Is it really Saturday again, already? Wow. As much as I would like to slow time down I fear that should we ever discover how to it would be an enormous mistake. It’s thoughts like that that make Science Fiction and Fantasy stories so appealing. We can explore possibilities and/or crazy hair-brained ideas in all their glory.
Here’s What’s Up…
Today’s post is about writing and it’s about writing this blog. There’s so many blogs and bloggers out there, never mind all the YouTubers and their VLOGS. It’s not easy for everyone to make their mark and stand out. Some people don’t care. Maybe they’re just blogging for themselves or their family and friends. There are also those folks who just want the attention, they just like the idea of having followers and getting likes. But that’s not what I’m going to talk about (because I would get lost in the pits and potholes that is the internet and social media).
As I’ve said elsewhere, the purpose of this blog is to get to know me, more specifically me as a writer. I plan to publish my novel in 2020 but in the meantime this is my author platform. And still it’s not that simple. It’s not enough to just say hey I’m here, come read my stuff, and then hopefully when the day comes you’ll read my book! No, I need to draw you in. Stores have window displays. Kiosks and booths have their sales people right out front approaching you, getting your attention, offering you samples or glances at what they offer. Special offer just for you, right? Why should I be so different? I don’t EXPECT, I hope. So I’m always thinking about what I should or might do differently to appeal to readers.
There are a lot of book bloggers out there, fabulous! But how do you navigate through the crowd? What makes you stop and listen to what one or the other has to say? Do you follow every one you like or are you really picky and seldom follow? Maybe you’re someone who just surfs and reads whatever is at the top of the news feed drawing your attention. Do you read reviews because you want a new book to read or do you read reviews after the fact because you want to know what someone else thought about the book? I’m mostly one of the latter. Sure I read reviews before I’ve read a book but I don’t always like to. While most reviewers state whether or not their review contains spoilers, sometimes I just don’t want to know too much about the book so that it’s all a surprise to me. That’s how I feel about books I KNOW I’m going to read. However, if there’s a book I keep hearing about and it’s piquing my interest more and more then I’ll probably read a review or two to get a better sense and help me tip the scales.
While thinking about this over the past week I came to the conclusion that I really want to write more, including my reviews, from the angle of my being a writer. I’ve long felt that I don’t want to give writing advice because I don’t think I’m in a position to tell other people how to write well. That doesn’t mean I won’t provide suggestions or tips for the habit of writing. In fact I’ll probably write a post this coming week about my thoughts on writer’s block, if you believe in such a thing. What I want to do is give things the writer’s spin or the writer’s take.
Once I wrote a comment in LibraryThing about writing reviews for the author and the readers. A moderator came right back and told me that reviews ARE NOT for the author. I said nothing because sure she’s right, but does she have to be? Of course reviews are for the most part of other readers to get a sense of whether or not they want to read this book. And yet, what says I can’t write my reviews with the author or other writers in mind? That’s how I think after all, I always have my writer’s brain on. I don’t think I can turn it off to be honest. Huh… Here’s what’s up with what I’m thinking…
My little brother was not much of a student. It’s just true. But he was a hell of an extreme sports athlete. Skate boarding, BMX biking, snowboarding, wakeboarding, it’s fair to say those were his favorites. So when he relayed to us one day that he would be attending school for film editing in Burbank, California I was surprised. He’s going back to school? Wow. Now I know trade school and art schools aren’t the same as grade school, but it’s still SCHOOL! And so he went.
He was good. He liked it. He loved it. He was really good. He grew more and more passionate about making movies. He made little films about cooking food, cooking food on a bunsen burner, cleaning his room before leaving the house, such normal things but he made them cool with special effects and music. He gave you a new view on things from his mind.
Of course he also made movies about snowboarding and what not. As much as his friends enjoyed his ambitions, I’m pretty sure they had their days where they would just rather not perform for the camera. Lol. This was all before YouTube really blew up and everyone decided they were film editors. I think about what he would be doing now. How strange life is. I know he struggled sometimes knowing just what to do with this talent of his. That his timeline came to an end just before this film editing craze (I mean who doesn’t make YouTube videos these days, other than me?) I can’t help but think how cruel the irony of life.
His story teaches us through his story to use your skills as long as you can. Whether you celebrate Easter for the religious holiday that it is, the celebration of rebirth, or you just like the candy and watching kids hunt for eggs, we can all stand to appreciate that it’s not too late to give rise to that which lives within you. Not while you’re alive.
Okay I got off track. That trip down memory lane was actually to share a memory of him from when he was back from school though not finished. We were at my mother’s house sitting on the couch off the kitchen. A movie was on TV though I don’t remember what it was. All of a sudden he started talking about the filming of the scenes and how it was cut. He talked about the editing, how the producer transitioned from the last scene to the next. I remember smiling and being taken aback because I wasn’t prepared for his reflections. But that is what an artist does. We see the art, but we also see the work. What made them make THAT decision? Why did they cut there? Why did they leave that? Interesting they used that transition. It’s a beautiful memory for me. While our arts are different, it’s a mental exercise and process we will always share.
When I reading, watching movies or TV, listening to anything, my artist’s brain is activated. When I review books I’m thinking about what they did that just didn’t work and I thought was lazy writing. Or I’m thinking, wow that was GOOD! Ever read a passage and say oh come on, they didn’t even try? You don’t have to be a writer or an artist to think this way, but imagine when you are? The other day while talking to my partner about some writing breakthroughs I’ve had, I exclaimed that I just don’t know how George R.R. Martin walked around doing normal stuff with all that in his head!
I want to share these writerly perspectives of mine. I want to let other writers know what about a book or section didn’t work from the perspective of the writing. I mean this is constructive criticism right? Don’t we watch reality shows and pay attention to social media because we want to see what other people see and think? And that’s usually NOT constructive criticism? We value other people’s reactions whether or not we agree with them. This is what I will try to offer you. Perhaps you’ll find it interesting to hear how my brain works when it comes to writing. We’ll see. But I hope you will engage with me and the content here.
Please do respond to any or all of the various things I’ve mentioned or asked about here. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Oh and I haven’t forgotten about my review of The Deepest Blue, I’ve been working on a draft. Reading that book helped to spawn my desire to be more intentional with writing about things from the eyes of a writer instead of just a blogger who’s also working on a novel NOT that that’s bad. I hope I’ve made it clear here what I’m doing and not just repeating other things I’ve said. 😉
Cheers everyone and Happy Easter. I hope it’s a beautiful weekend for you.