Tag Archives: meta

When You’ve Said Too Much

I’ve long been fascinated by the art of communication. While writing is my forte, I’m also fascinated by radio—I was a teen-aged disc jockey for a time at an educational station—and just about all other forms of gasbaggery. One of the things that has struck me most profoundly over the years is how much all the various means of exchanging thoughts and ideas have in common with each other at the basic level.

Over the years I’ve chosen a very few favorite literary passages and other odds and ends of communication and thought long and hard about what makes them work so well. One is an excerpt from Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, more specifically the arrival of the Midnight Circus Train. Another is the last few paragraphs of Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which never leaves me dry-eyed. A third is a lesser-known but still famous scene from book five of the Horatio Hornblower series (Beat to Quarters was the American title) by C.S. Forester in which the protagonist, half-mad from noise and terror and the strain of command in the most brutal sort of combat struggles to maintain his sanity as he (largely by pure force of will) stands for hour after hour in the hot sun with the corpses of his friends and shipmates piling up ever deeper all around him. These are all three of them brilliant gems of the literary art, and each achieved much of their impact using very different techniques. Indeed, they share only a single thing in common.

Not one of them is one syllable longer than they absolutely must be in order to achieve the effect intended. Indeed, each is remarkably short compared to the power they command in the reader’s mind. Not a shred of “non-essential” or “second-rate” material is present to water down the impact of the rest.

Continue reading When You’ve Said Too Much

Two Years of [a][s]

I’ve been an [adjective][species] contributor since early 2012, and I’m proud to have participated in the site’s growth and success over the last two years.

I’d like to pitch my two cents into the second birthday celebration. I think of myself as a fan of [a][s] first and a contributor second; and so I’d like to revisit some of my favourite articles.

This is a very short list of four articles that I love. None are from the last six months, so hopefully a few people will be introduced to them for the first time. And for those of us who have been following the site for some time, all these articles are worth reading and rereading again.

Continue reading Two Years of [a][s]

Writing Furry Non-Fiction

There is little glamour in writing non-fiction pieces about furry. It takes time and research to write on any topic with authority, and most articles will attract a small amount of attention on publication before sinking without a trace.

But if you keep your expectations in check, it can be a really enjoyable and rewarding exercise. There is the personal pride that comes from your background reading, as you gain expertise in your topic, and you’ll be contributing to the small but growing body of work that is trying to understand the furry community’s place in the world. Your article will help people learn new things and think of the world in a different way.

This is companion article of sorts to Submissive Roles: Writing For Furry Anthologies, where Huskyteer discusses strategies and tips for submitting short fiction for publication. I’ll review the options for non-fiction publication and offer a few tips to make things as smooth as possible.

Continue reading Writing Furry Non-Fiction