Monday, October 29, 2012

Joss Whedon On Romney

Interview with Neale Sourna at eBookMall

Neale Sourna eBooks

Neale won's Best Erotica Novel award for her first published novel, "Hobble," published through her own company, PIE: Perception Is Everything, and successfully ranked as a finalist for New Century Screenplay's national contest for her script, "FRAMES." Neale has many enjoyable titles available for ebook and print.

This author's purpose? Great fiction with great characters, edgy and human characters, whether male or female POV, that gets in deep under your skin and is a benefit in your life, perhaps even a great anchor or a great elevator of spirit, fiction (and nonfiction) you'll read again and again, and share with your friends, family, and special beloved one(s). / Interview with Neale Sourna

Do your friends and family approve or disprove of the content of your books?

They approve and think it scandalous fun; but, I'm not certain they actually read them. I sent everyone a copy of my first to publish, "Hobble," and have gotten praise for completing it and continuing; and my schoolmate Amy said she'd put it somewhere the kids wouldn't get into it.

Name a book that you'd blush to be seen reading on the bus.

I don't remember the titles; but, when I had out erotic books from the Cleveland Public Library ( for reference reading, mostly contemporary gay / lesbian or classic erotica stuff; the covers had naked women on them, that's a bit racy for the city bus. Of course, now my own North Coast Academies series has a man's naked chest and a woman's lace clad tushy and condom; so, I hold it downward—as I do most books anyway, as the natural reading position—on public transport.

What is a favorite novel of yours that nobody else seems to have heard of?

Ursula K. Le Guin's "Lathe of Heaven," as a novel; not just two obscure sci-fi films. Another people seem to forget is a book novel, not just movies. In fact, I once found, that I own—meaning I bought it TWICE, and enjoyed buying it, again, totalling forgetting I already had a copy—Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights." I adore its wild, deep passions, which is why it was heavily censured; men and certainly educated, well-bred ladies don't write that. They do and / or they read it, too. Repeatedly. I still have both copies.

What book were you forced to read at school that no child should have to study?

Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath"; can't finish the book, can't finish the film. It's the only book report I ever fudged in school. Sorry. Maybe because it's too well-written and I find all the dreariness daunting. When Mr. M. Smith asked me if I'd actually read the book; I told this favored 11th grade American English teacher, "Yes and no. I read the top, hated it. Skipped to the end, and hated that, too." But, worse, I just didn't care about the people in that story; but, I respect and like Steinbeck's other works.

I never finished "Lord Jim" either, although I'd bought it to do so. I couldn't get through the first non-ending, mind-numbing pages of descriptions of foliage or whatever; did get through the Peter O'Toole film, once. I've been reading adult level books since elementary but, sometimes, stuff is just not for every mind and heart.

Did you ever read a book and then wish you had all that time back?

No. If it's that bad, I don't finish it. I try, though, and I give it more time and pages to win me over, and a limit; like with the formerly U.S.-banned erotica "Tropic of Cancer" (1934) by Henry Miller—another reference I got from CPL, for good written erotica. My limit was, if he mentioned "bedbugs" ONE MORE time, I'd quit. I think I read fewer than ten more pages before he did it again.

I never have these problems with D. H. Lawrence, who is more emotion and love-based to me, and less a one trying to show off how manly he is, yet, uses the "naughty" words, as real people do, and telling stories well.

What is the best contemporary novel you've read in the last year?

I can't say one in particular, but for the past year—since I enjoy well-crafted and character most, then action and emotion based on how each character handles it—enjoyed the entire series for, each: Harry Potter, Sookie Stackhouse, Lily Bard's "Shakespeare" series, and latest continuations for "The House of Night's" Zooey Redbird minus the novellas (haven't gotten to those, yet).

Waiting to get my hands on the new Diana Gabaldon for anything in the "Outlander" series. Always.

What is the best writing advice you've ever been given?

"Write what you know." But, I interpret it as writing what I love to read, study, and obsess about, or am annoyed with, because that gives the writing energy. I know lots of stuff and it floats up, pulled by each different character, whether Old West, or Victorian England, or just male/female POV things from real people, and old books and stories, or a new and inventive character-driven television show on DVD.

Did you ever regret wanting to be a writer?

No. Never. But, I do find it sometimes daunting, crazy, overwhelming, and awe-inspiring. Godlike. Making entire worlds and allowing my character children do their individual thing, no matter how much they sometimes freak me out.

Do you like to know how a story ends before starting it?

Of someone else's book, no. Of one of my own, I usually have an idea, an inkling of what the end is, sometimes I haven't a clue, until I fully get there; especially, if I thought I knew but the character pulls a u-turn or loop the loop spiral; and, suddenly, the end I perceived has a slightly different flavor or sense to it. That's really cool.

I had that happen with "Hobble." The lead, Benn, had a significantly different personal background, just a slight step to the side, from the one I'd penned for him up to the point the cops reveal what he'd hidden (even from me, his author!!!) most of the entire book. A way cool surprise.

Do you ever write while intoxicated?

I don't drink intoxicants, or take them any other way, they're annoying, expensive, and ruin the mediumistic connection I have with me, myself, and I. So, I'd assume intoxicants would interfere with my characters communicating with me. Except, maybe, caffeine mixed with sugary drinks. Yum.

