brought the a game

I don’t understand why people assume geeky people and people in fandoms have no social life because I don’t know about everyone else, but fandom is probably the only reason I have a social life because I finally have something I like to talk about with people and can have in common with people…

4

“Oh shit!” I didn’t even notice Zander come in until he spoke, “I’m interrupting, I’ll come back.”

“No, I was just leaving,” Faelern said, standing abruptly, “I’ll let you know when the funeral is arranged.”

“Yeah,” I nodded, “thanks…”

And he was gone as quickly as he arrived.

A look of complete bewilderment had crept across Zander’s face, but he didn’t say anything.

“So, I brought some games,” he continued, “but I’ll only play if you promise not to cheat.”

“Me? Cheat!” I said indignantly, “how dare you!”


Prev | Next

One Life

A/N: Based on Jelena at the ice hockey game (the first one) where she also brought Ashley and a few others. Also based on requests and rumours that Selena’s friends are/were against her and Justin being together again. Please note that this is purely fiction, none of my words is in any way meant to be an accusation and should therefore not be taken that way. I apologize for the confusion this has caused because it was accidently posted unfinished.

Share your thoughs - My fanfics

“Hi!” Selena said, answering her phone cheerfully. She had just talked to Justin, the two of them had recently started to connect again after barely any contact for the last year. She felt good, like things were finally coming together for her.

“Hey there.” Ashley smiled at how happy she sounded. “You busy?”

“No, I just got off the phone with Justin,” she told her truthfully. “We were talking for a while.”

“Okay.” Selena could hear her voice dropping at that information. “What?” she asked .

“Nothing. It’s just … I don’t know, that whole thing with Justin being in the picture again. Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

“What? We’re just talking and want to spend some time together.”

“I just don’t know if it’s such a good idea. I don’t want to see the same things happening again.” Selena could understand that, she really could but her friend was talking her out of something before she even had a chance to explore it herself.

“It won’t,” she stated firmly. “I am not the same person I was back then. And he’s not in the same place either. Besides, we’re just talking. It’s not like we’re planning our wedding.”

“But you’ve thought about it. Getting back together with him.” It wasn’t phrased as a question and her friend knew it. She sighed.

“Have I thought about were things could lead? Yeah, sure. Have I thought about there being a possibility to be happy together again, for real this time? Yes. You know neither one of us has ever ruled that out. We’ve always loved and respected each other.”

“That may be true but you also had many hard times and there were a lot of tears, Sel. You can’t ignore that it ended the way it did.” Ashley explained sternly, her hands running trough her hair as she made her way trough her living room.

“You think I forgot?” The brunette asked, her voice now louder and more serious. “I haven’t. As a matter of fact we have been talking a lot about it. About things we said and stuff we did. Justin apologized, really apologized. He talked about many things he wished he had done differently back then. And I wasn’t perfect either, Ashley. I have made mistakes in our relationship.”

“I know that, Sel. I am trying to look out for you here, okay.”

Selena knew that. Of course she did. She would have done the same. Sitting down on her couch, she propped her feet up on the coffee table in front of her, letting herself fall into the cushions. She debated what to say, to show her how she felt and what she thought, how good it felt to leave things that went wrong between them behind.

“Day after tomorrow. Justin will play ice hockey at the Valley and I promised to watch and hang out later. Come to the game. You can talk to him yourself.” She finally decided to say. She knew her friend wouldn’t change her mind, no matter what she’d say but maybe this would.
.
.
“Justin.” The girl said, eyeing him. She hadn’t seen him in nearly two years and the last time wasn’t exactely a good memory for her.

“Hi Ashley.”
He looked happy, she thought. Eyes bright and he had a small smile on his lips, despite the grippable awkwardness between them. She had watched Selena and him the entire afternoon, and she couldn’t deny that they looked happy to be spending time together but she wasn’t gonna let that blind her. Her friend had cheered him on and it almost felt like she had somehow been catapulted back two years.

