Monday, April 18, 2011

Writers Are Broke - But They Dont Have To Be

To wise writer's, it is well-known that even with a few books under the belt, it can still be hard to get a full-time income. So most writers are in 9 to 5 jobs they hate, while writing on the side to cover the bills. But they don't have to.

Freelance writing is a big business online. The internet is the future of all business, so there is a lot of demand for article writers, press release writers, content writers, and even essay writers. So if you're a writer with a tight grasp on spelling and grammar, and can type fast on the keyboard, then there are people on the internet, right now, offering money for your services.

So let's do the math. If you sign up at Guru (note, I get nothing out of this, this is NOT an affiliate link), and construct a profile. You can ask for up to $100 an hour, to write articles for clients. You simply put your advertisement up (FREE), create your profile, and then bid on jobs.

Right now, I'm offering 0.05 cents a word, this doesn't sound like much, but for a 500 word article, which would take about 15 minutes to write, would cost $25, which if you do the math, equals $100 an hour!

So if you work, 20 hours a week, while doing your fiction writing on the side, you could potentially be making $2,000 a week profit, sounds pretty sweet huh?

Now here is the process.

Step 1: go to Guru, and sign up for a free account, and create your profile. Don't forget to put all your experience with writing down.

Step 2: Open up word, write a few articles on random topics. Make sure their well written (if your a writer, that will be easy), and upload them to your profile as samples.

Step 3: Bid on 5 projects a day (35 a week), and before long you will be getting responses, and making money. That easy really.

Take note. Don't set your wage too low. You are WRITERS! so believe in yourself. Your time is precious.

Hope you can make some cash while you pump out that novel :)

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Master Of Your Craft

It takes 10,000 hours to master the writing craft, so let's not beat around the bush. To become a published author, earning a full time income, and to be considered one of the wise ones in your field, you have to put in 10,000 hours to get there.

But why 10,000 hours? In Malcolm Gladwell’s "Outliers", he shows that researchers have discovered that every master in their respective fields has been training for approximately 10,000 hours. Even the likes of Bill Gates put in 10,000 hours worth of computer programming in school before he hit it big with Microsoft. The Beatles use to play for 10 hours straight on stage in Hamburg before striking it big time. Even Mozart, a considered child prodigy, didn't compose his first masterpiece till his early 20's, which meant he was practising full time for well over a decade before it.

So what's this mean for you? It means there are no easy shortcuts. Almost everyone thinks they have a book in them, and as many people believe they have the ability to write one, and will do so by their life’s end. But in reality, this is ridiculous. It's like someone saying, "Yeah, I will probably participate in the Olympic games at some point in my life". People grossly underestimate the skill and ability needed to write a novel, because on the surface, it looks easy. But in reality, it’s the masters of the craft that make it look effortless.

An example I think is the Harry Potter series. When I first read it as a teenager, I was like, "This is so easily written, I will dominate the writing market," It wasn't till years later, when I picked it up again, that I realised how well written the series was because I had a greater understanding of the craft.

So what is the real point of this post? Well it's to make you realise this isn't a quick journey. That if you're really serious about being a published author, then you got to be willing to take the long road. You must realise that it may take you 10 years to get there, that it may not be your first book, your second book, or even your third or fourth book that sells. You have to be in it for the long haul, and must write just to write. If you do this, then the journey will be a little easier on your soul.

Have a good one

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Finding Your Writing Voice Style

Often when writing teachers discuss the topic of voice in fiction, there are very iffy, ambiguous definitions associated with it. You hear a lot of them saying, "It can't really be described, but you know it when you see it," and "you can't really teach voice." I beg to differ, I believe all objects in existence can be broken down conceptual, and when we can't, we are just being lazy.

To start, I want to identify several areas, that when linked together, form the overall concept of voice. I'm attempting to come to a philosophical definition of voice, so that as writers, we can use it as a working model to help others, and better our own "voice."

Firstly, we have the objective world that the story takes place in. This includes the history, the culture, the environments and all the characters in the piece. This is important to know as an author because you can't develop a plot or a protagonist, if you don't know the objective facts of your world. Once you know these, then its time to narrow down. But take note, some beginner authors stick here. They tell their story from an objective point of view, which leads to a very boring story.

