How to not Get Screwed by a Self-Publishing Company (Silver Sands Publishing Series)
They can replicate falsehoods if the blocks are filled with the incorrect information. There are some really valid points in this first part of the chapter. As it relates to cryptocurrencies, a second edition should also include the astroturfing and censoring of alternative views that take place on cryptocurency-related subreddits which in turn prevent people from learning about alternative implementations.
The potential power of this concept starts with the example of Bitcoin. There is a lot to unpack here but I think a future edition should explain in more detail how Bitcoin is a type of cybersecurity tool. Do they mean that because the information is replicated to thousands of nodes around the world, it is more resilient or redundant? This last sentence makes no sense and they do not expand on it in the book.
What is the security they are talking about? Do they mean piggy-backing like colored coins try to do? Even more important, no one owns or controls that ledger. Well technically speaking, miners via mining pools control the chain. And they can and do fork and reorg a chain. In theory, yes. In practice though, many chains are highly centralized: both in terms of block creation and in terms of development.
Could be worth rephrasing this in the next edition. In contrast, Bitcoin is based on a decentralized model that eschews approvals and instead banks on the participants caring enough about their money in the system to protect it. In general, the main commonality is that the validators are known via a legal identity. How these networks are setup or run does not necessarily need to rely on a centralized authority, that would be a single point of trust and failure.
Ludwin, whose clients include household names like Visa and Nasdaq, said he could understand why people saw a continued market for cybersecurity services, since his audience was full of people paid to worry about data breaches constantly. It is unclear from the comments above exactly how a blockchain solves problems in the world of cybersecurity.
Maybe it does. If so, then it should be explored in more detail than what is provided in this area of the book. This is very much a prescriptive pitch and not a descriptive analysis. Recommend changing some of the language in the next edition. Violating the ToS may result in account closures. See: What is Permissioned-on-Permissionless. This sounds all well and good, definitely noble goals.
However in the cryptocurrency world, many exchanges and custodial wallets have been compromised and the victims have had very little recourse. And a huge civil war took place resulting in multiple groups waging off-chain social media campaigns to promote their positions, resulting in one discrete group divorcing and another discrete group trying to prevent them from divorcing. Since there is only de facto and not de jure governance, who attacked who? Who were the victims? Now, it will undoubtedly be a major challenge to get the institutions that until now have been entrusted with securing our data systems to let go and defer security to some decentralized network in which there is no identifiable authority to sue if something goes wrong.
But doing so might just be the most important step they can take to improve data security. This seems a bit repetitive with the previous couple of page, recommend slimming this down in the next edition. Also, there are several class action lawsuits underway e. In some cases these are stored on a centralized server. Yet at some point those handling the mutli-sig do come together in order to move the coins to a hot wallet.
What does this mean? Are they saying to add proof-of-work to all types of distributed systems? It is only useful in the Bitcoin context in order to make it expensive to Sybil attack the network… because participants were originally unknown. Does that same problem exist in other environments that they are thinking of? More clarity should be added in the next edition. This is one of the difficulties in writing a long-form book on this general topic right now: projects and companies frequently pivot.
There have been no health care-related announcements from the company in over a year. Similarly, Blockchain Health no longer exists. It was a jury-rigged solution that meant that the banking system, the centralized ledger-keeping solution with which society had solved the double-spend problem for five hundred years, would be awkwardly bolted onto the ostensibly decentralized Internet as its core trust infrastructure.
I think there are some legitimate complaints to made towards how online commerce evolved and currently exists but this seems a tad petty. Under this model, the banks charged merchants an interchange fee of around 3 percent to cover their anti-fraud costs, adding a hidden tax to the digital economy we all pay in the form of higher prices. Again, like their statement above: there are some very legitimate gripes to be had regarding the existing oligopolistic payment systems, but this specific gripe is kind of petty. Fraud exists and as a result someone has to pay for it. In the cryptocurrency world, there is no recourse because it is caveat emptor.
In the world of courts and legal recourse, fees are levied to cover customer service including fraud and insurance. It may be possible to build a payment system in which there is legal recourse and simultaneously no oligopolistic rent seeking but this is not explored in the book. Also, for some reason the fee to miners is not brought up in this section, yet it is a real fee users must pay… yet they do not receive customer service as part of it.
Lastly, the Federal Reserve and other central banks monitor historical interchange fees. Source: Statista. On pages 52 and 53 they write uncritically about Marc Andresseen and VCs who have invested in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Those ties are not scrutinized in a chapter that attempts to create a black and white narrative: that the legacy players are centralized rent-seekers and the VCs are not.
