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Boarders Writing a Novel, Take 6


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#1 Starkess

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:18 PM

Last thread got locked, so please continue...

As for me, I was lying in bed this morning taking a long time waking up (yay for having the day off!) and had an idea bug bite me. Think I shall actually do some outlining and writing today!

How is everyone else doing? When are all of your lovely books going to be available for me to read? /cheers.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':cheers:' />

#2 Ebenstone

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 02:26 PM

Kind of stalled on "Point Guard" right now...I'm doing something I've never done in the classroom before, so I'm focusing on that. Still waiting on a few MSS out in the wild and going back and forth about nudging one that has the whole. I'm thinking about my "writing plan" for the coming year and some other things spinning around. Oh, and I have a new blog post.

Trope of the Week: Award Bait Song

Nora, what's the story nugget? (If you want to beta something DM me, I need a female perspective...only if you have time.)

#3 Myrddin

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 03:45 PM

To illustrate my current state of writing, my favorite hash tag on Twitter is #worklifebalancefail. /sad.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':(' />

I even suck at beta reading these days. (Sorry, Stoney. Slowly rolls the stone...)

If I can kick this bug I've had since Thanksgiving, I might be able to take advantage of having my in-laws visiting and start coming into work super early to write before hours (they'd help my wife get the kids to school). If that becomes an effective writing time, I'll have to find a way to continue it after January.

Because right now, all I want to do after working all day and getting the kids to bed, is go to bed myself or veg in front of the tv. And with the crap that's on these days, it's mostly bad tv.

#4 Starkess

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 03:55 PM

Nora, what's the story nugget? (If you want to beta something DM me, I need a female perspective...only if you have time.)


It's still in pretty vague stages, but kind of an adult Wonderland story.

Because right now, all I want to do after working all day and getting the kids to bed, is go to bed myself or veg in front of the tv. And with the crap that's on these days, it's mostly bad tv.


Youuuuuuuuuuuu can do it!

What's funny is that I am the exact opposite. The more free time I have, the less writing I do. Whereas when I'm really busy I somehow manage to actually write more. It's so weird.

#5 Verboten

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 04:15 PM

So I'm writing three different stories right now. Mainly they're an exercise on me actually being able to finish something instead of getting bogged down in the middle and giving up. I'm on the last stretch of one of them and I've been on the last stretch of this one for two months now. I shall get it finished before the new year. Or March 2012. One of those dates. Hopefully.

#6 Arthmail

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 04:31 PM

Draft 3 of the book. Between draft 1 and 3, i've cut 16,000 words while adding new material to help flesh out some ideas and lengthen the end of the book. This one is fucking it, i can feel it. FEEL it. I have about 130 pages left to do on this draft, and if i can drop it another 3k i'll be pretty happy. But if i stay where i am at, 181k, and really flesh out some ideas that were rough in the first two drafts, i'll be just as happy.

Edited by Arthmail, 12 December 2011 - 04:32 PM.


#7 Ebenstone

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 10:44 PM

To illustrate my current state of writing, my favorite hash tag on Twitter is #worklifebalancefail. /sad.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':(' />

I even suck at beta reading these days. (Sorry, Stoney. Slowly rolls the stone...)


Bro, you will NEVER suck at beta reading as far as I am concerned. Take your time, we're not on a time line here. Still watching the spinning plate that is "Winter's Discord."

And I know the feeling, lately that's all I want to do it veg out in front of the TV. Teaching freshman is EXHAUSTING.

Hell, almost anything we do these days is exhausting, right?

#8 Roose Bolton's Pet Leech

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 10:51 PM

Question:

I'm writing a scene where a character goes to the theatre to watch a play. The story is written in third-person limited past tense. In describing the plot of the play, should I move to present tense, or should I keep to past tense?

#9 Ebenstone

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 11:28 PM

Question:

I'm writing a scene where a character goes to the theatre to watch a play. The story is written in third-person limited past tense. In describing the plot of the play, should I move to present tense, or should I keep to past tense?


