly hire the matrix to write him a thumpin' dance album and then appear on saturday night live snogging bob dylan, i’d have reservations about his integrity.

From Virtual Crowdsurfing


Michael Marshall Smith speaks wisely on opinions on the internet

If you can't take the time and trouble to learn how to write a coherent sentence, then why on earth do you believe people should listen to what you have to say?

Oh, yes.


A quote from Warren Ellis

Bursts aren't contentless, nor do they denote the end of Attention Span. If attention span was dead, JK Rowling wouldn't be selling paperbacks thick enough to choke a pig, and Neal Stephenson wouldn't be making a living off books the size of the first bedsit I lived in. — Burst Culture

Novelist Joanna Kavenna points out that I was wrong

Ok, I was wrong when I said that no other genres had disparaging abbreviations.

"I don't understand what chick-lit means, and to a degree it's just used to dismiss quite a lot of writing by women," she says. "It's a blanket term that renders a wide variety of literature frivolous. It's used either to dismiss the writing or to avoid thinking about it." Stephen Moss interviews novelist Joanna Kavenna on her seven unpublishable novels, and eventual success | Special Reports | guardian.co.uk Books

Looking forward to hearing this

My favourite author and a favourite TV writer: together again for the first time!

Iain Banks has now taken a look at the recording script of my BBC Radio 4 adaptation of his novella ‘The State of the Art’ and pronounces himself pleased.

From Paul Cornell’s blog.


A quote from Ken MacLeod with which to start the year

Creation science is a purely destructive enterprise, like comment trolling or wiki vandalism. Its entire impact results from scrawling across the work of real scientists questions and cavils phrased in a manner just scientific-sounding enough to trouble anyone who knows nothing in detail about the field being traduced.

From the excellent Mr MacLeod. Let’s start the year the way we mean to go on.