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Watcha Writin'?

Discussion in 'Arts & Entertainment' started by Zkribbler, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    This is a medieval adventure story, with a few elements of fantasy (the main character discovers he's inherited a couple of odd mental talents from his long-dead mother; none of those give him any sort of superhero powers, just the ability to perceive the natural world in ways most other people can't; it comes in very handy at one point when he realizes that there's about to be a mudslide and he's able to warn people to get out of the way in time).

    But I would like my characters to have normal names (normal for that relative period and region). At least I've decided that Count Chocula is indeed married (unhappily) and his wife's name is Charlotte. Now if I could only decide on his real name.
     
  2. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    The Kingdom of Stormhaven is in an arid land punctuated by occasional oases. They have more sandstorms than rainstorms.

    One of the things I was taught in the SCA when trying to come up with a persona name was the "shout test". Go out in the backyard and shout the name you want. If it sounds okay and something you wouldn't mind if it were called by a court herald, it's a good name. If it sounds weird, ridiculous, or the herald can't pronounce it, you should rethink it.

    Well, in my case the herald mangled the "Gloppenfjord" part of my name (no excuse for that; it's perfectly straightforward).

    So the shout test for this would be to call "King Charles Nimbus" or "Prince Rafael Nimbus" (the king's eldest son and heir).
     
  3. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

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    My current chapter is around ~5,500 words, though I'm getting close to the end. As long as I don't get carried away again. Of course now I say this I will get carried away again.
     
  4. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    I just noticed that the first part of my Ali Baba trilogy is 16,996 words. The maximum limit for the Writers of the Future contest is 17,000. This Ali Baba selection can be viewed as stand alone, and so I'm done with this quarter's submission. :smug:
    ---------------------------------------------
    Oh :gripe:. I forgot that this story was last December's submission. :wallbash:
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  5. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

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    Clearly you need to add four more words
     
  6. dusters

    dusters Emperor

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    Just wrote a short story about fictional toons having fun with a morning tea party.
     
  7. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    :) Good
    :) Good
    :) Good
    :dubious: Wha???
     
  8. dusters

    dusters Emperor

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    Imagine Pippi Longstocking, Alice, Eeyore, Owl, Mad Hatter, Rabbit having a gorgoeus tea party where boxes and chairs are ALIVE. Tea is alive too.
     
  9. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

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    Does anybody have opinions on chapter length? I try to get between 2000 - 6000 words, but I'm not even sure where I got those numbers from.
     
  10. Synsensa

    Synsensa - Retired Moderator

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    With books, I'm indifferent. With chapter releases, I prefer shorter (but this is due to personal impatience and wanting to finish in one shot instead of needing to come back later).
     
  11. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

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    Suppose it also depends on if its broken into several scenes or not.
     
  12. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    If I can maintain 4,000 words per chapter, 20 chapters will result in an 80,000 word novel. :)

    2,000 words per chapter will move the story along quicker, and I often use this for short stories.
     
  13. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    This morning I submitted 'I am not Frank Tupelo (a parody of The Tourist)" to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. They welcome new writers and prefer works of 8,000-12,000 words. "Frank Tupelo" is 10,080 words. So, I'm well placed.

    If accepted, I expect to be paid at the low end of their range, so ~ $500. :undecide: Response time ~ 3 months.
     
  14. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    Here's my post from last June 13th. Since then, I've written nothing on this. :sleep:("Sins and Sinners of Trojan County Tennessee" is a Depression-era comedic version of the Iliad. The movie "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou" did this with the Odyssey.) I've just figured out my problem is. :badcomp:

    Chap. 2 ends with the twin brother of the bank's president escaping from a lunatic asylum. :hide: Chap 3 is to begin with him giving the keynote speech at the high school graduation. I knew this had to be extremely clever and satirical. :lol: But I had no idea what it would be. :hammer2:

    My plan now is to skip over the speech. Like the Blind Seer at the beginning of "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou", my lunatic will make predictions what will happen throughout the rest of the story. :old: So I need to write the rest of the story, and then go back and plug that stuff in.

    I had delusions Troy would be a short story. But I'm already at 5,000 word, and my Helen is not yet married and my Paris has yet to appear. This has got to stretch into a novel. :cringe:
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
  15. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    I've pseudo-finished Chapter 3, which consists of the not-yet written graduation address predicting what will happen throughout the rest of the story, plus Helen's wedding & the arrival of Paris. I'm at 6,000 words.
     
  16. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    10 days later: rejected. :cry:

    I am falling into a funk. :sad: Dammit, 'I am not Frank Tupelo" should have sold. It's a grand story.

