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  #61  
Old 11-01-2008, 02:32 PM
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I'm afraid that bar fights are becoming the duct tape of my narrative method.
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  #62  
Old 11-01-2008, 02:36 PM
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I've got a review due in a few hours, so while I've been writing today, it's all been for something else. After that, however, it's on.
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  #63  
Old 11-01-2008, 06:36 PM
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Got 2000 words from midnight to when I went to bed circa 2:45.

I felt like I'd accomplished something! But then I looked back on what I actually wrote. Wow, my skills have deteriorated...
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  #64  
Old 11-01-2008, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by spineshark View Post
I'm afraid that bar fights are becoming the duct tape of my narrative method.
Hey, as long as they're interesting bar fights, it sounds like my kind of story!
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  #65  
Old 11-01-2008, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Kfroog View Post
Hey, as long as they're interesting bar fights, it sounds like my kind of story!
Every bar fight is interesting. Just ask my old man. =)

When in doubt, have a man with a gun come crashing through the door.
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  #66  
Old 11-01-2008, 11:07 PM
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Every bar fight is interesting.
Exactly.
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  #67  
Old 11-01-2008, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond Chandler
Occasionally move the bar fight into a right-outside-the-bar ambush.
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  #68  
Old 11-23-2008, 11:31 PM
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So, one week left. I'm not going to make it! Schoolwork really got to me this month and I spent most of my actual free time goofing off, so I have to write about 4,000 words a day to make it. Possible? Absolutely. Likely, given my previous pace? Absolutely not. To anyone else who's put some time into this, how's it coming?

Oh yeah, I'm even more screwed because what I originally planned as the resolution is coming up really quickly; apparently I'm just not any good at writing filler fantasy BS! Sure, I could go back and write more in (and I'll do at least a little of that), but I kind of like the idea that the "ending" is really the "middle." I think there are a lot of things for me to do with the world, and the characters [who aren't dead] and given a lot of things about the premise I think that trying to come up with what happens after the fighting is over has some promise. It's also going to be really hard.

One other thing I've noticed is that I'm much, much worse at writing "action" of any sort (in other words, anything at all happening, even, or perhaps especially, if it's something really mundane) than dialogue, at least in terms of speed. I have to think really hard while writing about what's going on, for the purposes of clarity and limiting redundancy, but for dialogue it seems so much simpler, and I don't second-guess it so much. Even though I probably should. Even though I'm doomed to fail this round, it's definitely something for me to think about in the future. I'm sure it'll be useful to know.
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  #69  
Old 11-24-2008, 08:26 AM
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I'm doing decently, I think. I would need to get 3000 words tonight to make it to 40K on time, which may or may not happen, but with a couple of canceled social engagements and the final weekend still ahead, I think 50K is reachable.

If things look grim this weekend, I did write an unrelated story during the month, which I could dump in for an emergency 4000 words (it was just a dream!)...
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  #70  
Old 11-24-2008, 11:22 PM
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45,000 words in, my plot is just about in its death rattles, but I can limp across the finish line yet. And once I'm done, I think I might be able to cut it up into two or three short stories. Not my greatest piece of work, but it'll do.

And although the novel itself is mediocre, the month has been great! In addition to my Edmonton and Alberta::Elsewhere duties, I attended a write-up in Calgary, where I was warmly greeted (and even recognised!). Even better, I teleconferenced for a little while with Chris Baty himself. Wow -- that man rolled a natural eighteen for charisma, and he's packing modifiers. Everything he says makes you feel like you could be the next Hemingway.

Next year, though, I think I'm just going to give the "exploration of themes around human nature" genre a rest, and try my hand at giant robot battles.
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  #71  
Old 11-24-2008, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Aquadeo View Post
Next year, though, I think I'm just going to give the "exploration of themes around human nature" genre a rest, and try my hand at giant robot battles.
Now that's something I can get behind!
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  #72  
Old 11-25-2008, 12:55 AM
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Or you can do both and we'll have another Evangelion. But probably a lot more sensible.

So is anybody's work for the month available somewhere that it can be read by the rest of us? I'm curious to see what you folks have been writing, even if it's incomplete or less than perfect.
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  #73  
Old 11-25-2008, 01:06 AM
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Next year, though, I think I'm just going to give the "exploration of themes around human nature" genre a rest, and try my hand at giant robot battles.
I actually wondered as I was preparing for this year if my problem in '07 was that I was trying to reach to deep for me, but now it seems fair to say that I'm just bad at fleshing out the details that would really fill up those pages. I mean, god, my project last year was some vignettes spanning about 40 years, and this one is about five years but with considerably more going on, at least in the last couple. Obviously, scope is hardly my problem, unless maybe I'm looking too ambitiously and unable to focus well on specific events because so few of them seem to be of any significance in the long run.

At least I've figured out what to do after my initial plot arcs conclude tomorrow. My somewhat dour fantasy (the prince dies) will give way to...bizarre lesbian buddy comedy! I'm already preparing for the massive awkwardness I'll feel writing it!

Which reminds me, even though none of it really has to do with this, I managed to come up with a couple of characters for my next writing project. If nothing else, I've enjoyed the time I've spent working this year a lot and I'm looking forward to continuing to work, but with less pressure. This one will probably be worked on over the next eleven months, since I'm sure I can come up with at least one decent idea before next year. This was completely my idea, but since the main characters are cops (at least for now) it seems convenient to phrase it in a way that might be familiar...

She's a blind psychic who watches the world by reading her best friend's mind. She's an absentminded and schizophrenic linguist.

THEY FIGHT CRIME!

Between the two of them they only have one name right now but I am so stoked, god damn.

edit: Mine is going to be super-embarrassing, but I might clean it up some and put it up somewhere. I like the general concept if nothing else, but if I don't just throw it out there it'll just remain buried forever. Maybe it'd be for the best!
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  #74  
Old 11-25-2008, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_bungle700 View Post
So is anybody's work for the month available somewhere that it can be read by the rest of us? I'm curious to see what you folks have been writing, even if it's incomplete or less than perfect.
"Less than perfect" is probably a good way to put it, but I've been throwing mine into a LiveJournal community. It does have robot battles!
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  #75  
Old 11-25-2008, 09:03 AM
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I like robot battles!

And people, don't be embarrassed about the stuff you've written. A little while back I had people from this board read the beginning of one of my stories that wasn't even comprehensible because of the way I wrote it. It's better now, but the text is still spartan and far from great prose. So I'm not going to make fun of anything you've written!
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  #76  
Old 11-26-2008, 08:39 PM
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I know people here are nice people and won't laugh but that doesn't make my stuff not suck.

The more I think about what has gone wrong though, the more I know how I can fix it. After not getting to 50,000 words this month, it should be easy for me to start cleaning up sections of the story and putting them up if anyone wants to read them. It really needs the help though, since looking over a lot of what I've written, it just feels to me so sparse that it's completely boring. I started off telling myself that I didn't care about world-building, but I'm surprised at how much of it is necessary to give the writing any taste. I thought it wouldn't matter since my setting was pretty plain and generic anyway, but not doing any just makes that problem worse.

But hey, if somebody wants to read my stuff, then I guess I want them to.
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  #77  
Old 11-26-2008, 09:32 PM
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I'm kind of glad I didn't commit to NaNoWriMo, because I didn't really write anything much this month.
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  #78  
Old 11-29-2008, 10:16 PM
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Victory! 50,294 on Day 29. Still about 14 chapters to write before I close out the story, but that's what the NaNoFiMo is for. ^.^

I see Aquadeo is celebrating with one of the prizes as an avatar. Congratulations! Any other Talking Tyrants celebrating in the winner's circle this weekend?
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  #79  
Old 11-29-2008, 10:33 PM
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Nope! I'm going to take a break tomorrow and regroup for my next idea. I've figured out how to write it, though I'm still lacking the plot to some degree. Thinking about the possible style I could write my next story in made me think of something even more brilliant and terrible. Epistolary is an anachronism. A relic. I've figured out how to take it to the 21st century, though, and it's going to be appalling. I can't wait for November '09. It is good that I've got some time to think about it before then, because I have no plot or characters yet. Just the craziest, stupidest, most amazing idea I've ever dreamed up.
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  #80  
Old 11-30-2008, 04:06 AM
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Really? Because I've seen a lot of epistolary stuff that use emails and IMs and Parish did an epistolary review of Lost in Blue in I think the format of Twitter updates.
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  #81  
Old 11-30-2008, 04:39 AM
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Huh, I have seen some of that stuff. Oh well, I always knew I was never as creative as I thought. I do want to push it further, though: Myspace! Message boards! Text messages! And of course blogs, emails and twitter. The structuring already sounds like a nightmare (just for the first problem that comes to mind, the second being complete disregard for any human language), but that actually makes it more appealing to me.
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  #82  
Old 11-30-2008, 09:12 AM
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Thanks! And congratulations to you, too, SabreCat!

This one was a bit of a slog to finish, but since it wouldn't be a proper NaNoWriMo without last-minute chapter fills and dares, one of my main characters asked the other: "So, what is that you're reading?" Cue the final four thousand words: a giant robot battle. Give me the afternoon to bask in the luxury of not having to write, and I'll throw an excerpt up here.

As for epistolaries: You're right, that'd be frightful to co-ordinate, but it would be very impressive if you pulled it off. Ironically, a permanent paper representation would be one of the few lasting records that could demonstrate how Twitter and its ilk actually worked. Good luck, spineshark! The anthropologists of the 23rd century are counting on you!
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  #83  
Old 11-30-2008, 01:41 PM
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there is a whole series of young adult novels written as IMs and so forth.
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  #84  
Old 12-01-2008, 07:53 PM
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Default Story Time: My NaNoWriMo "Thing"

All right, here's a complete, self-contained short story I pulled out of this year's novel. And to give it that ol' multi-media "zing", I've turned it into a picture book, that shows off a few highlights from my Nunavut trip in September. It's 2,500 words, so hopefully that's not too much blather.

You will note, however, a lack of giant robots. That story (also self-contained) is 3,800 words, but it doesn't have as many pictures, so I'm still debating over the best place to put it.

Anyway, I hope you a) read it, and b) enjoy it, but if you c) decide you'd enjoy it best by not reading it, that's cool, too.
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  #85  
Old 12-17-2008, 12:06 AM
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So, I read that yesterday. Multiple times, in fact, on the horrible bus ride home, during which I had nothing better to do when we were stuck in traffic and it took about half an hour to make it between two stops that are normally about five minutes apart. I liked it! I really wish I had some "lore" to use as a foundation for stuff, but I grew up in an atheist family in a boring suburb. It doesn't do much for my creativity, I'd say.

I have been trying to rework my NaNo so I like it better, and I'm kind of unhappy with the faux-medieval setting. I'm going to recast it at some higher level of technology. All I know is that, in the next version, the one I plan to go ahead and share, there will be guns, and it won't be a contemporary-adjacent setting. I either want something similar to Victorian or early 20th century, or more an-historic with steampunk or futuristic stuff. I feel like the latter especially would make for an interesting contrast with some of the elements that I'm trying to create, but it also worries me in terms of making things too "easy" on the characters, or just the likelihood that I'll feel so derivative writing it. On the other hand, that last part at least can't possibly be any worse than a straight-up medieval fantasy. Right? It has to be.
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  #86  
Old 12-17-2008, 04:44 PM
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If you're worried about making things too easy, you can stay at steampunk and make the guns fiddly and unreliable, like muskets. My solution for "fantasy, but with guns" was that magic messes with natural laws, so it tended to make guns (and other technology) unreliable and prone to breaking - especially when it's used to actually attack the gun. Very common magic trope, but I've never actually seen it used as an anti-gun thing.
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  #87  
Old 12-17-2008, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by spineshark View Post
I either want something similar to Victorian or early 20th century, or more an-historic with steampunk or futuristic stuff. I feel like the latter especially would make for an interesting contrast with some of the elements that I'm trying to create, but it also worries me in terms of making things too "easy" on the characters, or just the likelihood that I'll feel so derivative writing it.
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If you're worried about making things too easy, you can stay at steampunk and make the guns fiddly and unreliable, like muskets. My solution for "fantasy, but with guns" was that magic messes with natural laws, so it tended to make guns (and other technology) unreliable and prone to breaking - especially when it's used to actually attack the gun. Very common magic trope, but I've never actually seen it used as an anti-gun thing.
Merus, read Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series. "Real World with magic" setting, and in addition to the usual "magic gives technology fits" problems, wizards can focus their energy to deliberately hex anything into dysfunctionality, and the more complex the machine the more easily and quickly it's ruined. An abacus is safe. A mechanical calculator may jam after too long in a magic-rich environment. An electronic one will rapidly start telling you that 2+2 = log i and get worse from there.

Spineshark, my advice on tech vs. magic is to think in terms of "what can magic do, and how easily?" and "what can technology do, and how easily?" in your world. If, say, storing magical energy for later use through fixed workings/spells/magical items is easy, then electricity may never have been developed as a power source.

Not because no one understands how electricity works, but because no one bothered figuring out how to produce, store, and transmit the stuff when we have mana batteries / ley lines / whatever to use instead. People rarely re-invent the wheel, even if Wheel 2.0 would be better, and the real world is full of examples of this.

As far as guns...well, to keep this post from getting obscenely long I'll PM you most of it, but the short version is that if you're thinking about things being "too easy" I think you're thinking in the wrong terms. Guns are easier to use than swords, but they still require skill, and it also significantly ups the threat your protagonists face from mooks/underlings/etc.
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  #88  
Old 12-17-2008, 07:22 PM
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"Easy" was actually more in reference to problems like transportation and feeding people. I definitely appreciate the information, though. I really know very little about guns. I'm not trying to use them to solve or create any particular "problem," but to spice up the flavor. Not that this is any excuse for ignorance, of course; I fully intend to make everything as logical as I can...stand to.
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  #89  
Old 12-17-2008, 07:31 PM
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"Easy" was actually more in reference to problems like transportation and feeding people.
Ah, I see. Well, even with 20th Century tech you run into a lot of problems with both those things (especially the latter).
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