Category: Writing

13 Magical Quotes For National Magic Day

Whether you plan to take on the night or hang at home with some horrifyingly good reads, here are 13 magically inspired quotes to put you in the best of spirits for this wicked holiday.

 

 

 

A well-composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter in any other way.

― Caroline Gordon, American Novelist and Literary Critic

 

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Image via weheartit

 

Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?

― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

 

 

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.

― W.B. Yeats, Irish Poet

 

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Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!

― John Anster, The First Part of Goethe’s Faust

 

 

We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.

 

― J.K. Rowling, known for Harry Potter

 

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Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic.

― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

 

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Image via gifer

 

…disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business….

― Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

 

 

He liked the mere act of reading, the magic of turning scratches on a page into words inside his head.

― John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

 

 

Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.

― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

 

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Image via giphy

 

Sometimes its necessary to embrace the magic, to find out what’s real in life, and in one’s own heart.

― Sarah Addison Allen, First Frost

 

 

Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.

― Nora Roberts, American Romance Author

 

 

I address you all tonight for who you truly are: wizards, mermaids, travelers, adventurers, and magicians. You are the true dreamers.

― Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret

 

 

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

― Roald Dahl, known for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

 

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Image via rebloggy

 

Happy Halloween and National Magic Day!

 

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How to Publish Your Book: Querying

The first step is to write the book. Now that you’ve done it, rewrite it. Now reread it and write it again. Its word shuffle, but not as fun.

Because you’re going to keep repeating over and over again.

When you’ve written it and you’ve waited a week and you’ve read it again and find there’s nothing left you can do to improve it, then you’re ready to start the first step in publishing it.

Now of course you can self-publish it, but if you want to follow the greats and secure a traditional publisher, then you have to start querying. Yes, before you learn about rejections and how to deal with them, you have to query. What is querying?

 

Image Via Writing Classes

 

Thanks to Gotham Writers, we were able to see a panel where authors…

 

Image Via Brooklyn Book Festival

 

…Seth Fried, author of The Municipalists

 

Image Via American Libraries Magazine

 

…Kody Keplinger, author of A Midsummer’s Nightmare

 

Image VIa Harper Collins

 

…and Joselin Linder, author of The Family Gene, addressed the very topic of querying.

To make this information digestible, we’ve separated this handy-dandy advice in various sections. Scroll down to find what you need, but we advise you read the whole thing. Not only may it help you find your blind spots, but we put a lot of time and effort in this article.

 

 

 

 

WHAT A QUERY LETTER IS

Image Via Ignited Ink Writing LLC

 

It is a business format. This is a business letter, but you’re also showing off your skills as a writer.

 

Before you get published, you have to get a literary agent. To get a literary agent, you have to query them by sending them, you guessed it, a query letter.

To start, a query letter is a one-page letter sent to literary agents that’ll get them excited about your potential-book. It should have them go, “Ah! There’s a story I’d like,” and then they request the full manuscript. From there, if they like the manuscript and believe it can make some cash, they’ll sign you, edit it, and send it to a publishing housing.

Querying is the first step.

 

THE FORMAT

 

Image Via Reedsy Blog

 

Your address should be on the top right of the page. On the top left of the page, the agent’s address.

Note that if you’re not mailing your letter, then you don’t have to worry about the above, but you definitely have to worry about everything that’s about to come next.

Use a personalized greeting to acknowledge the agent. Don’t call them “Sir” or “Madam” or “To Whom it May Concern.” If you’re addressing “Donald Agent,” call them “Mr. Donald Agent,” unless their guidelines say otherwise (We’ll get to those in a bit).

The body of your query letter should be between three to five paragraphs.

 

Paragraph #1: This is your opportunity to hook the literary agent. Share any connection you have with the agent (you met him or her at a conference, or you’re a fan of specific authors that he or she represents). If you don’t have a connection, then get to the action. Tell them the title and genre of your book. Tell them the word count. Give them what they want.

 

Paragraph #2: Now you got to summarize your story. Here’s three pieces of advice we got at the panel:

 

1- “Studying jacket copies is a good idea”

Take cues from The Great Gatsby. It promises money! Jazz! Who wouldn’t want to read a book with money! And jazz!?

 

2- The reader should be able to “get” the character in one sentence. An example would be, “It’s about the principal of the thing. After all, she doesn’t like him… much.”

