Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

I wrote a short story for a client, and it turned out really good. Then, after all was said and done, my client mentioned he stole the idea from the Internet.

If all you need to do is right-click on something, why be original? Creativity isn’t rewarded, it’s just copied. People who want to copy something because they like it, but don’t realize there’s a value there.

There’s an assumption that if it’s online, it should be free. If this was the case, no one would be making any money off their creations and you’d see much less of it online.

Anything can be ripped off. That’s why it’s even more important to be 100 percent original. Don’t fall into the easy trap of generating content mashed up from other people’s ideas. You won’t stand out. You’ll be exactly like everyone else who is doing it.

We don’t revere people like Steve Jobs because he copied other people. He got the respect he did because he created something new.

When anything can be copied off the internet the only thing I have is originality. People want original content, not the same old thing. That’s why, for instance, Charlie Sheen jokes got old very quickly.

My writing might not be much, but at least it’s my own.

 

 

Here’s my YouTube channel. You’ll find some very funny and some very wrong short films here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge

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I got this e-mail recently:

For a week next spring (May 1-10, 2010), two stellar fantasy writers—Laura Ruby and Anne Ursu—will serve as faculty for a Highlights Foundation Whole Novel Workshop. We conducted a mini-interview to give a sneak preview to those who might be interested in attending and to others who would appreciate tips from these amazing fantasy pros!

Highlights Foundation: What do you think it takes to become a publishable fantasy writer today?

Laura: I think you have to have an enormous love for fantasy as a reader before you tackle it as a writer. (I’ve seen a number of writers take a stab at writing fantasy simply because they think it’s a hot genre, and that’s not a good enough reason to write anything. I think you can only write the kind of stories you love to read.) After that, you have to have the same skill set as any other type of novelist: the ability to create vivid characters, develop a strong POV, craft a memorable plot.Anne: I think two things. First, you have to make sure your elements of craft are all really solid: good character, good story, good world. And then I think you need some spark of something extra. Maybe it’s voice, maybe it’s ideas, maybe it’s a world we’ve never seen before; maybe it’s just the pure strength of your storytelling.

But then, you also have to have spectacular control. In fantasy, so many things are possible, so many things can happen, you have to keep a firm grip on your characters, your world, your magical elements so that the story doesn’t get away from you. And yet you have to be loose enough to allow your characters to live and breathe. It’s a delicate balance.

Highlights Foundation: When you pick up a fantasy novel, what makes you read past page one?

Laura: I think a great voice will always carry me to the next page, whether I’m reading a fantasy novel or any other type of novel.Anne: I always want the sense that I’m good hands. I like to feel some kind of strength and originality, whether it’s in character, voice, or world. If you give me that, I’m going to trust you to take me wherever you’re going.

Highlights Foundation: If you could give writers one tip about writing fantasy, what would you offer?

Laura: Make your fantasy as grounded in the physical as you possibly can. Every sight, sound, smell, touch, etc. makes your world more real and therefore more accessible to your readers.Anne: Fantasy is, at its heart, a character-driven genre. The world should never overwhelm your character.

Applications will be accepted January 15-February 15, 2010. You will be notified of acceptance status by March 8, 2010.

If you’d like to learn to more about the Whole Novel Workshop for fantasy writers, visit www.highlightsfoundation.org or contact Jo Lloyd at 570-253-1192 or e-mail jalloyd@highlightsfoundation.org.

I shared this because I thought these were good tips for any genre. I like “that spark of something extra.” That’s a good way of putting it.

What I learned from reading and writing

While reading, I’ll sometimes pick up on a little insight that I hope will make me a better writer. A subtle nuance or something so exciting that I have to tell someone about it.
I also have a terrible memory. So these lessons might fade away. In fact, I have no way of knowing how many times I’ve forgotten what I’ve learned.
Therefore, I started this blog. As I read comic books, children’s books, literary fiction and horror, science fiction and fantasy, I’ll post my thoughts here. From time to time, I can look back, refresh my memory and refocus my writing.
And hopefully, you can find this helpful as well.
I don’t like to be negative. I will try to stay away from criticizing when a writer has done something I think is wrong, unless it’s something we can learn from. I certainly wouldn’t want someone to do that to me. Besides, it’s easier to tear down than build up.
I’ve been sending short stories, children’s books and comic books to publishers with little success. So, I’ll chronicle some of that for people who are going through the same thing. Maybe we can learn from each other.
I’ll try to post weekly, but we know how that works.
I’ve written municipal news for local newspapers for more than five years. I’m a regular contributor to TDMonthly.com, a toy industry magazine. My humor writing has appeared in Knockout, (Knockoutmag.com) and Awesdumb.com. I self-published a super hero spoof, Dave the Potatoe. One short story of mine was published in a 1996 New England Writer’s Network. I create fake news clips and other things at: http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge
Enjoy!
~Chris Lundy