Audience/Reader Sensitivity

Hi Jim,

I have a problem I was hoping you could help me with a rather… sensitive issue. I’ve written a book that deals with a lot of cultural issues. I’ve gone to great lengths to keep my writing as inoffensive as possible, as I want people from all walks of life to be able to read it, enjoy it, and maybe find themselves in it. However… I’ve recently been getting hate mail and negative reviews from people calling some of what I’ve written offensive. I really don’t want to get into great detail for my own protection, but I was wondering if you had any advice on dealing with accusations of bigotry and negative reviews.

Thanks,
(Anonymous by request.)


Hello,

You’re in quite the bind there, I’ll definitely tell you. First of all, there’s nothing you can do about negative reviews. They’re par for the course when it comes to putting media out there for public consumption, so that’s something you’ll most likely have to live with. If you have reason to believe that the negative reviews are trolling or someone who didn’t read the book, there are methods to appeal them with Amazon, GoodReads, Etc. So you might consider that approach.

As to your other problem… having not heard the other side, nor read your work, I’m going to be functioning on the assumption that you didn’t put anything into your book that is blatantly bigoted… or if you did, you framed it in a way that was appropriate to the story. If you basically rewrote Mien Kampf, you’re getting what’s coming to you, but again, I’m going to assume that’s not the case, given what you’ve told me.

Unfortunately, in the current climate we live in, people have a heightened sensitivity to pretty much every social issue on the planet. It seems almost completely unavoidable. Some say it’s because they were raised to believe that they were special and that the world owed them something… others say that these issues have always been around, but social media just really put a magnifying glass on them.
I personally think that the truth is somewhere in between, though I would note that the debate on political correctness vs. free speech is fairly troubling. We’re living in pretty stressful times.

This is honestly part of the reason I don’t tackle social or political issues in any sort of overt way. Yes, they make their way into my writing, but not with the intention of making a political statement. I just go where my fingers take me and people seem to like my work.

Okay, back on topic. At the risk of generalizing people… likely the people you are dealing with who are calling you a bigot are one of two kinds of people;

  1. People with heightened sensitivities and insecurities. These people typically see social problems where ever they look and if they don’t find any, they’re pretty good at creating issues for them to complain about.
  2. People looking to cause trouble. Yes, unfortunately, there are people out there that actively look to spark some kind of social outrage, usually for their own gain. Either they want to get their name out in the public or they want to get something out of whoever gets in their sights.
  3. Legitimate people pointing out a problem. Again, I’m assuming you didn’t rewrite Mien Kampf. However, maybe something in your writing is unintentionally off. Maybe you unintentionally wrote a character as a bad stereotype?

I would re-read your work and if you believe #3 is what you’re dealing with… This is a little more difficult to advise on. I don’t typically recommend revising the original work, but if you’re genuinely concerned about it, you have that option.  That being said, you might consider not changing it… again, I haven’t seen your work and I don’t know what your characters are like, but writing as an art form is supposed to challenge people, it’s supposed to move them, to anger them, to sadden them, to make them uncomfortable, and yes, to make them happy. If this is the option you go with… the best advice I can give you is to grow a thick skin.

If it’s either of the other two, I recommend ‘The Rock’ approach: Ignore it.

Why do I call it the Rock approach? Well, it’s in honor of one of my favorite actors; Dwane Johnson. Arguably one of the most beloved personalities in Hollywood has come under fire recently from cultural figures, Paralympians, and environmental figures alike…

How has he responded to all of this criticism? Well, near as I can tell, he hasn’t. He hasn’t apologized or addressed it in any way. Why do I say that this is the smart thing to do? Because it takes the wind out of their sails. Look at each of these complaints. Have they gone anywhere? Have you heard of them after the initial outcry? Not likely. If you apologize to them, you’re admitting doing something wrong, even if you don’t mean to. Often times, they aren’t looking to, and won’t be willing to, accept your apology. If you try to fight back, you’ll wind up looking like the bad guy. It’s basically a power struggle, one you’ll be hard-pressed to win.

If you say nothing, do nothing, and keep your mouth shut, they’ll be yelling into an empty box and it will likely go away faster. I know it’s not an easy thing to do… take it from someone with boiling Irish blood in his veins, but IMHO it really is the correct approach.

