Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: E. M. Forster

A Fascinating Story from Wattpad


If you scroll down to the Top Tags widget in the left side-bar and click on “Wattpad” you’ll find this post and 25 more (perhaps more yet if you’re reading this post well after Dec. 2016…).

And, if you can’t find the Top Tags (phones often cut off the side-bar) just click on that last link :-)

If you do take that link you’ll find posts about why I began using Wattpad, plus a number of interesting interviews with Wattpad authors, plus some of the benefits of exploring the Wattpad World…

Today I want to show how folks on Wattpad help each other.

Mary L Tabor - Wattpad First there’s Mary L. Tabor who has 22 different works on Wattpad, has been there since March, 2014, and has this to say in her profile:

“Reader, author, professor, radio show host, columnist. Best advice I ever got? ‘Only connect …’ — E.M. Forster.

“This writer believes the process of writing is an ongoing, changing effort—a deeply human experience. We all have language and the ‘word’, as Emerson said, ‘if traced to its root, is found to be borrowed from some material appearance. “Right” means “straight”‘ he explains in Nature, Chapter IV, ‘Language.’

“Thus, we all own metaphor in our words.”

KL Candela - Wattpad Then, there’s KL Candela, who has 4 works on Wattpad, has been there since March 2016, and says in her profile:

“Endless gratitude to Mary L. Tabor who I met here on Wattpad and who then took me under her angel/professor wing for over a year, never asking for a thing in return, except for me to show up and work hard. During this time she taught me much about the craft of creative writing, while always being fast to remind me not to mess with that mysterious place of invention. (See, this is a good teacher.) This fabulous and whip smart woman taught me not only how to write better, she taught me how to read better, and believe me, I know well, because of her, how these two acts must go together if you want to create great writing. Please check out her award winning writing here on Wattpad.

And for me: Published:
Poetry in Launch Magazine; Short Story in Lake Effects 7 Anthology 2015, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON;

Shortlisted in the Glimmer Train Top 25 Short Fiction Contest 2015

That kind of interaction and instruction and friendship is happening all over Wattpad…

Of course, you can use Wattpad to only read, for free (on your phone, if you like…)…

You might also let the authors you read know what you think about their works…

You might try your hand at some original writing…

And, you might post writing you’ve already done…

The thing is, if you hang around long enough, you’ll find friendly, helpful people (from all over the

World:-)
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What Readers Want vs What Writers Must Do


You can see, right above the title of this post, what this blog is “about”. And, you can definitely help me decide the balance of those three broad topics by taking a brief survey

Today, I’ll write about Readers (and their Relationship with Writers).

What do Readers want?

That’s a question writers are asked to consider when they attempt to build an audience, whether through social media or more traditional efforts.

In a previous post called, So, How Do Writers Find Readers?, I said this:

“Some of the wildest relationships in the world are between authors and readers.

“Lately, writers have had a new horde of ‘experts’ yelling at them about how to hook-up with readers.

“Personally, I don’t think any two books (except the pulps in various genres) have the same history of attracting readers.

“It seems that, just as Mary wants Jim but Jim needs a wake up call and Mary doesn’t want to seem forward and Jim, well you get the idea; seems that authors need Relationship advice, not Marketing advice.

“Readers have relationships with authors, always have, and today’s publishing scene is begging authors to build relationships with their readers, like never before.”

Still, writers have needs that readers don’t, and vice versa.

To help readers understand the needs of a writer, I want to share a few quotes from an article on Curator by Rebecca D. Martin.

The article focuses on J. K. Rowling’s newest novel The Casual Vacancy and the whole issue of what the fans of Harry Potter Expected

As always, I urge you to read the whole article but, early on, Rebecca Martin says:

many of her devoted readers wanted to know where the magic—overt or otherwise—had gone. The expectation was understandable. She had done Middle Grades fantasy so well before. Why wouldn’t she produce the same again?”

Then, she boldly states the main point:

we readers tend to think writers, in general, owe it to us. We may concede the right—nay, the duty (dangerous word)—of the creator to push herself, test new ground, blaze new artistic trails. But the reality is that, having done something well once, the writer must do the same again. We expect that he do it over and over and over.”

I suppose Rowling induced some of her fans’ criticism by writing so many Potter books, yet, as Martin says:

“Let’s…give Rowling a hearty congratulations, too, not only for her work at crafting another story, but also for pushing herself to branch out, with all the risks and imperfections involved in attempting something new.”

Martin also considers other authors’ readership challenges:

“Charles Dickens…wrote and wrote and wrote. He wrote what he knew would sell….But he also wrote about what interested him, including essays that weren’t all that well done or well received, because he cared to experiment with his craft. The reading public held expectations of him, and only sometimes did he answer those expectations with his ever-scribbling pen.”

“This nonconformity in writerly habit, whether it’s one exemplary novel in a lifetime or many books with varying reception, stymies us. Our criticism is implicit in the seeming oddity of Marilynne Robinson’s long pause between writing the Pulitzer Prize-nominated Housekeeping and the winning Gilead…”

“We are befuddled by why E.M. Forster ‘stopped writing fiction at the age of 45. He lived quietly for another 46 years and continued to write essays, short biographies and literary journalism—but no more novels’.”

Martin, herself a writer, gives a number of other examples, then asks the question:

“Experimenting with form and content, pushing ourselves outside the comfort of predictable perfection in order to create new and maybe—hopefully—better art: Is this not what we, as creative people, do?”

So

As a reader

Do you expect writers to do things they may not care to do?

Do you judge the newest book by what that author did before?

Are you willing to let the writer do what they feel they must do and judge each book (even in a series) as a unique creation?
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“How can I know what I think till I see what I say?”


The quote in the title of this post is from E. M. Forster—English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist.

Many people know of him “due to the…film adaptations of his work. Titles by Forster that are immortalized not only on the page but also on film include A Passage to India (1984), A Room with a View (1986), Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991), and Howards End (1991).”

That last quote is from a biographical sketch of Forster on GradeSaver—the bottom of the page has study guides for some of his books

Here are a few other quotes from the man:

“A poem is true if it hangs together. Information points to something else. A poem points to nothing but itself. ”

“What is wonderful about great literature is that it transforms the man who reads it towards the condition of the man who wrote.”

“One always tends to overpraise a long book, because one has got through it.”

“I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars.”

Here’s Forster’s Amazon Page.

And, here’s a video :-)

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