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Fic Talk => General Discussion => Topic started by: nicksgal on June 13, 2021, 11:37:28 AM

Title: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 13, 2021, 11:37:28 AM
This overplayed joke continues! I know you're all sooo excited.  :-* To recap the last thread, we were most recently discussing feedback, finishing projects, and had just recently started discussing writing prompts.

I will now add my two cents.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 13, 2021, 12:13:30 PM
No writer discussion group, but it was perfect because her story couldn't have been more different from mine.  It was more of a bucket list type story, and you don't find out about the cancer till the second half, but my cancer story radar was pinging from the first couple chapters.  I just had a feeling that's where it was heading, and sure enough...  It was a great story!

It's good that they were pretty different, it gives readers who enjoy medical drama two different takes on the same subject matter. lol! I love that you have cancer story radar. I'm sure by now you could look at any medical drama and say "I know exactly where this is going." Although, if the cancer was a late reveal, what vibe/theme pinged you the most?


LMAO!  Dominant Firm of BSB Medical Dramas.  I love that!!  I would welcome some "competition" though, which I wouldn't even see as competition.  There's room for all medical drama writers, the more the merrier!  Just do your research first!

Oh, that is always interesting where you find a movie or book with a seemingly similar idea to one of your stories.  Usually it turns out to be not that similar.  Have you ever come across something that was really similar to your work that you had no idea about when you were writing it (maybe because it didn't exist yet)?  I had something similar happen the other day; I watched a new movie that was trending on Netflix because, again, it made me radar ping and reminded me of something I'd written, and sure enough... I found it very predictable, probably because I wrote a novel with a similar premise, although mine went a totally different direction.

It was the attention to detail that made it the most fun! lol At this point, the reader base for BSB fanfic is probably a lot smaller than it used to be, so more for readers to enjoy is good for everyone. And maybe if someone enjoys another author's medical drama, they'll stumble on yours too. :)

I think if you boil any media down to a sentence, it's really easy for works to start sounding similar. It's just the line where the details come in that determines how similar. Something like "Young male protagonist gets thrust into a world of magic where he's always belonged" could fit both Harry Potter and Star Wars, but obviously they're both very different in the details (and realistically, it could be 100 other media properties, I just can't think of another one right now). Whereas something like... "A group of friends navigate their twenties and relationships in NYC" is a little more specific, so it narrows it down a bit more... but that's still the basic premise of Friends and How I Met Your Mother.

I did talk about this in one of my author talks, and in this thread before, I think. But I was initially very disappointed to find that PBox was similar to a manga called Fushigi Yugi that was long since published before PBox existed:

Well, I showed the beginning of PBox to a friend and they said something to the effect of “Oh, man, I think you’ll love this” and handed me a little manga from the 90s called Fushigi Yuugi. And I had two thoughts: First: Absolutely. I do love this. Second: Darnit. A story where a random girl ends up in a mysterious land and the characters have origins in the Four Gods and constellation ties? Well, crud. And there’s two groups going against each other with two more in the backstory? Double crud. Oh and three of our first introduced characters from this world are a love interest, a king, and a general in addition to these two girl rivals who are friends (there’s also a priest and a doctor introduced later). Triple crud. There are no new stories basically, lol.

I love your little ping radar and how it alerts you to things you'll enjoy. How often does that happen?


LOL I would be mortified if any of them ever read one of mine.  So yeah, "BSB Reacts to Fanfic" is probably not a good idea.

I will link the video because it's easy to find: https://youtu.be/Gyv2X0BqxBI?t=54  Basically, Nick thinks fanfic has "a lot of gossip" (??), until Kevin informs him that the two of them hook up in fanfic and calls it "freaky."  Kevin has clearly read some slash LOL.  Nick clearly does not know what he's talking about, which, again, is probably a good thing.

I think I said way back when that I would let Nick read PBox. I lied. I would let Nick read PBox once it didn't feature a Nick running around with a Howie, Brian, Kevin, and AJ if he stumbled on it himself, lol. I just couldn't live with his face once he realized that he has a horrid backstory and gets stabbed a lot, lol.

LOL! Hang on, I can parse together Nick speak from my years of adoration... He thinks that fanfic plays up stereotypes and "fanon" (widely held fan opinions of canon) often reflects things that aren't true, but could be grounds for character defamation lawsuits. What a nuanced opinion, Nick, lol. I'm kidding, his "What, really?!?" shows that he only has a basic understanding of "fans write stories about us and stories aren't always true." (I think that's realistically more what he means by gossip "Stories, like gossip, aren't always true. Since fanfics are stories, they are equivalent to gossip.") But now I'm dying to know how far Kevin got in reading that slash fanfic, lol! I suppose I'm not surprised that they aren't fans of our little hobby, especially if they think it's full of gossip and sex with each other that they're not into.


You are so prolific!!  That's awesome that you keep upping your word count goal and are still on track to finish in time.  A staycation, that sounds nice!  And that'll be perfect if you do your writing while he's at the gym.  An hour a day is enough to keep the streak alive, at least.

I hope Tracy does join us!  She'll need to decide on a new project too, since History is almost done.  Tracy, do you have any more thoughts on what you'll write next?

LOL True story - last time I did a VIP was during their Vegas residency, and I insisted on standing next to Howie for the photo because I felt so guilty about brutally killing him ten days earlier and just wanted to give him a big hug.  Thankfully, he did not know that.

I need to stop being so wordy. Or stop including my editing words in my word count. But realistically, some days, that's all I write, so if I didn't include the editing, the streak would not be alive. We're not sure how to be tourists in our hometown, so it should be interesting, lol! Exactly. That's all I need at this point.

Join us, Tracy!

LMFAO! I laughed so hard at that on Thursday, but was too tired to piece together a response at the time. Howie definitely deserved a big hug after being brutally killed, but good thing he didn't know about that gossip, lol. ;D


Not a novel-length sequel to another novel.  Technically SAMS is a sequel to a one-shot, but I don't really count that one.  I think of it more as Unsuspecting Sunday being a prequel to SAMS.  There's also my pandaskunk stories, but those are novellas.  I swore I would never write another sequel because I don't have a good track record for finishing them, but I have no regrets about writing BMS.  I guess I would consider writing another one with the right idea and inspiration.  I feel like the basic idea is there; it just needs some development.

Did you write SAMS first or Unsuspecting Sunday first? Oh right, I guess I did know that you had the Pandaskunk series. Not sure why I asked, lol! We talked about it a while ago, but sequels are hard, especially if it wasn't a thing where the sequel was planned from the beginning. I totally get the hesitation, in general. Always good to mull it around in your mind until the time to finish MBK comes. :)
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 13, 2021, 12:42:04 PM
In answer to your question Dee, yeah I did end up choosing something. I think it works a lot better than what I was going to go with originally so I think these last two chapters should come easily. I dunno what I'm writing after this. I've got nothing. I have a list of some ideas but nothing solid.

Yay! I saw you updated twice this week, that's awesome! I'm glad you're getting back into the groove. Is the next chapter going just as well?

I love what you went with, Tracy!  It was perfect.  Let us know if you want any feedback on your new story ideas.

I had some stuff written in that notebook that I told you about. There was an original handwritten draft of the first few chapters of Take Me Home, and two paragraphs of something that I was playing with. I keep going back to this idea with aliens or something.

In the notebook that I hadn't looked at in about three years I found it was interesting I was playing with a hunger games type of thing, but there were a lot of references to other stuff Iike that Malaysia airlines flight that went missing and some other conspiracy theories. I had an idea for a story to be centered around NYC during a blackout too. I don't know where I was going with any of it, I guess at the time I wrote it down anyway.

Ooh, all those ideas sound intriguing.  You could probably combine some of them, too.  An alien invasion could be the cause of a plane disappearing and a widescale blackout.  A Hunger Games type fic could be interesting, too.

I really do love the alien invasion one lol. I think I'm gonna see if I can finish Take Me Home or something before I work on anything new yet, because I kind of want to go and complete it. There's that Brian story that I was playing with that's a spin off of Nick and Amanda. I also have that storm chasing one that I was going to redo as well. Lots of ideas floating around. Nothing fully formed yet. There's the unfinished one shot too.

What's Take Me Home about, Tracy? I don't think I've seen you mention that idea before. I might be making your story too big trying to combine ideas like Julie, but what if aliens are the cause of all those conspiracy theories (black out, missing planes, etcetera) and when the plane goes missing, it ends up in a weird place (could be a remote island, could be a different planet), then the survivors do Hunger Games-esque things? I think it's great that you have this notebook to draw ideas from! You're both really good at keeping track of all your ideas; it makes me want to be better about it too! In the meantime, the random times I make jokes about things on this forum will have to suffice, lol. I would love to see another speculative fiction on AO3, so I'll put in a vote for team aliens, but write what makes you happiest obviously.

How often would you say you go for new ideas versus going to incomplete or already pondered ones? I see your unfinished one shot and that's most of why my immediate post-PNecklace plan is to finish death by snail, so I can say "look, another thing done." I wish I had ideas for more shorter stories, it must feel really nice to write 10k or less of several things and then get to say "all done" so many times. Though I say this, and I wonder if the authors who are prolific with short stories look at the novels and think the opposite. Feel free to answer this too, Julie, but I think we already discussed it at one point?


I actually was googling writing prompts the other night to see if anything interested me. There was a time travel one I found interesting too.

Ooh, time travel.  That always intrigues me, but it seems like it would be tough to write.  It makes my head hurt.  But I like the concept.  What kind of time travel would you be most interested in writing?  Like, would they go far back in time or into the future?  Or into the recent past to try to change something from their own history, like in The Butterfly Effect?  That is one of my favorite time travel movies.

Has anyone else used writing prompts to get an idea?  I don't think I have, other than the monthly challenges here.

I am also fascinated by time travel, but can never come up with a unique twist on it that I like! What would the Boys change in their recent history? I also love The Butterfly Effect, that idea that really small things can make a huge impact.

Is there a specific place you go for writing prompts, Tracy, or just random googling? I am terrible at looking at a prompt and using it for an idea, that's why I never did the challenges here -- I couldn't think of anything that would have a whole plot (or snippet of a plot) in the allotted time! I could probably do it with more time and less limitations, but... I definitely shied away from them due to lack of inspiration. Though this was also during the peak of my "stare at blank page" days, so maybe I would be able to do it now if I poked into old threads.

I much prefer the "challenges" they do in the Camp NaNo inspiration emails that can fit into any story rather than trying to think of a new short story. Like the "use a trope you hate from your genre" one that we talked about or those "fit this line into your narrative" type ones. I find those easier to tackle. Could be a fun challenge for all of us at some point. I'm thinking something like "include an old fanfic stereotype, but give it a twist."
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 13, 2021, 12:59:39 PM
I also got two comments right off the bat on today's update, which was really nice, especially considering I didn't get any feedback on last week's chapter.  It's funny because last week's chapter was probably my favorite one in the entire story up to that point, but it didn't have Nick, Brian, AJ, or Howie in it, only Kevin.  This week's had all five.  I wonder if that was the difference in how it was received by readers.  Does that ever happen to you, where parts you love get no reaction, and the parts that do get commented on are ones you don't consider to be all that special?

I've been disappointed by feedback on something before. There were a few times where this has happened for whatever and since I overthink a lot I tend to think it means that it sucked. Which I used to be in that mind set a lot, but thankfully I don't think that way for the most part anymore. It's perfectly fine to be disappointed though especially since you worked so hard on it.

No worries!  I wasn't fishing for feedback, just commenting on how it can vary chapter to chapter.  I don't assume that a chapter or story that doesn't get any feedback sucks, just that maybe it doesn't resonate with readers as much as it did with me.  That, or people are just busy and haven't gotten around to reading yet or can't think of what to comment on.  It is a little disappointing when you work hard on something and don't get any kind of feedback on it, but it happens.  As long as I'm happy with what I wrote, I don't let it bother me.  I have also gotten better at not overthinking or worrying about what other people think.

Another thing to remember is that there are a lot of "silent readers" out there - people who read every chapter and never say a word.  Some people, especially those who don't write themselves, just don't feel comfortable leaving reviews.  I don't remember ever really emailing writers with feedback until I started writing and posting stories myself.  Then I realized how much people appreciate hearing that someone enjoyed their story, so I started saying so.  Major kudos to the readers who don't write themselves and still take the time to leave comments.

I don't think anyone loves parts I love as much as I do, haha. But we've already discussed how I often feel like I'm shouting into the void. I think I have a lot of those "silent reader" types.

I think in fanfic, it can be intimidating to leave reviews when you don't look at it with the mindset of "just about anything I say will bring some joy to the person writing it." Which is easy for other writers because I'm sure we all think, "I know I would be happy to hear any of this, so they will be too." Although, I think that can be a bit of a double-edged sword as well, because we probably all have varying degrees of what we would be "happy to hear." I think that's where concrit falls, like I know I would want to hear the point where someone lost interest in whatever I was writing, for instance, in case I could go back to look at it and say "oh, yes, this is very boring; I will adjust," but that's probably not a universal opinion (and people don't usually say things like that anyway, they just stop reading, lol).

As for other comments, I wonder if it's the degree of removal that's intimidating. Like someone could love Harry Potter, go online, and gush about it with other Harry Potter fans, but even if they dmed JK Rowling, the chances she would reply, or even see it, could vary. But that same Harry Potter fan could go online, read a Harry Potter fanfic and love it, comment and the author would not only see it right away, but also probably get notified that the comment is there and be able to respond. Which we all love, but there's definitely a difference between discussing something you love with other fans versus a creator. Like, I'd talk to you all about my joy and history with the Boys forever, but if I ever get to tell them, I would be really anxious about it the whole time leading up to that moment. And it's one thing to be anxious in line at some sort of meet and greet where you could leave, but you've already paid for it and you're already there, versus being on the other side of a computer screen reading a story where if the anxiousness gets overwhelming, you can just click away and you're still on your computer/phone wherever you were before (and it was free to begin with).

There's also those stories with lots of comments where once you get there, you think "do I really have anything to add that isn't already here?" Yes, I like to read other peoples' comments on stories as well. Does anyone else do this? lol For fanfics, I know that even a "this was awesome" is appreciated, but I think about it kind of like discussions for class. I often wouldn't say things then because I had nothing to add other than "I agree." So I assume some readers might feel the same way about our stories, even if they loved it.

This is my 10 cents about comments, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 13, 2021, 01:17:36 PM
How's everyone's weekend going?

I am slowly but surely making my way through my Nick chapter.  It feels like I'm not even to the heart of the chapter yet, but I just checked my word count, and it's already over 3,000 words... so I'm thinking this may be another long one.  I guess that'll balance out the monster Kevin chapter I wrote last week.

Glad you're making some progress on it and at least you don't need to worry anymore about if it feels long enough to be a chapter yet. Is it going well today too? It's interesting that you were worried about it not having enough to match the Kevin chapter and now they're both equally lengthy. Apparently, Nick had some things to say too! lol

It is... not going as well as I wanted? I was really tired on Friday since I ended up having to sub in one our classrooms, so I didn't get much written like I was hoping and ended up deleting what I wrote when I started writing yesterday. We haven't left for our little staycation yet, but my plan was to stare at my computer yesterday until my eyes bled and write as much as I could before then. But, one of my friends is about to move for grad school and is finishing closing on his condo, so he wanted to have a little pub crawl for one of his last weekends in town (he's probably not moving for another month or so, but he'll be living with family and getting into town will be slightly less convenient/involve more driving). We've been friends for almost a decade, so obviously I couldn't deny him his pub crawl for writing, lol. One of our other friends was busy when he wanted to start, so he pushed it back a couple hours, so I thought "okay, while I try to do some laundry at our other friend's house, I can get some solid writing done." (Can't wait until our washer and dryer are installed later this week!) But of course, I finally got into the groove when the last load was done and just had to abandon writing to go. I did get almost 1,000 words written, but had to keep going back and getting back into it every time I stopped for laundry. I think I would have been super productive if I had been able to keep to my original plan of staring at the computer all day, lol. So, we'll see how this morning goes! But I wanted to make sure I checked in/didn't get too far behind on our writing discussions. :)
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 13, 2021, 01:27:03 PM
It's good that they were pretty different, it gives readers who enjoy medical drama two different takes on the same subject matter. lol! I love that you have cancer story radar. I'm sure by now you could look at any medical drama and say "I know exactly where this is going." Although, if the cancer was a late reveal, what vibe/theme pinged you the most?

The story starts with an announcement of the Boys abruptly canceling their tour the night before it was about to begin, but they won't say why, so of course I knew something was up.  I already had cancer on the brain because I had just started Curtain Call, so that's where my brain went first.  Sure enough, that's what it turned out to be.


I love your little ping radar and how it alerts you to things you'll enjoy. How often does that happen?

Not as often as I wish!


I think if you boil any media down to a sentence, it's really easy for works to start sounding similar. It's just the line where the details come in that determines how similar. Something like "Young male protagonist gets thrust into a world of magic where he's always belonged" could fit both Harry Potter and Star Wars, but obviously they're both very different in the details (and realistically, it could be 100 other media properties, I just can't think of another one right now). Whereas something like... "A group of friends navigate their twenties and relationships in NYC" is a little more specific, so it narrows it down a bit more... but that's still the basic premise of Friends and How I Met Your Mother.

Yep, that is very true.  The details are what make them different.  We did a challenge like that once, where everyone was to write a story with the same premise - the Boys' bus breaking down - to see how different they all turned out.  Here's the thread for it: http://absolutechaos.net/fictalk/index.php/topic,2146.0.html  I must have been too wrapped up in Curtain Call to participate in this one.


I think I said way back when that I would let Nick read PBox. I lied. I would let Nick read PBox once it didn't feature a Nick running around with a Howie, Brian, Kevin, and AJ if he stumbled on it himself, lol. I just couldn't live with his face once he realized that he has a horrid backstory and gets stabbed a lot, lol.

LOL! Hang on, I can parse together Nick speak from my years of adoration... He thinks that fanfic plays up stereotypes and "fanon" (widely held fan opinions of canon) often reflects things that aren't true, but could be grounds for character defamation lawsuits. What a nuanced opinion, Nick, lol. I'm kidding, his "What, really?!?" shows that he only has a basic understanding of "fans write stories about us and stories aren't always true." (I think that's realistically more what he means by gossip "Stories, like gossip, aren't always true. Since fanfics are stories, they are equivalent to gossip.") But now I'm dying to know how far Kevin got in reading that slash fanfic, lol! I suppose I'm not surprised that they aren't fans of our little hobby, especially if they think it's full of gossip and sex with each other that they're not into.

Yeah, poor Nick would be in for a rude awakening if he went in thinking fanfics were just "gossip" and realized he was being portrayed as a demon with a tragic backstory who gets stabbed a lot LOL.  That is probably what he meant by "gossip," made up stories.

I am also curious how far Kevin got into the slash story (or stories?) and which one he read.  Too funny!  I hope they're unaware of AO3 LOL.  Though I would love to see the looks on their faces reading those tags alone.


I need to stop being so wordy. Or stop including my editing words in my word count. But realistically, some days, that's all I write, so if I didn't include the editing, the streak would not be alive. We're not sure how to be tourists in our hometown, so it should be interesting, lol! Exactly. That's all I need at this point.

Hey, do whatever you need to do to keep the streak alive!  If you're adding or changing words, that's still writing and can be counted.

Tourists in your hometown... that'll be fun!  Enjoy your staycation!


Did you write SAMS first or Unsuspecting Sunday first? Oh right, I guess I did know that you had the Pandaskunk series. Not sure why I asked, lol! We talked about it a while ago, but sequels are hard, especially if it wasn't a thing where the sequel was planned from the beginning. I totally get the hesitation, in general. Always good to mull it around in your mind until the time to finish MBK comes. :)

I wrote Unsuspecting Sunday first, but already had the idea for SAMS.  The whole thing started as a personal challenge to see if I could write a slash and take it seriously, so I started with a short story that could stand alone, with the idea that if it went well, I could extend it to a longer story.  

Yep, that's all I'm doing at this point - mulling.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 13, 2021, 01:44:30 PM
I see your unfinished one shot and that's most of why my immediate post-PNecklace plan is to finish death by snail, so I can say "look, another thing done." I wish I had ideas for more shorter stories, it must feel really nice to write 10k or less of several things and then get to say "all done" so many times. Though I say this, and I wonder if the authors who are prolific with short stories look at the novels and think the opposite. Feel free to answer this too, Julie, but I think we already discussed it at one point?

I also wish I had more ideas for short stories!  It does feel good to be able to finish a story quickly, check that complete box, and add another work under your name.  I've always been more of a novel writer though.  I enjoy the short stories I've written, but I don't have the same connection to them as my novels, and I feel that way as a reader, too.  I started writing fanfic because of a short story that I wished was longer, so I took a similar premise and turned into a novel myself.  I know there are writers who are the opposite; they write mostly one-shots and short stories and wish they could write novels.  I've seen their threads on Reddit.  It definitely requires commitment to write longfics, but I admire the creativity of writers who can come up with ideas for all these different short stories!


I also love The Butterfly Effect, that idea that really small things can make a huge impact.

I almost watched The Butterfly Effect last night after talking about it because I haven't seen it in years!  But I opted for a movie I hadn't seen instead, which was a good choice.  Penguin Bloom on Netflix... so good!!  But I may still have to watch The Butterfly Effect at some point this summer.


I am terrible at looking at a prompt and using it for an idea, that's why I never did the challenges here -- I couldn't think of anything that would have a whole plot (or snippet of a plot) in the allotted time! I could probably do it with more time and less limitations, but... I definitely shied away from them due to lack of inspiration. Though this was also during the peak of my "stare at blank page" days, so maybe I would be able to do it now if I poked into old threads.

I much prefer the "challenges" they do in the Camp NaNo inspiration emails that can fit into any story rather than trying to think of a new short story. Like the "use a trope you hate from your genre" one that we talked about or those "fit this line into your narrative" type ones. I find those easier to tackle. Could be a fun challenge for all of us at some point. I'm thinking something like "include an old fanfic stereotype, but give it a twist."

I'm the same way with prompts and challenges.  I did a handful of the challenges here and enjoyed the ones I did, but I struggle with word count limits and challenges that make you include all these random things.  There were also a couple of challenges where I planned to participate and even had an idea, but never got around to writing it.  I feel like those ones usually happened in August.  I always start August in fanfic mode and then abruptly switch to back-to-school mode and stop writing.  But anyway, a good challenge would be to go back to the old challenge threads, find one you never did or want to try again, and do it!

It's definitely nice when you can use your work in progress to complete a challenge.  That's another reason I've shied away from one-shot challenges; I don't want them to derail me from whatever novel I'm working on.  I tend to write more short stories when I'm between novels.

I like your idea of a fanfic stereotype with a twist!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 13, 2021, 01:51:54 PM
The story starts with an announcement of the Boys abruptly canceling their tour the night before it was about to begin, but they won't say why, so of course I knew something was up.  I already had cancer on the brain because I had just started Curtain Call, so that's where my brain went first.  Sure enough, that's what it turned out to be.

Oh yeah, abrupt without explanation would ping my "something bigger is up" radar as well and it makes sense that if cancer was on your mind from your own story, that cancer is where your brain would go.


Yep, that is very true.  The details are what make them different.  We did a challenge like that once, where everyone was to write a story with the same premise - the Boys' bus breaking down - to see how different they all turned out.  Here's the thread for it: http://absolutechaos.net/fictalk/index.php/topic,2146.0.html  I must have been too wrapped up in Curtain Call to participate in this one.

I have looked at that thread, but didn't get a chance to read any of the entries yet. I think "bus breaks down" is a good premise to use because lots of things can lead to a bus breaking down and lots of things can happen after a bus breaks down, which we've already discussed. I'm pretty sure that's what you said, "I am very busy, but here's some ideas," lol.


Yeah, poor Nick would be in for a rude awakening if he went in thinking fanfics were just "gossip" and realized he was being portrayed as a demon with a tragic backstory who gets stabbed a lot LOL.  That is probably what he meant by "gossip," made up stories.

I am also curious how far Kevin got into the slash story (or stories?) and which one he read.  Too funny!  I hope they're unaware of AO3 LOL.  Though I would love to see the looks on their faces reading those tags alone.

Or that he gets cancer and loses a limb. Or that there is an entire round robin dedicated to featuring tales of his death. He's really better off with only his vague interpretation, lol.

You're right! He would have had to stumble on multiples to say confidently "We hook up" instead of "I once found one story where we hook up." OMG, the tags alone! We're definitely better off in our "summaries and genre tags" camp if that were the case.


Hey, do whatever you need to do to keep the streak alive!  If you're adding or changing words, that's still writing and can be counted.

Tourists in your hometown... that'll be fun!  Enjoy your staycation!

The streak still lives. Don't worry!

Thanks! It'll be interesting. :)


I wrote Unsuspecting Sunday first, but already had the idea for SAMS.  The whole thing started as a personal challenge to see if I could write a slash and take it seriously, so I started with a short story that could stand alone, with the idea that if it went well, I could extend it to a longer story.  

Yep, that's all I'm doing at this point - mulling.

That makes sense. If you couldn't sustain it for the short story, then you would know that it might not be the right time to tackle the larger idea. I'm glad it did go well so that you were able to tackle your whole novel and broaden your horizons. :)
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 13, 2021, 02:05:16 PM
I also wish I had more ideas for short stories!  It does feel good to be able to finish a story quickly, check that complete box, and add another work under your name.  I've always been more of a novel writer though.  I enjoy the short stories I've written, but I don't have the same connection to them as my novels, and I feel that way as a reader, too.  I started writing fanfic because of a short story that I wished was longer, so I took a similar premise and turned into a novel myself.  I know there are writers who are the opposite; they write mostly one-shots and short stories and wish they could write novels.  I've seen their threads on Reddit.  It definitely requires commitment to write longfics, but I admire the creativity of writers who can come up with ideas for all these different short stories!

I think a lot of people start that way, finding something they wanted to continue, but that was it. Yes, I also admire the creativity of writers who have many succinct ideas! I feel like all of mine are always too big! Although, I guess writing a short story is like writing one tiny piece of a long story without knowing what the rest of the long story is. However, I feel like I always get that idea for a tiny piece and my brain automatically goes to "what's the bigger story surrounding this tiny piece?" instead of "I should write this tiny piece."


I almost watched The Butterfly Effect last night after talking about it because I haven't seen it in years!  But I opted for a movie I hadn't seen instead, which was a good choice.  Penguin Bloom on Netflix... so good!!  But I may still have to watch The Butterfly Effect at some point this summer.

(I looked it up.) I'm a little disappointed it wasn't about actual penguins, but it does sound good and right up your alley. :) I notice that we've been slowly cultivating a list of "movies we discuss and should watch," lol.


I'm the same way with prompts and challenges.  I did a handful of the challenges here and enjoyed the ones I did, but I struggle with word count limits and challenges that make you include all these random things.  There were also a couple of challenges where I planned to participate and even had an idea, but never got around to writing it.  I feel like those ones usually happened in August.  I always start August in fanfic mode and then abruptly switch to back-to-school mode and stop writing.  But anyway, a good challenge would be to go back to the old challenge threads, find one you never did or want to try again, and do it!

It's definitely nice when you can use your work in progress to complete a challenge.  That's another reason I've shied away from one-shot challenges; I don't want them to derail me from whatever novel I'm working on.  I tend to write more short stories when I'm between novels.

I like your idea of a fanfic stereotype with a twist!

I don't mind the random things, those are the same as the "include this line" prompts in my mind. It's just often the combination of "include these things" that makes it hard for me. August seems tough for you to have to abruptly switch from 2am fanfic mode to 10pm back-to-school mode. If you don't have major burnout this year, maybe it will be easier to keep writing despite having to adjust. :) Is it typically easier if you already have a project going? That is a good challenge! Perhaps I will tackle that if my WADD goes for a while or that could be a fun July project to write several one shots based on old challenges. Although I'm not sure how to calculate word count for that.

Same, I try not to let an idea derail me unless I know exactly what will happen from start to finish. That's why snail has taken a while, the middle is kind of wibbly wobbly.

I was inspired by your epithets, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 13, 2021, 02:23:06 PM
I don't think anyone loves parts I love as much as I do, haha.

I feel this way sometimes too, but I guess that's a good thing!  It's nice to be at a place where you can look back at your own work and enjoy and appreciate it without cringing or wishing it could be better.  That's not to say it couldn't be better; I know I'm not perfect.  But these days, I'm generally happy with everything I write that gets to the point of posting, even if no one else reads it.


I think in fanfic, it can be intimidating to leave reviews when you don't look at it with the mindset of "just about anything I say will bring some joy to the person writing it." Which is easy for other writers because I'm sure we all think, "I know I would be happy to hear any of this, so they will be too." Although, I think that can be a bit of a double-edged sword as well, because we probably all have varying degrees of what we would be "happy to hear." I think that's where concrit falls, like I know I would want to hear the point where someone lost interest in whatever I was writing, for instance, in case I could go back to look at it and say "oh, yes, this is very boring; I will adjust," but that's probably not a universal opinion (and people don't usually say things like that anyway, they just stop reading, lol).

Very true!  I've had friends and readers tell me that they used to feel very nervous giving feedback.  They didn't know what to say besides "Great story!" or how to put their thoughts into words.  While there are probably some writers who don't care about comments that just say "Great story!" I think most of us would rather hear that than nothing at all.  Obviously more detailed comments are preferable, but I'm just happy knowing someone read and liked my story, even if that's all they say.  But I guess it's probably easier to craft detailed feedback when you're a writer yourself.

That's also true about what kind of feedback we're all hoping for.  Some writers really want concrit, and others are not ready for it.  I think that comes with experience and maturity.  I don't leave concrit unless I'm asked directly or it's to a good friend who I know won't get offended by it.  And of course I always sandwich it between compliments.

One of the best things we did here when the forum was more active was the summer reading challenge.  It ran a few years in a row before it fizzled out due to lack of participation.  People would sign up to read a story they hadn't read and give feedback, and in return, someone would read one of their stories and give feedback.  Concrit was allowed and expected; we all know that going in, so it was easier to give and receive it.


As for other comments, I wonder if it's the degree of removal that's intimidating. Like someone could love Harry Potter, go online, and gush about it with other Harry Potter fans, but even if they dmed JK Rowling, the chances she would reply, or even see it, could vary. But that same Harry Potter fan could go online, read a Harry Potter fanfic and love it, comment and the author would not only see it right away, but also probably get notified that the comment is there and be able to respond. Which we all love, but there's definitely a difference between discussing something you love with other fans versus a creator. Like, I'd talk to you all about my joy and history with the Boys forever, but if I ever get to tell them, I would be really anxious about it the whole time leading up to that moment. And it's one thing to be anxious in line at some sort of meet and greet where you could leave, but you've already paid for it and you're already there, versus being on the other side of a computer screen reading a story where if the anxiousness gets overwhelming, you can just click away and you're still on your computer/phone wherever you were before (and it was free to begin with).

I could definitely see that too.  In the early days of fanfic, I remember assuming the "popular" fanfic authors got so much feedback, they wouldn't even see or have time to reply to my emails, so I didn't bother.  Once I finally had a "popular" story myself, I realized that wasn't the case.  At my peak, I would get maybe ten pieces of feedback per chapter on average?  Certainly nothing unmanageable.  I happily read, replied to, and saved every one.  Obviously it's different if you're JK Rowling LOL.  But even successful published authors appreciate hearing from readers.  I once tweeted a picture of my collection of Lurlene McDaniel novels with a comment about how much they influenced my writing, and I tagged her, and she actually replied to me!  I was over the moon.  (I just went to look up this tweet and saw that her Twitter account is suspended... whoops! LOL  She is one of those Bible belt Trumpsters... so disappointing, but not entirely surprising. :()  Anyway, I never would have even thought to try contacting her directly.  I don't usually tweet or tag the Boys either.  I have met them quite a few times by now, and I still get nervous and never know what to say to them LOL.  So I get the intimidation factor.


There's also those stories with lots of comments where once you get there, you think "do I really have anything to add that isn't already here?" Yes, I like to read other peoples' comments on stories as well. Does anyone else do this? lol For fanfics, I know that even a "this was awesome" is appreciated, but I think about it kind of like discussions for class. I often wouldn't say things then because I had nothing to add other than "I agree." So I assume some readers might feel the same way about our stories, even if they loved it.

This is my 10 cents about comments, lol.

I read other comments that are already there, but I don't typically go back and look at comments on other people's stories after the fact.  The only time I do is if it's for a chapter with a really shocking or pivotal moment; then I do like to see how everyone else reacted.

That's another good point about people not wanting to comment if they feel they have nothing new to say.  But again, I would prefer five comments from different people that say exactly the same thing or "I agree" to just one.  Agree away!

I do like the kudos feature on AO3 because it's an easy way to acknowledge that read and enjoyed a story without actually having to say anything.  You can even do it without an account.  As someone would would rather just like/react on Facebook than actually leave a comment, I get the appeal of that.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 13, 2021, 02:32:56 PM
Glad you're making some progress on it and at least you don't need to worry anymore about if it feels long enough to be a chapter yet. Is it going well today too? It's interesting that you were worried about it not having enough to match the Kevin chapter and now they're both equally lengthy. Apparently, Nick had some things to say too! lol

Nick is home from tour now, so he has more to say and do that I actually want to write! LOL

I was proud of myself last night (technically this morning) because even though I had already written earlier in the day, I got back on the computer after finishing my movie at 1 a.m. and went back to writing.  I officially made it to sunrise for the first time this summer.  Went to bed at 5 something and slept till noon.  I haven't written a word of fanfic yet since I woke up because I popped over here first, but I left off in the middle of a scene, so I should have no problem adding more to it later.


