Violence in Fiction

The intention of this post is not actually  about raising the profile of  my trilogy nor the last part of it; the project and its characters are merely the anchors for some thoughts on the use of Violence. Bear in mind this is written from a Fantasy perspective so if you are a reader/writer of other genres you may feel some of the points need tweaking. Feel free.

Fantasy, particularly ‘Heroic/Epic rely on large swathes of violence as there will be Wars and there will be Battles, which considering Human History has to be a given. War is part of us whether we like it or not. Somewhere along the line in response to the Opposition or Villains of the narrative the central character(s) will take up arms, several times in fact maybe leading up to one climatic battle, when all may be resolved or some part left unsettled for future tales in a series. Once upon a time in much popular fiction there was a simple sort of tale when Good vs Evil had Evil defeated and that was that, which was about as Fantasy as you can get! Folklore and Legends actually produce a more realistic overview with morally ambiguous central characters and tragic endings. These days there are many Fantasy series rather than stand alones, either one theme such as Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn

Mistborn

Or very complex interactions in which very few nice folk ever appear (and if they do, they don’t live long)

Game of Thrones

All are replete with unavoidable violence, the authors’ mirroring Human history and maybe their views on society in general. Joe Abercrombie being particularly adept at tales dealing with the very gritty, dirty end of violence in which sometimes ‘Fantasy’ hardly rears its head. Take for instance.

Best served cold

Being intentionally set in a land similar to 16th century Italy and nary  a rune or magic staff in sight- nor anyone you would wish to invite over for an evening. The central character (on the cover there) is not a nice person at all, but there again she does not have an idyllic back story.

As with many forms of fiction Fantasy is replete with its own set of genres and sub-genres and in the overwhelming number of works there will be violence of some sort, which since we are dealing with in some form either ambition and/or malignant forces, to repeat is bound to happen. How is this dealt with has many options and variations, from Good eventually triumphing to the very nihilistic someone walking off into the sunset in a devastated landscape, in which evil lurks under a rock (beloved of the writers of comic books/graphic novels and horror movies)- why people think the latter is entertainment is beyond me there are plenty of ‘live’ examples in the world we live in.

Anyway since the post has gradually, as it must, drift into my opinions of the subject this is where I use my own characters to ‘sound off’ (Actually I am fairly certain they do exist from in another part of the Universe and probably in another segment of Time, thus  they have a great influence on my own views)

Heroic Fantasy loves kingdoms and empires which since the setting is usually based in semi-classical or Middle Ages to Renaissance  settings is only natural. History indicates both could be quite robust in carrying on but were prone to their own shares of less than dynamic rulers who were propped up by systems or cliques of self-interest. Thus The Oakhostian. As an empire it is composed of princedoms, city-states and other set-ups. The current dynasty started off with one  fellow who seized power by being physically ruthless against other nobles and the the emperor, albeit in a surgical way, so no rampaging. His son was more inclined to secret police and espionage. Neither bothered the mass of the population as the mass of the population didn’t bother them and both sides saw that as fine. The third in line was more easy-going, affable, with a gift of selling himself and his ideas, and knowing which side to play and when, he also appreciated women a lot and died when as gamboling about with his latest squeeze he fell into a fish pond, knocked his head on an ornamental statue  and drowned. The fourth in line is too young for the job, nervous and doesn’t make decisions. There are of course vested interests big and small. What I did want to create was something far from perfect. An environment  in which an great deal of compromise, morally elastic actions and pragmatic activity went on, most folk just wanting to keep the whole thing going and get by as best they could, because there was always the danger of the Unknown breaking out (Either as demonic forces or the catastrophic ill-use of a nascent power known by various names, commonly Ethereal of Stommigheid)  Thus in some respects mirroring post WWII Europe in the latter half of the 20th Century.  In this empire Violence being contained in the local law and order problems, the spats between princes, princes and their own nobility and the occasional uprising by one group or another. These can be ugly, but since they occur ‘somewhere else’ most folk don’t worry about it. Which I feel is sadly ‘business as usual’ and fairly realistic.

Like most Fantasy series these days, you’ve got to be ready to produce something of maybe 200,000+ words per volume and have a whole world peopled by an entire cast. In fact this is half the fun of it. Since this is not my own web-site for dedicated readers in their thousands (ahhh, per chance to dream). I will only concentrate on how the three central characters individual approaches the question of violence.

