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Truth is stranger than (really bland) fiction

30 December 2010

I say the above only because Pynchon writes fiction, and nothing I’ve come across in the real world is as strange as Pynchon.

While I was writing the 47 Echo short stories I contributed to the collection that was Tweet_Book_4, I would occasionally get a comment along the likes of “that would never happen.” In one story, I wrote about a guy who was left back home in Georgia while his wife, an Army Ranger, went off to fight the war. I got several comments on how women aren’t allowed to serve in the Rangers (this is true, currently). I did point out that this story was set in the future, though, and other commenters really handled that one for me.

Then, in Storm System, I wrote about a CIA agent who got bailed out of a tough spot by a meteorologist. Again, commenters called foul — that is, until I pointed to the Air Force’s 10th Combat Weather, which sends its people through most of the same training Army Rangers get. I will point out, though, that this was my favorite “negative” comment (I don’t really consider it negative, though — I’ll get to that in a second). I just loved the “duct-taping guns to everyone” line.

I don’t consider the above comments negative, because they force me to look back at the story and make sure I did my work properly. If not, I usually change whatever was wrong and thank the commenter. If I did, I tend to point to my research.

We all get comments on our writing from people (friends, critique groups, folks on the Internet) from time to time. What’s the best you’ve gotten? The worst?

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