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(The Millions)   Think you'll write the great American novel some day? Here are the unfortunate stats, Hemingnoway   (themillions.com ) divider line
    More: Unlikely, Hemingnoway, Americans, narratives, young adult novels, small press, online books, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ISBN  
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5023 clicks; posted to Main » on 31 Dec 2013 at 12:49 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-31 02:13:14 PM  
durbnpoisn:

Not offended at all. And I hope I didn't offend you.

For what it's worth, I commend what you are saying here, and can relate to it.
In my view, if you are an artist, and you wish to create art, then you should do it for that reason. If one is doing it to become famous, they're barking up the wrong tree.
And for those that achieve that level of success, while barely putting any effort, it becomes very frustrating to those that are far more deserving. And, for the record, I'm NOT talking about myself as a musician. I never wanted to be famous. I could barely handle the pressure at the level I DID play at.



Truer words never spoken.
 
2013-12-31 02:15:46 PM  

whizbangthedirtfarmer: I am currently co-editing an academic work.  I have two novels written in various stages of editing.  I have another I'm working on while the others grow cold.  I've published a few short stories.  I refuse to self-publish.  My problem is that there are very few agents who want work that doesn't fit into a very narrow sliver of what they perceive to be marketable.  Basically, all plots should be boiled down to one sentence and nothing within the novel should upset anyone.

That's tough for people who want to create challenging narratives.


You might want to rethink your refusal to self publish, with the proliferation of e-readers, there's a whole new world of publishing.  If you have a good product and put it out there with some self promotion, people will read it.

You can do it pretty easy on Amazon.  It doesn't cost anything.  You retain the copyright and you set the price.  If the book is less than $9.99, you get 70% of each sale (a ton more than a traditional publisher will pay).

I've done it and I've been pretty happy with the result.  I haven't made a fortune, but I made a lot more than I would have made sending my book to agents who probably don't even read it.

Just a suggestion.
 
2013-12-31 02:17:05 PM  
Damn you subby, now I've got that song stuck in my head:

Hemingnoway, hemingnoway hemingnoway, hemingnoway
In the juungle the mighty jungle...
 
2013-12-31 02:21:38 PM  
2011 books published: traditionally published 347,178; self-published 235,000

76 percent of all books released in 2008 were self-published


Something is wrong with these statistics.
 
2013-12-31 02:28:22 PM  

HairBolus: Klippoklondike: DROxINxTHExWIND: Pffft. Nobody ready anymore.

I think people still read, it's just shifting to e-readers.  I no longer have a major bookstore within 75 miles of my home.  I have to order what I want online, because the only remaining bookstores around here carry college text books, whatever the top selling fiction happens to be, and not much else.

Why aren't you using the Ishpeming Public Library? I don't know how big their holdings are but they are part of a huge interlibrary system.

My local library is also part of a huge system that I can find most non-academic books in and an ILL normally takes 2 days or less.


I always forget about the library, thanks for reminding me
 
2013-12-31 02:32:52 PM  
durbnpoisn:

Second...  If it's so difficult to get published professionally, let alone noticed as having written something worth reading, how the HELL did authors like Christopher Paolini (Erogon) get noticed at friggin 19, for writing a book that had nothing new or original in it?

Paolini got noticed by his parents, who owned the publishing company and blitzed the marketing because of it.
 
2013-12-31 02:38:22 PM  
Want to be a successful novelist? Marry a rich divorcee who owns a publishing company.
 
2013-12-31 02:46:54 PM  
There's not much room in the business for another Great American Novel, so I recommend writing the Great Canadian Novel instead.

It should have:

beer
maple syrup;
a hockey game;
a life and death struggle to avoid freezing to death standing next to Lord and Lady Black of Crossharbour;
landscape that is more alive and interesting than any of the characters;
a theory of history heavy on commodities;
a theme of survival;
an author who is South African, Australian or American, or what not (no White Anglo Saxon Protestants need apply, unless they are feminazis);
an author who wins the Nobel Prize because of books she wrote in the Third World forty years before she emigrated to Canada;
enough weirdness to qualify as Magical Realism;
kitchen table dialogue;
a lot of Canadian dialect;
a setting in the Rockies, on the Praries, in Rosedale, or in Newfoundland.

It's open to you all to write it provided you were born in, hailed from, emigrated to, or got an Arts Grant from, Canada. At least two weeks residence in Canada at some point in your life will qualify. Heck, you could even be a Nigerian Prince writing a 150,000 word begging letter as long as you follow the rules.
 
