I would also like to do the education and training-type stuff that should probably come before the job part. It’s something I have a lot of fun doing. Even when it cuts into my reading–like when I see how reader-insultingly ATROCIOUS Maria Snyder is–I like being able to see when mistakes were made and what makes them mistakes. It certainly helps me to feel better about the truly egregious errors.
Recently, because I have a nasty nodule in my palm that makes it hard for me to move the little finger on my right hand, Dither lent me some printouts that he needs typed up. Typing gets my fingers moving and keeps them from locking up. That afflicted finger is forced to move, but not too much, since I’m a trained typist and that finger does not pull heavy duty.
And I read what I’m typing up. Mostly my reactions to it are questions, or laughing, or confusion. It’s what I call, “Boy Fantasy”. Although this is not true across the board, nor a law or quite a rule of thumb, I have observed that fantasy novels written by men are generally different from the same genre written by women.
Most of the time, I don’t feel like I can really pin down why this is so. Instinctively, I feel many or most are perhaps contradistinct, and it’s still in effect (though in quite another way entirely) in collaborative works wherein one author is a man and the other a woman.
In this case, what makes the works “boy fantasy” is easy to tell. Not necessarily easy to define. I could talk about some of the many elements from each of these short stories and story parts, but I think I would inevitably mix myself up and start including things that baffle me. That is because of the other thing they are, which is amateur fiction.
It’s reminded me about that wanting to be an editor thing. There have been several instances where an action or piece of dialogue makes absolutely no sense, unless (according to Dither) one has read the entire continuity. Or at least more of it than a single piece. It also has a strong basis in a separate commercial franchise, which the writer appears to have assumed did not require any explanation.
An example of this was when a main character, whom I had previously seen to be competent and even respectably powerful, lost control of a magical creature immediately after receiving its aid via a forest goddess. As I am unfamiliar with the aforementioned separate franchise, I did not realise that this was meant to reference the fact that this creature can be commandeered by one’s opponent. It was not expressly stated or explained in the story (nor was an opponent readily apparent). I assumed that the character simply lost control of it directly after taking control, so I chuckled and wondered why that had happened.
I find myself doing things like that whenever I’m reading any fiction. Sometimes I think I drive my hubby crazy asking him questions and pointing out things. Like how inexcusably stupid it is to have completely random and unexplained karate references and a factory with a conveyor belt in a book with a generic Albion-esque setting.
…and calling it ‘generic’ is being kinder than a saint, honestly.