February 26th, 2005

bear by san

Ask bigger questions

The SNAFFU event last night was fun; good bunch of people, I stayed up way too late.

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In other news, I've been thinking about one of the bits of writing advice that tends to get scribbled on the white board over my monitor. The current article of contemplation (replacing last year's "The Book is Boss") is "ask bigger questions!"

What that means to me, this week, is--not only don't be satisfied with the first *answer* I come up with to any given narrative problem... don't be satisfied with the first problem. Ask a bigger question. A question that's harder to answer, or, ideally, one that maybe doesn't have a good answer. To me, fiction is at its strongest in those intersices; in the angles of questions that don't have good answers where the interesting fiction lies. Characters presented with a lot of unpalatable choices have interesting lives. (The Unforgiven/Casablanca school of plotting, as I like to think of it, and I have a rant somewhere in memories about how those two movies reflect exactly complementary character arcs.)

***

The inimitable jedediah has a good post on Homosexuality, SF, and the unheimlich.

And reading Jed's post, and noticing links to it in other blogs I read, it occurs to me that the SF blogging community--the conversation, as it were--is kind of a giant circle jerk. And I don't necessarily mean that in a negative way. I more mean that we all sit around thinking our 'deep thoughts' and occasionally spouting off about them, while watching other members of the community think-and-spout, and it's all kind of communal and friendly, and hey, we all get something out of it.

It's like fandom, only smaller.

Hmm. Why do I have a feeling that people are going to take offense to the term circle jerk? Ah, well. I can't think of another metaphor that works as well, and really, I guess it all depends on your experience of circle jerks. *cough*
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