Secondly, we have the protagonist. Your character has a particular "world view" of the objective world. They don’t know the objective world, because human beings can never know their world completely objectively. There will always be subjectivity in any perception of your environment. So you must know your characters subjective view of this existence. What do they like? What do they believe? What are their values? their history? Who is this person and what makes them who they are? This is important, because its this information that creates a "Point of View". You must have a POV of that existence, because its HUMAN to have one, and its this point that creates engagement with a HUMAN reader.

Thirdly, you have an author. As I wrote earlier, a new writer will skip the second point altogether. They will just have a flat character, who almost works as a piece of cardboard floating around in the objective world, with no real point of view. But a good author will internalize this point of view, they will inhabitant it, and live in, and adopt all the entire subjective viewpoint of the main character. The author must then work, almost as a best friend, or fan of the main character. They must be the characters cheer leader, and have the same world view. This is what voice is, its "expressing the POV of the character authentically." When the author adopts the POV of the character, and communicates authentically from that POV, and ONLY that POV, the author’s words will be aligned with the characters words.

For example, if John hates the school nurse, and thinks she is a grumpy old bitch, and then the author will express something such as, "John sat down. He couldn't believe the grumpy old bitch was still there, had she not died yet?" This is voice in action, and it exists because the author saw an objective world, narrowed it down to a subjective view that was owned by a particular character, internalised this point of view, and expressed authentically from it.

Lastly, we have the reader. What does the reader want out of a story? Well, if he or she is the norm, they want to take a adventure, or a series of dramatic events that moves them emotionally in some way. For a reader to be moved, they have to feel connected to the story, and this is achieved when they are connected to a HUMAN point of view. If the character has a personal view of existence, and the author has internalized this point of view, and expressed authentically from it, when the reader reads the book, they will identify with the view because it’s a human POV, and thus, feel moved by it.

Concept of voice created. Hope this break down helps.


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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Scribophile Review

For the past few months I have been a member of a social media site called "Scribophile", and I must say its the best writers community on the web. I have been searching for one for literally years now, and It's awesome that such a community exists out there. This post is going to be about explaining what Scribophile is like, and to inspire you to get your ass on there and sign up. This isn't an affliate advertisement either. There is no incentive for me to inspire you to do this, It's simply the best thing I have done for my writing, and I want you to do it too.

Now, Scribophile is a free service, but there is also a premuim section as well. On the free section you can upload two works at a time, and then users will earn "Kharma points" by criticing others works, and the longer, the more points you earn. This is important because you can't get reviews, or post more works, unless you have enough Kharma points. So this give and take process is better for users as it forces people to interact. You also need Kharma points to enter contests, writers circles, and sending private messages.

In the premuim section, which I think every writer who is serious about writing should do, (It's $80 a year, and if this seems steep, then just do a little calculation in your head. How many of you spend that much on a night out on a Friday night, esepcialy if you start drinking while your out? Now, ask yourself how important is your dream? This is the question I asked, and the answer came quite logically, besides, its freaking worth it, let me tell you). Premuim membership allows you to post as much work as you like, it allows you to get deeper insight to your critiques by allowing people to input data about your work, such as how good your characters are, how engaging the plot is, how vivid the imagery is, etc. It also allows you to enter writers circles and contests without the need for Kharma points.

Now below is what the main dashboard looks like. It has a facebook feel for it, and shows you your karma points, reputation, the number of citiques others have liked of yours, if others have critqued your works, view your private messages and look at your wall, (yes they have a wall like Facebook where other writers can post).
The writers circle is a feature I really like. It allows you to create private groups for your niche, and invite people in so that you can develop a mini critique circle. I am going to create one soon about dystopian novelists, so if you’re interested just send me a comment and sign up!

I think these critique circles are essential in becoming a published author. Even the most seasoned authors submit to critique circles, so get use to the process.

