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I I know you print in black and white but just this once it would be nice to be read.

Article By: Charlie Gibbs
Non-fiction


This article shows my frustration at the literary world for not giving the underdog a fighting chance.


Submitted:Dec 9, 2012    Reads: 16    Comments: 2    Likes: 2   


I know that you print in black and white but just this once it would be nice to be read.

I'm not a celebrity so I have nothing to sell except an idea. Some may think it's a good one, others won't even read it. But as a chosen career I'd like to think it's good enough for my target audience.

Yes there's a recession on and we all need to cut back but it's even harder now to get an agent to even look at the email you send in anticipation than it ever was.

I've seen many a soap star proclaim that they're writing a book, they don't even have to put pen to paper and the offers come flooding in. I think it must be easier and a lot cheaper to trawl out some ramblings of a two second starlet who is the voice of her generation, god help us, than it is to take a chance on maybe finding the next big thing.

My area is fantasy and horror and as much as I try to pitch my stories to the ones who can get my work out there they seem to be stuck in a timewarp.

You wonder how writers now classed as the greats ever got published. Female scribes had to pretend to be male in order to even get considered.

Without the imagination of the Brontes would we ever have gone to visit the moors?, and without Jane Austen and her dry humour would many a fledgling romance have remained as just that?.

Writers like Angela Carter worked hard to feed the lovers of gothic horror and gave us a new spin on fairy tales, she is described as a feminist author who only wrote for women but I like to think she was much more than that, she wrote about characters who lived beyond the edges of 'normal' society which would cover all sexes if you think about it.

So called experts wonder how we ever managed without all this new technology, that's easy isn't it?. Pen, paper and a modicum of talent obviously. But is this enough in this day and age of blogs and tweets and whatever next that stops us actually talking to each other, and does anyone use a diary anymore? A travel journal is classed these days as archaic, to write down your thoughts and experiences is too much like hard work, it's easier to send a text than a postcard but not quite as personal.

Can you imagine the Brontes blogging on the windswept moors or Jane Austen tweeting on how to nab your own Mr.Darcy?

Thankfully writers now have much more range and it's not all about getting a husband, or is it?.

Freedom to write about our travels and the use of imagination give us a better perspective, it allows us to let our creativity fly and not be restricted by social boundaries.

Early horror writers such as Ann Radcliffe set the scene for other authors to follow, she was known to have influenced Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe. It did help of course that her husband owned and edited a newspaper giving her a better advantage than most.

Fanny Burney with her comic diaries was the Bridget Jones of her day although her father didn't approve telling her to get a 'proper job'. Which would have invariably meant looking after a man.

The women pioneers had a lot to write about promoting early feminist ideals and criticising the way society and it's double standards put women in danger.

Equality and the way women were treat seem to be the main theme from the 1600s onwards, and is still relevant today.

Someone once wrote that if you want to get on you have to 'up your game' there are some sites out there that encourage writers to keep going, they print your stories or articles and let others read them for free, comments come in and you have a sense of achievement, but it only lasts so long, to get a publisher interested is like finding a needle in a haystack. As my friends on the booksie site know only too well.

Going back to the bane of our literary lives, agents. Those faceless wonders who have the power to give you a one way ticket to either success or oblivion.

Some of their remarks can be quite cutting as one would be author told me.We bare our souls and you crush us with six words.

"Frankly it reads like a script" an agent once told a friend of mine, "frankly my scripts won't be making you any money" he answered then went on to write an excellent screenplay. I suppose the agent would take credit for that too saying that he spurred him on to success, that may have been the case but he already had it in him to begin with and if he couldn't see it at first then it was his loss.

E readers give us the chance to read on the go, so what have paperbacks been doing all these years? We embrace new technology but forget where it all started.

A number of schools are getting rid of books in favour of these, if getting rid of them means having a bonfire then we haven't gone very far have we?.

I once wrote a novel for Mills and Boon. It was about a dying girl with a disease that I'd invented who was rescued by an Olympic skier. I was only fifteen at the time but in my head 'The Alpine Rose' was a successful tearjerker that would launch me on my chosen career. Thirty three years later I'm still trying, I've finally settled on a genre that I enjoy and I'm going for it.

So to all those agents and publishers out there remember we're here and we're not going away, we may not be stars but we know how to shine.





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