Tag Archives: opinion

Conversation From Hell!

If you have read: Haters Gonna Hate With Terrible Arguments. Here is the entire conversation for your reading and ranting pleasure. 🙂 Enjoy and Thoughts are Welcome

Amyoung0606-it’s not about deadlines for my novel—it’s about being in a program and having to submit something to the mentor. And what are deadlines, but motivation to avoid procrastination. If you do not make your craft a disciplined lifestyle and write every day, then your work will be a honed skill, but a hobby. This is my life. If I can’t manage to add a few pages every day, then I’m never going to complete a 150 page manuscript by the end of next year

 

Man-Wel this is a debate then, first of all there should never be no dead lines in writing, cause a true story should not be rushed by any means. That to me is not writing, that’s journalismfirst of all there should never be no dead lines in writing, cause a true story should not be rushed by any means. That to me is not writing, that’s journalismto me it’s a passion not a skill, so this program is for procrastinating writers. I can understand that. Lol to be honest if writing is your life then that’s the only motivation you truly need. Without writing then you should cease to exist. To me deadlines are exactly what it says, you rush to complete and there is no life in the words so to me its dead-lines.
Amyoung0606-Yeah…that’s not what she means by setting us a deadline. It’s meant to encourage writing as a vital part of our every day routine. Not everything can just come when it comes; passion is the driving force behind the discipline, not in the absence of it. Sometimes, the things in life distract you or deter you from writing; if it’s not something you have disciplined yourself to do every day. The program is supposed to hone our abilities, to make us the best possible writers we can be. Part of that is understanding that the world will always have a deadline–life has a deadline. You have to trick yourself into writing when you don’t think you can or when no inspiration comes to you because that’s how it becomes as natural as breathing. To be clear,wanting in your life isn’t enough motivation to make it an everyday aspect of your life. While some people may think that’s all it takes- Unless you have every day free to just do whatever you want to do—deadlines and making a disciplined effort to write something every single day is what makes it your life. I could aspire to be anything, but if I don’t have anything to show or anything done, it means nothing. The will to succeed doesn’t make you succeed unless you have the skills and discipline to sit and write. If deadlines are rushing to complete something, then what are goals? In essence,a deadline is a goal with a time limit, so you don’t allow yourself to falter and get distracted by the stresses of life. It’s not about rushing if you work on it everyday.

 

Man-You make writing sound too much like work, instead of something for pleasure. I write to free my mind from the shackles of society and every day routines. if you researched some of the best LITERATURE written and see how long some authors or writers take to complete their work; you will have a different point of view. I worked on a book for 4 years, and now just turned into a script because a company wants to purchase it. In those 4 years the story became its own entity, a living scripture of imagination. Goals to me are obstacles; they blind the mind with deception. A writer dreams about writing, wakes up and writes, goes to sleep and writes. This not something that can be trained into somebody. If you have to tell someone that they should make writing routine then to me there not a writer, it’s just something they choose to do.
Amyoung0606-It is work and pleasure. Sometimes writing is hard.Wait, I lied. Writing is hard most of the time. If I think of it just as pleasure, it’s not going to be my life–it’s going to be a hobby. Literature with a capital L may have taken more time. Some classic literature did need to take more time, but I’m sure that was for reasons that made sense to deter them. They probably still made a disciplined lifestyle to get those books/stories done. However, the publishing/book industry, like everything else works on deadlines. Those writers had to get their work done on time to have their stories published, and it becomes a need for human beings to have something compelling them to complete something. By nature, writers are perfectionists. We will continue to work on something forever unless something stops us. That is what deadlines are there for, and writing can be taught. Anything can be taught. If you have the imagination, then you need the discipline to make it into a story that other people will read. People that write stories for themselves are not always writers. To write only for oneself is to limit a piece of could be fantastic writing to your own devices instead of striving to look outward and see how it effects the world. Some of the best writers in the world have set page, word minimums every day to write, and they will tell you the same. I met the poet laureate of Ireland and many other world-renown authors who belted at the top of their lungs to discipline yourself. It is only when you choose this as a lifetime goal to write more than one book or a best-seller that you must buckle down and set goals for your writing because there is no one else to disappoint but yourself. If you don’t have dreams to achieve then what is the point?

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Haters Gonna Hate With Terrible Arguments

In a world where everyone has become a critic, writers, especially beginning writers, instinctively turn to fellow writers for comfort. Meeting other writers, you assume they understand the struggle that comes with the field, and can share in the triumphs you have made in your personal/professional writing. However, there are some people even inside the writing world that do not grasp the purpose of writing.

That was me–angry at work while having this discussion!

