Posts Tagged ‘author’

Tears

Posted: September 10, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Have you ever wondered why people cry when they are happy? So have I. Some people do not get the idea of crying at all, but certainly it would not be necessary if there is nothing to cry about.

Well, too much, is enough said. Too. That word right there is the key to all imbalance. Too much of anything is a bad thing. Fortunately your body is equipped with state of the art homeostasis which also makes you look like a pansy or a misty eyed warrior when you are too happy. Shocker. How can a person be too happy? That’s probably the only thing that we can not get enough of, but apparently we can.

I am convinced that this is the reason that people embrace sad films or novels. Either they do not want the homeostasis or they suppress it. They then proceed to need a way to combat the happiness. That is also the reason some artists believe they have to be sad to make art. It is not that they need to be sad, but rather that they don’t want the high too high.

I first started my quest of uncovering the mystery of crying when happy, after I had watched soldiers’ homecomings. Many times kids and wives cried. There was this one soldier who’s seven year old daughter got out of class early. Her mother got her out of a math test. She was already on a high. Then around the corner waited a hero.(unbeknownst to her) When she saw him, they embraced. She started to sob. She repeated three times that she had missed her dad.The logical man that he is, he asked a clever question, “Why are you crying?”

“‘Cause I’m happy.”

Why was I even wanting to see this? I don’t know. I wanted to see the bonds that other people had.I then wanted to crush it.  I wanted to write some sad ending.

This brings me to writing. Wow, that took a long time. Writers love to write either happy endings, sad endings or a good old mixture of both. Now you have a good idea why. People love change. Boredom is static. Sometimes happy readers want you to do what their bodies should be able to do. You need to make them sad. Some authors do it too well. Then the work sinks in, leaving a reader in a state of melancholy. This works particularly well with great characters. On other occations you will lift their spirits and if you are real nasty you will drop it again. Maybe I have said it before, but here it goes again. Happiness is speed. We experience it detached. We feel the smile just as we see speed by looking at the road. We just do not feel it in our bodies. Change in emotion is acceleration. That can be felt. That is your rollercoaster. So go make people laugh with sadness and cry with hapiness. That is what we are paid to do.

(I am crying now, because I am not being paid yet, but I’ll laugh soon. You know, because there is one too that is okay. Balance.)

I don’t quite know what made me do it, I wrote a short story while my second novel was going so well, but I think I just had this idea that had to be addressed. Months before I published my short story, I wrote a poem entitled The Racer. I had this picture in my mind of an old man remembering the glory of his youth.

Glory of youth… that lead to the idea of writing a young adult parody. So I hit the keyboard and churned out the thing in less than a week. I love to mock young adult fiction, but now I have done it in style. It is not that  I believe that writing YA is wrong, it is that I believe that most authors are going about it in the wrong way. Maybe I am just a grumpy old eighteen year old.

“Get of my lawn!”

The End takes place in a clinic at first, but after the administration of a new drug the old man is healing from his dementia. So much so that he is sent to a place where there is Trials. Here he must cope with a bunch of older “lab rats” to survive. He meets a guy who tells him how everything works. He meets a smart guy. He meets a bully guy. He meets a mysterious character. I am not only writing clichés, but I am having fun pointing them out. The story remains unique and funny. If you are interested you can buy it here.

Have you written a parody lately? WThe Endhat inspired you?

Writing Comedy

Posted: May 27, 2015 in Pointers
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It is quiet, your keyboard is making its pitter pattering and then… your dog runs into the room and slips on the tiles as he chases after a cat. His nose hits the wall. He is sneezing all over your curtains. Your characters are busy discussing serious things. The dog is yelping and you sit there… snickering.

I am no comedian, but I have found that people always laugh at my speeches. So I studied humour and I found that it boils down to a simple thing. Flaws are the core of comedy. I think it is a gift from God that we also misuse. We laugh at misery to make things better. Stereotypes are based on a preconceived notion of a particular person, usually because of a singular trait. We have seen them all, but they still make us laugh. I decided to deliver a speech on humour and I did it in the way a stand up comedian would do. I was scared to death. My tie was shaking and my hands too, but I did not care. I knew I could make people laugh with my world-view. You see, I am a bit of a pessimist or I can pretend to be. So I used my hands as a joke right there. I worked with my immediate flaws to showcase that my audience would laugh. I was not wrong. They did laugh… at my speech and at my flaws, because they are human. Life is one fat man constantly stepping on a banana peel.

