Slightly OT: Nebula Awards

Sally Odgers sodgers at tassie.net.au
Wed Mar 3 21:21:37 EST 2004


Is Elizabeth Moon on this list?

Sallyo.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Melissa Proffitt" <Melissa at Proffitt.com>
To: <dwj at suberic.net>
Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2004 9:13 AM
Subject: Re: Slightly OT: Nebula Awards


> On Wed, 3 Mar 2004 21:47:52 -0000, Dorian E. Gray wrote:
>
> >Melissa said...
>
> >> Here's what I think.  Elizabeth Moon is one of those writers who is a
> >> fantastic storyteller, but only nominally good at the craft of writing.
> >
> >Hm.  Okay, I will grant you that, but my major problem with her work lies
in
> >another area.
> >
> >(Please note: 1.  I really like Ms. Moon's books and 2. Everthing
following
> >(including what I think her books should be doing) is *only* *my*
> >*opinion*!)
> >
> >The problem I have is that, while she tells a great story and creates
> >wonderful characters, she doesn't seem to be able to cope well with
emotion.
> >Now, I am a reader who cries pretty easily over books.  Give me some
genuine
> >emotion and I will be in tears as I read.  But with all of Moon's work, I
> >keep finding myself thinking "I *should* be crying right now" - rather
than
> >*actually* crying (most specifically, at the climax of the Paksenarrion
> >trilogy).  Somehow, she just doesn't quite write the emotion so that it
hits
> >me where it really truly hurts.
>
> I consider this an effect of not being good at the craft of writing.  A
> great writer can make you feel the emotion of a scene because that's a
> function not of what story she's telling, but how she's writing it.
>
> But this is an oversimplification, of course, because emotional responses
to
> a story are highly subjective.  Sometimes we cry just because we've had a
> similar experience.  Sometimes it's because kicked puppies and abandoned
> infants are universally heartwrenching.  Sometimes it's that time of the
> month.  :)  Still, it's my belief that a great writer can create an
> emotional reaction even in someone who has never been in that situation
> before, simply by virtue of their writing skill.
>
> >But I am possibly peculiar in demanding gut-wrenching emotional trauma.
>
> You realize at this point I must say "that's not the only thing that makes
> you peculiar...."
>
> Having that requirement might be peculiar, but I think if you know a scene
> or situation ought to make you more emotionally involved than you are,
maybe
> that's not such an unreasonable demand.  I've known neophyte writers who
> believed that if they were feeling sad/happy/aroused when they wrote a
> scene, then everyone who read it would feel the same way.  It just doesn't
> work that way.  (Though this doesn't seem to stop a number of published
> authors who apparently never got this nonsense beaten out of them.)
>
> Melissa Proffitt
>
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