Guest Post by J. Nathanial Corres
In retrospect, there have been hints all my life that I was destined to be a storyteller or writer of tales. My favourite class in secondary school and university was creative writing. My only obstacle was, and still is, myself. Specifically, not putting up barriers such as measuring myself versus others in terms of success. All the truly great storytellers of our time simply wrote from the heart and let all else fall into place.
To elaborate, they told their stories in their own words. This is crucial in an age where the proverbial norm has been to cookie-cutter authors and stories—follow fads instead of the readers’ hearts and desires. This leads to one of my big pet peeves with the industry. The two terms that, over the last two hundred years, have changed very little if it all and only aesthetically.
Those would be “unproven writer” and “there’s no market for this.” The big guys seem to forget the history of the industry and all the times those terms have come back to haunt them. Starting with Mary Shelley and even up to Joann Rowling. The short memory of the big publishers has cost them dearly.
Additionally, there is an article I read a while back that said publishers relied on editors for a final vote of approval despite the fact that many, it seems, have rejected perfectly good work as rubbish just to spite their employers in a vain effort to bolster themselves. Politics as usual in the corporate sector.
As for myself, I’ve not paid any heed to the criticism or rejections from such places. I never listen to criticism anyway. I write as I envision the story with minor clean-ups here and there for grammar, unless it’s for dialogue, and then everything remains unless I forget to finish my characters’ thoughts. The optimum for any writer is to excite the senses and imagination of the reader so they can see each scene as it plays out, to depict the world or setting of the tale as it takes place and bring the characters to life.
When a reader can tell me they could see the protagonists and antagonists as clearly as they can see themselves, I feel as if I’ve done my job: basically, give the reader their own personal cinematic experience without leaving the comfort of their own home.
To summarise, my idea of success is painting an effective picture with words. To me there’s no such animal as an unproven writer, especially when they have pages and pages of manuscripts either physically before them or on a computer. The difference between a good and great publisher is that a great publisher never seeks a market, they let the work create its own. Don’t believe me? Ask J.K. Rowling or Rick Riordan. Tolkien isn’t available.