And, yes, they do communicate. I hear their voices in my head, feel their emotions, and sometimes, like with anahk Tor of my "All Along the Watchtower," he communicates so clearly to me, sometimes, I've actually told him to shut up, so I could sleep, and to hold his thoughts until the next day writing, or dictation, in his case. Making good use of all those years in administrative offices downtown.

And, once or twice, when I've been deeply upset with heavy life issues, Tor has come to me, in my dreams, and comforted me. Really.

That is deep and, probably, a bit psychotic to some; but, I'd never planned on being an author, really. I'd thought I'd write a book or two, nonfiction about something amusing or interesting; but, mostly, I'd be a screenwriter for TV and film or a music composer; instead, a child of a minister truck driver and a foodworker from working class middle America's north Midwest is....

It's too amazing, sometimes. So, I've been dragging my heels, a bit, because it is so damn amazing, and important (no matter what people whine about the less importantness of entertainment, and how much it costs); good stories, let alone great ones, and characters you remember like friends and family are priceless. And a thing I'm used to generating in my private mind and feelings, since I was little, not penning and handing to others to read!

I'm working on that, folks, and own my still GROWING cue of interesting novels, about: a Victorian Native American, Tor and his powerful sorceress princess, expanding post Charles II of England's runaway bride "Becca's" story of loving a pirate and a soldier from the online short chapters, and more stories in Sparta and Rome, in deep space, and a stint or two in the military Special Forces....

Thanks, Neale Sourna Ebooks at eBookMall

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Slippery Slope of E-Originals, Part 1 and 2_October 14, 2012 | Richard Curtis

The Slippery Slope of E-Originals, Part 1 and 2, |

In the last year a number of major publishers have begun offering authors contracts for “e-originals” – books released originally – and exclusively – in e-book format. Though this is a logical step in the evolution of traditional publishing houses from tangible to virtual formats, the deflationary nature of its business model poses a serious threat to author earning power. Less obvious but ultimately more dangerous is the implosive effect the shift may have on the publishing companies themselves and the people who work for them.

What’s Wrong with Paperback Originals?

The first and obvious question is, what’s wrong with paperbacks books, that publishers are abandoning them in favor of digital originals? The fact is that in the past fifteen or twenty years, mass market paperback books have transformed from a breeding ground for fresh talent to an exclusive club for bestselling authors.

The reasons for this metamorphosis are complex (you can read about them in The Rise and Fall of the Mass Market Paperback: Part 1, Part 2), but in essence the ruthless math of an industry based on the returnability of books has made it almost impossible for fresh talent to develop over time in the nursery of original paperbacks. Though many promising genre authors, especially romance writers, continue to be introduced in mass market paperback, the sales thresholds they must achieve in order to make a profit for their publishers have risen to almost unattainable heights.

Cue e-book originals.

At first blush, e-originals appear to be the perfect way for publishers to pull authors out of this death spiral, for many of the costs of manufacturing and distribution are lower or negligible. You would think that the savings would be passed along to authors in the form of higher advances and royalties. So far, that has proven far from true. Why?

At the present time, the so-called “standard” e-book royalty paid by the Big Six legacy publishers – Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Macmillan – is 25% of net receipts.

Though many independent e-book publishers (including, full disclosure, my own firm E-Reads) pay 50% or higher, the Big Six justify the 25% royalty on the strength of the high cost of manufacturing the print books that serve as the launch pad for their e-book reprints. If it costs X thousand dollars for a publisher to produce and publish a hardcover book, publishers reason, a portion of those costs should be allocated to the production of the e-book.

Though many authors deny that assumption, let’s grant it for the sake of argument. It is, however, much harder to grant it in the case of original e-books. Though the cost of producing e-books is higher than most lay people may think (see Are Publishers Making a Killing on E-Books?, Part 1 and Part 2), it is considerably lower than the cost of producing print books.

Publishers, however, don’t see it that way. They contend that they are not yet selling e-books in sufficient quantities to merit advances commensurate with those paid for paperback originals. Advances for e-originals are therefore dropping by half or more of those paid for print originals, and in some instances publishers are offering no advances at all. To compound the injury, they remain adamant about the 25% net royalty.

Do the Math

It might help to do the math. If a publisher charges $3.99 for an e-original and collects on the average of 60% of the list price from the retailer, that comes to $2.40. 25% of that sum, $.60, goes to the author. In order to make $5000, a reasonable minimum for three to six months’ work, that book would have to sell over 8,000 e-book units. Most publishers would deny that that is a realistic projection. They are therefore offering a good deal less than $5000 advances, and in some cases are offering no advances at all.

From this, as comedian Jackie Mason might say, you cannot make a living. Or, to put it another way, the economics of e-originals published by big houses are so marginal that many authors might now be tempted to jump to on the independent bandwagon, where 50%, 60% and 70% royalties beckon to the self-published.

What is the solution? Obviously, if Big Six publishers want to retain quality authors they may have no choice but to raise their royalty rates and pay decent advances.

