And now A Very Terry Thanksgiving must come to an end.
I would just like to thank you all for joining me today in our journey into the terrifying psyche of Terry Goodkind.
I hope this was both educational and entertaining!
I also hope to see more Terry bashing in the future! Now that we are well acquainted I think you will find pissing on Terry to be a very fulfilling pastime.
As long as we are armed with our hatred for moral clarity, we cannot be defeated!
Terry Goodkind and the yeard.
What is a yeard, you ask?
Terry is the master of the yeard.
Except one day Terry decided he didn’t like the yeard anymore. :(
Now Terry is the master of the bald headed bearded douche look.
Terry Goodkind and the art of writing.
Writing is srs bsns and Terry here has some advice for all of you aspiring writers out there!
“I think that’s critical. I get letters from people all the time saying, “I’m 13 years old and I want to write a book and get it published. What’s the secret? What do I do?” You can’t explain to people that they’re just not intellectually prepared to write a novel. A novel is a thing of incredible complexity. Human beings are genetically evolved to understand the most subtle clues from other human beings. The most fascinating thing in the world to us is other people, and because we are so hyper-connected to the way other people behave, and to the body language [signals] they give off, the meaning in their words that are different from what they may be saying, and their moods—all those kinds of things make writing about human beings the most difficult thing in the world.
As a consequence, these young people think that novels are a collection of explosions, creatures, and magical elements. They don’t understand that that’s not what they’re writing about. They’re not intellectually equipped to write that that age. Likewise, somebody who’s 18, early 20s, they think, “Okay, now I’m going to write a book.” They consequently submit it all the time, and it’s continually rejected because it isn’t good enough. It’s the same thing as the 13 year old writing a book: it isn’t good enough, and they don’t understand that yet. When you get to be 20 you think you’re grown up, but you’re not. Your brain doesn’t even stop developing until you’re 24, 25, something like that. The intellectual aspects critical to worthwhile novels don’t develop in a person that young.”
So, if you’re under 30, don’t bother with trying to write a novel. It will suck.
On the other hand, maybe you just weren’t a born writer.
“When someone says to me, “I want to write a book but I just can’t figure out how to get it down on paper. What do I do?,” it makes me want to pull my hair out. If you don’t know what to do, then you’re not a writer. By default, if you’re asking me what to do, you can’t do it. I didn’t ask anybody what to do…I was simply driven to do it. A writer is a born writer: they’re born to do it, they have this internal drive, and they’re hungering to tell a story to themselves. That’s what makes a true writer: a person who’s burning to tell themselves this story.”
Writing is an art to Terry, and he doesn’t like it when you don’t appreciate his art.
Every word has a meaning, and I detest people who skim because they miss the essence of what the writer is saying, they miss all the little clues that give the characters their humanity.
With “Confessor”, people are already saying, “Hey, I bought the book last night and I’m already done with it!” Well, no, you’re not. You flipped the pages, you didn’t read it. In “Confessor”, I deliberately wrote certain things that people are going to be missed by people who skim. For example, the wizard’s rule: if you skim that book, you’re going to miss it. I did that on purpose, because it just ticks me off when people say, “I read the book in three minutes, it was great!” They didn’t read the book.
Every word that I write is critical. I will sometimes spend half a day on one paragraph because I’m trying to get the exact right words that convey the exact, proper connotations of what the human beings are thinking, doing, whatever. Every single word I consciously intend to be there; they’re not accidental. To skim and just kind of hit a few words in every paragraph, you miss all the work that I put in to make those characters humans.
Every. Word. Is. Critical.
Terry Goodkind and the fantasy genre. Which he is not a part of. So don’t you forget it!
All of the quotes in this post and the ones that follow have been taken from this interview. I highly recommend you read the whole thing when you have the time but because it is so long I will post the highlights for your reading pleasure.
