it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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ten things I've learned from hanging around with Elizabethan poets

  1. People will like what they like, and it doesn't matter how many prologues you write; you're never going to alter their opinion.
  2. Love all. Trust a few. Do wrong to none.
  3. Dirty puns? Always funny.
  4. You can never have too much genderfuck. However, no more than two Puritans to a play.
  5. Write to the strengths of your cast.
  6. Seneca wasn't so wrong.
  7. On the other hand, there is a point at which tragedy becomes funny.
  8. They're not going to remember you for your poetry.
  9. You must be proud, bold, pleasant, resolute, And now and then stab, as occasion serves.
  10. It never hurts to have a bit with a dog.

Book 29: Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City

A rather masterful orchestration of the history of the Chicago World's Fair and Dr. H. H. Holmes, this book is not just beautifully balanced and disquieting, it's also pellucidly written.


Meanwhile, banks and companies were failing across America, strikes threatened everywhere, and cholera had begun a slow white trek across Europe, raising fears that the first plague ships would soon arrive in New York Harbor.

The best history doesn't just explain the past, or relate it. It casts it through a prism, so the separate colors fall against the reader's perception and hang there, luminous.

On the other hand, it does take him a while to move the plot.

It occurs to me that autopope, stillsostrange, and I may be the first SFF writers to serious tackle the issue of bias against and equal rights for Deep Ones and other horrors from beyond the stars in our work.

Tags: 52 book challenge, ten things, writing craft wank
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