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Indie books far from becoming extinct

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In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2013 16:07:42 GMT
Ethereal says:
"I don't compare subconsciously"

I wish I knew what was in my subconscious.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2013 16:04:55 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Jan 2013 16:13:50 GMT
Oh, I think you are right about writing literary fiction; it is easier. You don't have to satisfy a particular group of readers. You can write on any topic, long or short, and not worry about a target audience. My mother doesn't like my novels, thinks my short stories are just okay. She loves my poems. Since I started writing in 1998, she wanted me to write a particular story. I didn't feel that I had the skills for it. Fourteen years on, I finally wrote the story. She thinks it's brilliant. I would add to it and make it into a full length novel ... but no one wants to read it. It isn't literary fiction, it's just plain old general fiction. I enjoyed writing it. I know the rest of the story, so there's no need for me to write it down for my own enjoyment. It's just one of those stories that will never be told.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2013 15:59:44 GMT
Anita says:
To be honest, what I care about in a book is "interesting" or "not interesting", and that is (must be) based mostly on my experience (including reading experience). Call that dumb, if you like, it's my very personal reaction.

"...the word 'had' in six consecutive sentences (that can't be good)..." It looks like based on precedent - well, for me again. How do you know it can't be good otherwise?

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2013 15:55:18 GMT
Anita says:
No, it's not a private discussion.

It's not a discussion at all. It's someone stating unquestionable truths and someone else stupid enough to disagree :)

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2013 15:53:28 GMT
I read Pilgrim's Progress when I was nine. What I didn't progress to as a teenager was romantic fiction. I read Dickens, Hardy, Austen, Orwell, Lawrence, Maugham, Wells, Golding ... such a deprived childhood.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2013 15:52:54 GMT
Akshally, no. You may. I don't. It may sound like a contradiction but I never got far enough into the story to like or dislike (emotional response), nor did I compare them to anything.

The last three books I looked at . . .

The first contained the word 'had' in six consecutive sentences (that can't be good).
The second was all *tell* from what I could understand it seemed to be some woman going on about *something*. A natural reaction from most males is to extricate himself from this situation and go down the pub.
The third, I found difficult to get into the story. Too many words, not enough story. It's nothing to do with comparing it to a book. It's a comparison with life. Somebody's telling you a story and you want them to get on with it.

- So, no. I don't compare subconsciously or consciously.

The problem I see with writerly who are in awe of what came before is that their own output becomes just like a Golf, but not a Golf, but a hatchback. (Pop Culture).

Posted on 18 Jan 2013 15:43:45 GMT
carocaro says:
Is this a private discussion?

There's sense in part from both sides. Fiction does provoke an emotional response based on things for example, like prior knowledge, likes, dislikes, intelligence and understanding of the world we live in, who we are, against what we read and whether we enjoy it or not. The enjoyment is an emotional response.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2013 15:32:30 GMT
Anita says:
What I wanted to say is that if you don't have any precedent to base your opinion upon, it means you haven't read anything. You don't live in empty space, and you don't read a book in literary void. As you being illiterate is hardly possible, you do compare the book you read now with the books you've read earlier, even if you don't do that consciously.

" <fiction> is first and foremost judged by emotional response" is the dumbest statement of the day *I*'ve read. So, again, depends on what you consider dumb

Posted on 18 Jan 2013 15:22:59 GMT
Anita, if you want to argue with a point I'm making - please try and argue with *my* point. Don't change *my* point to suit *your* argument.

I note you've changed "precedent" to "precedent/your experience".

This must qualify as the dumbest statement of the day "To state that you make judgements *not* based on precedent/your experience is the same as to state that you are illiterate, and if so, end of." The last time I checked "illiterate" I understood that it meant being uneducated, particularly in respect of reading or writing. I fail to see what connection this has to precedent and or experience.

Shall we go back to the part about emotional response?

If somebody tells you a funny story - you do not need any literacy skills to find it funny. The same goes for exciting, or gripping, or horrifying, or disturbing, or sad. These are the emotions readers expect to 'feel' when reading or hearing a story.

That's pretty basic. Even illiterate people know this.