When we know empirically that some VCs, including a16z, have invested in what they believe will become monopolies of some kind. One risk is that regulators, confused by all these outside-the-box concepts, will overreact to some bad news — potentially triggered by large-scale investors losses if and when the ICO bubble bursts and exposes a host of scams. The fear is that a new set of draconian catchall measures would suck the life out of innovation in this space or drive it offshore or underground.
To be sure, institutions like the Washington-based Coin Center and the Digital Chamber of Commerce are doing their best to keep officials aware of the importance of keeping their respective jurisdictions competitive in what is now a global race to lead the world in financial technology. This is word for word what coin lobbyists have been pitching to policy makers around the world for years. Both Coin Center and Digital Chamber of Commerce lobby on behalf of their sponsors and donors to prevent certain oversight on the cryptocurrency market.
And they have been effective because these authors do not question the motivations and agenda these special interest groups have. The next edition of this book could explore this phenomenon. He or she had simply exploited one of its features. Excellent point that should be explored in further detail in the next edition. For instance, in Bitcoin there have been multiple CVEs which if exploited at least one was could have resulted in changes in the money supply.
Is that a feature or a bug? And the most recent one, found in pre- 0. For that reason, some of them say, a blockchain is inappropriate for many non-currency applications. Permissioned blockchains — those which require some authorized entity to approve the computers that validate the blockchain — by definition more prone to gatekeeping controls, and therefore to the emergence monopoly or oligopoly powers, than the persmissionless ideal that Bitcoin represents. By not including them, each platform is painted in the same light. Back then, mining included a machine that did two things: validated blocks and also generate proofs-of-work.
Today, those two functions are completely separate and because of the relatively fierce competition at generating hashes, there are real exit and entry costs to the market. In many cases, this means that both the mining pool operators and hash generators end up connecting their real world government-issued identities with their on-chain activity e. It may be a stretch to say that there is an outright monopoly in mining today, but there is a definite trend towards oligopoly in manufacturing, block producing, and hash generation the past several years.
This is not explored beyond a superficial level in the book. Until law changes, banks would face insurmountable legal and regulatory opposition, for example, to using a system like Bitcoin that relies on an algorithm randomly assigning responsibility at different stages of the bookkeeping process to different, unidentifiable computers around the world. The authors make it sound like the PFMIs are holding the world back when the opposite is completely true.
These principals and best practices arose over time because of the systemic impact important financial market infrastructures could have on society as a whole. Proof-of-work chains, the ones that are continually promoted in this book, have no ability to prevent forks, by design. Anarchic chains like Bitcoin and Ethereum can only provide probabilistic finality. Yet commercial best practices and courts around the world demands definitive settlement finality.
Why should commerce be captured by pseudonymous, unaccountable validators maintained in jurisdictions in which legal recourse is difficult if not impossible? He does make two valid observations here as well: regulated commerce should have oversight. In contrast, dFMI is a model that attempts to move away from these highly intermediated infrastructures. See also my new article on SICNs.
The ironic part of this statement is — while well-intended — because of economies of scale there is an oligopoly or even monopoly in most PoW-mined coins. It is unclear how or why that would change in the future. In addition, with the entrance of Bakkt, ErisX, Fidelity and other large traditional financial organizations e. As we stated in The Age of Cryptocurrency , Bitcoin was merely the first crack at using a distributed computing and decentralized ledger-keeping system to resolve the age-old problem of trust and achieve this open, low-cost architecture for intermediary-free global transactions.
But as the authors have stated elsewhere: proof-of-work chains are inherently costly. If they were cheap to maintain then they would be cheap to fork and reorg. On pages 64 and 65 they provide a definition of a blockchain. I think this could be more helpful more earlier on in the book for newer audiences. That way, no authorizing entity could block, retract, or decide what gest entered into the ledger, making it censorship resistant. Could be worth referencing Eligius, a pool run by Luke-Jr.
Readers may be interested of a few real life examples of perfectly inelastic supplies. Proof of work is expensive, because it chews up both electricity and processing power. That means that if a miner wants to seize majority control of the consensus system by adding more computing power, they would have to spend a lot of money doing so. This is correct. Needs to be a little more consistent in this book. Either PoW is resource intensive or it is not, it cannot be both.
Might those big players collude and undermine the ledger by combining resources? Perhaps, but there are also overwhelming disincentives for doing so. Among other considerations, a successful attack would significantly undermine the value of all the bitcoins the attacking miner owns. As mentioned above, Bitcoin and many other coins have forked; see this history.
