Discussion in 'Arts & Entertainment' started by Zkribbler, Nov 18, 2017.
Springtime comes hither, to Germany!
I may have finished "Come Hither, Springtime," I'll let it peculate over night and take a fresh look in the morning.
Some flash which got accepted in an informal English contest:
If I am to keep up, mistakes known to lead to serious problems should be avoided. Last night I missed an appointment with an influential businessman who may well have agreed to sign a contract there and then – while now he seems unwilling to even return my calls. We were to meet at ten thirty, and I had already left my apartment one hour before that – yet I never made it past the gate of my building. I do recall how I stayed next to the wall until it was a quarter to ten, way too late for me to make it even if I was already running to the bus station, and consequently returned to my house, sighing while reflecting on what went wrong.
I distinctly remember that prior to leaving the apartment I went to the kitchen and opened the top drawer to observe the white pawns placed there on a striped napkin. It seemed to me that their position was conforming to the known rule, but it didn’t take me very long to understand my error when I returned, following my failure to leave the building.
It is a simple enough mistake to make… Castling always happens if the three pawns aren’t positioned exactly as they should. Of course I was being ambitious, and in an attempt to negate a lesser obstacle happened to resurrect a major one from the past. Besides, it didn’t matter if that other obstacle would have been dealt with, given that one only materializes when I am inside the bus, while this time I never made it to the street…
Castling must always be prevented. Due to hastiness I allowed once more a full wall to form around the building, and it does seem my prospective client walled up as well..."
I was reading over my "Oz 2.0" story, so proud that it's so charming, so frustrated and puzzled that no one want's to touch it.
I tried to put myself into the shoes of a publisher, picking up the story for the first time. The first thing I see is the misleading title. "Oz 2.0" sounds science fictionish. My story is fantasy. Next comes the preface. I can wax eloquently on why a writer should never, ever start a fantasy with a preface. Yet I did here for two reasons. First, I wanted to make clear that my story is based on the 1900 book, not the 1939 movie, and so there is no copyright problem. Second, I wished to announce that my story explores Baum's politico-social symbolism... which come to think of it, is not really a selling point.
In Oz2.0, I didn't waste time in Kansas because everyone knows that a tornado will rip up Dorothy's house and blow it to Oz. Instead Oz 2.0 opens with the Wicked Witch of the East abusing her Munchkin slaves , walking outside in her silver slippers, and having the house fall on her.
My story is now "Wizard of Oz, circa 1900" thus taking care of both the science fiction problem and my copyright concern. The story does begin in Kansas, in a lecture on literary symbolism , which is interrupted by a breaking storm. Dorthy hurries home through the growing storm and [something, something ]. That night, a tornado rips up the house.
The "something, something" presents a problem because Oz 2.0 was 16,000 words. Currently, "Wizard of Oz, circa 1900" is 16,800 words. The max limit of the "Writers of the Future" Contest is 17,000 words, and so I have only 200 to play with. --But clever boy I, I've written many lyrics for songs. I can chop many of the verses out without damaging the story.
"Wizard of Oz, circa 1900" is the title?
I think you should think a bit more on this.
What is the problem you see? How can I improve it?
If I saw a book with that title, I would expect it to be a reference book, not fiction. It's not something that sounds interesting or fun. It sounds like a nonfiction book that discusses the novel.
The average reader isn't going to worry about copyright. I've had lots of questions regarding my Kingmaker: Rise to the Throne fanfic (it's still my current NaNoWriMo project), and the most common one is if/when I'm going to publish it. It's surprising to most of these people that I cannot legally publish it, that I can't collect so much as a penny for it, and when it gets posted to some fanfic site, it has to be accompanied by a slew of disclaimers stating all this.
As for "1900", that may as well be the Dark Ages, to modern audiences. For that matter, anything pre-internet may as well be the Dark Ages. It takes a history buff to appreciate that it isn't.
The "2.0" is something that modern audiences understand. It lets people know right away that this is an updated version of whatever you're referencing.
Thank you. Having an extra pair of eyes is such a blessing.
The part of your comment on my title which drops the biggest icicle down my spine is: "It's not something that sounds interesting or fun." I can't think of a bigger no-no. However, it's important for me to communicate that my story is based on the book, not the novel because, although readers won't care about copyright, any potential publisher will.
