ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » History, Literature, and the Arts
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 4th April 2012, 09:52 AM   #41
Wowbagger
The Infinitely Prolonged
 
Wowbagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Westchester County, NY (when not in space)
Posts: 14,916
I once tried to put together some sort of novel about parallel universes, that can't interact with each other, but can still generate plot twists in how they don't interact. It's rather complicated, and involved a lot of probability theory. But, in one of the universes the Earth has aliens from another planet visiting it, and stuff.

But, I haven't touched it in years. Does it still count as something I am "writing"?
__________________
WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be.

SkeptiCamp NYC: http://www.skepticampnyc.org/
An open conference on science and skepticism, where you could be a presenter!

By the way, my first name is NOT Bowerick!!!!
Wowbagger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 09:59 AM   #42
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 63,871
Comrade Raptor, you are out of date. The Internet and modern technology opening up direct access to the public allows a talented person to bypass the gates. And those gates, as we have seen by the number of excellent books which were at first turned down by publisher after publisher, are not some magical filter separating the wheat from the chaff.

E-publishing means anyone can get their work out there and the public can be the judge.


As for, What book is everyone writing right now?:
My novel has a complete storyline, no name, and I continue to revise and revise. I'm working on the hard part, putting the details of the world in around the story and characters. When I have a new revelation and make another revision I get even more excited and happy with how it's coming along. Whether I'm going to end up with something I love and no one else does remains to be seen. Part of me says a person cannot just take up writing and put something good out on the first attempt and another part of me says yes I can. If enthusiasm can write a book, I'm there.

It remains to be seen and it's a very long way from being finished, I'm estimating a year or so. But I'm living in my story world in the meantime and that's just great fun for me right now. I love the characters. I love the story. I thought I had the ending, changed it a couple times, and have decided I'm not quite sure where to stop the story and have it feel complete. But there's time for that.


I'll put a plug in for Tiktaalik's book, BTW. I can't wait for the second installment. And I'm looking forward to reading the book my political nemesis, Gumboot, has written.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 10:16 AM   #43
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 63,871
Say Beanbag and Dallas Dad, hope the twisters missed you and yours.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 10:33 AM   #44
Brown
Penultimate Amazing
 
Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 12,984
I have another story in the works, mostly written but in need of finishing and polishing, that could be called sceince fiction. Though it isn't, not really.

The premise is that there is about to be another "first." There have been many famous "firsts": first to cross an ocean, first to make a powered flight, first to fly across an ocean alone, first to fly in space, first to walk on the Moon ... all accomplished by men.

As the story opens, humankind is on the verge of another famous "first" (and here's where the futuristic part of the story comes in). There are two candidates for this "first": a man and a woman. The woman is chosen to be "first."

The man, although he recognizes that the woman is qualified, feels that he has proven that he is MORE qualified. He also feels that there will be a backlash, and that the public will think that the selected candidate was chosen because she is a woman.

Thereafter, the futuristic angle takes a back seat. The story develops over whether the official story--that the candidate selected to complete this historic "first" was the BEST candidate, and that gender had NOTHING to do with it--is actually going to stand up.

Sorry, I won't say more, and I won't give away the ending. I will say, however, that there are some twists in the story, including a mini-twist at the end of the first chapter.
__________________
Klaatu: I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it.
Mr. Harley: I'm afraid my people haven't. I am very sorry. I wish it were otherwise.
-- The Day The Earth Stood Still, screenplay by Edmund H. North

"Don't you get me wrong. I only want to know." -- Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, lyrics by Tim Rice
Brown is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 11:12 AM   #45
Newbielayman
Scholar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 51
Originally Posted by Brown View Post
I have another story in the works, mostly written but in need of finishing and polishing, that could be called sceince fiction. Though it isn't, not really.

The premise is that there is about to be another "first." There have been many famous "firsts": first to cross an ocean, first to make a powered flight, first to fly across an ocean alone, first to fly in space, first to walk on the Moon ... all accomplished by men.

As the story opens, humankind is on the verge of another famous "first" (and here's where the futuristic part of the story comes in). There are two candidates for this "first": a man and a woman. The woman is chosen to be "first."

The man, although he recognizes that the woman is qualified, feels that he has proven that he is MORE qualified. He also feels that there will be a backlash, and that the public will think that the selected candidate was chosen because she is a woman.

Thereafter, the futuristic angle takes a back seat. The story develops over whether the official story--that the candidate selected to complete this historic "first" was the BEST candidate, and that gender had NOTHING to do with it--is actually going to stand up.

Sorry, I won't say more, and I won't give away the ending. I will say, however, that there are some twists in the story, including a mini-twist at the end of the first chapter.
It has all the hallmarks of a pop-culture classic a la "Twighlight" or "Hunger Games" if you would engage the writing at about the second grade level, write in stream of consciousness, make the two candidates about 13 years old, ensure that the woman is actually incredibly talented and the male is a complete fool, and then change it so that the male was pre-selected on the basis of his sex. Oh, and yeah, the secondary sub-plot which takes over the primary plot should in itself be overtaken by the romantic interests of the female. If you do these things, you're certain to achieve EPIC WIN!
Newbielayman is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 12:29 PM   #46
DallasDad
Muse
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 770
Thanks, Ginger. The twisters hit both north and south of us. We got lots of rain, and had to spend a long time in the shelter, but emerged unscathed.
DallasDad is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 12:35 PM   #47
Spindrift
Time Person of the Year, 2006
 
Spindrift's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Right here!
Posts: 19,211
I'm working on JREF Forums: My first 6000 posts.

I'm almost finished. The plot is a little thin, it's more of an avant garde piece, destined to torture American Lit students in the year 3022, after it's rediscovered and recognized for the the masterpiece that it will be.
__________________
I've always believed that cluelessness evolved as an adaptation to allow the truly appalling to live with themselves. - G. B. Trudeau
A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. - Kay, Men in Black.
Enjoy every sandwich. - Warren Zevon
Spindrift is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 12:45 PM   #48
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 63,871
Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
I'm working on JREF Forums: My first 6000 posts.

