Ironing out stuff on WordPress

I was checking out wondering why I haven’t gotten much comments on my blogs. Well the spam filter was working overtime. I had 16 recent ones. I approved most of them. The other few were genuine pork product and deleted them.

So I discovered that there were a few hundred comments put into the spam folder. Those are lost. Darn it. I thought I had it working so people can comment as they please without my approval. I can always delete them later anyways.

Oh, well. We will see how it goes.

Edit: Upon thinking about this, I just have to check out my blog on a daily basis to check on things.

Changed my theme and title

Today or this morning, I decided to change my theme/look of my blog. I found some colors and stuff I liked, but the title of the blog looked goofy. So I took out the word sporadic in the title. A little bit of editing. I might change it again later if I find something that I happen to like better.

This blog post was about nothing important.

Knowing who your audience is

Years ago, one advice given to aspiring writers was to know who your audience is. It went into one ear and out the other. I was questioning that piece of advice since how can I know who my audience is? If I happen to finish a book, I know at least a few people that likes it, other than me.

So that piece of advice was ignored by me for the most part.

Until last week.

I reblogged a post from Larry Corriea’s Monster Hunter Nation a few days ago here. A book bomb to help out a fellow writer in need. Anyways, I looked at who the writer was. His name is David Wolverton. He also goes by the pen name of David Farland for when he writes fantasy as to not to confuse his audience. I have read a few of his books over the years.

The thing is that he has trained other writers and they have done well. Names like Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time), Stephanie Meyers (Twilight) and quite a few others. Say what you want about Twilight. Even though I haven’t read the series, it apparently made Stephanie some money.

Anyways, David Wolverton/Farland put out a few ebooks on writing. One was Million Dollar Outlines for $6.99. I picked it up for my nook.

When I started reading it, my mind was blown. There were things that I have heard before, but never explained. The part of knowing who your audience is a very important factor when planning out your book. Example is age groups. A young boy is looking for something different in a book than, say, a grandmother. Each are looking for a different emotional impact the story gives out. A teenage boy is looking for sexual stuff and adventure. Teenage girls are looking for romance (Twilight). When you read in a genre, what do expect to get out of it? THAT is what you look for when writing. Emotional payoffs. There is more to it than that, but hopefully you get a glimmer of what is needed in a story.

I came across an example of this today:

Why is Elizabeth a Sex Object (Bioshock Infinite video game)

The poster, self-proclaimed female, complained about the obvious sexual references to character Elizabeth. Big boobs and big eyes. Mostly big boobs.

Why? The answer is simple. They are marketing towards teenage boys and men. A big part of their customer base. Another case is Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider games. Check out her polygons.

Another example is J.K. Rowling: Just take a look at the different ages and ethnicity of her characters across her books. She catered to everyone. She put out a wider net for her audience. She just didn’t focus entirely on young children for her audience. Something to think about.

So I do recommend getting Million Dollar Outlines. I also picked up David’s ebook Write that Novel only found on his website davidfarland.net. It is $20. Upon reading Write that Novel, I thought I bought the same book as Million Dollar Outlines. Bringing up both books on my computer, it was then I noticed the differences. The Write that Novel goes deeper than Million Dollar Outlines. I haven’t fully gone through the book yet, but I expect more gold to come. I also plan on getting his other book on Resonance writing.

When funding permits, I plan on getting some of the Superstars Writing Seminars mp3s  here.

The 2nd Amendment

Edit: I found out that the link I put in was not liked by WordPress.com. So I took it out and put in the content I had in my other blog (which is a WordPress.com site). Go figure.

Here are my thoughts on the 2nd Amendment. It isn’t a comprehensive, know it all post. I hope it gets my point across.

As read from my pocket The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America (Cato Institute):

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Now, I try to be well read. To think for myself. I was taught in school that the first ten amendments are the Bill of Rights put in to protect the people from their government.

I would think that it is a good thing.

Currently there is a raging debate going on that has a great many people arguing about the individual’s right to bear arms. Do they or don’t they have the right to bear arms?

It is a simple yes.

Now, people have argued that the people cannot possibly resist the might of current military forces and thus is a nail in the coffin for the people clause in the 2nd Amendment.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/01/why-the-citizen-militia-theory-is-the-worst-pro-gun-argument-ever/272734/

Really? Then why are we still fighting over in Iraq and Afghanistan? The fighters over there are not an organized military force like the U.S. Armed Forces and other nation’s forces. Yet, they are not defeated. They still fight on. What gives?

http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndobs.html

Here is an in depth look at the creation of the 2nd Amendment. It is well worth the read.

http://www.constitution.org/2ll/2ndschol/89vand.pdf

Conclusion for of above is:

“As the constitutional debates prove, the framers recognized that the common
public purpose of preserving freedom would be served by protecting each individual’s right to arms, thus empowering the people to resist tyranny and preserve the republic. The intent was not to create a right for other (pg.1039) governments, the individual states; it was to preserve the people’s right to a free state, just as it says.”

