I started thinking about this topic recently when discussing The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with my EGMR friends. If you’re wondering how on earth an unreleased movie could relate to plot holes, let me just say that it’s almost inevitable when talking about the new Spider-Man movies to make a few quips about how bad the infamous Spider-Man 3 was, and naturally when talking about my gripes with it I referred to one of its big plot holes and some of its idea recycling.
It’s a well-established thing that for any individual artist, starting from scratch is one mountain of a job that unless your lucky stars are shining and you get a viral explosion, it’s pretty much slow moving, time consuming and often yields a lack of results. I apologise if I mainly focus on writers, but that’s what I am so it’s pretty difficult not to.
I keep coming back to this, but the primary problem of indie – in anything, whether it be gaming, books, music and so on – is volume. The internet allows anyone from anywhere to contribute their work. That makes it especially hard to get noticed, and a massive challenge to get your work out there. It absolutely requires sheer determination and drive to keep reaching out to people and trying to get feedback on your novel. It seriously takes perseverance.
In today’s world, the decision between embracing the ways of the digital age or going with the traditional route is a complex battle that each individual artist must face. Unfortunately finding the answer can be exceptionally tough because so many people will have different opinions about it, and you’ll probably go half-crazy like I did spending your hours reading through hundreds of opinions on the internet. There are just too many good reasons on both sides.
I’ve been writing for the South African gaming website, EGMR (or eGamer), for the past five years. I’ve learnt an enormous amount from the whole experience – in fact it would be difficult to even describe how much I’ve changed and grown from these years and my time with the website. Now, today’s topic came about while I was spending my time reading and learning more about self-publishing and indie authors. I’ve seen many writers unsure of where to begin their journey, and aside from telling them “just start writing”, which is an entirely sound piece of advice, I felt that with my past experience journalism is an ideal beginning point.
I’ve been noticing a trend for some time now that has played a bit of a role in inspiring one of my stories. Of course, as we know, typical do-gooder heroes have become a sort of bore in today’s society, and we like to look towards more complex or damaged characters, especially those who fit somewhere in the morally grey side of things. I’m sure not many can dispute that.
Over recent years we’ve taken a liking to anti-heroes, memorable villains and even enjoyed walking the path of the eccentric and frightening many a time. That’s all commonplace now. But what I’ve noticed, especially in television, is the way these admittedly disturbing characters are portrayed in ways that are designed to make them likable.
And that’s because the reality would lead to the complete opposite.
I’ve spoken to a fair few writers in my time. Well, that’s a nice opening line to make yourself sound old. Anyway, it’s fun to discuss the writing process and your individual pros and cons in addition to your actual stories. And during these discussions, over the years, I’ve learned a lot about myself as a writer. I’m sure what I’m about to say will sound familiar.
Years and years ago, I used to say that my barrier to writing, and the thing that I did not enjoy, was finding a way to connect the dots. You know, adding all the “fluff’ and “in between” stuff. I’ve only realised over the past five months that what I had actually been saying at the time, was that I had not yet found a way to enjoy writing itself.
I am currently going through the (self) publishing process and I’m pleased to see that it’s coming along nicely. But I’m one of those people who only believes they’ve achieved something when they can actually see it. For instance, I won’t believe I’m an author until I’m holding my book in my own hands, rather than just knowing it’s going to happen.
Hopefully in seven to seventeen days I will have that opportunity. I’m a bit giddy and in disbelief right now to fully acknowledge the reality.
But I figured, while I’m waiting, I could let you guys in on some pretty cool trivia. Now the book I’m working to publish right now is not my first ever novel, if you read my origin story on this blog. But it is the first novel I’ve completed, gone the whole way with (that’s not sexual in any way) and got to a point where I believed it’s ready for publication.
Today I wanted to discuss how this novel actually got its name.