Remember, your writing is all about you. Does it sound good to you? Do you like what you’ve written? Is your book something you’d like to read over and over? Then that’s all that really matters. Other people may like it or may not and your book sales will reflect that, but in the end, you can only write for yourself.

Anyway, that’s my two cents. Let’s open it up to the floor. Readers, what do you think our friend here should do? Should they ignore it or attempt some kind of damage control. Let me know in the comments and let’s get the conversation going.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice

Okay, so it looks like I’m still getting a lot of publishing questions. These are recurrent questions I get on a regular basis, and while I want to try to respond to everyone who reaches out to me, I don’t want my blog becoming redundant. So I think I’m going to repost this on a weekly basis from now on to help people navigate the publishing world. I don’t really see another way around it.

So if you have questions regarding publishing, PLEASE check below to see if any of this helps you before reaching out. I’m always happy to help, but I may have already answered your question.

Publishing is a tough road to navigate. Please check out the links below. These are previous posts I’ve made about the ins and outs of publishing. They should be of assistance in your journey:

Am I Ready To Publish? This is a must read BEFORE even considering starting the process. I can’t tell you how many authors burned bridges by not being ready.

Editing… There is a Cost That Must be Paid… or is There? You can skip this one if you’ve already had your writing edited (by someone other than you!). However, I’d still recommend reading.

Getting Published… the basics… In this post, we explore traditional publishing vs. self-publishing. Here you’ll get the pros on cons of each and the steps you need to go through in order to be successful in either.

Finally…

Copyrighting my Writing. Am I Protected? This isn’t required reading… however, if you’re concerned about plagiarism, or in the future may need to file a copyright claim, I recommend giving it a read.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? I’d be surprised if you didn’t. The only sage advice I can offer you other than the documents above is simple…

  1. Do not give up. A million “No’s” suddenly become irrelevant if you get that one “yes”.
  2. People will tell you that everyone and their mother wants to publish a book. You’re up against insurmountable odds and a flooded market. This is false. You’re not up against everyone and their mother. Permit me the luxury and I’ll prove this mathematically: First of all, take the entire group of people who want to get published. Now take that number and reduce it by roughly 60%. You just eliminated all the people who want to get something published, but don’t have the time, ability, drive, or inspiration to write. Next, eliminate another 20%. You’ve now taken down all the people who can put pen to paper but can’t afford the time/money to put the work into advertising and getting published. Eliminate another 10% who can’t take criticism and thus aren’t going to be able to get their writing properly edited. Now eliminate another 5% either don’t have the patience for or get discouraged by receiving a series of “No’s” from publishers.
    Now take that last 5% and eliminate all of them, except you. Why? Because they’re irrelevant. You have your writing and they have there’s. Whether or not you get published and how successful you are isn’t about other people’s writing. Yes, in the end, it’s you against one person, you. Whether or not I’ll ever get to buy your book off the shelf depends on you; how much time, effort, and funds you’re willing to put into your writing. So make it good!

Let’s open it up to the floor. Readers, do you have any publishing advice for our friend here? Let her know in the comments!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Levying Criticism #Writing #Author #Advice

So I’ve gotten this question a lot ever since I posted my piece of how to handle criticism. From people wondering how to write criticism without insulting the creator or their work.

The best I can offer in the way of advice is to just be respectful, be constructive, and avoid hyperbole.

For example:

“This book sucks!” <This is not constructive.

“I didn’t care for this book.” <More polite, but still not constructive.

“I didn’t like this book. I felt it was far too drawn out. The story would have been good, but the writer spent too much time on physical descriptions and alteration that it took me right out of the story.” < DING DING DING DING!!! This is exactly what you want.

“I liked the story, but was really turned off when the writer took his main character out of the story to go on a political tirade. It just really didn’t seem like it was part of the story or had any relevance. Had he left this out, it would have been a decent story.” < (Looking at you Marvel) This is also constructive.

So that’s pretty much how to do it. Be courteous, be constructive. Say what you didn’t like, why you didn’t like it, and what you might suggest for future writing .

Jim, I followed your advice and got a very harshly worded response from the creator. 

Ugh, yes this will happen from time to time. Not everyone is going to agree with you or appreciate your opinion. Basically they just want positive comments, they want yes men and nothing else. Honestly, don’t worry about these people. They are the ones with the problem, not you.