I'm almost finished. The plot is a little thin, it's more of an avant garde piece, destined to torture American Lit students in the year 3022, after it's rediscovered and recognized for the the masterpiece that it will be.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 12:52 PM   #49
Brown
Penultimate Amazing
 
Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 12,984
Originally Posted by Newbielayman View Post
It has all the hallmarks of a pop-culture classic a la "Twighlight" or "Hunger Games" if you would engage the writing at about the second grade level, write in stream of consciousness, make the two candidates about 13 years old, ensure that the woman is actually incredibly talented and the male is a complete fool, and then change it so that the male was pre-selected on the basis of his sex. Oh, and yeah, the secondary sub-plot which takes over the primary plot should in itself be overtaken by the romantic interests of the female. If you do these things, you're certain to achieve EPIC WIN!
I'll take it under advisement. Writing for an audience that has no taste and damn little intelligence indeed has some appeal. It may be substantially easier than my current approach, which is to carefully craft sentences so as to cause the reader to form a mental picture and to appreciate the subtleties of the various points of view.

At one point, I considred adding romantic interest, but said screw that. In my current draft, there is no romantic interest at all, by anyone. There is, however, sex. That is to say, there are gender differences, not that there is any actual activity of the procreative, kinky or otherwise dirty kind.

I can offer the following teaser: The woman in the story is attractive, but almost certainly not in the way you think!

I also considered adding some explosions and giant robots, which would perhaps wreck the women's shower and cause dozens of svelte, naked ladies to flee for their own safety, perhaps losing their towels in the process. (When you are an author, you can actually DO this: characters and things actually do what you say!) But such a sub-plot would detract too much from the main story, and it also might mean that if a movie is made from this story, Michael Bay might be selected as the director; neither of these outcomes is appealing.
__________________
Klaatu: I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it.
Mr. Harley: I'm afraid my people haven't. I am very sorry. I wish it were otherwise.
-- The Day The Earth Stood Still, screenplay by Edmund H. North

"Don't you get me wrong. I only want to know." -- Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, lyrics by Tim Rice
Brown is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 12:52 PM   #50
Craig4
Penultimate Amazing
 
Craig4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Next door to Florida Man, world's worst superhero.
Posts: 14,976
I'm working on a cookbook. The working title is "Outrageously Difficult, Time Consuming Recipes You Can Attempt at Home". I expect this will serve a niche market.
Craig4 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 01:13 PM   #51
Information Analyst
Philosopher
 
Information Analyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: London, UK.
Posts: 6,489
A couple of books on the London Underground, the most advanced being one about its appearance or use in films and television (drama & comedy, not documentary). I have consequently been watching too many really bad romantic comedies lately....
Information Analyst is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 02:31 PM   #52
gumboot
lorcutus.tolere
 
gumboot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 25,327
Originally Posted by Newbielayman View Post
It has all the hallmarks of a pop-culture classic a la "Twighlight" or "Hunger Games" if you would engage the writing at about the second grade level, write in stream of consciousness, make the two candidates about 13 years old, ensure that the woman is actually incredibly talented and the male is a complete fool, and then change it so that the male was pre-selected on the basis of his sex. Oh, and yeah, the secondary sub-plot which takes over the primary plot should in itself be overtaken by the romantic interests of the female. If you do these things, you're certain to achieve EPIC WIN!


I think it's pretty insulting to compare "Twilight" and "The Hunger Games".
__________________

O xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti têde
keimetha tois keinon rhémasi peithomenoi.


A fan of fantasy? Check out Project Dreamforge.
gumboot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 02:37 PM   #53
gumboot
lorcutus.tolere
 
gumboot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 25,327
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Comrade Raptor, you are out of date. The Internet and modern technology opening up direct access to the public allows a talented person to bypass the gates. And those gates, as we have seen by the number of excellent books which were at first turned down by publisher after publisher, are not some magical filter separating the wheat from the chaff.

E-publishing means anyone can get their work out there and the public can be the judge.


As for, What book is everyone writing right now?:
My novel has a complete storyline, no name, and I continue to revise and revise. I'm working on the hard part, putting the details of the world in around the story and characters. When I have a new revelation and make another revision I get even more excited and happy with how it's coming along. Whether I'm going to end up with something I love and no one else does remains to be seen. Part of me says a person cannot just take up writing and put something good out on the first attempt and another part of me says yes I can. If enthusiasm can write a book, I'm there.

It remains to be seen and it's a very long way from being finished, I'm estimating a year or so. But I'm living in my story world in the meantime and that's just great fun for me right now. I love the characters. I love the story. I thought I had the ending, changed it a couple times, and have decided I'm not quite sure where to stop the story and have it feel complete. But there's time for that.


I'll put a plug in for Tiktaalik's book, BTW. I can't wait for the second installment. And I'm looking forward to reading the book my political nemesis, Gumboot, has written.


Glad to hear the book is still moving forward. Just yesterday I tried to find your thread on the topic to ask for an update, but it appears threads in this subforum lapse after two pages.

So from what you've said, does that mean you've finished the first draft?

It's great news that you're still into your story, and indeed becoming more excited about it as time passes, that's great.

My editing had been progressing well but I made a major structural change which stopped me dead in my tracks. I've solved that issue now and am happy to report the enthusiasm is sparking up for me again as well.
__________________

O xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti têde
keimetha tois keinon rhémasi peithomenoi.


A fan of fantasy? Check out Project Dreamforge.
gumboot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 02:43 PM   #54
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 63,871
Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
I think it's pretty insulting to compare "Twilight" and "The Hunger Games".
Definitely. And I don't think because kids and adults like a book (like Harry Potter) that means the work isn't also good. I'm hoping teens and adults like my book. It makes for a bigger potential audience.


My son tells me Hunger Games has a problem in that the author stole the idea from Battle Royale. I haven't read the latter so I'm withholding judgement. One can see a lot of past stories in current ones. We are all products of our environment.

Quote:
How do you stop worrying about your ideas getting stolen? Remember two things: everything is archetypal, and execution matters most. A love triangle. Coming of age stories. The hero’s journey. These are all archetypes, and whether you’ll admit it to yourself or not, your ideas are all probably stemmed from one archetype or another. That’s not a bad thing – it’s what makes stories universal.

But that brings us to point two - execution matters the most. This is where it’s relevant to talk about The Hunger Games and Battle Royale. Both books, and now films, have the exact same premise: A totalitarian government puts teenagers on an island and forces them to kill each other as a means of societal control. But the execution is not the same;
Ah yes, that pesky execution. Sigh....

Though in the case of the Hunger Games, both books seem to have had their own successes.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 4th April 2012 at 02:55 PM.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 03:26 PM   #55
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 63,871
Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Glad to hear the book is still moving forward. Just yesterday I tried to find your thread on the topic to ask for an update, but it appears threads in this subforum lapse after two pages.

