Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | October 4, 2013

Sign of the Times

writers_block_by_tanzilla-d6lf09zI’m vastly disappointed in Watt Pad’s decision to exclude most adult authors from participation in order to placate the One Direction crowd in this year’s Watty Awards.

I was a few weeks away from completing Codename: Velocity when the news broke yesterday that the majority of authors and writers would not be able to participate–let alone submit their works for consideration.

For me, it was a crushing blow because I really wanted to enter my book in the awards. It wasn’t about the award itself or the money (or whatever Watt Pad gives out for bragging rights), I just wanted to increase the number of reads and comments on my book already. I wanted to see what the online community really thought about the book–not just give me a few comments on the first three chapters like they’ve been doing lately. (Which annoys me, but what can you do? Most readers won’t read past the first chapter!)

So I don’t know what to do outside of just finishing the book. My attempts to finding a website that caters to writers and provides feedback has been a bust lately and I honestly don’t think I’ll be able to find such an outlet–seeing how everyone is geared towards commercialism and not the art or the craft these days.

Most likely, I’ll be buried at sea under an avalanche of half-finished stories and the like–because let’s face it…people like me aren’t even that noticeable–even if we do manage to get the word out, there are already millions before us who’ve already beaten us to the punch and have taken command of that said site or platform.

But it’s a lot harder to gain even the most minuscule of attention from the world wide web because not many people pay that much attention to you even when you’re kicking and screaming obscenities and still nobody’s saying much in the short-term.

 We’re just blind to everything around us.

So it becomes all that much harder to be noticed in cyberspace. But Watt Pad has become such a joke. Being in the minority of writers who writes adult fiction, my chances of getting feedback has become an uphill battle.

In the past week or so–during my vacation (yes, writers do take vacations!)–I went and got myself involved in a couple of book clubs that became too overwhelming for me in the end. There was only so much reading I could do at any given time. But while I was commenting and critiquing on other people’s work, mine had pretty much came to a near stand still.

Oh, I got some serious reads, but feedback from the online community has become an elusive quest. It’s like that Facebook joke I read today that goes: “If someone writes a novel and nobody reads it, does it become unwritten?”

That’s pretty much how I’ve been feeling for the past 17 years now: Trying to get people’s attention to my meager works and failing miserably as a result. It’s not because nothing is published, but there’s very little interest in the arts these days.

Just look at how our current collection of reads have evolved: It’s still entertainment, but a lot of it is just filler and fluff. Even the paranormal/romance novels are seriously lacking because they simply have no backbone. No spine to speak of. Nothing of substance. It’s just the same theme being repeated in an endless loop that has no real end.

Even the paranormal books my wife are reading hold similiar themes.

As such, nobody really cares about the art of the book. We’re just simply too busy focusing our scant attentions on the ‘entertainment’–much like how television these days has focused its attention of reality tv shows. It’s the same premise.

It wouldn’t be that much of a challenge for me to fall prey to the same mindset and craft novels based on these tenants. But it just wouldn’t fill me with the same joy as writing a book with real character-driven plots and themes that make you addicted and excited at the same time.

These fluff characters I see in most of today’s novels just make me cringe. Nothing but card-board cutouts. Sheer laziness. The romance novel collection of short stories my wife is currently reading holds nothing on the principle of building a solid relationship with your characters.

Or the audience. It’s just one big sex orgy that just leaves me scratching my head while the other half of me is reaching for the brain bleach to scrub my eyes out from what I just had to read.

No substance.

Just words thrown together haphazardly without a care from the author. But hey…! I guess when you’re a “New York Times Best Seller”-author….you can pretty much toss out the rules of good writing and write…what again? Smut and endless sex orgies?

Okay. If that floats your boat and makes your fans happy. 

I guess.

But inside of me, I’m crying. In less than thirty years, we’ve gone from well-written novels to garbage and utter silliness. And the trend doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

With these fan girls on Watt Pad (having commandeered the site) writing tasteless and disgusting One Direction fan fiction about killing themselves off if they didn’t meet (or marry) Harry Styles or being kidnapped, gang-raped, and impregnated by the boy band…people are telling me to just “go with it” and “not worry”–because some day, all of this will be popular and enshrined in the likes of Fifty Shades of Grey and we’ll all be happy because of it.

Happy? Why the fuck would I be happy about kids making fun about rape, incest, kidnappings, and suicide in their writings and wanting to be a part of that fantasy life so desperately? Why the fuck should I support and applaud these little deviants for their sick imaginations?

Just because One Direction or Fifty Shades is fucking popular? That’s the new excuse for this day and age?

Way to go my fellow adults. Encourage the little shits for wanting to do this and destroying any sane chance at some serious relevant discourse in writing.

Truly, if this is the future of literature and writing, we might as well just pack it up. Because we are so fucked because of it!

I’m truly at a loss as to how so many of us can claim “traditional family values” and yet ignore what our kids are doing at home or online because hey…! “That’s cute! You’re writing about One Direction!”

Never mind the fact that what they are writing isn’t normal by any stretch of the word.

When I wrote fan-fiction in my youth, I kept it clean, straight forward, and I didn’t fuck up the whole premise by going off the deep end like so many of these kids have gone and done with their writing.

So before any of you start blaming liberals or Democrats, or some boogeyman for your kids’ predilection towards disgusting fantasies and deviant behaviors which show off how mentally unbalanced they are because of it, you might want to ask yourself what you’re doing as a parent and wondering if you’re not watching (or reading) as closely as you might think you are.

 Because Watt Pad certainly is a culture all its own–full of teens who don’t know the difference between right or wrong. Or what they are writing just turns off a large number of us adults in the process.

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