Sunday, May 23, 2010

My writing week 3 (20)

Hi all,

It's been a tough few weeks but I'm getting back into writing, reading about writing and reading fiction. I forgot to mention the Jennifer Bryne Presents' episode on Bestsellers and Blockbusters. The panel was made up of Mathew Reilly, Di Morrisey, Bryce Courtenay and Lee Child. It was an excellent show with the bestselling authors having a go at so called writers of literature who they said were jealous because they couldn't write bestsellers, even if they tried.

Bryce mentioned that when he is writing he is aware of four protagonists: the two very important characters and the one they play off, and the reader. I was thinking about the two first draft novels I have written and both have two important characters and another they play off. I am not sure about the fourth protagonist, although I don't think as I write: this will make the reader work. I don't treat the reader as a moron either, but if something is important to the plot, I try to make it as clear as possible. One of the criticisms of the panel was that literature writers want the reader to do the work, whereas bestselling authors have already done the work for their readers. They also said that if a reader didn't understand their books, then it was their fault as the writer, unlike literature authors who blamed the reader.

As a paid up member of Aussiecon 4, I get to vote in the Hugo awards. I was not going to bother because I doubted I would have read any of the nominees, but a few weeks ago Aussiecon4 sent me a url address and a code to download copies of all the nominees' works. I downloaded all the science fiction nominees and will start reading the short stories and work my way up through the novellas and novelettes. Not sure if I will get to the novels in time. It would be nice to think that everyone who votes in a particular category would have read all the nominees, thus giving the Hugo's a bit more credibility. I have previously criticised the Hugos and other popular voted awards of lacking the prestige of those awarded by judging panels.

I have read a bit this week about ebooks, particularly the ipad. Universally they say that Its display is bad, being unreadable in bright light. Users suggest it is great for checking emails, the web and reading ebooks, but at $629, for the cheapest model, why not get a $260 kindle if you are just going to use it for ebooks and then use your notebook or iphone for connecting to the internet when you are on the move. Telstra and Optus have price plans for the ipad starting at $20 for 1GB of data, but the Kindle has no extra ongoing costs after it is purchased. I think ipad will fail as an ebook reader and Apple's bookstore will fail under the might of Amazon.

I was surprised to read on a literary agent's blog that she was surprised that the 25% an author gets for an ebook from their publisher, would not be 25% of the listed price on Apple bookstore, but 25% of the 70% the publisher gets of the listed price. I thought that would have been obvious.

So with all my reading/watching of all things book related, did I make time to write? Yes. I am still editing the novella - changing it a bit too. I have a plan that involves me writing for at least 20 hours a week. Four hours on weekdays and whatever on weekends. This should drastically increase my output. I just hope life doesn't intervene with too much. There are still a lot of things to be done after my father's death, but at least the Brisbane Lions are ensuring I lose interest in watching them play.


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