Fiction books

Wrote a new short story

I just finished reading Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show (v. 1) — a collection of short stories from his online magazine.  I haven’t read that many short story anthologies, but of the ones I have read, this is definitely one of the best.  Plenty of really awesome sci-fi and fantasy short stories in here.  I really enjoyed all the stories, but the ones I especially thought were awesome were Audience by Ty Franck, The Box of Beautiful Things by Brian Dolton, and Taint of Treason by Eric James Stone.  And, being an Ender fan, all of the Ender universe stories by Orson Scott Card were great.

While reading Taint of Treason, I got a sudden idea for a short story myself, and quickly wrote it while it was fresh in my mind.  It’s only about 1,900 words; I think that’s that shortest short story I’ve ever written (not that I’ve written very many).  It’s called Maker of the Twenty-first Moon and is about a man who sets out to kill a wizard before he takes over the world.  Doesn’t that sound great?

I guess that’s really all I wanted to say today.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Fiction books

Short Anathem review

I finished reading Neal Stephenson’s lengthy novel Anathem a short while ago.  I’ve never read anything by Stephenson before, but I’ve seen his books at the library and bookstores, and they’ve always looked interesting.  This is the first one I actually decided to go ahead and read.

For someone who’s never read a Stephenson novel before and didn’t know what to expect, it’s pretty brilliant.  My mind is still a bit tired from trying to understand it all.  I doubt I’ll ever be able to, since I sort of disagree with the directions in which he takes quantum physics (another one of those “it implies the existence of parallel universes!” things, which I guess works in this science fiction setting, but from a real science point of view, I’m not convinced; not that I’m a quantum physics expert of course).  But the book is filled with very engaging topics on physics and philosophy, and Stephenson’s prose on the topics is very readable.  So even if you’re new to the topics he discusses, it’s not like reading a scholarly journal on the topic with weirdo lingo.  It might be hard to grasp some of the concepts, but that will be because of the concepts themselves (like parallel universes) and not because of the writing.  I honestly think Stephenson could write some pretty awesome nonfiction books if he so desired, and easily replace this little Godel, Escher, Bach part of my bookshelf.

I do have one minor complaint, which includes a bit of a spoiler.  So if you’re planning on reading the book, read no further so that I do not taint your opinions.

I thought the ending was weak.  Actually, I Googled around, and it seems this is not an uncommon thought for Stephenson’s work in general.  What was the climax?  It builds up to it and then we’re in the epilogue.  I could write a much more lengthy post about why I think it was weak and what I’d do to improve it, but my mind is too tired for that.  And, being a wannabe writer myself, I’ll admit that endings are probably the hardest part to please others with.  And, from a reader’s perspective, I’m generally displeased with endings anyway.  I think the best ending I know of is the ending to Ender’s Game, which I read back in 2007 (and was written back in 1985 I think?).  The only other books I thought had acceptable endings were The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick and Anvil of the World by Kage Baker (who, sadly, just passed away last month).  All the other fiction books I’ve read had either weak endings, or “to be continued” endings, which I guess don’t really count, do they?

Overall, though, Anathem is still a brilliant piece, and I will definitely be reading some more Neal Stephenson some time.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Fiction books

Maillardet’s Automaton

I was hoping to finish reading the book Lamentation today (I’ve got about 60 pages to go) when certain family members insisted that I read a book called The Invention of Hugo Cabret.  It’s a pretty simple read since much of the book is pictures, and I finished it in a few hours.  It was pretty captivating, full of mysteriousness that makes you want to keep reading.  By the end of it, though, I didn’t think there were any grand-revealing truths or surprising twists as I was hoping for in the back of my mind, but it was still a fun read.

What I found just as interesting (or even more interesting) than the book was a real mechanical automaton the book was somewhat inspired by: Maillardet’s Automaton.  It’s basically just a mechanical wind-up robot thing that draws pictures.  Can you imagine how complex that thing must be?  Pretty cool stuff.  Here’s a video of it drawing:

Ooooo . . . aaaahhh . . .

Anyway, my podcast The Compose Pile should now be appearing in the iTunes store. We’ll see if that helps it get anymore listeners, or if the amount of competition already on iTunes, and the general lack of public interest in composing orchestral music, and my own lack of musical skills and fame, all help it get no more listeners…

12 days left until Christmas!