Posted on 18 Jan 2013 15:17:05 GMT
Ethereal says:
Funnily enough, the few reviews I've written ignore Az rules since I always, in fact can't help but compare the current book with others I've read. So I couldn't possibly give 4 or 5 stars to a book that was not as good as my favourites even if I enjoyed it. I use 3 stars as my starting point and move up or down from there in relation to my past reading.
Yet my reading tastes have certainly changed over the years. What made me laugh or cry or scream or glaze over then may not now so my reference is always current.
In other words, I think there are arguments on both sides.

Posted on 18 Jan 2013 15:03:23 GMT
Anita says:
As there's no point arguing with Michael who is always right by default, just saying.

To state that you make judgements *not* based on precedent/your experience is the same as to state that you are illiterate, and if so, end of.

If you are not illiterate, of course you react according to your reading tastes you developed in years, not just according to the kind of person you are. Hence, according to all the precedents that are there in your head, even if you are not thinking of them consciously.

Sorry for getting lured into stating obvious things

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2013 14:36:25 GMT
Tinca, don't be silly!

You're proving your own shortcomings. The primary role of fiction is entertainment. Subsequently, it is first and foremost judged by emotional response.

I read a comedy. It made me laugh - it is a good comedy.
I read a horror. It scared me to death - it is a good comedy.
I read a thriller. It bored me - it is a bad thriller.

None of the above judgements are made with a precedent in mind. It is these judgements by the public which power fiction (sales).

It strikes me that only the less intelligent of the species are unable to form an opinion without something for comparison.

And on the pop culture thing - It's fairly self-explanatory. You've given a typical snobs definition.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2013 13:59:06 GMT
Tinca says:
Now that we actually have some argument, Michael:

"their judgement of literature is based on what came before" Of course it is, this is true of everything that we judge, it's always based on precedent, so why would literature be any different? When judges judge, they consult case law to ensure continuity and fairness; would you rather they just randomly made it up for each case? When people judge whatever it is that you write, they do so against other books they have read in your genre.

"I also think it's the most difficult to write" Pop culture? Not entirely sure what you mean by the term but if you mean that fiction which is heavily story-based, that doesn't characterise deeply or make too many demands of your readers's intellect is harder to write than fiction which at least attempts these things, because, presumably, you are working so hard to avoid troubling your reader with anything pretentious - well, that's ludicrous. Ford and Conrad had such an easy time of it producing 'The Good Soldier' and 'Heart of Darkness' - they didn't realise that the real challenge was in producing the pulp thrillers of their day, which no doubt sold well but now appears to be long-forgotten except by a few of the academics that you despise...

Yours sincerely,

Writerly type (apparently...)

Posted on 18 Jan 2013 12:57:53 GMT
carocaro says:
The biggest literary snobs Ethereal are from literary critics and academics who often read or try to read things intended or never intended by the writer in the first place. Academic snobbery is the worst.

I read a book and hopefully enjoy the creation situation, characters antagonist and or protagonist, plot line of conflicts and conflict resolution. I like to loosely analyse the why's and wherefores...isn't that what most people do when reading fiction.

Some stories are better than others, some writers develop and get better others peak early and are one story creators with little to follow after C'est la vie!

Posted on 18 Jan 2013 12:50:37 GMT
Ethereal says:
I wonder how many readers are put off lit-fic because they think they need to be educated to 'get' it, or read it but don't like to admit it in case they 'get' it wrong?

Since the aim for most writers must be to communicate it doesn't seem likely they would wish to shut out many readers by deliberately making their writing obscure - if it's obscure it seems more likely the writer got it wrong ... I see it as layering and if some are happy not to look beneath the surface that's fine. And if some see meanings that weren't intended that's okay too. Sometimes I like to delve, others I just want to be entertained, and because I also write I often look at the way a book is written too, taking in language, style etc. Often I 'get' more from subsequent readings but generally I want more than just surface story. I don't think it's snobbish, just my preference and writers tend to write what they like to read.

I suspect any snobbishness comes from writers themselves, either because they want to be seen to be literary writers or are scathing of those that do it.

