I was recently discussing a story-in-progress with someone. I ventured to hope that it didn’t suck. I was told there was no way it could suck, given excerpts she had seen.

Au contraire! There are degrees of suckitude. (That is a technical phrase which I have just invented.)

The Degree of Suckitude, or D-Suck, cannot be determined objectively. It is rather a subjective quality (suck-jective?) that varies depending on both internal and external factors. Internal factors are, for the most part, internal to the writer of the Sucky Story, though the reader’s state of mind might also cause a given story to Suck more violently than it would under other circumstances. External factors influencing D-Suck include rapidly-approaching deadlines, printer jams, and reviews of previous stories by the same author.

For example, the story I mentioned above. It was in progress as one type of story. Then I needed to change it to another type of story. While I was in the process of doing so, perfectly adequate draft scenes were suddenly no longer suited to their original purpose, so their D-Suck skyrocketed, exacerbated by internal factors including “why didn’t I leave it the way it was?!” Thus, when a new, cobbled together draft was completed, I still felt that the story Sucked. The draft was Done (and Done is Good) but at the same time, like Schrödinger’s cat, it was Sucky. Or might have been.

Hey, it all makes perfect sense to me.