By S P Hannifin, ago
Fiction books

Eh blither blather

Still haven’t edited that The Compose Pile podcast episode yet, mostly because of having to go to work all day. But I have off on Fridays, so hopefully it will be up by tomorrow night at the latest.

Oh, someone I know won this celebrity-autographed PSP from an online Disney giveaway. Can you read the autograph there? No, you can’t, because it’s sloppy sloppy sloppy. But that’s a Miley Cyrus autograph. *gasp* I know, like OMG! I wouldn’t mind getting a free PSP, even if it was pink and had someone’s sloppy handwriting all over it. But now the PSP is doomed to play poorly designed girly games… too bad… (and, actually, I would mind)

I’m on page 308 of Lamentation … it’s really getting exciting; I can’t wait to find out how it ends (even though it’s only the first book in a series). Only about 100 pages to go.

That’s all for now.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Fiction books

New music and not much else…

I created a new YouTube video for one of my latest pieces, The Secret Lullaby, another piece I’m hoping will be on my album:

Didn’t do much else today besides catch up on a couple shows on Hulu. Oh, and I’ve got about 150 pages left to read of Ken Scholes’ fantasy book Lamentation… it’s the best fiction book I’ve read this year (though I only read 2 others; it was more of a non-fiction year for me).

By S P Hannifin, ago
Fiction books

My website is so popular

It was another long work day, so I didn’t really get anything productive done in my free time.  Although I did seem to be having problems with my site displaying on certain mobile browsers and Google Chrome, so I edited some PHP code and fooled around with some of my site’s security settings, so hopefully my site will now load on any browser.  And with the insane amounts of traffic my site gets, that should really be helpful.  In fact, let’s check Google Analytics now and see how many visits my site has had in the past month:

772 Visits

1,493 Pageviews

1.93 Pages/Visit

Huh, that’s actually more than I thought it would be.  Still, that’s quite low compared sites that get more traffic, wouldn’t you say?  And 772 isn’t quite the number of unique visitors; sometimes the same viewer may be recounted.  Don’t ask me to explain, it’s all very complicated rocket science.  And I believe I have Analytics also counting visitors to some of my other domains, like thecomposepile.com.

Anyway, maybe I’ll get a few more visitors now that all browsers should be able to reach my sites without problems… I think.

Oh, I recently started reading the fantasy / sci-fi book called Lamentation (The Psalms of Isaak) by Ken Scholes.  So far I’m really enjoying it.  Very good writing and very engaging story.  I really need to stop checking out library books and read some of the dozens of paperbacks I have on my bookshelf, but I can’t seem to help myself…

By S P Hannifin, ago
Fiction books

Game programming and so on and whatnot

GAME PROGRAMMING

It feels nice to be diving into game programming again.  I’d forgotten how engaging it can be.  Right now, however, I’m doing more graphics programming than game programming.  I’m experimenting with OpenGL on Google’s Android operating system, trying to get a feel for how it all works.  I hope to create a little adventure game with it.  Or an action game.  Or a mix.  I’m not really sure yet.  Recently, I’ve just finished programming a tile-based scrolling map, which was quite a challenge itself.

Anyway, there are not yet many resources out there for programming games for Android.  But there are a few.  I bought a book called Pro Android last week from Amazon and it just recently arrived and has already been of some help.  I’ve also been reading through Chris Pruett’s Replica Island game development blog, which not only has some info on programming for Android, but has some fantastic wisdom on game development in general.

THE ACCORD REVIEW

The Accord In other news, I finished reading the sci-fi book The Accord by Keith Brooke a few days ago.  (I just picked it randomly off the library shelf one day.)  It was a strange book, and overall pretty bad.  It’s filled with awful language, and it’s used so often that it loses all affect and becomes somewhat comic.  The tenses shift from scene to scene, and the POV shifts from first to second to plural first depending on the character or mix of characters in the scene.  The last third of the book is told over the span of thousands of years, so characters forget who they originally were and what they used to want, which makes it quite hard to keep relating to them.  And some characters mix with other characters to become new characters.  With such ideas, it had the potential to be a really awesome story, but unfortunately it was just a lame love-triangle tale, with this character bent on getting this character to love him, and this character bent on killing this guy, and this character forgetting who she is… it drags on too long.  And the ending… maybe I should have read the ending (or endings) more carefully, because I found it (or them) to be somewhat cryptic; I’m not quite sure what happened.  It certainly wasn’t climactic though.