Posted on 18 Jan 2013 12:25:13 GMT
I think the reason that I don't have any sympathy for those poor oppressed writers of literary fiction is that they play the 'You don't get it because you're not educated' card - It's a weak defence. In the main their judgement of literature is based on what came before (in literature). They do not see merit, because they cannot, in other work. And if the writer's referencing in not literary it is they who are usually the ignorant party.

So here's my main beef!

Pop culture is poor red-neck cousin of the literary types. I also think it's the most difficult to write. ( I would think that, I write it). On the one hand you've got to write the surface story, well-written scenes which appear to efficiently achieve their goals to the writerly types. On the other hand you've got satisfy the needs of *your* reader who is aware of totally different goals, but the writerly type is never going to get it because what you are referencing is not literary.

It's snowing. It's cold. I am allowed to rant.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2013 12:05:43 GMT
carocaro says:
Anita, explorers or risk takers what a sterile world it would be probably with few technical or medical advances either.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2013 12:01:56 GMT
Anita says:
Not every kid believes that the oven is hot without touching it. Not every kid knows pills would make them sick without actually trying them. Not every Michael seems to know a thing about some time of month without experiencing it.

If every aforementioned kid would just believe what the others say without trying things on their own, the world would be a very different place

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2013 11:43:27 GMT
Tinca says:
Michael, where on earth did you acquire such wisdom and self-belief?

In the face of such, I can only humbly suggest that simply repeating that all who disagree with you about almost anything are pretentious, snobs, deluded, far more subjective than you ever are, and victims of a cultural conspiracy that no-one else has ever heard of - that simply REPEATING all this isn't actually a valid form of argument?

A good Arts degree would teach you this, and might be worth considering.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jan 2013 21:47:17 GMT
carocaro says:
So true Gille but also the case of the inverted snobbery too:)

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jan 2013 21:45:36 GMT
carocaro says:
I like plucking pheasants:)

Could be literary fiction about a fictional preparation of my meal

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jan 2013 21:01:05 GMT
Last edited by the author on 17 Jan 2013 21:21:00 GMT
Oh God! Gilie, is it that time of the month again?

There is little difference between a degree in English Literature or art and the Jedi mind trick. I'm sure if teacher's spent 10 years convincing students that an empty can of Stella was a work of art, eventually they'd believe it.

Here's the thing. When she was a child I told my daughter not to go near the oven because it was hot, and it would burn her. With no experience of 'hot' or 'burn' not only did take my word for it but she convinced every child who ever visited our house that the oven was hot, and it would burn them.

Anyway where were we? Oh yes . . . John Bunyan is excellent, if you read him it means you're clever . . . Now go convince some others.

I don't have an art degree. I just see elephant dung as elephant dung. If you're a gullible type, people can tell you otherwise but trust me - it's elephant dung.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jan 2013 20:42:23 GMT
gille liath says:
Everything's a racket, isn't it? And here you are to prove it...

And caro, it's not necessarily snobbery to think some things are better than others - that really is a pheasant argument. It's only snobbery if what you're after is the social prestige rather than the art itself.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jan 2013 20:15:07 GMT
Tinca says:
Yes, Michael, undoubtedly all to do with one's breeding - one needs to be off of a council estate like what I was...

You don't have to choose whether you are a minion, a heathen or a revolting peasant; nothing is stopping you being all three at once. I bet you can do it without even trying!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jan 2013 20:11:56 GMT
Ethereal says:
Amber because I've spent too much time on the forum lately!

I Readalot: "I am sure that a lot become bitter and twisted believing that their offering is far better than the authors that make it"

I get why some might recognise writing isn't their forte or they've got nowhere and had enough.
But for those who enjoy writing it can be its own reward and more is a bonus.
I find it inexplicable for anyone to become embittered because their dream of a writing career hasn't materialised or they can't take the usual rejections while other, perhaps less worthy, writers get lucky. The whole process is a learning experience and challenge.
It's sad when people were let down by unrealistic expectations or lost their life savings to it.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  247
Initial post:  10 Jan 2013
Latest post:  25 Jan 2013

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