Friday, November 24, 2006

Friday 20

Now that the holidays are upon us, it's tough to find the time and energy for blogging. It's almost as if we're hauling the weight of the entire year behind us, like Marley's chains, and not a whole lot happens in the publishing from November 30th to January 1st. If you're feeling like you're running out of steam, Alison Kent wrote an excellent post about making a blog plan that might help (and promptly devised her own.)

I'm not a huge fan of memes, which remind me of those "test" notes the twits in high school were always passing to each other during class, but I do like the concept behind the Thursday Thirteen, which promotes more creativity and individuality while still giving the blogger a focal point for the post, namely writing thirteen things about one topic that helps a visitor get to know the blogger.

Blogger is making the switch over to Google, and has prompted all their users to do the same. I've tried, but the system won't switch PBW because it's (apparently) too large. I don't know how they're going to handle the transition of blogs like mine, but things like this never seem to go well. If there are posts or links from my archives that you'd like to copy down or print out, you might want to do that soon. I've never made any electronic backups of anything I write here, only paper copies (yes, beyond stupid, I know) so I'm going to investigate what I can do to save the blog content. ***Updated: I figured out how to copy via View Source the archived entries by month so I should be able to recover everything even if the blog melts down completely during the switch over.

That's it for another week in WriterLand. Got any questions for me?

20 comments:

  1. I do, I do!

    Why oh why is it soooo difficult to write about me? I'm working on my university entrance essay, can you tell?

    *tears hair out*

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
  2. May wrote: Why oh why is it soooo difficult to write about me?

    You might have the same problem that I do. I think as a person that I'm extremely boring, to the point of if I were a character in a story I'd edit myself out of the book. So whenever I'm asked to write something about myself I will do just about anything to get out of it.

    Sometimes you can't duck the responsibility (a university entrance essay sounds very important) so I'd try to look at essays other people have written to get a feel for what's usually submitted. Based on that, work up an outline of what you need to write about yourself, and then grit your teeth and do it.

    If there's a student or admissions counselor at your school or at the university who can be of assistance with this, you might ask their advice, too. They may have seen hundreds of these essays and have some tips on what best to write.

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

    Thank you, ma'am, we did.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous11:16 AM

    I have a question. With the glut of paranormals now on the market, what do you anticipate being the next big thing?


    Ruth W.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ruth wrote: With the glut of paranormals now on the market, what do you anticipate being the next big thing?

    As a reader I'm hoping something shakes up historical romance, because there are a lot of orphaned readers like me who are bored beyond belief and more than ready for the next big thing. An unknown who can do something new and different with the classic historical romance could start a very big revitalization trend.

    As a writer, I'm watching alternative reality fiction, dark fantasy and fusion fiction, because I think all three are growing in very interesting directions.

    ReplyDelete
  5. PBW... who are the authors writing the alternative fiction, dark fantasy, and fusion fiction...???

    I am really interested in writers like LKH, Gilman, and others who write paranormal/reality fiction. I find that I end up writing in this genre. I like a little occult and mystery in my readings.

    Cyn

    PS... I have not switched over either.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Okay, I've been reading a lot and doing typing exercises, using various urban fantasy books in an attempt to figure out the 'style'. Do you have any other suggestions of things I might try, since it seems to come and go in my writing?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Cyn wrote: PBW... who are the authors writing the alternative fiction, dark fantasy, and fusion fiction...???

    Notably, Naomi Novik probably has had the biggest sales impact in alternative reality fiction with her Dragons & Napoleonic War series. Dark fantasy, J.R. Ward and Patricia Briggs (although I am prejudiced because I backed both writers with personal recs, and their success only makes me look *sooooooo* psychic, lol.)

    Fusion fiction is a bit harder to define as a lot of it is experimental. Emma Holly's erotic/Victorian/romance/steampunk Demon World books are my idea of a prime example, and while they may be a bit too cerebral and sexually exotic for nice-girl romance readers, I'm hoping she continues with more along those lines, because it's fantastic stuff.

    Marjorie M. Liu's Dirk & Steele series has pretty much ruined me for every other paranormal writer out there; it's hard to quantify her but her novels deliver a rich fusion of (among other things) paranormal romance, romantic suspense, epic adventure, urban fantasy.

    If you're into more highbrow stuff, Isabel Allende took her surreal pen to the legend of Zorro in 2005 and came up with Zorro, which appears to be a literati fusion of adventure, fantasy, history and literature (I'm only a few chapters in; I read Allende like other people take castor oil.) I imagine we'll see more literati authors taking this route as their regular stuff just isn't selling.

    I am really interested in writers like LKH, Gilman, and others who write paranormal/reality fiction. I find that I end up writing in this genre. I like a little occult and mystery in my readings.