“I’m not a fan of this.” She stated, looking over at Selena who was getting herself a drink.

“I figured.” Justin said, running a hand trough his hair. He knew most of her friends didn’t like them being together, not after everything, so he had expected to have this conversation.  
“I’m willing to fight to have your trust again. Just like I am willing to fight for her.”

“I won’t be so easy to convince,” Ashley told him, crossing her arms over her chest. “I was there after you two fell apart. I don’t want her go trough that again.”

“I don’t either. I don’t want that for either of us. All I know us that I never stopped loving her. I wasn’t ready for it back then, I realized that, but I am now. And if she is as well, then I will fight for her because I love her and I want to be with her. I don’t want meaningless realtionships, I want to live my life with her by my side. She’s it, okay? She’s it.”

Ashley eyed him, as if she was looking for sighs that he was lying but she couldn’ find any.

“Have you told her that?” she asked quietly.

“Not like that,” Justin answered, scratching behind his ear. “I don’t want to freak her out. She said she wanted to take thing more slowly so that’s what I’m trying to do. But I told her that I want her back . I just want to let her lead this time.”
Ashley nooded at that before he touched her shoulder for a second, getting her attention.
“But I am telling you because I know it’s true. And I would do anything to make this work. My life is better when she’s in it.” He told her sincerely, desperately trying to get her to understand what he knew in his sould to be true. He wasn’t expecting them to just welcome him back with open arms and he knew he had to earn their trust and sympathy back.

“Ok,” Ashley sighed after a while. “I believe you, for now anyways. But I am telling you, if you don‘t treat her well, I’m coming after you.”

“You won’t have to,” he promised quickly. “I know what it’s like to be without her. And I know exactely that she is what I want.” And when he looked up, his eyes met Selenas, a big smile gracing her face as if she was saying that this was what she wanted as well. Ashley noticed, her eyes wandering between her friend and Justin, and the happy smiles of two people in love; not even she could deny.

Justice League. No Spoilers

It was good! Critics are so untrustworthy. The reviews were not bad but not good either. I saw it and loved it. Was it perfect? No. But after Wonder Woman, I feel like DC is getting their shit together. Ben Affleck has grown into the role and brought his A game. Gal Gadot fucking slays as always. Jason Mamoa made Aquaman bad ass, and Ezra Miller was hilarious. Ray Fisher nailed the part of Cyborg. the movie over uses CGI where I would have preferred practicals effects, but overall I enjoyed it. Two post credit scenes! So stay after. One funny, the other introduces a new villain.

Jon : I thought Arya was dead.

Me : So… Brienne and Sansa didn’t tell you Brienne saw her a few seasons back or…?

Jon : You’re Robert’s bastard !

Gendry : You’re Ned’s bastard !

Me : Aren’t you going to mention you traveled with his sister and that she got you out of Harrenhal or…?

Jon : You’re the Hound ! I saw you once in Winterfell.

Me : He doesn’t know Arya traveled with him. He doesn’t thank the Hound for looking after his sister… Brienne and Sansa just didn’t have time to tell Jon that or…??

The thing about otome games is that with each new route you do, it becomes more and more painful. Because as you go through the game you see and understand each character’s struggles and pain. And when you start over to do another character you just have to look on to past loves, knowing how they’re struggling but not being able to help.

Originally posted by etudiant-en-ph2

Quit playing games

For @jadepresley 💖
This has been stuck in my head for daaaays! 


“Are you going to eat that?”

Draco frowned but shook his head and pushed his plate across the table. Potter attacked it as if he hadn’t just stuffed his face with three servings of scrambled eggs and croissants.

“Thanks,” he said, beaming at Draco. Clearing his throat, Draco had to look away, otherwise Potter might have noticed how pink his cheeks had suddenly gotten. He really didn’t understand Potter. He didn’t understand this whole strange situation they were in. Who would have thought he and Potter would become the kind of friends who would meet on Sundays for brunch? As much as Draco had always fantasised about becoming friends with him, this was an unexpected outcome. But not as unexpected as what had happened a few days ago…

“Potter, I think you’ve had enough to drink.”

