notes for the young writer in the real world

Fourth Wall Rebuild...

What I’m doing right now is revision for the ebook of “The Dragon Lord” (check Amazon for some earlier ebooks, all IMO much improved on their paper predecessors).

Part of my revision is rebuilding the Fourth Wall, kicked down in several places where Young Peter thought it would be a cute idea, in a scene involving a storyteller festival (one of them has Information the hero needs), to include quotations from favourite Real-World books.

So letters were sent, and permissions received (I still have them somewhere): to the estate of Robert E. Howard for a line from “The Conan Chronicles”, to Michael Moorcock for a line from “The Elric Saga”, to Barry Hughart for a couple of lines from “Bridge of Birds” (first and finest of the Master Li novels), and to Anne McCaffrey for a couple of lines from “Dragonflight”.

(Annie was responsible for @dduane and me hooking up and getting hitched. She thought we’d be a good match for each other. She was right.)

I never got questioned about this by agents or editors or publishers or readers either here or in the US (not even by DD, who has Views About That Kind Of Thing) but as time passed I got more and more uncomfortable about it. Each of those cute lines was a pothole to jolt a reader from immersion in MY world, to remind them they were just reading a story. Now I’ve filled those potholes in, and IMO the work is better for it.

DD said, “you should make a post about this, self-confessed mistakes by pros are educational.” So this is the post, and the relevant extracts are after the cut.

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