Just make sure that you keep the tone consistent with your writing style. You don’t want to sell your agent on your humor and then have them read a depressing thriller.

 

3- “Treat them like puzzles”

Pick apart the manuscript to its most basic components. You’re taking an 80,000+ word book and paring it down to about, at most, 300 words. You hear that? Your 80,000+ word book has to be pared down in about 300 words. This won’t be easy, but it’ll showcase your talents as a writer.

 

Paragraph #3: Add your bio, but make sure it’s relevant to writing. Impress your agent with writing awards, your street cred, what you’ve published, but make sure it’s no more than two sentences.

Now you have to make sure this whole thing is one page. Make sure this thing has short, easy-to-understand sentences. This thing is going to be one of hundreds of letters, and your potential-agent is probably going to skim through it.

 

 

QUERYING-THE PROCESS

 

Image Via Youtube

 

Behold the wonders of https://querytracker.net/

 

With this you can find the right agent quick and easy. Plus, it’s free! Yes, there is a Premium version where you can get more specific search criteria, but if you’re on a budget this is the site for you.

Go through your favorite books, your favorite authors, and find out who their agents were. That’s a start, but don’t get hung up on one agent. Your book might shine out better at a smaller agency. Make sure you do your research.

 

“Don’t lie.”

 

Agents follow up on what you tell them. Don’t tell them someone recommended you when they didn’t, they’ll check up on that. And make sure you actually read those books that you tell them you read.

Submit thoughtfully, and query widely y’all.

“Query widely” does not mean give every agent, or even a large group of agents, the same query letter. That’s how you get your query letter in the spam box. Instead, one should tailor their query letter to the agent they are sending them to too. That extra step encourages the agent to take an extra step when looking over your letter.

If you’re writing fiction, don’t talk about the trends in the market, or about the target audience. Sell the story. Unless you’re writing nonfiction, but that’s its own separate beast.

 

Image Via NY Book Editors

 

Remember that the best query letter is one that follows these things which are called submission guidelines. Each agency has their own requirements for query letters. Find them and follow them.

 

ADVICE

 

“No one wants your great ideas.”

 

This is from Joselin Linder, and it’s important to remember that. Yes, you’re giving them a summary of your book and I get it, you’re protective of your book, but don’t be paranoid. No one can duplicate your voice so don’t get worried.

 

Unless…

 

Image Via Variety

 

But odds are you don’t have a clone. Also:

 

“Things move quickly. You are easily replaced.”

 

If they ask for x, you have at most 2 days to get back to them.

Also, if you fired the agent who has previous sold your books, or just your first book, you might want to put down that you “parted ways.”

Remember that they only know as much as you tell them.

And for all those who think this is too much work and would rather just self-publish, remember you’re going to have crank out books constantly just to maintain your audience.

 

 

LAST THOUGHTS

 

You want to get published and if, God willing, it happens, maybe it’ll be like when Kody Keplinger got her first book published…

 

Image Via American Libraries Magazine

 

It was due out in November, but her birthday was in August. Her agent said they should go out for a birthday dinner with her mother.

At the dinner, Kody, her mother, and her literary agent sat down. Birthday dinner!

Then her agent gave her a present.

Kody unwrapped it…

…and…

It was her book. Her agent had gotten an early copy of the book and gave it to Keplinger for her birthday!

That could be you. Or you could be like Seth Fried…

 

Image Via Brooklyn Book Festival

 

“I’m a live by moment guy… after any amount of success I feel like I’m going to be arrested.”

 

Either way, you’ll never know until you query. So now that you know what to do, have at it! But you’re probably going to get rejected, a lot, so here are tips on how to handle that.

 

 

Featured Image Via Ask Leo!

 

Are You a Writer Who Just Got Rejected? Here’s What to Do

If you’re a writer, then you probably have at least two voices in your head, one in each ear. One voice tells you that what you’re writing is the best thing ever, the next Harry Potter/Game of Thrones/Hunger Games. The other voice tells you that you’re a terrible writer and you should just give up.

You suck down those fears and put a smile on your face. You’re a writer, and you have a short story of a novel or maybe you even have both. You submit your work and sit back.

 

 

 

“No, thanks.”

