Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dear reader, I pose this question for you:

Should I hold myself to a different standard than I hold other purveyors of fiction?

When I read fiction that touches on science or technology1, and said science is wrong2, it bothers me3. However, if the rest of the tale is exciting, intriguing, or otherwise entertaining, I am all too happy to let it slide.

The idea I've started entertaining for this year's NaNo novel is based on some pretty lousy science. I don't want to get into the details just yet, but suffice it to say that it would bug me if I were just the reader.

My problem is twofold. First, it's NaNo; to reach the goal, I just need to crank out 50,000 words, regardless of how useless they are. And second, it troubles me that I can't think of a more elegant way to cause the scenario which is the basis for the story, and I'd really hate for my first success4 at NaNo to be based on something that would bug me as a reader.

As I said, though, if it were another author's book, I'd let it go and enjoy the rest of the tale.

So what do you think? Should I write the story, warts and all, or should I spend the next three days cramming for a better idea? Your comments would be welcome.

1 Would it kill Hollywood to hire a nerd or two to vet the so-called hacking that goes on in TV and movies?

2 And, sadly, it almost always is.

3 Bad science in non-fiction, like our news and politics, makes me even crazier, but that's a whole 'nother post.

4 This is rather unlikely, given my track record

Comment by Kris Johnson

Is it possible to do the story based on the shaky science for NaNo and then go back afterward and come up with a more elegant way to accomplish it?

Comment by blob

I don't know. I think probably not, unfortunately. I've refined the idea somewhat and while it's now extremely improbable, I think it's at least possible.

And since I'm short on time, it'll pretty much have to do.

Comment by Wesley

1) Disclaimer, baby! I read a story once about wooden spaceships and the author had a disclaimer at the beginning saying it couldn't happen, and I was happy to suspend disbelief.

2) Your tab order goes Name - Website - (Remember Me?) when it seems it should go Name - (Remember Me?) - Website

3) You only give the first like 30 words out on the RSS feed, forcing people to come here to read your blog. Myspace does that. You don't want to be like Myspace, do you?

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