Tag Archives: Catholic

All Art is Theft

Really?  That seems to be a pretty bold statement.

the image is not mine
the image is not mine

These words, “all art is theft”, are frequently used by my dad.  I don’t know if he got the phrase from someone.  He isn’t sure if he did.  But anyway, what’s the occasion for such a phrase?  Whenever my sister and I feel like an idea or event in one of our stories sounds too similar to somebody else’s.  You might just be thinking, “Well, your dad is probably just saying that to make you feel better.”  Maybe.  That could be a part of why he says it.  But I think that’s only a very small part of it.

The phrase “all art is theft” is definitely not untrue (yes, that’s a double negative for emphasis).  Most generally speaking, we all get our ideas from somewhere.  We are always inspired by something, and these things fuel our imagination, and our imagination fuels our will, and from our will we produce our writing.  “An obvious statement, but no less true because of it” to quote Glaedr from Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle.  So, in a sense, all art is theft…or “borrowing”, if you like that term better.  I can’t try to describe a forest without first seeing one for myself, and thereafter, from the forest’s own beauty, depict a forest entirely of my creation with it’s own kind of beauty, separate from that which it was inspired, but still inspired by the original forest all the same (#mouthful#wordy).

How many times have you based the appearance of a character off of someone in your life, or a movie actor/actress?  How many times has a specific, epic fight scene in your own story contained choreography that resembles that of a movie you recently watched?

Something else my dad has said about all art being theft is that, as time progresses, it will become harder to create new story ideas that haven’t already been thought of.  Think about it.  Two thousand years from now, two thousand years’ worth of story ideas will have been taken, and add that to the millions of years that have already passed….it will get harder to think up truly original ideas.

So what’s the good news?  It’s okay for all art to be theft.

Sometimes the most impressive stories are that which combine the ideas of others into something even better.  That’s what we can do now as writers of the 21st century.  Using the ideas of someone else, tweaking them a bit, and applying them to your own work, isn’t even necessarily stealing.  It’s a talent to be able to recognize the good and beauty in the work of others and being able to see it’s potential in regards to applying it to your work.

Now don’t get me wrong.  Be original, if you can be.  But if you happen to realize that your ideas resemble that of someone else, don’t get too discouraged.  Make it your own.  But be content with sharing.  And maybe that’s what we should call this; not stealing, not copying, not using: sharing.

Your AA,

Aul

Quality, Not Quantity

Sooo over at my first blog, http://montairyus23.wordpress.com/, the goal was to get as many followers as I could.  I’ll be honest, I wanted followers just for the sake of being able to say to a publisher, “Hey!  Look at how many people are interested in my book!”  However, when it really came down to it, when I would blog about my trilogy (TSOM), not too many people seemed interested.  I had/have over two hundred followers, and a post about my trilogy would only generate a few likes, and rarely a new follower or a comment.  I wasn’t sure what I was doing wrong…and I’m still not 🙂

But experiencing this has made me realize something; when it comes to blogging, it’s quality, not quantity that matters.  If you want to get a book out there, if you want to be and feel heard, just remember it’s all about the quality.  You can have 2,000 followers, but if only fifteen are interested in what you’re writing about, then you really only have fifteen true followers.

I must say, I truly feel blessed to have such an engaged audience already here at The Golden Lands.  You guys are totally awesome and it’s your support that keeps me going and gives me hope.  This is what every writer needs, whether he knows it or not.  And it’s what every writer wants, whether he wants it or not.

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved
Copyright 2015 All rights reserved

Stay awesome,

Aul

More Than Just “The Golden Lands” on this Blog!

Just wanted to let you all know that, from time to time, I’m just going to write about whatever crosses my mind.  That could be some beef I have with our culture, tips and experiences about writing, religious stuff, etc.  I think it’s only right that I tell you, because I’m aware that recently I’ve only been blogging about my fantasy novella series.  And that’s because it’s going to be coming out very soon, most likely as an ebook.  But I just don’t want it to be a surprise when I throw an insightful post about a contemporary issue at you.

So stay tuned!  Lots of exciting, thought-provoking stuff on the way!

Your AA,

Aul

The Name

The Genre

The Dream

The Reason

The Cover

You now know (or are at least able to know) all these things about my series of novellas.  Now I’m going to tell you the name of the series.

Wait…what?  Isn’t “The Golden Lands” the name of the series?

Well, technically it is.  I’m going to give you the name of the first volume, in anticipation of its release, which I estimate to be within the next two weeks.  So here’s the name:

The Golden Lands, Volume 1: Shadows in the Sunlight

What do ya think?  Obviously, it’s hard to tell whether or not a book is named correctly unless we know what happens in it.  But, like all great titles, it should cause you to ask certain questions.  The most important thing, however, that I want you to ask, or at least be curious about, is “Why ‘Shadows in the Sunlight’?  It doesn’t make sense.”

