Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Expletives deleted

It's all getting pretty potty-mouthed over at Cif, I'm afraid:

It's a pretty basic tenet of fiction writing: where possible, don't tell us, show us. Rather than state baldly that a character is bad, allow him or her to demonstrate that badness through word and deed. One of Shakespeare's darkest creations is at first described by his unwitting boss as "Honest Iago"; only in his first soliloquy does he make his own "double knavery" evident.

Of course, just because Shakespeare put those words in Iago's mouth, it doesn't mean he agreed with them. Sorry if that seems bloody obvious, but it's a point that appears to have eluded two recent contributors to Cif...

For more blimmin' flip and crikey, click here.


dh said...

Nice CIF piece Tim. And some great comments too...ranging from the Pogues to Houellebecq to Guy Gibson's dog. But not Enid Blyton as yet. I did notice the distinction you made between discussing naughty words and actually using them. You should be on safe ground there.

Anonymous said...

How did you manage to write such an article and not mention David Mamet?

Tim Footman said...

Not too safe, one hopes, Dick.

Billy: Mamet's a special case. His "Yes, actually, I am quite right wing" volte face had many of his defenders revising their opinions.