2013-12-31 02:49:40 PM  

Decillion: Look, if you're going to write, you're going to have to self publish. The big established names are the last big established names. Grisham, King, etc. They're dying out slowly. (Clancy, Crichton) What made them (big publishing) is dying too. So all you can do is stake out a small corner of your genre. Whatever is left of the publishing industry will be plucking you and others from the indies.


This is horrible advice. Get published in literary journals until you have enough good work to submit to real presses.
 
2013-12-31 03:15:28 PM  

kevinfra: whizbangthedirtfarmer: I am currently co-editing an academic work.  I have two novels written in various stages of editing.  I have another I'm working on while the others grow cold.  I've published a few short stories.  I refuse to self-publish.  My problem is that there are very few agents who want work that doesn't fit into a very narrow sliver of what they perceive to be marketable.  Basically, all plots should be boiled down to one sentence and nothing within the novel should upset anyone.

That's tough for people who want to create challenging narratives.

You might want to rethink your refusal to self publish, with the proliferation of e-readers, there's a whole new world of publishing.  If you have a good product and put it out there with some self promotion, people will read it.

You can do it pretty easy on Amazon.  It doesn't cost anything.  You retain the copyright and you set the price.  If the book is less than $9.99, you get 70% of each sale (a ton more than a traditional publisher will pay).

I've done it and I've been pretty happy with the result.  I haven't made a fortune, but I made a lot more than I would have made sending my book to agents who probably don't even read it.

Just a suggestion.


Maybe I need to swallow some of my ego, but I've always felt that SP is where the dregs of writing reside.  I'm not saying I'm all that great, but I've seen that even the most famous self-published works are the result of so-so writing (or worse) and pretty decent marketing.  I don't think I've read any SP where I thought, "yeah, this should have been published."
 
2013-12-31 03:25:45 PM  

durbnpoisn: There is almost no coorelation at all between the amount of work and effort someone puts into their art, and whether or not they get noticed.  Some of the most dedicated musicians (for instance) that I've ever known, never got any kind of break, even though they are incredibly talented, very professional, and work very hard to get themselves noticed.  Yet there are legions of talentless hacks out there that somehow became very popular because of money, connections, or just sheer dumb luck, like someone noticing a YouTube video.

I will give you the point that you make about wasting time when you should be working.  I cannot argue that.  But it does seem really amazing to me how many people DON'T waste their time like you're suggesting, ARE very talented, and STILL haven't got anything to show for it.


Farking this.  I had this argument again with my parents over the holiday after watching a documentary on the beginnings of US electricity production.  The Westinghouse Electric Corporation was all set to begin the construction of an AC electric grid when J.P. Morgan essentially walked into Westinghouse's office and declared that he was going to sue for Westinghouse's AC patents.  Morgan had absolutely no claim to the patents and would have lost the court battle, but he did have vast amounts more free capital than Westinghouse and would have been able to bleed Westinghouse dry.  As a result, the patents were signed over and General Electric became the first major US supplier of energy.  It's a perfect example of it's not what you know, or even who you know, but how much farking money you start off with.
 
2013-12-31 03:34:43 PM  

whizbangthedirtfarmer: kevinfra: whizbangthedirtfarmer: I am currently co-editing an academic work.  I have two novels written in various stages of editing.  I have another I'm working on while the others grow cold.  I've published a few short stories.  I refuse to self-publish.  My problem is that there are very few agents who want work that doesn't fit into a very narrow sliver of what they perceive to be marketable.  Basically, all plots should be boiled down to one sentence and nothing within the novel should upset anyone.

That's tough for people who want to create challenging narratives.

You might want to rethink your refusal to self publish, with the proliferation of e-readers, there's a whole new world of publishing.  If you have a good product and put it out there with some self promotion, people will read it.

You can do it pretty easy on Amazon.  It doesn't cost anything.  You retain the copyright and you set the price.  If the book is less than $9.99, you get 70% of each sale (a ton more than a traditional publisher will pay).

I've done it and I've been pretty happy with the result.  I haven't made a fortune, but I made a lot more than I would have made sending my book to agents who probably don't even read it.

Just a suggestion.

Maybe I need to swallow some of my ego, but I've always felt that SP is where the dregs of writing reside.  I'm not saying I'm all that great, but I've seen that even the most famous self-published works are the result of so-so writing (or worse) and pretty decent marketing.  I don't think I've read any SP where I thought, "yeah, this should have been published."


What about erotica?
 