There is also a blog on there, where featured writers post great articles on the writing craft. So really, it is an entire writing community and will tremendously help your writing craft. If you feel this is for you, then pop over to Scribophile and sign up. I just want to stress I am no way shape or form associated with any Scribophile creation or management, I'm simply a user who thoughts its great value for any writer out there.

Have a good day. I know I will. I'm finally back from my Indian backpacking trip, and am currently chilling in the south of Sweden before hitting up the UK again. Least I won't get sick anymore!


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Friday, April 8, 2011

Writing Craft Lesson - Expressing Thought

How to express what a character is thinking? This was the dilemma I was dealing with this week. Although, it’s fairly obvious to a writer how to do this. I started to put the process under a microscope, and over think what I was trying to do by trying to come to a "universal" or "right" way of doing it.

My dilemma was this. In some books, such as "Song of Ice and Fire" by George R. R Martin, he always expresses character thought through the use of italics. This would be shown in the following way, "John moved to the wall and rested his back, How in hell are we going to survive this?"

These italics mean that the thought is coming straight from John, as if we have a telepathic connection to him. This is great for establishing a direct connection with the reader to the character, and is what I used for most of my writing.

Then I began to read "Under the Dome" by Stephen King, an unusual read for the most part. King expresses his characters thoughts by pumping his POV through the use of a strong voice, i.e. "There was that stupid woman again. She sat down, crossed her legs, and expressed a mug look to the audience. Mark groaned and sat down."

King is just expressing imagery, but the fact that he’s expressing a point of view, or an opinion into the words, (that stupid woman), we obviously assume that it’s the characters opinion of her that is generating this description. For me, this style of expressing thought gives the writing a greater flair because it adds personality and voice to the writing. It may lessen the connection between reader and character, but I feel it may add a little more mystery to the story.

So I guess it seems that I prefer the latter right now. I feel it makes the writing more engaging. I just asked this question on Absolute write, and the response seemed to be relatively the same. Most believed that there wasn't a right or wrong answer, unless you stick to a few fundamental principles.

Basically, the readers experience is king. If the reader isn't confused, and obviously gets that the words are in fact the thoughts of the character, and is perceiving the characters point of view in relation to the events around him or her, then it’s perfectly fine.

Also, choose what one works for you. As the writer, if you’re not comfortable with what you're writing, then it will show. You will express fragmented sentences that won't flow right. So just express it the way you want to, the way that your natural voice wants to express it. If the readers get it, and it feels good to you to write it like that, keep writing it that way.

Lastly, be consistent. If you keep switching from the thoughts of the character expressed directly in italic, then to the narrator expressing it through POV, then you begin to confuse the reader. The reader doesn't want to have to "work out" what approach you're taking. If they have to do that, then they have left the story and may put the book down altogether.

So in conclusion,
It doesn’t matter which approach you take, as long as the reader knows what you're doing, that it feels good for you, and that you pick one approach and stick to it.


P.S Since this blog is getting some readers now, I think I may add a writing craft lesson every few days, with some philosophical theory placed in between. I think it will be the best format for the blog, but feel free to have your say.


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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nations Don't Exist - Their illusions

In the modern world, the word "nation" is so essential to how we perceive the world, that it's acquired the tag of an absolute - a concept not to be challenged. We have given nations the tag of an objective entity that lives "out there" in the world, but in reality, they are as fictional as the stories we write.

Nation's haven't always been around, in fact, they are a new concept to the human mind. It wasn't until the birth of the printing press in the industrial revolution that people could communicate over a long enough distance, and without such a form of communication, how could people decide if they were a "common" people?

So this 19th century invention, led to people to identify with other people over long distances, and in time of conflict, pushed them into grouping together to form a stand.

Now, how was this "stand" formed? Well by picking and choosing certain "indicators" that they were indeed a common people, i.e. language, religion, skin color, dress. These indicators allowed for a group to believe, “we are common because of these things." (It’s an Illusion, but it served a practical purpose of uniting them, and thus bettering their needs).

