Fair warning. Next week will be very sparse for blogging. I’ll try to put up a couple of posts but they won’t be my priority. My son will be home for the first time in more than and year and I think everyone understands that family always comes first. So, please don’t think I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, never to return. I will. But for at least part of the week, I will be absent.
As for today, well, it is difficult to find a topic to blog that doesn’t take me back to Sad Puppies and the Hugos. That is especially true when one author keeps turning up on my Facebook feed with his daily anti-puppy rant. Now, I’m a big believer in everyone is entitled to their own opinions but it is hard to not respond, either on his page — which would get me banned — or here. That’s especially true because he consistently misconstrues what SP3 stands for.
You see, by nature I’m a battler. I’m a brawler and I fight dirty. But I have learned over the years that there are some fights that just aren’t worth fighting. This fight, with this particular author is one of them. He is never going to change his stance, no matter what sort of evidence, anecdotal and concrete alike, he is presented with. He has written the history of the industry in the way he wants it to be remembered and to hell with everyone else. Taking the battle to him would serve no purpose except to prove, in his point of view, he is right.
So I will stop thinking about what he said today, and on previous days, and try to find something else to write about. And, well, it actually becomes pretty easy once I put the emotion behind me. You see, this particular author could be a character in a novel or short story. He doesn’t necessarily have to be an author. He could be a writer or a teacher or just about anyone who sees himself as an authority on anything. He could be Balph Eubank in Atlas Shrugged (and no, the author I’m referring to did not just sign a huge multi-book contract). He could be Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead or a warped version of Gail Wynand in the same book. He could be the anchor for the nightly news who has forgotten that his job is to report the news, not make it. Or the history “scholar” who rewrites history to match his version of what it should have been.
He is the revisionist and the denier. He is, in short, whomever you want him to be.
But, to do him justice, you have to make him a fully formed character and not just a caricature. Give him strengths and weaknesses. Very few people are all bad — or all good. It may be difficult, especially if your own emotions concerning the person you are fictionalizing are strong. It can be done. Just do yourself a favor and don’t make the fictionalized character too much like the inspiration. That is one headache you don’t need.
And that is what I’m going to try to do. It is much better than tilting at the windmills of the puppy haters.