2013-12-31 03:59:43 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: whizbangthedirtfarmer: kevinfra: whizbangthedirtfarmer: I am currently co-editing an academic work.  I have two novels written in various stages of editing.  I have another I'm working on while the others grow cold.  I've published a few short stories.  I refuse to self-publish.  My problem is that there are very few agents who want work that doesn't fit into a very narrow sliver of what they perceive to be marketable.  Basically, all plots should be boiled down to one sentence and nothing within the novel should upset anyone.

That's tough for people who want to create challenging narratives.

You might want to rethink your refusal to self publish, with the proliferation of e-readers, there's a whole new world of publishing.  If you have a good product and put it out there with some self promotion, people will read it.

You can do it pretty easy on Amazon.  It doesn't cost anything.  You retain the copyright and you set the price.  If the book is less than $9.99, you get 70% of each sale (a ton more than a traditional publisher will pay).

I've done it and I've been pretty happy with the result.  I haven't made a fortune, but I made a lot more than I would have made sending my book to agents who probably don't even read it.

Just a suggestion.

Maybe I need to swallow some of my ego, but I've always felt that SP is where the dregs of writing reside.  I'm not saying I'm all that great, but I've seen that even the most famous self-published works are the result of so-so writing (or worse) and pretty decent marketing.  I don't think I've read any SP where I thought, "yeah, this should have been published."

What about erotica?


You rang?  :)

My first novel's at the NSFW Fark link, followed by NSFW Smashwords link in case the first doesn't work.  You'll have to enable Adult Content on the top right tab.  Free sample available. 

Sequel's about 3/8 done.

http://www.fark.com/comments/8074510/Featuring-hot-lesbian-bondage-F ar ker-Pungents-first-novel-makes-perfect-Christmas-gift-foryouve-already -gone-to-link-youre-reading-free-sample-arent-you

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/391479
 
2013-12-31 04:07:18 PM  

kliq: Decillion: Look, if you're going to write, you're going to have to self publish. The big established names are the last big established names. Grisham, King, etc. They're dying out slowly. (Clancy, Crichton) What made them (big publishing) is dying too. So all you can do is stake out a small corner of your genre. Whatever is left of the publishing industry will be plucking you and others from the indies.

This is horrible advice. Get published in literary journals until you have enough good work to submit to real presses.


I think I missed a joke in there somewhere. Literary journals? Is it 1972?

If your work is good why not keep control of your art? Put it on amazon and do your own promoting. No publishers will. Hire a cover artist and editor. A one-time cost. Control everything and get %70 royalty.

Or give that up for the bottom shelf of a bookstore (which are going bankrupt) 18 months later  and %12 royalty (after advance is earned).
 
2013-12-31 04:07:27 PM  

PunGent: What about erotica?

You rang? :)

My first novel's at the NSFW Fark link, followed by NSFW Smashwords link in case the first doesn't work. You'll have to enable Adult Content on the top right tab. Free sample available.

Sequel's about 3/8 done.

http://www.fark.com/comments/8074510/Featuring-hot-lesbian-bondage-F ar ker-Pungents-first-novel-makes-perfect-Christmas-gift-foryouve-already -gone-to-link-youre-reading-free-sample-arent-you

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/391479


Self-promotion always being a helpful tool for success. :)

/I'll be interested when you write one with a Steve or Bill in place of Linda
 
2013-12-31 04:12:34 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: PunGent: What about erotica?

You rang? :)

My first novel's at the NSFW Fark link, followed by NSFW Smashwords link in case the first doesn't work. You'll have to enable Adult Content on the top right tab. Free sample available.

Sequel's about 3/8 done.

http://www.fark.com/comments/8074510/Featuring-hot-lesbian-bondage-F ar ker-Pungents-first-novel-makes-perfect-Christmas-gift-foryouve-already -gone-to-link-youre-reading-free-sample-arent-you

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/391479

Self-promotion always being a helpful tool for success. :)

/I'll be interested when you write one with a Steve or Bill in place of Linda


Once I'm done with this (projected) trilogy, I've got one in the rough planning stages.  Submissive male, but it's still got a dominant female.  Don't know if that's what you're looking for.

If you're looking for gay male action, sorry.  I'd love to increase my readership, believe me; it's just not my thing, though.

Basically, if it doesn't arouse me IRL, it comes across as dull and mechanical when I try to put it on the page.
 
2013-12-31 04:15:03 PM  

whizbangthedirtfarmer: kevinfra: whizbangthedirtfarmer: I am currently co-editing an academic work.  I have two novels written in various stages of editing.  I have another I'm working on while the others grow cold.  I've published a few short stories.  I refuse to self-publish.  My problem is that there are very few agents who want work that doesn't fit into a very narrow sliver of what they perceive to be marketable.  Basically, all plots should be boiled down to one sentence and nothing within the novel should upset anyone.