“Dracoooooo! Don’t be such a drag!”

Draco blinked, the sound of his own name still ringing in his ears. Was this the first time Potter had said his given name to his face? Draco hated how much he enjoyed it. Watching Potter sway as he tried to make his way to the bar, Draco grabbed his arm.

“No more drinks for you,” he said resolutely.

“Dracoooo.” Potter knitted his brows together and started pouting. He actually pouted. Draco felt like he was going to faint.

“No, you’ve had enough.” His eyes darted down to Potter’s mouth. His lower lip was trembling and Draco wished he could stop the trembling by softly biting into it. “This won’t work on me,” he said, mentally cursing his voice for sounding so unsteady.

“Are you sure?” Potter said, his mouth stretching into a smile. “Then maybe this will!” With childish enthusiasm, Potter threw his arms around Draco’s neck. Their bodies were suddenly flush against each other.

“What are you-?” Before Draco could finish his question, Potter’s lips were on his, moving slowly and softly. Draco was too stunned to push him away. And honestly, he didn’t want to. Potter was kissing him! And the way he was kissing him… He didn’t seem as drunk as Draco had thought. Or maybe, he was just an exceptionally good kisser.

Against his better judgement, Draco closed his eyes and tentatively placed his hands on Potter’s hips. Potter let out a deep sigh that send a delicious shiver down Draco’s spine. But wait… this wasn’t right. Potter wasn’t in his right mind.

Reluctantly, Draco detached his lips from Potter’s and stared at him. He was not prepared for the sight that met him. Potter was gazing at him dreamily, a wide smile plastered on his face.

“See? I know it would work on you,” he mumbled, before his head collapsed on Draco’s shoulder. The added weight, from Potter going completely limp in his arms, made Draco stumble.

“What in Merlin’s name was that?”

Draco had asked himself that question a lot over the last couple of days. He still had no idea. Potter had acted like nothing had happened when they had seen each other again. Maybe he didn’t remember. But something was definitely off; Potter kept finding excuses to touch Draco in seemingly innocent ways and whenever he thought Draco wasn’t paying attention, he kept giving him these looks.

At first, Draco had thought he was just imagining things, but it kept happening and it left Draco confused and frustrated. What was Potter doing?

“Hey, I thought we could go to the movies tonight,” Potter said, completely nonchalant.

“The movies,” Draco repeated flatly.

“Yeah, you know, the Muggle-”

“I know what it is,” Draco snapped. He took a sip of his coffee and slammed the cup back down on the saucer.

“Is that a no?” Potter asked. Draco looked away, not sure what to say. As much as he enjoyed spending time with him, the way Potter was behaving made everything so hard. Draco wasn’t sure he could do it for much longer without exploding. Maybe it would be better to pause this friendship thing for a little bit. When his eyes found Potter’s again, his mouth opened involuntarily. Potter’s eyes were piercing and there was an odd expression on his face.

“Hold on, you’ve got some crumbs-” He leaned over the table, his hand outstretched. Draco blinked as Potter’s fingers brushed the corner of his mouth. They definitely lingered there longer than necessary. This was it! Draco had enough of this teasing.

Slamming his hands down on the table, he pushed himself out of his seat and stormed out of the café. What did Potter think they were doing? He acted like they were just friends, just friends, and then he did something like that. Seriously, it was all Potter’s fault. If the git hadn’t kissed him-

“Draco!”

Draco stopped in his tracks, a warm feeling spreading inside his chest. Stupid, stupid! He shouldn’t be feeling that way.

“Draco, wait!” Potter caught up to him, grabbing him by the shoulder and turning him around. “What’s going on? Why did you just leave like that?”

Draco scowled at his feet, not wanting to look Potter in the eyes.

