Had a bit of a thought last night after a glass of whiskey and decided it ought to be shared with the world. What better way to practice my own writing than to constrain it to 280 characters?
A British author has 80% of their new novel written, but the last 20% just won't come. They're stumped. After weeks, their eyes turn to the Shakespeare section of their home office. A merry wanderer whispers in his ear, "What would just a little hurt? Just to unblock the spring?"— dal (@dal_geek) January 22, 2022
They resist, but after another week, the serpent cherub's whisperings lead their frustration to take down the books of the Bard. "Is it plagiarism if it's out of copyright?" they wonder, and then, "What is plagiarism but a rude name for a tribute? A pastiche? An inspiration?"— dal (@dal_geek) January 22, 2022
They pore over the tomes, and finally decide: they'll use A Midsummer Night's Dream. Just a little bit of setting, a little twist of character, one thing leads to another...— dal (@dal_geek) January 22, 2022
... and suddenly the climax of the book is yet another fey performance which puts the villagefolk, and then the reader, to sleep, and when they awaken, all the threads of plot have disappeared and been replaced by a neatly woven image. An empty saucer with dregs of milk resides.— dal (@dal_geek) January 22, 2022
I really don't know what it is with British authors and over-seasoning their novels with Shakespearean references, like a wealthy merchant pouring an ounce of nutmeg into their wine because it's posh - perhaps it's required for entry into the writers' guild? - but it has to stop.— dal (@dal_geek) January 22, 2022
This level of cultural influence feels like Brisbane insisting that it's a world city because it hosted the World Expo in 1988. Yes, well done, but keep up with the times. Do something new. Don't stand on the shoulders of giants until they're a weathered pair of legs in a desert.— dal (@dal_geek) January 22, 2022
This rant was brought to you by the creeping horror of reaching Rotherweird's final act and realising that it's been quietly assembling the Midsummer Night Exodia for the last two hundred pages.— dal (@dal_geek) January 22, 2022
(I did like Rotherweird, and I do like Brisbane, and I even excuse Pratchett given that he referenced the sum total of human history in his time. But I wish Shakspere didn't crop up so often. What magic was there is gone now that we have high-speed rail and paperless offices.)— dal (@dal_geek) January 22, 2022
I’m pretty happy with this. It was all written off the cuff, tweet by tweet, and incorporates enough references of my own to add some spice. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, pixie folklore, spice trade, Brisbane’s expo, Newton into Ozymandias, Yu-Gi-Oh. It’s scattered but, I dunno, I like that breadth.
However… it’s also, in the cold light of day, a bit ruder than I’m proud of. This is hard to quantify - it’s fun that way, but the internet has enough flame wars, you know?