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Everything posted by robg213

  1. Star Wars, and other fans, don't create the problems. The people who own these properties do.
  2. Can the right answer appear here, or not? After many years of working in publishing, I know this: find people, check on their credentials and then make an informed decision. It takes time. It means not stopping after the first person or company does not check out. Today, that unpublished story is getting out to the public. Thousands of ebooks are out there and no one went the 'real publisher' route. No editing, no proofreading, no professional advice. It gets published online and it's a case of 'fire and forget.' That is a fact which some appear to ignore. Actual example. I was talking to a guy who, after finding out what I do for a living, asked me: "Can you tell me why so much science fiction is so bad?" Another example. A three inch thick box shows up at our office, unsolicited. It contains a manuscript with a note on top: "Can you publish this?" If you're going with a real publisher, get their 'submission guidelines.' That's all there is to it. If you find people who check out, it's up to you to develop a relationship with them. If all they have to show for themselves is an email address, be wary. All of the above was written for all reading.
  3. It's fine to have someone you know and trust read your work prior to publication, like a family member. However, their input will be based on whatever knowledge they have. Sure, it will be honest but not professional level. Every writer looking for a professional editor needs to do a reference check. Who do they work for? If independent, can they provide a list of satisfied customers? Before the internet, every single person or company we worked with had to be checked out. There is no quick, easy way. And yes, there are crooks out there who will take your money and change email addresses. So, you have no physical address or phone number, now what? Crooks like the internet. They can be halfway around the world and take your money.
  4. I'll expand on that. If a derivative work is published for Star Wars, the concern among fans is, is the new material canon? Will it become official or not? If it does become official then fans will remember it. If not, likely not.
  5. Copyright doesn't work that way. I understand the concept of "I have no money to hire anyone." So, will publishers be turned off if you file for a real copyright? Ask them. Go ahead, ask questions. And posting anything online is a bad idea. Free is the price anyone can afford. And theft is the action some regard as no big deal. "Honest, your honor. I didn't know what would happen." You don't want that. If you can't afford a lawyer now, you won't later. Contact the copyright office in your country. Pay the $20. And trust me, if you fill out the form wrong, they will contact you.
  6. Writers generally are not business oriented. Such "packages," as mentioned above, guarantee money to the service provider but not the author. I suggest everyone thoroughly research offers like this.
  7. The company I work for did do things differently than the rest in our niche. Our industry peers, and a handful of others, did nothing but complain. Our fans just bought and enjoyed our books. By the way, no one here is waiting for the "world to catch up."
  8. After reading Seth Godin, I realized why I liked David Ogilvy so much. But if that book helps you, that's fine. Seth Godin is just a more recent provider of such information.
  9. Seth Godin? I wouldn't recommend his book. Just being able to find you is part one. Part two is giving them a book they like. That brings them back.
  10. I'm tired of slogans. Yes, the people who own various media think being different is the key. It's not. Making slight improvements over what's gone before works in engineering and in writing. And in real life. Trying different things is an option. It can be done, but all of the work still applies, plus that new - whatever it is - concept to work out/figure out and turning it into something that really works. Sometimes, different is a poorly thought through idea that does not work well.
  11. What is success? Millions of dollars? I've seen it happen up close and personal but the gold ring requires work and the willingness to learn. Too often ego gets in the way of critical thinking. And there is a learning curve here. Again, there are formulas any writer can use. And people tell stories all the time. What happened at work. That accident I saw. It doesn't matter if a genre/niche category is in a slump or not. A good writer works under all conditions. Your manuscript does not hang in the balance if you're willing to take the chance. A story, any good story, begins with an idea. Write that basic idea down and build a story around it. I get phone calls from people who don't know how to start or who have an idea but cannot find the motivation. Learning to be a self-starter is possible. One last thing. Christian standards exist. Go over the Ten Commandments. Go over the words of Jesus in the Bible. Some people think people can't be perfect but there are saints out there and they were not perfect. But they tried to keep those standards as outlined in the Bible. Most movies and TV shows prior to 1970 had standards. Good, solid standards. You couldn't say sex on TV. There were SF movies where God is mentioned. Even comic books had a Comics Code. The line was drawn against immoral sex, profanity and general immoral living. As our Managing Editor told us: "I want heroes that are heroic." Not like the anti-heroes and garbage that gradually got worse and worse after 1970.
  12. I would prefer to write my own blurbs. The blurb is that short summary that gives potential readers/buyers just enough to interest them. A good cover helps as well.
  13. That article contained just a little too much buzz and not enough focus. There are plenty of how-to write books and those are further broken down by genre. And advice has been published here. The key? Use it. There are formulas and basic story frameworks or skeletons on which you can build your story -- any story. What is true of literary agents is also true of the submissions I've seen over the years: most are bad, most are amateur. And yes, if the story doesn't grab me by page 6, it won't on page 70. The same from a Hollywood script editor I know. I firmly believe writing is a craft that can be learned by anyone willing to study those how-to books and apply them, and not quit. Finally, just getting your manuscript through the door does not guarantee it will see print. I saw how some people on another site just assumed they would be published now that they could get more exposure. Again, you have to find out how good storytelling works first and apply it the best you can. It can be done. It has been done.
