Herkes House is hot-weather-ready northern hemisphere midsummer approaches.
I installed the sun canopy on the patio pergola, & this year added outdoor curtains to keep the area shaded through the slanty-sun hours.
78℉ outside. 65℉ indoors. (old brick house. Lotsa heat mass.) Me, I'd rather be warm outside.
First official work in the patio office: Patreon posts for June. recipes, extras from new books & old, and lots of Pippin pictures for the cat tax.
Solid progress on all writing/editing fronts this week, despite habitual panic over potential lack of freelance work.
Weeknotes - https://alobear.co.uk/?p=1147
So #writing on the alphasmart has increased my speed from about 1000 words an hour to nearly 1500. Even better, it's fun and I find myself wanting to go back to it more. #writinglife
Woke up (too early, because children) to an email from a journal I didn't think I had a dingo's chances in hell of getting into saying they want one of my poems. I am not awake, this is clearly a dream or a mistake. And if not, it's gonna be real hard to top this weekend.
We got two
They are not
ART IS HERE: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/colorful-cat-art-meow-sharon-cummings-sharon-cummings.html
#caturday #cat #cats #catstodon #catsofmastodon #kitty #kittyCat #meow #catlady #catmom #catdad #catart #pets #poetry #poem #poet #poets #poems #writing #writinglife #writingcommunity #AYearForArt #ArtMatters #Fediart #mastoart #mastodonart #pet #purr #colorful #colorfulart
I finally submitted 'The House of Ash' to Draft2Digital for pre-order. I'll post the link once it goes live here, but the release date is August 16.
I also rented 'The French Dispatch' a few weeks ago, and my deadline to watch it is coming at me fast. I held off on watching it as I wanted to save it for this moment, when I'm officially done with my WiP and am about to move on to a new one.
I'll be kicking back tomorrow to recoup all those lost brain cells and will be watching the movie at last (uninterrupted, too).
#Writing #WritingLife #GothicFiction #GothicHorror #Occult #GayRomance #Paranormal #VampireFiction #Novella #SelfPublishing #TheFrenchDispatch #WesAnderson #Film #Entertainment
Last night, after a full day at a con on 5 hrs of sleep and an UNTOLD quantity of caffeine, I felt like I knew exactly where this scene was going. Right before I passed out.
This morning...I have reason to be skeptical of her claims.
I've gotten 10 rejections out of the 42 query submissions so far. Not bad considering I didn't expect to hear back from most or any really. Still wish and hope that at least one asks to read more, but I doubt it. #amquerying #writinglife #WritingCommunity
"'Fuck this, I quit,' I told my reps. "The studio can have their money back.' It wouldn’t be the only time I asked to quit my own TV series either."
Read "The Horror of 'DRACULA': The Unbelievable True Story of the 2013 TV Series"
#screenwriting #writing #creativewriting #storytelling #writingcommunity #writinglife #television #TV #Dracula #creativity
From the “just kill me now” department #writinglife https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/28/realestate/fake-books-decor.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share&referringSource=articleShare
I had a most interesting and enjoyable chat with the Page One writers' podcast recently, and you can have a listen here. We covered all sorts of things, from my early career to my latest book, The Cleaving.
Choose how to listen here https://linktr.ee/ukpageone
#WritingCommunity #WritingLife #writing #SFF #Fantasy #EpicFantasy #KingArthur
Because I focus on character development much more than the plot in my stories, this observation really makes sense. I love the imagery it inspires, too. It's definitely an insight I'll need to keep in mind for the future! 💜
#writer #writers #writing #writingcommunity #writinglife #writersofmastodon #amwriting #amwritingfiction #amwritingmystery #amwritingliteraryfiction
"If I have a choice between looking something up and making it up, I'll make it up every time." - W. P. Kinsella
#quote #quoteoftheday #quotestoliveby #research #fiction #writinglife #writing #BeingHuman
Anybody interested in a choices-adventure book demo?
#WritingCommunity #CYOA #writinglife
Q&A: TV Showrunner VJ Boyd Knows How to Make You Squirm
The “LINCOLN RHYME” and “THE MADNESS” scribe discusses his professional journey, creative frustrations and how to craft suspense for television.
