More About the Multidimensional Story

ANOTHER SAMPLE 3-D STORY

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THOUGH we have several “3-D” multidimensional stories completed or near completion, we decided to release only one other of them, “The Perfect Candidate,” due to its topical nature, this being political caucus and primary season. The story was in fact written and rearranged in a matter of days– a test of speed in creating them.

Our thinking being– once the literary world does catch on to their advantages, and reader demand is created, we’ll need to be able to produce them at a fast rate.

(At some point we’ll commit fully and will run at our main site multidimensional fiction only.)

Speed is everything.

WHY THE 3-D STORY?

Writers write the short story one way– and have for decades if not centuries. Writers automatically fall into the familiar one point-of-view linear story, because that’s how we’ve been trained.

Exceptions to this have always existed– experimenters testing the artistic bounds of the story. Two of them caused me to think about the technique. One: F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s long story “May Day.” Another: Kenneth Fearing‘s classic noir novel The Big Clock

We’re taking the technique a few steps beyond, switching viewpoints at a much faster rate. This may at first be unfamiliar to the reader– then the mind makes an adjustment and reading becomes as natural as the old way. Too natural perhaps, as it doesn’t stand out as much as it could, as we hoped, its effects subtle.

Our focus with the technique is making the narrative faster; expanding the reader’s view of the presented world. Multidimensional writing allows more ways to play with space and time. The goal: improving the reader’s aesthetic experience.

Emphasis on structure, as 3-D writing demands, means bringing more analytical “left brain” thinking into the equation without overintellectualizing things. The narrative becomes fragmented– but they’re fragments which fit. 

CHANGING THE GOLF SWING

As with a revamped golf swing, the first attempts at writing the multidimensional story can look awkward. But if it’s truly a better technique, a better way of writing the story– albeit difficult to master– once the technique is mastered the result should be a spectacular improvement.

It’s to our advantage that no one right now understands what we’re doing– doesn’t see what a breakthrough the technique is. This enables us to further practice and develop its possibilities– and we will.

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-Karl Wenclas, New Pop Lit NEWS

 

Diversity Dilemmas?

PROBLEMS IN PUBLISHING DEPARTMENT

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THE BIG NEWS in the publishing world this week is the cancellation (in both meanings of the term) of Barnes & Noble’s “Diverse Editions” series– someone’s ill-advised marketing strategy for Black History Month, which consisted of putting black faces on the covers of classic novels like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Critics argue that instead of such superficial gestures, big-time publishers should be signing more authors of color– to celebrate actual literary diversity. (A recent Lee and Low survey indicates that 79% of those who work in the publishing and book review industries are white. The same survey states that 78% of those in the field are women, but no one seems too concerned about that!)

Yes, by all means the Big Five publishing world based in New York City needs more diversity. There’s one super-huge problem in obtaining it– the over-reliance by these publishers on staffers with an Ivy League pedigree. (With a smattering of Stanford grads and upper-class Brits thrown in.)

The universities publishers recruit from sit at the top level of the most hierarchical and regressive industry in America: higher education.

What, you say? How could this be possible?

Universities are designed to be exclusionary. That’s, er, their whole point– to create artificial monopolies in field after field, industry after industry. Most pronounced the higher the prestige– and endowment– of the particular institution. A guild mentality, where if you’re a Member of the Club you get all the benefits. If not, tough luck. Gotta have that certificate, folks. Credentialism. “Meritocracy”– where as we’ve seen with recent scandals, the wealthy and powerful have better access to obtain the benefits for their ostensible merits. 

THIS IS MOST PRONOUNCED with Ivy League schools. Especially with Harvard and Yale. We recently went through a stretch where every U.S. President from 1988 up to 2016 was a graduate of either Harvard or Yale. Or both.

Is that what democracy looks like?

It might be that not until the “Big Five” lose their monopolistic position in the publishing world will true diversity arrive regarding the books that are published and promoted in America right now.

(Which is one reason we exist as a literary project.)

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-Karl Wenclas for New Pop Lit NEWS

 

Working for the Man 2020

JOBS BOTH GOOD AND BAD

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ONE of the realms least understood by the intellectual class is that of work. They see it via categories and stereotypes. Since the world and its hierarchies to them is static– they’ve been trained within hierarchies to view it as such– they don’t realize the chief goal of everyone who works a shitty job is to leave it. 

At the same time they don’t understand that most of us out here in the world enjoy work. It gives us meaning. Purpose. Especially when it involves successfully completing tasks. The human animal has advanced through completing tasks. 

Last week we had several experiences with individuals who enjoy being competent at their jobs. Including an intelligent young plumber who quickly isolated the problem in the old house we rent, then described it as if he were Sherlock Holmes solving a case. Another, a cook at a local Mediterranean restaurant we frequent, explaining to us how he cooks chicken for sandwiches and salads to perfection. 

