The Official Page of Justin Bienvenue

Author . Poet . Horror Writer . Authorpreneur 

Blog

The Creative and Realism of Fictional Towns

Posted on September 20, 2019 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (0)

"You've seen them. Little towns, tucked away far from the main roads. You've seen them, but have you thought about them? What do the people in these places do? Why do they stay?" -Rod Serling's opening narration in "The Twilight Zone" episode, "Valley of the Shadow"



Fictional towns. We read about and see them in countless movies and television shows. Like the quote above that asks about small towns can be also asked about fictional towns. Have you ever thought about them? Why do they exist? Are the people there just like you and me? If you're like me then you ask these things and you wonder and perhaps also like me you've created your very own fictional town. Whatever the reason maybe I want to take a closer look into fictional towns, why they were created, their backstories if they have any and how real they are compared to real towns and cities. Also, I'll delve into where these fictional places supposedly are because after all they may be fictional but where they are may just be close to where you live...



From Gotham City to Castle Rock, from Wayward Pines to Salem's Lot; these are just some of the most famous fictional towns in which we are familiar with and know very well. But why exactly do fictional towns exist? Why are they created? Well, there are a couple of simple reasons for this. The first reason is that since the story that's being told is fictional and everyone in it is as well then it's only fitting that the place where everyone resides and everything happens is fictional too.



Another reason may be simply that the author wanted to create their own fictional town. I suspect this to be the reason Stephen King created his many towns in Maine while also wanting to show people where he is from. Another reason may be that you don't want to create a fictional story in a real town because it may cause rumors and people to think that what happens in the story happens in the real town that it takes place in. Needless to say, it's way easier for an author to create a fictional town and it also gets our imaginations going on what the towns would look like and if they differ from ours.



The people we come to know in these fictional towns usually serve as our main characters or heroes. As readers, we are either introduced to a whole group of townspeople who make up the town or we get a main character or hero whose duty is to protect the town or represent it. Obviously, since fictional characters need a place to stay and reside they reside in fictional towns. This is not always the case but in most cases it is. It's not done not out of the fact that it has to be this way but it's easier this way and really makes you wonder not only about the people but about the town and the details the author goes through to tell you about it.


Some fictional towns have elaborately detailed backstories such as Castle Rock, which Stephen King has been writing about and adding to for years. Other cities are merely mentioned in books or shows and only serve as vessels to contain the story and characters. I like to think that the fictional towns with detailed backstories are the type of towns that create great stories and tales. To bring up King again, he actually uses the same towns for several of his stories which are not only creative but a real fun idea and good way to get people interested in your works. Many fictional towns while the imagination of the author can also have real-life attributes from real cities and towns that the author themselves either live in or have been to at one time. Adding a bit of realism into a fictional town is a good way to give it substance and make a reader relate the next time they adventure into a creepy small town or even a happy place like Mayberry.



Stephen King places his fictional towns in Maine and even gives them actual spots on a map if you were ever so deeply inclined to check them out. Some authors actually describe the county or place a fictional town on a map so you could almost see it if you were to look on one. Again this is a fun vivid effect(at least I think so) and one that connects a fictional town to the realism of a real town. Now if you read science fiction then chances are not only is the town fictional but so is the planet and galaxy which is going way beyond and creating a whole world. Settings for fictional towns can also be created if the town is based on two real-life cities(example: my fictional town of Toomswood in A Bloody Bloody Mess in the Wild Wild West is based on Toomsuba, Mississippi and Riverwood, Alabama).



If fictional towns teach us anything it's that they can be as real as any town we ourselves live in just like the people who live in them. Some go into details, some don't. Some are created because it's only natural and some because it's better to leave eerie and creepiness out of a real town and scare the people who live there. I wanted to take a deep look into fictional towns because it always made me curious as to why they were created and because of my own creative fictional town of Craven Hollow, New York which is the setting for The Wax Factory series. Fictional towns can be big or small, have a lot said about them or nothing said about them at all.



"You've seen them. Little towns, tucked away far from the main roads. You've seen them, but have you thought about them? Have you wondered what the people do in such places, why they stay?"

