Archived Messages from November 22, 1998 to December 7, 1998
Tue Dec 8 19:44:14 PST 1998
Feylena - glad you liked it. I personally like the part in Chap. 6 (I think it's Chapter 6) where Rean comes down and, after everyone pretends to have forgotten his birthday, asks "where are my presents". My brother used to do that every year even though he knows we don't get present until after school. It was cute. But now he's 15 and he's not so cute anymore.
NIE-way, to give you a little insight. I'm halfway through chapter 10 and moving onto Chapter 11. I MIGHT (and that's a big might) have chapter 10 done and up by Friday. I'm writing Chapter 11 in a notebook, so all I have to do is retype it on the computer. I might have that done by Sunday.
Well, bye all.
Good day to all,
Ouch - straight to the heart, SKS. Well spoken. Although I still believe that writing is not something you should force yourself to do, but rather something you should do because you love itů but as you pointed out, some people force themselves * because* they love it. Tough love, I suppose.
On the subject of keeping motivated: What does everyone think about collaborative writing? A friend and I are attempting to write a novel together, and it seems to help a lot when you have another person to bounce ideas off of, to pick up the story where you leave off, to discuss the characters with, and for mutual support. Jen and I do more talking then writing, but I most likely would not have attempted to write this novel without her. What does everyone else think?
And yes, that was a purposeful change of subject. I do have some dignity, after all... not much, but some.
S.N. Arly: Thanks for the book recommendation. Next time I'm at the library I'll see if I can pick up a Deryni book.
"If your parents didn't have any kids, chances are you won't either."
Hello all. Been away from the board for a few days -- actually had paying writing jobs. Made a trip to New York City to see some old friends, and I came back with writing assignements: to paraphrase Woody Allen, 80% of success is who you know.
Let me weigh in on two subjects: Christmas and the conversation about multi-projects and writing in general.
I was watching Jim Leher Newshour earlier. They covered this year's toy craze, Furby. It reminded me of growing up poor and having to be disappointed each year at Christmas because I felt cheated. Why do we do that to children, or to anyone else at this time of year, or any other time of year? The season is one big fat sad commentary on the weaknesses and (please don't hate me everyone) stupidity of human beings. I can't remember who brought this up in a posting, but this is supposed to be a celebration of Christ not greed. Lights are good, but have you seen what some crazies do in front of their homes?
Me, I am not ashamed to say it: I hate Christmas. I take solace in knowing that it really isn't Christ's birthday, so I haven't slighted Him. Judging by the calendar and the story of Christ's birth, He had to have been born months earlier. Actually, this date for Christmas stems from a Pagan holiday which, I believe, the Romans celebrated -- but we won't mess up all those Christian misbeliefs.
As for writing more than one story at a time: I do it all the time and can't imagine why.
As for how many hours a day and how I feel when I don't or can't write: that's a tough one. Sometimes I feel bad when I can't get to my creative writing, but when a paying writing job is doing the interruption, I feel less bad.
I try to write something everyday. If it isn't the work I am doing or a story I am working on, then it is a journal entry or a shopping list (my wife loves what I do with a shopping list). Writing is kind of like breathing: stop for too long a period of time and you are dead!
It all sounds so familiar.
Taking yet another break from writing to post this.
Steven..I can relate to your last reply. We do it because we want to...and yes this can bring on a sense of guilt if we fail to achieve what we know we are capable of. This has nothing to do with deadlines. It's just that without discipline the creative side of our writing gets to lead the way and then we have to go back and make it all fit together in a way that others will accept it. (Sometimes I envy the poet) Not that I'm taking anything away from poets.
I subscribe to the multuple projects school of thought. I do what many of you have admitted to doing (It gratifies me to know that there are others.)..I have two projects under way right now. If I go down the wrong route in any one of them then I could end up with a third. (This is usually the way it happens for me!. I re read a chapter and discover that it is a totaly different story!)
Has this ever happened to anyone else out there ...sure it has!
BTW I have been subscribed to a serious writers NG for a bit now and any one who has work that they would like appraised by peers is welcome to come on in.
It's : york.fes.writers-cafe Nice people, supportive and genuine.
You, a Tick fan? Spoon!
Sad to say, the four names is a the result of lack of imagination on my parents part. My grandfather's name was Stanley Perry. My father's name is Kenneth Stanley Perry, and my name you already know. Luckily, I didn't carry on the tradition in naming my own son. A few generations of that and you'd need twenty minutes just to introduce yourself.
Live Well, Be Well.
SKS - FOUR NAMES? To quote the Tick, "You lucky duck!"
I however am not linear. I've got three stories festering in my brain as we speak. Hate that. And I'm always working on multiple others. It must be nice, though, to spend the same amount of time I do flopping from one project to another only completing them slowly, wheras you get to say, Ha this is done and isn't it magnificent? Sometimes I get a little annoyed with myself over that. I write all day but don't finish anything. Oh well. We work how we work.
I have to agree with your response to feylena, incidently.
Feylena - Welcome. You seem like my kind of writer. Well as far as sense of humor goes, anyway. I am also an Anne McCaffrey fan. I also like the Deryni boooks by Katherine Kurtz (you should check them out if you haven't) and Stephen King is another of my favorites.
On the Christmas Bah humbugs - For some of us it's tough not to go postal when surrounded by the greed and candy-coated (with sprinkles) money making schemes of the season. I'm an athiest. In the past it's this time of year that can make me say, wow I wish I could believe that stuff. It also makes me say, What a bunch of bulshit. Americans go out and morgtage their pocketbooks for gifts that mean nothing to anyone and will soon be forgotten. we fight over stuffed animals that our kids will live without (believe it or not).
It's a little hard not to see the irony that this hedonism is how we supposedly celbrate a guy who was born in a barn and tried to tell us that we'd be happy if we could just get along with each other. Such novel concepts. And he died for that. And we celebrate this sacrifice by using up far more elctricity than we need (polluting our blessed world and killing more animals) so we can outdo our neighbor's light display, THIS year.
Eeeg. That's longer than I'd planned.
Anyway, I do try to enjoy it, and I try to overlook the icky parts. I find the light of a Christmas tree very inspirational, oddly enough, and do a lot of writing in the living room this time of year.
I'll ditto that SKS
The problem is that most of us want to write. We love to write, and when we can't, for whatever reason--be it writer's block, other commitments, or just plain laziness--it bothers us. Also, if you're thinking about writing as a career, then there has to be a certain amount of discipline to it, unless you're the type who can knock off a bestseller every couple of years consistantly and doesn't have to worry about money or deadlines.
Be Well, Live Well.
I must say, something that has me a bit astonished is everyone's "must write, must write" attitude. I have always written when I feel like it... which, admittedly, is quite often... and that seems to work out fine. I have gone weeks without writing a single word, and then-- wham!-- I'll write for hours on end, day after day. Even though I do not get as much writing done this way, what I do get done is stuff that I genuinely enjoyed writing. I don't think writing should be a chore. To all you people who feel guilty because you have not written in days: DON'T!!! Get out, enjoy life, because you have to live life before you can write about it.
A thought to ponder,
-Lena (who is in a philosophical mood today)
Allein: Um, the handcuffs were in Chapter Three. Funniest part of the whole bloody story. I hope to pick up chapter nine sometime soon... thanks for the announcement!
Toby B - yeah but then I'd miss those beautiful days when we've had frost overnight, but the sun is shining and the sky is blue and it's cold, but not too cold, and the world seems like a wonderful place to be !
Sorry - got carried away there.
Ho with a capital Hum as a certain ginger feline would say ! Why is Christmas *SO* commercial ?
Ah well - must away to work on an essay.
Hi again.. been reading some of the old achives, I like alot of the stuff, do you all still want criteques on this old stuff? I mean you may have alread rewritten.
How long do you manage to write for, I think three hours straight is probably my best though one to one and a half seems the most I can manage on average. Does this increase with practice?
And an idea, with the use of the internet wouldn't it be easier for us writters if we could get someone inside the country we wish to publish in to send our submisions, I mean dosn't it make sense for me to email my friend in USA with a submission and for them to send it to Marrion Zimmer Bradly magazine.. If anyone needs something like that done for an Australian mag I would be happy, Altair is a nice mag, pays well and has a policy of always giving feed back ( and quick feedback at that )... Just an idea.
Hello Hayden, a fellow Austrlain.
It has been good, no that's definatly inadiquete, a warm releif to read the ramblings of fellow writters.
