Sunday, September 24, 2006

This guy sucks, that guy sucks

I spend a fair amount of time on various speculative fiction writers' forums, reading comments and leaving a few of my own. From time to time you read complaining posts about how such-and-such a writer sucks, or this writing is ripping off an earlier writer (usually Tolkein) and the like.

I'm not perfect, and I will sometimes say something "sucks" if asked my opinion, but I don't think that's fair to the writer or writers being discussed. Sure, maybe they got lucky and they made it big. Sure, maybe their plots are weak and their prose is awful. And yeah, maybe they knew somebody who knew somebody. But still, they've made it. And maybe they put in years of work honing their craft. Maybe they've put in hours and hours of promotional time.

I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I figure it's a big enough world, and there are readers enough for me to not have to feel jealous of any other writer when it comes to competing for readers. (As a side note, I do sometimes get jealous of other writers because they've written something I loved and wished I'd written -- cough cough CALTHUS cough cough --).

Also, I figure any fantasy writer who makes it big is only helping my career along by making fantasy more acceptable to a mainstream artist.

So ... I'm tired of hearing "Paolini sucks" or "Salvatore sucks" or "Brooks ripped off Tolkein" or whatever. I read plenty of fantasy, some I don't care much for and some I enjoy. I read some fantasy only because I'm studying a particular writer, or trying to figure out why he or she has such a large following. I read some fantasy writers for sheer enjoyment. Every fantasy writer I've ever read, no matter how much I liked or disliked their work, has taught me something.

Sometimes when I'm talking to other writers, it feels like we're all in high school again and we're in garage bands, screaming at each other "Your band sucks!" "No, YOUR band sucks!"

Hey, the truth is, there's enough room in this world for both Counting Crows and Guns N Roses. So put on your earphones and listen to the music of your choice.


Anonymous said...

you suck

Ty said...

Geez, at least have the balls to put your name with your post.

Otherwise, I lable you "cowardly coward coward!"

Anonymous said...

Title a blog entry "This guy sucks, that guy sucks;" what else do you expect?
Coward I may be, but at I can spell "label."

Anonymous said...

Title a blog entry "This guy sucks, that guy sucks;" what else do you expect?
Coward I may be, but I can spell "label."

And then I can fix my stupid typing errors.

Ty said...

--snicker, snicker--