And here we are at Week 285.
It’s interesting reading some of the introductions that we receive in the initial emails.
Before I moan too much, at least these folks do acknowledge that we are out there.
I’m not saying that anyone exaggerates but some of the plaudits some of our unsuccessful submitters have are extraordinary.
We’ve had everything from a Nigerian Prince who sent us a story that was an interaction thing where at the end, just for a laugh, we had to sign a bank draft.
We’ve had many professors, and many more writers who have advised us that their professors have been in awe of their work.
Also a few folks who have contributed to historical documentation without recognition apart from them telling us. One even started his email with ‘We The People’ I think that was some guy called Morris or maybe it was Donald, not sure, we reckoned it was fake.
We’ve been inundated with notification of qualifications. There are so many diplomas, doctorates, writing awards and a few who are ‘Emperors Of The Universe.’ (You need to wear a hat for that one).
The stories that they’ve offered to us include some that would cheer up the world, summon the devil, bring down aliens and others that will truly understand and empathise with whoever reads it. And that includes the aliens. Not the devil though, seemingly he is a bit of a cunt and a Prima Donna. No-one would want to understand that. Those traits are not for understanding, they are simply for being!
Whether these folks are all they say or their resume is more fiction than their fiction, is neither here nor there. As long as someone can put together an interesting, well written piece of work, the qualifications mean nothing to us.
I would say that we do enjoy reading a tongue in cheek introduction. Or the ones that are a bit self disparaging. It is a lot of fun to read someone who has a sense of humour about the whole process.
They are a lot more interesting than ‘Super Stewart – Champion Of The Written Word’ with certificates available on a Powerpoint presentation and a foreword by Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde.
This brings me to something that we were discussing last week.
…And that is the state of our humour submissions.
We’d like to give a couple of complex secret tips that some folks have no comprehension of:
1. For something to be humorous, it needs to make other people, at least smile.
2. You shouldn’t write humour if it’s not funny.
I think humour is the genre that we’ve refused the most. There are only a handful of our writers who have more than one submission in this category. And there are only around four percent of stories on the site that are classed as humour.
If you are writing something dark and realistic, the humour will take care of itself. Probably the best thing to do is not to classify it in this genre. If something makes us laugh that is a bonus or depending on what it is, our guilty secret.
But if the genre is labelled as humour, right away we are expecting to laugh. We normally don’t.
The problem with humour is that it all comes down to personal taste. It seldom resonates with everyone.
Me and Diane have a very varied but different sense of humour. If we get a story in that we both find funny, then it has a chance of resonating. But never a guarantee.
The wacky and absurdists are especially difficult to accept as you really need to tap into the world and humour that the writer is creating. If the reader can’t do that, the work can come across as self-indulgent. (Self indulgence is a loaded topic that has more to do with why it is written in relation to reaction on who reads it and not so much on content or plot.)
Oh and the last tip on this is never…And I can’t put that across strongly enough…NEVER state that your story is the funniest thing you or your friends, family, Professor and Prince Bank Draft have ever read and everyone else will find it simply hilarious.
We can guarantee you – They won’t!
Okay onto this week’s stories.
We have three new writers, a lady who enhances the site and me.
To all our new folks, we are delighted that they have become part of the site, we hope that they enjoy themselves and as always, we want to see more of their work.
Topics this week include; tablets, a cat, parenthood, recipes and beetles.
As always our initial comments follow.
First up was our first new writer.
Patricia Procopi was published on Monday with ‘Canned Ravioli‘.
‘You really did feel sorry for the boy, you judged the MC and hated the mother,’
‘This was factual and honest with an overlay of guilt and regret.’
‘You really wanted to slap the mother.’
Next up was Leila Allison.
Her stories are as important to the site as she is herself. And when you read the quality of the work, that says all that needs to be said.
‘God Bless You Boots The Impaler‘ was our offering on Tuesday.
‘I want a cat like that.’
‘The understanding Leila has of the cat world is spot on. And her manipulation of the real world into her world is immense.’
‘I loved how Boots got his name – You can just imagine a cat strutting about being proud of his name tag.’
It was me who broke the back of the week with The Ten Commandments.
I enjoy writing this type of story.
I have four on the site which I class as ‘Fun With Blaspheme’. The fun part was me writing them. I suppose it’s not so much if you are a bit religious. That is your beliefs and I will always respect the belief more than the content.
And what the fuck, the way I look at it, if there is a god, he gave me my ability to take the piss – So blame him!
As always I thank Nik and Diane for all their help and support.
Dan Brotzel was our second new writer on Thursday. His story ‘Prison Food‘ nearly finished the week. (I still refuse to use the ‘P’ word!!)
‘As soon as you started to read this, you wanted to read it all the way through.’
‘The story is told so well, there is a brilliant tone to it.’
‘Some superb character writing.’
And we finished off with ‘Halcyon Days‘ by our last new writer, Mandy Swann.
‘So well written!’
‘For whatever reason, I felt a connection to this.’
‘Lyrical and you just went with the flow.
That’s us for another week.
Another reminding summary.
Comments – Good.
Don’t just comment on someone you know, give another writer a boost!
No comments – Please – Tell us why!!!
And Sunday Re-Run. Choose an older story you’ve enjoyed. Write a spiel or introduction and throw in a few questions for the writer. We will publish exactly what you send us.
To finish off, I mentioned self indulgence and I sometimes wonder if these Saturday Postings are exactly that.
But a few things make me think otherwise:
I think you need an ego to write something self-indulgent. I used to have one until I bought my first mirror.
You need to have a hidden agenda.
I have no agenda hidden or otherwise – I simply couldn’t be arsed thinking too much.
You want to dictate your thinking and reasoning onto others.
This was one that I had to consider but the more I think on it, the more I am confident in saying that I write more about what I see than what I believe or know. I believe in fuck all and know less than that!
Self indulgence is more to do with why you write in relation to how the reader reacts.
I don’t write for reaction. I used to but the reaction was always no.
Now I write simply because I want to and it makes me happy.
…Maybe I’m a tad self indulgent!!!
When I read this back and realise that I have no ego, no thought process, limited knowledge, no beliefs and am a bit of a hypocrite I get a bit depressed and then want to be fully self indulgent.
I then do what I’ve been doing for forty years…I open a litre of Bacardi!!!