At work, I had the pleasure of meeting another writing, and I enjoyed quite a few satisfying conversations with him. That is, until I began explaining my graduate program, and this acquaintance quickly turned into a vicious monster attacking the way that most of the writing world works. For some people, there is a vast difference between genres, but I will give credit to anyone willing to better themselves through writing. So, when this gentleman told me he wrote movie scripts, I took it as an opportunity to learn how a novel writer can differ from one who writes scripts. While I found no huge difference in our discussion of favorite genre or the passion of a new idea, I found that our ideals, and viewpoints on writing differed greatly.

I am going to share my conversation with this fellow as a way of showing how some writers view the purpose of writing, and how it can be skewed by some fantastical idea that it does not require work or discipline to create well-written stories.

The conversation begins with a complaint that I have not stayed true to my goal of 1,000 words a week (made by my mentor and I), which I need to catch up. The response was as follows:

“First of all there should never be no dead lines in writing, cause a true story should not be rushed by any means. That to me is not writing, that’s journalism.”

If you forgive his not so blunt stab at journalism not being writing, which I do not agree, his statement is still incredibly offensive. Mostly, he lacks the understanding that life requires deadlines, which I later explain. However, the underlying problem in his statement is that no matter how long it takes a “true” story  (true=good) it will be good if there is no deadline. Yet, some people live by the thrill of deadline pressure to spin the ideas from their head or give them a chance to plan and organize their thoughts. Either way deadlines are a necessary, unavoidable part of a writer’s life, which this man clearly did not understand.

I proceeded to explain that deadlines provide motivation for a writer even when the ideas are not there or your Muse is on vacation. Sometimes, the deadlines are all you need to get the story written.

His next offensive statement: “To be honest if writing is your life then that’s the only motivation you truly need. Without writing then you should cease to exist.

While I agree full-heartily that I would cease to exist as the person I am today without writing, the motivation to write is not always enough. It never will be enough because if you have nothing to show for your time aspiring to be a writer, you will never become one in reality. The will to become a writer is only the building block. After that, one must acquire the tools and the skills to become a better writer. While this person didn’t seem to understand to basic rules of making yourself into any professional in any field, the next comment is ever more hurtful and difficult to answer.

“Goals to me are obstacles; they blind the mind with deception.  A writer dreams about writing, wakes up and writes, goes to sleep and writes. This not something that can be trained into somebody. If you have to tell someone that they should make writing routine then to me there not a writer, it’s just something they choose to do. “

Most of the above passage is just clear misunderstanding of the craft. It is not some free spirit floating around in your own head until something pours out because as most of you know–that almost never happens long enough to get an entire book out. You get that burst of energy, and write for long periods of time, but what about those days when you get up and you just don’t want to write? What about those days? Those are the days where a writer’s discipline forces him/her in front of a chair and makes the writer write even when they don’t want to do it. It’s sad because the man actually described the discipline life I was speaking of, but in his twisted imagination he thought that the writer does it “because they love writing” sounded better than a writing routine. He doesn’t want it to be work. He wants it to be a playful, imaginative hobby that he does to escape from the world. Newsflash, kid. Writers work, hard! They don’t just write for themselves. A writer who does it to escape their life and only for that isn’t going to get very far. Why? Because you should be writing for other people to read.

I have to wonder why this man has not been published, and yet his scripts make money. I don’t know the real difference between script writing and book writing, but I can tell you this. Some people who write DON’T understand the work it takes to putting your dreams in action. My goal as a writer isn’t to learn how to write 1,000 words a week.

My goal is to write one piece of fiction/non-fiction/whatever that helps the world get to know me. I want people to know me, but not by just telling them about my life. I want them to know me by getting to know themselves, to understand parts of me because they have experiences what I feel through the eyes of my character, and the places I imagine in my mind.

Now I know that not everyone can understand my personal purpose in writing, and many people want to do it for the money. Yet, somewhere out there. Maybe not far from where I’m typing this someone will understand my side of this terrible argument, knowing they have felt the same pain trying to explain it to someone else.

If you want to read the entire story, and get the entire view on the horrendous conversation I had–please visit:

Conversation From Hell!

Happy Reading and Writing!

 

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Back to the Future Of Print Books

Although my love of print books may seem a little biased, I will state now that I do love e-books and all that they represent. However, the e-books are allowing print books to hold strong in what everyone loves about them.

Book Cover Cafe’s post, Future of Publishing: Why Print Books Have Plenty of Shelf Life Yet, details four facts about print books that keep them alive in our hearts and on the shelves! The post sheds some light on how writers are publishing right now. We have so many options that it intimidates the crap out of most of us (and if you say it doesn’t you’re probably already getting six figure advances and don’t care!). But purists we’re in luck! The rise of e-books has brought the importance of print to the market.

