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April 11, 2012

Publisher's Weekly is running down the Top Ten Infinite Jest Characters (who aren't Hal Incandeza or Don Gately)

The entries are quite long, which is amazing? I mean, I knw I love this novel and many others do too but to see Pub Weekly devote so much space to this is extraordinary. The Top 10 Infinite Jest Characters: #4 Joelle van Dyne -- PWxyz
4. Joelle van Dyne There’s the pre-suicide’s classic longing: Sit down one second, I want to tell you everything. My name is Joelle van Dyne, Dutch-Irish, and I was reared on family land east of Shiny Prize, Kentucky, the only child of a low-pH chemist and his second wife. I now have no accent except under stress. I am 1.7 meters tall and weigh 48 kilograms. I occupy space and have mass. I breathe in and breathe out. Joelle has never before today been conscious of the sustained volition required to just breathe in and breathe out, her veil recessing into nose and rounded mouth and then bowing out slightly like curtains over an opened pane. Also known as “Madame Psychosis” (her radio persona, host of “Sixty Minutes More or Less with Madame Psychosis”) and “The Prettiest Girl of All Time” (The P.G.O.A.T.), Joelle van Dyne is a crucial link between E.T.A. and Ennet House, the book’s two contiguous threads. She’s involved, at various points, with Gately, Himself, and Orin, the latter coming to a head when Orin visits Joelle’s house for Thanksgiving and witnesses “her Daddy’s infantilizing conduct of her and her mother’s wordless compulsive canning and cooking.” At the dinner, the Daddy reveals that he’s been in love with his daughter since she was very young, and the mother, finally breaking her spell of repression, confesses she knew the Daddy felt this way and that she was the monster for not saying or doing anything about it. Whereupon she runs to the basement to disfigure herself with acid (the Daddy being a low-pH chemist) but that acid ends up in Joelle’s face. . . .

April 10, 2012

25 Reasons I Hate Your Main Character

25 Reasons I Hate Your Main Character
1. No Agency: Reactive Over Active The protagonist helps to shape the story through her actions. It’s just how she rolls. Only problem is when the reverse ends up being true: the story forever pushes the character. It’s like in a boxing match — some boxing matches are dreadfully one-sided, with one poor sod taking a limitless pummeling, his head looking like a Ziploc baggy full of ground bison. That’s not a good mode for your story. Your protagonist should not be constantly on the ropes. Sure, the inciting incident might demand reaction (“My daughter was kidnapped by angry polecats! To action!”), but the character must have or claim agency for herself. I despise characters who never grab the reins of the story, not even by the tale’s end. . . . 18. Atlas Pooped A character is more than just his philosophies. We are not the sum total of our beliefs. We have friends and family. Hopes and dreams. Secret plans and bizarre sexual peccadilloes requiring an oil drum full of egg whites and Abe Vigoda in a too-tight wetsuit. If your character fails to possess those things and is just a mouthpiece for his (or worse, your) belief systems, then I will come to your house and beat you about the head, neck and butthole with a copy of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. . . .

April 09, 2012

Self-published authors are doing better than you might think

This woman isn't even in the top 100 for her category and is pulling in several grand a month off e-book sales. Are More Authors Than You Think Making a Living Self-Publishing? | The Passive Voice
About this time last year, I wrote up a blog post detailing how I was doing, financially speaking, on my new e-publishing endeavor (I got my start in December of 2010). When it came to ebook earnings, my grand total for March of 2011 was $724. . . . . A year later, though, things have continued to pick up steam. I have two more novels out, two more novellas, and a new stand-alone short story. In March of 2012, I sold more than 4,000 ebooks, not including downloads of the freebies, and will earn over $5,000 (my ebooks range from 99 cents to $4.95). . . . . I’m tickled with the growth in sales (and readers!) over the last year. I decided to officially make this “the day job” in December, though I’d been neglecting the old day job and writing and promoting nearly full-time long before. I’m sure my earnings will continue to go up and down (as you’d expect, one tends to do best in the months that new releases come out), but I’m happy that, thanks to the current e-publishing paradigm, making a living as a self-published author (and not a best-selling one at that) is viable.