But Twitter Can Still Be Fun

Yesterday I was pretty harsh about some “writing chat” on Twitter. That was in the context of those who use the platform for – I feel – professional exposure, yet appear to back away from actually saying much of anything truly substantive. A writer must never be fearful and bland.

That said, writing Twitter can still be fun:

You bore yourself? Oh, my. If so, you have something to work on.

Because if you are boring yourself, you will certainly bore your readers.

How do you fix it?

Write what does not bore you.

As an author too…

[From Twitter.]

…I believe: You should not ask anything of readers.

Once they have bought your book, the book belongs to them.

They owe YOU nothing.

Yes, I have found new writers and reading through social media – blogs, Instagram, and Twitter. I hope to continue to do so. Usually I have bought books (after having a read of the free sample – I ALWAYS read the free sample) from authors I have gotten to know at least a little.

I have enjoyed all of Adele Archer’s Anglo-American romance novels. I like Delphine Woods’ Victorian tales. Somewhat off my normal reading track, I have liked Eric Keegan’s quirky books. I am looking forward to Laura Thompson’s soon to be released novel.

As you may know, too many “five star” ratings for most books – particularly with only short commentaries on the book – frankly makes me suspicious that reviewing “gameplaying” is going on. (I do not mean possibly to be thought to infer such applies to that book above. I use it only as a “five stars” example because it caught my attention. I do not know or follow the author, and I have not read the book.) That does not mean I will not read it, but as I have also said before most new books are simply NOT nearly that good: it is “grade inflation.” Although I am proud of my books I would never be big-headed enough to dare assert that I think any of them are “five stars.”

Most even GOOD new books are realistically “four stars.” Getting to “five stars” takes it into the realm to me of a writing breakthrough and/or seriously culturally significant and even socially changing… meaning a book that will be read for generations to come. Only the passage of time proves if they are “five star” good.

Uh, maybe, though, umm, with the passage of time… mine? LOL!

I am not a fan of too much “I” “I” “I” in books. I feel a story told only from one perspective is going to be a very narrow one. That is not really appropriate, I feel, for my subject matter.

[A 1787 France excerpt from Conventions: The Garden At Paris. On Kindle for iPhone and iPad. Copyright 2017. Click to expand.]

For those who care about such literary devices, my novels are generally written in the “3rd person.” They have a main character and several others nearly as important as the main one – perhaps they are even equal in many respects. So from whose perspective the tale is shared also varies at times and deliberately so.

And some is also occasionally in the “I” “I” “I” “1st person” as I deem it necessary.

My books, my rules.

Sometimes I just don’t want to talk about being a writer. I spend so much time thinking about what I am planning to write and actually writing. Often I find I try to avoid mentioning it in ordinary conversation.

Most of my favorite books are more than 50 years old.

[Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott. 1820. Photo by me, 2020.]

In fact, several are in the two hundred year old range.

I know my major characters fairly well as I begin writing. Usually that is because there is some basis in a real person. So I have a pretty good idea from the start who they are and how they will develop.

What do I drink when writing?

Uh, vodka.

I’m kidding! Kidding! LOL!

An observation: India seems to have a massive number of poets.

My family reading my novels (my first three in particular) concerned me only insofar as some of the story content I had obviously borrowed from the family and real-life.

I am unbothered about some types of, err, scenes. We are adults here. I am not writing for children.

If anyone, though, I admit I am most concerned about what my wife may think at times. LOL!

Lastly today, having seen this (although it was not Twitter’s #writingcommunity) recently I think it is relevant to me as both a writer and an historian… who writes currently of an era in which “patriarchy” was clearly the social norm:

I have rarely read something as wrongheaded as that put out by an organization as reputable as the United Nations – because they write that as if “patriarchy” existed in a vacuum and only now have we collectively “woken up.” In reality, the main reason that “patriarchy” existed for most of history was simply because the strongest naturally dominated and most of those physically strongest were men. Indeed even weaker men were regularly run over by stronger men.

Notice today that the least technological societies – often in Africa and in Asia – are those that remain the most “patriarchal.” It is only in the last century in parts of the world in which technology has often largely negated men’s physical advantages over women. Today a woman as easily as a man may fly a fighter jet; but matters were rather different when opposing armies hurled spears at each other and fought in phalanxes. But remove all of our modern tech – from electricity to birth control to whatever – and within a blink of an eye we will be back to living in the world of, well, “War and Peace” once more in which the strongest dominate. And those dominating will probably mostly be, once again, men.

[Attributed to a follower of French artist David. Paris, late-1780s. From left: Thomas Jefferson, unidentified, John Adams, unidentified, Jacques Louis-David, Philip Mazzei, and William Short. Public Domain.]

Sexual equality has made huge strides in the last two centuries only BECAUSE of our “modernity” which comes from our incredible technology. Our technology would awe and stun even the most educated of people who lived in “1800.” Having become so accustomed to it, we had mostly forgotten in the last few generations what vulnerability, say, to “plague” – which had beset humanity for all time previously – felt like. If anything the coronavirus pandemic should have reminded us that we remain the same vulnerable humans – some of us are stronger, and some weaker – that humans always have been.

In the John Adams HBO miniseries there is a scene in which a desperate Abigail is trying to soap down and scrub even between the cracks of her wooden floor trying somehow to stave off illness to her children. Suddenly that sort of worry of centuries past has a new resonance to we who had in many respects become by the 21st century overconfident and even jaded about our medical prowess. In 2020 we have gotten an ugly reminder of what it is to live in fear of some invisible easily communicable airborne virus that may strike us and our loved ones down and against which, despite all of our technology, to “defend” ourselves we are reduced basically to doing what humans have always done in such situations: standing apart, covering our faces, cleaning constantly and hoping it spares us… much as Abigail Adams did in the 1770s-80s.

On that, uh, happy note, have a good Monday, wherever you are. 🙂

2 thoughts on “But Twitter Can Still Be Fun

  1. Thank you for the mention, my friend! 🙂 I too rarely share my writing proclivities. There is a method to my madness, however, as I hope to completely fly under the radar of few I’m writing about, lol. Have a great day!

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