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OSC: Writers, You Don’t Have To Be Flowery

“The single most important thing I advocate, though, is for writers to remove any barriers between themselves and the widest possible audience for their honest work. That’s my beef with academic writing programs and with the way literature is taught in most schools today. Instead of valuing clarity, they value most the fiction that requires professorial mediation to be understood. That is death to literature.

“Good writing requires no mediation whatsoever, and no training beyond knowledge of the language and the ability to read—and not even that, for audiobooks. So my role as a writing teacher is to help writers learn to speak clearly and effectively to their natural audience (i.e., people who believe in and care about the same stories they believe in and care about). That is the opposite of what most academic creative writing programs do. So I’m not just ‘helping young writers’ (they’re not all young, anyway!)—I’m also engaged in a war against those who would silence these young writers by making their work inaccessible to their natural audience.”

Orson Scott Card

Note: OSC had a mild stroke on New Years Day.

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4 Comments

  1. Like most people, I also had my intro to OSC by way of Ender’s Game. I was in love. I’ve read that book maybe 7, 8 times. It was an early read for me (a late reader) and it fired my imagination.

    I’ve spent so much time trying to understand why I love that book so much.

    If you’re keen on more OSC, then the next few Ender books are pretty good, esp Speaker, but I loved The Worthing Saga. Really fantastic in every sense, with lots of theological considerations. Also, where I was, I loved his Homecoming series, which is a sci-fi retelling of the book of Mormon.

    Now, I’m done rambling about OSC. Haven’t read him in a while. Maybe I’ll dive back in after my current crop is harvested.

  2. While I’m not a fan of some of his most recent work (I thought Empire was sub-par and Magic Street ground down toward the end) OSC’s a giant in terms of his influence over my writing. He’s spot on in his disdain for the postmodern, obscure-the-story style that seems to be preferred by “intellectuals.”

  3. I completely agree, Jesse D.

    It’s funny that, while this is being said, they posted a short fable I wrote over at The Rabbit Room today which is certainly my most post-modernish feeling bit of short fiction.

    But alas, it’s a fable.

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