Hundreds of coins have died due to lack of interest by miners and developers. It could also be argued that between , Bitcoin underwent a social, off-chain attack by multiple different groups attempting to exert their own influence and ideology onto the ecosystem.
The end result was a permanent fracture, a divorce which the principal participants still lob social media bombs at one another. And it worked. The caveat, of course, is that if bad actors do control more than 50 percent of the computing power they can produce the longest chain and so incorporate fraudulent transactions, which other miners will unwittingly treat as legitimate. I probably would change some of the wording because with proof-of-work chains and basically any cryptocurrency , there are no terms of service or end user license agreement or SLA.
At most there is only de facto governance and certainly not de jure. What does that mean? Barring an administrator , who is the legitimate authority in the anarchic world of cryptocurrencies? By making it impossible to replicate something of value — in this case bitcoins — Bitcoin broke this conventional wisdom.
It created digital scarcity. No it did not. This whole passage is wrong. As we have seen with forks and clones, there really is no such thing as this DRM-for-money narrative. This should be removed in the next edition. Scarcity effectively means rivalrous , yet anyone can copy and clone any of these anarchic chains. PoW might make it relatively expensive to do a block reorg on one specific chain, but it does not really prevent someone from doing what they want with an identically cloned chain.
For instance, here is a list of 44 Bitcoin forked tokens that arose between August and May In light of the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash divorce, lobbying exchanges to recognize ticker symbols is also worth looking into in a future edition. This is one of the most honest statements in the book. The entire cryptocurrency ecosystem is now dominated by intermediaries. Was this just a coincidence? Making blocks bigger would require more memory, which would make it even more expensive to operate a miner, critics pointed out.
That could drive other prospective miners away, and leave Bitcoin mining even more concentrated among a few centralized players, raising the existential threat of collusion to undermine the ledger. Yet it has been a moot point for both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash as the price per gigabyte for a hard drive continues to decline over time… and because in the past year, on-chain transactions on both chains have fallen from their peak in December Nearly all of them maintain these nodes at a cloud provider.
So there is already a lot of trust that takes place e. Because of economies of scale, spinning up a node computer in AWS is relatively inexpensive. Followers of this philosophy emphasized the need to run a node at home. For instance, if a UASF supporter based in rural Florida is attempting to run a node from his home, there could be a stark difference between the uptime and bandwidth capacity he has at home versus what AWS provides. And so, it all devolved into shouting matches on social media. I wrote about this phenomenon in Appendix A in a paper published in November And what eventually happened was a series of off-chain Sybil attacks by several different tribes, but especially by promoters of UASF who spun up hundreds — thousands of nodes — and acted as if those mattered.
Future editions should also include a discussion on what took place at the Hong Kong roundtable , New York agreement , and other multilateral governance-related talks prior to the Bitcoin Cash fork. A hard-fork-based software change thus poses a do-or-die decision for users on whether to upgrade or not. A bitcoin based on the old version could not be transferred to someone running software that support the new version. Two Bitcoins. Two versions of the truth. The authors actually accidentally proved my earlier point: that public chains, specifically, proof-of-work chains, cannot prevent duplication or forks.
Proof-of-work only makes it resource intensive to do double-spend on one specific chain. This is one of the reasons why regulated financial organizations likely will continue to not issue long lifecycle instruments directly onto an anarchic chain like Bitcoin: because by design, PoW chains are forkable. Also, future editions may want to modify this language because there are some counterarguments from folks like Vitalik Buterin that state : because hard forks are opt-in and thus lead to cleaner long-term outcomes e.
The smart contracts prevent users from defrauding each other while the Bitcoin blockchain is used solely as a settlement layer, recording new balance transactions whenever a channel is opened or closed. They had a duty, they believed, to avoid big, disruptive codebase alterations and instead wanted to encourage innovators to develop applications that would augment the powers of the limited foundational code. The authors should revise this because this is just repeating the talking points of specific Core developers, especially the last line.
We see that in other cryptocurrencies and blockchain-related development efforts including Ethereum. But a group of miners with real clout was having none of it. Led by a Chinese company that both mined bitcoin and produced some of the most widely used mining equipment, this group was adamantly opposed to SegWit and Lightning. Conspiracy theories abounded: Bitmain was planning to subvert SegWit.
The company denied this and vowed to disable the feature. But trust was destroyed. But to start with, in the process of writing this review I reached out and contacted both Roger Ver and separately an advisor at Bitmain. Both told me that neither of the authors of this book had reached out to them for any comment. Multiple different groups were actively lobbying and petitioning various influential figures such as exchange operators during this time period, not just Jihan and Roger.
