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Old 26th October 2012, 06:47 PM   #361
cwalner
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Just joined the thread and skimmed the last few pages.

It does not seem like anybody has brought this up since it came out, but I am reading Joseph Anton: A Memoir.

I am really enjoying. I have never read anything of Rushdie's prior to this, and based on how much I like his memoir, I very well may change that in the near future. While, I was only somewhat familiar with the story (he went into hiding when I was 18) it is his writing style that I find so appealing. I am wondering if anybody else is reading, or has already read this and if so what they think of it.
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Old 26th October 2012, 06:55 PM   #362
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You might try the "What Book is Everybody Reading Right Now?" thread...
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Old 27th October 2012, 04:40 AM   #363
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I finished a draft of my latest effort at a sci-fi novel last night. It's called Twilight Suns, Pioneer Worlds: The Secession Campaign; 73000 words ATM. It actually got started because of a forum thread where someone was looking for technical help with their sci-fi novel. Instead it bogged down in an argument about how come the rebel side had better hardware and were better at combat. I put forward a possible explanation and after it turned out the other guy had something a lot weirder in mind I decided it was too good to waste.

For previous efforts I've usually worked out detailed out lines but this time It was basically just a one line 'scene' description. I did submit one of my previous efforts to Baen and they did read it. I go a rejection letter with a lot of helpful advice about making the thing publishable but I had just spent so long with that manuscript that I couldn't stomach going back to it and the next one I was just never happy with the way the plot worked out.

Anyway now I'm looking for someone(s) to read the Secession Campaign before I start polishing it up. Then the question is submit it or self publish? Can anybody help me out?
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Old 27th October 2012, 06:41 AM   #364
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It sounds like something I might like, but...I'm currently reviewing 2 books with another on the table, plus trying to write more of my own, plus work, plus train my dogs, plus...you get the picture! But I would say, after you get it polished, give it a certain amount of time or a certain number of submissions, try & get a publisher (I personally think you can skip the agent), and if that doesn't work under your criteria, go the self-published, KDP-route.

My two cents.
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Old 27th October 2012, 12:49 PM   #365
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post

Anyway now I'm looking for someone(s) to read the Secession Campaign before I start polishing it up. Then the question is submit it or self publish? Can anybody help me out?
I'm planning on doing NANOWRIMO, so will be rather busy in the month of November, but if you're still looking for someone to read and give a critique come the first of December, I would love to!
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Old 27th October 2012, 09:23 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by Tiktaalik View Post
You might try the "What Book is Everybody Reading Right Now?" thread...
Oops, I misread the thread title and thought that is where I was
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Old 28th October 2012, 05:05 AM   #367
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Originally Posted by meg View Post
I'm planning on doing NANOWRIMO, so will be rather busy in the month of November, but if you're still looking for someone to read and give a critique come the first of December, I would love to!
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind.
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Old 16th November 2012, 04:07 AM   #368
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Okay, so after a truly insanely busy year of shooting "Spartacus" and a horrendously stressful last few months (don't ask) I've actually got back to my writing, and have just finished another chapter. Hooray. Progress.
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Old 16th November 2012, 06:28 AM   #369
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Okay, so after a truly insanely busy year of shooting "Spartacus" and a horrendously stressful last few months (don't ask) I've actually got back to my writing, and have just finished another chapter. Hooray. Progress.
(clicks "like" button)

Both of my first two books are now out in paperback as well as Kindle & Nook formats, I'm waiting to edit the third, and working on chapter 15 of the next one (different series). Oh, and I'm putting a self-pubbed (KDP) short-story book into paperback. However, I seem to be a little stalled on the last couple chapters of the one I'm working on right now. Maybe a little too much on my plate, sound familiar?
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Old 25th November 2012, 10:18 PM   #370
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The writing is progressing well, but I thought I'd shamelessly share my latest blog post on the topic of artistic inspiration, as I thought it might be interesting to my fellow writers.

