Why Authors Are Cursed

Lazette Gifford, Managing Editor

2001, Lazette Gifford

Issue # 2: 03/01/01

Visualization For Writers
Feature Articles
Creating and Using Language in Fiction
By Damon M. Lord
A, B, C: Beith, Luis, Nin
By Bryn Neuenschwander
Genetics in Storytelling
By Allison Starkweather
Creating Character Extras to Enhance Your Story
By Shane P. Carr
At a Loss for Words
By Vicki McElfresh
The Alternative Rules
By Lazette Gifford
A Man in Beast's Clothing
By Sarah Jane Elliott
What Is Horror?
By Teresa Hopper
How-to Haiku
By Jennifer St. Clair Bush
Research Flaws in Romance Novels
By Anne M. Marble
Science Fiction: 
Tuning the Universe
By Bob Billing
Stage & Screen: 
The Dual Landscape of Plot and Story
By Robin Catesby
Suspense & Mystery:
Scene of the Crime
By Shane P. Carr
Young Adult & Children:
A Question of Style
By Justin Stanchfield
Young Writer's Scene:
Befriending the Internal Editor
By Beth Adele Long
Book Reviews
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
Reviewed by Beth Adele Long
Web Site Reviews
The Forward Motion Web Site
By Lazette Gifford
Helpful Pointers for Community Members
By Jim Mills
From the Writers' Board
News from Forward Motion


 Zette's theory of what went wrong  in the writing world.

Writers of the modern world have been cursed.   It's obvious when you look at the trials and tribulations we have to go through to be published, and how, even then, it's no guarantee of fame.  We're cursed, and I've finally figured out by whom and when. 

In the old days, writers were considered great people.   According to Diodorus, "It is fitting that all men should ever accord great gratitude to those writers who have composed universal histories…" They were venerated, and it wasn't always because they were brilliant authors. 

The same was true in the Middle Ages.  Writers flourished, whether they were writing inane poetry or historical dramas. 

But then the modern age came, and we fell from grace.  And now I can tell you the secret of why writers are no longer adored in the ways that we ought to be.  It has nothing to do with ability.  We all know we're just as brilliant as any of the ancients, right? 

It has everything to do with paper. 

The ancient world didn't have paper.  The ancient world, in fact, was lucky to have words at all, but that's beside the point.  They wrote on wood, rock, and clay.  Later, the Egyptians invented papyrus paper, which was a great step forward.  In the Middle Ages, writers worked with vellum and parchment, which was made from the specially prepared and skins of animals.  It was cheaper and easier to obtain than the papyrus paper that had to be imported from Egypt. 

It wasn't until modern day that we began using paper.  Paper is made with vegetable fibers.  More importantly, modern machine made paper is 95% wood. 

Let me tell you about ancient Greek mythology, specifically about the Dryads.  These lovely female creatures, who were generally friendly to humans, lived in or near trees.  When a tree was destroyed, the dryad died as well.  The Gods punished humans for destroying trees. 

We've been cursed by the Ancient Greek Gods. 

But there is hope, people.  The future holds the key to breaking this curse. 

It's called electronic publication.


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