That was the 9th book I’ve finished reading this year, and only the 2nd fiction book.  I seem to read an average of 10 books a year.  Which I suppose isn’t too bad, but also very bad, depending on who I am compared to.  Obviously I’ll never make it as a writer.  Although, that’s only counting books, not book fragments, short stories, articles, magazines, etc.  So I’m probably OK.  Although my want-to read-list is at around 50.

READING AUDIO BOOKS?

There seems to be some debate on these here interwebs as to whether or not one can validly say that they “read” audio books.  The answer is:

No, you do not “read” audio books.  Don’t flatter yourself.

The problem is that, when asked “How many books did you read?” or “Have you read such-and-such?” you can either answer “No, I listened to them” or simply “Yes.”  If you say yes, you are lying, but it’s an OK lie because nobody cares.  It does not make “reading” and “listening” equivalent.

DOLLHOUSE AND OTHER SUCH TV BLATHER

Dr. House doll! Fox cancelled Dollhouse last week, which is very sad.  It wasn’t as good as Firefly, and it’s not as good as House, but it was a very fun sci-fi show.  I am wondering if they will wrap up the storylines in the final episodes or if it’s too late and now and the storylines are doomed to never be resolved.  Earlier this year, there was another fun show called My Own Worst Enemy.  I thought that had a really fun premise, but that was cancelled and the storylines were left unresolved.  The problem with series in which each episode builds on the last is that when they are cancelled you’ve got these big over-arching stories that never complete, making the remaining of the series a bit sour.  It’s like making two movies in a trilogy.  Who would want to watch or buy them?  I don’t feel like watching any Dollhouse or buying the seasons on blu-ray if the storylines are just going to remain unresolved.  At least with Firefly they were able to make the film Serenity, which did provide at least a little closure, but it’s highly doubtful they’ll do that with Dollhouse.  Now when is some more Dr. Horrible stuff supposed to come out?

The other shows I’m watching (on Hulu, mostly) are Monk (3 more episodes of the series left, hopefully Monk will soon solve his wife’s murder), House (best show on right now, or at least tied with Monk), Lie to Me, and Fringe.  And sometimes a bit of The Simpsons and Family Guy.  Oh, and Shark Tank… awesome reality show.  I can’t wait for the next season.  I was enjoying How’d You Get So Rich, a show in which Joan Rivers went around touring rich people’s mansions and lavish lifestyles, but that show got cancelled, perhaps because Joan’s face fell off.  I also have the show Legend of the Seeker on my wish-list… it airs on some bizarre channel at a bizarre hour, and I couldn’t keep up with it on Hulu, so I’d like to buy it on blu-ray or DVD (I watched the first few episodes on Hulu to know I’d like to see the rest of the season, even though it’s a bit cheesy at times… but so was the book).  Oh, I’ve also been watching Flash Forward on Hulu.  That show started out slow, but it’s getting interesting (or at least they’re putting in some comic relief in now).  Also been watching V (The Visitors), which has still been a bit stale so far, but it’s one of the only shows that comes on when I’m not at work.  Hmmm… I guess I watch too much.

OK, I think that’s enough blather, eh?

By S P Hannifin, ago
Fiction books

Deadline failure and other such things

I was hoping to compose 5 minutes of music a week, starting last Tuesday, but unfortunately I was only able to compose 2 minutes and 46 seconds by this past Sunday.  So I fail!  Shocking, no?

I blame a few things:

deadlineclock1)  My job. It’s a part-time job, so I can’t blame it for taking up too much time, but it does take up time.  So I must blame it.

2)  Fatigue. This is also job related.  When I have to work at 9 AM, that means I am pretty much tired throughout the day.  Which isn’t a problem for doing most things.  But I think a lot while I’m composing; it’s a very mind-intensive activity; it takes a lot of focus for me.  And when I’m fatigued, music has a way of lulling me off to the land of pleasant dreams, especially the incredibly fantastic music I compose.  So it is extremely difficult to compose while fatigued.  I did try taking some caffeine tablets, but alas, no effect.  I must have high caffeine tolerance.  I could feel it make my heart beat faster, but nothing else.  Of course, caffeine really isn’t supposed to be used to counter sleep-deprivation, so maybe it has nothing to with tolerance.  But that’s what some people seem to use it for and they swear by it.  It doesn’t help me though.

