Vodcasting is the latest method by which authors can stay in contact with their readers, by providing interesting and entertaining video content. After 5 years (and counting) producing an audio podcast I’m now branching out into vodcasting.
I spend a little part of every day on Twitter. I probably spend too much time on Twitter, if I’m honest. Sometimes, it’s a bit … meh, and sometimes it’s red hot.
Yesterday, someone I followed posted this:
“You know when artists get so famous their work isn’t edited properly …”
and they went on to quote a few pieces of work. Basically asking if the bigger the author gets, reputation- and following-wise, the more influence they have on the production side of their book. Specifically, editing.
I want to tell you about themes. When I first started writing (short, literary fiction), I was forever being told about themes, and about how my writing needed more thematic writing in them. I really struggled to work out what a theme was, and how I could get it into my writing without making it look clunky and hokum.
After a couple of years of very minor success, I moved onto writing longer fiction. And, since I read commercial genre fiction (crime / thriller / horror / espionage), I naturally began to concentrate on those areas – writing the sort of books I’d like to read. If they were any good.
What does focus mean to you? Something that happens automatically when you use your modern camera or smartphone? A type of Ford car?
I’m talking about personal focus. That moment of clarity, when the fug and fog around you disappears, what’s truly important comes into view.
The life of an independent author – one who doesn’t have a traditional deal with a large or medium-sized publisher – is one of wearing two hats, almost being a Janus figure – looking both ways. Janus, the God of beginnings and transitions. The beginning is the creative side, the writing of a novel; the transition is one of becoming a commercial author.
No, I’m not talking about *that* disease. This is a disease which isn’t talked about, except amongst writers, artists and other creatives.
It’s a strange disease, to do with lockdown, to do with anxiety, to do with a general feeling of unease.
And it has meant that us creatives haven’t been very … well, creative. I know, Jemima learnt to play the Flügel horn, and Benedict has been sharpening up his ancient Greek proverbs, but for many of us, we’ve just been feeling a bit … meh.
I’d just like to share the fact that I’m now producing 10-minute videos (or so) where I critique the opening section of novels.
For me, the opening scenes in a new novel are THE most important sections of a novel – whether you’re trying to pitch the manuscript to an agent or publisher, or whether you’re self-publishing and you want readers to buy it.