learning from the midlists

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CageSage
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learning from the midlists

Postby CageSage » Thu, 03 Jan 2019 7:45 am


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Rkcapps
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Re: learning from the midlists

Postby Rkcapps » Thu, 03 Jan 2019 3:29 pm

Fascinating insight. I'm learning from Tolstoy at present. There's a lot of telling but it's so beautiful, to take that out would ruin a classic. And what excellent dialogue! It's a classic for a reason.

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Rath Darkblade
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Re: learning from the midlists

Postby Rath Darkblade » Thu, 03 Jan 2019 6:21 pm

Hmm, the "Billy Ninefingers" book that this lady wrote reminds me of LOTR for some reason. :|

Frodo (he who carried the Ring to Mount Doom) is famous for having only nine fingers - Gollum chomped one off. And Billy isn't far from Bilbo, Frodo's adoptive father.

Coincidence? I don't know ...
There is nothing wrong with nepotism, so long as you keep it all in the family. (Winston Churchill)

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CageSage
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Re: learning from the midlists

Postby CageSage » Thu, 03 Jan 2019 7:34 pm

Didn't someone say there are only 7 stories ... but sometimes, the similarities are a little too close. Everything comes from somewhere, someone else, but the trick is to make it seem new and exciting, different but not off-kilter. I can't remember who said it, but to steal from one writer is plagiarism, to steal from many is research [not sure if this is the right word - does anyone know who said this?].

I decided to read a few new writers last year (2018) and focussed on books by new authors (only one or two publications and written in the last two years) there was one (Yep, One) I'd be happy to rate higher than two (although there were a few ARC reads I did, and two of them got higher ratings - but I also didn't pay for them, and the ones with the lower ratings asked me not to publicise the rating or my review - which is fair enough).
I'd like to write better than that, I'd like to read better than that, but ...

These days, I read 15 lines, and if there's a hint of backstory or character description or any other form of static word-play, I swipe on by. In those 15 lines, I want to feel a sense of something about to happen, an element of intrigue, movement to or from something (even if it's as yet unseen).
I'm getting harsh in my reading now ...
The question is: will it improve my own writing?
[swear!] better!

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Rath Darkblade
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Re: learning from the midlists

Postby Rath Darkblade » Fri, 04 Jan 2019 11:14 am

Well, please don't get harsh. Here, enjoy these instead ...

Image

Image

Image

Can you still be harsh? :)
There is nothing wrong with nepotism, so long as you keep it all in the family. (Winston Churchill)

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CageSage
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Re: learning from the midlists

Postby CageSage » Fri, 04 Jan 2019 12:22 pm

No. What beauties! I used to have two all-white cats, one with odd-coloured eyes (tawny and deep ocean, by name of Mister; his sister was Missy), and neither was deaf.

On the issue of coming across as harsh on the books: I read a lot, 7-10 books a week (now mostly non-fiction and re-reads).

Last year I wanted to learn what new writers were putting out (indies, mainly), so I aimed to read at least one indie a week. I read at least three a week. That's over 150 books, and one was worth it. Is it any wonder I learned to discern the value of what lay within from a few lines? I'm sure readers do that, too, but I don't want them to do it to my stories, so I need to learn from it.

there was value in the task, and a lot of frustration, too. I'm not great, but my aim is to put out a good story, well told. to do that, I need to keep learning, making use of tools and assets, seeing what people like and don't, being on guard against the bitterness that comes from the readers who have also come to view indie productions as sub-par. I have to beat that prejudice on the first page - because I am indie.

And I take all my lessons with a good dose of salt!

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PaulE
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Re: learning from the midlists

Postby PaulE » Sat, 05 Jan 2019 1:25 pm

Off the back of Cage's point about deciding whether to read on after 15 lines (but not quite as harsh), here is a Twitter post, 10 things to think about for your first page - https://twitter.com/DelilahSDawson/stat ... 7173712896
"If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do." - Angel

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Rkcapps
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Re: learning from the midlists

Postby Rkcapps » Sat, 05 Jan 2019 11:21 pm

That was an AWESOME read, thanks! Anyone who wants to write should read it. I particularly like tough love and for anyone not on Twitter, I've pasted it below:

"Tough love: If you read this and think I'M A BADASS LIKE GRRM I DO WHAT I WANT... you do you. I'm not your boss. But a big part of publishing = learning the rules + leveling up before you break them. Don't shoot yourself in the foot. Your reaction to the test is part of the test."

GRRM is George RR Martin (Game of Thrones - brilliant books), in case you're thinking it's a typo (I know PaulE knows that!).


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