3)  Not being able to stay up all night. Again, job related.  Since I have to be at work at certain hours, I am not free to simply stay up as late as I want composing and then just sleep until I am not tired anymore.  (Not that this problem doesn’t plague most people.)  I sometimes seem to think more actively at night, perhaps because there are fewer distractions; the TVs and radios are off, no one’s on the phone and no one calls, etc.  But I can’t use the time to my advantage if I need to get some sleep in before going to work.

4)  Perfectionism. Or pickiness.  I spent 2.5 hours a few nights ago composing and orchestrating 4 bars.  I think that’s the longest 4 bars ever took me.  But I’m very pleased with the result.  Though I suppose I could fiddle around and tweak orchestration for many many hours, it always eventually has to come to a point in which I am pleased enough and must move on.

5)  Other stuff. For example, on Tuesday, I had to spend time tidying the house for guests.  Chores are evil and must be blamed.

That said, I must say I’m extremely pleased with the progress I’ve been making with my latest piece so far.  I went to bed yesterday with the melodies I composed annoyingly humming through my mind uncontrollably.

A big disadvantage of giving myself a deadline has emerged: I get angry. And stressed.  And a bit depressed.  And what fun is that?  I blame all the other stuff I must do, like go to work, which just makes going to work that much more painful and annoying.  So I’m very much considering throwing away the deadline and just composing as often as I can.  I don’t want to be angry by having goals and then not reaching them due to things like having to go to work that I can do little about.  Or I could just blame my undisciplined self for not being more disciplined and getting more done when I do have chances, but that won’t make me any happier either.

FEDERATIONS

federationsSince I don’t have much time for composing, I have even less time to read, but in what short moments I can spare, I’ve been reading a collection of science fiction short stories in a book called Federations.  Here are my very short reviews of the few stories from the book I’ve read so far.  They are only my subjective opinions, and I am perhaps more picky than most (ratings are on a scale of 0-5 stars):

Mazer in Prison by Orson Scott Card:  4 stars.  I actually read this in another book before, so I skipped reading it again, but I almost always enjoy Orson Scott Card.  Very good story from the Ender’s Game universe.

Carthago Delenda Est by Genevieve Valentine:  2 stars.  Though the premise was very interesting, the author didn’t seem to do much with it.  It was more of an idea story, as nothing much really happened.  A world was presented, some unimportant things took place, and that was it.

Life-Suspension by L. E. Modesitt:  0 stars.  Interesting characters with interesting dynamics.  But nothing very interesting happened.  And there were these battle scenes that were too cryptic for me with all their pilot-in-battle speak.

Terra-Exulta by S. L. Gilbow:  3.5 stars.  Not really a story, but a very fun fictional letter.  I enjoyed it.

Aftermaths by Lois McMaster Bujold:  1.5 stars.  Again, an interesting premise, but an uninteresting story.

Someone is Stealing the Great Throne Rooms of the Galaxy by Harry Turtledove:  2 stars.  Had it’s funny moments, but most of it’s humor was just stale and annoying, as if the author just wrote the story off the top of his head, writing down every stupid joke he thought of.  Didn’t really work for me.

Prisons by Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason:  3.5 stars.  Started off a bit confusing, but once the story started rolling, it was actually quite good.

Different Day by K. Tempest Bradford:  0 stars.  Yikes.  While I like the idea of not portraying an alien race as a clichéd “monoculture” (as we humans certainly aren’t), this not-really-a-story didn’t really do much with it.  It’s just a three page ramble.

And that’s all for today, methinks.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Fiction books

Teenagerhood and YA books

I came across this blog post a few days ago by Shaun Duke I believe: Young Adult Fiction Can’t Win.

I can’t really respond to Shaun because I’m not really sure what he’s saying.  The post mainly made me want to go off on a tangent… what is YA fiction?  Why is it needed?  I think it’s a stupid idea in the first place!

There might be plenty of definitions, but the one that makes the most immediate sense to me is: YA fiction is fiction in which the main character is a YA, a teenager.

Some might argue that the nature of a story’s conflict also makes YA fiction what it is; the plot must deal with teenager issues.  But such a definition makes me cringe.  What in the world is a “teenage issue”?  (To be perfectly honest, I hate the notion of there being a “teenager” stage in the course of human development at all.)