In the second installment of this post we’ll look at the unintended consequences facing Big Six publishers who are switching to e-originals

Richard Curtis
Richard Curtis

About Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis is a leading New York literary agent ( who foresaw the Digital Book Revolution and launched an e-book publishing company early in 2000. E-Reads ( is one of the foremost independent e-book publishers in the industry, specializing in reprints of genre fiction by leading authors in their fields. Curtis is also a well-known authors advocate, author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction including several books about the publishing industry, and prolific blogger – see his hundreds of other blog posts here

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Sunday, October 21, 2012



To the writing of his detective stories RAYMOND CHANDLER brings the experience and the skepticism of a newspaper reporter, the narrative gifts of a born storyteller, and a mastery of pungent American dialogue. 

His leading character, Philip Marlowe, is a professional detective who has held the spotlight thus far in four novels, all of which have been purchased by the movies. One of them, The Big Sleep, in which Lauren Bacall plays the lead, is soon to be released. 

In his screenplays as in his books, Mr. Chandler has scored a personal success, but he has done so without losing sight of the difficulties encountered by the creative writer in the studios. For this is the anomaly: the producers pay their authors large fees apparently for the purpose of disregarding their advice and their text.
By Raymond Chandler
(B: July 23, 1888 – D: March 26, 1959)
HOLLYWOOD is easy to hate, easy to sneer at, easy to lampoon. Some of the best lampooning has been done by people who have never been through a studio gate, some of the best sneering by egocentric geniuses who departed huffily - not forgetting to collect their last pay check – leaving behind them nothing but the exquisite aroma of their personalities and a botched job for the tired hacks to clean up.

Even as far away as New York, where Hollywood assumes all really intelligent people live (since they obviously do not live in Hollywood), the disease of exaggeration can be caught. The motion picture critic of one of the less dazzled intellectual weeklies, commenting recently on a certain screenplay, remarked that it showed "how dull a couple of run-of-the-mill $3000-a-week writers can be."

I hope this critic will not be startled to learn that 50 per cent of the screenwriters of Hollywood made less than $10,000 last year, and that he could count on his fingers the number that made a steady income anywhere near the figure he so contemptuously mentioned. I don't know whether they could be called run-of-the-mill writers or not. To me the phrase suggests something a little easier to get hold of.

I hold no brief for Hollywood. I have worked there a little over two years, which is far from enough to make me an authority, but more than enough to make me feel pretty thoroughly bored. That should not be so. An industry with such vast resources and such magic techniques should not become dull so soon. An art which is capable of making all but the very best plays look trivial and contrived, all but the very best novels verbose and imitative, should not so quickly become wearisome to those who attempt to practice it with something else in mind than the cash drawer.

The making of a picture ought surely to be a rather fascinating adventure. It is not; it is an endless contention of tawdry egos, some of them powerful, almost all of them vociferous, and almost none of them capable of anything much more creative than credit-stealing and self-promotion.

Hollywood is a showman's paradise. But showmen make nothing; they exploit what someone else has made.

The publisher and the play producer are showmen too; but they exploit what is already made. The showmen of Hollywood control the making – and thereby degrade it.

For the basic art of motion pictures is the screenplay; it is fundamental, without it there is nothing. 

Everything derives from the screenplay, and most of that which derives is an applied skill which, however adept, is artistically not in the same class with the creation of a screenplay. But in Hollywood the screenplay in written by a salaried writer under the supervision of a producer - that is to say, by an employee without power or decision over the uses of his own craft, without ownership of it, and, however extravagantly paid, almost without honor for it.

I am aware that there are colorable economic reasons for the Hollywood system of "getting out the script." But I am not much interested in them.

Pictures cost a great deal of money—true. The studio spends the money; all the writer spends is his time (and incidentally his life, his hopes, and all the varied experiences, most of them painful, which finally made him into a writer) - this also is true. The producer is charged with the salability and soundness of the project - true. The director can survive few failures; the writer can stink for ten years and still make his thousand a week - true also. But entirely beside the point.

I am not interested in why the Hollywood system exists or persists, nor in learning out of what bitter struggles for prestige it arose, nor in how much money it succeeds in making out of bad pictures. I am interested only in the fact that as a result of it there is no such thing as an art of the screenplay [in 1945], and there never will be as long as the system lasts, for it is the essence of this system that it seeks to exploit a talent without permitting it the right to be a talent. It cannot be done; you can only destroy the talent, which is exactly what happens - when there is any to destroy.

Granted that there isn't much. Some chatty publisher (probably Bennett Cerf) remarked once that there are writers in Hollywood making two thousand dollars a week who haven't had an idea in ten years. He exaggerated—backwards: there are writers in Hollywood making two thousand a week who never had an idea in their lives, who have never written a photographable scene, who could not make two cents a word in the pulp market if their lives depended on it. Hollywood is full of such writers, although there are few at such high salaries.

They are, to put it bluntly, a pretty dreary lot of hacks, and most of them know it, and they take their kicks and their salaries and try to be reasonably grateful to an industry which permits them to live much more opulently than they could live anywhere else.

And I have no doubt that most of them, also, would like to be much better writers than they are, would like to have force and integrity and imagination enough of these to earn a decent living at some art of literature that has the dignity of a free profession.

