learn writing with Uncle Jim

(link via Sillybean).

Jim Macdonald is by all accounts an excellent teacher, and now there’s this thread he started at the AbsoluteWrite on-line forum. It looks to me very worthwhile. Lots of solid advice, including a spattering of useful laws, ala:

Watt-Evans’ Law: There is no idea so brilliant that a sufficiently ham-handed writer can’t make an unreadable story out of it.

Feist’s Corollary to Watt-Evans’ Law: There is no idea so stupid that a sufficiently talented writer can’t make a readable story out of it.

My only quibble with Uncle Jim (actually, I don’t know much about him — I may be older than he is, but I’ll call him Uncle anyway; I also answer to Auntie Ro) is his ten pages or about 2,500 words a day. That’s just not the way some people work. Me included. But he knows that; he starts out with a proviso that says, basically, what any honest teacher of writing must say (and I paraphrase): take what works for you and leave the rest.