Can A Writer Not Be A Reader?

Posted on May 28, 2019 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

They have nothing to do with one another. You don’t need to be a reader in order to be a writer because while they share the common trait of books and literature it is a reader that needs a writer but not the other way around. Readers who love certain writers wait for their favorite writer to write the next book of their favorite series. A writer doesn’t need to wait for a reader, they hope a reader jumps onto their writing. A writer should be appreciative that a reader picks up their writing but why should it matter if a writer doesn’t read? After all a writer’s audience is not other writers, they are if the author writes about writing but a fictional author no. Let me clarify that again, a writer’s audience is not other writer’s unless the genre they are writing is about writing and helping other authors.


Now everyone has their own opinion however to me what I have stated above speaks volumes and is quite clear and makes sense yet I still think I have skeptics, those who still think the opposite and that is totally in your right to have that opinion, however it is not in your right to push it in the face of those that don’t believe and result to insult people who don’t believe that writers need to read. Readers are going to read, writers are going to write. And people are going to take to social media to try and make their point even if it means disrespecting others who don’t share the same opinion as them. Let’s examine this a bit further, just because a writer doesn’t read books as often as a bookworm per say does NOT mean the following:


-The writer doesn’t read books at all(just not as much as them)

-The writer doesn’t read anything(we as humans read everyday but doesn’t mean books)

-The writer doesn’t know how to read(some people actually think this)

-The writer’s writing will suffer because they don’t read(it won’t because it has nothing to do with their writing)

-The writer doesn’t experience and take in knowledge(They do just not as much as a bookworm or traditional reader would)


The point? It hasn’t changed, just because someone doesn’t read and they are a writer doesn’t mean anything, it simply means if anything that they are more dedicated to their writing and can get more writing done because that is their choice. Not everyone is going to enjoy reading so just because someone becomes a writer they are supposed to read more? If they didn’t read a lot before than then why would becoming a writer change anything? It wouldn’t and shouldn’t. If A person doesn’t like to read then that’s their right, their choice. They should not be chastised for it. I personally do not like to read however that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to read, it doesn’t mean I don’t read books and it certainly doesn’t mean my writing suffers because of it. When I became a writer I actually started reading more and found a new appreciation not only for reading but for my fellow indie authors.


In conclusion, everyone is entitled to their opinion, writers are going to write and readers are going to read. The better question to ask is if a reader writes a few things are they considered a writer? Or are they merely readers picking up a new hobby or taking a stab at the other side of the spectrum? However you want to look at it the point remains the same that reading and writing while crucial to us as humans do not need to read in order to be writers. Writers can get inspiration from many things some may choose to do so by reading and others from taking in all around them. The choice is their’s and their’s alone. Is it easier to read or to write?


Obviously it’s easier to read that’s without question however again people will be criticized if they don’t read as writers because there’s so much irrelevant accusations and speculations of the individual. Let me clear that up in case you got confused. Some writers or people in general find reading to be difficult not because they cannot read but because they have a hard time getting into a book or simply devoting time into a book because they are busy doing something else such as writing. Read if that’s what you want to do, and write if that’s what you want to do but don’t throw shade at others because they don’t share the same appreciation for reading as you do. We are all different and we all like different things and we all enjoy similar things.

The Importance of Naming A Character

Posted on July 3, 2017 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (1)

Harry Potter, Christian Grey, Katniss Everdeen, Holden Caufield. We know them well as they are some of literatures most popular characters. Their names resonate with us the minute we hear them. We know immediate what book they are in and even if we haven’t read a single book their in we likely know a little bit of who they are. Why is this? Well aside from the obvious of some names being the associated with the title of the book, names are everything when it comes to characters. In order for a novel to stand out it needs a strong main character who will take on a challenge or adventure or connect and seem real to a reader. One way this can be done is by giving that character a name, a name that will not only represent what that character stands for but will stand out among the rest. How important is it to give your character a fitting name? It’s necessary and essential to your stories very existence. Sure you can name your characters John Smith, Emily Jones or James King but your not giving them identity, your not giving them a name that will stand out among the top names listed in the beginning. A character name needs to stand out, when you read it you immediately know who they are or when you see their name it gives you a sense of intrigue and makes you want to read and know more about them. How important is the naming of a character? More important then you would think.

