So what does the above title have to do with writing?
1) The article is written by David Wong, a writer/novelist/my-book-is-now-a-movie-guy that I could easily hate, but because of this article I understand why I don’t have to.
2) The writing biz, whether you’re slaving in Hollywood or slaving in Ismay, Montana, (pop. 19) is filled with EGOS. The only way to avoid dealing with EGOS is to never let your writing see the light of day, and of course that’s not what you’re going to do. So navigating those EGOS while you pitch, produce, refine, get rejected, wallow in self-pity, then do it all over again is key to survival.
Also, there’s some good general life advice here, too. Let’s stop the hate, shall we? Read on:
5 Ways You’re Accidentally Making Everyone Hate You
by David Wong
Have you recently had friends, co-workers, or strangers suddenly get pissed off at you for what seemed like no reason at all? Maybe you told yourself that they were overreacting or being too sensitive, or that they had no right to be angry when you clearly didn’t mean to do whatever you did (and in fact aren’t even sure what it was). If you’re a socially inept type like me, I bet you’ve had this happen within the last month.
Despite my intense dislike for all things zombalicious, I’ve been excited about “Warm Bodies” ever since I saw the previews during that hideous movie Twilight: Breaking Dawn 2. I thought the premise was interesting: a young zombie meets a cute girl who revives his cold dead heart. Plus his skin wasn’t peeling off in thick oozing layers. And there was a hint of snarky humor, something I can appreciate.
Alas, the humor is only a hint, the story not as interesting as promised, and most of all, the whole thing just reinforced what I’ve concluded is my main problem with zombies in general–they’re boring. They move in slo-mo, their primary form of communication is grunting, and they eat brains as a main course. What’s so exciting about that? What’s scary about that? Now if they could turn invisible, moved faster than the speed of light, and sucked your brains out of your left nostril, then that would be a little unsettling.
These zombies? Meh.
Granted, the zombies in “Warm Bodies” are zombie-light on purpose. The main character, R (named thusly because he can’t remember his name) is not your ordinary zombie. For one thing, he speaks in voice-over. Although I don’t usually care for voice-overs in movies, Nicholas Hoult nails this part and the movie as a whole. Oh, the irony that the dead gray guy is the bright shining light in this flick. R’s internal thoughts are both witty and poignant. Hoult also does a great job with the physicality of the role.
And then he meets the blonde…I don’t even remember her name. I’ll just call her KStew II. And the rest of the movie slides into mediocrity, complete with CGI skeletons that were way scarier when they were first done in “The Mummy” over a decade ago (and those were so not scary). Even John Malkovich is wasted in this movie, something I didn’t think could be possible.
However, “Warm Bodies” is near-perfection compared to the Twilight movies, so there’s that. And honestly, the movie would be a good Red Box rental. I’m still intrigued by the premise, so I might just read the book (which as you know is always better than the movie).
Disclosure: I’m entering my 13th year as a novelist, with over 20 published books as of this writing. I am both pro-traditional publishing and pro-self-publishing. My review comes from a completely neutral viewpoint.
Interested in self-publishing? Who isn’t now days? While the book publishing industry is undergoing major–and I mean major–upheaval right now, it’s never been a better time to be an author. Anyone can publish a book, which is the main idea behind APE. Guy Kawasaki is a case in point.
Basically APE is an amalgamation of information that’s readily available on the internet–for free. Kawasaki is about a year late with his entry into the Self-Publishing Guide genre, although he’s covered by stating that the info in this book can change at any minute, and how awesome is it that he can update his book at anytime? Just one of many benefits of self-publishing.
Kawasaki writes this book with authority. He sounds like an expert, which is what good marketers and copywriters excel at. And that’s the main problem with APE: this book reads like an advert for various products and services that aid in writing and publishing your book. It’s all vague and full of bullet points, but with little meaty information. An example of this is the chapter devoted to navigating the Amazon website. Even after reading that short chapter, which is a list of what Amazon does and sells, you’ll still have to actually navigate the website. You might shave off a few minutes with the list (did you know Amazon sells wine? Kawasaki does, and now you do, too), but again, with a few clicks, you can find out what Amazon sells on your own.
There is also some misleading information. One example involves agents. Kawasaki states: “An agent’s compensation is approximately 20 percent of the royalties that the author receives.” (p. 20). This isn’t accurate. The industry standard for literary agents is 15% on home sales, 20% on foreign rights. That’s important because this standard has been in place for over a decade and will not change, especially in a climate where an agent’s role is in flux. If you find an agent charging more than 15%, run away. Since Kawasaki fudged this number, what else has he skewed toward self-pubbing?
However, this book isn’t totally useless. Well, the Author section is because you can’t condense an art and a profession down to 52 pages, I don’t care who you are. But the other sections, Publisher and Entrepreneur, are useful because of the list of links, which are clickable in e-format. That’s a nice feature. You’ll still have a ton of work to do to decide which road to self-publication is the right one for you, but at least you have a place to start.
Summary (Hat-tip to Kawasaki for this idea): This book isn’t for new writers. You won’t learn any craft here. It’s also not for writers unfamiliar with the publishing business, both traditional and self-publishing. You’ll end up being confused. This book is for anyone who wants a very general overview of self-publishing and marketing, along with a convenient list of links and websites and a glossary of terms.
APE is priced on Amazon at 9.99. Value is in the eye of the wallet holder; if you don’t want to go through the toil and trouble of finding these websites yourself, then 9.99 might not make you blink. Just be prepared to use APE as your starting point, not as an exhaustive, or even semi-exhaustive guide.
mainly from Michael Sheehan. Thank you for being the only actor who seemed to understand the ridiculousness of the whole thing. There were also way too many
moments, which made me feel like this
while I was watching it.
I’m not a Twilight hater. I didn’t read the books, but have seen all the movies (I have two teen daughters) and I was actually looking forward to this one because I thought for sure it would be better than all the others, since it was the finale and everything.
Um, no. The only way you could possibly (and I sincerely mean possibly) make sense of this is if you watched the other movies. Even then it’s doubtful. And like the other movies, it dragged, had long, awkward pauses, weirdly spoken dialogue, and bad CGI effects.
Basically all these movies could have been boiled down into one or possibly two TV movies on ABC Family. Thus what ends up as an artistic nightmare translates in to billions and billions for Summit, the actors, and Hollywood. Blergh.