Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Writing is one of the hardest things in the world to do. It's a wonder that anyone ever writes anything. And it's funny because I'm a good writer, too. Though don't just take my opinion on it.

The DNA of an author lies in the syntax of each one of his sentences. Therefore every sentence I'm writing right now is stamped thoroughly by my mind.

The shortest sentence in the English language is: "Go!" If I were to write that sentence, it would be evident. That is why, even if you were to copy Shakespeare word for word, it still wouldn't produce the same effect. The reader could tell.

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One day while interning at the Boston Phoenix, I was flipping through the Arts section and came upon three anonymously-written DVD reviews. The first review wasted half of its short space on an unfunny tangent which was completely unrelated to the movie. The other two reviews also stunk, although they didn't repeat the same gimmick as the first.

The next day I went over to Peter, the head critic, and asked, basically, what was up with these reviews? They felt out of place in the newspaper. He read them over and gave his take on each one. Unable to get Peter to admit how terrible the reviews were, I then insisted they had all been written by the same person, which surprised him. (Usually the custom was to divide reviews somewhat evenly among the staff and/or freelancers, and occasionally interns.)

He brought up an archive on his computer for every Phoenix movie review, and one-by-one matched all three DVD reviews to the same person. (I don't remember the guy's name, but I imagine it was the tall guy who felt that Dustin Pedroia should be on the Unsexiest Men list. Fuck him.)

Peter seemed impressed, in a way that made me wish I was doing something more impressive.

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Note: I just looked at the Phoenix's 2010 Unsexiest Men List, and within two seconds saw something which made me so angry I immediately wanted to take a sledgehammer to the author's face. But that explanation will have to wait at least a couple of days.

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