Bingo.

The title of volume one immediately says something very profound: something is happening that shouldn’t.  Not in the moral sense.  I mean in the natural sense.  It just shouldn’t happen.  There’s something fundamentally and naturally wrong going on.  Of course, we only have shadows because of sunlight.  But even still, where there is only sunlight, there is no reason for shadows to be present.  So why are they there?

What—or who—is in the Golden Lands, such that its very presence there is fundamentally wrong, like a shadow existing in the sunlight?

Get excited to find out.  Self-publishing is happening very soon!

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved
Copyright 2015 All rights reserved

Note: you’re probably going to be seeing this picture a lot 🙂

Your AA,

Aul

The Cover

The Genre.

The Dream.

The Reason.

You now know all of these things concerning The Golden Lands.  You know the unique genre I’m writing the story in, the dream for the story, and the reason why.

Now I’m going to show you the cover.

*Cue epic music*

Presenting…..

….The fantastic…

…Most epic…

…COVER OF THE GOLDEN LANDS!!!

DOT

ISN’T THAT INCREDIBLE!?!?!

…Now I know what you’re thinking:

the image is not mine
the image is not mine

I can’t say you’d be wrong 😉  But I was just kidding.  Ladies and gentlemen, here’s the cover for the first volume of The Golden Lands!

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved
Copyright 2015 All rights reserved

This picture was drawn by my younger sister Clare (who happens to run a blog with her friend over at https://lilyorphaned.wordpress.com/ [you should check it out!]).  This masterpiece has literally succeeded all I could have hoped for in regards to getting an awesome cover.  Being no artist myself, and not having enough money to pay an illustrator, my sister came through just in time.  And I’m totally satisfied with what she’s created.  The picture is a scene taken from the first chapter of volume one of the series, and I think you can guess what’s happening.  I hope you’re starting to get the “animeish” feel to the series.  What’s more, the cover is a perfect reflection of so many emotions and themes intertwined throughout the series; the darkness of the series, the violence, the emotion, the struggle of the characters, and the strength of the antagonists.

Things are starting to come together now.  I’ve almost finished editing the first volume AGAIN and, already having my cover, I’ll be ready to self-publish very soon.

Start getting exciting, because the ride is about to start!

Your AA,

Aul

The Reason

So far, you’ve learned about the genre and the dream of The Golden Lands.

Now I’m going to explain the reason why I’m writing The Golden Lands:

FAME. FORTUNE.  WORLD DOMINATION!!!!!

(the image is not mine)

Just kidding!  Although I can’t say that I’d say no to fame and fortune (and I probably wouldn’t be the best at domination the world), those aren’t the reasons why I’m writing TGL.

The Golden Lands is, first of all, extremely fun to write.  It’s very fast paced, which means it’s always exciting for me to write and present to others, and the main character is based off of yours truly, and the second main character is based off of a friend.  So now I get to write about myself doing things I could only imagine doing, in the hope that I’ll someday be able to live up to my character’s example.  This is a big part of why I’m writing TGL: I’ve done it to create a “better me” so that I can try to live up to my “better me”.

It’s actually pretty interesting; fusing my character, aspirations, likes and dislikes, what I know or don’t know about myself, into this person who grows into a better person than I am.  It enables me to learn more about myself, and what I’m truly like.  I think most writers would agree that their writing is a reflection of who they are; combine that with a character that is supposed to be you yourself, and the puzzle of who you are starts to come together.

Sheesh, that paragraph was confusing…

Let’s not forget another significant reason why I write TGL.  I am doing this for God.  I believe that my writing can be pleasing to Him, and I believe that I can help others to follow in His ways.  Mind you, The Golden Lands could not be categorized as Christian, but it does have themes of Christian morality.  And I think most people appreciate and take the most away from Christian morals.  If you’re not a Christian, maybe you disagree, and I can understand why.  But, for example, out of all the Avengers, I think most people would agree that Captain America possesses the most impressive moral values.  Which Avengers’ values reflect Christian values the most?  Captain America’s.

Just a friendly example 🙂

But anyway, God is one of the most important, if not the most important reason why I am writing.  Although The Golden Lands aren’t Christian fiction, the characters still possess that impressive sense of morality, based off of Christian values.

So now you know the reason.  Stay tuned for the next post when I show off the cover of TGL!!!

Your AA,

Aul

The Dream

the image is not mine
the image is not mine

So, what’s the dream?