Even though I had found a way to entertain my friends like the sad clown I was, I still had no idea how I could make my characters funny, but as I was writing I discovered that it only takes a little conflict and a little sarcasm to tune up the comedy value of what you have written.

How do I know if something is funny? I read it and reread it. If I find a trace of anti-laughter (lame humor) I run away and apologize to my cat for having to endure my stupid jokes. I have found that if you go into your character’s point of view and act a little cynical you can do wonders for your humorous writing. After you have done this you need to get it to your alpha-readers. Comedy never changes. Timing is always important. You don’t want to seem too eager to make people laugh.

Keep these things in mind. Be a pessimist for a day and write down your thoughts. They will be funnier than you might think. You can only have this high with some sort of low.
Comedy is acceleration. Happiness is speed. Think about it.

Fear (part 2)

Posted: May 26, 2015 in Pointers
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I have written about this a long time ago, but I can never address this enough. Fear is the enemy of creativity. It is a trap that can suffocate a writer and suck him or her into its abyss of self-doubt and worrying.

Across the ocean, east,
beyond the dangerous land.
A hop from there lies
a fun lair. Rugby balls and extreme sport… they have something to teach.

“Enough with riddles, man.” I am talking about New Zealand. Those people practically breath adventure. I have heard many New Zealanders love the outdoors. Also, they have the best rugby team in the world. I am a South African and I also love our Springboks, but that does not change the fact that we are a step down from the Kiwis. They handle the ball with such skill that you can’t help, but admire them and their creativity.

The other day I heard a coach giving his perspective on why they are the best in the world. You may be asking yourself what this has to do with writing, but I shall get to that in a moment. The coach told reporters that South Africans are too quick to criticize. We do not allow players to make errors. One bad game and the player gets a booing of a lifetime. This leads to order and precision of course, but never… ever, creativity. The All Blacks embrace the errors as part of a learning curve. Their fancy moves and ball skills just don’t happen. They may even mess up in a game, but the players aren’t being scolded into oblivion. They give room for creativity that ultimately leads to better players. Even from a young age they encourage the kids to master the basics and then develop their talents freely from there. In a way they love the sport more than winning.

This brings me to writing.You can try to hammer people into a system so that they will write in a way that will make them best-seller, but this will not make them the best writers necessarily. Being passionate about something is one of the most important things and fear strips you from this. Now, growing a thick skin is also a process that takes time. Criticism tears through your muse like a hot knife through butter. Just keep in mind that you can not change what you have shown. Your grammar could have been poor or you could have had many plot holes or (insert criticism here)… The point is that fear is your enemy, because creativity is your friend. So do not be afraid of messing up, but be afraid of cradling yourself in a corner where you convince yourself that you can be the best with fear.

Embrace your flaws like a friend and then stab it in the back. Be brave… you will make errors.

Art is part of the human nature and there is no way around it.

Writers, you probably have heard the saying: You can’t write if you don’t read. (there are hundreds of paraphrases) Usually an author or reader tells you this smirking, whilst having a firm grip of a five hundred page monster beneath their arm. Sometimes I wonder if they can be used as some sort of armour. Anyway… the person telling you this have a logical case for interrrupting your thoughts. There are many writers out there who are better than you and you need to learn from them.

What do you have to learn from them? I don’t believe you need to make it your mission to adapt your writing, but  rather that you need to read their work critically and make mental notes. However as soon as you approach your story you need to have forgotten about them. Reading will only make you a better writer in the same degree studying art makes you a better painter or photographer. Even though you can be influenced. It is through the trials of errors that we learn and really hone our skills as writers. I would suggest that you read less, but that you do it more critically. If we can pick up good habits subconsciously then surely we can learn some bad ones too. Just take a hard look at life and I dare you to disagree with me. Your subconscious does have faulty filter.

If I still haven’t convinced you, I want to present my logical argument that reading should not be glorified to the point that authors miss the point by neglecting their writing. Take a literate human being and give him some novels to read. He does not have to be an avid reader. He just needs to be fluent in a language. Now tell him to critique the novels. The chances are that his critique will be almost as valid as a critic’s. Why is that? Remember my opening? Art is part of human nature. We know if narrative isn’t working. We know what bores us. We know what excites us. We know what makes a story good. We know these things… not because some great writer told us these things, but rather that we are part of a curious species that wants to be entertained.

So I wholeheartedly disagree that reading a lot makes you a much better author. If you can speak, you can write. (assuming of course that you are literate) I laugh at the fact that authors preach this idea of reading like an obsessed person, yet they fail to tell us to watch more movies or to go see plays. I am not saying you shouldn’t read. No, I am saying that you should write more and read more critically, because there is a little voice inside of you that knows the truth.