Harry Potter. If you really think about it the name seems rather generic if you take out the fame that now comes with it. Before Harry potter was written the name could have easily gone unnoticed as seen as a common one. However now anytime we see the name Harry Potter we immediately associate it with the book series of a boy wizard. So while this shows that it is possible to take a generic name and turn it into a popular one it’s still better to give your character a unique name that stands out above the rest so people can easily know what they are from. The other names listed above are all unique and catch your eye. While Harry Potter and Sebastian Gray are names a real person could have how many people have you met that have the names of Katniss Everdeen or Holden Caufield? Probably none and if you have they are likely named after the characters. Many writers would not think to give any deep thought when it comes to naming a character. They think that the setting, plot and character details are important and a name is just a name. Yes perhaps that’s true but you need to give that setting, plot and character detail substance and that starts with what you think is the easiest thing of all..naming your character. A writer can pick a common name and still make that character stand out but if a writer really wants to get people to read their book or even just be original they need to think deep about what name they want to represent their book and their character.


A little bit of research is necessary in the naming of a character as well. If you book is set in China and your character is from there then naturally your going to give your character a Chinese name. If your character is from another country then you want to give them a name that originates from that country. If you really want to get into detailing and representing what your character is about you could even look up the meaning of a name and give the character that name so they live by the very name they were given. Origin, originality and a strong powerful visual of the name can really make your character seem very real. How can you come up with a great sounding name for your character? Look up names alphabetically, look up baby names, look up names from a certain country, ask people, watch movies. You can get names from so many sources its about choosing the right one that may be a difficult task but when you find the right one you’ll know. So remember the next time you need to decide and come up with a name for a character to sit down and give it some thought. Don’t use John Smith, Joe Schmo or Jane Doe, be original, be unique and give your character a name that not only represents your book but you can be proud to say you came up with your made your own.

My Writing Inspirations

Posted on June 12, 2017 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

My Writing Influences/Inspirations

One question I get as a writer is who are your writing influences? Who inspires you? I’m sure you get asked the same thing. The response should come out of you as quick as it was asked because let’s be honest here, we’ve had plenty of time to think of this question. These are people who are the reason to why we write, what got us started on this path and made such an impact on us that we thought, you know what? I want to become a writer and author. So who are my writing inspirations? Well as you know I am both a writer and poet so I have quite a mixed bunch of writers but here are some of my influences and inspirations.

Edgar Allan Poe-

This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. Whether you’ve read my Macabre Masterpiece books or just read a horror story by me you can clearly see the evidence of Poe. Like most people I read The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart and many more of Poe’s work in school the only difference is I kept reading long after I got out of school. I already liked horror and I felt Poe’s words were creepy and morbid yet chilling, true and captivating and it’s this very thing to which has inspired two books and my love for horror. Aside from writing two books of horror poetry I have also written stories with an essence similar to Poe’s and I’ve even paid homage to him in a blog post. In many ways Poe is a great part of my writing life and like many of us who enjoy him I’m sure it will continue on for as long as I write.

Rod Serling-

This one may be a surprise. Rod Serling is mostly known for “The Twilight Zone” and “Night Gallery”. What people may not know is that he wrote many stories to which became episodes for the shows. I absolutely love The Twilight Zone so naturally Rod Serling’s adaptations and writings really resonate with me. While I mainly just watch The Twilight Zone I have read one of his books and found the tales to be just as odd as an episode of TZ. If you’ve read any of my work you tend to get a sense of weird plots, twist endings or things that just aren’t normal. Well this is because of my admiration for Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone. The man was ahead of his time and I’m just one of many people he’s influenced but nevertheless I am grateful that someone like him has such a creative mind because it’s helped in the creation of mine. 

