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Topics - Juan Dolor

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Writing Group / Pen names
« on: July 05, 2011, 04:21:35 PM »
I may be doing some writing for hire soon.  (See:  And Iíve been thinking that this work should be published under a psuedonym.

There are at least two reasons that I think using a nom de plume might be good.  First, it's work for hire.  And the work would be an adaptation of another person's script.  So these would not be my own ideas, my own world, my own creation.

Second, I publish under my real name for my day job in academia.  I think people would take that work less seriously if it were known that I publish genre fiction as well.  For better or for worse, there is a stigma.  So, I'd like to compartmentalize.

So, any thoughts on choosing a pen name?  What makes a good one, or a bad one? 

Are there conventions or customs I should be aware of?  (For example, lots of women authors use male or gender-neutral names to publish under, but I don't see men doing the same thing.)

Writing Group / work for hire - HELP!
« on: June 24, 2011, 02:58:02 PM »
A friend in the movie business has approached me about writing novelizations of film scripts.  He wants to know what I would charge.  I'm very flattered, but I have no idea what would be a fair price.

For the record, this friend has actually written and produced several movies.  None of them have made a ton of money, but they've had theatrical releases. He's a professional.  He's on IMDB.  He's also a nice guy and I would like to help him.

As for me, I have never finished a novel before, and have only published one short story, for which I was paid nothing.  (it was in a university literary magazine.)  So I would think I couldn't ask for much.  But on the other hand, I am on the academic job market this coming year and am working on getting published in my own field.  So my time is precious.  (I am also getting married.)

What do you think, random internet strangers?

Everything Else / Bin Laden is dead
« on: May 02, 2011, 02:04:05 PM »

Brandon Sanderson / Debris
« on: April 27, 2011, 03:45:34 PM »
I talked to a guy last night who said Brandon Sanderson was at one point writing a screenplay called Debris, but it never got finished.  Anyone know anything about this?

Howard Tayler / How do you read Schlock?
« on: April 22, 2011, 02:43:26 PM »
Some TV shows I like to watch when they air, and some I like to watch all at once when they're out on DVD. 

Some webcomics I like to read as soon as they come out, like  And some I like to wait a while and let them build up a bit, like

How you like to read Schlock Mercenary?

Writing Group / Passive voice
« on: April 02, 2011, 04:04:29 PM »
Hey, I have had several people tell me that I am using passive voice in my stories when I don't think I am.  Maybe that term just means different things to us.  I always thought passive voice was like this:

PASSIVE - The lamp was broken while you were gone.

The second sentence is passive because there is no subject.  No one is doing the thing that was done.  It just happened.  You fix it by saying who did it.

ACTIVE - I broke the lamp while you were gone.

But some people, on these boards and in other places, seem to think that passive voice is more than that.  To them, passive voice is using anything but a simple verb tense.  For example:

PAST SIMPLE: He thought about giving up.
PAST IMPERFECT: He was thinking about giving up.
PAST PERFECT:  He had thought about giving up.
PAST PLUPERFECT: He had been thinking about giving up.

In all of these four, the subject is included, so I would consider all of them active voice.  Some people might say that the latter three are less direct than the first one, but I don't think that's true.  I think using those tenses conveys different information; they imply different things about the action.  And I would not call any of them passive voice.   

What do you think?  What do you mean when you talk about passive voice?

Brandon Sanderson / Don't listen to the jerks
« on: April 01, 2011, 08:41:06 PM »
Some idiot Wheel of Time fan is posting on Facebook that Brandon Sanderson should be doing nothing but writing A Memory of Light.   I've seen this sort of sentiment expressed in other places, at other times.  And all I can say is: Don't listen to the jerks, Brandon.  Not all of your fans, and Robert Jordan's fans, are tantrum-throwing toddlers.  Most of us are patient, and appreciate all the long hours that you put in so that we can be amazed and amused.  So, thanks, and keep up the great work.

Reading Excuses / 3/7 - jpayne1138 - the witch's child
« on: March 09, 2011, 01:24:19 AM »
Okay, this is another short story, completely unrelated to the first.  It's unfinished, because I'm not sure how to end it.  I'm hoping you all can provide some ideas. 

If you've already read it, here are some of my ideas for how to finish it off...

1. Seeget, Sakeda, and Timberlen take the baby back into the woods. They leave it near the place the children found it, Seeget casts a spell to hide their sight and scent, they wait for the mother to show up and reclaim her child.

2. They give the goblin back to the tribe, but the goblins kill the child because it has been contaminated by the touch of humans.

3. Timberlen tries to raise the goblin child herself, but Bertram kills it.

4. Seeget tells Timberlen she will take care of the goblin child, but Timberlen observes her killing it.

5. Fire from heaven consumes all the people in the story.  And the author.

Iím not in love with any of these ideas, and in the years since I first started toying with this story I havenít come up with an ending that I really like.  So please let me know if you get any good ideas.



Reading Excuses / 2/28 - jpayne1138 - Only the Dead
« on: February 28, 2011, 03:32:51 PM »
This is a short story that I think I would like to publish, but I haven't ever published in speculative fiction.  So I am hoping you all can give me some feedback on (1) how close you think this is to being ready to submit, (2) what I need to do to get it completely ready, and (3) where would be good places to submit it.

Thanks very much!

Brandon Sanderson / Brandon's publication schedule
« on: February 26, 2011, 05:06:13 PM »
Hey, I was at Brandon's website this morning and under "Upcoming and Current Releases" he has a list of his four most recently published books, but nothing on future books.† †He does show a progress bar for two unpublished books:† The Alloy of Law, and A Memory of Light.† But I know there's more in the pipeline.† †

He talked about this several months ago in a blog post, here:† And there's some speculation about forthcoming books on a fan wiki, here:†
But there's lots more unreleased books.† For example, see this big list, here:† Anyone know what's actually coming out in the next few years?

Since I couldn't find a publication schedule, I thought I would try to make one myself.† So here is my best attempt:

 :) Mistborn:† The Alloy of Law

 :) Wheel of Time: A Memory of Light
 :) The Rithmatist (aka Scribbler)

 :) Stormlight 2

 ??? Alcatraz 5
 ??? Elantris 2
 ??? Warbreaker: Nightblood
 ??? Stormlight 3+
 ??? a sequel trilogy to Mistborn
 ??? Dark One (YA dark fantasy)
 ??? Steelheart (Superhero apocalypse)
 ??? The King's Necromancer
 ??? The Silence Divine (Shardworld novel, standalone)
 ??? White Sand (Shardworld trilogy)
 ??? The Liar of Partinel (Shardworld novel, one of two)
 ??? Dragonsteel† (Major Shardworld epic)

As you can see, this is pretty sketchy.† If you have better information, please drop some knowledge on me.† HELP A BROTHER OUT.† Thanks!

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