Cost of Being Online and Writing.

I was checking out my annual expenses and noticed that my domain (tina-anderson.net) registered with Yahoo, doubled in price from last year. $34.95! Are you shitting me? I’ll be transferring to dreamhost where I’ll pay $13.95.

On that note, I make just enough in print sales to cover my annual expenses for maintaining an online presence, and writing new material and promoting it. My costs are about $520 bucks (until yahoo pulled a fast one with the domain upcharge); my annual print sales are roughly $530 to $550 dollars and this has been steady for the past four years (this does not include eBooks because I gave digital sales and distribution rights on those titles to the artists that drew them – except for one, she never got back to me on the offer). It’s a pathetic amount because I do ZERO promotion on those titles anymore, and they’re all quite dated.

ANNUAL EXPENSES – STRICTLY WRITING & ONLINE PRESENCE

  • GRAMMARLY          239.80
  • *SITE HOSTING       119.40 + 13.95 = 133.95
  • MS OFFICE                 99.00
  • YAHOO DOMAIN      34.95
  • WP NO ADS                30.00
  • WP DOMAIN              18.00

TOTAL COSTS:                 $ 520.15

As you can see, I bank about $10.00 a year on my back catalogue minus expenses and I notice when something doesn’t add up. Nice try, Yahoo. The goal is for the Femitokon Patreon to take over just the roughly $50 I give WordPress for the Femitokon.com domain and ad-free blog.

The Case Against Worldbuilding

I’m on the fence about [ this article ] written by Lincoln Michel.

I totally agree that worldbuilding as a precursor to writing a One and Done, or a short-story, is ridiculous–but declaring worldbuilding as unnecessary and unessential is a bit much.

Michel believes this as well:

As a general rule, the longer we stay in a world, the more worldbuilding might be necessary.

Reading on though, it’s clear he has issues with worldbuilding, period.

I laud the piece as I think it will liberate speculative, sci-fi, and fantasy writers that struggle with ‘blueprinting a story’ from the rigors of additional detailing. He lost me though on his support of ‘worldconjuring’ over ‘worldbuilding.’ What confused me about his stance on allowing readers to take it to the next level in their minds instead of having writers explain it is that Michel bemoans when fans and readers do just that, in the guise of ‘Crazy Fan Theory’:

What he deems ‘worldconjuring.’

In contrast to “worldbuilding,” I’ll offer the term “worldconjuring.” Worldconjuring does not attempt to construct a scale model in the reader’s bedroom. Worldconjuring uses hints and literary magic to create the illusion of a world, with the reader working to fill in the gaps.

A common element he dislikes as a result of ‘worldbuilding.’

(…) That doesn’t satisfy fans, who instead create fan theories that “explain” and “fix” and “change the way we see” famous works. (…) The urge to “fix” or “explain” art is one we should always be suspect of…

I noticed that stories employing ‘world conjuring’ have readers, while stories created from ‘world building’ have fans. Ouch? 🙂

Michel’s summary point is interesting:

(…) do we need “worldbuilding” as a concept to explain why moral simplicity, characterization without nuance, or a lack of a tactile sense-of-place can be a problem?

Ultimately this is up to the reader (or the fan).

My take? I’ve written for enough Millenials to know that expecting them to fill in the gaps ain’t happening. Science-faction over science-fiction wins every time. (I digress).

Michel sees this also and laments:

Worldbuilding insists on a certain concept of supposedly logical “realism” that pretends it is the only way to see the world. 


I’m reminded of the old wankfests waged between fans of the Star Trek TOS and Star Trek TNG; too much science fact harshed the mellow of TOS fans, while TNG fans could never go back to the suspension of belief required to enjoy the TOS.


Worldbuilding isn’t a detriment because there’s a legion of READERS that enjoy fiction created from an established encyclopedia of info. Made for broadcast or no, fans are readers, and worldbuilding is a huge part of the reading experience for the readership; it’s why visual novels (fiction based on anime, manga, and tv/film) outsell straight up fiction in places like Japan.

The only point of Michel’s I support is that worldbuilding shouldn’t be touted as a necessary process for all writers; unfortunately, this piece spends more time bemoaning worldbuilding as a writing process. Worldbuilding is a form of creativity many of us writers engage in for ourselves and our readers; it’s as valid as any method enacted by writers that avoid it because their readers don’t need it.

 

The Good and the Bad.

I got tagged two weeks ago on Facebook by a publishing rep regarding my series Femitokon. I sent them the outline and the final-final edit of the Suffocation manuscript and expected nothing to come of it. They publish print and online sci-fi and were looking for a series to run on their website. I was excited when she got back to me this morning with interest. It was going well until we got to chatting about my ‘online presence’.

I’m not a nice person all the time. It takes work for me to maintain a healthy social life, and being social online to the extent I was back when I wrote comics brought out the worst in me. I can’t go back to that, and I won’t. When I tweeted that I was taking the Pynchon approach as a writer online, I wasn’t kidding. It’s why when my Twitter gets too many followers; I cut and run. I’ve had about three Twitter accounts.

This morning I put my desire for publication aside and just told them my terms: I’m not promoting online, doing interviews with bloggers, making writing101 blog posts, or becoming a tweet marketing machine. I know small presses need this, but these guys are bit bigger than that, but I get it: the literary landscape has changed; it’s a big web out there, and I need to have readers online know who I am.

I won’t do it.

My mental health comes first, and if being a constant online presence is now part of the writer’s toolkit to success, then I guess I’ll be in the corner continuing to write for myself.