In alphabetical order:

Arketre Beritt: From somewhere which might be similar to parts of the Southern USA. Brought up traditionally rural, in an attempt to find a direction joined The Devoteds (like Nuns) however with a tendency to be disruptive and a girl-chaser, by a long standing   agreement was sent to the LifeGuard. This was originally supposed to be the Imperial Guard but is now a state within a state. Initially she was trained as a medician (think medic).  To begin with she appears the nice, little fair headed, eager helper in a file (unit) but as the saga continues and she is exposed to persistent violence she reveals a more deadly side to her nature, killing without compunction, partly as she sees her duty but also in her own urge to deliver retribution. This is of concern to folk she is close to, lest they lose her to a pathway into nothing but violence. Her close friend Trelli is most adept at warning her and under her influence Arketre will display her healing skills and a rough diplomacy. She is something of one type of ever present soldier, conflicted between duty, rage and a softer side. Being in a steady relationship with Karlyn supplies another anchor. She is at her most stable with Karlyn and Trelli otherwise she is a person of War, although looking for a way out at any cost as long as Karlyn and Trelli are not harmed.

Karlyn: Originally with no memory of her past, only her recent life of being washed ashore from a ship. She lived in a city before venturing out on her own mission to strike down evil by burning down places at random. She, has an affinity with the inflammable, talks to and clambers above trees empathises with most creatures, has a very esoteric sense of smell and adept at finding and navigating pathways out of the conventional world into different realms. As the saga progresses it is found she is of another species of Humans, The Shadow Lords, was sent on a scouting task to the world of Humans but it transpires was ambushed by malevolent forces. Initially very scatty  and askew I was somewhat alarmed at how parallel she could be with Harley Quinn and together we had to work quite hard to ensure folk knew she was her own girl…Or actually two as at times her previous noble identity (Lady Maighdean Ardea )takes hold. She has no problems with killing, although being far swifter and precise than Arketre and only as a response to a direct threat, once the threat is dispatched, that is that. Fallen sweetly in love with Arketre and a friend verging on bossy big sister to Trelli. Her principal concern is staying with Arketre and not being drawn back to her family, quite at ease with punching her brother or cousins from trying to make her.

Trelli (aka Trelyvana Waywanderer): In Fantasy terms Trelli is not unusual, there she was an ordinary housemaid (later self-promoted to Housekeeper, if anyone asks her) when due to the son of the household’s research into ‘The Ethereal’ forces, she was inadvertently inculcated with its energies. Thus she can knock folk over, tackle those using Ethereal for evil purposes, learnt how to fly (in an eclectic way), travel between realms and sometimes influence minds. She was initially very suspicious of this, particularly as it manifested itself in red and blue aura about her fingers, causing her to wear thick gloves or tuck her hands under her armpits in an attempt to avoid folk noticing. Whereas she has come to terms with this circumstance, she is constantly aware of the potential corrosive effect on her character and thus to possibility of loosing destructive forces; she is therefore ever wary of any external or internal influence to lead her down such a path. Of the three she is therefore the least willing to launch into battle and even then is restrained, unless in direct conflict with the demonic forces (The Zerstorung), in which case as it is a fight to the finish she has no qualms. Due to the encouragement of her two friends she always has a tendency to resort lesser forms of physical violence when provoked. Through her friendship with Arketre and Karlyn and the mutual reliance which is fostered within the trio she is able to navigate a pathway through conventional experiences with little trouble.

It is my usual inclination when writing to give the malignant forces a very hard time, since if there is one thing I find irritating is the self-satisfied, monologuing, god-complex villain whose perfect plan is only foiled at the last chapter either by supreme sacrifice or some sudden burst of amazing whatever. My own narratives tend to be influenced by my reading of military histories and the fact there never is a perfect plan, that things go wrong and its the folk who make the least mistakes who usually come out on top. Thus no one in my books ever does things adroitly, it’s all about that catching of the other out and either then pummeling them, or skipping out of the way to come back for another shot. This normal lack of over-arching competence in situations allows the trio of central characters to escape some of the more excessive fates and experiences seen in other books (Note: As these books are self-published for their own sake the characters and I reckon we can between us get away with this as much as we please- look upon it as a sub-sub-genre Fantasy-Heroic-Feel Good )

Violence or the threat of it is ever prevalent and sometimes the central characters in particularly Arketre are the instigators. As stated earlier, the backdrop of the narrative is an empire under threat external or internal  so this is to be expected. Whether the use of violence is as necessary as the characters (or I) see it remains very much up to the perspective of the reader. Whether the central characters come across as likeable people is also left up to the reader to decide for themselves. Personally over the years (since about 2014) I have grown quite fond of them, seeing them as people of their time and circumstance, dealing with matters as they see fit and in general authority or those they work with or for having to catch up with the trio as individuals or in various combinations.

