March 16, 2014 by musehick
I was sitting here reading the umpteenth blog post about what if the Doctor in Doctor Who were a woman, and it reminded about what I had been intending to write about JK Rowling, and then I thought I had a great thing to say about fiction by committee, but what it boils down to is this: fuck fiction by committee.
Fiction by collaboration is fine, but this idea that all the collective heads of fandom might be able to sit down and hammer out something akin to the thing they spent their time reading and now have an opinion on is somewhere around the ballpark of Monkeys fucking a football and Shakespeare manifesting out of nowhere … you will notice I did not use Monkeys and typewriters because the conversation thread people don’t strike me as writers … I could be wrong. Some of the criticism I have read about Rowling has come from writers however – some of it hasn’t, but some of it has.
Rowling wrote the story she wrote – it has been published, and sure, some parts of it may not have panned out as you liked, but she made decisions and she finished the book. It also seems pointless that she expresses regret about choices made in an already published book – it’s fiction so you can publish an alternate universe edition where all the shit you wanted to happen happens. Or maybe you shouldn’t – I remember a thing in the film Wonderboys where Grady Tripp ends up with a huge unmanageable manuscript because he can’t make any choices; it gets destroyed and he has to make a choice and he finally writes something worthwhile again.
I like that Doctor Who is run by Moffatt and that he is good at not listening to all the choirs of people who sing various tunes about how the Doctor should be this or that. Who has always been quintessentially British so I wonder, if all these suggestions were taken to heart, and we were to start taking away things and adding things if we might be cutting up and Frankensteining the golden goose. A unique coherent vision is the key – I believe this.
Why has this rankled me so much? Who knows? Just blowing off steam, I suppose. No, that’s not it – I think people should stand by their work. I think work should be respected for the decisions made within it – if they are well written. I think if you like a work and you see how a story could be better told, then tell it yourself … create an answering piece of work; that is what artists do. Be an artist.