#screenwriting #writing #storytelling #creativewriting #writinglife #writingcommunity #TV #television #showrunner #amwriting
This advice is so freeing. It's something I should keep in mind as I write. Doubts constantly hold me back. But I'll remember these words and just write with the determination to strengthen the wording later. ❤️
#writer #writers #writingcommunity #writersofmastodon #writinglife #amwriting #amwritingfiction #amwritingmystery
One of my many sisters asked me what my goal was in sharing links to my published essays with the rest of our family. As in, "why do you share them?"
My reactions were varied:
1. I don't know. Validation?
2. To share good news?
3. To be seen and heard
4. You aren't a writer, are you?
After a long time of wading through mud, things are finally getting finished all at once, and I don't know what to do with myself. The novel is out the door, work projects being sent off for code review, maybe a breakthrough on the WIP's finale?
My flash essay has been published by Defunct Magazine. Read "Quoth the Raven" here:
I'm so happy to see this up. It's a reverie about loss and guilt. Give it a try!
#essay #flash #hybrid #writinglife #writingcommunity #amwriting
Getting ready for NewMusicGathering as possibly the only non-composer/non-performer librettist/lyricist thinking I need one of these:
[Image is of actor Nathan Fillion in the TV show Castle wearing a bulletproof vest reading "WRITER" across the chest instead of "POLICE."
#NewMusicGathering #NewMusic #CreativeWriting #WritingLife #LIbrettist #Lyricist #NewOpera
This week I am mostly ghostwriting. #writinglife #author
Writing wishy-washy characters is hard. They change at the drop of a moment and doing so in a convincing manner feels like jumping through hoops to get right. I always feel like I have to question whether they work or not. #amwriting #WritingCommunity #writinglife #writing
Going over a short story for maybe the fourth or fifth time in two days for a submission, send HELP.
Q&A: Meg LeFauve, the Oscar-nominated scribe behind INSIDE OUT and other films, looks back at her “screenwriting life” with me.
This is easily one of the most epic and inspiring artist-on-artist interviews I’ve conducted. There's so much to learn from here.
#screenwriting #screenwritingtips #writing #writingcommunity #writinglife #writingtips #creativity #inspiration #InsideOut #amwriting #pixar
At what point can I invoice the doctor's office for my time spent waiting?
#WritingLife #waiting #WritingOnMyPhone #HealthcareInAmerica
A story behind every door in #Kirkcudbright #Scotland #writerslife #writersoftwitter #Doors #WritingLife
In a bit of a twist, I had to make an emergency appointment with the ophthalmologist today because my left eye's having issues. And since I woke up to my alarm, I was able to make use of the extra time (normally spent preparing for work) getting the rest of the revisions and edits done for 'The House of Ash'.
And now I'm done with all the heavy, dirty work. When I get back from the appointment (and after my dilated eyeballs are back to normal), I'll give the file another editing sweep, which won't be so heavy.
Fellow #writers: Do you have a getting-down-to-writing "ritual"?
Do you play certain music? Light a candle? Signal to your brain in some other way that now, it is time to write?
Trying to get some writing done, but Jasper keeps stealing my teaspoon.
I mean, strictly speaking I don't really need a teaspoon to write, but it's so distracting! He looks so pleased with himself as he absconds with his loot. His plan is to take it deep into the sofa so he can have his way with it, and I can't allow that.
I wrote about my writing process and how it can be summed up as a strawberry begonia method of propagation. #writingcommunity #WritingLife
Another reason for writers to read the classics: to pick up the references used to define/un-define you. A conference I'm paneling at this summer asked participants what panels they wanted to be on, and one was on invisibility. Four references, and I happened to be reading Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man at the moment. This plus Metamorphosis told me no, I probably don't have anything unique to say on the topic, don't check that box. #WritingLife #WritersLife #WritersOfMastodon #AuthorsOfMastodon
I got a rejection letter from a literary magazine yesterday, but it wasn’t a form letter. They said they like my work and wish me luck. Well, that’s something, I guess. #WritingLife #Rejection #LiteraryMagazine #LitMags
My 2yo saw me carrying the proof and said, "Read book!" Yes, child. In, uh, fourteen years, maybe.
Next Friday! The countdown is on!
I asked my 5yo for a solution to a spot I'm stuck at in my WIP. He said, "Oh, that's easy," and I got excited that he was going to suggest something good, some way around the problem I hadn't seen. But then he talked about the video game Valheim for five minutes, so...no dice.
