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Topics - WriterDan

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Everything Else / Anyone headed to LTUE this year?
« on: February 11, 2011, 06:15:44 AM »
Just curious what kind of showing TWGers were going to make at the conference.  I'm planning on Thurs and Fri.  Anyone else?

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Everything Else / A pumpkin carving escapade...
« on: July 21, 2010, 06:30:51 PM »
Putting this up so I can reference it from another thread.  Didn't know if posting pics like this in "What are you reading?" would be kosher.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4815959548/

My attempt at a Calvin & Hobbes for Halloween.  It's from the cover of Weirdos from Another Planet.

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Books / Question about ARCs
« on: July 14, 2010, 10:10:46 PM »
So on the cover of the ARC that I'm currently reading it says:

Uncorrected Advance Reading Copy -- Not For Sale

And I was wondering how "Uncorrected" the book is.  At what point in the iterative process of editing between publisher and author do ARCs get printed?  Anyone?

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Books / Lamentation (the book) -- SPOILERS!!!!!
« on: April 23, 2009, 07:08:09 PM »
So, I'm putting this one up for Ookla because he asked me about my poor opinion of this book.  For those others interested, I'm referring to  Lamentation by Ken Scholes.  It's his debut novel.  He's a Writers of the Future winner (3rd place, I believe).  Anyhow, on to the opinion.

I had really heard a lot of good things about this book before getting it.  Granted, I only searched around about a week or so for opinions before grabbing it from the library.  So, I don't think this is a case of having my expectations set too high.

The story started off pretty well.  I liked the setup (despite the fact that I didn't understand the prelude/prologue at all).  He had a good handful of characters, and even though he switched between them quite often, I felt like I was able to get a good handle on each of them and where they had come from.

The first half of the book was good.  I enjoyed it enough to keep reading anyhow, and I was curious to see how everything would all play out.  Then, about halfway through, things really started to change for me.  I lost my ability to "suspend my disbelief" shall we say.

The first thing that I began to notice was that for some reason he began to pull back from the in-depth POV he had used earlier on.  Instead of seeing how events were impacting characters, it began to feel more like I was getting the Reader's Digest condensed version of it.  A swerving from the "rule" of show-don't-tell.  I felt like it was becoming less of a show, and more of a tell.  But I pushed on because I still felt invested.  Unfortunately, this trend continued in the same direction.  It became more tell and more description of what was going on and what was going to happen instead of the in-depth character view that I love, which I really thought was present at the beginning of the book.

A second thing that began to bug me was a lack of scope.

The world felt very small to me.  Travel across the entire map took only a few days (minor)

Messenger birds were able to fly directly to a person despite the location of where they might be.  Somewhat ridiculous, especially in light of the fact that it hasn't been mentioned if the birds are magical or not (fairly major)  This seemed integral to the movement of the plot, as it provided the means of information disbursement amongst all the various parties.

It felt like the book was building up to have some "war scenes" in it, but then everything fizzled and the war was pretty much skipped over when it came to possible battles (major).  The war seemed fairly integral to the plot to me, but instead of a few brief battles/skirmishes, we get a description of what happened, and who went where, and what impact that had on the way things were going.

Large chunks of time were skipped over and then summarized by characters in scenes that seemed built for "covering the part that has been skipped" (fairly major, but I've looked over construction-type things like this before if I was enjoying the story enough)

The big one though, the HUGE one for me, was the building of Rudolfo's character.  He is, in essence, one of the major foci of the story.  His character arc should have been important, detailed.  There is some great building that we see through the eyes of Jin Li Tam, through the revelation of Rudolfo's familial history.  I loved that.  Then his friend Gregoric dies.  And yeah, it's been said that they've grown up together and are obviously familiar in conversation with one another, but I never got that feeling that they were "best" friends or anything like that.  I never got that feeling of connection.  So, when Gregoric is gone, it didn't really hit me, and I didn't feel the loss that Rudolfo was apparently feeling.  And then, the climax.  The point where Rudolfo should be hit the hardest:  when Sethbert tells him that Vlad Li Tam was responsible for the death of his parents.  One, why should he believe the man in the first place, but two (because he obviously does), where is the impact?  The scene just kind of flops over dead and Rudolfo walks away with seemingly no change to his own person.  Until we get told about it a little later on in some removed description of what he's feeling.  Then he confronts Vlad Li Tam, and gets distracted.  And then he talks to his fiancee, Jin Li Tam, and decides that he's not going to worry about it.  Blah.

For me, it was almost like two different people had written the book.  My impressions of the two halves of the book are that disparate.  I don't know.  I can get past my minor annoyances.  But there was just so much about how this story was presented that just gave me a sour taste in my mouth.  I don't expect perfection (although I enjoy it when authors get close :) ), but this was just so far from the mark that I just don't think that I'm going to be picking up any more of these because I don't think that I'd enjoy them.  Besides, there's too much other stuff out there that I can enjoy.

That's most of what got me.  Hope I didn't come across too harsh, or confrontational.  For some reason, the things I write tend to do that sometimes.  Just speaking a piece here.

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Brandon Sanderson / Splitting A Memory of Light...
« on: November 06, 2008, 06:43:15 PM »
I know that this is a question for EUOL, and that he doesn't usually frequent the boards, but I thought I'd put this up here anyways, just in case he does see it, or some of his close buddies know the answer to this one.

The initial goal for AMoL was 400k, with a very probable increase.  400k though is what Brandon has for his end-year goal though.  At one of the cons, he said that AMoL was probably going to be more like 600k when finished, and Tom Doherty said that it was probably going to be bound into two books.  Then, just recently on Writing Excuses, Brandon said that he was writing a 700k fantasy novel (which I can only assume that he meant again, AMoL).

