There’s this implicit pressure these days for women (and everyone else, really) to comment on their own awful experiences around sexual violence. I’m here to say: No, you’re not obligated to tell the world about it. It’s perfectly possible to recognize the power in all of these shared stories and still not be ready to share your own.
So for the record, here are A Few Multiple-Choice Questions For Liz:
Do you have your own story?
b) Who doesn’t?
c) None of your business
a) I was 12 years old
b) The fallout from reporting would’ve been unsustainably bad
c) None of your business
You’re all better now, right?
a) LOL no
b) You never get better; you just learn to live with it
c) None of your business
Phew. Glad we’ve cleared the air on that one.
You know, the more I think about it, the more I’m sure Elena should’ve reported Danny as soon as he confessed to trying to knock her up on purpose. That shit’s criminal. I don’t care how much she and Greg were on the outs; she should’ve filed a report with her commanding officer. And Danny should’ve been thrown out of the Corps and probably into jail somewhere. ‘Course then he’d still be alive and they wouldn’t’ve gone through the wormhole and Ellis would have dellinium and there’d be no Book 4 because we’d’ve had The End Of Civilization As We Know It.
Elena’s really a lousy soldier. I love her with all my heart, but she should’ve been a freighter jock instead.
Couple of things in this book I’m writing that I’m not entirely sure about:
1) There’s a romance. Sort of. But whether it’s a romance or just a deep friendship I never clarify. I’m not sure if I should. On the one hand, it really is a love story. On the other hand, I don’t know how often I read about deep friendships between women. Hell, I don’t have any idea how to make friends here in the real world; it’s nice to see it happen in fiction. So I’ve left it ambiguous and…I think I kind of like it that way. Depending on my mood, their relationship is physical offstage or it’s not. I’m comfortable either way.
(But we all know in Season 3 of The Expanse Naomi broke Drummer’s heart. No offense to Holden, but: Naomi, you monster.)
2) There’s untreated mental illness that for the most part doesn’t make the character’s life more difficult. This one is potentially harder to defend, because I’m a big believer in treating mental illness whenever it’s possible to do so. But…sometimes we create mechanisms to cope with the world that are, by any reasonable definition, not normal. And sometimes those coping mechanisms are what help us survive. They become something we should treat when they interfere with what we want from our lives, or when they hurt others.
What I’m trying to do with this character is honor the fact that we all survive in our own ways.
There’s also the fact that my two MCs are both over 40. I’m not concerned about that, although I have to acknowledge it might limit the market. Ah, well–that’s how the story came out, so there ya go.
I have a long list of things I feel like I’ve learned about publishing, but I’m wary of extrapolating facts from a single data stream. I see that on Twitter all the time: writers (usually meteorically successful ones) declaring Wise Truths About Publishing that I know are incorrect.
I love writing. It’s been a part of my life forever, and it’ll be a part of my life as long as I can put down words. But publishing is an entirely different thing, and I’ll tell ya, there’s no guarantee that loving one is going to make you love the other. Seems to be the only way to properly share stories, though, unless you want to stick with mimeographed copies handed out to your extended family at Thanksgiving. (Yes, I know mimeographs have been obsolete for a long time. Sue me.) (It’s like a copy machine, kids.) (Okay, it’s basically a printer, but with a stencil on one end instead of a computer.) (Don’t knock it. It worked.)
The thought of reaching the point where I’m no longer capable of putting down words makes me understand Terry Pratchett.
There are bad people in the world.
Not a lot of them. I’m still enough of an optimist to believe they’re in the minority. It’s just the magnitude of the damage they’re capable of that makes it seem like they’re everywhere.
That bad people aren’t bad to everyone doesn’t make them any less bad.
Was having an argument of sorts with someone on my writing group this week who was pulling a Kids These Days about books. Apparently there’s been nothing decent written in the last 30 years (although they kept referencing CATCHER IN THE RYE which I’m pretty sure was written before 1988).
This is the most utter bullshit. There are so many good books published these days. My kid (who, despite her amazing brain, is a bit late to the rabid reader table) has been spending weeks talking to me about this one, and today I bought her a copy of the sequel (in hardcover, no less). I have something like 30 books sitting on my iPad waiting for me to read them, and a stack of recommendations from Spouse and other friends that’s twice that long.
Odds are, Writing Group Curmudgeon has some sort of agenda, although I’ve been having some trouble figuring out what it is. (There’s a sort of person who seems to want to discourage new writers from trying to get a publisher, suggesting it’s pointless to even try and they should open with self-publishing. I do not get this. Self-publishing is a valid path in its own right, not some kind of fallback position.) For sure, though, WGC hasn’t been looking very hard if they haven’t found anything recent that’s good. I’ve found way too many titles myself, and the list keeps getting longer.
I haven’t been sick in a while. I suppose I should be thankful it’s taken this long.
Spoiler: I am not thankful.
Eat properly and get enough sleep, kids. Do not, under any circumstances, get sick.