I’ve always wanted The Golden Lands (TGL) (we’re talking about the series) to become a long lasting series of books that people, including myself, can’t get enough of.  I want people to fall in love with the characters; to feel what they feel, want what they want, feel happy for them, sad for them…I think you get the picture.  I want people to think about my characters; about why they do what they do, say what they say, believe what they believe, or enjoy this kind of soup or that kind of soup (obviously the most important one).

I want people to enjoy TGL too!

As of now, as you’re witnessing my journey, I’m planning on self-publishing The Golden Lands very soon.  It will most likely only be an ebook of some sort at first, but I’m sure I’ll move on to hard copies as time goes on.  I know self-publishing is a tricky road to go down; tons of people self-publish, and it’s very easy to get lost in all the madness.  What’s more, there isn’t very much appreciation for self-published books.  Thus, while—let’s face it—not every self-published book is that great, it would certainly stink if the good stuff (cough) just got blown over on the assumption that it’s also lame too.  So there’s a danger to self-publishing.

But it’s a lot quicker!  There’s a better chance that your work won’t get stolen and changed by some back-stabbing publisher and you get way more money for each copy you sell.

So there’s good stuff.

There’s always bad stuff.

…Sheesh, writing a book is a lot like going through life.

I know, that was beautiful. (sarcasm)

Your AA,

Aul

The Genre

So far, the only thing you know about my novella series is that it’s supposedly “epic”.  And that’s all you need to know.  Anticipate my masterpiece.

——–END OF COMMERCIAL——-

And right now you’re probably thinking, “Um, #uninformative.”  (Maybe you’re not a “hashtag” person, but I’m a teen so I’ve got rights ;).)  If you did think that, you’re a smart person.  If you didn’t think that…

Well, anyway.

…Haha 🙂

So, on to describing my novella series.  What’s it about?  A jaded, depressed, angry teenager, who goes on a quest of personal vengeance to get back at a group of evil dudes for nearly killing him and leaving him to bleed out…in the middle of his family-room floor.  And let’s not forget they’ve kidnapped his younger siblings.  Wrath making him relentless, the main character is prepared to do anything to find these “Evil” and punish all who do evil.  He makes some life-changing friends along the way.  He makes life-changing enemies.  He starts uncovering a deep, dark, secret plan.

What’s the genre? Fantasy/slightly graphic novel(la).  Why the “slightly graphic”?  I’m not sure if I’m introducing a whole new genre here, but I personally have a love of anime.  These novellas are therefore going to be “literary graphic novels” (Anime is based off of graphic novels).  If you’ve never seen anime, that’s okay.  It’s basically just Japanese cartoon shows, but they tend to be very mature, have epic plots, lots of awesome and inspiring characters, and some of them are ridiculously funny.  These novellas that I’m writing, coming out in volumes, are meant to have an “animeish” feel to them.  What does that mean?  Well, in anime, most of the characters are super tough; they can somehow suffer terrible wounds but find the means to persevere and keep on fighting.  It makes it…unrealistic, in a sense, but this is fiction we’re talking about.  What else about my novellas resemble anime?  The humor.  Although this exact scene doesn’t happen in the series, here’s an example of anime humor:

Michael was having a seriously bad day.  His car broke down on the way to work, a woman spilled coffee on his shirt, and, due to being so stressed, his face was the color of a strawberry.

You’re laughing, right?  Didn’t think so.  Let me get to the punchline.

Upon entering his office building, he grumpily thought, “How can this day get any worse?”  Almost simultaneously, a random explosion erupts in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, destroying all of Western Civilization.

And also, in response to the explosion, the American flag on the moon falls over.

Okay, so maybe that wasn’t my best joke.  You’re probably wondering what happened to Western Civilization.  Well, in anime, you’d watch the explosion destroy all of Western Civilization, and then you’d be right back with Michael in the office, like it never happened.  I think you’re starting to get the idea of anime.  Some things are exaggerated.

The reason my novellas classify as fantasy is because there is sword fighting, magical powers, strange creatures, and stuff like that.  Each volume is going to be very fast paced; in fact each volume is only about sixty pages long!  That being said, there are going to be a lot of them; the goal is to write at least twelve.  I’m already producing them pretty rapidly.  Once again, if you’re having doubts, I hope you give them a chance.

So here’s your summary of the genre:

Fantasy/Graphic novel

Action/Adventure/Dark/Emotional

Yes, I added “dark” and “emotional” in there.  That’s because the first volume is indeed both dark and emotional.  But then, you’ll have to find out for yourself.

Your Aspiring Author (AA)

Aul