Archive for April 24th, 2012

The beginning of the end for DRM?

Tor/Forge announced today that they will begin selling their ebooks without DRM – their entire list should be DRM-free by early July.

DRM-free titles from Tom Doherty Associates will be available from the same range of retailers that currently sell their e-books. In addition, the company expects to begin selling titles through retailers that sell only DRM-free books.

Scalzi has already posted some initial thoughts here. Charles Stross, having posted some thoughts about Amazon’s ebook strategy, offers up his thoughts as well on what the Tor/Forge move means.

My initial thoughts (not having read Charlie’s post yet) – the removal of DRM makes me happy, and I’m curious how long before others may jump on the bandwagon. Personally, I’ve gotten a few books through Amazon (but have generally avoided them, on principle), and only two books through Apple (avoiding the DRM), I have gotten most of my books through Barnes & Noble.  As a consumer, I may be more inclined to get more books through Apple/iBooks if the DRM goes away. The catch there – I wonder if Apple would enact their “unlock fee” (like they have for “upgrading” any old audio purchases) on previously purchased books to remove the DRM, or if it would just be a matter of downloading a new copy?

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An Arguement Against “Literature”

To be more specific, “Classic” literature, as it’s taught in most classrooms.

That’s not to say I am against ye olde staples of cannonicaly approved “great works,” as a writer that borders on heresy. No. Read them for the story. Read them for entertainment. Read them becuase you’ve finally gotten around to wanting to read the full text instead of the watered-down-for-movies versions that have been produced.

Just don’t read them to learn, not if you want to write anything.

Wait, that’s not 100% right. You can still learn a lot from them – story, some character work, tone and voice if you are expressly trying to write something in that style. You just need a big fat salt-lick if you want to write something more contemporary.

Understand that language changes over time, both mannerisms and contect meanings. One hundred years ago, calling someone “gay” meant something completely different than it does now. This change is also quite evident when reading dialogue. That’s part of the reason I’ve stalled in the reading of the Sherlock Holmes collection, Ive just gotten tired of all of the ejaculations.


I’ve lost track of how many times either Watson or Holmes ejaculate something as a means of delivering dialogue. “That’s amazing,” he ejaculated. Twenty years ago these were the kinds of techniques present in almost every work, those “classics,” we were reading for school. That’s part of the style I picked up and made dialogue in my early stories get all wonky, and at the time I was reading “contemporary stuff” for pleasure, not as an exercise in considering technique, so I was late to the catching the current-trend-style-train.

Don’t let that happen to you. If you want to write, look to contemporary works for current style trends in delivering dialogue.

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