“Is it something I did?” Potter asked, sounding genuinely unsure. Draco snorted. “What is it? Talk to me?” Potter lowered his head to catch Draco’s eyes and Draco suddenly felt fingers brushing the hair out of his face.

“This! This!!” Slapping his hand away, Draco finally looked up. “You’ve got to stop doing that!”

Potter looked shocked. He clearly hadn’t expected such an outburst.

“You can’t just do that all the time. Touch me like that.”

Draco watched as Potter’s face fell. He bit his lip and started wringing his hands.

“Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t know it made you that uncomfortable.”

Wait, why did Potter look so crestfallen? That didn’t make any sense.

“It does,” Draco said through gritted teeth. “It would be much easier if you could be… a little more decisive.” Draco really didn’t want to have this conversation. He was pretty sure he’d just end up humiliating himself. And maybe, it would even mean the end of his friendship with Potter.

“What do you mean, more decisive?”

Draco sighed. Maybe his friendship with Potter was already over. Draco couldn’t stand to be around him like this.

“Maybe you behave like that around your friends. I don’t. There’s a line between- It’s not something you just- There’s a difference between-” Draco didn’t know how to explain it to Potter without sounding like a lovesick fool.

“Do you mean- I-… Are you talking about the kiss?” Potter sounded extremely nervous. Draco gaped at him.

“You remember? I thought you didn’t remember.”

“No, I remember,” Potter said quietly.

Draco’s mind reeled.

“Then why- What are you doing? I can’t even tell if that was accidental or not? If you regret it or not? What is this- What are we-”

“I don’t know, okay?” Potter interrupted him. “I don’t know.”

Draco studied him, taking in the insecure expression on his face.

“Even if you don’t know, you can’t just do that to me,” he murmured. “I have no idea what to think anymore.”

Potter bit the inside of his cheeks, before taking a step towards Draco.

“But you like me, right?”

Annoyed, Draco clicked his tongue.

“I’m pretty sure the answer to that is painfully obvious.”

Potter took another step, so that their chests were touching. Reaching for Draco’s hands, he interlaced their fingers and peered up at him from under his lashes.

“Would you…” His voice quivered slightly. “Would you want to kiss me again?”

Draco opened his mouth but no sound came out. Had Potter really just asked him-

“Potter, what are you doing?” he said, almost choking on the words. His eyes darted down when Potter licked his lips in one swift motion. “This is what I’m talking about. You can’t just keep playing these games with me.”

“It’s not a game,” Potter said, his expression turning serious. “I have no idea what I’m doing, okay? I have no idea how to handle… this.” He gave Draco’s hands a squeeze and guided them to the small of his back. “I’ve never fallen for a bloke before. Not like this. And you’re not just any bloke. It’s a little overwhelming, alright?”

Draco was glad Potter had stopped talking. He wasn’t sure if he would have been able to hear anything else over the ringing in his ears.

“Did you just say- You… What?”

Potter laughed, loud and wide. It made Draco weak in the knees.

“Can we please not dwell on this? This is embarrassing enough,” Potter said, pressing his body against Draco’s. “So, you still haven’t answered my question. Would you kiss me again?”

Instead of answering, Draco made a deep gurgling sound at the back of his throat. Before Potter had the chance to comment on it, Draco grabbed his face with both hands and started kissing him like he had wanted to for as long as he could remember.

“I swear to Merlin, if you take back what you just told me and we go back to being friends, I’m going to hex your testicles off,” he growled against Potter’s lips.

“Oh, I think we can make use of them in a much better way,” Potter chuckled, burying his hands in Draco’s hair. Draco groaned. He couldn’t believe this was really happening. After all this time. Finally!

CupGrumps! Chocolate dribbles and slushie! 