To consentrate on one peice, I was captivated with writting in my late school years, I wrote many small creative peices and short short stories and enjoyed it alot. But I have always craved to get stuck into a novel. After many starts ( at least four ) I final began an epic fantasy that captivated me. Then I got a job as a computer programmer and my writting nearly died along with my enjoyment of life... Ohh ocassionally I would have a weekend or holiday and become inspired and write like a manic but generally it was day to day drudgery. Lately I have realised that I want and enjoy writting, much more than my day job thats for sure. So I have been making an effort and it has only paid off a little, for one week I managed an hour a day and eight on the weekend ( nice to know I have it in me ). Desperatly to keep writting I decided to try a short story, to reinvigorate my writting and it worked. I wrote about one of the main characters in my novel, a tale of her past, and have found it has helped define her as well as adding a little more flesh to the land itself.
So do start somthing new, especially if your wading through a novel that seems like it will never end. I sent my story off today, its my first profecional submision so I'm a little nervous, it would be nice to make a living from somthing I love, maybe one day.
Good luck all and don't forget the magic, if your really stuck read your stuff, this always puts me back in the mood and remember its what you want to do so do it.
Steve -- you know *my* weakness -- I get started on one story, get into another, then another, until I have several things going and can't remember where I've left my bucket of commas! (private joke, folks). Right now I have a renegade trucker novel going (got my CDL as research for that one) a fantasy novel, a group of short stories revolving around a common theme, some Twilight Zone kind of stuff, and various and sundry kids, old folks, poetry, inspirational, etc etc. until I can't remember what really happened in any of those worlds. Oh yeah -- I forgot Migration. I *will* get back to that one again, Steve. Cree's about to get hit by a stat flare, and we may all be surprised at what happens.
I guess it all depends on how long you can concentrate on one thing. I can't -- not at all -- and sometimes I wonder just what is really real. Which world do I really belong to? Or am I really just a figment of my own imagination? Maybe I wrote myself -- wouldn't that be a kick! I wanna go home! Does anyone know where the door is? Or did I come in through the window? Is it now, yet? How much farther, daddy?
BTW, where's Barb? Hope she's not lost in Cougar Canyon...
howard (I think)
Toby, Bob, and Eddie:
Thanks for the input. The consensus so far seems to be in favour of writing multiple stories. My problem is that I am what I call a linear writer. I start my stories at the begining, write through until the middle, and then finish at the end--one story at a time and in that order. When I'm finished, I do a line edit and check for continuity, but the truth is, except for catching all the spelling and grammer gremlins that mysteriously infested my work (I'm positive those mistakes weren't there as I was writing it) there's really not much editing to do. The story dicatates itself as I write, and pretty much in its complete form--theres no shuffling of paragraphs or filling in plot gaps required. Writer's block occurs when, for whatever reason, my muse stops dictating. It's almost as if I'm living the story as I write it, and writing more than one story at a time would leave me slightly schizophrenic.
The first name is Steve. Unfortunately there's already a well know SF auther named Steve Perry (as well as a singer, and a movie producer) and as luck would have it, I'm not them. I still wanted to use my Family name, so I went by my intials--Steven Kenneth Stanley Perry (don't laugh!)
FOR ANYONE WHO HAS SO GENEROUSLY BEEN READING MY STORY!!! I NOW HAVE CHAPTER NINE UP. I HAVE PROVIDED A LINK TO MY PAGE SO THAT ANYONE WHO WISHES TO READ IT CAN. THANK YOU.
PEACE AND LOVE,
Speaking from this side of the fence S.K.S Perry, I would say I like it. I used to be very self-conscious about starting a story and then finishing it. The thing is, one has to finish stories in order to be able to submit them, so at first it doesn't seem to make sense, but doing several stories at once I think works better in the long run for me. I often lose the impetus to work on a story, and so I can then switch to another and be fresh and excited about it again. I usually have 3-6 stories being worked on at any given time and the ideas for 3-6 more waiting just in the wings. Right now I have 3 stories above 2k in process and 4 that are 1k or less. I do have to keep in mind that I can't keep adding more than I can handle, you do have to finish stories, but just not linearly. I expect to, now that I have the time, finish two in this coming week, and start two new ones into the pile. It really helps writer's block a lot to be able to just give up on a story for a while, but still write. You can leave a story sit, and not let production suffer :) I think block has a lot to do with mood. I.E, I don't feel macabre, why should I write horror right now? With 6 stories to choose, they are usually all very different, so if I feel light I can move to a lighter story. I really love the multi-approach.
Hope the personal testimonial helps...
I agree with your last 100%. I think that I have discussed this within another group just in the past few weeks.
I have found that when I get to the point where I'm starting to put it off then I just have to make the effort and sit myself down and do it.
This is how we learn to apply discipline. Thinking about it now, it has always been the case that within ten minutes of enforcing this discipline I have begun to produce good work.
Let's be honest, what we all dream for is that advance which would enable us to write for a living. If we got it then we would have to be even more disciplined...wouldn't we?
Hibernate winters. I tried that last quarter and failed out of two classes. But it was interesting.
Damn ! There should have been a "HATE" in that second sentence as well - too busy listening to Elton John to notice it got lost - apologies guys and girls !
Toby B - you don't scare me boy !! :-)
I don't actually hate Christmas, I just the persistent commercialisation, the fact that Christmas stuff is in the shops from August onwards and that everyone seems to have forgotten the real reason why we have Christmas.
Perhaps I should hibernate winters ? Oh damn ! Can't - got college !
Feylena - no they don't all have eating disorders - just the king. Where did you get the idea about the handcuffs (I don't remember anything about that, it's been awhile since I've even looked at the story). I'll have chapter nine up, hopefully, sometime this week.
New kid on the block and you're already pointing out my mistakes eh. Talk about winning friends and influencing enimies! (JUST KIDDING) Welcome.
And Eddie, I know exactly what you're talking about. I've been avoiding work on my latest story the past couple of days, mostly because I'm stuck and I'm too lazy to work it out. Usually the only way to get around it is to sit myself down and get to it. I know others here like to work on multiple stories simultaneously, so when your stuck on one you can just move on to the next until inspiration strikes again. Maybe it's something I should try. How do the rest of you feel about that?
Be Well, Live Well.
Thank you all for the warm welcome... it's only been a day since my first post and I already feel accepted! Eddie, I know exactly how you feel, 'cause I feel the same way at this moment. Some things just make all the petty details worth the effort.
I was reading through some older posts and came across a discussion about whether or not writers could get published in Canada, and SKS Perry happened to mention that Spider Robinson was a writer who had made it big even though he was Canadian. Um, sorry, but Spider Robinson lived in New York, and moved to Canada after he 'made it big.' Just another example of those American writers... gotta love 'em! ;-)
Allein: Well, I followed the link, visited the website, read the story, and I have to say I liked it. However, do they *all* have eating disorders!?! (I liked the handcuffs.) Still, 'twas cool. One of these days I'll actually manage to sit down and pound you out a long, introspective piece about your story and its effect on my life, but, um, not today.
Well, I have babbled on yet again, but I can't seem to stop myself. Whenever I sit down to write something for this Writer's Notebook, it's as if I'm writing a letter to a good friend who doesn't care whether or not I ramble on for pages and pages. Or paragraphs and paragraphs, take your pick.
May the Force be with you,
Well, having lurked about for a while I have finaly grasped the nettle firmly and let my fingers loose on the keys.
I have been online for about 3 years and to be honest was beginning to wonder whether it was worth the effort of logging on anymore. (I suppose it's like anything else...you go around the same circles until you feel that you have to get off the bus)
Then I found this site!
Without meaning to sound ever so trite I simply have to say that it felt like coming home.
I never knew that so many of you shared the same passions and compulsions that I have. The need to write is a sad affliction, which haunts those of us so afflicted until there is absolutely no place to hide.
Who among us has never had that charge which gets you out of bed and rushing to the study, determined to crunch out the next chapter, only to wonder where it all went as we wait for the machine to boot up?
Do you feel the guilt after a few days of avoiding the keys and screen, looking away as you pass the study door so as not to alert the computer to your hovering proximity?
Do you accept any excuse for putting it off 'just for tonight'?
Just how many pages have you written this week?
( If you're on a roll then congratulations.. but I'm not talking to you right now!)
What kind of a life is this? Coffee..cigarettes...more coffee...Screen flicker induced headaches!! Just for half a page of often discarded tripe!
Oh yes...don't we just love it... Oh yes..When it's good it's worth every headache! Treasure the successes and don't forget to keep all of the crap. Someday it will fit!