This is missing a third circle, labelled: whisky.
#writingcommunity #writing #books #writinglife #art #creativity #funny #humor #humour #VennDiagram
Turn grief into beauty… a #TinyLittlePoem inspired by AIATSIS CEO Craig Ritchie’s keynote at #AMAGA2023. https://vt.tiktok.com/ZSLeM4frt/
#Writing #AmWriting #WritingLife #AmWritingPoetry #AustralianPoetry #AustralianPoet #AussiePoet #Poetry #AWW2023 #KateLarsen
I subscribe to like 50 newsletters, but read almost none of them because apparently having an attention span is a thing of the past.
"97.85% of WGA members voted to...collectively declare, 'Enough is enough. Fuck you and you and you and you. You can’t buy another mansion while we can’t even pay our rent — not if you want us to keep providing you content.'”
ARTICLE: 'The WGA Is On Strike — Here’s Why We’ll Win'
#WGAstrike #WGAstrong #WGA #screenwriting #screenwriter #unionstrong #writingcommunity #writing #writinglife #film #movies #TV #television #Hollywood
Hooray! This month's Patron Q&A video is up. Sign up to my Patreon from $1/month upwards to watch me talk about how to figure out the genre of your work, what to do when it fits into multiple categories, & how to battle insecurities/negativity in a writing career. https://www.patreon.com/posts/83028099
I don't plan on much social media this week. I'm away on the Milford SF Writers retreat in North Wales, wrapping up this year's Green Man book - it's coming together nicely, I am pleased to report.
It is striking how much writing I can get done when there's no domestic mental load. It's not just about having time for typing. And my kids are grown, I have a husband who does his share, and my housekeeping standards are fairly lax. Compared to many, that load is light.
My mother-in-law and her sister (both in their 70s) apparently both want to read my novel. Which is full of gay sex. I asked my husband if they were aware of what it was about and he said, "Well, I told them it was urban fantasy set in Madison in the sixties."
Him: I told them it was a romance.
Ok, should be fine. Uh. Deep breaths. I made peace with my mom wanting to read it. I can get through this too.
I have far too much work and other stuff to do today, so I am resolutely resisting getting engaged with the current discourse on the harsh realities of the book biz on various social media. But readers and writers alike need to know these things.
Hey, #WritingCommunity people, what do you usually set your typeface to when getting your book printed? The default in Atticus (for EB Garamond) was 10 pt/1.6 pt btwn lines, but when I printed that it seemed small. 11 pt looks better, but maybe 1.6 is too big? Is there any standard at all?
Well, THIS is exciting! Just stumbled across MY OWN BOOK in the Libby online library catalogue. Library users, you can read a sample or sign up for release notifications now.
#Writing #AmWriting #WritingLife #AmWritingPoetry #TinyLittlePoem #AustralianPoetry #AustralianPoet #AussiePoet #Poetry #AWW2023 #KateLarsen #FremantlePress
More writers' medical problems:
Hyperplotting: a deep-seated compulsion to construct narratives that rely on the regular use of the word ‘suddenly’.
Complications Complex: a form of writer delusion where ‘Complicatedness’ is mistaken for ‘Complexity’.
Startled Narrative Disorder: a propensity to organise a story via liberal use of the word ‘suddenly’.
Hyper-elastic Temporal Insensibility. An acquired condition where the time between ‘now’ and ‘that deadline’ subjectively stretches so that weeks feel like years, decades or periods of time usually devoted to delineating geologic eras.
Deadline Whiplash. An acute neck injury caused when a writer realises that that far-off deadline is actually, really, unmovably next Tuesday.
Naturally, this list is not exhaustive. Writers are more than capable of inventing new conditions at the drop of a hat. It is only through regular donations to writing-related medical research that we can hope to ameliorate the effects of Writing Diseases. Give so that they may write.
Most writers, at one time or another, will suffer from at least one of the following diseases, conditions or injuries. Most are treatable and with appropriate therapy writers can look forward to living full and relatively normal lives.
Adjectivitis: condition especially pronounced at first draft, where adjectives spawn, multiply and run rampant through one’s writing.
Criticosis: a type of writing paralysis caused by overly active and insistent self-criticism.
