Thoughts over a cup of Coffee…But is there is something new about the site?

dragon and coffee
Amy Brown

This morning, I woke up to take my nephew to his first day of school. That’s right, school is back in session and for many of us, we take that as the start of a new year. Granted, we are still in August and we have a few more months until the actual start of the new calendar year. But I thought, that I would spruce up the sight. There is a new header on the site, and a new template design that has been given to the site. But I can assure you that the content of the site is still the same.

From the beginning, I have always that stated that Faerie Rose Press, will changing as I learn and grown, and that has been what this site has been about. Growing, learning, evolving, and above all enhancing others when they look at writing. Yes, I have done things and have taken things off and on this site, but I’ve never lost the focus or that drive to help others with achieving their writing goals or go about writing a novel.

While others may see this as something that has been done before on numerous other platforms, but there are always different ways to look at the world or what can be done to solve a problem to gain a solution. That is essentially is writing. There is a phrase that I have heard before, and that is well some one has already written that story before. That may be true, but the other part of the phrase is, it may have been written before but not by you.

Granted, this is where you might have to think about what I have just said, but it’s true no one is going to tell the story the way that you want it to be told unless you write it yourself. Now does this mean, that you should rewrite a story that has already been written before, ie like Harry Potter? No, it means take a story idea and add your flare to it. Be original, and see what you can add to the story or create with that single spark.

Here is another secret that others might not have thought or they have but there is a reason early on when your starting to write, they teach you to write fan fiction. The reason is so that you can understand the concept of taking something and making it grow. I remember being in the fourth grade and we read a book called, “The Chocolate Touch.” If you haven’t figured it out yet this is like “Midas with the Golden Touch”, but instead of gold you’re using chocolate. Well after reading the book, we had to write our own “Chocolate Touch,” story and use most of the elements of the story such as the chocolate touch. That was the first version of fan fiction that I ever wrote. But it stuck with me for years. Granted, do I remember the story that I wrote? I’ll be honest and say no, but I do remember writing it and that I still have a copy of it.

Yes, some may put down fan fiction as copying but I more like to think about it as an exercise in the creative processes of writing. One of the many that we go through over time. But here is another part of fan fiction, it can be start as fan fiction and can grow into something else. Case and point, Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes, Fifty Shades of Grey is fan fiction of nothing other than the Twilight Saga. While it may be considered simple fan fiction, it has transformed the genre of erotica romance into where it is a buy able product in your local super market. Before Fifty Shades of Grey, forget it for you would have to go to a Borders or a Barnes and Nobel to purchase such a book and even then it had a disclaimer on it. That’s been deleted from the genre and the answer is pretty simple, the book became very popular and the disclaimer is no longer needed on any erotica romances.

That’s what one sample of what fan fiction has done and it has grown from there for that one genre. Does this mean that every story or novel written has to be fan fiction. Heck no! Trust me when I say, if everything is based on fan fiction nothing original would ever be looked or even considered by publishers or readers. Remember, when we write we need to keep our readers in mind and that is that our readers, just like movie goers want original content. This does not mean that we have re-create the same wheel over and over again. If we are looking to do that, then we might as well talk about formula writing.

I’ll say that some formula writers do really well over time, but after a while the writer’s fan base has an expectation of what is going to be in the pages between the covers, and the writer is stuck writing the same thing over and over again, and cannot do anything new or original. Why? Simple: the readers will be turned off what his or her next book will be and it is not what they are used to reading from that writer. It’s a shame when you think about it, but in the end it’s based on the decision that the writer started with their writing career with and continued to do so. Romance writers sometimes have this difficulty along with mystery and thriller writers too.

But let me describe what I mean by formula writer, we know that there are certain expectations from genres of what needs to be in the story but with formula writers they go one more step above this. It goes like this, writer usually has a female character that has to a problem and is running away from said problem and meets the male character. They fall in love, they get to close, and the female character pushes said male character away and the male character figures out to help female character so that they can have a happily ever after, which may not be the case due to dare I say it a death of a character. One of the great writers, or at least to his fans, even if they do not realize it when they are reading one his novels or watching one of the film adaptation of his novels, is all based on a formula.

The author that I’m talking about is Nicholas Sparks. Yes, he is one of the great formula writers in our time and granted, he is doing it so well that he is make money and the reason is that romance sells. I found a blog post, Hello Giggles, that lists 7 Things that Happen in Every Nicholas Sparks Movie.  Even in another blog called, “Thoroughly Modern,” she even posts about the formula that has been used time and again by Nicholas Sparks. I’m not putting Nicholas under the bus, but I’m just saying that if he wanted to reach out and do something else away from his formula, he may be unable to do so due to the loyal readership of his fans.

While I would never try to persuade a writer not to write what he or she wants, there are just some careful considerations that need to be looked at besides how to publish, genre, and any other topic that goes under the generic umbrella that is about writing, but rather things that need to be thought about is formula, trends, and originality versus fan fiction. There is a reason why there is a category at the Academy Awards for “Best Original Screenplay” versus “Best Adaptive Screenplay.” This is just the many things that we as writers need to think about as we work on our works of fiction.

Well, I’m almost out of coffee and I hope that you have found this post to be an enjoyable read, and I’ve had fun writing it. I hope that you have a great writing day until next time!

 

 

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