Old Ending: Answer the Objections; New Ending: Ignore the Chuckleheads
December 14, 2015
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You know, I really needed to wrap this book thing up. The only problem was… I didn’t feel like I had anything solid enough for the ending. But it was past time to be done, so a few weeks ago I decided to finish out just by throwing together scads of posts where I answered the objections raised by the people that read my one viral post on Appendix N. When I proposed this, nobody objected at the time.
But for some reason, this didn’t quite sit well with me. In fact, it felt like a cop out. After sitting on this for a few weeks, it really did seem more and more like a mistake. See, people are going to buy my book so I can tell them the sorts of things that they need to know but they don’t even know that they don’t know. And looking at all those objections I’ve gotten… I dunno. I mean I can answer them in detail. But I think the right move here is to iceberg the suckers. The truth is, the thesis that emerged in the course of doing the series is on an entirely different plane than what the complainers and nitpickers are going to go after. When my closest friends can’t step in and tell me how to wrap this up, letting the peanut gallery set the itinerary is just plain stupid.
I think my post last week on Leigh Brackett’s centennial really summed up the relationship between the pulps and the first wave of rpgs. That’s what I need for the “coda” that I should follow my chapter on Tolkien with.
My post this week lays out the other big thing my series uncovered: the gigantic cultural shift that will be evident to anyone that does a survey of these books. Some people writing on this topic get hung up on it as their brains shut down. (They’re programmed that way.) Other people act like it’s not there at all. (I see why you’d play it that way, but… you know, I feel kind of betrayed by people that I trusted to convey the sense of this stuff to me before I started.) Well, I’m not going to go either of those routes. I don’t think I could write a book on this topic and not say anything about this. So yep… I’m going there.
This week’s post wraps up the many non-gaming related themes that I brought up in the course of the survey. I’m thinking that I’ll include that in the book as the Afterword. I think this is a much stronger ending than my old proposal for a rambly scattered “coda.” Frankly, the chuckleheads don’t have any idea of where I should go with this. Beating up their uninformed opinions really is not something I need to dedicate book space to.
And that’s brings up the last real objection that I’m concerned with. I’m sure somebody’s going to say, “eh, this book is just a bunch of blog posts thrown together.” I don’t think that’s the case. If there’s any validity to that claim, then this one change in the contents addresses that criticism before the negative reviews can even go there.
This looks like a much stronger ending to me… and a much stronger book as a whole. I’m a lot more confident about this direction.