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All Things Writing & Publishing > Emotional or pragmatic?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16061 comments A book is self-expression, art, vision of an author. Take indie route and there are no strings attached. Everybody mentions it as an advantage. Write whatever, press publish and the book is there in the cyberspace.
But then we start to expect readers to buy and like our art. Sure, it can happen, but usually there are things that you know would alienate at least some if not many of them.
Use profanity and you lose a lot of those who dislike it. Yeah, sometimes it feels (very) artificial for a character no to use curses. Adultry? Millions might turn away. Ungrammatical? Go find who can tolerate it. And so on.
Sometimes you neglect these concerns, thinking that 'quirky' compensates for all or at least some of anticipated drawbacks.
The authors themselves can pretty much evaluate what can be problematic and if not them the editors or beta-readers often cast the light. Editors/agents will insist: 'Hey, your hero is boorish, make him more subtle', 'this is an info-dump, see how you change it' and so on. Yeah, your decision in the end, if you are an indie.
Some say they write for themselves, others - try to predict what the readers want.
In the end, you try to balance between the desire to offer 'pure, raw' art with marketing concerns and a hope for more than a narrow readership.
So, what's the right/write balance: should it all be emotional or some pragmatic concerns also have place in writing art?


message 2: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1908 comments Judging from what bigwigs wrote, let's take James Joyce and his masterpiece. For all its profanity, grammar errors, adultery and what have we, Ulysses is still held in the highest esteem in the literary world. No one told him to write this. He wrote it out his own volition and made his mark in history.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments It is a balancing act but one of our own making, fortunately.You must have the courage to be true to yourself and the ability to live wi the consequences of that, or inversely, a talent for writing popular fiction and the ability to live with the artistic trade-offs. As long as the choice is yours there is no right or wrong.


message 4: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1908 comments Exactly my point too. People must write sincerely. One needs both talent and luck to win. No other compensating factors.


message 5: by Tim (last edited Aug 01, 2016 11:01AM) (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments Mehreen wrote: Exactly my point too. People must write sincerely. One needs both talent and luck to win. No other compensating factors.

I agree. The quality I admire most is sincerity. There is a saying: "Be true to your art." Really it just means be true to yourself. I begin a story writing for me first and foremost. I have something to say and I wrap it in entertainment. Often the original message becomes a vague subplot, but that's okay, because by now it's all about the characters and what they have to say...

But I never think, will this offend the reader? Because I really don't care...


message 6: by Annie (last edited Aug 01, 2016 11:15AM) (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) Tim wrote: "But I never think, will this offend the reader? Because I really don't care... "

Agreed.

I'll never change my style (not sure I even could), nor will I ever censor my characters. If they wanna say something, I'm darn well gonna type it. Buuuut...

I'm more than happy to put a disclaimer in the blurb, which I've noticed Mr Tim does as well, eh?

*fist bump*

Hugs,
Ann

EDIT: Oooh, great point, Miss Tara!

If you're gonna pave your own path, don't whine and complain about getting dirty in the process. Cuz you're gonna, eh?

Oh, gawd! Sounds like a bad fortune cookie...


message 7: by Tim (last edited Aug 01, 2016 11:30AM) (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments :D I did. I suppose I did care about an under age kid reading WTF.. :D

But I don't deliberately set out to upset anyone, but like you say, my characters are free to express themselves in any way at all.


message 8: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) Tim wrote: ":D I did. I suppose I did care about an under age kid reading WTF.. :D"

The underage kid should stop at the title hahaha!! But, seriously, I respect that. I mean, there are readers who are completely put-off by swearing. Well, I don't want them to read my stuff then. Because...

1. They won't enjoy it. I mean, I'm a sadist but not a complete jerk, ya know?
2. They always dock me a star ROFLMAO!! It's not my fault the dude cusses a mean streak, eh? ^_~


message 9: by Tim (last edited Aug 01, 2016 11:38AM) (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments So far, there's very little swearing in your book. Just Cale now and then :D And the problem with the title WTF is is attracts under age kids!! LOL...


message 10: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) Some people's kids, eh? *smirks*

Cale only swears in his head. Around his woman? He's always on his best behavior. What can I say? I write smart men ^_~


message 11: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments My father always hated swearing in my books. He'd say, "Why. There's no need for it. You should set an example." I replied, "I'm writing contemporary fiction and my characters reflect contemporary people. When I write a full-blooded SciFi I'll create new swear words. But, in truth, there are few words that can replace the word fuck. It is so expressive and in any context within which we use it, it's often irreplaceable.


message 12: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16061 comments O-ho, hard core profanity fans here. What can I say? I'm probably in a good company-:)

So no one's even tiny bit pragmatic? Just raw art?


message 13: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments I'm a big Eminem fan. What can I say... :D


message 14: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16061 comments Yep, not as big, as selfie cult, but still standing out-:)


message 15: by Mehreen (last edited Aug 02, 2016 03:59AM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1908 comments Tim wrote: "Mehreen wrote: Exactly my point too. People must write sincerely. One needs both talent and luck to win. No other compensating factors.

