East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Who are we writing for?

I caught a snippet of a discussion in which I was not really involved, yesterday, about the two souls of fantasy fighting each other.
The crux of the contention was, should writers play for the high-brow, sophisticated readers, or should they be down-and-dirty, catering for the lowest common denominator?

Which is a nice conceptual framework, and I guess an interesting topic for discussion while we wait for the takeaway delivery boy to bring us our Szechwan dumplings and our fried rice. But once the food is on the table, the discussion becomes irrelevant.

This is an important thing to keep in mind – we that write do love talking about our craft. The tricks of the trade, the stumbling blocks and the shortcuts, that time I wrote 8000 words in a single night and the editor loved it… it’s part of our tribal practices, like dancing around the fire and throwing the kids through the jaws of a shark to signify they are now men.

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