  14. As someone who has written professionally, some thoughts. Writing something for fun just because you want to does not take anything away from wanting to write professionally. Any writing you do helps. Learning how to write partly involves just doing a lot of writing. Working with a literary agent or directly with a publisher usually does not get taught in Creative Writing classes. In fact, you can graduate with a few skills, and a great desire to use them, but then realize you don't know how to market your work. All you need to do is talk to people. Ask those questions of agents and publishers. Over the years, I've had to ask a lot of questions to help myself along and most people want to help. Then make those changes. Make sure you understand how those changes make the story better. Decide who you are writing to. It does no good if you don't know who reads books like those you want to write. Read the book reviews for those books. Become aware of common, or frequent, pitfalls or other things that rate a book lower.
  15. The attempts by the mainstream media to portray moral filth as somehow OK is the current problem. No one is perfect, we all struggle. But we stop struggling once total strangers tell us that this or that immoral behavior is OK? NO. Take the TV show Friends. Wasn't it great when they started having sex out of wedlock? When one couple was at a party and heard how often another couple did it, they ran back to outdo them? The scene opens with both of them in bed, exhausted. What did Rachel do about Ross after she told him she was pregnant? She discarded him. Like, we had lots of sex but I'll take care of things now.
  16. I think Christians being depicted as actually living like civilized - not perfect - people in the midst of hedonism and other aspects of rampant immorality would be a great help to others. Living moral lives as best they can as opposed to the rampant immorality being portrayed in music, on TV and in movies would be a good and necessary change. I would read about people turning their backs on all of that.
  17. A bit of history to your reply. The present fiction being peddled by a small group of self-proclaimed elites is that there were no people that "looked like them" in fiction in the past. Not true. These elites are making it a point to put "people of color" into certain roles. Why? Because it is among their current list of priorities. Causes which they manufacture and which they attempt to market to those who are unaware they need such things. In other words, they tell us what is important and they tell us how to perceive things. Women flocked to see Wonder Woman in 2017 because she was a woman? Nonsense. What about the TV Wonder Woman from 1975? That doesn't count? I am not a person of color but among my person of color friends, the Black Panther movie would have been blocked from memory if it was a bad movie. It wasn't. So, people who were not black who went to see the movie and who were unenlightened about the agenda of the elite, and enjoyed it... The same could be said of books. However, you need to look at literacy rates broken down as they are in real life. And what about the 16 books in the Left Behind series which ran from 1995-2007 ? "... we have choices now that we didn't have 30 years ago."? I sincerely doubt that. I am still unclear about what your experience is with Christian bookstores and why you wrote "... genre fiction wasteland." You mean there were zero genre fiction books?
  18. Your response is not clear. Perhaps you mean mainstream publishing as opposed to niche Christian publishing? I've been to Christian only, meaning no Catholic books, bookstores, and to Catholic only outlets.
  19. I am all for what Mr. Peretti has done. The New Age is a serious threat. I wonder if those who abandon Christianity for another belief system are aware of how they got from point A to point B. Who is the "we" in "... we could write genre fiction for Christians."?
  20. Our head writer listens to soundtracks but not to music with words. I prefer quiet, not totally quiet, but without actual people talking in the background. I avoid leaving anything on like the radio or TV.
  21. Christians writing good literature? Any recent examples? Apparently, one person here has led a very difficult life. And writing about life's difficulties, and conflicts, is part of what writing is about. Conflict(s) can drive stories but true love can drive stories as well. The sheer tonnage of romantic fiction is evidence of that. And those book covers have not changed for decades. The basic themes remain. A woman dressed chastely embracing a man. An idealized version of men and women but true. And what of other, broader subject matter? One has to draw the line somewhere. The mainstream media would have us believe that all things are changing, that all lines have blurred. Trust me, such extremists already live in fantasy land. And there is no good or happy ending for those who try to live it out. I've seen it play out in real life. The 'alternatives' are no alternative at all. But, if we ignore the attempts at creating a false atmosphere against what we know is good and right, we have a chance at producing work that lifts others up. That inspires them, that encourages them. That gives them even a brief break from whatever they are going through.
  22. That is not possible for Christian writers. We live in the world but should not be part of it. Matthew 7:13 New International Version "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
  23. We will have to give an account for all we did. Nothing wrong with making money. The company I work for has been producing 'family friendly' material for a long time.
  24. I'll close by saying this. A stack of submissions looks exactly like the stack before it, and has for years. That said, it's not like a drawing where one picture is worth more than a thousand words. Mistakes are easier to spot and agree upon. "That arm's too long." It either is or isn't and the fix is not that difficult. With writing, it's all in your head first and putting it on screen is its only tangible form. What is the difference between your writing and Stephen King's books? It's harder to say than with a drawing. All writers have different strengths and weaknesses. All writers have certain problems they need to be aware of so they can write better.
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