Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Day 212 0f the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis



Before we take off after that bit of indelicacy above, let's have day two of Ron Alexander from ASKEW POETRY JOURNAL, Issue #14. Ron is one of those rare voices that has the edge to cut through the mundane and the humor to make the operation fairly painless.
Ron Alexander

Photo by D.F. Baylis

                                                       MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER

                                         In last year's annual poetry workshop, Irene,
                                         the ashen woman in the floral caftan who sat
                                         in her own folding chair next to the door, said
                                         she could not listen to poems that were not rhymed,
                                         said she preferred villanelles but as long
                                         as a poem was at least rhymed, she would listen.
                                         To emphasize her point, she opened her purse
                                         and removed a stained meat cleaver, which she held
                                         in her lap for the rest of the day. We set
                                         a record for the most villanelles produced in a single day
                                         in the history of writing workshops, which only goes
                                         to show how a little helpful incentive can stimulate
                                         the creative process. This year, we have emailed
                                         Irene, telling her we look forward to her return.



Okay, we've all been tempted. The latest trend in fiction hits and we pick up a copy and think, "I could have written that!" Truth be told, you probably could have. So then we spawn the next thought, "It's trending now. I could jump into the hoopla and make a ton of dough!"
Uh, wrong. By the time something is trending it has more than likely been out there a while and has passed its zenith. They don't become best sellers sitting on the shelf. People buy them, and read them, and move on to the next trend. It's out there, waiting its turn, and there's really no way of predicting what it might be.
By the time you can write, edit, go through the publishing process and get into the stores or on to the Internet, the trend isn't, any longer. Whether it's mommy porn, or vampire apocalypse, or YA distopianism, that author has already branded the thing and you will be viewed as what you are at that moment, a copycat.
Even doing a full-on copy of the style and voice of an existing blockbuster won't guarantee you a darned thing. How many times do writers try to follow their own success by sticking to formulaic excesses, only to have each permutation slide further down the popularity ladder? Well, it's more often than a repeat of the original's dominance, and that's just the fact of the matter. Let's face it, the winners are as much a product of serendipity as anything else, and should be viewed as vehicles that drew all the right players, the movers and shakers, on to the right course at the right time. Even then, it was a coin toss.
Lastly, consider the time you spent pulling together that cobble of the 'vampires take over the universe' tale. Might that time have been better spent on something of true originality and craftsmanship? Do the knock-off enough times and you've blown years right down the creative crapper. Sure, you can look at the truly genuine piece of writing as a project you can get to tomorrow, or you can realize today is tomorrow and, if you don't use it wisely, it's already gone.
Just a helpful hint from your Uncle Dane.
Meanwhile...live, love, write.
Want to follow or subscribe to this blog? There are gadgets for that on the right side of the page. You can leave comments in the form below. I can be reached directly at dbaylis805@gmail.com . You can also find links to some of the sites I visit from time to time on the right. I'm also looking for submissions to the Your Work/Your Love page. Authors retain all rights.
Dane F. Baylis

No comments:

Post a Comment