Thursday, July 5, 2012

The madness of the author

A great number of books and music are published each week. Among these are many first timers, all hoping to reach the public. It's easy for a new product to get lost in this vast ocean. Thrown into the foaming waves many of the newcomers drift off and soon toss on the seas of shattered dreams.

You have gone through the process of writing the material, recording or editing and revising. Only to find this was the easy bit. No matter how good your product is if the public don't get a change to learn about you then you're on a mission impossible.

You almost have to be delusional to keep pursuing your dreams. In 1911 Bleuler published ‘Dementia Praecox or the group of Schizophrenia's.' Inconvenient or different behavior like; homosexuality, laziness, rebellion and remembering too intensely were among the symptoms a patient could have. What do you think of this; 'Many Schizophrenics display lively affects at least in certain directions, among them are active writers, the word improvers, the health lunatics and the founders of new religions.'

Oscar Wild once said;
"We are all in the gutter, only some of us are looking at the stars."

The Internet contains many artist forums and blogs. Anyone can join and post a poem, photo or any other form of artwork. Some members on those sites have gathered a large fan base, however this doesn't mean they produce quality nor have their own voice.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

WTF 50 shades of grey, r u serious

Here is what real people say about the book, which was written as fan fiction based on the Twilight series on a site for writers, but due to being banned took off as a dependant website.

“Considering that 50 Shades of Gray is derivative, badly written, and contains cardboard-cutout characters, and yet still manages to sell so well, I wonder what would happen if someone wrote a novel in this genre that was well written, original in execution and contained fully developed, believable characters?
Are you thinking what I'm thinking?” John Bayliss 

“OMG I've read about as much as I can take now. It's just dross with a load of dirty words thrown in every third chapter! Now why didn't I think of doing that?” Jue Shaw
“It was actually an erotic twilight fan fiction before it was an original story. What made it popular originally is Internet fame from fat, horny 8th grade girls with no sexual outlet and a child's understanding of intimacy (aka the Twilight audience). What made it popular once published was the fact that moms and housewives now had a way to read porn in public without being embarrassed. I skimmed through the dirty bits, and I'm going to go out on a limb and wonder if the author is a virgin.

It's popular for the same reason that twilight was popular; it caters to the fantasies of the pathetic and requires exactly no thinking on the part of the reader” PenInHand

“Most of the sales seem to be ebook for perhaps the reason of discretion- nobody can tell what you're reading on a Kindle.

And also the marketing.

It reminds me of what casual games did to the video game market- they were marketed for people who don't normally play video games and made the consoles more popular. With Fifty Shades, it's almost like it's written for people who don't normally read books. They just want their demands catered for, and however appallingly Fifty Shades is written, for those who it's marketed towards, they couldn't care less. And this probably helps the whole ebook phenomenon, as the majority of Fifty Shade's sales are ebook” 

How and when to describe a character in your book

  1. Mention only those people, places, things your viewpoint character is aware of and is important to the story.
Describe people, places, things in the vocabulary of the viewpoint character – naturally, as if the character himself were doing the describing.
-       Don’t write: James’s mother, Mrs. Smith walked into the room. Because James wouldn’t think about his mother in these terms.
-       Write: His mother hurried into the room.
-       If you’re deep into the viewpoint character (when you write in the 1e person), write: Mom hurried into the room
If the viewpoint character isn’t aware of something don’t tell the reader about it in a section written in his viewpoint.
Don’t write: They slept so soundly, that they didn’t hear the screams.
Remember, if the viewpoint character doesn’t know about it, neither the reader does.
  1. Let your reader know right away which character you’re writing about. State clearly in your section’s first paragraph;
·         Who the section character is
·         What time it is. (Twenty minutes later, the following morning, Monday evening, etc.)
  1. Give the most comprehensive description of a character when he or she is first introduced, with the exception of action. You don’t have time to into a wide decryption of scenery or characters when a victim is chased by a killer. In this case keep the descriptions and your sentences short, the shorter the better, because they read speedy, and also accentuate the anxiety of the victim.
Describe a character when her appearance at a particular stage is important.

Four sites for upcoming writers

This site is quite popular with younger writers and readers, but does have a wide range of genres. Becoming a member is easy and free. You can post your story and take part in discussions in different clubs and forums. An interesting aspect of Wattpad are the Watty awards
The Watty Awards is an annual celebration of the most loved stories by the Wattpad community. Over $20,000 will be given out in prizes!

Writersbeat  has a more serious tone and is therefore used by more mature writers.
People who wish to become a published author, there is an updated writer's market section, but you can get your feet wet right away with monthly writing contests, group writing exercises, and In Pencil - the official   online magazine.