I agree. The quality I admire most is sincerity. There is a..."


Yeah. Offending the readers. Shakespeare wrote potentially foul stuff as did lots and lots of great writers of any given time. They didn't offend me but 50 shades did. I wonder why?


message 16: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments In my book Dione's War, I had a bit of a generational cultural difference where the older generation was raised on Earth or with knowledge of Earth culture, while the younger generation had a far more limited exposure because they grew up just trying to survive. While I keep swearing to a minimum, I did throw in a scene where the older MC is trying to explain what the swear words mean to the younger MC.


message 17: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments Mehreen wrote: They didn't offend me but 50 shades did. I wonder why?

The appalling writing? Not that I've read it, but I have seen quotes placed on forums and they're hilarious! :D


message 18: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1908 comments Tim wrote: "Mehreen wrote: They didn't offend me but 50 shades did. I wonder why?

The appalling writing? Not that I've read it, but I have seen quotes placed on forums and they're hilarious! :D"


You bet!


message 19: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1908 comments J.J. wrote: "In my book Dione's War, I had a bit of a generational cultural difference where the older generation was raised on Earth or with knowledge of Earth culture, while the younger generation had a far m..."

All depends on the artistry of writing.


message 20: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) Oh, Fifty Shades of Grey...

To be honest, I rolled my eyes way more at Christian than the writing. He was such a freakin' pansy! *sigh* With that being said, I've read them all, including Grey. Soooo...

*fist bumps EL James*


message 21: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1908 comments Good for you Ann. *smirks*


message 22: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) Mehreen wrote: "Torturous Good for you Ann. *smirks*"

^_~


message 23: by Mehreen (last edited Aug 02, 2016 11:10PM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1908 comments Annie wrote: "Mehreen wrote: "Torturous Good for you Ann. *smirks*"

^_~"

Haha was it? *grinds teeth*


message 24: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) A bit, actually LOL. Especially, the 4th book. But I chose to keep on reading, eh? Sooo...

*headdesk*


message 25: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) rt now, i'm in a learning mode, so i lean more towards the pragmatic side. whatever the conventions for that genre or audience, i can manage. for horror, i can use a lot of gore. for the sci-fi ezines, i can be more "cerebral".

(as far as cussing goes, i had heard that if used too much it can become annoying and repetitive--just like anything else in writing fiction.)

there are a few things that i haven't thrown out yet: all my stories have a scientific explanation for the world (although it might not even be explained in the story); i use a terse sentence style; i try not to imbue inanimate objects or natural forces with emotive moods.


message 26: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16061 comments At least it's not one sided and some colleagues are considerate of the readers and trends -:)

I mean what does editor when s/he suggests to cut half of your art or suggests to change tone a little, if not adapts it to a wider readership?
Some people here attribute a lot of success to a merciless approach of their editors-:)

Re curses: I bet a lot of 15 years old use curses in their speech, but I guess a book with profanity to that audience won't be that cool


message 27: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1908 comments Nik wrote: "At least it's not one sided and some colleagues are considerate of the readers and trends -:)

I mean what does editor when s/he suggests to cut half of your art or suggests to change tone a little..."


It's all in the style. How well a profane sentence fares depends largely on how the sentence is crafted.


kavi + alex + noir ~he-him~ (percybluefood) | 145 comments Nik wrote: "A book is self-expression, art, vision of an author. Take indie route and there are no strings attached. Everybody mentions it as an advantage. Write whatever, press publish and the book is there i..."

Both. but mostly emotional books. I hate crying, but I love books that make me cry.


message 29: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1908 comments ❄️Ƙανу Ƒυℓℓвυѕтєя❄️~You'll never know the murderer sitting next to you You'll think, "How'd I get here, sitting next to you?~ wrote: "Nik wrote: "A book is self-expression, art, vision of an author. Take indie route and there are no strings attached. Everybody mentions it as an advantage. Write whatever, press publish and the boo..."

