Writing books is one thing, writing best sellers is something else. That’s what millions of would-be literary successes are finding out for themselves. In this day and age of more and more technological advances practically anyone can turn out a book, no matter whether it’s good, bad or indifferent. The digital world has made major changes in the writing and publishing industry as e-readers have made major inroads into reading habits.
Obviously, I’m one of those giving this new approach a try, as evidenced by my thirteen e-books that are available pretty much everywhere around the globe. However, that’s not part of this particular story. Instead, I want to tell you about an individual who was a one-time light bulb vendor and a door-to-door book salesman. The latter may have helped trigger his creative ideas but one way or another he penned a best-seller when he was 39 years old.
It was the getting there that made a good story. This author was struggling and had finally gotten a job as a wholesaler for pencil sharpeners of all things. Sitting around waiting for his salesmen to report in gave him time to check ads for his product in the pulp fiction magazines that were all the rage. He read a lot of the stories while he was at it and finally reached a point where he thought he could do just as well. He supposedly once claimed that if people were paid for writing such rot he could write stories just as rotten. That doesn’t sound a lot different from much of the self-publishing activity currently prevalent.
At any rate, he decided to write a novel that was about as foreign to pencil sharpeners as you can imagine. It was a flight of fancy to say the least with a title, "Dejah Thoris, Martian Princess." It was so unusual he was afraid editors might think he was “tetched in the head,” so he used the pen name of Normal Bean. He picked that because it implied he wasn’t kooky after all.
Well, what do you know, it got published, so he wrote a second novel. No such luck this time as it got rejected. There’s an old saying, “The third time’s the charm,” which is described as a belief that the third time something is attempted is more likely to succeed than the previous two attempts. It worked out that way this time and the third novel was accepted and first appeared in the October, 1912 issue of All-Story magazine and he got a terrific (for the times) 700-dollars for it. Talk about a career getting off and running, that did it.
Oh, I forgot to tell you, the writer was now using his own name and the little trifle mentioned was "Tarzan of the Apes" by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
As for me, I can only hope “the fourteenth time is the charm” since I already have thirteen eBooks published. If it doesn’t work out maybe I can get a job selling pencil sharpeners, or am I just figuratively swinging on vines of hope?
About John Rayburn
John Rayburn is a veteran of 62 years in broadcasting, serving as a news/sports anchor and show host. His TV newscast achieved the largest Share of Audience figures of any major-market TV newscast in the nation.
His network credits include reports/appearances on The Today Show, Huntley-Brinkley News, Walter Cronkite News, NBC Monitor, NBC News on the Hour, et al.
He recorded dozens of books for the National Library Service and narrated innumerable Radio/TV recordings. Rayburn has traveled extensively, gaining information and making observations about our national foibles.
He is well suited to bring fascinating stories to life concerning the people, places and things that combine to present lively observations of our day-to-day lives.
John's blog, 'Bloggadocio': http://bloggadocio-onairvet.blogspot.com.au/
Where have you been all my life? I recently asked myself this very question when I came across something I hadn’t realized had been in existence for about 40 years. I’m an English major and with all we learned, I had never heard this term: Deep POV. I even thought I might have been the only one until a couple days ago. Another author asked me what is Deep POV? My twitter response: 1st person POV + 3rd person limited omniscience = baby (Deep POV). I know this sounds weird, but I promise to make you understand as easily as possible.
Last spring I took a senior seminar class with Allen Weir. He taught us four points of view (POV): 1st person, objective, limited omniscience and omniscience. Every book you have ever read using “I” or “we” is in 1st person POV. Objective, limited omniscience and omniscience are typically told in 3rd person (“he,” “she,” or “it”). With objective everything is told from an outside view. Kind of like the way we would describe people we watch through a one-way mirror. Limited omniscience tells the story from the view of one or two characters. Omniscience tells the story from every character you meet (two or more).
What then is Deep POV? Jill Elizabeth Nelson described it as remaining “firmly inside the POVC’s (point of view character’s) head, nothing in a scene can be presented for reader consideration that is outside that character’s head.” Is your mind blown? Mine was and still it made so much sense. Deep POV takes away all the telling and forces an author to show. Take for example the following two sentences. Which do you think is Deep POV?
1. He had to think hard about what to do next.
2. What should he do next?
If you guessed #2, you’re right. A lot more happens in Deep POV. Since I can’t cover it all, I’ll give you a couple more examples. In Jill’s book she includes a worksheet. I’m going to take one sentence from there and change it to Deep POV and I’ll take one from my own current project - Destroyed.
1. (Jill’s WS) Shallow: He wondered whether she would show up for his birthday party. Deep: Would she even bother to show up for his birthday party?
2. (Destroyed) Shallow: He stared at Gervasio and wondered when they finished how much of his family would remain intact. Deep: He stared at Gervasio. What would be left of his family when everything was said and done?
Hopefully by now you get the general idea. If you’re a new author or trying to break into the business, Deep POV is what readers want. Challenge yourself and find all of those telling words and throw them out the window. Make your book strong. For more information check out Jill’s book Rivet Your Readers With Deep Point of View on Kindle for $3.99.
About Krys Fenner
Krys Fenner was born and raised in Florida. All her life, she has been a bit of an outsider, even in her own family. In 2010, she moved to Tennessee where she knew no one and had no familial support. Despite the distance, she is now closer to her family than she ever has been before. With encouragement from one another, she and her younger sister both returned to school. Krys is currently working on her Bachelor's degree and plans to continue on to Graduate school. Although school has come a bit later in life, Krys hopes to use her experiences to make a difference in the world.
As I write my latest novel I am feeling a new excitement for writing. Of course I’m always happy to write but this time it’s a new beginning. There is something very refreshing about writing with completely new characters in a new setting, unrelated to that of the Sky Stone series.
‘Nexus’ (I believe I will call it) is a novel set in future Earth where the human race is slowly dying out as Mother Earth’s task force, The Animus, set out to destroy them. Well most of them, some of the Anima want to save the human race and hence make contracts with the humans. This contract increases the Contractors core strengths, be it physical strength, speed, agility, etc.
One of the best parts about writing in the fantasy genre is that you have the opportunity to create new concepts which do not exist in real life. This is even more so when you write in a futuristic setting, because… well… the future hasn’t happened yet. So I can write about absurd ideas which seem plausible in the future.
One such idea is how to produce infinite sustainable energy. I felt like some sort of genius when I actually came up with a method. I won’t lie, I might have fantasized about it becoming reality. With my understanding of physics I believe spinning magnets could produce sustainable energy.
‘Nexus’ is still very much a work in progress. It feels like every idea ends up revamped or changed completely. Even so, I feel that I am entering a new era in my writing life. I can’t wait to see where these characters lead me!
Do you have any new writing projects underway? Please tell me about them in the comments below.
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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