That's tough for people who want to create challenging narratives.

You might want to rethink your refusal to self publish, with the proliferation of e-readers, there's a whole new world of publishing.  If you have a good product and put it out there with some self promotion, people will read it.

You can do it pretty easy on Amazon.  It doesn't cost anything.  You retain the copyright and you set the price.  If the book is less than $9.99, you get 70% of each sale (a ton more than a traditional publisher will pay).

I've done it and I've been pretty happy with the result.  I haven't made a fortune, but I made a lot more than I would have made sending my book to agents who probably don't even read it.

Just a suggestion.

Maybe I need to swallow some of my ego, but I've always felt that SP is where the dregs of writing reside.  I'm not saying I'm all that great, but I've seen that even the most famous self-published works are the result of so-so writing (or worse) and pretty decent marketing.  I don't think I've read any SP where I thought, "yeah, this should have been published."


Check out Smashwords.com.  There's a ton of crap there, no doubt.  But then look at 50 Shades, and tell me with a straight face that 'traditional' publishing has better taste or style.
 
2013-12-31 04:16:22 PM  

StrangeQ: durbnpoisn: There is almost no coorelation at all between the amount of work and effort someone puts into their art, and whether or not they get noticed.  Some of the most dedicated musicians (for instance) that I've ever known, never got any kind of break, even though they are incredibly talented, very professional, and work very hard to get themselves noticed.  Yet there are legions of talentless hacks out there that somehow became very popular because of money, connections, or just sheer dumb luck, like someone noticing a YouTube video.

I will give you the point that you make about wasting time when you should be working.  I cannot argue that.  But it does seem really amazing to me how many people DON'T waste their time like you're suggesting, ARE very talented, and STILL haven't got anything to show for it.

Farking this.  I had this argument again with my parents over the holiday after watching a documentary on the beginnings of US electricity production.  The Westinghouse Electric Corporation was all set to begin the construction of an AC electric grid when J.P. Morgan essentially walked into Westinghouse's office and declared that he was going to sue for Westinghouse's AC patents.  Morgan had absolutely no claim to the patents and would have lost the court battle, but he did have vast amounts more free capital than Westinghouse and would have been able to bleed Westinghouse dry.  As a result, the patents were signed over and General Electric became the first major US supplier of energy.  It's a perfect example of it's not what you know, or even who you know, but how much farking money you start off with.


This, this, this.  Hard work is fine.

Luck and nepotism are better, as the Eragon example proves.
 
2013-12-31 04:18:23 PM  

odinsposse: durbnpoisn: There are a few things I find disturbing about this.
First...  I read ALL the time.  I love to.  Yet, I've barely scratched the surface of the number of books out there.  And looking at these numbers, it would take many lifetimes to even come close.

If it helps take a stroll along the self published novels on Amazon. Most of them are dreck and there's no reason for anyone to read them. I honestly think the self publishing revolution is interesting but it's incredibly hard to sort out the stuff that is really worth reading.


Agreed.  It'll be interesting if some bright young programmer figures out a way to sort them, or classify them, or something.
 
2013-12-31 04:19:30 PM  
whizbangthedirtfarmer:

Fark Writer's group?

I'm in.
 
2013-12-31 04:19:38 PM  
Art, if it is to vault one into the public conscious, has to be catchy.   Once you're there, it's your stage.

Gershwin got famous not for Rhapsody in Blue but for Swanee.
Who you know? Sure, there's that.  Knowing William Daly certainly came in handy, but it didn't make George's work good and it didn't make it catchy.   Do you think Al Jolson wanted to water down his stardom with something less than catchy?  No, he knew what to sell.  Key word: sell.  If money's your aim, you'll get it the same way everyone else does: by working within the rules or making the rules work for you.

That's the joke on all you who don't want to "sell out."  You think you deserve my money because you wrote something beautiful?  It doesn't work that way.  You can get rich like JP Morgan, but you'll notice he didn't leverage the unbalanced legal system to steal a non-catchy idea.  He knew what the public wanted.  If you want to write something the public don't want, go a-farking-head.  You won't get their money.  That's the "secret" to capitalism: it's trading something people want ("catchy" is just code for "something lots of people will like") for something you've convinced to want less than it (money or whatever the hell else you want from them).  If you can make your art compatible with what people want while remaining true to your principles, maybe you're as clever as you think you are.

That's why my novel, John Galt's Twilight Potter Games Bible is doing so well.
 
