You know, it really isn’t fair that I have to follow Dave on this blog. That’s especially true after his post yesterday. If you haven’t read the post yet, go do so now. He gives the best response to the Hatchette “response” to Amazon’s letter that I’ve seen. That’s all I’m going to say on the Amazon/Hatchette subject today except for this: the double standard of the Amazon haters applauding authors like Patterson for their ad asking readers to email Amazon to say how evil they think Amazon is while at the same time condemning Amazon for asking its customers and KDP authors to email Hatchette boggles my mind. And that, for now at least, is all I’m going to say on the matter.
I have been in a dry spell for finding blog topics recently, especially ones that don’t include the words Amazon, Hatchette, Hugos or LonCon. The latter two mainly because I figure there will be lots of fodder after the Hugos are announced. Today is no different — sort of. It would be very easy to turn this post into one about the loss of Robin Williams. Whether you liked him or not, I doubt any of us can deny that his was a talent that spanned the years and proved that comics could also be great dramatic actors. Unfortunately, anything I were to write here would eventually lead to a discussion of his demons and there would be someone to blame him for taking his life — yes, I’ve already started seeing those posts on social media — and you guys really don’t need to see what my response that that sort of crap would be.
Aaaaaand, just as I was about to type “so I’m going to do a promotions post today”, I checked FB one last time and am now having to clean brain matter off the walls because my head exploded. The SJWs and GHHers have done it again. Let me get another mug of coffee and I’ll explain.
Back. Now gather around children and listen closely. Characters can be anything you want them to be. They can be pink or purple, black or white, gay or straight or bi or whatever. But what they are has to make sense within the confines of your story and, if you are writing in a “universe” that has a canon, you’d better not break canon without setting the groundwork and there being a pretty darned good reason for it.
Consider this, a letter from a fan to a writer in the Star Trek Universe who states he will never again read anything from this particular author because of a break in canon by the author. While the reader didn’t approve of the homosexual affair written into the book, that wasn’t what brought such a firm stance from him. No, it was the fact that the affair was between a Vulcan and a Klingon spy.
Read that again and you don’t even have to add the word homosexual. The important part was that there was an affair between a Vulcan and a Klingon spy. Heck an affair with anyone would have been against canon. As the reader stated, it simply wasn’t logical. Logic is the driving force with Vulcan’s and, unless the Vulcan was in the midst of the mating drive, would she be having an affair with anyone, much less a Klingon, the hereditary enemy of Vulcan?
The author’s response was not to explain how the affair was justified by the plot — so I have to assume that it wasn’t — or how it was allowed by canon. Nope, not at all. Instead he blogs about how there must be diversity in science fiction and how proud he is to be pushing forward in bringing such diverse characters to SF, and the Star Trek universe in particular. In fact, the closest he comes to trying to justify such a character arc is to quote Spock from one of the movies: “Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end.”
All the author seems concerned with is the fact that the reader was closed-minded in his beliefs and the fact that he, the author, was so very proud of how he wrote the character and how she grew during the story. Now, I’m the first to say it always feels good as a writer to see your characters evolve during a story. But to put that ahead of the story, and story canon, can be disastrous.
Now, I know you guys are going to note that I haven’t linked to the post in question. I haven’t and I won’t. For those of you curious enough, I’ve given more than enough detail to let you find it through a quick search. But I frankly have no desire to send any more traffic to this person’s blog than necessary. To me, the response to the read email epitomizes the stance of the SJW/GHH crowd. To them, the message is more important than the story and to hell with what the readers want. In this case, the author broke canon, or at least appears to have and I’ve seen nothing in his response to tell me otherwise. That will lose more readers than the fact he wrote homosexual characters.
So here’s my two cents’ worth. Write the character that needs to be written for the story. But don’t make a character into whatever the current “character class du jour” might be just so you have a “diverse” cast of characters and stories. If you force the diversity, there will be a feeling of artificiality to it. Your reader will see it and that will detract from your story. Is that what you really want to happen and all for the sake of being politically correct?
And, for the record, unless there is a really good backstory explaining it, there’s no way I’d buy a Vulcan and a Klingon having an affair — gay, straight or otherwise.
Now for the obligatory self-promotion.
Detective Sergeant Mackenzie Santos knows that bitter lesson all too well. The day she died changed her life and her perception of the world forever.It doesn’t matter that everyone, even her doctors, believe a miracle occurred when she awoke in the hospital morgue. Mac knows better. It hadn’t been a miracle, at least not a holy one. As far as she’s concerned, that’s the day the dogs of Hell came for her.
Investigating one of the most horrendous murders in recent Dallas history, Mac also has to break in a new partner and deal with nosy reporters who follow her every move and who publish confidential details of the investigation without a qualm.
Complicating matters even more, Mac learns the truth about her family and herself, a truth that forces her to deal with the monster within, as well as those on the outside.But none of this matters as much as discovering the identity of the murderer before he can kill again.
Hunted (Hunter’s Moon Book 1)
written under pen name Ellie Ferguson
When Meg Finley’s parents died, the authorities classified it as a double suicide. Alone, hurting and suddenly the object of the clan’s alpha’s desire, her life was a nightmare. He didn’t care that she was grieving any more than he cared that she was only fifteen. So she’d run and she’d been running ever since. But now, years later, her luck’s run out. The alpha’s trackers have found her and they’re under orders to bring her back, no matter what.
Without warning, Meg finds herself in a game of cat and mouse with the trackers in a downtown Dallas parking garage. She’s learned a lot over the years but, without help, it might not be enough to escape a fate she knows will be worse than death. What she didn’t expect was that help would come from the local clan leader. But would he turn out to be her savior or something else, something much more dangerous?
Vengeance from Ashes (Honor and Duty)
written under the pen name of Sam Schall
First, they took away her command. Then they took away her freedom. But they couldn’t take away her duty and honor. Now they want her back.
Captain Ashlyn Shaw has survived two years in a brutal military prison. Now those who betrayed her are offering the chance for freedom. All she has to do is trust them not to betray her and her people again. If she can do that, and if she can survive the war that looms on the horizon, she can reclaim her life and get the vengeance she’s dreamed of for so long.
But only if she can forget the betrayal and do her duty.