Chasing The Muse

It begins;

Quote:
One of the most common question people ask me, as a writer, is what inspires me. The impression I get is that for those who aren’t infected with the writer gene, it’s something of a mystery where writers draw the ideas that are then formed into their stories. It’s a complex question, and generally I try to avoid it with answers like “just writing”, “nothing”, or “everything”.

Today I thought I’d give this question some real thought and try to come up with a more complex answer, and in the process, perhaps provide some insight into how exactly it is that I go about writing.
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Old 5th December 2012, 02:30 PM   #371
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I have a question for my fellow writers, specifically those who've written or are writing a multi-volume series (Tiktaalik, I'm looking at you!).

How do you maintain continuity? I've starting to really struggle with actually keeping track of everything now, and it's getting to be a problem. I've got a bunch of disparate documents that track various different things, but I still seem to find that so much gets lost, on a regular basis, only to be found months later by accident.
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Old 5th December 2012, 10:49 PM   #372
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Seeing as how Tiktaalik hasn't had time to answer, ...

I thought you had maps and political/social systems all worked out. What kind of details exactly are you having trouble with?

My two book series consists of two fairly separate stories with one character tying the two stories together. Each book has a different protagonist the overlapping character interacts with. In the second book I currently have the two protagonists meeting each other but that's far enough off the story could change.

Bottom line, sorry, I'm not much help but I'm wondering where you're having trouble.
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Old 5th December 2012, 11:12 PM   #373
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Seeing as how Tiktaalik hasn't had time to answer, ...

I thought you had maps and political/social systems all worked out. What kind of details exactly are you having trouble with?

Everything and anything. As an example, my protagonist learns a martial art that's based on wushu. There are a myriad of stances, movements, styles, and forms, all with their own names. That's another database I have to create (haven't yet).

Then there's the different constellations, and their relationship to each other, in multiple cultures.

Then there's the hëil culture which has at its centre schools of learning based around specific fields of study. I have to try keep track of all the different schools.

Multiply this by a thousand, and you begin to appreciate the scale of my problem.

When in the midst of writing, or sketching notes, it's very easy to forget to transfer these details across to a database (and the mere effort of creating and maintaining these databases is exhausting itself), and then they end up lost in a sea of text.

Going back through 400,000 words and 3,700 computer files looking for these details and then creating the hundreds of necessary databases makes me want to throw up!

I really need some way to come up with one massive database where everything is contained.

I was thinking something along the lines of an offline wiki, but I was curious what other people had done.
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Old 5th December 2012, 11:20 PM   #374
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Take this with the grain of salt I have to offer (meaning I'm very much a novice who shouldn't even venture into the advice area of this question): WHY?

In other words how do these details matter to the story? If you have such an intricate story line, what do these details contribute to the story? It seems to me that whatever key thing(s) the details contribute to the story should suggest to you how to track said details.




Feel free to simply ignore me.
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Old 6th December 2012, 06:56 AM   #375
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Copious notes.

I usually have at least these three sets of notes:

A timeline
A set of character sketches that explain physical characteristics, motivations, and other important stuff
A "notes" file that contains questions I've come up with, notes on continuity, and bits of writing I've either removed and don't want to trash yet, or haven't found a place to insert yet.

And often a hand-drawn map to keep distances and directions straight,

I usually also have a bunch of hard copies, sorted by subject, in files. For example, I wrote a mystery a number of years ago (never published) and I ended up with files on 1970s car colors, the connection between ammonium nitrate production and methamphetamine creation, how wood pulp is made into particle board, byproducts of urea & wood glue production - a whole bunch of weird and seemly unconnected files, which I referred to regularly while writing.

I also re-read copiously, over and over and over. I usually set aside a read-through in which I refuse to make any changes, only notes. That way I can read faster and pick up inconsistencies.

Using Scrivener has certainly helped with this, by the way. That's because it's easy to set everything up as a within-system file that you can open with a single click so switching back and forth is easy. You can also split-screen and use the "corkboard" to organize chapters, etc. with a set of short notes, so you can read through them all, kind of like an outline, on a single page.