Write till you can’t. Read your own work and others’. Criticize it. Do this over and over and over again. Broaden your skills using any method necessary… even if it is only watching TV and reading the occasional book. (critically) I am telling you… art is in our nature.

Grandiloquence

Posted: May 12, 2015 in Pointers
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As days have passed by and it came to my mind that certain people think that they are unique… I want a grand return to my blog. I am the hero of this white page. My action is saving it from being utterly boring.. with the coming and going of the #hipstercop, I was so delighted by the wit of people. Enchanted, one may say.

This is my return. It may be slow and you should not expect much, but that (↑) is not my voice. So without further ado. With no more hesitation. It is time for me to speak about the ins and outs of a writer’s mind, my journey and some or other nonsense.

So what is grandiloquence? (I had to find the word) It is an essence of pretention. It can also be called verbosity and since I trust my Wikipedia writers- here is a list of synonyms “wordiness, verbiage, prolixity, grandiloquence, garrulousness, expatiation, logorrhea, and Sesquipedalianism.”

How often do writers use grandiloquence? Such a matter is up for debate and if you contemplate about it….( ←)TOO OFTEN!
Now, I don’t mean to boast, (this is a white lie) I do not use grandiloquence often .Here(↑) it was on purpose. I don’t want to make writing sound technical, because then I would be wasting your time, but here is another secret. ( you know… those common sense secrets)

Say it like it is and how you know it will be said. Always use appropriate language or language that applies to the character. If you do not do this you are making the character less believable. And believe it or not, (see the wordplay) ←(oops)↔ subtlety can be the writer’s greatest asset. (maybe that’s a tad diplomatic) You can not for the sake of your soul write without subtlety. It is also the master characterizer. Grandiloquence is the enemy of subtlety. A story is best told if the writer is not playing a trumpet announcing his grand vocabulary. A story is best told when the writer fades into his world and his voice becomes a part of the story without any reader suspecting it.

Do I have some hidden knowledge or am I a master of English? No. Is my vocabulary the greatest? No… but even without those aces up my sleeve I still consider myself to be a good writer and even if I am not, one thing is sure- I do not beat around the bush and neither should you.

Sonnet of a thinker.

Posted: February 5, 2015 in Poetry
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Through struggling to close the eyes and escape the thought
they wake up to go to others
and so they walk and talk
to men that could never be brothers.
Funny enough the comfort comes with a great price bought.

Silent times can cause them great despair
as they draw their power from outside.
They know not a poet’s lair
nor do they convey many things on few minds.
Seldom do they think about the darkness of pride.

Then it is so that thinkers must rejoice
when their minds are rejuvenated
and they should become elated
when thinking comes as if not even by choice.

Alpha Critic

Posted: February 2, 2015 in Pointers
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Hello writers. We all know what beta readers are, we love and hate some of the things they say about our work. However… we don’t fear them so much as the critics. Of course not… because when the stars shine and we feel lacking it can cause a huge blow to our psyche. When the reviews come pouring in… our hearts start to pump blood at faster rates. We just know it… we do.

Rule number… I don’t care: Watch how critics work and read a lot of books. Also, deliver your own critique. If you are being critical a sense of guilt will hopefully remind you off all of your mistakes. Another thing that I would recommend is to watch things like Cinema Sins and Honest Trailers. They criticize movies, but not only are they funny, you can learn a thing or two from how they tear art apart. Not that they are always right… cause their nitpicking can be quite irritating.

Read your own work over and over again. At the first sight of boredom and stupidity you can start to write your ideas down or just think about all the mistakes you have made. Remember that you are the first to criticize your own work. It belongs to you and many writers let mistakes pass them by just because they can’t let go of a biased lens. I know that it is difficult. That is why you should have a fun meter. You should try criticize yourself, because you are the only critic that you are in love with. In time, with self confidence… you can learn to only slightly dislike other critics.

Even if you have messed up in a big way… do not let their opinions be more important than the alpha critic- you.  For we know that if they get to you… if they get their mold around you, you may write like many people want you to write, but that you have forsaken what than author stood for. To sum it up: Be vigilant in reading and criticizing both your work and the work of others, but don’t try to change according to their wills. The most important opinion of all is the one of the alpha critic.

Reflection beneath the skin.

Posted: January 30, 2015 in Poetry
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Reflection beneath the skin.