1.) Authority and positioning-Although e-book sales are on the rise, print on demand makes the value of being published —virtually effortless. In general, the idea is perfect. The ability for a writer to publish from their home without the grueling, devastating process of going through agent-editor-publisher to get one measly book.

Before publishing became ready made, print books were the only way to become credible. Even if you had your own printing press, it still did not pull as big of a punch as having your book professionally bound and stamped by the approval of the most well-known editors/publishing houses. It was the grueling  process, and the approval of highly valued people in the market that made the book have credibility. Logic follows that until there are the same credible people sorting through e-books, we have a lot of people deeming their own work credible enough to be published without the careful eyes of the more experienced. On the other hand, the more experienced or unlucky in some cases can choose the publish on demand as a way to bypass the struggle they cannot surpass or already have.

2.)  Unconventional pages- For writing outside of the straight novel text, the format for e-books is not convenient. Poetry, graphic novels, text books, and picture books all have difficulty being transferred to electronic form. However, the glory of print is that you can do pretty much anything on a page and it still looks great.

3.) Slow reception- The reality of e-book sales halting print books is just a tad hasty. The sales of e-books outside of the U.S. are not impressive. We Americans love the newest, greatest products on the market, and sometimes we jump too high for our new toys before the rest of the world.  It doesn’t mean that we aren’t right about the importance of e-books, but it means that print is still a heavy hand in people’s lives.

4.) The stigma-Yes, e-books are convenient, they’re flashy, they’re functional, they’re cheap. Is that last one a good thing? I know I like when I get school books for $0.75 on half.com, but I KNOW I wouldn’t want my books sold for $0.99 just so that they’re published. Even though my primary goal is not to make money…we writers gotta make a living and a book for a dollar is not going to pay for all the necessities (at least not for beginning writers).

The stigma is…you get what you pay for. When you pay $0.99 for a book without the pages, the cover, the fancy editor, the credibility (sometimes) it shows.  There are obviously pros to this because you can cut the costs for a self-publishing for a writer. However, the author of the post brings up a vital aspect of value. Almost all books benefit from the overall package. The senses are how we experience the world, and part of the magic of a print book is that you get all of them (except taste, but that doesn’t apply to either). The e-book has added joy of video, hyperlink, and instant dictionary. And yet print books have the amazing ability to change according to the kind of book. you need. The old, knowledgeable ones with the dusty, old binding.  The new, exciting ones of alien worlds. The format of print is so versatile that it can take the physical shape of the story inside. And that is something you cannot replace!

This isn’t a competition, a war between the ages. It is an opportunity for co-existence (like that one religion that has all the symbols). For those who want a specific experience both avenues give you what you need.  I know my love of books and writing will grow to rely on the e-books because they are the children (books) of the future, but I will always cherish the knowledge/beauty of the past.

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Blackbird House, Oh how I long for you!

I recently finished my second book requirement for graduate school, and I am so excited to write this paper. Usually, a mix of fear and curiosity it what strikes me when I must write a paper for school.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all writing, but when a grade attached there is bound to be some anxiety.

With the disappointing feeling I received from my first critical paper, I am determined to do better this time. I think the hardest part about any English assignment is the book. It doesn’t matter if the essay is 5 or 25 pages long with an annotated bibliography. If you can connect with the book on any level, especially a deep one, then the essay is going to be of a much better quality.

Alice Hoffman's Blackbird House: Member of the Ballantine Reader's Circle. It sounds important so I included it.

However, it doesn’t mean that liking a book with produce a great paper. It’s the connection to the character or the story that wills you creative mind to come up with more insightful ideas to add to your writing. So, when I read Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman in three days I was itching to get my paper started.

One of the most appealing aspects of this book lies in its format. Initially, Hoffman wrote one short story (the second to last in the book), and was convinced to write the other stories to create the collection. The placement of the stories is so interesting because it is logically make sense, but to the reader it is an adventure. She compiled the stories chronologically beginning with the first family in the 18th century.

Knowing this, you would think the reader would have a good grasp on what was in the next story. Instead, there is a sense of wonder that befalls the reader as he/she flips through the stories. Will the next story be a new family or will it continue the lives of the ones I have already attached myself to? It is impossible to know what to expect unless you have read the book before.

In addition, the aspect of the stories that draws you in is Hoffman’s use of place. Place is one of the most vital pieces of a story, and Hoffman invokes the place (Blackbird House in Cape Cod) in a magical way. Identical to the way nature writing uses place, Hoffman utilizes place as a foundation for connecting to the audience. She treats the Blackbird House and the coastal area as characters drawing the reader into the story.

