Sunday, 19 July 2015

Failed Again

I feel I've made a mistake again with this book thing.  I love characters.  All my books are about placing characters in situations and seeing how they grow and come out of them.  As such a lot of those typical things you find in books don't exist.  I will probably never be a good writer because of this, but some things just bore me to tears.  If the book is about one thing, no, I do not need anything told to me about the characters that are not starring in this book.  As a reader I will just fabricate my own backstory.  I want to know what's going on in this book.  I"m also not a big fan of show don't tell.  Sometimes i'm like so the character has a permanently broken hand.  What does the story of how this hand got broken have to do with the story I am reading.  No i don't need the childhood story about him falling out of a tree and having a branch fall on his arm.  And if you must tell me.  Do it in a paragraph.  Not a few pages of backstory.  I honestly don't care.  All this stuff does is slow me the hell down.  I want to know about the story i'm reading.  And this intense need to tell me everything about everything is just overload.  Hell i've known my mom consciously for 30 out of my 34 years of life.  And there are still shitloads of things both new and old about her 50+ years of life I don't know.  That does nothing to diminish my opinion or like of her.  I've written four poems and about four blogs about this woman.  I don't need to know everything about her to know I think she's awesome.

So that being said.  Yes i will exposition you for a few lines to explain some stuff because once i've told you, i've told you.  Chances are instances involving said information will pop up multiple times in the following pages and I don't like having to continuously figure things out so I wont put my readers through it.  Tell me the rules, tell me quickly and then just write the story without the need of having to constantly explain things by showing me, or me trying to figure out what it is that you're showing me.  I just want to focus on the plot.  Stop distracting me with things that take five pages that you could've just explained somehow in one page or even a few paragraphs, or one paragraph.  So yeah.  If I am showing and not telling, chances are I already explained the confusing details in some form of exposition, so when i do show you your brain has nothing to figure out and it can quite literally only focus on what I am showing you.  A lot of people will probably never like my books, because i do tell instead of show.  What can i say I hate being confused when I read, and i usually am because most people would rather show and it takes my brain too much work to figure out what I am being shown.  Just fuckn tell me so i can enjoy all the action without having to figure out that you're only using the action to show me something important about the book.  Ugh.  Too much work for me as a reader.

Backstories i don't really need, more tell and less forcing me to figure out stuff that is purely information through showing, if it ain't plot, inform me.  It is information after all.  And lastly where I think I have failed the most, getting people to realise my books are massive character pieces.  If I have a villain whether they are destroying villages or not is irrelevant to who they are as a person.  I am perfectly willing to take it on faith someone is evil if they are well written character.  Same for heroes.  I thrive on natural drama as opposed to forced drama.  If characters aren't set up to act a certain way, i wont just have them do something in order for me to up my drama, suspense or action.  It will always have to fit inside the box of what i've designed the character's personality to be.  I find a lot of the drama and action in books is that forced we need to put this in here cause it's required type of stuff.  There are shitloads of natural ways life throws obstacles at us.  Why fabricate any.  Throw in some of that normal stuff and see how your characters will react.

And this brings me to the point of my new, failing novel.  Its a psychological thriller.  It deals with rape, mental and physical abuse.  Yes it is detailed.  Yes it has three none rape erotic scenes.  All plot devices.  Just like the rape is all plot.  There's no erotica for the sake of erotica in this book.  It was intentional.  Just like there is no sex at all in my last book, Salinor.  I have characters in all my books battling who they are, and their place in life, and just going on a journey of self discovery.  Everyone misses this because they are looking for something else.  If it seems erotic they want more sex, if its funny, more jokes, if it's african american, where's more of that street afrocentric vibe, basically i cant have a character book with anything at all in it accept character stuff or somehow people find the book lacking.  This book Virgil was supposed to be the one that just shoved the fact that I do characters, characters are the heart of all my books and I do them well, and shove down the throats of every reader I have so they will stop looking for all this other shit and realise what my books are actually about.