The first person view we hold let’s us see our hands and all it has
accomplished. From the sand it was built and the risks we took.
A certain man could listen to his voice and all that jazz… maybe proud.
Another will reflect upon his reflection and feel lacking in muscle.
These thoughts are seldom tussled with to go beneath the skin.

Though subconsciously we hear the ticking clock and we fear that the alarm was set.
Though, this knowledge is only a thought away… we tend to forget.
Those who go to deep will sink so far, or so
they say. Then what is this life more than the changing of the guard?
Big Bens and little men taking risks after risk to grapple for their
own existence.

Seldom do they ask who provides their breath, food.
And aquatic needs till end.
A chemical process of course- a quick response given by the brainless lab coat and his biased lens.
All knowing? Maybe not. Looking at his hands… to the ticking clock.

Another can look back and smile at his mansions and sport cars. His bid he placed for a great life and so he did.
Green paper and crystal clear diamonds… and of course that little sip of water. Then he also faces the common cold
that consumes us all. Maybe near his end if the alarm rings long… his thoughts will deepen, but just maybe or not at all.
No blanket brings the comfort to a restless soul like that old green one. Yet the dying body feels the cold like no other.

Even the family man can look at his home and think about generations to come.
Just bodies of loved ones beneath the dirt. Soon they will all be gathered.
Though this might seem dumb.
It would be as if nothing mattered.

But things do matter, they adamantly demand. Survival of our species and the existence of our kind. It’s seems to me that we are respecters of certain molecules of a higher order. We have contributed so much to this pretty planet.
Hero shim… ah, have we forgotten? So torn. Nag and shake the drinks for we live for now don’t we?
What a lovely view of this higher organism… surviving and thriving.
Looking these days at pixels on a screen… lifeless mind you.
A slave to the dead.

There are other views… a man in a big hat and many tics sucking the blood out of the free market.
Both kissing babies… one for government and another for Rome.
Terrorists follow their hearts and so do the poli prayers. Hoping that their dueling gods can save this man.
Save from what?
The most important question no one brings up.

Thou dare not point to the homo sapiens. Even the greenies say otherwise, but they only scratch
the surface of their heads and bellies of the cuter arrangement of molecules.
Save us from our own random chemical reactions of course.

There is another view that discusses the nature of things and man.
This is a sinking ship, but it can be pretty sometimes.
The core of this organism is corrupted. Even passed on.
It’s more than genetics, you know?
That’s why the magnitude of the God Man that died for this corrupted hearts
is so profound.
That a King should suffer for less than an ant.
However, this is only a vessel and the road to redemption is as
simple as climbing on the lifeboat.
The mocking molecules will go down in the abyss,
but you, oh Christians will sing in your bliss.

Tug of War

Posted: January 22, 2015 in Writing
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Something is certain: to commit yourself to writing is hard when you have many responsibilities like a job or if you are a student. Only holidays can truly set you on your way or maybe a retirement. The thing is we can’t only write when we have time. Nothing is free and time is so precious. Thus, we need to sacrifice some of our so called free time to write. If you are a successful writer then things are different. Most writers aren’t and might never be. The statistic can make you feel so small and yet we all know that sales should never be the measurement of quality when it comes to things like fiction. No doubt, some of the best sellers are indeed some of the best works of fiction in the world, however they are sometimes also the worst.

So life can tug you back to reality where you need to return to the never ending cubicle or maybe also a fun job, but we don’t lie when we are in reality. Writing is the thing. That’s what keeps me going sometimes. Both writing and life can be like two parties in a tug of war and the ultimate solution would be balance until, if you really are great, a writing career. Even then you will need balance. I can probably write a book on why I write fiction. One of the reasons, like I have said before, is that I couldn’t imagine a life with no fiction or art. For a second I took away all writers and it scared me. Take away engineers and it is also scary, but that is obvious. That said, story telling is an ancient skill and today people will pay money for it. Why not?

Writing is a lot more than simply putting down tales and ink in some sequence. It delivers a message like any other piece of art and in some of the best ways. Don’t get me wrong, I am not an art nut… because I am not. I love subjects like math and physical science. I just can’t place myself as a leader in that field and be happy about it. I only pray that my day job doesn’t kill my writing, because that would be a pity. You should never stop reminding yourself what you have written and why you have written it. Writing has a lot to do with worldview and morals. That is one of the reasons why I love writing. Sure, we can write a sappy one if we like, but that is something I won’t do.

Be committed in whatever you dream to change it into goals. Be it writing or not. (assuming you guys are authors)