It feels like most of the writing advice that gets bandied about the talkosphere, a la “Awesome Writer’s 9 tips of Howto” boils down to:
- Be straightforward
- Don’t not be straightforward
- Various variations on straightforwardness
- There’s no way I can tell you how to do what you want to do, so just ignore my advice and write harder
Straightforwardness is great and awesome and magnificent at getting points across and captivating the audience and building a readership and making a ‘sure thing’ — but why aren’t there any 9 tips from James Lookitmereinventinglit Joyce or David Footnotefootnotefootnoteaside-thatruns300pages Wallace? Where’s the bastions of ambition? Where’s the brave author who espouses cleverness and trickery and tells us: “Psst, kid. You wanna know what writing is? It’s the imagination, made tactile. And you know what that means? It means that writing is infinite, and in it, anything is quite literally possible. However, it’s gonna take you f’n years to pull off, but if you work your fingers to the bone, experimenting the hell out of plot and character and language, you are going to make something that quite possibly has never been before.”
To be straightforward: An increase in complexity causes an exponential need for mastery. And what does mastery require? Not much. Just your life.
And there is an audience for hardmode literature. But they just happen to be hardmode themselves—they are not easily amused.
“The fool who persists in his folly shall become wise.” —Wm. Blake