So, if the book really is going to be 700k words, and it's going to be split into two volumes, I was curious if both of those volumes are still going to be released back to back, or if there'll be a more significant time lag between the two.  With a goal of 400k by December (just over "half" of the "book"), and a proposed release date of Fall of 2009, does this leave enough time to get the second "half" of the book done and out by approximately the same time?  And if they're not going to both end up coming out really close to one another is there going to be some sort of min-climax for the end of the first half, or is it just going to be cut somewhere in the middle?

I just can't help but notice that Brandon has been emphasizing that he said 400k words would be completed by December, and not that the book would be done by December.  Guess I'm mostly looking for a revised time schedule because Brandon is usually stays in such close contact with his readers.  Might be worrying about this too much though.

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Brandon Sanderson / Warbreaker 2
« on: August 21, 2008, 09:17:46 PM »
So, I decided not to slog through the 47 pages of comments about Warbreaker, and just ask my question here.  Hope that's okay.

I found out that there was going to be a Warbreaker 2 late in the game of Warbreaker 1.  I'm curious as to whether or not Brandon is planning on putting WB2 out for the public in the same way that he did WB.  So, pretty much if Brandon and his retinue of "people" have decided as to whether or not this was a good way to do things, and if they'd do it again.

Also, will WB2 be the last in the "series"?  Or is this also planned to be a trilogy, as most fantasy books are these days?  Thanks for the info.

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Brandon Sanderson / Publication schedule...
« on: December 19, 2007, 07:48:07 PM »
So, I know that I've seen a few pre-MoL publications schedules for you Brandon, but I was curious what kind of changes were going to occur to it now that you have the Wheel of Time deal going.  I'm guessing that Mistborn 3 release won't be affected much, just curious about everything else.  Are you putting most of it aside until the "biggie" is done?  What can we expect?

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Movies and TV / Lost...
« on: September 20, 2007, 07:26:10 PM »
So, up until a few weeks ago, I had only seen a few minutes (here and there spattered across three seasons) of this show and thought from what I saw that it looked pretty cheesy.  But, a friend of mine finally talked me into watching the thing.  And I have to say, at this point (three discs into the first season) that it's quite intriguing.  There are apparently loads of people that love this show, and I found a few old threads in this forum about it, but nothing very recent.  Was just curious what people thought of it.  Is it worth watching?  If it keeps going like it has been (which, granted, has not been for very long from my perspective) I think that I'll probably get pretty into it.  Any opinions?  Third season is apparently coming out on DVD in December or some such.  And the fourth season starts in January.  Is there anyone out there like me that hasn't watched this yet?  And if so, why not?  What's keeping you away?  Just curious.  Later all.

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Brandon Sanderson / Mistborn 2 book missing pages...
« on: August 20, 2007, 06:53:01 PM »
So, I'd hate for anyone to get to page 530 of their nearly 590 page Mistborn 2 book and find out that they're missing 30 pages like I am. (Although, I did get two copies of page 561 to the end of the book.  Still, I don't think it an even trade.)   I don't know if errors in book binding like this come singularly.  I'm guessing that they don't.  Waldenbooks, where I got my copy, was more than happy to offer to exchange my book for another, correct one.  Brandon is even going to be signing the rest of their stock, so I don't have to make special efforts to get my new copy re-signed.  (Thanks Brandon!)  Anyhow, a heads up for the rest of you all.  And happy reading.

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Music / Pandora Internet Radio
« on: June 27, 2007, 08:27:41 PM »
So is there anyone out there that isn't taking advantage of the amazing amenities that  Pandora Internet Radio has to offer?  A friend of mine told me about it a couple of months ago, and I only now thought to say anything on TWG.  You get to customize radio stations to the kinds of music that you like.  Pandora will try out other bands/songs/music similar in type/style/genre to what you say you like.  It's pretty slick and I listen to it just about everyday.  The website it pandora.com   Thought some people here might be interested.  Anyhow, happy listening.

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Books / Best book you've ever read...
« on: January 27, 2007, 12:34:00 AM »
Okay, so I've been in a rut lately of finding books to read that just don't grab me.  So much of what I have recently found has either been incredibly boring, poorly written, or a half-and-half blend of the two.  So,for anyone that cares to say so, I'd like to know what the best book that you've ever read is.  I mean hands down, bar none, absolute most fantastical book you've ever read.  No restrictions whatsoever -- seriously, any kind of book.  But, in your opinion, I want the best.  Give em to me.

Mine:  The Darkness that Comes Before -- R. Scott Bakker

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Books / Published WotF material...
« on: January 24, 2007, 10:40:44 PM »
So, now that I've submitted two short stories to L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future for their quarterly contests, I decided to pick up a copy of their annual publication and see what kind of things get picked by the judges there.  I got a copy of Volume 19 from the library (2003 publication), and have to admit that I was sorely disappointed.  On the whole, I thought that the writing was quite good, but that the stories themselves just lacked a whole lot.  At this point I'm mostly just confused.  I was curious if anyone else had read this volume, and if so what they had thought of it.  I'm still going to plan on picking up copies of the more recent volumes to read, and am hoping that maybe that 2003 was just a funny year.  Then again, maybe I'm just a dufus and don't have the capactiy to grasp "real" short story writing as it is in this collection.  Anyone have an opinion?

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Music / Michael Buble...
« on: November 27, 2006, 11:22:28 PM »
So, has anyone out there ever listened to this guy.  Freaking amazing.  Really cool stuff.  Reminds me of Frank Sinatra a bit.  Heard it on the store radio over in the Barnes & Noble in Orem last week.  Gotta get a CD.

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