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The Fart Of Fiction, No. 7

Are you sensitive to a bad odour? Don't change a dirty diaper. Don't go to a bad writing workshop. Don't go to a writers' meeting and drive through a neighbourhood where there's a dead skunk on the road next to the library.

Sensitive readers can read happy stories, but tough readers want creative literary devices from a story. Invective is insulting or abusive language and it can take the form of a single word or expression, or be an entire discourse aimed at offending or hurting someone else. There's high invective and low invective. Aim high, but spread bad language sparingly. However, I loved the use of profane language in a sentence from a best-selling book. "'Your shit's my shit. Think of someplace sunny we can go.'" (House Of Sand And Fog). So fucking good.

But let's move on from the smell. Write original work and the stinkier the better. Don't be tempted to steal. Somebody else's work is important to them. "Out Of Africa" and "Wakanda" are ideas already done. Be original. However, if your wife has been to Kenya and taken great pictures and you want to show the world a horse of a different colour, and your wife says, "Sure," then show the fucking picture.

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