So from what you've said, does that mean you've finished the first draft?

It's great news that you're still into your story, and indeed becoming more excited about it as time passes, that's great.

My editing had been progressing well but I made a major structural change which stopped me dead in my tracks. I've solved that issue now and am happy to report the enthusiasm is sparking up for me again as well.
No finished draft yet but I'm getting closer to the whole draft re-write. The way I've been tackling the task is to write and re-write whole scenes. What I haven't done is decide how I'm going to order the scenes. There are two separate parts to the book and in each part the story will not be chronological, but instead flashbacks occur throughout.

I work on one part in the book for a while then switch and work on the second part. The protagonists differ in each half with a single character that interacts with both. At first I was going to have the single character be the protagonist in the second half of the story but now I've brought another character to the forefront and I'm deciding how I like the story better.

The idea and body of the story are definitely complete. Like I said, the whole story sort of popped into my head all at once. But I have a goal in mind in telling the story. There is meaning and symbolism so I've been working on just how to get the important themes properly expressed.

It needs more structural change as one idea runs into problems and something else works better. But I keep finding those 'something elses'. My characters are developing nicely, getting less cliché hopefully. How things got the way they are is staying close to the same. I've made a few major changes in the political/social structure of the society in order for the story to work better but the concepts I want to express are the same.

The thing I'm having the hardest time on right now is giving the reader the picture of the society around these characters. Parts of the book are easy, there are forests and wilderness scenes which are easier to describe and feel. But when it comes to describing that future world, with the city and the society and the government, it's tougher. So I've been looking at some cyber punk writing to see how other people describe future worlds.


I like talking about the book so thanks for asking. I also like hearing about everyone else's.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 03:31 PM   #56
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 63,871
Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
I'm working on a cookbook. The working title is "Outrageously Difficult, Time Consuming Recipes You Can Attempt at Home". I expect this will serve a niche market.
I think that's very clever. Most cookbooks are the 'wonderful dishes you can make in 30 minutes' types.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 03:38 PM   #57
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 63,871
Originally Posted by Newbielayman View Post
It has all the hallmarks of a pop-culture classic a la "Twighlight" or "Hunger Games" if you would engage the writing at about the second grade level, write in stream of consciousness, make the two candidates about 13 years old, ensure that the woman is actually incredibly talented and the male is a complete fool, and then change it so that the male was pre-selected on the basis of his sex. Oh, and yeah, the secondary sub-plot which takes over the primary plot should in itself be overtaken by the romantic interests of the female. If you do these things, you're certain to achieve EPIC WIN!
The main women in my story are independent, strong, and competent. Tough luck if the guys don't like it.

But who wants men that are fools? That's not romantic. Neither is narrowing a woman's desires and goals down to just finding the right guy. My ladies get to be accomplished and they get the guys as well.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 03:49 PM   #58
Brown
Penultimate Amazing
 
Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 12,984
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
No finished draft yet but I'm getting closer to the whole draft re-write. The way I've been tackling the task is to write and re-write whole scenes. What I haven't done is decide how I'm going to order the scenes. There are two separate parts to the book and in each part the story will not be chronological, but instead flashbacks occur throughout.

I work on one part in the book for a while then switch and work on the second part. The protagonists differ in each half with a single character that interacts with both. At first I was going to have the single character be the protagonist in the second half of the story but now I've brought another character to the forefront and I'm deciding how I like the story better.
Would you agree that it is the re-writing and self-editing and "polishing" that REALLY eats up the time? Or is it just me?

In my case, simply writing out the story or the basic plot takes comparatively little time. But going back and reworking, changing one thing here which means I need to change something else there, reading everything aloud, looking for any holes or inconsistencies (which are NOT obvious to the author, because the author is familiar with the story, but which WOULD be obvious to a reader who is not familiar with the story), moving a section to an earlier or later part, removing patterns and repeated figures of speech ... I could lose WHOLE DAYS on these tasks and wonder where those days went.
__________________
Klaatu: I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it.
Mr. Harley: I'm afraid my people haven't. I am very sorry. I wish it were otherwise.
-- The Day The Earth Stood Still, screenplay by Edmund H. North

"Don't you get me wrong. I only want to know." -- Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, lyrics by Tim Rice
Brown is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 04:02 PM   #59
Beanbag
Illuminator
 
Beanbag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,468
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Say Beanbag and Dallas Dad, hope the twisters missed you and yours.
For me, lots of rain, though I saw a LOT of cars with broken-out rear windows from hail on the drive home that evening. We can use the rain, but the twisters can take a leave of absence.

Beanbag
__________________
Nothing divides an indivisible nation quite as well as religion.

Know god, no peace.
No god, know peace.

If Jesus is the answer, it must be a real dumb question.
Beanbag is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 04:06 PM   #60
Tiktaalik
Half True Scotsperson
 
Tiktaalik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,666
Originally Posted by Brown View Post
Would you agree that it is the re-writing and self-editing and "polishing" that REALLY eats up the time? Or is it just me?

In my case, simply writing out the story or the basic plot takes comparatively little time. But going back and reworking, changing one thing here which means I need to change something else there, reading everything aloud, looking for any holes or inconsistencies (which are NOT obvious to the author, because the author is familiar with the story, but which WOULD be obvious to a reader who is not familiar with the story), moving a section to an earlier or later part, removing patterns and repeated figures of speech ... I could lose WHOLE DAYS on these tasks and wonder where those days went.
I actually enjoy revising. It puts me back into the world in a more relaxed state, where I'm not just purging ideas onto the page. I'd probably keep revising forever, but you gotta stop somewhere and submit.

S.G., thanks for the plug, and Book II is at the acquisition editor to make a decision about whether it will also be picked up. I'm impatient.
Tiktaalik is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 04:10 PM   #61
Beanbag
Illuminator
 
Beanbag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,468
Originally Posted by Brown View Post
Would you agree that it is the re-writing and self-editing and "polishing" that REALLY eats up the time? Or is it just me?
It's you.

For me, the hardest part is getting the damned first draft finished. I actually LOVE the editing and polishing phase. I like to put it aside for a while, then come back and look at it with new eyes. Things that I thought were so great maybe aren't, and for those things I thought were awkward, I've got a better way of handling it.

