Sunday, July 15, 2012

A guest blog from Australia

Like two ham radio operators, Clancy Tucker Down Under and I on the Eastern Seaboard found each other on the same frequency and playing the same ballad seeking recognition for indie writers. Here is his daily blog, set to appear July 17 (which is tonight at Midnight in Australia) in cyberspace. Note his plug for 

Quote of the day:
'The real essence of work is
concentrated energy."
Walter Begehot
Writing tip of the day:
G'day guys,
All writers have different approaches to writing, but generally there are three methods of attack:
1. Dream up an idea and shoot from the hip. That's me. Most of the time I have no idea where the story will head or finish up. Fortunately I find it an adrenalin rush and the story becomes self generating. It's exciting and normally takes me three months to write manuscripts 85,000 to 100,000 words. A few years back I went overseas two weeks after completing a manuscript and wondered why I was so tired. Mm ... any wonder?
2. Plan everything out before you start writing. I have been to an author's home and found entire walls covered in A3 sheets of white paper. Each sheet contained personality traits of the characters, chapter points and other issues relevant to their manuscript. I found it gob smacking, but that's the way she approaches a novel.
3. Write everything by hand, then type it up. Many authors do this. I certainly do. Why? Good question, but I think it relates to the fact that many of us started writing early in life; well before computers. Our mind was trained to write on paper. It's an odd connection between the hand and the mind. However, as with most things, do whatever you find best. There is no right or wrong way. Experiment until you find a happy and creative space. Once you have typed it on your laptop you can go back at anytime and add or delete any part.
Just do it. Many people over the years have told me they'd always wanted to write a book. My stock answer is, 'Do it!'. However, they usually cringe and give some excuse for not having started. My simple advice is this: writing a manuscript or short story is a draft in the first instance, so just let it out, let it rip. You can sort things out in the many revisions you will do; especially the first read when you've finished it. Revision of your work is vital.
Be brave. Try to be brave in each story, play or manuscript you write. Step out of your comfort zone. Maybe use a different gender as your main character, or write a story about something you have to research. It can be an enriching experience. I wrote three manuscripts in what I call the 'Kick Ass' series and the main protagonist is a girl. She is 14 in the first manuscript, 18 in the next and 32 in the third. That surprised some of my feminist friends. On the other hand, 'Mister Rainbow' has a boy and girl as the chief protagonists. Why? It allows you as a writer to give a male and female perspective to whatever disasters or events occur in your story. Also, it makes the book appealing to boys and girls.
f. Retain your own voice. Retain your own voice at all times. Never try to emulate another writer's style. Find your own and present it well. It's great therapy.
A message for all self-published authors:
Self published authors! Looking for exposure? We think that to reach readers, they should be able to see your titles in the first place. The do-it-yourself marketing and social media publicity may pave a way to some, but where most readers could see them is on display in bookstores. We are trying to open the doors of independent booksellers to indie authors. How? Look up The -- a non profit, volunteer membership organization, set to level the playing field. It is non commercial and free, with just one item on the agenda: the interests of new literary talent, neglected by the publishing industry.
Keep writing!
Don't be shy ... leave a comment or send me an email:
Thanks for listening.
I'm Clancy Tucker

1 comment:

Jasha Levi said...

I must quote this succinct summary Clancy made in a recent correspondence:

"The big thing that disturbs me about mainstream publishers versus self publishers is this: members of the general public, in any country, (kids, teachers, librarians, parents, grandparents etc) are totally unaware of the quality of most self-published books that are available. They, the public, are the losers in all this. They only see those books that have been thrust at them by the big guns.

The first book I read to assess from was absolutely brilliant in every way - grammar, presentation, storyline, spelling etc. I gave it the tick of excellence. It was based on a true story and so engaging.However, not all are going to be that good. Such is life.

However, like all social issues, you need numbers to bring about change. If 100,000 writers sent an email to any politician, you would have their total, undivided attention. Why? The politician would be more worried about losing votes than the issue raised, but at least he / she would be listening. That's the way it works. So, I encourage all self-published authors to get in, buckle up and hold on.It's called survival - self-preservation."