Advertisements
RSS

Tag Archives: award winning book

Sex and Writing – Nobody Teaches You How to do it Well!

Isn’t writing a lot like sex? Think about it. For those of you struggling with the writing life, we are groomed to speak and write the ‘Queen’s English‘ throughout our school years, but who teaches us how to do it well (as in get published)? When we are young, we get the obligatory ‘sex talk’ and may even get sex ed in school, but again, who teaches us to do it well (as in get…well, you know…)?

I know, experience and repetition. But there are shortcuts to better writing getting published (and better sex for that matter, but not on this blog…) available to us today. We have a populace that is interconnected like no generation in the history of mankind. I can talk, face to face, with anyone in any country that has an internet connection – for free.

Ok, so the ‘for free’ statement is not totally accurate. There’s the cost of electricity, internet service, the computer and camera with which to connect, and probably a host of other insidious expenses. But from our perspective today, the call is free. We can speak as long as we like. Heck, my daughter talks with her friends, one from England and one in Las Vegas, at the same time on ooVoo (similar to Skype, only better in my opinion…).

Ok, so we can string a good story together, make it into a novel – then what? Yes, a plethora of publishing options that make even those of us in the industry shake our heads and go, “Huh?” Who teaches the novelist what to do with their craft?

No one. Who taught Don Juan or Cassanova (or their real life counterparts) how to make love? Many women that came before the notoriety, that’s who. For the writer, their first books teach what to do and what not to do and what can be done better.

Still, this is a very crazy way for people to learn, is it not? In this age where everything is available to everyone with internet connection, you would think there would be definitive teaching institutions who regale students with the proper steps in writing, publishing, marketing and promoting their books.

I see workshops all over the Master of Arts landscape. I also hear quite a bit about MFA grads struggling to make it in the writing world because of ego or too technical of a writing style.

One of the reasons publishing marketing and promoting is not well organized and taught in my humble opinion is that the creative muse flees rigid order in our most creative folk. Creativity needs to live and breathe in freedom and non-restriction. To create this environment, the writer must be able to reach a ‘peace’ in solitude where he or she can connect with their muse. Thus, writers often do not make good business decisions. Publishing, marketing and promotion are all business concepts.

Do you begin to see the difficulty in teaching this? To run the sex analogy again, some people like a soft touch, others a more assertive touch. The varying personalities of men and women deliver a range of sexual experience that can cover incredible differences and nuances. This means what works for one, won’t necessarily work for another. Finding that mate where everything works together well is important to us – and there is no way of ‘knowing’ this.

When we get our book to a finished product, we know it. Real scientific, eh? Your best writing comes when you let go – fear, critic, judge, peer pressure, bias, etc. But what happens once the mate has been selected (the book is written)? Most writers bumble their way through the publishing landscape, many getting fleeced along the way.

The suggestion here is that you consider forming a small focus writing group. That’s what the Rogues Gallery Writers are. We banded together and learn collectively. Writers should educate themselves. One of the best ways to do this is with three or four other people of like mind who need to learn as well. You accelerate your learning curve. We each look at the publishing process from slightly different angles. We share knowledge collected from our unique perspectives. We each then, have a baseline for making publishing, marketing and promotion decisions.

Do not go into writing thinking all you’re going to do is write. Realize this is a business. Hedge your bet with trusted writing partners who will walk through the crazy writing-life-landscape with you. You must be careful to select people who are of like mind, ie, focused on getting published. Stay away from people who are looking for a social hour or just in it for fun. Those folk should join their own respective groups of people. If you’re serious about getting published, find a few good people who feel the same and work together.The rewards are great!

For those of you wishing to continue the sex analogy, I stop here. I would not advocate where some of your minds are going…

Advertisements
 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 27, 2011 in The Rogues Gallery Writers

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Work in Progress…The Method Writers

The Rogues Gallery Writers continue on our trek to produce the Great American Novel. When four writers mesh like this and write together as a team, amazing results pop up like popcorn ideas in the pan of imagination. I personally begin to understand how groups reach the top, the national and international recognition, through enjoyable labor that breeds creativity.
When we meet, which is generally once a week, the fog of daily doldrums dissipate at the snap of ideas careening off the tongues of my fellow writers. Creative endeavors by a group of writers well-meshed in personalities opens up horizons none of us could reach on our own. The sum becomes truly greater than the parts. Connection on this level brings me to realize how rare, special and energizing a cohesive writers group can become.
Our book, The Method Writers, will be a read well worth the time spent by the reader. This statement should not be considered cocky, simply a statement of fact. When you work on something special, you know it. You want the world to know it. In this day and age, run-of-the-mill writing dominates the publishing world. Great work gets overlooked because the sheer volume of mediocre shields it from the world’s eyes.
For that reason, writers who produce something of higher value must let the world know. While most of us (writers) write because something inside us requires it, we also possess a strong desire for readers to appreciate our work. The same can be said of any creative endeavor. Musicians want their work to be enjoyed as to painters, sculptors, sketch artists, etc. Many people appear to overlook the fact that this dynamic holds true for writers as well.
This book will see the light of day in 2011. In fact, our first draft should be completed in June. The story line? Four writers have formed a group called the “Rogues Gallery Writers“, (hmmm) and decide individually to do the author equivalent of what DeNiro did before the filming of Taxi Driver. DeNiro drove a cab in New York as a ‘method acting’ way of getting into character.
These four writers decide to get into their characters by actually doing something in real life their character will do in each book they are writing. One robs a bank, another kidnaps an abusive neighbor to teach him a lesson about how the man beats his girlfriend. Another gets caught up in the lurid sex scene while another infiltrates a high end escort service.
All four writers run into their fair share of difficulties as well as a good number of Keystone Cop bungles. The humor will be dark, but not black. The drama will be real, but not overbearing. The characters will be strong with their own distinct voice as the REAL Rogues Gallery Writers each write one of the characters in the book.
Sorting this all out, with the interplay between the writer characters and the writer’s characters with subplots running amuck and tying everything up neatly at the end is a challenge we (the real Rogues Gallery Writers) take on with gusto. The ‘book’ Rogues show an amazing resemblance to the real Rogues. Hmm. I wonder how that happened! 🙂
I’ve not heard of any four-writer collaborations other than collections of short stories. I’m positive this has happened in this world, possibly many times, but the situation is new to me and the rest of the Rogues. When all is said and written, we will have accomplished something each of us will look back on as a special and important segment of our lives. Whether we gain a national or international audience, which, make no mistake, we will shoot for it, or not, our time spent on this project will bring smiles the rest of our days.

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , ,