NaNoWriMo 2011 Page 105

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  • Deleted user 27 September 2012 11:41:41
    I pretty much exclusively use OmmWriter nowadays, at least for drafting. Scrivener just annoyed me after a while - the organisation features were okay, but seeing as I like to work distraction free anyway, I have all the notes scribbled on notepads.

    Plus, Amazon now reject .mobis compiled with Scrivener, as it doesn't reach the proper formatting standards.
  • TechnoHippy 27 Sep 2012 11:58:19 14,707 posts
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    I'm still using my Word and Excel combination :-)

    I need to get some planning done.
  • Blerk Moderator 27 Sep 2012 12:03:17 48,224 posts
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    meme wrote:
    Plus, Amazon now reject .mobis compiled with Scrivener, as it doesn't reach the proper formatting standards.
    That's a bit of a bugger. Calibre ftw?

    Edit: Actually, it seems Scrivener uses Amazon's own KindleGen to output .mobi files now, so it looks like that particular issue might be fixed.

    Edited by Blerk at 12:09:38 27-09-2012
  • Deleted user 27 September 2012 12:16:47
    It's always used KindleGen, but there's something about the output that means Amazon get a bit annoyed about it - something to do with how it handles HTML tags.

    Calibre is also a no-no, now. The preferred way is to dump it all in a Word document, format it, save it as HTML and then run it through this - http://word2cleanhtml.com/ - then let Amazon's website handle the conversion to .mobi.

    Edited by meme at 12:17:39 27-09-2012
  • MetalDog 27 Sep 2012 12:17:12 24,035 posts
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    Word for writing (sheer familiarity makes it low-distraction for me) and Scriv. for editing - not that I do enough of that. Some notes either in notepad files littered across my desktop or the majority in physical notebooks.

    Unless anyone has any objections I'll start a new thread on Oct 1st for the impending fresh madness.
  • Blerk Moderator 27 Sep 2012 12:29:37 48,224 posts
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    meme wrote:
    It's always used KindleGen, but there's something about the output that means Amazon get a bit annoyed about it - something to do with how it handles HTML tags.

    Calibre is also a no-no, now. The preferred way is to dump it all in a Word document, format it, save it as HTML and then run it through this - http://word2cleanhtml.com/ - then let Amazon's website handle the conversion to .mobi.
    Well, what a faff. Good to know, though.
  • boo 27 Sep 2012 13:16:14 12,659 posts
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    MetalDog wrote:
    Unless anyone has any objections I'll start a new thread on Oct 1st for the impending fresh madness.
    By all means.

    That does, however, mean I've only got a month to finish off Able's adventures from last year. No way am I starting a new one with 2011's left hanging.

    18,000 words in a month?

    Pfft.

    Piece of cake.

    /panics
  • MetalDog 27 Sep 2012 13:19:14 24,035 posts
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    Be a nice warm up for you, boo =)
  • MetalDog 1 Oct 2012 10:14:25 24,035 posts
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    New Thread now up.
  • sunjumper 6 May 2016 00:30:30 3,340 posts
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    OK... This is going to be slightly strange.

    After having ignored Skyshell for more than four years and due to poular demand (the demand comes from Carbon_Alter, which in turn makes him very popular with me) I sat down and started working on it again.

    In stead of rereading the monster novel fragment and getting bogged down in the wonderful feeling of failure again I have decided to write short stories, well attempting to write them at least, casting a light on the various protagonists.
    I get to know them better thus hopefully improving the quality of the story once I get back to writing it. And in this case even if I don't finish the damned thing it is still a win. Because it means that I have written.

    So I present you:

    Skyshell Stories 1: Ailu Leyka presumably part one as there is more about Ailu I want to write about. I am just running out of time.

    Feedback is as always greatly appriciated.

    Enjoy.

    Edit: replaced broken link with a working one. Was told that that's the way the cool kids do it these days.

    Edited by sunjumper at 00:43:21 06-05-2016
  • frightlever 6 May 2016 08:02:28 847 posts
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    "Those poor creatures hat the worst fate of all. In away though, Ailu thought that they had still a better lot in life then her. They at least had an excuse for being no one."

    I'll read it as soon as you have.

    edit: goddammit, I've had to edit this comment twice, stupid tags, but editing is important.

    Edited by frightlever at 08:04:13 06-05-2016
  • frightlever 6 May 2016 08:10:15 847 posts
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    "Just like had those people who inherited drifting souls, that had been outside of a body for so long that they had forgotten everything about who they may have been. They like the first born had to build their personality up from scratch. Yet this personality was built on a strong foundation of a old, strong soul that had like the body-shell hosting it gone through uncounted millennia of evolution."

    "As had those people who inherited drifting souls that had been outside of a body for so long they had forgotten everything of their past. They too, like the first born, had to build a personality from scratch, but one built upon a strong foundation borne of millennia of evolution."

    born/borne is iffy, but I'm working for free here.

    I favour writing text the way a hammer drives a nail through wood. Also, I'm prevaricating morning exercise.
  • sunjumper 6 May 2016 10:07:42 3,340 posts
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    Thanks a lot, freightlever.

    Maybe I should add that this is the usual sorry state of the stuff I write down and I am usually looking for story feedback first. Editing it for proper orthography at this stage is more like pulling teeth without anaesthesia. The hardest part for me is to get the words on the page first.
    After that I can do a first pass to get rid of the things you pointed out as they are indeed pretty obvious and rather horrid.

    And to many horror typos from hell to get to the story proper is also a form of feedback. Now that it isn’t November and it is not a race for time I should really get back to giving the text a once over before posting… hmmm…
  • frightlever 6 May 2016 10:51:51 847 posts
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    I see what you're saying, but it does make it harder to evaluate the story when it hasn't been proofed.
  • frightlever 6 May 2016 11:07:15 847 posts
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    You do a bunch of exposition then skip over the initial conflict between Livon and Ailu so you can rush to "cunt". I'd change "tossers" to preserve the impact. I'd actually remove other mundane words like "annoying" (should be vexing) to build the mood. "Never mind Levon" lacks clarity. It can read like "Never mind, Levon" - which is how I read it at first - and would be clearer as: "Don't worry about her, Ailu," Len said, nodding towards Levon. (or something less blah), but you really need to build up the high-minded, age-old grudge between Ailu and Levon for the pay-off to work. You need more contrast. I think it's a funny punchline, but it isn't a story.

    Also, did you write this drunk? First drafts are first drafts but come on.

    You would argue that it's more important to get the idea down than to worry about the detail, I think ideas are ten a penny and learning to present them is the real craft and where you should spend most of your time.

    Oh, it occurs to me the line should be: “Don't worry about Livon, she’s always been a cunt.”

    Edited by frightlever at 11:11:06 06-05-2016
  • LittleSparra 6 May 2016 11:10:47 3,822 posts
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    frightlever, pulling no punches since 2013.

    Edited by LittleSparra at 11:10:54 06-05-2016
  • frightlever 6 May 2016 11:11:24 847 posts
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    I'm a cunt, what can I say?
  • LittleSparra 6 May 2016 11:25:37 3,822 posts
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    Heh! FWIW direct criticism is usually very helpful. The only thing I'd say is people work well in different ways.

    Ultimately you're right: the craft and the doing is the key, but sun sounds a bit like me. Splurge and then refine, over and over.
  • sunjumper 6 May 2016 11:26:09 3,340 posts
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    Good feedback, thanks.

    And nope not drunk, simply dyslexic. Especially when I’m the flow of writing I don’t see the errors. I know what it is supposed to say and I am incredibly shit at checking on the fly while writing.

    You make some very good points about Livon and Ailu. It probably needs some proper scenes to work. Right now I am having a problem with the pacing of it all as this is intended to be a short biography like thing and nothing even getting close to a long form story. It is hard to keep the balance between keeping it to the point and getting lost in details.

    If I had intended Len to say ‘Never mind, Levon’ I’d put the comma there. But well spotted that was a bit I was driving me crazy. I actually had a version that was actually your: “Don't worry about Livon, she’s always been a cunt.” But that felt to blah for me.
    I was also not sure if I should stop the scene there or write a bit more. In the end I decided that I was too tired to go on. That turned out to be a shit idea. Both because the closing of the text doesn’t work as I interrupt it mid scene and because I was wide awake for at least another two hours.

    Thanks again for taking the time to read the text and commenting on it.

    P.S.
    Yep. I am of the write your shit down first and work on it later.
    And while I too agree with Frightlever that you need craft and doing to make things work that is also true for ideas themselves. The world needs to make sense, the characters need to do so too. As do the interactions, between people, societies, institutions and in the case of SF and fantasy the rules of the world itself. Which are the things I tend to concentrate on first.
    Because polishing words that describe pile of implausible crap also leads nowhere.

    Edited by sunjumper at 11:32:51 06-05-2016
  • SpaceMonkey77 6 May 2016 13:26:41 439 posts
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    I'm still not to sure about doing NaNo. Have a thing about about artificial deadlines, that limit my writing flow and output.

    Considered it before, but so far, not sure.
  • frightlever 6 May 2016 14:17:24 847 posts
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    SpaceMonkey77 wrote:
    I'm still not too sure about doing NaNo. Have a thing about about artificial deadlines that limit my writing flow and output.

    Considered it before but so far, not sure.
    I did a few of them. It's a good exercise if you've never tried to write a novel and want to buckle down and discover once and for all that you're never going to write one.

    If you're already self-motivated to write then NaNo serves no useful purpose.
  • frightlever 6 May 2016 14:20:39 847 posts
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    sunjumper wrote:
    Because polishing words that describe pile of implausible crap also leads nowhere.
    What I'm suggesting isn't "polishing", it's bare minimum standards. As I said, ideas are ten-a-penny. Ideas are the least important part of writing fiction. A competent writer can make the most mundane ideas interesting.
  • frightlever 6 May 2016 14:30:56 847 posts
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    LittleSparra wrote:
    Heh! FWIW direct criticism is usually very helpful. The only thing I'd say is people work well in different ways.

    Ultimately you're right: the craft and the doing is the key, but sun sounds a bit like me. Splurge and then refine, over and over.
    That is the writing process, but it's generally considered good manners to run at least one cycle of "refine" before putting it in front of a reader. All I've seen so far is splurge.

    I genuinely don't want to seem discouraging, but at some point you have to learn about "be" words, about repetition, about disambiguation - all the boring craft that isn't just picking fresh words from the Thesaurus, because you'll be doing that as well. And the time to learn is sooner rather than later.
  • sunjumper 6 May 2016 14:38:30 3,340 posts
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    @frightlever

    True. And what I throw out here isn't intended as anything near of a final version. And I have realised that there is no need any more for the NaNo-writing format as there isn't any hurry at all. The next update as the Ailu story isn't done yet will get a round of proper checking on my side. I am just too used to throwing things out in a hysterical hurry.

    I agree that there are writers out there who can paint with words and who can make even the setting of an office feel wonderful and vivid. That is a great skill and craft.

    I also agree that ideas are ten a penny. The moment you sit down and start writing the idea alone isn't enough anymore.
    One great idea can lead to a nice short vignette. But that isn’t a proper story. It needs more. For one it needs more ideas, it needs things interconnecting the ideas and making them work as a narrative. This is true for plot driven stories as well as for those driven by the characters. It is even more important in the latter as you need to know quite a lot about these characters to make them work properly.

    Right now I’m not even sure if we disagree at all or if we have divergent ideas what part of writing should come first. For me the world and the characters and the plot are far more important that the form of the words. I have the suspicion that you put more importance on the words being well crafted from the very beginning. This in my opinion comes down to a matter of taste and whatever works best for you as a writer.
  • SpaceMonkey77 6 May 2016 15:05:27 439 posts
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    Just jumped back into a tale this morning, that I've been working on. Not sure how long to make it mind, because the original idea has kinda warped, as I got through it.

    My protagonist has made a 'discovery', but what to do next with the 'discovered thing', I'm gonna have to think on a bit more.

    Still a bit far off from Nano, so I'll think on it, and maybe prep something in advance...a big maybe. Got too much other stuff in the works.

    I use Open Office and Scrivener, by the way. One to write quickly with and easier on my eyes and the other to organise, compile and edit. The latter has not theme options that I can see, for long term use, unfortunately, correct if wrong.

    Edited by SpaceMonkey77 at 15:07:21 06-05-2016

    Edited by SpaceMonkey77 at 15:11:48 06-05-2016
  • sunjumper 6 May 2016 15:56:19 3,340 posts
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    Scrivener is great to keep track of details, characters and tons of other stuff. For pure writing I prefer ImmersED which is one of these ‘just the screen’ editors with some nice extra functions like a word counter, simultaneous saves in a primary and a back-up directory and of course old-school typewriter sounds.

    If you want feedback post it somewhere and give us a link. As you can see there are people around here who will read your stuff and comment on it. The upsides here are that you will get different points of view while writing which is often a good source of inspiration and different kinds of feedback. Frightlever as you can see will see to it that your writing is proper and will push you towards better proper writing. I am on the other end of the spectrum and ignore pretty much every typo and concentrate on the story itself and others like for example MetalDog will fall somewhere inbetween.
  • SpaceMonkey77 6 May 2016 16:07:44 439 posts
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    I'll check out ImmmersED, thanks.

    Hadn't considered posting anything here, but I'll certainly think about it now. It can feel like I'm working in a vacuum at times, especially when others perhaps, have little time for your work stuff.
  • frightlever 6 May 2016 16:26:16 847 posts
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    sunjumper wrote:
    Right now I’m not even sure if we disagree at all or if we have divergent ideas what part of writing should come first.
    There is no disagreement. You agree with me; you just don't know it yet.

    sunjumper wrote: For me the world and the characters and the plot are far more important that the form of the words.
    There are seven basic plots.

    Consider this. You can dream as many plots and characters as your head contains, set in multiple disparate worlds. Ten minutes later you can do the same. And ten minutes after that, and so on, forever. Your imagination won't run out.

    When you write down your thoughts in a first draft you aren't writing-writing, you're just recording those thoughts.

    Writing involves taking those thoughts and turning them into something people want to read. THOSE thoughts, not the next thoughts. Cutting away every unnecessary word, pacing the sentences, eliminating any jagged corners that will snag a reader out of the moment. That's how you get better. That's the craft.

    It isn't fun, but it isn't supposed to be. It's also very difficult to do without outside criticism. The old adage about writing "a million words of crap" before you get good is nonsense. As NaNoWriMo has shown people will just keep on writing the same million words of crap endlessly. It's virtually impossible to self-edit, certainly to begin with. There needs to be an element of external critical evaluation in there somewhere, so find a trusted reader or a writing group, I guess.

    I'm quite pig-headed and I'll argue a point into the ground, so I'll leave it at that. If you're enjoying what you're doing then keep doing it. If you want to get better, it's on you.
  • frightlever 6 May 2016 16:37:01 847 posts
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    SpaceMonkey77 wrote:
    It can feel like I'm working in a vacuum at times
    That sucks.

    I used to critique other writers' work over at critique.org (I think the format has changed since I was involved). The idea was that you critiqued so many items to earn credits to get your own work critiqued. It was a sound system, even used by some established writers.

    There was a bunch of batshit crazy stuff there that had terrific ideas but which was technically very poorly written, and consequently un-publishable. I'm not even sure that matters any more.

    I think it helps to improve your own writing when you're looking at someone else's work. It can be very difficult to evaluate your own writing. Writers tend to think their work is either perfect or dreck, with little sentiment in between.

    Edited by frightlever at 16:38:18 06-05-2016
  • SpaceMonkey77 6 May 2016 16:48:24 439 posts
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    I also draw, so I think I enjoy the conception and crafting of a good idea into something more, also when writing.

    I find the scenes kind of make themselves sometimes, once your know the core of you tale and where you want it to conclude. Easy to get lost, but that's part of the fun of making anything, lose yourself and rediscover yourself to.

    Each to their own, so do whatever weird and wonderful process works best for you, to produce your work babies, as IMO, its different for all of us.

    I never used to write much, just a few bits a school, lost to time. Something magical happened of late, when I began to try audio books. I always had trouble going through reading text, (too much gaming perhaps and eye problems) so they worked out well, and then my creative mind opened up to writing again. The more exposure I got to other works, the more the ideas flowed and my gears turned, to start on something of my own. Feels great to give back to the creative circle, that also fed my creativity..

    Now, I have too many ideas (a good thing), but still the seeds of new tales, yet to be born. Its good to have a back load though, as there are some who write one or two, and perhaps have no ideas for any more.

    Edited by SpaceMonkey77 at 16:59:49 06-05-2016
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