The exploits I’ve had, the memories made of once tangible worlds, have had their bridges incinerated by Janus. Those distinct character mutating spaces can never be entered for like a firework, the conditions, circumstances, and relationships have dissipated, leaving only fading scent of what was. Who I am now, is another mask with an already lined fresh coat of paint. A product of the river of the innumerable elements of reality; doomed to be strung out of reach of autonomy.
All rivers, and ponds dry, and likewise, I fear the day that I have no story to tell. Although I’ve experienced dry-spells where articulating narrative was as difficult for me as lifting an auto, the weight lifted after a while of time and persistence. However, a thunderous looming doom I fear awaits me when no story comes to mind, no character born any-longer and my worth as a story-teller turns to vapor. Despite that fret, I’ll persist with my goals, for what else is there for me to do? Creative impulse is what is always at the end of any hall I walk.
Just putting out some thoughts, digging my fingers into my brain to try and bleed out some writing. I’ve had such difficulty as of late. Hope you’re well all who read this and all who don’t.
A not necessary component of stories, but an important aspect of a storytelling, are stories that exist outside, in some capacity, of social restriction.
That is to say, whatever social conventions and taboos that exist within the author’s residence, this content extends beyond it’s boundaries. They might carry with them turbulent contentious thoughts from the readers, but are in no way less important or less artistically viable.
Things such as homosexuality, if within a society where it is persecuted, should be contained within a work if pertinent. Other socially shamed sexual interests, unapproved hobbies, philosophies and so forth can be expressed in numerous ways through literature. Authors ought to bring forth concepts that mightn’t be approved by their surrounding society, and if done correctly can afford such a society a perspective and awareness of sides of reality that they reject or of which are ignorant.
This extends to all prohibited activity, be socially or legally, and the significance of it be illustrated through the work itself. These are important due to the potential complacency and atrophy that many people undergo when they parrot and blanket themselves within the social system. When no critical thought is produced and one is merely a mirror, stories that exist outside of the social architecture can jostle the reader into creative and critical meditation.
An often forgotten, or intentionally ignored aspect of stories by many is that content of a story is something that often exists outside of the artist themselves. Characters and scenarios, relationships and ideologies, can be numerous and be expressed through an array of characters that don’t necessarily reflect an author’s personal interests or otherwise.
I do love magic with consequence. Now, I don’t necessarily mean a spell shortens a person’s life expectancy. While there is a long-term consequence, my attention falls upon the immediate effects.
For instance, a witch casts a blast of fire against commoners. They should burn to death at most, at least, a little burn. Let their skin boil. Maybe the building the witch is in catches fire from her own attack? Maybe she gets badly burned? Killed? Likewise, people (depending on the universe/context) should respond in kind. Such as, “magic-user? Lynch them, shoot them,” ect.
I also think magic should have psychological implications. I don’t mean madness, rather the magic-user treats it with the same sort of reverence a scientist might to the scientific method; a love for it, or even a dependency. But, an attachment similar to how we are with electricity. Dependency can be horrible based upon your point of view, but, for most, they wouldn’t think it’d be a good idea to strip out our source of power.
Same goes for a magic-user. Most of the ‘horrible’ things people think about witches and wizards is what a muggle would think. But, what’s more for many witches, magic isn’t an external source, it’s part of their nature.
These are examples, and not to be confused with absolutes. I mean, it’s not like I have any sort of authority anyway. XD
Reading Material: Stand-Out-Books
As I’ve already made a pair of posts on this predicament I’ll link here and here.
Self-publishing has been on my mind more and more frequently. This is largely due to the artistic freedom that self-publishing often provides that trade publishing abstains from gifting creators.
This is not the only reason. The average cost of professional editing, can reach staggering amounts. Especially concerning that one does not (or is at least discouraged from) hire a single editor. (Such as line editors, copy-editors, proof-reading, etc) Rather it is pressured that one ought to hire a suite of editors. This being that each editor has their own unique central function, the secondary reasoning behind it is that multiple editors will mean a more refined work, and pesky little grammar or story edits that need to be tended to will. Probably. (Authors note that even after having several waves of editors typos and other errors remain. Expected really.)
This is of course is on top of beta-readers, the amount of which is usually recommended around five or six to twelve or more. The more the better—but finding beta readers who will do it for free or mutual beta-reading as compensation is unlikely. Most require monetary payment, which is understandable and comparatively to editors, far more reasonable . I’ve payed one beta reader (and she was invaluable to me. I can’t thank her enough) and that ran me about 100 dollars for the Grand Order which was at the time was around 80 thousand words. The work is now at 122K words. Largely through edits. A major complaint for even my partial-beta readers was that the book moved too quickly. I’ve done well to amend this in some capacity that I hope is adequate.
Anyhow, this is all well and good for an author who has income that they can cast at the editors, and beta readers (again good investment, but can add up), for a work that probably won’t return monetary value that would put one in the green. Rather, most writers don’t see such benefit, and it is well known that authors generally write to write, not to make truck loads of cash, movie deals and talk show opportunities.
There is the option, to self-publish my work with only self-editing. I’ve purchased a program that can isolate potential flaws and I go through and edit what I feel is appropriate. It is a machine so it’s not perfect, but it has helped me edit greatly, and only at 80 dollars. Compare to 2,500$ for a copy-editor, who no doubt would be superior but would cause me to starve, or lose my lights. And that’s just one of the recommended editors one is supposed to hire.
there is the other, original option: Traditional Publishing. Which still is attractive, but in many cases as authors and editors have reported, many publishing houses will shift and alter your work to fit the parameters that they believe will sell the most. Your title can be changed, the art will probably be dictated and the content may be changed to fit what the house wants. This is symptomatic of an author entering the commercial domain. It is difficult to argue with people trained to beautify manuscripts and get them ready for display. However, I do not want my work to be conformed to a common stereotype of supernatural fantasy books.
I do not want characters or content altered to fit some predicted audience. There’s murder, gore, sexual indulgences, adventure, romance, horror, action, mystery and so on and for any of it to be pruned to fit into a neat box would be defeating the purpose of my writing.
as it stands I’ve hit up 18 agents and haven’t yet met the one interested in my work. This is a low number, and expected, but in the ocean there’s a small number who might actually be interested in my work. I haven’t abandoned looking for an agent for I don’t know what to do otherwise.
Is it when we stare into the void; into uncertainty whilst chasing our dreams, when we survive the calamities of our actions, that we see ourselves?
If we collapse, crumple and ignore our desires, we stagnate in a good quiet life.
It’s an unfortunate thing, that pursuing our dreams can, and for many, results in failure; we face deaths, and are reborn in forms burned and crippled by our shortcomings. Even still, some of us, heal, or are reborn as stronger selves, failure or not. In any case, it’s when we seek our goals that we seek ourselves, and become who we want and not what our family, friends, lovers, or society desire.
Worlds within worlds
Born from creative mind
Sometimes I delve too deeply
And drown in compulsion
To share this microcosm