For instance, as mentioned above, the Hong Kong roundtable and New York agreement were two such examples. Conversely, SegWit and UASF was heavily promoted and lobbied by executives and affiliates at Blockstream and a handful of other organizations. Last April Bitmain was alleged by Greg Maxwell and the Antbleed campaign of having maybe kinda sorta engaged in something called covert mining via Asicboost. Jimmy Song and others looked into it and said that there was no evidence covert was happening.
At the time, Greg proposed changing the PoW function in Bitcoin in order to prevent covert Asicboost from working. Two months ago Sia released code which specifically blocked mining equipment from Bitmain and Innosilicon. How and why this action is perceived as being fair or non-political is very confusing… they are definitely picking favorites their own hardware. What changed? That seems like favoritism. Either way, the book passage above needs to be rewritten to include views from other camps and also to remove the still unproven conspiracy theories. The comparative performance of the pair suggested that small-block BTC and the SegWit reformers had won.
While an imperfect comparison, a more likely explanation is that of a Keynesian beauty contest. Based on anecdotes, most coin speculators do not seem to care about the technical specifications of the coins they buy and typically keep the coins stored on an intermediary such as an exchange with the view that they can sell the coins later to someone else e. Bitcoin had gone through a ridiculous circus, one that many outsiders naturally assumed would hurt its reputation and undermine its support.
Who wants such an ungovernable currency? Yet here was the original bitcoin surging to new heights and registering a staggering percent gain in less than twelve months. The problem with cherry picking price action dates is that, as seen in the passage above, it may not age well. We can all guess what happened during this most recent bubble, but to act like non-tech savvy retail buyers bought bitcoin BTC because of SegWit is a non sequitur.
No one but the tribalists in the civil war really cared. Well, for one, Bitcoin had proven itself resilient. Despite its civil war, its blockchain ledger remained intact. Might want to reword this in the future. The supply schedule of bitcoins would have stayed the same. The main issue was: a permanent block size increase from 1 MB to at least 2 MB. That proposal, if enacted, would not have changed the money supply. By design, no proof-of-work coin can guarantee finality or irreversibility. Also, Bitcoin had more than a dozen forks prior to the block size civil war. Solid censorship resistance was, after all, a defining selling point for Bitcoin, the reason why some see the digital currency becoming a world reserve asset to replace the outdated, mutable, fiat-currency systems that still run the world.
Censorship resistance is narrow and specific to what operators of miners could do. Specifically, the game theory behind Nakamoto Consensus is that it would be costly resource intensive for a malicious Byzantine actor to try and attempt to permanently censor transactions due to the amount of hashrate proof-of-work a Byzantine actor would need to control e. In contrast, what the authors described in this book was off-chain censorship, such as lobbying by various special interest groups at events, flamewars on Twitter, removing alternative views and voices on reddit, and via several other forms.
It needs more of an explanation beyond the colorful one sentence it was given. There is no single monolithic codebase that lies unchanged since which is basically the takeaway from the passage above. It is also worth pointing out that their analogy is flawed for other reasons discussed in: Intranets and the Internet. If that is the case, that appears to open up a can of worms beyond the space for this review. Strongly recommend removing this passage because it comes across as a one-sided marketing message rather than a balanced or neutral explanation using metrics.
For instance, how active are the various code repositories for Bitcoin Core, Unlimited, and others? Under these arrangements, some authority, such as a consortium of banks, choose which entities get to participate in the validation process. Both worlds can and will co-exist because they were designed for different operating environments. As a result, there is no computational arms race.
Not once have I been in a governance-related meeting involving banks in which they thought the solution to a governance-related issue was increasing or decreasing computational power. It is a non sequitur and should be removed in the next edition. To us, permissionless systems pose the greatest opportunity. Because it is possible for both operating environments to co-exist. This is a false dichotomy. A side note maybe worth mentioning in a footnote is that Satoshi did attempt to build a marketplace early on but gave up.
Mark S Miller has also done work in this area. This is probably not the best analogy because there is a difference between Google Android and Android Open Source Project. One of them includes proprietary tech. Also, Google can and does add and remove applications from the Play store on a regular basis based on its terms and conditions.
Lastly, someone does in fact own each of the computers that constitute the Ethereum blockchain… mining farms are owned by someone, mining pools are owned by someone, validating nodes are owned by someone. And so forth. Now he was building a universally accessible, decentralized global supercomputer. Now, with more than six hundred decentralized applications, or Dapps, running on Ethereum, he is looking vindicated.