My old agent and mentor (yes, I had one, but he died -- I said he was an old agent) put it the best: good literature isn't written: it's edited.

Beanbag
__________________
Nothing divides an indivisible nation quite as well as religion.

Know god, no peace.
No god, know peace.

If Jesus is the answer, it must be a real dumb question.
Beanbag is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 04:14 PM   #62
Beanbag
Illuminator
 
Beanbag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,468
Raptor:
Fads may come and go, but there will always be a market for a good buggy whip.

But I do respect your opinion, and appreciate you sharing it. It --HAS-- made me stop and think a bit, which is meant as a compliment.

Beanbag
__________________
Nothing divides an indivisible nation quite as well as religion.

Know god, no peace.
No god, know peace.

If Jesus is the answer, it must be a real dumb question.
Beanbag is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 05:04 PM   #63
Comrade Raptor
Critical Thinker
 
Comrade Raptor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 399
Originally Posted by Beanbag View Post
Raptor:
Fads may come and go, but there will always be a market for a good buggy whip.

But I do respect your opinion, and appreciate you sharing it. It --HAS-- made me stop and think a bit, which is meant as a compliment.

Beanbag
I appreciate that, because I'm not trying to be a bad guy here. I just don't see many people on here being skeptical of self-e-publishing, and to me it's bordering on woo.

I've been told my thinking is out of date, but nobody has bothered to provide me with an explanation of what they think the end result will be when you take a reader market that normally supports about 40,000 new books a year and then throw the doors open to anybody with a keyboard. Or how this multiplication of market competition will help them get attention and sales.

I should think that a salient calculation, don't you? That's a very big game change, but people are so vested in defending e-self-pub that they don't seem to have bothered to wonder what this means to their work and it reaching an audience.

Moreover, nobody seems to think that, after a market thrown open to anybody with a keyboard swells to overcapacity, the readership will grow tired of sorting through mountains of stuff and a new gatekeeper system will step in. Bringing us right back to the start, with only the means of distribution changed.

These are, I think, logical points. I thought we were logical people here.

I'd also like to touch on Twilight for a second and explain the bad thinking I see WRT this title frequently. I know it's bad thinking because I indulged in it a lot myself.

People like to use Twilight as an example of how the gatekeeper system failed, but that's not the lesson. In fact, the lesson might actually be the opposite even if we agree the book is terrible.

This one was explained to me and I didn't believe it at first (or for a long time) but it's true. Twilight sold well. Now we have a problem, because this leaves us with only two choices:

1. Readers are stupid.

That's not a good choice for any writer, is it? And nobody's going to get very far disrespecting the audience they depend on for meals. Fact is, it sold - and that makes it a sound business decision. It may be lacking in many areas, but it made money - and many of those readers are ones you're hoping to tap.

2. It delivered something to its readers.

Now we're into money. Twilight filled a want despite it's flaws. So rather than write it off, a smart person, a clever person, would want to figure out what that is and how to deliver it better.

Are you horrified? I was horrified. But it's true. (also: what it delivered is deeper than sparkly vampires)


Look, at the end of the day e-pub and traditional pub are neither going to kill each other off or one result in less work than the other. It's still competition either way, and while I agree means of distribution will change I do not think this "democratization of means" is actually going to result in some sort of utopia.

Readers, faced with too much choice, will inevitably gravitate to clusters of gatekeeper material. Maybe it'll be Magic Rabbit Publishing instead of Harper Collins, but people will seek a branding they have confidence will deliver a quality read.

And that means publishing deals, and that means agents. Think it through, it works out. Now tell me again my thinking is out of date.



That out of the way, despite my frustrations I don't actually think any of you are stupid people. A little overexuberant about the wonders of e-publishing, yes - but not stupid. What holds writers back (besides being lazy, including yours truly, who had to tell a sloth to relax) are common, mostly simple mistakes.

Regardless of how you publish, your work contains those. Everybody's does. Too many make the difference between being on top or being midlist.

As well, getting published is not an end. It's only the start, and it can get a lot harder from there.


I know these things are true because I did have to learn them the hard way. I got every one of my false assumptions (many I see in this thread) flayed painfully off piece by piece. I'd love to spare you that, I'd love to see you people succeed.


The good news is, the resources are easy to get to fix all this (and you have to fix it no matter what route you go, sorry, they're universal concepts of saleable writing and means of distribution won't change them). I believe anybody who does the legwork to get these resources can succeed.

I won't tell you what they are, though. Finding them is part of how you figure out how serious you are about writing. And so we're all clear: this is all about the writing.

You should think about what I've written, because what I've written does matter to you whether you dismiss me or not. It's your choice to make.

And I know (knew from the beginning) a lot of people wouldn't want to hear what I had to say. I knew it because I put up a lot of protest myself, with so many of these same arguments. All it got me was two wasted years before I realized it was true.

Writers, hey? We think we're smart, but in some ways we can be the dumbest people on the planet.


Final points:

Amanda Hocking signed on with St. Martin's Press. Not sure what that means, but since she jumped at the first chance to ink a traditional deal instead of continue e-publishing on her own that's probably worth some investigation.

Every single successful writer I know absolutely swears by a good agent, and I agree (didn't at first, though). Given a choice, few writers would turn away from one. This is not because the publishing industry is some sort of super secret club, it's because a good agent provides resources above and beyond merely placing your work with a publisher. I recommend it strongly!


Also, Beanbag, please keep in mind when you're dealing with touchy agents (and I know firsthand how acerbic they can be) that their job may consist of many hundreds of manuscripts every week - of which only one or two have promise if they're lucky. Any of us would quickly get a bit sour with those numbers. Be patient, keep trying, keep working and trying to make it better.
Comrade Raptor is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 05:20 PM   #64
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 63,871
Originally Posted by Brown View Post
Would you agree that it is the re-writing and self-editing and "polishing" that REALLY eats up the time? Or is it just me?....
Well, let's see. I wrote the whole story out in less than a month starting with the NaNoWriMo challenge and I've been writing almost every day since. And I still don't have the actual completed first draft let alone a revised and re-revised draft. That should answer your time distribution question.

I'm looking forward to the first actual complete re-write where I put this whole thing in some kind of order and start really revising it. I'm getting there.

