Dirty conscience

Too late to take the magic away from the kids haha Too bad.

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I think I’m going to drop The Book That Wouldnโ€™t Burn in the end. It’s more than 1/3 and I can still only say that it’s about running around a library. I’m just not invested enough to spend two more weeks listening to this. That baby is THICK. And it’s sad because the book has really good reviews on goodreads. Maybe people just like reading about libraries or something. I need a little more than that. I think I’ll pick up something non-fiction next. The Little Thieves didn’t grab me either but that one is short so I might still finish it. I’m barely in 10% so there’s still a good chance I’ll get sucked in and the style is quite entertaining.

Apart from that, not much is going on. I have some family drama happening in the background and it’s wearing me down. I’m not sure how I’d feel if I were still in Poland, watching it all play out from up close. Sometimes I’m glad I’m so far away, able to pretend that some things aren’t happening, didn’t happen. Wake up not remembering, because I haven’t even seen it.

I keep thinking of making some illustrations but I can’t find the time. My writing workshop had ended last week but I put all my enthusiasm into editing my next book, so I’m not sure when I’ll actually draw anything. I thought the rainy season will come and I’ll be forced to stay at home but it’s actually hot and sunny? Not going to complain about that one too much… I’m editing furiously because my writing confidence is on the bottom of the ocean right now so I want to finish that book and send it to people and hear some real feedback instead of imagining it (because I obviously imagine the worst possible feedback and just make myself miserable). The Mind Drummer is dead, I think. According to Reddit’s wisdom, 120k words is nowadays way too long for YA fiction. A white woman writing about a jungle is also a big no-no. So instead of mangling this story, I’ll just focus on the next one.

Sorry for not so cheerful note hah Hopefully you can still enjoy the comic! See you next week!



17 comments on “Dirty conscience”

  1. JW Reply

    120k words is nowadays way too long for YA fiction.

    Ah, kids these days, I tell ya. They have no attention span any more. And they just won’t get off my lawn! ๐Ÿ˜›

    A white woman writing about a jungle is also a big no-no.

    Wow, really? I thought the great thing about writing is boundless imagination and not being limited by who or what or where you are, and now people want lock authors in a box?
    What if it’s a space jungle?

    • Sabreur Reply

      Yeah, that “reddit wisdom” came across as deeply unsettling. The idea that only certain people are *allowed* to write about certain topics is straight-up racist.

      • HKMaly Reply

        I know it’s nitpicking, but just specifically the idea that only people of certain skin color are allowed to write about certain topics is straight-up racist. On the other hand, for example, the idea that only women are allowed to wrote about women is not racist, it’s misandry. But both are wrong and would cost us some really great pieces of literature.

    • Refugnic Reply

      Excuse me? One of my most popular stories to date has a whopping 330k words. And just because I haven’t been in a life or death situation after crashing on an alien planet, I’m not allowed to write that?

      Seriously, don’t let anyone tell you what you can and what you cannot write.
      And as for the length…well, there’s always still the option of splitting the book into multiple parts.
      But seriously, if people like the story, they don’t mind if it’s 50k, 120k or 330k words.

      • JW Reply

        To be fair, it’s probably more about publishability. In which case the length has at least as much to do with how much risk the publisher is willing to take as with what the audience is willing to read.
        I don’t think there’s a literature police that arrests people for writing stories that are too long or about a subject they should write about. Yet. ๐Ÿ˜›

        It’d also be interesting to see what actually was said in the Reddit posts, since we might be completely misinterpreting it based on a two-sentence description of something that probably had a lot more words. I mean, we could hope. I don’t spend much time on reddit, I don’t know it’ level of nuance and factuality.

        • NotImportant Reply

          Yes, JW is right. It’s just the big 5 publishers, US market, debut thing. Doesn’t apply if you’re an established author or publish with small press and so on. So in a way, I’m doing this to myself haha

          Regarding the reddit post – there was no drama or anything, but it became apparent that it’s very easy to make assumptions about the book when you have only 300 words to describe it. And sadly, people tend to assume the worst. The names in the book sound vaguely Japanese (they are not, Olayi or Satie are not proper Japanese names, the second one you can’t even write) but people see those, see my bio that says that I’m a Polish person living in Japan, and they think I’m trying to sell someone else’s cultural heritage. Or even if they don’t think it themselves, they won’t risk publishing the book because someone else might think it and get offended. Risk management, I suppose.

          • EnterTheNameHere Camp dweller

            Just a side note to never forget those who complain about things like a Pole living in Japan writing about jungle WILL NEVER BUY THE DAMN THING ANYWAY.

            If there is a market for it, there are people out there who will buy it – you just have to catch their attention. Companies caring about ESG scores are not the way. So yes, it drops the whole job of doing the advertisement to nobody else but you.

            But hey, you already have Replay. One day, when you put it into printing and go to streamers to propagate it, you might do an advertisement for your book(s) by adding a short comic setting up background for story they can read about in the book! Or something like that… OK, I agree that’s stretching it… I’m just covertly saying print Replay one day!

    • NotImportant Reply

      Apparently even fantasy genre is not as free as one might think haha…

  2. Refugnic Reply

    Alas, not a pikachu face,
    but still: You’re welcome to this race.
    You’re valuable, know your stuff.
    And we’ll be there if things get rough.

    Um, huh? Well, yeah! Well, yes, I can!
    I didn’t think you were a fan.
    But sure, I’ll gladly come along,
    you’ll see, I will not steer you wrong!

    And I can add two of my goons,
    they’re strong, they’re scary…and buffoons.
    These priests won’t dare stuff while they’re there.
    And they’ll keep zealots out your hair.

    What ’bout you, don’t want to go?
    Can’t follow you, can’t risk it, no.
    Laura’s always on my heels,
    the camp still needs her…and her meals.

