Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday 20

33 comments:

  1. The red font? Or the blue font?

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  2. In publishing, ALL neos get rough treatment.

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  3. If there is no spoon--how about a fork?

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  4. What's my middle name?

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  5. What happens when you can see the alien race in your mind - but can't think of a way to describe them without sounding oh-so-20th/21st century?

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  6. Have you ever written, or do you even plan on writing, a movie or television script or do you stick to novels and short stories?

    The reason I ask is, I'm fascinated by scripts just as much as other forms of creative fiction.

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  7. Gina wrote: The red font? Or the blue font?

    Mess with everyone's mind and pick the purple font. :)

    Simon wrote: In publishing, ALL neos get rough treatment.

    Amen, brother. Is that the cover for book three I see in your icon? Terrific job.

    Raine wrote: If there is no spoon--how about a fork?

    Or chopsticks?

    S. William wrote: What's my middle name?

    Hopefully it's not Wilson. :)

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  8. how come some writers who claim never to read other peoples' books, ever, are wonderful writers anyway? Do they get their abilities naturally? Or are they big fat liars and really do read?

    What do you think about the hoohaa about genesis?

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  9. PJ wrote: What happens when you can see the alien race in your mind - but can't think of a way to describe them without sounding oh-so-20th/21st century?

    I'd go with comparable descriptions versus the usual narrative stuff, and use your character's POv and opinions. In other words, avoid descriptions like He saw a thin, tall, fuschia-colored extra-terrestrial with three heads in a blue uniform and go more with Hot pink aliens shouldn't wear bright blue uniforms, he thought as a strut-thin tri-head passed by. The color combo gave him an instant tension headache.

    If your POV character isn't human, consider investigating how they perceive the world differently from us and exploit that. In Afterburn, the two main characters are aquatics, so I used cetacean senses and echolocation to describe Burn's first "sight" of Liana.

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  10. Paul wrote: Have you ever written, or do you even plan on writing, a movie or television script or do you stick to novels and short stories?

    I co-wrote a screenplay that made it to the semi-finals of Project Greenlight, but went no further than that. I had fun and appreciated the experience, but it was a whole different kind of writing. I won't rule out writing screenplays in the future, but I don't think it will ever replace novel writing for me.

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  11. Kate wrote: how come some writers who claim never to read other peoples' books, ever, are wonderful writers anyway? Do they get their abilities naturally? Or are they big fat liars and really do read?

    This sounds like a loaded question. :) I learned to write solely by reading other writers' books, so I find it a little hard to believe that someone could become a great writer without reading something.

    If you're intelligent, you do check out who's writing what in your genre. I've read at least five pages of books written by every vampire fiction writer currently active on the market. But one of the nastier jabs one writer can deal to another is to say they've never read the other writer's work (especially if their own work bears a strong resemblance to that person's work.)

    What do you think about the hoohaa about genesis?

    I haven't had the chance to read Monica's post about it yet, and I rely on her to get the straight story. But because there are legal issues involved, I don't think this should be casually bumped around like the usual blogged-about scandals.

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  12. I don't have any questions, but I just had to say, "Have a cookie."

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  13. Gina wrote: The red font? Or the blue font?

    PBW wrote: Mess with everyone's mind and pick the purple font. :)


    I always knew you were smart, PBW. You understand the power of purple ink!

    Don't have any questions today either.

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  14. Anonymous9:35 AM

    Darn it. So I typed up my whole comment and it didn't send. Or maybe it did and this will resend it.

    So my question - Where's the post? It's just a title! What gives, PBW? jk we all know what fridays are about.

    And happy story for you: I decided to write a low-stress story because I've been wigging out over my inability as a writer and digging myself deeper into it. So I began writing with a few ideas in mind. No outline! No in-depth character profiles! No map! It was terrifying and delightful. So I'm almost 10k in as of right now (I had passed it but I need to rewrite the last 1k). I have been allowing ideas sparked by what I've already written to simmer, and yesterday I thought it would be nice if I wrote down what I thought the ending might be, just to sort through all the simmering ideas. And wouldn't you know, they fit in this lovely convaluted way? (except Pippa. She swears she needs to find this artifact of some sort, but we have no idea what is or why she needs it.) But wait! It gets better! So then I figured I ought to world-build an eensy bit so I don't mix up my details. And lo, what pops into my head, but some magic rules that crystallize a lot of tiny details I'd written? I am in awe of the freedom that tying up the Inner Critic can give. I haven't had so much *fun* writing since that writing class. :-D

    Jess

    (if, um, this does double-post, you can get rid of the first one.)

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  15. My middle name is William. Sorry, that was an obvious one, but bad as in riddle bad.

