[REVIEW] End of Month Reviews #45 - September 2007 [spoilers]

Tom Russell milos_parker at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 9 17:20:52 PST 2007

On Dec 9, 4:36 pm, Martin Phipps <martinphip... at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I've found that when I've tried to force myself to write in a more
> pedantic manner that I might please some people and yet I, personally,
> agree with Saxon that this then makes my writing "mundane" so I'll
> stick to the snappy dialogue thank you very much.  It's the one thing
> that I like to think I am good at. :)

I think the trick, then, is to play to your strengths and minimize
your weaknesses.  That is, if one isn't good at description or
"atmospheric" prose, cut out anything that would require those things
in order to work.  Otherwise, you have one of two things going on:
either you get mundane sort of narrative writing, or you have a scene
that needs that kind of writing, doesn't have it, and is the weaker
for it.  So the best thing is to cut out the kind of scenes and plot
devices that would require those things to really work.

Or, to possibly explain it better, if someone's not good at action
scenes, it's best to write stories in which the action scenes don't
happen or are resolved in an off-hand manner.  If one just skips over
them, it sticks out just as badly as a poorly-written action scene.
(I hope all that made sense.)

> As for you, Tom, I suppose your strength is drama, although every once
> in a while you cross over into melodrama and it doesn't work.

You're probably right about that, though I'd like to think I'm better
with characterization than drama.  Most of my work in other forms of
expression-- video games, films, what-have-you-- are not really
"dramatic" in any traditional sense, but more about character and
texture.  (Or, in the case of video games, necessarily, the game play
dynamics.  But even in the scant narrative portions of, say, "Umbrella
Action", I try to subvert/downplay the whole "save the world" thing by
making the whole thing basically the running of an errand.)

> Martin


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