Monday, February 9, 2015

Books and Stuff

Some people like to read. Some don't. I do (sometimes). [something goes here but I don't know what] (sometimes). However, I don't think there is anyone in the world who doesn't like hearing a story.

Some people like to watch movies. Some don't. I do (sometimes). ditto third sentence in the above paragraph. And the fourth.

We're here today to talk about books. When we read a story, we of course imagine the characters in each situation they're placed in and what they do; how they react. The next step of course is putting ourselves in the same situation, especially if it's something difficult or scary. (At least it is for me. Maybe it's a survival mechanism of some kind.)

There are so many stories out there, so many plots, characters, settings, morals. If there were say just twenty-seven plots ever and only a hundred and thirteen characters to choose from ever and only seventy-three settings to choose from ever, then there are trillions of different stories that could be written if that were the case. (You probably thought I was going to tell you the exact number of different story combinations that could be made, but I'm not going to. You can do it yourself.) It is not the case. There are far more plots than just twenty-seven, an infinite number of different characters, and an infinite number of settings. This makes for an infinite number of stories that could be written.

Duh. We already knew that, Ed.

So the question is, why isn't everybody making up more stories? Limited resources is not a valid excuse, based on what I said earlier. The answer? I have no idea. But I do know some very creative people and what they've come up with. Authors and Writers get to play on a very large playground and they love it. most of the time they come from backgrounds that aren't really serious about writing, but some try to get paid to do it. Imagine getting paid to play on a play ground. Of course, if we continue this analogy, if you're paid to play, you have to play. There's no monkeying around on the teeter totter too long, but if you're not, then you may never get to play on the teeter totter. Instead, you have to play on something that doesn't require much concentration. No, don't say 'I'm okay with the swings!' here. This is the end of the analogy.

This brings me to my first point: The moment you ask yourself  'maybe I could be a published writer.' This is practically the end of your writing career. You have to say 'I am going to be a published writer.' Of course, if you say maybe, then you are probably not cut out for that lifestyle. I know that I am certainly not cut out for that life style. I love writing, but I could never do it professionally. Maybe I could be a published writer, but it will have to wait. There are more important things to me right now. (did see what I did there?)

Though it's empty right now, you can check out my other blog here for a hint as to what is more important to me right now in case you were wondering.

There may be a day when I write stories and publish them, but they will be public domain and no publishing company will be allowed to make money off of them. How can this be? Really, I'm already doing just that right here. What I write is public domain as far as I am concerned, but I can't speak for my writerly friends, but I think they're pretty lenient themselves.

My second point is that writing, whether you do it as an amateur or a professional, is fun.

I don't know anyone that has written a book that didn't enjoy doing it. In fact, off the top of my head I don't know of anyone who wrote an actual novel that didn't enjoy writing it. They may have sweated over a few parts of it if they were trying to meet a deadline, but overall they probably enjoyed it.

I have shelved several ideas after losing interest, which I feel a little bad about, but I don't count these as failures, but rather unfinished projects that I will go back when I have the time and interest. If writing is simply a pastime, then I think it is perfectly normal to have a graveyard of old ideas, but keep in mind that you can always go back and rob the graves, even if you're only after the valuables. That can be fun too: combining old ideas with new ones to come up with truly remarkable spellbinders. The bottom line is that writing is fun. It just is. There is no other way to put it.

My third point is: if you are not a writer, you are missing out.

I haven't read many books where the story stops for me at the end of the last page. After finishing the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, I couldn't leave it alone. It was such a good idea. A teen spy. I was just a little younger than the main character when I read it; I enjoyed thinking about the other possibilities for Alex's life. What if another Intelligence agency blackmailed him again into working for them? Alex was not a Joanna Mason, without anyone in the world he cared about. If you are not sure of what I'm talking about, that's okay. I barely know myself what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I haven't met many many people who haven't in some way tried to alter the story after the story is over to make it fun for them. Both my sister's do it. My mom has done it. My brothers....I don't know about my brothers. Oh, I bet my brothers have done it too. The point is, people that read books have an imagination. That imagination is imagining what the author describes as you are reading the book. and it doesn't want to stop imagining after the author tells it to stop. Most authors and writers (myself included) would be thrilled if their story inspired you, the reader, enough to make you want to add on to it; to write fan fiction about it, even.

Where am I going with this? Well, I am going to be as bold as to say that if you have ever done any of the above, you are already a writer in spirit. What you are missing out on then is the actual writing part. I don't care if it is just fan fiction. That's fine. It's like training wheels. Eventually you won't need them anymore, and you'll write your own stories independent from anyone else's. The point I'm trying to make here is: If you have an idea, no matter how dumb it is, write it down! You will have a ton of fun. Think of Twilight. Many would would agree that it is rather dull story that offers little or no merit, and yet it was wildly popular when it came out. I'll admit that the story I'm working on right now by myself is not in any way unique. It's been done before, and my version, right now, would sound dumb to anyone but me and a few close, understanding writing buddies. (My writing buddies and myself are not dumb; we have simply attained a higher understanding of the way each others minds work.)

Well there you have it. I have covered my perfect three points about writing. This was not a shout out, or anything. Just a friendly post about what I think writing books is all about. I hope you enjoyed my first post on this blog which has been in existence for months with nothing on it. Sorry about that, people who thought the URL was being wasted.

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