It is... not going as well as I wanted? I was really tired on Friday since I ended up having to sub in one our classrooms, so I didn't get much written like I was hoping and ended up deleting what I wrote when I started writing yesterday. We haven't left for our little staycation yet, but my plan was to stare at my computer yesterday until my eyes bled and write as much as I could before then. But, one of my friends is about to move for grad school and is finishing closing on his condo, so he wanted to have a little pub crawl for one of his last weekends in town (he's probably not moving for another month or so, but he'll be living with family and getting into town will be slightly less convenient/involve more driving). We've been friends for almost a decade, so obviously I couldn't deny him his pub crawl for writing, lol. One of our other friends was busy when he wanted to start, so he pushed it back a couple hours, so I thought "okay, while I try to do some laundry at our other friend's house, I can get some solid writing done." (Can't wait until our washer and dryer are installed later this week!) But of course, I finally got into the groove when the last load was done and just had to abandon writing to go. I did get almost 1,000 words written, but had to keep going back and getting back into it every time I stopped for laundry. I think I would have been super productive if I had been able to keep to my original plan of staring at the computer all day, lol. So, we'll see how this morning goes! But I wanted to make sure I checked in/didn't get too far behind on our writing discussions. :)

Aww, I hear your frustration.  As much as we love our friends, it's annoying when social obligations pull you away from your writing, especially when you were just getting in the groove!  I hope you're left alone today and can get more writing done before your staycation starts!

My bestie is teaching summer school this month, so she has been busier than usual, which is fine with me.  I have plans with her and a few other friends Wednesday night, but have had the past week mostly to myself, other than a few ball games and lunch with my mom and grandma.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 13, 2021, 02:56:56 PM
Or that he gets cancer and loses a limb. Or that there is an entire round robin dedicated to featuring tales of his death. He's really better off with only his vague interpretation, lol.

You're right! He would have had to stumble on multiples to say confidently "We hook up" instead of "I once found one story where we hook up." OMG, the tags alone! We're definitely better off in our "summaries and genre tags" camp if that were the case.

LOL Yeah, jeez... reading all that would probably make him some paranoid hypochondriac!  He already said in his book that he is a little bit of a hypochondriac (aren't we all?), so yeah... stay far, far away from the fanfics, Nick!

LMAO That's a good point; Kevin would have had to have come across multiple stories where he and Nick hook up to say that.  I think after Frick/Frack, Kevin/Nick is probably the second most popular pairing.  Speaking of Frick/Frack, I would pay the most money to watch Brian's face as he reads those tags... hahaha!!!


Yes, I also admire the creativity of writers who have many succinct ideas! I feel like all of mine are always too big! Although, I guess writing a short story is like writing one tiny piece of a long story without knowing what the rest of the long story is. However, I feel like I always get that idea for a tiny piece and my brain automatically goes to "what's the bigger story surrounding this tiny piece?" instead of "I should write this tiny piece."

Same!  I always feel the need to tell the whole story instead of just showing a slice of it.  I read a one-shot the other day that was just Nick sitting by Brian's hospital bed, reflecting on their relationship as he waited for him to wake up.  It was a nice piece of angst, but of course I would like to read the moments leading up to that one and know what happens next.  But I guess that works well when you have an idea for one vivid scene and want to write it without messing around with the build-up or follow-up.


(I looked it up.) I'm a little disappointed it wasn't about actual penguins, but it does sound good and right up your alley. :) I notice that we've been slowly cultivating a list of "movies we discuss and should watch," lol.

I also thought it was going to be about a penguin, but it's about a magpie named Penguin!  It's still very cute, and they used real magpies in the movie!  They had a whole list of their names in the credits.  It was definitely right up my alley, but sometimes I am disappointed by movies like that because they turn out to be cheesy.  I watched one last week that was also right up my alley, 2 Hearts, and it was cheesy.  This one was touching, but well done and not too cheesy.  I loved it!


I don't mind the random things, those are the same as the "include this line" prompts in my mind. It's just often the combination of "include these things" that makes it hard for me. August seems tough for you to have to abruptly switch from 2am fanfic mode to 10pm back-to-school mode. If you don't have major burnout this year, maybe it will be easier to keep writing despite having to adjust. :) Is it typically easier if you already have a project going? That is a good challenge! Perhaps I will tackle that if my WADD goes for a while or that could be a fun July project to write several one shots based on old challenges. Although I'm not sure how to calculate word count for that.

Same, I try not to let an idea derail me unless I know exactly what will happen from start to finish. That's why snail has taken a while, the middle is kind of wibbly wobbly.

I was inspired by your epithets, lol.

Yeah, it's definitely easier to stay in the writing groove to some extent if I already have a project going.  The last two years haven't been as bad because I was very into A Heart That Isn't Mine in 2019 and Bethlehem last year.  I expect to still be writing MBK when I go back to school, so that will help.  Otherwise it's easy to just focus on school and stop writing from August until Christmas break, and then I spend half my break trying to get back into writing.  I'll probably take a break from setting Nano goals after July though, so I don't have that added pressure in August.

That's a good idea for a July goal.  I wish you could leave it open-ended and just see how many words or short stories you can write, but I guess you have to give it an arbitrary number to make it a goal.  Some of the challenges have a word count limit, so maybe you could pick out a few you want to try and base it on that.

Hm, what if you wrote a short story using only epithets and no character names?  See if readers can figure out who's who LOL.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: FrickingKaos on June 13, 2021, 03:32:09 PM
Yeah I haven't really talked about Take Me Home a whole lot, it's been on pause for about a year or so. I'd like to finish it eventually cause it's a really good story, at least I think so anyway. It's an AU and Science fiction. I don't want to give a whole lot away but the premise is Nick wakes up one day with no memories and is told he's been through something, and as the story goes on he gets bits and pieces. He and Brian are the main characters. This one does have aliens in it sort of, but it's not like that idea I mentioned before on the other thread. I'm glad my ideas are intriguing because I find them interesting too.


I usually don't look for writing prompts, but I found myself go ogling it the other night to see if anything jumped out at me. I have been watching a bunch of stuff to see if I am inspired as well. The final chapter of History is taking my main focus right now, and it's going pretty well. I might have an update done by Wednesday, at least that's what I am shooting for.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 13, 2021, 07:29:50 PM
Glad to hear the last chapter of History is going well!

I had a good afternoon writing session.  I wrote for about three and a half hours and got 1,747 words written.  My Nick chapter is over 6,500 words now LOL.  I still have one more (short?) scene planned for it, but we'll see.

My average daily word count on Nano is now 666... LOL.  I hope this isn't a bad omen of me not making my goal. ;)
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: mare on June 14, 2021, 12:53:45 AM
Jumping in about comments:

I used to read comments on other stories to try to figure out if I wanted to read it or not. Sometimes if I saw the same people who tended to read and comment on my stuff, it would tell me maybe the story was the same kind I wrote. On the other hand, if it was reviewed by all the romance people I avoided it.

I think the reading challenge was the best thing we ever did on this forum.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: FrickingKaos on June 14, 2021, 02:23:24 AM
I loved that reading challenge. It was a lot of fun.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: mare on June 15, 2021, 09:05:17 PM
This is the second night of quiet on here. Did I break the message board?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: Rose on June 16, 2021, 04:06:01 AM
Hi! I'm alive!

That's all LOL.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 16, 2021, 04:38:13 PM
LOL Dee must be busy with the hubby on their staycation.  I've been checking in, but can't think of anything new to say.

Hi Rose!  Glad to see you on here!  We've missed you in fanficland!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 16, 2021, 09:45:17 PM
This is the second night of quiet on here. Did I break the message board?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 16, 2021, 10:31:20 PM
Welcome back, and happy belated anniversary!  Hope you enjoyed your staycation!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 16, 2021, 10:38:30 PM
I feel this way sometimes too, but I guess that's a good thing!  It's nice to be at a place where you can look back at your own work and enjoy and appreciate it without cringing or wishing it could be better.  That's not to say it couldn't be better; I know I'm not perfect.  But these days, I'm generally happy with everything I write that gets to the point of posting, even if no one else reads it.

I often tell myself that if I don't post things, no one is able to read them at all, so it's important to be our own biggest cheerleaders. :) I think we're all meticulous enough in at least some aspects that we don't just post willy nilly anymore. I will stop generalizing. I've become more meticulous and no longer post willy nilly. Heck, the last chapter I posted went through 3-4 versions before it got to this one. I am tired of editing and writing today and words are hard, lol.


Very true!  I've had friends and readers tell me that they used to feel very nervous giving feedback.  They didn't know what to say besides "Great story!" or how to put their thoughts into words.  While there are probably some writers who don't care about comments that just say "Great story!" I think most of us would rather hear that than nothing at all.  Obviously more detailed comments are preferable, but I'm just happy knowing someone read and liked my story, even if that's all they say.  But I guess it's probably easier to craft detailed feedback when you're a writer yourself.

Even writing, I know that I have moments where I don't know how to put my thoughts into words and have said "I don't have anything to say, but I swear this isn't a you thing, it's a me thing. I need to process, but wanted to make sure you knew I was here," lol. Same, any old comment would be awesome, the detailed ones are just extra great. :)


That's also true about what kind of feedback we're all hoping for.  Some writers really want concrit, and others are not ready for it.  I think that comes with experience and maturity.  I don't leave concrit unless I'm asked directly or it's to a good friend who I know won't get offended by it.  And of course I always sandwich it between compliments.

I guess for me, there's varying levels of concrit. I've usually mentioned something if it feels like a clarity issue like "I am confused who is the POV here in this thought, xyz general solution may help (like a new paragraph or a "dialogue" tag)" or "I see an 'aroused' that is probably supposed to be 'roused,' but I guess 'aroused' could work..." (Who has made both of these mistakes in the past? Me, obviously, lol.) I always figure the last thing I want is for anyone reading something of mine to be confused, so if I have a confusion moment, I do like to mention it. For creative things, sandwiching is probably better than the "big 'ol face of meat" version. I like concrit wraps for things like I mentioned, doesn't get lost in the bread, lol. I wouldn't give any concrit like "I skimmed this part on the first read and here's a possible reason why" or something without being asked though. Story structure, plot, and character development are much larger pieces of a work than spelling/grammatical errors or formatting issues and deserve some more care and discussion that starts with an ask. I'll call the spelling/grammar/formatting ones a 2-minute concrit. Can it be fixed in two minutes or less? Worth mentioning.

I think concrit is like most change. If you're trying to give it to someone that doesn't want it, it won't be acknowledged until they're ready.


One of the best things we did here when the forum was more active was the summer reading challenge.  It ran a few years in a row before it fizzled out due to lack of participation.  People would sign up to read a story they hadn't read and give feedback, and in return, someone would read one of their stories and give feedback. Concrit was allowed and expected; we all know that going in, so it was easier to give and receive it.

That sounds super fun! And a great way to improve something when you're ready as an author. I wonder if there's some way to revive the summer reading challenge in a looser format. Like the summer read-a-thons kids do. Was the lack of participation exacerbated by slower forum participation in general? Obviously it wouldn't be a concrit thing if the people having their stories read didn't know we were doing it, but encouraging some reading would be fun. :)

I think the reading challenge was the best thing we ever did on this forum.
I loved that reading challenge. It was a lot of fun.

It seems like enjoying it in the days of yore is a universal opinion.


I could definitely see that too.  In the early days of fanfic, I remember assuming the "popular" fanfic authors got so much feedback, they wouldn't even see or have time to reply to my emails, so I didn't bother.  Once I finally had a "popular" story myself, I realized that wasn't the case.  At my peak, I would get maybe ten pieces of feedback per chapter on average?  Certainly nothing unmanageable.  I happily read, replied to, and saved every one.  Obviously it's different if you're JK Rowling LOL.  But even successful published authors appreciate hearing from readers.  I once tweeted a picture of my collection of Lurlene McDaniel novels with a comment about how much they influenced my writing, and I tagged her, and she actually replied to me!  I was over the moon.  (I just went to look up this tweet and saw that her Twitter account is suspended... whoops! LOL  She is one of those Bible belt Trumpsters... so disappointing, but not entirely surprising. :()  Anyway, I never would have even thought to try contacting her directly.  I don't usually tweet or tag the Boys either.  I have met them quite a few times by now, and I still get nervous and never know what to say to them LOL.  So I get the intimidation factor.

I thought that in my initial ventures into reading fanfic, but after writing I figured there's no point in publishing something if you're not wanting people to read it and interact with you in some way. When it's online, the interaction piece is simpler. I'm sure there are plenty of authors that don't really respond to feedback/comments, but I don't know that that has anything to do with popularity of the story. Again, unless it's Harry Potter or something, then the sheer volume of feedback really would be an issue.

That's so awesome/sweet that she replied to you! I can bet you were absolutely over the moon! I'm really excited for you, even though I feel like this happened a while ago. I only did it on my pumpkin an "I made this, it's yours to enjoy" type thought (Howie liked it and I nearly died.) I'm less inclined on a photo, though they share those to their instagram stories all the time, so what do I know? lol I've mentioned this pumpkin and never posted it, I think out of the hope someone would be like "It's January, but show us your pumpkin." So, it's June, but here's my pumpkin (https://ibb.co/MRgP9Dm), lol (different angles and draft on paper available if you like details).


I read other comments that are already there, but I don't typically go back and look at comments on other people's stories after the fact.  The only time I do is if it's for a chapter with a really shocking or pivotal moment; then I do like to see how everyone else reacted.

That's another good point about people not wanting to comment if they feel they have nothing new to say.  But again, I would prefer five comments from different people that say exactly the same thing or "I agree" to just one.  Agree away!

I do like the kudos feature on AO3 because it's an easy way to acknowledge that read and enjoyed a story without actually having to say anything.  You can even do it without an account.  As someone would would rather just like/react on Facebook than actually leave a comment, I get the appeal of that.

I think I only go back if I'm still reading the story and there's something that was foreshadowed. I like to see who caught it. If it's before I've left a review, I will definitely look at what other people have to say.

In the spirit of agreeing, I agree with this sentiment, lol.

I figure a kudos is the same as a heart on twitter or instagram. I am very liberal with my hearts. As a social media lurker, I totally understand the appeal. I do wish that there was a "work kudos" and "chapter kudos" though, then there would be a way to know if silent people were reading along and enjoying.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 16, 2021, 11:00:14 PM
Nick is home from tour now, so he has more to say and do that I actually want to write! LOL

I was proud of myself last night (technically this morning) because even though I had already written earlier in the day, I got back on the computer after finishing my movie at 1 a.m. and went back to writing.  I officially made it to sunrise for the first time this summer.  Went to bed at 5 something and slept till noon.  I haven't written a word of fanfic yet since I woke up because I popped over here first, but I left off in the middle of a scene, so I should have no problem adding more to it later.

An excellent point, we have already discussed that there are minimal new things to say about "The Boys performed The Call, just like always, and stuff like that." ;)

Ooh, double writing! I love when I can take a break and get back into the groove, and that's especially exciting that you were able to do it so late in the day. Did you have any caffeine when you started writing again or was it just pure inspiration/work? Hope writing has gone well the past couple of days. Were they up 'til sunrise ones?


Aww, I hear your frustration.  As much as we love our friends, it's annoying when social obligations pull you away from your writing, especially when you were just getting in the groove!  I hope you're left alone today and can get more writing done before your staycation starts!

My bestie is teaching summer school this month, so she has been busier than usual, which is fine with me.  I have plans with her and a few other friends Wednesday night, but have had the past week mostly to myself, other than a few ball games and lunch with my mom and grandma.

It's not their fault I thought maybe I could finish the story last weekend, lol. I had a great time. I'm sure if I really said, "This is important to me and I'm doing this thing" they would leave me alone. I'm trying to save that for when I get sucked in and have one chapter left, though, because that feels like something people would get. Having mentioned my novel to a few other people, I have had so many people tell me they've been wanting to write children's books. I'm very supportive, but also writing a children's book seems a lot more difficult to me (being the verbose person I am, lol), so I'm surprised so many people are interested. :)

I hope you got a lot done during your week to yourself and had a great time tonight! I'm always bummed when my bestie is busy, which is all the time since she's working toward her Nurse Practitioner doctorate. I've always told her if she wants me to sit next to her while she studies, I will happily write at her house and keep her company. :) Especially as she knows PBox&Co has fanfic origins/existence since its inception in 2005.

Our staycation was nice and relaxing, but I'm bummed about going to work tomorrow. I should have just taken the entire week off, lol! Writing went alright for having things to do. I got about 1600 words written over those three days, which is lower than a typical Sunday (let alone a Sunday through Tuesday), but the goal was to keep the streak alive, so overall I'm happy that the streak lives. And then most of today was the fourth draft of this week's update chapter. I only fought the urge to scrap it entirely twice! lol. Now that that's all done, I can hopefully get back into these last three chapters of PNecklace. I have a little over 4,000 words to go at minimum. :) I skipped part of one chapter, thinking one thing was my break between two chapters, but now I'm thinking that's not the case, so my next step is to go back to it and fill in what I initially skipped and see if there's a better place to break up the chapters during the events. I definitely wrote down something like "what is x doing during all this?" in my notes, so I think I need a little more picturing before I commit this section to paper.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 16, 2021, 11:49:02 PM
Even writing, I know that I have moments where I don't know how to put my thoughts into words and have said "I don't have anything to say, but I swear this isn't a you thing, it's a me thing. I need to process, but wanted to make sure you knew I was here," lol. Same, any old comment would be awesome, the detailed ones are just extra great. :)

So true!  The feedback I do leave is often just my reactions as a reader more than anything super deep and insightful, and sometimes I don't even have much of a reaction to share.  But anything is better than nothing.


Story structure, plot, and character development are much larger pieces of a work than spelling/grammatical errors or formatting issues and deserve some more care and discussion that starts with an ask. I'll call the spelling/grammar/formatting ones a 2-minute concrit. Can it be fixed in two minutes or less? Worth mentioning.

I think concrit is like most change. If you're trying to give it to someone that doesn't want it, it won't be acknowledged until they're ready.

I love the two minute rule of thumb.  That's so true.  Quick corrections on typos or grammatical errors that can be easily fixed are one thing.  I hope no one would get annoyed by that, as long as that's not the only kind of feedback you're giving - then it might come across as nitpicky if you're not in a betareader role.  Personally, I appreciate having this type of thing pointed out so I can fix it.  It may annoy me that I made the error and didn't catch it before posting, but I want to fix it.  Issues that affect the whole story and would be almost impossible to fix without a lot of revising/rewriting are a different matter.  Some writers will welcome this type of concrit, too, and others will just be overwhelmed and/or discouraged by it.  For me personally, once a story is posted, I'm not going to go back and make any major changes to it, so I would mostly welcome concrit or advice that could help me out with future stories.

The most concrit I've ever gotten for a story was about Claire's behavior in BMS.  At the time, I was kinda bummed about readers turning against her, but looking back, I was able to learn a lesson from it about letting the characters guide the story and not sacrificing them for the sake of the plot by forcing them to do things they wouldn't really do.  I'm not going to rewrite BMS, but I feel like I've been able to apply that lesson to the stories I've written since and not make that mistake again.


That sounds super fun! And a great way to improve something when you're ready as an author. I wonder if there's some way to revive the summer reading challenge in a looser format. Like the summer read-a-thons kids do. Was the lack of participation exacerbated by slower forum participation in general? Obviously it wouldn't be a concrit thing if the people having their stories read didn't know we were doing it, but encouraging some reading would be fun. :)

Yeah, I think the reading challenge died as the forum and BSB fanfic in general were dying down.  I know I didn't participate the last summer or two we did it because I was taking summer classes for my master's program and already had too much on my plate, and by the time I was ready to participate again, we had stopped doing it.

What about something where we each pick a fic that's been talked about here, but we've never personally read?  For example, I never read Mare's Why I'd Do It All Again.  I don't know why; I've read a lot of her stories, but I either missed that one or just didn't get it into it.  I honestly don't even remember trying to read it, but it's an older story, so who knows.  I've also never read PBox in its entirety.  I think I read the beginning once, but I don't remember much about it besides what I know from reading your posts here.  I haven't read Tracy's Nick and Amanda series either, which would make me reluctant to read a Brian spin-off of it.  So it might be nice to catch up on something like that.


That's so awesome/sweet that she replied to you! I can bet you were absolutely over the moon! I'm really excited for you, even though I feel like this happened a while ago. I only did it on my pumpkin an "I made this, it's yours to enjoy" type thought (Howie liked it and I nearly died.) I'm less inclined on a photo, though they share those to their instagram stories all the time, so what do I know? lol I've mentioned this pumpkin and never posted it, I think out of the hope someone would be like "It's January, but show us your pumpkin." So, it's June, but here's my pumpkin (https://ibb.co/MRgP9Dm), lol (different angels and draft on paper available if you like details).

Yeah, it was a few years ago.

I love your pumpkin!  That's awesome that Howie saw it and liked it!


I figure a kudos is the same as a heart on twitter or instagram. I am very liberal with my hearts. As a social media lurker, I totally understand the appeal. I do wish that there was a "work kudos" and "chapter kudos" though, then there would be a way to know if silent people were reading along and enjoying.

Yep, that's how I take them too.  I agree; it would be nice to have the option to leave kudos on individual chapters without it skewing the overall story's kudos count.

Something else I realized about AO3's stats compared to AC's is that AO3 records hits based on the IP address, whereas AC's read count is based purely on clicks.  On AO3, a reader who starts a story and reads ten chapters in a row will only be recorded as one hit, and if you click on your own work, it doesn't count as a hit.  On AC, every time you click on a chapter of your own story, it adds one to the read count, so reading ten chapters of your own story would add ten to the read count.  You could jack up your own read count by simply refreshing a chapter of your story over and over again.  Combine that with the spambot problem on AC, and it's always going to look like your stories are getting read a lot more on AC than on AO3, but AO3's hit count is more accurate.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 17, 2021, 12:12:09 AM
Ooh, double writing! I love when I can take a break and get back into the groove, and that's especially exciting that you were able to do it so late in the day. Did you have any caffeine when you started writing again or was it just pure inspiration/work? Hope writing has gone well the past couple of days. Were they up 'til sunrise ones?

I had a really good writing day Monday!  I was up till sunrise and then wrote again later in the day and stayed up till sunrise again.  Definitely fueled by caffeine.  I think Monday night/Tuesday morning is the day I didn't go to bed until like 7 a.m. LOL.  Of course, that messed me up so much that the rest of the day yesterday was much less productive.  I did watch The Butterfly Effect though.  I hadn't seen it in years, and I enjoyed it just as much as I remember enjoying it back in the day.

Today I made myself get up in the morning so I could mow the lawn before it got too hot, and then I went out for dinner and drinks with some friends tonight, so it has not been productive at all, but I'm up in here my writing room and have written about 200 words so far.  Enough to keep the streak alive, at least.  I'm tired, so we'll see how late I make it tonight.


It's not their fault I thought maybe I could finish the story last weekend, lol. I had a great time. I'm sure if I really said, "This is important to me and I'm doing this thing" they would leave me alone. I'm trying to save that for when I get sucked in and have one chapter left, though, because that feels like something people would get. Having mentioned my novel to a few other people, I have had so many people tell me they've been wanting to write children's books. I'm very supportive, but also writing a children's book seems a lot more difficult to me (being the verbose person I am, lol), so I'm surprised so many people are interested. :)

I also think writing a children's book is probably harder than it sounds.  You have to put even more thought into word choice and packing more meaning into fewer words.  I'm right there with you on being verbose LOL.  It also seems like there would be more rules and/or formulas to follow for it to be considered publishable.  I hope they do their research!

Remember when Nick said last year he wanted to write a children's book?  I wonder if anything's actually happening with that.  They all say a lot of things, but every once in a while, they actually deliver on one of those ideas.  Nick did write a memoir and a movie, so I could see him writing a children's book.  Who ever thought Nick would turn out to be the writer in the group? LOL


I hope you got a lot done during your week to yourself and had a great time tonight! I'm always bummed when my bestie is busy, which is all the time since she's working toward her Nurse Practitioner doctorate. I've always told her if she wants me to sit next to her while she studies, I will happily write at her house and keep her company. :) Especially as she knows PBox&Co has fanfic origins/existence since its inception in 2005.

I did have fun, thanks!

That's nice of you to offer!  I don't think I would be able to write or study sitting right next to someone else; I would get too distracted.  I need quiet and privacy.


Our staycation was nice and relaxing, but I'm bummed about going to work tomorrow. I should have just taken the entire week off, lol! Writing went alright for having things to do. I got about 1600 words written over those three days, which is lower than a typical Sunday (let alone a Sunday through Tuesday), but the goal was to keep the streak alive, so overall I'm happy that the streak lives. And then most of today was the fourth draft of this week's update chapter. I only fought the urge to scrap it entirely twice! lol. Now that that's all done, I can hopefully get back into these last three chapters of PNecklace. I have a little over 4,000 words to go at minimum. :) I skipped part of one chapter, thinking one thing was my break between two chapters, but now I'm thinking that's not the case, so my next step is to go back to it and fill in what I initially skipped and see if there's a better place to break up the chapters during the events. I definitely wrote down something like "what is x doing during all this?" in my notes, so I think I need a little more picturing before I commit this section to paper.

I'm glad you had a good time on your staycation!  Aww, you should have taken the rest of the week.  It's always harder to go back to work after extra days off.  1600 words over three days on vacation isn't bad!  If you stuck to the plan to only write an hour a day, that's really not bad at all! 

It's nice to just take some time to think and visualize upcoming scenes before you write them.  I hope you get some clarity so you can write these next few parts!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: FrickingKaos on June 17, 2021, 08:30:47 AM
Happy to report that my quest to be inspired to work on Take Me Home has been successful and I got a chapter finished for it. I was so happy. I had been watching some movies to inspire myself and I reread what I had posted to get back into it. I hadn't updated it since 2019. I'm feeling hopeful I'll be able to finish this one too!

Julie, I'm still not sure if I'll post the Brian spin off because I think the idea needs some more work. So no pressure to read the rest of the series, not to mention it's not my best work LOL it's very cheesy. There's also some plot inconsistency as well but as a whole that series was fun to write.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 17, 2021, 01:21:55 PM
Yay Tracy!  That's an awesome feeling to get back into a story and finish a chapter after so long.  I hope there will be many more where this one came from once History is finished!

LOL We've all got those cheesy old stories.  Was Nick and Amanda one of your first ones?

Question I thought of for everyone:  If you were going to write a sequel, prequel, or spin-off to one of your older stories, which one would it be?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: FrickingKaos on June 17, 2021, 02:54:08 PM
Incomplete was the first story I ever posted but Nick and Amanda is technically the first story I ever wrote, because it started as a thing my former best friend and I did back in high school. So I've been writing it a lot longer than the 10 years it took me to finish online. It started as only one story, called By My Side. Then I changed the name to You Give Love A Bad Name. I then decided I wanted to tell the story of how Nick and Amanda met so I wrote At The Beginning and Not The Other Guy. Still the One and From This Moment On came later so it just became a huge series lol. This is probably why there's some inconsistent things, that don't really change the story or anything but they still bother me and have been pointed out, like Nick knowing how to cook, or that he cleans and Amanda not knowing and her being impressed. I keep meaning to go back and fix it but I just haven't had time.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 19, 2021, 06:07:27 PM
Will come back and finish catching up; just popping in to cheer everyone on. Backsync made me feel super justified in making Lance and Joey fairly decent in PBox and gave me the boost of motivation/inspiration I think I needed to finish. Two half chapters remain, about 3,000 words to go! I believe!

Much inspiration to you all this Saturday!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 19, 2021, 06:34:18 PM
You can do it!!

I must admit, the BackSync thing was pretty entertaining.  The BSB vs. NSYNC thing is still so engrained in me, it feels weird to find myself enjoying videos of them performing each other's songs together, but I did.  My inner fourteen-year-old's head was about to explode last night LOL.  But NSYNC songs are so much better with two Backstreet Boys instead of Justin and JC.  If I had to pick a favorite NSYNCer, it's always been Joey, and for as much as I've made fun of Lance over the years, he really does seem like a fun guy.  Chris seems okay too.  I guess Home Depot didn't give him the night off to join the others this time - too bad.

I have been writing slowly, but steadily this afternoon.  It's the first day I've had to myself since Tuesday, so I'm enjoying it.  I feel like I've been more productive than I actually have in terms of word count, but part of that time was spent looking at pictures of Kevin's old house and trying to figure out how the rooms are laid out.  I drew myself a little blueprint, and it helped.  Hoping to finish Chapter 21 today.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: Rose on June 19, 2021, 10:14:13 PM
It felt really odd to sing along to an NSYNC song at a event for Nick and AJ lmao. Like I didn't know that all I needed to enjoy NSYNC was having no Justin and Nick instead but apparently that's the case! Justin is a douche so, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Joey was hilarious, ran into him a few times at the after party when I was trying to get to the restroom lol. Lance was a total sweetheart and so was his husband. Both are pretty funny actually.

Rochelle was there and I went to thank her last night cause back in February she'd reached out to me about my dad's passing and it'd really touched me that she did that. When I went to explain she stopped me and goes "oh I know who you are Rose, I recognize your face!" then hugged me. I was pretty shocked she not only knew me, but knew my name before I could even say it LOL. Lauren's freaking awesome, ended up chatting with her for a bit. Then she asked what my name was and made sure to take a selfie with me. I ran into Nick multiple times, and after Nick took a selfie with me I ended up stuck in a corner with him as a crowd mobbed him lmao so we ended up chatting for awhile. Oh no...trapped with Nick, what a shame! Then later that night I got pulled into his cabana table at the club and he ended up taking another selfie with me. Which looks better cause he had the phone that time, but it's funny cause both of us were drunk in the photo LOL. And he kept hugging me because he loved my shirt (it said Nick Is My Favorite Four Letter Word) and the fact I came out from Vegas.

The event itself was pretty fun. For 50$ we were fed, played bingo, and got a free drink. And of course got a few songs out of it, not too bad. I wish the Boys had hosted bingo but oh well. Fun fact though, Nala from AJ's Love Song Love video was at my table so I made friends with her LOL. She's pretty funny. Basically it was a pretty good day and I have no regrets in going. It was just, freeing to be at an event, going crazy at an afterparty after the past year, you know?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 19, 2021, 10:51:18 PM
Sounds like so much fun!  You got some great pics!  I love that you got to meet and talk to Rochelle and Lauren!  That's really cool that Rochelle recognized you!  I love her.  Glad you had such a great time!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 19, 2021, 11:46:27 PM
It felt really odd to sing along to an NSYNC song at a event for Nick and AJ lmao. Like I didn't know that all I needed to enjoy NSYNC was having no Justin and Nick instead but apparently that's the case! Justin is a douche so, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Joey was hilarious, ran into him a few times at the after party when I was trying to get to the restroom lol. Lance was a total sweetheart and so was his husband. Both are pretty funny actually.

If you pretend Justin isn't in NSYNC, they get infinitely better. That is so true. (Although, I do love Trolls; I cannot help it... but I laugh harder than I should at "singing killed my grandma" every time. This is neither here nor there. Let's carry on.)


Oh no...trapped with Nick, what a shame!

LMFAO!


The event itself was pretty fun. For 50$ we were fed, played bingo, and got a free drink. And of course got a few songs out of it, not too bad. I wish the Boys had hosted bingo but oh well. Fun fact though, Nala from AJ's Love Song Love video was at my table so I made friends with her LOL. She's pretty funny. Basically it was a pretty good day and I have no regrets in going. It was just, freeing to be at an event, going crazy at an afterparty after the past year, you know?

I'm glad you had such a great time too! All your interactions sounded awesome. :) What a great way to have some fun after the past year. :) I'm glad you took some time for yourself and had a good day.

I'm clearing my calendar for Backstreet time for the foreseeable future and will crash next time, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 19, 2021, 11:58:33 PM
You can do it!!

I did not do it, lol. But I did write 4,192 words today and finished two out of three chapters (although at least some of that was finishing rewriting half of them to fix pacing, then they went easily for all the new new words). I hit a tired wall about an hour ago and kept refreshing my stats for about twenty minutes, hoping they would magically say I was done... they did not, lol. But I've only got a little less than 2,000 words to go total. I think I can do it tomorrow easy peasy lemon squeezy. :)


I must admit, the BackSync thing was pretty entertaining.  The BSB vs. NSYNC thing is still so engrained in me, it feels weird to find myself enjoying videos of them performing each other's songs together, but I did.  My inner fourteen-year-old's head was about to explode last night LOL.  But NSYNC songs are so much better with two Backstreet Boys instead of Justin and JC.  If I had to pick a favorite NSYNCer, it's always been Joey, and for as much as I've made fun of Lance over the years, he really does seem like a fun guy.

I know! Every time they're like "We were fine. There was no rivalry," I want to scream a little, lol. It's really the no Justin that sells it. If every other NSYNCer was there, it would be fine. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say if BSB has to be in a boyband supergroup, BackSync is preferable to NKOTBSB. However, New Kids on the 98-Town BackSYNC is where I draw the line. lol. Although... Could definitely give BTS a run for their money. ;)


Chris seems okay too.  I guess Home Depot didn't give him the night off to join the others this time - too bad.

LMFAO! It's just the "too bad" at the end, lol.


I have been writing slowly, but steadily this afternoon.  It's the first day I've had to myself since Tuesday, so I'm enjoying it.  I feel like I've been more productive than I actually have in terms of word count, but part of that time was spent looking at pictures of Kevin's old house and trying to figure out how the rooms are laid out.  I drew myself a little blueprint, and it helped.  Hoping to finish Chapter 21 today.

Same here, first day to myself in a minute.

Blueprints are super productive on top of writing! I'm impressed. Also, I want to see them, lol. That's great that you've made it to Chapter 21! Sending you lots of good vibes! I take it the long Nick chapter went well? I'm half caught up, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 20, 2021, 12:34:53 AM
LOL Yeah, jeez... reading all that would probably make him some paranoid hypochondriac!  He already said in his book that he is a little bit of a hypochondriac (aren't we all?), so yeah... stay far, far away from the fanfics, Nick!

