More of the Good Stuff

From  time to time, most of us are moved by a desire to see more fiction out there about something. Possibly something noble and uplifting, in the “I want to see more fiction with realistic and empowered female characters” line; or possibly something not quite so noble and uplifting, more along the lines of “There should be more fiction about pirates; also, crossdressing.”

(Or you could combine the two, and get Anne Bonney and Mary Reed.)

One feels the urge, at this point, to explain to the writers of one’s acquaintance (which is to say, all the writers one has read, because they count as acquaintances for the purpose) that they should address this sad lack. One might even go so far, in the pursuit of the noble and uplifting, as to imply that the failure to do so represents a moral lapse on their part.

This is usually a bad idea. Writers are contrary creatures, who dislike being chivvied in directions they had not already planned to go; moreover, it is often the case that they do not so much choose what to write as write those things which present themselves and demand to be written. Attempting to extort the desired item is more likely to result in a cranky writer than in a piece of fiction meeting the necessary criteria.

The traditional next step, for those with the ability to do so, is to write one’s own fiction to meet the need. “I wrote the book I wanted to read that nobody was writing,” is a not-uncommon statement from writers asked to explain the origins of a particular work.

“But what about those of us who don’t/can’t write fiction?” one might ask. “What are we to do?”

Suffering in silence is probably a bad answer. Better to assume that if one feels the need for a particular kind of fiction, someone else probably does too — and would be happy to share his or her favorite examples of that kind of thing done right. One might even get together with other like-minded readers and post recommendations for more of the good stuff, whatever it might be.

Crossdressing pirate fic recs, anyone?

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