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Hello!

I'm a writer, part-time librarian, and full-time student.
This is my blog. Here I like to talk about writing, geeky stuff, and things that scare me.

On Terry Pratchett's unfinished works being destroyed...

On Terry Pratchett's unfinished works being destroyed...

It's all over the internet right now, and it's ALL OVER the book-internet right now.

Terry Pratchett, best known for the 41 novel series Discworld, requested his unfinished manuscripts, along with his computer, be destroyed after he passed away. Mr. Pratchett passed in 2015. If you have lost someone close to you, you understand why it might take so long to get everything taken care of. This includes carrying out last wishes. It's hard.

But back to the fact the manuscripts were destroyed. There was a bit of backlash from a small sect of the Pratchett fan community and other's who have no part in that community at all. And as I read the complaints of people angry that Pratchett would take these unfinished stories to his grave, I got angry. So here's my short and simple take no one asked for.

Those stories were not yours.
They were not mine.
They weren't yours either, Mike.
And Susie, you just shut up.

When a writer shares (more often than not in the formal form of a publication) a piece of work with the public, the audience takes partial ownership. The audience when a piece has been shared with them gets to take that ownership because they spent time in the world of that story. Authors, like all artists, are letting go of the piece for interpretation. To let it delight and entertain as it was meant to. When a piece has been shared, you have a right to take a reasonable emotional stake in the art.

But when the art hasn't been shared—hell, hasn't even been finished... No. You don't get to whine. You can mourn the loss of a great man who without a doubt would have given us many more fantastic stories if it weren't for such a horrid disease taking him so early. You can be thankful for the stories we did get. Go share them with others, reread them yourself, enjoy the gifts you have been given. But don't scream you have a claim to stories that aren't yours.

A great man's last wishes were fulfilled. It's still sad he's gone. It's a shame we won't hear those stories. But they were his. And it's absolutely fine he wanted to take them with him.

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