(Italian version in my guest-post in the Isabel Giustiniani site!)
I’d like to talk again about fatal flaw, the “fault” upon which you build your story, a topic I mentioned in a recent blog-post.
In the beginning, the character lives his ordinary life. But beyond appearances, there is something wrong. This is his weak point:he is either sick, divorced or other, he has a serious existential condition. When the character is forced to face this weakness to go on, the story begins: that is his story and only he can live it in this way.
To create a good story you need imagination; to write it you need literary talent and good technique. Then, grammar and syntax have to be exemplary. That’s all true, you need those ingredients like eggs for a cake!
But, what I place first in my writer experience, is personal inspiration. I can’t make up characters, situations and events if I don’t live them in my head first. I can’t write just for the sake of it, Even that little detail in that scene, has to be mine. In other words, I can’t convey that emotion, if I am not the first one to feel it.
Why is it this way? I think that writing is a deep and intimate process, you have to struggle to get it out, it’s act of love: you have to give the best part of yourself if you hope to have something in return. Why would we be so tired after a demanding passage, if it weren’t this way? And why is this tiredness so satisfying, and this emptyness so inviting to be filled again?
The answer is easy: writing means showing our naked and weak feelings to everyone. It means to reveal our nudity. We can hide or try to get away, but sooner or later, qualities and faults will be more and more evident. I thought, or I believed, or I deluded myself, that I could expose selected aspects only. It isn’it like this. We communicate over our intentions. I notice that some readers found in my words hints of sadness or escapism or something else, but something that I didn’t like to give away, instinctively trying to protect myself.
You can’t cheat with your life, nor with yourself. Every story is the character’s, isn’t it? Facing your weakness and your fears means walking your path with more self-confidence, knowing that you can grown better. This is why the fatal flaw is essential in every story you write (in screenplays it is timed every tenth minute) and is so important (more than eggs!): much more than a simple ingredient, it is the representation of difficulty in our own life, the same difficulty we like to solve, in our novels, in our own time. The most beautiful stories are those where the character deeply changes: maybe how we would like to happen in our life.
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When I heard about self-pub for the first time, I thought it was like home-made brewe! Jokes aside, I didn’t go for it immediately because, I didn’t understand. I’m so stubborn ! I was hoping some publisher, a real one, one day would have accepted me. I gave myself a deadline: a few months, surely someone would have come to me. It wasn’t so much the belief that I was a big talented author, but more the certainty that I had something new to tell..[MM3]
It didn’t go like I wanted, and I didn’t regret it. I started to self-pub with Amazon at the end of 2012 and I didn’t dream about a traditional publishers anymore, but I discovered so many new things I never thought about.
Self-publishing is a reality: who considers self-pub’ers like second-choice is like those people who believed silent films were the only option when sound films came on. I think that it’s like a new form of democracy, in fact it came from the Land of Freedom. Anyone can say his opinion, even if he has five or six readers only, one from each continent. Nothing is precluded.
No man is an island, but self-pub’ers, like old Italian cities, have initiative, bravery and a desire to express themselves. A traditional publisher can promote his books, that’s right, but, as I told to a friend of mine, the cemetery is full of irreplaceable people. It’s always possible to discover new ways to do something that has has been done always in the same way.
I don’t believe it would have been possible, for me, to have four books if I had traditionally published, not at least in such a short time. Anyway, it’s not the number of books or the fact that you have something to say that implies that you have talent.
Either way, I am very happy that over two thousands readers in Italy and other Countries, have been interested enough to buy my books!
Thank you, Isabel, for inviting me. It was a pleasure to be here,
Isabel Giustiniani site!