Sunday, June 7, 2009

An Open Letter to My Favorite Writer

Having just finished reading a short story by one of my favorite authors, I find myself in need of making a specific request.

Let me begin by saying I know how hard it is to do all that we may want to do with a character in a short. I’ve never been good at the short story. I always go over, so I understand the difficulty of the word limit constraint. However, please do not stretch our credulity just to meet your word limit. Please do not short shaft our favorite characters to meet your mark.

As I said, I just finished reading a short that was part of an anthology. The writer of this short is one whose work I love. Her characters are so wonderfully drawn that they stand as my favorite heroes and heroines. In fact, my son’s middle name was derived from the name of one of her characters whom both my SO and I connected with strongly. I had put off the short I just read because my SO had shrugged and said it wasn’t that great. And since it was “the story” for my absolute favorite of her characters (a side character who absolutely stole my heart) I was worried about reading it.

While it was humorous at times and I enjoyed seeing the glimpses of the other characters I like, it was a disappointment. The story was forced and rushed. You cannot transform your heroine from someone who hates, loathes and is repulsed by the very nature and existence of the hero (in fact she actually once tried to kill him she found him so horrible) to loving him, wanting to sleep with him, become his life bound mate and willing to die for him in less than 12 hours. There wasn’t even a catalytic event strong enough to overcome her feelings, feelings she’d harbored for over 400 years and were rooted in watching his people, in her perspective, tear her family to pieces. A few minutes of “family” warm fuzzies, being shown basic courtesy by those she didn’t expect courtesy from, and tolerance on his part do not make for a believable 180 degree transformation in a matter of a couple of hours. The plot was basically good, but it needed much more than a couple of hours to manifest the change.

I know this particular writer tries to always give her readers the best. She’s notorious for pushing back release dates because things just aren’t ready yet. I probably wouldn’t have been so disappointed if this weren’t my favorite hero, but as to his heroine I have to say, the story didn’t sell me. She’s weak, whiney, immature and not worthy.

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