ON THE OTHER HAND there’s the world of fast food, and other industrial-minded professions which have brought hyper-efficiency to business, breaking service down to a series of repetitive, mundane tasks. Impersonal roles which could– and someday will– be performed by robots.

Our latest feature short story, “Hamburger Hill” by John Higgins, is as frightening an inside look at the fast food business as you’ll find.
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THE JOYS OF WRITING

But what about writing?

THE APPEAL of writing in part is the work. The joy of making something. Constructing an entire world from a blank page. Giving the construction form, color, finish: appeal. Little different than making a cabinet. All writers– most, anyway– aim to present a well-made product.

On rare occasions that process is synonymous with the creation of art.

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-Karl Wenclas, New Pop Lit NEWS

Mass Media Hysteria!

WHAT ARE WE GETTING HYSTERICAL ABOUT TODAY?!!

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EVER NOTICE that all electronic media anymore is filled with hysteria? From television news to the twittersphere and other social media. 

Gone are the days when individuals could step back and keep everything in proportion put all things into context, adopt for themselves for the sake of society or at least their own sanity an objective perspective.

Instead it’s a scene from a bad 1970’s disaster movie: “We’re all gonna die, we’re all gonna DIE!”

This past week we’ve had Trump Impeached, Rogan and Bernie, Tulsi suing Hillary, latest fronts on Climate Change and a Killer Virus in China. Rockets Dictatorships Doomsday Clocks Billionaires in Davos, Meghan and Harry, with the unsettling Disappointments of the Queen across every tabloid– look at her face– people executed someplace latest Earthquake, Blizzards, Shootings, Revolutions and Revelations– you name it, and the intentional beneficiary of these flurries of mad mob behavior is the news media. Bump up those ratings!

At New Pop Lit we want people hysterical only about ART!

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“Big Daddy”

(EXCERPT FROM AN UPCOMING SATIRICAL NOVEL: AFTER THE REVOLUTION.)

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THE PRELIMINARY EVENT of the Revolution, which led to all that followed, was the presidential candidacy of Big Daddy. Eighty year-old politician of retro Marxist beliefs, which he’d clung to for six decades, unswayed by continuous technological changes and countless political upheavals– the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellites only one of them.

The ultimate True Believer, maintaining his faith in the God That Failed.

This fixed dedication was the chief attribute that caused a generation of rootless young people to flock to his banner. He knew their hunger for a cause. He– Big Daddy, the ultimate father figure (dare we say patriarch?) would provide for all wants. Would answer the desire for a world free of want, free of need, of unease, anywhere– of having to face the awful questions of life or the discomforting realities of a fallen, imperfect world.

Like good daddies everywhere, Big Daddy promised to write a big check– or several– to cover their regrettable debts, as well as correct the mentioned imperfections of society, and make all things well. 

Symbol more than person, he fervidly played the part– white-haired, red-faced, perpetually outraged, waving his arms about– as his young supporters ran his campaign and propped him up psychologically and physically (he’d suffered a recent heart attack), and the great Cause, akin to a religious movement, grew in momentum. Streets filled with the voice of Change (what the mob perceived as Change) until the movement appeared to be– and became– unstoppable. 

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(Read a previous excerpt, “People’s Coffee.”)

(Note: The novel will present an artistic run-through of pseudo-left revolution and its consequences– so we don’t have to experience it for real. Last chapter: “A Better Left.”)

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-Karl Wenclas, New Pop Lit NEWS

The Social Justice Merry-Go-Round

OR, VIRTUE-SIGNALING MUSICAL CHAIRS

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Pity the poor book conglomerates! New York City’s “Big Five.” They want to do the right thing, to be on the side of progress, social justice and all that, but they keep making missteps. Could it be the giant institutions and their Ivy-educated staffs are too removed from these issues? Too out of touch?

The latest mistake being the seven-figure-advanced publication of American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. Intended as a takedown of the horrors of the border crisis, instead the book has caused a furor among LatinX writers, who see the novel as exploitation of the issue by a person who shouldn’t be commenting. (Ms. Cummins looks Latina, but apparently isn’t.)

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Another Rachel Dolezal? Elizabeth Warren? Or not?

I’m not going to comment on the book, its author and the controversy further, other than to say that perhaps the problem is with the huge conglomerates themselves. That the solution is to encourage more independent publishers, smaller and closer to the ground, instead of a one-size-fits-all bureaucracy that will always get things wrong– in the flurry of virtue signaling-run-amok, with so many ambitious writers out there, a bureaucracy that will continually behave incorrectly or be scammed, despite or because of their good intentions.

(And no, the answer is not to nationalize the book business. Sorry, Marxists. Replacing five too-large cronyistic-and-insular monoliths with one even larger monolith solves nothing.)

The best answer, as with so much else in this contentious country, is DIY. More access. More options.

(Note: American Dirt was published by Flat Iron Books, an imprint of Macmillan Corp. Flat Iron’s publisher Amy Einhorn, who gave the seven-figure advance, is a graduate of Stanford, not an Ivy League college.)