I was going to answer this in the thread that got cut off....

Focus on what the characters are experiencing/seeing as they are watching the play, don't just show us the play (though I suppose you could if you want to experiment with form and style), let us see the play through the eyes of the character. I've done "going to a play" scenes in several of my works and I just treat it the same way I would anything else the characters are experiencing. Do dialogue the same way you would normally for the actors, but just use their characters name

#10 Eyelesbarrow

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 10:26 AM

Hello Boarders.
The SO has encouraged me to write a murder mystery. Except for short stories in my lit courses before, I have not written/ dabbled in anything literary. But as some of you know, I write for a living. I have wanted to try this for a long time, but fatigue from work and lack of time has prevented me from doing so. I also find the experience of crafting a story thrilling, scary, and intimidating all at the same time and to be frank, this is the main roadblock.

Right now, I have the bones of the plot and the characters. I need to do an outline. I know what an outline is, but I'm stuck in the middle of it. I still don't know what the details are - should I force it or just go ahead? Write X number of words every night and tinker with that as I go along? I'm hoping for tips, basically. /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> This is hard for me because at work, I know exactly what goes on with what I write. I got all the facts, there are no unknowns. But this, this is a different animal from daily news reporting altogether.

#11 Arthmail

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 01:20 PM

Hello Boarders.
The SO has encouraged me to write a murder mystery. Except for short stories in my lit courses before, I have not written/ dabbled in anything literary. But as some of you know, I write for a living. I have wanted to try this for a long time, but fatigue from work and lack of time has prevented me from doing so. I also find the experience of crafting a story thrilling, scary, and intimidating all at the same time and to be frank, this is the main roadblock.

Right now, I have the bones of the plot and the characters. I need to do an outline. I know what an outline is, but I'm stuck in the middle of it. I still don't know what the details are - should I force it or just go ahead? Write X number of words every night and tinker with that as I go along? I'm hoping for tips, basically. /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> This is hard for me because at work, I know exactly what goes on with what I write. I got all the facts, there are no unknowns. But this, this is a different animal from daily news reporting altogether.



In my latest work, one of the main POVs arc follows him as he tries to solve the murder of several merchant nobles. Now, i mean this is not pure murder mystery in your sense, but what i have always done is found myself with a rough idea and then jumped right in. Chances are parts of the book will be unrecognizable between the first and second draft, as you'll come across ideas that you like and ones that you don't. That is, of course, just how i do it.

#12 Eloisa

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 05:33 AM

Right now, I have the bones of the plot and the characters. I need to do an outline. I know what an outline is, but I'm stuck in the middle of it. I still don't know what the details are - should I force it or just go ahead? Write X number of words every night and tinker with that as I go along? I'm hoping for tips, basically. /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> This is hard for me because at work, I know exactly what goes on with what I write. I got all the facts, there are no unknowns. But this, this is a different animal from daily news reporting altogether.

If you do make an outline - and they aren't compulsory - the most important thing to do is to understand where you can and must deviate from it. My current WIP first draft has an outline, and I followed it reasonably closely for the first 15,000 words, but I'm starting to deviate now and I know the ending is not going to match what I originally put down, because my original plan wasn't working.

Your outline is a rough road map, A to B to C to Z, but you have to let the characters drive. If they want to go off down the wiggly path to look at an interesting cliff, let them. You might end up going back and deleting that in the second draft because it's completely irrelevant to the plot, but chances are that in the wiggling, you'll have learnt something new about the characters that becomes relevant. Or it could be that the alternative route is a much better route to Z than what you'd originally envisaged.

If you find yourself forcing a story to stick to its outline, chances are the outline is wrong, not the story. Just write as much as you can, using the outline as guidelines rather than rules, and see how it develops. /pirate.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':pirate:' /> I know of one murder mystery author who doesn't always even work out "whodunnit" before she gets towards the end of a book!

#13 Myrddin

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 02:07 PM

Youuuuuuuuuuuu can do it!

