Jack Getze
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Jack Getze's Discussions

France Calls Amazon "Destroyer of Bookshops"
14 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by John McFetridge Jun 7, 2013.

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Jack Getze

Do Writers Need to Learn?

A former reporter for the Los Angeles Times and the L.A. Herald-Examiner, author Jack Getze writes the Austin Carr Mystery Series, some short fiction, and is Fiction Editor for Spinetingler Magazine, one of the internet's oldest websites for noir, crime, and horror short stories. In 2011 Spinetingler was nominated for an Anthony.

Pulitzer Prize Winner Richard Ford:

"To the extent I know how to write clearly at all, I probably taught myself while I was teaching others -- seventh graders, in Flint, Michigan, in 1967. I taught them with a copy of Strunk & White lying in full view on my desk, sort of in the way the Gideons leave Bibles in cheap hotel rooms, as a way of saying to the hapless inhabitant: 'In case your reckless ways should strand you here, there's help.' S&W doesn't really teach you how to write, it just tantalizingly reminds you that there's an orderly way to go about it, that clarity's ever your ideal, but -- really -- it's all going to be up to you."

It recently came to The Famous Author's attention (Somebody called him a "clown") not every writer holds in high regard THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE, Strunk and White's classic guide to "plain English." TFA was shocked. After he was given a desk and a typewriter, TFA's only other first-day gift as a reporter for The Los Angeles Times was a copy of Elements, and a warning to learn and follow its principles.

But do writers of fiction, especially "literary" authors, have to worry about Strunk and White's guidelines? You read what Richard Ford said. Pretty sure you could call him a writer of literature. Here's how William Strunk, Jr. (1869–1946) starts his Introductory:

"This book is intended for use in English courses in which the practice of composition is combined with the study of literature. It aims to give in brief space the principal requirements of plain English style."

S&W is about clarity -- telling the reader exactly what you mean, showing what you want him to see and hear. Maybe writers don't have to follow rules. But they should know what those rules are, and why they exist, before breaking them. Strunk put it this way at the end of that Inroductory:

"It is an old observation that the best writers sometimes disregard the rules of rhetoric. When they do so, however, the reader will usually find in the sentence some compensating merit, attained at the cost of the violation. Unless he is certain of doing as well, he will probably do best to follow the rules. After he has learned, by their guidance, to write plain English adequate for everyday uses, let him look, for the secrets of style, to the study of the masters of literature."

Thanks to Richard Ford, William Strunk, E.B. White, and Amazon

 

Jack Getze's Blog

All Kinds of Mystery Prizes Today

Posted on May 4, 2013 at 1:50am

Who is This Man and Why is He Smiling?

Meet Dan Brown, whose new novel, THE LOST SYMBOL, drops today with a print run of five million copies. Wow. No surprise, of course, as his previous novel, THE DA VINCI CODE, is the bestselling hardcover adult novel of all time. 81 million copies in print.



THE LOST SYMBOL will once again feature protagonist Robert Langdon. Brown’s longtime editor, Jason Kaufman, Vice President and Executive Editor at Doubleday said, "Nothing ever is as it… Continue

Posted on September 15, 2009 at 10:45pm — 1 Comment

Redhead of the Week is Hot, Hot, Hot

Firestar (Angelica "Angel" Jones) is a fictional mutant superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. She can generate and manipulate microwave radiation, creating intense heat and flames. She can also fly. In the comics, Firestar has been a member of the Hellions, the New Warriors, and the Avengers. In the cartoon from which she originated, she was a member of the X-Men and, later, of the Spider-Friends.



Firestar was originally created for the… Continue

Posted on August 26, 2009 at 12:19am

Anybody Else a Sherlock Fan?

If so, you have to try this new promotional website.



Fill in the five gray boxes with the password, IRENE, and you will hear and see Warner Bros. video for the new Holmes movie set to open Christmas Day.



