The Big Idea: Michael Marshall Smith

I love reading “The Big Idea” on Scalzi’s blog and this book has been intriguing me for a while. I once did a reading at an open mic that applied this technique (via machine translation) to a rather personal email. I suspect the results here will be better.


It’s not unusual for authors to play with words in their stories. It’s slightly more unusual for authors to take chances with the meaning of their stories — and to see if the meaning of the stories will change if the words are changed, in a deliberate way. With The Gist, author Michael Marshall Smith is doing both. Here he explains how and why he’s doing it.


I don’t actually remember when or how or why I had the idea for The Gist—which is odd, as it’s ended up taking about ten years of my life. As a writer, I’m normally a pretty direct kind of guy. I don’t do fancy. I distrust artifice. I may wrestle with a Big Idea in a novel once in a while but it generally winds up being subservient to character and plot, and the books themselves are as…

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~ by mentatjack on May 30, 2013.

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