Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Burning Zeppelin is Over...

Because the editors of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, an Australian science fiction magazine, have produced a comprehensive list of every problem ever to plague a story. Remember how I (finally) produced a post about writing sins months and months ago? They did the same thing, and better. My work here is done, and by someone else. How embarrassing. I shall now weep.

I don't know how perfect this list really is, but I thought I'd pass it along for your collective perusal and see what you all think of it.

My thoughts? I definitely do #1, beginning a story in the wrong place - in fact, I did #1 with regards to A Knight of the Land for about six years before I finally realized where the story was supposed to start - and it can be a real pain. The rest I have done with less frequency. Some of them I can reliably claim to have never done, and I'm very proud of it. #20 and #21, for example; my stories were more complex than "the bad guys die" and my heroes have never been two-dimensional or unchanging. My spelling (#23) may be awful by nature, but I always clean it up in the final draft.

I also disagree with the fine editors of ASIM on a few points. What's wrong with exclamation points (#15)? Certainly, if overused, they lend a certain hysterical quality to the story, but I think they can be used in moderation. Similarly, while I get the point about epiphanies (#22), I think the idea of protesters burning them in the streets is amazing, and I may need to write a story about it.

Of course, both the editors of ASIM are attempting humor when we say that this list is comprehensive and totally universal, so fear not. The Burning Zeppelin Experience isn't going anywhere soon.

Most of all, this post has left me with a profound sense of... pride. I don't do most of those things, and I haven't in a long time. Does this mean that I'm head-and-shoulders above most writers? Does it mean I'm ready to seek publication?

I'll have to contemplate the matter. In the meantime, you all should contemplate Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine's amusing and enlightening post.