Swelled Head Syndrome: condition that comes from reading too many glowing reviews. Rare.
Commadosis: A proliferation of commas so virile that they infect and convert all other punctuation.
Over Capitalisation: particularly common in Fantasy writing, where everything is made strangely Portentous by Splashing Capital Letters around Willy-Nilly.
Adverbia: the helpless need to add adverbs to every verb, relentlessly, inexorably, unstoppably.
The Grumps: envy stemming from the success of other writers. Common.
My Own Myopia: a form of selective blindness where a writer cannot see his or her own poor writing.
Forehead Haematoma: bruising to the brow, resulting from banging one’s head on the desk because of recalcitrant scenes, characters, plot developments etc.
Weighty Word Syndrome: a condition where every single word seems to weigh hundreds of kilos and requires commensurate effort to put in place. See ‘Immense Sentence Disorder’.
'The WGA Is On Strike — Here’s Why We’ll Win'
A primer on the Writers Guild of America's strike, what its members are fighting for, and why writers - and the film/TV industry - will ultimately come out on top.
#WGAStrong #WGA #screenwriting #writing #writingcommunity #screenwriter #business #amwriting #writinglife #film #movies #TV #television #writersstrike
Read here: https://open.substack.com/pub/colehaddon/p/the-wga-is-on-strike-heres-why-well?r=1mimd1&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
This conversation between @KateElliottSFF and Susan Dennard about self-doubt and writing careers is so thoughtful and inspirational, and I'm so glad to have watched it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YxmkE6ti4k
This, from Susan Dennard, is such a powerful and important post for mid-career authors: https://stdennard.substack.com/p/grieving-the-loss-of-a-dream
When I was still working as teacher and writing part time, one of my colleagues was a physics teacher who would proudly declare he hadn’t read a book since he finished Year 12.
He was my special case. I wouldn’t let it drop. I nagged, and nagged. I don’t know what worked, but one day he sidled up to be and said, ‘Get a look at this.’
He thrust a library card under my nose. It had his name on it.
‘I thought I’d give it a go,’ he said.
He wandered off. To bounce some lights through prisms or stare at an oscilloscope, no doubt.
I left it. I didn’t want to pressure him. But I was worried after a few weeks because I hadn’t heard anything.
Then one lunchtime, a month later, he finished his salad roll and speared me with a look. ‘I’m up to D,’ he said.
He explained. Being a methodical man, and new to this reading fiction business, he’d done the only natural thing and started his reading journey with the authors whose names started with ‘A’.
From then on he’d give me little updates: ‘The Fs aren’t much chop’; ‘Liked the Js’; ‘Not many Qs, are there?'
He left the school before he reached the end of the alphabet. I often wonder where his reading journey took him. Did he get to the end of Z and start again at A? Did he work backward? Did he start reading by title rather than author?
I'll never know, but I'll always imagine him as a reader, enjoying the Ws.
I fully support the beer theory of fantasy writing 😂
#Writing #Fantasy #EpicFantasy #HighFantasy #DarkFantasy #Grimdark
#Writer #Writers #Author #Authors #IndieAuthor
#Writinglife #WritingWonders #WritersOfMastodon #BoostingIsSharing
Pro-tip: when you write your novel, make sure you use lots of really long words - hyphenated if possible - so your book will have lots of pages and can be sold for a higher price, making you richer quicker. Long sentences are good, too. Same reason.
#writing #writingtips #writinglife #writingcommunity #writer
I may never win, or be nominated, for another award for my writing, but I know I write stories that people tell me they have trouble putting down. Are they everyone's cup of tea? No. Are they in line with the current meta, as the gamers would say? Also nope. But I'm writing the kind of stories I want to see, as well as I can. and trying to get better as I go. And that's good enough for me. #Writing #WritingLife
It's a very liberating feeling when one realizes that you'll almost certainly never be the very, very best at something, but that you can still be very good. It's like the passage in SNOW CRASH where Hiro realizes that truly world-class bad motherfuckerdom is out of reach because he doesn't have a personal nuke, but that he's still an above-average badass. #Writing #WritingLife
There are sticklers, and then there are stone cold pedants: 'Mickey Spillane ordered 50,000 copies of his 1952 novel 'Kiss Me, Deadly' to be pulped when the comma was left out of the title.'