It will not happen to them, and there is not much reason why it should. If it ever could have happened, it will not happen now.

For even the best of them (with a few rare exceptions) devote their entire time to work which has no more possibility of distinction than a Pekinese has of becoming a Great Dane:
  • to asinine musicals about technicolor legs and the yowling of night-club singers;
  • to "psychological" dramas with wooden plots, stock characters, and that persistent note of fuzzy earnestness which suggests the conversation of schoolgirls in puberty; 
  • to sprightly and sophisticated comedies (we hope) in which the gags are as stale as the attitudes, in which there is always a drink in every hand, a butler in every doorway, and a telephone on the edge of every bathtub; 
  • to historical epics in which the male actors look like female impersonators, and the lovely feminine star looks just a little too starry-eyed for a babe who has spent half her life swapping husbands; 
  • and last but not least, to those pictures of deep social import in which everybody is thoughtful and grown-up and sincere and the more difficult problems of life are wordily resolved into a unanimous vote of confidence in the inviolability of the Constitution, the sanctity of the home, and the paramount importance of the streamlined kitchen.
And these, dear readers, are the million-dollar babies—the cream of the crop. Most of the boys and girls who write for the screen never get anywhere near this far. They devote their sparkling lines and their structural finesse to horse operas, cheap gun-in-the-kidney melodramas, horror items about mad scientists and cliffhangers concerned with screaming blondes and circular saws. The writers of this tripe are licked before they start. Even in a purely technical sense their work is doomed for lack of the time to do it properly.

The challenge of screenwriting is to say much in little and then take half of that little out and still preserve an effect of leisure and natural movement. Such a technique requires experiment and elimination. The cheap pictures simply cannot afford it.
LET me not imply that there are no writers of authentic ability in Hollywood. There are not many, but there are not many anywhere. The creative gift is a scarce commodity, and patience and imitation have always done most of its work.

There is no reason to expect from the anonymous toilers of the screen a quality which we are very obviously not getting from the publicized litterateurs of the best-seller list, from the compilers of fourth-rate historical novels which sell half a million copies, from the Broadway candy butchers known as playwrights, or from the sulky maestri of the little magazines.

To me the interesting point about Hollywood's writers of talent is not how few or how many they are, but how little of worth their talent is allowed to achieve.

Interesting - but hardly unexpected, once you accept the premise that writers are employed to write screenplays on the theory that, being writers, they have a particular gift and training for the job, and are then prevented from doing it with any independence or finality whatsoever, on the theory that, being merely writers, they know nothing about making pictures, and of course if they don't know how to make pictures, they couldn't possibly know how to write them.

It takes a producer to tell them that.

I do not wish to become unduly vitriolic on the subject of producers. My own experience does not justify it, and after all, producers too are slaves of the system. Also, the term "producer" is of very vague definition.

Some producers are powerful in their own right, and some are little more than legmen for the front office; some - few, I trust - receive less money than some of the writers who work for them. It is even said that in one large Hollywood studio there are producers who are lower than writers; not merely in earning power, but in prestige, importance, and aesthetic ability. It is, of course, a very large studio where all sorts of unexplained things could happen and hardly be noticed.

For my thesis the personal qualities of a producer are rather beside the point. Some are able and humane men and some are low-grade individuals with the morals of a goat, the artistic integrity of a slot machine, and the manners of a floorwalker with delusions of grandeur.

In so far as the writing of the screenplay is concerned, however, the producer is the boss; the writer either gets along with him and his ideas (if he has any) or gets out.

This means both personal and artistic subordination, and no writer of quality will long accept either without surrendering that which made him a writer of quality, without dulling the fine edge of his mind, without becoming little by little a conniver rather than a creator, a supple and facile journeyman rather than a craftsman of original thought.

It makes very little difference how a writer feels towards his producer as a man; the fact that the producer can change and destroy and disregard his work can only operate to diminish that work in its conception and to make it mechanical and indifferent in execution.

The impulse to perfection cannot exist where the definition of perfection is the arbitrary decision of authority. That which is born in loneliness and from the heart cannot be defended against the judgment of a committee of sycophants. The volatile essences which make literature cannot survive the clichés of a long series of story conferences. 

There is little magic of word or emotion or situation which can remain alive after the incessant bone-scraping revisions imposed on the Hollywood writer by the process of rule by decree. That these magics do somehow, here and there, by another and even rarer magic, survive and reach the screen more or less intact is the infrequent miracle which keeps Hollywood's handful of fine writers from cutting their throats.

Hollywood has no right to expect such miracles, and it does not deserve the men who bring them to pass.  Its conception of what makes a good picture is still as juvenile as its treatment of writing talent is insulting and degrading.

Its idea of "production value" is spending a million dollars dressing up a story that any good writer would throw away. Its vision of the rewarding movie is a vehicle for some glamorpuss with two expressions and eighteen changes of costume, or for some male idol of the muddled millions with a permanent hangover, six worn-out acting tricks, the build of a lifeguard, and the mentality of a chicken-strangler. Pictures for such purposes as these, Hollywood lovingly and carefully makes. The good ones smack it in the rear when it isn't looking.
For all this too there are colorable economic reasons. The motion picture is a great industry as well as a defeated art. Its technicians are now in their third generation, its investments are world-wide, its demand for material is insatiable. Five hundred pictures a year must be made or the theaters will be dark, countless people will be thrown out of work, financial organizations will totter, and bankers will start jumping out of their office windows again.

