[info]opterna @ 06:22 am: Big Fan
Hello! I've been a longtime fan of your articles on effective writing. They're tremendously useful, and I've yet to see a single one with which I fundamentally disagreed. I even shared them with the creative writing club on my campus. (I was vice president for a year, then president... and then graduated.) I strive to keep your recommendations in mind when I'm writing, though I confess that I don't view them as iron-clad.

Luckily, I haven't wandered seriously afoul of any of your recommendations yet. (I'm writing a political fantasy with no villains, no humans, no dragons, no ghosts, no elves, no dwarves, no orcs, no ghouls, no gentry, no "destiny", no little kids, no telepathy, no "soul bonds", no "quest", and legitimate moral ambiguity in a non-"medieval" world where magic and science are both equally respected and practically interchangeable. Oh, and about half the cast are cannibals from beginning to end.) Even so, I try to stay aware, especially when it comes to your rants on theme and proper characterization.

This rant was of particular interest to me because one of the major characters (generally considered a protagonist, but that depends on your POV) in my story is a traitor. However, he believed that betraying his friend would bring the highly ambitious goal he and his friend shared into fruition, which he assumed is what his friend would want if consulted. He was acting in the best interests of his nation, though he had personal reasons as well (an increase in the odds of survivorship). He also (fairly) perceived his friend as having previously betrayed him. Just to complicate matters, the full repercussions were impossible to know beforehand, so he was balancing the odds of particular outcomes. His friend is another important protagonist, so whether the treason was justifiable very much depends on which character the reader personally prefers.

I wonder if you've ever considered transforming the contents of your rants index into a little booklet. Maybe a staple-bound for sale? I would want a copy for myself, of course, but I'd also donate one immediately to my college's library. This isn't intended to be pressure; I just thought I'd let you know how thoroughly I'd support the idea if you chose to enact it. You have a fun, expressive, and confident style that I think grabs readers and makes them strongly consider your input. That's a good thing, considering your combination of rare gifts: knowledge, awareness, and reason!


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