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-Karl Wenclas for New Pop Lit NEWS

Do Awards Matter?

THE STEPHEN KING CONTROVERSY

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THE LATEST literary news is that author Stephen King is the latest celebrity to have inadvertently generated outrage, with what some view as an outrageous statement. (Made on Twitter, which should never be taken too seriously.) He was discussing the Academy Awards. What he said:

I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.

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THE POINT both Stephen King and his critics largely miss is that the Oscars like all such awards have always been political. Awards ceremonies, like hall of fames– sports, music, and otherwise– are in reality highly successful PR appendages to their particular industry. As such, a big part of choosing “winners” is putting the best face possible on the industry, “quality” often pushed to the sidelines.

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Case in point: Academy Award winners for the retrograde year of 1961. (A very good year for cinema.) For the Oscars– presented in April 1962– two overtly political message movies dominated the nominations and awards. “West Side Story” and “Judgement at Nuremberg” received eleven nominations each. The former won ten of those categories; the latter, two.

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Both are fine movies. Yet in retrospect, one can name five other films from the same year which are artistically better (especially when viewed in a movie theater): El Cid, The Guns of Navarone, The Misfits, One-Eyed Jacks, and The Hustler. All five of these are visually superior, deeper films. The last three have not just better acting, but are virtual master classes of film acting. I’m confident that in the perspective of more time, all five will be ranked higher on any critical list than they are now– this especially true for One-Eyed Jacks, which is psychologically deeper than even the movie currently ranked all time #1 by the prestigious British Film Institute, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. (Which itself was ignored by the Academy Awards when it came out.)

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Awards are of the moment, swayed by the ideological currents of the moment. As important as they are for their particular industry as a way to hype products– and for the winners and losers themselves– in the long run their meaning is minimal, and should be recognized by the intelligent observer for what they are, and not more than what they are.

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-Karl Wenclas, New Pop Lit NEWS

 

We Want Tips!

BOOK WORLD INFORMATION REQUEST

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We need tips! Not waitress or bartender tips, or racetrack tips, or stock market tips, but tips about happenings across the literary universe. IF it’s compelling (scandal, gossip, excitement, speculation), we’ll run with it. 

SEND TO: newpoplit2ATgmail.com.

OaklawnTipSheetVendor

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Romance Writers Catfight!

TURMOIL IN A RENOWNED WRITERS ORGANIZATION

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What’s the biggest story in the book world right now?

Without question, it’s controversy within the 10,000-member Romance Writers of America organization.

The controversy was kicked off when Chinese-American author Courtney Milan was sanctioned by the RWA Board of Directors– apparently for expressing an opinion about depictions, in another author’s work, which Milan perceived as racist.

THERE SEEM, to this commentator, to have been overreactions all over the place. First, the egregious actions by the board. Then, the firestorm blowback from Milan and her supporters. More contentious than the dispute between the U.S. and Iran, Trump and Khamanei?

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In many ways, yes, because there was no attempt to pullback, much less compromise. Instead, accusations from both sides. From Courtney and Company, cries of racism and calls for “radical inclusion.” From their foes, those they derogatorily call NWL’s (Nice White Ladies), charges of censorship and cancel culture.

The result: Yesterday, the resignation of RWA president Damon Suede. (Could that possibly be his real name?) With the existing level of dissension and hurt feelings, there appears no way this matter will be resolved smoothly.

(The latest question: Whether Damon Suede even properly qualified to be RWA president in the first place. He appears to have fudged the eligibility requirements.)

The biggest irony? That the dispute takes place among a group of authors devoted to, of all things, romance. Have they forgotten the adage, “Make love, not war”?

Just asking!

(Comments about this matter from any and all parties are welcomed.)

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-Karl Wenclas, New Pop Lit NEWS

What Is Pop Lit?

A TEMPLATE

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Pop Lit is a new alternative writing style created in our minds as a way to avoid the generic.

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ABANDON THE SAFE

We’re out to overthrow ALL of that, every shard and shred, by presenting new hybrids with the intelligence and craft of literary writing combined with the clarity and excitement of standard genre work– while taking the best of both styles to new levels.

CAN IT BE DONE?

YES it can be done! But we depend upon YOU the new writer to accomplish this, and YOU the new reader disgusted with the same-old same-old to INSIST upon it.

We ourselves in the New Pop Lit Design Studio located underground near the Detroit River in the vicinity of Wyandotte, Michigan. are working furiously toward that objective.

We may not go all the way to the Promised Land of radically new art– but we seek to cut a path toward that end. Signposts for others to follow.

THE TWENTIES!

This year, a magical new year first year of a new decade– The Twenties!– we’ll present more of our own attempts, as examples of our experiments.

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We are mad literary scientists, using the high-tech code of language to create not monsters, but ART as shocking and powerful as any man-made monster which can be imagined. Please join us on that ambitious path.

(Listen to an audio version of this editorial here.)
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-Karl Wenclas, New Pop Lit NEWS