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not as edgy as you'd think

Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.

Blog

Tue 14
Mar
2017

New Book Feels

Writing

A graphic titled The Book I'm Working On. There are two charts. The first, labeled Reality, shows a bell curve where the likelihood of the book being garbage at one extreme or genius at the other extreme is very low, and the likelihood of it being just okay is high. The second chart, labeled How It Feels, shows an inverted curve, so that the likelihood of the book being either garbage or genius is high, while the likelihood of it being simply okay is low

Comments

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towr (#1914)

Location: Netherlands
Posted: 38 days ago

The statistician in me would love those odds. I mean, commercially the difference between an OK book and a garbage book is much smaller than between an OK book and a genius book; so if garbage and genius are equally likely and there's no middle ground, then you have a great expected value.

Anyway, as far as I know that second curve only holds for incomprehensible philosophy books (and essays -- It's how you get essay-generators with output that will pass the peer review of some philosophy journals).

David (#7316)

Location: USA
Posted: 7 days ago

Understandable. Sometimes the quality of the outline and the prose quality can never really be reconciled. Nothing to apologize for.

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