If I have a good almost final draft by next November I'll know I'm going to succeed.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 4th April 2012 at 05:21 PM.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 05:40 PM   #65
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 63,871
Originally Posted by Comrade Raptor View Post
....
I've been told my thinking is out of date, but nobody has bothered to provide me with an explanation of what they think the end result will be when you take a reader market that normally supports about 40,000 new books a year and then throw the doors open to anybody with a keyboard. Or how this multiplication of market competition will help them get attention and sales....

...Moreover, nobody seems to think that, after a market thrown open to anybody with a keyboard swells to overcapacity, the readership will grow tired of sorting through mountains of stuff and a new gatekeeper system will step in. Bringing us right back to the start, with only the means of distribution changed.
I fail to see how the print publishers offer anything different except only certain people get past the gate. Walk down the isle at any bookstore and look at all the crap novels that line the shelves.

I'd say the mountains of stuff is there already. It's looking at all those novels and thinking about the few people who actually write good stuff that discourages me. So I've quit thinking along that line. I can at least get past the gate and before E-Publishing only the people in the in-crowd could. And from what I see, that's no guarantee of a quality book.

Take Tiktaalik's book, for example. It was inexpensive, I downloaded it to Kindle without any effort, time or gas to get to the store. There was enough of a teaser free so I could get an idea if I liked it before I invested my $5. And it turned out to be a good story. I would have never found that book if it relied on a print publisher even if I was interested in it from the forum.

Now I have bought a lot of print books lately and I get quite a few from the library. But the E-Books open up a whole new world of writing beyond print publishing.



Originally Posted by Comrade Raptor View Post
....This one was explained to me and I didn't believe it at first (or for a long time) but it's true. Twilight sold well. Now we have a problem, because this leaves us with only two choices:...
2. It delivered something to its readers.

Now we're into money. Twilight filled a want despite it's flaws. So rather than write it off, a smart person, a clever person, would want to figure out what that is and how to deliver it better.

Are you horrified? I was horrified. But it's true. (also: what it delivered is deeper than sparkly vampires)
I'm not sure why you think we don't know this. Welcome to the world of trashy romance novels for the PG crowd. Personally I don't like reading sex scenes that are too pornographic. I know others do. But as far as romance novels go, people enjoy the fantasy.


Originally Posted by Comrade Raptor View Post
.... It's still competition either way, and while I agree means of distribution will change I do not think this "democratization of means" is actually going to result in some sort of utopia.
Not utopia, just a more level playing field.


Originally Posted by Comrade Raptor View Post
....Readers, faced with too much choice, will inevitably gravitate to clusters of gatekeeper material.
The gatekeeper becomes the public. Just look at any overnight Internet successes from Twitter to viral videos.


Originally Posted by Comrade Raptor View Post
....Now tell me again my thinking is out of date.
Your thinking is out of date.


Originally Posted by Comrade Raptor View Post
....Every single successful writer I know absolutely swears by a good agent, and I agree (didn't at first, though). Given a choice, few writers would turn away from one. This is not because the publishing industry is some sort of super secret club, it's because a good agent provides resources above and beyond merely placing your work with a publisher. I recommend it strongly!
I don't doubt the benefits of a good publisher.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 4th April 2012 at 05:41 PM.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 05:54 PM   #66
Comrade Raptor
Critical Thinker
 
Comrade Raptor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 399
Ok, ok.

Look, we disagree. I've made my points, you've made yours. We can keep it going, but I don't think it's going to get us anywhere and will only result in repetition. We won't know until we get ten years down the road and have hindsight, we're all speculating.

If you all like, we can talk about writing and leave the business side in the previous posts where it's been, I think, thoroughly hashed out by now.

ETA: This is, of course, not an admission of defeat. I haven't changed my view even a little. But it is an admission that I am starting to feel a little guilty for having derailed the purpose of this thread as much as I have.

Last edited by Comrade Raptor; 4th April 2012 at 06:09 PM.
Comrade Raptor is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 06:12 PM   #67
Comrade Raptor
Critical Thinker
 
Comrade Raptor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 399
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I'm not sure why you think we don't know this. Welcome to the world of trashy romance novels for the PG crowd. Personally I don't like reading sex scenes that are too pornographic. I know others do. But as far as romance novels go, people enjoy the fantasy.
Are you sure that's all there is to Twilight? Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to defend it as a paragon of western literature or anything, but I was forced to alter some of my assumptions about it.

And as you can tell from this thread, that doesn't happen often.

ETA: This one counts as a writing question!
Comrade Raptor is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 06:27 PM   #68
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 63,871
Originally Posted by Comrade Raptor View Post
Are you sure that's all there is to Twilight? Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to defend it as a paragon of western literature or anything, but I was forced to alter some of my assumptions about it....
You think there was something more there? I'd love to hear what that might be.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 06:35 PM   #69
gumboot
lorcutus.tolere
 
gumboot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 25,327
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Definitely. And I don't think because kids and adults like a book (like Harry Potter) that means the work isn't also good. I'm hoping teens and adults like my book. It makes for a bigger potential audience.


My son tells me Hunger Games has a problem in that the author stole the idea from Battle Royale. I haven't read the latter so I'm withholding judgement. One can see a lot of past stories in current ones. We are all products of our environment.

Ah yes, that pesky execution. Sigh....

Though in the case of the Hunger Games, both books seem to have had their own successes.


The Hunger Games - Battle Royale parallel isn't actually merited, in my opinion. Not only is the execution different, but the actual premise is significantly different. In a very superficial way the premise is the same - a bunch of young people fight to the death - but otherwise there's really no similarity. Most importantly; "The Hunger Games" depicts a contest which is open, which society actively takes part in, and which is watched for entertainment. "Battle Royale" depicts a contest which is secret, which society knows very little about, and which is being conducted by the military for research.

Perhaps more relevant; the source for "The Hunger Games" is known, and it predates "Battle Royale" by several thousand years; it's based on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.
__________________

O xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti têde
keimetha tois keinon rhémasi peithomenoi.


A fan of fantasy? Check out Project Dreamforge.
gumboot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 06:40 PM   #70
gumboot
lorcutus.tolere
 
gumboot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 25,327
Originally Posted by Brown View Post
Would you agree that it is the re-writing and self-editing and "polishing" that REALLY eats up the time? Or is it just me?

In my case, simply writing out the story or the basic plot takes comparatively little time. But going back and reworking, changing one thing here which means I need to change something else there, reading everything aloud, looking for any holes or inconsistencies (which are NOT obvious to the author, because the author is familiar with the story, but which WOULD be obvious to a reader who is not familiar with the story), moving a section to an earlier or later part, removing patterns and repeated figures of speech ... I could lose WHOLE DAYS on these tasks and wonder where those days went.


