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Messages - Bravesamwise84

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Reading Excuses / Re: March 29 - Bravesamwise - To Make a Demon
« on: April 01, 2010, 01:48:51 PM »
You hit on an interesting point there. In truth, there is much more to the story, but I was writing a short story for a class submission. Also, I was trying my hand at something a little tragic, but alas, even this story does not end tragically. There is more to it;  things that answer some of your questions. I don't know how I feel about editing this one, but I have thought about writing other installments that cover other areas of Ba'al's life, or the life of the person he's opening up to.

I think for simplicity's sake I'll cut the salesman line. The fact that he's telling the story now is not intrinsic to what's going on - I want the reader to be able to follow more smoothly along his transformation from a good man to a demon. Since it was a jostling/distracting line, I think it'd be best to simply cut it.

I need to add something to that scene... perhaps the old Ba'al plants a seed of suspicion a little earlier, and then I can put in a couple more details, such as how the rapist is holding her wrists, or something... then as an audience we can put together the truth, all the while being able to see Ba'al being misled...? Something like that. This is good practice for me; editing things so that the ending works even better.

Thanks for all your advice lethalfalcon =) And Happy April Fool's... may you avoid tasteless jokes today if at all possible.

Reading Excuses / Re: March 29 - Bravesamwise - To Make a Demon
« on: March 31, 2010, 06:40:54 PM »
To put it simply, it could have been a lot better.

I'm sorry Longtimeunderdog but nothing about your entire post was helpful to me in the slightest. I'm sorry you felt so jipped by my writing. I'm not that offended, but seriously - in a situation where I'm trying to improve as a writer, all I got from you was, "You should have written something different."

The only other thing I had an issue with is the reference to car salesmen.

Yeah, that is kind of confusing and out of nowhere. It is congruent with the character since, he's not mortal and is currently telling the story about what happened to him about a hundred and fifty years ago, but the reference isn't needed and it is obviously confusing, so it gets cut.

It may just be a perspective issue, but it should have been obvious that she was being raped.

The other reference to the rape scene are helpful, thank you. I was trying to go for an Unreliable Narrator thing, where he thinks she's crying at first, then he assumes her expression is erotic as opposed to twisted in pain, and he really only could bear to watch for a split second. As to her fighting him back; I don't have the experience myself, but most accounts I've read about people who have gone through this kind of thing is that the rapist spends time making the person helpless, either emotionally (verbal abuse or intimidation) or physically (drugs or physical violence). I'm not writing her perspective though, I'm writing his - and he doesn't witness everything.

I'll have to think about what hints I can drop to the readers about what is going on (rape) in order to make the ending click better. Of course it's a delicate situation, because I also need to set up his deception by Ba'al.

Reading Excuses / March 29 - Bravesamwise - To Make a Demon
« on: March 30, 2010, 01:12:17 AM »
Sorry, I know it was supposed to be last week, but I got side-tracked.

One of my first explorations with something a little more disturbing.

Question for those who have already read it;

There are parts where the Ba'al was thinking particularly nasty, disturbing things when thinking about humans. I meant for that to be a simple part of being a demon - something to keep reminding you that, while you might begin to sympathize with him a little bit, whatever he came from, he is consumed with violence and rage now.

The problem I see is that it looks like he is particularly vengeful toward his fiance. He doesn't have reason to be - and he's not, its a problem with the writing. Any advice on how I can clarify the difference?

Reading Excuses / Re: Email List + Submission Dates
« on: March 18, 2010, 03:43:05 PM »
I'd like to submit this next week, if no one minds... =)

Dan Wells / Re: Dan Sanderson?
« on: March 18, 2010, 02:21:09 PM »
Ha ha, Dandon Wanderson.

Dan Wells / Re: John Cleaver's Rules
« on: March 17, 2010, 07:36:25 AM »
Listed on his bathroom mirror in "Mr. Monster"

I will not hurt animals.

I will not burn things.
(He adds, "I will not hurt people"  here when getting ready for his date.)

When I think bad thoughts about someone, I will push the thoughts away and say something nice about that person.

I will not call people 'it'.

If I start to follow someone, I will ignore them as much as possible for a full week.

I will not threaten people, even implicitly.

If people threaten me, I will leave the situation.

In particular, there are many rules surrounding just Brooke, considering his situation with her - but that might be too detailed for a shirt.