Terry’s series The Sword of Truth takes place in a fictional universe with fictional characters and fictional places and some magic. However, it is not fantasy. What is it? Let Terry explain…
On the other hand, I get incredibly frustrated by the realities of the marketplace when you’re labeled as a fantasy writer; it’s very debilitating for your career, because everything you do is judged on that scale.
I’m not writing about fantasy. And you recognize that! You recognize that I’m dealing with larger issues and the things that are central to all people. I want to write to an audience that includes all people, and fantasy limits that due to its mechanics: the mechanics of where it’s placed in bookstores; the mechanics of the covers; the mechanics of the word ‘fantasy’ on a book; all of those things [make it more difficult to] reach a broader audience. I would like to write contemporary novels. The stories I’m telling are not fantasy-driven, they’re character-driven, and the characters I want to write about could be set in any world. I’d like to address a broader audience.
See the difference? Good.
Terry hates being associated with the fantasy genre in any way, especially when it comes to his covers:
I got Keith Parkinson because I was so disgusted, angry, and infuriated with the original cover of “Wizard’s First Rule” that I almost quit writing for public consumption. I was livid. The cover on “Wizard’s First Rule” did not represent in any way what I was writing about. It represented a juvenile, immature vision that reflected nothing about the book. It was complete deception by the publisher, trying to fool people into thinking that I was writing for adolescent males. I was absolutely livid, and I just about tore up my contract and said, “That’s it, I’m not writing anymore books.”
Oh, if only…
But wait! It gets better!
“Throughout the series, my goal has been to steer the covers away from traditional fantasy covers because I’m not writing fantasy. I’m accidentally published by a fantasy publisher so I get thrown in with that genre, but my books are no more fantasy than a detective novel is a “gun book.” What makes me nuts about the fantasy genre is that, unlike any other genre, people become obsessed and focused on irrelevant things. For example, in a detective novel, if a detective has a Snub Nose 38, no one asks him questions like “Can we know more about the Snub Nose 38?” or “Have you ever thought of doing some kind of special story just about the Snub Nose 38?” It’s a distraction.
To me, fantasy is no more important than the romance, the intrigue, the political maneuvering, historical fiction elements—all the other kinds of things in other books. I like those elements, and I enjoy writing them, but they’re just elements in telling a human story. I don’t believe fantasy is valid unless it’s used to illustrate other important themes. Magic in and of itself is no more interesting than a rock laying on the side of the road.
The cover of fantasy art tends to illustrate those themes of those authors who are writing those kinds of books. I’m not one of them, and I don’t want to be seen as one of them. From the beginning, my goal has been to steer the cover art away from those representational images.”
Terry has no problem alienating potential fantasy readers because smarter and more sophisticated readers will just take their place:
I’ve gotten most of my readers by word of mouth. My typical reader, probably 80-90 percent of my readers, don’t read fantasy. I’m the only “fantasy” author they read, otherwise for them it’s general fiction. They recognize that the books aren’t fantasy books, they’re books about people, they’re character-driven.
THESE ARE BOOKS ABOUT PEOPLE DAMMIT.
The time has come…
For the next 24 hours this tumblr will be dedicated entirely to the life and works of prolific
fantasy stories about people author and world-class douche Terry Goodkind.
The first half of the day will introduce you to Terry in his own words, all taken from one spectacular clusterfuck of an interview. It is truly mind-blowing.
The second half will introduce you to his work as I choose the choice bits from his masterpiece series The Sword of Truth. These scenes will showcase his heroic characters at their heroic best. Did I mention that they will be super heroic?
…I just have so many feelings when it comes to Terry. A lot of negative feelings. He may possibly be the biggest douche in the universe. But I just don’t know how to quit him. He entertains me endlessly. Mocking Terry is honestly one of my favorite pastimes but not something I have time to dedicate a blog to. So I’d like to take this special day and dedicate it to the douchebaggery of Terry Goodkind so you can all appreciate his….I don’t know what.
But I know you will appreciate George R.R. Martin more after this. While George may be an Absolute Fucker, he pales in comparison to Terry.