#tuesdayuseitinasentence – Abandon

“What do you mean there’s no one up there? The crowd’s ready to riot! I don’t care what you have to do, just get a band on the stage!!”

 

This post is part of Tuesday Use It In A Sentence, brought to you by MLW at A Word Adventure. This week’s word is “abandon.” Click here to find out how you can participate!

A novel idea

Okay, so there’s this woman I’ve been “friends” with on social media for about eleven years now. She’s single, close to thirty years old, still living with her parents and hating it, looking for a job, and basically spending her life living off her art and playing video games. She’s a character and a half and I soooo want to write her.

But I’m not sure I can. You see, she has a particular ailment that she’s extremely sensitive about, that is so much a part of who she is that I can’t write it out of her. So if I write a novel and use her, even though it’s fiction, I’m sure she’ll see it to be herself. The novel, even though she is the protagonist, will not be very flattering as she herself has a rather distasteful personality. What to do…

I know! Isabella Morgan may just become an author.

What would you do?

One-Liner Wednesday – Of Pigs and Trolls

“Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.”
George Bernard Shaw

I think that works well for internet trolls too, don’t you?

Join in One-Liner Wednesday here! http://lindaghill.com/2015/06/17/one-liner-wednesday-everythings-funnier-with-an-axe/

…and that’s how the literary world ended.

The unimaginable has happened.

Close on the heels of finding out that E.L. James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey, has begun writing a “How To” book on writing (which makes me throw up in my mouth a little every time I think of it) came the suggestion from Kobo that I pre-order her next novel. It may or may not be entitled Grey – it was hard to tell through the blur of tears as I read the devastating news email. What I did get was that the book is, get this, Fifty Shades of Grey AGAIN but through the eyes of Christian Grey instead of Anastasia (aka Mrs.) Grey.

I’ve mourned the loss of the money I threw away spent when I bought the trilogy enough, I think, to know better than to buy the same thing AGAIN. But fans of the first three books surely will.

Will millions of readers die of boredom? Or worse, will they live to take advice from Ms. James on how to write a novel?

Stay tuned. And don’t worry, I’ll be there to hold your hand when the literary world gets whipped right out of existence.

 

SoCS – Almost Ready

Am I cheating by posting a SoCS post here? Maybe. But you see I’m not ready to come back. Not quite. I did say that I would take a month off from blogging and that month is almost over. What I wasn’t expecting was the freedom to do other things while I wasn’t blogging. At least not this much freedom.

I’m within a hundred pages of the end of my sixth edit on my novel. I’ll go back and work on the first third of it after this and then re-write the first two chapters and I’m done. It’ll be off to publishers and agents.

As much as I want to come back to blogging, I’m hesitant to let go of my focus on my novel. So close to the end… so close to seeing it in print. I’m standing at the precipice, my arms are like helicopter blades spinning – okay helicopters on their sides. Helicopters crashing. That’s not good, is it?

See? This is why I’m editing my novel.

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Find it here http://lindaghill.com/2015/05/29/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-3015/ and join in the fun!

badge by Doobster - may his blog rest in peace
badge by Doobster – may his blog rest in peace

W is for Watered-Down

Even as a child I was appalled when I watched a movie in which the language was watered-down. I don’t know that they still do it to the same extent, but I remember hearing “darn” dubbed over the word “damn,” and “heck” over “hell.” I’ve never been able to understand it. One would have to be completely isolated from society not to hear these words used between people in normal conversation. What’s the big deal about hearing them in natural conversations on the screen?

And now they’re apparently talking about removing swear words from ebooks in school libraries by installing a “Clean Reader” app. The app blanks out profanities in a way that imitates the “beep” in a talk show brawl a la Jerry Springer. As though we can’t fill in the blanks ourselves.

What purpose do these things serve? Is a cleaned-up book going to protect our children from the world? Seriously? Have the people who came up with this idea ever been out in public?

Next thing you know they’ll be banning lawn darts! Oh, wait…

V is for Vulva

My A-Z Challenge this year contains posts about writing adult content in fiction – you will not find any adult fiction within the parameters of the challenge, except for illustration purposes.

While it’s sometimes hard to decide whether to use the proper names for body parts or the slang, (as discussed here “J is for Junk”) it’s possible to go too far when being specific, especially for a writer who doesn’t research or understand the function of said body parts.

The example I’ve come across most often is during sex scenes where his penis reaches her womb. Seriously? How long is that sucker? Does it tickle the back of her throat while it’s up there?