    I can't say I read LKH anymore, although I liked her early work. I used to work with Gilman; she edited the first five novels in my StarDoc series -- she's writing for Harlequin now, right?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jordan wrote: Okay, I've been reading a lot and doing typing exercises, using various urban fantasy books in an attempt to figure out the 'style'. Do you have any other suggestions of things I might try, since it seems to come and go in my writing?

    Have you read a lot of the old-time or old-style Noir mystery novels? I've noticed a lot of similarity between the story structures and tone in classic noir and urban fantasy.

    Take any Raymond Chandler or James Ellroy novel, remove the street slang, big scores and ham-fisted thugs, replace them with incantations, magic quests, fantasyish baddies and make the traditional noir cop or PI a wizard, vampire hunter or whatever, and you've got a decent urban fantasy.

    More practically speaking, you might try watching a bit of a noir movie just before you work on the urban fantasy. I bet if you reset the mood of the muse by getting in a few minutes of L.A. Confidential or Chinatown, you'll have that noir tone in your head when you go to the keyboard. Or just envision Russell Crowe as your protagonist. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Now why isn't my comment to Jordan posting?

    ReplyDelete
  10. May: You have a marketing challenge, rather than a straight writing challenge. In this context, you are a product.

    Decide how you want them to see you, then write about that person.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good luck on the transition. I did it and my entire blog formatting when kaput. Even new posts weren't formatted. I contacted blogger support and never got a response and eventually got sick of it and switched to Wordpress.

    So far, no problems there, except my site traffic has taken a significant hit, even though I posted the link to the new site here on blogger.

    I hope you find an easy way to save your work, as it would be a terrible loss if all the valuable information you're posted here, simply no longer existed!

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's weird with the switches. I had no problems at all, and like the Beta system better overall, yet others have been screwed badly.

    And Blogger Support? Forget it. You stand a better chance to find help here.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I know Blogger doesn't have any sort of reasonable support or response system; the price of getting it for free, I guess.

    When I have some time, I might set up a PBW mirror site with a new account that will go over to Blogger beta and start copying the archived posts, just in case the eventual switchover railroads me.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous2:46 PM

    Hi PBW,

    Just wanted to drop you a quick thank you note. A friend of mine is experiencing trouble with tendonitis and was trying to find a good program to use at work and I sent her a link to your review of Dragon Naturally Speaking. She said it was very helpful. Have you considered adding a link on the front blog page to your disability-assistance/voice recognition software posts? I've found them very useful and I know others do too. It's so hard to find real reviews of these products. Anyway, thanks again for writing about them!

    Another quick thank you. A long time ago, I asked for help with writer's block on one of your Friday lists; I was the one who had trouble writing after a bad friendship went south. I thought you'd like to know that I am doing NaNo this year and have already written 38K! Your advice was generous and kind and worked. Thank you for providing so much help to people like me.

    -ElizabethF

    ReplyDelete
  15. PBW, That's an interesting suggestion. My dh said my character came across as a wise-cracking gumshoe. *ggg* Thank you!

    P.S. I've started the journal. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for the info PBW... also I received the book this weekend THANKS.

    As for Gilman, I am talking about Laura Anne Gillman.. one of her books is "Curse the Dark," which is about an occult theif that recovers stolen items. Fantastic fun.

    I have read a bit of Allende, but I now take her with Castor oil too.

    I am glad you mentioned Patricia Briggs because I just found her this year. I want to read more of her stuff. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Elizabeth wrote: Have you considered adding a link on the front blog page to your disability-assistance/voice recognition software posts? I've found them very useful and I know others do too. It's so hard to find real reviews of these products.

    Great suggestion. I'll get right on that, because I know from personal experience that there isn't that much out there on the subject at all.

    A long time ago, I asked for help with writer's block on one of your Friday lists; I was the one who had trouble writing after a bad friendship went south. I thought you'd like to know that I am doing NaNo this year and have already written 38K!

    That's wonderful, I'm so glad to hear it. Congratulations and keep up the great work. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Jordan wrote: PBW, That's an interesting suggestion. My dh said my character came across as a wise-cracking gumshoe.

    There you go. You know me and the dh are never wrong. Lol.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Cynthia wrote: As for Gilman, I am talking about Laura Anne Gillman.

    Yep. Unless there are two of them floating around publishing, that's my former editor.

    I have read a bit of Allende, but I now take her with Castor oil too.

    I kind of feel bad about saying that because I know she's like high art and all. Thing is, I never quite got over the giggles when she introduced a chick with green hair into one of her otherwise straight books. I kept thinking, man, WAY too much chlorine in THAT pool....

    I am glad you mentioned Patricia Briggs because I just found her this year. I want to read more of her stuff.

    She's an amazing talent, plus she can't seem to write a bad book (not that I'm hinting or anything here, Patricia, just keep doing what you're doing...)

    ReplyDelete
  20. zornhau, thank you. Your suggestion to May has been very useful for framing something I'm working on as well.

    ReplyDelete