William Shakespeare-

Seriously Justin? Yes, seriously. Most people find Shakespeare boring or confusing and I would totally agree with you..but that also didn’t stop me from enjoying his work and being inspired by him. One reason I consider Shakespeare an influence and inspiration is because of the fact that he pretty much created his own language and his simplicity to truly make a drama a drama as well as his way to write a poem. The way he wrote and how he wrote are confusing but the fact that there’s meanings hidden behind his words is what gets me. I like being able to write something and the person has to read it a few times to understand, I like doing that and it’s because of Shakespeare. I find his sonnet’s brilliant and some of his plays tolerable especially Macbeth so yes Shakespeare is an inspiration of mine.

Elmore Leonard-

You may not recognize his name but you’ve probably seen some of his work. Get Shorty, Jackie Brown, Out of Sight, Hombre, 3:10 to Yuma, The Big Bounce, etc. He also wrote the tv series Justified on FX. I started reading Leonard after I began watching Justified. After I read one of his books I was hooked. I enjoy the way he tells a story whether it’s crime or a western. He really creates a visual of the scene in a book and the characters are likable and that really spoke to me. After reading a few of his works and watching a few movies I was inspired by him. I tend to keep reading more of his books to become more inspired by him.

Robert Frost-

Frost is an inspiration because of the beautiful way to which he wrote poetry. Also I find “The Road Not Taken” to be a great metaphor for life that I find myself using frequently in my own life choices. I haven’t quite read as much Frost but I’ve read enough to be inspired and influenced by him.

Emily Dickinson-

I’m not sure if this is surprising or an of course you are because every poet is somehow inspired by her. I am inspired by Emily Dickinson for the somber way in which she told a poem. Her sadness spoke volumes and sometimes when I’m sad I find myself channeling my inner Emily trying to find the words to express how I feel.

Langston Hughes-

This one probably surprises people. Hughes has a few poems that are quite short but the meaning and feeling behind them are so strong and powerful that one can’t help but feel inspired. I like Hughes for his realness, his ability to capture your attention in such quick simplicity. He is an underrated inspiration of mine.

R.L Stine-

Like most kids during the 90's I grew up reading Goosebump books. I didn’t read much but when I did I collected and read the Goosebumps series. Stine wrote for children and teens so I feel when it comes to dimmed down horror I take my inspirations from him. Also some of his ideas are pretty creative.

Nothing's Ever Free, There's Always A Fee

Posted on July 19, 2016 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Nothing in life is free. You've heard the saying constantly and more and more as we rely on things the more they are no longer free. There are two things in life to know about any product, website or selling point, they are either not free or they are free until they aren't and eventually there will be a price. Obviously I'm being very broad here in the sense of referring to "free" with everything we spend money on but let's narrow it down to the publishing and book industry. Whether it's publishing a book or promoting a book you as a writer have the choice on whether or not you wish to spend money. If you want to publish you're book for free your inclined to do so, if you want to spend a little money or spend a lot because you don't feel like doing any work than you're also inclined to do that. Promoting can in a sense be the same way but leans more toward not being free. You can promote your book for free however you will soon realize that it only goes so far and that if you wih to make big on some of the stuff your doing now for free that....you'll have to spend money. This article will take a deeper look at the promoting and marketing aspect of books and how as the infamous saying goes nothing's ever free.


The first thing to realize is you can be successful using free ways to promote and market it just takes an investment, lots of dedicated time and sticking to what works best for you. However in most cases and if you're like me you wish to promote and market for free but not entirely for free which I've come to realize just isn't going to work. My philosophy is this: Promote for free and spend small and only when you have to. The problem? All the small things I find that will be useful to me aren't free at all. Call me crazy but I'm mostly optimistic about things when it comes to selling books I couldn't be further from it. If you manage where you wish to spend your money then chances are you'll be okay but I feel like the business is getting more and more about money and less about the value and enjoyment of the books themselves. It seems like no matter what promotion you want to use, what website you want to join or what ad you want to use it's either not free or it's way too expensive. I'm a realist, I see things for what they are, I also like guarantees and making my money back. Does that make me a bad person? No it just means I like to know that what I invest in has promise, is going to work, and I not only get my money's worth but then some. Of course not everything can be guaranteed but again it just seems like in this business you really have to know where your ducks are nevermind have them all in a row.


