You Can Never Predict Your Audience.

Good day to you fellow writers, and bloggers.

Those who write stories are also readers, bloggers and sometimes reviewers. A few very astute ones are also positive mentors and constructive advisors. These are various identities within one person; each slightly different, although sometimes merging. My reviewer identity is generally a sober and reflective person.

Thus they write to you:

Hello everyone. Something about the writer and blogger I share a head with. After living with them for all these 68 years I have to conclude their main influences in writing and blogging is not any other writer but one of the three musicians

Frank Zappa 

Captain Beefheart

Moondog

I issue this salutary warning for new writers lest you might think the following this is the true and only way. Those who are following this blog are free to shake their heads and smile indulgently.

Here we go then….

Extract from Of Patchwork Warriors. Volume One of The Precipice Dominions

          From her vantage point Trelli had overheard a moving and a whispering in the warehouse. She had the oddest of ideas she was being tracked by two women, which was a surprise, though of what sort females she was not too sure. There were rumours of very merciless Devoteds, kept for special and extraordinary circumstances. However these were not striding vengefully the way she had expected ruthless trackers to behave. She was trying her very best to think of the next move. Stuck hunched and scrunched was very uncomfortable. Yet maybe, just maybe if she stayed ever so still. They just might go away.

          ‘Hello!’

          Everything of Trelli firstly jolted, then seemed to spin; but finally, for her own survival and self-respect finally clenched. This episode couldn’t have lasted very long, because when she peered down between her legs and the stairs, there was a face, topped with a brimmed hat and framed in blonde hair was regarding her, moonlight and unsettling firelight revealing a light friendly smile. They were speaking in one of those easy-going hengestatian accents.

          ‘Hello,’ Trelli always felt good manners cost nothing, even when being hunted down ‘Might I ask your business here, please? This is the warehouse of my employer,’

          They both flinched as another projectile screamed overheard; Trelli felt it was a comfort, Beritt winced, she was a soldier fer frib’s sake! She ordered herself to be more composed.

          ‘Truth be known. I think it’s you I may be more concerned about. Y’see I’m in the Imperial LifeGuard. Medician Arketre Beritt,’ she doffed her hat ‘I am engaged in seeking out someone who may be distressed by matters outside of their control. You being all scrunched up in a blanket seem to fit the description,’

She hoped her little speech was sufficient unto the cause; a sort of similar had worked with Bleymore.

          To her relief, the figure sunk back with a sigh.

          ‘You’ve not come to torture and burn me?’ Trellis did feel a bit of goose for blurting out that, but all in all she was not inclined to rational thought. The soldier, let out a soft laugh, shaking her head.

          ‘Good Lord God’s Mercy no!’ she shook the bag at her side ‘Medician, y’see. I heal things. I care for folk,’

          ‘And if that doesn’t work. You got me to contend with girly,’

          Beritt winced and groaned, just when she was starting to get somewhere there came Karlyn crawling up the stairs like a bad-tempered tomcat.

          ‘Karlyn I-‘

          ‘I’m with the custodians see. We got you cornered. Give up now. You’re nicked girly!’

          Trelli looked quickly to Beritt. Although the soldier’s scowl was not directed at her; this was small comfort as the nasty one with the cold elidian accent crept closer, something in a bag dangling from a string in one hand, a fearsome sword in another and the iron staff insignia dangling from her right ear?

          ‘Rein in Karlyn willya!! The girl’s scared out her socks!!’

          ‘They look secure to me Flaxi!!’

          ‘Please excuse my associate,’ Beritt drawled conversationally ‘When her mother was carrying her, the poor lady was bitten by a rabid squirrel,’

          Humour did not help, Trelli began to back up the stairs, Karlyn advanced.

          ‘I got her Flaxi. Now you just sit tight. This is my work. I can smell the whychery so strong!! And you! Lurky pants! Stop dithering! Raise your hands and slither down here all controlled,’ Karlyn waved the bag ‘One sly move and you get a mouthful of this, and it,’ she slavered with relish ‘Burns!!’

          Trelli didn’t see how she had any options left, the little ‘hengy’ was being nice but down there, while the nasty ‘’Lidian was here and getting closer! She had to do something to stop the advance.

          Karlyn was not really surprised the whytchie had suddenly pulled off the gloves and waved her hands about, with all sorts of red and blue colours appearing. She was a bit perplexed at the display being all soft and rather nice-looking, like one of the festival displays. They should be all thunder and lightning stuff. Must be a trick.

