Monday, June 15, 2009

The Velocity of Prose

A number of years ago, a writer friend of mine, Heloise S., proposed that the velocity of prose might be represented by the equation

etiology = teleology (charactersx)
where x equals the number of characters in the story.

Mme S. notes wisely that (a) euphony and (b) money remain uncontrolled variables.

(Sneakily cross-posted from my new scrap-blog.)


Anonymous said...

Hi! I represent the simple folk of the world. Could one of you kind people out there please explain this in terms a morlock would understand. Thanks!

Bill Henry said...

Good Brother Morlock! The nuts and bolts of it would be something like: how fast you can write your thing (story, novel, etc.) is a mysterious stew of concept, plot, character, and conflict—but no matter how slow or fast you go, you never have any reliable control over whether it comes out sounding like shit or not, or whether the money will run out before you’re done.