This one time at Writer's Camp…
Well Paid Hack
Not apologizing for the lack of updates. Would you rather read this or read something in print (or e-book)?
Thought so. Yes, I was working on Wraithkin and Failsafe. I’m also working on Heroes & Rogues, which needs to be done in about two weeks. Oops.
I keep linking to both Amanda Green‘s and Sarah Hoyt‘s blogs because of their views and opinions about the Big Six publishing houses who are currently under investigation by the DOJ here in the US for price collusion (which, for those of you who don’t know, is also called “agency pricing” and a “monopoly”, which violates all sorts of laws). I agree with them (mostly), and find their stuff to be very useful, both creatively and professionally. Plus, I really am a fan of both authors. Amanda has an excellent series about shape shifters that is very entertaining and everyone should go and give the first book a shot. Ignore the cover art.
Besides, isn’t it against the rules to judge a book by its cover?
Anyway, the reason I bring them up today is that I just replied to an article Sarah wrote about a non-fiction writer who is afraid that the Big Six publishing houses falling will end non-fiction writing. Sarah laid it out fairly well why the author is worrying about locking the corral well after the horses have escaped (my analogy… you like?) and then I proceed to, well, just about lose it — in a good way.
You see, a lot of non-fiction writers accuse fiction writers (me!) of pulling crap from air. Granted, a lot of our ideas might seem like they’re coming from thin air but the brain (so far as I know) is not a densely packaged organ filled with air (no blonde jokes people). But I know that I research like crazy (historian, remember?) for anything that might be looked at by my readers (I still get crap from my Beta readers about putting a safety on a Glock in my first draft of Corruptor, for example). I mean, I know a lot of the computer stuff in Corruptor was… off. But it had to be “off” in a reasonable way to explain technological advances in 20+ years while making it readable and understandable to the now. It needed research, and lots of it.
Now, I’ve accused fantasy authors of pulling crap out of their butts before (I still do, actually, for which I’m mildly apologetic about), but this fiction v. nonfiction thing is different. This is an entirely different argument (besides, we all know that there is no practical way for any fantasy author to make magic work other than being a “gift from the gods”… ;-)) about how much effort and energy goes into researching. Fiction authors research just as much (if not more) than nonfiction, but we fiction writers don’t need to cite our sources. Building the Appendix is probably the actual hardest part of writing a nonfiction book because you have to remember where what is cited. We don’t have to do this, and I think it makes them jealous. In retaliation, they strike back and accuse us of being “hacks”.
Hacks get paid? I can be a hack.
I can be a well-paid hack, too.
Now back to writing my “pulled from air” crap. I got bills to pay.