Oh well... back to the storyline
Writing isn't, to me, what I always wanted to do, as far as I know. Cryptic enough? Yeah, well, I thought at first, when I was young, that I wanted to be a character in a novel, one of those spy novels by R. Ludlum, like *Bourne Identity* or some such. So I tried to get a degree in PoliSci & Foreign Affairs. Nah, that didn't work, so I figured I could teach kids to read, tried to become a teacher. Nah, that wasn't right. So I tried to bring people down from the edge when they realise that their dreams have been shattered, tried to become a therapist. Still wrong. Then I tried to discern what my own dreams were, realised that books were in my blood, not literally, that would be painful, and got a job at a bookstore, started finding time to put pen to paper as I had all through my growing up years. Now I associate with other writers, call the bookstore "my day job", and fearfully anticipate the coming of my 30th birthday, without any major success on the writing front. As I said, regardless of how long it took me to realise, writing is what I do, and will be forever.
Thanks for listening.--Angel
Hi everyone! It's snowing here!! :D I'm so happy - I love snow. My parents hate it though. This amazing - we hardly ever get snow before January. It's also weird because for the past month, everytime I've been sitting here typing and looking out the window, I've seen nothing but rain (and occasionally sunshine).
I also just recieved a tape of German music that I've been waiting for since September. It's cool and I can actually understand some of it.
Jack - I was unable to listen to the Christmas music. I think it may have just been my computer, but I love the Santa. I also recieved your e-mail. The project sounds like a good idea.
Feylena - Welcome. I'm glad you found the site. All the people here are really nice. All the writers here have some very interesting stories. I've included a link to my webpage if you'd like to read the story I'm working on. It's the first story in a series. Hope you'll come back and visit us soon.
Well, that's all Allein-chan has to say. I'll check back here soon.
Bye bye and Happy Holidays. :)
Michele: I AM THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE. BEWARE!
I thought it was interesting that Dickens wrote several more sequels to a Christmas Carol, but none as popular as the original. Seems that sequelitis was common even back then.
Hi to all newcomers.
Lena don't worry about not knowing what's going on - I never do ! I drop by when time and college studies permit and I rarely have time enough to properly read all previous postings so I skim read and hope to catch the drift of the conversation. Plus which - I'm a non-fiction writer so as most here are fiction writers I tend to go off on a tangent anyway - ask any regular here and they'll tell you it's true ! But feel welcome because whether you post on or off topic unless you're really horrible you're in no danger of being blasted !!
PS Jack - love the Santa and thanks for making the music optional - I usually have a CD on when using the Net or checking email and I'd sooner not have Christmas music clashing with whatever I'm listening to - plus which I went Christmas shopping today and have had enough of Christmas music until next year !
Bah, humbug ! :-)
A quick note to everyone to let you know that I have implemented the first Round Robin or collaborative writing project on Writers Workbook. Those who are currently members should be receiving an email even as we speak with details, conditions for and where to find the page. Someone suggested a second collaborative project and I have forgotten who. If you could forward your suggested comments for beginning the project please let me know and I will get started on it. As I stated in my earlier post I will run three collaborative writing projects at a time. If others would like to suggest something. Feel free to jump in. Take care and happy holidays.
I am glad that you posted. I enjoyed reading about your interests. I hope you return often. Welcome to the Notebook. Keep reading the posts and participate and you will catch on with what's going on.
To Jason and Tamera B. I also extend a welcome. It is good to hear new voices.
A while ago (okay, a few weeks ago) I was wandering around in cyberspace when I came upon this page. I believe my first thought was something along the lines of "ohmigahd, this is perfect," and then I immediately became shy to the point of not wanting to post a message or introduce myself. It's a natural human reaction, I suppose... after all, who wants to barge into a community where everyone at least seems to know each other? So I sulked around, read some biographies, read the posts, and dreamed of actually knowing what you people were talking about. I decided to read something someone had written, so I followed a random link and ended up at Caroline Heske's "Erannon," which I absolutely loved. Weeks passed, and I have not been able to make it online for little more than checking my e-mail (bloody busy signals!) so...
I finally made it back.
Of course, I read some of the new posts and realized I again had no idea what people were discussing, but I'll live.
I figured I might as well introduce myself this time... I am a wannabe writer. I absolutely *love* reading, so my wanting to actually write something decent is probably an offshot of my love of reading. I read mostly fantasy and sci-fi, with a helping of classics, histories, and assorted other books thrown in. Some of my favorite authors are Robert Jordan (still haven't read the 8th book - gah!), Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffery, Douglas Adams (42 is the answer), Spider Robinson, and anyone else I can get my greedy little hands on. 'Tis fun.
On the writing front, I have written a few short stories, attempted a few poems (poetry and I are very wary of each other--my idea of writing poetry is to eye is nervously from across a crowded room), and am currently attempting to start a novel with my co-author, conspirator, and general best friend. To be, being published is a dream so far away it's like... well, um, a dream.
I'm sorry... I think this post belongs in the biography section, but I could not think of anything to write of, so, conceit being a basic human trait, I decided to write about myself. Go figure. Feel free to drop me a line and blast me for babbling on about myself when I should be discussing writing (and yes, I do believe that reading can help improve your writing... reading and writing go hand in hand... together they make up 2/3 of the three r's!).
Fare thee well,
Howard and all the others, I have made the sound optional and provided a list of possibilities. One warning, let the page completely load before clicking on one of these. In testing I found that the media player or Netscapes player popped up and the page stopped loading. This should keep others from having their speakers blown away :-)
On to more intersting news. The collaborative fiction script, by that I mean a guestbook script similar to the one here but that drops your submission off at the end instead of the beginning, has arrived. I have two web design contracts that I am way over due on or else I would implement this immediately. Rest assurred that sometime in the next two weeks I will make changes on the Workbook so that general submissions to Novels or Short Stories will be listed separately and you can select from a menu of titles rather than scrolling through everyones text. And I will finally have separate areas for different genres.
Of more interest, however, at least for me, is the collaborative fiction projects. I will begin with our dolphin riding skeleton and add additional ones as people submit them or I come up with ones of my own. I think for the present that I will allow three. So, one is taken. If anyone else has a suggested beginning piece of text or graphic with piece of text send away. As I said, I am busy, but as soon as I can get to my inbox in the next week I will weed through and post the next best two. Or, maybe, I can throw the possibilities out here and see what the consensus is for the other two. I will think about this. At any rate, things are beginning to happen. I just wish I had the free time to make them happen faster. Take care.
I have to sympathize with Howard. I usually don't have a computer that plays sound when I check in here, but I have recently discovered realplayer, and since there isn't enough reggae in the world for this island boy I listen to Isle 95 live from the VI. So here I am checking, when all of a sudden my dub mix is blown out of the way by some equally sweet christmas groove. It's all good though.
I have taken it upon myself to now master Microsoft Access, that is this weeks project, kind of daunting, I know nothing about manipulating databases, but it's just like those annoying NBC adds..."The More You Know..."
Keep writing no matter what...
Tamara! Life is not what stops us -- life is what we write about! And as for not being published because we are now forty --- well, there are a few things we can't do after we're forty, but writing and getting published isn't one of them. Come to think of it, the only thing I can think of that you won't be able to do after your 40th birthday is to be 39 again! (Well, maybe not the *only* thing...)
I mean, if there's hope for me and Barb at *our* age, what are *you* worried about!? :-)
Or are you just pulling our collective leg?
And I fell for it!
I am so pleased to see there is a place to share and express what it's like to want to write. I have been wanting to be a writer for over twenty years and the thing that has stopped me is life. One thing or another, a person, or people, even what I considered the wrong time. I will be forty in february and I won't make my goal to be a published writer, but I have seen how all the excuses have kept me away from my my own dream, so I'm track now. I'm hitting it pretty heavy on the key board, and working on my contacts and the circle of writers. I have to develope a daily regimen of writing at least a page. I've allowed too much wasted time to control my life. I'm putting an end to that. Thanks for listening. Tamara B.
I often find myself wishing to express my inner thoughts, but can't get past that level of self-pity. I am often plagued with visions of other worlds and characters, but my own skills in writing seem to restirct me like a disease. I don't want your remorse or pity, waste it on those who could use it to build themselves, I just want you to wonder. If this chap, named Jason, could write down his dreams..what would they be? What could he construct of the nothing.
I have been writing since I was brave enough to go to school and learn to hold a pencil. I used to want to be the next King of fiction. A proud and fire-some youth that had ungodly talent...breaking records after records in sales and fan bases. I wanted to be known, world wide, by time I was eighteen.
Grant, I am know 20, and still have failed in some of my expectations as a writer. Oh well. I still have time to get something done.
How many times have you woken up and told your self, today is the day I become a legend. Today is the day I break in to the mainstream. Today I write the book that will be studied by students in College and made into that next monster movie hit? I do everyday. I lie to myself. I drag my broken body to the computer and struggled to write. I think that feeling is natural for any writer. That soft feeling of self enduced misery. I would hope...anyway..or I am in trouble. I often had to kick myself in order to want to write. It became a chore rather than a relaxing and fun session. However, that has changed. My dragging is over and I am a new writer.
