Thursday, March 22, 2012

Link(s) of Interest: The Human Wave

I'm running a little behind on my DS9 re-watch and probably won't get to my two assigned DS9 reviews until tomorrow and Sunday. (The Sunday review will replace the upcoming Merlin, as I prefer to wait until a two-parter is over before sharing my thoughts.) Thus, in lieu of my DS9 commentary, I'm going to direct you to a series of interesting posts author Sarah Hoyt has written on the "Human Wave."

And what is the "Human Wave," you might ask? Well, I will let Hoyt explain:

Oh, it’s guidelines you want, then? Well, I was manifesting. But fine. I’ll throw out a few simple rules:

1 – Your writing should be entertaining. If you’re writing for the awards and the literary recognition, you’re hanging out with the wrong crowd. (Does the other crowd have a tiny racoon in a kilt? Or even a quilt? Think!)

2 – Your writing shouldn’t leave anyone feeling like they should scrub with pumice or commit suicide by swallowing stoats for the crime of being human, or like humans are a blight upon the Earth, or that the future is dark, dreary, evil and fraught with nastiness, because that’s all humans can do, and woe is us.

3 – Your writing should not leave anyone feeling ashamed of being: male, female, western, non-western, sickly, hale, powerful, powerless. It should use characters as characters and not as broad groups that are then used to shame other groups. Fiction is not agit prop.

4- Your writing shouldn’t be all about the message. You can, of course, have a message. But the message should not be the be-all end-all of the novel. If it is, perhaps you should be writing pamphlets.

5 – You shall not commit grey goo. Grey goo, in which characters of indeterminate moral status move in a landscape of indeterminate importance towards goals that will leave no one better or worse off is not entertaining. (Unless it is to see how the book bounces off the far wall, and that has limited entertainment. Also, I’m not flinging my kindle.)

6 – Unless absolutely necessary you will have a positive feeling to your story. By this we don’t mean it will have a happy ending or that we expect pollyanish sentiments out of you. Your novel and setting can be as dystopic as you want it. In fact, your character can die at the end. Just make sure he goes down fighting and dies for something, so the reader doesn’t feel cheated.

7 – You will write in language that can be understood. You will have an idea of what your story is about, or at least of its beginning, middle and end. And so will your reader, once he reads it.

8 – You are allowed to write scientific speculation that counters “currently established fact” – just give us a reason why that makes sense in your universe. (For some universes it can be highly whimsical, for others you’ll need serious handwavium.)

9 – You will not be boring. Or at least you’ll do your best not to be boring.

10 – You shall not spend your life explaining why your not-boring is better than your fellow writers not-boring. Instead you will shut up and write.

I don't know about you, but I'm certainly ready to throw my support behind this movement. I hate "grey goo" with the fire of a thousand burning suns. If you hate it as well, head on over to Hoyt's blog and register your approval:

Bring Back That Wonder Feeling
What Is Human Wave Science Fiction?
You Got To Move It Move It

1 comment:

  1. I dropped a comment on her new wave rules post because she mentions her strong desire to link together reviewers who might want to look at the free stories in the new wave and I thought it might be a good idea to introduce RIghtFans...we could expand lit coverage during the offseason and do this movement a solid, as it were, since we are clearly new wave fans. :)