The next version of the book should explicitly spell out what are the metrics for success. If it is solely price of a coin going up, what happens when the price of the coins goes down like it has in the past year? Does that mean Vitalik is no longer vindicated? Also, what is he vindicated from? Lastly, it would be worth exploring in the next edition what Dapps are currently being used on a regular basis.
Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin only added to the complexity when he setup ConsenSys, a Brooklyn-based think tank-like business development unit tasked with developing new use cases and applications of the technology. As of this writing there are over 1, employees spread across several dozen spokes. There is more to it than that and it would be interesting to see it explored in the next edition.
Actually, Parity had a couple issues in and it is likely that the book may have been sent to publication around the same time the bigger problem occurred on November 13, It would be interesting to explore how this foundation was created and how it evolved and who manages it today. For instance, at one point in there were conversations around creating a commercial, for-profit entity led in part by Charles Hoskinson who later left and founded Cardano. It was a radical move.
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Does that not destroy the whole value proposition? In either case, it is the miners that ultimately install and use the code. While some developers like Bitcoin Core are highly influential, without miners installing and running software, the rules on the network cannot be changed. See Sufficiently Decentralized Howeycoins.
Well, in many respects, the Ethereum team operated as policymakers do during real-world crises. They made hard decisions that hurt some but were ultimately taken in the interests of the greater good — determined, hopefully, through as democratic a process as possible. The organizers went to great lengths to explain and gain support for the hard fork. The next edition should strive to be more specific here: what exactly made the decision making around the hard fork democratic.
For all intents and purposes, the fix was democratic — arguably, much more so than non-participatory democratic models through which crisis policymaking is enacted by national governments. Who was enfranchised? Who got to vote and make decision? And lastly how do we measure the level of contentiousness? Is there an objective measure out there? This created much confusion and some interesting arbitrage opportunities — as well as some lessons for bitcoin traders when their own currency split two years later — but it can also be viewed as the actions of a dissenting group non-violently exercising their right to secede.
Also, there are some vocal maximalists that have created various Ethereum-branded tribes which are okay with The DAO attacker having access to those funds. Will be interesting to see if there are any sociological studies to reference in a new edition. These hacks, and the scrambles to fix them, seem nuts, right? First, is this monetary chaos anything less unsettling than the financial crisis of ?
Or the audacity of the subsequent Wall Street trading scandals? This is a whataboutism. Also, strangely the authors are saying the bar for judgement is as low as the financial engineering and socialized loses of the GFC. In comparison, other bitcoins with a potentially shady past should be worth less because of the risk of future seizure. Legal tender is explicitly exempt because of the very scenario the authors describe. Worth updating this section because to-date, they have not achieved the 50, transactions per second on mainnet that is stated in the book.
There has also been a bit of churn in the organizations as Ian Grigg named in the book is no longer at the organization, nor are employees 2 through 5. One criticism of the model has been that without the electricity consumption costs of proof of work, attackers in a proof-of-stake system would simply mine multiple blocks to boost their chances of inserting a fraudulent one into the ledger. How do we know this was clear to investors? Anecdotally it appears that at least some investors participated as speculators, with the view that the token price would increase.
A future edition should probably change the wording unless there is a reference that breaks down the motivation of the investors. What about Civil? Could be worth pointing out that Storj had two public ICOs and it is still unclear if that will result in legal or regulatory issues. Putting that aside, currently Storj has just under 3, users. This stat is worth looking at again in future versions, especially in light of less-than-favorable reviews. Once the 1 billion tokens had sold out in twenty-four seconds, it was revelead that only accounts got them and that the biggest twenty holdings covered more than two-thirds of the total.
Those distortions left many investors angry. There is currently a debate around whether these types of ICOs in and earlier were investment contracts e. In the US, this has led to more than a hundred subpoenas with some quiet and not so quiet enforcement action. The language used in this chapter and elsewhere in the book suggests that the participants involved in the ICO were investing with the expectation of profit in a common enterprise managed by the Brave team. Worth revisiting in a future edition. This low-cost solution to the double-spending challenge launched a factory of ICOs as issuers found an easy way to tap a global investing community.
