Friday, September 16, 2011

A look back

Posted a while ago, but I would like comments, if you have any.  I still haven't come up with a complete story to go with this scene, yet.  Writing Exercise #2

Deus ex Machina, which I'm still not comfortable pronouncing aloud

I've been pondering a BLOG ENTRY I read a couple of days ago, by an author I haven't actually read yet.  His name is Peter V. Brett.  My sister-in-law recommended his books, beginning with "The Warded Man", and I went to and read the first few pages they have posted as samples.  It is very good, Wheel of Time-ish fantasy.  I think I'll enjoy them when I get my hands on the books.  Anyway, I was reading his blog on, and he was discussing a book by a new-comer that he had been asked to read and comment on (or "blurb") for the back cover.  Read the blog, you'll see what I'm saying.  That other book sounds really good, too... I'll be reading it one day, as well.

In the blog entry, he mentioned that he will pass on "blurbing" new books if he finds literary taboos such as deus ex machina, flat characters or flaws in the story.  This is the second time in a month that I've gone looking for the definition of deus ex machina.  The first time was while watching "Lost", which I chat about in my other blog, found HERE. There is an episode titled "Deus Ex Machina", and I didn't think I had ever heard that Latin phrase before, so I looked it up.  This is what I found on :

De-us ex ma-chi-na
[dey-uh s eks mah-kuh-nuh, dee-uh s eks mak-uh-nuh]
1. (in ancient Greek and Roman drama), a god introduced into a play to resolve the entanglements of the plot.
2. any artificial or improbable device resolving the difficulties of a plot.

1690–1700;  < Neo-Latin  literally, god from a machine (i.e., stage machinery from which a deity's statue was lowered), as translation of Greek apò mēchanês theós  (Demosthenes), theòs ek mēchanês  (Menander), etc.

So, all you fellow would-be authors, keep this in mind as you are writing.  A good example of deus ex machina is how Glinda magically appears (twice!) to save Dorothy's hide in "The Wizard of Oz", first with the snow to wake them in the field of poppies and again at the end to free Dorothy from Oz, by telling her simply to click her heels together and she'll go home.  There are a long list of other cinematic, as well as book and comic examples if you are interested, HERE is a good site.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New blog title and address

A few days ago, I moved my "wanna-be author" blog to this new link and title.  I think it reflects a more positive attitude about my future as a writer to say that "eventually I will be a published author" than to say "I sure wish I was a writer!"

So here we are.  I am trying to wrap my head around a new way of thinking that will open my mind and free my creative juices a bit.  I tend to get a little discouraged when I think about wanting to get something published.  Not because of the intimidation of submitting something to a publishing house (I'm not there, yet, you have to FINISH something before you can submit it, I'm fairly sure!) or because I don't feel like I am skilled enough.  I feel confident in my abilities, and I am a fast learner so if I got to learn from mistakes or bad writing decisions, that would be great.  It's because everywhere I go, constantly, I meet other people who consider themselves yet-to-be-published authors.  Some surprise me, some astound me and others, I'm not surprised, I just have one of those sarcastic voices in my head saying, "everyone's an author", the same way my photographer husband says, "everyone's a photographer...". 

I need to not worry about the sheer volume of manuscripts, books and authors there are out in the market.  I need to not feel competitive about this.  I need to just write for the love of writing and when something gets finished, clean it up, submit it and keep writing.  That's what I need to do.  I can't reduce the number of people (women, mostly, but men, too) who also think they are good enough writers to do it professionally.  I don't have control over when/where or even IF I ever get published, not directly, anyway. But "Failing to try is the same as trying to fail", right?  Right.

I'm trying to accept that there is a lot of competition.  A LOT.  But that's okay.  If what I write is good enough, it won't matter that there are 45 million others like me.  And the main thing is that I love writing.  I just love it.  I need to write for the joy and the mental release and the addiction of writing.  The rest is just gravy, anyway.