Tag Archives: reading

Black March

For those of you who don’t know me, I spend a lot of time on Google Plus. I love the relationships, news and information I’ve encountered there. Being on there, I have been informed, enlightened and surprised. At times that surprise isn’t a good thing. It was through google plus that I first learned about the SOPA, PIPA and ACTA bills. All of them have a ‘stop piracy’ lean to them, but they do so at the cost of censoring the internet and invading privacy of the individual. Today, I got a great surprise.

Thanks to the efforts of a handful of incredible people. (Moan Lisa, Shauna Myers, Giuseppe Russo, Gianmario Scotti) I have learned about an effort to support, feature and encourage an open market by supporting the independent authors, artists and musicians around the world. The goal of Black March is to show the major individuals that influence how and where we purchase our entertainment, that we won’t tolerate their pushing the little guy out of the picture. I think this is a fantastic movement and I know I’m personally committing to the supporting Black March.

The best way to show your support for this movement is to purchase your entertainment this month from Independent Artists in all areas of entertainment. Take a moment and read a new author, support a new musician, and share your experiences with the world.

 

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Reader Interview Results: Tensing

As I’m finishing my first book and a number of supplemental stories, I’m hearing a lot about this. Some readers can’t get passed the first page because it is written in present tense, while others have been draw in to the point of distraction. Obviously this has had me reflecting on the books I’ve read as well. It’s left me with the question: What tense do most find appealing? To resolve this curiosity, I conducted informal interviews with many avid readers about the topic. I’ve included information from 3 of the lengthier conversations I had.

Continue reading

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On Editing

The book in question is an urban fantasy paperback, traditionally published by Harper Collins, under their Eos imprint. It has close to 400 pages and I’ve read 125, getting more and more annoyed as I read further.

Is the story not that great then? Not at all. It’s an OK concept, decent characters, written in the 1st person – which I don’t usually enjoy, unless it’s Robin Hobb, she does 1st person very very well. But it’s OK. It’s not the best book I’ve ever read, but it should be a good story. It has fights, vampires, lycanthropes, other monsters, a decent plot and some interesting side plots and diversions and plenty going for it – and it’s part of a nice long series. I love a good long series, they can keep me reading for book after book and I’ll read every single book in a series if I can get my hands on them.

But there’s something wrong, and that has me annoyed.

Here’s why. Continue reading

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When to Shut the #$*% Up!

Swear words or profanities are used in almost all pieces of literature today. My question is about the usage of them. Sometimes you might read or write a piece of work where the main character’s bad language becomes somewhat prolific.  General advice has always been to stay clear of using such words but to avoid them might not be true to the characters. And here lies my dilemma.

‘Well *@%~ me, Bill! What can I say?’

This depends on who your readers are. I’ve used swear words/profanities, at some points in both of my novels, but I’d never dream of using them if I was writing a children’s book or a book of religion.

Times and trends change, but I still believe the mainstream market doesn’t like lots of swearing – it’s all depends on whether it’s appropriate to the tale. I think the market plays a huge part here in dictating what type of characters you create. This being so, the problem should solve itself. Some characters won’t ring true unless they swear and the market will then accept the swearing in this case.

But you still run the risk of offending someone as you cannot always be sure just who is going to read your piece! My mother was very proud and pleased when I handed her a paperback copy of The Assassins’ Village, but she did admit that the bad language employed by my heroine when she was under duress made it difficult for her to read.

There are ways round this. I wouldn’t substitute a harsh swear word for something  banal like “oh darn it”, I’d be more inclined to say , “she swore violently”. There again you could show the character’s anger by their action or thoughts –or by simple omission – describing a look or a body action.

It comes down to genre, potential readership and the setting and era of your storyline, using realism as the key and being aware that readers can be turned off by bad language, especially if it’s too gratuitous.

I believe I’m a moderate profanity user. I occasionally use the F word, different assorted B words but never the C word, which is the one word most readers find offensive. And hopefully I’m always within the context of my dialogue.  Remember less is often more.

Yes I curse when I drop something heavy on my foot, or I miss the last train home, but it is tedious to read a constant F word throughout a book.

So research your market! What do you think?

Good reading to you all and thank you for your interest.

Faith Mortimer

Faith will be a regular contributor to the Independent Writers Association.

You can also read other blog posts by Faith on her website http://www.faithmortimersauthor.com

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