It’s a stab in the gut, and the ‘thanks’ only adds salt to the wound. You suck it up and submit again. Maybe this time you’ll submit to a smaller agency, a tinier magazine. You hit send:

“No, thanks.”

Now what?

 

The Gotham Writers Conference

Image Via Twitter

 

Thanks to The Gotham Writers Conference, we at Bookstr were able to listen in on a lecture given by Kim Laio, author of the essay published on Lit Hub Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year. Since everyone had a paper and pen, she had the listeners in the audience go through two different exercises. The first exercise was as follows:

 

  • Writer down your hopes and dreams as a writer

 

After telling everyone to do this, the room was filled with a long contemplative silence filled only with the soft scribbling of pens and the soft groaning rattles of the radiator. When everyone’s pens were done, and after some time after that, Kim Liao said this:

Now skip a line. Protect your hopes and dreams.

After giving us a clear warning that her next two directions were “worse” then she first direction, she gave us the second:

  • Answer what’s stopping you from achieving those dreams

And then the third:

  • What’s underling these anxieties?

 

Kim Liao

Image Via Twitter

 

She then turned to the audience, asking them what they answered. Don’t fret, the only people who answered were those who raised their hands and were given the microphone. One person told us a story about how they were writing a book about a “terrible cult” and the effects their actions brought upon their family.

A book about cults? Count me in!

She then said she hadn’t told anyone about the book for the longest time because, well, there was a certain personal conflict with the book.

What was the person problem? Her brother.

Her brother was a member of the cult. He left the cult, but became an apologist for the cult.

It was only after this person was able to tell her brother about the book and give him it that she was able to move on. She doesn’t know if he read the book, if he was angry or upset, but he had the book and it was out of her hands.

 

 

This story is about the third direction Kim Liao gave us: What’s underling these anxieties?  Turns out the most common reason for anxieties about your hopes and dreams about becoming a writer is this daunting question, “What will happen if you tell the truth?”

See, if you’re a writer, then you probably have at least two voices in your head, one in each ear. One voice tells you that what you’re writing is the best thing ever, the next Harry Potter/Game of Thrones/Hunger Games. The other voice tells you that you’re a terrible writer and you should kill yourself.

Both of these voices are toxic.

 

Fiction is the truth inside the lie

Image Via QuoteHD.com

 

Fiction, non-fiction, they all deal with truths. Even if the book takes place on another planet or another dimension, there is always a person connection the writer has with the work. It came from them, and now it’s out there on a bone writer paper written in black ink. It’s literally out there in black and white, and most often we are afraid to show it because of fear.

That right there is a personal rejection. No one has rejected the story except you. If you’re thinking about your worst review, as one person at the conference was, stop that. Any craft, be it writing or construction or electric or running, gets better as you do it more and more. So keep it, and silence the voice that tells you you’re a terrible writer and know that the story you are telling is one that only you could tell.

 

Sit Back

Image Via PlayMelnc

 

Now sit back. Remember that voice that tell you you’re writing is the best thing ever, the next Harry Potter/Game of Thrones/Hunger Games? Bring down your expectations. Humble yourself.

 

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Even the authors of those books didn’t know they were writing something as huge as those. Heck, I’d bet George R R Martin has days where he’d wish Game of Thrones wasn’t as big as it was so the pressure would be off as he finished up Winds of Winter.

Tamper your arrogance, erase your fears

Now you’re ready to submit. Then you get a rejection. And then another one. And then another one after that.

So what do you do?

Well, what do you think that Kim Laio, author of the essay published on Lit Hub Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year is going to tell you?

 

Kim Liao

Image Via Girl Meets Fornosa

 

Get 100 rejections of year

This is how you do that:

  • Set up an excel spreadsheet
  • Set up one column for the number
  • Set up one column for the story
  • Set up one column for the publishing house/agent

 

Don’t worry, we understand. One-hundred rejections a year? A hundred times of people stabbing you in the gut with that “No, thanks,” as though the ‘thanks’ at the end of that sentence means anything? No, thanks, you go, but don’t reject me now!

According to Kim Liao, she heard this advice from a friend and thought it was the “best advice ever.” By collecting a hundred rejections a year, you’re making it yourself mission. Your goal now isn’t to get published, but to wrap up the rejection list. When you get a rejection now, you can now log it into the spreadsheet and get that rush of a dopamine because you’re productive. That rush, that split second happiness, makes you feel motivated to go and put yourself out there again.

