10.29.2004

Drop and Go,
and Some Sloppy Comparative Literature
Last night was dedicated to getting the DCC ready for submission and reviewing Athans' edits of my story. Both should be in the mail this afternoon, and then I'll be free to concentrate on Jeff's wedding.

An interesting benefit of Athans' edits is that my story was subtly "Wizardized." I'm a fan of shorter, clipped sentences, but that is just my style. Reading Athans' edits (and I'm sure there were many), the only ones I really noticed were the ones that changed the tempo of the sentence.

I'd be reading and find myself thinking, "Boy, why didn't I make that two sentences?" Silly, boy --- you did!

But all of this is fine. Athans knows what he is doing. Realizing the disparity between my style and more "Wizardish" writing, I'm thankful that they considered my submission at all.

Before I spark a flame war, let me point out that all Wizards stories and novels, are NOT alike*. It is just that some of my edges and corners needed to sanded down a bit. There are still enough clipped, hard sentences in the story to make me happy. :)

In many ways, your writing style is like your taste in music. Interestingly, I go for hip-hop, punk and old goth; all music with short, hard beats. I'm sure many of you have tastes. It doesn't make my music better or worse, just different.

Similarly, your taste in writing might lean towards lush, evocative sentences, leaving you disappointed after reading my works. Again, just different tastes.

One might be tempted to argue that one style of writing (or music) is better than another, but this is a difficult argument to make. What can be evaluated is how well a work of writing (or music) achieves its intended purpose. Don't fault Ice-T for his failure to match up to Beethoven, the two were working towards different ends. If you want to argue that one has more artistic merit than the other, that is fine, but first you need establish your terms. "Artistic merit" has meant different things to different cultures since when we first started painting hand prints on cave walls.

In the end I'm left with a sense that a work of art can't be evaluated outside of the context in which it is viewed.

To wit: I'm driving down to New York this weekend. I need to be able to drive back late-late Sunday night, and not fall asleep on the freeway.

I need music for the drive, and you know it's not going to be classical music. :)

*I haven't read enough recent WotC novels to speak with authority on this subject, so feel free to set me right.

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