via Jeff Ford: Tom Purdom on how he broke into print. The first of many installments, apparently. I found this a fascinating glimpse into the sff world of fifty years ago. Interesting comments on writing theory, too:
Scott Meredith’s pedagogical approach emphasized the plot skeleton: a sympathetic hero gets in trouble, his attempts to deal with the problem get him into deeper trouble, the situation reaches a climax, and the hero resolves it through his own efforts. Their first letter to me described the plot skeleton and noted that my stories tended to fall apart at the end. The hero didn’t overcome in some satisfying way. I was writing "comes to realize" stories, in their opinion. My heroes triumphed when they came to realize something.
The books I had read had taught me a lot about openings. I knew you had to hook the reader and get into the story as quickly as possible. I knew editors normally only read the first two pages when they looked at slush pile submissions. I hadn’t applied the same rigor to my endings. The plot skeleton isn’t the only pattern a salable story can follow, but it’s a good one.
I think I first heard the term 'comes to realize' with respect to story climax in a Gene Wolfe short story from the 1970's, in which the sciffy element is a computerized automatic writing program, the output of which has to be tweaked by a real writer. 'Comes to realize' was one of the program's standard plots. Heh-heh.
Despite that, 'comes to realize', done well, can work as a plot climax. It's one of Heinlein's three plot types.
Shoggoth is not performing up to spec. Grrrrr.
== sakurairo == (noun) the color of cherry blossoms
|Left radical is 'tree' (木). The right radical was originally a character only found in Chinese meaning, 'baby girl'; its bottom element is 'woman' (女). Apparently, in comparison to the peach, the smaller fruit of the cherry tree was considered a 'baby'. Henshall suggests taking the top part of the right radical as 'half' a 'claw' (爪), and as a mnemonic: 'Woman half claws way up tree to get cherry blossom'|