2013-12-31 04:21:27 PM  
PunGent:
Basically, if it doesn't arouse me IRL, it comes across as dull and mechanical when I try to put it on the page.

Dull and mechanical, huh?  I'll be in my bunk.
 
2013-12-31 04:22:41 PM  

PunGent: whizbangthedirtfarmer:

Fark Writer's group?

I'm in.


That would be nice, but I have no idea on how to get started.  I'm just a Liter.
 
2013-12-31 04:22:46 PM  

PunGent: Once I'm done with this (projected) trilogy, I've got one in the rough planning stages. Submissive male, but it's still got a dominant female. Don't know if that's what you're looking for.


img.fark.net
 
2013-12-31 04:25:48 PM  

Decillion: I think I missed a joke in there somewhere. Literary journals? Is it 1972?


I've gotten a few short stories into some of the mid-tier literary journals.  The problem with them is that most of the editors wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire, and that's if they like your work.  I've had short stories sit at a journal of some esteem for, literally, years.  And then they biatch when people do simultaneous submissions.  And then they biatch about how people can't follow the seventy step instructions for submitting something.  And then they biatch when readers complain about reading fees.

So, yeah, lit journals are out there, but I've not seen much recently in which I would think that it would be a stepping stone.  I think most lit journals are now dominated by writers who have published novels and are seeking a quick per word payout.
 
2013-12-31 04:29:12 PM  

whizbangthedirtfarmer: Decillion: I think I missed a joke in there somewhere. Literary journals? Is it 1972?

I've gotten a few short stories into some of the mid-tier literary journals.  The problem with them is that most of the editors wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire, and that's if they like your work.  I've had short stories sit at a journal of some esteem for, literally, years.  And then they biatch when people do simultaneous submissions.  And then they biatch about how people can't follow the seventy step instructions for submitting something.  And then they biatch when readers complain about reading fees.

So, yeah, lit journals are out there, but I've not seen much recently in which I would think that it would be a stepping stone.  I think most lit journals are now dominated by writers who have published novels and are seeking a quick per word payout.


I should start one of those.  Sounds like the perfect way to feel important while deliberately limiting the number of people I benefit.  Ivory tower meets capitalist plutocracy for the win.
 
2013-12-31 04:32:12 PM  

Klippoklondike: The article wasn't about the quality of novels, it was about sales.

Gene Wolfe has more skill in his pinky toe than Stephanie Meyer has in her entire body, but her sales blow his out of the water.  Hell, most people have no idea who Gene Wolfe is.

Talent and skill will not necessarily make a novel sell, so if your goal is to write the next great American novel you may be successful in that regard if you practice a lot and study other well written works and their authors.  Just don't expect to get rich off of it.


I for one have never heard so Stephanie Meyer either. Is that better or worse?
 
2013-12-31 04:42:24 PM  

Decillion: kliq: Decillion: Look, if you're going to write, you're going to have to self publish. The big established names are the last big established names. Grisham, King, etc. They're dying out slowly. (Clancy, Crichton) What made them (big publishing) is dying too. So all you can do is stake out a small corner of your genre. Whatever is left of the publishing industry will be plucking you and others from the indies.

This is horrible advice. Get published in literary journals until you have enough good work to submit to real presses.

I think I missed a joke in there somewhere. Literary journals? Is it 1972?

If your work is good why not keep control of your art? Put it on amazon and do your own promoting. No publishers will. Hire a cover artist and editor. A one-time cost. Control everything and get %70 royalty.

Or give that up for the bottom shelf of a bookstore (which are going bankrupt) 18 months later  and %12 royalty (after advance is earned).


How is one to get tenure this way? I don't have my first book out yet, but I have around 90 publications in Ivy and upper tier university literary magazines. I'm slowly building up my name so that when I do publish my first book, my name will have some recognition in the literary world.
 
2013-12-31 04:43:18 PM  

Wangiss: whizbangthedirtfarmer: Decillion: I think I missed a joke in there somewhere. Literary journals? Is it 1972?

I've gotten a few short stories into some of the mid-tier literary journals.  The problem with them is that most of the editors wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire, and that's if they like your work.  I've had short stories sit at a journal of some esteem for, literally, years.  And then they biatch when people do simultaneous submissions.  And then they biatch about how people can't follow the seventy step instructions for submitting something.  And then they biatch when readers complain about reading fees.

So, yeah, lit journals are out there, but I've not seen much recently in which I would think that it would be a stepping stone.  I think most lit journals are now dominated by writers who have published novels and are seeking a quick per word payout.

