Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gearin Up to Get an Agent Blogfest and ROW80 Round 3

Time for the Gearing Up to Get an Agent blogfest!! Find out more here.

So, for week one I'm supposed to ask the biggest, weirdest writing question I have. At first I was thinking of things like, publishing, and getting agents and stuff like that but I don't really have a question for that. Actually, the biggest question I have has to do with both writing and reading.

Why do some people seem to think that reading a 'bad' book will, like, taint you or that if you read certain books you must be just like that in real life?

Or, since you write about killers and murderers and people doing bad things then you must think about doing stuff like that in real life. Or that your just weird in head or something. You know those weirded out looks some people might give you when you tell them of something unsavory that happens in your book.

Well, I just want to know why some people do stuff like that. You remember the big thing about Harry Potter being against the bible and stuff? Well, I still know people whose parents won't let them read the books. Why?

And you know what: Why take some one else's word for how 'bad' a book is instead of investigating it yourself? In fact, you might find that the 'bad' book has some important themes in it and that it's not so 'bad' after all.

And you know that person who writes that 'dark' stuff? Well that doesn't mean they do any of it, or want to do doing any of it. It's just a book. Just a story full of made up characters that have their own personality that may be darker than yours and which tells an entertaining story for the people who enjoy it.

So. Why must some people judge us writers by what we write, or what we read? Think that reading one 'bad' book (which may not even really be 'bad') will somehow taint a person?

And now for ROW80 Round 3!

So. You guys know I'm already doing Camp Nanorwrimo, and I'll be doing it next month too so I've pretty much already got a daily wordcount goal. So, with my ROW80 goals I will:

  • Work on the world building stuff for 30 minutes a day. 
  • Get at least a first draft of The Chronicles this round.
 And that's it! Hopefully I'll be able to keep up with the world building this time around!


Elmira said...

If you find out the answer to your question, let me know.
Seriously people, why do they judge someone and put labels on totally different people just because they like the same kind of books or movies.
And the worst thing, they aren't exactly experts, they don't know what they are talking about and still try to make a point.

mooderino said...

Well, that's a lot of question, but I think what you're referring to is just fear. There's a natural instinct to protect, especially children, from well, everything, and it's hard to accept that if you do that, if you protect your child against every germ amd virus and illness, they will eventually go out into the world, catch a cold, and die.

It's not intentional, but that sense you're doing something for the best, when you're not, can be very powerful.

My blogorama question is up at Moody Writing

Deana said...

There is a huge discussion going on about this on Twitter under the hashtag #YAsaves. It isn't as big anymore but it was. I think for some people it is easier to assume things like this than to really test it. And quite possibly Mood is right, fear fuels their ignorance.
You should check our Robin Weeks blog (she is in the blogfest too) but she has a great post about this topic. I mean seriously great!

Awesome question! Thanks for partcipating in the fest!

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

I read Robin's post and it is good.

I think it depends on what you write and why. If you are writing shocking things for shock value, then don't be surprised if people are shocked.

If you are writing hard, dirty, and ugly to teach (show, expound, grow) then it is very different from shock writing.

It sounds like a topic that is close to your heart.

Theresa Milstein said...

I always feel judged when I say I write children's books. And my YA covers I walk around with do nothing to add to my credibility. Whatever.

Michael Offutt said...

Religion is all about control. Knowing that...I am never surprised to find out how certain religious families do not allow others to do things against their will. Pony up 10 percent, never question, and do exactly what I say sums up religion to a tee.

Angelina C. Hansen said...

Human are curious creatures, aren't they?

Emily Rittel-King said...

LOL! This is why I don't tell anyone I love genre romance because people turn their noses up at me. Darn. Now the cat's out of the bag! : )

McKenzie McCann said...

As a sexually inactive and drug-free teen, I don't want to give anyone any ideas from my books. I want to make the riskier activities feel real, but when it's too real, people start to think you've experienced before.

