Advertisements
RSS

Tag Archives: good reading

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Guardian Angel

We, the Rogues of course, have been excerpting pieces of stories from our book Writing is Easy. For those fiction readers out there, here’s a sampling of Guardian Angel, by Michael Ray King

Guardian Angel

When the time comes, pull the cord.

Freefall exhilarates.  Frightens.  Freefall delivers beauty and danger.  Jake licked his lips.  Skydiving dominated his heart like a medieval lord jealous for his lover.  Jake strangled the parachute cord in his right hand.

A roaring sea-rush of air surrounded him.  He plummeted, a vertical freight train, headed for mother Terra in an unplanned and certainly unorthodox flight.  A city dotted with rooftops and church steeples approached at an alarming pace.  Wouldn’t it be a hoot to be impaled by one of those suckers? he thought as he admired the heaven-pointed church-fingers.

Lights popped on like kernels of corn at critical mass as dusk handed off its remaining diffuse light to the night.  Faint smells wafted up from a thousand houses – apple pies, wood fires and lover’s scents mingled as one.  He flattened out, the resistance of air acting as invisible hands on his shoulders, abdomen, legs and feet, lifting him from the earth.  He glided and soared, his nose dividing air to his cheeks so that it flowed past his ears and roared its approval.  The knowledge that eagles feared him wrenched a maniacal laugh from his soul.

He ripped at the cord and the chute yanked him heavenward.  The world slowed down to a single moment in time – his descent, the movement of the early evening moon and his mind.  Nothing to do now but float back into oblivion and obscurity.  Unless he could maneuver over the lake and drown . . .

Everyone called Jake a junkie, but he had a secret that none of them could imagine – he could fly.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 25, 2011 in The Rogues Gallery Writers

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Crazed Writers Meet Again!

Yes, the Rogues continue to blur the line between fiction and reality. We are currently embroiled in a novel that requires the four of us to write four characters of a writer’s group called the Rogues Gallery Writers. Our characters have characters they happen to be writing about. In order to get to know the challenges their (the unreal Rogues) characters face, the Rogues (unreal ones again) pull a page from the ‘method acting’ notebook and become ‘method writers’.

If that is not confusing enough, we Rogues (the real ones now) have tuned into our characters (the unreal Rogues) and their names. Things have become so confusing that we attempt to send emails to our fellow Rogues with the ‘unreal’ Rogues’ names rather than our actual names. Then it takes us a few minutes to figure out why the email address doesn’t automatically pop up.

Yes, writerdom can be a strange place. What will really get strange is if we set up actual email addresses for our ‘unreal’ Rogue characters and possibly even THEIR characters. The ‘real’ Rogues meet tonight, as we do every Tuesday evening. As our plot thickens, we steam ever closer to that magic moment of a completed first draft. My best estimate is that we will possess a true first draft manuscript by late May early June.

For those of you who follow our work, this should be great news. For those of you not yet following our trek to artistic infamy, you can check out a number of our works. As a group, the Rogues have produced the books Writing is Easy and More Writing is Easy. Both books are collections of short stories penned by the Rogues. I highly recommend More Writing is Easy as an introduction to Roguery. The Kindle price tag of $2.99 is highly attractive. You may even purchase a PDF copy of the book through the ClearView Press Bookstore for $1.99.

Until we meet again…

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 26, 2011 in The Method Writers

 

Tags: , , ,

Insane Writers – Great Stories

A short post on the comings and goings of the Rogues Gallery Writers. We meet nearly every Tuesday evening. We go over the plot lines of our book – The Method Writers which is shaping up nicely. Each of us is writing a character who is a member of a writers group and is writing a book.

The twist of this book is that the characters decide to try something they dub ‘method writing’ after the similar occurrence in acting labeled ‘method acting’. The characters decide to pursue some aspect of the book they’re writing by physically experiencing whatever it is they want THEIR characters to experience. One of the writers is incorporating a bank robbery into her story so she plans out and executes a bank robbery. Another character is writing about a character that gets involved in the sex scene, so that writer dives into the world of sex.

The fun of this book is that our characters interact with each other and we must make sure we’re all on the same page. The book is being written with a lot of dark humor which should make it fun for the reader as well as getting the reader to invest in the characters. We are working at making this a big deal. We’ve planned to film a ‘Mockumentary’ about the project, again with loads of dark humor. We also are planning to come up with playing cards, trading cards, calendars, mugs, t-shirts and other promotional material. Keep checking out our companion blog, www.themethodwriters.wordpress.com for quotes from the upcoming book, some of the character pics and other book related tidbits.

Also check out our book, More Writing is Easy on Kindle or order a physical copy through the bookstore at ClearView Press.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Stories, Novels and Traffic

What have you done for me lately? Questions from your blog always seem to begin here. Attention must be drawn to your page or it shall wither and die like a spring flower in the midst of a major drought. Keywords must trip the tumblers of search engine mechanics which are driven by the tumblers in people’s minds.

Whatever the masses wish to read will direct their ‘search words’ to the engines that make or break your blog. In this world of pre-gratification (my idea that we are no longer instant gratification but have moved to a purchase mentality of buying what we think will gratify us in the near future), a fresh blog is like miracle grow. Your traffic will follow as long as you write on a subject in which others are interested.

Award winning stories, novels and poetry appear to be words that snag a percentage of the surfing public, thank goodness. My intent in this blog is partly to remind those of us who write that our blogs live and die by our attention or neglect. Far too many of our blogs languish under the strain of stale, out-dated postings that have long since run their course.

Remaining in the limelight, no matter how pale, requires effort. Hence I write another post for the Rogues Gallery Writers. Yes, we have a couple books out. Writing is Easy and More Writing is Easy. Both are excellent books. I don’t write this because I had a hand in them, I state the truth. The stories in these two books are more than worth the price paid, plus, the money a sale generates helps keep us on track to write more literature.

The Rogues also have individual books like Motherhood is Easy: as long as you have nothing else to do for the next 50 years by Rebekah Hunter Scott, Flight From Fear by Jeff Swesky, Crime Scene 3: New Jersey which contains writing by Nancy Quatrano and Fatherhood 101: Bonding Tips for Building Loving Relationships by Michael Ray King. Promoting these books becomes a must for each of the Rogues since book sales generate income which allows us to continue writing.

The next time you are in the market for some good reading, please consider the Rogues. I know this is shameless promotion, but good writing should see the light of day or the book light of night. We labor over our writing in the hopes that someday this effort will reach eager eyes and fertile imaginations – kindred spirits if you will – and inspire others to take up the craft of writing.

Every writer or group of writers need traffic. Spread the word – you want good writing? Check out the Rogues Gallery Writers!

 

Tags: , , , , , ,