Writing Group / Good Blog Sites?
« on: February 15, 2010, 01:30:46 PM »
I really liked blogging Myspace, but then I hated Myspace itself. Facebook is much nicer for the Social Networking, but I don't really like the blogging itself. (I.E. Notes). There are things about Blogspot and Livejournal both that I'm not sure about. Does anyone have good suggestions, particularly for blogging communities that share writing?

Writing Group / What I learned from NaNoWriMo
« on: December 02, 2009, 10:06:12 PM »
The official status of my manuscript is 37,796 words. In the "official" standards of NaNoWriMo, I didn't "Win". You win by finishing 50,000 words in one month. However, I moved twice in this time, and honestly I think I did a damn good job. I practiced writing daily – some days I pounded up to 5,000 words out in one day, other times I was lucky to write more than two sentences. But the daily goal was 1,700, and for the most part – I met that. I built up a whole new experience, having hurdled the largest chunk of writing on one project that I've done so far (The largest before now was a 10,000 word short-story for a World of Warcraft Submission).

The best part is, I don't have to stop. My goal is to finish the novel this December. I'm at the halfway point of the story, which means my complete manuscript will probably be upwards of about 80,000 words. That's about the size of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, for reference. I'm the "Eternal Revision" type of writer. Brandon Sanderson, who also teaches Creative Writing classes at BYU, said it seems that there is two types of writers that don't publish anything; the one-drafter and the eternal rewrite. The one-drafter writes straight through to the finish, looks at the book and says, "This sucks" and continues on to another one. I'm the other one – the one who writes chapters 1-3 over and over again, getting them perfect.

That's why NaNoWriMo. I finally got to chapter 11. Chapter 11! I know I'll end up revising later, but I needed to focus on that rough draft. No editing until the ending is written.

Here's what I've learned about my own writing process, this November;

   1. Leave the house. JK Rowling often talked about how she writes at a coffee shop, even after becoming wildly successful. I can now see why – Home is a place for me to kick up my feet and relax, and watch Mythbusters, and read books, but not work (unless cooking or cleaning). While I have succeeded at writing some of my 1,700 word per day at home, for the most part I couldn't focus. I went to a coffee shop, bookstore, library, or study hall instead.
   2. Put my phone away. Sometimes I want to talk about something else and avoid writing, and sometimes I want to discuss parts of the story I'm struggling on with friendly confidants. Either way, though a good break is good once in awhile, I needed to consciously put the thing away – otherwise I could sit with the Bluetooth in my ear, whittling the hours away and accomplishing nothing.
   3. Shut the internet browser., the Research Doctors -Dr Wikipedia and Dr Google, and Pandora Radio are all good resources for a writer. However, I often begin doing research and end up on Facebook, or checking my email, or even looking at Lolcats or something equally pointless. Now I've got an ipod with a Pandora app, a dictionary/thesaurus app, and Wikipedia and google apps. No more internet browser up while writing.
   4. Tell the internal editor to take the day off. When writing a rough draft, I don't have time to be critical of my names, or almost anything else. Discovery writing brings out some of the more interesting bits, in my opinion, and I can't get to that point with my editor self watching over my shoulder. Sometimes I find that Editor Sam and Dumb Sam are the only ones that showed up to work today, and I don't have Business Sam driving Artist Sam to get things done. In that situation, Editor Sam needs to go home – there's nothing for him to do. And Dumb Sam, he just continues with the next step, doing what he can in case Artist Sam decides to show up late.
   5. Read myself into my writing. Read what I'd written the day before, making small corrections in spelling and grammar, and filling in names where I wrote *thebartender*. By the time I get to where I left off, I'm often set to keep going. This only works if you're making "small" corrections – major plotpoints, things that may get cut later, characters and points that need to come in earlier – those can wait for revision.
   6. Skip to another scene when I get stuck, and connect them later. As a good example, with one of my recent short-stories I knew I wanted the ending to involve a character using his music to "heal" his comatose wife. I knew I wanted the scene to be very emotional, but I didn't know what to write leading up to that point. Instead of trying, I skipped forward and wrote the ending. Then, I went backward and wrote what led up to this scene, making sure to try my best to make my characters familiar to the reader, in order to make that ending powerful. I don't know if I did it well, but I do know that I finished that short-story even though I had been very stuck at one point. And that's the important part right now.
   7. Learn to "Ask" my characters things, instead of trying to fabricate storyline from thin air. Whether the characters are complete or incomplete, if they have even the tiniest amount of voice in my head, I've learned it's so much easier to come up with answers when I consult them. What would you do here? Are you likely to be rash, or thoughtful? Does this kind of thing make sense in your world? I guess it's weird to admit here, on public internet, that I've just learned that I write better stories as a total schitzo, but I'm probably not too different from other writers in this. I got the idea, in the first place, from the excellent Ursula K Leguin – and if you haven't read one of her stories yet, go find "A Wizard of Earthsea" and read it. It's short, so no worries about getting overwhelmed, but it is, in a word, awesome.
   8. I'll end up cutting the first chapters anyway. That's the funny bit about being an eternal re-write; you end up deciding later, the best way to begin the book. As my book continues, and plotlines develop, and I learn to focus in the story on the most important parts… Chapters 1-3 are going to have to be cut. From what I know of other authors, this is normal, but it sure makes me glad that I'm learning to move on from being the "Eternal Re-Write". Before November I'd never gotten past Chapter 3. Now that I have, they'll have to be cut – and Chapters 4 and 5 are going to have to be majorly tweaked. But that's ok, the further I write, the more I'm learning about the structure of a novel-length piece. By the time I'm finished, I'm sure I'll have learned even more!

