it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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just a nuisance. ashamed that she's used to it.

Wikipedia is also where every crackpot on the Internet got tired.

I wonder if, at some point, it will work like that experiment tar_pith once told me about, where they got a bunch of amateurs to stick a pin in a map where they thought a crippled Russian sub might have sunk, and took the average of the guesses. (IIRC, it came up more accurate than a couple of expert opinions, but memory is fallible.)

(Why, yes, I do keep clicking through to the Talk pages on Wikipedia entries to watch people argue. It's edifying.)

Two things that occurred to me as points of discussion/things to remember over the long weekend.

(1) When writing characters, remember that everybody is crazy.

By which I mean that we all have our quirks and traumas and triggers and socially unacceptable behaviors.

(2) It's the details that make things spring to life, but it doesn't have to be all the details. I personally find it kind of reassuring when a character empties a chamber pot or mucks out a stall occasionally; it makes me feel like I'm dealing with a real world. A lot of pulp fiction doesn't consider these things (How does Kimball Kinnison fry those steaks in space? Are we managing open flame on a space ship? Who pays to boost that side of beef out of a gravity well? That's some pretty expensive ribeye.) and that's fine--such books are meant to be read within the conventions of the genre they're written in, and it's often extremely edifying in a deconstructive sort of way to apply different reading protocols to them--but in the end a bit disingenuous to hold them to a different standard. (I personally think it would be kind of silly to read Temeraire as a rigorous alternate history, for example; it's not in any wise an attempt at same, and it's kind of like judging an Old English Sheepdog by the Great Dane standard. Okay, they're both dogs....)

Which isn't to say that deconstruction and subversion are useless. Heck, it's all I do. Just that, if we are judging one breed by another breed's metric, we should be aware we're doing it.

Also, these little details can serve as grounding and worldbuilding and character business. Handy stuff, that. This is the kind of world in which people spin, you see, and this is a character who would so such spinning....

I used to think that joy was the break between sorrows
like peace was the break between wars
Tags: writing craft wank
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