My own teenagerhood

Maybe I just had a very fortunate adolescence, but in high school and college I was more of an introvert (am and always will be really), and tended to hang out with people who shared my interests and were right around as “nerdy” as me.  I never wanted to be popular or look cool or attractive, and that never made me feel lonely.  I never had any peer pressure to do any drugs or drink any alcohol or do anything risky or stupid.  The world of relationship woes is still another world to me.

That said, I still hated adolescence.  But it wasn’t because of drugs or relationships.  It was because of SCHOOL.  School was a lot of hard work that I still believe was mostly absolutely meaningless.  Society just thrusted upon us because that’s the tradition.  It gave me a lot of unnecessary worry and stress, and took away a lot of time that I would have loved using in more useful ways.  I was not and could not be in control of my life, and that’s what made me angry and moody and depressed.  It had nothing to do with “coming of age” or dealing with drugs or relationships or a “changing brain” that people are now claiming teenagers have.  It was just plain old not being in control.

And the only way out of it was to just get through school.

(I still get extremely angry just thinking about how the generations before me could allow something as dismal and pointless (and harmful and depressing) as the current high school educational system to emerge and sustain!  What complete buffoons!)

Still, I’m 23 years old now, and I don’t think anything magically changed within me from when I was 15 or 16 or 17.  Of course, I have learned more about certain things… I can drive a car much better now, I think I can write music and literature better, I can program in Java better, blah blah blah, but nothing has drastically changed inside.  I never “came of age” or learned some mystical truth that made me pass from “teen” to “adult” … I just got through school.

So maybe I didn’t have the normal “teen” experience?  Did I miss something?  What do teenagers really want?  For me, it was just control and freedom.  For others, is it popularity?  Wanting to feel loved?  Wanting this-or-that person to be your boyfriend/girlfriend?  If so, then yeah, I did (and hopefully always will) miss out on suffering over those things, but I don’t think those are just “teenage” issues, those are life issues that all must learn to deal with; there are plenty of adults who still struggle with those things.

Even “being in control” is really a life issue, but getting older and out of school tends to solve it.  (Though never completely!)

Some confirmation bias

I came across this article about an adolescent Bill Gates which stated:

The battles reached a climax at dinner one night when Bill Gates was around 12. Over the table, he shouted at his mother, in what today he describes as “utter, total sarcastic, smart-ass kid rudeness.”

That’s when Mr. Gates Sr., in a rare blast of temper, threw the glass of water in his son’s face.

He and Mary brought their son to a therapist. “I’m at war with my parents over who is in control,” Bill Gates recalls telling the counselor. Reporting back, the counselor told his parents that their son would ultimately win the battle for independence, and their best course of action was to ease up on him.

Aha!  See?!  Told you so.  It’s about control.  This Bill Gates anecdote proves it!

Conclusion

When I was a teenager, I didn’t care about the age of the protagonist, and I didn’t read fiction to commiserate with a fictional character.  (Not entirely, at least; I guess it’s more about trying to understand your own struggles in different ways, so I don’t mean to say that fictional characters shouldn’t deal with real-world issues.  They should.)  Nor did I much care for the notion of being “written down to” … the notion that there was some adult who could “understand me” and impart wisdom.  One of the first things you learn when you’re a teenager is that adults actually aren’t always all that wise.  (The wise ones will be the first to admit that.)

So I think the whole idea of YA fiction is just a stupid emergent property from this whole “teen culture” that’s been created by a society that infantilizes and seeks control over their youth for far too long, and it’s really not needed at all.  (Or at least the need has been artificially created.)  Teenagers can enjoy any book they want, and I wouldn’t mind it if the YA market vanished completely.  Books with adolescent main characters could of course still be written, and it’s probably only natural that younger folks would be more attracted to those stories, but those books don’t have to be an entirely different subset.  We don’t have “twenty-ish fiction” … fiction about adults in their twenties for adults in their twenties.  Likewise with “thirty-ish fiction” or “senior fiction” … but those stories are still out there.  Every main character has an age.

Eh… so there’s my rant.

By the way, check out Robert Epstein’s book The Case Against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen.  Not sure he’d necessarily agree with my opinions, but it was some more confirmation bias for me when I first came across it.

Also, here’s a Wikipedia article on what confirmation bias is, in case you’re curious!

