27 June 2011

Point of View in the Electrical Age

According to Understanding Media, point of view in the art and literature of the modern period (1450-1900) was individual, fragmented, linear, and uniform. This point of view mirrored print, which has all those characteristics. The print process (fragmenting into individual steps carried out one at a time in linear fashion) provided the conceptual framework for the assembly line in manufacturing.

With the coming of electricity, everything is (or rather, can be) present everywhere at the same time and the machine no longer drives the economy. Linearity and single point of view are impossible. As a result, art no longer tries to represent three dimensions on two, but has become tacticle and invites participation. In literature, Joyce gives us one character's point of view using stream of consciousness, which is anything but linear and uniform. Art, literature, and music were announcing very loudly the end of the modern age and the birth of the age of electricity. But by now, stream of consciousness is old and overused.

In Angela 1: Starting Over the story is seen through the eyes of the main character, Angela Fournier. Her reality is not only what she thinks about things, but also the people she loves and enjoys and the larger social issues that affect them. Her world is expanding rapidly as she learns. It's her questioning of what people take for granted out of conveniency, complancency, or covetousness that gets her into big trouble and drives the story.

You can now get the book instantly (and cheap!) if you buy the e-book version for your Nook, Kindle, iPad, Kindle for PC, etc. First, download the free sample to see how you like it. The hard cover version is available at: http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/Angela1.html

20 June 2011

A Girl for the Age of Electronics

In previous blogs I have commented on the end of the modern age, brought about by the explosion of mechanical, electrical, and digital technology beginning in the early 19th century. The telegraph was electrical and digital: the message was transmitted by means of two and only two signals, long and short. Computer technology in the 20th century merely simplified the concept and uses presence or not of electrical signal, the famous 0's and 1's to do its work.

The important thing is that this revolution in technology made the modern world view no longer adequate to explain the world we live in. Somehow we need to understand this inescapable global village which, thanks to the electrical wiring of the earth, gives us the illusion that we are aware of all that happens in real time, because electricity travels at the speed of light.

Angela Fournier, the main character in my current series, stands outside the flow of this electronic substitute for reality. She intuits, but doesn't fully understand, that the media create a "reality" rather than reflect it. That's why she seldom watches TV but instead is always in relationship with the people who are physically present. No communication at distance through electrical means can substitute for that.

Angela's way of doing things allows her to feel rested, to enjoy real relationships, and to begin to develop a reasoned, ethical approach to life, based on values and people. This is one way to get a handle on life, to live free rather than to be lived by the media, while still being in touch with the times. There are bound to be others, as well.

You can find out about my book, buy it even, at www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/Angela1.html

If you prefer the ebook, just enter the title, Angela 1: Starting Over, at your favorite provider (Kindle Store, Barnes and Noble, Google, etc.). Ebooks are great. The only problem is that I can't sign them.

05 June 2011

Dickens and present-tense narration

In the past I have expressed the opinion that one should never use present tense narration without a very good reason for doing so. I still think this. Present tense narration is tiresome, especially when it's done because the writer thinks it's the new thing to do (it isn't).

In David Copperfield, Dickens uses a little present tense narration. It occurs in what he calls "Retrospects," sections in which he describes a vivid memory of something fundamentally important at the emotional level. In this novel, these sections serve to set off these three or four retrospects from the main body of the novel, narrated in past time. This is a good use of the technique because it serves a particular purpose the author had in mind.

Beware of the present tense trap. Don't let it dominate you, or the language will end up impoverished.

Please check out my book, in hard cover at www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/Angela1.html
and in ebook format at the Kindle Store or at barnes&noble.com

02 June 2011

My New Radio Program

In an effort to promote new writers, myself among them, I will be starting a weekly 15-minute radio program on blogtalk radio. The first episode is Thursday 9 June 2011 at 6:30 pm Eastern time, 5:30 Central, 3:30 Pacific. It will "air" on the Internet every Thursday at the same time until the Fall, when I will announce a move to a different day, which I hope will be permanent.

I will use the first one or two episodes to introduce Angela 1 and my short stories and then branch out to interviewing young, up-and-coming writers you should look out for. It will be a learning experience for me and I hope you will join me for a brief conversation every Thursday.

Please listen in by going to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ and searching for the episode title: Introduction to Angela. Listen live on Thursday, or , if your schedule does not permit it, listen to the archived show by following the same procedure.

Nowdays, with high-quality on-demand publishing, the industry is moving to getting all its money up front from us authors and not risk any of their own money in promoting us. It really makes it hard for new writers to get attention.

Well, Angela is out as an ebook. Spread the word!