Ethnic groups are made the same way. But the difference between an ethnic group and a nation is that the nation feels like its owed political status. That they are allowed to govern themselves, and determine how their collective should be structured, and played out in the universal "story" of humanity. Because that's all nations are, they are "stories." If you ask anyone who belongs to a nation (which is 90% of the planet), they will give you a "myth", or a story of how their people were formed, and it’s usually a noble adventure of how the people stood up, and took what was theirs, often neglecting gaping holes in the story that would suggest that they have nothing to do with each other at all.

So really, a nation is just, "a group of people who believe they are a nation," and it’s this definition that explains why terrorism occurs. For example, in Kashmir, they believe they are a nation, but India and Pakistan refuse to grant that right, so violence erupts. When you consider that nations are just fictions of the mind, you begin to see how ridiculous these conflicts are. But you can't tell them that, they are very real realities to the mind that possesses them.

I believe this knowledge is inspiring. It allows us to see objectively our place in the world, and possibly see a future where nations won't be at all. Pushes to make this a reality are already being seen, such as in the European Union, although there is still a long way to go until a global nation is developed. If human beings could expand their awareness and see commonality with human beings at a whole, and build nationalism based on universal indicators, rather than minute, individual ones, we could see a great change, but this would probably be idealism at its finest. But I believe as social networking takes hold, and the “printing press” revolution occurs again, but this time with web 2.0, we could see that change facilitated.

Now, as dystopian writers, it’s important to take this knowledge into consideration. It allows you to craft your nations in a more precise matter but addressing the "indicators", the "myths & stories', and the actual history of their creation. I believe by better understanding our world conceptual, by building more objective, and all encompassing models of existence, we can build better worlds in our stories, and thus bring them to life in more rich and meaningful ways.

Enjoy your day

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Political Spectrum

Politics is an important subject for any dystopian novel. In most dystopian literature, there is a repressed group, and their repression is usually due to a political arrangement that has left them on the outskirts of society. This can be for a number of reasons, in the novel I'm working on, it is because of the "division of labour" issue found in a lot of societies where basically resources are found in one area, and not another, so that area gets developed, those ethnic groups prosper, and the ones on the non-resource rich land suffer. It's a reality that is everywhere, and it’s very real.

I have a degree in Politics. It’s something I got interested in during my backpacking around Asia and seeing a lot of depressing shit, i.e. starving children, bodies, especially in parts of India & Nepal. Seeing these things angered me, and made me want to find the source of the problem, thus, politics.

But what actually is politics? I believe to write great dystopian fiction, we as writers, must have a firm grasp on its definition and its expressions. Then we can work it into our stories, and use the knowledge of the concept to our advantage.

Politics is part of human nature, and is essential to any collective grouping. When a collective group decides they are a group, i.e. a nation (a topic to also be discussed at a later day because it’s very important, and I believe awesome to know), then they must designate a central power source so that they can feel safe. By limiting the power of the individual, the individual feels safe because they know that there is an outside source keeping watch. This is why repressive Kings in the olden days were a valid means of government. They kept everyone obeying, which kept everyone safe, not a bad deal.

But as technologies grew, and the industrial age came out (especially with the printing press) suddenly, mass messages could be sent large distances, and communicated to many people, so a more complicated approach of dealing with the collective had to be established. That's how all the forms of different politics you see today have been formed.

Now I believe that politics’ essential purpose in human nature, is to help monitor conflict. Within every purpose of government is this ideal. This is why the search for Utopian societies always fails, because conflict is part of human nature. There will never be a situation where conflict is absent! This is why politics is what it is. Even democracy isn't perfect, but it’s the best we got (Democracies illusions will be discussed at a later date, and no, I'm not a communist.)

By understanding politics on a conceptual level, by understanding why it exists and its function in human nature, we can write better dystopian fiction. We can create more complex and realistic worlds. When you understand the abstract concepts, you can play with them in your worlds.

Politics is going to be a topic discussed a lot on this blog, and I hope to give it a firm conceptual meaning and discuss it at length so that as a dystopian writer, it can be expressed poetically in fiction.

That’s it for now

P.S If you haven’t subscribed to this blog, do it immediately!

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dystopian literature

The Plan for the next 6 months...