    Yes, no, I get it, I really do.
    After the things that I’ve been through.
    Don’t want her blood to be spilled soon.
    To her bright eyes, I’m not immune.

  3. Alex Reply

    Oh come ON, The Mind Drummer was nice! You’re seriously letting Reddit “wisdom” and woke fanatics take that away from you? Saying that you can’t write about the jungle because of your race is racist! You’re not even referencing any actual tribes. It’s actually closer to a post-apocalyptic setting where nobody’s in a 1st world country, so everyone has to survive with primitive means, and the drumming and stuff is not even about culture, it’s just about necessity for survival. It just goes to show that woke fanatics want to cancel people on principle without knowing what they’re talking about, because they’re [censored by NI xDD] who yearn for literally any excuse to put others down! And ironically, people from those actual races aren’t even offended at white people writing about them. It’s mostly young white people with pink or blue hair, tattoes, piercings and custom pronouns who made it their lives’ mission to get offended at everything, because the USA enables them.

    If nothing else, at least sell it yourself as an eBook somewhere and push it on your social media (e.g. as a pinned tweet or something). Then you won’t have to worry about the amount of words and you’re getting yourself out there.
    Apropos amount of words in fiction: How many words does “The Book That Wouldnโ€™t Burn” have, roughly? I assume it’s not Young Adult?

    • NotImportant Reply

      I had to censor this a little hahahah x’D
      I mean… Yeah. I think there’s a lot of nuts things going on in US right now, but I also feel that the people on the opposite side of the fence are equally drastic and absurd. I’m not going to dig for examples. I suppose it’s just how US is – both side at each other’s throats.

      When it comes to writing, it’s the children literature that is so restrictive, and YA is still considered that. So you get sensitivity readers and such and it’s much harder to sell if you’re even hinting at being “inappropriate” (whatever that means on a given day). And you might think that those who shout the loudest or who are so eager to cancel people online are far from the industry, but they’re not. Those are also the agents and editors – the people in power in the industry. Even if I wanted to stay out of it (like I should – not my country, I have no say or care about what happens in US), sadly it affects the business that I’m trying to break into A LOT.

      In any case – I’ll probably stick to adult fiction since it’s less restrictive and at some point rewrite Mind Drummer to be a completely adult book (less teenage drama won’t hurt it, I think). For now, gonna try with the next story ๐Ÿ™‚

      • alex Reply

        Hahaha yeah censoring my response is probably better. XD
        Honestly I didn’t think that The Mind Drummer had teenage drama, just a bunch of drama in general. Teenage drama sounds like it’s full of insecurity, but Maki isn’t insecure by any means, she’s 100% certain that she’s completely and utterly worthless. ๐Ÿ™‚ Confidence at the bottom of the ocean, so to speak. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thus I pictured her to be older than teen age.
        Also, now I actually looked up what “Young Adult” means, and it turns out that I had the scientific definition in mind (18-25), but the marketing category is 12-18 (because calling adolescents adults is meant to be flattering). Tbh. The Mind Drummer might be a bit dark for 12 year olds, so I think all you need to do is define that the relevant protagonists, antagonists, and in-betweeners are all in their 20s and you can sell it as adult fiction without needing to change anything else and be rid of the restrictions in the process. I honestly always thought of these characters as adults to begin with anyway.

        I just hate to see such a good book getting scrapped just because English-speaking nations decided to live in Clownworld. There just has to be a better solution. Both The Mind Drummer and The Cleansed Ones are doing a couple of things differently from what I’m used to seeing, and while it’s impossible to be 100% original, they both have enough originality that they deserve to be published, even if it’s just eBooks on Amazon or something, even if you sell just a bunch of copies within the Replay community at first.

        Btw: How many books do you currently have finished or in progress?

        • NotImportant Reply

          That’s encouraging. I’ll probably do just that – make it into a completely adult story and try again a little later. Or maybe even after I manage to publish something. I still think that each book I write is better than the previous one so I don’t feel super sad about moving on from a failed project. And these old ideas are still there. One day I’ll either have an agent and dump it all on them or I’ll get frustrated enough to put everything on Amazon. Either way, it’s not a “waste”.

          How many do I have:
          – The Cleansed Ones – done, collecting dust in the drawer
          – The Mind Drummer – done, starting to collect dust in the drawer
          – Untitled whimsical story – drafted, needs edits before I can send it to anyone
          – Untitled adult fantasy story – second revision in progress

          • Alex

            Well, at least I for one don’t have to wait until you finally release these two novels. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I didn’t read the final version, but the main plot is probably still the same.

            So no, you’re not “moving on from a failed project”. They’re not failures at all, especially now that I’ve added my feedback to them. ๐Ÿ˜‰ They’re both worth publishing, the agents are probably just swamped with applications and their budget must be limited as well. Have you tried agents outside of English-speaking countries yet?

            Oh and btw: Are you still planning on reading a Discworld Novel (e.g. Hogfather *hint* *hint* ^^), and if so, where in your queue is it?

          • NotImportant

            Haha thanks! Agents outside of English-speaking countries don’t take books in English. So I’m not sure what would be the point. I’m targeting primarily US and UK markets so I need an agent who works with those.
            I’ll be reading discords books while editing the next book haha So after I’m done with the one I’m currently polishing.

          • alex

            discords books? Did you get auto-corrected trying to write Discworld? ๐Ÿ™‚ If so, then good to know, I’m looking forward to reading your feedback on a book that I already know about.

            Too bad about the agents though. If there were exceptions, then the point would be to aim for countries that aren’t clownworld (yet). Maybe there are European agents or something? I.e. agents that want international reach and thus can’t focus on just one country’s language?

          • NotImportant

            Damn it yes, discworld. My autocorrect actually changes that into discord lol

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