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Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Friday March 19, 2004. Today was "Do things I should have done earlier" day. One of which I can't really do until the bus strike is over; but I have a better idea of how to start.

***On a writing forum, there was a discussion of organic fiction writing -- that is, going ahead without an outline, but with some mental images of what happens at various points in the story. One participant had thought there was something wrong with her, because she _should_ be able to write better with a detailed outline. Another had found it unsettling to realize she was that kind of writer, because the rest of her life is meticulously organized.

What I said, not in the same words: There are more than two kinds of writers. Every edition of the Mystery Writers of America Handbook I've seen has included essays by writers who can't continue if they know whodunnit, or have more than the vaguest idea of what happens next in the story.

And then there are writers who need an outline or a "zero draft" to deviate from. (And yes, this includes at least one who supports herself by writing fiction.) I seem to be in this category.

Meanwhile: I'm on what I think is the real first draft of "Well Met, Well Met, My Old True Love." And there's actually something that hasn't changed: a plot summary of the ballad "The Two Sisters".

***Said elsewhere earlier, about politics: One version of the Pareto Rule is 1) Eighty percent of a business's profits come from twenty percent of the customers. 2) Eighty percent of the problems come from twenty percent of the customers. 3) It's not nearly the same twenty percent.

Businesses tend to pay attention to the problem twenty percent, rather than the profitable twenty percent. Politicians are a bit different; they choose between paying attention to the ten percent who see any compromise with the other party or with reality as treason, or the ten percent who just might be kept from going over to the other side.

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