Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I find the word "inspirational" blasphemous

My story "God of Worms" is up at Every Day Fiction. It's not speculative, although before I sat down to actually write it I had intended it to be a little fantasy story. Instead I trimmed it down until it's just about a woman in a relationship with a jerk.

Unfortunately--and as a writer of fantasy and SF who doesn't have particularly strong religious notions of my own, I didn't really think it through--the story can be read as inspirational. That squicks me a little, mostly because I don't want anyone to think I'm championing any particular religion, particularly not in my fiction. Even if I was deeply religious, I'd keep it out of my writing.

I made the mistake of reading the comments over at EDF, which I should never do. (Because half the comments are from grammar nazis, that's why. What, do they expect me to revise a story after it's published? Do they think they're part of a critique group? Do they think I give even a rat-sized shit that an apostrophe was misplaced?) Ahem, anyway, grammar nazis aside, the comments seem split into two camps: people who think the story is not religious in the proper way, and people who think it's a beautiful inspirational story that speaks to them. Only one or two people liked it for the relationship issue that was, to me, the core of the story.

So next time I come up with an idea for a story that isn't SF or fantasy, I'm going to lie down until the idea goes away. Or I'm going to turn all the characters into elves and trolls to make sure it's fantasy. Oh, and I'm never going to read the comments for any story over at EDF again, especially not for my own. (And don't even get me started on that awful star-rating system.)

14 comments:

Catherine J Gardner said...

Well I loved it (and not because I'm biased) - I've known a few guys who would make sure the umbrella covered them and leaving me covered in drips. :)

K.C. Shaw said...

Ha, thanks! I've known guys like that too, unfortunately.

Aaron Polson said...

I loved this story too, and I don't "edit" anything that is published. I still sub to EDF, but I cringe at the comments--too many of those folks do treat it like a crit group.

They certainly wouldn't stoop for the worms.

Carrie Harris said...

I think it's pretty easy to pick out the worm savers from the non-savers based on the comments. :)

Personally, I really liked it! And Cate, this is why I insist on carrying my own darned umbrella.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Don't worry about the 'red pen readers'. I enjoyed it for one. I thought it read beautifully.

K.C. Shaw said...

Aaron--lol, yeah! No love for the worms there.

Carrie--Thanks!

Jamie--Thank you too!

Jameson T. Caine said...

I enjoyed it. Short but effective. I've known know-it-alls that argue for the sake of proving themselves to be right (*cough* my father *cough*). Walking away is about the only thing one can do with them.

K.C. Shaw said...

Thanks, that's what I was trying to get across in the story. :)

Danielle Ferries said...

I'm going to head over and read it. And personally, I think the grammar nazis need to get out more (my polite way for saying they need to pull their heads out of their arses).

K.C. Shaw said...

Yeah, I don't understand whey they bother anyway. It's not like they're going to change something that's just been published. Maybe they just want to feel important.

camillealexa said...

What, do they expect me to revise a story after it's published? Do they think they're part of a critique group? Do they think I give even a rat-sized shit that an apostrophe was misplaced?Yep. All those. And worse.

Don't let it get to you.

K.C. Shaw said...

Yeah, I just have to remind myself whose byline is under the story's title. :)

Jordan Lapp said...

K C. We're going to moderating comments from now on, thanks to this troll. We totally against censorship, but this kind of stuff goes way beyond what's appropriate.

Please consider giving us another shot in the future. The magazine would be a poorer place without your writing.

-Jordan

K.C. Shaw said...

Oh, golly, I didn't mean to stir up trouble. And I have nothing but the highest regard for EDF--in fact I've got another story on sub with you right now. :)