Sunday, July 15, 2012

Beatles or Monkees?

Well, they’re both very entertaining. But the Beatles, definitely. Because they wrote and played their own stuff. And they changed the world. As adorable as the Monkees were, you can hardly say that about them.

And we watched the Beatles grow up in real life, evolving and expanding their music. Listen to their early stuff – hits like ‘She Love You’ and ‘Love Me Do’. It was good, yeah. But they really hit their stride with ‘Yesterday’ – that’s when they brought the parents and grandparents into the tent, changed the world from crooners (Sinatra, Andy Williams) to rockers. Spawned it all.

Any serious person over the age of fifteen would have to say The Beatles.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Best Advice I received as a Writer

Never, ever use the word ‘suddenly’ in a novel. That advice came from an Elmore Leonard book on writing my wife gave me. There’s a lot in that simple mandate.

I take the point to be that you should show the reader what’s happening, draw them into the story so that they are surprised by an event, that an event seems to hit them ‘suddenly’ because their head is so totally in the story. Not because a narrator tells them that something is happening “suddenly”. It took me a while to understand that but I get it now. Keep it simple. Keep it direct. Keep it real.