Hollywood does not possess enough real talent to make one tenth of five hundred pictures, even if it could find stories to base them on. But the rest must be made somehow, and they are made—with great effort and bitter struggle, with the hardening of many arteries and the graying of many hairs, and with the slow deadening of such real ability as could have been saved by happier tasks.

And the men who turn out this essentially dreary product are well paid by the standards of other industries. This reward is not, of course, due to any big-heartedness on the part of the financial big shots who control the working capital. The men with the money and the ultimate power can do anything they like with Hollywood - as long as they don't mind losing their investment. They can destroy any studio executive overnight, contract or no contract; any star, any producer, any director—as an individual.

What they cannot destroy is the Hollywood system.

It may be wasteful, absurd, even dishonest, but it is all there is, and no cold-blooded board of directors can replace it. It has been tried, but the showmen always win. They always win against mere money. What in the long run - the very long run - they can never defeat is talent, even writing talent.

It is, I am afraid, a very long run indeed. There is no present indication whatever that the Hollywood writer is on the point of acquiring any real control over his work, any right to choose what that work shall be (other than refusing jobs, which he can only do within narrow limits), or even any right to decide how the values in the producer-chosen work shall be brought out.

There is no present guarantee that his best lines, best ideas, best scenes will not be changed or omitted on the set by the director or dropped on the floor during the later process of cutting - for the simple but essential reason that the best things in any picture, artistically speaking, are invariably the easiest to leave out, mechanically speaking.

There is no attempt in Hollywood to exploit the writer as an artist of meaning to the picture-buying public; there is every attempt to keep the public uninformed about his vital contribution to whatever art the movie contains. On the billboards, in the newspaper advertisements, his name will be smaller than that of the most insignificant bit-player who achieves what is known as billing; it will be the first to disappear as the size of the ad is out down toward the middle of the week; it will be the last and least to be mentioned in any word-of-mouth or radio promotion.

The first picture I worked on was nominated for an Academy award (if that means anything), but I was not even invited to the press review held right in the studio.

An extremely successful picture made by another studio from a story I wrote used verbatim lines out of the story in its promotional campaign, but my name was never mentioned once in any radio, magazine, billboard, or newspaper advertising that I saw or heard - and I saw and heard a great deal. 

This neglect is of no consequence to me personally; to any writer of books a Hollywood by-line is trivial. To those whose whole work is in Hollywood it is not trivial, because it is part of a deliberate and successful plan to reduce the professional screenwriter to the status of an assistant picture-maker, superficially deferred to (while he is in the room), essentially ignored, and even in his most brilliant achievements carefully pushed out of the way of any possible accolade which might otherwise fall to the star, the producer, the director. [leaving them without a public brand identification]

IF ALL this is true, why then should any writer of genuine ability continue to work in Hollywood at all? The obvious reason is not enough; few screenwriters possess homes in Bel-Air, illuminated swimming pools, wives in full-length mink coats, three servants, and that air of tired genius gone a little sour. Money buys pathetically little in Hollywood beyond the pleasure of living in an unreal world, associating with a narrow group of people who think, talk, and drink nothing but pictures, most of them bad, and the doubtful pleasure of watching famous actors and actresses guzzle in some of the rudest restaurants in the world.

I do not mean that Hollywood society is any duller or more dissipated than moneyed society anywhere: God knows it couldn't be. But it is a pretty thin reward for a lifetime devoted to the essential craft of what might be a great art.

I suppose the truth is that the veterans of the Hollywood scene do not realize how little they are getting, how many dull egotists they have to smile at, how many shoddy people they have to treat as friends, how little real accomplishment is possible, how much gaudy trash their life contains. The superficial friendliness of Hollywood is pleasant - until you find out that nearly every sleeve conceals a knife.

The companionship during working hours with men and women who take the business of fiction seriously gives a pale heat to the writer's lonely soul.

It is so easy to forget that there is a world in which men buy their own groceries and, if they choose, think their own thoughts. In Hollywood you don't even write your own checks - and what you think is what you hope some producer or studio executive will like.

Beyond this I suppose there is hope; there are several hopes.

The cold dynasty will not last forever, the dictatorial producer is already a little unsure, the top-heavy director has long since become a joke in his own studio; after a while even technicolor will not save him. There is hope that a decayed and makeshift system will pass, that somehow the flatulent moguls will learn that only writers can write screenplays and only proud and independent writers can write good screenplays, and that present methods of dealing with such men are destructive of the very force by which pictures must live.

And there is the intense and beautiful hope that the Hollywood writers themselves - such of them as are capable of it - will recognize that writing for the screen is no job for amateurs and half-writers whose problems are always solved by somebody else.

It is the writers' own weakness as craftsmen that permits the superior egos to bleed them white of initiative, imagination, and integrity.