#writing #writers #writingcommunity #writinglife
I just posted an article on Medium. I hope it strikes a cord with writers new and experienced a like.
My new novel (deconstructed). All you have to do is arrange these letters to suit ...
Angela Carter, 1968. This image was a Tweet from Dr. Dickon Edwards @dickon_edwards on the site that shall not be named. If I had one writer who has influenced me beyond any other, it would be Angela Carter. I taught her work in night school classes, and she visits me in dreams sometimes, dispensing writing advice in the form of puzzles I must solve. #AngelaCarter #AmWriting #WritingCommunity #WritingLife #FairyTale
So last night I dreamed that someone wanted me to write something, but only if I assembled it out of letters that were on scraps of paper — like a ransom note. They weren’t going to pay me. I yelled, “Really?! I HAVE A MASTER’S DEGREE, KEVIN*” and it echooooooed. #writingcommunity #writinglife
Think carefully before you give a character a prop. Glasses are adorable, but you have to keep track of them in every scene.
My threads earlier this week about the realities of life as an author have clearly struck a resounding chord, and have been widely shared. I very much appreciate the positive feedback.
For ease of reference and referral, I have put these thoughts up on my blog as posts.
#WritingCommunity #WritingLife #books #bookstodon
A note on the importance of up to date info for novelists
A few thoughts on the reality of life as an author in 2023
@pergus @JenniferdeGuzman I could have been sharing my fiction online 20 years ago, but I had this fixed idea that my work wasn't legitimate unless it had been published by the New York cartel.
We writers need to stop taking orders from spooks asserting squatters' rights in our heads.
Sometimes, difficulty in writing comes from trying to write the wrong part of the story; part of your brain knows better and is trying to redirect you. Figured part of that out today, including the need to ditch a subplot. #Writing #Writinglife
I’m trying to write a blog post and plan to write more in the future. But I’m having a hard time resisting the voice that says any essays I write have to be academia-tight to share with anyone! Hoping to have something ready by next week. #writinglife #WritingCommunity
In conclusion, bearing in mind I signed my first publishing contract is 1997? Write because you want to write. Write because you enjoy it. Write because other folk enjoy reading your stories, however long or short they may be. Write to make money on the terms that work for you personally. You don't have to justify those choices to anyone. Good luck!
By all means consider self-publishing, in this age of ebooks and print on demand. Be aware that success defined as making a living doing this means non-writing tasks will demand minimum 50% of your available time. Offering a quality product is crucial. You must pay for professional editing. Unless you have the skills, you'll need to pay for layout, cover art, design. Discoverability is a massive hurdle. Marketing is hard.
Print on demand and ebooks have changed the business models on backlist income and shorter form fiction. Digital audiobooks have changed that market. Digital-first publishing is another innovation. The pace of change is rapid, which is why you need to keep up to date.
Retain as many rights as you possibly can, grant rights for a defined number of years and make sure all rights have a clearly set-out reversion clause.
By all means submit to the big lists, but also look beyond the lure of the mass-market, global publisher deal. Find out about smaller presses publishing books like yours. Their deals may well offer better returns for the writer per copy sold and more regular payments, as well as more personal and committed working relationships.
A lot of people shared my earlier post about the biggest misconception I see about being a writer these days. Feedback has included people asking what I might have to say about the reality of being a writer in 2023. Here are some of the things that come up most often in conversation.
A lot depends on what you're looking for as an author starting out. Do you have to pay the bills? Are you looking for a secondary income? Most authors start out part-time. A few go full-time later.
I have thoughts on the concept of "literary citizenship" especially as I have a book coming out next week. The process has made me realize how much of #writing is generosity--that the solitude at the desk is the long (generative!) shadow of all the structures that make it possible for me to write and be part of a literary community.
My #Substack post is seven ways that I've given or been the recipient of good literary citizenship.
'Screenwriting Tales from My Life in Hollywood'
These essays about my career in the US film/TV business will hopefully leave aspiring screenwriters better prepared than I was when I arrived in LA.
Read here: https://firstname.lastname@example.org/screenwriting-tales-from-my-life-in-hollywood-ba6b6b44b055?sk=594a1f422f00b8cb783ba5f68f5fe892
#screenwriting #screenwritingtips #writing #writinglife #writingtips #writingcommunity #screenwriter #amwriting #movies #film #cinema #TV #television #Hollywood
The angry pink sky
Spews her vitriol across
Night's weeping canvas.