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Nora. /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> (And yes, I totally heard Rob's voice in my head when I read that.

Bro, you will NEVER suck at beta reading as far as I am concerned. Take your time, we're not on a time line here. Still watching the spinning plate that is "Winter's Discord."

Thanks, Stoney. Just want to get it back to you in a timely fashion.

#14 awesome possum

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 02:11 PM

I haven't written a word of fiction in months and it sucks! I've been busy working on my book chronicling the Chicago Bears 2011 season, and it just leaves me too sapped to want to work on anything else.

And that sucks, because I keep having ideas. I've had more ideas in the last few months since starting on this non-fiction book than in the last two years. My brain just sort of refuses to help me out, as I can do little more than write down the basic idea.

I even had a great idea involving two of my stories that I didn't realize were basically twins. They both revolve around social outcasts who make a deal with a goddess (or is she a demon?). One is an extremely overweight woman who just wants to feel loved and the other an uber rich genius - but socially stunted weirdo - who just wants to feel something and all the drugs his money can buy hasn't helped. And all they have to do to get what they want is worship this goddess in the way she prescribes for them.

One is completed, though short - only 1200 words - while the other is incomplete at about 2000 words. And they both fit together perfectly, and even open the door for potentially a collection of stories about people this goddess either helps or dupes in order to get worshiped.

Only, I open up both in my word processor and anything resembling inspiration dies. Hell, writing these couple hundred words about the stories is more than I've written for either story in a long while.

#15 The Pita

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 04:55 AM

Me and a friend are making a comic. I'm writing, he's arting (The comic is in Hebrew, so my English can be as notgooder as I want!). It's pretty standard fare as far as the premise goes, where a bunch of people discover they have superpowers. Hoping it'll turn out to be more Wild Cards than Marvel, though I'm making it a point not to directly copy any superpowers from there. The villain of the first arc is a religious man who, upon discovering he has powers, decides he's the Messiah.
The protagonist (so far) is a drug addicted undercover agent (think A Scanner Darkly, though I haven't read the book so I'm basing it on the movie) who begins to read emotions. I have her arc plotted out very little, though... I know she's supposed to get stronger - in fact, she defeats the villain by mind wiping him. But her plot kind of ends (as far as I have it - IE first chapter) when she finds out her "boyfriend", who is a major drug dealer, is found murdered along with the guy he gets his drugs from. The murderer is another character who I can't figure out the arc to, a Jekyll/Hyde sort of character whose dark side takes care of every problem in their life.

#16 Ebenstone

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:49 AM

Christmas came early to the Ebenstone Complex! I promise to remember you all when I'm famous!

#17 Ealdorman Halasahr

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 12:15 PM

Hm. Instead of writing on my stories and tales, I've started blogging and reviewing the works of others. Is that what you call procrastination? And now I'm here not writing on my stories and tales, too.

Might as well tell you that I'm actually doing some writing, from time to time. On my stories and tales, I mean. Nothing accepted by publishers yet, though. I'd better get back to writing on my historical novel immediately.

#18 Eyelesbarrow

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 12:26 PM

Arthmail and Eloisa, thanks for answering my questions. /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

If you find yourself forcing a story to stick to its outline, chances are the outline is wrong, not the story. Just write as much as you can, using the outline as guidelines rather than rules, and see how it develops. /pirate.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':pirate:' /> I know of one murder mystery author who doesn't always even work out "whodunnit" before she gets towards the end of a book!

Somehow, I find this quite comforting.

#19 awesome possum

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 12:56 PM

Christmas came early to the Ebenstone Complex! I promise to remember you all when I'm famous!


Congrats, that's awesome!

#20 Arthmail

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 01:53 PM

Yea, congrats Ebenstone.


And, as a side note. BOOM! I've somehow cut to under 180k, from over 197k. And that is still after adding new material to flush out certain ideas and characters. I always looked at cutting words as a painful process, but it's like a game. I get a new high score by going lower. Writing is fun.