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Old January 16 2013, 02:34 AM   #38
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Re: Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

throwback wrote: View Post
I feel the words, but I am not able to express my indignation at what I have read. If there is an expectation that the writers shouldn't have the same amount of care and devotion for their product as their fans, why should the fans be expected to give something of themselves to the product?
Oh, come on. It's got nothing to do with lack of care or devotion. It's got to do with recognizing that the kind of slavish rigidity you're advocating is not actually good writing. It takes more care and devotion to understand when to stay true to past continuity and when to be more flexible than it does to just mindlessly, mechanistically adhere to every last trivial detail, even the ones that get in the way of your story. You're not a writer. You don't know how it works, what it requires. So it's pretty damned arrogant of you to presume to judge the competency of people who are professional writers. It's easy to be an armchair quarterback. It's easy to condemn when you don't know what you're talking about. The people who actually are qualified to know about the needs of a given profession are far more aware of its nuances and ambiguities. They understand how to interpret the rules rather than just blindly following their letter.

The thing is, no work springs complete from the creator's head like Athena out of Zeus. It's the end product of a lengthy process of development and evolution, with ideas being tested, discarded, modified, revised, reconsidered, rearranged, etc. So what the fan sees as a fixed, monolithic work is really just a cross-section of the entire process of creation that the writer perceives. The writer doesn't care any less about the work; the writer just sees it more as a fluid, evolving entity rather than a frozen image carved in stone. So a writer's willingness to revise a work is a continuation of the same process of revision and editing that led to its creation in the first place. One of the most important parts of the creative process is editing, cutting out the bits that don't serve the story. First drafts are usually rough; it's the editing that makes them good, or not. So removing or changing the parts that don't fit is part of what makes the story work in the first place -- like bonsai. From a creator's standpoint, disregarding or retconning some old bit of continuity isn't neglect or contempt for the work -- it's just editing after the fact. It's trimming the bonsai.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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