What is the truth? You're going to spend some money to promote and market, it's inevitable. The key is to spend accordingly and when you can except there are certain things that must be constant and are monthly. For instance if you want a top notch website with unlimited access to things you have to pay a fee plus if you want your own domain you have to pay a fee. If you want to join a mass e-mail site like MailChimp and send out outmated e-mails theres a fee. Get past 2,000 subscribers? There's a fee. If you want to join two just two promotional author sites there's a monthly fee. You want to join a class on how to help your sales? There's a big fee. This is what gets me, if you add all that up it's a big sum and if you don't have income your not exactly keen on forking all of it over nevermind if you have it. What all these fees say to me is your spending all this so you can have ways to sell your book but however much your spending on all this you now have a goal that you must reach or else it's a fail. You don't have to agree with this premise but it's not wrong. By spending money monthly on your website, domain, two promotion sites and your automated e-mail subscriber list your giving yourself a goal of sales you have to make and it isn't realistic, what it is is a vicious cycle. Priorities are key here and I more than anyone am all about organization and making money but as the saying goes, in order to make money you need to spend money. Yes but you also don't want to invest everything and end up broke either.


This isn't a rant so what is it that I'm saying? I'm saying nothing is free, I'm saying that not everyone has the money to invest and spend everywhere they please. I'm saying that I know it's a process but they don't make it easy but then again why have it easy when you need to work? Ah another cycle or irony. You're already working yourself to the bone to write your books so why should you have to work at spending money on so many things? I suppose a very simple answer is well if this helps your books making a ton of money and your getting tons of reviews out of it then you shouldn't have to worry...it's just not realistic or guaranteed enough to attempt though. Take time and research what you want to spend money on. Manage your money wisely and think of how much it will cost you yearly rather than monthly and if you can pay something in one shot you probably should. Too many sites have these pay later or pay monthly, yes it's convenient but I'm talking about the ones where it's one shot and done. I'm talking about pay once, don't worry so you can focus on your monthly fees. Your books aren't going to sell themselves and eventually your going to have to spend money, all I'm saying at this point and the message to take here is to figure out what you want to do and how you want to do it. Spend accordingly and make sure your investments are the right ones.

Novel or Short Story: How Do You Decide?

Posted on April 1, 2016 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (1)

Do you ever come up with a great idea for a story that you just can’t wait to get started on? Chances are the answer to this is yes. The more enlightening question is how do you decide if a story becomes your next novel or just a short story? I’m not sure how many have pondered this but it’s crossed my mind more than once and only recently has it really stopped to make me think. Exactly how does a person decide what becomes a full-fledged novel and what becomes a short story? I suppose everyone is different but let’s go over some basic theories as to what may make a person decide what’s what.

 

(Length of an Idea)-

One obvious reason would be length. The amount and length of a story may be good enough to be a short story but you may not have enough of a concept to build off it to have it become a novel. The idea is there and it’s great but you feel it only goes so far and there’s only so much of it you can write. Sure a writer can build off it if they really try but there’s writing because “the idea is there” and forcing it and at no time should you ever force more than you have to. So in this regard length can play a part in an author determining what becomes a book and what becomes a short story.

 

(Anthologies)-

Another way you may decide one over another is your writing to be featured in an anthology which in this case means your writing a short story. Now whether you already have a short story written that fits or your being asked to write about a certain topic chances are your writing a short story to be placed into an anthology. Depending on the content of what they want, this may also serve as a way to tease your readers for an upcoming book. You can always write a short story for your own or for an anthology and then later on write a book about the same topic, having the short piece serve as a prologue or teaser.

 

(The Idea Itself)-

This next way is one of the ways that I myself contemplate which is the idea itself. Let’s say I have an idea in mind for a story but while I like it I don’t feel it’s novel material..does that make sense? Okay let’s try the opposite, let’s say I have a concept for a story that’s so great that making it into a short story just doesn’t do it justice. The title I have in mind is epic and the concept is so good that I want to publish it for all to read and experience. Make sense? This one is basically saying that you feel your writing a story for either the full effect with every intention to make it a novel or it’s good enough to just serve as a short story.

