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Good Old College Try

Posted in Meanderings

Well, as I start to write this I have yet to come up with a title for this particular entry that’s been sort of floating around in my brain – although in truth, this is most likely spurned on by my previous Meanderings article and my flailing YouTube channel – perhaps it should read as failing YouTube channel.

In regards to my YouTube channel Bradfangled, it may be apt to say “as you well know by now” – although odds are you don’t because no one really watches the content I put out on YouTube – the stats offer an extraordinarily in-depth break down of my channel’s failure – it’s unfortunate and spectacular at the same time, a real eye-opener you could say.

In perhaps, what could be the greatest diversionary tactic from my writing pursuits yet, I’ve spent the better part of two years sinking time, energy, money and creativity into a retro-game themed YouTube channel whose exponential growth in content quality and style surely deserves more than the average 20 – 40 views that my episodes garner, and a large portion of those views come from friends and family. So there’s that. Along the path to web show greatness – I learned loads about video and sound editing as well as script writing – yes, writing does play a huge role in the production of a web show, so in essence I was still writing throughout those two years.

Yet, it doesn’t stop there, an exhaustive amount of social media marketing was also spent, trying to gain followers on platforms like Twitter and Instagram in an effort to funnel them through to my YouTube channel – well of course that hasn’t really worked out too well either. So I guess at some point one needs to take a step back and evaluate the effort-to-viewership ratio, i.e – does the amount of time, effort and sacrifice that is poured into such a pursuit warrant the dismal viewership and engagement it gets? No, not in the slightest. Yes, YouTube is a creative outlet and ultimately one should focus on doing it for themselves but also take into consideration that the creation of and by extension the creative process involved in creating a web show is a form of art, and art is meant to be consumed and enjoyed, not hidden and ignored.

By contrast – and this isn’t to say that my content is the greatest of all time, but when compared to the endless cesspool of sheer garbage that populates YouTube, it’s clear that quality and effort are not factors that too many people are concerned with, nor YouTube for that matter – they will promote any shit that makes them money and will turn around saying that they support content creators, which is true, just as long as you’re one of their prized cash cows that they can continuously suck at the teat of, like the soulless corporate vampires that they are.

I also took it one step further, deciding to do a little social experiment and created a junk YouTube channel – literally no thought or planning going into it at all. A generic name, shitty banner, crappy icons and thumbnails pulled off of the web and uploaded vague, idiotic shit I filmed on my phone – a series of absurdly short clips, and I did this frequently. 12 videos in 2 days and wouldn’t you know, it’s getting views. In just 6 days, the channel already has 1826 views, so that’s basically just under half of what Bradfangled received over a 2 year period, and the most ridiculous video of them all received 650+ views in under 24 hours. Absolutely mind-boggling.

It’s worth noting that the above video is 28 seconds long, and just look at the watch time. I then posted a video on Bradfangled, using the same tags (as it was relevant – PS5 being at the forefront) about something trending which was Spider-Man Remastered and wouldn’t you know, the results were terrible, in fact, the video performed worse than usual, so clearly there is no visibility of my channel. It really doesn’t make any sense and is rather upsetting to be frank.

So with an average viewership of 20 – 40 views per video (there are a few exceptions) I’ve decided to take a step back from YouTube for a while and focus my energies elsewhere – specifically with getting my book published and probably some short stories and a comic strip, so you can expect my Patreon to be revamped to accommodate this change. On the plus side, I can say that I’ve given this YouTube thing a good old college try and at least I came up with a title for this article as I type these last few words.

New year, new me bullshit? Well, sort of but not really…

Posted in Meanderings

I wasn’t overly aware as to just how long it had been since my previous blog post – a realisation that dawned on me when I logged into the Dashboard this morning only to see that there were 10 pending updates and WordPress had seemingly reinvented itself with ‘blocks’, new features and what have you.

The usage of ‘block paragraph inserts’ seems lost on me but I’ll go with it…for now. My last post was the 4th May 2018, now that’s quite a while ago, and even then I wasn’t really writing, having shifted my focus to a small web comic I was doing which has subsequently fallen to the wayside due to time constraints and just a general lack of interest I suppose.