Therefore Violence exists. When using this in fiction the responsibility lies with the writer and to an extent the reader as to whether the levels, perceptions and morals of the usage are acceptable. Personally I use it a great deal, and dear reader don’t expect the villains ever to walk away from it.

Shakespeare and Comedy Part II – Send in The Clowns (Apparently)

Comedy is variable. Shakespeare understood this

Shakespeare and Comedy Part I….The Overview, Preface, Introduction, Foreword and Lamentable Observations

It is written, said, etc the Clowns, Fools in Shakespeare’s plays etc are there to provide:

(A) Risible and socially incisive commentary in the Comedies while all the characters of higher social standing run about the place talking excessively and showing as much common sense as witnessed on a Facebook political page.

(B) Emotional release for the audiences during the intensity of the Tragedies.

At least this is what we have been told by learn(ed) scholars, critics, etc. So it must be right, yeah? (Bearing in mind that everyone has to make a living somehow).

There again, whereas agony, tragedy, love, revenge, pomposity, nobility and ‘other stuff’ are universal and timeless in their depictions and subsequent appreciations, Humour is prone to all sorts of human fluctuations. Therefore if you had not been warned in advanced by learn(ed) scholars, critics, etc and you were looking at some fellow standing there ‘on the boards’ spouting away you might be wonder just what he was contributing to the play.

Let us just examining a few of these classic purveyors of chuckles, side-splitters and general guffawing:

Feste: (Twelfth Night)

Apparently a witty fool. Also one of a group of what we would these days call slackers. The others being Sir Toby Belch (well he must be comic-right?) and Sir Andrew Aguecheek (a name which was probably replete with hysterically funny undertones in the Tudor England era). These three dredges on society being complicit in playing a ‘trick’ upon a loyal and efficient household steward Malvolio and nearly driving the fellow to the brink of insanity, in a the style of which the fearful O’Brien in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four would have approved of.

Feste also sings. In fact you can’t shut the damn fellow up. To prove how witty and funny he is he comes up with jolly ditties with uplifting words such as

Come away, come away, death,

And in sad cypress let me be laid.

Fly away, fly away breath,

I am slain by a fair cruel maid. 

These days he would have a cult following amongst Goth fans, be selling albums by the truck load and getting away with all sorts of burble in interviews as being profound and deep.

Everyone assumes he is incisively hilarious because he is recorded as saying Better a witty fool than a foolish wit. Which truth be known is not the least bit funny, he has only shifted words around. At any social gathering if you can find a witty fool let me know; they are normally loudmouths (with or without alcohol) and anyone who is a wit knows when to keep their mouth shut and when to deliver the punch line. The whole line is flummery, like folk who try to pretend they know anything about the dark business of war by saying Military Intelligence is an Oxymoron- they too know ‘jack’.

It is my opinion the depection of this character relied on the skill of the actors in giving him a squeaky voice, a peculiar walk, and a whole lot of eye-rolling funny faces, so the groundlings and those at the back who couldn’t hear him would have been too busy laughing at ‘business’ rather than the lines. Shakespeare meanwhile having studied the ‘Mystery Plays’ of yore would have realised some stuff does not travel down the ages and reckoned in later centuries actors and directors would be able to turn Feste into a truly tragic character and forget trying to play him for laughs.

Launcelot Gobbo (Merchant of Venice)

Well of course with a name like that he has to be funny right? He’s also the son of Old Gobbo and if that doesn’t have you rolling in the isles, he is the servant of Shylock (A Jew-it Tudor times…must be a villan. Not that anyone in Tudor England had seen anyone jewish. But that didn’t matter- Christopher Marlowe had already slandered the entire race in his own play, the Church was displaying its traditional idocy on the subject and the common folk weren’t renowned for intelligence ), so by the standards of the day he will comically trick his master (Ha-ha-ha, the audience all said). Actually he seems to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince his father who he is and telling the world, in case they missed the point early on that his master is Jewish. He has a few stabs at humour these being:

‘It would seem then, that Dobbins tale grows backward: I am sure he had more hair of his tail….’

and.

