Anyone Who Refers to Themselves as Representing a “Community” is an Ass

Is that a Hasty Generalization or a Sweeping one? I lack the data to tell. I also don’t care that it’s illogical.

It’s how I feel, therefore it’s true.

What am I talking about?

This.

Long story, short, an author allowed internet bullies who spoke for the “community” to shame her into not publishing her book. The book in question had yet to be published. Doesn’t matter. It has been seized on, it has been denounced, it has been made to un-exist.

This is how we live now.

But but but, don’t I realize how damaging such a book could be, because it reifies this or doesn’t show proper respect to that? Don’t I realize how this book is Hitler? FOR SHAME.

I don’t care.

I also don’t care if you have claimed, at some point in your life, to speak for a “Community”, and you don’t think that you’re an ass, and you’re offended and you hate me now.

Good.

I’m glad you’re offended.

I’m glad I wrote something that pissed you off.

Welcome to the party, pal.

Because the long slow march of shrieking cretins who have debased every part of our culture has been pissing me off for a while. I haven’t said much about it, because what’s the point? Anyone who genuinely thinks that a fantasy novel which has as a hook the enslavement of magic-users is a thought-crime deserving of rage, anyone who applauds the destruction of art for the sake of their politics, is beyond persuasion. As Joseph Mills put it, a mob has reasons that reason knows nothing of.

But the flip side of that is, it genuinely does not matter if you try to meet them halfway, or if you flip them the bird. It is not possible to avoid being offensive any longer. No matter what you do, you’re going to piss off someone.

So I’m going to.

“Community” is a word used by bullies to give their unexamined premises and tendentious conclusions the false authority of societal need. It is a word utterly ruined, which sickens my heart whenever banally uttered by a smug imbecile. It is verbal diarrhea.

It’s also a pretty funny if preciously self-aware sit-com from the last decade. I still like it, but I don’t watch it much anymore. It’s gone now, and Archer is funnier, anyway.

I speak these words as an aspiring author myself, and I speak them as one who just realized that, if The Sword gets published, I’m going to make people angry.

I can’t predict why, exactly. But I can predict I will.

Because this is the world we live in now.

So I promise this: if no agent or publishing house wants it, I’m going to set up a crowd-funded launch. If someone persuades Indiegogo or whatever site I use to shut me down, I’ll find another one. If I get nowhere that way, I’ll put together the scratch for as big a self-pub launch as I can manage. If the trolls go after me on Amazon, I’ll find another way. I’ll mimeograph the damn thing and pass copies around like samizdata (is that an inapt use of that word? I don’t care).

I will not be stopped.

Because you are evil, and you deserve to have the thing that offends you shoved in your face.

I hope I make you cry.

(Hat Tip to Larry Correia, who, if you think I’m obnoxious, is an order of magnitude rantier and more offensive.)

I Don’t NaNoWriMo, But I Do Self-Publish

I’m definitely an agnostic on National Novel-Writing Month. I’m not down on it, and if someone wants to take the moment as a inspiration to create, I’m the last guy to wrinkle my nose at such. Write, you guys. Write like the wind.

But I also don’t participate. I’ve got a few reasons for this:

  1. I Can’t Write a Novel in a Month. Based on past experience, it just doesn’t work for me. I’ve got a job and a house and a family. I consider having finished The Sword as fast as I did an achievement, and I had to abandon that several times, because reasons. Trying to squeeze one out in 30 days just isn’t realistic for me.
  2. I Don’t Like Being Told When to Create. Call it a mental habit or even a mental block, but trends annoy me. Jumping on a bandwagon because everyone else is doing it makes some part of me not want to. I want to create according to my own time and schedule. I want to set my own goals, and then meet them. Again, if you find NaNoWriMo useful, good for you. I personally don’t.

That being said, I have some plans for this November. First of all, I’m planning on rolling out some new covers on my back catalog, including giving Solar System Blues a hardcover edition. Second, I have some new poems I want to offer up in a ebook-exclusive collection, as it’s likely to be shorter than Stir. All of them were written this past year. Planned title: The Short Cool Summer.

Watch this space.

Break Over. Time for New Work.

When you finish a big project, you’re allowed some downtime. Now that The Sword is in the hands of readers, I’ve been letting myself do nothing. Now it’s time to get the juices flowing again.

I’ve got some stuff to write for the next UJ, and I might squeeze out a novella before the year’s out, while doing an edit on The Sword. That’s doable in the next few months, and doable gives me momentum for the next big project:

It’s sword and sorcery. It’s high fantasy with a Robert Howard flair. It’s going to be rad.

Stay tuned.

The Most Satisfying Words an Author Ever Writes…

“The End”, obviously.

I finished The Sword last week. I’ve put feelers out for Readers on my Facebook author page. I have the current draft in a Google Doc. After I’ve gotten some feedback, I’m going to begin the editing process. I can already think of some changes that need to be made.

To wit:

  • Some of the minor Characters (the Soldiers of the Foraging Detail, specifically) need a little more work.
  • The Character of Kip might require some revision.
  • Some bits and bobs to the last chapter.
  • A possible prologue.

But I’m not doing any of that right now. Right now the thing is lying fallow. Which brings me to questions of the Next Project. I’m torn between writing the next logical book after The Sword, which is a western (tentatively titled The Whorehouse), or writing the first book in a trilogy set in my most ancient of Fantasy realms, Cevalon. I’m leaning towards the latter, because I like the idea of starting a different product stream. The first book would be called The Lord of the Black Tower. 

Both books would be bigger and take longer two write than The Sword has. I started The Sword two summers ago and took long breaks from it, but the bulk of the writing has been done this year. I made it a goal to finish writing it in the first half of 2018. I achieved that goal.

There’s other business as well. In Unnamed Journal, I’ve been doing pieces for a project I conceived a while backThe Meditations of Caius Caliguilia. That is progressing at a reasonable pace and I may throw it out as a novella at some point. There’s other projects swimming about in my head as well.

This is all the beginning, is my point.

Sword Coming Round the Bend…

Finished Chapter 14 strong, started 15. Home stretch. A lot of it is already written in my head. Chiefly the dialogue.

That’s always the problem I have.

Slow Progress is Still Progress

It’s always easier to start something than to finish it. I can sit here right now (I am in fact) and throw down the first few lines of a new project that’s been marinating in my head for a few weeks. Might be a short, night be a novella, might be a whole new novel. Anyway, it’s easy to start. Because it’s new and you can put whatever you want without the critical voice saying “no, that’s not in line with _____”

Meanwhile, I’m still sloughing through Chapter 13. I think I under-outlined it. I might cull some in editing. I don’t know. But I put in some solid work yesterday.

I keep saying the end is in sight. But I still have to walk there.

On the Fourth Act

The most basic structure for a story is the three-act rising-action-to-climax. They teach it in high school. It works because it hits the beats that conform to emotional expectations that people have.

But it’s not the only structure that can be.

I mentioned earlier this week when I finally got Chapter XII finished that it was time for the fourth act. I also called it the denouement, which isn’t entirely accurate. Denouements are short. But this fourth act will have a falling action kind of effect.

But it will also contain action. An act implies action, something significant. And even though a major moment occurred, perhaps a central moment, there’s more for the character to absorb.

Really, there’s something of a fifth act/epilogue in the last chapter. It’s like a Shakespeare play.