I still haven't gotten anything published, but I am having fun again. I have molted into a new species of a person, a new form of a writer.
Sorry, for being so long winded. I just thought other writers wouldn't mind reading this...
A piece of advice...
Write to express. Write to have fun. Write to explore. Don't write to forfill your greedy needs or lack of respect. Be to be. Keep writing...even if it sounds bad or isn't going smooth enough, just keep on trying. Keep on being creative and alive.
BE TO BE.
If an agent recommends you see a book doctor, that's one thing. However, if he recomends you see a specific book doctor, or worse yet, offers to do it for you for a fee, that's another.
Live Well, Be Well.
I was wondering what everyone generally has to say about "book doctors" and editing services. I just got a manuscript back today by an agent who recommended one. I realize some agents get a kick-back on referrals or they offer their own services. I certainly don't feel that I want an editorial service at this point, but I am curious to know if anyone here has had experience with them.
I was also wondering what to think of an agent that offers such a service or recomends one. Does this have idea have merit or is it another way in which an aspiring author can throw away a fortune to people wishing to take advantage of his or her dream?
We've discussed reading fees and other fees agent charge here on the notebook, but we haven't discussed editorial services.
Is this thunder I hear outside my window? Picture that--thunder in December and I am not one of these who lives down-under. This is the Texas Panhandle, and thunder in December is odd, but then weather has been odd all year. I suppose I had better shut down the computer.
Nothing is fun when you feel miserable. The feeling that you describe about your book happens to me all the time, espacially when I've been away from it for awhile. Don't forget you are dealing with emotions, and they are fleeting and unstable. You will not hate looking at your novel forever.
I think you are on the right track concentrating on something else for awhile. A change of pace is always refreshing. After you have worked on your short story, go back to your novel no matter how you feel about it. The things that made you enjoy your novel earlier are still there and it will charm you once again though it might take a few days. Remember that what we are doing requires some inspiration, but mostly work. Part of the work aspect is sitting down and doing what has to be done no matter how repugnant it might seem. This is the discipline of writing. But don't worry, the fun of it will return.
I hope this helps. Wait until you finish the novel and find yourself wanting to go back to it over and over again. I am struggling with that problem now. I know it is time to go on to something else, but the characters of my finished novel still haunt me. The mind is a strange thing.
Hi all...been off the puter for a while because I've been so darn busy and sick (not a good combination!) Finally worked up enough energy to read the recent postings.
I started a short story that's totally different from anything I've written before. Lots of humour and not so dark as my usual stuff. I showed a couple paragraphs to a co-worker and she laughed her butt off so I guess I'm on the right track. Funny thing is, I plan on making the reader laugh and then WHAM! shocking them with horror. We'll see how it goes....
I have been far too distracted to even look at my novel. Okay, I'll be honest. The darn thing just doesn't thrill me right now. I used to love editing it and now I can't even look at it. Has anyone ever felt like this about their works in progress? Give me feedback, knock me over the head with your wisdom, ANYTHING. I don't want to walk away from this because I know I can make it work...
Anyway, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. The season of getting and giving quickly approaches... I always hate this holiday and then I get totally into about a week before it and go nuts with all the good cheer. My ex-husband (who I live with ---darn THAT'S a long story) thinks I'm a psychopath (sp?)
Anyway, I've written myself silly and taken up enough space for tonight so I'll sign off.
BTW: Jack: nice picture of Santa.
Good writing all
Jack: Nice Santa picture!
Ya could have warned me! I'm sitting here, all is quiet, and I think I'll check the notebook -- see what's happening. Had to take time out to go check my shorts! I have this humongous bass booster thumper horrendous loud screamer of a sound system on this thingie that my grandkids just love to crank up to warp speed, just to watch everything in the room vibrate when they play whatever it is that they play. Anyway, they left it set at LIQUIFY (or maybe FRAPPE). I now have a 'K' embedded under my middle fingernail, (I was typing at the time), and my coffee foamed over and almost drowned my mouse. Other than that, I like it!
Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! (Or should tha be Ho, Ho, Ho ! ?) I have the Porsche now !!!
See sometimes all you got to do is ask (OK - demand !) :-)
Keith: Ah, to be understood. Is there a better feeling in the world (yeah, I know. A sale!), but yes, Keith how could we possibly be here at this place (metaphysical, of course) if we hadn't read. And naturally all we read impacts on our work. How could it not?
And taking a story you're reading into other realms, real or not, is a natural process. How many times have you read something and thought to yourself, "Yo, that's awful! If he/she had gone THIS OTHER way it might have been better. Hey, I think I'll play around with that some and see what I come up with." (If you're speaking outloud in a crowded bus, people will stare.)
Hello everyone and welcome back to some old faces and welcome to those that are new. Cat, glad you enjoyed reading back through the archives. I am all open to comments on my adding santa and music. Rest assurred that I will change the midi files on occasion. List at your pleasure.
Chilling, listening to some acid jazz on RealPlayer and enjoying keeping open the lab with no one in here disturbing me. I wrote a 750 word story and submitted it to Jackhammer, and I'm enjoying the atmosphere in my life that has turned in from madly hectic and out of my control...into free swinging unkowness. I'm not sure what's up next, but things are grooving along. 12.5 credit hours, interesting classes (I don't go to any on Tuesday), and time to write. Oh yeah. It is ALL good now.
Jack, I now have a contract to do a webpage for my mother's business. Watch out! :)
Hope to be dropping in more often now that I have a life. Well, I won't go that far, a life by my standards. Everyone else for as long as I've known them have been convinced I never have and never will have one, so there is that.
It's been a long time since I've been in here. It's grown quite a bit. Happy Late Thanksgiving to everyone! I swear, I have been having a blast reading all of postings that I have missed! I've frowned,laughed, groaned, and become upset all in the space of the last hour or so! I love it!
Since I've been gone(off the 'puter that is!), I have kept up with my writing though. I am very happy (and surprised!)
to say that I have sold 2 of my poems, Crystal Raindrops &
Just One more Look, and have had a request for more chapters on a children's story that I'm in the process of finishing.
Now, I'm back to living in hope and going blind while staring at this screen....... Oh well, such is life!
To S.K.S: Thank you once again for encouraging me to continue. Your insight helped alot.
Hayden: Thank you too! Love the picture!
Happy Holidays wishes to all,
Maaaaan. I want Adobe Photoshop!
Love the Porsche. Suspected Hayden would find a way to escape with it. I mean, how could he not want to cruise in that baby over the next few months while on sabatacal.
Welcome new folks. Pull up a chair... well for crying out loud it's no fun to surf the net standing. And help yourself to something in the frig. Er... if it's your frig.
Hay there, hi there, ho there
Love the picture!!
Thanks again to everyone for sharing your thoughts with me. Have decided that I will indeed cave on in and have afew good reads. Truth be told I'v missed reading, and to say I can't find time is just a silly excuse. I always seem to find time when I really want to. Plan to have a couple of quiet days enjoy the rain and my fireplace, knit some new dish cloths and yes, yes I will read a couple of books. Once I sit down I am a wild reader, books play like movies for me and I tend to fly through them, thats another problem they all just seem to end too soon for me.
Welcome to all the new folks who drop on in here, hope you all enjoy this place as much as I have.
Take care all and happy shopping.
First off I'd like to say howdy to all the new folks. If you haven't already figured it out, this is a pretty cool place to hang out.
Secondly, I suffered from a brief bout of writer's block over the weekend and ended up using my computer soley for the purpose God intended--solitare. You know your in trouble when your kicking your own butt at cards!
Oh well, my prefered method of shaking writer's block is to just sit down and write. Sometimes I wonder if I really have writer's block, or I just being lazy. Unfortunately, I think it's the latter.
Be Well, Live Well.
This is my first trip to this forum, and I scrawled through some of what-all what said, especially finding it interesting to read that 'Rachel' has an aversion to reading some things that might possibly end up in her writing. I, too, have had that worry, from time to time, but I've been writing for as long as I've been old enough to hold a pencil, and I just have to say this... I agree that reading is an essential part of writing. Not only do you learn syntax better, i.e. grammer and the like, but you also get more subtle pointers such as how to move the story, kinds of dialog, ways to develop character, not to mention things to aviod. Many times I've read something and thought, 'I wouldn't have done it this way,' or 'This makes no sense--no continuity.' I don't think that to read is to put your own creativity in jeopardy, and you will likely find that it helps maintain clarity. Thanks for listening.
Sorry about the previous post - I hit return instead of tab key !!
Anyway I wanted to say - HAYDEN give me back that Porsche !!!
Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving that are in the US - I had my quietest weekend ever since joining the web because all my regular correspondents were enjoying quality time with their families (or some such stuff !!) . . . anyway it means I got to write more stuff for the web site if anyone wants to go take a look at what this non-fiction writer is doing . . . I also wrote 2 more book reviews for amazon.co.uk (note the UK address - the reviews don't get posted to the US site as well !) Look under Sassoon - Sherston's Progress and Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (or look on my web site at Book List 1 - I put them on there as well) . . .
Anyways I have an essay to research so I'll take to you all later.
I noticed the corrospondence between Rachel and Barb G. and I could not help but put in my own worthless one bit.
When I first starting writing, I was in 3rd grade and was very much influenced by everything I read or played (computer games in the sci-fi and fantasy genre actually sparked many neat ideas, and still do), and much of my early early stuff reflects that.
At age 6 I was read "the Hobbit" by my father, and it forever stuck with me that I would EVENTUALLY write something as timeless as that. So far, no good.
ANYWAY, about 6 years ago I began writing what would eventually become my current manuscript, prompted at once by ideas from Terry Brooks' "Shannara" series and David Eddings' "Belgariad" and "Mallorean" epics. I was also heavily influenced by the entire Dragonlance world. Much of what I read trickled (actually, it kinda FLOODED) into my story. When I realized this, I scrapped and started over, using what seemed to be my most original ideas.
If anyone has ever read Raymond E. Feist's "Midkemia" novels, then my novel-in-progress will seem to be much like that one. However, it only seems that way because I liked a lot of his storytelling style, and adopted AND adapted much of his style into my own writing (as I do with near everything I read). In fact, it wasn't until just recently that I noticed a few more things were starting to crop up that felt like "Midkemia." My world is called MITHDARA, and my main characters begin somewhat as do Feist's. I comfort myself in knowing that that is about all the similarity. Early on I had decided to use the framework of: "young boy destined to become great mage" storyline, with my own twists and quirks. I also comfort myself knowing that the direction my story goes is NOTHING like Feist's.
Ummm, I'm rambling...
To make a LONG STORY SHORT (too late), I guess that everyone draws from what they read. My viewpoint is that if I hadn't read so much since I started writing, then my writing style would have stagnated and my plot would have sunk in the bog, so to speak.
If this makes any sense to anyone, I'll be surprised.
Good day to all!
I'm new to the group. I can tell that you all are writers by the lengthiness of the web pages; took me forever to scroll down to put my text in. I've written one screenplay but am waiting on it to be copywrighted. Anyone trying to the same insane thing, write me.
Hey, y'all. I'm still around and writing - don't worry, I won't leave. I know y'all love me too much (just kidding).
I've been working a little on my story and I'll have chapter nine on my webpage soon.
Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving (for those who celebrate) and that you're not sick of turkey forever. :) We got our power back just in time to have a nice holiday. We had chicken though - there would have been no time to buy, thaw and cook a turkey in one day. But, it was still good.
Well, gotta jet, y'all (I need to stop putting that in here - sounds like hick talk). Bye bye.
Hey, If I had known it was a flying porche, maybe I would have put my name in for the draw!
Welcome Victor. To everyone else, I have a small Christmas greeting from Hayden that he would like to have me pass along:
Merry Christmas...I have escaped with the Porsche
Hello all. I am new to the list, having found this website today. From what I have read, it sounds as if this is the sort of communal feedback that my writing has lacked recently.
I have just returned home from Visions '98, a sci-fi convention in Chicago. While there, I read and watched a lot that really got my mind working and thinking things like "good concept, but what if it were done differently?" I actually thought this enough times that I'm considering replacing my current Stephen King quote, "Wouldn't it be funny if ...?" with that motto.
While at the convention I also met some fan fiction writers named Wendy, Darryl, Maria and Beth who are net-active (They specialiaze in TP, Highlander, Forever Knight, Buffy, and Dr Who). If anyone knows of them, a reply would be greatly appreciated. We shared some fiction, and I wrote a 3-page story intro for Beth on her laptop and am now wishing I had somehow kept a copy of it so I could continue it.
Anyway, this message is mostly my way of introducing myself to everyone. I plan on posting something to the secure site once I get all of the notes I took at Visions squared away and filtered through. Any private emails will always be appreciated and it is acceptable to refer to me as "Victor" or as "Thenodrin" for those who were wondering.
Thanks from Thenodrin
Thanks for the feedback and not thinking I am a total nut bar.
I will take the reading thing under consideration. Am planning the big Christmas book shop in the next week or so and as always will be sucked over by the Science Fiction and Fantasy and maybe this time I will let myself buy something. Another issue I know that I will have is that I will rewrite the authors book as I am reading it. How is that for a rotten reader. All published people pick up a manuscript and wack me over my virtual head with it.
Funny how I love to write, but when it comes to my long, long, LONG overdue reports I just can't seem to do it. Yah sure, i'll write up the critical incident ones, but average day to day logs and reports leave me cold. However I have received several you are a naughty, naughty girl letters and do believe that at this point my employer is getting serrious. Sigh, I guess I really do understand how it feels to have to write for work and not write for fun. I just never really gave it much thought.
My three youngest children will be off school at the end of this week for their winter break. They are all excited and to tell the truth so am I. We are going to be doing lots of fun stuff and I am looking forward to it. I love to watch the world through their eyes. It is an amazing and exciting place to a child and I am lucky to be able to from time to time see it again.
I better go before my internet connection clicks off again.
Type at yah later
First, my apology for the testamonial mis-spelling in my last message -- replace the a with an i, I know that!
Rachel, there is something to be said for not wanting to be influeneced by other's writings, and there is a lot to be said about reading as practice for your own writing, not to mention reading to see what not to do -- I am flabbergasted by some of the bad writing that gets published in reputable periodicals.
You have got to strike a balance. The real issue should be: how can I find time to read more?
I agree with Barb on reading. Often something I'm reading will spark an idea that's totally unrelated to the novel in hand. My only problem is that I find once I start reading, it's hard to stop, and I feel like I'm wasting valuable writing time.
Be Well, Live Well.
Hi -- again,
Rachel: Another thought on reading. We are all the sum-total of our existence. So everything we read, see, smell, and feel make up our writing base.
So please don't give up reading what you enjoy. The ideas you get while reading are valid and interesting. Many times my reading will spark a story-line that has nothing to do with what I've just read -- it sort of blossoms out in another direction entirely. And many times while reading, I've seen a sub-plot that had some very interesting possibilities, but was only hinted at in the book. So -- another story idea.
Reading is essential to a writer. It helps us grow.
Rachel: I have sliced and diced some stories that might have had "promise." What I do now is save each version on the same floppy. When I used to have more time, I'd have fun reading the first -- and then each succeeding version.
Hello gang. I've been away for a few days -- Thanksgiving and all that madness! Not a loss, though. I got a writing gig while visiting my home town New York City -- it ain't how hard you try, it's who you know. Will write a proposal for a CD-Rom testamonial/training piece.
Let me say that anyone who pays a vanity publisher, or anyone else, to have a book published needs to determine why he/she writes. It is great to write to express yourself, and even greater to have others recognize your talent. But it is not so great to be used. If you write to express yourself only, then submit to non-paying markets, but never spend money to have any market publish you, unless you self-publish. If you write to both express and to earn a living, you would of course be nuts to pay someone who is supposedly in the publishing business -- it is supposed to work the other way around.
As for Australia, Canada and all that stuff...well, I accept the comments, having never been published outside the USA. But to those who think "the grass is greener", most writers wait what seems like eons for answers from agents, publishers, editors, and every low-level wannabe who works in the copywriting department. It is part of the job, a crummy part indeed.
I still stand by my statement that SF&F writers don't get any recognition in Canada. To my knowledge, all the writers I mentioned had to go to the U.S. to get published.
Hi gang, just dropped in to say hello.
Things here are a little frantic. I am 30k into the new novel, things are going great: plot nice and firm, characters filling out nicely, but the deadline is looming like a...like a...like...well, shite, like a dastardly deadline is what.Also Christmas is looming large in sights, and though I do a heck of a lot of writing over Christmas usually, this one involves more parties and weddings than last year. Distractions, distractions! It's heads down and bums up, but I think my bum has never been higher in the air, nor my head so close to the ground.
Publishing in Australia is very limited, and fiercely competitive. We mostly rely on a small group of houses, all who have international connections and employ those dastardly American and English writers to fill our book shelves. Small press houses here that handle short stories are great to work with, very friendly and helpful. They also have a great international reputation, though they tend to have problems with "regularity". Quarterly become bi-annuals....Agents are scarce, so you go your own until you hit the jackpot, and then run to them begging and pleading. (Same problem with publishers wanting you to have agents and "viceversi" but I just ignore that stupid problem and blast away on all channels.) Self publishing works here, as long as you put in the hard yards and are absolutely fanatical about all those issues that Pat has remarked on. The funny thing is that the final product has to look as if it came out of a publishing house...which can be an expensive venture....
