First Visit To The Café

And as we know when a hashtag becomes too popular, it suffers. I am detecting the Twitter #writingcommunity one is becoming less about discussing writing and is increasingly being “hijacked” by too much impersonal self-promotion and, frankly, stuff – even junk – that strays off topic. There also seems to be more trolling.

[From the “Archer” television show. From my Instagram Stories, June 15, 2020. Photo by me.]

Looking to talk writing, it seems #writingcafe is a new hangout. I had a look there recently. There is some overlap between the two hashtags, but on #writingcafe there seems much less (at least for now) of what is undermining #writingcommunity:

A synopsis I like to think of as generally synonymous with an “abridgment.” An abridgment is a cutting down of a long book, or even a series. Call it perhaps too an “abbreviation.”

One example is taking all six volumes of Edward Gibbon’s 1776-1789 published The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and slashing, well, most of some books, and producing one Penguin paperback of around 700 pages:

[Photo by me, 2018.]

So, now, try to abridge your entire novel down to… about, uh, one or two pages maybe.


Unfortunately, yeh, there is no easy way to do it. (The Reedsy blog has a post on a way to do it.)

[Another pause.]

Oh, and you just went from “Archer” and a few lines later to Edward Gibbon.

You get that ONLY here on my blog. LOL!

That could apply to all of you too, of course.

This one will be a reasonable length, don’t worry.

Hmm. I would seem to be on the rather inexpensive side then.

I am happy to share excerpts on here for all of you to read.

In fact you know I do that.

But I would NEVER burden you with my reading voice for “20 pages.” You would unfollow and head for the hills!

Usually in the early mornings, but that is not carved in stone of course.

Speaking of stones.

Worth always bearing in mind.

Why is it these sorts of questions tossed out there always get a big response? LOL!

Any “large scope” novel pretty much requires that what is seen comes at us through the eyes of multiple characters:

[A 1797 Paris excerpt from Tomorrow The Grace. Paperback. Photo by me, 2020.]

Even, for example, one that has been much in the news of late, Gone With the Wind, while mostly centered around “Scarlett’s” view of the universe, has others’ “points of view” as well.

A proofreader observed something early on “negatively” of my first book’s rough draft. I fixed it and I was told by her that I had indeed “fixed” it. I have naturally sought since then to avoid falling into doing that again.

A “positive” is not something I want to suggest on here either.

Because I don’t want anyone to go looking for evidence (they believe) of either – to claim either that I have not “fixed” it or that they feel I do not do very well what I think I do.

A page or two of brief paragraphs of outsized ideas for happenings and characters in chronological order and the general idea of the conclusion (a paragraph).

I have no qualms about writing “out of order.” In fact, I always do that.

I started my first book

…with what became its eventual “Chapter 7.” That chapter is a straight lift of an experience of mine of a day in Manhattan and an evening on the subway. (It even falls just within Amazon’s “free preview” above.) I wrote the novel starting from basically that spot, jumping all over the place and filling in the spaces between.

That is now just how I do it.

I do have a “favorite,” but I don’t want to share who it is.

I prefer to let readers develop their own opinions about such things without my input.

I recall myself as a teen. If you want kids to dislike a book, make it a school assignment. And make sure there is an essay about it and also an oral report.

That is in my opinion simply NOT true.

A good book will at times likely – and correctly – upset and distress you:

[War and Remembrance, by Herman Wouk (1978). Photo by me, 2020.]

For example, War and Remembrance – with character deaths in combat, and murders in concentration and extermination camps – “softens the edge” of nothing.

But you LEARN a great deal.

Those 50 were produced, she points out elsewhere in that thread, in just 5 years.

If they are well-written, one can only bow to such an honestly astounding accomplishment…

[As I was tagged yesterday by this person on Instagram. 🙂 ]

…for from my writing perspective, with 5 completed novels that I researched, drafted, and redrafted, and corrected, and always agonized over, in 7 years… I must admit I don’t know otherwise how to react to someone saying they have written 50 in 5 years.

On that note, have a good day, wherever you are. 🙂

P.S.: A personal blogging aside:

[From my Instagram Stories, June 16, 2020.]

I have tried it. I don’t like it. It is so “uncluttered” and UNCLEAR it is all too easy accidentally, for instance, to post an unfinished draft thinking you are merely saving it – as I nearly did.

I prefer the “classic”: I know where all the buttons are and what they do; I know the HTML and see where it goes; I know how the post will look to visitors; and I can post now with my eyes practically closed. I do NOT want to spend “3 months” relearning how to put up a blog post after over six years here. So I do NOT want ever to be “cheerily” informed the option to use the “classic” mode will ever be discontinued.

I PAY for this site. (I do that to give you, my visitor, the best experience possible. That is why you do not see those usually tacky and cheapo third party click ads that as a blogger I have no control over and receive NO compensation for them appearing on the blog. I ***HATE*** those. I will NOT have my novels in any way associated with most of them.)

Just in case anyone at WordPress is listening in. 🙂

6 thoughts on “First Visit To The Café

  1. Hmmm…I think you should simple copy the post to the support team, dear John. Or…make a sort of a post calling other bloggers to protect the classic editor! You may relay on me. I hate any “innovations” of the kind as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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