October 12, 2008

The devil is in the detail

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 9:04 am by ricsavage

Had a little revelation the other day..  it was a combination of things  first a meeting with a great artist..  Chris Christoforou  not only a fantastic artist, but a really nice guy too.  we spent a lot of time talking on a wide variety of subjects, which will no doubt become subjects for subsequent blogs..  we did spend time talking about fine detail and the importance of good quality of reference material.  Following our chat I have been re-evaluating some of my own ideas in art work..  as a parallel to this I have been working on a new short story, a piece called “in the driving seat”  it was intended as a 2500 word short story  but it currently stands at about 11,000  I am working on the second round of edits. Thank you Laurie www.blackvelvetseductions.com    The editing process takes you a while to go through, and most writers sigh when they see the edits.  But the up side and it is a massive up side, you go deeper into the story and the characters.  Without going into to mush of the plot, after all I would like you to buy the story, it is about domestic discipline, spanking to be precise.  The first pass of edits got the story into a rough shape.  Beginning, middle and end.  The second round gets us looking at characters and there motivation and emotions.  I was sat at the pc this morning working on a letter to my editor and publisher and mentioned a bit of detail I was working on and suddenly a little light came on  and I drew a direct comparison between my art and writing.  The analogy I used with painting was.….  the devil is in the detail.. you can draw a tree  and it is a tree..  no question..  but there are lollipop trees, a ball on a stick and trees where you see every leaf, every detail in the bark..  writing for me is the same, the first pass is the sketch.  On the second  come the detail and third yet more detail and observation  detailed emotions is rather akin to fine detail painting.


With the current story “in the driving seat”  by and large I am happy, it has direction and is coming along   a bit slow but solid progress   the scene I am working on takes place in the kitchen and is prior to the spanking in the first found the woman is angry..  but in looking at the character and getting into the character, yes she is angry, but it is more than that, she is resentful.  The male lead has just ordered her to strip.  If I had kept is as angry she would tell him to bugger off, or maybe worse, to make the scene work, she has to strip so changing the emotion to resentful she will do what he says begrudgingly.  It was that parallel with fine detail which got me there, seeing the depth of emotion in the same way as I look for the fine detail in art.


August 17, 2008

Why Are You Writing?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 5:24 am by ricsavage

Why Are You Writing?


It is a question I have asked myself.  Along with, do we just right for ourselves?


I guess what prompted sole searching was this….  I have a friend, actually a life model from my art class that has written a rather nice book. It is a good story, a rather nice romance. I thought of BVS and had her pass it along to Laurie Sanders.  Chatting further, the life model told me that she didn’t want to do revisions, that as far as she was concerned the book was finished. I knew there and then that the book, unless vanity published, would not see the light of day. It is not enough to write, even if you write well. The stories need to stand on their own in the market place and they need to be commercial enough to sell.  It makes sense in my opinion to make the stories you write as market driven as possible by aiming at the market. Writing for your self is great fun, but writing with a view to publication is quite a different matter. 


I’m sorry if that turns our life passion into a commodity, but it is a commodity when you stop and think about it.  If you intend to get your words in print.


If our books were a can of beans with an interesting label and a pretty picture people might stop and look at it. They might even pick it up. But when they read that the beans were strawberry jelly and curry flavored, they would put them down again. I wouldn’t advocate making the product bland just for it to fit in. I am more in favor of individual, unique, thought provoking, and challenging writing. However, it makes sense to cut out the things that don’t work from the outset.   If you are told that wimpy beach bum heroes just don’t sell, and that rugged dependable types do sell  it kind of makes sense to do more of what the consumer wants (rugged dependable type heroes) and less of what they do not want (wimpy beach bum type heroes). 


I suppose as I have asked the question I should answer it for myself.


Why do I write?  I love it..  it is as frustrating as heck but I love writing and drawing, it is my life.  And I suppose I am optomistic enough to think someone might be interested to read and look at the work I do


Happy writing and make every word count



August 1, 2008

Ask not what your publisher can do for you.. but what you can do for your publisher

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 2:38 pm by ricsavage

I know I am preaching to the converted here. 