More information about the 2nd Amendment

http://jpfo.org/filegen-n-z/six-about-2nd.htm

Believe in what you want. It is a Free Country after all.

The Horrific Events at the Boston Marathon

I was at home in the Pacific Northwest when I found out about the bombings in Boston yesterday. Anger, sadness and other emotions went through me that day. I hope they catch the perp(s) that did this.

Now, I have been reading up on the news and in the commentary people are complaining why they are not getting much news about the suspect(s). I even had a neighbor asking me the same thing.

The thing I came up with is that the bad guys may be watching the news too. Don’t alert the bad guys that you are on to them. Police probably have an All Points Bulletin out (maybe). I just don’t know. This is just speculation on my part.

 

My Writing Dream

Edit: WordPress does not like the links to my other WordPress blog so I took what I wrote there and put it here.

My Writing Dream

For a long time now, as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer of stories. It came to me years ago as I was thinking about what I wanted to do with my life. I thought about being a police officer, medical practitioner of any type, astronaut, and lots of other jobs that seemed interesting to a young boy. There was so much to choose from, that I didn’t think about it nor made any plans for it. Not sure when, but I heard or read somewhere to get a job doing something I love doing. At the time, I enjoyed reading, shooting targets, and gaming. In those days in the mid to late 1980’s in Montana, that is all I had for entertainment. I didn’t have much money. In fact, until I started working at Hardee’s, I had no money. I loved the library. That is where I got most of my books that read. Mostly fantasy, science fiction and adventure. In my gaming group, everyone wanted me to be the Gamemaster or Dungeonmaster, depending on the game. I did not realize it at the time, but I think why everyone wanted me to be the GM/DM was that I had told good and exciting stories. It was, for me at the time, a tedious and boring as I wasn’t adventuring, but guiding people in an adventure. It took time, but I learned that telling stories can be exciting.

My writing epiphany.

In 1995, I left Montana and joined the regular Army. During my time in the Army, I met a few fellow soldiers that also played D&D. Got into the group and had a blast. My friend Jason had an unique style of play. He DM’d the game by the seat of his pants. It made the game exciting as no one really knows what was going to happen. After getting out of the Army, we stopped gaming as the gaming group broke up. In the civilian world, I found home in several gaming groups over the years. My writing pretty much ceased to exist during these times. Some years later, the gaming group I was with disbanded for various reasons. I was without my game.  Then I had a thought. If people liked my game so much, then I should be able to write stories. Perhaps even get them published.

Funny way to go about writing.

You would think I started writing, by writing something. I didn’t. Sure I put down lots and lots of notes of various thoughts. Filled countless notebooks with just that, ideas. Nothing coming close to resembling a story. Not even a short story. What I did instead was to search and learn on how to write a story. What people look for in a story. Rules and more rules on the craft of writing. I learned so much that it became literally overwhelming to start writing. I knew I was good at the English language. It was my best subject in High School. Just had extreme difficulty in getting things written. I spent lots of money on books, gotten two laptops over the years for the express purpose of writing. Yet for years I didn’t sit down and actually write.

When I started writing.

Last year was my second or third Nanowrimo. In the previous years I started Nano, but got nothing or much of anything down. In the year of 2012, November, I actually put out 50k worth of words. Ok, I cheated on some days, but most of it is an actually story. Thinking back on it, I have a difficult time now thinking about my mindset. I do remember sitting down and staring at the screen, wondering what shall I write. I think I thought a little about the scene first then started writing. There is the key: writing.

Getting past the fear of writing.

I have a fear of writing. Of putting all that work into something and having it being just for nothing. In the months since then, I didn’t do much of any writing. Depression or some form of that disease of the mind was eating away at me. Earlier in 2012, I discovered that I was searching for my writing process. I guess I am searching for tools that other writers have used and make them my own. Still working on it. The thing about writing is that you can go back and fix it later.

A great article about the politics of sci-fi/fantasy

Following the commentary was a blast this afternoon. The person known as Clamps should be wary of attacking others on the internet. The net is hardly anonymous anymore. I imagine perhaps, someday he/she (Clamps) actually sold something and started a career in writing, they might want to keep the money rolling in. So being on your best behavior might be a good thing. Just in case Anonymous targets you for some reason and put out your dirty laundry with your real name attached.