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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:08 pm 
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Ah, don't sweat it. If it feels right, it probably is.
I usually write a lot of different beginnings until I find a voice that fits the story. My biggest unfinished creative writing project for example needs a kind of hard-boiled narrator, and I need to practice more before I trust myself with him. Another project that I have written a ton of notes and outlines for is easier to start because the heroine reminds me of my teenage self. So maybe I'll write all of that one before I even start to pick up the pieces of the other one. We'll see.
Right now I'm perfectly happy with my short story - and writing the as yet unloved paper. The good news about that one is that I've been commissioned to write an article on a related topic, so now I'll just spend the weekend writing as much as possible, then divide it into two slightly different things and send them off. Or at least that's the master plan. :))

ETA: Can't think of any exemplary 1st/3rd person switches right now, but I'll keep my eyes open!
One thing, though. In detective novels I usually hate switches to the killer's perspective, but I recently read Gun Machine by Warren Ellis (which just came out in January), and he does it brilliantly! (Lots of gore, though. Not everyone's taste.)


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:21 pm 
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Phoenix wrote:
ETA: Can't think of any exemplary 1st/3rd person switches right now, but I'll keep my eyes open!
One thing, though. In detective novels I usually hate switches to the killer's perspective, but I recently read Gun Machine by Warren Ellis (which just came out in January), and he does it brilliantly! (Lots of gore, though. Not everyone's taste.)

Awesome, thank you! I know what you mean about 1st/3rd person narrative switches though--it can not only be confusing for the reader but the narrative loses credibility or something to me. It feels like cheating, somehow, when I come across that in books and it's poorly done but as you say, I really believe (in writing) anything's possible if a person can pull it off and I know (or think I know) I've seen it done well but I can't remember where.

I will not sweat it though, as you say. I'm just trying to keep it simple and straightforward and clear as possible on the surface but there's a lot of thinkin' and machinations going on underneath the veneer of simplicity I'm trying to uphold in the story! Gah!

I know from experience that whatever I come out with editing, editing, editing (rewriting) etc. really can make everything better or at least it will read better, so that's always a consolation...

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:31 pm 
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You guys you GUYS YOU GUYS.
I think I may have mentioned a while back that I submitted some poems for publication a while back, and one of those submissions included a contest, as well as being published in the journal associated with it.
I kind of won first prize.
Which includes some free money.
I AM EXCITE.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:01 pm 
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I am so excited for you kilgore!!!! That is so awesome!!!!!! Yippee!!!!! Keep it up!!!! Keep submitting!!!!!! Woot!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:34 am 
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YAY KILGORE! You are amazing!!!! <3


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:17 pm 
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Okay, so I think one narrative will be in the first person, and the alternating narrative in the third, but I'll keep the narratives consistent throughout (one narrative comes from one of a pair of characters, the other narrative from the second pair). I'm not sure if this will stick to the bitter end but when I write, this seems to be what I want to do and I don't want to wrench myself away from what is coming naturally.

I've started both narratives, each one has gotten its turn and now I'm about to turn back to the first (tomorrow) and pick up where I left off there. Round 2!

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:52 am 
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My friends youtube trailer for her book coming out in March.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Emkogj6NKiE


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:14 pm 
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^I wonder if all books get trailers made these days? This is a very exciting time for your friend!

I googled some 17 things that won't get your novel published on a website yesterday and I think my only sin of those listed (thus far) is the too many characters rule (the original idea of my novel was about a cloning society and the nature of my idea originally was to generate a lot of characters), but I've been aware from the get-go that that can get really confusing, so I keep working to keep things simple and clear so no one who ever reads it will need a flow chart to keep track of folks. Right now, I'm focusing on four main characters, two subplot characters that intertwine with them and then everybody else is sort of in the background popping up every once in a while doing their small part and hopefully keeping confusion to a minimum. I gots to keep it clean as possible.

I also read most novels need to be 80,000 to 100,000 words which I already sort of figured too. I was going for around a 350 page book, but really, I have no idea how long it will be. Have to play it out. But that gives me lots of room to work with, anyhoo.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:02 am 
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seitanicverses wrote:
Okay, so I think one narrative will be in the first person, and the alternating narrative in the third, but I'll keep the narratives consistent throughout (one narrative comes from one of a pair of characters, the other narrative from the second pair). I'm not sure if this will stick to the bitter end but when I write, this seems to be what I want to do and I don't want to wrench myself away from what is coming naturally.

I've started both narratives, each one has gotten its turn and now I'm about to turn back to the first (tomorrow) and pick up where I left off there. Round 2!

I think this is probably a good choice. Having a narratives that go back and forth in some kind of pattern makes more sense and seems to have less potential for seeming gimmicky than, for example, switching to the killer's perspective once when necessary and never doing it again.
Not that your story necessarily has a killer or anything, just, you know, example.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:31 pm 
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kilgore trout wrote:
seitanicverses wrote:
Okay, so I think one narrative will be in the first person, and the alternating narrative in the third, but I'll keep the narratives consistent throughout (one narrative comes from one of a pair of characters, the other narrative from the second pair). I'm not sure if this will stick to the bitter end but when I write, this seems to be what I want to do and I don't want to wrench myself away from what is coming naturally.