When you experience the Cape, you think of the salty air, the gossip of local women, and the welcoming feeling of nature all around you. Hoffman brings the coast to life with the imagery of place, and the subtle use of fantasy. She weaves together the lives of families decades apart through this one house.  I am still sh0cked at how easily Hoffman drew me into the life of the families living on the coast. Maybe it’s because I have a desire to travel or a love of nature, but she captivated my attention with every story. Usually, there are one or two stories in a collection that I don’t favor. This collection has none of those. The only things missing from this collection were the lulls or boring spots that might appear in writing. Someone once told me: When you’re reading good writing, you won’t be able to finish it without going back and finding out the author’s name. It is that urgency that notifies you of good writing.

Since I already knew who the author was, I had a parallel experience understanding the good quality of her writing. While browsing the list of her other books, I found that she had written a book I read a long time ago. My terrible memory doesn’t allow me to remember the authors of many books I read in the past. Yet, the impression left after reading her book  Green Angel was so similar to this one that it lead me to my aha moment. The moment where you realize you recognize this author for his/her ability to connect to you no matter what they have written. While Green Angel was a children’s book, the voice of Hoffman spoke to me in a powerful way.

I could have qualms about the book such as the stories all ending without me wanting them to, but those are qualms that will stay silent. As a writer, I am so proud to be in this profession with authors like Hoffman. I went on to research her other books, hell-bent on reading all of them. She is not my favorite author (yet), but I have become a fast fan after being reunited with her work. I would suggest her work to any with an affinity towards nature or any use of fantasy. She has a well-rounded use of imagery and dialogue, with descriptions that paint a picture immediately in your mind.

With my positive review, I look forward to writing this critical essay. It’s not just because I enjoyed the stories. I paid more attention to what made the book special rather than forcing myself to look deeper into the book. I just hope my other two assigned books move me as much as this one.

Happy reading and writing, readers!

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The Gathering: The Final Review

Well, it’s down to the wire and I’ve finally finished The Gathering for my practicum assignment. There are three days for me to write this 5-8 page paper. Seems silly to wait this close to the deadline when I’ve had over a month to accomplish it. For a writer, you’d think the deadline would be the scary, black cloud looming over my head ready to strike me down with lightening. But I love the thrill of procrastination. There’s something about the deadline that forces my creative juices to work harder. Contrary to the idea that stress creates writer’s block, sometimes the stress inspires your imagination in a way working ahead just can’t provide.

This 261 page book was difficult not in the sense that it was hard to read, but that I was attempting to read like a writer. As I’ve mentioned before, reading can be broken down into three easy categories.

1) Reading as a reader (for pleasure)- It is the most common and easy way to read. You are reading to enjoy the story and not to dissect the writing. Sometimes you just need to crawl away from the world and read to escape the realities.

2) Reading as a student (to analyze)- This is the most familiar for high school and college students. There is an English Comp. or Literature class requiring you to write about a book that you have to read. You read the book knowing what to look for in the words to write a paper.

3) Reading as a writer (to learn)-The action of a writer reading another writer’s work is different than anything else in the reading world. We don’t judge another author’s work, but try to understand how they accomplished such a feat. Especially for a young writer like myself, it is an important skill to learn from experienced authors.

Knowing I had a daunting task ahead to learn how to read like a writer, I took my time. Over the course of three weeks, I labored over this book. You would think it might take a week with how determined I am to get a good grade, but that’s not the case. This book is simply about a woman coming to terms with her closest brother’s suicide. What do you have when you mix an exotic setting (Ireland) with a great tragedy (suicide), and drop in a couple repressed memories from a deranged family? You get one confusing book. Not confusing in the sense that you couldn’t connect the story together from chapter to chapter. It is the viewpoint of the entire books. Going from imaginative memories of Veronica’s grandparents to interactions with her deranged mother, any reader can feel her confusion.

At the risk of sounding cocky, I feel like this could be on purpose by the author. Without the confusion in this woman’s life, we wouldn’t be able to understand where she’s coming from. Death can do crazy things to your life, especially with marriage, secrets, and family gatherings. The ending leaves you wanting more coinciding almost exactly with the feelings of the narrator.

