Workshop Your Opening Sentence

The opening sentence to a story (be it a short story all the way up to a novel) matters. It’s the first bullet fired in a war — you don’t have to kill the enemy leader with it, but you also oughta make it count. It’s the line that hooks the reader. The line that sets everything up. It’s the first thing the reader sees upon stepping into the world you’ve created. So, it’s worth getting it right. Let’s workshop your opening line. Take the opening line to something you’re... Read The Rest →

Flash Fiction Challenge: You Filthy Weirdos

So, given all the hullaballoo with Clean Reader (“read books, not profanity”) this week, I thought a flash fiction challenge in pure defiance had some meaning. Thus: I want you to be inspired by that debacle. I want you to write filthily. Or write about filth. Sex, profanity, perversion. Fiction or meta-fiction. Any genre. In some way, take something from the discussion about censorship and profanity and vulgarity and sex and — well, throw all that stuff into a blender, whip it up, and see what foamy frappe belches out into your... Read The Rest →

A Quickie Roundup Of Clean Reader Stuff

The Clean Reader saga continues: - Joanne Harris has another round of reply and response with the Clean Reader folks. - Lilith Saintcrow had a reply and response round, too — and got her books taken off the site. - Jennifer Porter hilariously looks at what Clean Reader actually does, and lists the word replacements (and notes, as Joanne does, that it scrubs references to female anatomy and changes them all to “bottom,” thus suggesting that Clean Reader is not-so-secretly a fan of anal sex). - Smashwords has removed access to its library,... Read The Rest →

Cat Rambo: Five Things I Learned Writing Beasts Of Tabat

When countryboy Teo arrives in the coastal city of Tabat, he finds it a hostile place, particularly to a boy hiding an enormous secret. It’s also a city in turmoil, thanks to an ancient accord to change governments and the rising demands of Beasts, the Unicorns, Dryads, Minotaurs and other magical creature on whose labor and bodies Tabat depends. And worst of all, it’s a city dedicated to killing Shifters, the race whose blood Teo bears.  When his fate becomes woven with that of Tabat’s most famous gladiator, Bella Kanto,... Read The Rest →

Fuck You, Clean Reader: Authorial Consent Matters

  There exists a new app called Clean Reader. The function of Clean Reader is to scrub the profanity from e-books. Their tagline: “Read books. Not profanity.“ You can dial in how much of the profanity you want gone from the books. Author Joanne Harris has roundly (and to my mind, correctly) condemned the app, and I would recommend you read about her and condemnation. I would further suggest you go on and read the email she received from the Clean Reader people and, more importantly, her response to that email.... Read The Rest →

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