I don't know how other people do it, of course, but I agree that continuity is an issue in a long work, and people WILL notice it if there's an inconsistency. Of course, in the "Stolen" trilogy I also had a line/content editor and an editor who checked for consistency at the last minute. Nice, but I'm thinking of going Indie with my next one...
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Old 6th December 2012, 01:41 PM   #376
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Take this with the grain of salt I have to offer (meaning I'm very much a novice who shouldn't even venture into the advice area of this question): WHY?

In other words how do these details matter to the story? If you have such an intricate story line, what do these details contribute to the story? It seems to me that whatever key thing(s) the details contribute to the story should suggest to you how to track said details.

Feel free to simply ignore me.

I would never ignore you.

It's a valid question, I suppose. One is an issue of, I suppose, philosophy. There tends to be two approaches to fantasy writing; one where it's all about the story being written, and one where immersion in the world is also given importance.

Some writers will provide only the worldbuilding that's absolutely essential to the plot, with nothing beyond it, while others will prefer to give a sense that the story is only one of many taking place within a complex and fully realised world.

To illustrate, using invented languages:

For the first type, an invented "language" might consist of six words, created at random, for the single sentence spoken in that language. No thought given to grammar of any kind, as the language only features as a single sentence, and it's not worth it to put more effort in. Invent six words, and move on.

The second type may partially construct the language as a whole, developing words mostly as required, but also establishing some grammar rules such as conjugation of verbs, tenses, pluralism, basic sentence structure, and so on. The actual story might still only feature a single six word sentence, but a great deal more work has gone into the language.

I'm of the second type. What that means is, when I'm describing different martial arts moves and so on, it's not enough from my perspective to just invent a name on the spot each time, at random. I need to have at least a vague understanding of what each of these moves is, and where they might be relevant.

If Vine That Catches is used to counter a lunge called Heron Catches The Eel in one scene, I need to keep a track of that, so that if someone lunges at a character in another scene, they also use the appropriate guard, or that I don't have them uses that guard to counter an overhead swing.

Is it totally necessary? No. Is a reader likely to ever notice? Only if they read the book over and over, I would think. But I'll know. For me, maintaining the illusion of a comprehensive "real" world is very important, and so I need to be as accurate and careful with my continuity as a writer setting their work in a historical period, or modern times.

One of my reasonings behind this adherence to continuity is that I intend only ever to write within this one world, so anything I do now is an established rule for the remainder of my writing life. While today's book might only feature six words of that invented language, what happens if a future book uses it extensively, requiring me to really flesh out grammar and so on? If I haven't already established the most important rules for that first six word sentence, it's very likely that sentence will cease to be "authentic". That shatters the illusion of a consistent world.

Likewise, Heron Catches The Eel might be a throw-away, flowery description of a fighting move today, but in a future book and entire character scene might revolve around someone struggling to learn that move correctly because their balance is wrong.
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Old 6th December 2012, 01:54 PM   #377
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Originally Posted by Tiktaalik View Post
Copious notes.

I usually have at least these three sets of notes:

A timeline
A set of character sketches that explain physical characteristics, motivations, and other important stuff
A "notes" file that contains questions I've come up with, notes on continuity, and bits of writing I've either removed and don't want to trash yet, or haven't found a place to insert yet.

What do you do when that note file gets too big? I started using a file like that about eight years ago, but it's currently about the size of a novella itself, and far too ungainly to be useful, so I've stopped putting anything in it.