It isn’t about collecting those rejections slips so you know who to stick it to when you make a ton of money, that’s not why Stephen King collected his rejection slips, it’s to give yourself a goal, to turn your disappoint into a mission to keep going and wrap up the rejection list. You’re accepting that you’re going to get rejected and now you’re striving to do so. Odds are at least one person will accept your story. Plus, if you want to be a writer, you have to get used to it.

 “For a writer, it’s mostly rejections.”

 

Image Via Writer’s Digest

 

Rejections aren’t all bad. Remember: “The door isn’t closing, the path if shifting.”

Rejections can create relationships. Your expert query letter may prove that while the agent isn’t interested in your current work, he/she might be interested in your work as a writer. They might ask to see something else or, worst case, they now know your name. Your name is out there, like a plane traveling across the beach, and you never know who might see your banner.

At this point in the conference, Kim Liao gave us the audience a second set of direction. With pens and notebooks at the ready, the silence was palpable. These are the sets in full:

  • List 5 or more things you can do in the next year
  • List 4 things you can do in the next 6 months
  • List 3 things you can do in the next 2 months
  • List 2 things you can do this month
  • List 1 things you can do this week

So what’re you waiting for?

 

Twitter

Image Via Author Media

 

Go on Twitter and search for submission calls. Look for agents and editors, most agents and editors post their emails on their Twitter.

 

Image Via Webnode

 

Maybe you should set up a blog; just remember to “write lots of posts in advance.”

 

Image Via Self-Publishing School

 

Set up a writing schedule. A writing schedule isn’t necessary just writing. Put time aside for pitching, writing, and querying. All three of these things have to do with writing, and you have to set time aside for each.

 

 

Before you query, take a step back and look at your writing. “Whenever you feel that you’re ready, take a week,” and remember that “[y]our writer’s group can help you solve your problems…not your agent.”

 

You can only query one agent with one project at a time. If you go back and make changes, odd are that agent doesn’t want to hear about that project anymore.

 

When you’re ready to submit your work, set up the excel spreadsheet and aim to get a hundred rejections a year. Rejection is a “necessary step,” in the writing process. “It can happen anywhere,” even to the most successful writer.

But keep writing and keep submitting. If you get a rejection, and then another one, and then another one after that, then guess what? You have only three rejections and need ninety-seven more to finish out your list! Odds are you’re going to be surprised because the best thing you write might be the thing people like the best.

And don’t forget: if you’re writing a novel and you go “Now I have an agent! I’m done,” then you’re wrong. You haven’t even gotten started yet, but you’re ready.

 

 

 

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Author Fight Club: E.L. James vs Josh Lark

Two purveyors of smut and story, two literary giants who’ve gifted us with the steamiest, the sexiest, the naughtiest stuff to ever be in our hands; two individuals, who have used their words to bring us to our knees; two authors who can make our hearts pound⁠—as well as other things!⁠—are going to fight!

Ladies and gentle⁠—please be gentle⁠—men, we bring you E.L. James vs Josh Lark.

Ignoring the broader themes of Chuck Palahniuk’s seminal work, Fight Club, we’re going to do what we do best and have two people fight each other.

Since we can’t talk about Fight Club (see rules one and two), we’re going to write about it. Specifically, we’re going to have two writers fight each other. Three rounds will determine their strength as we go through their power of description, their distinctive style, and their impact on the world at large.

Bring out the whips and the aliens (we’ll get there), let’s have these two authors fight each other.

(Viewer Discretion is Advised)

 

 

1-Influence

 

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Image Via Pink News

Now let’s get this one out of the way. E L James wins. Her trilogy, made up of Fifty Shades of GreyFifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed, has sold over 125 million copies worldwide, over 35 million copies in the United States. Bloody hell, she even set the record in the United Kingdom as the fastest selling paperback of all time!

Plus, in 2012, Time magazine named her one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” and she’s even had film adaptations of her works: Fifty Shades of GreyFifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed.

Simply put, you know her name.

But let’s not leave Lark in the dark, let’s give him his due.

 

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Image Via Amazon

A self-published author whose work is massive, to say the least, Lark has written everything from college dorms to Area 51 aliens.