LMAO That's a good point; Kevin would have had to have come across multiple stories where he and Nick hook up to say that.  I think after Frick/Frack, Kevin/Nick is probably the second most popular pairing.  Speaking of Frick/Frack, I would pay the most money to watch Brian's face as he reads those tags... hahaha!!!

A paranoid hypocondriac constantly fearing being stabbed, killed, or kidnapped... among other things, lol. You should stay far away, Nick, it's better for your health!

Speaking of stabbing Nick, I tossed this line into my writing today because it made me laugh:

Nick pushed toward the staircase, his feet sinking against the ground with each step. Guess I can’t go one fight without getting stabbed…

I feel like this is good thing to do while drunk, google yourself on the internet. I'm sure Kevin could have afforded mobile on cell phone when it first started being a thing and just browsed the internet on the bus. Not sure that's what he expected to find while googling himself, but... it is what it is when you're a celebrity. I would be pretty surprised if fanfic about me existed, though. Yes! LOL! I would also absolutely pay the most money to see Brian's face. Do we just aggregate tags or put certain stories in order so he can read them as the tags get progressively more graphic? lol.

At least we could hand SAMS to Howie so he doesn't feel left out. Or maybe he would be happy to be left out?


Same!  I always feel the need to tell the whole story instead of just showing a slice of it.  I read a one-shot the other day that was just Nick sitting by Brian's hospital bed, reflecting on their relationship as he waited for him to wake up.  It was a nice piece of angst, but of course I would like to read the moments leading up to that one and know what happens next.  But I guess that works well when you have an idea for one vivid scene and want to write it without messing around with the build-up or follow-up.

I guess when I write out of order, that's the same concept as writing a one-shot, but it's generally never enough for an entire scene on its own (since as I've mentioned, it's usually just chunks of dialogue without any actions or clear tags) and definitely belongs to a larger narrative that I'd rather tell in full.

That is angsty, but how did Brian end up in the hospital? What did they do after he woke up? I didn't even read it and I feel like I need more context, lol.

I guess those vivid scenes are how I'm thinking of "Nick is Brian's guardian angel" right now, but it feels like an idea that would be wasted on short one-shots. Not that they wouldn't be awesome, just like you said, I always feel like I have more story. Until my next decade-long hiatus, I suppose, lol. Kidding! (I hope.)


I also thought it was going to be about a penguin, but it's about a magpie named Penguin!  It's still very cute, and they used real magpies in the movie!  They had a whole list of their names in the credits.  It was definitely right up my alley, but sometimes I am disappointed by movies like that because they turn out to be cheesy.  I watched one last week that was also right up my alley, 2 Hearts, and it was cheesy.  This one was touching, but well done and not too cheesy.  I loved it!

Aww, magpies. Adorable. I love that all the magpies were credited! Do they have SAG cards now? lol I guess I never mind too much if they end up cheesy. I tend to assume movies like that are cheesy, so when they're not cheesy, I'm pleasantly surprised. I have some movies to catch up on here in the next week or so, lol.


Yeah, it's definitely easier to stay in the writing groove to some extent if I already have a project going.  The last two years haven't been as bad because I was very into A Heart That Isn't Mine in 2019 and Bethlehem last year.  I expect to still be writing MBK when I go back to school, so that will help.  Otherwise it's easy to just focus on school and stop writing from August until Christmas break, and then I spend half my break trying to get back into writing.  I'll probably take a break from setting Nano goals after July though, so I don't have that added pressure in August.

That makes sense. I think that and writing every day was what made it fairly easy to keep going after November NaNo last year. I get how easy it is to get sucked into focusing on school, so I'm glad you'll have a project to give you some breaks. Don't give yourself unnecessary pressure in August unless it feels fun and exciting! August is hard enough. I'll probably also be a little more lax after July, unless I'm chugging along on something new. I added 26 words to my "blep2" document today, so who knows!


That's a good idea for a July goal.  I wish you could leave it open-ended and just see how many words or short stories you can write, but I guess you have to give it an arbitrary number to make it a goal.  Some of the challenges have a word count limit, so maybe you could pick out a few you want to try and base it on that.

Hm, what if you wrote a short story using only epithets and no character names?  See if readers can figure out who's who LOL.

I would have also loved something more open-ended, like "Chapters" which is actually my goal at the moment. But, I get it. Word count is the easiest way to track the length of a novel (it being "National Novel Writing Month" and all) when you think about what industry standards are. I'm probably about two times too wordy for YA novels, so I have some soul searching to do as I rewrite, lol.

Oh, funny story. I was excitedly telling hubby that I only had a little less than 3,000 words to write before being done with the story during dinner tonight. He knows a little more about it now in general including some spoilers, so he says "It's only 3,000 words? That doesn't sound like a novel. Especially one with [spoilers]." And I was like, "Oh, no. It's probably around 200,000 words total. I have about 3,000 left." "200,000 words? That's a lot. You should take a nap when you're done." lol :)

If I'm going to write an entire short story, I think I'll need your advice on epithets, since you know so many of them, lol. I should probably start with "The one with the frosted tips" in honor of Nick's recent projects, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 20, 2021, 12:41:22 AM
Yeah I haven't really talked about Take Me Home a whole lot, it's been on pause for about a year or so. I'd like to finish it eventually cause it's a really good story, at least I think so anyway. It's an AU and Science fiction. I don't want to give a whole lot away but the premise is Nick wakes up one day with no memories and is told he's been through something, and as the story goes on he gets bits and pieces. He and Brian are the main characters. This one does have aliens in it sort of, but it's not like that idea I mentioned before on the other thread. I'm glad my ideas are intriguing because I find them interesting too.

I think it's great that you've been going back to your older ideas and getting them done. Gives me hope for myself in the future. I'm a sucker for an amnesia story, so I'm totally in.  :biggrin:


I usually don't look for writing prompts, but I found myself go ogling it the other night to see if anything jumped out at me. I have been watching a bunch of stuff to see if I am inspired as well. The final chapter of History is taking my main focus right now, and it's going pretty well. I might have an update done by Wednesday, at least that's what I am shooting for.

I'm belated in responding to this, but I'm glad the last chapter of History went well and that you completed it! Congratulation s again! I hope inspiration continues to strike on Take Me Home (I have read on, just slow to respond). :)
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 20, 2021, 12:50:52 AM
Glad to hear the last chapter of History is going well!

I had a good afternoon writing session.  I wrote for about three and a half hours and got 1,747 words written.  My Nick chapter is over 6,500 words now LOL.  I still have one more (short?) scene planned for it, but we'll see.

My average daily word count on Nano is now 666... LOL.  I hope this isn't a bad omen of me not making my goal. ;)

Awesome! Almost 2,000 words in three hours! Glad Nick's getting some word count to match Kevin, lol.

"Short?" lol! This is exactly me and I both enjoy and am deeply troubled by it.

LOL! Hmmm... well, as someone writing a story about demons, I can assure you that nothing terrible has happened to me yet. In fact, I would argue that 666 just means you'll have a devilishly good time making your goal. ;)

Also you're up to 4 words a minute! Keep typing!


Jumping in about comments:

I used to read comments on other stories to try to figure out if I wanted to read it or not. Sometimes if I saw the same people who tended to read and comment on my stuff, it would tell me maybe the story was the same kind I wrote. On the other hand, if it was reviewed by all the romance people I avoided it.

Interesting! Did you ever skip something based on the reviewer base that someone later recommended to you and you ended up loving? Or was that a pretty solid recommendation tactic in and of itself?


Welcome back, and happy belated anniversary!  Hope you enjoyed your staycation!

Thanks, thanks, and thanks!  :-* Two years down! :) It was great, as I mentioned, though my back is already sore again post-massage. I think I'm firmly at the age where sleeping funny causes long-term injuries. :(


I have now made it through page one! Only five posts to catch up on! I'd say not to get super chatty while I sleep, but I'm lying. I'd love to come back to pages of posts to catch up on. :)
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: Rose on June 20, 2021, 01:01:30 AM
If you pretend Justin isn't in NSYNC, they get infinitely better. That is so true. (Although, I do love Trolls; I cannot help it... but I laugh harder than I should at "singing killed my grandma" every time. This is neither here nor there. Let's carry on.)


LMFAO!


I'm glad you had such a great time too! All your interactions sounded awesome. :) What a great way to have some fun after the past year. :) I'm glad you took some time for yourself and had a good day.

I'm clearing my calendar for Backstreet time for the foreseeable future and will crash next time, lol.


Thanks guys.

Also if it's in Vegas you'll be free to crash on my couch lol
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 20, 2021, 02:44:51 AM
I did not do it, lol. But I did write 4,192 words today and finished two out of three chapters (although at least some of that was finishing rewriting half of them to fix pacing, then they went easily for all the new new words). I hit a tired wall about an hour ago and kept refreshing my stats for about twenty minutes, hoping they would magically say I was done... they did not, lol. But I've only got a little less than 2,000 words to go total. I think I can do it tomorrow easy peasy lemon squeezy. :)

Wow, over 4,000 words!  That's awesome!  At least you had a productive day.  Hopefully tomorrow's the day you finish!


I know! Every time they're like "We were fine. There was no rivalry," I want to scream a little, lol. It's really the no Justin that sells it. If every other NSYNCer was there, it would be fine. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say if BSB has to be in a boyband supergroup, BackSync is preferable to NKOTBSB. However, New Kids on the 98-Town BackSYNC is where I draw the line. lol. Although... Could definitely give BTS a run for their money. ;)

I vote no to another supergroup beyond a one-and-done thing like this, but if they were going to do it, I guess NSYNC are at least more talented than NKOTB?  Ugh, it kills me to admit that, but let's be honest - the only one who is actually a good singer in NKOTB is Joey McIntyre.  It seems like all the NSYNC guys can sing.  But I think if three or four NSYNC members want to tour, they should do it on their own.  People would still go, even without Justin.  And BSB definitely don't need them.


Blueprints are super productive on top of writing! I'm impressed. Also, I want to see them, lol. That's great that you've made it to Chapter 21! Sending you lots of good vibes! I take it the long Nick chapter went well? I'm half caught up, lol.

LOL It is nothing worth taking a picture of, just a badly-drawn diagram.  Yes, I finished my super long Nick chapter a few days ago and actually ended up moving the last scene I had planned into Kevin's chapter and writing it from his POV instead.  The boys are back together now, so that gives me a little bit more flexibility.  I finished 21 tonight, so now I'll be back to Nick's POV tomorrow.

I also made myself cry with my writing tonight, which is a rare thing.  I can write all this super sad stuff and never shed a tear because I have that filter of "This is just fiction; it's fine."  It doesn't usually faze me.  But tonight it was something about Kevin's dad, so the reality of that combined with the fiction of my story totally got to me - full on tears rolling down my face.  So I earned my Weepy Writer badge on Nano! LOL

Anyone else ever make themselves cry while writing?  If so, what kinds of scenes do it to you?


A paranoid hypocondriac constantly fearing being stabbed, killed, or kidnapped... among other things, lol. You should stay far away, Nick, it's better for your health!

Speaking of stabbing Nick, I tossed this line into my writing today because it made me laugh:

Nick pushed toward the staircase, his feet sinking against the ground with each step. Guess I can’t go one fight without getting stabbed…

LOL Yeah, Nick would be like Devon Sawa in Final Destination, thinking Death is out to get him.

I love that line!  Love inside jokes in stories!


I feel like this is good thing to do while drunk, google yourself on the internet. I'm sure Kevin could have afforded mobile on cell phone when it first started being a thing and just browsed the internet on the bus. Not sure that's what he expected to find while googling himself, but... it is what it is when you're a celebrity. I would be pretty surprised if fanfic about me existed, though. Yes! LOL! I would also absolutely pay the most money to see Brian's face. Do we just aggregate tags or put certain stories in order so he can read them as the tags get progressively more graphic? lol.

At least we could hand SAMS to Howie so he doesn't feel left out. Or maybe he would be happy to be left out?

Oh yeah, I could definitely see them googling themselves in the early days of the group/internet.  (They probably used Webcrawler or Altavista or something though, haha.)

I think we should handpick stories to show Brian and put them in increasingly kinky order so we can see the progression in his face.  LOL!

LOL Howie would be very happy to be left out.  SAMS would disturb him for several reasons, the least of which is him having sex with Nick.  That's only a small part of the story.  But it's funny because the main reason I picked him and Nick as my couple in the first place is because of that radio interview they did where he was talking about observing Nick's pubic hair and then got all defensive when they started joking about how there's a gay one in every group.  I was like, "Hm..."  Otherwise I probably would have gone for Frick/Frack.


I guess when I write out of order, that's the same concept as writing a one-shot, but it's generally never enough for an entire scene on its own (since as I've mentioned, it's usually just chunks of dialogue without any actions or clear tags) and definitely belongs to a larger narrative that I'd rather tell in full.

That is angsty, but how did Brian end up in the hospital? What did they do after he woke up? I didn't even read it and I feel like I need more context, lol.

I guess those vivid scenes are how I'm thinking of "Nick is Brian's guardian angel" right now, but it feels like an idea that would be wasted on short one-shots. Not that they wouldn't be awesome, just like you said, I always feel like I have more story. Until my next decade-long hiatus, I suppose, lol. Kidding! (I hope.)

That's a good way to think about it.  

I think it was heart-related, but we don't know exactly, and it doesn't say whether he wakes up or not!  We're just left hanging.  Which is a valid choice as a storyteller, but so frustrating to the reader!  I would never be able to do that, so I guess I admire a writer who can just intentionally leave it vague like that.  I always want to explain everything LOL.

Nick as Brian's guardian angel definitely needs to be a novel!  It could still be a series of scenes that jump around, like Tracy did with History, but I'm gonna need more than just a one-shot.


I would have also loved something more open-ended, like "Chapters" which is actually my goal at the moment. But, I get it. Word count is the easiest way to track the length of a novel (it being "National Novel Writing Month" and all) when you think about what industry standards are. I'm probably about two times too wordy for YA novels, so I have some soul searching to do as I rewrite, lol.

Oh, funny story. I was excitedly telling hubby that I only had a little less than 3,000 words to write before being done with the story during dinner tonight. He knows a little more about it now in general including some spoilers, so he says "It's only 3,000 words? That doesn't sound like a novel. Especially one with [spoilers]." And I was like, "Oh, no. It's probably around 200,000 words total. I have about 3,000 left." "200,000 words? That's a lot. You should take a nap when you're done." lol :)

If I'm going to write an entire short story, I think I'll need your advice on epithets, since you know so many of them, lol. I should probably start with "The one with the frosted tips" in honor of Nick's recent projects, lol.

The wordiness would be a struggle for me if I ever tried to get published, too.  Although the only fanfic I've ever written that I thought could be fairly "easily" OF-ized without completely rewriting it because it's already AU is under 70,000 words.  So maybe there's hope for me in that respect LOL.  I think cutting out words would be the hardest part of editing for publication though.  It's easier to add or change words than cut a significant number of them out.

LOL A 3,000 word novel!  He's right; that sounds way too short.  Even my first fanfic "novels" were at least twice that length LOL.  200,000 words is quite an accomplishment!  You do deserve a nap!

LOL We could start a list, divided by boy.


I think I'm firmly at the age where sleeping funny causes long-term injuries. :(

Yes, you are!  I've reached that age, too.  LOL I slept wrong on Christmas Eve a few years ago and couldn't turn my neck to one side for like two days after.  Last year I was stretching in bed right after waking up and popped my collarbone, and it not only hurt, but was sore for several days afterwards.  Getting old already sucks, and we're only in our thirties!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 20, 2021, 01:01:41 PM
Just have to share that today is Day 100 of my current writing streak!  My longest documented streak was 143 consecutive days with AHTIM, which I intentionally broke before my L.A. trip two years ago so I wouldn't have to worry about it while I was on vacation.  My goal is to get to at least 150 days this time, which will take me to August.  After that, we'll see!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: Rose on June 20, 2021, 08:38:51 PM
Just have to share that today is Day 100 of my current writing streak!  My longest documented streak was 143 consecutive days with AHTIM, which I intentionally broke before my L.A. trip two years ago so I wouldn't have to worry about it while I was on vacation.  My goal is to get to at least 150 days this time, which will take me to August.  After that, we'll see!

Oooh go go go!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 20, 2021, 09:25:32 PM
Oooh go go go!

Thanks! :)
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 20, 2021, 09:46:13 PM
Just have to share that today is Day 100 of my current writing streak!  My longest documented streak was 143 consecutive days with AHTIM, which I intentionally broke before my L.A. trip two years ago so I wouldn't have to worry about it while I was on vacation.  My goal is to get to at least 150 days this time, which will take me to August.  After that, we'll see!

Yay, Day 100! Congrats!!! You can definitely make it to 150!

I thought about putting off finishing PNecklace until tomorrow so I could say I ended it on a hundred day streak, lol. Too bad I'm a day behind you.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 20, 2021, 09:47:57 PM
Thanks!

Are you done?!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 20, 2021, 09:52:54 PM
This is the longest exhale ever. I'm done.

It only took me 208,579 words (so far, but let's not bring the editing I'll end up doing on the 23 chapters I haven't posted into this yet, lol), but I'm all done! Hooray!  :biggrin: I wasn't sure I'd finish when I started, but I'm really glad I stuck with it, especially after such a long time of not writing much of anything. :)

I'm glad I stopped last night though, because I apparently needed 3,533 words to finish the chapter and not 1,870 like I thought, lol! And while I was on an inspiration kick, I really don't think I could have written 7,725 words yesterday if I tried.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 20, 2021, 10:06:32 PM
Yay, congratulation s!!!  What an amazing accomplishment, especially considering you came back to this series after so many years!  Take time to breathe and bask in the glow of your success.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 20, 2021, 10:17:26 PM
It definitely feels like end of novel adrenaline washing away; it's been a long time since I've had this feeling. I will bask, breathe, and take a nap. I earned it. ;)

Now, everyone make sure that I stick to my update schedule. Don't let me upload it all at once out of excitement, lol! At least until I have enough of something else started to keep an update schedule going. :)

I'm proud of all of us currently writing. We all finished a story this year! :)
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 20, 2021, 11:05:10 PM
So true!  The feedback I do leave is often just my reactions as a reader more than anything super deep and insightful, and sometimes I don't even have much of a reaction to share.  But anything is better than nothing.

I would love if someone talked to me about deep and insightful things like my themes in a review, but let's be honest, that's an English class reaction and not a reading a story for fun reaction, lol!

Speaking of this, I found a funny thread on the fanfic reddit that addresses exactly that: https://www.reddit.com/r/FanFiction/comments/o2m5o6/english_teachers_in_the_future_are_using_your_fic/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/FanFiction/comments/o2m5o6/english_teachers_in_the_future_are_using_your_fic/)

Same question to you all. What would like English teachers of the future to discuss in your stories?


I love the two minute rule of thumb.  That's so true.  Quick corrections on typos or grammatical errors that can be easily fixed are one thing.  I hope no one would get annoyed by that, as long as that's not the only kind of feedback you're giving - then it might come across as nitpicky if you're not in a betareader role.  Personally, I appreciate having this type of thing pointed out so I can fix it.  It may annoy me that I made the error and didn't catch it before posting, but I want to fix it.  Issues that affect the whole story and would be almost impossible to fix without a lot of revising/rewriting are a different matter.  Some writers will welcome this type of concrit, too, and others will just be overwhelmed and/or discouraged by it.  For me personally, once a story is posted, I'm not going to go back and make any major changes to it, so I would mostly welcome concrit or advice that could help me out with future stories.

The most concrit I've ever gotten for a story was about Claire's behavior in BMS.  At the time, I was kinda bummed about readers turning against her, but looking back, I was able to learn a lesson from it about letting the characters guide the story and not sacrificing them for the sake of the plot by forcing them to do things they wouldn't really do.  I'm not going to rewrite BMS, but I feel like I've been able to apply that lesson to the stories I've written since and not make that mistake again.

All of that makes sense. This is realistically fanfic's version of publishing (as we've said many times) and I imagine it's not often that published books get pulled for major edits, then republished. Nitty gritty concrit is definitely better served for a beta reader role, so it can be caught before posting, like you said.

That's one that's always good to learn! I've definitely had that problem too. I think other than PBox coming along, that's a lot of what stalled Gobosei. I think I called it "a lack of characters that breathe life into the plot," if memory serves me correctly. That's most of why I like being a bit of a pantser, I don't get stuck on a plot plan as much anymore because I know I'll inevitably change my mind on the details at some point. I did it in PNecklace too, changing some grouping dynamics up from my original plans, which were honestly pretty repetitive if I'd left them the initial way. It worked out for the best. But, I also think there are ways to be true to a vision for the plot and the characters simultaneously . At that point it's figuring out how far they can be pushed until they do the thing you want them to do. And then bonus points if they hate themselves for it afterward. (Team Dark! lol)


Yeah, I think the reading challenge died as the forum and BSB fanfic in general were dying down.  I know I didn't participate the last summer or two we did it because I was taking summer classes for my master's program and already had too much on my plate, and by the time I was ready to participate again, we had stopped doing it.

What about something where we each pick a fic that's been talked about here, but we've never personally read?  For example, I never read Mare's Why I'd Do It All Again.  I don't know why; I've read a lot of her stories, but I either missed that one or just didn't get it into it.  I honestly don't even remember trying to read it, but it's an older story, so who knows.  I've also never read PBox in its entirety.  I think I read the beginning once, but I don't remember much about it besides what I know from reading your posts here.  I haven't read Tracy's Nick and Amanda series either, which would make me reluctant to read a Brian spin-off of it.  So it might be nice to catch up on something like that.

That makes sense. It's hard to keep something like that up when it's only a couple of people wanting to participate. At least we're all doing our due diligence now to try and bring back a little resurgence in BSB fanficland, or at least sustain it.

I love that! That was my personal mission when asking for recommendation s in The Reading Thread, to catch up on good things. It would be fun if it was something several other people had read at some point so it could be both the reading challenge with some of the book club type aspects of the featured story.

You should read Why I'd Do It All Again. It was great.

The beginning of PBox is probably the worst part to read, lol. If I could do it all again, I'd start from Chapter Two. I am not selling myself here. :-X I'd love it if anyone read it, missteps and all. :)

Now that I don't have a magnum opus to focus on for the moment, I feel prepared to delve into some more reading than I have been. I'm in for this little reading challenge. :)


Yeah, it was a few years ago.

I love your pumpkin!  That's awesome that Howie saw it and liked it!

Thanks! I squeed during Sunday Night Football and nearly gave hubby a heart attack, lol.

Also, you should have called me out on mistyping "angels" when I obviously meant "angles," lol!


Yep, that's how I take them too.  I agree; it would be nice to have the option to leave kudos on individual chapters without it skewing the overall story's kudos count.

Something else I realized about AO3's stats compared to AC's is that AO3 records hits based on the IP address, whereas AC's read count is based purely on clicks.  On AO3, a reader who starts a story and reads ten chapters in a row will only be recorded as one hit, and if you click on your own work, it doesn't count as a hit.  On AC, every time you click on a chapter of your own story, it adds one to the read count, so reading ten chapters of your own story would add ten to the read count.  You could jack up your own read count by simply refreshing a chapter of your story over and over again.  Combine that with the spambot problem on AC, and it's always going to look like your stories are getting read a lot more on AC than on AO3, but AO3's hit count is more accurate.

I love that they don't count you clicking on the chapters as a hit. If you're logged in, you should always be able to check your stories without skewing the stats. It would be nice if AO3 could provide some more detailed information, like what chapters the IP hits are on. But I imagine it works the same if you go to the first chapter and then the most recent chapter. That's why I like AC's table of contents section, to go right to the chapter I left off on. I do like knowing the accurate hit count, but it would be nice to have some way to see if they're people reading along or just a bunch of people clicking the first chapter and noping out really quickly.

I do check PBox and PNecklace's stats on AC with a method that feels more accurate. For PBox, I check the chapter in the forties with the lowest read count that isn't Disciple (since it was the same chapter as Wishes before I split them, so its stats have always been lower). Rather than the weird numbers some of the chapters get, this feels more accurate for a lifetime read count, which is around 700. For PNecklace, I only look at the newest chapter prior to posting. It's usually in the 0-2 range, and again, I feel like 0-2 is entirely reasonable for the story. As opposed to random chapters that spike up in both of them, to which I laugh and say "there's no way." There is a big drop after the big reveal I worried that I did too early, though, which tells me that it was probably too early. Oh well!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: FrickingKaos on June 21, 2021, 12:00:16 AM
It feels so weird to not write on History anymore. But I'm working on Take Me Home now. I want to figure some things out like how I was going to end it because I don't remember lol. The last time I updated that story was in January of 2019. So it's been a minute. I am determined to try to finish it though because the story itself is pretty interesting.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 21, 2021, 02:14:40 AM
It definitely feels like end of novel adrenaline washing away; it's been a long time since I've had this feeling. I will bask, breathe, and take a nap. I earned it. ;)

Absolutely you earned it!  I know what you mean about the adrenaline washing away, though; it's a weird feeling.  You feel accomplished, but also kind of empty, like, "Now what?"  Good thing you have 9 days to come up with a new project for Camp Nano... no pressure! ;)


Now, everyone make sure that I stick to my update schedule. Don't let me upload it all at once out of excitement, lol! At least until I have enough of something else started to keep an update schedule going. :)

We'll hold you to it!  You'll be glad you stuck with it if it can take you all the way to the point of posting something new.


I'm proud of all of us currently writing. We all finished a story this year! :)

Yes!!  Go us!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 21, 2021, 10:06:58 PM
I would love if someone talked to me about deep and insightful things like my themes in a review, but let's be honest, that's an English class reaction and not a reading a story for fun reaction, lol!

Speaking of this, I found a funny thread on the fanfic reddit that addresses exactly that: https://www.reddit.com/r/FanFiction/comments/o2m5o6/english_teachers_in_the_future_are_using_your_fic/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/FanFiction/comments/o2m5o6/english_teachers_in_the_future_are_using_your_fic/)

Same question to you all. What would like English teachers of the future to discuss in your stories?

Haha, I love that thread!

I don't use a lot of symbolism and that sort of stuff that gets analyzed in English class, but when I do, I like when it gets noticed.  I do use a fair amount of foreshadowing, which doesn't usually get mentioned in feedback from people who are reading for the first time because they wouldn't necessarily know it's foreshadowing.  But I hope it would be recognized and appreciated on rereads.

I would get a kick out of them overanalyzing the little Easter eggs I throw in for my own amusement and making them seem deeper than they really are.  "Why did she name the doctor the German word for 'platypus'?  Was that meant to represent the enigma of rare cancers, or was it a commentary on how xenophobic Americans view foreigners as strange and unusual?"  No, I actually had just been discussing platypuses with Rose and thought it was funny.


All of that makes sense. This is realistically fanfic's version of publishing (as we've said many times) and I imagine it's not often that published books get pulled for major edits, then republished. Nitty gritty concrit is definitely better served for a beta reader role, so it can be caught before posting, like you said.

That's one that's always good to learn! I've definitely had that problem too. I think other than PBox coming along, that's a lot of what stalled Gobosei. I think I called it "a lack of characters that breathe life into the plot," if memory serves me correctly. That's most of why I like being a bit of a pantser, I don't get stuck on a plot plan as much anymore because I know I'll inevitably change my mind on the details at some point. I did it in PNecklace too, changing some grouping dynamics up from my original plans, which were honestly pretty repetitive if I'd left them the initial way. It worked out for the best. But, I also think there are ways to be true to a vision for the plot and the characters simultaneously . At that point it's figuring out how far they can be pushed until they do the thing you want them to do. And then bonus points if they hate themselves for it afterward. (Team Dark! lol)

All great points.  Plantsing is the best of both worlds because then you have a rough path to follow, with the freedom to divert from it and forge a different path to your planned destination - or maybe a different one!  It's okay to change your mind in the middle or even at the end, as long as it makes sense.  Like you said, ideally you would stay true to the plot and characters at the same time.  But yeah, if you can get a character to plausibly do something they normally wouldn't do and then hate themselves for it, thus becoming a more believably flawed character, even better!


I love that! That was my personal mission when asking for recommendation s in The Reading Thread, to catch up on good things. It would be fun if it was something several other people had read at some point so it could be both the reading challenge with some of the book club type aspects of the featured story.

You should read Why I'd Do It All Again. It was great.

The beginning of PBox is probably the worst part to read, lol. If I could do it all again, I'd start from Chapter Two. I am not selling myself here. :-X I'd love it if anyone read it, missteps and all. :)

Now that I don't have a magnum opus to focus on for the moment, I feel prepared to delve into some more reading than I have been. I'm in for this little reading challenge. :)

Yeah, I agree, it would be fun to combine the reading challenge with the Fanfic of the Month feature we used to do and discuss stories we want to revisit or read for the first time.  Then we could have some of those deeper, English-class style discussions without worrying about spoilers.


Also, you should have called me out on mistyping "angels" when I obviously meant "angles," lol!

Haha, I don't correct spelling on the forum.  We all have times when we type too fast too late at night and make mistakes.


I love that they don't count you clicking on the chapters as a hit. If you're logged in, you should always be able to check your stories without skewing the stats. It would be nice if AO3 could provide some more detailed information, like what chapters the IP hits are on. But I imagine it works the same if you go to the first chapter and then the most recent chapter. That's why I like AC's table of contents section, to go right to the chapter I left off on. I do like knowing the accurate hit count, but it would be nice to have some way to see if they're people reading along or just a bunch of people clicking the first chapter and noping out really quickly.

I do check PBox and PNecklace's stats on AC with a method that feels more accurate. For PBox, I check the chapter in the forties with the lowest read count that isn't Disciple (since it was the same chapter as Wishes before I split them, so its stats have always been lower). Rather than the weird numbers some of the chapters get, this feels more accurate for a lifetime read count, which is around 700. For PNecklace, I only look at the newest chapter prior to posting. It's usually in the 0-2 range, and again, I feel like 0-2 is entirely reasonable for the story. As opposed to random chapters that spike up in both of them, to which I laugh and say "there's no way." There is a big drop after the big reveal I worried that I did too early, though, which tells me that it was probably too early. Oh well!

Yep, I agree.  It would be nice to be able to see a breakdown of hits per chapter on AO3.  I have no idea if the hits on AC are actually even real readers or just spambots.  If yours is usually in the 0-2 range for your most recent chapter, that gives me hope that more of mine are actual readers than what I thought, but who knows.   It just always seems like the site is dead, but without the review option, it's hard to tell.

I'm looking at my chapter stats on AC now, and yeah, it's interesting how some of those random chapters spike it.  Sometimes they are chapters where something big happened that maybe readers would want to revisit, but other times they seem totally random.  The same thing happens on my site where certain chapters or posts seem to get a lot of clicks and/or spam comments.  I don't know if it's because they had certain words that made them come up in search results or what.  I noticed my third pandaskunk story that I posted early last year has more "reads" per chapter than my last three serious stories, which definitely does not match with the very minimal amount of feedback I got for it compared to what I've gotten for my dramas.  Not sure what to make of that, but I take it all with a grain of salt because I know the site has a big spam problem.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 21, 2021, 10:39:33 PM
Ugh! Y'all, I was so excited to do some WADD today and what did I do? Wrote about 500 words of the first chapter of PDemons! I'm so annoyed at myself. :( At least I made it to day 100!

Mare, I need a facepalm emoji stat, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 21, 2021, 10:42:21 PM
It feels so weird to not write on History anymore. But I'm working on Take Me Home now. I want to figure some things out like how I was going to end it because I don't remember lol. The last time I updated that story was in January of 2019. So it's been a minute. I am determined to try to finish it though because the story itself is pretty interesting.

I'm glad you were able to update it after so long!  That's a positive sign!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 21, 2021, 10:43:41 PM
Ugh! Y'all, I was so excited to do some WADD today and what did I do? Wrote about 500 words of the first chapter of PDemons! I'm so annoyed at myself. :( At least I made it to day 100!

Mare, I need a facepalm emoji stat, lol.

Wow!  Good for you!  Take it from me, WADDing is more frustrating than fun LOL.  Sometimes it's a necessary evil in order to come up with new ideas, but I'd much rather just write consistently on one story.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 21, 2021, 10:57:54 PM
I had a really good writing day Monday!  I was up till sunrise and then wrote again later in the day and stayed up till sunrise again.  Definitely fueled by caffeine.  I think Monday night/Tuesday morning is the day I didn't go to bed until like 7 a.m. LOL.  Of course, that messed me up so much that the rest of the day yesterday was much less productive.  I did watch The Butterfly Effect though.  I hadn't seen it in years, and I enjoyed it just as much as I remember enjoying it back in the day.

Today I made myself get up in the morning so I could mow the lawn before it got too hot, and then I went out for dinner and drinks with some friends tonight, so it has not been productive at all, but I'm up in here my writing room and have written about 200 words so far.  Enough to keep the streak alive, at least.  I'm tired, so we'll see how late I make it tonight.

Wow! Two sunrise days in a row! You've definitely been productive as you get into your nocturnal groove! But yeah, when I stay up later, it always gets me the next day and I feel useless. But at least you got to revisit The Butterfly Effect on a less productive day! I'm glad it holds up. I always worry that nostalgic things won't hold up.

At least your lawn is mowed! Is that a once a week chore? Two times a month? I always picture you chopping grass and bodies on a riding lawnmower, but I feel like that's inaccurate, lol. It's good you had a fun day and still made time to write! That was me last week, just trying to keep the streak alive.


I also think writing a children's book is probably harder than it sounds.  You have to put even more thought into word choice and packing more meaning into fewer words.  I'm right there with you on being verbose LOL.  It also seems like there would be more rules and/or formulas to follow for it to be considered publishable.  I hope they do their research!

Remember when Nick said last year he wanted to write a children's book?  I wonder if anything's actually happening with that.  They all say a lot of things, but every once in a while, they actually deliver on one of those ideas.  Nick did write a memoir and a movie, so I could see him writing a children's book.  Who ever thought Nick would turn out to be the writer in the group? LOL

Yes! I appreciate the methodicalness? (Can't think of alternatives; I'm going with that). I appreciate the methodicalness in word choice, but I think it would take me even longer to write a children's book than a fantasy epic because I would have an extremely hard time choosing the precise best words. And oh, I'm sure! I've looked a little into fantasy publishing (not extensively, just skimmed), but I feel like children's book publishers are even more picky.