‘Sola sola! wo ha, ho! sola sola!‘ (this one would no doubt rely on actions and the actor’s sense of timing of the words to get a few laughs )

As there is little else one can say without delving into the whole of the play, we best leave Gobbo (The Younger) to his making noises with a terrible Italian accent, telling everyone who his employer is and talking to Gobbo (The Elder).

The Fool (King Lear)

We know he is a fool because Lear keeps on bawling out ‘where’s my fool’ when stuck for a line. A character much belov(ed) by scholars, critics etc for what he says, when he says it and possibly why he says it. Actually none of it is the least bit funny, he is being the traditional court fool who because everyone thinks he is simple minded gets away with being rude to everyone.

Regrettably for him the main villains Edmund (a bastard- you get a few folk born out of wedlock in Shakespeare- they usually have chips on their shoulders, and considering the antics of their fathers, with good cause )  Regan and Goneril (Lear’s two eldest and ungrateful daughters, even though they are well past adolescence) and Cornwall, Regan’s hubby are all folk with no appreciation of the performing arts thus The Fool gets hung; off stage so he doesn’t even get a witty parting shot.

At one important juncture in the play, having previously been very visible, he just vanishes. It may be that Shakespeare had realised this character was going nowhere in the general mayhem arising,  planning that in later centuries scholars, critics, etc would be wondering just why this, The Fool vanished.

However, if I am to be taken seriously in this project I must not speak any further ill of The Fool in King Lear.  It’s as ruinous to a writing career as saying something unpleasant about Tiny Tim in Dickens ‘Christmas Carol’. And anyway actors have tremendous fun with the character and can get away with more ‘business’ than would normally be allowed in a tragedy.

Puck and Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

A pair who do not deserve separate items, simply because they are irritating, maladjusted misfits who in other circumstances folk would cross a busy multi-lane road to avoid.

The former is the go’fer for the Oberon; Kings of the Faeries, Pixies (not the band) etc. Puck aside from making a boastful nuisance of himself  amongst ordinary folk, keeps hitting on the lady faeries, pixies etc of the Queen Titania. He is given one simple, albeit malicious task by Oberon which he screws up yet some how gets away with it. If he says anything funny it’s probably missed because the actor is required to rattle off the lines with the speed of a machine gun. The big challenge for the actor is that he is the only one left on stage at the end of the play and has to talk to the audience unsupported. Puck remain immortal though, because his name can sound like….. (tee-hee-how-naughty)

The latter is one of the those loudmouths. His first alleged comedy turn is by trying to do all the parts for the play he and the other rude mechanicals are putting on, we can only admire the patience of Peter Quince who has to deal with this braggart. Later on he stomps around a forest bawling out some incomprehensible song, then tries to make jokes about the rustic names of the faeries, pixies etc who soon are wishing Puck would turn up and instead of the earth put a girdle around this guy’s big mouth. Of course he has earthily humorous name. (and they put an Ass’s head on him, and we all know Ass sounds like… or in the USA somebody can be an …hole….hoh-hoh-chortle-gasp)

Actually nothing about this play is funny. It is however a fine example of Shakespeare’s forward thinking genius as I shall explain in a later post.

Falstaff (Henry IV & Merry Wives of Windsor)

Everyone has heard of Falstaff. Everyone loves the jolly corpulent old rogue.

Or so we are told.

This sponging, overweight, womanising, lying, cheating, front-line dodging (remind you of anyone?) phoney trundles through far too much of Henry IV (both parts) convincing common folk he is the real deal and being pals and drinking buddy with ‘Hal’ (Prince of Wales, son of Henry IV etc) Just as he has strained his ill-deserved luck to breaking point he finds out ‘Hal’  ie Prince of Wales is now Henry the V and up the old sot gets gleeful that being part of Henry V’s entourage he can now use the whole kingdom as his play ground.

Happily for those of us with any sense of moral compass ‘Hal’, Prince of Wales, etc now Henry V has been shrewdly growing up all through the two plays and being is king is not putting up with any spongers on his crew. Thus Falstaff gets his comeuppance in one of Shakespeare’s best speeches. This delivered coldly by Henry V:

‘I know thee not, old man. Fall to thy prayers. How ill white hairs become a fool and jester,’.…and there’s lot more of that put down in the speech….

