A Chilling Article

As you guys know, it’s very rare for me to bring out my political views and beliefs on this blog. I feel that I’m a professional and that my personal life should be kept separate from the professional, but this is something I can’t stay quiet about.

The FCC is in the testing stages of going to the various TV stations and “analyzing” their “biases” and “how stories are decided upon.” Well, that’s scary enough but it’s what comes next that’s the kicker.

They are also going to speak to reporters and station managers and give them 8 “voluntary suggestions” of things to run. Here’s just 2 of the 8.

1. Environment

2. Employment Opportunities  

Now before you jump on me saying I’m throwing out some right wing talking points, it’s not right-wing politics that drives me on this. The fact that the Government is going to sit there and “suggest” (aka tell them what they can broadcast) the news reeks of censorship. I’m sorry, but as a writer this is the deadly serious issue and I personally have had to adjust my writing already due to the massive politically correct landscape-but this takes the cake. 

If someone doubts me here’s a link to the story. Note that it’s written by someone who works in the FCC.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304680904579366903828260732

Anyone reading this who is concerned about free speech, please reblog this and get the word out.

 

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Fools and Stupidity

 

When I was growing up I remember a saying my parents have: “It’s one thing to be considered stupid, another to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Sometimes I think people forget that when posting on various forums.

Today, someone made a post that fully showed amateurism, and when they were corrected and told how to sound more professional, they took it as a personal slam. *Sigh* Sometimes people are so high and mighty that they don’t have enough damn sense to realize they look stupid as shit.

I wonder how many of these people who get mad will ever make it into the world of being published. Given how they don’t want to even learn the necessary lingo, then the answer would be “never.”

Sometimes it’s best to take the advice given instead of sounding like a complete asshole by railing on the one who’s trying to teach something. Unfortunately, the people inhabiting this world seem unwilling to learn anything. No wonder we’re in the mess we’re in; people are too damn stubborn to learn.

I guess common sense and having an open mind is a lost art.

Frosty the Snowman!

 

Well, the forecasted amount of snow continues to go up for tomorrow into Thursday. While this time it’s supposed to start during the day (Yay!) so I can see it, it will cause a headache for the new graphics card that will arrive tomorrow for my desktop computer. Oh, well, I guess you can’t win everything.

Snow is pretty and I have kind of wanted one big snowstorm this year to consider it winter and looks like I’ll get it. After this it can warm up to spring and I’ll be one happy little writer. So…bring it on!

I think I’m going to try to get pictures of it with my camera and I’ll try to post them if I have juice. Hopefully the weather for the rest of you guys will be good. J

Snow, Writing and Life

 

Well, the weather weenies are going nuts here in town over the possibility of a good sized snow storm Wednesday night into Thursday afternoon. While I don’t mind seeing the white stuff, it gets irritating that it happens at night where I can’t see it and determine if it’s a pretty type of snowfall.

While it will cause headaches for drivers and no doubt shut the schools down, it has its plusses. It gives me time to sit back and look out the window at it while writing, which is always something that boosts my spirits. Throw in the fact that I have a 4×4 truck and I’m good to go no matter how much snow falls. Now Ice…that’s a different story.

Living in the Mid-Atlantic states means I get a unique weather experience. In the winter it gets cold as shit while in the summer it can become hot, humid and totally miserable. It totally depends on the patterns. Or, as I like to say, if you don’t like the weather here then wait five minutes because it will change.

What are you guys’ favorite weather stories? Any snow? Storms? Heat? I’d love to hear them. J

Things That Influence My Writing


 

As I spend each day looking at the laptop screen while writing, many thoughts start to fill my head. Ideas like: “What influences my writing?” or “What kind of character” drives me forwards. So, today I thought I’d sit down and blog about it.

When growing up, I read anything I could find, but I loved science fiction. Star Trek and Star Wars were my best friends and from them I have a fantasy about wanting to explore the galaxy. But, they weren’t all that I read. I read King, Heilein (The Cat Who Walks Through Walls and Starship Troopers), Clarke, Asimov, and a couple Ben Bova really lead me to want to write also.

So, my love of science fiction started when I was 6 years old and goes on to this day. Even when I look at anime I hunt for those that are sci fi based. I have no desire to read about zombies, vampires or demons. Aliens, starships and adventure? I’ll eat that up with a spoon.

