I’ll be expanding on my commercial/mainstream department over 2012. I think the main commercial elements are as follows:
accessibility; niche genre; output; plot-driven;
series/sense of familiarity
When I look at my catalogue of work critically/realistically, I can say with all certainty that I’m commercially (very) weak at the moment. However, I like to be adaptable/flexible (i.e. Virgo Sun + Pisces Moon), so it might be more or less balanced in the long run (the challenge of keeping to some artistic and/or technical standard with non-commercial work is good practice for the business of commercial writing).
I like to think of Roald Dahl and Shakespeare (amongst many other writers), who were both artistically and commercially successful. The substance is what lasts, which is separate from popularity that results from capitalizing on a cultural zeitgeist.
I am very careful to always focus on substance (i.e. some “meaning” to combat the proliferation of “fluff” out there). I do not mind if people enjoy fluff or mindless entertainment (something I myself enjoy, from time to time), but I do think the media has a tendency of over-glorifying fluff at the expense of something new/original/innovative (which is what I do mind).
I incorporate these sentiments straight into my work (embedded somewhere in the plot). I like to target my work to the YA crowd when possible also, because I think it’s dangerous when the proliferation of fluff is celebrated without a critical eye (so much so that shallowness has become the accepted norm and “way of life”).
I know shallowness has always been around, though I think it’s become more and more amplified over time (particularly after the music/publishing/etc industries became COMPLETELY 100%-commercial, and substance was generally tossed aside in the name of hype and $$$$$).
Regarding my ongoing Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy, I’ll probably get straight to the first draft of Book03 once the current draft for Book02 is done (since the “momentum” is in full swing at the moment — might as well make the most of it).
A non-cliched love triangle has been established in Book02. I’ll take extra care to keep it non-cliched, but still intense. I’ve also increased the cyberpunk focus/themes (with slightly more emphasis on “cybernetics“), though I’ll tidy everything up so that the details are intricate without being overwhelmingly complicated (I’ll do my best to follow that aspect of Book01).
I’ve updated the summary and synopsis for The Darker Side of Life (Book02) (on the about page here). Got to go continue Chapter 12 now. Completed first draft’s gonna be a real big mess to clean up (the first draft usually is, lol).
P.S. Since the title’s The Darker Side of Life, I included the following phrase in one of the chapters (the title helps me keep to the theme):
“The brightest light casts the darkest shadow.”
P.P.S. I’ve dreamt of Eminem several times in the past. I recently read a dream book which suggested dreaming of celebrities could signify the desire to emulate some of their traits.
I know many of Eminem’s lyrics by heart, and one I always fondly remember is:
I’m sick of you little girl and boy groups — all you do is annoy me
So I’ve been sent here to destroy you.
~ The Real Slim Shady
When anger/a destructive force is correctly channeled into something positive (i.e. creating something that matters), I think the result can be something really good/significant/memorable.