Friday, January 25, 2019

Please don't write down to readers / Happenings In The Outhouse 25-Jan-2019

Writers, by and large, don't seem to write down to readers.  Movies, on the other hand, seem to do so.  Whether this is the fault of the director, the movie studio, the producers, the screenwriters, or a combination of them all.

Some of the fault may also lie in the movie-goer themselves.  I was listening to a recent podcast where they analyzed Fantastic Beasts 2: Crimes of Grindelwald.  Those on the podcast irritated me to no end.  Not because they completely trashed the movie--hmm, it grossed $650+ million and was one of the top ten movies of 2018--but because they didn't see the big picture.  They wanted all of the mystery spelled out for them--no, I will not share what the podcast is nor share a link, so please do not ask me.

First, let me express my deep distain for reboots of old movies.  I've been noticing a trend the past decade or two that there are very few original movies--okay, there are, but they get overshadowed by reboots.  I am a child of the 1980's, which, in my opinion, is the hallmark of original movies.  Many of the classic movies that topped the charts in those days were original.

Then, in the past few decades, there are reboots upon reboots--Ghostbusters, anyone?

Back to the Fantastic Beasts discussion, what they mostly complained about was the lack of clarity for the future.  They didn't see the mystery behind it.  They also kept comparing it to both the original Harry Potter movies as well as the canon behind it.

I read a lot of various series.  Years ago, I made a study on it, to compare first novels in series.  All seem to do it differently.  Some series are written where one can read any book in the series and not get lost.  Others, you do need to start at book one.  But there seems to be an underlying fact: the writer still leaves an air of mystery by not telling all in the first book.  They also don't dumb down their stories.  One must assume a reader is smart enough to know what you're talking about.  And if they don't, they'll still keep reading until they do understand it.

I think this is a topic I'll tackle more later.  As you can tell from the length of this post, I have much to say on this subject.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Why am I publishing so many old stories? / Happenings In The Outhouse 18-Jan-2019

I've been reflecting on the stories I've published in the past few years and some have noticed a trend.  Whether the trend is good or bad is all in the eye of the beholder.  In the "Afterword" of each story, I comment on the story itself--in much the same way Stephen King does in his books.  Lately, I've noticed where either the story was written a few decades ago or the idea was conceived a few decades ago and I'm just now starting to write them.

Let me address something here.  I have published a fair number of brand new stories.  But when I've looked at the stories I've also written and never published, I noticed they were . . . you guessed it . . . never published.  Hence the reason for the trickle of publishing those stories.  I want them out in the world, I have the freedom to do so, and I want to entertain others as much as they entertain myself.

I am currently around the 6,500 word mark on my new fantasy epic.  I will hold off sharing the title at this point.

Friday, January 11, 2019

I, hypocrite / Happenings In The Outhouse 11-Jan-2019

I realized something the other day.  I'm a hypocrite.

I dislike outlining with a passion--in fact, I consider it a colossal waste of time.  Want proof?  Here's a series of blog posts I have done on the subject.

However, with the epic fantasy novel I'm currently writing, I am using the old manuscript as . . . yes, you guessed it . . . an outline.

Oh, the horror!

Anyway, I do admit I'm a hypocrite in that respect, but keep in mind the original book was written sans outline and I'm taking great liberties with the new project.  I am currently 5,000 words into it and it's going great.

In the meantime, I will be publishing three short stories within the first quarter of 2019.  These short stories have already been written, but never published.

Stay tuned . . .

Friday, January 4, 2019

An epic beginning / Happenings In The Outhouse 04-Jan-2019

Welcome to 2019!

I am in the throws of writing (or, rather, re-writing, using the original manuscript as an outline) the first book in my epic fantasy series.

This book was written close to ten years ago (honestly) and has sat on the proverbial shelf ever since.  It has gone through a few re-writes, but since the original novel was close to 1,000 pages long, this was a daunting task.

One thing I had to consider now was the prologue.  It had one, but was largely written in the telling, not showing vein.  It was written, in part, much like the introduction to Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, with an omniscient narrator.  Looking at it now, I was planning to scrap it.  I will write a shorter novel, documenting how my epic fantasy world came into being, but not now.  Keep in mind, this was my thought a week or so ago.

Then, as I contemplated many of my favorite epic fantasy started, I remembered that many have prologues.  Now, I'm not against prologues, per se.  In fact, I love writing them.  Here's a blog post where I touched on that subject.

So, I put it back in.  I cut it down, starting at a crucial scene, but I'm having a blast with it.  2019 is going to be grand.

As the epic fantasy may take a while to get written and published, I may publish a few short stories in the meantime.

Stay tuned . . .