Thursday, October 23, 2003

Every once in a while, i read something that causes 30 different story ideas to spontaneously erupt in my brain, and i have the momentary feeling that i, too, could be an author and here in front of me is my path to become one. these feelings are always fleeting -- i'm really much more of a reader, or possibly an editor, than a writer. i don't think i've written more than 2 pages of a story since elementary school. which is a pity. or maybe not -- perhaps the world is better off for not containing the dreck i would likely produce.

in any case, Teresa Nielsen Hayden has provided me with another batch of inspiration. Either scroll down to the middle of this comment list for her post (try searching for "posted on October 23, 2003 12:14 AM"), or enjoy the following. Anyone who writes the next hit novel using these ideas should give full props to Teresa and half props to me. <grin>

Some of the things I rant about when I'm reading slush:

(1.) Why do Dark Lords only ever want to take over the world? Why don't they ever want to appear on the cover of Vogue, or bag all the Munros in record time, or convert everyone in the world to Lutheranism?

(2.) Why is it always a Dark Lord? Why isn't it an evil syndicate or axis or cabal? And while we're at it, why do Dark Lords never have enough staffers to administer a large operation?

(3.) Why, in worlds that have a long tradition of working magic, a low level of technology, and little or no organized religion or codified theology, does everyone hate and fear magical powers, and persecute people who develop them? Most especially, why do peasants who have no other source of medical or dental care go out of their way to persecute and alienate their witchy-but-kind village healers?

(4.) Why do people who find out they're heir to great temporal and thaumaturgical power never say "Oh, goody!" And why is their artificially prolonged reluctance to do this obvious thing always referred to as "accepting their destiny" -- especially in causal universes in which destiny is not otherwise a recognized force?

(she's got two more entries in the list, but these are the ones that made me reach for a pencil & paper)


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