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What is Important?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by BWFoster78, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    That's exactly what you do - adhere to the tropes and formulas that readers of your genre want.
     
  2. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    Please do not call me misinformed when you do not know me or my background. No, I have not previously published any fiction. I've been immersed in the world of non fiction (which I have published) and have only recently turned to fiction. However, this does not mean I haven't studied the realm of self publishing. From what I have learned, yes, publishing multiple stories is very important. I don't dispute that.

    What makes me nervous is your questioning the value of craft, editing, proper research, and the value of taking your time. The one thing I always read when reading books and interviews by successful indie authors is that new authors tend to publish too early. They always suggest to have your work properly evaluated and edited and make sure you are putting out a quality product. Over time, yes, you may get faster and faster and put out good work faster, but it takes time.

    I'm not arguing that you didn't do this for your novel. You obviously care to take the time to do things properly. I just worry that a new writer reading this thread may confuse more for better...
     
  3. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    First, I'd like to apologize to Heliotrope for calling his viewpoint 'shallow'. You're right. It's just a different perspective and it's wrong of me to insult you for it.

    No one here is saying that craft, editing, and everything else that goes into making a strong book aren't important. Of course they are! I think what's being said on one side though is that none of those things have to be forsaken just because someone writes fast. Not at all. And someone who is going to publish fast will do it anyway, whether or not they're ready. We can't control what others do so why worry about it?

    No. There doesn't have to be a template. Everyone here I'm sure can agree there are certain elements that go into the production of genre stories. Fantasy has its ingredients, mystery has its ingredients, romance, etc. These are not templates, they're the DNA of the genres, what makes them unique.

    I don't understand (and am nearing the road of giving up here) why so many writers out there believe that laboring over every word will produce a quality product. When I pick up a book and read it, the last thing on my mind is whether or not that author spent 5 years on the manuscript or 6 months. Everyone has a different speed of crafting their art. Why put others down? If writing commercial books is how they want to make their living, how does that make them any less of an artist or their profession worse than any other? I seriously don't understand the negativity towards that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2015
  4. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Heliotrope,

    What I said was that your perspective came across to me as ill-informed. I stand by that statement. When I read what you wrote, my thought was, "This guy's opinion is ill-informed." I have as much right to that opinion as you do to think that I'm ill-informed.

    I would love to hear a cogent argument as to how these things help an indie author achieve commercial success. For a long time, I took the position that those things mattered greatly. What I'm seeing in the real world, however, doesn't necessarily bear that out.

    It seems to me that almost all indie authors give lip service to this concept. It appears to me, though, that "quality" is in the eye of the beholder.

    I've observed that there are three types of drivers in this world:

    1. Idiots who drive slower than me.
    2. Maniacs who drive faster than me.
    3. Me.

    I think the same thing is true for authors. Everyone thinks it is important to gain their level of quality. Anyone publishing "lower" quality is a hack.

    I'm just not sure, however, where the actual bar is for readers. It's certainly lower than traditionally published books seem to have set.

    There are lots of ways to speed your writing. It takes practice and actually making the effort to look at your process and figure out where the inefficiencies lie.

    That's the purpose of the thread - to hash out exactly what is important. To this point, you've stated that craft is important, but I've not heard much to back up the assertion. I stand by my statement that I'm just not sure that craft is all the important to success.
     
  5. Nimue

    Nimue Auror

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    I think that many of these posters are feeling a lot of negativity in the opposite direction, and reacting to that. Some people are hearing "If your writing doesn't measure up to the Greats, you're not good enough and you shouldn't be writing." Some people are hearing "If you're not writing 2,000 words an hour and publishing novels twice a year, you're not good enough and you shouldn't be writing."

    Threads like "What is good writing?" and "What is important?" go wrong when they veer into "This Is What You Should Be Doing" instead of "This Is What I'm Doing/This Is What I Like." Because we're all going to do what we feel is best, and I don't know that a forum thread will greatly change that.
     
    Heliotrope likes this.
  6. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Nimue, yes. Agreed. That's what I've been saying all along. My issue is with others making sweeping generalizations without taking individuality into account.
     
  7. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I don't know about you, but I've learned a lot from this forum and forums like it. These types of discussions absolutely have shaped how I write and, lately, how I'm going forward with my self publishing career. So in my case, forum threads absolutely have changed things.

    Just to be clear, however, the concept of this thread wasn't intended to be, "You should do this!" It was intended to be a discussion on, "What gives you the best chance for commercial success?"