Im following the guys’ Cuphead playthrough and for their usual banters they’re faring remarkably well. lessee how far in they can make it ahem

Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully - in Ten Minutes

by Stephen King
(reprinted in Sylvia K. Burack, ed. The Writer’s Handbook. Boston, MA: Writer, Inc., 1988: 3-9)

I. The First Introduction

THAT’S RIGHT. I know it sounds like an ad for some sleazy writers’ school, but I really am going to tell you everything you need to pursue a successful and financially rewarding career writing fiction, and I really am going to do it in ten minutes, which is exactly how long it took me to learn.  It will actually take you twenty minutes or so to read this essay, however, because I have to tell you a story, and then I have to write a second introduction.  But these, I argue, should not count in the ten minutes.



II. The Story, or, How Stephen King Learned to Write

When I was a sophomore in high school, I did a sophomoric thing which got me in a pot of fairly hot water, as sophomoric didoes often do.  I wrote and published a small satiric newspaper called The Village Vomit.  In this little paper I lampooned a number of teachers at Lisbon (Maine) High School, where I was under instruction.  These were not very gentle lampoons; they ranged from the scatological to the downright cruel

Eventually, a copy of this little newspaper found its way into the hands of a faculty member, and since I had been unwise enough to put my name on it (a fault, some critics argue, of which I have still not been entirely cured), I was brought into the office. The sophisticated satirist had by that time reverted to what he really was: a fourteen-year-old kid who was shaking in his boots and wondering if he was going to get a suspension … what we called “a three-day vacation” in those dim days of 1964.

I wasn’t suspended. I was forced to make a number of apologies - they were warranted, but they still tasted like dog-dirt in my mouth - and spent a week in detention hall. And the guidance counselor arranged what he no doubt thought of as a more constructive channel for my talents. This was a job - contingent upon the editor’s approval - writing sports for the Lisbon Enterprise, a twelve-page weekly of the sort with which any small-town resident will be familiar. This editor was the man who taught me everything I know about writing in ten minutes. His name was John Gould - not the famed New England humorist or the novelist who wrote The Greenleaf Fires, but a relative of both, I believe.

He told me he needed a sports writer and we could “try each other out” if I wanted.

I told him I knew more about advanced algebra than I did sports.

Gould nodded and said, “You’ll learn.”

I said I would at least try to learn. Gould gave me a huge roll of yellow paper and promised me a wage of 1/2¢ per word. The first two pieces I wrote had to do with a high school basketball game in which a member of my school team broke the Lisbon High scoring record. One of these pieces was straight reportage. The second was a feature article.

I brought them to Gould the day after the game, so he’d have them for the paper, which came out Fridays. He read the straight piece, made two minor corrections, and spiked it. Then he started in on the feature piece with a large black pen and taught me all I ever needed to know about my craft. I wish I still had the piece - it deserves to be framed, editorial corrections and all - but I can remember pretty well how it looked when he had finished with it. Here’s an example:

(note: this is before the edit marks indicated on King’s original copy)

Last night, in the well-loved gymnasium of Lisbon High School, partisans and Jay Hills fans alike were stunned by an athletic performance unequaled in school history: Bob Ransom, known as “Bullet” Bob for both his size and accuracy, scored thirty-seven points. He did it with grace and speed … and he did it with an odd courtesy as well, committing only two personal fouls in his knight-like quest for a record which has eluded Lisbon thinclads since 1953….

(after edit marks)

Last night, in the Lisbon High School gymnasium, partisans and Jay Hills fans alike were stunned by an athletic performance unequaled in school history: Bob Ransom scored thirty-seven points. He did it with grace and speed … and he did it with an odd courtesy as well, committing only two personal fouls in his quest for a record which has eluded Lisbon’s basketball team since 1953….

When Gould finished marking up my copy in the manner I have indicated above, he looked up and must have seen something on my face. I think he must have thought it was horror, but it was not: it was revelation.

“I only took out the bad parts, you know,” he said. “Most of it’s pretty good.”

