Bullet Wisdom

I am an Active Duty Officer in the US Army. I am a Husband, father, writer, hunter, gamer, and SOLDIER. This blog is a forum for my many hobbies as well as my random musings.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Why Are Writers So Accessible?

The further I get into my new passion, the more I'm baffled by how accessible and helpful successful writers make themselves to a large community of aspiring writers. You would think it would be quite the opposite, I mean, why encourage the competition? Instead, there are a generous folks out there ready to share advices and experiences.

One contemporary was quick to point out there are just as many pros who are complete douchebags. My opinion, that's more than likely a function of a personality than the results of success. You encounter disagreeable folks in all walks of life, and the publishing profession is more than likely no different.

To date I've enjoyed the advice from authors Jim Butcher, Mario Acevedo, and David Devereux. All of which were helpful and motivated the heck out of me to work harder to join the exclusive club of published authors. I need to take the time to thank them, and others, for contributing to my growth as an aspiring author.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Kelley Armstrong. Through the Online Writing Group, her Otherworld Forums provide a tremendous opportunity for aspiring authors to come and cut their teeth with the free masochistic beatdowns. Seriously, that group is filled with characters who take their craft seriously and spend a lot of time mentoring new writers.

Without the help of these eclectic collection of individuals, I'd be just another dude peddling a manuscript. When you think about it, it's in the best interest of the publishing industry to assist aspiring authors. After all, better stories equate to better sales. One of these days I plan to go and participate in a 'Con' so I can meet some of these people in person and attempt to learn more in a different environment, maybe even share a beer with one or two.

That's about it for this week. Next week I'll start a protracted distracted about firearms. I'm a Soldier and competitive shooter, and I get question from other writers about things that go bang or boom (I especially like the boom questions). I'll take a stab at some of the things I like and dislike about the employment of firearms in some of the books I've read (without naming the books, of course). It'll be one guys relatively informed opinion of what right should look like.

Should make for some interesting discussion.


Diane Girard said...

Well, first of all there is always room for more excellent writing. I've had help from members of the KA board in the past. My biggest help at the moment is a published writer friend (she is now up for an award) who reads and provides critiques on my work.

We have also been fortunate here in Kitchener to have a writer in residence program through the library. It's free and the w.i.r. provides a critique (there's a maximum word count of course and a maximum number of ms the w.i.r can read). People line up and hope to be one of the lucky ones. In past years w.i.r.'s have included Robert Sawyer, Wayson Choy, and Nino Ricci. Big time writers, and I'm told they were all very helpful (I met with Choy and Ricci but not Sawyer.)

I've also provided critiques to other writers. I do it because I learn something from each piece I read and also because I think we need to help and support each other.

Looking forward to the "gun" posts. Not because I use guns in my fiction but because my guy was in the forces.

Danielle La Paglia said...

It seems to me that the writing world in general truly wants others to succeed. Many are severe in their critiques, but that only weeds out the weak and breeds better writers for those willing to push through their attachment to their work and take the advice for what it is - one opinion on how to make it better. The support I've found from published and aspiring writers has been amazing and I'm proud to be a very small part of it. Of course, there will always be douche bags. :)

Angela Addams said...

I've had the honour of not only getting some great advice and mentoring from Kelley Armstrong but have also been blown away by how considerate she is.

I also have formed some great on line writing relationships with fellow writers who do what ever they can to help me whether that be talking me off of a ledge or two or critiquing my work. Thanks Michelle and Donna!

So, I have to agree, it is an amazing thing to find how generous other writers are with their time and advice.

Michelle said...

I'm going to ditto how kind and down to earth Kelley Armstrong is.

She's always be there to answer a question or two, and she's just as nice in person as she is over the internet.

D. B. Reynolds said...

I've had incredible support from both Kelley Armstrong and Adrian Phoenix, both of whom took time out to read and comment on my books. Kelley offered advice when I needed it, and Adrian has been really great, mentioning my books to readers and to people who might help my future endeavours.

And I know there are other authors out there who offer their time and skill to aspiring writers. I admire that and hope to emulate their generosity someday.

Falcata Times said...

There's some writers who just love to help new talent out as they remember how they were aided by other writers. It's a gift that just goes on giving and helps inspire all. It's not an expensive hobby and its one that gives a lot of pleasure for the people who have created it as well as for those who've enjoyed reading it.

On the boom and bang angle, I've seen people with shotguns with the pistol grip. I was thinking of using a "super shorty" and was wondering if it was possible to utilise one handed (if it helps the character is female and its a sort of true grit moment.)

Oh and if theres problems would a lower yeild of gunpower make it possible and what effect would it have on the rounds? IE penetration etc.