Me in italics and Mr Gerrold in regular font. This is a post that Mr Gerrold made this morning.
I haven’t ranted in a couple days. It’s not like there’s a shortage of material to rant about. The first half-dozen things on my news feed every day are enough to make me wish I believed in second-amendment remedies.
You haven’t? Well…not in about 4 days I think anyway. 2nd Amendment remedies? Meaning people you’d cheerfully shoot or more rights of gun owners to be taken away? The former I can sympathize with…but I think any number of people worth shooting are worth feeding into an industrial log chipper. At least that way they’d be useful as mulch. The latter? Uhhh..NO.
There’s ALWAYS a but somewhere.
There’s something of much less importance going on that deserves a bit of ranting.
There is? I’d point out that ranking on the importance index tends to be subjective; however I’m interrupting so do carry on.
In the past few weeks, I’ve seen articles and essays by various individuals who write about how other writers are ruining writing.
Indeed. Even some from yourself.
There’s a subculture of writers who are obsessed with “the social justice warrior gilttery hoo ha” crowd. There’s another subculture of writers who think that self-published authors are ruining it for the professionals. Elsewhere on this wall, I linked to a blog where the author challenges readers to skip books and stories by straight white male readers for a year.
Ayup…and you are guilty of it as well Gerrold. YOU are guilty as well. Or do I need to bring up one of your recent “rants” in which you said that anyone that supports the Sad Puppies campaign and dislikes the “Glittery HooHa Crowd. aka The SJW crowd supports going back to the dark ages of thinking. Supports ” Sexism racism, misogyny, and discrimination” However..I think I see where this post of yours is going….but it might be more believable if you’d started this with an abject “mea culpa” and apology.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
shrug. that’s the internet for you.
No. Just no.
No? What meanest thou by the utterance of the word “No”?
When I was a student at CSUN — which had (and still has) one of the best Theater Arts departments in the world, we were blessed with Dr. Schlosser as the head of the dept. One day, apparently angered — justifiably so — by the low morale of the students in the dept. he bawled us out with such ferocity that the walls of the Little Theater are still resonating.
Having a hard time with a play, and lots of self pity and recrimination that day? Meh…happens to everyone. So I’d give you a pass on that one…even if your Prof didn’t.
What he said — and I’m paraphrasing here — is that we are all in this together, and if we don’t support each other, we’re assholes. If an audience goes to a good play, they’ll be eager to go to another play after that. but if they have don’t have a good time at the theater, they’re less likely to come back. So our job — our number one job — is not just to put on a good show, but to help everyone around us do their best, so they can put on a good show too.
Not bad…fairly accurate. If people don’t have a good time they won’t come back. They won’t give you their hard earned money etc etc. Be it for a play, a movie, a book, or an album. If you preach at them you’re going to piss them off and they’ll take their money elsewhere. Unless of course as in some cases…they like the message you’re preaching You can still go too far and piss them off though.
The same principle applies to this craft. It’s about the books.
No shit Sherlock? Well actually it’s about the readers because without readers you aren’t making money.
If you read a good book, you’re eager to reach for the next. If you read a disappointing book, you go to the movies instead or turn on the TV. So we all have an obligation to each other because we’re all in it together.
Which was the entire point of say…the Sad Puppies campaign Watson? Or did you miss the part where people like Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen said it should be about including more authors in the Hugo list? Irregardless of their politics?
Speaking of which. How the fuck is it that Eric Flint has never won the big one in the Hugos for any of his novels? Now I may have missed it but..didn’t see him on the winners list for Best Novel. Be it the 1632 novels, The Belesarius novels he did with David Drake, or anything else he’s written. Seriously? He should be the poster child of the SJW crowd He’s a dyed in the wool red. I like the hell out of him despite that though. OTOH despite being a socialist, he also doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Which could explain it. He also just happens to tell DAMN GOOD stories that aren’t all about “message”.
Writers at each other’s throats are wasting their energies. You get just so much writing time. Use it wisely.
* Minor personal rant on this one – This from the man who hasn’t really worked at all on his Magnum Opus in the last 20yrs? Yes that is a major pet peeve. it’s been 20yrs Gerrold. I got tired of waiting and pitched the Chtorr books to the curb as it were. I done gave them away. Frankly for my money the Starwolf books were better books. THOSE I still have.
If you read something you like, shout it to the skies, tell other readers — “Hey, look at this!” If you discover a great new author, shout even louder. Support young authors, support established authors. Support ALL authors.
