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Hello visitors. On my blog I'm talking about my books, but also about what I'm currently working on and, maybe, some other stuff. Browse through my posts and don't forget to check out my older posts in the archives. If you are interested in my books, please, visit my website Fictitious Tales for more information and a few excerpts. You'll find more excerpts in my old website Herbert's World. Also, take a look at my second blog Herbert Grosshans, where I talk about fun-stuff and things that concern me.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Musings

There is always something that dampens your happiness. Stardogs received ratings from 4 readers. One finds it good, one okay but two readers think it is POOR. That hurts, but it is one of the facts we as writers have to deal with. Sadly, negative comments always seem to be dominant and made public. It is evident when you see people demonstrating. Those are all the people who are not happy with a certain situation (I’ve always wondered if those people do have a job. How do they find the time to walk around for days on end sometimes? Do they take holidays for those events? I’d rather spend my time lying on a beach or just sitting home and enjoying life by reading or, in my case, writing). People, who are happy and satisfied with things, don’t walk around shouting it to the world. I guess, that is the same with books, not many people will take the time and let others know that they liked the book. It is too bad in a way. It would be nice to hear from satisfied readers.
Here is something I didn’t know, but apparently, there are some people out there who make it a point to buy a book so they can give it a ‘poor’ rating. They are called ‘trolls’. Who knows, they may not even read the book to find out. Who knows why they do it? Some people find only happiness if they can inflict pain on others. And believe me, getting a bad rating is painful. (Am I venting? Is this possibly sour grapes?)
I’m not saying a reader shouldn’t make his feelings known. Unfortunately, we’ll never know why they didn’t like the book. They never say. Maybe they didn’t like the story. Perhaps there wasn’t enough sex in it. These days, a lot of readers love those explicit words and they find it boring if the story doesn’t contain them. I don’t like using explicit words and if I do, very sparingly. The words have to fit the character. I don’t write a story for the sake of the sexual content, as I said before, the erotica is part of the story, but it is the story that is important to me. I won’t use explicit words just because it is the thing to do. I write erotica, not pornography. There is a difference, even if some people don’t acknowledge that.
My novel ‘Tainted Valor’ has only a few erotic scenes in it and they are kept short and not as detailed as the ones in my other stories. I might just have come to the end of wanting to write erotica. Maybe I’m getting too old for that. That sense of excitement and wickedness isn’t there anymore. Maybe I just wrote too many sexual scenes and it is becoming harder to write them without repeating myself over and over. Who knows.
I just sent my finished novel ‘Orion -- Symbiont of Passion’ to Midnight Showcase for possible publication. It is 56,000+ words long and just a perfect length for an ebook. It has, of course, a lot of erotica in it. That is because I wrote the original story years ago. I rewrote parts of it and edited it for publication. When you write just for the fun of it, you don’t really worry about consistencies in the story or grammar, spelling and punctuation, or even using the correct words sometimes. That changes when you’d like to have the story published. There are many readers who, instead of just enjoying the story, will tear it apart. If they find errors in it they will happily give it, dare I say it? A POOR rating! Ah, just writing it hurts.
I admit I do sometimes have problems with punctuation. I think every writer struggles with that. Spelling is not a problem anymore because of the spell check every writing program has built into the computer, but grammar is. You can’t rely on your spell checker for grammar. In addition, I get red-flagged every time I use for instance the word ‘stewardess’. I’ll get a message telling me I am ‘gender-specific’, suggesting I use ‘flight attendant’. Sorry, I don’t want to use flight attendant; I want to use ‘stewardess’. Damn it. I don’t believe in all this ‘politically correct’ thing. I don’t want to be forced to write in a style or way that is false in the first place. That is why we have all of these words in our language. Use them or loose them, for heaven’s sake! I’m not going to write: He flirted with the ‘server’, instead of ’barmaid’. My character is not gay, not in my stories. I need to make it clear that he is flirting with a girl.
Not every word is in the spell check program. In my story ‘Remember me next Christmas’ I wrote ‘He nocked an arrow’. ‘Nock’ is word that is perfectly correct to use. It means he set an arrow on a string (on his bow). Well, it isn’t in my program.
Writing is a craft that needs to be learned and constantly improved, like anything else. It becomes easier with practice, but the more I write, the more I discover rules I’m not aware of. For me writing in the English language had to be learned, because it is not my first language. German is. I’ve read a lot of books over the years. I’ve studied many books on writing, style and grammar, but in the end, it always comes down to one thing: Do you have the gift? Like music, some people learn how to play the piano, the saxophone or any other instrument, but some are musically gifted and some aren’t, no matter how much they practice and study. The sounds are there but the soul is missing.
I like to think I have the gift of putting words and sentences on paper and creating a story that makes my readers forget about their everyday life for a while and accompany me on a journey into the world of the imagination, where anything is possible. A place where they can put their fears to rest and enjoy a few hours of contentment and happiness. If I can achieve that, I have reached my dreams and goals.
By the way, Stardogs is still in the number 2 spot at Fiction Wise, so it can’t be that bad of a story. Let’s hear from the people who liked it!

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