By S P Hannifin, ago
Fiction books

Self publishing is stupid

I was reading the following article on CNN.com: More authors turn to Web and print-on-demand publishing.  The article stated:

When she was turned down by several traditional publishing houses, Genova decided to follow a different route: self-publishing via Web-based companies

Turning to the Author Solutions self-publishing brand, iUniverse, Genova published her book for $450, a cost that included an ISBN — the International Standard Book Number that uniquely identifies books — and the ability to sell on Amazon.com.

Months later, after receiving positive reviews … and a favorable review in the Boston Globe, Genova’s book was picked up by Simon & Schuster and is in its 12th week on The New York Times Bestsellers List.

There are probably a few other success stories like these, where an author self-publishes a book, then it gets really published, and the authors sells a lot more.  But I’m sure it’s rare, probably more rare than just having your manuscript accepted by a traditional publisher in the first place.

So, no, self-publishing isn’t really stupid… what can be stupid is what people might expect it to do for them.  Despite the allure of the success stories, you’re probably not going to sell very many books to strangers.  (I imagine it’s much easier to sell to friends and family, who’s interest in reading your fiction would come more from knowing you.)  You’re not going to get it picked up by a traditional publishing house.  It’s not going to get a slew of good reviews from strangers.  It’s not going to make you rich.  (In fact, even getting a book published the old-fashioned way probably won’t make you rich either.)  Don’t expect these things.  And don’t say you don’t expect them while secretly expecting them.

I think it’s wonderful that print-on-demand gives everyone the opportunity to at least try getting their rejected material out there.  It’s nice to have that back door and to not have to completely depend on some editors’ or agents’ opinions.  But it’s stupid when writers put all their eggs in one basket, when they put all their dreams in one book.  Don’t expect your first novel to get traditionally published.  Or your second.  Or your third.  While you’re trying to sell one, get started on another and just keep going.

Another thing that bothers me is how some people market themselves (like following me on Twitter).  In general, here’s what books I buy:

  • books that are already famous
  • books by already famous authors
  • books by authors I’ve read and enjoyed before
  • recommended books from people or podcasts I trust
  • books with really interesting covers and a really interesting blurb on the back (very rare!)

Books by people I know is not on the list (people I know really well should give me a copy for free).  Books by people who are following me on Twitter is not on the list.  Books by former English teachers is not on the list.  Books with extremely bad covers, as if they are drawn by middle-schoolers, which they sometimes are, only encourage me to laugh at the book and open it with the expectation that it will be stupid and worthy of mocking.

So, if you’re self-publishing, be careful marketing yourself.  I hate it when authors use adjectives to describe their own work, like “A heartwarming humurous tale of a brave knight…” or “A magnificent surprising story of a poor girl…” or “An eye-opening philosophical mind-bender that will change your religion…” STOP IT!  Just tell me what the story is about and I’ll think of my own adjectives for it.  Why in the world do some writers think that for a moment I’ll believe their self-promotional adjectives?!  Leave that to reviewers.

Don’t directly invite anyone to read your text.  Only hint at it, and let interested potential readers explore it themselves if they want to.  That way they won’t feel like they’re doing you a favor, or some social chore.  And don’t take it as a personal insult if someone you know well isn’t interested.  No one should have to be interested in your work just because you know them well.

Lastly, consider giving your story away for free online.  Podcast it and put up the text.  Then, when (or if) people get into the story and they want a physical copy to keep, they’ll pay for your self-published book.  That way they know what to expect (and, again, they won’t feel like it was forced upon them).

DO look into a pro-artist for the creating a cover; don’t just get your niece who draws with colored pencils to do it or your friend who’s done some fiddling with PhotoShop… invest in someone who can really make it catchy and professional.  Also get someone to edit it, and be sure to ask strangers for critiques; there are some services online in which you can get free critiques.  Family and friends probably won’t be as objective when reading your bad writing.  I’m guessing the biggest reason first novels are hardly ever published is because the writing just stinks; writers need practice like in any other art.  (Another reason is the subject is probably stupid… if you’re not a celebrity, no one wants to read your memoirs.  I don’t know why so many writers want to write about their lives.  Of course things that happened to you will influence your plotting and writing, but use some imagination!!)

Anyway, I probably shouldn’t be talking because I’ve never even finished writing a novel in the first place, and I certainly haven’t been published!

I think I just get tired of dippy self-promotional marketing.

Random stuff

I thought David Lubar’s Guide to Literary Fiction was hilarious.

I agree with this article on how to recognize bad writing advice.

By S P Hannifin, ago