Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Writing by numbers ...

Booksquare discusses Judging Writing, with particular reference to Sam Sacks's "The Fiction Machine" in New York Press.
Recently, I was reading a book I was thinking of reviewing and, about a third of the way into it, I realized that it exemplified everything that had prompted me in 1966 to give up a fellowship and leave grad school for good. To be a good writer what you need to do is read a lot -- not in order to analyze it, but just to let it sink deep down into your consciousness -- and write a lot. Most of all you need on-the-job training in life. What you don't need is to sit around with a lot of other aspiring writers talking about writing.


  1. Hi, Frank:

    Is it possible that, once again, science fiction may someday become science fact? In reading Sam Sacks' article, I am reminded of a short story ... was it by Ray Bradbury? ... of the future, where Earth is the galaxy's publishing house, and all of that literature is produced by machine. It tells of a desperate writer, running out of time and food, whose old machine no longer works, and who could never afford a new model.

    Anyway, I recall it as being similar, in some respects, to the parameters laid out by Sacks for such a machine.

    I wish I could at least remember the name of the collection in which I read the story!

    Can you help?

  2. Hi Jeff,
    I remember a Bradbury story about a guy who's imprisoned for destroying all the machines, but otherwise am drawing a blank. I'll ask around and see what I can find out.