Dystopian Novels is a blog that looks at the in's and out's of writing dystopian literature, and explores the philosophical relevance it has, while looking at the tools available to a writer to express it in their works. The goal for this blog is to create a community of like minded individuals who write fiction, but want their fiction to mean something about the world they live in.

The emphasis is going to be placed on sign ups and comments. If we can get a good amount of those within the 6 month span, then that will be great. It will create the beginnings of a network that can help each other by sharing tips and exploring social topics together.

A forum will also be constructed in the near future once there is a following, and from there, who knows...

There will be monthly reviews on dystopian literature, daily thoughts on particular social & cultural issues, and daily topics on the writing craft its self. While sharing useful links that help increase the experience of the user.

This site won't be monetised, because I believe the experience of the user and the content it delivers is the number one priority.

Spread the word!
thanks all

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Learn To Write

Most people will tell you, you either have it or you don't. To me that's complete BS. If you stick at it, learn, read, write, everyday, then you're going to get good, simple as that. But the learning process isn't like a staircase. You don't slowly get better and better. You have peaks, valleys, you go forward, then you go backwards as you're trying new concepts out.

For me, I had to unwire a whole lot of stuff that was going on in my mind. I had been writing for years, pretty much since childhood, and I was only doing it for fun (and you get some pretty tight stuff coming out when you're writing for fun). I had no intention of getting better, or learning the craft, or becoming a pro writer. It was just something I did in my spare time. Now, as it started to dawn on me that I could in fact do it for a living, my first thoughts were, "dude, you been doing this for years, just write something, send it out, done." But there were many misconceptions about the craft rattling around my brain, so it didn't go so well.

I thought writing was about cool - vivid language, I thought it was just about writing cool passages that sounded rad. Sure, to me they did, and I enjoyed writing them, but without an engaging plot, a strong POV, and a dedication to the storyline, your sunk. People won't read on.

Basically now, I have learnt to turn off the vivid language and just stay dedicate to telling the story. If you don't need to say that sentence, then don't say the damn sentence! Stick only to the plot, if it further's the plot, then keep doing it, if it don't, throw it out yo!

Writing is a skill, you can learn it. I firmly believe it. Even in Stephen Kings book, "On Writing" he says you either have it or you don't. I disagree (respectfully of course), I think you can, because hell, we're human beings, the most intelligent organisms on this planet, yet, we can't learn how to write? One of the most fundamental and basic methods a human being has to communicate? Come onnnnnnn!

No real content in this post, it's really designed to motivate you. To put you in a good emotional place to inspire you.

Have a good day

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Monday, March 28, 2011

We Think Too Much

Been really racking my brain lately, trying to connect a few things together so that I can choose the right course for the future. It has caused me much stress, and only really have release from it when I stop thinking, calm down and focus on what is in front of me. The more I thought about not thinking (yeah a paradox) I began to ponder a few things. Which I think can apply to the worlds we create in fiction, and in life.

As human beings, we are always trying to create a context for the perceptions in our environment. We need these "bigger picture" boxes because it allows us to frame and give meaning to the smallest context stuff. This is why religon has been such an important part of human society since the beginning. There wasn't any science to determine the bigger questions, so religon gave humanity certainty to act day to day. And we need this certainty. We need to know that if we get out of bed in the morning that we aren't going to fall through the floor into darkness.

This is how our minds are wired. We create a context around everything, and the biggest context is what relates everything underneath it. It's this biggest context that is expressed through art, but expressed directly through living realities so it can be percieved directly, rather then lost in abstraction.

Human beings (espeically males), are highly logical creatures, and is what seperates us from all other life forms. We can percieve something, conceputalise about it, and then store it in our sub conscious so we can continue to determine the meaning of our environment. The fact that we can use the word "forest" and know what it means, signfies this. we can periceve a tree, but we can't percieve a forest because there are too many trees, so we conceptualise it, and thus, give it meaning.

But we can get lost in this conceptual world, and is responsible for a lot of the conflict we see today. A lot of dystopian novels explores this in depth because many are based on idelogies that take over society and determine human behaviour on a mass scale.