When I was younger I had lots of ear infections and undiagnosed Bipolar, which led to me being cooped up inside a lot in my life, so I never did some of the typical “guy” things. While that was a minus, I also learned from my mother what things matter to women, and that’s something that I’ve kept in the back of my mind in my day to day life, which influences my political views, etc.

One lesson I learned from her was that there isn’t much in this world a man can do that a woman can’t do, so that’s when I made the decision to make female heroines and anti-heroines. How many books are written with the male being the protagonist when there’s a woman beside him who’s stronger and smarter?

That’s why I find characters like April in Coyote Ragtime Show to be far more interesting than Mister. Mister fits every stereotypical male pirate and it’s boring as hell. April, while evil, is far more than the typical “psychotic” woman killer. She’s smart, ruthless and also immature and arrogant enough to get pissed off when someone interferes with something she’s after. In other words: she really gets my motor running.

I also find Birdy from Birdy the Mighty Decode to be good and the idea of King Arthur actually being a woman (Fate/Zero anime) is fascinating too.

I could write forever on this, but I’d love to know who, or what, influences your writing as authors.


 

Bad Advice Leading to the Blind Leading the Blind

 

It gets more and more difficult for me to sit back and watch people get bad advice from pseudo-intellectuals with diarrhea of the fingers. They sit there, pretend they know it all, and then give people who are trying to learn how to be an author terrible advice.

One thing that the sexual intellectuals (polite way of calling someone a fucking moron-so it’s the term I’ll use from now on) do is to get the newbies hung up on the rules. Yes, rules are important and you need to know them for writing, but they’re not fixed in stone. These guys tell everyone they are and they couldn’t be more wrong.

Another false premise that gets thrown out is the three-act structure in fiction writing. That is something used in scriptwriting to not only control how long the actual script is, but the help with the filming of it by giving the director some structure. It does not have a place in writing a novel, which is a different beast.

The other big one pushed is the ‘show don’t tell’ mantra. I’m sorry but novels are not 100% showing or telling. They are a mix of the two, and it’s how the writer puts it together that matters.

Fourth, they keep trying to tell others that the artistic nature is far more important than trying to write something that will be commercially viable. While that might work if you don’t mind the manuscript never leaving your computer-or being self-published-but it won’t in the mainstream.

And last but not least, the need to show writing to others, to get multiple people’s opinions on things. This is a case of ‘too many cooks ruin the pudding.’ Writing in a solo endeavor. It’s just you and the computer/typewriter/piece of paper. The more people get involved, the more likely your idea will be stolen or you’ll get lead down a rabbit hole and end up having to back track to move forwards.

Best thing to do is to read successful novel-preferably to top 100 of the 20th century, and see how the authors put their story together. What were their word choices? How did they construct sentences and use descriptions. That will help you be a successful writer.

With this said, I wish you all good luck in your travels.

Does Anyone Really Give A Damn About How Many Words You Write In A Day?

 

I love the threads about how many words a person can write in a day. They really tickle me to death. Does is really matter whether it’s 1k or 6k in a day? To me it sounds like the old ‘my dick is bigger than yours’ that boys have so much.

Now, a person can sit back and write 1k of solid, publishable work compared to another’s 6k of shit? Who’s doing better? The more important thing to consider is this: are you writing something that is of high quality? Now I don’t mean lacking typos, because that’s going to happen even if you type slowly. Do your sentences make sense? Are the simple and clear? Did you use a ten dollar word when a fifty cent word would’ve worked better?

There are so many things to consider when discussing how many words in a day one can write. When sufficiently motivated, I can crank out anywhere from 2.5-4k when in the ‘creative’ phase of the book. After that I end up having to do at least 2-3 edits to get it to what might be considered publishable quality.

Like today: I’ve done a final read through/edit of my Talia novel to the tune of 4-6k, I have also written almost 3-4k in my Athol novel, but I can guarantee you the Athol work is nowhere near publishable quality, so what have I gained? Not much. Although, I will admit that when I’m in the creative phase (when I’m actually putting the idea to paper) I tend to write far more in a day then when I’m rewriting/editing. This is because I just want to get the story down while I have it in my head. After that its edit, edit, edit, edit and edit some more.

In a nutshell, don’t compare yourself against others when it comes to how many words you write in a day. Just make sure they’re the best amount of words you can write. Shoot for quality over quantity.


