[ASH] Derek Radner's Private Journal #1 - Villainy

Tom Russell milos_parker at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 25 22:36:18 PST 2007

"Dvandom did it again," I said more than once while I was reading

To give that line a bit of context, you have to understand that
Dvandom has a history of coming up with really great ideas at about
the same time that I come up with the same idea.  The difference is,
of course, that he posts the stories resulting from his ideas when
I've barely started to write mine.

When I was younger and more petulant, I used to throw a public fit
when this happened.  Not because I was _angry_ about it, exactly-- but
because I just couldn't believe he had beat me to it.  I think what it
really was, though, was a understanding that what he had done with the
idea was far beyond anything I would have thought to attempt.  It
wasn't that he had done it first, but that he had done it *better*,
and so there wasn't any real reason for me to try. :-)

And I find the circumstances are repeating themselves here, and I have
never been more overjoyed.  DEREK RADNER'S PRIVATE JOURNAL is
wonderful and compelling, equally rich in both philosophy and
characterization.  Notations of margin scrawl and underlined words
adding a great deal of emphasis and complexity to what might have been
a rather staid formal conceit.

It's very interesting to see the beginnings of the trains of thought
and ideas by which a rationale and intelligent person becomes a
villain-- eventually calling themselves a villain by name and without
shame but with a sort of pride.  And that was also the basic thesis
for a Eightfold series called DINGHAM, which is to be the sequel to
SPEAK!, which I have been looking forward to writing-- and thinking
about-- for several months.

But, like I said above, Dvandom has done it again: he's taken that
idea, and he's done more with it in his initial outing than I had ever
aspired to do with my entire seires.  And, like I said above, I have
never been more overjoyed.  Because this means I've got to work ten
times as hard if I want DINGHAM to stand out.

I look at it as a sort of challenge, and that's one of the reasons why
I've always been a Dvandom fan since I joined RACC.  It's not his
style of writing per se, or his plotting, or even his characterization
or his ideas-- it's the overall _quality_ of his writing, the
intangible "good"-ness of it.  By being a damn good writer, Dvandom
challenges the rest of us to be damn good writers as well.  And I have
a feeling that Dvandom's going to be doing that again, too.


More information about the racc mailing list