Monthly Archives: March 2015

Rules for Writers (Terry Bisson)

Terry Bisson’s Rules for Writers (of SF Short Stories):

37. No wizards or dragons. They will make your short story seem like a part of a longer, less interesting piece.

38. Don’t meander or digress. You can pretend to meander for misdirection. See below.

39. Misdirection is interesting. SF readers like puzzles.

40. Fights are only interesting in real life. They are boring in stories.

41. Novels are made out of characters and events. Short stories are made out of words alone. They are all surface. Polish.

42. Plot is important only in time travel stories. They must have a paradox. This limits their range severely.

43. Symmetry is more important than plot. A short story must make a pleasing shape, and close with a click.

Walk on Woks!

In a recent dream there was a minimarket with a Jackie Chan theme; the manager had trained the staff to do various stunts while going about their work. In particular, he kept wanting them to do this thing where they would move on all fours with their hands and feet in pots.
“Walk on Woks! Walk on Woks!” he kept shouting.