It's hardcore, punchy, no holds barred and too the point.  All the things I do best without any of the spacers or breathers found in typical novels.  This also made it much much shorter than my normal books.  I removed all the types of fun extras most novelist use to further develop characters and set up scenes and draw people in and just went for it.  I told myself you know what you do well, and this time you will not give them even a shred of anything else to focus on.  There is no way they will miss the point this time.  And, finally, I succeeded.  All my test readers loved this book.  And yet i'm in the same space I'm always in.  

Now the problem is, we don't read rape or aggressive stuff.  We don't read erotica.  We like happy endings.  We don't enjoy crying when we read.  God the list is endless on book review sites.  Honestly i thought people read because they enjoyed reading.  I read everything.  Chick-lit, comedy, romance, erotica, horror, fantasy, medieval fiction, cook books, photo books, poetry, god the list is endless.  I love to read.  And i'm learning more and more that people read more to go into worlds they want to go to, versus reading for the pleasure of letting someone else take them through an emotional ride no matter what that emotion may be. 

So though this book is not erotica, i do write good sex scenes so the ones that are in here are not tame by any stretch of the imagination but there are only three.  Rape and physical abuse, way too intense apparently.  And it is sad at some points,  and too many people don't want to cry.  So basically I finally managed to do all the things i do best, character depth, complex plots, suspense, erotica, humor, dark, romance, and now it's too much, versus when i spread it out over larger novels, there not being enough.  And the shame of it all is that in ratio, this book is the equivalent in material to all my books.  The plot is just extremely tight, which is why the book is so short.

So whatever.  I finally got it right, and i'm fairly certain i will never ever again write a book as good as Virgil.  But no one's going to review it unless I beg them to.  When i was a child i watched horror movies, kung-fu movies, read mysteries and steamy romance novels, both soft and really steamy, and I came out just fine.  Yet here I am stuck in this world where everything is just wrong, too adult even for adults.  Maybe i should just suck it up and write erotica, or some garden variety fantasy novel.  I should just give up trying to make a mark, trying to prove that this is what I do and I do it well.  This book proves that.  It's supposed to be one of those books that pushes the boundaries just to that point of being controversial enough that it rides all the way to superstardom.  It was intentional.  And if I knew that even for a tiny little second that I'd have all of the same problems I always have with a book. A book that should've eliminated all of the distractions from what I do good so finally readers can focus on what I actually do.  Had I known i'd be here crying and distressed just like with my past five books, only the last two are good though, I wouldn't have written it.  In fact I have loads more book ideas in my head and I haven't typed a thing.  I really don't have the desire to type another word, and bleed my soul into the pages of another novel that doesn't even sell fifty copies.  Yes.  i can tell you for a fact that out of six books, i have still not reached the 100 mark in total.  And that includes the copies I sell myself.

I always end up getting rid of books for free, i'm throwing away batches of my last book now cause I need space.  Yay to me.  So i just bullshit happy, and success, and whatever.  Welcome to my world.  And yeah, i made the wrong choice yet again with a book.  And now i'm questioning if i should even bother with the rest.  For once I know i wrote an actual and factual decent work of fiction.  Something no one has hated so far, this never happens.  And it's still not going anywhere.  Over 600 views in three weeks and nothing but oh that sounds interesting, and other such praises that lead to no sales.  But yeah.  I"m done crying, i'm feeling like i'm done writing, and i'm over making choices that I think are brilliant and failing.  Especially when this last one was actually a good choice, and it's still failing.  Fuck this whole author business.  I"m done for a while.

And the sad part is I knew I was done, when after only two weeks I was a depressed, almost sobby can't functional mess.  The book came out july fourth.  It is now only july 19th.  And I havent pushed promoted or begged people to buy my book for about a week now.  And everytime I get ready to hit share I don't.  I just don't have it in me anymore and I"m tired of pretending i'm all happy, and yay i'm a writer, and maybe the next book will be the one.  It's depressing.  i'm not that happy.  I"m hating every second of it.  And i'm already chronically depressed and it's time to eliminate anything that's contributing to my dark existence.  Dunno how long it will last.  But i got three blogs to fill my writing needs.  I went all last year with out even thinking about writing.  So i guess i really am over it if i cant even hold out on a month of the pretend happy I am usually shoveling.  But whatever.  Here's virgil.  

I aint got nothing more to say.

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