 

Blind Leading the Blind

 

 

Once again I have to say I find the forums to be comedy relief when I’m trying to work out a difficult section on my writing. Today, it’s reviews of someone’s writing and the one’s making the reviews. When I see someone whose writing sucks ass and is boring as hell trying to tell another writer that the other writer’s work is boring, I nearly bust a gut laughing so hard.

You got to love the self-righteous people who think they’re God’s gift to writing! And the same ones can’t write for shit themselves but they’re trying to tell others how to do it. See the combination of stupidity and comedy? It truly is the blind leading the blind.

Things like this continue to hammer home why aspiring writers need to spend more time writing and less time on forums. They’re liable to get advice that sends them down a rabbit hole that they may never recover from.

Here We Go Again

serious

Once again I have to sit back and laugh at debates people have over writing. This time it’s about the words and how complex and simple the ones used are. I have a simple philosophy: use the right word for the right time. And how do I do this? I constantly look up words, even the ones I know, in the dictionary and see how they’re used. I’ve found that there’s been many a time where the word I thought worked really didn’t fit once I studied it to check its proper usage.

Now, with that said do you need to use the complex word when a simple will do? Personally I lean towards the simple and try to make each line easy to read. Why? So the reader has a quick and enjoyable read. However, you’ll find that this is a debate that writers have had over the years. Hell, Faulkner and Hemmingway argued back in forth over this as part of their feud. In fact, Hemingway’s got a quote on it:

“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.”

I am from the Hemingway school of thought: there are simpler words to use. In fact, try too hard to sound smart and one comes across as pompous and stupid. So, with that said, always make sure the right word is used at the right time.


Why The Hell People Need To Write Than Live On Forums

nanowrimo-1

 

 

 

As I sit here and write this I find myself thinking about the state of writing and the people trying to start out in it. There are several forums out there, some are better known than others but it seems that there is a plethora of either the blind leading the blind, or just plain bad advice. And the one that is the worst? The self-described expert. Now they don’t have to come out and call themselves that, but their words do it for them.

 

This is a recipe for disaster on so many fronts and in some ways it’s become comedic to read. First off the threads alone are both sad and illogical. One I read lately: “How Do I Make My Emotionless Character More Likeable.” The poster then goes on to mention how his character loved a woman before she was killed and he sought out revenge. Ok, someone loved another person; that’s an emotion right as is seeking revenge. See the illogic of the post?

 

The list goes on and on especially in either characterization of general writing threads. Most time folks are always asking how to make x-character be x-way. Easy! You write them that way. I have 6 main characters I have created…and the sixth just popped into being based off the opening line to a short story. Each has a distinct personality.

 

Talia: Warrior, leader, arrogant at times, ill-tempered when dealing with fools, carries a sinister undertone beneath her honor and commitment ideals.

Methos: warrior, very loving and protective of her sisters, bombastic, bi-sexual, smart ass to the core. Always ragging the other three about having to save them.

Crios: warrior, pragmatic, loves to follow Talia, the most level headed. Decent tactician.

Dannae: warrior, Doctor, scientist, tech wizard, quiet and low-key, doesn’t revel in taking another beings life, strong fighter when necessary

Micki: teen, serving her conscription period in military, tactical genius, hates military life, riddled with self-doubt, needs friends to keep her believing in herself.

Athol: teen, female, sexually abused by uncle, assassin, cold as ice, loves to kill, moody, obstinate, sarcastic, arrogant, always planning ahead, foul mouthed.

 

There you have it, six different characters, each different, all with their own personality. It’s not that difficult; all folks need to do is spend less time on forums and more time writing.

 

Which brings me to the self-described experts. It is obvious that it seems they don’t have any substantial writing of their own to do or they wouldn’t be on forums trying to tell others what to do.

 

I know what you’re going to ask: “If you’re seeing this, doesn’t that mean you’re posting and not writing?”

 

Actually, no, I’m not posting. The who’s who of morons can be entertaining to read when I need to get away from the final read through of my Talia novel and writing about Athol. So, in all honesty, that’s what I’m doing.

 

To make a long story short, if people want to succeed in writing, they need to be writing not constantly posting on forums where the blind lead the blind. If help is truly needed then look around on the Internet and find a mentor. If you’re story is non-violent, then I can recommend someone that could mentor people if she has space.

 

And as usual, keep writing people!