Originally Posted by Tiktaalik View Post
Using Scrivener has certainly helped with this, by the way. That's because it's easy to set everything up as a within-system file that you can open with a single click so switching back and forth is easy. You can also split-screen and use the "corkboard" to organize chapters, etc. with a set of short notes, so you can read through them all, kind of like an outline, on a single page.
I've actually wondered about using the research aspect of Scrivener to organise everything. I've started to use it a little, and it has helped. I think I'm just intimidated by transferring and sorting all those notes!
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Old 6th December 2012, 03:47 PM   #378
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Well, I strictly limit what goes in my Notes files. I keep breaking things out. Like you, I prefer to know more about my "world" than anyone else can know or guess, although yours sounds even more complex (my trilogy is only about 275,000 words total). I write separate short stories about some of the characters - those will likely never see the light of day, but it gives me a better idea of who they are. Then I just sort them by name, or folder, i.e., I'd have a folder for Character Sketches, a folder for City Histories with files on History of Hyolon, History of Andolith, History of Matbor, History of West Ford, History of the Polebray, etc., although if some of these are short I might combine them into a regional file.

In short, I guess it's just a matter of finding some organizational system that works for you, whether it's folders with files in them, hardcopy files, or what have you. Personally, I like breaking things out into topical files because it makes it easier to search within them.

So you'd have a folder labeled, "Martial Arts", with files called "History of Martial Arts", "Types of Martial Arts", "Specific Martial Arts Moves", "Martial Arts Used By Characters", "Martial Arts Training system", "Martial Arts Masters", etc.

And you'd have a folder called "Languages", with files on different vocabularies, preferably organized alphabetically, broken into topic, maybe.

I dunno - I think that would work for me, but everyone's mind works differently.
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Old 6th December 2012, 06:18 PM   #379
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
I would never ignore you.

It's a valid question, I suppose. One is an issue of, I suppose, philosophy. There tends to be two approaches to fantasy writing; one where it's all about the story being written, and one where immersion in the world is also given importance.

Some writers will provide only the worldbuilding that's absolutely essential to the plot, with nothing beyond it, while others will prefer to give a sense that the story is only one of many taking place within a complex and fully realised world.

To illustrate, using invented languages:

For the first type, an invented "language" might consist of six words, created at random, for the single sentence spoken in that language. No thought given to grammar of any kind, as the language only features as a single sentence, and it's not worth it to put more effort in. Invent six words, and move on.

The second type may partially construct the language as a whole, developing words mostly as required, but also establishing some grammar rules such as conjugation of verbs, tenses, pluralism, basic sentence structure, and so on. The actual story might still only feature a single six word sentence, but a great deal more work has gone into the language.

I'm of the second type. What that means is, when I'm describing different martial arts moves and so on, it's not enough from my perspective to just invent a name on the spot each time, at random. I need to have at least a vague understanding of what each of these moves is, and where they might be relevant.

If Vine That Catches is used to counter a lunge called Heron Catches The Eel in one scene, I need to keep a track of that, so that if someone lunges at a character in another scene, they also use the appropriate guard, or that I don't have them uses that guard to counter an overhead swing.

Is it totally necessary? No. Is a reader likely to ever notice? Only if they read the book over and over, I would think. But I'll know. For me, maintaining the illusion of a comprehensive "real" world is very important, and so I need to be as accurate and careful with my continuity as a writer setting their work in a historical period, or modern times.

One of my reasonings behind this adherence to continuity is that I intend only ever to write within this one world, so anything I do now is an established rule for the remainder of my writing life. While today's book might only feature six words of that invented language, what happens if a future book uses it extensively, requiring me to really flesh out grammar and so on? If I haven't already established the most important rules for that first six word sentence, it's very likely that sentence will cease to be "authentic". That shatters the illusion of a consistent world.

Likewise, Heron Catches The Eel might be a throw-away, flowery description of a fighting move today, but in a future book and entire character scene might revolve around someone struggling to learn that move correctly because their balance is wrong.
I think you misunderstood me. If intricate world building is important to your story then it is. I believe there are a lot of writers who are interesting because they weave intricate other worlds into their stories.

Where does your world building outline break into something unwieldy? My guess/suggestion (again take it with the lack of expertise it's coming from) is that you might need a tighter organization (thicker branches) at the top of the tree.