Authonomy is a daughter of publishing house HarperCollins. Beside the usual forums, tips and excerpts, one has the opportunity to be picked by the editors and get an actual book deal. 
This site is far out the best option for the serious author who isn’t afraid of honest critique. An negative aspect of Authonomy is when your book is picked to be published, you receive only a 30% share of the total revenue. Not much considering you did all the work.

Writer’s Digest 

 ·         holds competitions
·         guide to literary agents
·         writing groups
·         writing levels
·         how to’s
·         and more

Bare in mind that getting fantastic comments on your work on any of these sites means your creation is really worth publishing. Many members of the Wattpad community give positive feedback in the hope to gain reads, fans and comments. I have seen high quality material which hardly got any reads and only a few comments. So don't be fooled or dis hearted.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Fresh from the Fantasy press

 Tristan v Sarah

Tristan v Sarah is a welcome, fresh take on the fantasy genre. There's a lightness of touch in the writing, which is a relief, after all those samey, weighty fantasy tomes that take themselves far too seriously. Yet Victor's and Stuarts use of vocabulary is wide ranged, but doesn't let the reader sink into a vacuum of over description.

Stuart and Victor understand, unlike many other writers in the genre, that characterizations need to be real-world and that the dialogue that the characters speak has to be realistic too.

The hilarity of a father who has taught his son essential life skills such as eskrima-fighting and knot-tying. Although fire-lighting and map-reading would be useful if you were having a barbecue and needed to find your nearest Sainsbury's, where Bruce has really let his son down is by neglecting to teach him to cook....

I really liked the scene in the kitchen where Bruce is dressed in his keikogi - and yet they're having to eat buttered toast for supper

Get your copy here

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Another look on depression

Schizophrenia is nothing more or less than a cluster of symptoms resulting from reactions of a person's experiences, expectations but also other factors, depending on the person.
Depression is one of the symptoms.  In the last couple of decades depression has become an epidemic in itself.
Young people are especially vulnerable. What happens when a person is depressed?
  • the person has reached, the end of the road, a ravine. Or in other words we have reached a point in our life which we don't know what to do or how to react. Expectations have been shattered along the way or evaporate on arrival. With this in mind, all hope of ever reaching the other side, our goal is gone. 
  • A milder form of despair can be found in someone who have come to a crossroad, good advice and help with decision making could be enough in most situations. If we only could control the factors outside ourselves.
 In Greek mythology the ultimate goal of mankind is to get into the Elysian Fields. This is where the gods live and people live in harmony with them, Heaven. Elysium is a happy place which has  a sun and stars of its own. The souls in Elysium cannot be grasped and are like phantoms . Those who dwell in Elysium exercise upon grassy playing-fields or wrestle friendly on yellow sands; some dance and others sing or chant  poems.  
Odysseus ends up in Hades/hell however in Hades, Odysseus receives guidance about his future. 

We don't live in mythological times any longer, we have moved on, our conscious state has changed. What was unconscious in earlier ages has been revealed and we have become our own scientific creators. therefor many of us believe we don't need help from God anymore. 
We have surrounded ourselves with technology, but are still unhappy. What are we looking for? I want to be happy. But what does being happy mean?

In the depts of Hades Odysseus learns what to do next, he goes through hell, like the depressed go through hell. However Odysseus isn't on his own, there are shades, souls to assist him and point out what he must do.
So he gets tasks which he must full fill in order to reach his goal. in his case to get home.

When you're depressed nothing is going to change if you go it alone, you need people to help you and you need to act. This is certainly not painless and in the beginning you might only be able to crawl. In case you're not even able to that you can pray and ask God to give you a push, no not from the bridge but to give you a head start and bring people in your life who can help you.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Is your manuscript conservative enough for the publishers market

I can with certainty say that my manuscript isn't, o dear am I to change the plot, the characters or the chronological order and even the viewpoints? Perhaps I should, perhaps I shouldn't.
I do admit I am guilty of at least one of the above crimes. There are more reasons why a book is rejected than I have fingers and toes.
Such as low tension, a poorly developed protagonist or even worse a non existing protagonist.
However there are many reason why publishers might not want your manuscript, there might be one that does want it. The thing is, you need to read their admission rules and stick to them.

One of the most controversial books written in the 20th century was Catch 22 by Joshep Heller.
This book goes against all the rules ever made up by any publisher, yet it was never rejected.

 In the music industry there are many possibilities and genres. I can't think of any type of music or there is a niche and a label for it. Of course there is also Indie, which are independent labels. With some knowledge of IT you can even produce your own records. So why don't we do the same thing as an author? I'm not saying that every one who has written a 80,000 word essay should venture into the self publishing world. But I do believe it is time for changes in the reading corner. There are young people out there, having there own new style of writing and yet they hear time after time their work isn't what the public wants. Actually what the publishers are saying is that they don't want to take the risk of taking on a new author. They rather stay on the well known road.