Jay Lake’s larval stages of the writer

The wonderful Cat Sparks drew my attention to this one. Bloody funny. Mostly funny because it’s so bloody true! And naturally, you could replace the word “American” with any other nationality. In fact, you could just take the word “American” out altogether.

The larval stages of the common American speculative fiction writer

I have long observed that the common American speculative fiction writer (Scriptor americanus s.f.) goes through a number of stages during larval development, prior to emerging from their paper chrysalis as a full-fledged author. Drawing largely from my own experiences, as well as keen observation of the flocks and herds of writers who routinely migrate through Nuevo Rancho Lake, I hereby propose an initial atlas of these stages, with modest comments.

Additions, corrections, observations and footnotes are, as always, welcomed.

I could do better than this. A monkey could do better than this.

After re-reading volumes I through XVII of A Game of Throne-Captains of the Mystical Vagina of Time, the writer will exclaim, “I could do better than this! A monkey could do better than this!” Many amazing careers have been launched from this moment. It should be honored, much like any moment of conception, possibly by bunking out for a wet wipe and a smoke afterward.

This is harder than it looks. Kind of like last night’s sausage.

The writer often first imitates the text that first brought their pen to page, or fingers to keyboard, or crayon to butcher paper. Sometimes development at this point diverges into Fanfic americanus s.f, sometimes it results in efforts at novel creation, as well as the creation of novels. With luck, the writer soon learns that verb agreement matters, as does POV. Otherwise they become a romance author.

Hey, I get it! I get it!

The writer creates fiction that a close friend or family member actually likes. The first surge of confidence emerges. Possibly they seek out a workshop, or attend a convention for the first time as a would-be pro rather than a fan. They are proud and happy. The writer should cherish this moment, for they are in for a world of hurt to come.

Read the rest at Jay’s LiveJournal.

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