Tag Archives: Terry Pratchett

where is my cow…?

GrammarTroll

one of my favorite books is Where is my Cow by Terry Pratchett. it is amazing. and it becomes even more amazing when you know the ‘back-story’ – told in Thud! – where the memory of  reading Where is my Cow to his son saves the main character from certain death.

good stories have that power – to save lives – either literally or figuratively. the very act of reading a book is powerful in  itself, and governments all over the world have from time to time banned books, books by certain writers and books based on banned books.

but back to Where is my Cow? – the point with the book, for me, is the love the two main characters have for each other, and how they share a very special bond. with a silly, conspiratorial grin at the non-silly world.

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Filed under Authors, Reading, Review

50k of Mary-Stu.. Why not?

PenFireSmall“Maybe I should do the opposite… try to write purple prose, Mary Sues and revive my “darlings”…” (From Ketutar Writing)

It’s all about the Inner Critic, isn’t it? In the end we have to like our characters, even those who are not likable – I don’t mean that we have to like them when they are unlikable, I mean that we have to like that they are unlikable.

Somehow we have to accept that in fictional writing any character is exactly that – fictional, a product of fantasy – so it’s really silly to try and make them too perfectly ‘non-Mary-Stuish’. So a character is inordinately beautiful or extraordinarily intelligent – there are people like that in the real world, so why shouldn’t there be such people in a fictional world?

Besides, NaNoWriMo is about writing 50k words, not about writing prose that is so dry the ink would fall off the pages if they were printed, or about ‘dehumanizing’ characters to a point where they come across as the figments of some “Mary-Stu-Grand-Inquisitor-Test-Inventors” imagination.

Unless one is exceptionally gifted at inventing original plots, some generic idea is going to insert itself in any story – even if one does a Terry Pratchett and turns the Universe on it’s head and writes satire.

So, if all you can come with is a run-of-the-mill generic plot set in a fantasy society, inhabited by elf-like, exceptionally beautiful, multi-talented and intelligent females and gorgeously sexy, multi-talented and intelligent males, and then let your hero or heroine outshine them all in various situations, described in flowery similes and over-stacked metaphors then, by all means, be consistent and write 50k words of thatEdit: After all, it worked for Good Old Uncle Tolkien, who created an entire race of Mary-Stus so why not? Really, why not?

To quote on of my characters (who frequently spouts things like this – because it is his job do so…):

“So the Order reasons that no matter how mundane the topic of a book is, the contents must be a reflection of how life is experienced by its author even if it’s beneath layers and perhaps obscure. Anyone reading any specific book will come away from that reading with a piece of that author’s life-experience, either in practice or in understanding. He or she will then in turn bring this practice or understanding into their own experience. In fact just reading the book will add to their particular life-experience. Eventually, then, as such life-experience is added to that of oneself and is shared with others through reading and writing, it will bind together Life as a whole, within all of those who share. Thus it maintains the Core of Everything, since Life is Everything.”

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Filed under NaNoWriMo, Writing