The Game of Writing

As some of you might know, I’m a gamer. I’m a hardcore World of Warcraft fanatic and have been playing since right after beta. I’ve belonged to the same guild for over 20 years, across multiple MMO (Massively multiplayer online) platforms.

I’ve decided that the publishing industry is like gaming. Not a compassion you’d expect to hear, but let me explain.

As an up-and-coming writer (new adventurer) you set out to hone your craft (level up) and tackle your first manuscript (your first quests).

Work hard and stay the course, and you land yourself an agent (level-up and gain access to a new area).

Keep writing, work with your agent to polish that manuscript, and earn a publishing contract (keep leveling until you earn that coveted legendary piece of armor)

You’ve made it (won the game), right?

Wrong!

Just like in MMOs, there’s no real endgame. Your work (the world) is constantly evolving. There’s always a new skill to learn, a class to take to level-up. A few simple things and you’ll be skipping down the path to success (pillaging the enemy and amassing hoards of gold)

Always raid with a party – Just like in gaming, the road is smoother if you don’t go it alone. Find your tribe. You’ll need them to navigate rocky terrain (setbacks, bad reviews, rejections) and provide a trusted ear for battle strategy (plotting, venting, ect!).

Remember there’s no in-game hack to get you to the finish line – in gaming, we call it an exploit. A trick to fool the game and advance without putting in the work. (Hopping on twitter and calling for a “follower trade” to amass thousands of followers isn’t going to earn you a platform. Editors and agency are looking for quality, not quantity. You can’t possibly have meaningful exchanges with that many people! Make real connections, interact, and grow your following through hard work and putting your all into creating your masterpiece—your book!)

There might be twenty different servers, but there’s still just one internet. Watch what you say/do – I remember badly behaved players from the first years I started playing WoW, and to this day, those player’s names still live on, their reputations still soiled. Wiping a raid ALA Leeroy Jenkins, to kiting a boss into a low-level town and watching all the AFK people get smushed, the internet remembers. (Remember to think before you speak/act. The same author’s book who you talked trash about for four days on twitter might one day be someone you want a blurb from. Trust me, they’re going to remember—it’s happened to me, and while I didn’t hold an actual grudge, I didn’t go out of my way to help the individual. Remember to treat everyone with kindness and respect. The publishing industry is surprisingly small, and people talk.)

And that’s all from me this month. Happy writing (gaming)! May your words flow free and your plots remain untangled (may your gold be plentiful and your rares abundant).

About Jus Accardo

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

The Perfection of the Parody

Happy December, everyone!

I’m a sucker for parody songs. Who doesn’t smile when they see/hear something funny played to the beat of a familiar tune? As a child, I’d sit with my cousins and we’d spend hours making up our own fun lyrics to existing songs. The sneaky Bunny (done to the music of Two Princes by Spin Doctors) or The High School song (done to the music of Nirvana’s Smells like Teen Spirit). To this day, Weird Al is one of my favorite human beings 😉 His work always makes me smile.

Today I’d like to share a couple of my favorites in hopes of making you smile!

This parody of Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” is one of my go-tos when I’m feeling low. I’m big into gaming and this video is just pure awesome. 🙂

 

Another favorite is Dark lord Funk (an Uptown Funk parody)

I’ve got no video skills, and trust me when I tell you, you wouldn’t want to hear me sing–but I still love to write my own parodies.

Since I’m currently in the editing phase of the book I’m working on, and it’s the holidays, here’s one I wrote a few years back (because, for some reason, I always seem to be editing something during the holiday season…).

The Twelve Days of Edits

On the first day of edits, my CP gave to me a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the second day of edits, my CP gave to me:

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the third day of edits, my CP gave to me:

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the fourth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the fifth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the sixth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the seventh day of edits, my CP gave to me:

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the eighth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

eight too many hotties

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the ninth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

nine more swoony scenes

eight too many hotties

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the tenth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

ten sharks jumped

nine more swoony scenes

eight too many hotties

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the eleventh day of edits, my CP gave to me:

eleven weak descriptions

ten sharks a jumped

nine more swoony scenes

eight too many hotties

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the twelfth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

Twelve cheesy villains

ten sharks a jumped

nine more swoony scenes

eight too many hotties

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday, and a very awesome new year!

 

About Jus Accardo

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

Apathy…the death of a book

*waves* Hey everyone! I’m Jus and I’m new to the blog. I’ll be dropping by on the 17th of each month to brighten (or darken—results may vary) your day.

I read and write across the board. Everything from thrillers to young adult. All kinds of stories, all kinds of characters. I do it for the thrill of adventure, to visit new, exotic locations without having to leave behind my toasty fireplace and fuzzy socks. To meet fantastical creatures and solve the most diabolical crimes all while sipping hot chocolate and listening to my dog snore.

I also do it to feel.

Anger, joy, sadness, hate—emotion is a large part of what makes me want to read and write. I want to pick up a book and feel something. I want to fall in love. Be angry when the hero and heroine are thwarted. I want to Snoopy Dance when the bad get gets his due. Who wants to finish a story where you don’t feel anything for the characters? Be it reading or writing, no one is going to stick with a story that’s just meh.

Apathy is the death of a book.

No truer words have ever been spoken. When the reader isn’t emotionally invested in what happens, the whole thing becomes pointless. As writers, it’s our job to create characters that keep people riveted. How many times have you put down a book because you just don’t care? We’ve all done it. As a writer, this is my red flag. If I’m feeling this way about a work in progress, then I know something isn’t working. Something must change. Because if I’m not feeling it, the reader won’t.

It isn’t just about love, either. Hate is just as good. Hell, sometimes it’s more powerful. When you’re emotionally invested in a book, and you come across an uber-baddie, don’t you worry what devious plot he has in store for the hero and heroine?

We read to feel. To connect. As long as readers feeling something, then I’ve done my job. From cheering your favorites on as they pursue their quest, to screaming in frustration when the bad guy gains the upper hand. A handful of tissues, or the urge to yell at the page. If you walk away feeling, then I’m a happy puppy.

What about you guys? Is there a particular book or fictional character out there that’s evoked a strong emotion? Share! I’m always looking for a new read.

About Jus Accardo

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

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