Absolutely. I would easily spend five times as long revising and editing a book as I would writing the first draft. And I think the less experienced a writer you are, the truer this should be.

Once you've got half a dozen good novels under your belt and you've secured your writing style, I suspect revision and editing takes much less time, but initially at least, you'll probably need to rewrite your book several times before it's really ready.
__________________

O xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti têde
keimetha tois keinon rhémasi peithomenoi.


A fan of fantasy? Check out Project Dreamforge.
gumboot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 06:43 PM   #71
Comrade Raptor
Critical Thinker
 
Comrade Raptor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 399
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
You think there was something more there? I'd love to hear what that might be.
It's what's left behind when you strip it of its trappings right down to the bare bones. A lot of the surface material is pure flotsam, but deep underneath it shares common elements with other successful projects.

Ultimately, people read Twilight because they're interested in the people and what happens to them. Once you know that, then the question becomes why. It's when you dig down into the layers that you discover Ms. Meyer did actually get many of the fundamentals correct, if in a haphazard and slipshod manner.

It's not that it's a deep book full of subtle meaning or anything like that, nor anything in its elements which elevates its literary status. But it is a pretty useful bad book to pick apart and try to figure out why it worked when, really, it shouldn't.

I mean, the plot is horrid. The delivery is very Mary-Sue. The construction is vile. The style eye-gouging. It contains bizarre themes, many of which are fundamentally anti-feminist and a few which touch on sado-masochism. And it's about day-glo vampires.

There's absolutely nothing in any of that which would promote success.

Yet, oddly, the characters are somehow compelling. And that's where its strength must lie. This doesn't mean I can actually make full sense of it, but it was enough for me to sit back, think, and then to go out and interview hundreds of Twilight readers to try and figure it out.

So my point about Twilight actually isn't anything in defense of Twilight, it's more of a caution to writers not to so easily dismiss something without giving it a good going-over. Good books can teach you a lot, but sometimes bad books can teach you more.

Also, interviewing Twilight fans was a pretty painful experience and most of them don't even understand why they like it. So it remains somewhat enigmatic to me, but it did at least illustrate that no story can survive without characters that compel its readers, and even the most terribly slipshod effort can thrive with characters that do. They don't compel me, but it's not about me. It's about how they compel the people who love it.
Comrade Raptor is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 06:49 PM   #72
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 63,871
Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
....
Perhaps more relevant; the source for "The Hunger Games" is known, and it predates "Battle Royale" by several thousand years; it's based on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.
Fascinating. I'll have to review that one. I was thinking more along the lines of sending young people off to war. In the IMDb review of Battle Royale they suggest the theme is
Quote:
The film, as the book before it did, symbolises the transition from education to the cut-throat employment market in Japan. It is also a nightmare vision of a world dominated by adults with nothing but contempt for children, and the horrors, tragedies and emotions of childhood.
I know with Twilight there is the 'dangerous love/forbidden love' theme that is ages old. I think a lot of people miss that and just go with the favorite, "unconditional and irrevocable" love that we girls like to pretend is real sometimes.

In my story there is more of the 'there are a lot of people you could fall in love with out there. Some people meet one of the ones, some meet more than one, but not everyone meets one'.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 4th April 2012 at 06:52 PM.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 06:51 PM   #73
Comrade Raptor
Critical Thinker
 
Comrade Raptor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 399
Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Absolutely. I would easily spend five times as long revising and editing a book as I would writing the first draft. And I think the less experienced a writer you are, the truer this should be.

Once you've got half a dozen good novels under your belt and you've secured your writing style, I suspect revision and editing takes much less time, but initially at least, you'll probably need to rewrite your book several times before it's really ready.

Gumboot's got it right. My second drafts these days are more correction, but the early ones were virtually entirely different books from the first.

The best advice I can give is to focus on the characters, and really (REALLY!) get to know them as deep as you can. Find out what they believe, what makes them who they are, what contradictions they have, and what they might do if you put them in a situation where important values they hold dear come into conflict.

If you do that, they'll tell you were to go with it. You'll also wind up with a nice population of pretty interesting people. It's win all around. Sort that out and your work shouldn't require major overhaul and the rest is mostly technical bits.
Comrade Raptor is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 06:57 PM   #74
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 63,871
Originally Posted by Comrade Raptor View Post
....
Yet, oddly, the characters are somehow compelling. And that's where its strength must lie. This doesn't mean I can actually make full sense of it, but it was enough for me to sit back, think, and then to go out and interview hundreds of Twilight readers to try and figure it out.
....
Also, interviewing Twilight fans was a pretty painful experience and most of them don't even understand why they like it. So it remains somewhat enigmatic to me, but it did at least illustrate that no story can survive without characters that compel its readers, and even the most terribly slipshod effort can thrive with characters that do. They don't compel me, but it's not about me. It's about how they compel the people who love it.
This is encouraging. My book is heavy on compelling characters. They are compelling to me anyway. Whether they are compelling to anyone else remains to be seen. My son tells me not to write with other people in mind but write what I want to. But part of what I want is to make people think, and enjoy the story of course.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 07:05 PM   #75
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 63,871
Originally Posted by Comrade Raptor View Post
Gumboot's got it right. My second drafts these days are more correction, but the early ones were virtually entirely different books from the first.

The best advice I can give is to focus on the characters, and really (REALLY!) get to know them as deep as you can. Find out what they believe, what makes them who they are, what contradictions they have, and what they might do if you put them in a situation where important values they hold dear come into conflict.

If you do that, they'll tell you were to go with it. You'll also wind up with a nice population of pretty interesting people. It's win all around. Sort that out and your work shouldn't require major overhaul and the rest is mostly technical bits.
Now this is advice I can relate to. I have been living all my characters, male and female. I think that's why the writing has been so enjoyable for me. I put my brain into their heads and play the scenes out. It works best to play the scenes while I'm walking my dogs in the woods. Then I see something works or doesn't work.


So are you ever going to tell us what you've written or are writing? Or did I miss that when I read your posts too quickly?
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 07:08 PM   #76
gumboot
lorcutus.tolere
 
gumboot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 25,327
Originally Posted by Comrade Raptor View Post
I appreciate that, because I'm not trying to be a bad guy here. I just don't see many people on here being skeptical of self-e-publishing, and to me it's bordering on woo.