I should start one of those.  Sounds like the perfect way to feel important while deliberately limiting the number of people I benefit.  Ivory tower meets capitalist plutocracy for the win.


Oh, hell yes.  And the funny thing is: a lot of people have done just that.  Take a look online for lit mags and journals, and the number has become massive.  Many of the lower-tier ones stick around for a year or so at the most, but the reason most people start them, I think, is because they want to "judge" writers and, really, put them through the wringer. It is a finer art of bullying.
 
2013-12-31 05:20:46 PM  
I rarely read fiction.  Out of the 120-130 books I've bought in the last 18 months, just a handful were fiction and if I do it's usually from the late 1800s.  Sherlock Holmes can take up quite a few evenings.
 
2013-12-31 05:36:31 PM  

uber humper: I rarely read fiction.  Out of the 120-130 books I've bought in the last 18 months, just a handful were fiction and if I do it's usually from the late 1800s.  Sherlock Holmes can take up quite a few evenings.


Did you catch the Neil Gaiman short story, written in Doyle's style, but set in a Cthulhu setting?

Study in Emerald, might have been the title, but don't hold me to it.

I thought it was outstanding, and I'm not that big a Gaiman fan.
 
2013-12-31 05:39:56 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: PunGent: Once I'm done with this (projected) trilogy, I've got one in the rough planning stages. Submissive male, but it's still got a dominant female. Don't know if that's what you're looking for.

[img.fark.net image 420x294]


I've actually been kicking short stories and vignettes based on the idea for about thirty years.
Seriously, don't hold your breath, but if I can sustain my momentum here, kick out the sequels to Wiseass in January and February, respectively, I could get something done and polished by early summer, I think.

Sooner if I take a break after book 2, later if the print-on-demand and audiobooks are more work than I expect.

Never, if I get hit by a bus.
 
2013-12-31 05:42:01 PM  

Wangiss: PunGent:
Basically, if it doesn't arouse me IRL, it comes across as dull and mechanical when I try to put it on the page.

Dull and mechanical, huh?  I'll be in my bunk.


"Hot in here, isn't it?" said Goofus.  Gallant slowly peeled off his shirt, revealing his chiseled abs...
 
2013-12-31 05:42:38 PM  

whizbangthedirtfarmer: PunGent: whizbangthedirtfarmer:

Fark Writer's group?

I'm in.

That would be nice, but I have no idea on how to get started.  I'm just a Liter.


Likewise.

Yahoo still support groups?
 
2013-12-31 06:00:43 PM  

PunGent: Wangiss: PunGent:
Basically, if it doesn't arouse me IRL, it comes across as dull and mechanical when I try to put it on the page.

Dull and mechanical, huh?  I'll be in my bunk.

"Hot in here, isn't it?" said Goofus.  Gallant slowly peeled off his shirt, revealing his chiseled abs...


Okay, yeah, that's not the dull and mechanical I was thinking of.

www.robotliving.com

Just kidding.  That's not my thing, either.  I'm sleep deprived and I was amusing myself with a joke that's funny even though it's low-hanging fruit.

Low hanging fruit, huh?

I'll be in


Nevermind.
 
2013-12-31 06:05:07 PM  

PunGent: whizbangthedirtfarmer: PunGent: whizbangthedirtfarmer:

Fark Writer's group?

I'm in.

That would be nice, but I have no idea on how to get started.  I'm just a Liter.

Likewise.

Yahoo still support groups?


I think the thing nowadays is a Facebook group.  I'm in a few of those to help me design and promote games.  I'm launching a Japanese-learning card game's Kickstarter in two days and they've been infinitely helpful.  Also, I've invented a game of checkers that is played in a hypercube.  That'll be later in 2014, but it's being released with a novel I'm writing in which that very game is played.  It'll be a fun co-promotion opportunity for me.  It shouldn't surprise you after the rather overt capitalism in my posts above: I'm in marketing.
 
2013-12-31 06:21:35 PM  

Wangiss: PunGent: whizbangthedirtfarmer: PunGent: whizbangthedirtfarmer:

Fark Writer's group?

I'm in.

That would be nice, but I have no idea on how to get started.  I'm just a Liter.

Likewise.

Yahoo still support groups?

I think the thing nowadays is a Facebook group.  I'm in a few of those to help me design and promote games.  I'm launching a Japanese-learning card game's Kickstarter in two days and they've been infinitely helpful.   Also, I've invented a game of checkers that is played in a hypercube.  That'll be later in 2014, but it's being released with a novel I'm writing in which that very game is played.  It'll be a fun co-promotion opportunity for me.  It shouldn't surprise you after the rather overt capitalism in my posts above: I'm in marketing.