“I know,” I said, meaning both things: yes, most of it was good, and yes, he had only taken out the bad parts. “I won’t do it again.”

“If that’s true,” he said, “you’ll never have to work again. You can do this for a living.” Then he threw back his head and laughed.

And he was right; I am doing this for a living, and as long as I can keep on, I don’t expect ever to have to work again.



III. The Second Introduction

All of what follows has been said before. If you are interested enough in writing to be a purchaser of this magazine, you will have either heard or read all (or almost all) of it before. Thousands of writing courses are taught across the United States each year; seminars are convened; guest lecturers talk, then answer questions, then drink as many gin and tonics as their expense-fees will allow, and it all boils down to what follows.

I am going to tell you these things again because often people will only listen - really listen - to someone who makes a lot of money doing the thing he’s talking about. This is sad but true. And I told you the story above not to make myself sound like a character out of a Horatio Alger novel but to make a point: I saw, I listened, and I learned. Until that day in John Gould’s little office, I had been writing first drafts of stories which might run 2,500 words. The second drafts were apt to run 3,300 words. Following that day, my 2,500-word first drafts became 2,200-word second drafts. And two years after that, I sold the first one.

So here it is, with all the bark stripped off. It’ll take ten minutes to read, and you can apply it right away…if you listen.



IV. Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully

1.  BE TALENTED
This, of course, is the killer.  What is talent?  I can hear someone shouting, and here we are, ready to get into a discussion right up there with “what is the meaning of life?” for weighty pronouncements and total uselessness.  For the purposes of the beginning writer, talent may as well be defined as eventual success - publication and money.  If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn’t bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.

Now some of you are really hollering.  Some of you are calling me one crass money-fixated creep.  And some of you are calling me bad names.  Are you calling Harold Robbins talented?  someone in one of the Great English Departments of America is screeching.  V.C. Andrews?  Theodore Dreiser?  Or what about you, you dyslexic moron?

Nonsense.  Worse than nonsense, off the subject.  We’re not talking about good or bad here.  I’m interested in telling you how to get your stuff published, not in critical judgments of who’s good or bad.  As a rule the critical judgments come after the check’s been spent, anyway.  I have my own opinions, but most times I keep them to myself.  People who are published steadily and are paid for what they are writing may be either saints or trollops, but they are clearly reaching a great many someones who want what they have.  Ergo, they are communicating.  Ergo, they are talented.  The biggest part of writing successfully is being talented, and in the context of marketing, the only bad writer is one who doesn’t get paid.  If you’re not talented, you won’t succeed.  And if you’re not succeeding, you should know when to quit.

When is that?  I don’t know.  It’s different for each writer.  Not after six rejection slips, certainly, nor after sixty.  But after six hundred?  Maybe.  After six thousand?  My friend, after six thousand pinks, it’s time you tried painting or computer programming.

Further, almost every aspiring writer knows when he is getting warmer - you start getting little jotted notes on your rejection slips, or personal letters…maybe a commiserating phone call.  It’s lonely out there in the cold, but there are encouraging voices…unless there is nothing in your words which warrants encouragement.  I think you owe it to yourself to skip as much of the self-illusion as possible.  If your eyes are open, you’ll know which way to go…or when to turn back.

2.  BE NEAT
Type.  Double-space.  Use a nice heavy white paper, never that erasable onion-skin stuff.  If you’ve marked up your manuscript a lot, do another draft.

3.  BE SELF-CRITICAL
If you haven’t marked up your manuscript a lot, you did a lazy job.  Only God gets things right the first time.  Don’t be a slob.

4.  REMOVE EVERY EXTRANEOUS WORD
You want to get up on a soapbox and preach?  Fine.  Get one and try your local park.  You want to write for money?  Get to the point.  And if you remove all the excess garbage and discover you can’t find the point, tear up what you wrote and start all over again…or try something new.