I do remember that. I feel like whenever Nick has said "I want to do 'creative thing'," he typically ends up doing it eventually. I buy Nick being the writer. Entertainer has several parallels with story teller, especially in the historically oratory context of stories. If I remember correctly, his original BSP plan was meticulous... six chapters or something?


I did have fun, thanks!

That's nice of you to offer!  I don't think I would be able to write or study sitting right next to someone else; I would get too distracted.  I need quiet and privacy.

I only offered because she said she wanted human contact without any of the pesky interactive and planning pieces, lol.


I'm glad you had a good time on your staycation!  Aww, you should have taken the rest of the week.  It's always harder to go back to work after extra days off.  1600 words over three days on vacation isn't bad!  If you stuck to the plan to only write an hour a day, that's really not bad at all! 

It's nice to just take some time to think and visualize upcoming scenes before you write them.  I hope you get some clarity so you can write these next few parts!

I really should have. They were happy to have me back, but on a whole, I was pretty useless, lol. Thankfully, most of my workload was catching up on paperwork. Sunday, I wrote a little longer, but yeah, it was pretty much just an hour every day. I did some editing on my phone a couple times when it was too hot to sleep though, lol.

It went quick after I decided to switch what a couple of the characters were doing from what I'd originally written. Not too bad (clearly).
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 21, 2021, 11:03:58 PM
Happy to report that my quest to be inspired to work on Take Me Home has been successful and I got a chapter finished for it. I was so happy. I had been watching some movies to inspire myself and I reread what I had posted to get back into it. I hadn't updated it since 2019. I'm feeling hopeful I'll be able to finish this one too!

Julie, I'm still not sure if I'll post the Brian spin off because I think the idea needs some more work. So no pressure to read the rest of the series, not to mention it's not my best work LOL it's very cheesy. There's also some plot inconsistency as well but as a whole that series was fun to write.

Glad Take Me Home is going well after not updating since 2019! I hope it continues to go well! I also find that rereading is usually a big help. What originally stopped the inspiration on this one?

Sometimes we all need some cheesy goodness in our lives. Long live the cheese! Especially old cheese, because it helps us either learn how to embrace the cheese in a more nuanced way or explore other options to cheese.

Incomplete was the first story I ever posted but Nick and Amanda is technically the first story I ever wrote, because it started as a thing my former best friend and I did back in high school. So I've been writing it a lot longer than the 10 years it took me to finish online. It started as only one story, called By My Side. Then I changed the name to You Give Love A Bad Name. I then decided I wanted to tell the story of how Nick and Amanda met so I wrote At The Beginning and Not The Other Guy. Still the One and From This Moment On came later so it just became a huge series lol. This is probably why there's some inconsistent things, that don't really change the story or anything but they still bother me and have been pointed out, like Nick knowing how to cook, or that he cleans and Amanda not knowing and her being impressed. I keep meaning to go back and fix it but I just haven't had time.

It's great that your first story turned into this whole lovingly crafted series that still inspires you! That's awesome.

Although, is Nick knowing how to cook inconsistent? He's clearly pancake daddy these days, lol. I get those little inconsistencie s being a bother, but not being a major focus. I have some of those moments as well.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 21, 2021, 11:10:06 PM
Question I thought of for everyone:  If you were going to write a sequel, prequel, or spin-off to one of your older stories, which one would it be?

Does PBox not count? I'm guessing it doesn't count for being the obvious answer, lol.

Uhhhh... You know what. I'll bite and pick something else. Of my old stories that are up, I think I would write a new version of that Romeo & Juliet battle of the bands story (because, it is not good by my current standards). Then, the sequel would be inspired by some other Shakespeare play... Since the Romeo & Juliet inspiration ended happily, I think I'd take a comedy and make it dark. Twelfth Night is my favorite, let's go with that.

Anyone else?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 21, 2021, 11:11:12 PM

Thanks guys.

Also if it's in Vegas you'll be free to crash on my couch lol

 :-*

I appreciate the couch crashing offer and will let my back and neck endure what they may, lol!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 21, 2021, 11:33:36 PM
At least your lawn is mowed! Is that a once a week chore? Two times a month? I always picture you chopping grass and bodies on a riding lawnmower, but I feel like that's inaccurate, lol. It's good you had a fun day and still made time to write! That was me last week, just trying to keep the streak alive.

It's usually about every other week, depending on how fast the grass is growing.  It's been really dry here lately, so I probably won't have to mow this week.  I only have a push mower since my yard's not that big, and its blade could use a sharpening, so in reality, it probably wouldn't do much damage to a body LOL.


I do remember that. I feel like whenever Nick has said "I want to do 'creative thing'," he typically ends up doing it eventually. I buy Nick being the writer. Entertainer has several parallels with story teller, especially in the historically oratory context of stories. If I remember correctly, his original BSP plan was meticulous... six chapters or something?

Ooh, good point, I forgot to include the comic on my list of things he has written!  He really is quite diverse in his creative endeavors, and aside from acting, he's good at everything he does!  (And he's still entertaining to watch as an actor, even if he won't be winning any serious acting awards LOL.)


Sunday, I wrote a little longer, but yeah, it was pretty much just an hour every day. I did some editing on my phone a couple times when it was too hot to sleep though, lol.

Do you find you use your writing time more productively when you limit it that way, like only writing an hour per day?  Now that it's summer, I can get more written in a day where I don't have anywhere I have to be, but I waste so much time getting distracting while I'm "writing."  Today I "wrote" in bed for like 4 hours, and I finished the scene I was on, but I only wrote 900 some words.  That is really not much for 4 hours.  But I know it's because I'd write a sentence or maybe even a few sentences and then open a new tab to look something up or watch a YouTube video or check Twitter or whatever while I "thought of what to write next."  When the words are flowing, I'm more focused, but when they're not, this is why I write so slowly LOL.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 21, 2021, 11:39:56 PM
Wow, over 4,000 words!  That's awesome!  At least you had a productive day.  Hopefully tomorrow's the day you finish!

When I get in the zone and have no distractions, I am a typing machine! I was excited that it happened two weekends in a row.


I vote no to another supergroup beyond a one-and-done thing like this, but if they were going to do it, I guess NSYNC are at least more talented than NKOTB?  Ugh, it kills me to admit that, but let's be honest - the only one who is actually a good singer in NKOTB is Joey McIntyre.  It seems like all the NSYNC guys can sing.  But I think if three or four NSYNC members want to tour, they should do it on their own.  People would still go, even without Justin.  And BSB definitely don't need them.

Of course I prefer they don't do a supergroup, but Nick really likes his boyband collaboration projects. You just never know what he'll do next! NSYNC wasn't untalented (though Justin is really nasally), we were just conditioned by the rivalry. It used to be hard, so it's hard to move on sometimes.

I agree. They don't need them. Let's get them back to stadium tours!


LOL It is nothing worth taking a picture of, just a badly-drawn diagram.  Yes, I finished my super long Nick chapter a few days ago and actually ended up moving the last scene I had planned into Kevin's chapter and writing it from his POV instead.  The boys are back together now, so that gives me a little bit more flexibility.  I finished 21 tonight, so now I'll be back to Nick's POV tomorrow.

I also made myself cry with my writing tonight, which is a rare thing.  I can write all this super sad stuff and never shed a tear because I have that filter of "This is just fiction; it's fine."  It doesn't usually faze me.  But tonight it was something about Kevin's dad, so the reality of that combined with the fiction of my story totally got to me - full on tears rolling down my face.  So I earned my Weepy Writer badge on Nano! LOL

Anyone else ever make themselves cry while writing?  If so, what kinds of scenes do it to you?

But it's a diagram that put things into perspective for you. Plus I loved your other blueprint, so I hope you add this one to your site at least. Woot woot! Finished another chapter! (Time is off for me and has no meaning since I have been slowly catching up on posts from last week, lol.) Hope Nick's POV chapter is going well! Now that I'm almost done catching up, I'll be better prepared to figure out how everyone's writing is going in real time.

Aww, I teared up a little at his Father's Day post. I get it. I also tend to keep a "this is just fiction" block up, but those moments where it feels real and nuanced are usually what get me too. I think the last time I teared up a bit, and usually when I do, is if I take inspiration from a scene from real life. There's an upcoming chapter of PNecklace where I definitely did cry a little since I borrowed the vibe of the scene from a conversation I'd had recently (though not exact words, of course).

I'm more likely to make myself laugh with my writing than cry, to be honest.


LOL Yeah, Nick would be like Devon Sawa in Final Destination, thinking Death is out to get him.

I love that line!  Love inside jokes in stories!

If he isn't already! ;)

Same! That's why I add several of them.


Oh yeah, I could definitely see them googling themselves in the early days of the group/internet.  (They probably used Webcrawler or Altavista or something though, haha.)

I think we should handpick stories to show Brian and put them in increasingly kinky order so we can see the progression in his face.  LOL!

LOL Howie would be very happy to be left out.  SAMS would disturb him for several reasons, the least of which is him having sex with Nick.  That's only a small part of the story.  But it's funny because the main reason I picked him and Nick as my couple in the first place is because of that radio interview they did where he was talking about observing Nick's pubic hair and then got all defensive when they started joking about how there's a gay one in every group.  I was like, "Hm..."  Otherwise I probably would have gone for Frick/Frack.

OMG, googling yourself on webcrawler or altavista! How ancient!

LOL! Yes! The confusion to shock to horror. *chef kiss* Can we agree to leave Baylee ones out of the lineup though? I'd much rather watch him be horrified about Frick&Frack than anything to do with his son.

You're right, he probably would! Especially when the slash aspect is only a piece of the story and you haven't added any of the tags that Brian would be enjoying horrified by. OMG! LMFAO! I must have missed that one. Howie! Why would you bring that up in an interview?! Of course the other Boys would mock you!


That's a good way to think about it.  

I think it was heart-related, but we don't know exactly, and it doesn't say whether he wakes up or not!  We're just left hanging.  Which is a valid choice as a storyteller, but so frustrating to the reader!  I would never be able to do that, so I guess I admire a writer who can just intentionally leave it vague like that.  I always want to explain everything LOL.

Nick as Brian's guardian angel definitely needs to be a novel!  It could still be a series of scenes that jump around, like Tracy did with History, but I'm gonna need more than just a one-shot.

It doesn't say whether he wakes up or not?! I hate that lack of closure, lol. But you're right, a valid choice. I think there can be power in leaving an ending vague when it's been properly lead up to, but you're right, I would also want to know how it ended.

Alright, it will be a novel... eventually. ;)


The wordiness would be a struggle for me if I ever tried to get published, too.  Although the only fanfic I've ever written that I thought could be fairly "easily" OF-ized without completely rewriting it because it's already AU is under 70,000 words.  So maybe there's hope for me in that respect LOL.  I think cutting out words would be the hardest part of editing for publication though.  It's easier to add or change words than cut a significant number of them out.

LOL A 3,000 word novel!  He's right; that sounds way too short.  Even my first fanfic "novels" were at least twice that length LOL.  200,000 words is quite an accomplishment!  You do deserve a nap!

LOL We could start a list, divided by boy.

70,000 is right on target! And you're right, I think especially for RPF stories, AUs wouldn't be entirely tedious to rewrite as OF. The problem I'm having currently is that it's like dropping stones in a pond. You know when there are major things that have to change, so you change them. But then that changes other things and it just ripples through. Then it puts PNecklace in a weird spot because I'll think "Oh man, that's totally going to be important in PDemons, so it probably needs to come up in PNecklace since it didn't originally come up in PBox (as a fanfic anyway)." It's... fun. That's part of why I'm only five and a half chapters in (well that and finishing PNecklace of course), but then I keep going back and rethinking my opening chapter. Like Nick was kind of info-dumpy and he feels like the least likely to be an info-dumper, so... more hacking and slashing is imminent, I suppose. There's probably a lot more I could cut, I just don't see what it is yet.

My first ones were also at least three times that length, lol. Silly husband, even considering that a novel could be 3,000 words.

Obviously! lol! Is this a forum thread or a shared google sheets? What would we do with all these epithets once we've penned them to paper?


Yes, you are!  I've reached that age, too.  LOL I slept wrong on Christmas Eve a few years ago and couldn't turn my neck to one side for like two days after.  Last year I was stretching in bed right after waking up and popped my collarbone, and it not only hurt, but was sore for several days afterwards.  Getting old already sucks, and we're only in our thirties!

Ack! The weird neck pain! That happens to me all the time! And it's so annoying because then you have to turn your entire body just to face something. Ridiculous!

Ouch! A popped collarbone! I'm pretty sure I tore my groin this year... of all the ridiculous injuries... lol!

Ugh, stop reminding me that it only gets worse from here!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 21, 2021, 11:45:42 PM
Does PBox not count? I'm guessing it doesn't count for being the obvious answer, lol.

Uhhhh... You know what. I'll bite and pick something else. Of my old stories that are up, I think I would write a new version of that Romeo & Juliet battle of the bands story (because, it is not good by my current standards). Then, the sequel would be inspired by some other Shakespeare play... Since the Romeo & Juliet inspiration ended happily, I think I'd take a comedy and make it dark. Twelfth Night is my favorite, let's go with that.

Anyone else?

I like that idea!  The battle of the bands is a fun twist on R&J, and it would be cool to turn it into a series of stories inspired by Shakespeare.

As mentioned, I'm considering a sequel for My Brother's Keeper, but it's definitely too early to make a decision on that right now.  Ideas have just been floating around in my brain, but I haven't written anything down.

Other than a fourth pandaskunk story, the one that's probably most likely to happen at some point is a short story sequel to SAMS.  I've been lowkey wanting to do one of those for a few years.  I was going to write it for the DNA challenge we talked about doing here, and then none of us did it LOL.  I guess it's a sign of how well my novel-writing has been going since DNA came out that I haven't wanted to stop working on my other projects long enough to spend a few days writing a short story.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 21, 2021, 11:54:24 PM
It feels so weird to not write on History anymore. But I'm working on Take Me Home now. I want to figure some things out like how I was going to end it because I don't remember lol. The last time I updated that story was in January of 2019. So it's been a minute. I am determined to try to finish it though because the story itself is pretty interesting.

I bet! You've been working on it for the past few months! You're already two stories completed this year! I'm pretty sure you're "heating up" as they say in beer pong. ;) You've totally got this!

In regards to re-figuring out your ending (because I've been there trying to reconstruct a story I did not remember the initial plan for), I have some spitballing based on what you'd said about it before that doesn't need a response, but could be helpful? Ignore if it isn't:


I don't want to give a whole lot away but the premise is Nick wakes up one day with no memories and is told he's been through something, and as the story goes on he gets bits and pieces. He and Brian are the main characters.

So I guess first, how far away do you envision the ending? Does it feel close or far away still?

If the basic premise is "Nick's been through a thing" and lost his memories because of it (again, just me filling in the gaps based on your summary and my background knowledge on memory/speculative fiction tropes), then he gets them back as the story goes... I guess what happens when he gets his memories back? Is this quest what's driving the action? Would having them back make him do something that would solve the larger conflict in the narrative? And if the memory quest isn't important, then what's driving him into the action/conflict?

And then I guess, how would Brian being involved change what Nick's doing? Are Brian's things in harmony or opposition to what Nick's doing?

Again, spitballing with no context and a dangerous amount of knowledge on both memory and speculative fiction tropes, lol. If any of those questions helped, I can ask additional spitballing questions. :) These are just the first few "the end is nigh" ones that come to mind.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 21, 2021, 11:56:17 PM
Absolutely you earned it!  I know what you mean about the adrenaline washing away, though; it's a weird feeling.  You feel accomplished, but also kind of empty, like, "Now what?"  Good thing you have 9 days to come up with a new project for Camp Nano... no pressure! ;)


We'll hold you to it!  You'll be glad you stuck with it if it can take you all the way to the point of posting something new.


Yes!!  Go us!

Exactly. And the slight dread of getting excited about a new thing. I'll figure out whatever it is in the next nine days. Or actively not figure it out, lol.

You're probably right. Then I won't be mired by my unfinished works and long hiatuses anymore.

Edited to add: Alright! I'm at least caught up to posts from today and/or in the wee hours of this morning! I'm calling this a success as I crawl into bed, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 22, 2021, 12:14:44 AM
When I get in the zone and have no distractions, I am a typing machine! I was excited that it happened two weekends in a row.

Those weekends are the best!  It's rare for them to happen twice in a row though.  When I have a really good writing day, the next day almost always sucks - especially if it involves me staying up until crazy hours and then not getting enough sleep.


But it's a diagram that put things into perspective for you. Plus I loved your other blueprint, so I hope you add this one to your site at least. Woot woot! Finished another chapter! (Time is off for me and has no meaning since I have been slowly catching up on posts from last week, lol.) Hope Nick's POV chapter is going well! Now that I'm almost done catching up, I'll be better prepared to figure out how everyone's writing is going in real time.

LOL!  Yeah... not going on my site.  Nick's chapter is going okay.  I finished the first scene today.  Have not started the second scene yet.  I probably need to take a nice, long break from being on the computer and come back to it later.


Aww, I teared up a little at his Father's Day post. I get it. I also tend to keep a "this is just fiction" block up, but those moments where it feels real and nuanced are usually what get me too. I think the last time I teared up a bit, and usually when I do, is if I take inspiration from a scene from real life. There's an upcoming chapter of PNecklace where I definitely did cry a little since I borrowed the vibe of the scene from a conversation I'd had recently (though not exact words, of course).

I'm more likely to make myself laugh with my writing than cry, to be honest.

I teared up at his post too, especially given what I had just posted here about my writing.  Aww, Kevin...  It's definitely those times when fiction intersects with reality that get to me.  But I'm the same way; I make myself laugh a lot more.


LOL! Yes! The confusion to shock to horror. *chef kiss* Can we agree to leave Baylee ones out of the lineup though? I'd much rather watch him be horrified about Frick&Frack than anything to do with his son.

You're right, he probably would! Especially when the slash aspect is only a piece of the story and you haven't added any of the tags that Brian would be enjoying horrified by. OMG! LMFAO! I must have missed that one. Howie! Why would you bring that up in an interview?! Of course the other Boys would mock you!

Agreed, no Baylee!!!  That is totally different.  Let's keep the slash just among the Boys.

Hehe, I love linking this interview: https://youtu.be/doq6lpBY6xk?t=595  The part I referred to starts at 9:55.  So funny!


Alright, it will be a novel... eventually. ;)

Yay!


70,000 is right on target! And you're right, I think especially for RPF stories, AUs wouldn't be entirely tedious to rewrite as OF. The problem I'm having currently is that it's like dropping stones in a pond. You know when there are major things that have to change, so you change them. But then that changes other things and it just ripples through. Then it puts PNecklace in a weird spot because I'll think "Oh man, that's totally going to be important in PDemons, so it probably needs to come up in PNecklace since it didn't originally come up in PBox (as a fanfic anyway)." It's... fun. That's part of why I'm only five and a half chapters in (well that and finishing PNecklace of course), but then I keep going back and rethinking my opening chapter. Like Nick was kind of info-dumpy and he feels like the least likely to be an info-dumper, so... more hacking and slashing is imminent, I suppose. There's probably a lot more I could cut, I just don't see what it is yet.

Yeah, it's one I really could just use Find & Replace on to change the characters' names, and voila!  No longer fanfic!  Obviously it would need some other editing to bring it up to published novel quality, but at least I wouldn't have to rewrite most of it to make it work.

It's like The Butterfly Effect!  Change one tiny thing, and you end up having to change more.

That's a challenge with sequels - how to catch up the reader and remind them of what's already happened without info-dumping.  It's better if you can work the information in more gradually and naturally, but you also don't want the reader to be completely confused at the beginning.  It seems like children's series are pretty formulaic in that they start with a scene, then do the info dump towards the end of Chapter 1 or beginning of Chapter 2.  Not sure about YA; it's been a while since I've read or reread any YA series, so I don't remember if they follow that same formula or avoid the info dump since they're written for older readers.


Obviously! lol! Is this a forum thread or a shared google sheets? What would we do with all these epithets once we've penned them to paper?

A shared Google Sheet would be more organized and easy to keep track of.  I dunno... keep it around as a reminder of what not to write in a fanfic LOL.


I'm pretty sure I tore my groin this year... of all the ridiculous injuries... lol!

Ow!  Were you trying to do the splits? LOL
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 22, 2021, 12:19:20 AM
In regards to re-figuring out your ending (because I've been there trying to reconstruct a story I did not remember the initial plan for), I have some spitballing based on what you'd said about it before that doesn't need a response, but could be helpful? Ignore if it isn't:


So I guess first, how far away do you envision the ending? Does it feel close or far away still?

If the basic premise is "Nick's been through a thing" and lost his memories because of it (again, just me filling in the gaps based on your summary and my background knowledge on memory/speculative fiction tropes), then he gets them back as the story goes... I guess what happens when he gets his memories back? Is this quest what's driving the action? Would having them back make him do something that would solve the larger conflict in the narrative? And if the memory quest isn't important, than what's driving him into the action/conflict?

And then I guess, how would Brian being involved change what Nick's doing? Are Brian's things in harmony or opposition to what Nick's doing?

Again, spitballing with no context and a dangerous amount of knowledge on both memory and speculative fiction tropes, lol. If any of those questions helped, I can ask additional spitballing questions. :) These are just the first few "the end is nigh" ones that come to mind.

Just popping in to say you are a great writing coach, Dee!  These seem like helpful questions.  If I ever get around to working seriously on Guilty Roads again, I know who to come to for plotting advice.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 24, 2021, 08:28:10 PM
Haha, I love that thread!

I don't use a lot of symbolism and that sort of stuff that gets analyzed in English class, but when I do, I like when it gets noticed.  I do use a fair amount of foreshadowing, which doesn't usually get mentioned in feedback from people who are reading for the first time because they wouldn't necessarily know it's foreshadowing.  But I hope it would be recognized and appreciated on rereads.

I would get a kick out of them overanalyzing the little Easter eggs I throw in for my own amusement and making them seem deeper than they really are.  "Why did she name the doctor the German word for 'platypus'?  Was that meant to represent the enigma of rare cancers, or was it a commentary on how xenophobic Americans view foreigners as strange and unusual?"  No, I actually had just been discussing platypuses with Rose and thought it was funny.

I know, right? I laughed so hard.

You do foreshadow a lot. It's pretty subtle, but every now and then I've gotten an inkling and been proud for nailing it. I can't think of a specific example off hand (also spoilers) except for your shark leg-eating dreams from Broken, lol.

Yes! Those are for sure things that would get over analyzed! Like all the Pixar ones do. I feel like most things like that, things that are just in there for fun are the ones analyzed to death. Please have them discuss the meaning of Pandaskunks. That's all I want for Christmas, lol. I feel like there's a modern author (I can't remember who or what about, clearly) that said something like "Please stop analyzing x. I just liked it. That's it." lol

I can't think of deep things in any of the others off hand. But in PBox, I'm very true to my main theme "there's always hope." Time and time again, as long as the characters are hoping and believing, they get rewarded. I did a fun thing in PBox that I don't think anyone's ever pointed out to me. Even though I didn't say, I did know what Nick's powers would be fairly early on and constantly described him in words that could evoke that imagery. It's fun knowing it's there, but no one's ever really mentioned it.


All great points.  Plantsing is the best of both worlds because then you have a rough path to follow, with the freedom to divert from it and forge a different path to your planned destination - or maybe a different one!  It's okay to change your mind in the middle or even at the end, as long as it makes sense.  Like you said, ideally you would stay true to the plot and characters at the same time.  But yeah, if you can get a character to plausibly do something they normally wouldn't do and then hate themselves for it, thus becoming a more believably flawed character, even better!

Yeah, that's definitely part of why I consider myself a plantser over a pantser or a planner, but my planning tends to be me free writing ideas rather than anything linear. If it seems like it could be important, I'll write it down. Or, I think I've mentioned several times that I enjoy asking myself questions including "tell me why" several times like the Boys, philosophy professors, and 4-year-olds, lol. (Anyone else get that meme a lot from their friends or is it just me?) Usually I'll figure it out as long as I have a Point A and a Point Z... or eventually, at least.

I do that so much to Nick in PBox. He hates it. I am slowly forcing him to become a better person, lol.


Yeah, I agree, it would be fun to combine the reading challenge with the Fanfic of the Month feature we used to do and discuss stories we want to revisit or read for the first time.  Then we could have some of those deeper, English-class style discussions without worrying about spoilers.

Sweet! Who wants to pick the first story?


Haha, I don't correct spelling on the forum.  We all have times when we type too fast too late at night and make mistakes.

Ugh, I know. But I did it again in my questions to Tracy post too and I was so mad at myself, lol!


Yep, I agree.  It would be nice to be able to see a breakdown of hits per chapter on AO3.  I have no idea if the hits on AC are actually even real readers or just spambots.  If yours is usually in the 0-2 range for your most recent chapter, that gives me hope that more of mine are actual readers than what I thought, but who knows.   It just always seems like the site is dead, but without the review option, it's hard to tell.

I'm looking at my chapter stats on AC now, and yeah, it's interesting how some of those random chapters spike it.  Sometimes they are chapters where something big happened that maybe readers would want to revisit, but other times they seem totally random.  The same thing happens on my site where certain chapters or posts seem to get a lot of clicks and/or spam comments.  I don't know if it's because they had certain words that made them come up in search results or what.  I noticed my third pandaskunk story that I posted early last year has more "reads" per chapter than my last three serious stories, which definitely does not match with the very minimal amount of feedback I got for it compared to what I've gotten for my dramas.  Not sure what to make of that, but I take it all with a grain of salt because I know the site has a big spam problem.

It would be hard with the way they do it though, so I get it. Yeah, if they were even in the teens in the first week for a new chapter, I would definitely figure they were mostly spam bots. But 0-2 feels like real people. I have 5 this past week, so I've been pretending that suddenly a bunch of people wanted to read.  ;D

I've found that on a whole, AC is hard to find. I don't know about your site, but I've definitely tried searching for exact lines of my stories and AC never comes up. So it's unfortunate that the spam has found it somehow. Silent readers prefer comedy? lol Not sure! I think a grain of salt is probably best, then you're not wondering why twenty people (or 200 people) don't want to connect with you somewhere for something.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 24, 2021, 09:00:43 PM
Wow!  Good for you!  Take it from me, WADDing is more frustrating than fun LOL.  Sometimes it's a necessary evil in order to come up with new ideas, but I'd much rather just write consistently on one story.

I mean same. I guess it was less annoyance and more that I was looking forward to perusing a few ideas and seeing what might stick rather than just waking up and being like "PDemons!" But, I guess that means the end of PNecklace really stuck with me. So if nothing else, I know that's a project that I can definitely pursue for the next one or that I should be able to quickly pick back up if I do something else first.

I did look over Gobosei and found myself skimming the chapters that are posted rather than reading, but reading the ones I hadn't posted. Not sure if this is because I've read them so many times or what, but I definitely found some places to edit -- including where it starts and probably the female character's name, because I definitely kept reading "Minako" in my head, so I've got to get away from M names, lol. So that's where we are there.

No new news for Nick is Brian's guardian angel.

I know what happens next in snail, I just haven't committed anything new to paper yet.

I did wake up at midnight with this strong urge to write my other idea though. The "Nick avoids being the main character" one and got about 250 words added for the beginning, but then got stuck deciding between two equally funny options that would steer the first bit of the story and also got hung up on a detail y'all might know the answer to. Maybe y'all can help me!

So the basic no spoilers premise of "Nick avoids being the main character" is that joke I made a while ago about Nick getting a chance to be everyone else's stereotypes in fanfics in addition to actively, well... avoiding being the main character. It's meant to be a bit of a love letter and humorous subversion to our old fanfic cliches. And I decided a good place to start it, just as an inciting incident to give Nick the power to "avoid being the main character," would be a nice love triangle. My initial gut was to pick AJ, because then they could have a conversation where AJ's trying to be focused and Nick makes dirty jokes while he tries on hats in the background at some point (hilarious). But then yesterday I thought "It could be equally hilarious if the love triangle was with Howie. And while Howie's trying to be focused on their conversation, Nick just sleeps, then disappears for a while... or tries to anyway" (also hilarious). So, I don't know. Am I supremely wrong on either of these being funny? Is one more funny than the other?

And then I got hung up on... they have dress rehearsals for their tours before they go, I assume... with full costumes, effects, etcetera? But I can't find them talking about any of it... except for the residency. Where do they set up this dress rehearsal? My impromptu "no research" gut instinct thought empty airplane hanger, because renting out a stadium or arena seems cost prohibitive to not let anyone in. Anyone know for certain? Or remember somewhere they discuss this?

So... this could be my next project. I've got pretty much everything figured out except what to do with Howie or AJ if they're not in this love triangle.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 24, 2021, 09:28:11 PM
It's usually about every other week, depending on how fast the grass is growing.  It's been really dry here lately, so I probably won't have to mow this week.  I only have a push mower since my yard's not that big, and its blade could use a sharpening, so in reality, it probably wouldn't do much damage to a body LOL.

We don't have a lawn, but my friends that do always talk about how relatively low maintenance they are because of our water restrictions. I assumed the opposite, since cuts from dull knives hurt worse than cuts from sharp ones? lol. But maybe it takes more effort with a dull knife? I guess if anything, it would be more likely to give the body an infection which could eventually lead to death... If slow death is more your thing, lol. I'm not planning any murders, I swear! lol


Ooh, good point, I forgot to include the comic on my list of things he has written!  He really is quite diverse in his creative endeavors, and aside from acting, he's good at everything he does!  (And he's still entertaining to watch as an actor, even if he won't be winning any serious acting awards LOL.)

LOL! Not a good actor?! Was your life not forever changed by the "bridge bit" in The Hollow? Superb acting. (I'm kidding, it was obviously not written for the laugh I give it every time, lol.)


Do you find you use your writing time more productively when you limit it that way, like only writing an hour per day?  Now that it's summer, I can get more written in a day where I don't have anywhere I have to be, but I waste so much time getting distracting while I'm "writing."  Today I "wrote" in bed for like 4 hours, and I finished the scene I was on, but I only wrote 900 some words.  That is really not much for 4 hours.  But I know it's because I'd write a sentence or maybe even a few sentences and then open a new tab to look something up or watch a YouTube video or check Twitter or whatever while I "thought of what to write next."  When the words are flowing, I'm more focused, but when they're not, this is why I write so slowly LOL.

Hmmm... It depends? If I limit the writing time, I tend not to get distracted by research things or get stuck on word choice because I'm just trying to write in that time (and then I can go back and fix anything later.) But, no, they're not usually my high word count writing times. Those are typically when I have inspiration and nothing else to do in a day. If I can sit and write for a few hours, I'll probably get between 1000 and 2000 words if I'm starting in the morning. I'll usually call it a good day if I get around 1000 words in. 2000 is a great day and anything above that is an exceptional day.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 24, 2021, 09:35:37 PM
I like that idea!  The battle of the bands is a fun twist on R&J, and it would be cool to turn it into a series of stories inspired by Shakespeare.

I feel like BSB Richard III would just drag and drag... lol! But you're right, could be cool. If I could ever stand to look at the original version for longer than five seconds... ha!


As mentioned, I'm considering a sequel for My Brother's Keeper, but it's definitely too early to make a decision on that right now.  Ideas have just been floating around in my brain, but I haven't written anything down.

Other than a fourth pandaskunk story, the one that's probably most likely to happen at some point is a short story sequel to SAMS.  I've been lowkey wanting to do one of those for a few years.  I was going to write it for the DNA challenge we talked about doing here, and then none of us did it LOL.  I guess it's a sign of how well my novel-writing has been going since DNA came out that I haven't wanted to stop working on my other projects long enough to spend a few days writing a short story.

I remember. Keep floating ideas. I'm always team sequel if the story warrants it or was always planned in multiple parts.

It's interesting that you've had so many sequel ideas you've wanted to explore. I think it's great to have so many stories worth continuing. :) LOL! Don't you love when everyone talks about something and then no one does it. So funny.

It's good that your novel projects have been going well. Don't stop on them to write a short story!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 24, 2021, 10:11:35 PM
Those weekends are the best!  It's rare for them to happen twice in a row though.  When I have a really good writing day, the next day almost always sucks - especially if it involves me staying up until crazy hours and then not getting enough sleep.

I guess technically there was a weekend in between them where I was not productive, but I didn't really have time to write, so I'm calling it a toss up. I typically do have dips after my prolific days, but I would say that Wednesdays are typically my biggest dip unless I haven't finished editing the chapter I'm supposed to post (then my Wednesdays are higher). During this last goal section, I was pretty good about keeping a semi-consistent sleep schedule. I did not during NaNo though, but I'd say that I straddled the 2000 words line more than having extreme dips like I have since. I'm not sure if that's because I've been interacting with y'all more and not in a writing bubble or because being in the fresh new beginning was more exciting than being in the middle or the end. Or that I'd only spent a month or so working on the same project fairly consistently instead of six months. If I don't sleep, I am a wreck, lol!

I think if you're on an extended vacation, it's both okay to have crazy writing days and slumps or spread it out so there's less slumps. Wherever your muse takes you, really.


LOL!  Yeah... not going on my site.  Nick's chapter is going okay.  I finished the first scene today.  Have not started the second scene yet.  I probably need to take a nice, long break from being on the computer and come back to it later.

Alas! I'll have to imagine it to appreciate it. Yay, first scene done! I hope you did take a nice, long break. You've been working hard and deserve a break too.


I teared up at his post too, especially given what I had just posted here about my writing.  Aww, Kevin...  It's definitely those times when fiction intersects with reality that get to me.  But I'm the same way; I make myself laugh a lot more.

