I've figured out something interesting about my writing. I wonder if this will help me fix what I think is a something I'm only succeeding at intermittently. Specifically, I've talked about how there's a frequent criticism that my science fiction, in particular, doesn't have shiny enough ideas. Which I've aired to some other other science fiction writers in a quest for a handle on the perceived problem, and been told, essentially, "don't be silly. There's this thing, and this other thing, and quantum nano-networks, and distributed AI on a synaptic model, and colloidal metalic hydrogen aliens, and this spin on cybernetics that we haven't seen before, and your FTL drive is one of the cooler hacks of quantum physics I've seen."
And I think, having been reading some Big Idea SFF recently, that I've figured out why some of the SFF writers pick up the ideas, but the reading public (which are of course the people who I'm really aiming at) miss them. Because I tend to defocus them, and deal with them on an individual, human level, only as they affect the characters immediately.
On some level, I think this makes my SF less intimidating than it could be--I get a lot of those "I don't like SF, but I like your stuff" emails--but I also think it puts the emphasis on things many SF readers would prefer not to have to deal with so much. The things we technically refer to as "girl cooties."
So now I have to decide if there's a way to foreground the shiny a little bit more without alienating the readers who show up for the other stuff. Because I really do believe that a writer's duty is to at least try to do everything well. Daunting though that is. But servicing the readers I already have is always the first duty.
Just goes to prove that old saw: critics can tell you where they tripped. The trick is figuring out what they tripped over, because it's nearly never what they thought when they went back and looked.
In other news, Lesa's turning into Neil Burnside on me. Just what I needed, a goddamned cowboy.
hello you, hello me, hello people we used to be
isn't it strange, we never change, we've been through it all, we're still the same
The writer at work:
[21:51] matociquala: Dammit, this book is full of girl cooties too.
[21:51] stillnotbored: shame on you
[21:52] matociquala: Everybody's motivated by their relationships.
[21:52] matociquala: And the stresses between those and what they see as their duty. Can you imagine such a thing?
[21:54] stillnotbored: nope
[21:54] stillnotbored: you are doomed
[21:54] katallen: dooooooomed