It’s a good tip for writers either way

Victor: What are you doing?

me:  Reading.

Victor:  Shouldn’t you be writing?

me:  I’m reading about writing.

Victor:  That doesn’t really count.

me: This book says you shouldn’t be afraid to kill your characters.

Victor:  You write memoirs.

me:  Yes, but technically my memoirs would be more exciting if I started killing people.

Victor:  Hmm.

me:  I mean, I’d only kill off people who deserve it, obviously.  Like people who interrupt me when I’m reading.

Victor:  Point taken.  Carry on.


And in other news, it’s time for the weekly wrap-up:

What you missed in my shop (Named “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

What you missed on the internets:

This week on shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by SilkWords, which is moving to a new reader-vote option.  It’s like choose-your-own-erotic-adventure except you get to vote on what the character does next and then the author writes the next section of the story based on winning votes.  This way you know you’re not the only person choosing the really questionable option.  The latest one is here.  You should check it out.

82 thoughts on “It’s a good tip for writers either way

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Reading, no matter the content, is one of the sacred acts for which the infidels who interrupt it may be deserving of some unrelenting fatwa. Even Salman Rushdie might be on board with that one.

  2. i have had a serious car accident and many family tragedies within 6 mod – i have been procrastinating – not sure if my best work would come out under these circumstances. any comments?

  3. One of my favourite things in stuff I read and watch is the unexpected expiration of a key character…it always strikes me as bold. But, in your case…that might end badly 🙂

  4. Hahaha…Interrupting reading time is punishable…perhaps not by death. That’s harsh. Unless the person is a repeat offender, then you have no choice as they are obviously beyond rehabilitation.

  5. Oh, just because it’s a memoir, that means it has to all be true? Crap, now I get to spend the whole afternoon rewriting. Goodbye zombies.

  6. I have a list of people I plan to kill when it becomes legal. So, in theory, I could kill off characters in any memoir I happen to write — but only if the government decides it is OK for us to kill assholes (because I’m pretty much a law-abiding citizen — so I doubt I’ll go all rogue ahead of time).

  7. I hate being interrupted when I’m reading. My dogs have an uncanny knack for knowing just when the killer is going to be exposed. That’s when they want my immediate attention.

  8. I say just add “parallel universe” chapters into your book in which you do kill off characters. Best (or worst?) of both worlds!

  9. The only proper punishment would be a painful death, most likely from someone reading the “50 Shades of Gray” books.

    It’s worse than anything else I can imagine.

  10. A+ for kstewand4cats.
    Okay, those fire ant castings are fascinating.
    Juanita should and will be my mascot in the kitchen. I suggest a dish towel with “all the motherfucking dishes are dirty”! And one that reads “Load the dishwasher for me, mitherfuckers! ” Yeah, that’s kind of a point of contention in my house.

  11. I was going to watch the ant thing but I just couldn’t do it. I hate killing things even bugs but sometimes you gotta do it…and ants are one of the few pests I don’t hesitate to kill cuz once you find one crawling on you, you think they are crawling on you all day! But killing ants for art was outside my comfort zone.

    On an unrelated note, this morning I was exploring YouTube videos about how to include Bic lighters in an EDC. I was surprised to find in a queue for related videos made up of such titles as ‘How to make your lighter a flamethrower’ or ‘how to light a match with your teeth’ (and some motorcycle hacks for some reason) was a suggested video of ‘Jenny Lawson reading chapter one of her book ‘Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.’ It seemed pretty incongruous to the paracord bracelets and Altoids tin survival kits I was browsing. Who knew your book appealed to such an audience? Your book is a little large to include in a survival kit but it could be used for tinder or kindling in a pinch, yeah?

  12. Haha was that writing guide by George RR Martin? Also the Traveling While Black link is sad but very well written!

  13. If you have ever been bitten by fire ants, which I have…alot…and all I can say is, that ant video is fabulous!!!

  14. Ahahaha. I went out with a guy who told me to close my book and talk to him. We didn’t go out again. Though, honestly, I’d started reading so I would have an excuse to not talk to him. He was an asshole.

  15. Silkwords sounds cool! I have similar conversations about reading-writing with my guy, who works in marketing and doesn’t quite get the whole process. Read on! Or, tell him he’s next

  16. The great thing about wrting is that you can bring them back to life whenever you want. And then you can kill them again, just as many times as you want.

  17. That cat video is cute, but either the person who made it has a lot of cats, or they used a bunch of clips from other other people’s videos without crediting the sources (some were watermarked, but some weren’t).

  18. I love saving your pins for Monday mornings. It gives me something enjoyable to look at before admitting the weight of the whole work week is settling on my shoulders.

  19. The cat video is totally a compilation of other cat videos. Also I used to invite friends over and then read the whole time, I was an odd child.

  20. Sometimes, murder and mayhem is simply a necessity. When you do start killing off people, could I send you my top 5 list of “Must Die’s”?

  21. [me : This book says you shouldn’t be afraid to kill your characters.
    Victor : You write memoirs.]

    😄 thx

  22. I would totally do that to the fire ants that we have here. I would then put the sculpture in my garden and fair warning for future ants and plant a beautiful tree in the hole. Hmmmmm….weekend project?

  23. This is valuable advice for pretty much everyone. Don’t interrupt me if I have a book type object in my hand.

  24. Honest to god, I just cackled out loud at this story. I hate it when someone interrupts my reading time!

  25. I’ve bought Juanita the card for my work friend’s sister the past two years for her birthday. She always bakes me kick ass cupcakes. I should get her the plate.

  26. It would be funny if you were actually reading this book, “About Writing”:

    The Stephen King book, “On Writing” is pretty good, but mostly I think he took a lot of drugs to write really good books within a few weeks, so maybe not do that? Or do, I’m not sure. I still don’t know whether he wrote “Misery” before or after his similar car accident – I kinda wish it was before, so it’s eerie etc.

  27. My family knows that you don’t interrupt me at two times during the day unless the house is burning down or someone is dying. 1. First cup of coffee of the day. 2. When there’s a book in my hands.

  28. I could not agree more with you! Right now I am reading two books, one for adventure one for emotional connection. I think reading is the only way to do research when it comes to writing. If you don’t read, how can you know what people want you to write? Well expressed once again Mrs Bloggess, I cheers you with my half glass of Vino!

  29. Danggit, Tragic Sandwich stole my comment.

    Killing off your characters is turning out to be quite lucrative for George R.R. Martin, so it’s worth considering. Although I do wish that GRRM would do a “vote with cash” project, where people could pay him NOT to kill off certain characters — or pay him to kill off certain characters (sort of like a literary hit man).

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