 If even a quarter of the highly paid screenwriters in Hollywood could produce a completely integrated and photographable screenplay under their own power, with only the amount of interference and discussion necessary to protect the studio's investment in actors and ensure a reasonable freedom from libel and censorship troubles, then the producer would assume his proper function of coordinating and conciliating the various crafts which combine to make a picture; and the director - heaven help his strutting soul -would be reduced to the ignominious task of making pictures as they are conceived and written - and not as the director would try to write them, if only he knew how to write.

Certainly there are producers and directors - although how pitifully few - who are sincere enough to want such a change, and talented enough to have no fear of its effect on their own position.

Yet it is only a little over three years since the major (and only this very year the minor) studios were forced, after prolonged and bitter struggle, to agree to treat the writers according to some reasonable standard of business ethics. In this struggle the writers were not really fighting the motion picture industry at all; they were only fighting certain powerful elements in it - employees like themselves - who had hitherto glommed off all the glory and prestige and most of the money, and could only continue to do so by selling themselves to the world as the true makers of pictures.

This struggle is still going on; in a sense it will always go on, in a sense it always should go on. But so far the cards are stacked against the writer.

If there is no art of the screenplay [in 1945], the reason is at least partly that there exists no available body of technical theory and practice by which it can be learned. There is no available library of screenplay literature, because the screenplays belong to the studios, and they will only show them within their guarded walls.

There is no body of critical opinion, because there are [still] no critics of the screenplay; there are only critics of motion pictures as entertainment, and most of these critics know nothing whatever of the means whereby the motion picture is created and put on celluloid. There is no teaching, because there is no one to teach. If you do not know how pictures are made, you cannot speak with any authority on how they should be constructed; if you do, you are busy enough trying to do it.

There is no correlation of crafts within the studio itself; the average—and far better than average—screenwriter knows hardly anything of the technical problems of the director, and nothing at all of the superlative skill of the trained cutter. [in 1945, that has changed now]

He spends his effort in writing shots that cannot be made, or which if made would be thrown away; in writing dialogue that cannot be spoken, sound effects that cannot be heard, and nuances of mood and emotion which the camera cannot reproduce. His idea of an effective scene is something that has to be shot down a stairwell or out of a gopher hole; or a conversation so static that the director, in order to impart a sense of motion to it, is compelled to photograph it from nine different angles.

[Or today writing a "perfect script" but still suffering the "vagaries of making a picture" or the degradation of defacing "the writer is God" (Nicholas Kazan) by those who feel the need to "redo it to fit the form," as if all writers have no sense of the tech; even those who are second generation Hollywood; such as Kazan or highly successful such as Simon Kinberg.

Do you know who they are; are their IMDB and Wikipedia backgrounds ... thin? Their public profile and marketing as filmmakers and generators nil?]

In fact, no part of the vast body of technical knowledge which Hollywood contains is systematically and as a matter of course made available to the new writer in a studio. They tell him to look at pictures – which is to learn architecture by staring at a house.

And then they send him back to his rabbit hutch to write little scenes which his producer, in between telephone calls to his blondes and his booze-companions, will tell him ought to have been written quite differently.

The producer is probably correct; the scene ought to have been written differently. It ought to have been written right. But first it had to be written. The producer didn't do that. He wouldn't know how. Anyway he's too busy. And he's making too much money. And the atmosphere of intellectual squalor in which the salaried writer operates would offend his dignity.

I have kept the best hope of all for the last. In spite of all I have said, the writers of Hollywood are winning their battle for prestige. More and more of them are becoming showmen in their own right, producers and directors of their own screenplays. Let us be glad for their additional importance and power, and not examine the artistic result too critically. The boys make good (and some of them might even make good pictures).

Let us rejoice together, for the tendency to become showmen is well in the acceptable tradition of the literary art as practiced among the cameras.

For the very nicest thing Hollywood can possibly think of to say to a writer is that he is too good to be only a writer.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

SexSinger OR CuntSinger = Nonfiction Sex Advice with Info, Sex Games, and Sexy Cunnilingus FICTION Excerts!

front cover - Neale Sourna's SexSinger: Cunnilingus
   How good is your sex education?
   Did you know that:
  Oral Sex, even CUNNILINGUS CAN GET   HER PREGNANT, when YOU DO IT          WRONG...?
  So, do you know how to PROTECT HER...?

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SexSinger OR CuntSinger = Nonfiction Sex Advice with Info, Sex Games, and Sexy Cunnilingus FICTION Excerts!

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Novel Excerpt/Short Story: "All Along the Watchtower: Submerged" [romantic erotica]

All Along the Watchtower: Submerged (short story cover)

In ancient times, a legendary half Egyptian general's rage and jealousy may be his downfall, when he seeks to break a sacred alliance between his Amazon shaman / sorceress mate and her allies. [erotica novel excerpt, over 10,000 wds!] Only US$1.97! Ancient Warrior Romantic Erotica, Egyptians, Amazons, Shamanic Sorcery and True Magic, and Evil, Murderous Betrayals

All Along The Watchtower, Book 1, Excerpt 1
In a war camp ... she undid the shoulder lacings of her loose, sideslit, leather dress, which fell and left her naked except for the riding leggings harnessed on her.

All Along The Watchtower, Book 1, Excerpt 2
He took her in his arms. His mouth was warm and hungry for her; but, he pulled from her in short order, as if he were afraid his desire for her.

