Greetings, everyone, I think you are probably all really excited to hear the result of yesterday’s interview with the award winning author, Christopher Paolini. Unfortunately, as some of you already know, the interview did not happen.
The report is that certain people found the posting asking for interview questions on this site, and canceled the interview.
The upshot of all this is that the event still took place, but the filming and interview were canceled. I guess Christopher Paolini’s overseers were afraid of the kinds of questions that would originate from this site. Here is the list of questions whose answers we can now only speculate on (the finalized list I sent, not the list of admittedly rude questions that were suggested at various times).
- How many full rewrites have you done?
- How do you research information when writing?
- Are there times when you have to take charge of your work as an author, and reject an editor’s suggestion? What suggestions have you ignored?
- What advice to you offer young writers?
- What do you think is the greatest selling point of your series?
- What is your least favorite aspect of writing?
- What advice can you give to an aspiring writer on the process of editing his/her manuscript and submitting it to an agent or publisher? What tips do you have for getting one’s manuscript recognized among a pile of slush among thousands of other manuscripts sitting on an editors desk?
- Do you have anything to say to your critics? (Elaborate if necessary on criticisms)
- Why have you avoided writing from Murtagh’s point of view?
- How much do you write in a day?
- What techniques do you use to improve, develop, and evolve your writing skills?
- What’s the best book ever written?
Honestly, I think these questions were pretty tame. We just wanted to hear an interview where we can actually gain insight about Paolini’s writing process and technique, instead of another fan question about how shades are made, or how magic works, or whether Saphira was based on his dog. (All of these questions have been answered at one point or another, so asking them again is unnecessary).
Perhaps Christopher would still like to answer these questions. I, for one, would be happy to hear him out. If you are Paolini’s staff member and you are reading this, please let Chris know and have him come on over. I know you browse this site, because your traffic patterns are thoroughly unlike those of normal visitors. (If you would like some tips on how to fit in better, spend less time on each individual page, and leave comments.)
So how does this affect us?
Anyways, the effect of all this is visitors and user-writers are encouraged to be more careful about what they say. This site receives a good amount of attention, and we should keep that in mind. We are on the internet in full view of millions. I especially caution you to avoid Ad Hominem attacks against authors or other individuals. These are unprofessional, rude, logical fallacies. The other thing is be careful with your use of copyrighted material, you definitely want to keep within the law here. The US Patent office has the following to say about what constitutes fair use (emphasis mine):
§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights:
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include …
Basically, just be mindful of what you say on ImpishIdea, no big deal, really. Everyone here is essentially well behaved.
Well, I’m taking this as a challenge, and I think we can rise up to it. As I’ve said before, the easiest way to help out here is to link to ImpishIdea and maintain our good PageRank®. The second easiest way to contribute is to post Work In Progress fiction. I say easy because once you post something you’ve already written, you’ve just got to wait for the comments and critiques to flow right in. The hardest, but possibly most worthwhile way is writing an article. This definitely involves the most work, but it allows people to learn from your perspective—instant karma points.
Edit: Forgot to mention you can also work as an editor, and catch silly mistakes like this one.
So tell all your friends. Random House hires huge marketing firms to develop campaigns like Vroengard Academy (although they developed this one themselves) to promote their products. They do all this in hopes that the marketing scheme will “go viral” and spread all over. What these people don’t understand about the internet is that interest simply can’t be manufactured, it has to be genuine. I hope ImpishIdea is becoming the kind of site you are genuinely interested in, and that you spread it around in the name of promoting better writing. I think it already might be, because after a month of its creation, ImpishIdea’s monthly unique visitors has surpassed Vroengard Academy’s. You can use social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon to great effect when linking.
I would like to reemphasize this site’s mission, because it sometimes gets a bit obscured. This site doesn’t aim to discourage or decreases sales of any book. In the particular instance of the Inheritance Cycle I think the series is such a great how not to guide that I actually recommend buying the books, and then identify the mistakes in your writing, based on what you read. The site’s purpose and reason to exist is to increase writing skills and literary literacy. This site is also not about bringing down Random House, in fact they do great reprinting of classic books. This site is about getting people to read the right kind of book.
I’ve been talking up a NaNoWriMo post-o-rama (as Rand dubbed it) and there has been a lot of interest, so I’ll clarify my concept of what it will be. Basically, it’ll be like posting stuff for critique—kind of: each day we can post our day’s progress (hopefully 1666 words!) and our thoughts on the day’s writing, and take a look at how everyone else is doing. It’ll be a great way to know that other people care and are reading your work, that you aren’t in it alone, and also a great way to build up the community.
Sometime a little later in the month when more people have signed up for NaNoWriMo, I’ll start collecting the NaNo user names of the people interested, and get things set up.
In December I will also consider running a post-NaNoWriMo editing event along similar lines, if there is interest.