Your reference to "modern audiences," focuses me on a trap into which I have led myself. Almost everyone has seen the 1939 movie, but almost no one has read Baum's 1900 book. Readers will be expecting ruby slippers. When I start talking about silver slippers, they won't understand that I'm using Baum's symbolism of the Free Silver Movement skipping over the Gold Standard. Baum's book is peppered with politico-social symbolism from 1900 which I expand upon. This is going to confuse readers, not entertain them.
Surely there are modern allegories you can swap in..?
I have read the Baum book, and remember being confused as hell when people kept talking about "ruby slippers" (I've only seen part of the movie; it's so boring that I've never been able to get all the way through).
True story: In the part of the book where the Cowardly Lion succumbs to the poppies and they have to figure out what to do about it, I was scared to get too close to real flowers in case I was put to sleep. That part of the story grabbed my imagination and sometimes my imagination makes me afraid of perfectly normal things. There's an old fairy tale (probably one of Grimm's, as it's so... grim) in which a girl throws a loaf of bread in a mud puddle so she can walk on it and not get her shoes dirty. That story made me terrified of mud puddles. Such is the imagination of my 6-year-old self.
If I'd ever had kids, I would probably have made a rule that they wouldn't be allowed to read anything by the Brothers Grimm or Hans Whatsisname Andersen until they were at least in junior high, if not high school. Those stories can be terrifying to little kids.
The ruby slippers were substituted in because in the new Technicolor, red showed up better than silver.
As for terrifying the kiddies, "Sing a Song of Sixpence" did me in.
I'd like to know how 24 blackbirds could sing after being baked in a pie. One of them must have gotten confused and thought the maid was the one who tried to kill them, instead of the cook.
Gotta wonder at how insane the people must have been who created these rhymes in the first place. I think I might have this song on one of the records I used to listen to when I was about 5 or so.
Mind you, exotic birds in pies was normal fare in Tudor times. Nothing was too weird for the court of Henry VIII.
There are some good YouTube videos about what the aristocracy did vs. what the peasants did in medieval times. I've started watching some of them to get a better handle on what details to put in my Kingmaker story, as one of my prominent second-tier original characters is the cook/housekeeper for the Ulmer family. The game doesn't show them as having any servants, so I gave them a cook/housekeeper and a stablehand/wagon driver/errand runner. I also decided that the main characters would have been taught to be fairly self-sufficient (I thought it made sense since they're probably the only aristocratic family in Griffinvale that doesn't live in a fancy mansion or manor house - the game shows their residence as being on the waterfront, around the corner from a fishmarket stall).
Dorothy Gale in the Time of Roosevelt?
A rough draft of the latest revision is done. Kind of. It may need more work. 16,797 words.
Its interesting and fun title is now: "The Wizard of Oz, circa 1900, a Wackidoodle Musical."
I don't think I mentioned is the one thing I did take from the musical is the concept of songs. Lovers of the '39 movie are going to expect songs, and so I've written my own song lyrics, e.g. "It's so Fun Being Dumb," "A House of Candy," and "Live, Live Free, and Live Happy!"
My heretofore preface is back, but as the opening song.
The deadline isn't for two months, so I have plenty of time for fixes.
"The Wizard of Oz: A Wackidoodle 1900 Musical"
There are some people who don't know what "circa" means.
Lyrics are only half the song. What melodies are you using? When I read lyrics, I sing the song mentally if I know the melody. If I don't know it, I might make one up.
That's what I did with one of the songs Carabella sings in Robert Silverberg's novel Lord Valentine's Castle. I belong to his Yahoo! group, but still haven't mustered up the courage to tell him I put music to one of his songs. I have no idea if he's okay with fanfic or songfics based on his work.
Then it's high time they learned
I lack the talent and training to write music. I usually just fit words into a cadence. I did use "If I only had a Brain" as the basis of my "It's so Fun being Dumb," and as the basis my new opening song, I first tried "I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General," but what should have been fun and interesting came out as a garbled cacophony.
Now I am trying:
The Great Zkribblo predicts that, as long as he knows you're not trying to make money off of it, he will be flattered.
My buncle powers point out that Silverberg is beyond caring, alas.
Unless Silverberg died in the last couple of days (and if that were the case, I'd know about it as it would be all over his Yahoo! group I belong to), he's still very much alive, kicking, and alert. His last post to that group was two days ago.
I just wrote my third opening song.
This one's written from scratch; not based upon any other.
In going over the submission rules for Writers of the Future. It says, no plagiarism [I'm good there] and no using another writer's world. [I'm dead.]
Separate names with a comma.