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Posts by TXRed

“…Little Is That I’ve Not Been.”

Fredrick Barbarossa awakens! Photo by author, mural in the Kaisarpfalz in Goslar, Germany.

 

I was listening to a very modern setting of part of the “Battle of the Trees,” the Cad Goddeu. The poem, or at least the parts we have of it, is long and strange, and includes a declaration by Taliesin of all the various shapes he has worn over the aeons.  The list includes:

I have been a sword, narrow, variegated,
I will believe when it is apparent.
I have been a tear in the air,
I have been the dullest of stars.
I have been a word among letters,
I have been a book in the origin.
I have been the light of lanterns,
A year and a half.
I have been a continuing bridge,
Over three score Abers.2
I have been a course, I have been an eagle.
I have been a coracle in the seas:
I have been compliant in the banquet.

From: Mary Jones Celtic Literature Collection “The Battle of the Trees.

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File under: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

The European Union has approved new copyright laws on digital content. They are to protect content providers from piracy and abuse of copyrighted material.

Sounds great, except…

https://publishingperspectives.com/2018/09/european-parliament-voices-for-against-copyright-directive/

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Just Write: A Rant.

It’s a question I thought I’d left behind when I departed the Ivory Tower: Can someone who is not a [race/faith/sex/species] write about [race/faith/sex/species]? Do we have enough [race/sex/species] in our department or do we need more/fewer [race/sex/species]? OK, species isn’t really a problem in academia, but there are heated arguments over if a male can write Women’s History, if an Anglo can write about China, if So-and-so could be hired because HR had warned the Department that they had too many [whatevers] and might be investigated…and so on.

Fiction – we make stuff up, right? Space aliens, dragons in Shang Dynasty China, super high-tech societies hiding in Central Africa… And we write about it, and people read it or don’t.

And then things like this cross my bow… Read more

Tic, Tic, Tic

Really. Very. Brilliant. Then really again.

Over and over and over, sometimes three or four times on a page, for two or three pages.

Tic, tic, tic. Read more

World Building – Details

You’ve done all the research. You’ve mapped out (literally perhaps) your new world, and have crafted a story worthy of a Dragon, several other awards, and lots and lots of Benjamins*, but your alpha and beta readers say, “I’m just not feeling it. I can’t see your world.”

What went wrong?

Details. You need enough detail to make the world real, especially real to the characters who live in it, but not so much that the reader drowns. This is, alas, no longer the 19th Century and we can’t go on for pages and pages about fashion, food, or other things. Unless it is critical to the plot, or you are writing a milieu novel, and even then, see “the problems of the unrestrained info-dump.” Read more

Psst. Wanna buy a book?

Looking for something a little spooky, a lot fun, and a little different?

Say, something…

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Great American Literature, or Great American Stories

The third world-building post will be in two weeks. It’s coming, never fear. But apropos of the piece at The Passive Voice/Wall Street Journal, and the never-ending debate about “what is real literature” and why should everyone read it, I started wondering…

Rather than “the Great American Novel” with all the literary weight that seems to freight the idea, what if we talked about “the Great American Stories?” Read more