Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

Helpful Hints from Mris!

Dear Other Writermonkeys,

Let me check my calendar. Why yes! It is! It is 2008! I thought it might be. And therefore, is now the time for dismissing characters as "hysterical, like that kind of woman always gets"? Not really! Not so much. And if you do it, surprise! I will stop reading your book. ("But you already gave me money for it!" Haha, no I didn't! It was free!)

You know what else? Bodily fluids? Not inherently interesting. In fact, you have to work pretty hard to make most of them interesting. You don't need two per page, with one in the gratuitous background description in case a page has slipped by under quota. They do not serve to epater les bourgeois so much as to ennuyer les bourgeois, by this late date. And you know what? A bored Mris will -- surprise! -- stop reading your book! ("But you already gave me money for it!" Haha, no I didn't! This one was free, too!)

Oh, and one more thing: it turns out that having a pseudonym is not the same thing as having a superhero name and secret identity. It doesn't actually make your book cooler. It is a net neutral. Look at K.J. Parker. She doesn't prance around going, "You should read my books! Because K.J. Parker is not really the name of the person who wrote them! And that makes them cool!" Or look at Robin Hobb. Almost no singing of, "Nyah, nyah, that's not my name!" Robert Jordan? Did not, in his lifetime, have jacket copy about how he could tell you his real name, but then his Very Powerful Enemies would get him. You are neither Bruce Wayne nor Rumpelstiltskin, so write the best book you can, slap whatever name you want to on it, and get on with your life.

I'm so glad we had this little talk.

Sincerely,
mrissa
Tags: i can in fact quit you, open letters
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