All Along The Watchtower, Book 2, Excerpt 1
He braved to look full into her unearthly, burnished mirror eyes. "I was wrong." He loved the feel of Her .... of It against him. "Tor? What do you believe me to be?" 
All Along The Watchtower, Book 2, Excerpt 2
"You chose me over him, you chose death over life, wildness over domesticity. I have bedded you, widowed you, and I will sire on you ... in his name.

"Steve's Monkey's Paw & MORE" [an erotic horror story] Rating: Hard, Red Hot!!

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STEVE is a horrid bad boy, envious of friend ALEX's turn-around attitude with his soon-to-be new love, KARA, but grandma's monkey's paw, gives Steve complete control over anyone he wants; even Alex's sweet new lady, a virgin; against her will ... sort of.
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Erotica Romance Short Story: Dia's Coach (1)

Dia's Coach (1)
Neale Sourna


ON Sale!!
Young Dia is a naughty cheerleader, a Lolita, who prefers older men, well, one particular older man. She wants everyone’s favorite team coach and teacher, Mr. Dean.

He’s been good and strong, resisting her; but, he’s weakening.... And lovely Dia always gets what she wants.

So, when she enters Mr. Dean’s home, in nothing but lace and desire, he’ll break and switch gears, teaching teenager Dia what a man, not a boy, really wants when fucking his very willing student whore.

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“Hi, Mr. Dean.”
She waited, knowing he was closing his eyes, as if in prayer, and sighing at hearing her behind him. Dia wanted him; he knew that; there wasn’t any doubt. Hilariously, each of the team members he coached assumed they’d get her; but, she didn’t like any of those boys all that much.
“Yes, Dia?”
Mr. Dean, now facing her, here, in his school office, was keeping his face blank; but she knew her affect. Hm, the constant stiffening of his cock when her little cunt came near was probably a bit of a giveaway. She glanced down. Yeah, stiff.
“I asked the boys if I could be the only cheerleader to ride the team bus, again, on our away game. They said, 'Yeah!' But Stevie said I had to clear it with you.”
“It makes the other girls jealous.”
“Don’t care. I want what I want.”
“It’s bad for your reputa—.” She stepped closer, into his aural heat.
“I. Want. What. I. Want. Mr. Dean.” Dia glanced down. His cock visibly moved and poked at his pants harder.
Oh, “trouser snake,” she thought, I get it, now.
He sighed, and gave up.
“Whatever you want, Dia.”
“Oh. Really?”
Mr. Dean was tired of his balls aching, his cock embarrassing him in public, and young Dia being relentlessly after him. One more try at responsible, adult teacher and coach.
“Stevie loves you, Dia.”
“Stevie the Overly Optimistic loves that I let him front like he may have kissed me and felt me up once or twice. But, he’s never fucked me.”
She saw it in his eyes, his mind straying at the idea of “kissing” her, of “feeling her body up,” and she smiled wickedly knowing his cock was throbbing to “fuck” her juicy cunt.
She dropped her voice, soft and deep—sexy.[more]

Short Story [Romantic Erotica]: Rough-Me Dot Com [Romantic Erotica]

Rough-Me Dot Com

Neale Sourna

 Rough-Me Dot Com [Romantic Erotica]
Dot com queen, Lara, runs an internet site for rough sex. Her own boring romantic life has her observing the online site communications of a client, named Wil. She makes contact with him, as Dennie, one of her aliases, who "works for her."
When he decides he wants to meet "Dennie" in person, Lara puts herself in the perilous position, because rough stud Wil make break her company, break her, and bust her cunt to pieces. _1000 words (free version)
[Like internet sex, internet sex games, coerced sex, rough sex stories, hotel sex, yeah, that's hot hotel room sex, y'know, high class sex, sex in hotel in a high class sex hotel that is first class porn, um, well more first rate hotel erotica. Just a touch of rough forced sex, forced rough sex--potaeto, potahto--welcome coercive acts of sex? Lara will tell you all about it.]
Read: Rough-Me Dot Com Now AVAILABLE for sale, Sep 2011, with 360% MORE STORY than free version, as downloadable ebook: ISBN 978-1-938903-00-7 [MS Reader, Mobipocket, Adobe Reader], find everywhere online! _3750 words! (Your version)