It would seem weapons and fighting techniques are one branch.

Languages are a branch.

And so on.

See where your categories are dividing into too many branches.

If you're like me, I suspect you might have just let things get too disorganized over too long a period of time and your brain is resisting fixing the mess.

I'm collecting lots of data about my world that I only plan to use as framework and backstory stuff but I want it to be realistic. I made one huge file in Word and just kept adding and adding anything I came across I think I might use, from quotes I might want to put in a chapter intro to space travel and global warming science.

Then I made categories and cut and pasted the initial collection into sections. My plan is to then distill that stuff down to the notes I put into my Scrivener files matching the categories. I may only have a half page that mentions the space travel actually in the novel, I'm not sure yet. But I want that part of the story to be credible. So I've collected pages and pages from science stories on the Net.

Same with the quotes. It may turn out only a couple ever get used. But the ideas contained in the quotes are meaningful and the ideas might translate into some key parts in the story.

I have categories for future technology, and social/political issues that are relevant.

My characters are real people I've created in my mind and while I haven't needed to write out character sketches yet, I act out the characters in my head when I walk my dogs. If stuff doesn't seem right, I rework it. So my characters have developed and matured in my mind. I may be sorry I've not written everything I've acted out down but so far it hasn't been an issue. I tried taking a recorder with me on the walks but so far I've not found that to be as practical as just coming back and writing up a scene I just worked on in my mind. I found I wasn't going back and replaying the recordings so I quit using it.
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Old 6th December 2012, 06:47 PM   #380
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Thanks for the musings... I definitely feel that it has become unwieldy and that's a lot of my problem is poor organisation, I guess that's where I'm looking for help...

I think some of my original categorisation has become too limiting, without sufficient branching to keep things organised, and no way of incorporating small notes. That perhaps is where Scrivener is handy.

My main reluctance to use Scrivener was that a project is for a specific book, but these notes are more general (some of them), and some really have nothing to do with the current project at all. I'm wondering if I don't create a second Scrivener "notes" project that's totally separate from the book project, although then of course it takes away the benefit of being able to work on the book while accessing the notes.

Aye!

I thought I had it set up fairly well in the beginning with about 11 major categories and sub categories below those, but I think my problem is these were populated by more comprehensive documents, rather than really designed for small notes and musings.

So I started a separate general notebook where I'd put thoughts from any and all categories, but of course now that's my main source of notes, it's enormous, and totally unsorted!

I think maybe the way is moving it all into Scrivener because then I can break off those individual notebook notes into their relevant categories and put a one line comment about a religion's deity right next to a comprehensive detailed document about a different deity, all under the mythology category.
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Old 6th December 2012, 06:58 PM   #381
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Thanks for the musings... I definitely feel that it has become unwieldy and that's a lot of my problem is poor organisation, I guess that's where I'm looking for help...

I think some of my original categorisation has become too limiting, without sufficient branching to keep things organised, and no way of incorporating small notes. That perhaps is where Scrivener is handy.

My main reluctance to use Scrivener was that a project is for a specific book, but these notes are more general (some of them), and some really have nothing to do with the current project at all. I'm wondering if I don't create a second Scrivener "notes" project that's totally separate from the book project, although then of course it takes away the benefit of being able to work on the book while accessing the notes.

Aye!

I thought I had it set up fairly well in the beginning with about 11 major categories and sub categories below those, but I think my problem is these were populated by more comprehensive documents, rather than really designed for small notes and musings.

So I started a separate general notebook where I'd put thoughts from any and all categories, but of course now that's my main source of notes, it's enormous, and totally unsorted!

I think maybe the way is moving it all into Scrivener because then I can break off those individual notebook notes into their relevant categories and put a one line comment about a religion's deity right next to a comprehensive detailed document about a different deity, all under the mythology category.
Seems to me you can make a novel called "Notes" or "Comprehensive World", however you want to organize things. As for working on two files at once, can't you split your computer screen and have two files open side by side at the same time?

