by Venomous Kate

On the recommendation of an acquaintance, I’ve been watching the Amazon “watch it now” episodes of Californication, HBO’s series about a one-hit novelist starring David “I’m a Sex Addict” Duchovny.

Meanwhile, I’ve spent the day struggling to piece together an op-ed piece before my 8 p.m. (Central) deadline. Up until my first glass of champagne this evening (No, I’m not celebrating anything; I just like champagne), I’d manage to eke out perhaps four paragraphs. It would have been more and probably was, without all the deletions and do-overs. But, as with so many times I sit down to write, that little editor inside my head kept screaming at me.

Midway through my second glass of champers, I realized why so many writers are lushes, including Duchovny’s character, Hank, who discovered in Episode 6 of Californication that “Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.”

The reason why writers drink so much is simple: because editors can’t.

7 Comments to “Kansasfornication?”

  1. When I write I always pick one person to write to- on blogs it’s often the blog’s owner (in this case you) or the person I’m responding to.

    In real life it’s often someone whom I view as important to me in that situation.

    I remember an old George Carlin routine where he talked about a writer spending hours trying to decide whether to write ‘who’ or ‘whom’ (or some other minor choice- and then some graduate from a speed reading course zips past the paragraph at 60 mph.

    Trying to find a balance where it’s obvious you cared about what you wrote and yet keeping the attention on what you’re saying instead of how well you said it.

    I’ve done a lot of sound reinforcement in my life (running sound at events) and when I train someone I always tell them the true mark of success is when no one notices the sound. When it seems so natural that it doesn’t scream look at the talent of the sound man- and it’s so good that no one notices any mistakes either.

    Down another glass of bubbly and write away.

    Will Wallaces last blog post..The Tower People

  2. I do tend to write the same way that I talk, although I’m admittedly MUCH more of a potty mouth in person (if my kid’s not around). That habit drives grammar freaks — and the grammar freak in me — nuts since it means I often wind up with dangling participles, inverted subjunctive clauses, etc. As long as it’s readable and relatable, I don’t frankly give a flying fuck.

    That said, just as conversational styles differ from situation to situation depending on the topic and audience, my writing voice — and my comfort with it — does, too. On the blog I have no problem writing to “you”, an individual reader (although not usually a specific one).

    Writing fiction’s a bit more complicated since I tend to “hear” my words, even as I write them, as if they were read by a particular person, one whom varies depending on what I’m writing.

    But op-ed pieces stymie me. I can’t imagine writing them to a particular person since most of my friends agree with my political views already, leaving me feeling as if I’m merely preaching to the choir. I try to imagine as if I’m writing to a mild skeptic who doesn’t share my views, and that seems to work… until I read the comments left by trolls, wingnuts and moonbats in response.

    Every single time I promise myself I won’t read those darned comments. Every single time I break that promise. And every single time I find myself thinking “Why the hell do I do this?”

    Then I remember: it’s ‘cuz I love (live?) to write.

  3. That’s a good point about writing fiction- it’s a completely different animal. One of the great things about writing fiction is when you surprise yourself by some turn of events.

    Will Wallaces last blog post..The Tower People

  4. Yes! That’s half the fun of it: telling yourself a story for the first time, only to discover that it’s not the story you thought you’d be telling.

  5. Couldn’t agree more, Will. I love the characters I create in my fiction, but sometimes I invest so much in developing them that I find they won’t work in the story I set out to write.

    Fortunately, if the characters are interesting enough they eventually manage to tell a story of their own.

    McGehees last blog post..Play Rough, Fight Dirty—Chapter 6

  6. Wouldn’t that be you don’t give a flying fuck, frankly?

    I tend to remember only one or two grammatical rules – i before e, and don’t write “boldly” before “go.”

    lattégirls last blog post..So many thoughts, so little time

  7. That i before e is a good one. I also try my best to avoid the one about using “sorry” after “I’m”.