 


So these are three ways to which I believe people decide as to what becomes a short story or a novel. Obviously I think about this hence the reason I wrote this post. I also wrote it because I’m curious as to how many other authors think about this and do any of the three. It’s one thing to write a story but it’s something else entirely to think about what you want to do with it and what you want to turn it into. So do you do this? If so how do you decide?

 

Why Are Book Trailers Underrated?

Posted on February 16, 2016 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (2)

Book Trailers are videos that act as teasers and a way of getting people to be interested in your book. But do they work? Is this one of the key pratices and techniques of building a following? I say yes. Why are book trailers so underrated? It's not because people aren't watching them it's because your not giving people a reason to wach them. Sure you can write in your "keywords" when you tag words while creating it so that people on YouTube will discover it but this only goes so far. You need a more wide range of availability and you need to drive traffic to your videos. How do you do this? Well first check out my 6 Ways to Generate Book Trailer Views  for starters as it gives 6 very simple ways to harn views. Also realize that while you want to draw people to Youtube because that's where most go to watch videos you shouldn't just use Youtube. Use other sites such as Daily Motion, Vimeo or even GodTube if you write Christian Fiction. Why are book trailers underrated? Because your not promoting and marketing to the group of people who decide to buy a book based off watching them. This is why you need to promote your trailers to as many video streaming sites as you can and then not only make tags and keywords pertaining to people on those sites but go look for outside sites where people who enjoy watching book trailers will be interested. Do such people and places exist? Of course they do, they may not be easy to find but again there are people whose decision to buy a book is based on their watching of book trailers.


Why are book trailers underrated? Because it's a simple tool that doesn't need a group or niche. Even if certain people don't immediately decide to buy books based off watching trailers you should of course still pertain and market to them because it's still a book. Yes, remember? Your video is about your book so chances are while they may not be fans of trailers if you know they will enjoy the genre and content to what your books about then chances are they will still watch it and it may influence their decision. The idea is you want to entertain, you want an audience. You know you have put together quality content so you want to showcase that and show it off. You want to target a certain audience but at the same time you want to target audience in general. Nothing says you have to go all out to prmote your video, a simply promo on social media or mention of it in a comment on a site can go a long way. You also don't have to say much because your letting the trailer do all the talking. So again, aside from finding a group or targeting an audience you want to make sure you know your showing quality content and people will also see the hard work and quality content and they will be intrigued. The idea is you don't want people to be sold you want them to invest.


Why are book trailers underrated? Given all the other ways people promote and market, no one thinks to make them or view them. What's wrong with this? Well for one we watch television and we watch movies but most of all we watch commercials. What makes us go out and watch a movie? commercials for upcoming movies. What are these? You guessed it, movie trailers. Book trailers are like movie trailers in the sense that they are trying to get your interested and they want you to invest. Most people enjoy movie trailers and in this case book trailers are a smaller version of them but they have the same intent and message which is to attract a following. Personally, if there's one thing I enjoy more than writing a novel it's creating a book trailer for it. I do this because I want to showcase my book in a creative way. Not only do I want to appeal to my audience but I want to appeal to a certain audience and I also know that trailers intrigue people. I feel that while book trailers are underrated it doesn't stop me from creating them because in the event they pick up, I have mine there for view for people to watch at any time. Who knows if book trailers will pick up and become a part of the essential ways to promote books but that should not stop us from creating them and it should not stop us from continuing to use them as a way to promote our novels.

Should Characters Be Relatable?

Posted on December 21, 2015 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

When characters are created they are given their own background, their own personality and traits and must fit into the story to which they are being created for. However, what about being relatable? Should a character possess some kind of characteristic to which makes them relatable to the reader or a real person for that matter? I mean I’m sure this is done but sometimes it may be unintentional or sometimes it’s completely left out which makes me wonder if a character has to be relatable in someway to the reader. An author cannot possibly know who will read their book and who will connect with their characters but assuming they can put in a trait for their character that a lot of people can relate to must mean they are trying to establish that. Not putting in something that relates the character to the reader or author may make the character unenjoyable which may make the story dry and un enjoyable for some. In my opinion I think even if it’s a small add, there needs to be something about that character that’s created to which anyone who reads it can say hey I can relate to that or at least understands the fundamentals about what the character is bringing to the story and what they represent.

