For my sins I have been involved with this project for the last six months, and I am pleased to announce it is finally out. Working on this book with Faye has been a unique experience—one I invite readers to sample for themselves—the cover and the description say more than I ever could:
“For readers, writers, and all lovers of books: this is an eBook with a deliciously dark sense of humour…
The writing guide “they” never wanted you to read. In If Your Writing Sucks QUIT Faye Ling stabs at the soft underbelly of the writing world. She casts her discerning eye over many of writing and publishing’s little darlings, before breaking their necks and casting them aside like flaccid rag dolls.
With her rapier wit and sardonic put-downs, Faye is cynicism incarnate—she is like no one you have ever read, and may be someone you wish you never had. Whether you laugh or cry will depend on what you’re made of—but however Faye moves you, reading this book will be an experience you will never forget.
* For readers and book-lovers, this eBook offers a peek into the hairy netherworld of writers, writing and publishing.
* For writers, Faye-as-your-guide will either be your clarion call-to-arms and the challenge you have to meet, or she will be the rock of reality that sinks your little dinghy of hope.
Read her and weep—you, your reading/writing, and your will to live may never be the same again.
Please Note: this tome contains over 85 quality colour illustrations and so may take a little longer than your average eBook to download. (Discounts will not be given to those reading in black and white.)
WARNING: You may come across the occasional use of colourful language and vividly descriptive prose.”
When a writer writes, should they play it safe and live comfortably in the knowledge that no one will be offended? Do they push their craft to the limits of their imagination, even if others hate what they do? Is there ever a valid reason for breaking with ‘good taste’? These are some of the questions I’ve been thinking about this week.
Last month I tried an experiment: I gave an opinionated, obnoxious and thoroughly unlovely character some of my blog space. Most blog posts that feature fictional characters are careful to let the reader know what is going on; in my blog posts I deliberately kept that fact hidden—instead I left some clues in these posts for readers to find. Some clues were discovered, some were not.
I received a wide range of responses: some thought it was clever and funny; others did not like it; still others felt as though it was a joke made at their expense. So my question is, as a writer, do I follow my creative whims or do I censor what I write to avoid offending people? Continue reading
A month ago I posted my first ever guest blogger Faye Ling, who brought with her her ‘special’ personality, way of expressing herself, and unique insights. But no matter how unique Faye is, the strangest thing about that blog post was that Faye isn’t a real person. How many of you this will actually be news to I don’t know, but after a few interesting email exchanges this week I thought I’d better put the record straight: Faye Ling is a man; in fact, Faye Ling is me.
Inspiration for a character can come from the strangest places.
This week you will find me frantically editing for Faye Ling. Working with Faye is always a test of how assertive you are—she has already sent me two scathing emails demanding I, “Stop [mess]ing around on that stupid blog thing that no one reads and get on with editing my writer’s guide.” (Excerpt here).
Pressed for time and too distracted to be inspired for anything creative of my own, I thought the best option was to put together a news flash—something I haven’t done for a while. Continue reading
This week I found a new toy—the I Write Like online writing analyser that apparently compares your writing style to those of famous authors. So I decided to experiment, to see what it could tell me about my style and maybe even a little about my strengths and weaknesses as a writer. The results were quite interesting (at least for me).
I thought it would be fun to cut-and-paste in pieces I’d written from different genres. Before we start, I thought I’d include the necessary reality-check and disclaimers: I’ve no idea about the algorithms they use under the hood, so I can’t comment on how accurate or thorough the analysis is. Also, the analyser doesn’t profess to assess the quality of the writing it looks at, so however much I would like to be able to claim my writing is as good as these authors, the analyser gives me no basis for believing that claim, however much I would like it to. Continue reading
This week I am hosting fellow writer, Faye Ling, who is new to the online world, and blogging in particular. Blackmail is such a dirty word, so let’s just say I owed her a few favours that she recently called in, and so today I ‘ve been forced to offer her this opportunity to try her hand at blogging. She is outspoken, often controversial, and takes no prisoners. Before I nervously hand over to my first guest blogger, I feel the need to issue a disclaimer:
EDITORIAL NOTE FROM T. JAMES: The views expressed in the following guest post are entirely those of its author, Miss Faye Ling. I have given editorial control to Faye for the purposes of this post. Except for her use of expletives, which I have edited, I take no responsibility for the opinions she expresses, or the way in which she chooses to express them. The words are entirely hers and in no way reflect my own beliefs or opinions. After some negotiation, I also managed to get Faye to agree to issue the following statement (although she has paraphrased my original wording):
“T. James has insisted that I say up front that I had no one in particular in mind when I wrote this post. I mean, I can think of several people this post applies to, but for some reason T. James has refused to introduce me to anyone he knows online, so obviously I’m not thinking of any of you. But because the hard-of-thinking assume that any negative generalisation somehow applies to them as an individual, any offense taken is completely the fault of the idiot choosing to be offended. Go and get some therapy for your low self-esteem. If you have low self-esteem and you aren’t prepared to embrace the darkside, do not read this post. If you’ve had a sense-of-humour bypass in the last twelve months, do not read this post. In fact, it is probably just better for you if you do not read this post.” Continue reading