Hope this helps. Readers, please let me know below if you think there’s more we can do or if my advice is missing something.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have multiple published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Death’s Work-Around #Writing #Author #Advice

Hello Writers,

Did you recently kill off a character? Do you regret it? Do you want to get that character back but are too good to simply resurrect the character?

Well we’ve got a lesser known, yet equally cheap gimmick for you; take the character from another reality! At the low cost of your writing credibility, you can have you character back without any consequences, retconning, or necromancy what so ever!


Ugh… okay… Like I said above, it’s a lesser known work-around for death, but still a pretty bad one. I think I first saw it in the mid-late 90s early TV show: Hercules. At one point late in the series, we see Iolaus, the lovable sidekick get killed off… and almost instantly brought back as a meager character with a different personality. I’m not sure where they went with this, because I lost interest in the show, but I can’t imagine the gimmick stuck.

As I’ve stated before, we’ve seen this type of thing for a very long time. When a character dies in Marvel or DC comics, mass eye-rolling ensues. Why? Because its seen as a gimmick now. It has no heart, no impact, nothing. Everyone knows that more than likely that character won’t be dead for more than a year or two, AT MOST.

This lackluster story-writing is probably one of the main reasons that comic sales are dropping, second only to the complete over-saturation of identity politics in Marvel and DC comics. (Arguably more so Marvel, but when the Green Arrow calls himself a Social Justice Warrior… ugh!)

Anyway, I’ve started seeing this in traditional writing, specifically in the fantasy realm. Fellow writers, if you take nothing else away from my blog, let it be this piece of advice;

Don’t cater to your writers, but please respect them!

Write what you want to write. Make sure that what you right is something that YOU enjoy first and foremost. If you don’t like what you’re writing, it will reflect in your writing, and your readers are going to pick up on it. At the same time however, if you kill off a character, PLEASE don’t find a way to bring them back just because it was a likable character. If your writing is strong enough, a story can survive a beloved main character dying off (Star Wars anyone?).

We’re not fragile little snowflakes. We don’t need to be treated as such. Will we be upset when a character dies? Did I shed a tear when Asajj Ventress was killed off in Dark Disciple? SHUT UP!

But we get over it and often see it as a bold choice that only served to enhance the story as time went on.

Anyway, that’s just my thoughts on the subject. Let a character stay dead, this cop out isn’t a cop out at all. It’s bad… really bad!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have multiple published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

A Better Blogger #Writing #Author #Advice

Can you give some advices about how to get traffic towards your blog? How do you get so many followers on this app?
By the way, your posts are really good😊!
Simmone


Hi Simmone,

Great question. The best way to think about WordPress, or any other blogging page is to think about it as a community. The more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it. So the best advice I’d give is to explore the other blog posts, especially others that tag and categorize their posts the same way you do. Read, like, comment, reblog, and offer advice when and where possible. I’ll be honest, my blog only had about 500 readers before I started offering writing tips and advice.

Secondly, I’d network as much as you can. Got a Facebook page? No?? MAKE ONE. Got a twitter page? No??? MAKE ONE!!! Got a Pinterest account? NO??? Oh man! Make accounts on these pages and link them to your blog. You don’t even have to use most of them. WordPress will post all of this for you. This will gain you greater exposure.

Really though that’s all there is to it. If you build it and expose it, people will come to it. If they like what you have to say they will come and visit your blog. YOU need to give them a reason to.

Anyway, hope this helps. Readers, do you have any advice for Simmone? How do you get more readers?



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have multiple published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Historical Accuracy in Writing #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim,

I was wondering how important you feel it is to portray history accurately, even in a fantasy universe?

Thanks,
Mike


Hi Mike,

It really depends on how close to reality your story is. If you’re doing a sort-of ‘what if’ story, you can pretty much do whatever you want… to a point.

I’d say no matter what the case, you really do want to get some things right. You’ll want to be careful and do your research regarding things like what sort of items were available at the time, the personas of any people you’d be portraying, and the circumstances around what historical events you’re talking about.

Writing about history, even in a fictitious manner can be damaging. Let me give you a few examples…

I hate this movie for a number of reasons. Fast forward to 1:50 and watch what happens…

The Japanese open fire on Civilians and medical staff at the hospital in Pearl Harbor.

