Open Floor

Apologies, everyone, but real life is beating my butt right now. Something came up last night that I’m still dealing with. I will try to get back later today. Until then, let me know what you’d like me to blog about. Ask any questions you have. Most of all, thanks for understanding.

14 comments

  1. In RWA news, my chapter voted to disband. We reached a high of about 66 members in fall of 2019. We’ve dropped down to 25 or so since then.
    No one would run for office so we’re folding.
    We have not gotten a single new member since the dumpster fire began in Dec 2019 and the circular firing squad started up. Instead, longtime members have let their membership lapse and are quietly walking away.

    This seems to be true nation-wide, although I do not have access to the leadership forum where they *might* be discussing this.

    What I do know is we are not the only chapter disbanding.
    The richest, largest chapters with lawyers who write are jumping through the legal hoops needed to disaffiliate in order to keep their treasuries.

    Based on what I’ve been told (which isn’t much!) RWA will be dead in the water by the end of 2022.

    There is NOTHING coming from headquarters in the regular newsletters I receive on the subject, not even anything about recruiting new members to RWA.

    It’s possible headquarters isn’t saying anything because their legal advisors say not to.

    My membership expires in March of 2022 and I’m not renewing.

    1. Teresa, part of me wants to say I’m sorry to hear this but another part says RWA deserves it. I’m sorry for your chapter and for the members in it. There was a time when RWA was a pretty damned good organization. I hope members of your chapter can figure out how to go forward, either finding another organization worth joining (let me know if you do find one) or forming your own group to keep encouraging and helping one another.

      I have seen other chapters deciding to do what yours has. Others are trying to continue on but their membership numbers are dropping as is their relevance.

      1. I think what finally killed RWA for most people (after the 2019 debacle and the pandemic shutdowns) was the Vivian scandal. Awarding a long-time author her prize — as approved by various levels of committee over several months — and then yanking it back because the woke brigades hated the presence of a genuine historical event was the last straw.

        Everyone sane left.

        There does seem to be a new romance writers group but they’re aimed at midlist authors who want to grow. You have to apply. They don’t want newbies and beginners like RWA would accept.

        It’s Romance Author Mastermind.

        1. I think you’re right about the final straw and it is the same situation other groups have faced/are facing. As for the new group, that’s too bad. I think it’s important to be open to the new writers, at least those actively trying to improve their craft and break into the field. Sometimes they actually have more of a feel for what readers want than those who have been doing this for a long time.

  2. This seems like a good time/place to bring up a one-star review I read. I would quote it, but I can’t find it, now (not remembering the name of the series).

    The author killed off a main character. It was a bit abrupt, but not totally random. The reader had a fit.

    Personally, I was sad to see her die – she was our intrepid hero’s fiancĂ© – but having a core group of characters battling monsters whilst all around them people die left and right, leaving the everyone in the narrative-moving group alive is annoying, too. Hence the “red shirt” jokes. The means of death was believable (super strong character, but being blown out into space renders that rather moot) and the reasoning made sense (political terrorism; now that our heroic group has become famous, they’re mostly out of the monster killing business).
    Much like I want a mystery in which the first suspect is the guilty party, I think having the main characters “actually” at risk of dying makes the book(s) more interesting because they break standard expectations.

    I wouldn’t leave Pam a one-star review should she kill off Xen (maybe Q or Paer would be a better analogue). I wouldn’t _like_ it, but if done right it would be, well, right.

    Any authorial thoughts?

    1. I have to agree. It’s astounding how no one *important* ever dies, despite the avalanche of catastrophe falling on them. Done right, it ups the stakes and feels ‘realer’.

      1. A certain author *coughJamesYoungcough* was once accused of having been an Aztec priest in a previous life, because a major, vital character got killed. The effect on another character, well . . . [That should be vague enough to avoid spoilers]

    2. Aw, characters dying. It’s a hard line to walk. You want your characters to be “real” and that means having them face challenges as well as getting rewards. It means life and death. But there are readers who don’t want to see their favorites, even if that favorite is a supporting character, die. For me, the key is and always will be asking if the death does anything to progress the plot or help your main character develop. In other words, there has to be a purpose for the death beyond the shock factor.

      I have one novel–unpublished–where a character I planned on killing off at the end of the first third of the book refuses to die. Then I have another book where a main supporting character does die and I hadn’t planned on it happening. Why? Because I knew the death could be the breaking point for the main character and it almost is.

      As a reader, I don’t like seeing my favorite characters die. But, again, if it is necessary for the plot, it is all right. I’ll mourn, but I will also connect with the remaining characters.

      That said, I’m still mad at Weber for some of the deaths we’ve seen, even if they helped make Honor Harrington into the character she became. (Of course, there are a few deaths I wanted to see that he didn’t oblige me with.)

    1. Did you do that on purpose by recognizing the series? It’s an African swallow and it carries the coconut to New York, where it is named Monty. Is that ambiguous? The swallow, not the coconut, is named Monty.

    2. Are we talking time average, or expected value?

      Also, velocity is a vector. Direction matters. What means do you specify for accounting for swallows flying in different directions?

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