Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Business or Pleasure

Every time I book a trip Expedia asks me that. Now Criminal Minds is following suit its own devious way. Has becoming published changed my reading habits? Can I take the Fifth?

--Sinister (Off Screen) Voice: No! You must answer!

Really? Alright then - the answer is: of course it has - but not in the ways you might think. First off becoming a published writer has meant many, MANY, hours staring at computer screens and the virtually indecipherable scrawl of my own handwriting. As a result I can't read a damn thing without wearing contacts or glasses.

--Sinister Voice: That's not what we're talking about. Don't make us hurt you.

Okay. Take it easy, I'm getting to it. (Seriously though, can anyone not born on Krypton read line 11 - why do they even have that on there?)

Anyway - beyond the eye chart, I've found the same pitfalls as CJ and the other bloggers here. It sort of sucks when you spend your time trying to figure out what the author is doing, it worse when you succeed. Like when a character announces that "they hate snakes" it immediately tells you that: they're are going to be some big ass damn snakes on the big ass damn plane. (Thought I was going Indiana Jones on that one didn't you ?)

--Sinister Voice: No.

Really? Cause I was going to, for a moment. Then I switched on you, cause I'm tricky.

--Sinister Voice (bored): Please get on with it. I have a tractor pull commercial to record in an hour and the traffic is going to be bad.
Fine. So, yes, being a writer can make it annoying to read books that are not quite up to code. But to me that's not the biggest problem. A far bigger issue arises when you read something incredible. Something brilliant and powerful enough to make you forget you're supposed to be examining and dissecting and studying the framework of the piece.

Because when that happens and you close this masterwork and compare your own writing to it you think: "Dude - I am nothing but a freaking hack!"

This is the real problem with being published and also knowing how to read.

--Sinister Voice: I'm not sure there's anyway around that.

I suppose not but it would certainly be easier on the ego. And that's why writing is such a painful job. You can only really learn from your own mistakes and other peoples greatness -

--Sinister Voice: That's not true. Stop mis-informing our readers.

What are you talking about, Sinister Voice?

--Sinister Voice : Go to Chapter 15 of Black Rain. Or Chapter 45. Or Chapter 22.

(Sound of pages turning)

--Sinister Voice: Read it.

Oh man, I wrote this a long time ago... I just... Hey wait a minute.

--Sinister Voice: You like it?

Yeah. This is good stuff. Man I forgot how good this is. Hey maybe there is a benefit, maybe being published does have some advantages after all, maybe the fact that you can find your own best works and look at them and be proud of them.

Thank you, Sinister Voice: Maybe people won't think I'm a hack after all. At least, that is, until they read this blog.

---Graham Brown is the sleep deprived author of Black Rain and its forth coming sequel Black Sun (August 31st). He will be appearing at the RT conference in Columbus Ohio, this week.

---Sinister Voice is an undefined entity and will be appearing in the Fresno Area, doing radio commentary for the Fresno Tractor Pull and an upcoming WWE match.


Terry Stonecrop said...

Love the sinister voice.

I'm sure you're not a hack. You're on my book list, so you can't be.

Meredith Cole said...

Very funny! Glad I'm not the only one who can't read that bottom line on the eye chart.

Graham Brown said...

Hi Terry - you make a valid point. I'm going to have to remember that.

Hi Meridith - seriously - I would need binoculars to read that line. I don't thinkl they allow that.

Shane Gericke said...

Magnify the line till it pixellates, then I might be able to read it. Except for all the ^&$% pixels.

And you're not a hack. Mr. Sinister Voice is clearly a girlie-man.