Writing is pleasurable for me. I like seeing words appear out of nowhere. I have no trouble getting the next one to show up. They aren’t always the right words and many times I have to go back and get rid of them. I have typed up whole blog posts and deleted them because I’m not all that fond of conflict. I hold strong opinions but one of the advantages of old age is that I have learned I don’t always have to say what I think out loud.

A sad thing happened last weekend. Not that it was unforeseen and not that I hadn’t even asked the question myself. But a venue closed the door, locked up shop, quit. I’m not really sure when I started writing for RGQ but it was a long time ago. Before I was a writer, I was working behind the scenes. But I wrote my stuff and submitted my work and got it published and people read it and responded and how much fun is that? Nothing stays the same and things always change. Changes made it impossible to keep going and so last Friday was the last issue of RGQ. I will miss it, I will even miss the work of it, but it was time.

I also belong to a writing forum. I really like words. I really like writing. I would like to write better. Tim, from RGQ, introduced me to MWC, the writing forum. I’ve been there since October 2007 (they helpfully tell me this stuff). I took a hiatus from the site for several months at one point. Even so, there are only three people there who have posted more times than me. I also used to be a moderator there, but that is so wearing. So. Very. Wearing.

One member who shall remain nameless but is not Voldemort, is a bit of a pain in the rear. The person self identifies as male so I will use that pronoun. He never says exactly why he is an authority but hints that he is a superlative writer who knows stuff about the writing world. His credentials are stellar, he says. Unless he posted these while I was missing in action, they have never been listed for us, the hoi polloi.

What I know for certain is that he uses words like weapons and when he is challenged, he pulls out the big guns and pounds all opponents into submission. When they tell him he is an asshat, he proudly quotes them in his signature line. I’m unsure what he thinks this does, but to me, it shows that he is consistently mean, nasty, provocative, and generally one not to tangle with. Not because I think he is correct, but because I think he is shallow, callow, and mean. I no longer argue with him because it is like talking to a wall. He is ALWAYS right, according to him. (And we all know that *I* am always right.)

Once again, this past week, he got another thread locked because of his bullying and refusal to believe there is a snowball’s chance in hell that he might be wrong. He KNOWS and if you do not admit he is right, he … whines to the moderators that people are being mean. Well, at least he used to whine to me when I was a moderator, complaining about someone’s lack of subservience. I don’t know if he still does. Probably.

The issue in question was the word “suddenly” and according to this paragon of the publishing world, it is NOT TO BE USED under pain of death, obscurity, and never being published. Some person I have never heard of agrees with him. I don’t know if the unheard of person is who he is in real life or not, but I really don’t care.

According to this person, if the word “suddenly” is included in a brilliant book with an enticing storyline, it will automatically negate the purchase and publication of the book. There is never, ever, ever a reason to use the word and it is sloppy writing and if you have it in your manuscript, it will never sell. Only perfectly crafted writing will sell and there is never anything else that will do. Non-writers will often complain about the sentence structure of a book, the flow, or the use of certain words and they will, apparently, slam a book shut and never finish it if you put the word “suddenly” in there.

He has no explanation for the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. I’m told the four books were poorly written, terribly crafted, and still sold over 120 million copies worldwide. Or at least no reason was forthcoming. I doubt that anyone would really ask the guy. I refuse to participate in his argumentative crap.

Anton Chekhov said something about moonlight glinting off broken glass and we all have to show and not tell now because the master said it and we will make it so.

Here is a quote from Chekhov’s story, “The Bet”:

A lively discussion arose. The banker, who was younger and more nervous in those days, was suddenly carried away by excitement; he struck the table with his fist and shouted at the young man:

“It’s not true! I’ll bet you two million you wouldn’t stay in solitary confinement for five years.”

I wonder what the pompous, pretentious, holder of all the rules thinks about that.

writing

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