Monthly Archives: February 2013

Perfectionism: The common cold of the writing world

One the worst diseases in the writing world is the common cold   author perfectionism.

Knock knock, new chapter, knock knock, new chapter, knock knock rewrite

Knock knock, new chapter, knock knock, new chapter, knock knock rewrite new chapter

There’s a book I’m dying to write, but every time I get around to actually writing it… I end up re-writing the whole damn thing.

I, too, suffer from the crippling disease of author perfectionism. When you overcome it, a new strand of author perfectionism infects you. This is another reason I haven’t chained myself to my laptop to write Ladders Into the Grave properly.

Any antibiotics out there? As your quack author doctor, I prescribe one book for you. Read it daily and tell me how you feel after 90 days and I’ll prescribe you something else.

41AsVnidC-L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-63,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_

This is your fee for the prescription. Please fill it out on the way to book/kindle store.

Pretty please? Or else I’ll have to resort to the internet’s number one strategy!

Its low, its immoral but an effective tactic

Its low, its immoral but an effective tactic


Lies to breakdown before writing about Adult characters

Dear Ma,

Over the past few years, I discovered you lied to me about many things but certain LIES stood out from the rest.

Those lies are much worse than the Santa Claus incident and Tooth Fairy stunt you pulled off years ago. I have organized these terrible, horrendous lies into a short list:

1. Adults are mature: Ma, you gave me an impression that all adults (regardless of sex) acted like these people:
Goliath      Carter_StargateSG1

When I stop hearing young women arguing how people’s lack of fashion sense is a bigger issue than the current financial crisis and when I stop hearing young men boasting how they ‘own’ companies in different countries or exaggerating any of their accomplishments, I might re-consider my position.

They’re young you say? Not fully mature? Wait, this isn’t a level up gauge bar like my Final Fantasy games!

It is?

Okay! Then how about when they become parents? Ma, when was the last time you heard another parent showing off their spawn? Hell, when was the last time another adult boasted about their accomplishments to everyone?

Yeah thought so.

2. Adults don’t get jealous:

Seriously? Ma, I have a database of issues I’d like to go through. They are also alphabetical for your convenience!

We can start we B, from Beauty to Bonuses? Or maybe you’d prefer E, start off with Education to extra-curricular activities (the one you immediately thought of and the more ‘sporty’ one…wait that can be misinterpreted). Or S? From…*wink wink nudge nudge* to Spouses or how about Success? C, Children. Who has smarter/better spawn? Oh, already mentioned that.

3. Work hard and you’ll get what you want: I work very hard in procrastinating while doing papers but I still end up doing them! Yet, when I don’t procrastinate and work to write epic stories to dazzle my audiences, I end up writing nothing.

4. As you grow older, you’ll become more humble:

Have you ever seen how masters’ students act after they graduate? Hell, have you ever seen someone act when they get their first ‘official’ job?

Not old enough?

Ma, do you remember the last family reunion?! It was like watching a bunch of high schoolers who somehow became the product of a deadly concoction of teen fangirls gossiping about anyone in sight and jersey shore boys flexing their financial muscles sprinkled with cultural pressures and expectations.

Okay, okay, yes Ma that was mean. I take it back. I’m sorry.

Well, the last family reunion was more like-

Gladiator

This.

How could you, Ma? How could you?

As an amateur writer I have a sworn duty to accurately portray human nature! No matter what!


Climbing the Publishing Ladder: Why reading books from other cultures is a hidden treasure

Think about it.

Maybe it might be my skewed perception, but most (fiction) books I see on the shelf are from English speaking authors. We do have books from Haruki Murakami and Paulo Coelho to tingle our exotic reading tastes, but I was always concerned with the lack of availability of countries’ treasures.

Classics are translated, of course, cause…they’re classics. But, still there are some translated classics out there not as popular or as widely read.

I never moved into a new sardine can (dorm) without this book on my shelf

I never moved into a new sardine can (dorm) without this book on my shelf

Reading books from other countries helps understand other people’s culture and what they value in stories

It might also help avoid certain stereotypes.

My apologies to American readers.

My apologies to American readers.

Glagoslav Publications is a publishing house dedicated to translating Eastern Europe’s hidden treasures to not only western Europe but the rest of the English speaking world. Modern Ukrainian literature seems to be one of their priorities  since it is at its “peak of renaissance, and the post-1991 period has seen an incredible diversity of literary genres and themes.”

They’re also going to be publishing books by authors from the “culturally diverse former USSR.”

The books mentioned in the article are examples hidden treasures providing a rich and cultural look into certain cultures, time periods and perspectives.

This is one step into creating more availability for these hidden treasures and their authors!

In business school, the other students and I were always being told about GLOBALIZATION and DIVERSITY. We rarely got some decent examples.

I’d say, this is one.  A very important one.


