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Sunday, 16 September 2007


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Mike, the dilemma seems easy enough to solve: concentrate on what you want to create and not so much on what has been created by others. At least you have control, more-or-less, of what you create.

When I'm on my death bed, I believe I'll be more concerned about what I created in my lifetime, and much less worried about what has been created by others, that book I hadn't read.

Life is too short to struggle through a difficult book. I throw them at the wall.

I also think too many "Modern" books, by "Modern" authors are formulaic probably down to the fact that they got writing lessons.

As for the excess verbiage. I always suspect this is due to authors being asked for 'X' words, hence the padding

Stephen King is indeed suffering from extreme verborrhea. I literally struggled to finish his Dark Tower series, and at the end I was wondering "Why did it take seven books to tell a story that could be told in three".

And I share your pain. Every time I go to a bookstore, I get depressed.

By the way, I must say that I did skim through the last half of your post without reading it all. Was the excess deliberate, haha?

a very strong argument in fallacies of modern society.

I’m not quite sure how works, but as a society we’re spawning out a lot of crap. Great work takes time to cultivate and like you said, there is just so much.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel remains one of my favorites. It is perhaps more timely today than when it first appeared in 1939.

Highly recommended and a very quick read.

Great writing Mike, it reminds me of fly fishing. I feel the same about music. But nowadays, I think there is excellent trivial music. You're happy you heard it, you forgot about it quickly, and there's no regret about that. I believe times have changed. When in Berlin, I was shocked by the buildings of the Reich era. It is obvious those were intended to perpetuate its presence in time. Suddenly, trivial ain't that bad. Triviality might also mean true freedom.
I think Ingrid Bergman said "happiness
is good health and a bad memory".

As a writer trying to break into print myself, I, too, lament that Strunk and White's Elements of Style are largely ignored out there. (Rule One: Omit needless words.) It's intimidating to go to a bookstore and see all the books at the front rack clocking in at 500+ pages when most of my favorite books are 200 or less -- and I can't imagine any book I would write surpassing 300.

It's also sad that the short story has become a dying breed, as one well-delivered short story can be more satisfying than many great novels.

Stephen King, by the way, has a hobby: I believe he plays guitar.

I, too, lament the loss of good writing. But brevity is not necessarily always desirable. As a Harry Potter fan (yes, I am 48 years old and love them) and Tom Clancy enthusiast, it delights me to see a new bible-sized book to devour. It is almost like the passing of an old friend when I turn the last page. A good book is indeed a rare gift today.

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