Vulva, as described at http://www.innerbody.com/image_repfov/repo13-new.html (where, incidentally, you won’t be treated to a series of pictures, unlike Wikipedia):

The vulva is the collective name for the external female genitalia in the pubic region, including the labia, clitoris, and urethral and vaginal openings. These organs work together to support urination and sexual reproduction.

How many times have you seen it used as though it’s a specific bit of the vagina? I can’t count.

But my absolute favourite of all time comes from 50 Shades of Grey wherein Ana presumably dies and comes back to life.

Finally, my medulla oblongata recalls its purpose.

From google search page:

This section of the brain helps transfer messages to the spinal cord and the thalamus in the brain from the body and controls breathing, heart function, blood vessel function, digestion, sneezing, and swallowing. Sensory and motor neurons from the forebrain and midbrain travel through the medulla.

That one deserves applause, don’t you think?

T is for Transparency, U is for Unbelievable

I have little patience for a novel or movie that I can see through right from the start. Even a romance, which you know is either going to end up happily ever after or the dog’s gonna die, it’s possible to have such a conflict in the story that there is no way for the reader/viewer to deduce how the resolution will come about.

Even worse is an unbelievable resolution that causes me to throw the book across the room in a fit of frustration. I don’t like it and the cat really hates it.

But you know what’s the worse thing of all? That I’m having such a hard time getting through this challenge. Anyone who knows me will tell you I don’t give up. But honestly, I may not make it through “V,” even though I already have “X” scheduled to go for Tuesday.

Ugh.

That is all for today.

 

Q is for Quality

Wanna be an author? Well lucky you! In this day and age all you have to do is throw a bunch of clichés together, mix in a few proverbs for good measure and lo and behold you have a novel! And then you have a choice – to e-publish it for free or, even better, go to a vanity press where they’ll gladly slap your drivel between the covers of a paperback and charge you thousands of dollars for your masterpiece!

A friend of a friend did just that. According to her author page on Amazon, she had never enjoyed reading for pleasure until one day she borrowed (not bought) two romance novels, read them, decided telling a story wasn’t rocket science and wrote a book of her own. Her work of art is available for the low low cost of $8.04 for the e-book or $23.49 for the paperback. Surprisingly, it hasn’t sold much.

While fools and their money are indeed easily separated, I find it scary to know that there are even more determined writers publishing their crappy wares for free. How does one sift through the chaff?  How many first chapters must one read before finding something worth paying $2.99 for?

I remember spending hours scanning the shelves at the book store as a teenager, looking for a cover or a title that sparked my interest. I could leave the store with my purchase reasonably sure there was something of quality in that molded plastic bag with the store’s logo printed on it. Now even the fact that a book has a publisher isn’t a guarantee that it might be worth buying, unless it’s from one of the big five.

Is there a trick to finding quality in published works that I’m not seeing? Or is it really like searching a needle-stack for a piece of hay?

O is for Opinions

Any piece of fiction, any work of art for that matter, is subject to people’s opinions and is therefore subjective. In other words, you can’t please everyone, because everyone has their own point of view and the experience from whence it came. This can be difficult for writers – some appreciate differing opinions from readers and some hate them. I, myself, often find that I’ll try to stay politically correct, at least when blogging, so as not to piss anyone off. I actually dislike that about myself, but it is what it is.

This issue I have sometimes bleeds over into my works of fiction, making me question whether or not to leave in what I’ve written or take it out. I’ll give you an example.

Without spoiling the story, J.K. Rowling’s A Casual Vacancy ends with a completely heartbreaking scene. In reading it, I felt that she could have changed the end of the story, but that would have been a lie. Staying true to a story, no matter the consequences, is of utmost importance. What Rowling wrote was true.

At the end of my own novel I have a similar scenario. I CAN leave something out which could potentially cause an uproar, but it’s really what happens. It’s true. To change it would be a lie.

You see, stories like mine aren’t told. They’re found. I believe every one of my stories exists somewhere in the universe – I’m just lucky enough to be the one to find them. They have a beginning, a middle and an end, and for me to oppress the end for the sake of possibly half the population who might hate me, would make the entire works meaningless.

It takes a lot of guts to release a story to the world. Especially if it’s told right. I wonder if that’s why I’ve delayed my novel for so long.

Would you rather read or watch a story that is true to itself even though it’s painful, or do you prefer a happy, albeit false ending?