Actually, now that I type that, that's probably it. When a scene is really well written, we almost kind of think "wow, has the author been through this before?"

Hence, the idea what we write reflects on us. As for reading, not sure on that one.

alexia said...

Yeah, people are really annoying about stereotyping about reading and writing. I hate it when people get all freaked out about books with magic, and banning them and stuff!

Kristi Bernard said...

I read the HP books because of all the save the children noise. I loved them.

Laura Barnes said...

Hmm, I guess I haven't really paid attention to what people say, but I can see how that could happen. The reason is because people like to gossip. They like to stereotype. They like to put things in boxes.

Stupid people.


Stephanie said...

Prejudice is everywhere, even in writing. Patricia Briggs, one of my favorite authors, got ripped a new one by a lot of her so-called fans, when she decided to collaborate on a graphic novel prequel of her newest book series. These people were saying some condescending and downright nasty things to her, as if she had personally affronted them by writing a graphic novel.

I guess it's the same when people choose to complain about authors who go into difficult topics, like drugs, sex or death. They take it as a personal insult because it's a topic they don't like.

kathy stemke said...

To your ownself be true. Write what your muse dictates. There will always be an audience for every subject. There will always be criticizm.

Anne-Mhairi Simpson said...

You can't open people's minds for them. Not much point in trying. There's not much in there worth seeing anyway, if they feel like that.

Well done on the daily wordcount with Camp NaNoWriMo and good luck for the rest of ROW80 :D

Vicky Bruere said...

People make snap judgments about almost everything. We haven't always got time to explore or process everything so it becomes easier to categorise. The same is true for things that people rave about too though - for example the Twilight Saga. These books came highly recommended...I read them and wasn't that impressed. In this case I did invest time exploring and, although they're not my thing, at least I can knowledgeably debate their merit or lack of.

Michelle Fayard said...

Hi, Taylor,

A writer is only asking "what if." And what would a book be without an antagonist? I'd would ask that the those who are voicing their concerns to please take a look at the world around them; that is where dark things truly are happening. Most authors, at least, provide hope if not also a happy ending.


Donna K. Weaver said...

My hubby has issues with too much conflict in books, but it's a reflection of the continual battles he wages with his health. He doesn't want to read about people being mean to each other. He wants peace.

I've fought the HP battle. Some people just won't listen.

magpiewrites said...

Regarding the #YAsaves discussion that came out of the WSJ article, there was a really insightful piece on Radio Times earlier this week. You can find it here:

The writer of the WSJ piece, Meghan Cox Gurdon, has a position that posits that dark elements in YA fiction can influence young adults to dark/bad/dangerous/risky behavior. You know, cuz teenagers weren't being those things all on their own.

Whatever you think, it's a really good discussion.

And that's just one genre that's being 'attacked'. I think genres in general are subject to unfair and thoughtless opinions, as are their authors. First we have to work on not succumbing to those generalizations ourselves (about ourselves and other writers) before we can expect others to do the same.

I admit it, there was a time I'd hide a romance novel between the pages of a more 'literary' work. Not anymore. I just don't care what people think about what I read. The romance novels, the graphic novels, the sci-fi and children's book - all share shelf space.

TayLyee said...

Thank you everyone for commenting! I'm glad to see that so many others understand what I'm trying to say!

I also just wanted to add that I don't mean people shouldn't have their own opinions on what sort of books they like and don't like, just that they shouldn't draw conclusions on what other people are like from what they read, or that the unsavory parts of books will rub off on us somehow.

Again, thank you!

Pk Hrezo said...

I think books are important for that very reason... we can read about bad stuff without really having to deal with it. It opens our minds.
I'm hopping around the blogfest. Nice to meet you! :)

Misha said...

On your questions, I'm dead set against censoring, so I'd never tell people what's right for them to read or not. But let's just say that I didn't burn a bunch of my own "dark books" (including one I was writing) just because I needed kindling.