Yeah, when fiction ends up mirroring reality like that, it doubly gets me for sure from a fandom perspective. I'm sure the timing of it was quite surreal. I just cry at everything (even that stupid Budweiser commercial where the dog and horse reunite after several years), so it's weird that my writing doesn't make my cry as much. But then, I always trend toward dark over sad, so that might be part of it. Meanwhile, I will put any stupid joke in that pops in my head and laugh the whole time.


Agreed, no Baylee!!!  That is totally different.  Let's keep the slash just among the Boys.

Hehe, I love linking this interview: https://youtu.be/doq6lpBY6xk?t=595  The part I referred to starts at 9:55.  So funny!

Yes; the one time to follow Mare's rule that Backstreet Boys fanfic focuses on the Boys to a T.

OMG! How did I miss this?! LMFAO! Howie! He totally deserved that! Also, I watched the whole thing and why are we still letting Nick say "conversate"? Nick... "conversate" is not a word...

I'm dying that Nick can't remember how old he was when they were recording IWITW. Nick, you were not 16. SOMH and QPG were probably right though.


Yeah, it's one I really could just use Find & Replace on to change the characters' names, and voila!  No longer fanfic!  Obviously it would need some other editing to bring it up to published novel quality, but at least I wouldn't have to rewrite most of it to make it work.

Just remember to find and replace the nicknames too! That's what will get you, lol. Unless they don't have any because it's an AU.

Could be fun to try if you ever get that itch. :)


It's like The Butterfly Effect!  Change one tiny thing, and you end up having to change more.

That's a challenge with sequels - how to catch up the reader and remind them of what's already happened without info-dumping.  It's better if you can work the information in more gradually and naturally, but you also don't want the reader to be completely confused at the beginning.  It seems like children's series are pretty formulaic in that they start with a scene, then do the info dump towards the end of Chapter 1 or beginning of Chapter 2.  Not sure about YA; it's been a while since I've read or reread any YA series, so I don't remember if they follow that same formula or avoid the info dump since they're written for older readers.

Ugh... It really is... It really is...

I just had them reminisce in PNecklace, easy because half of them missed the end. The beginning of PBox, Nick definitely did an info dump about some of the lore things to bring the reader in, but it's probably too info dumpy, thus making it boring instead of intriguing. Oh well, that's what a major edit is for, right? I also haven't read YA in a while and I probably should for research purposes. I think it's probably more repetitive in Middle Grade stories, especially if they're in a series.


A shared Google Sheet would be more organized and easy to keep track of.  I dunno... keep it around as a reminder of what not to write in a fanfic LOL.

Do we need this reminder? lol I think if an epithet is in dialogue, it's okay. Or maybe in a first person narrative. If the characters know a character's name, they should use it. If we're using it as the narrators after we've revealed the characters' names, then that's where is gets bad.

Also when the epithets are overly long and ridiculous like "The one who recorded a solo album with Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block,' lol.

Ow!  Were you trying to do the splits? LOL

So much more less wholesome! lol To be honest, it probably wouldn't have happened if I was flexible enough to do the splits, lmao!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 24, 2021, 10:16:52 PM
Just popping in to say you are a great writing coach, Dee!  These seem like helpful questions.  If I ever get around to working seriously on Guilty Roads again, I know who to come to for plotting advice.

Aw, thanks. This is how I let myself work through things when I'm really truly stuck or trying to come up with new ideas at any point. I think questions are good because saying "I don't know" usually means that whatever you're trying to figure out is either too broad or too far away from where you're at. The smaller the question, the easier I tend to find it. It's like they say, the devil is in the details. :) This isn't to say that the question can't get too small too quickly, but that's easy to notice to if I'm getting too far ahead of myself.

I am happy to throw random questions at you with minimal context, but no direct involvement, lol. I'll do this for anyone anytime if it's useful.

Edited to Add: And now I am fully caught up! Sorry for staycationing and having a post-end of story tired hangover type thing, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 24, 2021, 10:57:55 PM
You do foreshadow a lot. It's pretty subtle, but every now and then I've gotten an inkling and been proud for nailing it. I can't think of a specific example off hand (also spoilers) except for your shark leg-eating dreams from Broken, lol.

Yes! Those are for sure things that would get over analyzed! Like all the Pixar ones do. I feel like most things like that, things that are just in there for fun are the ones analyzed to death. Please have them discuss the meaning of Pandaskunks. That's all I want for Christmas, lol. I feel like there's a modern author (I can't remember who or what about, clearly) that said something like "Please stop analyzing x. I just liked it. That's it." lol

I can't think of deep things in any of the others off hand. But in PBox, I'm very true to my main theme "there's always hope." Time and time again, as long as the characters are hoping and believing, they get rewarded. I did a fun thing in PBox that I don't think anyone's ever pointed out to me. Even though I didn't say, I did know what Nick's powers would be fairly early on and constantly described him in words that could evoke that imagery. It's fun knowing it's there, but no one's ever really mentioned it.

LOL Broken is the one story where I intentionally tried to use the type of literary devices that could be discussed in English class (because I was taking AP English at the time), but my attempts are so clunky, they would just be laughed at.  Like the shark dream.  Foreshadowing, definitely, but a bit obvious.  I think I've gotten slightly more subtle over the years.  The Road to Bethlehem had a lot of foreshadowing in the beginning with the description of the Trump house they passed on the drive up, the conversation about how dangerous the mountains are while they're the Christmas tree farm, and at least one mention of how they had no cell service in the mountains.

LOL I myself would like to know the hidden meaning of the flying pandaskunks in that video.  But maybe the artist just really liked pandas with long, fluffy tails.  I bet that happens a lot.  Not everything's meant to be deep and symbolic.

You do seem big on sticking to your theme.  If/when I ever get around to reading PBox in its entirety, I'll have to see if I can figure out Nick's power based on his descriptions.


Sweet! Who wants to pick the first story?

I guess we should find out who else wants to do this besides us.


I've found that on a whole, AC is hard to find. I don't know about your site, but I've definitely tried searching for exact lines of my stories and AC never comes up. So it's unfortunate that the spam has found it somehow. Silent readers prefer comedy? lol Not sure! I think a grain of salt is probably best, then you're not wondering why twenty people (or 200 people) don't want to connect with you somewhere for something.

AC is hard to find.  I just Googled for Backstreet Boys fanfiction, and it didn't come up on the first page of results, no matter what variation I used (fan fiction, fanfic, etc.).  That's too bad.  But the spambots will find and exploit any site with weakness.  For as few visitors as my site gets, I'll log in and have like 50 spam comments to delete from my spam queue.  Thankfully, I have a good plugin that filters them out so they don't ever show up on the actual site, but it's still annoying.  I noticed a significant increase in them last year after I did the blogs for my 20th anniversary.  I called them "Wayback Wednesday" blogs, and I think those key words are what got the posts noticed by spammers because the spam comments are almost always on one of those.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 24, 2021, 11:16:52 PM
LOL Broken is the one story where I intentionally tried to use the type of literary devices that could be discussed in English class (because I was taking AP English at the time), but my attempts are so clunky, they would just be laughed at.  Like the shark dream.  Foreshadowing, definitely, but a bit obvious.  I think I've gotten slightly more subtle over the years.  The Road to Bethlehem had a lot of foreshadowing in the beginning with the description of the Trump house they passed on the drive up, the conversation about how dangerous the mountains are while they're the Christmas tree farm, and at least one mention of how they had no cell service in the mountains.

LOL I myself would like to know the hidden meaning of the flying pandaskunks in that video.  But maybe the artist just really liked pandas with long, fluffy tails.  I bet that happens a lot.  Not everything's meant to be deep and symbolic.

You do seem big on sticking to your theme.  If/when I ever get around to reading PBox in its entirety, I'll have to see if I can figure out Nick's power based on his descriptions.

Probably the same reason PBox is so true to its theme. Darn you over-analyzing High School English classes, lol! Even if they were clunky, they helped you practice and make them more subtle as time went on. The Trump house I didn't catch on to, but the mountains and the cell service I knew were going to be big things later, but no clear ideas on why.

Who are we to say that elves don't ride pandas that need longer tails to keep warm? Santa has all the reindeer busy, lol.

I wish you luck, if/when. ;)


I guess we should find out who else wants to do this besides us.

Stop putting logic in me trying to jumpstart this, lol. If no one else speaks up, Tracy did just finish reading Why I'd Do It All Again; I'm sure she'd discuss it with us if we (re)read it.


AC is hard to find.  I just Googled for Backstreet Boys fanfiction, and it didn't come up on the first page of results, no matter what variation I used (fan fiction, fanfic, etc.).  That's too bad.  But the spambots will find and exploit any site with weakness.  For as few visitors as my site gets, I'll log in and have like 50 spam comments to delete from my spam queue.  Thankfully, I have a good plugin that filters them out so they don't ever show up on the actual site, but it's still annoying.  I noticed a significant increase in them last year after I did the blogs for my 20th anniversary.  I called them "Wayback Wednesday" blogs, and I think those key words are what got the posts noticed by spammers because the spam comments are almost always on one of those.

I don't think it even comes up if you google "Absolute Chaos." I think Ash made it that way intentionally once upon a time, because I feel like we've all discussed that it's hard to find at one point way back when.

Really glad that the spam comments only get to you and not published in full. It would be unfortunate to see so much spam as you host, let alone for anyone else to see it too. I wonder what about "Wayback Wednesday" attracted the spammers? The alliteration? (I get it, because I love that.) The "Wayback" like the "Wayback Machine"? The weekly blogs increasing the traffic? I'm at a loss.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 24, 2021, 11:24:23 PM
I mean same. I guess it was less annoyance and more that I was looking forward to perusing a few ideas and seeing what might stick rather than just waking up and being like "PDemons!" But, I guess that means the end of PNecklace really stuck with me. So if nothing else, I know that's a project that I can definitely pursue for the next one or that I should be able to quickly pick back up if I do something else first.

I did look over Gobosei and found myself skimming the chapters that are posted rather than reading, but reading the ones I hadn't posted. Not sure if this is because I've read them so many times or what, but I definitely found some places to edit -- including where it starts and probably the female character's name, because I definitely kept reading "Minako" in my head, so I've got to get away from M names, lol. So that's where we are there.

No new news for Nick is Brian's guardian angel.

I know what happens next in snail, I just haven't committed anything new to paper yet.

I hear you.  It is fun to feel like you have the flexibility to write whatever you want without flaking out on your other projects, but it's frustrating when you hop from story to story and nothing sticks.  So if PDemons is calling to you, go with it!

I'm glad you looked over Gobosei and found some places worth editing.  LOL I did the same thing with my two Nick cancer stories, gave the female character a C name.  That was not an intentional choice; I just thought those names fit best.


I did wake up at midnight with this strong urge to write my other idea though. The "Nick avoids being the main character" one and got about 250 words added for the beginning, but then got stuck deciding between two equally funny options that would steer the first bit of the story and also got hung up on a detail y'all might know the answer to. Maybe y'all can help me!

So the basic no spoilers premise of "Nick avoids being the main character" is that joke I made a while ago about Nick getting a chance to be everyone else's stereotypes in fanfics in addition to actively, well... avoiding being the main character. It's meant to be a bit of a love letter and humorous subversion to our old fanfic cliches. And I decided a good place to start it, just as an inciting incident to give Nick the power to "avoid being the main character," would be a nice love triangle. My initial gut was to pick AJ, because then they could have a conversation where AJ's trying to be focused and Nick makes dirty jokes while he tries on hats in the background at some point (hilarious). But then yesterday I thought "It could be equally hilarious if the love triangle was with Howie. And while Howie's trying to be focused on their conversation, Nick just sleeps, then disappears for a while... or tries to anyway" (also hilarious). So, I don't know. Am I supremely wrong on either of these being funny? Is one more funny than the other?

And then I got hung up on... they have dress rehearsals for their tours before they go, I assume... with full costumes, effects, etcetera? But I can't find them talking about any of it... except for the residency. Where do they set up this dress rehearsal? My impromptu "no research" gut instinct thought empty airplane hanger, because renting out a stadium or arena seems cost prohibitive to not let anyone in. Anyone know for certain? Or remember somewhere they discuss this?

So... this could be my next project. I've got pretty much everything figured out except what to do with Howie or AJ if they're not in this love triangle.

I love this idea!  I think the AJ version works better for that scene because then the conversation wouldn't be totally one-sided like it would if Nick were sleeping in the background.  He can still participate, just in a distracted way as he's trying on hats.  I think you'd get more out of the joke that way.  You could have Nick pull a Howie and sleep through something important later in the story.  That said, I think it would be funnier with Howie as the love interest/chosen one because there just aren't that many Howie romances - fewer than AJ, I'm sure.  That, or Howie could be the one everything bad happens to.

I have wondered the same thing about their tour rehearsals.  I tried researching it once and wasn't able to find specifics for the Boys either, but it sounds like they would rent some sort of rehearsal space big enough to run through the whole show.  I found an article about Beyonce renting out a stadium in Tampa to rehearse for her tour a week before it started in Miami: https://www.tampabay.com/things-to-do/music/beyonc233-preps-for-her-formation-tour-with-rehearsals-in-tampa/2274355/  There also seem to be places that are specifically rehearsal studios, not actual concert venues.  Here's an article about those that names some specific ones in different cities: https://www.soundonsound.com/music-business/rise-large-scale-rehearsal-studio  I'm assuming these would be more affordable and practical than renting out an entire stadium.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 24, 2021, 11:39:39 PM
We don't have a lawn, but my friends that do always talk about how relatively low maintenance they are because of our water restrictions. I assumed the opposite, since cuts from dull knives hurt worse than cuts from sharp ones? lol. But maybe it takes more effort with a dull knife? I guess if anything, it would be more likely to give the body an infection which could eventually lead to death... If slow death is more your thing, lol. I'm not planning any murders, I swear! lol

LOL!  I don't think Nick has been killed by a lawn mower yet in 1000 Ways if you wanna add that idea to your list of things to write.


LOL! Not a good actor?! Was your life not forever changed by the "bridge bit" in The Hollow? Superb acting. (I'm kidding, it was obviously not written for the laugh I give it every time, lol.)

LMAO Best scene in the entire movie!  Here it is if anyone else feels compelled to watch it now: https://youtu.be/09sBVx2jQ28?t=386  I do think he was a bit better in Dead 7, so at least he's improving?


Hmmm... It depends? If I limit the writing time, I tend not to get distracted by research things or get stuck on word choice because I'm just trying to write in that time (and then I can go back and fix anything later.) But, no, they're not usually my high word count writing times. Those are typically when I have inspiration and nothing else to do in a day. If I can sit and write for a few hours, I'll probably get between 1000 and 2000 words if I'm starting in the morning. I'll usually call it a good day if I get around 1000 words in. 2000 is a great day and anything above that is an exceptional day.

Same.  I seem to be most productive when I'm writing a scene that has a lot of dialogue and nothing I need to look up.  Those are the times where I can write for long periods of time without getting distracted and churn out 1,000+ words easily.  It's the scenes that are more descriptive or require research that I get the most distracted writing.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 24, 2021, 11:55:25 PM
I hear you.  It is fun to feel like you have the flexibility to write whatever you want without flaking out on your other projects, but it's frustrating when you hop from story to story and nothing sticks.  So if PDemons is calling to you, go with it!

I'm glad you looked over Gobosei and found some places worth editing.  LOL I did the same thing with my two Nick cancer stories, gave the female character a C name.  That was not an intentional choice; I just thought those names fit best.

That was my thought too. I'd been steadily writing some scenes for it while writing PNecklace, so I knew the inspiration was still there. I guess my main thought was, if I'm back to write new things, then I'd rather have a variety of "this is my writing" type stuff to share. And yeah, epic fantasy is totally my wheelhouse (though it would be better if there were different ones and not just the same series if I'm leaning into this). But so are loving parodies, silly jokes, 90s style Boys bonding moments, and a whole plethora of other "dark" things that aren't epic fantasy. Of course I love PBox&Co, my magnum opus, my strongest character attachments, but I also like challenging myself. So now I know I can take a long hiatus, come back, and still write PBox-related stories. What else can I come back and write after so much time away?

Yeah, I think I needed to look at it with a critical eye and not just nostalgia for always being something I'd said I'd go back to. Poor Mariko, I picked her name before Minako, but... yeah. If Gobosei gets the edit it probably needs, it's already changing a lot, so I could stand to change several things about it including character names. LOL! Now that you mention it, you're totally right! Too funny.


I love this idea!  I think the AJ version works better for that scene because then the conversation wouldn't be totally one-sided like it would if Nick were sleeping in the background.  He can still participate, just in a distracted way as he's trying on hats.  I think you'd get more out of the joke that way.  You could have Nick pull a Howie and sleep through something important later in the story.  That said, I think it would be funnier with Howie as the love interest/chosen one because there just aren't that many Howie romances - fewer than AJ, I'm sure.  That, or Howie could be the one everything bad happens to.

Oh man, it gets even better. I spoiled almost nothing.  :biggrin: Yeah, I started thinking the same thing. For that particular joke, it would work better if the love triangle was with AJ. But for the subversion joke as a whole, Howie is clearly the better choice (and yeah, definitely fewer Howie romances than AJ romances). Seeing you write it just strengthens that thought, so thanks. :-*


I have wondered the same thing about their tour rehearsals.  I tried researching it once and wasn't able to find specifics for the Boys either, but it sounds like they would rent some sort of rehearsal space big enough to run through the whole show.  I found an article about Beyonce renting out a stadium in Tampa to rehearse for her tour a week before it started in Miami: https://www.tampabay.com/things-to-do/music/beyonc233-preps-for-her-formation-tour-with-rehearsals-in-tampa/2274355/  There also seem to be places that are specifically rehearsal studios, not actual concert venues.  Here's an article about those that names some specific ones in different cities: https://www.soundonsound.com/music-business/rise-large-scale-rehearsal-studio  I'm assuming these would be more affordable and practical than renting out an entire stadium.

I had an inkling that you, Tracy, or possibly Mare or Rose may have researched this at some point; glad my suspicions were correct. Thank you for those articles! I'll read over them. It's not totally a huge sticking point since it's really just a setting, but gotta love those details, right?

Here, a short gift, lol:

Damn! Nick licked his lips as he fiddled with the microphone stand, accidentally popping the mic out. It flipped and flopped in the air as he fumbled with it, but managed to catch it before it tumbled to the floor. He exhaled forcefully, clutching it tightly as he leaned against the empty stand, before snapping it back into place and leaning on it again. Nice save!

Through the hole under his arm, Howie, Brian, AJ, and Kevin were visible in the line beside him, poised with perfect professionalis m. Or, at least to the point where they weren't haphazardly attempting to destroy equipment. Kevin chugged his water bottle. AJ yawned and cleaned his sunglasses on his shirt, before fiddling with his watch, counting down the seconds, then minutes. Brian shot a free throw with his empty water bottle, clearly mouthing "nothing but net" when it hit the floor. Meanwhile, Howie winked at Nick, and mouthed… something to him.

Nick wrinkled his nose as he cocked his head. "What?"

It should have been a whisper. A regular voice would have been fine. Even his typically loud speaking voice would have been preferable. Unfortunately, when he'd fumbled with the mic, he'd accidentally turned it on. So the loud "what" blared and echoed across the silent [airplane hangar].
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 25, 2021, 12:08:11 AM
LOL!  I don't think Nick has been killed by a lawn mower yet in 1000 Ways if you wanna add that idea to your list of things to write.

LOL! The next time I'm bored and haven't stabbed Nick in a while, I'll consider this.


LMAO Best scene in the entire movie!  Here it is if anyone else feels compelled to watch it now: https://youtu.be/09sBVx2jQ28?t=386  I do think he was a bit better in Dead 7, so at least he's improving?

Absolutely the best. I did want to watch it now, so thanks, lol. I also enjoy "There's a dead body here!"/"Forget that, man, I'm going back to the good side of the bridge." In general yes, but I was constantly distracted by his "this is what I think a gritty outlaw in a zombie western sounds like" accent, lol.


Same.  I seem to be most productive when I'm writing a scene that has a lot of dialogue and nothing I need to look up.  Those are the times where I can write for long periods of time without getting distracted and churn out 1,000+ words easily.  It's the scenes that are more descriptive or require research that I get the most distracted writing.

Dialogue is good or any action sequence I've planned for. The more I have to think, the slower it goes for sure. Description is fine depending on what it is, I try to keep resources I'd need for that close at hand (like I have a little tab group on my phone with body language based on feelings that I like to reference). Full research, well, you know. But at least I learn fun facts about horses and sand? lol
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 25, 2021, 12:16:49 AM
I just realized in my catching up, I forgot to ask how everyone's writing was going now and not a few days ago. Oops! So how is everyone's writing going now?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 25, 2021, 12:26:47 AM
I remember. Keep floating ideas. I'm always team sequel if the story warrants it or was always planned in multiple parts.

It's interesting that you've had so many sequel ideas you've wanted to explore. I think it's great to have so many stories worth continuing. :) LOL! Don't you love when everyone talks about something and then no one does it. So funny.

It's good that your novel projects have been going well. Don't stop on them to write a short story!

I have always liked the thought of writing sequels, but I used to be a little sequel-happy and then didn't finish most of them, so I told myself no more.  That was before BMS, which is my best exception to the rule.  I think I know myself well enough as a writer now that I would only attempt it if I felt like I had an idea worth writing that I would want to see through to the end, and I would only post it if it was going well.  With MBK, I think the basic premise is good, but it'll come down to whether or not I want to keep writing about this version of Kevin or do something different.


I'm not sure if that's because I've been interacting with y'all more and not in a writing bubble or because being in the fresh new beginning was more exciting than being in the middle or the end. Or that I'd only spent a month or so working on the same project fairly consistently instead of six months. If I don't sleep, I am a wreck, lol!

I think if you're on an extended vacation, it's both okay to have crazy writing days and slumps or spread it out so there's less slumps. Wherever your muse takes you, really.

LOL It's probably both.  Part of the reason I tend to be productive late at night is because there's no one around to talk to, so I don't spend as much time on this forum or Twitter.  But at the same time, the fanfic discussion around here is motivating and helps hold me accountable, especially during the school year when I'm tired and less likely to want to write.  I'm more likely to get on the computer if I think there are forum posts to catch up on and respond to (which is not so easy from my phone), and sometimes just getting on the computer is half the battle.  

Unless I'm on an end-of-story streak, I don't usually have multiple crazy writing days in a row, even in the summer.  I guess my brain needs a break.  I've been trying to read more and watch more movies to fill it with fresh ideas.


Yeah, when fiction ends up mirroring reality like that, it doubly gets me for sure from a fandom perspective. I'm sure the timing of it was quite surreal. I just cry at everything (even that stupid Budweiser commercial where the dog and horse reunite after several years), so it's weird that my writing doesn't make my cry as much. But then, I always trend toward dark over sad, so that might be part of it. Meanwhile, I will put any stupid joke in that pops in my head and laugh the whole time.

I'm the same way with crying about everything!  I was on my period last week too, so I was probably extra-emotional.  I found a great new YouTube channel called The Ambient Score that has nice long mixes of movie scores to use as writing music, and they have one for The Land Before Time.  I had tears in my eyes within the first few seconds of listening to that music!  I cry at commercials too.  The Budweiser ones kill me!  But I'm less likely to cry over my own writing, even when I'm writing something sad.


OMG! How did I miss this?! LMFAO! Howie! He totally deserved that! Also, I watched the whole thing and why are we still letting Nick say "conversate"? Nick... "conversate" is not a word...

I'm dying that Nick can't remember how old he was when they were recording IWITW. Nick, you were not 16. SOMH and QPG were probably right though.

LOL That was IAWLT promo.  Aww, Nick and his made-up big words.  Bless him.  I threw in a line where Kevin makes fun of the way he mispronounced "documentary" in my chapter the other day, and it made me laugh.

They are terrible at remembering dates, timelines, etc.  I guess it all blurs together over the years.
 They need us fans around to fact-check them on this sort of information LOL.


Just remember to find and replace the nicknames too! That's what will get you, lol. Unless they don't have any because it's an AU.

Could be fun to try if you ever get that itch. :)

Good advice!!  There probably aren't as many nicknames as I would normally use in a canon fic, but there may be some.  I would definitely reread the thing after using find/replace.  Luckily it's not a long one.

Yeah, if I ever really got the publishing itch, I think that would be a good place to start for the sake of getting my feet wet with the whole process because the initial work of writing a first draft is already done.  And because I already "published" it as a fanfic, it would be less devastating to get those inevitable rejection letters, because at the end of the day, I could just repost it as a fanfic.  It wouldn't feel like years of work wasted.  Though nowadays, there are so many other options besides traditional publishing for OF.  If you're not successful going that route, you can always self-publish.  I'm just kind of at a place in my life where I'm like, "What's the point?"  I don't like to share or talk about my writing with people in real life, and that's not just because it's BSB fanfic.  I don't think I would be any different with OF, so why on earth would I even want it published for the whole world to read?  I'm probably better off sticking to my little niche audience here on the internet.


So much more less wholesome! lol To be honest, it probably wouldn't have happened if I was flexible enough to do the splits, lmao!

LMAO!!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 25, 2021, 01:06:50 AM
That was my thought too. I'd been steadily writing some scenes for it while writing PNecklace, so I knew the inspiration was still there. I guess my main thought was, if I'm back to write new things, then I'd rather have a variety of "this is my writing" type stuff to share. And yeah, epic fantasy is totally my wheelhouse (though it would be better if there were different ones and not just the same series if I'm leaning into this). But so are loving parodies, silly jokes, 90s style Boys bonding moments, and a whole plethora of other "dark" things that aren't epic fantasy. Of course I love PBox&Co, my magnum opus, my strongest character attachments, but I also like challenging myself. So now I know I can take a long hiatus, come back, and still write PBox-related stories. What else can I come back and write after so much time away?

Yeah, I think I needed to look at it with a critical eye and not just nostalgia for always being something I'd said I'd go back to. Poor Mariko, I picked her name before Minako, but... yeah. If Gobosei gets the edit it probably needs, it's already changing a lot, so I could stand to change several things about it including character names. LOL! Now that you mention it, you're totally right! Too funny.

That's a good point.  And while I know we all write for ourselves first and foremost, you're more likely to attract new readers with something different and unrelated to PBox.  That's the problem with sequels - most people don't want to read a sequel without reading its predecessor(s), and if there's a lot to catch up on, they're probably less likely to do it than just start something brand new.  Especially on a site like AO3 that seems to favor one-shots.  For readers who are used to short stories, seeing all those chapters may be overwhelming.  That said, go with what you want to write most.  If that means finishing your magnum opus first, do it!  Then you'll be more free to focus on other things.  It is nice to know you can come back after so long and finish something!  It's inspiring to the rest of us who have long-unfinished stories too LOL.

Mariko, wow, that is similar!  I can see why your brain is substituting Minako LOL.  I think even if you changed it to another M name that does not end in "-ko," that would help.


Oh man, it gets even better. I spoiled almost nothing.  :biggrin: Yeah, I started thinking the same thing. For that particular joke, it would work better if the love triangle was with AJ. But for the subversion joke as a whole, Howie is clearly the better choice (and yeah, definitely fewer Howie romances than AJ romances). Seeing you write it just strengthens that thought, so thanks. :-*

You're welcome!


I had an inkling that you, Tracy, or possibly Mare or Rose may have researched this at some point; glad my suspicions were correct. Thank you for those articles! I'll read over them. It's not totally a huge sticking point since it's really just a setting, but gotta love those details, right?

Here, a short gift, lol:

Damn! Nick licked his lips as he fiddled with the microphone stand, accidentally popping the mic out. It flipped and flopped in the air as he fumbled with it, but managed to catch it before it tumbled to the floor. He exhaled forcefully, clutching it tightly as he leaned against the empty stand, before snapping it back into place and leaning on it again. Nice save!

Through the hole under his arm, Howie, Brian, AJ, and Kevin were visible in the line beside him, poised with perfect professionalis m. Or, at least to the point where they weren't haphazardly attempting to destroy equipment. Kevin chugged his water bottle. AJ yawned and cleaned his sunglasses on his shirt, before fiddling with his watch, counting down the seconds, then minutes. Brian shot a free throw with his empty water bottle, clearly mouthing "nothing but net" when it hit the floor. Meanwhile, Howie winked at Nick, and mouthed… something to him.

Nick wrinkled his nose as he cocked his head. "What?"

It should have been a whisper. A regular voice would have been fine. Even his typically loud speaking voice would have been preferable. Unfortunately, when he'd fumbled with the mic, he'd accidentally turned it on. So the loud "what" blared and echoed across the silent [airplane hangar].


LOL I love this!

Yeah, I know I looked it up for SAMS because there were scenes that took place during tour rehearsal.  I just kept it fairly vague and called the place a rehearsal venue.


Absolutely the best. I did want to watch it now, so thanks, lol. I also enjoy "There's a dead body here!"/"Forget that, man, I'm going back to the good side of the bridge." In general yes, but I was constantly distracted by his "this is what I think a gritty outlaw in a zombie western sounds like" accent, lol.

LOL So true.  His gritty outlaw voice wasn't nearly as funny as his gangsta voice in Kill Speed.  But Howie's constantly changing accent was!


Description is fine depending on what it is, I try to keep resources I'd need for that close at hand (like I have a little tab group on my phone with body language based on feelings that I like to reference). Full research, well, you know. But at least I learn fun facts about horses and sand? lol

That's a good idea!  Is the body language thing something you can share?  I'm curious to see it.  I feel like I use the same few descriptions for body language over and over again, so maybe there are some I haven't thought to include.

Very true!  I am always up for learning and don't consider it a focus fail if I'm actually researching something I need for the story.  My problem is I easily get sucked down rabbit holes.  Lately it's YouTube.  I've subscribed to several channels that have helpful content for my story, so I'll go to YouTube to look up something or open my writing music playlist and then see something shiny in the recommended videos section and click on something totally unrelated to what I'm supposed to be looking up.  This week it's been Titanic/Kate & Leo videos.  I watched one of those "Guy reacts to watching Titanic for the first time" last week, so now I get a ton of Titanic videos in my recommendation s... and the more I click on them, the more they tend to pop up.


I just realized in my catching up, I forgot to ask how everyone's writing was going now and not a few days ago. Oops! So how is everyone's writing going now?

Mine's been okay.  I've still been writing every day, just not as much as I would like (a.k.a. not enough to make my Nano goal).
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: FrickingKaos on June 25, 2021, 05:19:16 AM
Lol. I've been watching people watch movies for the first time on YouTube too. Get out of my brain. Haha.

Writing has been going really well which is surprising because nobody's reading Take Me Home. I haven't had any interest in it which does challenge me via having nobody motivating me to write. So I've fallen back on watching science fiction to get inspired, along with inspirational writing music I found on YouTube. I'd gone two days without writing, put on this one playlist and I cranked out a whole chapter in one sitting.

It's okay if nobody is reading, usually that makes me sad but I am so close to finishing this story that I don't want to abandon it which in turn motivates me instead of waiting for reviews. It's kind of freeing in a way.

But low key I hope someone does read eventually lol
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 25, 2021, 09:48:31 PM
That's exciting that you're so close to finishing!  That is definitely motivation in itself, but I know it's frustrating when you're not getting feedback and you feel like no one's reading.  The same thing happened to me when I came back to Secrets of the Heart after 3+ years of barely updating it.  The few people who had shown an interest in it when I posted the beginning had disappeared, so I had to finish it for myself.  I'm sure the same thing would happen with Guilty Roads if I started working on that one again after so long.  It's disappointing, but the satisfaction of finishing a story will make up for the lack of feedback.  And it may just take time for people who didn't read it back when you first started posting it to discover it and get caught up, so give it time.

I'm glad you found some inspiration writing music on YouTube!  That's been my go-to for writing music lately too.  Do you have any recommendation s?  I'm always on the lookout for new writing music.  My current favorite channels for writing music are The Ambient Score (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBLnImOsHcvdI56RaRRmLzA) and Ambient Worlds (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfR8HhkbpDAwvYxrecNg4Mg).  The Ambient Worlds videos have beautiful changing backgrounds that are fun to put on for added ambience if I'm writing in front of the TV.  If you have Amazon Prime, Prime Music also has some good writing music.  I have a writing playlist there, but I also sometimes just listen to the movie scores station or stations for individual composers I like.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 26, 2021, 04:44:34 AM
Here is an example of why I write so slowly.  I wrote a sentence:  "That evening, while AJ went off to do his show, Kevin and I watched a movie."  I thought to myself, I should specify what movie they watched - not because it's important, per se, but just because it's nice to include those details that help bring the story to life.  So what movie should they watch?

It happens to be Easter Sunday in the story, so my first thought was that maybe "The Ten Commandments" would be on TV, as it usually is around Easter, and Kevin could make Nick sit through all four hours of that movie.  But because I feel compelled to fact-check what I can, I went to my historical TV listings site (http://www.tvtango.com/listings/) to see if it was actually on TV on Easter Sunday in 2008.  No, it aired the night before.  So I scratched that idea.

My next thought was to browse movies that came out in 2007 and would have been released to DVD in early 2008, thinking maybe they would watch a new movie.  A lot of pretty good movies came out that year, though none that stood out to me as an obvious choice.  Maybe "Knocked Up" because it's funny, and I feel like they would want to watch something light.  But how would they acquire said movie?  Streaming wasn't really a thing in 2008, was it?  A quick Google search confirmed that Netflix didn't start its streaming-only service until 2010.  Which means they would have had to rent a DVD, either through old-school DVD-by-mail Netflix or an even older-school video store.  (Are/were video stores in Hollywood open on Easter?  Most places are closed on Easter here, but I live in a predominantly Christian community, which I realize is not the case everywhere.)  Or I could forget the new movie and just have them pop in a DVD from home.  Or flip channels until they found a movie on TV.

But what movie?  Should it be something symbolic and relevant to the plot of my story or completely random?  I still haven't decided, so now it's a question of how long I will sit here and agonize over this small detail until I either make a decision and go with it or leave it at "We watched a movie" and move on.

