Slithytove at Clarion (st_at_clarion) wrote,
Slithytove at Clarion

Scandinavian robots

One of the fine points of writing sff that a couple of our instructors have made is that in this field you have to be especially careful with figures of speech. If you write, "A glorious sunset exploded across the western sky," in a romance novel, it will be taken as a figure of speech. But in an sff novel, your reader may be knocked out of your narrative by the thought that the sun really is exploding.

I remembered this a minute ago when I wrote, "The family room had been designed by Scandinavian robots." Um, wait a minute. This is a ghost story, there aren't any robots in it, but the reader doesn't know that yet...

"The family room appeared to have been designed by Scandinavian robots..."
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"might have been."

Saves you a (short) word, too :)

Great posts, btw. I've bookmarked several. Very much appreciate the leakage from Clarion, and wish I was in a position in life to apply for one of the workshops. Thanks for the vicarious looks into the life, anyway.
I'm allergic to that 'might have been' phrase, for some reason. It's all moot, because the Scandinavian robots, who probably weren't all that hot a metaphor to begin with, never made it into the final draft.

Glad you like the blog!