I'm not familiar enough with Scrivener so I still use it with Word at the same time. It's easier for me to do some things with Scrivener and some with Word.
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Old 6th December 2012, 07:41 PM   #382
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Seems to me you can make a novel called "Notes" or "Comprehensive World", however you want to organize things. As for working on two files at once, can't you split your computer screen and have two files open side by side at the same time?

I'm not familiar enough with Scrivener so I still use it with Word at the same time. It's easier for me to do some things with Scrivener and some with Word.

It's not a stupid suggestion. I'm starting to thing buying a second monitor might be a wise investment.
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Old 6th December 2012, 08:16 PM   #383
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
It's not a stupid suggestion. I'm starting to thing buying a second monitor might be a wise investment.
So you can't split your screen?

Maybe it's time for a new PC?
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Old 6th December 2012, 08:18 PM   #384
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BTW, I thought after I bought my too-large screen Mac it was a mistake but now I like the room on the screen.
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Old 6th December 2012, 08:36 PM   #385
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
So you can't split your screen?

Maybe it's time for a new PC?

I can, but it won't be enough space. I'd rather have two screens.
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Old 7th December 2012, 04:18 AM   #386
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Albee agency

FYI, I don't know if anyone has dealt with them but John Scalzi's posted about fraudulent testimonials being used by an outfit called the Albee agency:
The Albee Agency Using Testimonials From Authors the Authors Did Not Give

More on this agency on the Writer Beware blog.
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Old 7th December 2012, 07:00 AM   #387
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
I can, but it won't be enough space. I'd rather have two screens.
Docking station for laptop + flatscreen monitor from old desktop works for me.

And you can copy files from one Scrivener project to another, so if you want, you can move/copy some of the notes files to whichever project you're working on in the future & have them available. In fact, you can copypasta from a Word document, etc., into a folder on Scrivener, too.
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Old 7th December 2012, 02:46 PM   #388
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Originally Posted by Tiktaalik View Post
Docking station for laptop + flatscreen monitor from old desktop works for me.

And you can copy files from one Scrivener project to another, so if you want, you can move/copy some of the notes files to whichever project you're working on in the future & have them available. In fact, you can copypasta from a Word document, etc., into a folder on Scrivener, too.

I think great minds must think alike, I had the same thought. For now I think I'll just leave my research notes in the current project, and migrate them across to other projects as appropriate.

For what it's worth I finished importing my enormous "notebook" and have sorted it broadly by cultures, and sorted one of those cultures into categories and it seems to be working, though very tedious. Worth it though, I think... I need to get all this info in before I can make meaningful progress with any more rewrites I think.
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Old 7th December 2012, 03:22 PM   #389
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Postal history

I'm 95% done with a book on the history of the post office in my home town of Hanover, NH with an emphasis on the philatelic and political aspects of the post office in a small northern New England town in the 19th Century. And funny stories - like when the postmaster robbed his own post office and got caught because he faked a robbery by "highwaymen" but screwed up and smashed the glass in the basement door so it fell OUTSIDE to door rather than inside. I do not expect to retire in luxury on the proceeds of this book!
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Old 7th December 2012, 04:52 PM   #390
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Depends, some history makes for very popular reading. One of my favorite books is "Tough Trip Through Paradise". I was fascinated by a small bit of this one person's life.

Interesting note: Glancing at the Wiki entry I see there was a controversy about this book. That's interesting too.
Quote:
See also

Faked Memoir? or Tall Tale? Online Article in Montana Pioneer magazine. The article's author read Garcia's original handwritten manuscripts and came to doubt Garcia's memoir. Discusses the man Andrew Garcia and the editing of his written manuscripts into a story with a strong element of love. He talks about the possibility that Garcia lied about the women in his life. He also talks about the quest for Garcia's Native American children and wives and brings up disturbing questions about what might really have happened to Garcia's first wife.
I had no idea.

