Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Feeling Inspired

I attended Life, the Universe and Everything last weekend. It was awesome. This is my 2nd year attending and I had even more fun this time. It is the only free writers conference/symposium I've heard of and I think it's great.

You've probably seen other bloggers mention Brandon Sanderson and his keynote address. If you haven't, I'll do a brief recap.

He quoted Sturgeon's Law - "90% of everything is crud." This refers to everything in the science fiction/fantasy arena, stating that by far the majority of it, well--sucks rocks.

Then he proceeded to disprove it. Some of my favorite quotes were.

"Don't buy into the myths." <--Referring to generalizations like Sturgeon's Law. He said doing that will lead to our cynical destruction as a genre.

"Science fiction and fantasy are inherently optimistic genres." <--Totally agree with this!

Favorite quote of the conference - "As soon as you start making stuff up, you're one of us."

His point was - be proud of your genre. Don't talk it down, and if other people mention they didn't like something within it, recommend another within the genre they will like. It was like a rally, very motivating and exciting. :)

What are your thoughts on Sturgeon's Law? Do you believe 90% of everything is crud?

25 comments:

  1. I think there is some crud out there, but I don't think it's 90%.

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  2. I'm with Susan on this one, I'm not thinking it's 90%

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  3. 90% is pretty high. Now if he said 90%of first drafts, I'd agree.

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  4. No way. I don't believe it for a minute - especially in today's fantasy/sci-fi market. :-)

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  5. Thinking back abouts Brandon's address, I had to laugh remembering what I've heard about the things critics write sometimes-

    I dare say you would be horrified at Roger Ebert's stories=Beneath the Valley of the Dolls

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  6. I'm not sure 90% is fair, but I will say I've read a lot of books I'm not crazy about.

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  7. I thought his address was amazing! I was actually surprised how inspiring it was. There were a few points where the audience broke into spontaneous applause and I got chills (I know, it's kind of cheesy, but I really did).

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  8. I have to agree with the others, 90% is too high.

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  9. I agree, it really was like a rally. Getting us excited about what we write. I liked the quotes you were clever enough to write down. Overall, it was a great conference and I too am inspired to continue making things up.

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  10. I believe if you think it's all 90% crud, it WILL be. Yeah...I try to look on the positive/grateful side of things. Even (and especially) when I don't feel like it!

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  11. I loved his speech. It's so easy to speak negatively of things, and yeah, 90% of it ISN'T bad!

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  12. I hadn't heard of this Life and Universe thingy. Sounds right up my alley. Glad you enjoyed yourself. And you already know I love fantasy and sci-fi, so its def not crud to me.

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  13. Who IS this Sturgeon guy?

    Is he looking in my notebook again....?

    Shelley

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  14. lol Shelley, I was wondering if he had been raiding my computer. :)

    I loved Brandon's speech. Like Candi, I was moved (as cheesy as that sounds) and it totally inspired me.

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  15. LOL, you guys are hilarious. I'm glad we're all agreed on this. It is NOT crud! :) At least not all of it. :P

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  16. No, I don't think 90% is crud. Maybe 89.9 or 88%. I'm j/k. I think it's how one looks at it. We can all write great things with time and work. =) Awesome post Jenn!

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  17. I don't believe Sturgeon's law--especially when it concerns people. I prefer to believe that humanity is without limitation as long as we persevere. And I guess I just prefer to think positively.

    It was a great conference and I was SO GLAD to meet you in person!

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  18. It was nice to meet you at LTUE. Thanks for the blog list. :)

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  19. Even if it is true, we can still choose to not be part of the crud. LTUE is so cool. I wish I could have gone. It's been a long time since I have.

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  20. Jenn--Wish I could've said hello to you there. I was only there for a bit on Saturday. I emailed you a couple days ago about something cool--can you check your inbox? :)

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  21. I am not sure about the 90%, it seems a little high. I do envy you attending the conference!

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  22. Great post, Jenn. I'm more on the other side, where I think most stuff is at least good, then works up to being great! =)

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  23. I don't buy into 90% crud. I think the more you dive into the genre the more you will find that is worth your time.

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  24. I'm happy to see we're all agreed on this one! Now go forth and write non-cruddy stuff! :D

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  25. It as so nice see you again at LTU&E!!! good luck with Oracle!! :)

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