Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Writing Advice from Clyde Allison

A note from Fender Tucker of Ramble House:

Writers and Wannabees like me,

I picked up a Clyde Allison sleaze book on eBay called SHAME SLAVE and on the second page was an excellent lesson on how to write descriptions. It especially hit home with me because I recently wrote a 50-page story and once it was "done" I realized that I had literally NO descriptions of the characters in the story. I guess I knew what everyone looked like and figured the reader would work it out himself. Probably a bad idea.

But here's what Clyde Allison, author of the 0008 series books, says:
"...if you want to describe your hero, and your hero is six feet tall, has wavy blond hair, huge biceps and a mean nature--never write something like Joe Blow was six feet tall with wavy blond hair, huge biceps and a mean nature."
"Why not?" I asked.
"Because--because it's against the rules," said Clarence. "You gotta be subtle. You gotta write something like Joe Blow stretched to his full seventy-two inches, tossed his head to shake his wavy blond hair out of his eyes, and began to beat up his aged grandmother--his huge biceps rippling ominously with every blow."
Why didn't I think of that? My grandmother-beating scene is absolutely tepid compared to that.

9 comments:

gomer said...

beating the crap out of your grandmother is fine for fiction but i tried it in real life once. big mistake. i was 37. she was a lot older and on her deathbed. i approached her with a crowbar. the irony was not lost on the black-souled drunk. i swung back and she fired a derringer at my chest. i fell to the floor bleeding from a very small-caliber wound that embedded into a rib and actually protruded the butt of the slug into clear view. i ordered her to apologize and pull the slug out with her teeth while she still had them, for i was rearing back again. she fired once more. again wounded i fled the room, foolishly leaving the crowbar behind for her to hide from me. it was the one i used to kill grampa. she knew it had sentimental family-killing value for me and that i would never substitue another. she had beaten me. she eventually died of natural causes. excessive internal bleeding resulting from the accidental ingestion and detonation of a grenade once owned, up until the explosion, by her grandson.

Brent McKee said...

Obviously gomer, you come from a very colourful family. last name wouldn't happen to be Pyle would it?

gomer said...

your first name wouldnt happen to be pile would it?

Cap'n Bob Napier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cap'n Bob Napier said...

BTW Gomer, if would help me and probably others if you'd use the standard rules of capitalization. I like what you're saying, but it's a chore to wade through the longer posts.

gomer said...

skip them. i wouldnt want to exhaust anyone.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Perhaps you're the one who's exhausted. Or just too weak or lazy to use the SHIFT key. Or maybe you're a one-armed man. But if you're just an obstinate old scudder why not carry this inanity one step further and stop using punctuation or spacing between words?

gomer said...

you're a GeniUs. i'LL do iT.

Juri said...

maybe the guy's bukowski.