Monday, April 02, 2007

Scary Revealed Truth About Speculative Fiction and Publishing

The title of this entry almost says it all about:

Xcentric.com
Jason Stoddard: Science Fiction Writer


Majority of the time, the author addresses fears that I've mostly been able to bury under empty rationalizations. Digital distribution can skew the supply and demand economics of traditional storytelling writing that pitching novels and short stories to publishers may not necessarily cut it anymore. That market may go obsolete eventually, simply because the Internet and its distribution channels has created an expectation of free entertainment. New models must get created, and this guy, even though he doesn't know what will work, doesn't fear bringing up the problem and ruminating about possible solutions that may or may not work.

On a nice note, he publishes his less successful stories on his blog that he couldn't bring himself to polishing enough to sell or just couldn't find a home elsewhere. They have some compelling elements, and I can respect the man for having the imagination and balls to have horrible things happen to people and to have real callous people that you can believe could exist and, scarily, prove relatively compelling.

Overall, though, as an amateur writer, I can see why they haven't found homes. They need tons of fleshing out for both details and showing expostion rather than telling it. Plenty of interesting situations show and intimated, if only he took the time to develop the stories into something amazingly enjoyable. To each their own, and a writer can only handle so much of working on one story or idea. And, personally, I'd have a hard time working a ton on these stories with horrifingly and callous aspects.

Don't fear too much, though. Jason also provides plenty of advice on how to market during this transition stage from the traditional publishing world to the world of, as he calls it, the Mediapool. He has plenty of good ideas, but honestly -- and this may have to turn into another entry of mine -- all the social media overwhelms me.

I don't know how much of this intimidation comes from having a busy life of working as an insurance agent while trying to write fiction, from ADHD or from any other aspect that may influence my semi-instinctual aversion to all the stimulation and work it takes to get involved in social media. Hell, real time face-to-face socializing can overwhelm me at times. At least social media doesn't happen in real time, mostly. . ..

Also, he seems to take a strong stance on trying to make something happen, similarly to Demis McGrath. Jason often complains that traditional science fiction writers have moved away from writing in hard science and having lost their appeal to much of the world. At the same time, the people with tons of potential for becoming fans spend a lot of time on social media like Second Life or Boing Boing. This guy just about describes me when he describes the science fiction writer, and it strikes fear in my heart. Admirably, though, Jason wants to bring the social media users (hopefully not filled with Trolls) and science fiction writers for the good of both.

So yeah, this Website scares me because it reveals the Truth about the future of publishing and other forms of entertainment that can get recorded combined with the shrinking potential of becoming a content creator without also becoming a minor marketer. For those who don't know, both things take a lot of damn work. Hopefully I can muster up the time, the energy and know how to make it work for me. Until then, though, I'll just have to hope that the traditional publishing world can prop me up. Here's to people enjoying a book with pages in it over reading electronic devices with text and the part of human nature that is conservative when it comes to innovative (even as I curse that nature when it comes to socially just innovations).

Yeah, I'm something of a hypocrite. Sue me.

4 comments:

Dawn said...

Useful stuff. And now we enter the world that people never tell you about when you get into music or writing--marketing and self-promotion. That's what you'll spend 80% of your time doing, and it still won't be enough.

The_Lex said...

What has started scaring me: Second Life might already have destroyed the roccoco virtual reality of my novel. Argh!

If anything, I'll probably have to do a little research (more $$$) then get more colorful with the VR. But there's all these other possibilities that affect the fictional 'real world,' too. Argh!

That guy's right, you have to write quick with science fiction. . .Ugh.

Dawn said...

Lol. That's the problem about writing about the future that may be.

The_Lex said...

Or I'm just growing to be an old crank.