The Low-Budget Writing Program: Part 3 Take Over the Literary World!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is a short post since it’s my vacation week, and there aren’t many writers tackling how to take over the literary world.

To date I have only found John Warner, the master of the fake famous writer quote, in the form of his helpful “Fondling Your Muse” (Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati 2005).  From the confusing dedication to the ridiculous blurbs on the back of the book, it’s packed with awful rules-to-live-by and terrible advice. He explains how and why to write your Manifesto, the place you alternately smash all writers who have come before AND promise to be the light in a dark, sewer-like world.  He also touches on the importance of preparing your Acceptance speech for all those awards you are going to receive.  Don’t miss the quiz, “So You Want To Be A Writer,” that proves only a self-destructive ego-maniac would choose to be a writer.  There is also some stuff about writing, like plot, character, and point of view and such nonsense.  I wasn’t paying attention.  I was envisioning the life of wealthy ease he promised if I followed his path to writerly fame.

Seriously, if you need to share in venting about the ridiculous contradictions of a writer’s life, or you just need a break from Serious Writer Stuff, pick it up and enjoy.

If you missed last week’s post, “The Monster in My Manuscript,” it was about books that will help you analyze and revise your rough draft.

Next week I will start in on the topic of syntax and grammar, in “How to Slay the Many-Headed Grammar Hydra!” [OR, I will keep putting that blog off, in a state of numb panic over my inexperience, and next post about putting your manuscript in the garbage.]

Advertisements

Fear of… Lists

Reasons I haven’t given my manuscript to my beta reader(s);

  1. I need to go through it one more time, to look for bad grammar that would ruin the reading experience.
  2. I have future slang I need to make sure is the correct slang for each character, and that they are using it correctly.
  3. I need to do a text-to-speech run through, for errors that would ruin the reading experience.
  4. I need to be sure I have firmly decided on the characters names.  “Final answer?”
  5. It’s trash.
  6. It’s smutty trash.
  7. It’s smutty trash that nobody should be forced to read.
  8. Especially if want to be able to look them in the eye, ever again.
  9. I need to take an axe to all the sex scenes.
  10. How many sex scenes does it have?
  11. Should I count the sex scenes?  What would be too many?
  12. How many penis jokes is too many?
  13. I need to do a major revision.
  14. I need to take a chainsaw to all the adjectives and adverbs.
  15. Did I really ‘show’, not ‘tell’?
  16. Did I give enough descriptions?
  17. Did I give too much description?
  18. I need to re-design my blog.
  19. I need to post more on Facebook and Twitter.
  20. I need to set up the Pintrest account.
  21. I still don’t have a web page, and Word Press offers to attach one to your blog.
  22. I need to write my weekly blog, and I’m searching for a topic. The manuscript can wait.
  23. I need to go lay down until my heart calms down. Or lie, or layed… lieded…something.
  24. If someone asks how it is going, say, “It’s a process, and I’m really happy with it.”
  25. Oooh, Cats in Space Quoting Scientists.  LIKE!

Erotica; Guilty Pleasure or Evil Incarnate?

Why does it have to be one or the other?  Why do we feel the need to hide interest in something so innate?  It’s a combination of biology, emotional bonding, and physical pleasure.  I think there is an element of something more, if you’re lucky, a spiritual bond that transcends the physical world.  Are we really still that hung up on propriety?  On the rules of dead societies?

This week I kept mentally dissecting my manuscript.  What is left if I take out the Romance?  Run of the mill Sci-Fi, with no character growth.  What if I take out the Sci-fi, putting it in a modern setting?  Typical modern Romance, and there’s millions of them.  How about just taking out the erotica, making the relationship more palatable for the average reader?  A story with no teeth, no bite, and no flavor.  The literary equivalent of ‘Fat Free’.  Urg.

This weeks self-help manual, ‘Words Fail Me’ by Patricia T. O’Conner, warns to leave some things to the readers imagination, and I understand that concept, and I agree.  I’m trying to leave story crumbs for the reader to follow, hoping they will have to reach for the next page.  But, for some reason, the urge to keep the sex scenes in the present, and in an unfiltered, raw form is overwhelming for me.

Patricia also has this to say about humor, after a long quote from Monty Python’s dead-parrot sketch.  “If you want to write about humorously about sex or money or the Grim Reaper or some other delicate matter, get out your thesaurus and collect every outrageous euphemism you can find.”  And, THAT is what I want readers to find in the sex scenes; love, sex, and laughter.  I want to write about the secret moments in a relationship; the moments you can’t really explain to any body.  You HAD to be there.

I’m so close to the finished manuscript.  Only three chapters to go.  Word count to date is 159,179.  Daily word count is consistently just above 2,000 per day.  I have worked back into a proper writing schedule, after the Holiday madness.  Hard editing will be happening by next week, although I will be spitting my time by creative writing on a different story arc, just to keep my hand in.

Editing will be a new experience for me.  I have more ‘self-help’ books lined up for that process.  I’m sure I’ll be blogging about that, too.

Do you want tame stories?  Turn back.  Do you want to re-bury Pompeii because the graffiti is too risqué?  Piss off.  The kink in ’50 Shades’ too much for you?  Enjoy the vanilla, and don’t go near Anne Rice’s ‘Sleeping Beauty Trilogy’.  (Seriously, that is some… never mind.)  And don’t wander too deep in the Amazon e-book forest.  (‘A Billionaire Dinosaur Forced Me Gay’ by Hunter Fox?  Sure, I’ll give it a read.) 

As for me, I’m not flinching.  I’m writing the story I’ve been given.  You want a peek at a relationship in the raw?  Real tears, blood, and soul?  The unbearably good stuff you have to keep secret?  The things that make you scream in frustration?  The dance of spirit reaching out, connecting, then cracking dirty jokes in bed?  Life on the edge of a relationship?

I found a map.  I’ve strapped on my writing machete, and laced my jungle boots tight.

Follow me.