Huge beyond belief, Lark notes that ever since he discovered his attraction to men “he has been writing erotic stories about them”. He tells us that “[i]n his free time, he enjoys playing 7-card stud poker and gay rugby.”

He’s a force of wonder, but sadly he loses this match up.

Point for James!

 

James=1

Lark=0

 

2-WHO’s more DESCRIPTIVE? Who’s more steamy?

 

Ana

Image Via Deadline

 

It’s porn vs porn. Who’s the better writer? Who can make us just tremble with their words? As a side note, I don’t give a snot that Ana orgasming with every other touch isn’t realistic, I just want it to be described well!

 

Let’s tackle this passage from the first novel in her infamous trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey:

 

I pull him deeper into my mouth so I can feel him at the back of my throat and then to the front again. My tongue swirls around the end. He’s my very own Christian Grey-flavored popsicle. I suck harder and harder… Hmm… My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.

 

The phrase ‘Christian Grey-flavored popsicle’ is hilarious. Also, the image of Ana’s inner goddess ‘doing the merengue’ is the strangest image. Both of these phrases, placed so close together, takes me out of the moment. Don’t get me wrong, they’re hilarious, they’re memorable, but they aren’t exactly descriptive. Plus, they take me out of the scene.

 

Here’s another passage from the last book in the series, Fifty Shades Freed:

 

He groans loudly and thrusts deep, again and again, over and over, and I am lost, trying to absorb the pleasure. It’s mind-blowing…body blowing…I long to straighten my legs, to control my imminent orgasm, but I can’t…I’m helpless. I’m his, just his, to do with as he wills…Tears spring to my eyes. This is too intense. I can’t stop him. I don’t want to stop him…I want…I want…oh no, oh no…this is too…

“That’s it,” Christian growls. “Feel it, baby!”

I detonate around him, again and again, round and round, screaming loudly as my orgasm rips me apart, scorching through me like a wildfire, consuming everything. I am wrung ragged, tears streaming down my face—my body left pulsing and shaking.

 

Much better! On a related note, FEEL IT, BABY!

But that brings me to the dialogue. Every so often during the sex scenes, the people talk. Lines like “Feel it baby” take me out of the scene, making me wonder if Christian Grey is unsure if Ana ‘feels it.’

 

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Image via gyfcat

 

So some of the sex scenes are bad, while others are great with some wonky dialogue thrown in just to knock down our expectations.

 

Now That I'm A Ghost, I'm Gay (A Paranormal Sex Straight Seduction Story) by [Lark, Josh]

Image Via Amazon

 

Now that’s a picture! On a related note, let’s switch to Lark and see what he has to offer. This passage comes from Now That I’m a Ghost, I’m Gay:

 

Even so, the tingle where we touched made his thighs quiver at the first sensation of what I was doing down there. When I had first taken Jason’s entire length, tickling under his balls as I did, he bucked his hips forward into my face.

 

Now that’s a picture! Short and to the point, it’s exactly what we want. Plus there’s this scene.

 

I only caught a glimpse of him naked, the water running in beads down his broad chest to his broad chest to his narrow waist, little rivers running off the end of his dick…

 

No metaphors, no comparisons, just flat out smut.

Comparing this to James’ work showcases how she isn’t that descriptive. She leaves a lot to the reader, and thus we don’t get images of water running off the end of someone’s penis like “little rivers.”

When it comes to descriptions, Lark knows just what words to use to make us tremble.

Point for Lark!

 

James=1

Lark=1

 

3-WHO’s got More Style

 

Got Style?

GOT STYLE? / Image Via StyleCaster

 

Humor is a style, and James is hilarious. Throughout the book, and usually after sex, the characters will be forced to talk to each other. For instance, Christian tells Ana that, “I know that lip is delicious, I can attest to that, but will you stop biting it?”

Maybe the line is supposed to be sensual, reminding us both of what just took place and what will take place, but it’s hilarious. You needed to tell her that her lip was delicious? How thoughtful!

Even in one of the earliest scenes in Fifty Shades, Ana and Christian decide to go out for coffee. What follows is a farce. We go through the intricate details of getting the keys, determining what car someone should go in, where the keys are, and how this whole situation, a billionaire wanting to go out to coffee with Ana, is quite insane.