 


I think it doesn’t matter what genre it is, the character must be relatable. Of course some genres will expect more than others from their characters but the reader wants to be able to take something with them after reading. They don’t just want to think the book was good or bad or that overall it made for a good read but rather there was something about the character that was so relatable that the reader is hoping for a sequel to read with that character or that, that character will stick with them in the future. Anyone can make a character have feelings, have a story to tell and even make them relate to real world scenarios but to just throw in that little something that gives the reader the extra boost to root for the character may make all the difference. It isn’t to say that a book who doesn’t have a relatable character will suffer but it merely means that having one as such presents a better understanding and connection between the author and his book with the reader. Again sometimes all it takes is a one little thing that separates a character from someone real or a reader and it will either bring the reader closer or turn them off depending on the individual of course.

 


What have we learned? That when you create a character you want them to be somewhat real, aside from them shooting lasers from a taser, fighting a fire breathing dragon or waving a magic wand during class time there needs to be some kind of realism in there. We all love the creativity authors imagine up but again whether it’s a crime/suspense novel of a science fiction fantasy novel we need that character to bring something real and relatable to the table. An extra boost if you will that makes you not only appreciate the story and the character but says, ‘hey I can relate to that and I can do that too if I tried’. Then again this isn’t about self confidence or boosting ones self esteem it’s just about a character being relatable but even there it’s being said that because they are so relatable that it makes the reader think that they can achieve something as well. As a read you want the character to either speak to you, feel like your there with them or that you are them. It would be only fitting to relate to the character and one would have to assume you would if your feeling one of the three things just mentioned. As long as the writer gives the character a voice it should be only fitting that the character should relate, even the smallest amount.


This post is a part of the Festive Spirit Blog Hop: http://francishpowellauthor.weebly.com/festive-spirit-blog-hop.html


 

Would You Write About Controversy?

Posted on December 20, 2015 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

We all have come across those books and articles of touchy subjects. You all know them. Their the ones that while they are juicy and interesting to read they are also borderline controversial and the metaphorical red flags come out in your mind. It then becomes a choice rather then a go ahead read, should I continue reading this and write my review or opinion? Or should I just back away and watch the hoopla entwine with others? Some people are no stranger to controversy while some find it as fuel to get a rush for themselves and a reaction out of others. When it comes to controversial articles everyone tends to come out with an opinion which always gets a good fire going. Goodreads is a perfect example of this. However I have yet to come across a book that was deemed too much and too controversial to be considered a quality product. I don’t mean all those classic banned books back in the day I’m talking about modern day books both traditional and self-published. Are they out there? Of course they are. I myself have not looked but I am sure there are authors out there who have written about things that are very outrageous and while the book may make for a good read afterwards you tend to wonder if publicity wise this book should be censored.

 


A risky article can be both good and bad as I am sure we have all seen on here. An author posts advice or makes an opinion and it gets a lot of views, hits and then the comments start piling on. Examples don’t need to be given because If I were to list an example some may not find it controversial so let’s all be in agreement of the ones that are obvious. Articles of a hot nature will tend to clearly get their point across and get a good amount of feedback. However at the same time they will start fueds with some people with high opinions clashing with others. Does this mean your article is controversial? No. It just means that everyone has a different opinion. Now for an example, if the article is on Nazis and treatments on the Jews then chances are opinions wont only be high but your going to question the articles writer and ask him what gives him the right. It may not be like this but chances are an article of such nature tends to bring out the over raised eyebrows in everyone who reads it and asking the writer where they get of. Yes, it can make for a good read. Yes, it can get a lot of good solid discussions out of people and yes it can also make things ugly, turn sour or whatever other expression you want to use. If the article starts a roaring fire does it mean it’s bad? What is the reasoning behind the writers idea to write it in the first place? These are questions that one can ask themselves but onto books.

