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DeleyanLee
02-26-2010, 07:51 PM
Is it just me or does that one ad at the top of the forum bother anyone else?

The one that says "Take a break from writing the Great American Novel and write a kids book for fun".

Am I the only one who sees the negative presumptions in that? The first being that I'm writing what anyone might consider "the Great American Novel" and, Two (the worst) that I can just dash off a publishable kids book on a lark.

I've tried writing kids books. It's NOT easy. It's NOT something I can do "for fun". It's as exacting a form a writing as any other. I greatly admire anyone who can write even a mediocre kids book 'cause everything I did was crap. Writing a GOOD kids book might be fun for the writer with the right talent, but it's NOT something anyone can just dash off and expect to sell. No more than any other form of writing.

I'm willing to accept that I'm the only one sensitive to that subtle message after years of hearing the same about Romance (which I can also attest is NOT that easy either)--but I'm curious if I am the only one.

kaitie
02-26-2010, 07:54 PM
I've got an ad blocker and just blocked the ad ages ago when I first came so I don't have to see it. Now all I get is the AW writer's book that's up there, which I'm happy with. :)

Priene
02-26-2010, 07:57 PM
Am I the only one who sees the negative presumptions in that? The first being that I'm writing what anyone might consider "the Great American Novel" and, Two (the worst) that I can just dash off a publishable kids book on a lark.

The first presumption is assuming I'm American.

Tracey Bentley
02-26-2010, 08:19 PM
Am I the only one who sees the negative presumptions in that? The first being that I'm writing what anyone might consider "the Great American Novel" and, Two (the worst) that I can just dash off a publishable kids book on a lark.

I'm willing to accept that I'm the only one sensitive to that subtle message after years of hearing the same about Romance (which I can also attest is NOT that easy either)--but I'm curious if I am the only one.

No, you're not the only one. I thought the same thing when I saw it as well.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-26-2010, 08:21 PM
What does being American have to do with it? the 'Great American Novel' is almost like a stereotype, that book that is just so great and so outstanding it stands the test of time and is read all over the world. I mean really, when was the last time you heard the 'Great Canadian Novel' or the 'Great British Novel'? ;) It's just a common term. For the record, not American either.

And I can see how it might be a little off-putting, the ad. Writing any genre is hard.

Jamesaritchie
02-26-2010, 09:16 PM
It's the same all over. All ads are trying to sell someone something, and writing ads are usually the silliest of them all. Just don't read them.

the addster
02-26-2010, 09:27 PM
I hadn't paid much attention to what the ad said until you brought it up. I suppose it is a bit annoying.

I had wondered why it pictured a prairie chicken in the past, but now I see it a toad? Wearing a crown? I suppose that makes more sense.

Cyia
02-26-2010, 09:36 PM
The person who runs that site was on here a while back. From what I remember it's geared toward people writing for fun - like with their kids, grandkids, or as a class project.

Alpha Echo
02-26-2010, 09:43 PM
I've never paid much attention to the ads.

I hate the ad on another one of my websites of the bikini-clad shrinking lady though.

veinglory
02-26-2010, 09:45 PM
What does being American have to do with it? the 'Great American Novel' is almost like a stereotype, that book that is just so great and so outstanding it stands the test of time and is read all over the world. I mean really, when was the last time you heard the 'Great Canadian Novel' or the 'Great British Novel'?

Actually I hear it all the time. And when at home we *did* refer to writing the great New Zealand novel (http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=%22the+great+new+zealand+novel%22&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&fp=15653c2aed26d72c). The referrence is to writing a book henceforth definitive of the literature of one's nation (in NZ that would be something like The Bone People, Utu or Once Were Warriors). I would never aspire to writing the "great American novel"--that makes no sense.

jilly61
02-26-2010, 10:04 PM
The person who runs that site was on here a while back. From what I remember it's geared toward people writing for fun - like with their kids, grandkids, or as a class project.


If that's the intention then I don't think the advert is very effective. I can see that being a lot of fun but there must be a better way of getting the message across.

