The ramblings and musings of author and musician Geoffrey Young Haney.
Much more coherent and loveable fare from his wife, Michelle.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Getting To The Point

So I had a great experience last week Wednesday. Casey McCormick at Literary Rambles was nice enough to post my article, Self-Publishing: Your "Demo" Tape? as a guest blogger piece on LR. LR has over 400 readers and is a very informative and helpful site for would-be writers. I had written the piece for Creating Life and e-mailed her asking to check it out and if she enjoyed it to republish it on her blog. She was totally gracious and cool and said that she would. She did however mention something I found odd at the time. She said that because of its length it may not get that many comments.

It's been over a week now and it has received 10 comments (two of which are mine.) On a blog with steady readership and a pretty regular flow of traffic, I have to somewhat assume that Casey's prediction was correct. Since I believe I wrote it well and self-pub in this New World of e-books is definitely a hot-button issue, I have to believe that the piece was just too long.

A couple of lessons learned here:
  1. Casey understands this blog thing WAY better then I do!
  2. I need to learn how to get to the point! My blogs tend to be very rant-ish in style, written as opinion pieces for entertainment purposes more than to speak from a given platform (frankly, because I haven't earned one.) But I do want them to spark debate. I think debate is fun! The article in question is no exception, and my buddy Jon Gibbs started a discussion on self-pub on his blog after reading and commenting on my article, and that did receive some good chat. So that was cool to see. But his counter-opinion on my opinion was probably a third the size of mine and still he managed to make his point loud and clear! I think that in spinning my yarn - in trying to make my point - people have missed the point, or simply I've failed to illustrate it concisely and in an effective manner.
So what do I take away from this experience? No, I don't hate you all (at least not anymore than I already did. :P) What I need to be weary of is that my blog-iness doesn't transfer to my actual writing. I catch myself doing it sometimes, pontificating on something that isn't that important to the story in any way, shape, or form. Now I like detail as much as the next guy. But needless detail? My PIC Matt called me out on it once when I went off about why a character in The Sons of The Moon wore the type of clothes he did and how it circled back to what music he listened to and what "scene" he hung out in. It was interesting to me because, frankly, the character is modeled after me. But Matt was like.... "dude... what is all this?" I made it unrelatable. Perhaps I did the same thing with my article - too many references to things the LR audience doesn't relate to.

So in short, before I ramble on again in this post, I think it's important as writers to:
  1. Check yourself - Make sure you aren't tangenting off into no-man's land.
  2. Be relateable - This means knowing your hopeful audience and using language and reference they can follow
  3. GET TO THE POINT - Because that's what we write for, after all, to share a perspective. The road to reach it can be long, but it must be entertaining (and not just long because we don't know when to shut up!)
What do you think? Do you catch yourselves growing long-winded in your writing? Are there evident places you could trim the fat?

4 comments:

Matthew Aaron Rodriguez said...

lol. so you get where I was coming from? lol. had nothing to do with you personally, glad to see the growth man. looking forward to reading more of the masterpiece.

Matthew Aaron Rodriguez said...

great post. I really like the mentioning of your sexy PIC. Nice to see the thoughtprocess here man. And yeah, your description notes I gave you might have been easier to take if it wasn't about you. lol. talk to you soon.

Geoff said...

Ha, yea Matty, I know it had nothing to do with me personally! I never thought it did.

I just was FLOORED that someone wouldn't want to know all that AWESOME detail about pop-punk and fashion. I mean, come on, what is wrong with you? *heavy sarcasm* :D

Love ya son.

Matthew Rush said...

Hi Geoff, I saw that you became a follower of my blog, so I stopped by to return the favor.

Thanks for visiting!