Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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My theme is stronger than yours

The market is shifting at a heady speed hereabouts – and if not the market in itself, the way in which the authors marketed themselves. This morning I caught a colleague (an excellent writer, indeed) explaining that his fantasies always tackle strong themes under a thin patina of fantasy adventure. A thin patina that includes “hard knocks”, “big boobs” and “100% fanservice”, probably, considering that up to two days ago the same author was signalling those as the selling points of his fantasies.

This makes me feel infinitely tired, because I am really tired of this constant, desperate, aggressive hustling – writers trying to sell themselves as the answer to this week’s taste: this week is social awareness and “strong themes”, next week might be ultra-violence and mindless mayhem.
If it sells, it’s what I’m doing.
The quality of the story, and the quality of the writing, are becoming meaningless, when instead they might be sufficient to hook the reader.

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Pulled towards the center

There are two ideas, or themes, that I have been juggling for a long while, now, and I’d like to use for something big to develop over the course of the 12 months, starting this summer.
I’ve been working on so much work-for-hire recently that I feel the need to flex my finger-muscles and do something completely mine.

Neither of the two themes is particularly new or original.
But the point is not how new your ideas are, it’s how new is the way you use them.

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