I miss dispersing my opinions . . . I feel like I’m not being true to my moniker and blog title. Not only that, stuff build up inside, and we all know that is not good for one’s peace of mind.
With that in mind, I’m starting a new thing I’m sure will be welcomed by few-to-none. I might or might not make this a semi-regular thing, It all depends on the response (not really) and how much fun I have.
Here we go . . .
Writing: on publishing
I listen to a number of podcasts dealing with all facets of writing and publishing. I read a lesser number of blogs on the same subjects.
I listen for the hints and advice from established and hope-to-soon-be established writers and authors offer up to us newbies.
Most of all, I listen with the hope of hearing that selling my work might still happen even if I don’t rub elbows at conventions, become drinking buddies with agents and editors, and spend as much time socializing as I do writing.
No such luck. Apparently, the old adage of ‘who you know’ is still an important part of success.
I can and have friended a number of people on the interweb, but there are two reasons why I’m not likely to friend writers, publishers, agents on the Internet.
One, it seems dishonest to do so for the sole reason to have a chance of getting something published.
One point five, I actually would like to friend writers, agents, and publishers, but mostly because they are smart people, and I like smart people. But were that to happen, I would never consider asking them for help with writing, getting published, or for any kind of help at all. I don’t do that to friends (or enemies, or strangers).
Two, they are swamped with “friend” requests, tweets, e-mails, and unsolicited material (or so one gathers from listening to interviews). I’ll resign myself to sending stuff in so that it can sit unread in various slush piles marked ‘people I don’t know’.
My membership in the vast ranks of writing geniuses who are lost to history, even as they still live, is cemented in the reality that I don’t physically socialize, and that I don’t have self-promotion in my nature. Trust me, I’ve tried, but afterwards I always feel . . . soiled (about the self-promoting; socializing is just an inconvenience).
Yesterday morning I listened to a podcast (SF Signal Episode 232) asking what tropes should be retired, and what tropes should get more exposures.
Basically, as far as I heard, all major tropes fell into the category of “should be retired”, leaving the panel scrambling to come up with tropes they would like to see more of.
I like the podcast, but only listen to episodes that have some interest to me. I thought this was one, but I was disappointed. My interest quickly waned as guest after guest slammed the very tropes that have sold since SF and Fantasy came into being.
At some point it must have dawned on them they had left no room for anything, and a few backpedaled a bit, and gave half-assed “replacement tropes” even as they recognized it was impractical to sell them.
They blamed the publishers for that, but that’s wacked; people have definite likes and dislikes, and hence the reason why tropes are such.
My own thoughts on the matter are mixed. Understand, I am not an author, but I am a reader, and I write (yes, I do write) things I would like to read.
In writing, my first priority is creating interesting characters, and my second priority is writing an interesting story. I don’t specifically aim to write to a given trope, but that’s what it looks like once I finish and put it up. So perhaps ‘trope’ is just another word for ‘themes of interest to humans’.
One surprising and unanimous slam was directed at the “hero’s journey” trope.
With that in mind, let me try my hand at breaking that trope.
An Ordinary Hero
Copyright 2014, E. J. D’Alise
The farmhand lifted his hand, shielding his eyes from the glare of the sun. He looked around. His adopted parents were working another part of the field, and his step-brother was getting a drink from the well.
The sound of horses drew closer. Twenty-seven horses crested the hill on a trot, their riders covered in dust.
They left the road and came toward him. They spread out as they neared, stopping in a circle around him.
“Are you Codrin Kouns?”
“I am,” the farmhand replied.
As he did so, Codrin focused his Chi, as he had been taught by his now dead mentor. He had never believed the legend, but it did not hurt to be prepared.
Another rider spoke, this one a female.
“I am Tepin Nazarian, ruler of this land.”
Codrin registered her beauty, but also a coldness about her. He had heard stories of her tyrannical rule and cruel treatment of her subjects. It was also rumored she liked broccoli. Codrin shuddered at the thought.
“You are the one from the legend; the one destined to end my rule.” As she spoke she raised her hand, and twenty-six riders raised their bows in response, their notched arrows now aimed at Codrin.
“If you have heard of the legend,” Codrin replied as he steadied himself and gathered more Chi to his bidding, “then you know it’s futile to fight it.”
Tepin lowered her hand, and twenty-six arrows all but shredded Codrin’s head.
“Idiot!” Tepin spoke the words as she and the riders turned their horses, facing the rest of the people in the field.
“He probably believed in all that Chi crap. Still, it does not pay to have these legends linger.” She pointed at the the family now huddled by the well. “Kill them.”
Tepin the Terrible’s reign lasted two hundred years. During that time, she dispatched dozens of wannabe-legendary characters, and ate lots of broccoli.
Yeah, I don’t think that will sell, and not just because it’s short.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.