I’d been bored, again. I kicked off my heels to flex my feet and legs, then sighed and went back to work, with good cock still in my thoughts.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my company, a lucrative dot com for sexually active, private member websites for consenting adults, who seek something a little different. We get you connected; we don’t supervise.
Damn. I can’t concentrate. Hm.
“What’re you up to today, sweet cheeks?” I murmured, clicking open my pet project. “You’re online. Blocking another won’t quit girl.”
His dull picture says, I’m Will and not hideous, but this fuzzy jpeg may be touched up, a lot. He has much hotter pix in his portfolio archive which he sends once he’s gotten to know a prospective fuck better. He hasn’t sent one out in a while.
He’s “straight.” “Unmarried,” and really is, per our D&B and criminal records. Good financials, traffic tix, but no arrests. He’s picky and can choose to be, and “bored” with what “I’ve been getting in the real world,” his bio says.
Suck it up, Lara. Time to get the game going. Use your Dennie profile.
“Dennie—Hi, Will: Been kinda watching you here at Lara’s. I know it sounds creepy. It’s not. You’re interesting. Most guy’s here aren’t at all picky and say they’re looking for love or marriage or long-term sex, but they’re not. Not at a rough sex site. Right?” Enter.
No answer. Maybe he’s walked away, or just screening. Continue.
“Dennie—I’m picky, too, and breaking Lara’s rules. No mixing with or personally servicing her clients. I could get fired. But, you’re her client not mine. LOL” Enter.
Nothing, while my cursor pulsed like a racing heartbeat. This. Is. So. Stupid. Ah. He was checking out my profile, as Dennie.
“Dennie—You’re unsatisfied with our rough sex women clients, I know. Some are REALLY … extreme? Hanging from the ceiling by nipple and clit piercings. I’m not like that. Pain is … unpleasant. But I think, feel that it’s more about our emotions, at their most intense, about a … hunger within we can’t explain. Something about bein—.” Enter.
Damn it! I’d mistakenly hit enter and cut myself off—premature entry.
Will answered.
“Will—about being able to fully put yourself in my hands. Have me take rough control of you, mind, body, and soul, to force you to give me pleasure. Serve my needs. And yours, as well. Isn’t it?”
Fuck me. I stared at the screen. It really sounded dif in real conversation, for...[more]

Romantic Erotic Short Story: The Freelancer

The Freelancer

Neale Sourna
The Freelancer [soft core Romantic Erotica]
Annie’s new temp, Ryan, with the fascinating ass, is great at his job, on his first day, but he’s driving her to distraction. She can’t get anything done.
When Annie, the construction architect, works late and alone, to catch up on work, gorgeous Ryan returns in order to show her what he’s really freelancing in. _1000 words [Office sex, yes, that's sex in the office. Hm, sex in office. Oh, yum, hot office sex. How're your office sex stories? Sex Office, what's not to like?]
Read: The Freelancer Now AVAILABLE for sale, with 50% MORE STORY than free version, as downloadable ebook: ISBN 978-1-938903-00-7 [Mobipocket/Kindle, Adobe Reader], find everywhere online!_1558 words! 

“You say something, Annie?”

I looked at Ryan’s face, while he was still leaning on his elbows over my architectural blueprint on the work table, his ass (at which I’d been staring) pointed at me, and now that face gazing back over his shoulder, too.

It is hot in this stupid construction trailer.

“W-What? N-No. Didn’t say....” My stupid lust thoughts are too loud.
He frowned a little, like I might’ve just lied to him, but he didn’t want to call me on it, and went back to work.

It’s his first day, after all. His temp supervisor said he had “great credentials” and , luckily, “he’d just walked in.” Yesterday. She’d gushed some other stuff hormonally induced by this incredible bit of male tail and face.

Shit, don’t objectify the man, idiot; go back to your construction notes, bills, and ... ass.

“Oh!” he uttered, “Sandy’s back and will need these.”

He grabbed Sandy’s messages and new contracts for my construction foreman and walked out. What. A. Walk. His ass, in those jeans, does magical things to me. If I don’t get myself sued for harassment, with the rest of the day to get through, not to mention an entire week.

* * * *
I’d completed my site tour with Sandy, who’d gone home, Ryan, too, thank god. I hadn’t gotten anything done all day, except the tour, because I’d sent Ryan on an errand.

The site was locked, and everyone gone, until I heard footsteps and reached for my gun.

“Don’t shoot. It’s me, Ryan.” The solid door pulled open slowly; he peaked around it. “May I come in?”

Proper grammar. My mom the English professor would love him.

“W-Why?” [more]

Romantic Short Story: No Wedding Night

A wedding, a reception brawl, and the bride and groom’s wedding night will be in jail. Or will it?
_866 words Romance
No Wedding Night
Neale Sourna
_Las Vegas NV USA; Today
Fisticuffs, as my Great Gran would say, broke out at our wedding; just before our vows were done. It was my bride’s brother against my best brother slash best man; then her sister slash matron of honor against my favorite girl cousin teamed with that cuz’s favorite BFF.
A groomsman, with valiant stupidity, waded into the fray—with the unladylike womenfolk—and got promptly damaged, slightly.
The police were called, by someone. No one’s admitting it. The cops settled everyone down. Thankfully, no one went to jail, or the hospital.
All right the hard part.
She cried, out of frustration, out of disappointment, out of embarrassment, while locked in her vestry dressing room, and she finally let me in, and finally let me talk her back to the altar to say our I do’s.
And we did, but the bad vibes hung there, I guess, contaminating everything, festering beneath our façade of happiness.
My family doesn’t like her family and ditto with her family’s feelings toward mine.
It seems that our making them both one family wasn’t working out. Isn’t this why old countries used to marry off their royal kids to their rival warring kingdom, in order to make blood peace? I must be the only one who loved history class. Of course, blood peaces resumed many a blood war.
We went to the reception, we had a peaceful meal and sweet toasts and teary eyed toasts and funny toasts, and we had our first dance, but the open bar’s prepaid liquor was fueling fires in those still burning with discontent. Did I mention countries at war...? [more]