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Thread: Question on Literary Backgrounds


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rushweig

Posts: 38
Registered: 04/23/12
Re: Question on Literary Backgrounds
Posted: Apr 23, 2012 5:03 PM   in response to: rushweig in response to: rushweig
 
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Ya, sorry if there was any confusion, I definitely have nothing against genre writers. I do have a complaint about shottily edited work, but I understand it is EXCESSIVELY expensive to print out a 100K word story just to edit it full well knowing you'll need to edit it again. And again. And again...

Thanks to everyone for responding, thoroughly enjoy hearing what people think/feel on here. I'll be sure to come back and drop a link to my book when its up.
rushweig

Posts: 38
Registered: 04/23/12
Re: Question on Literary Backgrounds
Posted: Apr 23, 2012 5:07 PM   in response to: kelpollard in response to: kelpollard
 
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Ya, well I can tell you the time you spent in these forums and with those programs will be far more useful than wading through Joyce. I wish I wasn't so technically deficient.
1001nightspress

Posts: 3,873
Registered: 12/11/11
Re: Question on Literary Backgrounds
Posted: Apr 23, 2012 5:15 PM   in response to: rushweig in response to: rushweig
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Actually, most editing is done online these days. A few years ago, the publishers I work with switched over to entirely .docs and .pdfs, even for production editing (which is at the end of the line). Increasingly, I get copy edits in .docs, and sometimes first pages, and then second pages and production passes in .pdfs. And no, I don't print those out.

I'll admit I miss the days when page proofs came in physical paper form--I really do find it easier to edit those, though it could be my age. But it's definitely cheaper & faster to do it electronically, so I think publishers who haven't switched over yet soon will.
rushweig

Posts: 38
Registered: 04/23/12
Re: Question on Literary Backgrounds
Posted: Apr 23, 2012 5:27 PM   in response to: 1001nightspress in response to: 1001nightspress
 
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Definitely not your age, I can't stand editing on a screen. Jesus, doing that for an entire day would kill my eyes.
1001nightspress

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Registered: 12/11/11
Re: Question on Literary Backgrounds
Posted: Apr 23, 2012 5:34 PM   in response to: rushweig in response to: rushweig
 
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Eh, I got used to it more quickly than I thought it would. And I make sure I take eye breaks every 20 minutes (and wrist breaks, and get up and walk around).

Oh, and getting money for it helps a lot, I find.
rushweig

Posts: 38
Registered: 04/23/12
Re: Question on Literary Backgrounds
Posted: Apr 23, 2012 5:46 PM   in response to: 1001nightspress in response to: 1001nightspress
 
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Haha, good points all 'round. The twenty minute break thing is smart, I'll give that a try on stuff I do for other people. My wrists are already totaled, but its well worth it to highlight those hefty ol' novels.
shaddamax

Posts: 1,722
Registered: 08/09/11
Re: Question on Literary Backgrounds
Posted: Apr 23, 2012 6:45 PM   in response to: rushweig in response to: rushweig
 
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Funny, the only guy I know who writes trash in a genre he doesn't read and doesn't like for the sake of "making a million dollar best seller" is a guy with an English Lit degree. We'll see how well he does.

I write genre fiction. But I read and like genre fiction.
cernunnos9

Posts: 47
Registered: 01/29/12
Re: Question on Literary Backgrounds
Posted: Apr 23, 2012 6:51 PM   in response to: rushweig in response to: rushweig
 
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I'm an English major (fiction concentration), but also have a science degree for my day job. So I've done my fair share of critiquing fiction, workshopping, and editing/revising. In short, I've put a lot of work into my writing.

I completely agree that most indie authors would serve themselves better by going back over what they've already written and doing a thorough revision rather than writing more sloppy novels. I'm not going to judge any genre, but if you're going to write genre fiction, write it well (or at least accept that spelling and punctuation DO count)!

We don't need lazy writers making indie fiction look bad.
jm14

Posts: 1,365
Registered: 10/06/11
Re: Question on Literary Backgrounds
Posted: Apr 23, 2012 7:07 PM   in response to: rushweig in response to: rushweig
 
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rushweig,

You confuse an educational background with a literary background. They don't often have much to do with one another.

Here is my educational background: BA from New York University; major in English Comp/Lit; double minor in Spanish and Classical Mythology. (A time ago.)

Literary background: I have had more than 40 novels and books of nonfiction published over the years by traditional New York publishers such as Atheneum, Delacorte, Bantam, Pocket Books, and New American Library. I have written thrillers, historical novels, and mainline contemporary literature. My books have been selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club, the Literary Guild, the One Spirit Book Club and other book clubs and have been translated into more than a dozen foreign languages. My short stories, essays, and articles have appeared in publications ranging from the New York Times Magazine to the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

I have been compared in reviews of my mainline fiction to Henry Miller, Thomas Mann, and Theodore Dreiser. (I could have done without Dreiser.)

Most of my friends are professional writers, a number of them celebrated, multiple-award winners. Only one of these has a Ph.D (and that in film studies rather than English). Some have BAs, some dropped out of college or university before their undergraduate degrees (most often to write).

One of the finer writers I have ever known, Malcolm Braly, dead now, spent all of his his late adolescence in reform school and the better part of his adult life in various prisons. For one of his novels, On the Yard, and then for a later nonfiction work, False Starts: A Memoir of San Quentin and other Prisons, he was ranked by reviwers with Genet and Solzhenitsyn.