Yesterday was the first time since December last year that I managed to dedicate some time to my novel – an endevour that I started in 2012. The book is essentially complete, I’m just going over it one last time before I set out on the arduous task of looking for a publisher. My lovely wife-to-be is also assisting me by offering advice and criticism which is welcomed as after having spent 6 years working on the thing, I undoubtedly have a degree of tunnel vision so there is room to gain a widened perspective via an additional viewpoint – especially since she is an avid reader.

So what have I been doing? Well, for the most part, I have been diverted from working on my book yet again by a YouTube channel I started in July of last year – it’s been quite an undertaking and although it may not seem like it, there is a fair amount of writing that goes into developing episodes, namely writing scripts and so forth. It’s been fun but I think it’s time to go back to my roots – complete my book and get it off to a publisher. There is certainly a degree of self-sabotage at play here since I always seem to find ways not to work on my main project.

I aspire to be a published writer – read; ‘published’ – I hate the term ‘aspiring writer’. I’m already a fucking writer and won’t allow anyone to tell me differently. If the difference between being a writer was measured on whether or not one is published then I fear for the industry. If you want to write, then write. If you want to get published, then get published. There are numerous avenues a writer can take to get their work out there. The real danger is procrastination and self-sabotage, in this era it is simply too easy to get side-tracked by the sickly wonderful hindrances of streaming services and social media. Not discounting the unfortunate hindrance of a tedious day job either…

I’m not about to abandon the YouTube channel – I’ve invested far too much time and effort into it, but I will slow it down a bit – besides I have some other ideas in mind which will be explained in next week’s video.

So for now, I will return to the pages of my book, thereafter I intend on finishing off a couple short stories I had been working on – I read the pages of one in particular I had started last year and really enjoyed it – I think if you can read your own work and smile about it or look at it in awe then you’re on the right track and it would be a shame to let something like that fall to the wayside.

| Brad.


Said Bookisms

Posted in Writing

I came across the term said bookism quite a while ago which caused me to re-examine my dialogue-tags and the prose that populated my work. A said bookism is a form of Purple Prose (prose that is too elaborate or ornate) where the writer goes out of his way to avoid the word said.  A person could even purchase ‘said-books’ which contained lists of verbs that one could use instead of the word ‘said’ – hence the moniker Said Bookism or Said Books. Said bookisms were quite fashionable at one point with the result that ‘said’ would be replaced by words like exclaimed, replied, retorted,  inquired, pontificated and so forth.  J.K. Rowling’s infamous use of the word ‘ejaculated’ (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, see page 242) – “Ron ejaculated loudly” has undoubtedly been taken out of context numerous times and is of course the butt of many an internet joke.  In this instance, the word ‘ejaculated’ was meant to portray something said quickly or suddenly as opposed to the image every reader older than 10 would have conjured up in their minds.

Needless to say, I was once an offender of said bookism myself, believing in fact, that I needed to supplement ‘said’ for more complicated, flowery wording to ensure that my writing didn’t become tedious. Ironically, the over usage of said bookisms contributes to tedium and actually detracts from the literature as the reader becomes overly aware of the magniloquent (couldn’t resist) words instead of focusing on the actual exchange of dialogue.

This is where the beauty of the word said comes in.  ‘Said’ is an invisible word, one which is often skimmed over when read, and that’s why it’s so important.  It allows the reader to follow the dialogue without getting caught up with complicated words that require one to pause reading in order to Google the meaning of the word in question.  So while a lot of writers who are just starting out or trying to make a name for themselves may want to try to spruce things up by using more ‘exciting’ verbs or verbose wording, this practice tends to make the writing look amateurish, especially when you consider that by using said bookisms at every opportunity, you are removing the impact of a well-placed verb that would have otherwise contributed to the story instead of detracting from it. People read books for escapism and enjoyment, not to see how well you know the thesaurus.

In closing, of course not all said bookisms are bad, and there are a few which are considered acceptable, namely ‘asked’ and ‘replied’ – which I will use when deemed necessary, but remember, the dialogue should speak for itself without the need for over-embellished dialogue tags.  Some experienced writers will avoid repetition of ‘said’ by describing the speaker’s actions and emotions through the spoken words and insert said bookisms only when they serve to enhance the delivery of the dialogue.  You will learn the do’s and don’ts as you go along – I myself, am still learning and will continue to share my findings in the hopes that these rules, tips and so forth contribute to improving that story or novel you’ve been working on.

Should you have any queries or criticisms, please feel free to leave a comment below.