What can YOU say in six sentences?
Wasn't sure where else to post this, but I had to share. This is from David Simon, writer/producer of The Wire, in the liner notes to the soundtrack (which is itself excerpted from an e-mail exchange between Simon and Nick Hornby from the August 2007 issue of The Believer magazine):
"My standard for verisimilitude is simple and I came to it when I started to write prose narrative: fuck the average reader. I was always told to write for the average reader in my newspaper life. The average reader, as they meant it, was some suburban white subscriber with two-point-whatever kids and three-point-whatever cars and a dog and a cat and lawn furniture. He knows nothing and he needs everything explained to him right away, so that exposition becomes this incredible, story-killing burden. Fuck him. Fuck him to hell."
it's hostile, but that's okay. he has a very clear reader in mind, and he'll write to that audience. not that i agree completely with that approach, but i get it. it's a wake up call to writers, to think about what they're writing about, who they're writing for. i think it helps us choose what words to say, what scenes to set, or metaphors to attempt. i could never do this because i'm too simple a reader/writer. i read what's here and my little peanut head explodes, and that's okay! it reinforces my strengths, exposes my weakness, and holy cow, isn't that what a writer needs?
My editor often says, "Those who get it, bless 'em. Those who don't, fuck 'em."
Like Gita, I have watched every single minute of The Wire. I totally believe that the whole series is true art... I love this quote, and of course, Bill F is being pretentious (ha ha haaaa just joking) !
And what Kristine said is true. Yes he is being hostile, but he is also being very clear and making a stellar point. Recently, I bought a STACK of books that were getting a lot of press and reviews. I was distinctly disappointed by the majority of them. They were written either for the "average reader" (not Angela... nothing at all average about Angela... except mayber her height and she walks like a giant for me) OR written with such an esoteric tone and viewpoint that I was turned off by the pretention (speaking especially of The Marriage Plot here).
As a little side note... The essay that I wrote for the cowboy porn magazine (hee hee) called Cowboys&Indians is one of those pieces of writing where I had to say, "Those who get it, bless 'em, and those who don't, fuck 'em." Cross your fingers that I don't get lynched by the narrow minded when it comes out.
I like being average.
It helps you blend into the background, it means you don't stand out for the cross hairs of a telescopic sight and your phone calls are far too boring to be of interest to GCHQ/NSA. And if being average gets boring, well, you can get on an 1100cc Suzuki and unaverage yerself straight to fucking hell.
Nails it. My take is writing to the "LCD," lowest common dominator (delineator?) pulls down my effort rather than taking it to the screaming, finely honed edge. While it doesn't matter how good I am if I'm not in your genre... science fiction, noire, etc., I'm good when my writing's summons you, opens the door, makes you want to step in, and then explore the whole of what I've created while staving off distractions or urges to leave. My goal is to take you somewhere and deliver you how and where I want you ended-up.