Oh but I do Gerrold. I do. There are several authors on my list who I suspect are probably raving libprogs politically but still write good stories in spite of that handicap. I give them good reviews and tell others..’dudes and dudettes ya gotta read this!’.
Because anyone who can sit down at a keyboard and get from page one to page last and turn out an even halfway readable tale deserves respect for the ambition as well as the determination to finish. You didn’t like it? So what? You don’t have to like everything. Hell, you don’t have to like anything. But when you diss another author, for whatever reason, you’re pissing in the same pool that you swim in. You might make that author look bad, but you make yourself look bad too — and along the way you taint the whole class of authors.
Oh writers who turn out stuff I like get my respect and my undying devotion…well until they start to piss me off for one reason or another. Clive Cussler is one of those. A then newby writer back in the late 90’s -early oughts by the name of Ted Bell is another. Ahh tainting….better not respond to that one because my mind just went off on a major tangent on that.
Other writers are the only people who come close to understanding what it is to write — what the challenges are. The little challenge of getting through a sentence so it not only reads clearly, but elegantly as well. The greater challenge of taking an idea and working through it step by step. And the impossible challenge of bringing a fictitious human being to life so vividly that readers fall in love with hiim or her — and you get hate mail warning you not to kill that character.
Oh I understand to a smaller extent I think. [hope] There are times when I go to write a response to a piece like yours Gerrold; or just a news article…and I lose my train of thought, the steam in my turbines…before I get halfway through At which point I either save it for later, or just scrap it.
So when writers go to war against each other — for whatever reason — and some of the reasons are pretty silly or pathetic (unless you’re on the inside, then they’re very serious) — but when writers go to war against each other, they forget the lessons of history. Nobody wins a civil war. Eventually one side can’t fight anymore, but both sides have lost the opportunities they would have had if they’d made peace instead of war.
Pathetic? Oh puhleeeze. Calling out a small click of elitist twits for being elitists twits is pathetic? Nope..it’s not. As far as forgetting history…the left, the libprogs, the socialists seem to have this refrain that socialism works if it’s done right. And that since they have history behind them as a guideline they and only they are the perfect architects for a new age of socialism. Which they’ll do right because they’re smarter than the assholes who tried it, failed miserably and killed 100 million plus people doing so.
War is expensive. It costs lives. It also costs resources that would be better invested in building and creating the future.
Meh…war is what we’re good at. We are the PERFECT examples of being “red in tooth and claw”. All nature wars upon itself, in one form or another. Nature does it constantly. To deny that is folly. War generally has an all consuming purpose for either side. Be it to gain more treasure, territory and resources, as a general rule,..or to protect same.
Author feuds are expensive — because it costs books. It wastes time and energy that would be better spent in the creation of the next tale. And the feuds rarely help the genre, they don’t help sales, they don’t attract readers, they don’t move, touch, and inspire — they just annoy, alienate, antagonize, and leave unhealed scars. Because nobody holds a grudge like an author.
Nobody holds a grudge like an author? Au Contraire. As to detracting from writing time? Depends on the author. Larry Corriea for example tends to write ‘fisks’ of monologues like yours and then goes right back to work on one book or another. Now despite taking time out of his writing schedule to write fisks, and occasionally writing those fisks on his smart phone…he still manages to do a true craftsmans job of writing. Turning in his work on time and complete.
It’s not just stupid for authors to go to war with each other. It’s fucking stupid.
So tell your side of the argument to stop being raving lunatics. Ah wait.. you do in some cases. Those moronic bigoted females who said you should only read non white, non cismale authors for a year, comes to mind. As I recall you said they were part of the problem and to basically shut up and sit down. I’ll give you kudos for that one. Honestly don’t remember if you called out that intellectual infant who decried “binary gender” writing and said it shouldn’t be the norm; that non binary gender characters should be the norm because not being non binary gender was hateful and bigoted. Or… some shit like that.
No, I mean that literally. It’s so stupid it belies the assumed expertise of the craft. Because if an author really as smart as he or she pretends, then he or she should be able to find a way to make their point and reach their goals without pissing on other people.
I’ll simply repeat “red in tooth and claw”. Also..pot, kettle, black.
The problem is … too many of us can only think in terms of right and wrong. Not write and write.
Oh bravo. Clever turn of phrase there. I actually got a kick out of that one. At least you seem to be acknowledging your own guilt and complicity now.