I once said to him, "Jesus, Malcolm, you never went beyond the tenth grade and you're better read than I am."

"Well, My Name," he said back to me, "I had nothing to do for a lot a years but read through the San Quentin library, twice."

Me, unless a traditional publisher offers me an extraordinary amount of money, which I don't think likely, I doubt I'll ever publish with one again. The economics simply don't make sense.

Most self-published books, fiction and nonfiction, are indeed. . . well, for charity's sake better left uncharacterized. But that has always been true, when such activity was known in the industry as "vanity publishing." It's just that there are more of such works now, since there is little to no barrier anymore. In time, this will probably thin out, as people realize they are not going to become rich or famous or move the world to tears or joy.

But among those self-published books, very much including by people who could not or never would have found acceptance from traditional publishers, will be some fine entertainments and even some genuine works of high artistic merit.

I respectfully submit that you know little to nothing about these matters at this point. The good news is that you can learn, if you are open to learning.

A handy and timely place to begin might well be with this blog post from yesterday on writers, publishing, and self-publishing by the highly feted mystery and crime writer Lawrence Block that you can find here: http://lawrenceblock.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/all-changed-changed-utterly/

I wish you every happiness and success.

Message was edited by: jm14

Message was edited by: jm14
drunkenvoltaire

Posts: 202
Registered: 11/30/11
Re: Question on Literary Backgrounds
Posted: Apr 23, 2012 7:27 PM   in response to: rushweig in response to: rushweig
 
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I have none. I earned a degree in engineering and currently studying for the bar. One day I just started writing stories and I haven't stopped since. I publish very few of my works but I plan to keep going till I stop enjoying it.
andresanthomas

Posts: 4,932
Registered: 01/01/12
Re: Question on Literary Backgrounds
Posted: Apr 23, 2012 7:37 PM   in response to: rushweig in response to: rushweig
 
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Really? 'Cause I have to tell you that when you start a thread taking shots across the board at indie writers in general (who happen to be the main audience of this forum) as well as anyone who writes in any of the most popular genre for people to write in, you do kinda sound like you haven't quite mastered the puberty thing.
c_har2u

Posts: 1,391
Registered: 10/15/10
Re: Question on Literary Backgrounds
Posted: Apr 23, 2012 7:55 PM   in response to: rushweig in response to: rushweig
 
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" Shottily" spelling Shoddily is an indicator of shoddy self editing. I see what you mean by us indie writers. lol
rushweig

Posts: 38
Registered: 04/23/12
Re: Question on Literary Backgrounds
Posted: Apr 23, 2012 8:01 PM   in response to: andresanthomas in response to: andresanthomas
 
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Taking shots would go more like
"The majority of the pop. fiction categories have unedited or under edited blurbs, free previews, and even reviews (5 stars)"

I don't judge, there's value in everything, even trash TV like real housewives and the abundance of 'programming' on TLC. I was just curious whether the people writing that stuff for a living studied literature or have very powerful imaginations. Sorry for tweaking your sensitivity bone, I forgot its difficult to ask questions on the interwebz without the trolls getting upset.

And sorry for criticizing a post simply left to say nothing. No one's holding a gun to your head demanding answers to my questions, but to take the time to give a non-response seems a waste of my time as well as yours.

Once again, I mean no disrespect to anyone writing genre fiction, I'm simply curious.
cheapliterature...

Posts: 701
Registered: 01/20/12
Re: Question on Literary Backgrounds
Posted: Apr 24, 2012 3:07 AM   in response to: rushweig in response to: rushweig
 
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I would be interested in seeing your book once it's up because I write and read non-genre fiction - it's not really my bag. I'm one of those guys that watches slow artsy films, and reads books by people like Richard Brautigan and Knut Hamsum.

Not everyone here is trying to write the next blockbuster which will get turned into the next blockbuster. But I think we're in the minority. I, myself, have bugger all training other than what I have learnt myself over the last 20 years. The same with my design. If you love something, you work at it, and work at it. Till you find your voice and pick-up good techniques. The craft of writing is a long and fun road I find. At the moment I'm trying to keep my hand in writing shorts, which are meant to be humorous and light which leave a smile on the face of readers - but most importantly and this is very important to me is I am all about Story Telling. To me writing is about Story Telling. Tell. A. Good. Story.

Any way good luck with your stuff.

Give me a shout when the novel is up. You can do this through my blog I guess.

C L Smith
Humblenations.com
golem2b

Posts: 792
Registered: 04/12/11
Re: Question on Literary Backgrounds
Posted: Apr 24, 2012 4:21 AM   in response to: rushweig in response to: rushweig
 
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I have a degree in Rhetoric & Communication.

I do not write "O Roderick's!" (No offense to those who do).

Nor do I write "O O O OOOOOO Roderick's!" (No offense to those who do).

I am one of the few that also edits, (mostly my own work) sometimes the work of others. There was this ONE header paragraph that I agonized over for about six months . . . then one day it just . . . appeared for me, perfect in structure, form, and syntax--it was an epiphany, a thing of beauty.

[i]Yeah, I guess it's obvious, I also like to write.[/i]

Humpty Hump
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