    I'm a very opinionated person, but I do not know all the answers. I would love it if Heliotrope broke out with some logic or facts that convinced me that craft is more important than it seems, as far as I can tell, to be.

    As someone who is embarking on a path that will hopefully lead to commercial success, I am definitely hoping for some great discussion on this topic. Maybe someone will say something that will contribute to that success.

    Truthfully, my goal is to get to where I can publish 4 novels a year. I don't know if I can reach that goal before going professional, though. In fact, I doubt that I can.

    What I can do, however, is practice, improve my process, and eliminate inefficiencies.

    I see this as a key to achieving my goals. If you have the same goals, why not investigate whether you feel if it's as important as I think it is? If so, it's not all that hard to achieve 2000 WPH.
     
  8. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    I can't Foster. I just can't.

    Like I said, I'm a High School Humanities teacher. I teach Lit and History. I have spent the last ten years of my life writing non-fiction, typically historical non-fiction and Literary criticism. Through my time doing that I have learned that good quality, clear, concise, well edited work is the best way to achieve success.

    I have no clue and absolutely cannot prove it is the same for fiction. I think a lot of it comes down to who your audience is and why you are writing.

    I have only started to think about writing fiction in the past year. I have had an idea for a story for some time and this year decided to tackle it. As a historian, I'm interested in delving into topics from history in a fantasy setting. My WIP is called "The Looking Glass God" and features themes of Industrialization vs. religion. I have set up a timeline for myself of four years to write my book. One year to do some heavy research into topics such as The Age of Enlightenment, The Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution and the role of fundamentalism in American capitalism. I am also researching some key players in these historical events to use as themes for some of my characters… William Blake, Thomas Paine, etc. I have also spent considerable amount of time reading everything I can find in the "literary fantasy" genre and taking notes.

    I have then set myself a year for plotting and formatting and drafting, another for writing, and another year for editing, publishing (self publishing if that is the way I go).

    I work full time. I have two children. I write in the evenings for an hour or two and that is it.

    My novel is very different in theme, characterization and plot than your story will be, and I'm giving myself a longer timelines.

    Obviously you are correct that you will make more money than me writing four books a year. Obviously. You will have a different audience who are looking for a different story.

    I just believe that we all need to put all of our effort into our stories, whatever they may be, and skipping the editor may be doing yourself a disservice.
     
  9. Nimue

    Nimue Auror

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    I can't do that right now. Publishing is in the far future for me. I'm writing as a hobbyist and trying to get some enjoyment and improvement out of it. While your mindset and views may be helpful for other people who are at the same stage that you're at, they really aren't helpful for me. So regardless of the discussion that this has turned into, based on the premise of this thread, I don't think I need to be part of the conversation. It's not one that addresses me.
     
    Heliotrope likes this.
  10. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    I too feel that we are at opposite ends of the spectrum here and that we have very opposite goals. Please disregard my previous posts, as I'm sorry to have insulted anyone here on the matter of fast writing. I'm obviously not yet of this calibre and so had no real right to participate in the conversation.

    Please, carry on :)
     
  11. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I understand. Despite my long, tightly held beliefs on the subject, I can't find any evidence that points to "quality" being a requisite to success in self publishing.
     
  12. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Nimue,

    Part of the point of this whole discussion, though, was, "What would I have told myself when I was starting out?"

    If I had been more focused back then, would I be in a different place now?

    That being said, I respect your choice. There is nothing at all wrong with being a hobbyist. If you ever decide to enter into it as a profession, though, I seriously advise you to keep your eyes open and really think about the best path to success.
     
  13. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Heliotrope likes this.
  14. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    lol! OMG that totally just made my day.
     
  15. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    I love how they didn't even have cave woman clothes on…. red cocktail dress? Seriously? Hilarious.
     
  16. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    Wait, so is the answer to Foster's question "All you need to do is pose in a bathing suit on the cover of your books"

    What do you think Foster? Sound like a plan? String or cut-out ;)
     
  17. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    HA! Steerpike, I just laughed and laughed thanks to that article. What a way to lighten the mood, I gotta hand it to you! *claps* Now I don't feel so bad for writing werewolf/werebear lust tales.
     
  18. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    If all else fails ...
     
  19. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    ...just try and write another book. Please.

    :p
     
  20. Incanus

    Incanus Auror

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    Man that's rich.

    If I were trying to 'give the readers what they want', I suppose I'd have to be looking at something in the 'erotica' vein.

    Of course, I'm not, and I won't.

    So is there an 'epic-erotica' sub-genre yet? Or 'high-erotica' perchance?
     
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