And down he goes!….Pow! A joy to behold. I would suggest Shakespeare had seen and suffered from a few of these operators on his way up and wanted to put one in just for those lines.

Regrettably for The Bard, Falstaff was so popular, Queen Elizabeth (the I) sort of let a heavy hint drop she would like another play with the old drunk in and thus was born the extremely tedious ‘Merry Wives of Windsor’ a piece which truly tests the skills of actors to make funny, or even watchable.

Other Guys

Having dealt with the well-known ones it is worthwhile to consider some lesser known folk who are seen as comic, or may even be comic.

Citizen ( a cobbler) (Julius Caeser)

This guy is actually quite funny and leads two stiff necked senators of Rome a merry dance with a play on words of his trade ie a mender of men’s soles/souls etc. The funny part is the two stuffed togas just don’t get it and go off in a huff vandalising scarfs draped on statues. Pity he’s not around to heckle Brutus or Mark Anthony when they are politicising over Caeser’s corpse.

Porter (MacBeth)

King Duncan has been horribly slain by MacBeth and two loyal guards are going to be framed. So what do we need at this point in a play from involving more murders and infanticide? Why of course we need a drunken comic fellow who takes an age to get to a castle door. Apparently it stands to reason and most certainly does not break up the narrative, no indeed it does not, every critic, scholar and commentator worth their monthly salary will tell you so. This deadbeat takes so long about it and is about as witty as Feste it could be argued the next character on scene provides tragic relief. It is more likely Shakespeare was being kind to an old actor currently down on his luck who had been helpful to a younger Shakespeare. Hence the old showbiz saying ‘Be nice on the way up. You never know who you’ll meet on the way down’

Dogberry (Much Ado About Nothing)

Actually he is the best thing in this otherwise questionable and ‘problem’ play. How can you fail with a small-town, stuffed up and stupid law officer? I mean that sort of character is a gem. He’d raise a laugh in Titus Andronicus.  But more about him in the post dealing with this very mis-understood play of Shakespeare’s – it’s right up there with ‘Midsummer’s Night Dream’ 

Clown (Othello)

Yep! Believe it or not, there is one. Several productions wisely leave him out. He turns up as a servant when Othello and Desdemona are trying to get some shut-eye and a band of strolling players starts up an impromptu concert right underneath their bedroom window. So down goes the guy, finds out they are playing wind instruments….oh…yeah…wawwwait fot it…Fart jokes!

If he had stayed around any longer no doubt main villain Iago would have justifiably stabbed him to death then as part of his plans implied Othello had killed the man in a fit of Moorish rage over burnt toast, or lumpy gravy.

Conclusion

Humour changes. Shakespeare’s genius was such he perceived this and thus wrote in ways which enabled many roles to be reversed. This will be examined in later posts.

Shakespeare and Comedy Part I….The Overview, Preface, Introduction, Foreword and Lamentable Observations

As I look back over my near seventy years one of my regrets is that I did not spend more time on Shakespeare. All those plays; some thirty and eight…ie those we have on record, and we have the sonnets (except they don’t attract me, which says more about me than the quality of the sonnets). All those books about the plays, all those plays about the plays, and so on. So on retiring in 2013 I resolved to cram a lot into my remaining years upon this particular world….and that would be an ideal cue for a soliloquy of my own, but that would be just self-indulgent, something I leave up to Hamlet.

Now in these recent years I have discovered the plays are quite formally divided up into

History Plays (English Kings, exclusively. In these there are good solid reasons for their behaviours, flaws etc…All the foreigners who are kings etc are naturally comic or irrationally tragic).

Tragedies (Exclusively about foreigners- see above. In those days Scots were foreigners; in fact in those days, if you lived in the South of England those in the North of England were foreigners)

Romances (Which he wrote in his latter years 1607-1613, indicating some thought he had been getting sentimental in his old age)

Comedies (I contend some jokes and situations do not travel very well down the ages. And more importantly Shakespeare had other and secret agendas ).

