Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: If there’s one piece of advice

Sometimes I feel too preachy about my craft. Today I'd just like to talk about one piece of simple writing advice that I got from the oddest of sources. If there’s one piece of advice I take from Tom Clancy, it’s this:

“Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”

What? No. That’s George C. Scott from Patton.


The one thing Tom Clancy taught me is:

“Use the force, Luke.”

That is not Tom Clancy. That’s Obi Wan Kenobe from Star Wars.

“There’s a legend ‘round here: a killer buried, but not dead.”


“A curse on Crystal Lake. A death curse. Jason Voorhees’s curse. They say he died as a boy, but he keeps coming back.”

Is that the opening from Friday the 13th Part 7?

“Few have seen him… and lived.”

That’s not helpful literary advice. I think that’s plagiarism.

“Some have even tried to stop him. No one can.”

Are you in my house?

“I’d like to play a game.”

Is that the killer from Saw? Where are you?

“I'm sick from the disease eating away at me inside. I’m sick of people who don’t appreciate their blessings.”

I guess that’s illuminating on appreciating the ability to write… Are we done?

“Frankly Scarlet, I don’t give a damn.”


  1. I have to admit that I did laugh very loudly and attracted coworkers who also laughed.

  2. I've always felt that the only difference is whether you're alive or you're dead...and maybe not even then. What were we talking about? I don't remember but I like you, John!


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