 


A controversial book of today. Right away I think to myself clearly the author who arote it must not think it’s controversial or they would not have written it in the first place. On the other hand I think the author does not care what people think and believes in his work whether it’s fact based or fiction but still has the controversial intent. Or even the possible hey I’m going to write a book about something highly questionable and people are going to point the finger at me but I just want to see what people will think about it. Have you ever come across such a book? Unfortunately as many may think, Twilight and 50 Shades of Gray are not controversial books, they just have their own fan base and those of us who aren’t fans will usually say the authors of both can’t write. This would be a clear example of a controversial topic but not a Oh my god this book should be burned in the deepest regions of hell because it’s not okay! I myself don’t go looking for such books though I recently read one of violent and sexual nature, very strong at that. Reading it at times I felt it to be very inappropriate but at the same time it was still a really good read. So what does this make me? It shows that I find something alarming but at the same time enjoyable because I know the authors intent was to be enjoyed. I know the author didn’t intend for it to be like this he wrote it as he wanted it not to be questioned but to be enjoyed. Perhaps it comes to books it comes down to more of the authors intent. If you write about something high questionable and controversial then you better know full well that you may get a lot of criticism for it going forward. You better realize that not everyone is going to like it and while you may or may not have intended to do it to get such reactions out of people you do believe in it.


This post is part of the Festive Blog Hop: http://francishpowellauthor.weebly.com/festive-spirit-blog-hop.html


 

Book Soundtracks

Posted on August 29, 2015 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

We've all heard of movie soundtracks, songs they play either within the movie or is on the movies CD, but what about for books? Have you ever considered making a soundtrack for your book? I sometimes find myself listening to a song and think, "hey that song fits a poem in my book!". What I used to do is post the music video to a song with lyrics from youtube to Facebook with a caption as to how I feel it ties into my book. I find it's a fun, creative and inspirational way to connect music to ones books. Since then however I have expanded this idea and have made soundtracks for all my books using Soundcloud. What I do is get a feel of the type of songs I want to include that not only represent the book but truly fit with it.


For instance for my Western Horror, "A Bloody Bloody Mess In the Wild Wild West" I wanted western songs or songs about defiance so I looked for songs by Johnny Cash, songs about the Wild West, horses and outlaws and added them to my list. When I felt I had enough I arranged them and put together my own soundtrack. Another example a bit more vivid is my soundtrack for my poetry book 'Like A Box of Chocolates". Since the book has poems within many different genres and about many different things I wanted the songs to represent the feeling the book gave off as a whole rather than choose random songs. While the songs are definitely random they all share a unique balance to them. The soundtrack includes songs from Oasis, Jefferson Airplane, The Rolling Stones and The Doors just to name a few. 


I still listen to songs on Youtube and post them when I feel they connect to my book but have found it not only easier to use Soundcloud by making a soundtrack but find it as a fun thing to do and another thing about the book that people can check out, One of my poems within Like A Box of Chocolates, 'Faded Black' is based on and contains lyrics from the song 'Paint It Black' by the Rolling Stones. This is what makes me ask the question, do you ever connect certain songs to your books? Have you ever considered making a soundtrack for your book? Some lyrics are just so moving so spot on and sometimes so similiar to a work you've written that you'd be a fool not to acknowledge the connection. Take advantage of it and heck if your really serious, contact a band or someone you know within the music industry and see if they will not only allow you to use their song but perhaps write a song just for your book. So the next time your listening to a song or you hear about a movie soundtrack think to yourself, can your book use a soundtrack? It's not all that odd of an idea in fact it adds a bit of flare to your work. So consider a book soundtrack, it may help it may not but it's another piece of your work you can show off to people. 


You can check out all four of my books soundtracks on my soundcloud page @ 

https://soundcloud.com/tro75/sets/the-macabre-masterpiece" target="_blank">The Macabre Masterpiece Soundtrack


https://soundcloud.com/tro75/sets/a-bloody-bloody-mess" target="_blank">A Bloody Bloody Mess in the Wild Wild West Soundtrack


https://soundcloud.com/tro75/sets/like-a-box-of-chocolates" target="_blank">Like A Box of Chocolates Soundtrack


https://soundcloud.com/tro75/sets/opium-warfare-soundtrack" target="_blank">Opium Warfare