Improbable? You be the judge. . .

Here’s something I never expected: Jakob Nielsen, one of the preeminent (some would say the preeminent expert in web usability, has a post that is relevant to the writing of fiction, plus, in a super duper bonus, he actually mentions these statistically-improbable-for-a-usability freak words and phrases: hero, time travelers, Napoleonic War, captain of a British frigate. But wait! There’s yet another bonus for you! Here is my favorite sentence of 2006, straight from Mr. Neilsen himself:

Films are littered with so many other unrealistic plot details: you’d imagine, for example, that the ability to shoot straight might actually be a primary job requirement of Imperial Stormtroopers.

Why yes, one does. But George Lucas never let details get in the way of a good story. Besides, everyone knows bad buys can’t shoot. This whole article just really tickled me. I kept imagining Mr. Nielsen throwing popcorn at his TV while shouting Why isn’t the user hopelessly confused?!? Check it out. It’s way worth a read.

In other news, I am done with my holiday shopping, and all my holiday cards are sitting in front of me, unaddressed except for names. I think I’m going to email everyone a picture of the card instead. Let me know if you’d like me to email you one. 🙂

In writing news, I’m pretty pleased with the building process for the current project. I can feel the deadline panic starting up and that’s good. The writing is agony but things are getting laid down well and I feel like I know the way forward, which is pretty important. I just hope I remember that Imperial Stormtroopers ought to be damn good shots.


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