Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Opportunities for All - A Contest (of sorts)

I've been mulling over an idea for a while now. I realized some time ago that, though I see people checking in a lot, I'm not really providing anything other than a blog roll and the occasional nudge to adopt a cute kitty or pup. And so I had been rattling this thought around in my head - giving people a chance at offering feedback to newbie writers.

And in some cases, by newbie, I mean VERY raw talents. Some more so than others.

What finally did it was seeing a recent blog post by someone I respect a lot, and it just sorta seemed like a sign (Unless...JT, are you reading my mind? If so, what was it my wife said last week that she wanted for Christmas??).

JT Ellison and JA Konrath have both spoken/written many times about being someone who adds value. I don't have a lot of value I can add from my own experience (wanna learn to be a better teacher? Of course not, you already know, because anyone can teach, right?). So instead, I'm going to try to "give something back" in the form of opportunity, both for you the readers AND for my students.

See, those creative writing students of mine who hope to some day be published will get the opportunity to receive real world feedback. No, this isn't a publishing credit, but it is a chance to get opinions from folks who come to a writer/reader-oriented blog regularly.

Don't worry, I will do my best to minimize their delusions that their story will get 70-80 comments (y'know, from all 6 of you out there), or that this story they put up will get all nice comments, or any at all for that matter. I will also make sure they understand that some magazines won't like that fact that their chosen story has appeared anywhere else, even a place as innocuous as this blog. Be that as it may, I thought this could be a great way for any of you out there to drop a little knowledge or advice on a youngster who is probably tired of hearing it from me, and also a great way for them to get that very first hurdle of "putting their stuff out there for consumption" over with. And don't worry, this is strictly voluntary, on both sides.

Would you rather not say anything than be nice? Okay.

Do you genuinely not know why you dislike like it, you just do? Okay.

Do you love it and want to sign them to an eight-figure contract? Okay, I'll only take a small finder's fee...say 40%. (Yeah, I know, but it sounded funny in my head)

Anyway, I look forward to my first submission coming soon (I'll keep you updated through the holidays), and if you have any suggestions, fire away.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

They made a book outta that movie?

Tooling around the net the other day, and I got to thinking about books being made into films. See, I know lots of novels get optioned but never make it to the screen, but I wonder if it's really to the author's chagrin or not. They've already gotten some nice bank out of the optioning, haven't they (if not, please let me know and I'll fix the post)?

I know the possibility of big stardom comes with a successful film that ramps up your book sales. It may even bring you new fans. Hell, I started reading Deaver because I had seen and liked the Denzel film.

But then there's a guy like Robert Crais, who was fine with his stand-alones on the silver screen, but refuses to option the rights to anything with Elvis Cole or Joe Pike...presumably because he thinks Hollywood would screw it up (be honest, they would).

What do you think? Would you go for the big movie and the check, even if Hollywood completely altered (or even destroyed) your characters or book? And if you are a reader, what do you think when this happens? Are you happy the movie got made anyway, or bummed that it changed your favorite book so much?