I don't really see any evidence here of anyone thinking that self-publishing online is some new amazing opportunity that's going to make them a rich and famous author.


Originally Posted by Comrade Raptor View Post
I've been told my thinking is out of date, but nobody has bothered to provide me with an explanation of what they think the end result will be when you take a reader market that normally supports about 40,000 new books a year and then throw the doors open to anybody with a keyboard. Or how this multiplication of market competition will help them get attention and sales.
I have a few theories on what I think will happen, but I think it's worth pointing out that we're still a long way from the self-publishing flood that detractors of ePublishing talk about.

Amazon.com still has substantially more titles available in physical form, via reputable publishing houses, than it does on eBook, and most of those eBook titles are the same ones available physically. As a percentage of the Amazon catalog, the self-published eBooks are actually a minority.


Originally Posted by Comrade Raptor View Post
Moreover, nobody seems to think that, after a market thrown open to anybody with a keyboard swells to overcapacity, the readership will grow tired of sorting through mountains of stuff and a new gatekeeper system will step in. Bringing us right back to the start, with only the means of distribution changed.
This is precisely what I expect to happen, but the difference is the electronic-isation of the process will itself have massive ramifications.

Take my latest experience with Tor, as an example. I had to submit a physical manuscript sample, to which they will send me a physical response six months later, after which if they like it they'll ask for the entire manuscript, which I again have to send them physically, and will again presumably take months to be looked at. To have to go through all this in this modern age is ridiculous, but Tor is stuck in the old system. The main achievement of the eBook revolution is it will redefine the process and the old dogs will either update their processes, or they'll be left behind.

Your huge, ungainly and expensive publishing houses will be a thing of the past; instead networks of individuals can perform the same level of professional service with substantially less overhead.


Originally Posted by Comrade Raptor View Post
Amanda Hocking signed on with St. Martin's Press. Not sure what that means, but since she jumped at the first chance to ink a traditional deal instead of continue e-publishing on her own that's probably worth some investigation.
She signed up because they offered her $2 million dollars... how many first time authors get a deal like that? And they only offered her that because she'd sold a million books in less than a year, and was at the time selling an average of 9,000 books a day.

Personally, I don't think Hocking is a particularly productive example to raise; she's an extreme example, and I think anyone expecting her sort of success is probably smoking something a bit strong. I only raised her in the first place because the tone of your original post was blanket dismissal of eBook self-publishing.

To be honest, the biggest appeal to me of the self-published eBook route is not the self-publishing bit, but the eBook bit. I am convinced that eBooks are the future of publishing, and I think sales over the last year support this. I still think publishing houses are absolutely necessary, but I also think that the major publishers are very sluggish to register the new distribution model. Just like record companies, TV broadcasters, and movie studios, they're clinging to the old distribution model, or worse yet trying to force the new model to adhere to their old model.

What they need to do is embrace the new model, recognise it's the future, and change their systems accordingly.
__________________

O xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti têde
keimetha tois keinon rhémasi peithomenoi.


A fan of fantasy? Check out Project Dreamforge.
gumboot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 07:18 PM   #77
gumboot
lorcutus.tolere
 
gumboot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 25,327
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Fascinating. I'll have to review that one. I was thinking more along the lines of sending young people off to war.


Well the myth of the Minotaur is either that Athenians assassinated one of King Minos' sons, or that Athens rebelled against king Minos. In any event he attacked Athens with a massive fleet, and won, and so as punishment the Athenians had to pick seven boys and seven girls at random, every seven years, to be sent to Crete as tribute. These were fed to the Minotaur.

Until one year Theseus volunteered to replace one of the seven as tribute, and went and slayed the Minotaur.


In "The Hunger Games", the twelve districts rebelled against the "Capitol" so once a year as punishment for their rebellion a boy and a girl is picked at random from each District, to go to the Capitol as tribute and fight to the death in an arena.

Then one year a girl called Katniss volunteers as Tribute, replacing her sister (who was picked), and goes to compete in the competition.

That's the basic premise from which Suzanne Collins developed the story, and she has said this openly. From there she built on the concept by combining the ideas of Gladiatorial combat and blood sports with reality TV; a concept that has been around a while an explored in films such as "The Running Man" and "Series 7: The Contenders".

The idea being that what began as a form of punishment has developed into a multi-billion dollar entertainment franchise. Even this can be said to have its origin in concepts much older than any film or book; Gladiatorial combat itself evolved in Rome from a combination of funeral rites and public execution into a massive entertainment industry.
__________________

O xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti têde
keimetha tois keinon rhémasi peithomenoi.


A fan of fantasy? Check out Project Dreamforge.
gumboot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 07:31 PM   #78
gumboot
lorcutus.tolere
 
gumboot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 25,327
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
No finished draft yet but I'm getting closer to the whole draft re-write. The way I've been tackling the task is to write and re-write whole scenes. What I haven't done is decide how I'm going to order the scenes. There are two separate parts to the book and in each part the story will not be chronological, but instead flashbacks occur throughout.

At this point I'm going to shamelessly plug writing software called "Scrivener". I find it great, but I think if you're writing in a non-linear way it would be invaluable. Rather than write as a single document you write individual text files (such as your scenes) which are arranged in a file tree type system. It makes it really easy to adjust structures because you just move the cards around where you see fit.

When you go to "compile" it outputs the entire document (or parts of it, if you wish) as a single seamless document, or broken into chapters, sub-headings, whatever you like.



Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I work on one part in the book for a while then switch and work on the second part. The protagonists differ in each half with a single character that interacts with both. At first I was going to have the single character be the protagonist in the second half of the story but now I've brought another character to the forefront and I'm deciding how I like the story better.
That's an interesting way of doing it. I had originally planned to split by book into parts by character POV (much like the structure of "Lord of the Rings") but have only recently decided to do the opposite, and cross-cut from chapter to chapter, between POVs.

It's funny how often we set out to do something and part way through our book basically just tells us "it'll work better this way".




Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
The idea and body of the story are definitely complete. Like I said, the whole story sort of popped into my head all at once. But I have a goal in mind in telling the story. There is meaning and symbolism so I've been working on just how to get the important themes properly expressed.
It sounds like you're using a really interesting of process of placing the core in position and then working on details in separate passes as you build up the depth and complexity of the work.


Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
It needs more structural change as one idea runs into problems and something else works better. But I keep finding those 'something elses'. My characters are developing nicely, getting less cliché hopefully. How things got the way they are is staying close to the same. I've made a few major changes in the political/social structure of the society in order for the story to work better but the concepts I want to express are the same.
That's great that you've been able to stick to your original intention. I found in some weird ways that the opposite happened, but then I started my book as a fifteen year old so in the meantime my "message" has become rather more complex and sophisticated, and fortunately the story has been able to grow with me.

It's actually weird, in that regard; this story has literally grown up with me, and looking back over the old drafts of my book is like looking at me, as a person, changing and developing over time. I only hope I've improved as much as my book has...


Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
The thing I'm having the hardest time on right now is giving the reader the picture of the society around these characters. Parts of the book are easy, there are forests and wilderness scenes which are easier to describe and feel. But when it comes to describing that future world, with the city and the society and the government, it's tougher. So I've been looking at some cyber punk writing to see how other people describe future worlds.
This is one thing I sometimes struggle with. I have very particular images in my head when I write, and I often worry that my efforts to get those images across actually make my writing clunky and ungainly; it's not uncommon for me to cut out swathes of description in revisions. I think there's an art to describing alien landscapes, structures, and objects with minimal use of words, getting the hints across and letting the reader fill in the space.


Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I like talking about the book so thanks for asking. I also like hearing about everyone else's.
You're very welcome. I'm much the same.
__________________

O xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti têde
keimetha tois keinon rhémasi peithomenoi.


A fan of fantasy? Check out Project Dreamforge.
gumboot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 07:39 PM   #79
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 63,871
Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Well the myth of the Minotaur is either that Athenians assassinated one of King Minos' sons, or that Athens rebelled against king Minos. In any event he attacked Athens with a massive fleet, and won, and so as punishment the Athenians had to pick seven boys and seven girls at random, every seven years, to be sent to Crete as tribute. These were fed to the Minotaur.

Until one year Theseus volunteered to replace one of the seven as tribute, and went and slayed the Minotaur.


In "The Hunger Games", the twelve districts rebelled against the "Capitol" so once a year as punishment for their rebellion a boy and a girl is picked at random from each District, to go to the Capitol as tribute and fight to the death in an arena.

Then one year a girl called Katniss volunteers as Tribute, replacing her sister (who was picked), and goes to compete in the competition.

That's the basic premise from which Suzanne Collins developed the story, and she has said this openly. From there she built on the concept by combining the ideas of Gladiatorial combat and blood sports with reality TV; a concept that has been around a while an explored in films such as "The Running Man" and "Series 7: The Contenders".

The idea being that what began as a form of punishment has developed into a multi-billion dollar entertainment franchise. Even this can be said to have its origin in concepts much older than any film or book; Gladiatorial combat itself evolved in Rome from a combination of funeral rites and public execution into a massive entertainment industry.
Thanks. I didn't know that story. I knew about the labyrinth and the minotaur but not the rest of the story.

Blood sport is an interesting age old human theme. I cannot imagine watching the Gladiators or people vs lions. You have to really dehumanize people to be able to enjoy that. Dehumanizing is visible all around us. It plays a role in my novel. Do we really have any modern day openly enjoyed blood sport anywhere? I'm not talking about sports that have casualties or people who would readily spill someone's blood. But since the Gladiators has humanity been that depraved? I'm trying to think of something similar to cheering fights to the death. I'm wondering if humans have passed this phase? Or could it happen again?

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 4th April 2012 at 07:41 PM.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th April 2012, 07:41 PM   #80
Comrade Raptor
Critical Thinker
 
Comrade Raptor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 399
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Now this is advice I can relate to. I have been living all my characters, male and female. I think that's why the writing has been so enjoyable for me. I put my brain into their heads and play the scenes out. It works best to play the scenes while I'm walking my dogs in the woods. Then I see something works or doesn't work.

Theme, setting, plot, style, grammar, construction are all important but nothing is ever as important as characters. They're the skeleton on which all else is built.

For me, the most compelling thing in Lord of the Rings (which is full of many compelling things) isn't the setting, the action, the plot, or even the themes.

It's Boromir. It's him, because when you get right down to it when he betrayed Frodo and tried to steal the ring, he did a noble thing. The first time I mentioned this, I got a lot of blank stares.

But Boromir had a conflict of noble values. On the one hand he had his concern for Gondor and its strength, his filial duty, his loyalty to country. None of these are bad. In conflict, he had his loyalty to the Fellowship, the honor of his word, etc. These values are hard to reconcile, and Sauron's Ring sensed this. It turned his noble virtues against him, corrupted him with them, and made him do the right thing (or more precisely, one choice of right thing) for the wrong reasons.

Not only does this illustrate that the Ring corrupts, it even shows us how. And quite neatly, I think. But it couldn't do this if we didn't know Boromir's values and that they're in conflict. If the ring just corrupted his heroic self because the ring is just evil (still thematically accurate), that's weak.

But what Tolkien delivered, that's compelling.

If you get character down, most of the rest will fall into place. Character drives plot, not the other way around. If characters are your strength, you're already doing good (but still keep looking for ways to do it better).


Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
So are you ever going to tell us what you've written or are writing? Or did I miss that when I read your posts too quickly?
No, I won't do that and I apologize for holding out. I'm actually making effort to remain anonymous (this doesn't necessarily mean I have a reason to). To be truthful, even when I'm working on something new not even my closest friends know about it until I'm ready. I just go quiet and tap keys.

Whatever I post I just want evaluated on its own merits. I'm posting things as honestly as I see them, even if people disagree. Who I may or may not be, or what I may or may not have done is, I think, inconsequential. My posts either make sense or not, that's for the reader to decide.

And anyway, whatever I write I'm just writing about interesting people doing interesting things. Spaceship, Castle, City Street is all the same to me. That's just where things happen.


ETA: Actually, it's rare for me to participate in discussions like this at all. I'm a little surprised I even did. Most of the time I can't stand talking to other writers, no matter their level of success. But I'm passionate about the process, so here I am. If it hadn't been for e-pub getting my dander up, I'd probably have just said "Ewww, writers!" and run away, lol.

Whether this might have been better for the thread you may decide at your own discretion.

Last edited by Comrade Raptor; 4th April 2012 at 07:57 PM.
Comrade Raptor is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » History, Literature, and the Arts

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:58 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.