But we must realise that thought is simply a sign post to reality. It's something we have created, in accordance with our already established contexts, because we can't percieve which we don't already believe. Thought isn't reality, its the lense we view reality with, and is the corner stone of any post-modern analysis of reality, (although some go too far, i.e The Secret, and say we create reality with our minds...ludacris, how would a starving ethopian kid feel about such an ascertion?)

So step back from your thought, perhaps let emotion dictate what you do for a while. Might make you happier.

Hope to see you again,


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The Purpose of Fiction

We live in a contradictory time for art. Back in the heyday, hundreds of years ago, people like Da Vinci didn't create art to satisfy his publishers, "target market". The genius in his work was the only thing that mattered, and hence, a lot of the finest work the world has ever seen dates back to these time periods, (although I was in the Lurve a few months ago, and think The Mona Lisa is highly overrated. I mean who gives a shit that her smile is indefinable?)

But today we live in a time where even if a piece of work is of the highest order i.e. engaging plot, interesting characters, well written verses, if there is no target market for the piece, then publishers can't generate sales for it, thus no $$$ for them, and no publication for you. Now, there is no need to get all angst-ridden with this, it's just how it is, and if a writer is going to become successful, this needs to be addressed. But this creates a contradiction in the writer’s psyche (the real writer that is). Does the writer write for themselves? Or do they write for their target market?

Now just for conceptualization sake, I'm going to define what I believe the purpose of fiction is. I of course write dystopian fiction, because I believe it best serves the purpose of writing fiction. To me, writing is about tapping into the deepest values of your mind, and then expressing your fundamental, abstract views of existence, into a living, breathing reality, that the reader can perceive directly and respond to. This may be a mouthful to grasp, so let me break it down in relation to my novel, "Ressentiment".

Resssentiment is about two societies opposed to each other. One is poor, one is rich, one is on the east side of the bay, and the other is on the west side of the bay. The east side (the poor side), perceives the west to be evil oppressors, while the west side perceive the east side to be evil criminals. This structure explores the "us vs. them" mentality of human beings. We always want to identify ourselves with a particular group, and then create "others" to tighten our relationship with the group we believe we belong to. We can see this all over the world today, and I believe it to fundamentally be one of the greatest challenges to peace on this planet. Now, this is an abstract concept, and I just can't explain it to you in a novel. Instead I set up the scenario so it plays out in "real time" for the reader, and I explore all the ramifications of it, such as politics, society, culture and the effect it has on the day to day lives of human beings. This forces reflection.

Now, this has meaning to me because it's fundamental to how I view the world and I believe is the purpose of all art. Every artist should look at his or her work and state, "this is how existence looks to me." But your publisher doesn't give a shit about how existence looks to you, they will say, "well this is how the market looks to me, so make it fit the market, or get out of the industry."

So you got to find that fine line. You have to realize that although modernity brings with it benefits that far outweigh the downsides (in the first world that is), there will have to be a compromise made to fit the market. I suggest knowing what is real to you, and picking a target market that is closest to what you love, while knowing that you may have to change some of those things you feel "passionate" about. Sure, the idealist will say, "no fucking way, I'm an artist, and will only publish what I believe in," and this person may of read to many bio's and up lifting movies who really promote this kind of thinking, but in reality, they probably comprised too but just haven’t chosen to show that part.

That's enough for me for now. This blog is still gathering a following so please spread the world and link to it so we can get a philosophical fiction community happening!


P.S I'm reading a lot of young adult dystopian novels right now, trying to gage the market to see if I can pull off writing one or two. Reading "The Ember" series right now, and not half bad. If you're not reading novels in your market, then get on it!

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Atlas Shrugged Movie - The Break Down

Ok, the “Atlas Shrugged” movie is just on our doorstep. So I have decided to break it down for all the diehard Dynostian novel fans out there.

Firstly, it is NOT a star studded cast. The original buzz around the film a few years ago threw around names like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, but now it turns out they were all false rumours. But don’t let that discourage you, (I know it discouraged me at first) because the early reviews seem really good.

