Friday, September 7, 2012

Unconventions in Your Writing

No one, and I mean no one, is as disappointed as I am that we still have yet to reach the age of the hovercraft. 

As a kid I fully expected that by the time I was an adult, I’d be regularly driving a hovercraft or, at the very least, using a jet pack to get to work.

I blame you, George Lucas, for giving us false hope.
Yet here it is, 2012, and still no stinking hovercraft.

There is something about the idea of hovercraft that we love. I guess it’s the closest thing we can  imagine to unfettered flying. It’s the magic carpet of the modern age, and just about every science fiction novel or movie features them. And it's for that reason that I, as a writer of science fiction or sci-fi or SF or whatever the cool kids want to call it, tend to avoid them.

Yes, my brothers and sisters, hear these words that I’m speaking from my little bloggy pulpit: there will be no hovercraft in my SF novels.

I’m not saying that having hovercraft in your novel is necessarily wrong, and believe me, if and when hovercraft go into mainstream production, I'll be the first in line to buy one of the dang things. I don't care if I’m 94 years old. But let's be honest, they’ve become a bit of a clich√©, and that’s why I don't want to use them in any of my stories. That and my extreme bitterness about still not having one.

Is there anything you avoid in your writing for similar reason? Some convention of your particular genre that you shun just because it’s become ubiquitous?

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