Monthly Archives: May 2018
I came across the concept of literariness in the English course I took. The textbook (An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory by Andrew Bennett and Nicholas Royle, 2016) brought it up when the authors were talking about creative fiction and how it connects to literature. They suggest that literature does not exist. Instead every work can be analysed for its literariness. This suggests that there is no specific genre for those people who are talked about in English courses. It also suggests that no work is beyond these types of discussion.
This makes sense to me as many readers do analysis all genres in similar ways to how is taught in English courses. However, attending those same classes the teachers push only one time of “genre”, or the belief that commercial fiction doesn’t deserve to be studied. Which is better than creative writing college teachers who pretend commercial fiction doesn’t exist. I think this is the wrong approach because anything that narrows focus is the wrong way to look at things. All genres bring some literariness and can provide insights to people.
The writing advice is to write with a reader in mind. The assumption is that the writer thinks up an audience before starting to write, so they are telling to story to someone specific. As the writer puts words on page, they are telling the story to this imaginary audience sitting across the desk from them. One author was using voice to text software and using it as part of his writing process to the point of not wanting to upgrade for fear the voice would change causing his audience to change.
When I write I don’t write to a specific audience, because I am just a channel for the character to tell me the story. I become the reader who I am writing for. The story is one I want to read, though at times the character goes off to places I am not sure about it. Usually by the time I reach the end of the story, I understand why they went where they did and it works for the story.
There are some of my stories where my only reason for writing it down was for my own entertainment. My western, Chenarcor, was me following the characters around and writing down what they did for my own enjoyment. Turns out that other people have enjoyed it as well, so it seems to be a good way for me to write. Other people do need that audience they are talking to when they write, which is okay as no one way works for everyone.
In an attempt to recover from the school year, I watched a large amount of action movies. One of these movies is True Memoirs of an International Assassin. Many movies can teach things to writers about writing if the writer is willing to pay attention, but that movie teaches couple lessons to writers about being a writer and not just about writing.
The first lesson is about the amount of research a writer puts into their story. Research is a great thing and can make the story feel realistic. However, too much is a bad thing. The story should not be easily confused with reality. There was one author who had to take a step back because his readers were using the methods his characters were using to do things they shouldn’t. It is good to do the research and it is good to have some realism in a story, but beware of the level put into a story.
The second lesson from the movie is to not let anyone bully you about your writing. We all dream of getting that phone call from a publisher demanding to let them publish our book. Many of us don’t know enough about the legal end of things to really understand many contracts. However, if the publisher is not willing to give you time to read over the contract and find someone who does know something about legal things to read it for you as well, you should back out of the deal. Otherwise it will not end well. And if the publisher puts out your fiction book and non-fiction, you should consider legal action.
One of the projects for this semester was to put together a chapbook with contributions from other people. Everyone in class was to start with request for submissions and write letter of acceptance and then create the actual book. This is the most fun I have had on a school project in years.
Back in January I was looking for something to read that involved dragons, so when this project came up I decided my theme would have something to do with dragons. My title became Dragons in Winter and that is what the stories needed to be about. Fortunately, I have people in my life who were willing to submit stories and a theme people were willing to submit to.
I really enjoyed getting and reading other people’s stories. Because I only had four submissions I didn’t have to send out any rejection letters, even if I had to write one for turning into the teacher. Then at the end I had another book put out through Lit-N-Laughter. It makes me want to make more.