Saturday, April 6, 2019

The Characters Are Owed No Apologies

Some weeks here I don’t like the topic so I do a spin on it, but this week I genuinely don’t get the topic: “Channeling JK Rowling: Any apologies due your readers for the way you treated a character?"

Is this about how she keeps coming up with new little nuggets about characters who have been established in readers’ minds for a long time now? From an online dictionary: RETCON: revise (an aspect of a fictional work) retrospectively, typically by introducing a piece of new information that imposes a different interpretation on previously described events.

That’s how some of the SFF7 members have interpreted the topic. Others have switched it up to whether they owe an apology to a character for how they were treated…

First of all, I never read a single Harry Potter book. It just wasn’t my thing. I saw the first movie once and it was enjoyable but didn’t leave me with a deep need to read the books or see the follow-on movies. Not all wonderfully created, deeply immersive fictional worlds are for everybody. I have kind of a high level vague cultural familiarity with Harry Potterworld and that’s it. Wands, a nifty train station, Voldemort, hat sorting... So J. K. Rowling can retcon to her heart’s content and it doesn’t affect me. I can see how it would be disconcerting to a person who was very fond of the books. No one wants their universe upended.

Second, I don’t introduce new information on my characters that undercuts or revises their actions or motives or whatever in earlier books. I might reveal new things about a character in a sequel but only as it applies to what’s going on in the sequel, not to put new light on what they did in book one. I might show how they've grown since the first book, as I did with Twilka in Wreck of the Nebula Dream and then Star Survivor. But she was a supporting character in Wreck.

Third, I can’t think of any character of mine that I’d owe an apology to. I mean, sure some people go through rough, scary times in the books and some people die (NOT the main characters, not ever) but I don’t know how I could write an action and adventure novel without placing characters in jeopardy. Problems come along with being in one of my novels but there’s always a Happy Ever After ending or at least a genuine Happy For Now.

And if I write a villainous person, they get what’s coming to them and again, why would I apologize?

So yeah, this topic of the week is really out there as far as I’m concerned and I have no more light to shed on it.

Here’s some news on my writing status I shared on my Facebook author page last week:

Finished the first draft of CAMRON, my next Badari Warriors novel, which will probably be released in mid to late May. Doing revisions now and then my editor gets it for 30 days. I'm excited about this one (well, I get excited about all of them LOL) and also about what I'm planning to write next for the Badari. Here's a teaser of the CAMRON cover...

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