But Lark is also funny. Just look at his Amazon descriptions. They’re erotic, they’re funny, and they come with incredibly helpful warnings. His story about a man giving his sister’s boyfriend a blowjob has a warning that reads:

 

WARNING: This 5600-word erotic story by Josh Lark contains explicit descriptions of a hot straight virgin giving his sister’s college boyfriend a hot gay blowjob, including forced fingering and cum eating. Pray that your e-reader doesn’t melt before you get to the end.

 

His story about a gay doctor who has to suck out snake venom from a cowboy reads:

 

WARNING: This 4900-word story by Josh Lark contains explicit oral sex between two men, anal fingering, and a cumshot that will have you milking your own snake of its venom.

 

Plot Story Circle

Image Via Teachers Pay Teacher

 

How are their plot structures?

With James, well, there’s no flow. Her novels retain their fanfiction roots where stories would come chapter by chapter. Plot points are introduced and dropped in the same chapter, which makes everything clunky. For instance, the villain in Freed is Jack Hyde, a publisher who was fired by Christian Grey for harassing Ana. But he actually didn’t care about Ana, and hates Christian because he was adopted into a bad household and Christian was adopted by a millionaire family. But Hyde isn’t the true villain because he’s been taking orders by Mr. Lincoln, a man who has one appearance and is mentioned briefly at the end. Why doesn’t the Ernst Stravo Blofeld of the Fifty Shades universe appear more?

It makes everything seem like it was written without an outline, which some authors do, like Stephen King, but it’s less successful here.

 

Foggy Mirrors
Image Via The Clever Homeowner

 

Let’s look at Lark for a hot second. Each of his books follows a similar structure: introduce the characters and the premise, the characters get closer, they have sex, the story ends with everyone happy. It’s simple, straightforward, but let’s dive deep back into Now That I’m a Ghost, I’m Gay.

In this story a college student dies and is transported to the shower, where his roommate is stepping out. Oh, no, our main character is secretly in love so him but he never told him anything. Gradually, the roommate realizes that the dead student is there as a ghost. He’s frozen with fear, and our main character writes on a foggy mirror, “I am,” but stops.

What should he say next? That’s he’s dead? Or that he’s gay?

Things go quickly after that. They have sex, they finish, and our main character looks back at the mirror and finishes the sentence I AM with SO GLAD.

See? Every plot point is necessary, and there’s a lot of time spent in the bedroom. We know what we’re getting into, and we know what to expect. It’s like a circle.

 

Ring Around the Rosie

Image Via Giphy

 

Of course, is it fair to compare Lark’s utilizing every page to James just flittering them away with pointless plot points? Is James’ clunky storytelling and laugh-out-loud descriptions a style though?

 

Snowqueens Icedragon

Image Via bUsiness Insider India

 

A little history…

Erica Mitchell rose to fame as Snowqueens Icedragon on FanFiction.net, writing Twilight fanfiction in staggering succession. She started with Safe Haven, a point of the story through the eyes of Edward, and later wrote Master of the Universe, a loose retelling of Twilight.

From there, thanks to her large outputs and responsiveness, Master of the Universe continually graced the top charts. Eventually, Australian Publisher, The Writer’s Coffee Shop, agreed to publish her story as a trilogy. Since then her stories have been pulled from FanFiction.net and the archives.

That’s not to say her novels are Twilight ripoffs. The names have been changed; the supernatural elements are removed in favor of BDSM. Plus, she’s added some weird stuff.

 

Fifty Shades is abusive

Image Via Letter2Self

 

Christian is an abusive boyfriend.

Take this scene in the first Fifty Shades of Grey. When Christian asks Ana what her hard limits are and she tells him she’s a virgin, Christian stomps around the room before he decides to take her virginity as “a means to an end.”

That’s not mentioning the other stuff.

Plus, in Fifty Shades of Grey Christian tells Ana “I’m a dominant,” when Ana asks him, point-blank, “Are you a sadist?”

Come Fifty Shades Darker, “I’m a sadist, Ana I like to whip little brown-haired girls like you because you all look like the crack whore—my birth mother.”

So he’s a liar who’s having sex with this woman because she reminds him of his mother.

The whole thing is Stephanie Meyer but WAY more problematic.