Me too. "Our sweetest songs are those that tells of saddest thoughts" - Shelley.


kavi + alex + noir ~he-him~ (percybluefood) | 145 comments Mehreen wrote: "❄️Ƙανу Ƒυℓℓвυѕтєя❄️~You'll never know the murderer sitting next to you You'll think, "How'd I get here, sitting next to you?~ wrote: "Nik wrote: "A book is self-expression, art, vision of an author..."

lols I made the ending of the first chapter of the book I'm currently writing a little emotional, I nearly started crying while I was writing it. lol and I love that quote


message 31: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1908 comments ❄️Ƙανу Ƒυℓℓвυѕтєя❄️~You'll never know the murderer sitting next to you You'll think, "How'd I get here, sitting next to you?~ wrote: "Mehreen wrote: "❄️Ƙανу Ƒυℓℓвυѕтєя❄️~You'll never know the murderer sitting next to you You'll think, "How'd I get here, sitting next to you?~ wrote: "Nik wrote: "A book is self-expression, art, vis..."

Don't cry so much. You won't be able to write it then.


message 32: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16061 comments No Woman No Cry -:) /Bob Marley/


message 33: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments I cry all the time in emotional scenes, whether I'm reading them in another author's book or writing them myself! :D


message 34: by Graeme (last edited Sep 08, 2016 01:07AM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan The ending of my first book has a tragic scene which provides the emotional heart of the climax.

Tragedy is a hugely powerful narrative force.

Kavy - if you feel it and it's true to the story - write it, use it and express it.

At the end of the day, you are sharing that emotion with your readers, and they are reading you to feel it.


kavi + alex + noir ~he-him~ (percybluefood) | 145 comments Graeme wrote: "The ending of my first book has a tragic scene which provides the emotional heart of the climax.

Tragedy is a hugely powerful narrative force.

Kavy - if you feel it and it's true to the story - w..."


Ok thanks


message 36: by Michael (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments Nik wrote: "In the end, you try to balance between the desire to offer 'pure, raw' art with marketing concerns and a hope for more than a narrow readership. So, what's the right/write balance: should it all be emotional or some pragmatic concerns also have place in writing art? "

I dont do this at all. I write for the most broad readership that I can. I dont try to balance anything. Its not about art, its about sales and marketing. If my beta-readers dont like something its gets pulled out and re-written. It doesnt matter if I like it or not. Im not trying to impress myself, Im trying to sell books and build a series.


message 37: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16061 comments Strictly commercial approach is as sound as any other, I guess. There are authors who follow their intuition and others, who check what works for the readers. If I remember correctly you have what 20-30 betas? So you try to address the comments of each, recurrent ones or how?


message 38: by Michael (last edited Sep 08, 2016 01:44PM) (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments Nik wrote: "If I remember correctly you have what 20-30 betas? So you try to address the comments of each, recurrent ones or how? ..."

18 remaining... I send out 3-4 chapters at a time and each beta-reader responds via email and provides me with a review, opinions and some editing on each chapter.

If only one beta-reader has a complaint, I let it go. If I get 3-4 complaints about the same plot line - I do a re-write. In one 4 chapter selection, several people were murdered. A couple of the beta-readers though it was a bit too much so I re-wrote it and also changed 2 upcoming murders and revised the entire outline of the book.

Doing it this way allows to me to write to the desires of the reader. They shape the story. I might even hold a beta-reader and ARC contest to write a new final chapter and include it in the paperback and e-book with credit.


message 39: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi Michael,

It's an intersting approach - is it working for you?

Are you definently getting a better product?


message 40: by Michael (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments Graeme wrote: "Hi Michael,

It's an intersting approach - is it working for you?

Are you definently getting a better product?"


I will let you know when it goes into sale mode. The best writing doesnt always sell the most books. The product that appeals to the most people does. This approach may fall flat. But I deal in numbers, so if 18 people love the book, maybe 180 will or 1800 will. Got my fingers crossed.


message 41: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16061 comments What's your emotional/pragmatic ratio?


message 42: by Saqib (new)

Saqib Noor (saqibnoor) | 11 comments 100% emotional, I write to be free. The pragmatism of my writing comes from my own pragmatic thought process of how I would like my words to be read by myself in the future, when I am old and want to reminisce.

I write to one audience member, myself. And therefore I write with my heart on my sleeve so that I can recognise the writing as my own.


message 43: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16061 comments So, should sales or unrestricted self-expression rule?


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