September 18, 2009
Building Bigger and Bigger All the Time
Sometimes its easy to fall into the trap of feeling like Patricia Arquette in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors in Nancy's house running in place on sticky red goo. Work, work, and more work only leads to additional work in a never-ending cycle. The nature of work is it never ends until you change jobs or retire. If your work is your life, as with artists and writers then there may be no end until your end. Writing may be one of the worst offenders for endless work, especially on large projects. A series is a perfect example of this. It could take years to complete. Consider Sue Grafton and her one book for each letter in the alphabet, or Stephen King weaving connections between dozens of books forming a super background story.
Role-playing games have the same glorious problem. A particular setting may have dozens of books. If the publisher is lucky there will be multiple authors contributing to this mass world. Sometimes a lot of them will be written by the owner of the company who created everything from the ground up in and out of the books and uses an overreaching view of the setting--often enough multiple settings--to maintain a specific vision. That can include re-writing bits up to re-writing entire books. This can be done because the freelancer is writing a derivative work. Movie novelisations and writing for copyrighted settings would be derivative works as well and subject to revision control by the copyright owner. This is as opposed to the novelists who write and control their own creations.
Music: More Human Than Human by White Zombie.
September 11, 2009
Guest Bloggers Wanted
I am a brand. As much as I might push Battered Spleen Productions, what it really boils down to is me. It might be nice to say it's egotistical, but when something is a one-person operation, well it's hard not to be about the one person. I read a lot of the social networking, Web 2.0, search engine optimization, and marketing news and articles. When it's all reduced to the basics, it is about personal branding. Big companies may still retain a brand for the company, but even they are moving toward a model of being about one person. It's been fuelled by figures like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Biz Stone, and the like. To a strong degree with authors this has always been the case. It's always the name on the book cover once that name is recognisable.
I have been considering going against the grain and having some guest bloggers. In the author world they have blog tours. On a blog tour an author is a guest on several blogs either answering interview questions or writing an article. The article serves to bring attention to the author and the new book. They do it alongside, and sometimes instead of, a book signing tour. I want some guest bloggers in October at this blog and my Learning Dark Arts blog--which I'll post there on Monday. I'm looking for articles and a new book isn't necessary, the guests can promote just their own site or blog. Articles for this blog are about process rather than the product. If you're interested contact me. Show me your site and/or blog. Give me an idea what you'd like to write about in your article. Thank you.
Some conditions apply. This blog is re-posted to as many as eight different sites not counting where you are reading it here. I have full discretion to reject proposals or ask for re-writes if I feel they are warranted. I reserve the right to make edits for spelling and grammar that you might miss. Aim for an article no more than twice as long as I tend to post--let's say about 500 words max. Please suggest tags for your article, but I reserve the right to modify them to make use of my own available tags or to even make up my own. I will add a brief introduction at the start of the posting.
These articles are at worst PG rated. Hate speech, racism, or any other forms of bigotry are not allowed. There is no pay for this work; you would do it to reach a larger or at least different audience. You may repost your article elsewhere 3 months after I post it, and you retain the copyright but extend me the right to display your article for as long as I maintain any of the sites it is posted on. Finally I reserve the right to create a follow up post on your article at any time and reference your original on my sites. By submitting an article--when asked to--you agree to these conditions.
Music: Lost in America by Alice Cooper.
September 4, 2009
Get Your Maturity While It's Fresh
Note: I've decided to not post to this blog on the final Friday of every month. Call it a day off to work on other things.
I recently had a brief discussion about the process of writing regarding time investiture and putting ideas down onto paper, proverbial or otherwise. The idea was to spend only a certain amount of time on a single concept then move onto another, and then another. Then at a later point these short bursts could be expanded on properly. Of course a certain amount of brainstorming is necessary prior to the first stab at the ideas. This process would have results that are described in opposing terms at the same time. The results would be fresh on one hand. The inspiration arrives and it forms a bud that requires tending. That bud then matures in the expansion process. It is a pairing of fresh ideas full of invigoration, and well thought out deep thinking.
There could be a flaw in this plan. First the impetus to work on the idea may be lost. It may lose its lustre or it may prove unworkable. On the other hand a better idea may come along or the chance to think about it will allow for a better approach to the material. The freshness might also be lost. There are musicians who consider a track for their album complete the first time they play it through without fault, or have enough parts of it played that well to be mixed together. This provides great energy to the song and avoids the problem of over polishing and staleness through repetition. The same could be said here. Or again on the other hand more polish may be required. It is likely best to err on the side of too raw because extra work can always be done but reverting may be impossible.
Music: Good Enough by Van Halen.
Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada
See Full Profile