Someone asked me once… What’s it like to be a writer? What should you do?
My answer was pretty simple. Write. Explore. Show the reader something new. Show the reader something familiar. Give them a personality to fall in love with. Give them a person they can cheer for.
Slow your story down. Show us the surroundings. Show us the background. Make us believe we are there besides these people. Give them lives. Give them quirks. Give them personalities.
No no, they clarified. Afterwards, after you get published. What then?
What then? Harder question really. Where to start? What to say?
Then it struck me. It was pretty simple.
Don’t be a douchebag. Don’t be an asshole. Try to remember people are human. Try to remember you are human. You’re going to fuck up and say the wrong thing. Apologize. Take compliments with a grain of salt and a shitfuckton of grace. But just… don’t be an asshole.
Okay so all of that advice can really be applied to all of life.
Let’s break it down some.
In this day and age… muah hah hah… We should name our internet ages. This would be like Dogeastic Era… Okay, I’m back now. Anyway, in this day and age, who we are as a person is pretty much up for grabs for anyone to see. Who we are as people …who we show to the general public… is wide fucking open and vulnerable.
Remember this as a writer.
But I also have to remember this as a reader. See, I count myself as a reader probably more than I do a writer. Because I’ve been reading as long if not more so than I’ve been writing.
Still it comes down to… not being an asshole. I can be one. Really. God… and usually I’m clueless while doing it. Isn’t that the worst thing? And well, I am very very good at saying I’m sorry. Or at least it’s a life skill I’m familiar with.
Try to be generous with your time. Comment and thank people. Yeah, same advice as in real life. Because honestly, being a writer is kind of like having a second life…and not in that maybe creepy kind of online living SIM way that I’ve never actually experienced but seemed kind of odd.
Maybe because the one experience I had with someone interacting through it was… wait for it—an asshole.
Now I want to avoid it like the plague. All because of ONE person and how he behaved towards other people.
Same thing goes with books sometimes. One bad experience and you’re put off for life. Too much negative in a book and I get all.. okay, I’m steeped already. I need some air. But.. oh but… you do need a wee bit of that negative in there.
Inside of books, you kind of need an asshat in between the pages.
We all do it. There has to be a guy no one likes or at least seems to be beyond redemption to make the rest of the thing go down easier. That grain of salt. That acidic to the sugar. One always needs an Alan Rickman character.
I swear, I had a place I was going with this. *grins* Stick with me. It goes back to the original question… how to be a writer? Be a good person. Be a good writer. But add the acid with the sweet. Be sure to stick an asshat or two in. Make them believable. And most of all, make them a bit complicated if you intend to use them again.
Now what does this have to do with Dirty Deeds? Well, I established a bunch of asshattery in this series a while back and the time has come for it to go full circle. Cole has to deal with a bunch of negative things he put aside—namely Ben and the shooting. As we enter into the second trilogy, he’s got to learn how to deal with and maybe forgive the destructive people in his life.
Even when one of those people is himself.
We’ll be doing a lot of exploration along those lines. Cole’s world is changing. Changing kind of fast but at the same time, it’s for the better. He’s got Jae. He’s got his friends and his family. Oh and Jae. Did I mention Jae? But there’s the past…the mistakes…the big why shadowing him and Cole being Cole, he needs to scratch that itch—maybe even until it bleeds.
And yes, he’ll probably be an asshole while doing it. Hopefully he’ll apologize before he goes too far. But we’ll see. *grins*
So that—in a nutshell—how to be a writer. Or a person. Or hell, whatever you do, don’t forget to add a pinch of asshatery into your book. Adds flavour. Like a green chilies in your cranberry and pineapple relish.*
You won’t regret it.
*No really, try it. Toss in some canned sweet pineapple, whole cranberry sauce and a small can of green chilies together and mix together. Damned tasty stuff. Okay, yeah canned is cheating but really, wouldn’t you rather be reading a book than standing over a stove boiling down cranberries?
ANNOUNCING: Dirty Deeds by Rhys Ford (Book 4 in the Cole McGinnis Series)
Sheila Pinelli needed to be taken out.
Former cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis never considered committing murder. But six months ago, when Jae-Min’s blood filled his hands and death came knocking at his lover’s door, killing Sheila Pinelli became a definite possibility.
While Sheila lurks in some hidden corner of Los Angeles, Jae and Cole share a bed, a home, and most of all, happiness. They’d survived Jae’s traditional Korean family disowning him and plan on building a new life—preferably one without the threat of Sheila’s return hanging over them.
Thanks to the Santa Monica police mistakenly releasing Sheila following a loitering arrest, Cole finally gets a lead on Sheila’s whereabouts. That is, until the trail goes crazy and he’s thrown into a tangle of drugs, exotic women, and more death. Regardless of the case going sideways, Cole is determined to find the woman he once loved as a sister and get her out of their lives once and for all.
Rhys Ford’s Dirty Deeds may be purchased at: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4780
About Rhys Ford
Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur, a black Pomeranian puffball and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a purple Bella coffee maker.
My Blog: www.rhysford.com
And at the Starbucks down the street. No really, they’re 24/7. And a drive-thru. It’s like heaven.
My books can be purchased, folded and first chapters read at Dreamspinner Press. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com