June 30th, 2014
Some people get mad when you ask simple questions. As people ought to know, I’ve been working on a couple of books off and on, mostly off because I haven’t had time, but now I’ve gotten back to it and I think I’m making some good progress. However, as people also ought to know, I am entirely turned off by self-promotion and marketing and I’m loathe to actually do any of it myself once my books are finished and ready for sale, either to a traditional publisher or to put them up on Amazon as an e-book.
So I asked a bunch of writers and other industry types what I should do and the answers ranged widely, but some of them were really kind of interesting.
May 20th, 2014
I wrote an article in the past where I said that I have never wanted to reach out and touch an artist or a writer or an actor or whatever, just because I enjoyed their work. And no, I didn’t mean it that way, you pervert. However, it seems that with the wide-spread reach of the Internet, there are a lot of fans who absolutely want direct and unfettered access to their favorite celebrities and the creators are expected to provide it on a regular basis or people get mad. Creators are on Twitter, they’re on Facebook, they’ve got websites where people can ask questions and get quick answers on a wide variety of subjects, just because they bought the creator’s book, painting or DVD box set. They have to be able to communicate and interact with their heroes!
Well screw that. As a creator, I already interact with my “public”, for lack of a better word. I write. That’s the communication. There you go. You’re welcome.
May 5th, 2014
A while back I wrote that I hated self-promotion, in fact, I consider it the worst part of writing, the idea that you not only have to put in the work constructing a story (or a blog or a podcast or anything else), then spend even more time going around trying to get people to read it or listen to it. I am a writer, not a promoter.
However, I seem to be alone in that because in the world of writing, you can’t move your foot without knocking over someone hawking their book or blog or game or whatever and frankly, I hate it.
May 3rd, 2014
I was talking to a relatively well-known writer friend earlier today and he said that the reason most people read books, and I suppose this applies to watching movies or playing games for that matter, is wish fulfillment. They want to be able to put themselves into the situation and enjoy the fantasy of being a hero or a villain or just someone other than who they are.
I don’t get that and I don’t do that.
April 13th, 2014
There’s an old canard in the writing biz, show, don’t tell. It means that you want to show your readers what’s going on, you don’t want to just tell them about it. If Joe is supposed to make a phone call, you need to write about Joe making the phone call, you can’t just say that Joe did it.
But what if your audience has no idea what a phone is? What if it’s a completely foreign concept? What then?
April 1st, 2014
It’s funny, when you plan these things far in advance, they tend to get lost in the inevitable flood of posts that come along thereafter. I had meant to write this post months ago but you know how that goes. So here goes Building a Better World Part 13.
War is an inevitability in any space epic and for a lot of people, the bigger the war, the better. Getting virtually every major species involved in a single, long-running, all-out war gets a lot of people drooling and that’s exactly what I did here. This isn’t the only big war I’ve had by any means but it isn’t known by any pithy names like The Great War or The Universal War, in fact, it is remembered primarily because of it’s last battle and that’s why it was called The War of the Aquarian Void.
March 15th, 2014
Now that I’ve sort of been writing again and spending some time around other writers, I’ve remembered a lot of the reasons that I stopped wanting to be a semi-professional writer before. Some of those things I’ve written about previously and some, I’m just getting around to.
There are plenty of websites out there who want to push would-be writers into being “successful” and they always have top-10 lists for what you should do, or shouldn’t do, to be a better novelist. Well hey, I like to answer questions (see my other blog) so why not take on one of these lists, found at random on a Google+ writer’s group?
February 15th, 2014
Now that I’m sort of writing again, I have one fiction and two non-fiction books in some state of chaotic semi-completion, I’ve taken to looking around some of the writer’s forums that I used to frequent and that’s immediately taken a heavy toll on my enthusiasm for the project.
See, even when I originally went through this in the early 2000s, I knew that I wanted to write but I didn’t want to do any of the other things that are expected of writers today.
February 8th, 2014
I guess every author has some oddities to their methods and some quirks to their personalities. Writers tend to be an odd bunch in general, I’ve seen some that are very superstitious, who go through routines and rituals before they sit down to write, who perform scheduled activities or arrange their desks just so to get the perfect balance or “energy” so they can pound away at their keyboard.
I guess I’m the same way, although I don’t have any rituals, I don’t believe in writing “energy” and I’m entirely against superstition, there are some things that I recognize about my writing that may seem odd to those who don’t pour ideas and stories into their computers constantly.
January 18th, 2014
This is something I’ve noticed over the past couple of years and it seems especially prevalent in non-fiction writing, although I’m sure it takes place in genre fiction as well. There is a tendency to pad out one’s writing, often to an absurd degree, just to produce a longer book. This goes beyond playing with margins and other tricks that make the book look longer, I mean actual written content that really doesn’t add anything new or interesting to the book, it just increases the number of words and pages for no real purpose.