Liars need good memories

Notes for my novels-in-progress: all things 18th century Europe, blood, women in threes, snakes, dogs, peculiar biology, writing thoughts. Oh, and pieces of a soundtrack.
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I wonder why I ever bothered with sex, he thought; there’s nothing in this breathing world so gratifying as an artfully placed semicolon.

A Place of Greater Safety, by Hilary Mantel (via iphigenias)

A candidate for my personal motto.

(via iphigenias)

politicsprose:

Hilary Mantel’s Ten Rules for Writing Fiction
1 Are you serious about this? Then get an accountant.
2 Read Becoming a Writer, by Dorothea Brande. Then do what it says, including the tasks you think are impossible. You will particularly hate the advice to write first thing in the morning, but if you can manage it, it might well be the best thing you ever do for yourself. This book is about becoming a writer from the inside out. Many later advice manuals derive from it. You don’t ­really need any others, though if you want to boost your confidence, “how to” books seldom do any harm. You can kick-start a whole book with some little writing exercise.
3 Write a book you’d like to read. If you wouldn’t read it, why would anybody else? Don’t write for a perceived audience or market. It may well have vanished by the time your book’s ready.
4 If you have a good story idea, don’t assume it must form a prose narrative. It may work better as a play, a screenplay or a poem. Be flexible.
5 Be aware that anything that appears before “Chapter One” may be skipped. Don’t put your vital clue there.
6 First paragraphs can often be struck out. Are you performing a haka, or just shuffling your feet?
7 Concentrate your narrative energy on the point of change. This is especially important for historical fiction. When your character is new to a place, or things alter around them, that’s the point to step back and fill in the details of their world. People don’t notice their everyday surroundings and daily routine, so when writers describe them it can sound as if they’re trying too hard to instruct the reader.
8 Description must work for its place. It can’t be simply ornamental. It ­usually works best if it has a human element; it is more effective if it comes from an implied viewpoint, rather than from the eye of God. If description is coloured by the viewpoint of the character who is doing the noticing, it becomes, in effect, part of character definition and part of the action.
9 If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.
10 Be ready for anything. Each new story has different demands and may throw up reasons to break these and all other rules. Except number one: you can’t give your soul to literature if you’re thinking about income tax.

politicsprose:

Hilary Mantel’s Ten Rules for Writing Fiction

1 Are you serious about this? Then get an accountant.

2 Read Becoming a Writer, by Dorothea Brande. Then do what it says, including the tasks you think are impossible. You will particularly hate the advice to write first thing in the morning, but if you can manage it, it might well be the best thing you ever do for yourself. This book is about becoming a writer from the inside out. Many later advice manuals derive from it. You don’t ­really need any others, though if you want to boost your confidence, “how to” books seldom do any harm. You can kick-start a whole book with some little writing exercise.

3 Write a book you’d like to read. If you wouldn’t read it, why would anybody else? Don’t write for a perceived audience or market. It may well have vanished by the time your book’s ready.

4 If you have a good story idea, don’t assume it must form a prose narrative. It may work better as a play, a screenplay or a poem. Be flexible.

5 Be aware that anything that appears before “Chapter One” may be skipped. Don’t put your vital clue there.

6 First paragraphs can often be struck out. Are you performing a haka, or just shuffling your feet?

7 Concentrate your narrative energy on the point of change. This is especially important for historical fiction. When your character is new to a place, or things alter around them, that’s the point to step back and fill in the details of their world. People don’t notice their everyday surroundings and daily routine, so when writers describe them it can sound as if they’re trying too hard to instruct the reader.

8 Description must work for its place. It can’t be simply ornamental. It ­usually works best if it has a human element; it is more effective if it comes from an implied viewpoint, rather than from the eye of God. If description is coloured by the viewpoint of the character who is doing the noticing, it becomes, in effect, part of character definition and part of the action.

9 If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.

10 Be ready for anything. Each new story has different demands and may throw up reasons to break these and all other rules. Except number one: you can’t give your soul to literature if you’re thinking about income tax.

Madeline had a great deal to do. The eldest girl was persistently sick, servants took advantage and the household budget required time-consuming economies. Jean-Nicolas exacted all this from her; on top of it, he wanted her to pay attention to his feelings.

Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety

I ordered it, then got impatient and got the ebook, which is NOT the way to read this - just enough typos and jiggly formatting to throw off the language. The ebook is Irritating. Now, with the print version, I am marveling at those pages I already read. Deft and devastating.

so I can finally announce that my story “Littoral Drift” will be in Lackington’s Issue 4. Lackington’s is lovely, and I think I will be sharing a TOC with Rose Lemberg, all of which is making me feel a bit aww-shucks and who-me and all that good stuff.

No single Greek god even approaches Dionysus in the horror of his epithets, which near witness to a savagery that is absolutely without mercy… He is called the “render of men”, “the eater of raw flesh”, “who delights in the sword and bloodshed”. We hear not only of human sacrifice in his cult, but also of the ghastly ritual in which a man is torn to pieces. Where does this put us? Surely there can be no further doubt that this puts us into death’s sphere. The terrors of destruction, which make all if life tremble, belong also, as horrible desire, to the kingdom of Dionysus. The monster whose supernatural duality speaks to us from the mask has one side of his nature turned toward eternal night.

Walter F. Otto, Dionysus: Myth and Cult (via renlybaratheon)

relevant.

(via metalshell)

Ideals of male physique often emphasized stature, especially height and musculature, but also at times facial appearance. One letter reprinted in The Tatler satirizes prevailing bodily ideals by playing on the feeling that women were too hard to please: “’Tis my Misfortune to be Six Foot and a half high, Two full Spans between the Shoulders, Thirteen Inches diameter in the Calves…. I am not quite Six and twenty, and my Nose is mark’d truly Aquiline. For these Reasons, I am in a very particular Manner her Aversion.” Though a satire, the essay provides a list of early eighteenth-century physical ideals, even as it exaggerates them; they include muscular calves, a broad chest, tallness, and such racialized traits as an aquiline nose. Strength figures prominently among such ideals. Comparing men and women, the New England Weekly Journal informed readers that the “Male-World are distinguished with a stronger Form and Constitution, as well as an Air that is bold and rugged.”

Thomas Foster, Sex and the Eighteenth Century Man: Massachusetts and the History of Sexuality in America

No wonder Washington was so popular.

(via publius-esquire)

hrmm. HRMM.

medievalpoc:

il-tenore-regina:

vivelareine:

—Marie Antoinette (2006)

 Just so everyone is clear, the handsome Black man tutoring Marie Antoinette is Joseph Boulogne, classical musician extraordinaire whose work influenced Mozart’s. This has been your Western music history tidbit of the day. Adieu! 

*just leaves this here*

image

Chevalier Joseph Boulogne de Saint-Georges

sceneswedliketosee:

The Master dir. Paul Thomas Anderson

Watched this tonight and as I suspected I am all squirrelly now in my mind. Turning it over. Gorgeous to look at tho.

fashionsfromhistory:

Phrygian Cap

Late 18th Century 

France

Royal Museums Greenwich

relevant to the writing today.

(via 18thcenturylove)

bergtagen:

Three things: @burialground broom, goddess, thistle.

(via alexdallymacfarlane)

(via bobtowey)

junyiwu:

Fenrir, the bound wolf.

(via monology)

allegoryofart:

A Writer Trimming His PenJan Ekels the Younger, 1784

(via eighteenthcenturyfiction)

merolett:

diplomamunka

desperately wanting the time to finish this story.