Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"I could write a book. . ."

Despite the cliche, writing fiction is much harder than it sounds. For years people have told me "Oh, you should write a book" with the same tone one's reminded he or she should change the engine oil or eat their vegetables. Writing is hard work. Getting published? Extremely difficult.

Sure, it's easy for people with name recognition to write. I'm reading New Rules by Bill Maher and All the President's Pets by Mo Rocca. Do you think either of those would have a chance in hell of seeing widespread publication if they were written by Sam Johnson or Joe Smith?

Me, neither. Reading's missing its once-heralded spot as the pastime of champions in America. Obviously publishing suffers because of that, and the market is glutted with potentially exceptional writers who never make it to the clearance shelves, let alone the bestseller list at Borders.

So what's a frustrated writer to do?

Well, keep writing. Forget the doom and gloom above. Just keep writing whether anyone reads it or not. You're reading it. So by definition, you've already got a small, friendly following!

Also, check out some of the writer-friendly sites on the Internet.

One of the best is a yearly project where contestants work to complete a 50,000 word novel from November 1 to November 30. With this group, it's all quantity, folks. Sure, you hope for some quality - but what the contest does is force a person to. . .keep writing!

At the nanowrimo site forums, budding novelists can also find great links to other supportive sites, like, and Forward Motion ( where you can meet with like-minded scribes who surf the peaks and valleys of prose right along with you.

Commiserate as you all stare at yet another blank page; share the joy of seeing your name in print in some obscure online magazine with a net readership of ten people. Whatever you do, there's certain to be another struggling writer experiencing the same thing.

As for me, novels aren't my thing. I'm just missing something when it comes to that kind of writing. It's called, um. . .plot.

In my writing, and my life, not much happens but people talk and snark really fast about it, anyway.
"Well, keep writing. Forget the doom and gloom above. Just keep writing whether anyone reads it or not. You're reading it. So by definition, you've already got a small, friendly following!"

And how, YAY !!! What a fascinating topic. And what an incendiary advice ;). In Oscar Wilde's unbeatable words, "The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it... I can resist everything but temptation." So if you're a frustrated writer - write. It's so easy. Not like you want to be a filmmaker or an architect.

And then I deeply believe that the Internet is opening new doors, new areas. Of course there are the literary blogs and sites, which "don't matter", but will soon outnumber the expensive written stuff that nobody reads (which is not necessarily good news, besides, because only the mainstream and predictable best-sellers will survive), and no publisher can't stop this, just like the RIAA can treat peaceful citizens like criminals but not protect their expensive sealed CDs from the challenge of the mp3s.

But not only. With the Internet (and the troubled times) it's the very texture of reality which is changing, and therefore the very texture of fiction too. Stories are freeing themselves from the plot with interactivity. Characters are born spontaneously from the sole possibility of staging yourself under written form. "The world is a stage", said Shakespeare, but now you can add that your computer is a book, which William will spread the word ?

Oh, BTW. Did you know that Lynne Cheney has a lesbian porn book out ? She's been published because of her name but the excerpts suck as much as her father, LMAO. Who's better off then ?

The irony is that Lynne Cheney's book didn't exactly go gangbusters (neither did Scooter Libby's 1995 foray into soft porn) despite her, darling husband Dick's notoriety. I think you were thinking of Mary Cheney. She's Lynne and Dick's daughter and, as John Kerry pointed out a few times, a lesbian.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.
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