          ‘Now you just stop there!!’ Trelli tried to imagine the nasty girl was a sort of Wigran ‘I got powers!! And you just be careful, or you’ll get them!!’

          ‘I wouldn’t do that!’ Beritt called up ‘My associate is not inclined to be reasonable! Whatcha name.’ Beritt hoped those words might calm the girl down; there was a bombardment going on; Karlyn was doing her mad-dog act, and here was a girl waving rainbows. ‘And y’all hold still there Karlyn!!’

          ‘T-Trelli!’ came back the stammering cry to Beritt’s question ‘An’ you get back ‘lidian! You’ve no business crawling in here frightening people who are bothered enough as it is! Why don’t you leave your friend to help me!’

          The colours began to rapidly shift between red and blue, Karlyn was certain she could see sparks dancing between the fingers; this was surely building up to some sort of stormihiggle attack, and poor dear Flaxi would get fried or frazzled if she didn’t act now.

          And thus leapt…..

End of extract…..

On a whim while exiled from WP (I’ve never, ever gonna let that go!) I joined a Facebook group focusing on Fantasy writing. They seemed a generally harmless crew and on another whim I decided to post up the above, just to gauge feedback…..

This is what I got:

          Perhaps it’s just me but it all feels a little bit confusing. Within the first paragraph, I am already utterly lost. The bit about smelling “Whychery so strong” to me makes no sense as something that an actual person would say. The line “She slavered with relish.” actually made me think of a person drooling burger relish and resulted in me saying “What?” outloud. As it continues, it just made me more baffled because the whole thing reads a little like a person who doesn’t really understand the rules of grammar or human speech. Sorry if it sounds rude, I just can’t really make sense of it so it is difficult for me to give balanced feedback with good and bad points. My overall impression is that you tried to write in a similar style to The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll and it didn’t really work out.

 

Now my first response was ‘are you reading my post?’

But the second was ‘huh-huh’

Someone else also said as I had published this already, they, nay demanded to know what I hope to get out of this…

To which I replied ‘Nothing much. Just putting it out there to see where it floats. Just curious I guess’

An answer guaranteed to infuriate some folk.

Fishing for Sympathy Are We?

Naahhhhh!

Now the reason for my posting this interlude is as an observation or warning, call it what you will. Experienced writers will no doubt have learned this already, but for those of you starting out, this is a certainty:

You can write with all due diligence, you can (as you should) re-write and re-write. You can call in very good beta-readers and even get yourself a recommended editor (make sure they are recommended, anyone can ‘say’ they are an editor). You can get your work published, sell some and even garner good reviews.

HOWEVER.

There will always be those who

Don’t ‘get it’

Are offended

Are living in a world where they are a ‘kritik’

All will let you know their negative views. And it being a sad fact of human nature you will be inclined to pay more attention to them that the majority of good comments.

The last two you can do nothing about (Unless it happens on Facebook where you annoy them by making a display of not being upset and making bland comments such. ‘If you feel that way’ or ‘Huh-huh’).

As for the ‘I don’t get it’. This is something which you will have to accept is going to happen time and time again. People are different in their tastes and perspectives. Even if they like the genre you are writing in, they will have ideas and notions as to how this should be formulated and if yours doesn’t fit their perspective, they will say so. Your style of writing might not suit them, your formulation of plot, your interaction of characters. And so forth.

This is how it is.

But what do I do? You say.

You write your own way.

If you are looking to make a living from writing you will obviously have to nuance and research a great deal to ensure your creativity can reach the audience you are seeking out. As I have written before I am not the person you should look to for guidance here.

If you are as I am, just writing…because. Then you can do no more than make sure your work is not exceptionally sloppy in presentation, does not contain Hate or Intolerance, and has a capacity to entertain not infuriate the reader. (Confusion is an debateable option, since Life is confusing….Note to self…write a post on Confusion….).

In short write. Write and write again. No two folk are going to interact completely. It is not your responsibility as a writer to try to ensure every possible little niche is filled to every reader…They have to catch up at times…that’s their responsibility. (Works both ways)

 

Foot note:

I drifted from that FB group. Not because I was in a huff about my post, that was the risk. It was just there were too many folk being intense about telling other folk how in great detail they should write. That’s not their responsibility. Too tightly coiled for my tastes. Writers need freedom to work. The nuancing comes in the pre-publishing time.

Write dear people. Write.

Right!

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