Quote of the day--oh, so that's how you do it edition

>> Friday, August 26, 2011

You type enough sentences, you’re bound to get a good run of paragraphs eventually.
-Zack Handlen, "'Second Chances'/'Timescape'
The A/V Club, August 25th, 2011

Okay, so Handlen is talking about how he writes reviews of old episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but still: I like that. I like that a lot. I really need to try to make that my motto.

Except, of course, it ain't that easy. I mean, yes, you write enough sentences, you're bound to have something good arise spontaneously from the chaos. Maybe. I hope. Oh dear, that might not be how it works at all. Now I'm worried. But, no, seriously: it ain't that easy. The words have to be pried out of the cracks in your brain and then assembled in the right order so as to constitute a sentence in English (or whatever language you're writing in). If assembling words randomly sufficient was, Yodaese you would speak.

But I think, yes, I'm going to try to make Handlen's quip sort of a motto, especially over the next few days as I try to get back to a short story that I was puttering with and back to the awful train wreck that has been running over my leg for the past several years with nothing to show for it unless you count restarts. I will try to type enough sentences. Maybe some of them will love each other and have little paragraphs to take care of them in their old age. That would make me happy. Happier. Close enough.


Warner Friday, August 26, 2011 at 7:26:00 AM EDT  

And if you leave a thousand monkeys alone in a room with typewriters eventually they will produce all of Shakespeare.

This has been tried http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem

In summary the monkey urinated on the keyboard.

Steve Buchheit Friday, August 26, 2011 at 10:06:00 AM EDT  

Ah, Warner beat me to the monkey joke.

"Just one more monkey and one more typewriter and we'll have it."

Warner Friday, August 26, 2011 at 10:15:00 AM EDT  

I first read that in Mathematica Fantasia edited by Clifton Fadiman. The short story ending had a very unexpected twist.

Eric Friday, August 26, 2011 at 11:58:00 AM EDT  

Leave an infinitesimal number of monkeys with infinitesimal number of keyboards for a brief enough period of time and they'll still produce a sequel faster than George R.R. Martin--hoi! I kid, I kid--it was low-hanging fruit so I reached for it, knowing perfectly well it was a cheap shot and totally uncalled for. Especially in the context of how little I've been getting done, so there's also a whole pot/kettle dynamic going on here, too. Still, sometimes we have to amuse ourselves.

Tom Friday, August 26, 2011 at 12:44:00 PM EDT  

The million monkeys in a billion years might produce Shakespeare, but I wouldn't want to be the guy who had to read through all the monkey crap to find the pearls. That's where the intelligence comes in. Pity the poor editor...

Since you're editing yourself, Eric, be sure to produce enough non-monkey-crap to keep your editor on the job.

mattw Friday, August 26, 2011 at 5:17:00 PM EDT  

You should try participating in NaNoWriMo this year. You don't have time to edit, and you don't have time to think about it. Sometimes you barely have time to get all the words out, but when you're done, you might get lucky and have the bones and maggoty flesh of a viable story.

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