Wherein we catch up on Storyfix-related stuff.
THE OLD NEWSLETTER
Over 4000 of you have subscribed to my quarterly newsletter. About two dozen of you are confused about the difference between these newsletters and the twice-weekly (roughly) posts on this site.
The newsletter is for news. A round up the latest , some media referrals, and a chance for me to rant about whatever.
The posts are all about content and craft.
The posts remain available via directly-delivery subscription, via RSS or email. Click on the FEEDBURNER icon to the right.
As for the quarterly newsletter… I’ve put it on indefinite hold. Reason: the economics, which don’t pencil out. The third- party newsletter vendors charge a pretty penny for distribution to over 4000 recipients. I will get it going again when I find a vendor with pricing that works for me, and the existing database will plug right in.
Meanwhile, another issue: You know that little pop-up window, the irritating one that appears when you arrive at this site, asking you to sign up for the newsletter? I get one to three emails a day informing me that mechanism “broken.”
Yes, it is. That signup form connects to… nothing at all at the present time.
Trouble is, I have no freaking idea how to SHUT DOWN that dang popup window. If you know WordPress and can point me toward the means of disabling it, I’d love to hear from you.
Lame, I know. But I don’t have a webmaster, and WordPress is about as user friendly as the cockpit of the space shuttle. Seriously.
NEW WEBINAR… SOON!
My next Writers Digest University live online webinar is THURSDAY, March 21.
CLICK HERE to get the skinny. It’s going to be hugely and immediately useful – comparable to an entire weekend workshop, or several dozen Storyfix posts – for writers at any level.
Let me add this to the significant nuts and bolts description you’ll find via that link. Out of 1000 pitches submitted to agents, about 250 will get a “request for pages” response. Of those, about ten will receive an offer of representation. Of those, two to five might sell to a publisher.
Not because of the writing and execution – that’s a given, you have to bring that to the party to even get past the parking attendant – but because of the STORY.
Agents and editors aren’t looking for the next great writer, they’re looking for the next great STORY. And the bar for that is quite high, and the path to it anything but simple.
Rough odds. Just keeping it real here.
This webinar is more than “how to write a good story.” the old fashioned way. This webinar is about writing a novel or a screenplay that is good ENOUGH to survive these cuts. What it takes to emerge from an inbox full of decent stories to become a potential success.
There are criteria and benchmarks for that level of storytelling, which are rarely discussed or defined (the general conversation is about basics). Such an understanding resides beyond the intuitive and is a rare thing indeed, leading toward a story that is a whole in excess of the story’s parts.
This webinar is about THAT. About what it takes to write stories at THAT level.
Which I’m betting is your goal. And am sure it should be.
Then again there’s always luck and good timing.
Writers Digest is allowing me to offer you a TEN DOLLAR DISCOUNT when you sign up for the webinar on their site (which is the only place you can sign up). Just enter this code – WDS321LW – in the space provided, and the $10 discount off the regular $89 tuition is yours.
Please join me for this experience. We’re going to cut right to it. If clarity and direct access to the truth about what your story needs to be to land an agent and a publisher and then – this is for self-published authors, too, ESPECIALLY – how to grab readers and generate referral word of mouth… then I invite you to join me.
I heard from a StoryFix reader today, telling me he’s reviewed “Story Engineering” on his website. His opening hook in that review reads like this:
“When I read first Larry Brooks, and after I got over my very British attitude to his very American style, my first reaction was, ‘this is crap’, and I set out to prove it.”
Yeah, I winced, too. Despite looking like I can bench press a Volkswagen (can’t do that, though I can lift the end of one off the ground), I’m a sensitive guy who’s genuinely just trying to help.
The book actually gets that a lot. It’s human nature to reject that which challenges your paradigms or illusions. And the truth hurts when you realize you don’t actually know what you thought you knew, or enough, about storytelling.
Which is why I urge you to read the rest of this guy’s review. Click HERE to read his thoughts on how “Story Engineering” turned out to be his friend, despite his first impression. (Also, the most recent review of SE on Amazon is pretty cool, too… that’s why I do this.)
Then read more from his website, which is killer stuff. The author (David Powell) has also just self-published his first novel (a conceptual literary drama), which you can get HERE, for only $1.56 on Kindle. Haven’t read it yet, but the concept is compelling (take note), and based on his blog, he deserves a shot.
THE DECONSTRUCTION OF “SIDE EFFECTS”
That was going just fine… until the last post. A post that I spent – not an exaggeration – over 10 hours preparing, include two more viewings of the movie.
Talk about economics that don’t pencil out.
Exactly ONE person responded (thank you, Robert). The three previous posts in the series received 21, 27 and 17 comments, respectively. Which is actually sort of thin, given the intentions and the amount of work required.
Not sure what went wrong, but I think this deconstruction is done. The learning is all here and available (check the archive)… the beat sheet, the story milestones (placement and discussion), wrestling with the concept and execution, all in context to the principles that make this story so much more than what it seems at first, and more than the tepid market response it’s getting.
“Side Effects” is actually TOO smart for the mass market, I believe. Which means that we, as writers, need to dive in and soak up what it teaches us, despite our targeted reading level.
If you want more on “Side Effects,” leave a comment with a specific focus. Meanwhile, I’ll put all the unused dishes away from the proverbial party that everyone left early, and move on.
Going forward… I’ll be addressing the topics that came in (in abundance) in my recent call for Storyfix post ideas.
Yes, this site has one, and it works. It’s newly placed and titled in the right column, right under the intro section.
My forthcoming writing book is pre-selling pretty well. You can find it on Amazon HERE. It releases mid-June in paperback and Kindle (and the other digital venues).
My new novel (“Deadly Faux”), by the way, will be released by Turner Publishing in October. See the cover to the right and click on it to go to Amazon, where you can pre-order. That would be nice.
In support of the launch all five of my earlier novels are being republished this fall and early in 2014, also by Turner Publishing. It’s like a rebirth with a better body (trade paperbacks, new covers, etc.).
Those, too, are up on Amazon, though the covers (which are on the Books page) aren’t posted there yet.
Gotta go… somebody parked a Volkswagen in front of the mailboxes, and the Mail dude is asking for help.
Thanks for playing. More soon.