Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Always Blunt, Never Dull

Right. Well, for as wonderful a time as I’m currently having in this country, I gotta say that I am less than impressed with the quality of my wireless. Namely, every time you breathe wrong it cuts out. So, instead of writing this post in my Blogger editor like I would normally do, I’m typing in a word document (which will then be transferred to the internet later since if it’s a word document forever nobody’s going to read it) and if you couldn’t possibly tell, I’m not thrilled about it.

I’m also not overly thrilled about making a tentative return to inkpop.

I’ve ranted and raved about the site in the past. I know I have. Don’t believe me, you can literally look it up. The thing is though, it’s a great tool. There’s nowhere else I can think – other than Authonomy – that you can have your project on an editor’s desk so easily. Okay, maybe easy isn’t the right word. It’s not painless, either. Let me put it this way – it doesn’t require much effort.

And before all of you who have inkpop accounts and steadily update, swap, pick, read, and do whatnot in front of the screen between the times that you work on your algebra homework and think about the cute guy in the locker next to you and how he doesn’t notice you and wouldn’t that be great for a book jump down my throat, let me point some things out.

You haven’t actually sent a query letter in this whole process. You’ve put your book online – or what of it that you have done (which, let’s be honest, there’s very little on my own account that’s actually finished) – and you’re trying to get people to read it to put it in the top five. I can respect that. For the most part. But there’s nothing much to that. Sure you have to beg, borrow, steal and occasionally offer your first born to have someone read it and pick it because hot damn, you’re sitting at number six and that fifth spot looks mighty tempting.

Or you could be down in the ranks of the un-ranked – like me! – where you more or less have the desire to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and do the whole American thing where you take nothing and make it into something.

Newsflash – If you haven’t exactly done that in your writing, then it’s not going to work outside your writing.

I’m going to be bluntly honest because, well, that’s the only way that I know how to be when it comes to writing. Including my own. And I’ll be the first one to line up and tell you that yeah, the entire opening three hundred pages of my novel needs work. A lot of work. With the exception of the prologue, it was first written six years ago and the last time it was edited was about two, so, yeah, it should probably be labeled as a construction site. Not to mention things have changed – in terms of characters and storyline details – that need to be added to make things not only more clear at that moment but also down the line since I, as a writer, don’t tell you anything you don’t need to know either now or in the immediate, near, or distant future of the storyline.

In plain yeoman’s terms I’m not going to shower you with prose that doesn’t do shit for the continuation of the plot and character development.

Why am I rehashing this? Because when I finally get the lead out of my ass and finish my novel and start to actually edit the beginning in earnest, things are going to hit the fan.

And I might – just might – try to gather some readership. Maybe something like what I have for Murphy and Me which, although it has forty-three comments, they’re not substantial. Do I appreciate them and the people who took the minute they had to do them? Of course I do. I’d be an idiot not to. But they’re not very substantial, they don’t really let me know how things are going in terms of the story as a whole, and they really only tell me that I’m a funny writer. That’s great, thanks. I really do appreciate that. But it’s not what I’m looking for, and it’s not what I need.

I also need for people to put on their big-boy pants and deal with chapter length.

I would suggest splitting up the first chapter into a few pieces, it's a bit too much to handle--and a few too many characters.

Can’t handle it? Why don’t you go back to reading storybooks, darling?

Mean? Eh. Possible. Honest? Hell yes. Did anybody point out to J.R. Tolkien that maybe he should cut down on the pages long dialogue and description because it might be too difficult to handle? Pretty sure I hear crickets and ooh, look, a tumbleweed!

My point is, always has been, and always will be, allow your writing to speak for itself. Give us, the reader, a shove toward it with maybe a, yeah, well, it’s got core values, vampires, magic, and gypsies, just give it a go and let us have at it. If we don’t like it, we don’t like it. If we hate it, well, we’ll mask how we’re really feeling and hopefully not break your soul in the comments since, well, it’s not really a good thing to cry over your keyboard. Makes the buttons not work.

Now. I know I’ve got lurkers. I haven’t checked my tracker in months, but I know that I have lurkers. And I know I have regular readers. And I know that I might have just offended someone – or maybe more than just one person, probably – and if you don’t like it, well, leave a comment. Tell me I’m wrong. You can also tell me where to shove it. If you liked it, well, tell me that, too. The point is, tell me something.

That’s the point of writing, isn’t it?


Dana said...

I love that you are a "tell it like it is" kinda person.
I have enjoyed reading everything you have written on this blog and WHEN you get published I will be one of many in line for an autographed copy.

Molly Louise said...

Thank you very much.

Leigh said...

Ha! I like your style. Funny babes, funny!

Molly Louise said...

Thank you.

Connie W said...

Your honesty is refreshing and I think that's why i like reading you so much.

I'm so over the lurkers.

Here is a site for UK letterboxing. It made NO sense to me. Hope you can figure it out.


Molly Louise said...

Thank you. And thanks for the UK letterboxing site - I will definitely have to check that out.

"The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't."

-Joseph L. Mankiewicz