I was stunned, absolutely stunned at the ending. Not because I can’t imagine things that happen when a family gets together, but it is still more shocking to someone outside of the family. Overall, the book was satisfying. It’s relative to everyone in one way or another. Regardless of how crazy your family is, it’s nice to see that other families are worse. My next step is to write this paper. Although it should be a piece of cake, I don’t want it to fall short. There is a need for me to go above and beyond what I did in my undergrad. It’s easier because I’m not analyzing the text to find a certain theme. Instead, I’m asked to find what aspects of the book I like and what has affected my writing so far.

In 5-8 pages, I think I can do this in one day let alone three. It’s easy to find what you like or don’t like about a book. With the sticky notes and scribbles in the margin, I feel like my work will pay off. So, here goes my late night start to the first critical essay!

Make sure you check out The Gathering by Anne Enright!

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A Lesson in Argumentation

It has come to my attention that I must once more state my purpose on my personal blog. This is my journey as a writer. If I so choose to address a slightly controversial issue, it is meant to be addressed in a professional or at least intelligent fashion. If you want to argue blindly or troll, go to Yahoo News or some other news site. This is my home. Where I share ideas, memories, and constructive conversations about my craft.

It is not a place to mock the words I have written if you don’t like them. If you don’t like what I have posted, then STOP READING. No one is forcing you to browse through blogs and hate on the things that you don’t agree. My subjects are not open discussions used to promote your own agenda. I am simply stating things from my OPINION, which I last checked isn’t grounds to argue. An opinion comes from someone’s point of view. It is not wrong or right because it is different for every person. While I try to respect everyone’s opinion and keep my thoughts to myself, apparently I am not shown the same courtesy. I am heckled for my opinion on my own blog!

If I open a structured, logical discussion on a subject, feel free to contribute your argument to the mix. However, then you would be asked to follow several guidelines. Four years of an English degree leaves me in constant care about how to analyze and argue a certain point. Time spent in philosophy classes, specifically logic class have left me with undeniable rules that come with arguing and discussion.

It makes you unintelligent and rude when you do any of the following things:

Attack a person instead of their argument

Mocking them with their own words instead of coming up with your own rebuttal

Refuse to understand the meaning behind the post/comment

Disrespect the person’s opinion as being  the same as a tangible argument to rip apart

 

This post has been written out of need to respect my home for what it is. It is not a place to crap all over because you have nothing else to do. It is a place where we share ideas in a positive environment and support each other’s work. Please think twice before adding negativity because you can disagree with something someone wrote and be cordial.

 

Thank you to my faithful readers and I hope that you continue to read my journey as a writer.

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When Good Books Turn Into Bad Movies

Today’s topic is one readers know all to well. When your favorite book gets turned into a move the following questions cross your mind:

What actors will they pick and will they do the characters justice?

What will they sound like and how will they pronounce the names/places?

Should I ever bother seeing them mess it up?

Or am I obligated to see my favorite characters visualized on the screen?

All of these questions are valid. My first book movie experience was the Harry Potter series and up until the third movie, I was incredibly happy with the film version. Then when the director changed and a character died, the films lost their magical connection to the books. I personally feel an obligation to see a movie made from a book I’ve read and especially loved. At the moment, I’m holding out for the movie version of Orson Scott Card’s famous novel Ender’s Game. Although nothing will replace the images inside my head it will be very interesting to see what other people envision and compare the p.o.v. after seeing the film.

The idea of making a film out of a book came to me because I saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo tonight. Since I have not read the book before watching the movie my opinion of the characters is only based on the actors/actresses. However, I could see the holes in the plot and detail that can only be filled by the lengthy paragraphs of a novel.

The fundamental question is…can a film truly capture the meaning of a novel or even a short story without using all of the information or always inside the head of the characters?

For me, it’s a no. It can’t. As a writer, nothing is more involving than getting inside the head of the character and knowing everything they think and being able to have the narrator give objective information all of the time.

While movies have the visual effect of showing you the entire street or the entire world of the story…and the narrator can say what’s inside the character’s head…it is never enough to completely immerse you. There is always something the director or screenwriter must leave out and most of the time that information is the most important.

Let’s go back to the Orson Scott Card example. I am immediately displeased that the actor playing the main character is too old and the character does not become that age until half way through the book. I am also upset that they probably will not show pivotal scene in the character’s life (killing boys that bully him) because the film will be rated for younger kids. This seemingly innocent piece of censorship to shield children from violence is altering the entire meaning of the story.

So, regardless of my complaints already I will see the movie of one of my favorite books. I feel it is an obligation to see all forms of the book and characters I love so much.

But now I turn the discussion to you dedicated readers and movie buffs.

What is your opinion on book movies?

Do any of them do a good job of depicting the book? If so what ones and why?

And for the haters-which movies did the worst job of depicting the book and why?

Thanks to Google Images for this photo

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