Does anyone else do this when they write, or is this just me being anal? LOL


Update: I decided to leave it at "We watched a movie" and move on without specifying which one.  I ended up writing almost 1,400 more words and finishing my chapter, so I guess that was the right decision.  If I come up with a perfect movie later, I can always go back and add it in, but I don't think it's necessary.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 26, 2021, 02:12:34 PM
I have always liked the thought of writing sequels, but I used to be a little sequel-happy and then didn't finish most of them, so I told myself no more.  That was before BMS, which is my best exception to the rule.  I think I know myself well enough as a writer now that I would only attempt it if I felt like I had an idea worth writing that I would want to see through to the end, and I would only post it if it was going well.  With MBK, I think the basic premise is good, but it'll come down to whether or not I want to keep writing about this version of Kevin or do something different.

I was the opposite. I didn't really think about sequels until that 2003 OF and Gobosei because they were originally planned as serializations (more like an ongoing storyline in a comic than a novel and sequels), so that's when I started thinking in terms of "there's a story, but that story is just one part inside what can be a bigger story." I blame my obsession with manga in high school for that; pretty much all the ones I read were multi-arc juggernauts rather than short collections. The rest of my Backstreet fanfic, or writing in general, wasn't like that though. Heck, even PBox wasn't originally meant to be in a series when I first envisioned it; yet, it became that probably around the time Nick refused death -- maybe because he was adamant that he had a story to tell beyond the scope of PBox, lol.

I think that's a fair stance to have. If the initial stories are the ones getting completed, but the sequels weren't, then I think I would also put the kibosh on sequels. There's a happy medium for it though. It seems like a lot of your ideas back then were "a little more than what was there, but maybe not enough for a whole novel." So something like your short SAMS one-shot is the perfect alternative. I think it's a good exercise for us novel writers. How can we convey a complete arc in a shorter medium? It's why I wished I'd taken on more of Mare's challenges back in the day; I just never had strong enough ideas for any of them. That could have been because they were the photo challenges back then, rather than the more broad "basic premise" ones though.

Do you hold a lot of your story ideas because you're not quite sure if you'll see them through to the end?


LOL It's probably both.  Part of the reason I tend to be productive late at night is because there's no one around to talk to, so I don't spend as much time on this forum or Twitter.  But at the same time, the fanfic discussion around here is motivating and helps hold me accountable, especially during the school year when I'm tired and less likely to want to write.  I'm more likely to get on the computer if I think there are forum posts to catch up on and respond to (which is not so easy from my phone), and sometimes just getting on the computer is half the battle.  

Unless I'm on an end-of-story streak, I don't usually have multiple crazy writing days in a row, even in the summer.  I guess my brain needs a break.  I've been trying to read more and watch more movies to fill it with fresh ideas.

Probably! Sorry for sleeping and not being a gremlin anymore, lol. Yes, I do enjoy all of us cheering each other on and talking about our writing. It's fun to discuss little specifics and discuss them from the broad "literary aspects" and also fun to talk about the broad things we all encounter without specifics. At the end of the day, we all have bouts of inspiration, struggles with writers block, write novel-length fiction (here anyway), and use the same main characters. So even if the details aren't the same, the overall experience is pretty similar. :) I think it helps mitigate some of the "reader silence" for me personally.

I agree, getting in front of a place to write is half of the struggle. That's why in the beginning of getting back into it, I worried less about word count and more about "writing any words." I think now it only bums me out if I feel like I'm writing a lot of words, but I'm actually not, lol. Those days are jarring. And yes, using my phone to post on the forum is really hard and more time consuming than the effort it takes to get on the computer.

I guess I don't either. Those two weekend of really high days were the last five chapters of PNecklace. I think my highest word-count day was my over 5,000 one in November, but I think the day afterward was average? I just looked it up, I lied. The next day, I wrote about 4,000 words. I guess if I have a really high day, the next day will usually be really high as well. If only I could aim to have only high word count days, lol. I'm guessing these are untamed bursts of inspiration rather than the day to day? I had these with PBox too, but back then it's when I would get the chapters done, rather than trying to put in even mediocre effort on a daily basis. I try to live by the "you can't edit a blank page" adage these days, but I don't know if I was in the right headspace back then to commit to daily (or near daily) writing. I do need to get back into doing some other things besides writing. There's many books and movies I've been meaning to give some attention to.


I'm the same way with crying about everything!  I was on my period last week too, so I was probably extra-emotional.  I found a great new YouTube channel called The Ambient Score that has nice long mixes of movie scores to use as writing music, and they have one for The Land Before Time.  I had tears in my eyes within the first few seconds of listening to that music!  I cry at commercials too.  The Budweiser ones kill me!  But I'm less likely to cry over my own writing, even when I'm writing something sad.

Been there. Hubs and I were watching Trevor Noah once and he was doing a segment where he talked about a teenager that made bowties for all the dogs at the local animal shelter for an event they had; I was sobbing because they looked so adorable and all ended up getting adopted -- hubs made so much fun of me. Ugh, don't get me started on TLBT! Littlefoot's mom dying... heartwrenching!

I wonder why we don't cry at our own writing? Outside of laughing, I can normally feel myself feeling slightly anxious when I'm writing about the characters being anxious/nervous/afraid/worried about something (like a tight feeling in my chest), but I don't cry or get angry or anything like that. Can't explain it.


LOL That was IAWLT promo.  Aww, Nick and his made-up big words.  Bless him.  I threw in a line where Kevin makes fun of the way he mispronounced "documentary" in my chapter the other day, and it made me laugh.

They are terrible at remembering dates, timelines, etc.  I guess it all blurs together over the years.
 They need us fans around to fact-check them on this sort of information LOL.

I asked it and remembered that right afterward, lol. I joke, but as a lover of linguistics, I actually do have a soft spot for his made up fancy words. I wish more new words were added to our lexicon. lol! Yes! I wrote another short bit of the "Nick avoids being the main character" story and definitely added "conversate" to a piece of Nick's dialogue because I was thinking about it, lol.

I know. I need to stop asking and judging them, lol. My real qualm was that he remembers that he turned 19 in 1999. He remembers that Millennium came out in 1999. He remembers that IWITW was the lead single from Millennium. Yet somehow he thinks that they recorded it when he was 16 when they would have been busy touring for the red album and recording Backstreet's Back (the album). If he had said 18, maybe even 17, I would have accepted it. They really do need us to keep their timelines straight, or the more meticulous among us. Sometimes I have a vague memory myself, lol.


Good advice!!  There probably aren't as many nicknames as I would normally use in a canon fic, but there may be some.  I would definitely reread the thing after using find/replace.  Luckily it's not a long one.

Yeah, if I ever really got the publishing itch, I think that would be a good place to start for the sake of getting my feet wet with the whole process because the initial work of writing a first draft is already done.  And because I already "published" it as a fanfic, it would be less devastating to get those inevitable rejection letters, because at the end of the day, I could just repost it as a fanfic.  It wouldn't feel like years of work wasted.  Though nowadays, there are so many other options besides traditional publishing for OF.  If you're not successful going that route, you can always self-publish.  I'm just kind of at a place in my life where I'm like, "What's the point?"  I don't like to share or talk about my writing with people in real life, and that's not just because it's BSB fanfic.  I don't think I would be any different with OF, so why on earth would I even want it published for the whole world to read?  I'm probably better off sticking to my little niche audience here on the internet.

That was one Mare mentioned to me. I think she said she fudged around it for the less specific ones like calling Howie "D" by giving Howie's character a name that started with D. Whereas keeping "B-Rok" or "Kev" or something would be a big giveaway. That is the nice thing about an AU, many of those more obvious things just aren't in there. Or at least a super divergent AU. Something like Gobosei is an AU, but only in the sense that it's "alternate universe where the Backstreet Project is real" and not "alternate universe where the Boys are all working at a Target together" or something more like Secrets of the Heart is (That's this one, right? I'm sorry, I have a hard time keeping track of all the stories you published while I was away, lol). It's thankfully one of the things that I also don't have to worry about in PBox&Co (for the most part), since the chapters where it does make a difference, I've basically decided that cutting them or hacking/slashing them is just the better option; that and keeping Nick's name the same means I can reasonably keep all my "Nick/Nickolas/Nicky" without many issues.

That's true, though I think it would depend on how much time you spent paring down the fanfic aspects on any work. I think it would still be hard to hear "this won't work as a published novel" after working on something for such a long time. Not sure though, haven't tried it. I think there's hard things with self-publishing too. First the whole "print on demand" aspect is a monetary pain. But probably more than that is having to be your own editor, publicist, marketer, sales, and so on. Of course it's possible to hire people to do those things, but then that further cuts into your bottom line and so on. Not that it's only about making money, but all those things are full time jobs, so if writing the book you're selling isn't paying the bills, adding more of a workload might also not increase the ability to pay bills. Having worked two full time jobs at one point (one of which I wasn't getting paid for, because you know, student teaching), I can attest to the difficulty of working a job for a passion, but still having to work something menial to pay rent. And there's just not enough hours in the day to do all of that and take care of yourself; I wouldn't do it again. That said, I think if anyone's already a popular fanfic writer, it would probably be an easier task to transition into self-publishing if you could convince your readership to go with you.

But I also agree that there's something nice about knowing your audience is out there in a medium your comfortable with them interacting with you. :) I've never minded discussing my writing with other people, I'm just abysmal at the elevator pitch. For anything; there's this leadership styles compass thing, and I'm firmly in the "feelings/details" camp of it -- "big picture" is okay, "just do it" is not. So I definitely get bogged down in the details of things.


LMAO!!

Yes, yes, laugh at my pain.  ;)
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 26, 2021, 03:54:33 PM
That's a good point.  And while I know we all write for ourselves first and foremost, you're more likely to attract new readers with something different and unrelated to PBox.  That's the problem with sequels - most people don't want to read a sequel without reading its predecessor(s), and if there's a lot to catch up on, they're probably less likely to do it than just start something brand new.  Especially on a site like AO3 that seems to favor one-shots.  For readers who are used to short stories, seeing all those chapters may be overwhelming.  That said, go with what you want to write most.  If that means finishing your magnum opus first, do it!  Then you'll be more free to focus on other things.  It is nice to know you can come back after so long and finish something!  It's inspiring to the rest of us who have long-unfinished stories too LOL.

Exactly. If I'd gotten to the end of NaNo and hadn't thought about coming back to the fandom aspect, then I would have known that my heart was in it for PBox, which I think I'd even mentioned maybe trying to turn into an original story even way back when I was first writing it. But I came back to be back, so may as well write other things too and see who out there may enjoy them. And yes, that is definitely a danger with a series unless it's something like... oh, I don't know... Discworld... where the universe is the same, but the characters' stories are only connected on the broad scale of the universe's happenings (for the most part). Whereas something like PBox&Co (like Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, Twilight, whatever) does depend on a certain degree of knowledge on the prior books. Like could you imagine picking up The Deathly Hallows without having read any other Harry Potter books? lol It probably doesn't help that reading the entirety of PBox's story through the end of PDemons means committing to 150 chapters (probably... having not written the last one, I can't say for certain) that are all at least 3,000 words. That's... a lot of words. It's probably easier in a publish novel (or on AO3) since you can't see the word count for a chapter prior to reading it.

And yes, you're also correct that it's another ball game being a novel writer in an increasingly one-shot fan content platform. I think that's something we all face.

You know, at this moment, I can't picture a world where PBox Nick isn't popping around in my head somewhere. Even when I wasn't actively writing, there were still times that I would have dreams about PBox. Not concrete enough to write anything down afterward, but enough to think "huh, Pbox?" when I woke up. Being completely finished with it would be a bizarre feeling. I'm glad you feel inspired by my new-found work ethic. I will do my best to continue to be an inspiration! lol


Mariko, wow, that is similar!  I can see why your brain is substituting Minako LOL.  I think even if you changed it to another M name that does not end in "-ko," that would help.

Yeah... I guess I just really wanted to name my female protagonists with "M---ko" names back then, lol. But I also have "Madeline" in PNecklace (nothing to do with the song, I'd named her that before IAWLT had been released), so I think it's time to move on from M names.

There's several things in the backstory I think I'd like to change about Gobosei, so I think I can reasonably move away from "Asian influences" in it in general. I've gotten a lot of that desire out in PBox as a fanfic and honestly will probably move even further away from it in PBox as OF. In my general research on portraying POC I've been doing lately, I stumbled on a blog called "Writing With Color" and have been chewing on some of their "food for thought" type stuff in my current only vaguely WADDing state. Something they said really stuck with me, which was something like "fantasy [races], rather than drawing from real life cultures (unless it's already deeply entrenched in a real world culture), should be envisioned more as 'alien cultures,' something totally new." (I put "[races]" because while that's the trope name y'all would be more familiar with, they're very adamant over there on the difference between "race" and "culture," which I agree with.) And really, after spending time messing around on vulgar lang, it seems like a good next step. Like, four countries... of course they would have their own cultural elements rather than the vague sameness they have now even if all the characters we follow are all demons (who realistically fall more into "species" than "race"); even something as small as the differences between life in Iowa versus Georgia would be a difference in culture. This is neither here nor there, but something writing-related I've been thinking about this past week that I found interesting. :)


LOL I love this!

Yeah, I know I looked it up for SAMS because there were scenes that took place during tour rehearsal.  I just kept it fairly vague and called the place a rehearsal venue.

Yay! I think I'm on to something, lol.

That's probably what I might go with, since it's not a major setting or even the bulk of the story.

Here's my next toss out into fandom free-for-all opinions: So what is my plot for AJ? Is there one I'm forgetting that Nick would be more likely to be involved in than AJ would? I'm at a loss basically, lol. It's a good thing I moved Howie to the love triangle, because I think I would have even less ideas for him. Will someone just spitball some basic ideas at me, so I don't spoil some of my other plans by telling you all what I've already considered? In my head, this story is meant more as a novella (I think 25 chapters may be my limit on it -- Nick can only avoid being the main character for so long before he inevitably ends up in that role based on the premise as a whole, I think, lol), so bare bones is fine.


LOL So true.  His gritty outlaw voice wasn't nearly as funny as his gangsta voice in Kill Speed.  But Howie's constantly changing accent was!

It was not! He should really just stick with his regular voice. It would be less distracting, lol. I died at Howie's accent. I think the direction he got for it was very vague, so I feel like by the end, he was at the point where he was trying to be as ridiculous as possible to see if he would get called out on it. And obviously, Nick who has this penchant for unnecessary over-acting probably loved it at face value not realizing it was more of a joke, lol.


That's a good idea!  Is the body language thing something you can share?  I'm curious to see it.  I feel like I use the same few descriptions for body language over and over again, so maybe there are some I haven't thought to include.

It is! I'd love to share it! I stumbled on this website on accident when I was trying to get rid of the dialogue tags in PBox and was laughing at the ridiculous amount of "is angry, clenches fists" I had going, so I attempted to find other ways to show "is angry." The one I use most often in a quick pinch is "400+ Ways to Exploit Facial Expressions in Writing (https://kathysteinemann.com/Musings/expressions/)," but she has a whole bunch of different "other words for whatever" pages (https://kathysteinemann.com/archive.pdf). I've been meaning to check out her Writer's Lexicon books, which is more of this type stuff, though she has helpfully put a lot of it online as a free reference, which is nice. I hope you find this useful too! :)


Very true!  I am always up for learning and don't consider it a focus fail if I'm actually researching something I need for the story.  My problem is I easily get sucked down rabbit holes.  Lately it's YouTube.  I've subscribed to several channels that have helpful content for my story, so I'll go to YouTube to look up something or open my writing music playlist and then see something shiny in the recommended videos section and click on something totally unrelated to what I'm supposed to be looking up.  This week it's been Titanic/Kate & Leo videos.  I watched one of those "Guy reacts to watching Titanic for the first time" last week, so now I get a ton of Titanic videos in my recommendation s... and the more I click on them, the more they tend to pop up.

LOL! I wish there was a way to turn off the "recommended videos" when you really just need to pop in for something quick. I also get sucked into YouTube rabbit holes when I'm just wanting one specific thing. :( Sometimes I love "react" videos and sometimes I hate them. I like the way "Kids React" has done it because they only show us snippets of the things they're reacting to and ask questions/have discussions about it afterward. Those parts are more fun than watching a live reaction to media, I think. Although, I do like CinemaSins.


Mine's been okay.  I've still been writing every day, just not as much as I would like (a.k.a. not enough to make my Nano goal).

That's the hard part in setting a goal. Even if you're writing consistently, it can feel stressing if you feel like you're not "writing enough." That's kind of how I felt in April, although, if I'd known I needed 80,000 words to finish and not 60,000 words, I probably would have been less stressed about not reaching my goal of finishing the last twenty chapters (and possibly would have thought more realistically about what I could finish in a month). That being said (I'm creeping), it looks like you've had a good writing day so far today and you only need about 2,000 words for each of the next few days to reach it. You're over halfway there already today! :) I believe!

Maybe I'll write more than 100 words today, lol. It's raining off and on, and I do like writing when it's raining.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 26, 2021, 04:10:18 PM
Lol. I've been watching people watch movies for the first time on YouTube too. Get out of my brain. Haha.

I love that y'all are on the same wavelength. Maybe I'll do this after writing a Nick&Kevin story, lol.


Writing has been going really well which is surprising because nobody's reading Take Me Home. I haven't had any interest in it which does challenge me via having nobody motivating me to write. So I've fallen back on watching science fiction to get inspired, along with inspirational writing music I found on YouTube. I'd gone two days without writing, put on this one playlist and I cranked out a whole chapter in one sitting.

It's okay if nobody is reading, usually that makes me sad but I am so close to finishing this story that I don't want to abandon it which in turn motivates me instead of waiting for reviews. It's kind of freeing in a way.

But low key I hope someone does read eventually lol

That's awesome that writing is going well and you're feeling inspired! And that you do feel like you're almost finished! :)

I've found that focusing on writing for myself and the story I want to tell has made me less worried about comparing or worrying about reader reactions. I do realize that we're coming from different places though. You've been here writing consistently and I've been a vague memory (if not completely forgotten), so I did come back knowing that I probably wasn't going to get a lot of people reading anything just from that (doubly so for coming back to write fantasy, triplely so for coming back to write a sequel). But, if you'd had people reading it when you were posting it originally and they're still reading, they'll make it back to it. :) I know I'd go back to any novel I'd started reading if it went on hiatus and came back while I was still around reading.

I can't say for sure whether internal or external motivation is... more motivating, I guess, but it is a great feeling knowing that you set out to do something for yourself/your story (and PBox Nick, though he's obviously not related to your writing on a personal level, lol) and finished. For me, it was probably a better feeling than "I did this and people liked it," because it was all on personal accomplishment . :) However, that being said, of course we're all publishing online to be seen, so I hope you will have readers following you through to the end. :) I think Julie's response is spot on too. :) It's there, so someone is bound to find it and enjoy it in time, even if they aren't there to motivate you along the way.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 26, 2021, 04:54:07 PM
Here is an example of why I write so slowly.  I wrote a sentence:  "That evening, while AJ went off to do his show, Kevin and I watched a movie."  I thought to myself, I should specify what movie they watched - not because it's important, per se, but just because it's nice to include those details that help bring the story to life.  So what movie should they watch?

It happens to be Easter Sunday in the story, so my first thought was that maybe "The Ten Commandments" would be on TV, as it usually is around Easter, and Kevin could make Nick sit through all four hours of that movie.  But because I feel compelled to fact-check what I can, I went to my historical TV listings site (http://www.tvtango.com/listings/) to see if it was actually on TV on Easter Sunday in 2008.  No, it aired the night before.  So I scratched that idea.

My next thought was to browse movies that came out in 2007 and would have been released to DVD in early 2008, thinking maybe they would watch a new movie.  A lot of pretty good movies came out that year, though none that stood out to me as an obvious choice.  Maybe "Knocked Up" because it's funny, and I feel like they would want to watch something light.  But how would they acquire said movie?  Streaming wasn't really a thing in 2008, was it?  A quick Google search confirmed that Netflix didn't start its streaming-only service until 2010.  Which means they would have had to rent a DVD, either through old-school DVD-by-mail Netflix or an even older-school video store.  (Are/were video stores in Hollywood open on Easter?  Most places are closed on Easter here, but I live in a predominantly Christian community, which I realize is not the case everywhere.)  Or I could forget the new movie and just have them pop in a DVD from home.  Or flip channels until they found a movie on TV.

But what movie?  Should it be something symbolic and relevant to the plot of my story or completely random?  I still haven't decided, so now it's a question of how long I will sit here and agonize over this small detail until I either make a decision and go with it or leave it at "We watched a movie" and move on.

Does anyone else do this when they write, or is this just me being anal? LOL


Update: I decided to leave it at "We watched a movie" and move on without specifying which one.  I ended up writing almost 1,400 more words and finishing my chapter, so I guess that was the right decision.  If I come up with a perfect movie later, I can always go back and add it in, but I don't think it's necessary.

First, I laughed so hard and loved your rabbit hole of attention to detail, down to seeing if it had been shown on Easter in 2008. I appreciate your meticulous research to have the right details even if your readers probably wouldn't look it up and chastise you for having them watch The Ten Commandments on Easter when it was shown the night before in 2008. You'd know, and that's what matters.

On the "what's open on Easter" thing, I will say that most major chains are open on Easter here (smaller stores, it's a toss up), so I feel confident saying they would be in LA as well. I've been in Georgia around Easter though, and that isn't the case. And then you have your Chik-Fil-As and In-N-Outs that will close on any "family holiday." So I would reasonably believe that they could have gone to Blockbuster (or sent someone to go for them).

I had a similar movie related stumbling issue recently. AJ was flipping around channels and stumbled on a movie to watch. Mine was a simpler query though as it was "what's AJ's favorite movie that existed before 2005 where it could be syndicated by then?" I didn't care about as many airing details. But I forced myself to write "[movie]" in place of a film title so I didn't get hung up on it, especially because "what movie" wasn't necessarily integral or even a major part of the scene. I've recently started doing that a lot knowing that I will get bogged down in these small details. I'll sometimes do it with bigger scenes I'm not fully prepared to write yet as well or when I know what happens next, but don't have time to write it at that exact moment. Like in "Nick avoids being the main character" the next thing I wrote after what I posted to you all was "[The other Boys are surprised, then laugh.]" You probably don't have to do the latter as much with you outlines, but I think there's something to be said for "[vague placeholder]" to try to stop the small detail agonizing. It's helped me stop to some extent, but I am still guilty of it. I'm sure you remember my "history of the backpack" rabbit hole, lol.

I'm glad you got so much more written and that being vague worked out! You're a champion today! Hopefully you'll keep writing more and more! (Hopefully I'll write something today too instead of just posting on the forum, lol. I'm writing really thoughtful replies today and also pausing halfway through all of them to do things with hubs/laundry -- we finally got our new washer/dryer installed last night! He just left the house, though, so I can write in peace.)
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 26, 2021, 07:53:42 PM
I was the opposite. I didn't really think about sequels until that 2003 OF and Gobosei because they were originally planned as serializations (more like an ongoing storyline in a comic than a novel and sequels), so that's when I started thinking in terms of "there's a story, but that story is just one part inside what can be a bigger story." I blame my obsession with manga in high school for that; pretty much all the ones I read were multi-arc juggernauts rather than short collections. The rest of my Backstreet fanfic, or writing in general, wasn't like that though. Heck, even PBox wasn't originally meant to be in a series when I first envisioned it; yet, it became that probably around the time Nick refused death -- maybe because he was adamant that he had a story to tell beyond the scope of PBox, lol.

I think that's a fair stance to have. If the initial stories are the ones getting completed, but the sequels weren't, then I think I would also put the kibosh on sequels. There's a happy medium for it though. It seems like a lot of your ideas back then were "a little more than what was there, but maybe not enough for a whole novel." So something like your short SAMS one-shot is the perfect alternative. I think it's a good exercise for us novel writers. How can we convey a complete arc in a shorter medium? It's why I wished I'd taken on more of Mare's challenges back in the day; I just never had strong enough ideas for any of them. That could have been because they were the photo challenges back then, rather than the more broad "basic premise" ones though.

I think it's natural for big ideas to evolve that way, starting as one story and eventually turning into more than one as the idea gets bigger and branches off in different directions.  I don't think any of my sequels were planned from the beginning either; they came about toward the end of or even after the first story, when I either realized I had another story arc for the same characters or thought, "That was fun.  I wanna write more stories like that!"  The ones that work best are the ones where there really is another story arc that seems like a logical progression of the overarching plot.  My failed sequels of the past were more along the lines of, "I got tired of writing the first story, so I decided to end it early and save the rest of the idea for a sequel I'll never actually write," or "I enjoyed writing this story about the Boys surviving a plane crash, so now I will write a sequel where they get shipwrecked!"  Lessons learned! LOL

I do think one-shots or short stories are a nice way to expand on a story without committing to another novel.  I wrote a little one-shot companion to Curtain Call after Nick's All American album came out because I was so inspired by a couple of the songs on it, and that was a fun way to revisit those characters.  I don't think anyone would want to read a novel-length sequel to that story or SAMS, nor would I want to write one.  And that's something to consider, too - not only whether or not I really want to write a sequel, but whether or not there's an audience for it.  If no one else is going to read it, then I have to weigh how much I really want to write it.  Is the idea worth spending that much time on when I could be devoting that time to writing something people will actually read?  Some ideas are, and some aren't.

I agree about the challenges.  I had a lot of fun with the few that I did, but I only did the ones I felt inspired to do.  I do think those few helped me broaden my horizons and experiment with different genres and writing styles, so there's definitely value in them.  It sounds like you have plenty of other story ideas to play around with, but if you ever get bored, you could always look back through the threads and pick out one to try.  The April Fool's challenges and the Fairy Tale Beauty and the Beast one were my favorites to do.


Do you hold a lot of your story ideas because you're not quite sure if you'll see them through to the end?

Yeah, I guess so.  I have a lot of ideas that made it as far as being written down, but never progressed to the point of having an outline or a first scene or anything.  I have other ideas that have a solid outline - as in, I have at least a general sense of the beginning, middle, and end - but I haven't tried writing them yet.  And then there are stories I've actually started writing and never posted because I stalled out on them before I hit that point where I felt they were going well enough to post.  Heroic Measures and MBK both started out that way, and I eventually came back to them, so there may be hope for a couple of those.  Guilty Roads was also an idea I'd had in one form or another for like 6-7 years before I finally started writing it, but that one did not turn out so well LOL.  I've had better luck jumping on fresh ideas and writing them right away than going back to old ones I've been holding on to for a while.



I agree, getting in front of a place to write is half of the struggle. That's why in the beginning of getting back into it, I worried less about word count and more about "writing any words." I think now it only bums me out if I feel like I'm writing a lot of words, but I'm actually not, lol. Those days are jarring. And yes, using my phone to post on the forum is really hard and more time consuming than the effort it takes to get on the computer.

I guess I don't either. Those two weekend of really high days were the last five chapters of PNecklace. I think my highest word-count day was my over 5,000 one in November, but I think the day afterward was average? I just looked it up, I lied. The next day, I wrote about 4,000 words. I guess if I have a really high day, the next day will usually be really high as well. If only I could aim to have only high word count days, lol. I'm guessing these are untamed bursts of inspiration rather than the day to day? I had these with PBox too, but back then it's when I would get the chapters done, rather than trying to put in even mediocre effort on a daily basis. I try to live by the "you can't edit a blank page" adage these days, but I don't know if I was in the right headspace back then to commit to daily (or near daily) writing. I do need to get back into doing some other things besides writing. There's many books and movies I've been meaning to give some attention to.

I agree, just making yourself open the story and write anything, even if it's just a word, is important when establishing that routine.  Once it becomes a routine, it's easier to write more than one word, but there are still days when I may only write one paragraph or even just a sentence.  Thankfully I haven't had many of those days this summer because I have more time and energy to make myself keep at it until I come up with more than that, but I still usually don't write as much as I feel like I should be for the amount of time I've been spending in front of the computer LOL.  I would have to write over 2,000 words a day these next few days to make my goal, which I am capable of, yet can't seem to do on this story.  It may just be the the nature of the story and where I'm at in it.  There aren't a lot of big, dramatic, pulse-pounding scenes, and those are the ones I get sucked into and write fast.  This one I'm just kind of strolling along through, slow and steady LOL.  But I'm making progress either way, so I guess that's what really matters.

I had really gotten away from reading for fun, so I'm trying to get back into that routine.  I have been plodding through "Where the Crawdads Sing" for about a year, so my first priority is to finish that book.  Everyone says it's so good.  It's not bad, but I get bored easily with it.  I'm about 3/4 of the way through, so I'm getting there!  I have a hard copy of that book, but I also took advantage of Prime Day and bought myself a new tablet to replace my broken Kindle Fire so I can read ebooks on a bigger screen than my phone.  That should help too.

I have been trying to do some other creative-type activities, too.  I finished building the Lego Knight Bus from Harry Potter that my niece and nephew got me for Christmas.  I hadn't played with Legos since I was a kid, so that was an experience!  I also started working on the BSB puzzle I bought during the pandemic and never put together LOL.  I hate doing puzzles, so I haven't gotten very far on it, but at least it's started.  I want to finish it and frame it so I can hang it up in my writing room.  And finally, I decided to redecorate my guest bathroom, which is the only room in my house I didn't do anything to after I bought it.  I decided it needs a fun theme.  I got the wild idea to give it a "The Shining" theme (so welcoming, right?) and went on Etsy to see if I could find any bathroom stuff to fit that theme, like a shower curtain or something... and OMG, I found so much stuff!!  The people of Etsy are just as warped as me LOL.  So I ordered a bunch of fun stuff that has slowly been coming in.  You have to be brave to spend the night at my house!


Been there. Hubs and I were watching Trevor Noah once and he was doing a segment where he talked about a teenager that made bowties for all the dogs at the local animal shelter for an event they had; I was sobbing because they looked so adorable and all ended up getting adopted -- hubs made so much fun of me. Ugh, don't get me started on TLBT! Littlefoot's mom dying... heartwrenching!

I wonder why we don't cry at our own writing? Outside of laughing, I can normally feel myself feeling slightly anxious when I'm writing about the characters being anxious/nervous/afraid/worried about something (like a tight feeling in my chest), but I don't cry or get angry or anything like that. Can't explain it.

Anything with animals is sure to get me, too!  Or those videos of military men and women coming home and surprising their families - I cry at every one of those, too.

That's a good question.  My first guess was that it's because we came up with the ideas and probably already envisioned the scenes beforehand, but that doesn't explain why we still cry watching sad movies we've seen a million times.  My other thought was that maybe it's because our brains are so focused on the process of writing that we're not feeling the emotions as much as if we were experiencing the story as a reader (or viewer of a movie).  I also get that anxious feeling when I'm writing dramatic/emotional scenes, but usually not to the point of crying or shouting at my screen or the kind of reactions I have when reading/watching other people's stuff.

But that brings up another question:  Have you ever cried while reading a scene you previously wrote?  I don't mean proofreading or editing, but just reading for the fun of it.  I have, but it's rare and not consistent.  There are certain scenes that actually will bring tears to my eyes sometimes, but not every time.  I think I'm more likely to cry if I've immersed myself in the story and read everything leading up to that point than if I just read a specific chapter in isolation.  And even then, it's usually just a certain line that will get me more than the entire scene.


I wrote another short bit of the "Nick avoids being the main character" story and definitely added "conversate" to a piece of Nick's dialogue because I was thinking about it, lol.

I know. I need to stop asking and judging them, lol. My real qualm was that he remembers that he turned 19 in 1999. He remembers that Millennium came out in 1999. He remembers that IWITW was the lead single from Millennium. Yet somehow he thinks that they recorded it when he was 16 when they would have been busy touring for the red album and recording Backstreet's Back (the album). If he had said 18, maybe even 17, I would have accepted it. They really do need us to keep their timelines straight, or the more meticulous among us. Sometimes I have a vague memory myself, lol.

Yay, I love that you used "conversate" in your story LOL.  It's fun to use those real life idiosyncrasies into stories when we can.  I make myself laugh every time I have Howie say "and stuff like that," which is not nearly often enough - but I guess if I overused that phrase, it wouldn't be funny anymore.

Yeah, unless IWITW was actually recorded much earlier than any of us thought LOL.  I guess we don't really know, but I also can't imagine him being younger than 18 when he recorded it.  He clearly was not thinking through all that logic.  And of the five of them, he should have the easiest time keeping track of dates and ages because of his birth year.  It's easy math to figure out how old you were in a given year when you were born in 1980 LOL.


That was one Mare mentioned to me. I think she said she fudged around it for the less specific ones like calling Howie "D" by giving Howie's character a name that started with D. Whereas keeping "B-Rok" or "Kev" or something would be a big giveaway. That is the nice thing about an AU, many of those more obvious things just aren't in there. Or at least a super divergent AU. Something like Gobosei is an AU, but only in the sense that it's "alternate universe where the Backstreet Project is real" and not "alternate universe where the Boys are all working at a Target together" or something more like Secrets of the Heart is (That's this one, right? I'm sorry, I have a hard time keeping track of all the stories you published while I was away, lol). It's thankfully one of the things that I also don't have to worry about in PBox&Co (for the most part), since the chapters where it does make a difference, I've basically decided that cutting them or hacking/slashing them is just the better option; that and keeping Nick's name the same means I can reasonably keep all my "Nick/Nickolas/Nicky" without many issues.