 

How to Turn a Wolf Gay (An M/m Werewolf Submission Erotica Story) by [Lark, Josh]
Image Via Amazon

In Now that I’m a Ghost, I’m Gay our main character sees the boy he’s in love with, and doesn’t go straight to screwing him. In fact, when they see each other, the main character notices the “…widening of his eyes, the hitching of his breath, and the almost imperceptible contracting of his balls made him seem so intimate and naked.”

Note how he isn’t doing anything, besides being dead. They just look at each other and let things go from there. No needless stomping around. Plus, unlike James, who doesn’t tell you about the rampant abuse that takes place within her pages, Lark lets you know all the eroticism that’ll take place in those warnings we mentioned earlier. It’s a “check out the box. Oh, it’s my fault I told you there was a poisonous snake in that box” vs “this box contains so much gooey gold you might just explode if you reach inside it” type of thing.

As Lark writes in his Amazon description’s warning for his book, How To Turn a Wolf Gay:

 

WARNING: This 4200-word erotic paranormal story by Josh Lark contains oral and anal sex between human men and a male werewolf, at one point partially morphed. If you think the rough punishment sex inside is too hot for you to handle, go read a boring Twilight knockoff and leave this one to the big dogs.

 

James=1

Lark=2

 

 

Winner: Joshua Lark

 

 

The Match

He walked to the center of the field, empty handed. It would be alright, he told himself, they would sort out their differences. It was a misunderstanding, after all, he didn’t mean to call her out like that in the Amazon description for How to Turn a Werewolf Grey. She would come, he would throw his hands up, and they’d have a cup of coffee. Or tea, if she pleased. He looked down at his watch. It was fifteen minutes after three and her car was nowhere in sight.

The grass around him started to shiver. A gust of wind slapped his face. His eyes rose to the sky.

Up in the sky a single black dot grew and grew, slowly descending, the clouds parting to the sides in fear. His eyes were wide. “Christ,” he muttered.

BANG!

He threw his head to the side. A used condom was beside him. He looked back up, squinted, and with eyes like sniper rifles he saw that the side door to the helicopter was open and he saw E.L. James holding an actual sniper rifle. She fired.

He jumped to the side. She was shooting used condoms at him. They burst around him, splattering around, exploding like bursts of blood. The ground was littered with rubber and fluids. He ran back, but a wall of condoms exploded in front of him. To his right, to his left, behind him, in front of him, all around him, nothing but condoms.

He looked to the ground. Fitting, he thought, and he smiled.

The smile didn’t leave his face because, slithering through the rubber, was a snake. He tilted his head, the snake looked up at him, and he knew those eyes.

What E.L. James didn’t know, what most people probably didn’t know, was that AREA 51 was based on a true story. That snake was a shape-shifting alien, and they had been friends for quite a long time. It was the story of ET, but without the ending and with more sex.

Reaching out, the snake extended his neck, expanding, and soon it became a hose. Gently holding the snake by the neck, he turned and held up the hose, aimed. “Hasta la vista,” he said, and fired.

The horse shot out great gallons of fluid, striking the helicopter, and it spun out of control. Lowering the hose, letting it fall to the ground as it turned back into a snake, Josh Lark sighed, but his sympathy turned into curiosity because E.L. James had dropped her sniper rifle, jumped off the helicopter, and from her back pocket took out a whip. She spun it around her head and, like a helicopter, she slowly descended to the ground.

Her black eyes were locked with Joshua Lark’s.

The snake jumped back into Josh’s hands and quickly morphed into a hose. Josh squeezed the neck and his alien-snake-hose friend fired, but E.L. James was avoiding the blasts, zigging back and forth. Alright, Josh thought, let her come close and…

E.L. James had one hand on the whip, swinging it above her head, but with her other hand she pulled out a squirt gun. The squirt gun had been in the sun, and its fluid was piping hot. Before she would get close, she would fire and he would fall.

He fired at her. She maneuvered to the left, aimed, and fired.

Josh Lark saw the blast coming at him.

It was close.

Closer.

The snake was in front of Lark, mouth expanded, and it swallowed the fluid. Josh smiled, and tapped the snake on the neck. “Go,” he said, and the snake fired.

James fell, crashing to the ground, slapping into a pile of clear goop.

Josh smiled, the snake leaned close to his chest. “Thank you,” Josh said, “I’ll offer you some tea. You’ve met my husband, right?”

 

 

Featured Image Via Amazon, Writer Write.co, and Penguin Random House