Hush, my life is a dream.
He was waiting, silently, for the next step. Someone was walking, someone he couldn’t see. Who? (A ghost?) Someone whose breath was full of wonder; magic lingering in the air. Still, he couldn’t see anyone, and he was sharpeyed; he could compete with an eagle and win. Someone or something was disturbing the neighbourhood.
Reading an old text from 2001. I was a good writer even back then. I just didn’t realise it. Why didn’t I finish any of all the novels that I started? Why am I still doing that? Not finishing. That’s all I ask and all I cannot do. Finish what you started, is one of Neil Gaiman’s simple writing advice. Why is it so damn hard?
The topic for this week’s Tuesday Talks is ”Statute of limitations on spoilers? What is and what is not a spoiler?”. Tuesday Talks is a Goodreads group where you get a new topic every Tuesday, discussing the topic on your blog or in your youtube channel or likewise, and post the link in the group and discuss in the posts and in the comments the specific topic for the week.
When I do reviews of books I try not to spoil anything at all. I don’t want to be spoiled. Neither in written reviews nor in video reviews of books (or films or other media as well for that matter).
I even tend to avoid reading the back of books sometimes, and I hate it when they give away too much of the plot on the back, especially if there are things that happens towards the end of the book. Then you’re reading like half of the book thinking ”when will that happen?” and get somewhat disappointed when it happens towards the end or you even get the ending spoiled.
Talking of that, a couple of years ago when Mo Yen won the Nobel Prize in Literature, I watched a tv show in Sweden called Babel, a tv show about books, and there a man recited some of one of Mo Yen’s books. So far so good – but(!) – he read the ending(!) of the book! The actual last two pages of one of Mo Yen’s books! How could he? What was the producer or whoever decided such a idiotic thing thinking about? Talk about disappointing and talk about spoiling things!
The back of the book, or the review if it’s a common one, should make the reader/listener curious about the book/film and make him/her wanting to read/watch it. Nothing more, nothing less. If it’s not a critizising reveiw – then you could tell someone not to watch/read, but still – avoid spoilers!
In circumstances you want to discuss something that include a spoiler – warn the reader/viewer and make him/her easily avoid the spoiler should s/he not want to be spoiled.
And I think this is the case no matter how old a book or how old a film. There are new born people every second – you cannot possible demand that they all know everything about old things, just because you do.
What is a spoiler?
Mayor things happening – things that differ to the plot and change characters (or make them hurt or dead or such).
Things you should have rather not known on beforehand when reading a book or watching a movie.
Talking about movies – I think trailers of today spoil far too much of the plot. It’s just like with the back of books. Sometimes the producer/editor doesn’t know when to stop. It’s better to say too little and make the reader/watcher curious, rather than say too much – you just make the audience disappointed instead.
So, when making a review – think about what you should rather not be spoiled about, and keep in mind that less is more, also in the case of reviews.
It is all too easy to start ponder, brood and overthink when you write a novel. In the middle of writing you start reflecting, and it is always doubt coming through. Do you really know what you are doing? Will this at all be any good? Isn’t it just crap, all that you are writing? Such thoughts, in the middle of creating, blocking your view and your flow.
It is all about patience. Art is an act of patience and it is in that part I fail. I am too eager and too impatient. I make my very best but I get tired in the middle, when I still have the potential to do more. And so, I land where I do. Somewhere in the middle. I am not bad at drawing, but I am not good either. Somewhere in between, somewhere in the middle. It is not good enough, because I know I can do more. If only I had the patience. If only I knew when to stop.
With this fake journal I am making an attempt to do more. Do different. Be J.E.P. He, who, ironically become a cliché: when in the right mood, he draws his girlfriends, and they – of course – are beautiful, if not only in his own eyes. They are more or less naked – obviously – because that is how he likes them the most. Or he paints in his less mature way. And oh, have I tried to make those drawings and failed: military men or animals with big machine guns.
Oh, why do you have to be such a cliché?
And why do you have to have such a male chauvinist pig attitude towards this poor girl?
Anyway, he is maturing through the novel, no doubt about it. This is in the beginning. He is all young and stupid.
J.E.P. please show me you can do better than this? Draw better? And not just half dressed girls and weapons, please?
I got the idea from a friend on Facebook. The month for a fake journal is, according to her, the month of April, starting with April’s Fools Day. That makes sense, but as I just came to know the idea, I am starting now, and as a creative writer. I want to do a fake journal of my main character in my current novel project, J.E.P. And so this is his journal. I started by adding a “This journal belongs to”… Followed by an empty page for a self portrait. And then, this page followed. It is meant to be a portrait he has made of a certain side character, but now I am not really sure, it might be her, because the eye colour and the shapes of the eyes are right… I guess this is just in the beginning of part two of this novel. Right where I am editing now (third draft). I have tried to draw his way, but I don’t know if I really made it. Time will tell. Also, I think I managed to write with his type of writing, although my hand starts to fumble and try to make shapes the way I am used to as myself. Even so, it is a fun experience to try and journal as somebody else. Anyway, this is his image of her and this is his poem about her (in her absence; he is longing; of course he is).
(Credit to Roz Stendahl with the blog http://officialinternationalfakejournalblog.blogspot.se/ who came up with the idea in the first place.)