No painful negotiations with venture capitalists over dilution and control of the board. No wining and dining of Wall Street investment banks to get them to put their clients on the order book.go site
Point of View: First, Second, and Third Person POV
No wait for SEC approval. It was a simple, low-cost formula and it lowered the barrier to entry for some brilliant innovators to bring potentially world-changing ideas to market. Unfortunately, it was also a magnet for scammers. Could be worth updating this section to include more details on the scams and fraud that took place throughout Many of the tokens that raised capital from outside investors during this time not only have not delivered a working product, but in most cases, the token underperformed both ether and bitcoin.
Also bears mentioning that beginning in late through the time of this writing, there was a clear divergence between public sale ICOs and private sale of tokens… the latter of which basically involves a private placement to accredited investors, including the same type of funds that the passage above eschewed. Could be worth revisiting who the main ICO-focused lawyers and lawfirms were during this time period and where they are now and if there were any enforcement actions undertaken. In fact, most of the people investing seemed to be taking a very VC-like approach to it.
They understood that most of the projects would fail. They just hoped to have a few chips down on the one winner. Pages and aged quickly as most of the ICO rating websites and newsletters have fallen to the wayside due to payola scandals and inability to trust the motivations behind the ratings.
Similarly, the authors describe accredited investors and SAFTs. The SAFT model has fallen out of favor for several reasons that could be explored in a future version. Putting aside the fanciful ASIC-resistance utopia that is peddled by some coin issuers, the passage above raises a couple flags. Who gets to decide what the governing principles are? Do these principles get to change overtime? If the answer is yes to either, who are those decision makers and how are they chosen? How can that change in the future? Why is a GPU-led mining network considered more democratic?
In practice, most of these farms are located in basically the same type of structure and geography as ASIC-based equipment… in some cases they are swapped out over time.
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In light of the Sia coin fork … which clearly shows favoritism at play, a future edition of the book could include a chart or spectrum explaining how the mining of one coin more or less democratic versus another. This speaks to our broader notion that tokens, by incentivizing the preservation of public goods, might help humanity solve the Tragedy of the Commons, a centuries-in-the-making shift in economic reality.
But how does a blockchain actually do this? They mention Lykke as an startup that could help match tokens at a fair price… but to-date there is nothing listed on Lykke that really stands out as different than what you could fine at other cryptocurrency exchanges. Perhaps a comparison chart showing the similarities and differences? In an age where U. The example they go on to use is Augur. But Augur is a futures market and there are many of those already in existence.
Walking through this process could be helpful to the reader. Maybe worth following up in the next edition because neither has launched and each of the pitches sounds very handwavy, lacking in substance. Most of p. Perhaps the next edition could include a chart with a roadmap in how they see various projects achieving different milestones? The question, though, is: would this transaction be easily processed if it were based on a private blockchain? In my defence, until that point all visions involved people, usually dead although sometimes the living so the sparkling bars offered no reference point, seemingly random and weird.
Scheduled for a minor procedure the next day, I figured the time to discuss the unspoken issue Renee kept from me had come, or at least try and coax it out of her. Plus maybe it would distract both of us from surgery the next day, a tonsillectomy so no biggie, but surgery all the same. I knew how much she loved them, reflected in the price she paid.
Fat chance. Some guy at university? Is it? Tears had blossomed, spilling over the rims of her eyes. Kindness, ability to help, generosity, by the time I get down to what someone does with their private points, well I give up. How does Janie feel? It could burst at any moment. Most women would jump at the excuse for a wedding. I filed it in the too hard basket for later, but forgot in the mad panic of the phone call from my sister Leah the next day.
Oh god, Renee, No, please not Renee, I pleaded anything but that. It was my fault, she should have known better. Not now, not like this, never like this. As his sausage like fingers encased the door handle and it clicked closed sharply, the room closed in on me, and I gained some understanding of the thinking behind the desperate eyes of abandoned dogs at the pound, terror-stricken, pleading and hopeful of rescue. The bone-coloured walls of the interview room, packed with stuffed filing cabinets and a desk jammed between them offered barely a glimmer of hope.
The chair swayed, and I prayed it would hold my weight for at least the next few minutes until I could talk my way out of there. A chair falling apart mid job interview would be far too prophetic for my liking, after three years as a private investigator. As he waddled across to his desk, my attention followed his sweaty form, struggling to take a breath. Mathers leaned back in the chair.
The front right corner of the interview desk had fallen apart so the disintegration showed, and small particles appeared to make a regular, if rather flaky appearance. He fiddled with a silver pen. The room stood still. The pen pusher stared back at me, a deer in the headlights. I stared out the window, thirteen floors up, an attempt to distract myself. Office dwellers, scurried across the scorched pavement, ant like in their mission to get whatever meangingful task office workers were given.