One last point worth noting: "down under" your waiting period is about a year for replies to query letters, so, once again, you resort to saturation bombing.
That's it. Cheers to Everyone. Hope you are looking after the Porsche. Merry Xmas...see you end of Jan...
Barb G - Oh yah. I have changed a story to death, till there is really nothing left but the very core idea and then I just sigh, shake my head and save it to the old idea file to come back and look at later. Don't get me wrong, even if I hack a story to death its still there in my mind. I know how it started, developed and went and if I really wanted I could likely recreate the same dull mind numbing blabber all over again.
Have given more thought to publishing, think I may make afew phone calls and cheeky inquiries. Yah I'm sure one should be cheeky with editors, but hey I'm a cheeky kind of gal.
SKS - Your the one who says SF&S don't get any recognition in Canada, but hey I am also busted I am not an wild reader anymore. Once I read non stop and you know what I discovered. I discovered that other writers ideas were creaping into my stories so I stoped dead in my tracks. I read for research and I will read stories that are unrelated to the things that I am writing about, but I would die of horror if I finished a story only to realize that it was a cheep rip off version of some other published writer. If I do some sort of cheep rip off I want it to be completly unintentional.
This is not to say that I do not read at all. I love poetry "Maya Angelou, and have to admit that I do cave in to the occassional irresistable Christmas gift book read one called "The Poet" Great book. Also read Annie Prouloux "Shipping News" Laughed my head off, it was touching and funny and had a feeling of truth to it. Ah and have likely read 50% of the childrens books out on the market, one story is never enough for my little mookies.
Since I exposed myself for the wacko who won't read the stuff I love is there anyone else out there who cruizes the bookstore looking at the books that you just will not let yourself read?" Sigh, I am likely alone in this. I embrace some pretty odd ideas from time to time, but hey their my ideas and so far in life they have not sent me wrong.
Take care all
I have to weigh in on the subsidy publishing issue, from a unique perspective.
I work for a newspaper currently and, like all newspapers, we get unsolicited mailings from "small press" (i.e. subsidy) publishers all the time. Some only send a catalog, others flat out send bundles of review copies of their books.
And my newspaper handles these mailings the way I would say up to 90 percent of the newspapers in the country do -- we throw them away. Without reading them or even considering them.
In fact, I have a small stack of the review copy books on my bookcase as I type. These were given to me by my editor, who knows I love to read, but owe the library money for three books I've lost so can't borrow books at the moment.
I tried to read them, I really did. And some weren't too badly written. They needed editing more than anything else. But the typoes and the badly-laid-out pages and eye-straining fonts, the main problem with the books was the way they were printed and published.
Before submitting ANYTHING to a subsidy publisher (should you decide to go that route...and I DON'T recommend it) do yourself a favor and get hold of five or six of their list offerings and really go through them. Look at the paper and binding quality. One of the books I received literally fell apart in my hands when I first opened it. Look at the typeface. Look for simple typoes and printing errors. Are all the pages numbered in order? Are they fully justified or do the lines just end wherever? Are there simple spelling or grammatical errors that could have/should have been fixed in the pre-press stage?
If the answers to any of these questions are negative, you DON'T want to spend your money there.
But given the status of subsidy press offerings, I'd worry wildly about going that route at all. And talk to bookstore owners. Most don't even want mailings from subsidy publishers. Some will review a catalogt, but few will order. Find out if there are certain publishers that local bookstores and any larger chain bookstores in your area will look at and/or order from.
And for heaven's sake, pay by check or some method where you have a record of payment...just in case.
But, bottom line, I honestly can't recommend ever going that route at all. Especially if the thing is supposed to be pre-paid. It's a pig in a poke, if you understand the reference.
Oops! I guess that comment below was meant for Rachel. Sorry Rhoda.
Cool, I'm from Ontario (the Evil Empire). As for waiting for me to be the big breakout Canadian SF writer...um...ever heard of Spider Robinson, Robert Sawyer, Tanya Huff ect, ect ect. I hope you'll settle for the next breakout Canadian SF writer. I'll see what I can do.
Be Well, Live Well.
Keith M: When talking with writer who have been published, I found that most of them felt it was a good idea to submit your book package to prospective publishers on your own. Then when a publisher says there might be some interest -- that is the time to hire an agent so he/she can get you the best deal.
A few writers I've talked with say they'd never do it that way. They had an agent from the get go (God, I hate that saying!!) and would NEVER send out their package cold.
We have a couple novelist's here. Maybe one of them will read you note and give you the "inside scoop."\
Rachel: I think writing MUST be fun first and foremost. Don't you? If it's just work, drudgery, showing up, then where's the challenge? Jen Hollings -- one of our illustrious novelists -- was convinced otherwise, which is her right. But, when the fun goes, so will I.
You also said you were constantly re-writing and sculpting your stories. Have you ever gone too far with that? I mean there are times when I lose perspective and chop away only to realize I've lost the thread that holds it together. You probably don't do that, but I have. I think the technical term is "overkillitis."
I live in British Columbia Canada.
SKS I am waiting for you to be the big breakthrough writer for Canada, so get to it!!!
I for one am contented for now to play at what I am doing. Yah one day I want to publish, but I'm in no big hurry. I think that I could probably just keep editing my stories untill I die. Everytime I look at one of them I see something that could be changed to make things clearer, or I realize that I'v gone overboard on the old discription. I guess all that really matters is that my writing brings me joy. It does what I want it to do and I get the reactions that I have been aiming for from the people that I let read my stuff.
I have to admit also that I have become more engaged in Karate than I ever expected to and it has taken much time that in past I would have dedicated to writing. Hey but I am in better shape than I have been in years and well what can I say I love it. I am going to be grading soon and after that I will redouble my efforts in Karate again untill I know my new Katas. I just can't wait till I can get into some regular weapons classes and I need to be at a certain level before that will happen so its work, work, work for this little kiddie. The knowledge of fighting and dynamics of fighting movements have also helped in some of my writing. I just can't stand to write something that stinks of me not knowing what I am talking about.
Oh well I have an awaful lot to do before my husbands mom comes over. Ah and for those who are interested I did kick his butt at Goldeneye. (Bwah ha ha ha ha)
Take Care all
Good day, all!
My curiosity has been sparked into a good question, fired by the current discussion about publishers, self-publishing, subsidy publishing, and the like. This is something that has been bothering me, as an aspiring novelist who has yet to come close to completing a novel-length story, for quite some time.
My question is:
Should a first-time writer (such as myself, and many others) try to catch the eye of an agent before attempting to take on the publishing houses, or should one go the solo route and fight the publishing battle alone?
Just my little inquisition.
Writers Digest has some good stuff on self publishing. Anyone interested in that route would do well to research it there. They also have a yearly competition for self-publishers. Check their website for more info.
Now for something bizarre!
I have conversed privately (as some of you may have done) with Litter, and I set up a mail folder for that in my Netscape browser. Folder name was Litter. Well, yesterday I downloaded and installed the new Netscape upgrade (4.5) and I was liking it a lot, when I noticed that it had attached my Litter folder to my Trash folder. At first I could not believe it had made the connection between Litter and Trash, so I copied the contents of the folder to another differently named folder, and ran the "empty the trash" routine. Sure enough, it got rid of the litter along with the trash! It *did* ask me first, though, so it was not altogether unfriendly about it. I do like the new Netscape nonetheless, and have opened a trouble case against this. Bottom line -- be careful to check *everything* when upgrading!
Goodweed, you even used the french spelling (Canadien), so that's definately close enough!
Glen; Rejection is difficult. It definately bruises the ego. Being burned by an unsrupulous parasite not only bruises the ego, but makes a mockery of good publishers, and bruises the old bank account as well.
There is another writer who I have conversed with who self-published his work. Afterword, he was able to get Barnes & Noble to put it on the self for him. It cost him more money than he made at first. It also opened some doors for him. Agents and publishers took him more seriously. He just got rid of one agent who treated his royalties badly and is now working with another who he likes very much, at least for now.
If you have the resources to self publish, and the marketing saavy, go for it. But you better be willing to put in a full time work schedule selling the book. You better also make sure you do some market research to find out if the public is interested. It takes a well-written, and interesting book, as well as a tremendous amount of work to self publish succesfully.
Should you decide to go the other route, getting published by an established and reputable publisher, it still takes a lot of hard work, with no gaurantee of success, but much less personal capital.
The market is too full of people who can write. Competition for space is fierce. Perservearance is the key, that and learning your craft.