Sorry to swear, but this is bullshit! 100% bullshit and it really pisses me off. This scene is an attempt to #1 Put the heroine in harms way, #2 Needlessly over-vilify the bad guys.

Look, the attack on Pearl Harbor was terrible and the Japanese military was guilty of a lot of things, but attacking the Hospital was NOT one of them. This is easily researched, easily found documented history that the Japanese did NOT attack the hospital, even when they had a clear shot, they would not open fire.

This understandably pissed off the Japanese, Vets, and historians alike as anyone who knew ANYTHING about the Pearl Harbor attack, knew full well that the Japanese pilots were under strict orders not to attack civilian targets, and survivors note that even when they had a straight line of attack, the Japanese did not once attack the hospital itself.

Michael Bay himself OPENLY ADMITTED that the scene was added because it made the attack seem more barbaric.

That… is just wrong and the excuse that this movie is fiction doesn’t protect it.

One other example… and this one is more the fault of a misreading of history and inaccurate reporting by the American Press… imagine, the American Press wrongfully smearing someone’s reputation.

Okay, this one is a little bit more tricky, so let’s dive into the actual history a little more…

At that point in time (Early 1900s), it was considered noble for the captain, crew, and pretty much everyone over 13 with a penis to go down with the ship while everyone else made for the boats. At the very least, this was the attitude of American journalists at the time.

As such, Ismay, seen as ‘another captain’ by many was smeared for being a coward and, again per the media, jumping into a lifeboat while women and children were still on the deck:

 

Unfortunately, this movie follows that narrative and further smears the reputation of Ismay.

Here’s the problem with this… Ismay was a passenger. He wasn’t the captain. That role fell to Captain Edward J. Smith. He was the man that failed to heed ice warnings, did not slow his ship when ice was reported directly in his path, did not issue a general abandon ship order, allowed lifeboats to leave the sinking ship partially filled, and even confused which ship he was on by ordering lifeboats to be launched from the promenade deck, which was enclosed on the Titanic. The Olympic had lifeboats there.

He is directly responsible for the loss of the Titanic, he is ultimately responsible for all the failures of the command structure on board, and the tragic life that was needlessly lost.

… But he went down with the ship.

Ismay on the other hand was seen helping and urging passengers into lifeboats and even helped lower them away. There are witness accounts to this. Further, witnesses say that he was actually ordered into the lifeboat as there was no one else in the vicinity.

‘Had he not jumped in he would simply have added one more life, namely his own, to the number of those lost.’
-High Court judge Lord Mersey,  British enquiry into the loss of Titanic

But because he survived, while Smith went down with the ship, Ismay is continuously smeared to this day. The clip I provided showing Ismay convincing Smith to light the final boilers is pure fiction. The boilers were already lit, and there is no evidence nor witness testimony that Ismay acted outside of his place as a passenger. He lived out the rest of his life in shame, labelled a coward.

Meanwhile, Smith has a statue in Beacon Park, Lichfield, Staffordshire, England. He is portrayed as a noble man in most works, and there are even unsubstantiated stories of him placing a child into one of the boats before swimming off into the night.

Do you see now the importance of getting history right, even in a fictitious universe? A quick look at the facts surrounding the history, and Cameron could have made the bold move of helping to rightfully clear Ismay’s name. Instead he followed the bandwagon and furthered the narrative that the man was a coward who jumped into a lifeboat willingly and left women and children to die.

My advice to you is to take as much license as you like when writing history into fantasy, just take care not to wrongfully smear anyone who doesn’t deserve it… and be ready for the historical nitpickers to pull everything apart if you didn’t get the history right.

Remember, the First Three Rules of Writing History:
Research, Reseach, and God Help You If You Don’t Research!!!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have multiple published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice

Okay, so it looks like I’m still getting a lot of publishing questions. These are recurrent questions I get on a regular basis, and while I want to try to respond to everyone who reaches out to me, I don’t want my blog becoming redundant. So I think I’m going to repost this on a weekly basis from now on to help people navigate the publishing world. I don’t really see another way around it.

So if you have questions regarding publishing, PLEASE check below to see if any of this helps you before reaching out. I’m always happy to help, but I may have already answered your question.

