Saturday, April 14, 2012

If I were a novelist.. oh, I am. Now what?

"Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?" 
- The Beatles, Paperback Writer

My mom jumped up at karaoke and started singing Paperback Writer. She did this because she loves me, you know - she barely knows the words, and me, I laughed. Every once in a while I think that we are all human beings, with similar needs, wants, and desires to be fulfilled. Then it occurs to me moments later that people are somewhat different. There are types of people. In writing, types of people are further simplified for ease of use. These are character archetypes.

As a writer,I've come to understand character archetypes because I've had to. Once I really come to understand who my character is and what motivates him or her, I am easily able to predict that character's probable actions based on who he or she is. Before I learned to understand character archetypes and story arch down at Film School - yes, you heard me right, film school - I was award the S.T.A.N.D. First Time Director's Award by the now defunct Film Arts Foundation (San Francisco) in 2001 - it was easy to map out where these characters might naturally go.

Before that, my stories never had any ending. They just rambled on and on.

Motivation isn't easy to think about. Me, I want parental approval. I also learned Character mixing at Film Arts Foundation, so I learned how to not allow a character to be recognized as based upon a single person - but if there was a character, just like me, she might be doing the same thing I am doing now - which is aimlessly circling the bones of Self Promotion over the vast desert of Self Publishing like a vulture - a cartoon vulture, voiced by Woody Allen, who keeps acting finicky about diving down there and picking the rotted meat off those bones until they are bare bones, all shiny and glinting in the sun.

But I have to. I have to self-promote, and do it well, no matter how distasteful it seems to me. Rather than resting on my laurels, I could become like the fictional self-promoter in the Beatles song.

Or alternatively, I could not. I could sink back into my comfort zone of planned mediocrity. My parents approve - sort of, I mean 100 people or so have read "Solitude", and that's possibly triple digits, and they give it rave reviews. My parents read it, and they liked it. My fiance approves and he's run up and down the street selling the book to neighbors.

That's good enough, right?

Truly, I'm not sure. I could post a poll and ask you all.

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