If I recall in the story the indian wife was killed by a Crow Indian (don't quote me, I read the book a long time ago). So maybe the "what really happened" was Garcia killed her.


Aha, I was close. It was a Blackfeet who was the killer:
Quote:
Much of Tough Trip examines the travels of Garcia and his Nez Perce wife, In-who-lise, whom Garcia met, married, and buried (after she was killed by Blackfeet Indians) in the relatively short time span of 1878 to 1879 that the book examines. Doug believes that when the original unedited manuscript was given up by the family in 1960, their connection to the past and the history of Montana was also lost.
Nice to know at least a few memory cells still function.

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Old 8th December 2012, 07:40 AM   #391
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
It's not a stupid suggestion. I'm starting to thing buying a second monitor might be a wise investment.
--MOST-- of my desktop machines are dual-monitor, except for my "entertainment" computer, which is hooked up to a 46" HDTV, so it really doesn't matter for that one.

Personally, I think it would be great if somebody made a laptop that had a second monitor that could flip out, accordian-style, from behind the first monitor.

Two monitors spoils you rotten. I started with my video editing console, and as I started upgrading the monitors and video cards on my other machines, I'd get two identical monitors and a dual video card for each. LOVE having the extra real estate to park windows I need to refer back to. And for editing video, especially when you need the playback monitor, waveform monitor, effects panel, and timeline open, you pretty much GOTTA have at least two.

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Old 21st December 2012, 09:05 PM   #392
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I've made a couple more huge breakthroughs. I had an idea session with my son and it was so useful. He has incredible insight. He gave me a perspective I hadn't thought of that is exactly perfect for the story and I rewrote a couple scenes with big changes and great results.

And, I was having trouble with story structure. You read so many things that say don't do this, don't do that. Anyway, I had these backstory scenes of the protag as a younger girl. I've finally worked them into the story in a way I'm happy with. I made one scene a prologue. It makes perfect sense. The protag is only 10 in the scene and in the body of the story she's 17. But I didn't want to leave it out. Anyway, it definitely works as a prologue.

Then I had single events that worked with the protag as an 11 yr old, a 12 yr old and a 13 yr old. So for those I found ties from the body of the story to the things I wanted to say in each scene. The scenes now definitely work well as flashbacks. I don't care how many writer's advice pieces I read that say don't use flashbacks, they definitely work in my story.


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Old 22nd December 2012, 04:43 PM   #393
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I've been deliberately avoiding doing any writing for the past couple of months (other than revising a few passages in work done previously). I find that taking a breather from writing anything "new" sorta forces the issue to where SOMETHING literary simply HAS to claw its way out of me.

And it's worked! Though not for any of my novels. I revisited an unfinished screenplay I'd put aside about nine months ago because there were problems in the proposed storyline that would make it excessively long (screenplays pretty much HAVE to be somewhere between 90-120 pages in length). While re-reading it during my Friday lunch break at work, I realized the problems were caused by my having fallen in love with a couple of scenes I had blocked out in outline form, and was having to "stretch" the rest of the screenplay to accommodate them. Mind you, they're BEAUTIFUL stuff, some of the best material I've ever dreamed up, but now with the advantage of distance and time, I realize they really aren't necessary and can be remorselessly excised and dropped in the waste basket. I'm now free to complete the last forty pages and cover all the plot twists and complications I need for the boffo finish. Since this is a four-day weekend for me, and the next weekend as well, there's a REAL good chance I'll have the first-and-a-half draft completed by the new year.

Though I confess I feel a bit guilty, because this old screenplay returning to life gaves me an excuse to avoid working on my primo novel.

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Old 13th January 2013, 10:52 PM   #394
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Just bumping this to see how my fellow writers are going with their various projects. Skeptic Ginger, that's awesome to hear about your big breakthroughs. I utterly love it when that happens, it's the most amazing feeling when things just slot into place.

