another sf writer blog

Vision: sarah juneau hiding in a cave, filthy dirty, scared. why?

ianmcdonald: These fictions that sustain us: “Because entertainment is the mortar than holds our bricks of story. It’s a basic and primary as good grammar and syntax. It’s not an end point. It’s a beginning point. The reader sould no more have to ask ‘is this entertainming’ any more than they shoukld have to ask, are these readable sentences, or, is this printed on paper? It’s as fundamental as spelling, if you’re serious about your writing. Now, many things entertain. It’s not necessasily plot, or cleverness of plot, or speed of plot. I, and many other readers, find the long, seemingly plotless exchanges on shipboard life in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series wonderfully entertaining. Character entertains, and yes, language entertains. Sense of wonder entertains; sense of estrangement entertains. A novel has a totally different structure and purpose and rules of appreciation and criticism from a movie or a teleision programme. It takes place in a different narrative space; it can handle things those other forms cannot –as they do things that the novel canot. Each has its own story-space and language. “

(Via .)

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