Publishing is a tough road to navigate. Please check out the links below. These are previous posts I’ve made about the ins and outs of publishing. They should be of assistance in your journey:

Am I Ready To Publish? This is a must read BEFORE even considering starting the process. I can’t tell you how many authors burned bridges by not being ready.

Editing… There is a Cost That Must be Paid… or is There? You can skip this one if you’ve already had your writing edited (by someone other than you!). However, I’d still recommend reading.

Getting Published… the basics… In this post, we explore traditional publishing vs. self-publishing. Here you’ll get the pros on cons of each and the steps you need to go through in order to be successful in either.

Finally…

Copyrighting my Writing. Am I Protected? This isn’t required reading… however, if you’re concerned about plagiarism, or in the future may need to file a copyright claim, I recommend giving it a read.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? I’d be surprised if you didn’t. The only sage advice I can offer you other than the documents above is simple…

  1. Do not give up. A million “No’s” suddenly become irrelevant if you get that one “yes”.
  2. People will tell you that everyone and their mother wants to publish a book. You’re up against insurmountable odds and a flooded market. This is false. You’re not up against everyone and their mother. Permit me the luxury and I’ll prove this mathematically: First of all, take the entire group of people who want to get published. Now take that number and reduce it by roughly 60%. You just eliminated all the people who want to get something published, but don’t have the time, ability, drive, or inspiration to write. Next, eliminate another 20%. You’ve now taken down all the people who can put pen to paper but can’t afford the time/money to put the work into advertising and getting published. Eliminate another 10% who can’t take criticism and thus aren’t going to be able to get their writing properly edited. Now eliminate another 5% either don’t have the patience for or get discouraged by receiving a series of “No’s” from publishers.
    Now take that last 5% and eliminate all of them, except you. Why? Because they’re irrelevant. You have your writing and they have there’s. Whether or not you get published and how successful you are isn’t about other people’s writing. Yes, in the end, it’s you against one person, you. Whether or not I’ll ever get to buy your book off the shelf depends on you; how much time, effort, and funds you’re willing to put into your writing. So make it good!

Let’s open it up to the floor. Readers, do you have any publishing advice for our friend here? Let her know in the comments!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Writing Fantasy #Writing #Author #Advice

I loved the Skyrim picture in the bottom… My request is: can you give me some advices about how to write a good fantasy story?. I`ve been writing since… forever, but I want to do things in a better way now. I apreciate the help. Thanks!

Emaleth



Hi Emaleth,

Phew, that’s a loaded question. How to write a good fantasy… Well honestly what’s good and what isn’t is a very subjective term, but let’s see what I can do.

So honestly fantasy is really used in many cases to deliver messages about various topics; history, politics, feelings and emotions, and current events. Now this isn’t what its used for 100% of the time, but it is an effective means of delivering these messages in an entertaining way. No one likes being preached to, so this is a very good way of going about it.

Let me provide a few examples…

Lord of the Rings: Tolkien wrote his story about World War 1. He wrote about the climate at the time and made several metaphorical comparisons to the effects of the war.

Skyrim: This is perhaps one of the more obvious ones. Go back and take a look at the history, cultural, and religious effects that took place in Europe as the result of the Roman Empire being forced to withdraw from Nordic, Gothic, and Celtic lands. Skyrim tackles the effects of the Roman occupation and the struggle for independence. The story tends to veer off depending on what side you choose, and arguably paints the history side as a negative (Nords win), but that’s why it seems so similar.

Divinity: My book tackles religious dogma, corruptions, and hypocrisy, while trying to tell an adventure. I wanted to make it clear about how some church leaders would be more interested in their own political standings than finding religious truth.

The NeverEnding Story: Well, depending on whether you read the book or watch the movie, we see a world being destroyed because of people losing hope, not reading, and really not using their imagination. It was a cautionary tale of what has happened.

So really I think fantasy is used best to speak on different issues. I would take an issue you’re passionate about switch a few things around say switch races with fantasy races, switch political bodies with different kingdoms, political leaders with characters that you created yourself. That is how you do it.

That said, this isn’t a rule. If you want to write an adventure dealing with elves, dwarves, or any creature or theme of your choosing, go for it. It’s called fantasy. There are no rules.