Good luck and good writing.
SKS. I'm on the American side of the Canadien Border and attend church in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Does that count?
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
P.S. That message bellow is from me.
A fellow Canadian, Cool. Where abouts in Canada?
Are there any other Canadians here on the Notebook? Speak up and let me know please.
Be Well, Live Well.
Long time no post
Just wanted to drop in and say Hiyah.
SKS don't give up I am a fellow Canadian and I for one believe that the time will come for Science Fiction and Fantasy in Canada as well. At least I hope it will.
Writing is going well. I am going off in about a dozen different directions. I have so many different files now that I have to go in and review them just to know if they still interest me. Yikes!!! I don't know if that is good or not, most are only the first 3 to 5 chapters some are into more than 10 and those are the ones that I tend to check in on more often. I guess the diversities in my life are mirrored in my writing. I can't seem to stick to one thing for long before another is screaming for my attention.
Yah, yah I know buckel down and finish something other than that silly Honeymoon story. Uck I just can't seem to do it. I guess I should just push something thru, but truth is alot of the stuff either scares me silly or bores me stupid. Now there is a sad state of things.
I am still knocking round an idea about getting together some stories from afew friends and sending in a group of crazed housewives secret lives sort of thing.
Oh well I have to go. I have to kick my husbands butt at GoldenEye.
Take care all
Sorry, no cod fishermen here, but I'm glad you didn't wonder if I'd grown up an immigrant, transvestite, narcaleptic hooker!
Sorry, but I'm afraid I have to agree with Rhoda. Publishing is a busness, and publishers only agree to publish your work because they figure they can make money off it. If they had any faith in your book, they'd be putting up the money. This is not to say your book isn't good. It may be great, and any reputable company will pay to publish it if they think they can make a buck. From the sounds of it, you've only been rejected by one reputable company. Believe me, that's a drop in the bucket. Have faith in your work and keep submitting. If, once you've submitted it to everyone and their dog and there's still no takers, then you might want to consider self publishing, even if only to see your stuff in print--and to give copies to your friends. And hey, you never know, we've all heard the stories of writer's who went the self-publishing route as a last resort and ended up with best sellers.
Be Well, Live Well.
NO! NO! NO!
Don't give money to that company. It is a sham! There are lots of these subsidy publishers out there that take people's money up front and then deliver a less than satisfactory product.
Beware of people (and there are so many) who capitalize on the dreams of authors. Publishing is tough and it takes hard work and much time and effort for some of us to be published. These companies take advantage of our frustrations and offer us the temptation of bypassing the rejection and struggle of getting published for a price. Only problem is, it doesn't pay off.
Several of my friends have had some dealings with such publishers. Generally these publishers will publish anyone. Have a friend send in a manuscript of pure dribble and chances are your friend will get the same contract offer you got. These companies will publish your book, but they will not promote it or market it. You will loose money and they will make money. All you will have to show for your money will be bunches of books you'll end up giving away.
I would suggest that you read Herman's WRITER'S GUIDE TO BOOK EDITORS AND LITERARY AGENTS. He has a whole section devoted to vanity and subsidy presses.
If you believe in your books so strongly that you are not going to depend upon the up-front publishers to publish them, then I would suggest you have them published yourself. It would be a much better use of your money. Find a printing company and for about a dollar a book(paperback) they will print and bound it for you. You still have the problems about marketing the book, but you will not pay anywhere near the money the subsidy publisher is asking for.
I would suggest you save your $6500.00 and invest it in a good printer, lots of writer's conferences, writer's workshops, paper and postage. That sum of money will take you a long way in investing in your talent and in your dream. Don't throw it away on a subsidy publisher.
Hope this helps,
I just wanted to wish everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING (for those who celebrate).
For those who do not, have a good day ANYWAY!!!
Fare thee well!
Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving - try not to overeat now children ! (Oops sorry - slipped into "Mom mode" there !)
Hope all you lucky people have a happy holiday (and think of the rest of us poor mortals who have to make do without a holiday this weekend !) :-)
KC: Check out www.writemarket.com. It gives you the standard format for manuscripts. Other great stuff there also. Happy writing.
I'm a new writer, a wanna-be. I wrote two children's story and one publisher rejected both and the other publisher accepted it but it was entered through the Partnership Program which means i have to shoulder 25% of the total cost of production, promotion and distribution. Does anyone of you can tell me if this is right or should i accept it. 25% is about 6,500. Thank you
AHHHHH!!!! I'm unable to get online for 2 days and there's all these messages to read!! I sort of skimmed them over. When I have time, I'll read them all.
We just had a major storm here. The power went out monday night around ten and just came back on around half an our ago. I wonder if it'll last or if it's just temporary.
Well, I have to go. I have e-mail to answer - tons of it.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY!!!
K.C.--To the best of my knowledge, double spaced text, 1-inch margins all the way around, standard print (such as 12 point Roman). Each page should have a header in the upper right-hand corner stating author's last name, the title (or an identifying word-or two from same), and page #. Put slashes in between. i.e.: Rhodda/Dog's Life/Page 3
I've heard pro and con about using title pages. Either the first page or the title page should include your name, address, phone number (single spaced), then about 2/3 to 1/2 way down the page, center the title, and--if it is a book--below that, center the chapter #. Each chapter begins about mid page.
Anyone want to correct any of that? I'd be glad to hear.
Since we are talking about publishing I thought I would ask my own question along that line.
What is the format a manuscript needs to be in when you send it to a publisher?
That's all I can think of to say or ask at the moment. Back to writing my novel.
Just wanted to drop a line before I take off for the Thanksgiving Holidays.
I'll be away from my computer until Monday.
For all you Americans, stuff that turkey! You can take that in a number of ways, but basically I mean, enjoy!
SKS - Well, something's gotta go. May as well be spelling instead of many of the other options. Cognitive thought, for example. I myself, had no energy to write when I was last sick. Sucked. I had all these ideas festering in my head and all I could do was lay on the couch and cough.
And if it's any consolation, my spelling goes to hell when my fingers get cold or my tendinitis is acting up. Between the two, my typing could definitely be more accurate.
So you didn't grow up some poor cod fisherman, eh?
Happy Turkiness to those of you who celebrate it. Or tofuness to those of you who celebrate but not with a bird.
I just read my own posting. Why is it my spelling goes all to hell when I'm sick?
OK, here's the Canadain perspective.
First off, if you write SF or Fantasy, you're just about out of luck. There's only about two paying mags in Canada that handle SF, and if you're lucky you'll get three cents a word.
As for books--yeah, right! Canadian publishers don't consider it a book unless you're writing about growing up a poor cod fishermen in Newfoundland, or and imigrant, transvestite, narcaleptic hooher trying to scrape by in the big city (and in Canadain Litterature there are only three: Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.)The closest you might get to someone publishing your SF or Fantasy novel (unless you're Margret Attwood) is by one of the Canadian offices of an American Publisher.
Now comes the catch twenty-two. The publishers don't want to hear from you unless you have an agent, and the agents won't touch you unless you've been published.
So basically, you end up sending your stuff to the American market. That's postage plus IRC coupons for the return postage. At three bucks a pop it usually ends up costing more for the SASE then it did to mail the manuscript in the first place.
I could go on, but I'm starting to twitch, so I think I'll just leave this topic for a while.
Be Well, Live Well.
I do not feel qualified to answer this one. I don't even understand the process regarding American publishingm, let alone that of other countries. I can only hope that in Europe, Canada, Australia, etc. that it is better than it is here. I hope these other countries have agents who respond to queries (I often wonder what some of these American agents do to my return postage? Is it thrown away with the rest of the query letter or used by the agent for other stuff?) If I adequately understood American publishing, Voila, I'd be published.
Regarding agents, I have found a vast difference between New York based agents and agents that reside anywhere else in the United States. The agents in fly-over country do respond to queries and are by and large much more courteous than their New York counterparts. I know that this is a generalization and that there are probably some wonderful people who are agents in New York. But this is just my observation.
I wish everyone here a wonderful Thanksgiving day whether you live in a country that celebrates it or not. We are eating turkey tonight and then driving to Denver tomorrow. I'll miss checking in with the Notebook. I've been on a great diet where I have lost 18 pounds. I don't worry about the turkey dinner tonight; it is three days of being out of town and eating out that concerns me. I'll miss you all.
Happy Writing All!
It is Wed., Nov. 25, and I am frantically packing and running to make that long drive to the family for this American holiday -- you know, the one where the family gets together, stuffs faces and bellies, and then argues about things that happened when we were six years old.