And I'm with you on the flashback rule thing; any literary tool is there to be used, and the key is using it properly, to serve the narrative. Anyone who claims a blanket rule about never using a particular literary tool doesn't know what they're talking about, I say.

Tiktaalik how's your current project going?

I'm am still just progressing along at a slow but steady pace. I decided recently to reduce my chapter size so I went and broke the 15 chapters of the first half into 27 chapters, and today I broke the chapters of the second half down into smaller chapters too. It does mean quite a bit of "clean up" work, but I think it's the right thing to do, and on reflection I think it works better than way.

Plus there's the added bonus of coming up with a whole bunch of new chapter names, and I do love that.
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Old 14th January 2013, 12:20 AM   #395
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I'm still making satisfying progress. My writer's group continues to be incredibly useful. I've figured out it is dependent upon the members and somehow I've lucked out to find one of the most useful group members one could hope to find. I still don't want to do anything but write which isn't helping my business but it isn't causing major problems either. I've fallen in love with writing.

Now that I've worked out the major structure problem I was having, it's improved the story tremendously. The protag experiences X in the present and I insert a related Y flashback from the past and it's working perfectly. It's just what I wanted, parallels between her village life and the social strife in the city. I'm still envious of writers who have more colorful prose, but I'm working on that.

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Old 14th January 2013, 07:28 AM   #396
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Just bumping this...Tiktaalik how's your current project going?...
Well, Book Three of the "Stolen" trilogy is waiting in the wings for the publisher to request it. They have first right of refusal, so there's not much I can do but wait (and remind them once in a while).

Meanwhile, I've completed another fantasy fic novel set in the present day and am fine-tuning it. Next I have to decide whether to seek a publisher or wing it through Createspace and KDP. Given the internal formatting the publisher came up with for the two "Stolen" books, doing it myself seems attractive. I did a better job through Createspace with the short story book I put out. But then I'd have to find an editor and cover art myself, too, so I'm not sure.

Sounds like everyone else is making good progress as well...perhaps 2013 will be the Year of the JREF Forums Authors...
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Old 14th January 2013, 07:38 AM   #397
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I'm on track to finishing my first draft by March, on schedule.

It's been interesting to say the least being in the mind of an apex predator.
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Old 14th January 2013, 01:11 PM   #398
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Originally Posted by Tiktaalik View Post
Well, Book Three of the "Stolen" trilogy is waiting in the wings for the publisher to request it. They have first right of refusal, so there's not much I can do but wait (and remind them once in a while).
I'm currently reading the second, so I might slow my pace a bit or I'll have to join Skeptic Ginger in the impatient waiting game...


Originally Posted by Tiktaalik View Post
Meanwhile, I've completed another fantasy fic novel set in the present day and am fine-tuning it. Next I have to decide whether to seek a publisher or wing it through Createspace and KDP. Given the internal formatting the publisher came up with for the two "Stolen" books, doing it myself seems attractive. I did a better job through Createspace with the short story book I put out. But then I'd have to find an editor and cover art myself, too, so I'm not sure.
I just noticed I'd missed your previous post where you outlined the premise of "Cornerstone". I love it. It's such a fantastic premise. Has the feel of a classic fairy tale to it. As soon as I read it I thought "I want to read this book!".

Originally Posted by Tiktaalik View Post
Sounds like everyone else is making good progress as well...perhaps 2013 will be the Year of the JREF Forums Authors...
Here's hoping! I wish I could be as confident as Polaris as far as schedule.
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Old 14th January 2013, 04:37 PM   #399
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My son's Real Short Fiction. He's very talented and I'm trying to get him to write more.
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Old 14th January 2013, 04:40 PM   #400
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
I'm currently reading the second, so I might slow my pace a bit or I'll have to join Skeptic Ginger in the impatient waiting game...
Yes, I am impatiently waiting.

Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Here's hoping! I wish I could be as confident as Polaris as far as schedule.
Even though I have the second whole book in my head, I put it on a back burner and am only working on the first book. Are you trying to finish one at a time?
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