Have you done this before?  I have my own weapons...

Seriously, good for you...sounds cool.
 
2013-12-31 07:13:28 PM  
Spouse has 50 published books.  Long career writing.  Not so much in the reward department.
This March was #50 (or 49, I forget)
By April, we knew we were buying a house.
When Amazon sells 100,000 of your books, they send you one of these.
i.imgur.com
 
2013-12-31 07:21:13 PM  

PunGent: Neil Gaiman short story, written in Doyle's style, but set in a Cthulhu setting? Study in Emerald, might have been the title


"A Study in Emerald". It was fairly good, definitely worth reading if you're a fan of H.P. Lovecraft or Arthur Conan Doyle, but I liked Gaiman's more original stories better.

I wrote a novel a long time ago. I never tried to publish it. About 50 people read the dot-matrix/laser-printed copies I ran off and spiral-bound. Several people said, "You should try to publish this. Far worse books have been published." One guy said, "Your book has the same flaws as Wizard's First Rule, so if you fix those things, it'd be a much better book." OTOH, I don't think the mass market wants a sci-fi post-apocalyptic book right now, so nobody would touch it.

I have also written a few fantasy short stories. (High school losers + magic + angst + attempted rape = plot ; power struggles among feral cats + magic + evil bastards = other plot.) Lack of good backups killed the text of those stories, sigh. The silly "Wolfcano" screenplay here is not much like the other stuff I've written, but it could be produced on a low budget.

The big problem for me is time. Now that I've got a regular job, I don't have much energy for writing stuff. The Internet doesn't help either. I used to think about plots and characters when I got bored. With the Internet, I'm never bored, which means I'm less creative.
 
2013-12-31 07:48:39 PM  

whizbangthedirtfarmer: PunGent: whizbangthedirtfarmer:

Fark Writer's group?

I'm in.

That would be nice, but I have no idea on how to get started.  I'm just a Liter.


Believe it or not, I hosted the TotalFark Writer's Workshop for almost two years running. We covered a LOT of ground and had some fun with short story contests. I got too busy with work and it died a quiet death.

Like you, I have a finished novel that I have yet to seriously query, a sequel started (all of my writer friends say not to waste time on it unless the first one sells but I sneak back to it every now and then) and another one about 60K words in that will ultimately challenge James Michener for size and scope. I think you have to do it for yourself first no matter where it might someday go.
 
2013-12-31 10:45:32 PM  

danceswithcrows: PunGent: Neil Gaiman short story, written in Doyle's style, but set in a Cthulhu setting? Study in Emerald, might have been the title

"A Study in Emerald". It was fairly good, definitely worth reading if you're a fan of H.P. Lovecraft or Arthur Conan Doyle, but I liked Gaiman's more original stories better.

I wrote a novel a long time ago. I never tried to publish it. About 50 people read the dot-matrix/laser-printed copies I ran off and spiral-bound. Several people said, "You should try to publish this. Far worse books have been published." One guy said, "Your book has the same flaws as Wizard's First Rule, so if you fix those things, it'd be a much better book." OTOH, I don't think the mass market wants a sci-fi post-apocalyptic book right now, so nobody would touch it.



Agree with you about the Internet being a huge time suck, but I'd go ahead and self-publish.  It's free; can't beat that with a stick.

And nobody thought the mass market wanted poorly written S&M, yet 50 Shades sold what?  70 million copies?  some ridiculous number.
 
2013-12-31 11:17:14 PM  

danceswithcrows: OTOH, I don't think the mass market wants a sci-fi post-apocalyptic book right now, so nobody would touch it.


PunGent: And nobody thought the mass market wanted poorly written S&M, yet 50 Shades sold what?  70 million copies?  some ridiculous number.


The market was swamped with vampire stories and editors were firmly saying NO MORE VAMPIRES many months before the TWILIGHT series came out.  What people think is market saturation routinely is only their perception.

And poorly written S&M?  I'm not sure how many people on this thread know what happened after 50 SHADES came out.  An author I know decided to basically clone 50SHADES and self published it.  She was under contract from multiple publishers, behind on her deadlines with multiple publishers and took the time to put out the first of that trilogy.  Sold like hotcakes. A different publisher notices the sales, offers her a cool million to take it off the market and have them publish it.  She finished the other two books, and made well over 3 million in the space of two years. Well up in the NYTimes list and full page ads, the whole bit.  The publlshers who she still owed the old books to would have normally cancelled their contracts, but they've wisely just prompted her to publish what she promised.  Yeah, this is the effect of the overflow from the demand for 50SHADES.