#DailyHaikuPrompt #DailyHaiku #pink #rainy #rain #sunset #nature #haiku #micropoetry #smallpoems #literary #575prompt #poetry #poem #poetryblog #blog #blogging #blogger #bloggersofmastodon #poetrycommunity #writingcommunity #writing #community #writinglife #writerslife #writersofmastodon #writer #poetsofmastodon #poet #authorsofmastodon #author #clirwin #authorclirwin
One strategy that helps me is to consider the "final image" as a separate thing from the "what happens." For a long time, I sort of conflated the two, and it made it a lot harder for me to figure out the best landing for my stories.
#WritingCommunity #WritingCraft #AmWriting #AmEditing #WritersofMastodon #Writing #WritingCraft #Endings #WritingConversations #WritingLife
@marnanel Here's some unsolicited #writingAdvice about getting editorial attention. Please forgive me if I misunderstood.
[S]ometimes the rewrites are necessary to get the editor to look at it in the first place
I sense you are talking about trying to interest an agent or when submitting over the transom (when submitting an unsolicited manuscript).
This is so very difficult. Rewriting and rewriting a story when you haven't yet sold and are receiving rejection notices will make you crazy. It did me. Better to focus your polishing effort on what is needed. If an editor likes your story, they will be willing to give you an "editorial order" to make it sellable.
Having gone through this process before and after commercial publication, here are my thoughts. What follows is NOT a rule to follow, but what one author experienced and understands. It likely repeats advice from dozens of writers, so sorry if it is nothing new (I shy away these days from fundamental writing advice.) Decide for yourself if it is helpful.
You need pay special attention to:
The first three pages of the novel.
Your best middle chapter.
The last three pages of the novel.
A brief outline or treatment
This is what the editorial staff/agent wants and will look at, and might only glance at. Time is money, and if they don't know you they don't know you and will cut you no slack.
Concentrate on the first double-spaced 1/2 page of text in your novel. Either your character or your plot must make the reader want to continue to the next page. This, of course, is the hook. Be honest with yourself. If this was someone else's book and you were paying $3.99 or $12.99, would you be drawn in? If and only if those first paragraphs are good will the editor read a few more pages. If you are going to rewrite anywhere, this is probably the place to do it. That, or maybe search through the story until you find the real beginning. There should be action or emotion or a high stakes situation, or maybe a mind-blowing idea. Beware of front-loading description; if you do, it must be mind-blowingly evocative. The beginning three pages is where you demonstrate you are a capable author.
Next, concentrate on the middle chapter. Rewrite it if necessary until is shines. Ensure by any means that there are no typos or grammar issues. Demonstrate the pacing and the character development, or make the reader cry.
Yes, those nasty beastly editors read the last page(!), and sometimes they read it before the beginning. Same criteria goes for the beginning as the end. Make those last three pages tight and powerful, or at least expressive.
I suck at outlines. Treatments are hard, too. Regardless of your ability, write either summary-type so you concisely express the character's dilemma and exactly how they solve it, or set up the plot points and how they all resolve. You must reveal everything, and be brief at the same time. Don't hide anything. Give away everything. It's a treatment/outline, not a mystery story. Unless the story is amazing, if the editor feels you're hiding something they will assume it's something that wrecks the story. No reputable publisher will take your idea and have someone else write it. It's not worth it (legally or reputation-wise) and there is a glut of stories for them to evaluate.
This advice works for any novel, because you don't want to make yourself crazy by rewriting endlessly. I admit that it is of minimum utility for fan-fic. For self-publication, except for the treatment (which could be trimmed to a jacket blurb/long description), it probably amounts to a best practice.
What's important is getting to a point where you can look at a story and recognize you've written crap, or that parts are bad. Better than endless rewriting in the beginning of a career is to to write another story, then another, then... Practice makes perfect.
#fiction #fantasy #sf #sff #sciencefiction #writing #writer #writers #author #writingcommunity #writingLife #writingTeacherConversations
@peculiarjulia Thank you for your thoughtful response. It made me think.
I'd say evil is not just a verb[, evil] 's a choice.