Phaeal
02-26-2010, 10:31 PM
Yeah, it's a dumb ad. That doesn't mean it won't hit its target viewers, though.

Heh, I hit the ad for the Wildacres retreat, for a little virtual R&R in the Blue Ridge Mts.

Mr Flibble
02-26-2010, 10:32 PM
the 'Great American Novel' is almost like a stereotype, that book that is just so great and so outstanding it stands the test of time and is read all over the world. or more like is indicative of American culture and is read all over America and might make it to other countries.



I would never aspire to writing the "great American novel"--that makes no sense.

Exactly

jilly61
02-26-2010, 10:49 PM
Heh, I hit the ad for the Wildacres retreat, for a little virtual R&R in the Blue Ridge Mts.


Me too. There's more chance of me writing the great American Novel than ever going there though. :)

Libbie
02-26-2010, 11:17 PM
I ignore ads, and ads ignore me.

gothicangel
02-26-2010, 11:18 PM
The 'Great American Novel' is a myth born out of a competitive streak with the literary lions on this side of the Atlantic. :D

I don't see why when some of the greatest modern writers have been American: Salinger; Roth; and Hemingway.

Priene
02-26-2010, 11:19 PM
What does being American have to do with it? the 'Great American Novel' is almost like a stereotype, that book that is just so great and so outstanding it stands the test of time and is read all over the world.

You're just plain wrong. Updike and Bellow wrote great American novels. Eco and Pamuk and Murakami don't.

I'm not American, don't write about America, have no interest in being described as American and most certainly won't be writing any American novel, great or otherwise.

Julie Worth
02-28-2010, 07:36 PM
Me too. There's more chance of me writing the great American Novel than ever going [to Wildacres] though. :)

Yeah, but for anyone living in driving distance, it's a fantastic bargain. My understanding is they put this ad up because somebody forgot to link the writing workshop to the main Wildacres page (Wildacres hosts all sorts of groups). As a result, there aren't many applicants for the three scholarships yet. It'd be a shame if one of them went unused.

gilesth
03-03-2010, 12:06 AM
Is it just me or does that one ad at the top of the forum bother anyone else?

The one that says "Take a break from writing the Great American Novel and write a kids book for fun".

Am I the only one who sees the negative presumptions in that? The first being that I'm writing what anyone might consider "the Great American Novel" and, Two (the worst) that I can just dash off a publishable kids book on a lark.

I've tried writing kids books. It's NOT easy. It's NOT something I can do "for fun". It's as exacting a form a writing as any other. I greatly admire anyone who can write even a mediocre kids book 'cause everything I did was crap. Writing a GOOD kids book might be fun for the writer with the right talent, but it's NOT something anyone can just dash off and expect to sell. No more than any other form of writing.

I'm willing to accept that I'm the only one sensitive to that subtle message after years of hearing the same about Romance (which I can also attest is NOT that easy either)--but I'm curious if I am the only one.

I never saw the ad, but I have to agree with you. The "best" light this could be viewed in is if the ad assumes an author is writing "The Great American Novel" out of pure ego, almost to fit in that category of "The fewer copies I sell, the better the book must be", rather than putting their talents into "educating our youth". Obviously, that's not what they're getting at, and even if it was, there's NOTHING wrong with writing a book to satisfy one's own ego. And educational/entertaining books for children isn't inherently better than any other form of writing.

All in all, there's just as much value in the "The Great American Novel" as there is in any children's book, and neither category should suffer because of the other.

timewaster
03-03-2010, 02:13 AM
[QUOTE=DeleyanLee;4681891]Is it just me or does that one ad at the top of the forum bother anyone else?

The one that says "Take a break from writing the Great American Novel and write a kids book for fun".

AS it happens I write for children and it is liberating. Yes a good kid's novel is as hard to write as a good anything else, but the ambition to write one is not so loaded with literary expectations: it just isn't.
I initiallly wrote for children because I thought it would be easier and less pressured. I'm not sure it is easier or less pressured but my belief made it so. If you are the kind of person who feels the need to display your intelligence and literary genius then try writing for children because you have to subsume both to the need to write a compelling story and that can help.