Hey, all. Syawn here.
Some of you may be aware that I am a lord of thieves. (More info on that here.) What very few are aware of is what that takes. When I say very few, I mean very few, and I’m including thief lords in that. If they knew what it took, they wouldn’t keep getting killed in grand overthrows every small handful of years.
Why, if my predecessor had understood the rules of ruling, he might still be alive today. Well. Alright… that’s probably not true. But I would have had to lay a lot more groundwork and do a lot more legwork to supplant him.
There are many things you must be if you wish to rule dangerous people. You must be dangerous, yourself. You must be vigilant. You must be suspicious. You must be confident. You must understand your industry. You must know how to mete punishment. You must be fearsome.
Most of my fellow-rulers understand that much. What fewer of them comprehend is the rest of the list:
You must be fair. You must be long-suffering. You must be kind. You must admit your wrongs, and make recommence–sometimes even when you did no wrong. You must be approachable. You must be pleasant to children. You must know when to mete mercy. And, what they seem to understand least of all, you must be a philanthropist.
Yes. If you want a long and stable reign in the criminal underworld, do not leave out a single point on either of those lists.
I don’t know if one needs every point on those lists to become a successful writer. Just to be on the safe side, I try to urge my author to master them all, anyhow. It is almost needless to say that she cannot manage this.
On the other hand, we have her friend D. E. Shipley, who seems to be a shining example on every point. Except for ‘dangerous’. And ‘vigilant’. And ‘confident’. And ‘fair’. And ‘understanding of her industry’. And the ‘meting out punishment’ thing. And… well. Mayhap I should withdraw that first statement, hmmn? Admit when you were wrong, and all that.
My original point was, she understands that philanthropy is one of the ways to rule an unruly populace. Or to sell books, or get famous, or whatever it is she’s trying to do. You can glean benefits from her philanthropic nature here, by doing various small and easy things that happen to be a benefit to her efforts to launch the third book in her Wilderhark tales. (Always try to pitch your projects as having benefits for your underlings!)
I think she’d do better with a dash more fearsomeness, but to her credit and with my encouragement, she has begun to work on that front also. ‘Tis well.
…And that, my own dear author, is one point I neglected to mention: if you want to get ahead in the world, help other people out.