Not unusual for a detective with an unfair advantage. Did anyone say Sentinel?
Book Making: Why do authors who use self-publishing companies often get no respect?
See this pissed me off. The idea that occasionally seeing visions from the dead, and a unique ability to cut a spirit connection particularly as a protection mechanism; made me greater not lesser than other cops. What a load of bullshit. My ventriloquist skills came in handy not just was a party trick.
Will Mathers sat forward to learn his forearms on the desk, pushing back his seat to allow room for his ample stomach, which pushed against the desk with alarming pressure. I had neither the time nor the energy to take him on. Let him roll around in his own little bubble. Languishing behind a desk at the Academy, a slow decay would be torture. I bit my lip. As you might remember it can take some time for the administrative wheels to turn.
His chair squeaked in protest as he pushed his bulk up from the seat and leaned across the desk for another limp handshake. His smugness, irked, but no need to be rude, the guy probably had no idea he rubbed me up the wrong way, just doing his job. Besides, I had a regular pay packet, which had been the aim, no matter how crap the pay. I walked through the maze of corridors back out to reception, where I nodded and smiled at the receptionist, waiting outside the lift doors, pushing the button to wait for what usually was an eternity for them to arrive.
The text message had landed without a murmur, simply an unobtrusive almost apologetic ping,a clear bell, demanding my attention. I swiped the screen. As the lift doors slid open with a quiet swish, I thumbed the text. Please help. Gypsy had told me a few days before that Renee would be at Pinewood Private Hospital.
Two grown women anxious to the point of hysteria, just what I needed. Some things never change. The Sentinel has Risen! Just 0. Yeah, the trolls came, but I survived thanks to my other half, the lovely Steve. He showed me that even some of the greatest writers got bad reviews from faceless strangers so suppressing the desire to hide under the desk and never write again, I kept going.
The result was three more books. This one is special though. I wanted Connor to come out of the shadows as a main character, and in this series he has. As he stared at the lifeless form, a mess of tangled limbs on the soft carpet, a chill seeped up his spine, through his veins, and deep into the marrow of his bones. He missed her so much, his darling Lauren. The love of his life, mother to his only child. How could she betray him? The secret conversations, the gossip, the problems solved together, the whispered moments before they drifted off to sleep—none of it mattered anymore.
When had she become uninterested in what he had to say? To see third person objective in action, you can refer to this example:. The American and the girl with him sat at a table in the shade, outside the building. It was very hot and the express from Barcelona would come in forty minutes. It stopped at this junction for two minutes and went to Madrid. Similarly, third person omniscient narrators use third-person pronouns to narrate the story. For instance:. This perspective is generally considered to be one of the hardest to pull off. Impressed already by the way first- and third-person limited POVs conduct thorough inquisitions of one character?
The power of third person omniscient is such that the narrator can slip into minds of several characters — at any given moment. This not only gives the author plenty of room to experiment with the pacing of the story, but also presents a unique opportunity to delve into the psychology of multiple characters. Elizabeth, having rather expected to affront him, was amazed at his gallantry; but there was a mixture of sweetness and archness in her manner which made it difficult for her to affront anybody; and Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her.
He really believed, that were it not for the inferiority of her connections, he should be in some danger. During the day Ennis looked across a great gulf and sometimes saw Jack, a small dot moving across a high meadow, as an insect moves across a tablecloth; Jack, in his dark camp, saw Ennis as night fire, a red spark on the huge black mass of mountain. In truth, Mrs.
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Gradgrind in raising her to her high matrimonial position, had been influenced by two reasons. By nonsense he meant fancy; and truly it is probable she was as free from any alloy of that nature, as any human being not arrived at the perfection of an absolute idiot, ever was. The simple circumstance of being left alone with her husband and Mr.
Bounderby, was sufficient to stun this admirable lady again without collision between herself and any other fact. So, she once more died away, and nobody minded her. He tried to be offhand and not too obviously uninterested, but the fat boy hurried after him. The fair boy said this solemnly; but then the delight of a realized ambition overcame him. In the middle of the scar he stood on his head and grinned at the reversed fat boy. Because readers subconsciously accept that omniscient narrators are all-knowing, this kind of narrator has an easier time explaining backstory and exposition.
In the land of Ingary, where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes. The face of Elrond was ageless, neither old nor young, though in it was written the memory of many things both glad and sorrowful. His hair was dark as the shadows of twilight, and upon it was set a circlet of silver; his eyes were grey as a clear evening, and in them was a light like the light of stars.