I've started both narratives, each one has gotten its turn and now I'm about to turn back to the first (tomorrow) and pick up where I left off there. Round 2!

I think this is probably a good choice. Having a narratives that go back and forth in some kind of pattern makes more sense and seems to have less potential for seeming gimmicky than, for example, switching to the killer's perspective once when necessary and never doing it again.
Not that your story necessarily has a killer or anything, just, you know, example.

Thanks! There might be a murder in my book (right now there is, but it's more as a way of revealing my characters than anything else. The circumstances surrounding the murder are more critical than the murder itself to how things are now. And nothing will be told from the killer's perspective; I'm not even sure the killer will ever even be revealed. But it's sooooo early in my story development.) Whether or not the murder stays in the story is up the air at the moment. The whole story is kind of up in the air at the moment because the characters are really being developed this draft and whereever they go, I think the story will follow. I think next draft, I will focus more on the story and how it's coming about.

Working out the narrative was the most important thing for me at this juncture. I kind of think narrative perspective is the single most important decision a writer will make about any work and it has to be determined early in the process to go forward. Argh! But I toyed with narratives for two drafts and the first two just weren't catching fire until I started it the way it is now and it's rolling along presently so...fingers crossed! When I hit a snag with one narrative, I figure I can turn to the other so I can puzzle the first out. At least, that's the idea, so to have two narratives keeps me efficient and moving forward. And of course, the course of one narrative will often help determine the course of the parallel or corresponding narrative so when I hit a snag, it might be resolved simply by working on the alternate.

I'm thinking a bit about another (longish) short story I have in draft stage this weekend. Might do some rewriting on that. I've been thinking about it for maybe a year now and am on the second or third draft. I work on my novel during the week.

Kickity-kick with my bunny-slippered feet to all the procrastinators out there!

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:33 pm 
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The paper is written! Adding a short introduction & conclusion tomorrow & tightening up the body of the paper, and then it's off! Looking forward to doing the same with the stuff I have isolated for the magazine article. :)

The "tomorrow can guzzle a bucket of vulture barf" mantra seems to be working.


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:53 pm 
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Woot on finishing your paper, Phoenix!

Turned back to the first narrative today. Wondering if I should have stayed with the second, as it was going along well and this one frustrates me (although I was more excited about this one at first starting out and I thought the second would be weaker) but I worked at it for a while and kept rewriting it and it's better, I guess. Not too enthused today on the whole about anything. Blah. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get my juice back.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:42 pm 
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Sometimes you just have to let things marinate a while before you can fish out the good bits, seitanicverses. Every bit of writing counts - even if all you're doing is finding out what you don't like.

Planning to write the article over the next couple of days. Super glad that there are some bits left over that I didn't want to include in the longer paper - so I can swing things around, try a different angle and maybe come up with a different overall focus. Yay.

Also looking forward to tweaking the short story a bit more. I need more items that trigger memories. Will have a look through my old creative writing journals; that's where I often find great things I can re-use. Or passages that work as a sort of seed for something longer. All I have to do is dig them out and play with them. :)


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:59 pm 
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Thanks, phoenix! And it's too true that every bit of writing helps. Today went much better. Last night I spruced up yesterday's work and went on with that for today. I guess whenever I switch narratives, I want to make sure I don't take the story down the wrong path because it's a pain to keep rewriting and reconceptualizing the whole thing. Just proceeding with a lot of thought and caution now because I'm tired of throwing ideas that I shouldn't have pursued in the first place away.

I always scavenge my old work, too, for stuff--ideas or images that don't work in one thing but still seem good and might work elsewhere.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:16 pm 
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Kurt Vonnegut's How To Write With Style & Eight Keys to the Power of the Written Word: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/ ... -vonnegut/

F. Scott Fitzgerald critiques an aspiring writer's story & shares the secret of great writing: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/ ... n-writing/

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:26 pm 
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Want to add this one: The daily routines of famous writers: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/ ... s-writers/

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:47 am 
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The whole clone angle of my novel is quickly dropping into the background, being overtaken by the other characters I've introduced. I'm already starting to minimize that angle because it's almost cluttering the book with too many ideas. Also, it presents a major problem of confusion/potentially too many characters when I like things clear and simple and not confused and muddled.

I'm frustrated with the story right now but when I read what I've written since I started the new narrative in February, I feel on the right track with something, I'm just not sure what. I've never really stuck my head in the book's ideas before like this, I was always just toying with it and now I'm really trying to work it out scene by scene and argh! It's rough. Up and down. This wil be the hardest draft of all to hammer out, methinks. I don't really follow my outline; I don't think I'm much of an outliner, I think I'm a winger, wingin' it. It's weird figuring out far-reaching story problems. I'm not used to it with the short fiction and poetry background, I don't usually have to take story development this far so I can feel these dusty and unused parts of my brain having their dust bunnies blown out as I try to reason myself out of plotting and story corners I can see me painting myself into if I don't leave openings in the story for this or that potential inevitability.