Nostalgia Critic best sums up Twilight

A blogger discussing Twilight these days is as old of tale as “Once a upon a time, an internet troll started a flame war”. It’s a dangerous risky domain for any blogger to enter.

Proceed with Caution

I made this sign 😀 I’m so proud!

But if you’re a MANLY blogger, you have to go. You have to get your numbers up. You have to piss off half the internet at one point in your blogging life. This doesn’t mean you can’t proceed with caution.

1001 things to do on the internet before you die: Contribute to the One does not simply Meme. CHECK!

1001 things to do on the internet before you die: #24 Contribute to the One does not simply Meme. CHECK!

Sooner or later I was bound to write about it and contribute to the discussion without sounding like the two most popular arguments:

I couldn't find a 'good' argument pic for Twilight

I couldn’t find a ‘good’ argument pic for Twilight. I don’t want to try too hard.

The only argument I can find for the ‘good’ part is the usual escapism stuff.

Yes, we know, we know:

Twilight is popular and the sales figures speak for themselves.

Twilight is bad because it sets women back 100 years (I agree).

All these arguments have been said and written, discussed and fought over long before a certain blogger decided to enter the scene.

Before I go on, I’d like you to watch Nostalgia Critic’s short editorial piece on Twilight

I’ll just…help myself to avoiding my PhD work in the meantime.

How to avoid PhD work

Done?

I agree for the most part with the Nostalgia Critic. He mentions towards the end of the video that (I’m paraphrasing here) ‘for every moron that believes Twilight represents what life is, dozens are moving on’.

I don’t agree there Mr. Nostalgia Critic.

Last post I linked everyone to a certain book which discusses how media does affect young people.

Yes, people do move on and do change, however, people unconsciously believe what the media portrays there is some underlying truth applicable to their life.

Maybe you don’t believe me. Fair enough. So I’ll ask you this, just observe the people around you and yourself. Especially when it comes to their love life.


Attention all writers: Before making your characters fall in love, first learn about Stockholm syndrome

There’s a reason why I don’t like most mainstream romances.

Its not their impracticality.

Its not their perfect endings.

Its not the unrealistic sex scenes everyone wants to try out.

Its the (in)direct applications of psychological issues.

How many movies/books have you seen where the girl is kidnapped by the ‘hero’ and after a few days of impromtu-togetherness-time they fall in love?

I expect to be killed by school girls and nostalgic young women tomorrow

“Blogger killed by Disney school girl fans and nostalgic young women” is tomorrow’s headline

A while back I published on this blog the ultimate writer list which had two rules I’d like to follow up on:

“22. Stockholm syndrome does not mean its true love.

23.When writing a romance piece, I will pretend that the male character is not in love with the female and if he sounds like a stalker/murderer/rapist, then I will rewrite the story.” (Myself, THERE APA! HAPPY? YOU WILL NOT HAUNT ME HERE)

Stockholm Syndrome happens when hostages express positive emotions, empathy and sympathy towards their captors/kidnappers. This syndrome has been widely discussed in media and stats show that a majority of victims do not associate with their kidnapper/captor. Despite the criticisms and stats of Stockholm syndrome, I think its important for any author to keep a mental note of it.

Objectively speaking, stories are generally about the exceptional characters in sometimes exceptional circumstances in whatever world the author has built. Many ‘romance’ stories have been built using the trope of kidnapping someone and then falling in love. By definition, these characters are the exception to the rule.

And most likely to suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.

If you think tropes like these (among several others) are harmless, think again.

Before writing any romance genre, please read this first.

Before writing any romance story, please read this first.

References and other links to look at:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1920301,00.html

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AbductionIsLove

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Romance-Mass-Media-Communication/dp/0805848320


Climbing the Publishing Ladder: Don’t inflate ebook prices

Quick news flash guys,

The US courts have settled over a fairness hearing about inflating e-book prices. After a 15 minute hearing, the Judge approved of a large settlement against Apple and five major publishing houses.

The full story:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/55870-judge-approves-state-e-book-settlement.html

Have a good weekend!


The Road to Publication – Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing, Pros and Cons

The next topic I plan to cover for Climbing the Publishing ladder is self-publishing. This is a great post that summarizes the different publishing routes along with their pros and cons!

Ecanuspublishing

Publishing, no matter which path you choose, can be rewarding and equally difficult. Deciding which way to go has become increasingly more complicated with the pros of the traditional publisher being scaled down to match the pros of self-publishing in today’s evolving market.
Weigh your options. For some writers, there is only one way. For others, the pros and cons of both paths complicate the decision. There are risks and rewards choosing either, but knowing the process might help you decide what is right for you and your manuscript.

Traditional Publisher:

Pros:

  • Your novel has a better chance of being available in bookstores
  • Editing and cover art is handled by the publisher
  • You are guided through the process from manuscript to publication by an editor
  • Some blogs only review traditionally published books on their site

Cons:

  • You exchange control for the pros and prestige of being with a publisher
  • Contracts…

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