Spilling Hot Chocolate over the Latest Drama: AuthorTube

dragon and coffee
Amy Brown

It seems that if you go on YouTube and look at either BookTube or AuthorTube channels, most of them are spilling either tea or coffee over issues that some have with the writing community that is on YouTube. But let me preface this discussion with let’s go back to the evens of the summer, that we writers had to deal with. Granted, not every member of AuthorTube, put forth their say or opinion on #cockygate. I feel this alone has brought forth a divide in the community.

Also some of the issues that are being discussed or being shamed upon is other’s creative processes. This one I’m bringing out the red flag challenge on (big time). Let’s face it my creative process is probably not like everyone else’s and that is fine. I don’t want to take on everyone else’s creative process. While I have not fully stated my creative process on my platform, I feel that everyone, whether you are a writer, painter, knitter, singer, or whatever art you create, each person has their own creative process. Whatever that process is, no one, and I repeat: no one should be shamed for that. Yes, some have some out of the box methods and that is totally fine. I feel that this should not be an issue within the writing community.

Another issue that some have raised up with their voices is the difference between quantity versus quality. If there is one writing aspect that could be looked at for this is our beloved NaNoWriMo. No, I’m not throwing NaNoWriMo under the bus, but rather bringing up the mentality that some have in regards to NaNoWirMo in general. Let’s give an example, you plan out NaNoWriMo, you write your project, and then you spend the next several months editing, re-drafting and repeat the process until you have it completed as far as it can go. Then you either try to traditionally publish your work or you self-publish that work in the fall. That way by the time it’s published, it’s time for NaNoWriMo again. That is how you spent the whole year. Now, if your friend took part in NaNoWriMo and completed the first draft, but never touched that work through out the year, then in some cases your friend becomes shamed for not touching their project again.

I don’t like this at all. Let’s face it life happens, yes, we have goals that we have. But also there comes a time when you have to put it on the shelf again for a while. Over this past year, when I was at one of the conferences, someone said that if you wrote that first draft and are afraid of the second draft phase, then it’s fine to put it on the shelf for a while and move on to something else. There is nothing wrong with that. Lord knows I have done that a time or two, and it does help make it a stronger project, due to the fact that I’m reworking the project based on what I know now, versus what I knew then when I first wrote that initial draft. Part of being a writer is to grow, and if no one is going to allow you to grow as a writer, let alone an artist, then maybe it’s time to re-look at the messages that we get from the community.

I’m not saying dismiss the community, but rather view each messenger as a whole and decide if what they are saying is the best use of your time. Let’s all face it, everyone of the AuthorTubers have put out the same type of videos on tips and tricks. While listening to some of them, their message is just like or similar to another person in the community. Therefore, ask yourself do we need to see another video on YouTube on the “Top Five Mistakes that Show you are a new Writer?”

I have seen that video a lot pop up on my feed a time or two. I get it or rather we all get it, there are new writers out there, and part of being a new writer is making mistakes and learning from them. Sorry, no one wrote a perfect essay their first time out in school. Why? It’s because we all had to learn to write the freaking essay and what is involved in writing a freaking essay. It’s true. Sure some one got an ‘A’ on that first essay, but that ‘A’ was more encouragement then saying that essay was perfect.

Now here is where I must admit, sure I follow AuthorTubers, do I take what they say to heart? Not all the time, I would say more like some of the time. I mean over the course of the year, I somewhat lost my trust in AuthorTube due to the fact, that a big portion of them did not speak up about AuthorTube, or about the changes that are currently going on with KDP and Createspace. I mean if most of them can put out the same “Five Tips on Editing your Draft,” then surely they could have put out a video or two on the drama that some of us authors dealt with over the summer.

I hate to say it, but just like most of the United States is divided over politics, the AuthorTube Community is also dived. There I said it, and I feel that those that did not say anything during the cockygate trials are now finding their voice to talk about this subject. I’ll give them a hand in that, for it looks like the drama pot has been stirred up  once again. But the question, is did it need to be brought up before NaNoWriMo? I mean seriously? Did it?

Granted, I started this month by posting that in order to get ready for NaNoWriMo, we need to go down the path without any drama. Part of that drama came from the events of cockygate. I think that I said, but if I didn’t, NaNoWriMo was to be our time to put away the drama and to focus on what we like doing the best, writing. Could we have that? No freaking way! There’s a reason why there is a children’s table during the holidays. As well as sayings such as, “Can’t we all just get along?”

This year, has shown us one thing, and that is clearly the answer: NO! I mean it’s a real shame. It is a real shame! We are writers, and we say that we want to help others, but if those on YouTube can’t get it together and acknowledge issues within the community then what’s the point of having this community on YouTube or any other platform?

Am I giving up on this platform? No, I mean to say that live up to what I said that I would do, and that is to help writer’s achieve their writing goals. I don’t shame or dismiss any writer based on their status in the community, their creative process, or anything else that could get them shamed by others in the community. We are writers, all competing for the same job, which is to help our readers escape from the real world for a few chapters at a time from the front cover to the back cover. But if we cannot help or even recognize others in the community then we no longer become a sea of voices joining together, for we become sea of voices trying to over topple one another.

While this post was more about community then about writing. I hope that you have a great writing day, even if that means venting out frustrations.