In the end, my advice is, write what you love. If you want to write about sociopolitical issues, great, write them, and then make the changes and add fantasy elements.

Anyway, hope this helps! Thanks for the message!!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have multiple published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Just Start Over… #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim,

I’m in a major bind… I was working on my latest piece. I’d been working on it for days and… forgot to save it. I was about 140 pages in and suddenly my computer blue-screened. I’ve lost everything and Word didn’t auto-save it. I’m not sure of what to do now. I feel like having to start from scratch is a fairly daunting task.
What should I do?

Thanks,
Terry


Hi Terry,

We’ve all been there. This is a mistake that we’ve all made at one point or another. I personally had to dodge being hit in the head by a laptop thrown by my roommate in college after his 20 page paper was lost when the same thing happened to him.

(Hehe… after writing multiple novels, thinking back on how tough we all used to think a typed 30 page, double spaced paper was… Oh man…)

Ahem… However, seriously Terry, 140 PAGES AND NOT ONE SAVE!? I’m sorry to say this, but you were really tempting fate more than any writer EVER should. Always save… ALWAYS! At minimum, save it at the end of every page, at minimum. Sorry to repeat myself, but it bears repeating.

Look, you’re going to have to. There really isn’t anything you can do. Think of it this way, you remember most of the story and can now really start to add meat to what you had already started on. Think of it as a chance to improve upon what you previously wrote.
Honestly, I myself have completely deleted and started stories over more than once when I didn’t think the story worked well, so it’s not unheard of and starting over is par for the course.

Anyway, that’s the best advice I can give you. Start over, good luck, and start saving!!!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have multiple published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice

Okay, so it looks like I’m still getting a lot of publishing questions. These are recurrent questions I get on a regular basis, and while I want to try to respond to everyone who reaches out to me, I don’t want my blog becoming redundant. So I think I’m going to repost this on a weekly basis from now on to help people navigate the publishing world. I don’t really see another way around it.

So if you have questions regarding publishing, PLEASE check below to see if any of this helps you before reaching out. I’m always happy to help, but I may have already answered your question.

Publishing is a tough road to navigate. Please check out the links below. These are previous posts I’ve made about the ins and outs of publishing. They should be of assistance in your journey:

Am I Ready To Publish? This is a must read BEFORE even considering starting the process. I can’t tell you how many authors burned bridges by not being ready.

Editing… There is a Cost That Must be Paid… or is There? You can skip this one if you’ve already had your writing edited (by someone other than you!). However, I’d still recommend reading.

Getting Published… the basics… In this post, we explore traditional publishing vs. self-publishing. Here you’ll get the pros on cons of each and the steps you need to go through in order to be successful in either.

Finally…

Copyrighting my Writing. Am I Protected? This isn’t required reading… however, if you’re concerned about plagiarism, or in the future may need to file a copyright claim, I recommend giving it a read.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? I’d be surprised if you didn’t. The only sage advice I can offer you other than the documents above is simple…

  1. Do not give up. A million “No’s” suddenly become irrelevant if you get that one “yes”.
  2. People will tell you that everyone and their mother wants to publish a book. You’re up against insurmountable odds and a flooded market. This is false. You’re not up against everyone and their mother. Permit me the luxury and I’ll prove this mathematically: First of all, take the entire group of people who want to get published. Now take that number and reduce it by roughly 60%. You just eliminated all the people who want to get something published, but don’t have the time, ability, drive, or inspiration to write. Next, eliminate another 20%. You’ve now taken down all the people who can put pen to paper but can’t afford the time/money to put the work into advertising and getting published. Eliminate another 10% who can’t take criticism and thus aren’t going to be able to get their writing properly edited. Now eliminate another 5% either don’t have the patience for or get discouraged by receiving a series of “No’s” from publishers.
    Now take that last 5% and eliminate all of them, except you. Why? Because they’re irrelevant. You have your writing and they have there’s. Whether or not you get published and how successful you are isn’t about other people’s writing. Yes, in the end, it’s you against one person, you. Whether or not I’ll ever get to buy your book off the shelf depends on you; how much time, effort, and funds you’re willing to put into your writing. So make it good!

Let’s open it up to the floor. Readers, do you have any publishing advice for our friend here? Let her know in the comments!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim