Monday, May 3, 2010

Guest Blog by Ziggy Kinsella - The Lords of Uncreativity: The $$$ sign marketing zombies

I read recently that trashy novels are making a comeback (when did they ever go away, I hear you ask?) Pulp fiction is, apparently, the next big thing. If you can massacre twenty people in the first ten pages and have an anti-hero who makes Marlowesque comments about the absurdity of life in the bluntest language possible, then you’re probably on a winner.

Or maybe not. Maybe I’ve had one too many scotches. But, they, it got me thinking. You know me, I do the thinking thing.

In the big, bad world of book publishing, who is in control? We all know the answer to that, don’t we?
Really. Really we do.

It’s the marketers. It’s the people whose mantra is ROI (Return On Investment). It’s all about money, this publishing lark. It’s not about creativity. Which is why you find people saying that there are no new stories under the sun.

Marketers have heads that are full of clichés. Cliches are good in the ROI world. They are what drive today’s writing, particularly in films.

We live in a do-it-by-numbers world. Your character needs a certain set of cliché driven characteristics to succeed. Your plot needs certain things to get past those devils who call themselves marketers.
There’s nothing new they say. Everything that has been said, has been said. It’s all been done before.

Here’s my thing: We’re kept in a perpetual loop of non-performance because it sells. The marketers say it sells.

Vampires. Werewolves. Don’t you just love them? Me, I think they’ve been done to death.
Here’s a point: There’s nothing new under the sun? Really? Really? Really? Or is that just what They tell us. You know who They are, don’t you? They with the closed minds. They with the limited aspirations. They who stand between you and true creativity.

A marketer will tell you that market forces drive success. If it doesn’t sell, it means it’s no good. And that, my friends, is the big lie. The 100 million dollar pile of horseshit that lies under our feet.

You can’t get a publisher without an agent. You can’t get an agent without a publisher. You can’t get any of those unless you can convince the marketer of your business proposition. It’s all a load of contrived, literary bollocks. Who says your work isn’t good enough? How many of you have read a book and thought: I could do better than that!!!

Let me ask a question: Who are we? Us, who lurk in the dark shadows of the internet, pretending we are worth something.

Who are we?

Are we timid scribes who think we aren’t good enough? Or are we the new lions who have something new to say?

And who are They to stamp on our hopes and dreams? Who are those privileged few to say we don’t mean anything?

Go out there my friends, Break the shackles. Tell them true creativity is here. And it’s here to stay.  

Ziggy Kinsella is a Manchester based horror writer with a liking for the macabre and a penchant for the ridiculous. He is currently working on the second draft of his novel CLUBLAND as well as a creepy novella called THE TOWER. Connect with Ziggy below.

Ziggy's short story, "Mavis Trubshaw has left the building," winner of the Spinetinglers short story of the month for May 2010:

1 comment:

  1. The very industry that demands something "fresh" and "original" regularly recycles the same plots, settings, and characters again and again. If someone writes from the heart and their finished product happens to be a cookie-cutter corporately-approved piece of formulaic and cliche filled work, then that is fine. Unlikely, but fine.

    Any of us who can write our own story, no matter how twisted, shocking, or unconventional it may be should keep doing so. Hopefully readers will stumble upon our work and compare it to the large portion of mainstream books that ignore their intelligence and realize the difference.

    Great post!