So, if you think sci-fi post apocalyptic fiction isn't in demand, you are very sadly mistaken.  The overflow from these latest movies is big.

That said, here's the best piece of advice you'll hear about writing all thread:
Know who your REAL audience is.  Write to them.
It's the hardest thing you'll ever do, because there's a very good chance the author of the work(you) isn't in the audience he/she/you is writing to.
 
2013-12-31 11:24:06 PM  
Anyone qualified please correct me this if this is a misconception...

I always figured writing fiction was like singing. You do it because you must, because it makes you feel connected, because you can, because it satisfies an urge whether anyone listens or not. Intrinsic motivation. Most people who sing reach only a very small audience in their lifetime. Most people who sing well enough to be asked to sing again don't receive significant pay for their efforts, if any. Plenty of people sing whom we'd rather not hear.

So, now that we have the ability to record, store, and disseminate anything and everything, how do we sort through it?
What level of exposure qualifies as fame? What is influence? What is success? And who cares how many other people are writing novels out there? That's like asking how many other people in the world are talking at the same time you are. What does that matter, when the relevant question is, do you have an audience and do you have something to say?
 
2014-01-01 10:11:18 AM  

E5bie: Anyone qualified please correct me this if this is a misconception...

I always figured writing fiction was like singing. You do it because you must, because it makes you feel connected, because you can, because it satisfies an urge whether anyone listens or not. Intrinsic motivation. Most people who sing reach only a very small audience in their lifetime. Most people who sing well enough to be asked to sing again don't receive significant pay for their efforts, if any. Plenty of people sing whom we'd rather not hear.

So, now that we have the ability to record, store, and disseminate anything and everything, how do we sort through it?
What level of exposure qualifies as fame? What is influence? What is success? And who cares how many other people are writing novels out there? That's like asking how many other people in the world are talking at the same time you are. What does that matter, when the relevant question is, do you have an audience and do you have something to say?


Actually, those are pretty damn deep questions you're asking...sure you're on the correct site?  :)

I've got a novel under my belt now, so I'll take a crack.

First, the "do it because you must" thing, I'll agree with that.  I basically sat for two weeks straight at my computer, and the characters just climbed out of me onto the page.  No contract, no advance, and I'm realistic about the chances of writing a best-seller.  I just did it.  It was kind of cool, actually...I've been kicking the ideas around for years, but it was probably the longest sustained burst of raw creativity I've ever experienced.

As far as "how do we sort through it?"...excellent question.  Short answer, we don't.  Long answer, programmers are already figuring out ways to grade essays; the programs suck, so far, but they'll keep getting better.  Eventually they may find a way to filter novels, art, etc, by computer, so the consumer can say "I want detective novels in the style of Ngaio Marsh", and the web will offer him 10,000 vetted choices, instead of 100,000 poorly-sorted ones.  Add more filters, narrow your selection, find what you want.

If you get bored, hit 'random', let the system surprise you.  And word-of-mouth will still be important, I think.

People will cling to the old systems, of course.  Literary agents, publishers, printers, critics.  And that's fine.  It's hard to change someone's mind when their paycheck depends on NOT changing their mind.  They'll resist the new systems... just like companies that made buggy whips resisted the automobile.  I won't guess how long the process will take.  And, frankly, I like elements of the old system; like books, especially old books...an e-reader is fine, but just isn't the same.

My book?  I sent out a few query letters, didn't even get the courtesy of a rejection notice.

Screw 'em.  Best revenge?  Sell a hundred thousand copies, then sell the movie rights.  Sure, it probably won't happen.  But if I sit around waiting for a big publishing house to deign to print my stuff...that I KNOW is better than some of the crap they already print...I'll grow old and grey waiting.

Screw that.  A slim chance is better than no chance.  And if you can't be a dinosaur, be one of the little mammals running around in the underbrush.

Now, as far as influence and success?  the easy way to define them remains money.

Personally, and it's the reason I've got the leisure time to sit down and write a novel, I define success as having the time to do what you want with your life.

Money is infinite; the time you get to do things is not.
 
2014-01-01 08:42:33 PM  
Everyone always tells me I should be a writer. Im too sporatic. My ideas range from a one sentence blurb to an massive idea that I cant chronologically organize and fill in the gaps. I did a bit of quick math in my head.... knew there was no chance. But I do like to write. I think I just dont give enough of a chit if anyone else sees it.
 
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