Sunday, 27 June 2010

HAVE YOU BACKED MINE YET????

A few years ago now, I think when I was twenty, Harper Collins launched an site for new and unpublished authors to post up their novels for review by the other writers in the community and, if they were popular, by Harper Collins editors. I joined the site in its infancy with what I'm calling "my crap first attempt", and it was received by the community just as it deserved. However, I enjoyed my time there (until I became too embarrassed of my terrible work and removed it), since I got lots of hints, tips, critiques and advice on where I was going wrong.

With this in mind, once all of Guin was up on the blogsite, I decided to bite the bullet again, and put it somewhere people might actually want to read it. Authonomy is touted as a community of book lovers, and so I opened a new account and set forth.

Authonomy is bigger now than it used to be. When I joined this time round I was ranked number 15,000 and something, while my book was ranked at about 8000. I couldn't believe it when I got my first comment within half an hour, and before I'd been on the site five hours I had as many comments, all of them good, and all of them supportive.

Before I'd been on the site 24 hours, I hated it. I realised all the comments I'd received referred to information which could have been gleaned from reading my 200 word pitch, and I got a stupid amount of personal messages (some from the same users several times), offering me swaps; occasionally, "I'll read yours if you read mine" and more often than not, "I've backed yours, will you back mine?" followed by "Have you backed mine yet? I backed yours ages ago." and various other pleas for support.

You see, the most popular 5 books on Authonomy after a certain period go on to be read by editors. This is a nice idea, except the premise has led to the dumbing down of an academic endeavor and turned it into a popularity contest. In my humble opinion, the top 5 will have been read by only a tiny percentage of those who have backed them. Every book is littered with generic and non-specific comments like "you have such a nice writing style" and "a good read, WILL YOU READ MINE???"

Rather than being an avante garde site with limitless potential, Authonomy has dwindled into a game, with the most forceful and those with the most time on their hands *supposedly* having the best work.

After 48 hours of membership, I decided against Authonomy. I considered playing the game but really, where's the merit in it? Perhaps I'm being too proud, but I refuse to use something which I worked so hard on and am proud of as a pawn in a game. I could copy and paste *white fluffy cat* into a manuscript 10,000 times, write a vague pitch and I'd probably get just as many *your story is so well told* comments as I have now.

I want to think at least one or two of the comments I received were genuine, and where they seemed to be, I reciprocated by reading their book before judging and backing it. Perhaps there are sites out there which have achieved the ideal which Authonomy set out towards. I hope there are, and I won't waste any more of my time on this one.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Guin

Hello.

Happy Father's Day, by the bye. May your sideboards be packed with jelly beans and chocolate items!

The main thrust of the blog today is basically going to be me going *Look, Guin's up, it's the last one, look what I did, I did a Guin!!!*

So yeah, the last Guin's up, bringing it up to a round 25 chapters and just shy of 50,000 words. Since it's a few weeks since I wrote it, was nice to re-read it afresh when I put it up today. I kinda miss doing it, and I'm looking forward to starting on the second draft at some time in the future. Either way, if you have read the whole thing, thank you for sticking with it! You can read the new chapter and the whole rest of it here:

http://misshwrites-guin.blogspot.com/

Guin aside, it's been a pretty barren couple of weeks on the writing front. I can either proof-read old stuff (which needs doing, really, and is fairly painless) or re-read the NaNoWriMo and start draft two of that, which is a MAMMOTH job since I'm basically changing most of it completely. All that's been shoved to one side for the moment since I'm job searching for the big move in a couple of months. I miss the writing and not doing it is depressing me, but jobs need to be found!

Finally, if you haven't looked at it already, check out the photocomic Mr Dishington did with some collaboration from me. It's very, very pretty. And I will put it on the links page at some point, I promise.

http://nicholasdishington.co.uk/Integration/main.html

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Busy busy

It's been busy.

Bit of work, (not much though) and lots and lots of cleaning and helping moving! The house has been a bit chaotic for the past week or two but after a mammoth and knackering cleaning sesh this weekend it's all sparkly and shiny and lemony fresh. Nice to have the chaos gone but missing my housemates already!

All this moving malarky has made me excited about our big move in just over two months. Worried about the whole job thing, been applying and applying and applying and (holy crap was that thunder? a storm's a brewing) applying for every admin job I can find, the sooner I get one the sooner we can get going! And the less I worry about being homeless and poor come September. If anyone wants to give me a huge publishing contract and a massive advance, if only to ease my worries, that'd be just grand!

Just watching come dine with me, and someone just used the word "plumptious". Wonderful! And she really is plumptious, and it's lovely.

(There's a power cut. Storm doesn't like me)

In actual writing news, the penultimate Guin is up and online. I'm quite pleased with it, as far as it goes. Wrote it quite a while ago so it's like reading it afresh when I proof read it before I post it online.

(Lights back on, short and sweet)

Also, here's a photocomic by Mr Dishington that I wrote and he made good. It's about being separated from society and how that can effect you over time. And it looks SOOOO purdy! Please see below, it's free and online:)

http://nicholasdishington.co.uk/Integration/main.html

Just seen an Oasis ad on tv for some compilation album. Hearing Oasis always makes me miss my Dad! Growing up is scary, kids.

Until next week!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

A Good Old Rant

I haven't had a good old rant in ages, especially not about something unimportant and silly, so here goes! :D

I went to Holland and Barrett yesterday for my necessary RDA of veggie scotch eggs and while I was browsing at the cereal bars I saw Liz Hurley's new range.

I was intrigued, and despite being 75 pence a pop, I thought I'd give the more chocolaty ones a go. At only 100 calories a bar, it'd be rude not to, surely? And thus begins the rant. They don't really taste of much and anything is 100 calories if it's TINY. Despite the aspirational packaging (eat these and you'll look like Liz Hurley and have pink wellies) and the rather sweet water colours, new farmer Elizabeth (not Liz) Hurley has basically packaged a bit of cardboard. I'd rather eat chocolate and be fat, Liz. And I doubt she does the farming in a black mini dress. But I digress.


Rant over with! In other (less pointless) news, I finally got my sweaty little paws on the new Julia Quinn, Ten Things I Love About You. Regular readers will know I love Julia Quinn more than is healthy, and have been waiting for the release of this one for almost a year. Amazon took SO LONG to deliver it, despite my pre-ordering (it still hasn't arrived) that I just went and bought it from Waterstones yesterday. I read it yesterday afternoon and...

It's alright.

To be honest, it seems like it was done in a bit of a rush. The characters aren't particularly solid, and their key traits pop up as and when necessary rather than being there throughout the book. There are still plenty of funny, quirky bits that Quinn fans will love and it's by no means a bad book. The main problem I had was with the story line. It's based on an interesting premise but feels a bit weak to sustain a whole book. I don't know, it's still better than most regency romances and it's still good, just not her best. I'd recommend starting on one of her others first, before reading this one. I already eagerly await the next one!

My work-wise (like I'm one to criticise Quinn, at least she's published (probably because she's a nice person rather than a bitter husk of human being)), I'm currently working on a very small (week long? less?) project involving revisiting and editing some old work. It's to send off, and since it'll probably not go anywhere and I'll be disappointed and/or embarrassed, I'm not going to tell you what it is or where it's going. So there. If it works, you'll hear about it, and if it doesn't, just assume I'm a massive weeping failure.

Guin's up again, barely any time to go before THE END. If you are one of the three people who has read it through, a) thank you, b) well done and c) hope you enjoy it.

And it's far too hot in this country.

T'ra!