That's true, though I think it would depend on how much time you spent paring down the fanfic aspects on any work. I think it would still be hard to hear "this won't work as a published novel" after working on something for such a long time. Not sure though, haven't tried it. I think there's hard things with self-publishing too. First the whole "print on demand" aspect is a monetary pain. But probably more than that is having to be your own editor, publicist, marketer, sales, and so on. Of course it's possible to hire people to do those things, but then that further cuts into your bottom line and so on. Not that it's only about making money, but all those things are full time jobs, so if writing the book you're selling isn't paying the bills, adding more of a workload might also not increase the ability to pay bills. Having worked two full time jobs at one point (one of which I wasn't getting paid for, because you know, student teaching), I can attest to the difficulty of working a job for a passion, but still having to work something menial to pay rent. And there's just not enough hours in the day to do all of that and take care of yourself; I wouldn't do it again. That said, I think if anyone's already a popular fanfic writer, it would probably be an easier task to transition into self-publishing if you could convince your readership to go with you.

But I also agree that there's something nice about knowing your audience is out there in a medium your comfortable with them interacting with you. :) I've never minded discussing my writing with other people, I'm just abysmal at the elevator pitch. For anything; there's this leadership styles compass thing, and I'm firmly in the "feelings/details" camp of it -- "big picture" is okay, "just do it" is not. So I definitely get bogged down in the details of things.

Yeah, Secrets of the Heart is the AU one I'm talking about.  All five guys are in it, but they don't all know each other.  It's mainly about Brian and AJ, who don't know each other at the beginning but meet over the course of the story.  Kevin is still Brian's cousin, Howie is AJ's friend, and Nick is a substitute teacher who takes over for Brian when he's on leave.  So they don't have the same kind of brotherly/boyband relationship they do in real life where nicknames would get thrown around a lot.  I do think "D" is in there, so I would probably do the same thing Mare did and just give Howie a D name, but I'd have to look and see if there are any others.

I think it's fine to keep Nick's name the same.  Of all of them, that would be the one to keep (in a Nick-centered story, anyway).  When I started OF novelizing Broken, I also kept Nick's name and changed the other four.

Regarding publishing, those are all great points.  It's been years since I even half-seriously looked into it, but the more I read about the whole process, the less interested I am in pursuing it.  It does seem like it takes a lot of effort and/or money, depending on how you go about it, for little chance of success if you're going the traditional route.  Even if I succeeded, I don't know that the reward is worth the work and the risk in my case because, like I said, what would I even do with a published book?  I wouldn't want to promote it outside of the internet, and I probably wouldn't make much, if any, money from it, so what's the point?  I already have an internet presence and am fine with writing for free under a pen name, so the only point would be to prove that I'm good enough to published (which, in reality, I'm probably not LOL) and bask in the glow of seeing my book in print.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 26, 2021, 08:20:52 PM
There's several things in the backstory I think I'd like to change about Gobosei, so I think I can reasonably move away from "Asian influences" in it in general. I've gotten a lot of that desire out in PBox as a fanfic and honestly will probably move even further away from it in PBox as OF. In my general research on portraying POC I've been doing lately, I stumbled on a blog called "Writing With Color" and have been chewing on some of their "food for thought" type stuff in my current only vaguely WADDing state. Something they said really stuck with me, which was something like "fantasy [races], rather than drawing from real life cultures (unless it's already deeply entrenched in a real world culture), should be envisioned more as 'alien cultures,' something totally new." (I put "[races]" because while that's the trope name y'all would be more familiar with, they're very adamant over there on the difference between "race" and "culture," which I agree with.) And really, after spending time messing around on vulgar lang, it seems like a good next step. Like, four countries... of course they would have their own cultural elements rather than the vague sameness they have now even if all the characters we follow are all demons (who realistically fall more into "species" than "race"); even something as small as the differences between life in Iowa versus Georgia would be a difference in culture. This is neither here nor there, but something writing-related I've been thinking about this past week that I found interesting. :)

Oh wow... that is really interesting.  It's a great point.  If you imagine fantasy cultures as alien instead of drawing from a real culture, you're less likely to appropriate or write something that could be offensive.  And in this day and age, anything could be considered offensive.  It seems like a hard challenge to create four different fantasy cultures from scratch though.  Just another reason I will leave the fantasy writing to you! LOL


Here's my next toss out into fandom free-for-all opinions: So what is my plot for AJ? Is there one I'm forgetting that Nick would be more likely to be involved in than AJ would? I'm at a loss basically, lol. It's a good thing I moved Howie to the love triangle, because I think I would have even less ideas for him. Will someone just spitball some basic ideas at me, so I don't spoil some of my other plans by telling you all what I've already considered? In my head, this story is meant more as a novella (I think 25 chapters may be my limit on it -- Nick can only avoid being the main character for so long before he inevitably ends up in that role based on the premise as a whole, I think, lol), so bare bones is fine.

My first thoughts were getting kidnapped or getting a disease.  There are exceptions, of course, but usually those things don't seem to happen to AJ in stories, but they happen to poor Nick a lot LOL.


It was not! He should really just stick with his regular voice. It would be less distracting, lol. I died at Howie's accent. I think the direction he got for it was very vague, so I feel like by the end, he was at the point where he was trying to be as ridiculous as possible to see if he would get called out on it. And obviously, Nick who has this penchant for unnecessary over-acting probably loved it at face value not realizing it was more of a joke, lol.

LOL You're probably right.  I'm not sure Nick intended for the thing to be a campy SyFy movie in the beginning, but some of them clearly realized how ridiculous it was and had fun with it.  '90s boyband members fight zombies in the wild west... you can't beat that premise!  It's glorious LOL.


It is! I'd love to share it! I stumbled on this website on accident when I was trying to get rid of the dialogue tags in PBox and was laughing at the ridiculous amount of "is angry, clenches fists" I had going, so I attempted to find other ways to show "is angry." The one I use most often in a quick pinch is "400+ Ways to Exploit Facial Expressions in Writing (https://kathysteinemann.com/Musings/expressions/)," but she has a whole bunch of different "other words for whatever" pages (https://kathysteinemann.com/archive.pdf). I've been meaning to check out her Writer's Lexicon books, which is more of this type stuff, though she has helpfully put a lot of it online as a free reference, which is nice. I hope you find this useful too! :)

Awesome, thanks!  Just bookmarked that to peruse later.


LOL! I wish there was a way to turn off the "recommended videos" when you really just need to pop in for something quick. I also get sucked into YouTube rabbit holes when I'm just wanting one specific thing. :( Sometimes I love "react" videos and sometimes I hate them. I like the way "Kids React" has done it because they only show us snippets of the things they're reacting to and ask questions/have discussions about it afterward. Those parts are more fun than watching a live reaction to media, I think. Although, I do like CinemaSins.

I think there might be, but let's be honest - I like watching those videos, or I wouldn't click on them.  And sometimes I do click on one related to whatever I was researching last time and learn something new, so they can be helpful, too.  Just distracting LOL.

I don't watch too many "react" videos, but I have a weakness for "Real doctors react to medical dramas" and anything related to Titanic.  Thankfully, the Titanic one I watched was edited down to about half an hour, and I still skipped through some of it.  I was just curious to see if the guy cried at the end because it was titled something like, "I Watched Titanic For the First Time and It DESTROYED Me!"  He did not, and I was disappointed. LOL  The "Kids React" videos are fun though!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 26, 2021, 08:42:09 PM
First, I laughed so hard and loved your rabbit hole of attention to detail, down to seeing if it had been shown on Easter in 2008. I appreciate your meticulous research to have the right details even if your readers probably wouldn't look it up and chastise you for having them watch The Ten Commandments on Easter when it was shown the night before in 2008. You'd know, and that's what matters.

On the "what's open on Easter" thing, I will say that most major chains are open on Easter here (smaller stores, it's a toss up), so I feel confident saying they would be in LA as well. I've been in Georgia around Easter though, and that isn't the case. And then you have your Chik-Fil-As and In-N-Outs that will close on any "family holiday." So I would reasonably believe that they could have gone to Blockbuster (or sent someone to go for them).

I had a similar movie related stumbling issue recently. AJ was flipping around channels and stumbled on a movie to watch. Mine was a simpler query though as it was "what's AJ's favorite movie that existed before 2005 where it could be syndicated by then?" I didn't care about as many airing details. But I forced myself to write "[movie]" in place of a film title so I didn't get hung up on it, especially because "what movie" wasn't necessarily integral or even a major part of the scene. I've recently started doing that a lot knowing that I will get bogged down in these small details. I'll sometimes do it with bigger scenes I'm not fully prepared to write yet as well or when I know what happens next, but don't have time to write it at that exact moment. Like in "Nick avoids being the main character" the next thing I wrote after what I posted to you all was "[The other Boys are surprised, then laugh.]" You probably don't have to do the latter as much with you outlines, but I think there's something to be said for "[vague placeholder]" to try to stop the small detail agonizing. It's helped me stop to some extent, but I am still guilty of it. I'm sure you remember my "history of the backpack" rabbit hole, lol.

I'm glad you got so much more written and that being vague worked out! You're a champion today! Hopefully you'll keep writing more and more! (Hopefully I'll write something today too instead of just posting on the forum, lol. I'm writing really thoughtful replies today and also pausing halfway through all of them to do things with hubs/laundry -- we finally got our new washer/dryer installed last night! He just left the house, though, so I can write in peace.)

LOL That is how meticulous I have gotten about fact-checking because you can find just about everything on the internet these days - so if I can find out for sure, I will.  I see it as a fun challenge of writing stories set in a specific time period, even if I waste time being meticulous with minor details that no one would ever fact-check me on.  But like you said, I would know, and that's what matters.

You're probably right about most places in L.A. being open on Easter.  I'm sure that's true of most big cities, other than maybe in the Bible Belt or deep South.

As far as AJ's favorite pre-2005 movie goes, this is where those old teenybopper Angelfire sites that list all their favorites from the 90s come in handy LOL.  I found several of them that say his favorite movie is Pulp Fiction, which would fit your criteria.  http://angels_bsb_love.tripod.com/ajbio.html  Here's a more recent article from 2015 where they list their favorite movies, and AJ says his all-time favorite is Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which would also work since it's from 1988. https://editorial.rottentomatoes.com/article/the-backstreet-boys-five-favorite-films/

The placeholder is a good idea.  I hate doing it just because I'm one of those writers who edits as I go and aims for almost-final draft quality over a "sloppy copy."  But I do have a tendency to get bogged down on dumb, minor details like the movie thing or names for throwaway characters, so sometimes I have to make myself use [Name] if I can't make a quick decision.  This is why I name most of my minor doctor/nurse/therapist/cop characters after readers or people who have inspired me in some way; I keep a list I can refer back to when I need to pick a name so I don't have to make one up because I almost always overthink it.

I was super productive in the early a.m., but that was before I went to bed.  Now it's 8:30 p.m. and I haven't written anything since waking up LOL.  I have definitely switched from "morning" writing to "night" writing, even though most of it technically still takes place in the early morning.  But then it will count toward tomorrow's word count, not today's.  That is why I'm unlikely to hit 2,000 words, even today, because now I have to start a new chapter, and that's almost always slow going for me.

Yay for finally getting your new washer and dryer and some peace and quiet!  I hope you have a productive night!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 26, 2021, 10:20:01 PM
I think it's natural for big ideas to evolve that way, starting as one story and eventually turning into more than one as the idea gets bigger and branches off in different directions.  I don't think any of my sequels were planned from the beginning either; they came about toward the end of or even after the first story, when I either realized I had another story arc for the same characters or thought, "That was fun.  I wanna write more stories like that!"  The ones that work best are the ones where there really is another story arc that seems like a logical progression of the overarching plot.  My failed sequels of the past were more along the lines of, "I got tired of writing the first story, so I decided to end it early and save the rest of the idea for a sequel I'll never actually write," or "I enjoyed writing this story about the Boys surviving a plane crash, so now I will write a sequel where they get shipwrecked!"  Lessons learned! LOL

Just once, I want to get a small idea and have it stay small. I'm really hoping with this next one, lol.

I like the idea of "That was fun. I wanna write more stories like that!" but you're right that it can get tedious if you find yourself rehashing the same plot in a different locale, although I love the logic of "surviving a plane crash was fun, now let's see how they do with a shipwreck!" Although now that BSB Cruises have been a thing, surviving a shipwreck makes way more sense, lol. In general, anytime I've had a vague "I wanna write a story like (fill in previous idea or really vague plotline here)" and not "I want to write this story about (fill in unique and semi-detailed plotline here)," it never works out well.

It's interesting that you would get tired of writing the first story and decide that it was better to continue it in a sequel. Why do you think that was? I ask as someone who's solution to "is bored" was "indefinite hiatus." (Let's be honest, they're abandoned.) I know you like to finish your things, is that part of it?


I do think one-shots or short stories are a nice way to expand on a story without committing to another novel.  I wrote a little one-shot companion to Curtain Call after Nick's All American album came out because I was so inspired by a couple of the songs on it, and that was a fun way to revisit those characters.  I don't think anyone would want to read a novel-length sequel to that story or SAMS, nor would I want to write one.  And that's something to consider, too - not only whether or not I really want to write a sequel, but whether or not there's an audience for it.  If no one else is going to read it, then I have to weigh how much I really want to write it.  Is the idea worth spending that much time on when I could be devoting that time to writing something people will actually read?  Some ideas are, and some aren't.

I think they would also be good for times when you've written other scenes, but ultimately ended up not including them in the narrative in some way due to pacing or something like that (as long as it makes sense to add more content, of course.) I agree that it's important to consider the audience, especially if it's something you're on the fence about. Obviously if your gut says "yes, this is what I want to write" and no other idea sparks quite the same way, then I think it's worth writing. If you're on the fence or deciding between two ideas, then the other idea is probably better. Length of time between the original and the sequel probably makes a difference too in terms of readership. If the second one gets published a reasonable amount of time after the first one, then it would probably have more readers than if it's later.


I agree about the challenges.  I had a lot of fun with the few that I did, but I only did the ones I felt inspired to do.  I do think those few helped me broaden my horizons and experiment with different genres and writing styles, so there's definitely value in them.  It sounds like you have plenty of other story ideas to play around with, but if you ever get bored, you could always look back through the threads and pick out one to try.  The April Fool's challenges and the Fairy Tale Beauty and the Beast one were my favorites to do.

I've definitely looked over a few of them, but all the ones that immediately struck me, I definitely had thoughts like "I already did and/or am planning to do this in a novel," lol. Kind of like you and the Pandaskunk challenge.

Tracy, I know you used to do them a lot. Would you say you did most of them or only certain ones? If it was most, did you need to find inspiration or did ideas just come to you right away?


Yeah, I guess so.  I have a lot of ideas that made it as far as being written down, but never progressed to the point of having an outline or a first scene or anything.  I have other ideas that have a solid outline - as in, I have at least a general sense of the beginning, middle, and end - but I haven't tried writing them yet.  And then there are stories I've actually started writing and never posted because I stalled out on them before I hit that point where I felt they were going well enough to post.  Heroic Measures and MBK both started out that way, and I eventually came back to them, so there may be hope for a couple of those.  Guilty Roads was also an idea I'd had in one form or another for like 6-7 years before I finally started writing it, but that one did not turn out so well LOL.  I've had better luck jumping on fresh ideas and writing them right away than going back to old ones I've been holding on to for a while.

I can't remember if I've asked this... I'm too lazy to look it up. Ignore me if I did. How far into the story is "going well enough to post"? I assume at that point (based on things you've said), you'll have a more detailed outline, at least a first scene, a banner, a title, and what else?

And woah! You started posted Guilty Roads around 2011? (Curtain Call was then, yes?), but you'd had the idea since Broken? I'm surprised it wasn't more naggy once you got to it. I get fresh ones being easier to get into; if the old ones were jumpy, they wouldn't have gotten more jumpy over the years. At least more often than not. Although, you're getting back to MBK now, so maybe sometimes they do get more jumpy.


I agree, just making yourself open the story and write anything, even if it's just a word, is important when establishing that routine.  Once it becomes a routine, it's easier to write more than one word, but there are still days when I may only write one paragraph or even just a sentence.  Thankfully I haven't had many of those days this summer because I have more time and energy to make myself keep at it until I come up with more than that, but I still usually don't write as much as I feel like I should be for the amount of time I've been spending in front of the computer LOL.  I would have to write over 2,000 words a day these next few days to make my goal, which I am capable of, yet can't seem to do on this story.  It may just be the the nature of the story and where I'm at in it.  There aren't a lot of big, dramatic, pulse-pounding scenes, and those are the ones I get sucked into and write fast.  This one I'm just kind of strolling along through, slow and steady LOL.  But I'm making progress either way, so I guess that's what really matters.

Same, sometimes I'm just down to words. But I feel a little bummed if I don't at least write something every day, probably because it's a routine at this point.

Yup, I agree to all of that. (I think I said that exact same thing somewhere else in this thread, but in a later reply. We've got to stop repeating ourselves unintentionall y, lol.) I think those big dramatic ones get me and then ones where superb and beautiful inspiration strikes, then the scenes just keep flowing together, even if it's a slow point. They're rare though compared to big dramatic ones in terms of "odds of happening."

Yes! Keep making progress.


I had really gotten away from reading for fun, so I'm trying to get back into that routine.  I have been plodding through "Where the Crawdads Sing" for about a year, so my first priority is to finish that book.  Everyone says it's so good.  It's not bad, but I get bored easily with it.  I'm about 3/4 of the way through, so I'm getting there!  I have a hard copy of that book, but I also took advantage of Prime Day and bought myself a new tablet to replace my broken Kindle Fire so I can read ebooks on a bigger screen than my phone.  That should help too.

I've heard that one's good too! Aww, I wanted to buy something for Prime Day, but couldn't think of anything I needed or wanted that would have been a really good deal. Although I'm now remembering how much I've wanted a Kitchenaid stand mixer and that may have been part of it. Oh well!


I have been trying to do some other creative-type activities, too.  I finished building the Lego Knight Bus from Harry Potter that my niece and nephew got me for Christmas.  I hadn't played with Legos since I was a kid, so that was an experience!  I also started working on the BSB puzzle I bought during the pandemic and never put together LOL.  I hate doing puzzles, so I haven't gotten very far on it, but at least it's started.  I want to finish it and frame it so I can hang it up in my writing room.  And finally, I decided to redecorate my guest bathroom, which is the only room in my house I didn't do anything to after I bought it.  I decided it needs a fun theme.  I got the wild idea to give it a "The Shining" theme (so welcoming, right?) and went on Etsy to see if I could find any bathroom stuff to fit that theme, like a shower curtain or something... and OMG, I found so much stuff!!  The people of Etsy are just as warped as me LOL.  So I ordered a bunch of fun stuff that has slowly been coming in.  You have to be brave to spend the night at my house!

Those all sound so fun! I hope you do finish your puzzle soon. OMG, I love your bathroom! Hopefully it doesn't scare anyone shitless, lol. ;) (We can say badass now, we can say shitless too, right? lol) Etsy is great for that. You can find pretty much anything you'd think to look for, I think. The theme reminded me of this art pop type hotel we have downtown where every floor has a different theme. Anyway, one of them was horror themed, but right when you step out of the elevator, the twins are standing right there. I almost noped out of there, but I needed to stay vigilant in my mission of retrieving something from a room, lol.


Anything with animals is sure to get me, too!  Or those videos of military men and women coming home and surprising their families - I cry at every one of those, too.

I was literally having this same conversation the other day, lol. Same. That car commercial they were running last winter where the little girl is making cards to send to her dad and ornaments for the tree, but then they drive there in the car and the dad surprises her... I cried a lot, ridiculously, because it was a car commercial and not an actual reunion video.


That's a good question.  My first guess was that it's because we came up with the ideas and probably already envisioned the scenes beforehand, but that doesn't explain why we still cry watching sad movies we've seen a million times.  My other thought was that maybe it's because our brains are so focused on the process of writing that we're not feeling the emotions as much as if we were experiencing the story as a reader (or viewer of a movie).  I also get that anxious feeling when I'm writing dramatic/emotional scenes, but usually not to the point of crying or shouting at my screen or the kind of reactions I have when reading/watching other people's stuff.

But that brings up another question:  Have you ever cried while reading a scene you previously wrote?  I don't mean proofreading or editing, but just reading for the fun of it.  I have, but it's rare and not consistent.  There are certain scenes that actually will bring tears to my eyes sometimes, but not every time.  I think I'm more likely to cry if I've immersed myself in the story and read everything leading up to that point than if I just read a specific chapter in isolation.  And even then, it's usually just a certain line that will get me more than the entire scene.

Yes, even in a movie where I could recite all the lines, if I cried at something the first time, I will always cry (or at least tear up). I think it might be the focus piece coupled with meticulous planning. If it's not a surprise, it's not the same effect. As I'm thinking about it, things I meticulously plan to be funny won't get a laugh from me when I write them down. They might have gotten a laugh from me the first time I thought of them and I guess the things that are sad have made me tear up a couple times when I've initially thought of them. However, the funny things that kind of spill out, I will laugh at for such a long time.

Now that I think about it, I did tear up a little last weekend when Nick was being a brat and insisted I include a flashback. I say this because that was both an "unplanned sad thing" and is semi-related to your question in that it was a flashback to a scene that has made me cry during a reread. And like you said, it's usually when I'm rereading and have fully immersed myself in the story. I wonder if since we've both said we'll happily reread certain works of ours if anyone is now analyzing to figure out which scenes get us, lol.


Yay, I love that you used "conversate" in your story LOL.  It's fun to use those real life idiosyncrasies into stories when we can.  I make myself laugh every time I have Howie say "and stuff like that," which is not nearly often enough - but I guess if I overused that phrase, it wouldn't be funny anymore.

Yeah, unless IWITW was actually recorded much earlier than any of us thought LOL.  I guess we don't really know, but I also can't imagine him being younger than 18 when he recorded it.  He clearly was not thinking through all that logic.  And of the five of them, he should have the easiest time keeping track of dates and ages because of his birth year.  It's easy math to figure out how old you were in a given year when you were born in 1980 LOL.

Honestly, the way the rest of the scene went, it just fit perfectly with what Nick was saying, lol. I also love a good "and stuff like that," it's why I was most bummed with making Howie speak so formally in PBox. They're gems when they get in. We need to treat them that way so they don't become cliche, even though it's cannon.

Google says "November 1998," which makes sense to me and thus plants him firmly at 18. No, he just blurted out an answer. He didn't even hesitate to do some math. Which is terrifying in a way, lol. I know. I never have a hard time remembering how old Nick was. Brian is fairly easy because of the five. AJ, just add two to Nick. Kevin, just add eight. Howie always takes me a second to think. Sorry Howie, it's not your fault, sevens are hard.


Yeah, Secrets of the Heart is the AU one I'm talking about.  All five guys are in it, but they don't all know each other.  It's mainly about Brian and AJ, who don't know each other at the beginning but meet over the course of the story.  Kevin is still Brian's cousin, Howie is AJ's friend, and Nick is a substitute teacher who takes over for Brian when he's on leave.  So they don't have the same kind of brotherly/boyband relationship they do in real life where nicknames would get thrown around a lot.  I do think "D" is in there, so I would probably do the same thing Mare did and just give Howie a D name, but I'd have to look and see if there are any others.

I think it's fine to keep Nick's name the same.  Of all of them, that would be the one to keep (in a Nick-centered story, anyway).  When I started OF novelizing Broken, I also kept Nick's name and changed the other four.

It probably easier to OF Backstreet when their brotherly/boyband vibe is absent. Brotherly is probably easy enough to make a way to justify, but boyband is the first thing that would probably need to go. I also think it would be difficult to write a story (non-fanfic) about a boyband in general without it focusing on some other side aspect of celebrity, but that's mostly because the greatest appeal in a boyband (real or fictional) is the music, and a novel just isn't a medium that's conducive to music.

Yes, it would be quite weird to change Nick's name, but leave the more distinct AJ or Howie, lol. Brian or Kevin could be more possible to get away with in the absence of a "Nick."


Regarding publishing, those are all great points.  It's been years since I even half-seriously looked into it, but the more I read about the whole process, the less interested I am in pursuing it.  It does seem like it takes a lot of effort and/or money, depending on how you go about it, for little chance of success if you're going the traditional route.  Even if I succeeded, I don't know that the reward is worth the work and the risk in my case because, like I said, what would I even do with a published book?  I wouldn't want to promote it outside of the internet, and I probably wouldn't make much, if any, money from it, so what's the point?  I already have an internet presence and am fine with writing for free under a pen name, so the only point would be to prove that I'm good enough to published (which, in reality, I'm probably not LOL) and bask in the glow of seeing my book in print.

It seems daunting, right? I've looked a little in Rick Riordian as a person, since he's a similar career background, and I'm pretty sure he stopped teaching once the Percy Jackson books became popular. You would get to put it on your bookshelf and post a picture on twitter. :) But you're right, that's a lot of effort, time, and cost for simply basking and enjoying. Realistically, I'm probably not either, but that's a few roads from here. Getting a story to potentially publishable is really the first step.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 26, 2021, 10:52:57 PM
Oh wow... that is really interesting.  It's a great point.  If you imagine fantasy cultures as alien instead of drawing from a real culture, you're less likely to appropriate or write something that could be offensive.  And in this day and age, anything could be considered offensive.  It seems like a hard challenge to create four different fantasy cultures from scratch though.  Just another reason I will leave the fantasy writing to you! LOL

Yes, which is my big fear and I guess rightly so these days. Because even if you're coming from a place of love, it's still possible to be offensive. And truthfully, there are probably several places where I would call PBox "potentially (or definitely) problematic." You know, as I've been pondering it, it hasn't been too bad knowing that they all started from the same place, but the thing that happened (woah, vague vagueness, lol) caused them to faction into these four countries so it's just looking at that starting point and then where they are now and filling in the gaps. (And as I've said many times, if I have an A and I have Z, I can generally fill in the middle eventually.) I call them "countries," but realistically, it's more like the difference between Athens and Sparta than say... France and Germany. I think in this case, it's probably better to start looking at how countries develop in broad terms from more concrete things like geography. Like if a country is on a coast, fishing or naval exploits are likely how they survive and make money, so what does that mean for their culture. If a country is surrounded by mountains, how does that affect their food growth (among other things)? What is trade like between these places? And then after that looking at things like "there's this big event in the history of these pretend palces, what has happened in similar instances in our world?" Then looking broadly at several cultures to notice patterns. But as you said, you've left this to me, so I'm just rambling at this point, lol.


My first thoughts were getting kidnapped or getting a disease.  There are exceptions, of course, but usually those things don't seem to happen to AJ in stories, but they happen to poor Nick a lot LOL.

Mine too, so I'm happy to hear I wasn't too far off the mark, lol. I do like to issue personal challenges to myself as I write. I've picked two for this story. One of which is to give AJ some more to do since he usually gets stuck in "major supporting cast" territory in my stories (if not "minor supporting cast"). So in order to be more of a plot changer, he needs to be more mobile than "missing" or "sick" would make him. Which is probably why I've plotted myself into a corner, lol.


LOL You're probably right.  I'm not sure Nick intended for the thing to be a campy SyFy movie in the beginning, but some of them clearly realized how ridiculous it was and had fun with it.  '90s boyband members fight zombies in the wild west... you can't beat that premise!  It's glorious LOL.

Creatively meticulous Nick? No, he probably did not envision Dead7 as a campy film produced by the people who brought us the cinematic masterpiece Sharknado. LOL! In his mind it was probably more "serious horror film set in the west," but then he realized that he would have to pay actors for a pet project and his friends would do it for less, lol. Pretty sure AJ and Joey are at the top of the list of "those who realized this is ridiculous, but awesome," lol. And Howie as we've already discussed. And no, you just can't beat that premise. I'd argue that any premise that begins with "when '90s boyband members collaborate on ______" can only get better from there, lol.


Awesome, thanks!  Just bookmarked that to peruse later.

Any time! Happy to be able to share resources with you for once!


I think there might be, but let's be honest - I like watching those videos, or I wouldn't click on them.  And sometimes I do click on one related to whatever I was researching last time and learn something new, so they can be helpful, too.  Just distracting LOL.

I don't watch too many "react" videos, but I have a weakness for "Real doctors react to medical dramas" and anything related to Titanic.  Thankfully, the Titanic one I watched was edited down to about half an hour, and I still skipped through some of it.  I was just curious to see if the guy cried at the end because it was titled something like, "I Watched Titanic For the First Time and It DESTROYED Me!"  He did not, and I was disappointed. LOL  The "Kids React" videos are fun though!

I know, I know. I just still haven't fully given myself permission to get distracted during working hours, lol.

Yes, something like that would be hilarious. It's the "random dude reacts to blah blah blah" that I like less, especially if it's something random dude should have seen in the past decade. Why would you call it "and it destroyed me" if it did not in fact "destroy [you]"? Clickbait... I would have been disappointed too.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 26, 2021, 11:41:51 PM
LOL That is how meticulous I have gotten about fact-checking because you can find just about everything on the internet these days - so if I can find out for sure, I will.  I see it as a fun challenge of writing stories set in a specific time period, even if I waste time being meticulous with minor details that no one would ever fact-check me on.  But like you said, I would know, and that's what matters.

You're probably right about most places in L.A. being open on Easter.  I'm sure that's true of most big cities, other than maybe in the Bible Belt or deep South.

You're absolutely right on that! I think it's one of those things where if you put it in after doing your due diligence on research, no one notices, but if it's inaccurate, people will notice. And then compound that with the things you would notice and it becomes this rabbit hole of distraction. I think people would notice if you hadn't figured out how they got a movie that wouldn't be on TV yet (or released yet). But you would notice that Ten Commandments was shown the day before. Oh, you should have them watch The Prince of Egypt; that's a fun Easter romp, lol.

This same type of thing has led to a little heartache for me today (tell me why...). I wanted this "Nick avoids being the main character" to be vaguely Millennium in time period (as my writing often is), but I'd forgotten that they started the tour in Europe, which works out less with my plans. They did have about a month long break between the European leg and the North American leg, but I'm pretty sure at least half of that was hurricane season-related (if memory serves correctly), and I can't imagine they'd have a "re-tour rehearsal," even if they had a month off, from a tour they'd been performing for three months at that point. Now part of me says, "Eh, it's a novella vaguely implied to take place before ITM, it's going to be fine" and part of me is like "Someone will know and call me out on it." See? This is the type of stuff that makes me more impressed with y'all's ability to be able to weave story into history instead of my "I can make that up with enough time and related research."

I think it probably depends on the demographic of the area too (and the holiday). If patrons are less likely to come in, then you're losing money being open. There are restaurants around here that would normally be open all day on Sundays, but will do half-days on Easter. Or the sports bar I used to work at was open 365 days a year, but only post-6pm on Thanksgiving/Christmas and pre-6pm on Christmas Eve. And it's not Easter specific, but most malls around here (and even Target) will open late and close early on Sundays compared to the rest of the week. So really, you could probably justify "open" or "closed" depending on the way you wanted to swing it.


As far as AJ's favorite pre-2005 movie goes, this is where those old teenybopper Angelfire sites that list all their favorites from the 90s come in handy LOL.  I found several of them that say his favorite movie is Pulp Fiction, which would fit your criteria.  http://angels_bsb_love.tripod.com/ajbio.html  Here's a more recent article from 2015 where they list their favorite movies, and AJ says his all-time favorite is Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which would also work since it's from 1988. https://editorial.rottentomatoes.com/article/the-backstreet-boys-five-favorite-films/

LMAO! That was my genuine reaction to reading this, but seems out of place. Let me explain. I did vaguely remember that it was Pulp Fiction, but wanted something less... gritty due to what they were talking about in the scene that actually mattered. I enjoyed that you linked me that Rotten Tomatoes article as that is the exact article I used to justify choosing Dirty Rotten Scoundrels for my vague "[movie]" placeholder. I'm sorry, I should have mentioned more explicitly in my recount that I had finished this research project already. I appreciate you taking the time to help me all the same. *hugs*

The first time I read that Rotten Tomatoes article though, I did shout "Nick, The Goonies!" at my phone like an idiot, lol.


The placeholder is a good idea.  I hate doing it just because I'm one of those writers who edits as I go and aims for almost-final draft quality over a "sloppy copy."  But I do have a tendency to get bogged down on dumb, minor details like the movie thing or names for throwaway characters, so sometimes I have to make myself use [Name] if I can't make a quick decision.  This is why I name most of my minor doctor/nurse/therapist/cop characters after readers or people who have inspired me in some way; I keep a list I can refer back to when I need to pick a name so I don't have to make one up because I almost always overthink it.

It also took a lot to not hate it for me, but it has helped immensely knowing that I'll go back and edit as I write and then meticulously edit each chapter prior to posting even if I was happy with it when I finished it initially. So it's a lot easier to tell myself "You know editing is a huge part of your process now, so don't let this be the thing that gets you hung up when you were happily writing away until this moment." I should start using [Name] for minor characters. I would do something equally annoying like writing "the doctor" a million times and growing to loathe it, especially if it's in dialogue where a character wouldn't reasonably say "our gym teacher" or something like that. Thank goodness for the "name thread"! I think it's good that you have a list for names of minor characters. I think that's equally helpful as a fellow overthinker.


I was super productive in the early a.m., but that was before I went to bed.  Now it's 8:30 p.m. and I haven't written anything since waking up LOL.  I have definitely switched from "morning" writing to "night" writing, even though most of it technically still takes place in the early morning.  But then it will count toward tomorrow's word count, not today's.  That is why I'm unlikely to hit 2,000 words, even today, because now I have to start a new chapter, and that's almost always slow going for me.

Yay for finally getting your new washer and dryer and some peace and quiet!  I hope you have a productive night!


What time did you go to bed yesterday/wake up today? Are you liking night writing better due to the less distractions? On NaNo, I feel bad about fudging it, but I will consider post-midnight "today" if I haven't gone to bed yet and started writing whatever during today. If I got back to it at midnight, I would call it "tomorrow." Yay, new chapter! I believe!

Yes! I have done ten loads of laundry so far. I'm slowly getting through my items that need to be washed separately.

