Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Third and Fourth Walls of Writing

Way back in my early writing days (1994) I had fun composing a little story that depended not only on some characters and a classic SF situation but also was about the editing process, uses of font and formatting, and poking a little fun at conventions.  I should mention that is also tears down the third and fourth walls of writing.

The responses I got to this --when I got anything more than a form rejection from magazine editors-- included "formatting this would drive my typesetter insane" and "we don't like experimental fiction." Only one editor liked it, but not enough to publish it.

But that was when print magazines ruled the world.  Then the Internet became ubiquitous and the possibilities (of which I will say more in the next blog post) opened a new route to publication.

At a writers' meeting a few weeks ago I mentioned the difficult formatting issue and Paul Legasse of Channel 37 said "We could format that any way we want on the web," which led to a beer-fueled discussion at our m monthly writers'  craft meeting, and, finally, we've got the "experimental" story on the web, unshackled by the restrictions of print formatting, and capable of being read for absolutely nothing (unless you want to throw a buck or two into my donate button.)

I hope you enjoy Quoth I

1 comment:

  1. It was a thrill to be able to publish "Quoth I" because it so skillfully (and entertainingly) turns a reflective eye back on the conventions of storytelling and reading both. That's precisely the energy that drives Channel 37.

    The web is like a galaxy-spanning wall with areas of widely varying friction coefficients. If you have something to throw at it, it's a mathematical certainty that, somewhere along the wall, there is a spot where it will stick. It's just a matter of throwing until you find it.

    We both got lucky that Channel 37's patch of the wall was the right kind of sticky for "Quoth I."


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