link salad

  • Scott Westerfeld passes on some of Raymond Chandler's advice
  • Alison Kent quotes John D. McDonald on writing, and being a writer:

    I am often given the big smiling handshake at parties (which I avoid attending whenever possible) by someone who then, with an air of gleeful conspiracy, will say, ‘You know, I’ve always wanted to write.’ I used to try to be polite.

    These days I reply with the same jubilant excitement: ‘You know, I’ve always wanted to be a brain surgeon.’

    They look puzzled. It doesn’t matter. There are a lot of puzzled people wandering around lately.

  • Alison Kent (again) links to a bunch of people, including Lee Goldberg and Paul Guyot, talking about working at writing
  • James Lincoln Warren on choices in storytelling making all the difference: (link via Paul Guyot)

    There is a big difference between the things that neophytes discuss and the things that old hands discuss. When I was in the Navy, when young officers discussed seamanship, they did it in terms of shiphandling and conning orders. The senior guys always talked about weather. Implicit in their choice was the assumption that an intimate knowledge of shiphandling and conning was a given.

    Likewise, I find that experienced writers talk about technical things. I've never had another writer ask me where I got my ideas. The other writer wants to know how I thought of structuring a scene in a particular way, or what techniques are appropriate for a short piece but not for a novel, or whether using multiple POVs will make a story more interesting or not. In many ways, they are more interested in the choices we all make in telling the story than the story itself. They care less about what we write than how we write it.