Degrees of Suckitude

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.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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6 Responses to Degrees of Suckitude

  1. It makes perfect sense to me too. Hope it works out for you.

  2. Elise Logan says:

    Well, to be truly like Schrodinger’s cat, the story would need to exist in the state of Suckitude and non-Suckitude simultaneously. And, honestly, I believe that is totally possible. Because, as you state, the state of Suckitude is dependent on multiple factors, and having subjective components can, indeed be both Sucky and non-Sucky at the same time.

    We need some kind of literary corollary to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. You can measure the Suckitude of the manuscript or the Insecurity of the Writer, but not both at the same time….

  3. *crawls into box, closes lid*

  4. Daedala says:

    FYI, the traditional unit for suckitude is the Lovelace (as in Linda).

  5. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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