Thinking about what readers what in books, as one does. . .
When we were at Confluence, I said on a panel (which panel, I no longer recall, but it was late in the con. Very possibly it was the last panel, at which, yanno, I’m liable to say anything…) that we were writing books that had to do, not only with Actions, but with the Consequences of Actions.
And a person in the audience said, But what if you don’t want to read about the consequences of actions? What if you only want to read about the actions, the excitement, the adventure?
And I said — last panel, remember — that, as far as I was concerned, it was perfectly fine to read Pure Action Books, there were a lot of them out there, many of them are fun, and far be it from me to tell anyone what they ought to read.
However, I could speak authoritatively in terms of writing, and, specifically, in terms of writing the Liaden Universe® (though this is also, and is possibly more, applicable in the Carousel/Archers Beach universe): In our work, there are Consequences to Actions. Yes, people have to Act, and often messily, because, well, space opera. And also because the people who Act shape the future.
But! The important takeaway here is this:
The universe Steve and I write in is a Universe of Moms; there are consequences to actions; and somebody has to clean up the mess.
I also said that what readers need to remember is that — speaking again for myself at the last panel of a convention — I am not writing for them. I have never written for them. I am writing for me. It’s nice that other people like to read what I write, but I’m not writing for All of Them Out There. I can’t write for Them, as any number of internet articles will tell you. I don’t have the tools to write for Them.
So, that leaves me. And you, if you find that I speak your language, or near enough.
And now it’s time for coffee.