Emphasis mine. By "verb," I mean evil is expressed by individuals through their actions. "Choice" implies reasons to take action, and that's tied up with culture and quite a bit more. You've given me the opportunity to address that. What follows, I think, is important for #writers and #authors of #fiction as well as #nonfiction. It may be philosophically relevant.
CW: TL;DR, relative evil, cultural evil.
Before I start, I will self-identify as a cultural relativist. I've studied non-western cultures, and have visited and lived outside my parent western culture. Most individuals in a culture see theirs as right, good and moral, some even as the best—assuming they have anything to compare to and have the inclination to make that comparison. With training, I can put aside my cultural biases and understand (to an extent) how other people feel about their own culture.
The actions we take are predicated on many things, but let me list three: Inculturation, experience, and held principles.
Everyone is taught what's right and wrong for their culture. One's experiences, good or bad, including peer pressure, determine how you implement what you are taught. Last, you form principles that conform or conflict with your culture or peer pressure, and act on them.
So, do you wear male or female clothes?
What clothing you wear is profoundly influenced by your culture. Think kimonos and sari, business suits and red dresses. Clothing is an identity as well as armor. It's also gender affirming.
In the news as I write this, in some places in the US, if the clothes you wear do not conform to a cultural norm, people in that culture are willing to label you as evil. Excuse the reductionism here, but I'm making a point that you can expand.
Think about what it would feel like wearing the clothing of the opposite sex. Think about performing your daily routine, work, shopping, socializing, dressed that way. Take it one further, what about not wearing any clothing?
What you would feel doing as I asked is the effect of your inculturation. At its core, inculturation is programming to force you to conform to cultural standards. Repeated exposure to cultural dissonance (what you feel violating the norm) can lessen the effect of what you feel, even allow you to feel no effect. It could become a principle that anyone can wear whatever they want, if you go that far. Further, if you choose to accept the principle, to ignore your inculturation, much of the negativity you feel ignoring your inculturation disappears. Note, this could leave you labeled as perverted or immoral or a criminal.
We live in a society with lots of subcultures (assuming, for the moment, the US). From our own subcultural perspective, other subcultures can seem anything from ridiculous to evil. Again, reductionism—I'd do better given days to think this essay through.
The truth about inculturation is that it exists to allow us to act without thinking about it.
This is necessary. It allows people to predict the actions of people they don't know and those they do know. It allows people work in harmony with often similar goals through shared agreed upon principles. It allows us to recognize us and differentiate from them.
The not thinking part is significant. Not having to think negates choice, or the need for it.
So... is evil a choice?
No sane person goes outside saying to themself, "I will perform evil today." (They may recognize that they are doing so, but that's a different topic.) They go outside and do something their culture says is appropriate. Whether another culture, or person, considers this action evil is a relative thing.
At one time it was culturally appropriate to own a slave. Actually considering the implications of this statement from an historical, modern, and culturally relative perspective will likely break your head. It is sobering to realize that slavery still exists: https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/countries-that-still-have-slavery
The complexity here is enormous. As a novelist giving advice for authors, keep in mind the concept that evil is complex. I advise you not to minimize. Exploit these perspectives to make your reader think about their own biases, and whether they perform evil themselves.This is the function of literature.
When people act evil or do evil things, they don't do it in a vacuum.
#philosophy #evil #slavery #culture #society #ethnology #culturalrelativism #writer #writingAdvice #writingLife #writingCommunity #sciencefiction #fantasy #writingWonders
"yes but how can I be sure that I'm *REALLY * ..."
Whatever you're wanting to put at the end of that sentence, whether it's "a writer", "gay", "an artist", "trans", "nonbinary" or whatever other way of being you're not sure you have the right to claim:
The fact that you doubt yourself is not proof that you're an imposter.
Some people are born with the unshakable knowledge that they are [ that].
Some people figure out what they are later in life.
Some people CHOOSE what they are and why the hell shouldn't they? Why let bigots force us into a corner of "only born that way is real"?
Some people CHANGE and that is also fine. The person you might be in the future doesn't invalidate who you are now. Even if they are radically different.
You get to decide who you are. End of.
#ActuallyAutistic #nonbinary #trans #TransLivesMatter #WritingLife
it's not quite purple
a surge of violet blue
A deeper vision!
