Friday, November 6, 2015

Follow Friday - Cato the Elder Was Born in 234 B.C.

It's Friday again, and this means it's time for Follow Friday. There has been a slight change to the format, as now there are two Follow Friday hosts blogs and two Follow Friday Features Bloggers each week. To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow both of the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read) and any one else you want to follow on the list.
  2. Follow the two Featured Bloggers of the week - Apparently there are no featured bloggers this week.
  3. Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.
  5. Follow, follow, follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "Hi".
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the love . . . and the followers.
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
  8. If you're new to the Follow Friday Hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
And now for the Follow Friday Question: If you could take the place of one author, which author would it be and what changes would you make in his/her writing style?

I'm always wary of questions like this, because if I like an author, I don't want to change their writing style, and if I'm not a fan of an author's work, I generally don't care enough to try to "fix" their writing. In some cases, I might even venture to say that the flaws in some authors' writing are so grievous as to be essentially unfixable.

One possibility would be to replace Larry Niven for a bit. I wouldn't change his writing style at all: He's far too good as a writer for me to want to do that. Instead, I would try to retroactively steer him away from one of his influences by trying to get him away from Jerry Pournelle. Niven and Pournelle were collaborators for a long time, and while Niven is a substantially better writer than Pournelle, it seems that Pournelle's rather rigid ideas about history and politics dominated the pairing. As a result, a lot of the books they wrote together and even Niven's subsequent solo books seem to repeat similar themes over and over again. The books are still reasonably good, but it appears, at least to me, that working with Pournelle served to stunt Niven's creativity to some extent.

This is, of course, mostly speculation. It is possible that even without Pournelle's influence, Niven may still have fallen into something of a rut in his writing. But it is sometimes interesting to think about what might have been if he had not.

Subsequent Follow Friday: Two Hundred Thirty-Five. That Is All.

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  1. I really enjoyed your answer. It's a very constructive and honest to change something about their writing, without actually changing their writing. I like that.

    New follower via Bloglovin!

    My FF

    1. @Sookie Stackhouse: The short version is that I wouldn't want to change how Niven writes, but I wouldn't mind a slight shift in focus concerning what he writes about.