 

 

 

 

Thoughts over a cup of Coffee…But is there is something new about the site?

dragon and coffee
Amy Brown

This morning, I woke up to take my nephew to his first day of school. That’s right, school is back in session and for many of us, we take that as the start of a new year. Granted, we are still in August and we have a few more months until the actual start of the new calendar year. But I thought, that I would spruce up the sight. There is a new header on the site, and a new template design that has been given to the site. But I can assure you that the content of the site is still the same.

From the beginning, I have always that stated that Faerie Rose Press, will changing as I learn and grown, and that has been what this site has been about. Growing, learning, evolving, and above all enhancing others when they look at writing. Yes, I have done things and have taken things off and on this site, but I’ve never lost the focus or that drive to help others with achieving their writing goals or go about writing a novel.

While others may see this as something that has been done before on numerous other platforms, but there are always different ways to look at the world or what can be done to solve a problem to gain a solution. That is essentially is writing. There is a phrase that I have heard before, and that is well some one has already written that story before. That may be true, but the other part of the phrase is, it may have been written before but not by you.

Granted, this is where you might have to think about what I have just said, but it’s true no one is going to tell the story the way that you want it to be told unless you write it yourself. Now does this mean, that you should rewrite a story that has already been written before, ie like Harry Potter? No, it means take a story idea and add your flare to it. Be original, and see what you can add to the story or create with that single spark.

Here is another secret that others might not have thought or they have but there is a reason early on when your starting to write, they teach you to write fan fiction. The reason is so that you can understand the concept of taking something and making it grow. I remember being in the fourth grade and we read a book called, “The Chocolate Touch.” If you haven’t figured it out yet this is like “Midas with the Golden Touch”, but instead of gold you’re using chocolate. Well after reading the book, we had to write our own “Chocolate Touch,” story and use most of the elements of the story such as the chocolate touch. That was the first version of fan fiction that I ever wrote. But it stuck with me for years. Granted, do I remember the story that I wrote? I’ll be honest and say no, but I do remember writing it and that I still have a copy of it.

Yes, some may put down fan fiction as copying but I more like to think about it as an exercise in the creative processes of writing. One of the many that we go through over time. But here is another part of fan fiction, it can be start as fan fiction and can grow into something else. Case and point, Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes, Fifty Shades of Grey is fan fiction of nothing other than the Twilight Saga. While it may be considered simple fan fiction, it has transformed the genre of erotica romance into where it is a buy able product in your local super market. Before Fifty Shades of Grey, forget it for you would have to go to a Borders or a Barnes and Nobel to purchase such a book and even then it had a disclaimer on it. That’s been deleted from the genre and the answer is pretty simple, the book became very popular and the disclaimer is no longer needed on any erotica romances.

That’s what one sample of what fan fiction has done and it has grown from there for that one genre. Does this mean that every story or novel written has to be fan fiction. Heck no! Trust me when I say, if everything is based on fan fiction nothing original would ever be looked or even considered by publishers or readers. Remember, when we write we need to keep our readers in mind and that is that our readers, just like movie goers want original content. This does not mean that we have re-create the same wheel over and over again. If we are looking to do that, then we might as well talk about formula writing.

I’ll say that some formula writers do really well over time, but after a while the writer’s fan base has an expectation of what is going to be in the pages between the covers, and the writer is stuck writing the same thing over and over again, and cannot do anything new or original. Why? Simple: the readers will be turned off what his or her next book will be and it is not what they are used to reading from that writer. It’s a shame when you think about it, but in the end it’s based on the decision that the writer started with their writing career with and continued to do so. Romance writers sometimes have this difficulty along with mystery and thriller writers too.

But let me describe what I mean by formula writer, we know that there are certain expectations from genres of what needs to be in the story but with formula writers they go one more step above this. It goes like this, writer usually has a female character that has to a problem and is running away from said problem and meets the male character. They fall in love, they get to close, and the female character pushes said male character away and the male character figures out to help female character so that they can have a happily ever after, which may not be the case due to dare I say it a death of a character. One of the great writers, or at least to his fans, even if they do not realize it when they are reading one his novels or watching one of the film adaptation of his novels, is all based on a formula.

The author that I’m talking about is Nicholas Sparks. Yes, he is one of the great formula writers in our time and granted, he is doing it so well that he is make money and the reason is that romance sells. I found a blog post, Hello Giggles, that lists 7 Things that Happen in Every Nicholas Sparks Movie.  Even in another blog called, “Thoroughly Modern,” she even posts about the formula that has been used time and again by Nicholas Sparks. I’m not putting Nicholas under the bus, but I’m just saying that if he wanted to reach out and do something else away from his formula, he may be unable to do so due to the loyal readership of his fans.

While I would never try to persuade a writer not to write what he or she wants, there are just some careful considerations that need to be looked at besides how to publish, genre, and any other topic that goes under the generic umbrella that is about writing, but rather things that need to be thought about is formula, trends, and originality versus fan fiction. There is a reason why there is a category at the Academy Awards for “Best Original Screenplay” versus “Best Adaptive Screenplay.” This is just the many things that we as writers need to think about as we work on our works of fiction.

Well, I’m almost out of coffee and I hope that you have found this post to be an enjoyable read, and I’ve had fun writing it. I hope that you have a great writing day until next time!