#dailyhaikuprompt - purple
#MastoPrompt - surge
#artwork #artist #AYearForArt #mastoart #fediart #haiku #poetry #writing #writingcommunity #smallpoems #artists #writers #poets #poems #poem #poet #poem #writer #abstract #abstractart #homedecor #interiordesign #art #ArtMatters #BuyIntoArt #writer #writers #writinglife #violet #colorful #colorfulart
Also, good but not quite as long (1 2/3 hours): Solve Your Story Structure Problems In 11 Steps - Pat Verducci [Full Interview]: https://youtu.be/RPGTIqHBmUE.
#writing #writingcommunity #writingtips #writersofmastodon #authorsofmastodon #writinglife #writer #screenwriter #screenwriting #film #cinema #movies #drama #dramaticstructure #poet #poem #poetry #poetsofmastodon #acting #actor #actress #theater #theatre #play #playwright
Method Writing: The First Four Concepts - Jack Grapes [Full Interview]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba9jAVzADY0&list=TLPQMjMwMzIwMjPEiDVF7wwa2w&index=2&ab_channel=FilmCourage. This video is LONG (almost 3 1/2 hours!) but worthwhile.
#methodwriting #method #writing #writingcommunity #writingtips #story #storystructure #plot #characters #character #writersofmastodon #authorsofmastodon #writinglife #writer #screenwriter #screenwriting #film #cinema #movies #poet #poem #poetry #poetsofmastodon #methodacting #acting #actor #actress #theater #theatre #play #playwright
a quarter century flies
parallel to the white stork
I am a mother.
#DailyHaikuPrompt - Stork
#MastoPrompt - quarter
#art #artwork #artist #artists #ArtMatters #AYearForArt #artistsofmastodon #mastoart #fediart #haiku #poetry #writing #writingcommunity #smallpoems #micropoetry #poet #poem #poets #poems #writer #writers #writinglife #mom #mother #mothersday #baby #babies #children #kids #child #motherhood #mommy #birth #birthday #love #loveart #family #daughter
#writers are there any accounts or hashtags to follow that post current short story markets?
Please share here 😊
@scifi #writersofmastodon #amwriting #shortstory #publishing #indie @bookstodon @actuallyautistic #writinglife #flashfiction
Sounds in your living space while writing or creating art?
Good music without lyrics can speed my creativity and provide focus. You? Choose all that apply. Add your own by replying.
All creatives welcome!
Please boost for a better sample size! #BoostingIsSharing
#writing #writer #writers #writingcommunity #author #art #fineart #photography #coffee #tea #music #writinglife #writingWonders
I dedicated my student book to my niece, who was ~8 at the time.
She just texted me a photo: That book is in her sorority house, and some of her friends used it in class. ❤️
At the 2023 WGA Awards, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND scribe Charlie Kaufman came out swinging at an industry that systemically devalues screenwriters -- reminding us we work for the world, *not* Hollywood. His words apply to all of the arts.
Read/watch his essential speech here, including a bit more commentary on it from me: https://email@example.com/charlie-kaufman-reminds-screenwriters-they-work-for-the-world-not-hollywood-c3fc7aa3463a
#screenwriting #writing #writinglife #creativewriting #storytelling #art #artist #inspiration #writingcommunity #amwriting
What is your revision process?
Eg, how long do you set your first draft aside for?
Do you get readers (and what do you call them? Ex. "ideal," "alpha," "beta," "first," etc)? If so, at what stage?
Did you have to learn a revision process or did it come to you naturally?
#writingCommunity #writinglife #writing #revising #editing #amediting #amrevising
Heads up for the weekend crowd! We all have constraints on our book budgets, so here's some good news. The Green Man's Gift is a Kindle UK 99p special offer throughout March. Wizard's Tower Press aims to match this with other vendors, so check for your local best price. Happy reading!
#books #Bookstodon #WritingCommunity #writinglife #UrbanFantasy #fantasy #SFF
Do you like books? Do you like forests? Would you like to read a book about a really scary forest?
#booktodon #horror #writinglife
I'm not going to lie. It was structurally necessary. But that was a brutal edit. 😭 Onward.
How to Write a Book.
1. Write a word.
2. Repeat Step 1 80,000 times but with different words.
#writing #writingtips #writinglife #writingcommunity #writerslife #writersofmastodon