4.17.2006

Miss Snark's New Catch Phrase

Dear M'Lady Snark (if I may be so bold),

From Faster Than Kudzu for April 4, 2006. Joshilyn Jackson, author of GODS IN ALABAMA and BETWEEN, GEORGIA writing about opening a book with immediate conflict:

"I think the best way to let the reader meet your characters is to put them all in a room and then light one of them on fire."

That's a keeper.

May Manolo shine upon thee.

could not have said it better myself!

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are we talking fiction or non-fiction, 'cause I've got the matches right here and just want to be sure...

Jenna Black said...

I'm really glad I didn't have a mouthful of coffee when I read this. Maybe I have a sick sense of humor, but I practically fell off my chair laughing. I'll have to try that one in my next book.

Jude Hardin said...

What a silly way to start a book, lighting one of your characters on fire.

I prefer torching at least two.

Anonymous said...

No no, you light one of them on fire while one of the others turns off the water valve.

Mickey Fingers said...

OK - I fink we got enough now. Right, two of youse hold 'im down; one of youse get the gasoline an' anuvver one bring some paper - there's a pile of it over there. We'll 'ave this little lot going before you can say "show not tell"... Lord luv us, you'll be able to see it for miles...

LJCohen said...

LOL! Thanks for the laugh/inspiration this morning Miss Snark!

Inkwolf said...

"I think the best way to let the reader meet your characters is to put them all in a room and then light one of them on fire."

Sounds like playing The Sims...

Eileen said...

One on fire, one holding a tank of gasoline.

Kasey Mackenzie said...

OMG...in the opening scene of my current WIP I DO put my characters in a room and light one of them on fire...well, actually two, but only one of them survives...Course, it's an urban fantasy...(And here I thought I was being somewhat original. Heh!)

Cornelia Read said...

She is a genius, that Joshilyn. Also very very very very funny....

Feisty said...

I think that's the best sentences I've read on writing in a long, long time.

Anonymous said...

Jackson is a great writer. I love her stuff.

Anonymous said...

I think I smell a new contest subject.

Minna Everleigh said...

That line was from an internet chat she did with a group of writers--the whole entry is worth reading.

http://www.joshilynjackson.com/mt/archives/000481.html

M. G. Tarquini said...

I think I smell a new contest subject.

Not unless you also feel hell freezing over.

Stephen said...

If you are fortunate enough to have a boy scout as one of your characters, he can start the fire by rubbing two of the other characters together.

Word verification is "rikqi", but I'm more in the mood for a martyni.

Anonymous said...

That whole blog entry is interesting and worth reading. She is just SUCH a great writer...

http://www.joshilynjackson.com/mt/archives/000481.html

enza said...

Have you heard of 'Writers Relief'?
They charge for sending submissions to lit agents - are their services worthwhile employing?

Jerry said...

Gonna go out on a limb here and answer enza's question:

Go with a query service only if you want your submission to be a form letter that does not reflect your voice and looks like all the other submissions that company has sent to the same list of agents. Form queries are going to get form responses.

I mean, heck, why wait for chapter one to light someone on fire? Do it in the query letter.

Simon Haynes said...

Better to do your own homework and legwork. There's one bunch out there who just send bulk email to agents with your details filled in. Trust me, it won't work.

Pixel Faerie said...

I like what Dwight V. Swain said about writing too, which sounds similar. Something along the line of when things get slow, throw a corpse down the stairs.

Lady M said...

*Snicker*

Sigh - when you comin' back to zeee blog?

I'm jonsing.

Heather said...

Gotta love Joss.