ImmerseOrDie Might Be Too Mellow

One of the accusations levelled at ImmerseOrDie is that Jeff, Bryce, or I look for reasons to fail a book, that readers don’t judge books the way we do. I’ve never been inside Bryce’s head, but I feel a deep joy when a book makes it to the line; and we’re not alone in noticing issues.

<p style="text-align: justify;"Anne R Allen warns that minor errors at the start of the book could kill sales.

I’m a grammar freak, so a misplaced apostrophe or verb/object disagreement will stop me. I know not everybody is such a stickler. But I think all readers want to see that a book looks professional and polished. They don’t want to invest time in a book—even if it’s free—unless they feel they’re in competent hands.

While I agree that noticing these issues might seem to be limited to “grammar freaks”, IoD reports show issues that don’t cause us to put a book down still increase the chances that a subsequent issue will stand out enough to lose that sense of competence; so, for every reader whose attention catches on an issue, there are several who don’t stop at that point but are primed to judge later concerns harshly.

And for those who think the failures are still us being picky, remember that Allen (and people in her comment thread) believe that having a contents page that is boring – not ill-formatted, dysfunctional, or otherwise flawed, but just boring – damages sales.

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Not Letting the Dice Decide

While sexual harassment in roleplaying games isn’t front page news in the same way that the rags and tatters of Hollywood pretence are, it happens. And, unlike the real world, it can sometimes seek to excuse itself by relying on not having happened in reality. However, I don’t think something is automatically acceptable just because it’s a story rather than a “real” event or because that’s how the game world is.

Reviewing The 2017 NaNoWriMo Writing Tools Bundle

I’ve been sent a free copy of Kevin J Anderson’s 2017 NaNoWriMo Writing Tools Bundle with a request that I share my honest opinion of a few of the titles. Apart from the guide to Vellum (I already have a good eformating program and don’t have a Mac) they all seem worth a read. However, I don’t have time to read them all properly before the bundle expires, let alone review them. I’ve already got my eye on a couple, but I thought I’d ask you, my glorious followers, which of them you’d most like to read my thoughts on.

Mock Trial

There are two sorts of people in the world: people who are not involved in a legal proceedings, who think that the law is somewhat ridiculous; and people who are involved in legal proceedings, who think that the law is of the utmost seriousness. However, it can’t be denied that there are sometimes cases that tickle my fancy; although not always for the reasons they please most.

Some Notes Towards A Meta-epistemological Manifesto

Genre collapses if viewed too closely: urban fantasy has computers, smart-phones, and such, so contains both the science-fiction of a past generation and the seeds of the hard science-fiction of the present; action films have a handsome hero overcoming obstacles before getting the girl at the end, so are romance. Genre boundaries don’t exist.

And this article from Misha Burnett shows we should perhaps be grateful they don’t.

mishaburnett

I had an epiphany today.

I have always mistrusted the concept of genre.  It has seemed to me to be both a hobble and a crutch.  By which I mean that by accepting a specific genre designation an author restricted her or his writing to an abbreviated range, while at the same time adjuring readers to carry the story past certain difficulties by imposing on an unearned suspension of disbelief.

This did not seem to be a good bargain to me–from either side.

Today it occurred to me that this unnatural division of stories into either this thing or that thing but never both at once mirrors the description that G K Chesterton gives of post-Christian philosophies in his book Orthodoxy.

Chesterton says it much more eloquently that I am about to (which is why I supplied you with the link) but in essence his thesis is that Christianity…

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