Archive for May, 2016

Meaning of the Sounds of Silence Inside Social Media

Hello Lovely Readers!

Yup! I’m busy scratching out a synopsis of my novel, Beneath the Willows. It’s going well, and should be completed in a week or so. THEN, maybe, I can query those wonderful agents who’ve lined up to represent me and my novel. If I believe, it’s true.

However.

This post is about  Silence

There are those that say silence is golden. In my profession (coaching), it’s a skill to master in order to LISTEN to your client, wholly and completely. One needs the art of silence, in order for your client to process everything they say within the conversation, so they can discover the answers they seek.

In writing, one might prefer silence. Personally, I listen to music or sit within a busy cafe, or a busy street corner to write. For me, what I DON’T want is for my characters to be silent. If they are, there’ll be nothing to write about!

But in social media, especially the book of faces many of us love, adore and loathe, what does silence mean?

A shared quote from said f-bomb book spoke to me today, stating: “I don’t like forced conversations, forced friendships, forced interactions. I do not force things. If we don’t vibe we don’t vibe.”

I scratched my head, thinking about the social media aspect of these questions, “who determines if a conversation is forced? who determines if a friendship is forced? Who determines if an interaction is forced?”

Isn’t that like determining the answer to the chicken/egg paradox?

For a conversation to exist, there must be two. Without it, there is silence.

For a friendship to exist, there must be two. Ayup. Silence.

For an interaction to exist, there must be two. Silence again.

Which side forces the other inside social media?

OR  (and this just came to me)

Perhaps the SILENCE determines. O-O  Yea, that makes sense. If there is silence, then none of those three things can exist.

Now we’re getting somewhere. In face to face interaction, it’s actual silence. “I’m not going to answer your phone calls, talk to you should I see you, turn away should you approach.”  If you continue, I’ll tell you flat out, either with words or physicality, to BACK OFF. I will break the silence to SHOW you.

Us writers like Showiness.

Silence within social media, however, means no response to any or all ATTEMPTS at conversation, friendship, interaction. It’s as if one party never received the information from the other party. In essence, it’s ignoring the other person attempting to connect wholly and completely.

Which is worse for the human psyche, I wonder?

To me, the SM silence is worse, as it renders the person making the attempt non-relevant. A type of thing where, “I will not be forced into conversation with you, therefore I will act as if you do not exist.” Since we live in reality, where one thing/person exists relative to another, non-existence means not real to the other. Therefore, SM silence is the true void.

I banish you from existence!

Even if the other person comes back and says, “Yea, but I was busy and simply forgot.”  Uh huh. What this really means is, “You’re not important enough in my reality to warrant a response, even if it were simply to say, ‘go away’. If I do not respond, you do not exist. Have a nice day.”

No wonder social media is helping the world of therapy, psychology and psychiatry. To be rendered non-existent is rather horrifying.

So, my lovely readers. When considering whether to engage someone on social media, put some thought into what silence means and act accordingly.

Fair Winds and Following Seas, my lovely reader, wherever your horizons beckon…

Stephen R. Gann

 

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Oh, Snap! No Synopsis

Greetings lovely reader!

I’ve been building a query letter and putting the finishing touches on my novel for several weeks. Wow! What a challenge. Here I was, all excited to have my revisions completed and ready to query agents. It was all downhill toward the gravy train of publication.

WAS I WRONG

I wrote a query letter. And another. And then another. Still it wasn’t correct. One letter should be easy, right? I mean, two paragraphs that sum up the book in a tight, exciting package.

Ah, NO. Not easy at all.

However, I learned something very valuable in the process. Writing a novel is hard work. Sweet, immersive pain. Capturing the story is the easy part. Refining it for clarity is more difficult. Shrinking it into two paragraphs is tough – especially words designed to capture the attention of an agent.

I did it, though. After three weeks of intense concentration and refinement, I completed a set of paragraphs I’m proud to say should sell my story. Finally finished, I pulled up my list of potential agents and then…

1-2 PAGE SYNOPSIS REQUIRED.

Ah, Christ! I’d completely forgotten about that. I had an outline, but it was pre-book – written before I began the novel. Now, I had to go back and summarize the entire book into two pages or less. Needless to say, I had a mountain of work to complete. With the submissions no longer ready, my excitement drained into the gutter like oily rainwater sliding from an asphalt parking lot.

However, I moved beyond and lifted my joy right back where it needed to be. My synopsis is almost done and then, if the Fates allow, I’ll be ready for submission. So, if there was one thing I’d offer that might help you on your own writing adventure, it would be this:

SEMI-PRO TIP

Rewrite your outline immediately after completing your first draft. 2-3 sentences for each chapter of your book. (I didn’t, by the way)

For my next novel, (yes, there will be more) I will do this. It shows where the plot holes are, what needs to be revised and how the story can be enhanced. THEN, when you’re finished, you’ll be well ahead of the game when it comes to writing a synopsis. It makes it easier, makes it more fun and you can take what’s most important and add the required emotions.

So there you have it, writing fans! I hope these thoughts will keep you from the gutter, soaking your faded glory in the dark depths of a rum bottle.

Fair Winds and Following Seas, my lovely readers, Wherever Your Horizons beckon!

Stephen R. Gann

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