Thursday, June 10, 2010
This isn't how I'd expected to use these links; but time got away from me, and so did my very opinionated mind.
In flitting around the blogosphere the last few months I've noticed that there is a lot of duplication of posts. Of course, we've all heard that tired phrase "there's nothing new under the sun", and if you're like me, you've set out on a journey once or thrice to prove the theory wrong. That has most likely occurred in your writing (duh!), but I don't discount other avenues of challenge. I'll let you fill us in on those at another time.
I will tell you of my own unique idea about writing, however. My "novel" inspiration was to write about family drama. You know those non-fiction best sellers about drugs/alcohol/domestic violence/sexual assault? Only, this would be fiction see, so that would make it unique; different. I had never read a book like that, and if I did I didn't remember it so it must not be too common even if it had been done before. (Did I mention that I read strictly fantasy, sci-fi, and horror prior to becoming a writer?)
Another oft repeated concept is "timing is everything." The timing for my project was perfect, and so I began to write. When I finished I had a trilogy. And no idea how to go about publishing. After some serious researching - like, a year's worth all said, though I queried a couple times during the time - I discovered a LOT of fiction books out there in my genre (that was a new word I'd learned). In fact, I discovered there was more than one genre I could be writing in: romance, literary, commercial fiction, women's fiction. Did you know women's fiction has a subgenre for family saga? When I discovered that fact I was both excited (there was something to compare my work to) and depressed (there was something to compare my work to).
One of my favorite posts to write on my blog has been the Monday FLYBY'S AND SHOUTOUTS. I like to share (shhh don't tell my kids), and this gives me an excuse to visit as many different blogs as possible during a week. But it also allows me to view the same content in a multitude of different styles. I'll "show" you how it goes sometimes.
Within hours of each other on May 31, Julie Dao and Loren Eton both posted on the subject of imitation as a form of flattery.
While Julie worries about the concept of “idea borrowing” and the possibility of plagiarism, Loren references the number of different authors who have read a novel and expounded on the concepts in their own unique style. Coincidentally, my comment on Julie’s post - which I read first - touched on the very issues Loren brings up. Did my comments inspire his own opinion, and thus the post? No; I went directly from Julie's site to Loren's.
Me at Julie's: I think you're right, up to a point. Depending on how you look at it, when we write a Cinderella type story, Alice in Wonderland, or one based on Romeo and Juliet, aren't we essentially "borrowing" a concept, an idea, and putting our own unique version to the story? When I watched Avatar, I instantly thought: Dances With Wolves mixed with Dragon Riders of Pern/Star Wars. Look at all the scream movies, espionage novels, true crime fiction, Romances. Are they not the same idea in author's unique writing style?
Loren's main text: We all know the old saying about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, and that aphorism holds no less true in the world of writing. Homages to the works of famous authors not only honor the individuals but show the extent of their influence in their chosen fields. The eldritch imaginings of H.P. Lovecraft have gotten mileage far beyond their original iterations thanks to artists as diverse as Brian Lumley and Neil Gaiman. Entire swathes of fantasy are basically testaments to Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.”
Freaky, yes? Alex J Cavanaugh (who’s first book CASSASTAR will be released this fall - from his profile, it may already be out) summed it up pretty well in his comment at Julie's with: I guess there's nothing really new under the sun. However, if another book with a storyline similar to mine was also coming out this fall, I'd be really bummed. (It's not too late to sign up for Alex's Dirty Dozen Movie blogfest.)
Another repetitive idea is whether Authors should expect to make money as a writer. Raise your hand if you think YES (I’m raising both of mine, plus the Bug’s). Crimey and Anne Gallagher have recently posted similar sentiments with different motivations. This is not a new concept to me. I've often had the same thoughts; and even though I only linked these two bloggers, believe me I've read this over and over, not only here in the blogosphere, but in several writers magazines in differing formats.
When I was a much younger maiden, and occupying myself with brewing a family, it seemed every time ONE person in my circle announced a pregnancy, three more announced the same condition at different times over the next couple weeks. What's the joke; pregnancy is catching? There must be something in the water? Well, ideas must be catching also, because I can't tell you how often reading someone's blog opinion - either as a post or in the comments - has sparked unique ideas of my own.
I lifted this quote from Crimey because it states my feelings on the matter: "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." -T. S. Eliot
FAIR WARNING: If you write it (post it) I might copy it - giving full credit to the originator, of course. Which is how I came by Write to Done’s 17 Hot Tips . Thanks Sarahjayne Smith for the inspiration. I don’t know if Eric at Working My Muse has read these terrific tips, but he has a motivation post that is similar, but different enough to be interesting.
In a world that revolves around agents and getting published, LT Host is the lone voice of reason. Well, at least to me, because she soooo agrees with me on versatility. As an unagented, unpublished, aspiring writer, without a fan base of expectation, the Author can write anything, in any genre, just to experiment and please ourselves. Perhaps that is how Adam Hein foils his Inner Editor and is able to write what pleases himself first, his prospective agent/audience second.
And then there's Eric Trant, who gives us this e-publishing information from The Wall Street Journal. Perhaps Eric got his ideas from visiting Stephen Temp of Breakthrough Blogs, who usually posts on all things self publishing; or even L Diane Wolfe, another voice for alternate venues. Posts like this have me thinking writerly types; I’m giving these not so new and unique ideas serious contemplation. Once I can afford an e-reader. I know several bloggers out there who are happily e-published, several times over even. Right now, I just can’t see publishing in a venue I’m not purchasing in.
But some day soon . . And who knows, I may even get a book review on Mary MacDonald’s blog!
So what do you think: is there any new ideas out there? How do you get ideas for your own blog posts?
Thursday, June 10, 2010