Right now, I'm just sort of plotting a few scenes ahead going forward, but I do have a big picture in the back of my mind, but that's kind of always changing as I go along.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:12 pm 
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All done. Article sent off to be reviewed.
Happy feelings of accomplishment.
Hope you're feeling the same. <3


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:28 am 
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Yay!

I'm staying the course and it's a long course! I know I'll be sooooo happy in a couple of months (or several months ) when I've got a decent draft hammered out but taking it day by day is somewhat rough. Especially for the next couple of weeks when I cover for my boss which means I can't work in the mornings (my preferred time to write) and am stuck with the dregs of my energy in the evening.

One of my writing workshop leaders said every writer should sometimes edit when they're feeling really tired because then "they'll have no patience for their own crepe and hence a lot of riffraff will be spotted and edited out," and while I've tried his advice and agree with it from an editing angle, it's hard to write fresh, new writing when I'm tired after an evening's work but that's what I gotta do for the next couple of weeks. <3

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:30 am 
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I was just talking on the phone with a colleague and told her I was writing a novel and she politely asked me: " Oh, what's your novel about?" and I said "Oh! That's a very good question....because really I'm still working that out for myself." And I went umm and ahhh for a minute because I'm not sure where it's going, really, and the premise sounds stupid right now. And maybe it is stupid, but I'm trying to destupefy it. I finally came up with an extremely brief plot summary to satisfy her question though.

Ultimately, when it's finished, a writer is supposed to be able to encapsulate their whole story in one succinct sentence. I'm not there yet, but major themes are emerging--every time I read what I've written, I'm noticing them and if I like them (most I think I actually like--for now), I try to develop them and embed more stuff throughout to solidfy those thematic angles. But really, I don't don't have the first-ass clue what I'm doing. But I'm writing! So that's it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:05 pm 
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Switching back to alternate narrative today! This method is working well. I've been working over a month now on the same vein and hit no snags and haven't painted myself into any corners yet or set myself up for any plottish dead ends. The story's stupid, its discouraging, it's ridiculous, silly, cringeworthy and occasionally funny (it needs to be funnier, but hopefully that will come in time)--there's nothing poignant or heart-touching at all about it yet but hopefully, some of that will come. I've even found a way to work the clones in sparingly without excess confusion (I think). I've decided that they're too much a foundation of the story to drop so the thing is to find a way to keep them in the story without clutter. So far, it's happening. Let's see if I can keep it up to the end--that will be the trick. Despite all its sins, there is also definitely promise and a relevant theme I really like and can work with underlying it all. Keeping going, that is all.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:15 am 
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What Random House editors look for in the rough draft of a manuscript: http://randomnotes.randomhouse.com/rough-draft/

A little more work on my novel last night. Every day, a new idea takes shape as I work on it and the overall idea starts to seem more cohesive. I have no idea what will stick in the end, but I'm trying it all! It's been hard working on it these past couple of weeks because of work responsibilities and a dinner I hosted for weekend guests (so took last Friday and Monday off) but back at it last night, with a bit of dread even for taking a couple of days off, but got right back into it and am hooked again, so I'm pleased about that.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:49 am 
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Not feeling it. I have butt sag AND brain fog today. And a head cold--so my brain really is fogged. F'realz. My butt sags because I'm a vegan, apparently. I always thought it was because I wasn't maximizing my gluteus maximuseses to their maximus and I needed to take a hike, literally. Gluteus maximi? I'm supposed to know this stuff. See? Brain fog.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:43 pm 
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Hah, yes, COLD. I wrote a teeny tiny paragraph today, but I think there's a good solid idea somewhere in it. More soon. Because the whole thing is so good by now (and so forking long) that I *must* finish it soon. (And I just can't disappoint everyone who believes in the project.)

Feel better, sv! <3


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:06 pm 
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Just to update to try and stay accountable to myself. So I reviewed my manuscript thus far yesterday and it's currently around ~28,000 words (of the new narrative which I started February 5, 2013). I'm aiming for ~100,000 word manuscript this draft so I estimate it'll take me another five to six months to get there, working at the steady pace I've been working at. And then, of course, tons more work after that, but thus far, this is reading like a workable manuscript that I can finally move forward with.

My overall sense after reading it yesterday is that it needs to be greatly condensed. Also, I'm writing a lot of scenes that I know are going to be cut in the final analysis, but I keep going with that because what I do in rewriting is get a better sense of my characters through such cut scenes that I can use/apply to more permanent stuff going forward and give them more depth than they might have had I not explored them in those scenes.

While I know where the story's going in a broad sense (sort of) when I consider that in the minutae of going scene by scene that's when I feel like I don't know where it's going. The outlines I started with are out the window and I'm using the narrative structure as my outline now as I need a bit of structure somehow to work with. I'm now into the third round of my narrative cycle of the two alternating narratives.

Every day the smallest bit of progress is being made...but it's progress.

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