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Archive for the ‘Bile’ Category

Issue 5

Well, Wednesday is here again. Well well well. And this Wednesday, we have none other than Fat Roland railing against the word “well”. Fat Roland writes about electronica on the award-winning blog, er, Fat Roland On Electronica, and he also posts “fiction noodlings” (his words) at Italic Eyeball.

Worst Word – by Fat Roland

What do you call a stinking, dirt-smeared hole in the earth whose only contribution to fiction is as a device allowing stupid boys or hapless puppies to drown in its hidden watery depths or die of isolated starvation?

“Well” is the word you’re looking for. Wells kill children. They kill puppies. They also provide valuable drinking water for some of the most vulnerable people in the world, but for the purposes of me painting wells to be humanity’s greatest threat, LET’S PRETEND THAT NEVER HAPPENS.

Well. Where am I going with this? Well. Let me think. Well…

Any writer who peppers their dialogue with the defunct rhythmic vocal tick “well” deserves to plunge a bucket into that proverbial well and drench their stories with ecoli-ridden turd-infested drain water. You might as well (GEDDIT?!?!?) , since you seem to have so little confidence in your writing that you have to rely on real-world annoyances such as “well” and “y’know” and “I see.”

Here’s an example from my unwritten ten-part science fiction series The Octonauts Invade Uranus. We join it at a moment that should be full of tension and, therefore, tight writing.

“Doctor Fapto, how long until the asteroid hits us?”

“Well. My calculations suggest…”

“GET OUT. GET OUT OF THIS SPACESHIP NOW.”

If your mind hesitates to come up with something truly snappy and original, don’t dot your manuscript with that same hesitation. Real-life people say “well”: office workers; laboratory technicians; photocopier salespeople. You are not writing real life: you are sculpting dialogue. Sculpting. Michaelangelo probably gave David more than one willy, but he had the courtesy to give the statue an extra chisel here and there before he took a step back and declared it a masterpiece. You should do the same with your dialogue. And quickly, before the asteroid hits.

Wells kill. Wells kill children. Wells kill small animals. And wells kill the flow of your fiction. They also force me to dredge up astronomy and sculpting metaphors because I wasn’t sure the well metaphor was working. See what you’ve done? SEE WHAT YOU’VE DONE? Well. I hope you’re happy.

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Issue 0

Next week will see the launch of a brand new e-zine. We Hate Words.

If you have a look on the ABOUT page, you can see what it is all ABOUT.

If you have a look on the CONTRIBUTE page, you can see how you can CONTRIBUTE.

If you have a look on the IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR SUBMISSIONS page you will see IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR SUBMISSIONS.

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