    I've been sending in stories and novel for years now, and nothing's selling. :mad:

    True, at the beginning I didn't know what I was doing, despite 2 years of [worthless] UCLA creative writing courses and despite spending thousands of dollars on next-to-wirthless advice from editors [BIG exception is my Texas editor :hug:]. I've been reading books and watching YouTube videos on world building, character creation, plotting, character arcs, themes, tropes, injecting emotion, opening lines, structure, etc. etc., etc., and IMHO, I've greatly improved. :yup: My writing is now darned good. :thumbsup: Yet I remain yelling down rabbit holes. :aargh:

    My goal is to now sell something. :please:
    My synopsis of Wee is taking forever. :sleep:but I must soldier through if I want to sell this novel to TOR, which is looking for unrepresented, unpublished authors. :badcomp:

    I first imagined my spacefaring swashbuckler Eek as a novel, but its now looking more like a story. It's science fiction and a comedy, both of which are coveted in SciFi mags. :D

    My Count of Monte Banco parody is at 54,000 words. I might be able to sell it as a comedy novel if I can get it up to 60,000 words. :dubious:
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  17. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Zkribbler, do you have a NaNoWriMo account? If so, you can access their forums and sometimes they have presentations by professional writers. There are people there dedicated to improving their writing and getting it published.

    Or you need to get more creative about where you submit. Kyriakos asked me about an online magazine he heard about, and whether it's legit. It's based in Quebec, which would explain why I never heard of it, but some googling tells me it's a real publication. I'm not sure if your material would be what they're looking for, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
     
  18. Synsensa

    Synsensa - Retired Moderator

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    Tor also approaches self-pubbed authors. Brian Anderson was first self-pubbed and is now signed by Tor.

    I understand the appeal of a trad-pub deal but it's not the only option available to you.
     
  19. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    No I don't. NaNoWriMo emphasizes speed. With my failing eyesight and ouchie back, I now work very slowly. I doubt if I could engage in one of their 10,000 words per month challenges. :sad:

    My original goal was to publish a novel as a mass market paperback. For that, I need a big name publisher and to get one of those, I need a big name literary agent. The then-editor of Writers Digest complied a book of reputable agents to whom I've been submitting. For an unknown novelist, getting an agent requires sending a letter of inquiry, and the odds of any letter of inquiry resulting in representation is one-half of one percent. :eek:

    I've been turning more to attempting to publish in a magazine, especially after getting an honorable mention in a Writers of the Future contest. I've been regularly submitting there, because it's limited to unpublished authors and it pays the best: $1,000 to the quarterly winner and $5,000 to the annual winner.:trophy: My problem with this approach is that magazine editors are usually looking for stories of 8,000 words or less. My stores are usually two to three times longer. :wallbash:
    Due to declining reader demand, novellas are becoming ever rarer, yet this is what I tend to write. :hammer2:

    Admittedly I haven't looked hard at online publishers, but the little I saw gave me the impression of very low pay. :cry:
     
  20. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    The Camp events let you choose your own goal. Last time I took part in a Camp event I decided to join a random cabin. One of the people had a goal of 5000 words. That works out to 167 words/day. You've made posts longer than that. You're allowed to make an outline and notes beforehand, so if you do that and have particular points in the story you want to hit (however long or what plot route it takes to get there), it should be doable.

    I'm not suggesting the November event is easy. I've won it three times, and it's been stressful and exhausting every time. But the Camp events give you more room, and people tend to use those to try things out, experiment, write a few chapters of a larger project, and so on.

    And just because I write in a single block of time, don't assume you have to. Five minutes here, ten minutes there... next thing you know, you're done whatever word count you might have set for yourself.

    I'm just saying that an account will get you access to some resources you might find useful.

    Some agents want samples of your writing, as well. Over 10 years ago I was part of a team of people helping a friend with his first novel. We acted as proofreaders, editors, sounding boards, and at the end of six 400-page drafts discussed over several months in several time zones (noon for my friend was 3 am for me, but if that's when he had time to discuss punctuation and how to format dialogue, so be it; I just stayed up), we were all still friends. We did this for his cover letters and resume as well.

    Eventually he did get professionally published, but it took a lot of time and effort. Turns out that it's true, what the pro SF authors have said: you have to be willing to throw out writing that you think is wonderful but the editor doesn't, at least if you want to sell your manuscript.

    You're not going to make the rent on the first attempt. The trick right now is to get that first sale. That will open doors that are currently closed.
     

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