Wednesday, March 20, 2013

TWIC (10)

Bestseller authors aren't swimming in money.
This past summer, my novel, “Broken Piano for President,” shot to the top of the best-seller lists for a week. After Jack Daniel’s sent me a ridiculously polite cease and desist letter, the story went viral and was featured in places like Forbes, Time magazine and NPR’s Weekend Edition. The New Yorker wrote one whole, entire, punctuated-and-everything sentence about me! My book was the No. 6 bestselling title in America for a while, right behind all the different “50 Shades of Grey” and “Gone Girl.” It was selling more copies than “Hunger Games” and “Bossypants.” So, I can sort of see why people thought I was going to start wearing monogrammed silk pajamas and smoking a pipe.
But the truth is, there’s a reason most well-known writers still teach English. There’s a reason most authors drive dented cars. There’s a reason most writers have bad teeth. It’s not because we’ve chosen a life of poverty. It’s that poverty has chosen our profession
More on money and writing.

In Money Matters, creative people discuss what they’re not supposed to: the intersection of entertainment and commerce, as well as moments in their lives and careers when they bottomed out financially and/or professionally. The artist: Neal Pollack appeared in the national consciousness as part of the talented group of writers and editors that gravitated to McSweeney’s, Dave Eggers’ publishing empire. In 2000, The Neal Pollack Anthology Of American Literature—a collection of satirical pieces centering on the fictional “Neal Pollack” persona, a larger-than-life spoof of macho world-beaters like Ernest Hemingway and Norman Mailer—became the first book published by McSweeney’s publishing arm. (The book was later re-published by HarperCollins.) A satirical rock novel, Never Mind The Pollacks, followed in 2003, and was followed by 2007’s Alternadad, a memoir about his experiences raising his son. Alternadad generated tons of publicity and human-interest stories about hipster parenting, in addition to generating interest from the television and film industries. But the book’s sales failed to match its buzz, and television and film adaptations didn’t pan out.

Writing for SyFy Channel. One suggestion of many:
It will probably be expected of you to have a romance plot or two in the movie along side the disaster/giant creature/giant creature disaster.  Given what else you're going to have to fit into your movie, and the time you have available (two hours, less commercials) you're not going to have time to do these in any sort of depth.
Thus they will be superficial and your primary objective is probably going to be making it so they seem less superficial than they actually are.
You don't want it to seem like, "I just threw in a romance because it was expected," even if it's true. Especially if it's true.

Their next step should be designing a better mousetrap.
A new NYC design contest takes aim at new payphones and comes up with ideas that are self powered and  expand far beyond mere telephony. The winning design is here.
The NYFi features two interfaces and a simple touch activates the height sensitive interactive zone on either face.  Two models of the NYFi are proposed: a ten foot model for commercial and manufacturing districts and a smaller model for residential and historic districts where payphones have not traditionally been permitted.  
Science Writing advice from Roger Highfield.

What do you need to know to write well about science?Whatever the subject, angle, tone, length or style, your story has to tickle the fancy of your readers and maintain their interest to the very last word. The aim is not to impress a professor with your knowledge, amaze your mum or to get something off your chest. Think hard about your intended audience. They may be ignorant but they are rarely stupid. They have all kinds of interests and preoccupations and, when it comes to getting their attention, these are the best places to start. Remember that they always have better things to do with their time. If you don't grab them with your first sentence, you might as well give up.

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