5.  NEVER LOOK AT A REFERENCE BOOK WHILE DOING A FIRST DRAFT You want to write a story?  Fine.  Put away your dictionary, your encyclopedias, your World Almanac, and your thesaurus.  Better yet, throw your thesaurus into the wastebasket.  The only things creepier than a thesaurus are those little paperbacks college students too lazy to read the assigned novels buy around exam time.  Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  You think you might have misspelled a word?  O.K., so here is your choice: either look it up in the dictionary, thereby making sure you have it right - and breaking your train of thought and the writer’s trance in the bargain - or just spell it phonetically and correct it later.  Why not?  Did you think it was going to go somewhere?  And if you need to know the largest city in Brazil and you find you don’t have it in your head, why not write in Miami, or Cleveland?  You can check it…but laterWhen you sit down to write, write.  Don’t do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely cannot be put off.

6.  KNOW THE MARKETS
Only a dimwit would send a story about giant vampire bats surrounding a high school to McCall’s.  Only a dimwit would send a tender story about a mother and daughter making up their differences on Christmas Eve to Playboy…but people do it all the time.  I’m not exaggerating; I have seen such stories in the slush piles of the actual magazines.  If you write a good story, why send it out in an ignorant fashion?  Would you send your kid out in a snowstorm dressed in Bermuda shorts and a tank top?  If you like science fiction, read the magazines.  If you want to write confession stories, read the magazines.  And so on.  It isn’t just a matter of knowing what’s right for the present story; you can begin to catch on, after awhile, to overall rhythms, editorial likes and dislikes, a magazine’s entire slant.  Sometimes your reading can influence the next story, and create a sale.

7.  WRITE TO ENTERTAIN
Does this mean you can’t write “serious fiction”?  It does not.  Somewhere along the line pernicious critics have invested the American reading and writing public with the idea that entertaining fiction and serious ideas do not overlap.  This would have surprised Charles Dickens, not to mention Jane Austen, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Bernard Malamud, and hundreds of others.  But your serious ideas must always serve your story, not the other way around.  I repeat: if you want to preach, get a soapbox.

8.  ASK YOURSELF FREQUENTLY, AM I HAVING FUN?”
The answer needn’t always be yes.  But if it’s always no, it’s time for a new project or a new career.

9.  HOW TO EVALUATE CRITICISM
Show your piece to a number of people - ten, let us say.  Listen carefully to what they tell you.  Smile and nod a lot.  Then review what was said very carefully.  If your critics are all telling you the same thing about some facet of your story - a plot twist that doesn’t work, a character who rings false, stilted narrative, or half a dozen other possibles - change that facet.  It doesn’t matter if you really liked that twist of that character; if a lot of people are telling you something is wrong with you piece, it is.  If seven or eight of them are hitting on that same thing, I’d still suggest changing it.  But if everyone - or even most everyone - is criticizing something different, you can safely disregard what all of them say.

10.  OBSERVE ALL RULES FOR PROPER SUBMISSION
Return postage, self-addressed envelope, all of that.

11.  AN AGENT?  FORGET IT.  FOR NOW
Agents get 10% of monies earned by their clients.  10% of nothing is nothing.  Agents also have to pay the rent.  Beginning writers do not contribute to that or any other necessity of life.  Flog your stories around yourself.  If you’ve done a novel, send around query letters to publishers, one by one, and follow up with sample chapters and/or the manuscript complete.  And remember Stephen King’s First Rule of Writers and Agents, learned by bitter personal experience: You don’t need one until you’re making enough for someone to steal…and if you’re making that much, you’ll be able to take your pick of good agents.

12.  IF IT’S BAD, KILL IT
When it comes to people, mercy killing is against the law.  When it comes to fiction, it is the law.



That’s everything you need to know.  And if you listened, you can write everything and anything you want.  Now I believe I will wish you a pleasant day and sign off.

My ten minutes are up.

6

I haven’t watched the latest episode yet, and it took me way too long to realise that Reiner and Bertholdt were not, in fact, trying to dance