Now before we go any further, to be fair to THE BARD, I would argue he did not have filing cabinets with those categories engraved there upon and into which he dutifully filed notes and completed plays. True often in cases he gave the game away with such titles as The Tragedy of Titus Andronicus’ or ‘THE TRAGEDY OF  King Richard the third or ‘A PLEASANT  Conceited Comedie CALLED,  Lou(that’s a ‘v’ to us) es labors lost.’ However it was only after he died was the whole body of work categorised into quartos. This was so every Person of Letters could have tremendous fun in years later arguing over which play should really be where. This is a complex business. So much so that some learn(ed) folk who study these things have thrown up their hands in exasperation and have quite rightly called some plays ‘problems’ ‘All’s Well that Ends Well’ being a classic example, to which I would, personally, add ‘Much Ado About Nothing’.(Never mind how many ‘Hey-Nonni-Nonnies’ might be fitted into a production).

Thus the itemising of Shakespeare’s plays into one category or another is one which should be approached with caution. In particular The Comedies. For if someone who is quite new to a Shakespearean comedy  were to sit down expecting an evening of jolly harmless laughs or witty incisive humour at every turn then they will be disappointed, puzzled or left looking to some work of reference to make sure they have turned up at the right play.

Now whereas when visiting say such as Titus Andronicus if the person has been properly warned by a kindly and experienced friend they will be ready for something in which there will be no humour. If they do think they have found it, they should stop at once and treat themselves to a diet of rom-coms until the unhealthy notion goes away. For this is a play where everyone (with the exception of Lavinia – Titus’s daughter and victim of everyone’s spite, malice and cruelty ) goes out of their way to be vicious and only too ready to misunderstand or suspect everyone else.  Most careen about the place with all the ill-humour of a room full of folk recovering from a night of too much drinking, looking to avenge even the slightest sideways look, never mind what happens when there is worse.

There is a character titled ‘Clown’ although being given such lines as

‘Alas sir, I know not Jupiter; I never drank with him in all my life’

OR

‘ ‘Tis he. God and Saint Stephen give you a good den.’

It is not surprising, to the relief of the audience that he is hung by the emperor Saturninus who up until then has been seen to be very evil, but at this juncture might well gain some measure of approval from the said audience.

To give THE BARD his due he was simply writing in a genre of the day The Revenge Play. A piece of entertainment which if did not produce, at least two ghastly, stalking villains (of another religion being preferred); betrayals at every scene; a double figure of deaths (the more horrid the better), several insanities and a hero who ends up being both mad and dead (in either order) then the audience would feel cheated out of the coin they had paid and demand recompense.

Thus having demonstrated the obvious opposite let us return to the matter of  The Comedies

From my intense (in terms of time allocated, not feverish style of reading) study of these particular plays in comparison with The Tragedies I have to assert Shakespeare’s genius was such he was actually mixing and melding the two genre’s. This would not be unusual in playwriting (though in some cases it is inadvertent), however Shakespeare did take this several steps further, challenging perceptions and, yea, even having the wit and foresight to write one way for his times realising how this would be viewed in another era. In consequence it will be necessary to examine and compare examples of each.

Thus in subsequent posts certain traditional views will be jettisoned.

In this venture I must once more pay tribute to the following writers:

Jerome K Jerome: Author of Three Men In A Boat, for his general powers of observation on the human condition.

Richards Armour: One of great American humourists of the mid 20th Century for his invaluable works on literature:

In subsequent posts matters will be looked at in more depths of the plays, the characters the types of characters, the cultural atmosphere of the time, and so forth.

 

 

Musings on Writing- Don’t You Hate It When….2

Don’t you hate it when…

Frustration

You have invested time and muse to create this character of whom you are justly proud and feel this might well be the one who will get you noticed, even if a modest way…..

And then…..

You innocently browse what’s going on in new books, or media etc Surfing

Only to find…….

Rage

A successful, well-known, and beloved by many author has created almost the self same character in their latest work……. now on display on many GoodReads, Literary Critic’s Column etc.

OR

Is the central character in a new streaming.

Of course you are entitled to react:

Melodrama Girls

In various ways….

fed_up_woman-620x412

Gefühle-Die-Leiden-des-jungen-Werthers-676x884

Victorian image

Yet take comfort gentle writer

Young woman, finger on lips, looking confused surprised

For if you can come up with something as good as the successful, beloved, etc, etc author, then you must have a pretty cool talent working on there.

Repair thereforeSea Captain

Woman determined

Dear writer

And

Tweak so no one will really notice

Wink

Successful, well-known and beloved by many types of authors do it all the time.