UPDATE: Grammer fixed to make a sentence say what I meant!
Continuing the answering cavalcade! (And you can still ask stuff!)
Earl has a couple:
Which Do you find more offensive to pledge; one nation under God” or “with liberty and justice for all”?
That’s an interesting and challenging question. In truth, I don’t find either concept particularly offensive at all, although I am always struck by the way the Pledge was co-opted by conservative evangelicals in this country some years ago. I’m still astonished at the way George HW Bush managed to somehow hang the freaking Pledge of Allegiance around Michael Dukakis’s neck like a damned dead albatross. Wasn’t that weird?
I like the idea that we are one nation, and I like the idea of liberty and justice for all. Now, we can differ on what “liberty” means; one of the big reasons I reject libertarianism is because I think the notion of “liberty” that they hold dear is deeply suspect. But that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish, innit? I also have trouble with “under God”, mainly because the days of Americans being able to go through life assuming that everybody around them was Christian are pretty much over. Arguing over whether the Founding Fathers intended America as a Christian nation or not strikes me as generically unproductive, since I’m increasingly of the view that what the Founding Fathers wanted really shouldn’t be terribly relevant to us today. Besides, there’s the fact that the original version of the Pledge didn’t even have “under God” in it; that was added later by Congresscritters who didn’t want to appear too Red.
Ultimately, though, I find the idea of a pledge a bit daft in the first place. What’s the point? Why do we bother making kids recite this thing each and every morning? My love of my country has nothing at all to do with the Pledge of Allegiance, and I generically find oaths of allegiance to be generally a waste of time.
Would you consider switching genres in your writing? Why or why not?
I fear that last night’s post may have dampened this question a little, but I hope not. The answer is, obviously, yes. Or no. Ha!
It all depends on how we draw the lines of genre. Science fiction seems quite different from fantasy, although where the dividing line between the two lies has been an eternal source of debate for fans of either and both genres for decades. One of my beta readers for Princesses In SPACE!!! (not the actual title) indicated her belief that the book is actually a fantasy rather than SF, and I can see the argument; for me, it’s SF but it’s pretty solidly in the Star Wars end of the pool. So, did I write SF or fantasy?
Now, The Adventures of Lighthouse Boy (not the actual title), the book I started but set aside because I hadn’t thought through the backstory enough, is most certainly fantasy. Or is it? The world and history are completely imaginary, but there is no magic in that world at all. None. Zero. So is it still fantasy? Hmmm!
And then there’s GhostCop (not the actual title), which is, as I indicated, a supernatural thriller. Or, it’s horror. Thing is, many folks put horror in with SF and fantasy! I’ve read quite a few horror books that are definitely horror but which are also quite proper SF. (The Stand is one good example.) So, what genre is that? I don’t know.
Historical fiction is a genre that interests me, but I don’t know if I’ll ever have the patience to do the necessary research. There are topics that could work, though…the romance of Robert and Clara Schumann, for example, or the life of Hector Berlioz, which is a wildly cinematic life, indeed.
Last night on Facebook, a friend of mine named Mark said this:
After I saw your rewrites of movie dialogues, I thought that you might try writing a script or a play sometime.
Screenplays or plays? That’s interesting. My first creative writings that I took seriously were scripts, written in grade school. They were also fan fiction. I haven’t written in script format in years, though; I made the switch to prose in the late 1990s when I finally decided it was time to leave fanfic behind for good, and I’ve never looked back.
I wrote a script a few years ago, which I often consider deleting entirely. I wrote it in an attempt to exorcise some personal demons, and…well, I’m not going to elaborate much on that. I think I could be a decent screenwriter, but my sense of things is that screenwriters have even less general chance of seeing their work produced correctly than novelists. I respect screenwriters and playwrights immensely and I like to read and study their work for storytelling insights, but I doubt I’ll ever count myself among them.
OK, that’s it for tonight! More answers to come!