Do authors hijack other’s ideas due to their better narrative?

 

The thing is, they hijack the IDEAS but they don’t hijack the way the idea has been presented. If they do so, it’s called plagiarism and it’s illegal.

What they do is use the idea that someone else had and then spin that idea into something else that is uniquely theirs and that is often unrecognizable as the original idea. This makes perfect sense because that original idea has usually changed so much that by the time it’s presented to the public it actually is a new idea entirely.

Because one way creativity grows is by rubbing against other creativity and the greater the friction the greater the creativity.

What is your motivation for writing?

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My original motivation for writing was to earn a paycheck from home doing something I enjoyed. And it worked for many years. Then Amazon turned the bricks and mortar publishing industry on its head and the magazines I wrote for went belly up and I found myself without that paycheck.

 

I tried other means of making money writing. Ghostwriting. Book doctoring. Editing. Etc. They all brought in some money and a lot of headaches. Did you know that it’s easy to lose money doing those things? Very easy! And it’s hard work. So I decided I didn’t want to work my butt off to lose money.

So I found a publisher and started writing novels and I enjoy it greatly. Only problem is that I also must do the marketing and I suck at marketing.

But I’ve found that I want to continue writing whether I get that paycheck or not. Not because I have some fundamental, gut-deep urge to write because I don’t and never did. Nor because I must write or die because I can do many other things and be happy, thank you very much.

Rather I find I wish to continue because I’ve learned a lot about the craft and art of writing during the many years I’ve been at it and I find that I wish to continue to use those skills until they begin to wane. (Which, at my age, could be any day.)

I know how to put a story together. How to create viable characters. How to create a character arc that works. How to both create and describe a setting without the description intruding on the pace of the story. I know how to pace for best effect. I know how to do all the things that, put together, make up a decent story.

In other words, I know how to write and, darn it, I like doing something that I’m good at!

THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD

“It’s the best thing since sliced bread.”

Everyone knows that the standard of greatness against which all great things are measured is sliced bread.

What you probably didn’t know (unless you live in Northwest Missouri) is that Missouri is the home of sliced bread. I’m not making this up! Of course, people have been cutting bread into slices forever, but the first time you could buy a loaf of bread that was already sliced was 90 years ago, in a small town called Chillicothe, just thirty minutes down the road from Hamilton. That’s where Otto Frederick Rohwedder invented the first commercial bread slicing machine.

I really am grateful to Otto’s bread-slicing machine for making our lives a little easier. It allows for doing all sorts of other things besides slicing bread. Like writing clean, small-town, chick-lit romances, which is a fun thing to do and are fun books to read. No ‘big problems’ that will ruin lives unless they are solved. No horrid, dark monsters waiting in the wings to wreck everything unless they are defeated. Just nice people falling in love in wonderful, beautiful places and living happily ever after.

At least I hope they live happily ever after.

I write their stories so that they can do so.

I assume they do.

WHY WE WRITE

Did you know?

Written language was invented independently by the Egyptians, Sumerians, Chinese, and Mayans.

Written language was invented independently by the Egyptians, Sumerians, Chinese, and Mayans.

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Which just goes to show that people from many cultures in widely differing parts of the world have felt compelled to write for a very long time.

Including me, though I never realized that writing was a compulsion until I reached a place in my life when it wasn’t required to bring in a check, but rather was something I did ‘just because.’

Because I knew how to put a story together and how to create viable characters and how to weave words together to say something intelligible.

And so I still do it, even though I’ve reached the age of retirement. (Or passed it years ago.)

But that’s me and I’m not everyone and there are as many reasons why writers write as there are writers sitting at their laptops – or scribbling in their journals – or dictating into their speech recognition software gadgets.

So now you know my reason for writing.

What’s yours?

 

 

WRITERS MUST BE CRAZY

I definitely believe this, especially now. The thing is, I’m a writer.

But:

I absolutely cannot learn the technology behind internet marketing. I recently spent two days — two whole days — figuring out how to get a newsletter out using Mailchimp. Now, according to other writers, Mailchimp is easy to use. Takes a few minutes to get anything out, which is partly why they use it. (The other part is because there’s a free option.)

So how’s that for crazy? Spending two days doing what should only take fifteen minutes? Yet I did it because I was told that all writers need a newsletter.

Like I said, writers must be crazy.

Self Promotion

Self-promotion is on my mind a lot these days because the very first professional promotion of any kind starts April 8th for Spirit Legend, my third book, my fourth e-published anything. I never had to self-promote before because I sold my works to publishers and they took care of the rest.

My first foray into promotion uses the simplest promotional package I could find. I figured I’d start easy and gradually work my way up to complicated.  My experience with this simple package makes me realize what’s behind something I’ve noticed that puzzled me greatly.  Why many not-so-great books get wonderful reviews and sell well while other, possibly better books, don’t get reviewed and don’t sell at all.

The reason is simple.  There’s nothing easy about promoting books.  Nothing!

This first foray of mine into publicity doesn’t require me to do anything except spread the word about a Book Blast that starts April 8th and continues for a week.  I’m to name the book blogs that will feature Spirit Legend but that’s not hard, I have a list.  Then all I have to do is check the blogs on the days they are featuring my book and comment and reply to comments if there are any questions.  Which, by the way, the promoter said may not happen because it often doesn’t.

Sounds easy, right?  Wrong!  I’ve already learned that spreading the word isn’t simple.  I do know many places where I can post information of this kind, but each place has rules.  Different rules for different places and I’d better not break any of them!

So that’s where I am now.  Slogging through the muddy waters of mentioning my Book Blast.  That’s all I’m doing and I’m already lost.  I’m sure that when the Book Blast begins, I’ll find myself equally lost as I pick my way through the maze of book blog etiquette. And It’s possible that none of it will be worth the effort and expense.  Sales may not increase.  Name recognition may not be helped.

But no matter the result, I’ve learned something.  Authors who figure out how to work the system sell books while those who don’t know how to do it right sink like stones.  Now I know why a book I read by an author who can’t even write a sentence in decent English is not only selling very, very well, I know why her novel is being chosen as ‘best of’ in several categories. And it’s happening even though many reviews of her novel commented on the fact that her English is very bad.  Some reviewers were shocked and turned off by her poor grammar.

Yes, the story line of her novel is good. Excellent.  Still, with so many other books out there that also have excellent story lines and, in addition, are easy to read, I suspect that the reason she’s selling so well while others aren’t is that she knows how to self-promote.  She knows how to work the system.

I wish her luck.  I just wish every writer out there could learn those same deceptively simple skills.

Anyone out there know the secret?  If so, please let all writers know. Most of all, let me know in time to get things going for my Book Blast!