3.09.2007

Channelling

Miss Snark:

While looking through Jeff Herman's book for agents, I ran across an agent who said she wasn't interested in agenting "almost anything channeled." I've never heard of this before. Do you know what she was talking about?



For some time, and perhaps even continuing to this day, there are people who "hear" the books in their head as if from another person. There were quite a few famous books, and "channelers" in the 80s. More info on it is here

Mostly now "channeling"is a joke shorthand, and used (at least by Miss Snark's pals) to indicate one's mother is speaking, when in fact said mother is playing the ponies at Hialeah and NOT telling the loinfruit to eat his vegetables.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is this the same thing as the author who goes on the Today Show to say that their book just came to them in a dream and they wrote it in one week?

Dr. Dume said...

I agree absolutely. I never write down what the voices say to me, nor do I ever do what they want.

I'd be arrested within hours.

joe said...

Loinfruit? Gotta love the Snark?

Jenn said...

So it sounds like his mom wrote it? I'm really not clear on what you're saying here.

Elektra said...

Jenn, I'm not sure, but I think she means the writing is more catharsis for the author than actual novel material (like Devil Wears Prada, which had, for me, one of the most unlikable heroines ever. Oh no, you mean your boss wants you to stop taking personal calls at work? Stop embezzling money? What a demon--okay, sorry. That was my channeling).

writtenwyrdd said...

Channeling is when the author claims to have received the book via a trance, and either dictates or writes them down. These were big in the 80s .

To say you are channeling your mother is a joke on that trend.

Jesse said...

I'm pretty sure it means actual ("actual") channeling: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channelling_(mediumistic)

s.m.o'shea said...

I'm afraid I don't understand either. Do you mean that agents don't like it when a novel is written in first person?

poshcat said...

s.m. o'shea, I think she means agents don't like it when a novel is written in dead person. :0P

Anonymous said...

The Seth books were huge in their time; mid'70's to mid'80's when Jane Roberts died. There were even, if I recall correctly, a couple released after her death.
They are still in bookstores, so whereever she's on the shelf (probably in New Age area) is where you'll find her and the rest of the channelling books.

Anonymous said...

For those of you still struggling to understand what this is, I recommend that you click on the “here” in the line “More info on it is here” in the original post.

Writer on Board said...

All of my books are channeled through me from the spirit of a small Chihuahua named Fernando. I am but a vessel.

Anonymous said...

FYI, Miss Snark...

The ponies haven't run at Hialeah for years, because Hialeah racetrack is no more.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if "channeling" in this context also includes the sort of writer who is not so much hearing the voices of dead people, as divinely inspired. You know the type, "Oh, I didn't write this--it just came to me. All I did was write it down."

I suspect that sort of writer is difficult to work with, especially if any revisions are suggested. How dare you tamper with the voice of their muse?

Bernita said...

During reasearch last night, read about this "psychic phenonema" - spirit dictation and automatic writing - and idly wondered if we would see a new wave of it.

ec said...

The Seth books were huge in their time; mid'70's to mid'80's when Jane Roberts died. There were even, if I recall correctly, a couple released after her death.

Which begs the question, who was channeling Jane?

ec said...

I remember reading an interview with the late Marion Zimmer Bradley, in which she mentioned that a surprising number of fans asked her which of her works were "channeled." I wonder if she ever thought about going the route of one poster here, and claiming to be the vessel of Fernando the Chiahuahua, or some such.

Though come to think of it, that could backfire, too. Harlan Ellison used to respond to people who'd ask where he got his ideas by telling them, "Schenectady." Problem was, invariably someone would come up to him afterwards and ask for a specific address. Or so the story goes.

writtenwyrdd said...

Seth books continued to be published because Jane Robert's husband has tons of material from their twice weekly sessions. (Confession: I read many of those books.)

a spirit guide said...

Channelling books is done through "automatic writing", which is a process that filters information from "spirit guides" through a human being who is able (for whatever resaon)to connect with the guide or guides, as the case may be. The late Ruth Montgomery, who was a well educated and repsected writer in the American City, Washington DC, actually wrote books on this...automatic writing. Edgar Cayce, from Viginia Beach, did this too. No one ever gained any great monetary increases from automatic writing; most did it (and do it) because they didn't have a choice.

Like so many things of this enlightened nature there are those souls who want to believe in it, those souls who fake it to make money and those souls who really do it.

Kanani said...

Good lord! Channeling!! I went to a channeler once... yes, I think it was in the 1980's. She was an "old mystic from India, who'd been dead for centuries," and told me I'd live somewhere 'green.' Kanani stares at the azalea bush-- dear me, she/he was right!

Mercifully, we all moved onto the internet in the 1990's and haven't had the need to channel since.

Jenn said...

I knew what channelling itself was I'd just never heard the term applying to writing before. I mean I've read books or watched tv shows/movies where characters were channelling but I've never really heard of writers doing it.

BuffySquirrel said...

Also, "channelling" is sometimes used to refer to writing that is blatantly derivative, eg "this author must have been channelling Terry Pratchett when he wrote that scene".

Ahem.

Anonymous said...

Wait! I thought she meant channel surfing! LOL
I crack myself up into a million little pieces!