Sunday, May 27, 2012

Experimental Pop

Academy-trained MFA writers have preconceived notions of what “experimental” writing looks like. If you know what it looks like—what it’s supposed to look like—then it isn’t very experimental, is it?

Meanwhile, their box-barrier indoctrination keeps them from noticing the real experiments in pop taking place on the margins of the lit world. An example of this is the fiction of Wred Fright. (See Fright doesn’t present the kind of generic literary stories you’ll find from prestigious writing workshops, that’s for certain. There’s nothing pretentious about Wred’s stories.. Instead, a comic, comic book style to them. What makes them different from “experimental” stories of the past is that instead of being deliberately offputting, they’re deliberately inviting. The tales say, “Here we are.” Their accidental simplicity and intentional fun puts the characters in front of you, so that the effect conveyed is like a pop painting or a comic strip. In literary writing all emphasis is on the words. With what I call “pop,” the words are paint strokes or pontillist dots. You don’t read to notice the words, but instead, to experience with one impression the story, and the image in your head created by the words and the story.

I’ve tried to create a similar effect with my own experiments in pop. For instance, “The Strange Case of Mr. Box,” one of the tales in my ebook Ten Pop Stories. People have told me, “The characters have no depth.” Duh! In this case I wanted flatness: a sense of There-ness, so that the art is right in front of you. I modeled the story after the great Dick Tracy movies from the 1940’s shown on Turner Broadcasting, or a Dick Tracy comic strip. My real goal was to create something akin to a Roy Lichtenstein painting. Using and reinventing narrative cliches. Pop Art done with words instead of paint dots.

I think I achieved that simple effect with “Box.” From there I’ve sought to keep that effect, but see if I can play with the model, and so expand depth and emotion while keeping the fun or colorful there-ness. I realize that any art’s first objective has to be to attract an audience.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Writing Better Ebooks

The success of ebooks to date is unquestioned. Original talents like Amanda Hocking have gained attention and fame through their Do-It-Yourself efforts. They didn’t wait to be discovered by the conglomerates. They promoted themselves.

A few individuals like myself believe that ebooks are an avenue through which to break the monopolistic dominance of publishing’s “Big Six.” Those eager to compete with the Bigs see the economic advantage of having no overhead. Economics isn’t enough. New publishing entrepreneurs need a better product.

This means: better writing. It means going beyond the insubstantial. Creating works which are readable and popular, sure, but which also contain meaning and art. Works which awaken the reader’s brain and stir that person’s soul. It means presenting writing not lost in fantasy, but relevant to our time, because it depicts America now. Writing should be more than selling books to a static, pre-built audience. The writer’s task is to answer our deepest questions—to explain our world, our systems, our people. To present a coherent picture of the world and make it understandable to everyone.

Forever this has been literature’s goal.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Anarchists versus Plutocrats

Anarchists versus plutocrats is roughly what the new ebook novel THE TOWER by King Wenclas is about, with broken-body athletes, a sexy radio star, and a clown thrown in for good measure, with a whole lot more. Which is to say the novel is over-the-top-- which is exactly what our mad American circus society requires. Literature needs a few bells and whistles to get the message across. You'll find some of same in this novel. It's not your grandmother's tepid and tame literary work! I don't want any reader sitting comfortably in a cozy armchair while reading my work. I want to arouse, anger, or disturb that reader, if I possibly can. Literary complacency is dead.

Buy THE TOWER only at Kindle or Nook. It's very affordable.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Better Price

Details of the Justice Department judgment and lawsuit regarding the price-rigging done by Apple and five monopoly-media owned publishing companies indicate that the big publishers balked at having to charge the “low” price of $9.99 for their ebook novels in order to stay competitive. Please know that I’m offering three of my ebooks for 99 cents. My new novel The Tower is on sale under the King Wenclas name for a mere $1.99. In excitement and quality it’s the equal of anything produced by the book giants. Read it and find out. A better novel—at a better price.