This is what I can think of right now. I still need to experience having written the ending, and afterward, the next editing draft of the same book. After this, I may even let some of you read some of it; probably not though. It'll still be pretty bad at that point, I'm sure. =)

Reading Excuses / Re: Plot Analysis Questions
« on: November 20, 2009, 12:10:50 AM »
I'm a big fan of that blog, because it helped me in outlining a story which I'd been having trouble with. However, I see it just as equally applicable to revenge plots as hero's journey plots. Plot Turns are to link the hook with the Midpoint, or the Midpoint with the Resolution. In other words, they are the action required before the next point could ever have happened.

While Conflict is evident throughout, the pinch's job is to make that conflict come to a point. For example, my car may be acting up, but the pinch in my story comes when I'm late to work and it finally gives out.

I love this blog of Dan's, it helped me see several points in my story where I was lingering too long on boring parts.

Reading Excuses / Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« on: November 06, 2009, 05:02:31 AM »
OK I'll send mine this next Monday, I've got so many to read this time that on top of 1700 words per day for Nanowrimo I'm a bit strapped for time and I don't want to make it worse this week.

Writing Group / Nanowrimo friends
« on: November 06, 2009, 05:01:10 AM »

There's my author's profile on the nanowrimo website. I know there's a generic topic about Nanowrimo itself but I thought it'd be nice to have a specific topic for our profiles!

Reading Excuses / Re: Email List + Submission Dates
« on: October 27, 2009, 08:40:18 PM »
I'm going to go ahead and cruelly submit a horrible unedited first chapter of my NanoWrimo project this next Monday.

Reading Excuses / Re: Oct. 19 - Concord - Ch. 14+15
« on: October 21, 2009, 06:48:47 PM »
I haven't read any of the previous chapters, so I kind of had to put things together through context. Even so, while being initially confused, this read easily and your prose was quite transparent. Since I don't know enough to give any "big picture" feedback, I can only point out tiny flaws. Nothing about these chapters threw me out of the story in any way, so huzzah! =D

She sensed it, too, she realised.

Just a tad awkward to read.

This time, she was apparently invited.

Actually this was really good, and probably would have made me chuckle slightly if I knew all the story behind it. =D

The were also the source of her abilities, but she needn't tell him that.

By this time it feels like we'd heard "She didn't tell him that" quite a bit.

I also thought I'd point out that the scene where she whites out is particularly well-written.

Gah, there were a couple other sentences that were awkward to read but I can't find them and I have to get ready for work. Anyways, recap; No big picture flaws, Nothing that shoved me out of the story, only sentence-level errors that I'm sure you can handle. Though I may be missing the big picture, these chapters were sufficiently active enough to keep me reading, which is one of the biggest things I look for.

Writing Group / Re: NaNoWriMo?
« on: October 17, 2009, 05:18:15 PM »
Yeah I'm slightly nervous that my book might not have enough for that, but hopefully my outline can prevent this.

Writing Group / Re: NaNoWriMo?
« on: October 17, 2009, 08:48:38 AM »
I'm nervous as hell about this. Mainly because I haven't turned out a full novel yet, but heck, I've got to get the bad ones out of the way, right?

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