I was in a writer’s forum the other day and I was struck by the general attitude the writers took. The attitude of many of the authors was, “Well.. I spent all that time writing the book, the least the publisher could do is ALL the promotion.”  I found the attitude strange.  It was almost the writers were washing there hands if the project.  The publisher can’t autograph the books or set up signings on my behalf writers, even if they wanted to. The best the publisher can do is to send out some direct mail pieces to their readership or to bookstores. But they can’t promote the book in the same way I can as an author.


I really can’t see what authors expect to gain from taking the stance that publishers should do all the promotion.


From my prospective, and I might be on my own with this, though I hope I am not, getting a story into print has been one of the proudest moments of my life.  I have been writing without success for years. Finally hitting the right combination of story and the help of an editor that believes in me I am in print.  That story took about a year from concept to print.  I wanted the whole world to know..  I can’t understand a writer who wouldn’t.


The writers in the forum seemed to think that, with the book in print that is the end of the process for them, that once the book was published it was just a matter of sitting back and waiting for the royalty check to pop through the door. 


As JFK put it “Ask not what your publisher can do for you.. but what you can do for your publisher…” or at least I think he said that.  I see it as a symbiotic relationship between myself and my publisher.  I want to get the book out there.  They want to get the book out there, book sales being the result, hopefully.  So surly everyone is on the same team rather than a “them and us”  we all want it to be a success, surly that’s why we wrote it..  right?? 


I was struck by the irony that many of the authors didn’t seem to see royalties as being connected to promotion and promotion leading to sales, like the “Royalty Fairy” was mysteriously popping a cheque in the post. There was kind of a “not my problem” feeling to it.. 


It all goes together as one circle.  Promotion leads to sales and readership which leads to more sales and a larger readership.


For the actual promotion, I have a little list of ten things to promote that I try to do every week.  My list isn’t just for promoting my writing but is for promoting my erotic art as well but the principal is the same.  The top ten is an aspiration list, with the most important tasks down to less important tasks.   I rarely do all ten, but I feel if I have done at least two or maybe three of the things on my list, then I have done something and one piece of promotion is better than no promotion. It all adds up.


I’ll get off the soap box now



July 24, 2008

Can you be Just to close to the work?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 12:18 pm by ricsavage

Can you be Just to close to the work?

In a physical and emotional sense I believe you can..  my approach to this is two fold as artist and writer.   First as an artist you can be just too close you really don’t see a project clearly at the time.  On many occasions I have painted a picture, which I loved considered it to be a good work, to revisit it a few years later and think “what the heck was I up to when I painted that?”   and the reverse is true..  a painting that I considered a bit lack lustre at the time with the benefit of hindsight looks a valid piece of art..  the same is true of writing  though sadly a lot of my early stuff was so shallow I would be to embarrassed to show it to anyone now.  It is all apart of that growing process..  I guess one of my hardest learnt lessons so far in writing is, keeping it in a point of view and deep characterisation.  It is important to fix your point of view and keep it there and if you switch to another view point make a clear transition.   But of course when writing you can’t always see it..  You are too involved..   For what it is worth..  My ten cents..   Sometimes it is good to step back and look at the BIG picture, either art or writing, is the structure good?  Does the idea work over all?  Is the plot strong? 





My first BVS blog post….

Posted in Arty tagged , , at 8:16 am by ricsavage

A shameful admission..  and I humbly apologise to Laurie and all of the BVS family.


An introduction to those I have not met or worked with, my name is Richard Savage most people call me Ric.  I am an artist and writer from the UK.  I still get a thrill, every time I write that I am an artist and writer.  My main art subject is erotic in one form or another..  if you are interested you can see my stuff on www.swage.net   there is more to my art than erotic I am working on a more main stream web site at www.savagestudio.net  this is still under construction.


I love what I do and I love that I have found a home at Black Velvet Seductions.  I have done some covers for BVS and I have very much enjoyed working with everyone.  I have found this a very nurturing environment.  My first three stories have been published here and I would not consider moving.  Laurie is great to work with, she is the most democratic and helpful publisher I have ever known.


The first one written..  I look forward to working with you all in the near future