The movie was originally going to be directed by Stephen Polk, but Paul Johansson replaced him just nine days before the shooting begun. I wasn’t really aware of any of his work, so I looked him up, and it turns out he’s more of an actor than a director. He plays the part of Dan Scott in One Tree Hill, which is a show I stopped watching after episode 2, and personally, have no idea how it lasted so long. So it’s hard to say whether the guy is a good director or not, but the grapevine seems to say he is. There were also rumours he was going to play John Galt in part’s 1 and 2, but he has denied these rumours.

Dagny Taggart, who for years was apparently going to be played by Angelina Jolie, is played by Taylor Schilling. Again I’m not aware of her work, she is quite young and seems new to the film scene, but she’s going to be in a Zac Afron movie soon, so she must be up in coming. If you want to check out some of her previous work, she starred in the NBC drama Mercy.

Hank Rearden is being played by Grant Bowler, who has been on Australian television for years. I personally remember him being the host of channel 7’s “The Mole”, which was one of my favourite shows back in the day and he’s also the current host of “Australian Border Security.” My friend tells me he was in the second season of True Blood as a werewolf, and he is also planned to be the host of the new “Australian Amazing Race.” Let’s hope his performance in this film is so mind blowing that his days of television host are over.

A scene has been released online from the film, and I must say, it doesn’t look cheap. That was one of my fears. It’s a limited release, and has a budget of between 5-10 million. Sure, this is a hefty sum, but for film, it would mean a lot of crossed corners, and I’m hoping these corners have been crossed with the casting of less famous stars. But the scene looks good; it shows Hank coming home from a day of work to a family that doesn’t understand him. He gives his wife a bracelet made of the first metal of Rearden steel, and she doesn’t look happy. The environment looks sharp, the acting looks spot on, and there doesn’t seem to be a hint of cheapness at all.

The movie is schedule for a mid-April release, and I will be providing a comprehensive review once it’s released. My hope for the film is that it captures Ayn Rand’s philosophy “objectivism” correctly, and that it doesn’t bore the hell out of me. The book was great, because it contained so much personal reflection. In fact half the book is expressed with sentences such as, “she did it, as if the clouds had parted and a ray of sunshine had blessed her soul.” So it will be interesting to see how her words are captured on the screen.

Anyway, that’s enough from me for now. I will be back tomorrow with some philosophy and perhaps an article on the writing craft. This blog is still very damn new, and I hope that people start reading soon and contributing so it can grow. If you come to this site, and see that there isn’t much on it yet, please don’t leave without commenting. I want to get this blog up and running because I believe it will be a valuable community when it is.

Thanks for your time

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Atlas Shrugged Movie

It's finally happening, the "Atlas Shrugged" film. Check it out!

This is my favorite Dystopian Novel. I dam well hope it's a good flick!

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why Dystopian Novels?

Dystopian novels are a sub genre of science fiction that explore “what if” scenarios within human society. I truly believe that they are the most awesome type of literature because they explore the deepest meanings about what it is to be human.

As Ayn Rand says in her book The Romantic Manifesto “
Art is the indispensible medium for the communication of a moral idea.”

Ayn Rand is one of my favorite Dystopian writers because she is able to create an entire philosophy around writing that she believes sums up the very purpose of art its self, and that purpose communicates what Dystopian novels set out to achieve, and that is to put up a mirror to humanity and society.

This blog is going to do two things. First it’s going to be a philosophic blog. It's going to explore modern day angst, through concepts, theories and commentary on modern news items. I hope to stimulate philosophical conversations on existence, society, humanity, and anything really that relates to the more important questions about life.

Secondly it’s going to explore how fiction can be used to express these realizations in profound and meaningful ways. That means addressing the writing craft its self, i.e. plot, characterization, theme, and then asking deeper questions about Art it’s self. My goal is that this results in a community where dystopian writers and readers can come together and discuss writing and philosophy and come to new conclusions in their own minds.
Peace out for now,

P.S Here is some great Dystopian novel lists if you want to dive straight in. (until I start generating good content that is :P)

Best Dystopian Novels
The 16 best Dystopian Books

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