Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake
jaylake

"Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses"

I thought this Mark Twain piece was funny when I first read it almost 30 years ago. It's a lot funnier now, because it includes his rules of writing.

5. The require that when the personages of a tale deal in conversation, the talk shall sound like human talk, and be talk such as human beings would be likely to talk in the given circumstances, and have a discoverable meaning, also a discoverable purpose, and a show of relevancy, and remain in the neighborhood of the subject at hand, and be interesting to the reader, and help out the tale, and stop when the people cannot think of anything more to say. But this requirement has been ignored from the beginning of the "Deerslayer" tale to the end of it.
Tags: links, process, writing
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