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  16. Anonymous12:37 PM

    So I thought I'd check back for comments updates... odd; I see the scrolly thing. I'm on a school computer. When I checked with my laptop this morning it wasn't. Strangeness.

    Jess

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  17. I'd like to know what you (and everyone else) think about using signature tags in emails.

    I confess I've used them about half a dozen times because I always forget and I figure most people are like me and ignore them anyway.

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  18. Charlene wrote: I don't have any questions, but I just had to say, "Have a cookie."

    (Wail) I can't have ANY cookies on my diet (sob).

    Milady wrote: I always knew you were smart, PBW. You understand the power of purple ink!

    You are my purple ink goddess, lady. :)

    Don't have any questions today either.

    Sure, leave me stuck in the Matrix with Keanu. We'll find something to do....

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  19. Jess wrote: So my question - Where's the post? It's just a title! What gives, PBW? jk we all know what fridays are about.

    I didn't realize it but the Matrix joke doesn't show up or won't work on everyone's browsers. Sorry, guys.

    I decided to write a low-stress story because I've been wigging out over my inability as a writer and digging myself deeper into it.

    Best way out of the Pit of Writerly Depression is by not trying to climb out the way you fell in. ;)

    So I began writing with a few ideas in mind. No outline! No in-depth character profiles! No map! It was terrifying and delightful.

    Bravo!

    But wait! It gets better! So then I figured I ought to world-build an eensy bit so I don't mix up my details. And lo, what pops into my head, but some magic rules that crystallize a lot of tiny details I'd written? I am in awe of the freedom that tying up the Inner Critic can give.

    Isn't it the best? I keep mine locked in a mental steamer trunk. It rocks back and forth now and then, and I hear muffled sounds, but she doesn't get out until I'm done.

    I haven't had so much *fun* writing since that writing class. :-D

    You're back to doing what you love, and that's the way the job should be. Okay, everyone's sworn to secrecy about this -- we won't tell your prof. ;)

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  20. S. William wrote: My middle name is William. Sorry, that was an obvious one, but bad as in riddle bad.

    I should explain the answer -- I got very into a Matrix discussion group, and "Wilson" is what we think Cypher's middle name is, because his last name is Reagan, and his first and last name have six letters. Wilson was the middle name of another famous Reagan whose names were all six-lettered. And yes, maybe I'm reading into riddles and movie symbolism too much....

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  21. Darlene wrote: I'd like to know what you (and everyone else) think about using signature tags in emails.

    I rarely use them because I'm lazy and don't feel like saying/typing all that. I think the only time I do use them is when I e-mail someone in the industry who doesn't know me, and I'll put the weblog or web site addy as sort of a reference point.

    I have no problem with seeing someone else's signature tag with a new release, weblog or web site addy, as long as it's brief. It's the ones that go on forever with every single title, addy and thing the author is doing/has done/will do that I find a little ridiculous, i.e.:

    Verity Snickpickle
    President of RWA Normal Paranormal Writers
    Write to me! Snickpickle@aol.com
    Read me! Jan '06 Release: The Alien Who Loved Me Feb '07 Release: The Wolfman Who Loved Me Mar '08 Release: The Transgendered Subterranean Death God Who Loved Me
    Adore me! Winner of the Best Awesome Alien Novel, Best Widget at an RWA Local Con, Best New Writer's Hairstyle and Manicure, Second Place finalist in RT's Annoying Author Showdown....

    I confess I've used them about half a dozen times because I always forget and I figure most people are like me and ignore them anyway.

    I mostly ignore them. If you're a stranger and for whatever reason I'm curious about you, I'll use them to check you out. I can't recall ever buying a book because someone had it listed with their sig, so I'd stick to weblog or web site URLs.

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  22. no, it wasn't a loaded question, it was a plain old rant. I'd just read one a book by one of those authors who says she can't read fiction any more . .so she must have read a library's worth before she started writing.

    and here's another question (I talked about a related subject in my blog): what's the strangest thing you have written in an inscription?

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  23. Jaynie did a post on her blog about sig lines once. ;o) She had me rolling.

    I use one~habit more than anything else. But I keep it short. Anything more than three or four lines long is ridiculous and I honestly don't think readers are going to pay attention to a paragraph of self promo if they've got something better to read.

    My name, my blog, my website is about all I use.

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  24. I use a sig block at work -- I tell Outlook how often to put it in, and it does it automatically.

    I use it for at least two reasons -- recipients don't always have access to the Global information and I hate to need to call someone and not be able to find their current phone number (not always the one listed in the Global address book). I include the snail mail address for work, too, because sometimes someone needs that, and why make them ask?

    I manually remove it for some things when it's really not needed.

    Oh, but I need a question to free PBW (maybe someone else wants a turn with Keanu). How's the pup doing?

