Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Alison in the West of Ireland - near where Fitzduane lives... 
Dear You--

The following is a draft. Writing about 'dumbing-down' yesterday has made me think a little writers' solidarity might be in order. I'd appreciate your thoughts. 

"I’m in the process of switching my main focus from traditional publishing to new methods of publishing, and as part of the process, have been carrying out a great deal of research into the social media (which, I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t take seriously at first).  The effort is certainly worth it – their current impact is already significant and the longer term effects  of such media are going to change our very culture – but I don’t delude myself that such forays add up to writing. Nonetheless, whether one approves or disapproves, it’s impossible to understand them without using them.  

Now, social media covers a multitude, but one of the things I’m noticing as I ramble around writers’ groups on the internet, is that there is a great deal of small talk, but a decided lack of substance. This isn’t to say that one doesn’t pick up some useful information, but I find that tends to be the exception rather than the rule. This conclusion has led me to endeavor to find out what exactly you less experienced writers (brilliant but as yet unrecognized) think you need help in.

Depending on the feedback I get, that could lead to a writers’ resource website where you will be able to get more hard information fast than is the case now; or it may inform me that all this social small talk is just fine, thank you, and to forget about being a Good Samaritan. Who knows! But, I’m curious and delighted to help. If I can. Others have helped, and are helping me; and I think Norman Wilson’s ‘Pay it forward’ campaign is a thoroughly good idea. To get the ball rolling, I have drawn up a few headings:

·         Reading, and critiquing your work.
·         Advice on technique.
·         General encouragement.
·         Talking you out of suicide.


Getting read:

Getting sold:

Avoiding getting screwed:

Selling your work to the movies:

Making a living (whole or partial) as a writer:

Staying moderately sane in a very strange business:"


  1. Looks pretty good, Victor. I have started reviewing some websites for writers on my blog. You may well be able to find extra stuff there if you want it, particularly with regards to the getting sold parts of your ideas. If you don't mind my blog is here:
    If you do mind then, there is a feed on my blog straight back to this one.

  2. Being a Good Samaritan can end up being a full time job (I for one need new cardboard for my daughter's shoes). But I do see where you're coming from. I was a computer programmer for over 20 years so for me, producing e-books of any format is a relatively trivial exercise - though I see many, many posts from writers who see e-book production as a black art.
    Staring out of the kitchen window this morning (watching a sparrow hawk demolish a starling) I thought about a web site where such technical services could be provided free. Then I thought about e-book quality issues (editorial quality) and distribution.
    I know I can get e-books into the top 10 distribution channels ... a free e-book publisher with quality requirements, technical know how and distribution ..? then I read your post ... this 2 sentence comment is getting out of hand .. crumbs for thought