Venerable he seemed as a king crowned with many winters, and yet hale as a tried warrior in the fulness of his strength. He was the Lord of Rivendell and mighty among both Elves and Men. In the middle of the table, against the woven cloths upon the wall, there was a chair under a canopy, and there sat a lady fair to look upon, and so like was she in form of womanhood to Elrond that Frodo guessed that she was one of his close kindred.
Young she was and yet not so. The braids of her dark hair were touched by no frost, her white arms and clear face were flawless and smooth, and the light of stars was in her bright eyes, grey as a cloudless night; yet queenly she looked, and thought and knowledge were in her glance, as of one who has known many things that the years bring. Above her brow her head was covered with a cap of silver lace netted with small gems, glittering white; but her soft grey raiment had no ornament save a girdle of leaves wrought in silver.
But her brothers, Elladan and Elrohir, were out upon errantry: for they rode often far afield with the Rangers of the North, forgetting never their mother's torment in the dens of the orcs. Killing off a wizard of a higher grade was a recognised way of getting advancement in the orders. Omniscient narrators are unique in that they often have a personality and voice distinct from that of the actual cast of characters.
As you might expect, authors have stretched this concept in all sorts of creative directions in the past. Sometimes the omniscient narrator takes on a snarky, observational tone in books. Out of thin air: a big bang, followed by falling stars.
A universal beginning, a miniature echo of the birth of time. But Gibreel has already named it, I mustn't interfere: Proper London, capital of Vilayet, winked blinked nodded in the night. While at Himalayan height a brief and premature sun burst into the powdery January air, a blip vanished from radar screens, and the thin air was full of bodies, descending from the Everest of the catastrophe to the milky paleness of the sea. Who am I? This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.
Sadly, however before she could get to a phone to tell anyone about it, a terribly stupid catstrophe occurred, and the idea was lost forever. The people all saw her come because it was sundown. The sun was gone, but he had left his footprints in the sky. It was the time for sitting on porches beside the road. It was the time to hear things and talk. These sitters had been tongueless, earless, eyeless conveniences all day long. Mules and other brutes had occupied their skins. But now, the sun and the bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They became lords of sounds and lesser things.
They passed nations through their mouths. They sat in judgment. Seeing the woman as she was made them remember the envy they had stored up from other times. So they chewed up the back parts of their minds and swallowed with relish. They made burning statements with questions, and killing tools out of laughs. It was mass cruelty. A mood come alive, Words walking without masters; walking altogether like harmony in a song. Can't she find no dress to put on?
Where she left dat young lad of a boy she went off here wid? The second person point of view endows the reader with the narrative point of view, asking them to place themselves directly in the headspace of a particular character: either the protagonist or a secondary personality. The pronouns associated with second person include you , your , and yours , as in:. Out of all the POVs, this one is the least popular — in part because it requires such a large suspension of disbelief on the part of the reader. Rob Spillman, the editor of Tin House, once said: "I have a pet peeve against the second person that I call the second—person accusatory: 'You are walking down the street.
Call it an assault of the senses. As you might expect, this creates the ultimate intimacy with the text. Instead of being told the story, readers experience it first-hand. Here are some second person point of view examples:. You have friends who actually care about you and speak the language of the inner self.
You have avoided them of late. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade. What better way to drive an idea than to make readers live through it themselves? In this following example, for instance, Mohsin Hamid uses the second-person point of view to put the reader in Pakistan and bring home the realities of poverty. The whites of your eyes are yellow, a consequence of spiking bilirubin levels in your blood. The virus afflicting you is called hepatitis E.
Its typical mode of transmission is fecal-oral. Your mother has encountered this condition many times, or conditions like it anyway. Then again, maybe she does. Maybe she fears it.
Lord of the Flies
Everyone is going to die, and when a mother like yours sees in a third-born child like you the pain that makes you whimper under her cot the way you do, maybe she feels your death push forward a few decades, take off its dark, dusty headscarf, and settle with open-haired familiarity and a lascivious smile into this, the single mud-walled room she shares with all of her surviving offspring. Are you still not sure which POV is right for your book? Check out this moody infographic on literary points of view!
Click To Tweet. Leave any questions or comments in the box below. Learning how to write a memoir is like studying to be an archeologist.
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Not only do you have to dig deep and sift through the sands for fragments on the past, you then have to …. Poor dialogue can make readers put your book down in disgust — but great dialogue can …. If the theme of …. Ah, conflict. Kurt Vonnegut once said that every story is about a character who gets into trouble and then tries to get out of it.