This year I proclaimed "I hate turkey." After the intial shock, I was asked to come up with something better, and to cook it myself. So, I have been commissioned and I rise to the occasion. This is my Thanksgiving menu:
Ciabatta bread with garlic, pepper, basil and oregeno olive oil dip; pumpkin curry soup; portabella mushroom risotto; osso-buco with a side order of broccoli rape; a large mixed salad; and a concession to Americana -- apple pie.
The wine will be Pinot Grigio from Friuli; Riesling from the Finger Lakes and Madeira from the island of same name.
Happy holiday to all, and to those in other countries: you have more holidays than we do, so don't feel bad.
Will be back next week.
Hello Jack. I hope you're enjoying the storm? I love the wind, but I can do without the rain. I've been working on my book and writing short stories. I began to rewrite a story I had sent out earlier, because there was so much more I wanted to say. I suppose it's a bad habit every writer has, not thinking the last thing they wrote is very good and can use a bit of polishing. The problem is, where do you stop? I usually just write what I want and send it out regardless. I know that I could revise and rework it until there was nothing left, I would lose a part of it I think, like discovering how a magician does his tricks, or watching a movie being made. I'd rather not know those things. I still believe in magic, and writing is magic to me...the creative process and all that stuff. Sure, it's work, and damned hard most of the time, with little and no reward coming in for many of us, but I still do it.
Now I'm just saying these things because I got onto the library's computer and have about ten minutes left. I brought the kids with me -- big mistake unfortunately. I have half an hour and they keep asking me questions about how they can get on. So my son went to the front desk and reserved one for himself...the one I'm using. Got to love the little shit. Now he's hanging about like some bird of prey counting down the minutes. I'm goiing to have to go back on swing shift just so I can get here in the daytime and spend a little more time on this page.
I feel bad that I haven't been able to get here as often as I'd like, but Renu works until nine'ish, and by that time the library's closed. I can't walk here after dinner because the chores have to get done first...he's reading over my shoulder telling me I'm making spelling mistakes!!!
And now it's time to get off. I'll see you in a week or so, maybe more, maybe less. I don't know what hours Renu has from one week to the next. Take care, say hi to Fran and batten down the hatches for the night!
On backing up: I find the best thing to do is to discipline yourself to backup regularly while working, and afterwards to backup on a zip drive or other external source. Backing up is simply a discipline -- we writers know all about discipline, some of us crave it -- witness the whip collection of most editors.
As for markets here or overseas, I have never sold anything overseas but having dealt with people in Europe in other business ventures I can only say: I hope publishers pay with more on-time regularity. Know absolutely nothing about Australia. Selling in New York City -- to paraphrase Woody Allen, 80 percent is who you know. The best part is if you have that 80 percent advantage, you don't even have to be a good writer.
SKS - hope you're feeling better.
Howard - Save early, save often. Just like voting. I try to back up regularly too. One set for home and one set to keep at my parents' house and one set in the lap top case. I'd been working on a fabulous short when my first PC was stolen. I hadn't backed up the recent stuff, and I haven't been able to work on that story since. Someday, maybe.
On topic - As I've only worked out of the US, I can't really compare global differences. I have sent to one Australian mag, but it was very much like sending to the locals.
I write mostly SF & F and have found that the responses and interactions are very similar to when I was marketing journalism stuff (features and the like) and the few bits of straight fiction I've marketed, too. So I havne't really noticed a genre difference. Although in the land of news, I usually got a personalized letter back (which is the exception in SF & F) and I did a lot more querying.
Since I live here is the USA, I have no way of comparing how different the two markets are. AND what markets? Short stories? Novels? Poetry?
What genres? SF/F? Literary/Mainstream?
Markets in general or in specifics?
I'm calmed down now. My wife pointed out the fact that MS WORD does have an auto save feature, and why didn't I just check to see if it did save it... it did, and I only lost a few lines after all. (Lucky I didn't throw my usual Luddite tantrum and trash this foolish pile of sardonic silicon!
You're right about the offsite thing, Jack -- I've found that ATRIEVA is an excellent way to go. For US$14.95/month they will store up to 1GB from any two of your PCs, compressed, encrypted, and available from anywhere on the internet (as long as you have the password). They store it via the net, redundantly, in several different locations, so it's a pretty safe bet they'll have it if you ever need it. After your initial backup the software (they supply everything) only backs up the changes you've made since the last backup.
I'm happy with it. Check it out at www.atrieva.com
(This was an unsolicited testimonial) :-)
On backing up. Always and frequently. In my own case since I happen to install a lot of different software, in many cases beta editions, I tend to use Power Quest's Drive Image and get an image of a critical partition saved to a JAZ disk. However, in the case of a manuscript saving can be as simple as a floppy or a zip disk. That said, it is also a good idea to store a backup copy other than your physical residence. More than one writer has been caught flat footed when their house and manuscript were destroyed by fire or flood.
I know it's off-topic, but I just was reminded of something very important, in the worst way possible -- and I thought I'd pass along a bit of advice I'd forgotten in my latest spate of creativity:
DO FREQUENT SAVES !!!!
I have been a fair bit of busy lately and not able to get back to the Notebook to check on its status. I was delighted by all the new voices. However, things had topped out at 137 k so I have gone ahead and archived. The new voices prompts me to propose a new topic for a little while. I promise to try to be a little more timely on that area and also to provide a cookie based popup so it can be more noticable.
At any rate, to jump in:
The visitors and contributors to Writers Notebook are a diverse lot indeed. We come from all points on the globe and as such we have differing experiences as to what the market is for writing. What are the differences between say trying to get published in Sydney, Australia, as opposed to New York City, New York. And what are the cherished tricks of the trade specific to your region of the globe. As always, if you have something else you would like to discuss about the writing life feel free to do so.
Caroline: Thanks. Do not be jealous, now I am in the midst of negotiating a contract -- what fun!!!
I am a magazine and newspaper writer, used to doing my own dealing with editors. With book publishers, you really need an agent, but it is a legal arrangement and I am an anarchist by nature.
I hate to say this, but I don't believe there is an average length of time it takes to write a novel. It took me ten years to write my first one, though when I really sat down and worked on it I'd say it realistically took me about 6 months. Some writers take a year to two, some take five, and some can knock one off about every three months or so. It's also going to depend on how much research you have to do for it.
I did read somewhere once that they suggest that you try for between at least three to five pages a day, which is what I average when I really sit down and work at it. I think on my best days I might get a little over ten pages. You do the math.
Be Well, Live Well.
I'm home sick today with some sort of stomache flu or whatever, which is great because now I actually have some time to write! Is that dedicated or what?
Anyway, as some of you may know, I usually write Science Fiction (happy Jack?) or Fantasy, but I just took a stab at humour (I hope) and posted it to the Workbook. It's about my experiences attending the ballet, and it's meant to be a kind of Dave Barry sort of thing. Give it a go and let me know what you think. I'd appreciated it.
P.S. Ignore the Candadian spelling, usually I go over anything I post here and correct for you Americans, but I just don't feel up to it today. Maybe you can try reading it with a Canadian accent, eh?
Be Well, Live Well.
Yes, I'm still here. I just have been catching up on the weekend postings and want to add my little bit.
Great! Congrats! Told ya, told ya!. Love to say that, but only about good things.
P.S. Perry, Your friend who told you it was a good thing you were not on drugs! Maybe he should have recommended a good physician who could prescribe Prozac. It won't stop you from asking the questions, it just allows you to ask them in good humour. (LOL)
Thomas: I know I'm late in giving my response to outlines, but here is. The good thing about the outline is it can be skeletal or extremely detailed, depends on your style and your needs. It also keeps you going in a reasonalby straight line. No story is written in stone and often goes through great change before completion. The outline will help you keep your ultimate goal in line.
Now, I have a question. I know this has no definite answer, but I would like to get a general estimate. How long does it average to write a novel (120,000 words) all the way through rewrites and editing?
Lydia (someday I will think of an appropriate by line to sign off with but for now it's just me)
Thomas - Well done! That's great about the agent... We can all now be terribly jealous!
And everyone - you can all be jealous cause in a couple of days I'm leaving for a week or so for a holiday in nice, sunny, tropical Queensland. Mmmm... I can taste it already!
Greetings from the cold, dreary morning.
Chapter 7 was easy to write. It flowed nice and smooth through the point of the chapter, and even allowed me to embellish and have fun without problem. I liked writing chapter 7. It was as easy as the prologue.
I should have all the descriptions for you by the middle of this week. Plus, I'm working transferring my story into html format and putting in the old edits that I never got around to updating in my COMPUTER files - that way you'll have the most up-to-date version of my manuscript.
When I send you the character descriptions, I'll also send to you my current manuscript. I don't mind a slightly anime look, but I do appreciate you trying to be more realistic.
Thank you both so much. You're really doing me a big favor. I owe ya' both one.