From Chapter 5 The Double Standard of Content:
Critics who are too sensible to succumb to some version of She didn’t write it and too decent to resort to the (always rather snide) She did, but she shouldn’t have can often find other ways to dismiss the tuneful yodelling and graceful ice-sliding of those wrongly shaped – or wrongly tinted – Glotolog who somehow persist in producing art despite the obstacles arrayed against them. Motives for the dismissal differ: habit, laziness, reliance on history or criticism that is already corrupt, ignorance (the most excusable of all, surely), the desire not to disturb the comfort based on that ignorance (much less excusable), the dim (or not-so-dim) perception that one’s self-esteem or sex-based interests are at stake, the desire to stay within an all-male, all-white club that is, whatever its drawbacks, familiar and comfortable, and sometimes the clear perception that letting outsiders into the club, economically or otherwise, will disturb the structure of quid pro quo that keeps the club going.
- How to Suppress Women’s Writing, Joanna Russ, University of Texas Press, 1983
So here is a great link via @tansyrr on Twitter for advice on time management. I have to admit that after running ASif for 5 years and working at indie press for nearly 4, I've begun to hear the subtext of writers - shorthand if you will for whether a particular project will ever be turned in. And the big No for me is when someone says it's hard to find time because they have kids/have a job. For me, that's code for "I want to be a writer and I like saying that I am a writer, but I don't really write." Because writers, write. They find the time and they make it happen. Those two are key to becoming successful - sure you need talent and IT but you also need to have actually committed and dedicated yourself to the task in order to have work to submit.
That is all.
I think its the latter. I still like medical dramas, law dramas and forensic plots even though I've been deluged by these. I am still watching Australian Idol (even though I said I wouldn't but) because there is so much rubbish on that I can't be bothered watching.
It made me think about what makes a show work. Obviously you can't manufacture an assemble cast that has chemistry that transcends bad writing .. Buffy (even a bad ep *cough* Bewitched *cough* worked) and *sniff* Star Trek the Next Generation. But sometimes its the lack of a good ensemble, I think, that makes even a wellplotted/wellwritten show work. I can't stand CSI Miami so I don't know if any of the eps really work, cause I can't be bothered with the cast. Ditto for CSI NY and Law and Order Special Victims Unit.
But mostly, you can't make a show work just because we like the genre. The props can't replace good writing.
What is good writing? Why do I tune in every week. The bf and I decided that its the meta arcs. That's why we keep coming back to NCIS, for example. Even a slow and boring mystery can be worthwhile to see Gibbs give Abby a slurpie, for some ribbing between Probie and Tony (and Kate - we miss her!) or for something about Gibbs' past to come out. We want to see more of the characters personalities and we like continuity between episodes. The all time best for this really was the final season of Buffy where seemingly inconsequential things from seasons past suddenly became crucial to the wrap up. How we miss thee, Joss!
So for me, it really is character development that is the most important thing for watching and reading.
Why do you tune in each week?
Just reading a review for ASif! complaining about character names. The all time best (read 'worst') names I ever read in a SF novel were in a Star Trek:TNG novelisation I read. (Yes, that's right, I HATE Moby Dick and LOVE Star Trek, pigeon hole me as you will) Should I tell you that worse than that, this was a getting-together of Will and Deanna. Yeah I was a sucker for that relationship till she hooked up with Worf.
In this novel they had to go to Betazed for some reason and there we found our four archenemies for the story. And the names they'd been given were something like - Maror, Beyza, Charosed (I AM SO NOT MAKING THIS UP) and I forget the fourth. So the translation for these are: Bitter Herbs, Egg and I dunno the third (mortar? I dunno its a mixture of grated apples, hazelnuts and whatnot). In other words, the writer had picked up things off the Passover Plate and given them to his bad guys in the story - as though no other Jew would ever read this book!
What are the worst character names you've ever read or tried to pull off?
But you know what happens when you shake things up? You get a plot idea for a story. Dammit.
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