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  25. Kate wrote: no, it wasn't a loaded question, it was a plain old rant. I'd just read one a book by one of those authors who says she can't read fiction any more . .so she must have read a library's worth before she started writing.

    No fiction? Poor girl. She doesn't know what she's missing.

    I read a lot of nonfic, but it's mostly research and me glomming on whatever historical period I'm into at the moment. But I'd never give up fiction. Too much good stuff out there.

    ...and here's another question (I talked about a related subject in my blog): what's the strangest thing you have written in an inscription?

    I write oddball inscriptions regularly -- a few people have gotten "You owe me a signed book now" from me -- but strangest, probably the carrot I drew for Margaret Fisk. I usually don't inscribe my books with sketches of root vegetables. :)

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  26. Shiloh wrote: My name, my blog, my website is about all I use.

    I really think that's the perfect sig block for any writer.

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  27. Jean wrote: Oh, but I need a question to free PBW (maybe someone else wants a turn with Keanu). How's the pup doing?

    Buddy is sitting her in the office right next to my chair. He's almost full-grown now; very healthy and full of energy. We successfully got him through the puppy chewing stage (Sheltie pups love shoe laces) and have him voice-command trained. The cats pretend to ignore him but they'll snuggle with him at night. He's an excellent watch dog, more reserved and aggressive toward strangers than Missy, our female, was, but he's a male and they tend to be more dominant-protective.

    And he's beautiful! I'll have to take some pics to post on the blog of how gorgeous he's grown up.

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  28. An invitation for questions and I couldn't think of one? That couldn't be right. So I'll ask something that's been bugging me, if you please. If you don't, just ignore *wink*.

    How do you think the market is doing for science fiction nowadays? The agents don't seem to be looking (many have SF in their lists but say fantasy only) and yet it certainly gets decent shelf space. Is there a disconnect between agents and publishers?

    Hope you get out all right. The old green CRT is bringing back scary memories.

    Thanks,
    Margaret

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  29. I must have been typing at the same time cause there's more posts now than when I read it.

    Just had to add that I still treasure my carrot. And I say it's amazingly realistic.

    Cheers,
    Margaret

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  30. PBW sez Amen, brother. Is that the cover for book three I see in your icon? Terrific job.

    Yup. Full size here

    The first book sold out and they're doing another print run, which is great news. They'll be giving a new cover to match this one.

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  31. And speak of the devil, Margaret wrote: How do you think the market is doing for science fiction nowadays?

    Well, if we were going to make a movie about the state of the SF market, I think we'd have to call it Honey, I Shrunk the Genre.

    The agents don't seem to be looking (many have SF in their lists but say fantasy only) and yet it certainly gets decent shelf space. Is there a disconnect between agents and publishers?

    I'm not sure about SF having decent shelf space; with fantasy and media tie-ins shelved in the same sections it tends to trick the eye. Whenever I go into the store there only seems to be a couple of established series authors like me and the guys who write Baen's military SF stuff who are hitting the shelf regularly.

    As far as agents go, I think they would rather represent writers who have the potential to make more money. Generally there's not a lot of money to be made writing SF at present unless you're established or very lucky. Until the genre grabs more of a market share, it won't be an easy sell for anyone, but I still believe that if you write a dazzling novel, no matter what the genre is, you will sell.

    Just had to add that I still treasure my carrot. And I say it's amazingly realistic.

    Flatterer. :)

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  32. Anonymous2:36 PM

    PBW wrote:

    "But one of the nastier jabs one writer can deal to another is to say they've never read the other writer's work (especially if their own work bears a strong resemblance to that person's work.)"

    I guess I'm more clueless than usual today. Why would it be nasty to say you've never read something? There's tons of books I've honestly never read.

    I can totally see me breaking some unwritten rule like this and destroying any hope of networkdom.

    /depressed

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  33. /depressed wrote: Why would it be nasty to say you've never read something?

    I didn't get it for a few years, either. It's a subtle insult in two ways: saying you've never read another writer's work to their face is simple impolite. Saying you've never read another writer's work elsewhere can be honest or catty -- as in, that writer is beneath your notice.

    If you've never read another writer's work, and you say that to their face, it would be better to tag that statement with "Which of your books should I start with?" so you're letting them know you're not trying to insult them. If you have no interest in reading the other writer's work, I wouldn't say anything about it. I don't have a problem with people telling me they don't want to read my books -- I'm an acquired taste, imho -- but most writers seem to take offense at having that statement thrown in their face.

    As for running around the internet and telling people you don't read a specific author's work, back it up with why (no time, not your cup of tea, etc.) Just throwing that statement out baldly without justification there makes you look like an ass, but it's something many insecure, inexperienced writers do.

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