If you're a Holmes fan, you know the password IRENE remembers Irene Adler, the woman who once tricked Sherlock into revealing the…

Continue

Posted on August 23, 2009 at 1:30pm

Latest Activity

Stephanie Assa left a comment for Jack Getze
"Hello Dear, How is everything with you,I picked interest on you after going through your short profile and deemed it necessary to write you immediately.I have something very vital to disclose to you,but I found it difficult to express myself…"
Friday
Jack Getze replied to Kerry J Donovan's discussion Book promotion sites
"Are you a journalist being fair? Or an under-discovered author trying to be noticed? I see no reason not to ask family, friends, and fans to help you. It's not like they could make you rich or famous or even well-read -- it's a starter…"
Jan 29
Jack Getze replied to Kerry J Donovan's discussion Book promotion sites
"This is worth reading: The Fussy Newsletter Getting those early reviews A common frustration I hear from many of you is that it's tough to get the first 10 reviews in order for your books to be eligible for consideration on The Fussy Librarian.…"
Jan 27
Jack Getze and Kerry J Donovan are now friends
Jan 27

Profile Information

Hometown:
New Jersey Shore
About Me:
Currently Fiction Editor of Spinetingler Magazine, Jack Getze spent fifteen years covering national economic news for the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, and the London Times. His two crime novels, BIG NUMBERS and BIG MONEY, feature New Jersey stockbroker Austin Carr. www.jackgetze.com
I Am A:
Reader, Writer, Editor
Website:
http://www.jackgetze.com
Books And Authors I Like:
Anything and everything by Elmore Leonard, Robert Crais, Thomas Perry, Carl Hiaasen, Janet Evanovich. Old School: Edgar Allan Poe, A. Conan Doyle, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, John D. MacDonald.
Favorite Novel: Hound of the Baskervilles, or Thomas Perry's "Sleeping Dogs"
Movies And TV Shows I Like:
Godfathers 1 and 2. Casablanca, The Big Sleep, The Deer Hunter, The Unforgiven. TV: I'm a cop show and Star Trek junkie, but The Sopranos was the best series ever. Right now enjoying Dexter, and trying to catch up with The Wire.

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Comment Wall (71 comments)

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At 9:52pm on October 17, 2014, Stephanie Assa said…

Hello Dear,

How is everything with you,I picked interest on you after going through your short profile and deemed it necessary to write you immediately.I have something very vital to disclose to you,but I found it difficult to express myself here,since it's a public site.Could you please get back to me on(stephanie.assa@yahoo.co.th)for the full details.
Have a nice day.

thanks
Stephanie Assa.

At 3:04am on April 20, 2013, Tim Griggs said…

Thanks for the invitation, Jack. That makes you my first CrimeSpace friend! Let me know what you think of the books, if you get the chance to pick one or two of them up.

At 12:33am on July 20, 2012, I. J. Parker said…

Jack, we might suit each other.  I usually exchange chapter by chapter or story by story, never more than 30 pages, and I use track changes.  I need someone honest, and I tend to be pretty darn frank myself.  My feeling is that you take what you can use and ignore the rest.

At 2:06am on September 7, 2011, I. J. Parker said…
Actually, I've been your friend all along! :) I always like what you have to say.
At 11:43am on March 15, 2011, Tanis Mallow said…
Hi Jack! Thanks for the invite. Currently on vacation (Vancouver/Whistler - it's rainin') will respond to your e-mail when I get a sec. See you around Crimespace and Spinetingler...
At 3:13pm on September 14, 2010, Copper Smith said…
Remember Goofus and Gallant?
Read all about Goofus's drift to the dark side in 'Always the bad example.'
At 8:20pm on July 8, 2010, Lindy Cameron said…
Thanks for the 'friending' Jack.
At 6:15am on May 2, 2010, Mike Dennis said…
Thanks for the invite, Jack. See you on Crimespace.
At 6:33am on April 16, 2010, B.R.Stateham said…
Jack--I see you have a new avatar. Makes you look more 'successful authorish.' How's that for a term, eh?
At 2:19am on January 25, 2010, Kris Neri said…
Thanks for the friend-invite, Jack.
 
 
 

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