We'll see how productive my night goes. Here I am posting on the forum again at 10:30pm, lol. I wrote about 500 words this afternoon, but looked up one thing I thought would be such an easy question and... no, it was not easy. It really derailed me and complicated things leading to further research. So now here I am adding a scene that I hadn't really planned on writing that's just making me feel bummed out because of a dedication to certain types of details (as opposed to accurate timelines, lol). Sigh... :-[
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 27, 2021, 06:22:05 AM
Just once, I want to get a small idea and have it stay small. I'm really hoping with this next one, lol.

I like the idea of "That was fun. I wanna write more stories like that!" but you're right that it can get tedious if you find yourself rehashing the same plot in a different locale, although I love the logic of "surviving a plane crash was fun, now let's see how they do with a shipwreck!" Although now that BSB Cruises have been a thing, surviving a shipwreck makes way more sense, lol. In general, anytime I've had a vague "I wanna write a story like (fill in previous idea or really vague plotline here)" and not "I want to write this story about (fill in unique and semi-detailed plotline here)," it never works out well.

It's interesting that you would get tired of writing the first story and decide that it was better to continue it in a sequel. Why do you think that was? I ask as someone who's solution to "is bored" was "indefinite hiatus." (Let's be honest, they're abandoned.) I know you like to finish your things, is that part of it?

LOL Small ideas are nice!  It's fun to be able to finish a story in under a year.  But there is also something to be said for the feeling accomplishment that comes with finishing an epic story or series.

Don't tempt me with the BSB cruise shipwreck idea LOL.  It's not a bad idea, although it'd be better if it was just the boys and not the boys plus thousands of their fans on the boat.

I agree about the vague "I wanna write a story like this one" idea.  I've always struggled the most with ideas that I forced out while trying to emulate something else I read or watched.  Secrets of the Heart and Guilty Roads were both those types of ideas, and I had a hard time with both of them.  I finished Secrets, but only because I forced myself to.  I've learned that it's better to sit on those vague "I wanna write a survival story" or "I wanna write a bromance" thoughts until an actual idea comes along that works with them.

I really can only remember doing that once, where I finished the first story early and saved the rest for a sequel that I never ended up writing.  It was with The Other Child, my only experience writing on "on demand" story that a reader gave me the idea for.  I thought the idea was kinda cool at first, but I got bored with it and just wanted to finish it, so I slapped a quick ending on it and said I would write a sequel to continue the story.   I guess back then it was more important to me to finish a story before moving on to the next one than to write it well, whereas now I guess I'd rather have on on an indefinite hiatus than ruin it by forcing out a crappy ending.  I have other old stories that I had planned a sequel for and never wrote or finished, but at least the first stories were finished in a way I was happy with at the time.


I think they would also be good for times when you've written other scenes, but ultimately ended up not including them in the narrative in some way due to pacing or something like that (as long as it makes sense to add more content, of course.) I agree that it's important to consider the audience, especially if it's something you're on the fence about. Obviously if your gut says "yes, this is what I want to write" and no other idea sparks quite the same way, then I think it's worth writing. If you're on the fence or deciding between two ideas, then the other idea is probably better. Length of time between the original and the sequel probably makes a difference too in terms of readership. If the second one gets published a reasonable amount of time after the first one, then it would probably have more readers than if it's later.

Yep, I agree with all of this.  If you do have several scenes you wrote that did not make it into the final draft of the story, you could always post them as like a "deleted scenes" bonus feature, too.  That would be fun!  Since I don't write ahead, I don't usually find myself with deleted scenes like this.  When I do hack and slash a chapter, I end up actually deleting what didn't make it into the final draft.  Maybe I shouldn't do that because it might be fun to go back and look at the original versions, but as we've discussed previously, I can't stand having multiple versions of stories junking up my folders LOL.


I can't remember if I've asked this... I'm too lazy to look it up. Ignore me if I did. How far into the story is "going well enough to post"? I assume at that point (based on things you've said), you'll have a more detailed outline, at least a first scene, a banner, a title, and what else?

And woah! You started posted Guilty Roads around 2011? (Curtain Call was then, yes?), but you'd had the idea since Broken? I'm surprised it wasn't more naggy once you got to it. I get fresh ones being easier to get into; if the old ones were jumpy, they wouldn't have gotten more jumpy over the years. At least more often than not. Although, you're getting back to MBK now, so maybe sometimes they do get more jumpy.

I always at least have to have a title, outline, summary, banner, and a solid first chapter before I would post anything, but with my last few stories, I've waited till I finished about ten chapters to start posting, and that has worked out well.  I think I started posting Heroic Measures when I was on Chapter 8 because I knew it was only going to be ten chapters plus an epilogue, so I was close to finishing.  With SAMS, I waited all the way until Chapter 18 because I used a scene from that chapter in the prologue, but I didn't actually write it until I got to that point in the story.  It depends on the plot, too, but I usually wait until I get past the inciting incident and into the heart of the story to make sure it's going well before I post.

I may have been a little off on my conception date for Guilty Roads LOL.  I know that idea was on a poll I posted in the early 2000s about which story I should write next, but I checked, and it was in 2004, not 2001-2002.  It was one of the ideas I accumulated while working on Broken/BMS.  It's listed here under the working title "Austere Refuge," which I later changed.  https://web.archive.org/web/20041121170941/http://dreamers-sanctuary.com/nextstory.html  The idea evolved over time, but the basic premise was always the same.  I probably would have started it sooner if I wasn't in the middle of writing BMS.  Then came the epic collabs, 00Carter and Undead, so I didn't get around to it until 2010.  So I sat on the idea for at least six years before I started writing it.  It's the only one of those six ideas that even got that far.  I did start #2, but never got far enough to post it.

I think there are different levels of naggy/jumpy.  MBK and Heroic Measures were both ideas that I felt strongly enough about that I knew I would come back to them someday.  They were patiently naggy, if that makes any sense LOL.  Whereas the other stories I wrote while those two were waiting in the background, AHTIM and Bethlehem, were more demanding.  AHTIM was one I just had to get out of my head, and Bethlehem was a "must write now" idea because of its timing with the pandemic.  If I didn't jump on it and get it written last year while all that craziness was going on, I probably wouldn't have ever written it.


I've heard that one's good too! Aww, I wanted to buy something for Prime Day, but couldn't think of anything I needed or wanted that would have been a really good deal. Although I'm now remembering how much I've wanted a Kitchenaid stand mixer and that may have been part of it. Oh well!

So I haven't written anything on MBK since my last post, but I did finish reading Where the Crawdad Sings!  It was good.  Not the best book I've ever read, but it definitely got better as it went along.  I liked how it turned out.

That is usually me on Prime Day too; I can never think of anything expensive I want to look for deals on.  I would definitely recommend the Kitchenaid mixer though!  I got one for Christmas a few years ago, and I love it.  It's super cute on my counter (I got the Aqua Sky color), and it makes mixing anything so easy.  I can just turn it on and let it go.  (Only I learned the hard way that if you walk away and leave it too long while whipping cream, it overwhips the cream and makes it all chunky and gross looking.  Whoops!)  Maybe wait and get one on a Black Friday/Christmas deal.


Those all sound so fun! I hope you do finish your puzzle soon. OMG, I love your bathroom! Hopefully it doesn't scare anyone shitless, lol. ;) (We can say badass now, we can say shitless too, right? lol) Etsy is great for that. You can find pretty much anything you'd think to look for, I think. The theme reminded me of this art pop type hotel we have downtown where every floor has a different theme. Anyway, one of them was horror themed, but right when you step out of the elevator, the twins are standing right there. I almost noped out of there, but I needed to stay vigilant in my mission of retrieving something from a room, lol.

Thanks!  I will post pictures when it's all done.  I'm debating if I want to repaint the walls before I put everything up.  They're a neutral beige color that works fine with the stuff I ordered, but there are a couple places where the paint is peeling, and the wall has screw holes in it from whatever the previous homeowner had hanging there, so I probably should do it right, patch up the walls, and give them a fresh coat of paint.  I'm gonna get some paint chips and see if I like another color better.  I'm not a beige fan, but if it turns out beige works best, I probably will just leave it as is instead of wasting my time and money painting it beige again LOL.

OMG, that sounds like a hotel I need to stay at!  I would love that.  Of course I ordered a print of the creepy twins to hang up so they can stare at people as they do their business, hehe.


Yes, even in a movie where I could recite all the lines, if I cried at something the first time, I will always cry (or at least tear up). I think it might be the focus piece coupled with meticulous planning. If it's not a surprise, it's not the same effect. As I'm thinking about it, things I meticulously plan to be funny won't get a laugh from me when I write them down. They might have gotten a laugh from me the first time I thought of them and I guess the things that are sad have made me tear up a couple times when I've initially thought of them. However, the funny things that kind of spill out, I will laugh at for such a long time.

Now that I think about it, I did tear up a little last weekend when Nick was being a brat and insisted I include a flashback. I say this because that was both an "unplanned sad thing" and is semi-related to your question in that it was a flashback to a scene that has made me cry during a reread. And like you said, it's usually when I'm rereading and have fully immersed myself in the story. I wonder if since we've both said we'll happily reread certain works of ours if anyone is now analyzing to figure out which scenes get us, lol.

All that makes sense.  I agree about things that come up in the moment having more of an emotional impact than things you've planned out in advance.

I would guess it's usually the same scenes that make readers tear up, but maybe not always.  Everyone reacts differently, and you never know what's going to trigger someone.  There's a part in Curtain Call where Charlotte's Web is quoted, and that's what will get me.  I don't know if I'm tearing up because the scene itself is sad, which it is, or because Charlotte's Web is sad.  Probably both.


Google says "November 1998," which makes sense to me and thus plants him firmly at 18. No, he just blurted out an answer. He didn't even hesitate to do some math. Which is terrifying in a way, lol. I know. I never have a hard time remembering how old Nick was. Brian is fairly easy because of the five. AJ, just add two to Nick. Kevin, just add eight. Howie always takes me a second to think. Sorry Howie, it's not your fault, sevens are hard.

Thanks for googling that!  That aligns with what I was thinking as well.  Maybe Nick was just annoyed with those guys interviewing him who didn't seem to know anything about him.  I haven't watched the whole video in years, but I remember being annoyed with that interview until it got to the pubic hair part LOL.


It probably easier to OF Backstreet when their brotherly/boyband vibe is absent. Brotherly is probably easy enough to make a way to justify, but boyband is the first thing that would probably need to go. I also think it would be difficult to write a story (non-fanfic) about a boyband in general without it focusing on some other side aspect of celebrity, but that's mostly because the greatest appeal in a boyband (real or fictional) is the music, and a novel just isn't a medium that's conducive to music.

Yes, it would be quite weird to change Nick's name, but leave the more distinct AJ or Howie, lol. Brian or Kevin could be more possible to get away with in the absence of a "Nick."

Yep, I think taking away the boyband thing is an important step.  A band/musician story really is better suited to TV or movies where you can actually show them performing and play the music.   The brotherly relationship could work in a lot of contexts, though.  Mare kept it in her published novel by making them actual brothers.  In my Broken OF novel idea, they were all going to be high school friends/teammates.  They could also be coworkers, college friends/roommates or frat brothers, neighbors, etc.

I think with Broken, I just cared most about preserving my couple, "Nick and Claire."  It just wouldn't sound right with different names LOL.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 27, 2021, 06:40:21 AM
Yes, which is my big fear and I guess rightly so these days. Because even if you're coming from a place of love, it's still possible to be offensive. And truthfully, there are probably several places where I would call PBox "potentially (or definitely) problematic." You know, as I've been pondering it, it hasn't been too bad knowing that they all started from the same place, but the thing that happened (woah, vague vagueness, lol) caused them to faction into these four countries so it's just looking at that starting point and then where they are now and filling in the gaps. (And as I've said many times, if I have an A and I have Z, I can generally fill in the middle eventually.) I call them "countries," but realistically, it's more like the difference between Athens and Sparta than say... France and Germany. I think in this case, it's probably better to start looking at how countries develop in broad terms from more concrete things like geography. Like if a country is on a coast, fishing or naval exploits are likely how they survive and make money, so what does that mean for their culture. If a country is surrounded by mountains, how does that affect their food growth (among other things)? What is trade like between these places? And then after that looking at things like "there's this big event in the history of these pretend palces, what has happened in similar instances in our world?" Then looking broadly at several cultures to notice patterns. But as you said, you've left this to me, so I'm just rambling at this point, lol.

All that world-building seems like a fun challenge, but definitely daunting!  I love your attention to detail in thinking about how geography would affect each country's economy and culture; that makes a lot of sense.

As far as being problematic, I'm sure we can all look back on our older stories and find examples of that.  I know when I was reading Broken last year for my blog, I was struck by how misogynistic it sounded.  I have always said Broken Nick acts like an emo teenage girl, but I forgot how much he gets ripped on for being that way in the story, by the other guys and even by himself.  I apparently had more of an awareness of that as I was writing it than I realized LOL.  There are so many jokes to the effect of comparing Nick to a girl on her period, as well as jokes about the actual women in the story.  Reading it back, I'm not sure if I wrote it that way because that's how I thought real guys talked and thought (which is probably not too off-base) or if I was being the misogynistic one LOL, but it's definitely something that hadn't stood out to me that way before.

But as far as PBox goes, any potentially problematic parts can hopefully be edited out as you're reworking it for OF.


Mine too, so I'm happy to hear I wasn't too far off the mark, lol. I do like to issue personal challenges to myself as I write. I've picked two for this story. One of which is to give AJ some more to do since he usually gets stuck in "major supporting cast" territory in my stories (if not "minor supporting cast"). So in order to be more of a plot changer, he needs to be more mobile than "missing" or "sick" would make him. Which is probably why I've plotted myself into a corner, lol.

Kidnapped doesn't mean he has to be missing from the story.  Maybe he and Nick get kidnapped or put in a hostage situation together, but AJ gets to be the hero who fights back and plans their escape, while Nick just cowers in a corner and sleeps LOL.  Giving AJ a disease is also a way to make him the center of attention.  Just don't put him in a coma or cripple him if you want him to be mobile LOL.


Creatively meticulous Nick? No, he probably did not envision Dead7 as a campy film produced by the people who brought us the cinematic masterpiece Sharknado. LOL! In his mind it was probably more "serious horror film set in the west," but then he realized that he would have to pay actors for a pet project and his friends would do it for less, lol. Pretty sure AJ and Joey are at the top of the list of "those who realized this is ridiculous, but awesome," lol. And Howie as we've already discussed. And no, you just can't beat that premise. I'd argue that any premise that begins with "when '90s boyband members collaborate on ______" can only get better from there, lol.

LOL Absolutely!  AJ and Joey were both fantastic in that movie.  Remember when it was originally going to be a movie called Evil Blessings about backwoods cannibals or something?  Obviously I love zombies, but I still wish he would write that movie too.  I also wanna see him play the villain instead of the hero!  I guess he was kind of a villain in The Hollow, but not the main one.  I'm also still disappointed that he did not get decapitated in that movie LOL.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 27, 2021, 07:08:10 AM
You're absolutely right on that! I think it's one of those things where if you put it in after doing your due diligence on research, no one notices, but if it's inaccurate, people will notice. And then compound that with the things you would notice and it becomes this rabbit hole of distraction. I think people would notice if you hadn't figured out how they got a movie that wouldn't be on TV yet (or released yet). But you would notice that Ten Commandments was shown the day before. Oh, you should have them watch The Prince of Egypt; that's a fun Easter romp, lol.

I thought about The Prince of Egypt!  But in the course of my research on when The Ten Commandments aired on TV in 2008, I learned that Passover was almost a month later than Easter that year, and Prince of Egypt is technically more of a Passover movie.  I even looked up other Easter movies for ideas, but nothing really stood out to me as something I needed Nick and Kevin to watch, so I just left it unnamed.  Some of the titles that came up as "Easter movies" were pretty funny though.  Like Monty Python and the Holy Grail??  It has a killer bunny in it; I guess that makes it an Easter movie?  LOL  I thought about using that one because I felt like they would pick something light and funny if it wasn't just whatever was on TV at the time, but I've already referenced that movie in another story.


This same type of thing has led to a little heartache for me today (tell me why...). I wanted this "Nick avoids being the main character" to be vaguely Millennium in time period (as my writing often is), but I'd forgotten that they started the tour in Europe, which works out less with my plans. They did have about a month long break between the European leg and the North American leg, but I'm pretty sure at least half of that was hurricane season-related (if memory serves correctly), and I can't imagine they'd have a "re-tour rehearsal," even if they had a month off, from a tour they'd been performing for three months at that point. Now part of me says, "Eh, it's a novella vaguely implied to take place before ITM, it's going to be fine" and part of me is like "Someone will know and call me out on it." See? This is the type of stuff that makes me more impressed with y'all's ability to be able to weave story into history instead of my "I can make that up with enough time and related research."

That is the downside to using real timelines, when the real events of that time period don't work well with your story idea.  Does it have to be Millennium era?  Could you use Black & Blue instead?  The B&B tour started in the U.S.  But I get the appeal of using Millennium; that whole era was so iconic, between the album, the tour, and their popularity at the time.  It was a better era than B&B, even though they're so close together.

Although I like to use real details when I can, I will say that since you're already taking BSB fanfic tropes and twisting them by making Nick a background character, you could keep the setting intentionally vague.  A lot of fics, especially back in the day, weren't very specific about where or when they were taking place, and if they were, it wasn't always true to life.  So I think you could get away with that if you wanted to.


LMAO! That was my genuine reaction to reading this, but seems out of place. Let me explain. I did vaguely remember that it was Pulp Fiction, but wanted something less... gritty due to what they were talking about in the scene that actually mattered. I enjoyed that you linked me that Rotten Tomatoes article as that is the exact article I used to justify choosing Dirty Rotten Scoundrels for my vague "[movie]" placeholder. I'm sorry, I should have mentioned more explicitly in my recount that I had finished this research project already. I appreciate you taking the time to help me all the same. *hugs*

The first time I read that Rotten Tomatoes article though, I did shout "Nick, The Goonies!" at my phone like an idiot, lol.

LOL Great minds think alike!  Dirty Rotten Scoundrels sounds like a great choice.  I did the same thing with Nick's pick, except I was like, "Nick, what about Aliens??"  In his defense, it is hard to pick just one favorite.  Not for me - mine will always be Titanic - but I have a much harder time picking, say, a favorite song because there are so many good ones.  Jaws is a great movie though.


I should start using [Name] for minor characters. I would do something equally annoying like writing "the doctor" a million times and growing to loathe it, especially if it's in dialogue where a character wouldn't reasonably say "our gym teacher" or something like that. Thank goodness for the "name thread"! I think it's good that you have a list for names of minor characters. I think that's equally helpful as a fellow overthinker.

The name thread was so helpful!  Erik, my douchey frat boy character I started that thread for, finally made his first appearance a few chapters ago.


What time did you go to bed yesterday/wake up today? Are you liking night writing better due to the less distractions? On NaNo, I feel bad about fudging it, but I will consider post-midnight "today" if I haven't gone to bed yet and started writing whatever during today. If I got back to it at midnight, I would call it "tomorrow." Yay, new chapter! I believe!

Yes! I have done ten loads of laundry so far. I'm slowly getting through my items that need to be washed separately.

We'll see how productive my night goes. Here I am posting on the forum again at 10:30pm, lol. I wrote about 500 words this afternoon, but looked up one thing I thought would be such an easy question and... no, it was not easy. It really derailed me and complicated things leading to further research. So now here I am adding a scene that I hadn't really planned on writing that's just making me feel bummed out because of a dedication to certain types of details (as opposed to accurate timelines, lol). Sigh... :-[

Ugh, my sleep schedule has been so messed up the last few days, even more so than usual.  My current pattern is that I will go to bed well after sunrise, sleep until early afternoon, get tired at night because I only slept 5-6 hours instead of my preferred 8-9, think "Oh good, I will go to bed at a normal time tonight and reset my sleep schedule," go to bed at a normal time, wake up around 2 a.m., get back up, and don't go back to bed until well after sunrise, thus continuing the cycle.  I went to bed at like 10 last night, read for an hour or so, and fell asleep.  Woke up at 1 something, wide awake, and tried to read until I got sleepy again.  I finished my book and was still wide awake, so I got back up.  Now it's 7 a.m. LOL.  So much for resetting my sleep schedule.  I also still haven't started my chapter because I spent my pre-dawn writing time watching TV and replying to posts on this forum instead. LOL

How did the rest of your night go?  I hope we both have a productive day today!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 27, 2021, 06:31:26 PM
LOL Small ideas are nice!  It's fun to be able to finish a story in under a year.  But there is also something to be said for the feeling accomplishment that comes with finishing an epic story or series.

Yes, all of this. This is where I get in trouble for comparing again. I have to stop looking at r/fanfic because all the people that talk about how many stories they finish in a month and I always think "how?!" lol


Don't tempt me with the BSB cruise shipwreck idea LOL.  It's not a bad idea, although it'd be better if it was just the boys and not the boys plus thousands of their fans on the boat.

Always here to make joke and tempt, lol. See, the Boys get in a lifeboat, but the regular boat manages to be just fine. All the fans get saved, but now the Boys are adrift in a lifeboat, lol. I think these days, a shipwreck on a cruise boat would be way less common than in Titanic times.


I agree about the vague "I wanna write a story like this one" idea.  I've always struggled the most with ideas that I forced out while trying to emulate something else I read or watched.  Secrets of the Heart and Guilty Roads were both those types of ideas, and I had a hard time with both of them.  I finished Secrets, but only because I forced myself to.  I've learned that it's better to sit on those vague "I wanna write a survival story" or "I wanna write a bromance" thoughts until an actual idea comes along that works with them.

I really can only remember doing that once, where I finished the first story early and saved the rest for a sequel that I never ended up writing.  It was with The Other Child, my only experience writing on "on demand" story that a reader gave me the idea for.  I thought the idea was kinda cool at first, but I got bored with it and just wanted to finish it, so I slapped a quick ending on it and said I would write a sequel to continue the story.   I guess back then it was more important to me to finish a story before moving on to the next one than to write it well, whereas now I guess I'd rather have on on an indefinite hiatus than ruin it by forcing out a crappy ending.  I have other old stories that I had planned a sequel for and never wrote or finished, but at least the first stories were finished in a way I was happy with at the time.

It's why I've sat on my jokes until I thought about them solidly enough. I think that's something I needed to learn back then too. I feel like my life was WADD until PBox, really. I'd write and post any old thing in my head. And then at some point during PBox (probably about a year in?) I made the conscious decision to put everything on hold until PBox was finished, of course that took a whole other year and a half, but I stopped starting new things. And then after that, I decided to only focus on Beta Sig. I think it's been better for me in the long run to only focus on one thing at a time without getting too derailed. I was thinking just the other day that I should do my utmost to make AJ important in a story at some point and here we are, a good place to do it. :)

I remember you talking about that one before. If a reader suggested it, I can see why you want to make sure it had an end, rather than leaving them hanging for an indefinite amount of time. But that the idea came from someone else probably also had something to do with you getting bored with it.


Yep, I agree with all of this.  If you do have several scenes you wrote that did not make it into the final draft of the story, you could always post them as like a "deleted scenes" bonus feature, too.  That would be fun!  Since I don't write ahead, I don't usually find myself with deleted scenes like this.  When I do hack and slash a chapter, I end up actually deleting what didn't make it into the final draft.  Maybe I shouldn't do that because it might be fun to go back and look at the original versions, but as we've discussed previously, I can't stand having multiple versions of stories junking up my folders LOL.

If I don't rework mine, I do save them, but not to the extent that they would be any good bonus feature. Some chapters I ended up writing for OF PBox are the only thing I have like this because they would fill something that wasn't there before. In writing PNecklace, with the extensive editing I do, I've found that I'm usually able to work ideas in at different points, at least in spirit. There's definitely part of me that wishes I could do it with a whole novel before posting, but I don't have that kind of backlog at the moment, lol.

I know you don't. So you've got to weigh the options: fun bonus content or peace of mind? lol


I always at least have to have a title, outline, summary, banner, and a solid first chapter before I would post anything, but with my last few stories, I've waited till I finished about ten chapters to start posting, and that has worked out well.  I think I started posting Heroic Measures when I was on Chapter 8 because I knew it was only going to be ten chapters plus an epilogue, so I was close to finishing.  With SAMS, I waited all the way until Chapter 18 because I used a scene from that chapter in the prologue, but I didn't actually write it until I got to that point in the story.  It depends on the plot, too, but I usually wait until I get past the inciting incident and into the heart of the story to make sure it's going well before I post.

I agree that ten chapters seems like a solid backlog. I feel far enough in to keep going and reasonably feel like I can get another ten chapters finished within ten weeks. I'm probably a little faster than that, to be honest (at least for the most part).

With SAMS, do you mean that you planned for a scene from Chapter 18 to be in the Prologue, but didn't write the prologue until after you'd written Chapter 18 or that you wrote the tiny part that was in the prologue in the beginning, but didn't finish the whole scene until you got to Chapter 18? Either way, interesting way to do it.

I think it makes sense to get past the inciting incident because then you know that the action's kicked off. I feel like I always put my inciting incidents fairly early in the story, within the first chapter if not the second. Do you feel yours are a little later? Or just that the "heart of the story" takes more time to get into after that?


I may have been a little off on my conception date for Guilty Roads LOL.  I know that idea was on a poll I posted in the early 2000s about which story I should write next, but I checked, and it was in 2004, not 2001-2002.  It was one of the ideas I accumulated while working on Broken/BMS.  It's listed here under the working title "Austere Refuge," which I later changed.  https://web.archive.org/web/20041121170941/http://dreamers-sanctuary.com/nextstory.html  The idea evolved over time, but the basic premise was always the same.  I probably would have started it sooner if I wasn't in the middle of writing BMS.  Then came the epic collabs, 00Carter and Undead, so I didn't get around to it until 2010.  So I sat on the idea for at least six years before I started writing it.  It's the only one of those six ideas that even got that far.  I did start #2, but never got far enough to post it.

It might not be you, I might have been off on my math! I guessed around 2003 (which is fairly close to 2004), but couldn't remember if you'd finished Broken by then or not. Was Guilty Roads the one that had won that poll or was it a different one? I get starting #2, you've gotta love a good reincarnation plotline. Did you do these types of polls often or was this more of a one time thing?


I think there are different levels of naggy/jumpy.  MBK and Heroic Measures were both ideas that I felt strongly enough about that I knew I would come back to them someday.  They were patiently naggy, if that makes any sense LOL.  Whereas the other stories I wrote while those two were waiting in the background, AHTIM and Bethlehem, were more demanding.  AHTIM was one I just had to get out of my head, and Bethlehem was a "must write now" idea because of its timing with the pandemic.  If I didn't jump on it and get it written last year while all that craziness was going on, I probably wouldn't have ever written it.

They're your AJ compared to Nick, lol. "Hey, if you've got time, I have some stuff to do... No pressure." versus "I'MMMMM BAAAACCCCKKKK, ALLLRIIGHT!" I get it. I felt the same way about my little holiday story as Bethlehem. I could have written it for this Christmas, but the time just seemed right last year. :) I like the patiently naggy ones. They feel much more comforting.


So I haven't written anything on MBK since my last post, but I did finish reading Where the Crawdad Sings!  It was good.  Not the best book I've ever read, but it definitely got better as it went along.  I liked how it turned out.

That is usually me on Prime Day too; I can never think of anything expensive I want to look for deals on.  I would definitely recommend the Kitchenaid mixer though!  I got one for Christmas a few years ago, and I love it.  It's super cute on my counter (I got the Aqua Sky color), and it makes mixing anything so easy.  I can just turn it on and let it go.  (Only I learned the hard way that if you walk away and leave it too long while whipping cream, it overwhips the cream and makes it all chunky and gross looking.  Whoops!)  Maybe wait and get one on a Black Friday/Christmas deal.

Glad you finished it! Now if that's out of your head, you'll have more space for your puzzle and MBK, lol.

Your poor whipped cream, lol! I'd asked for one for our wedding, but I think I haven't been thinking about it because we just don't have space for it on our counter or in our cabinets. Once I get back to organizing, maybe I can make some space for it though. I like the yellow one. I keep vaguely telling hubs that a yellow kitchen would be nice, but then he reminds me that I also want a yellow house. I know better than to ask for AJ's pink kitchen, haha.

I did get my old fitbit on Prime Day a couple years ago and that was awesome. My new one just came after not having a working one for a couple months, so that's been exciting. I wish they warned me Prime Day was coming, so I could start thinking about what I might need, lol.



Thanks!  I will post pictures when it's all done.  I'm debating if I want to repaint the walls before I put everything up.  They're a neutral beige color that works fine with the stuff I ordered, but there are a couple places where the paint is peeling, and the wall has screw holes in it from whatever the previous homeowner had hanging there, so I probably should do it right, patch up the walls, and give them a fresh coat of paint.  I'm gonna get some paint chips and see if I like another color better.  I'm not a beige fan, but if it turns out beige works best, I probably will just leave it as is instead of wasting my time and money painting it beige again LOL.

OMG, that sounds like a hotel I need to stay at!  I would love that.  Of course I ordered a print of the creepy twins to hang up so they can stare at people as they do their business, hehe.

Yes, can't wait! "Redrum" would really pop if the background was beige or neutral, just saying, lol. I wonder if you could cover up the screw holes with some other picture.

I know, I'd temporarily forgotten about it, but knew it was up your alley. There's also the actual Stanley Hotel if you're doing an epic Colorado tourist trip, lol. I'm glad you did. I would expect nothing less for this "Shining" bathroom.


All that makes sense.  I agree about things that come up in the moment having more of an emotional impact than things you've planned out in advance.

I would guess it's usually the same scenes that make readers tear up, but maybe not always.  Everyone reacts differently, and you never know what's going to trigger someone.  There's a part in Curtain Call where Charlotte's Web is quoted, and that's what will get me.  I don't know if I'm tearing up because the scene itself is sad, which it is, or because Charlotte's Web is sad.  Probably both.

Do you often have ideas that come up in the moment as your writing or do most of them end up in the outline ahead of time?

You're probably right on all of that. And Charlotte's Web is so sad, so I can imagine being doubly sad if the scene itself is sad.


Thanks for googling that!  That aligns with what I was thinking as well.  Maybe Nick was just annoyed with those guys interviewing him who didn't seem to know anything about him.  I haven't watched the whole video in years, but I remember being annoyed with that interview until it got to the pubic hair part LOL.

I guess I would have been annoyed too. They were really focused on Nick, but not on Howie at all. Poor Howie. They finally let him talk and he's hilarious.


Yep, I think taking away the boyband thing is an important step.  A band/musician story really is better suited to TV or movies where you can actually show them performing and play the music.   The brotherly relationship could work in a lot of contexts, though.  Mare kept it in her published novel by making them actual brothers.  In my Broken OF novel idea, they were all going to be high school friends/teammates.  They could also be coworkers, college friends/roommates or frat brothers, neighbors, etc.

I think with Broken, I just cared most about preserving my couple, "Nick and Claire."  It just wouldn't sound right with different names LOL.

...Heroes thrust together by destiny, lol. I think of all the things I've cut, the brotherly relationship and Nick as is are what's been most important to keep for me. It's just really not the same story without it. Now I've had to tweak it some to make it feel more earned, but on a whole, it's been preserved.

LOL! I get that. I wanted to keep Nick the same because he's my tiny muse. And I could see myself flubbing it up if I renamed him more than the others.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 27, 2021, 06:58:04 PM
All that world-building seems like a fun challenge, but definitely daunting!  I love your attention to detail in thinking about how geography would affect each country's economy and culture; that makes a lot of sense.

Yeah, there's the online software called "WorldAnvil" that makes all of this much more streamlined, that I've looked into, but have been hesitant to get, and it's probably time to just do it. It keeps everything on the cloud too, which is nice. It's like having your own complicated wikipedia, lol. And thanks. What else would I do with my now vast knowledge of the desert? lol


As far as being problematic, I'm sure we can all look back on our older stories and find examples of that.  I know when I was reading Broken last year for my blog, I was struck by how misogynistic it sounded.  I have always said Broken Nick acts like an emo teenage girl, but I forgot how much he gets ripped on for being that way in the story, by the other guys and even by himself.  I apparently had more of an awareness of that as I was writing it than I realized LOL.  There are so many jokes to the effect of comparing Nick to a girl on her period, as well as jokes about the actual women in the story.  Reading it back, I'm not sure if I wrote it that way because that's how I thought real guys talked and thought (which is probably not too off-base) or if I was being the misogynistic one LOL, but it's definitely something that hadn't stood out to me that way before.

But as far as PBox goes, any potentially problematic parts can hopefully be edited out as you're reworking it for OF.

OMG, yes! The misogyny! It's interesting that you had an awareness for it that seeped into the writing without you realizing. I remember doing the same thing back then. I cringed a little rereading Beta Sig when Nick was monologing about how much he liked talking to Brian and literally thinks something to the effect of "I sound like a girl that wants to date Brian." (Misogynistic and homophobic! I'm the worst!) I think that's something that can happen with all creative works. They're really a product of their time, so even something praised can become something with cringey aspects over the years. Heck, look at Hamilton. Initially praised for its diversity in cast, now judged for "Founders Chic" and lack of diverse characters.

I think so. Awareness is the first step! Action is the second!


Kidnapped doesn't mean he has to be missing from the story.  Maybe he and Nick get kidnapped or put in a hostage situation together, but AJ gets to be the hero who fights back and plans their escape, while Nick just cowers in a corner and sleeps LOL.  Giving AJ a disease is also a way to make him the center of attention.  Just don't put him in a coma or cripple him if you want him to be mobile LOL.

A valid point! AJ would be pretty badass, but probably sprain his ankle from his tight pants, lol. What do you mean I can't put AJ in coma and have him be important? I thought this story was "AJ is Nick's guardian angel"?! LMAO!

My next related thought, and I'd love to be corrected if I'm wrong. Brian's been involved in pretty much everything Nick's been involved in to some degree, though not in a while, if I'm remembering correctly... I'm probably fine to just pick whatever, yeah?


LOL Absolutely!  AJ and Joey were both fantastic in that movie.  Remember when it was originally going to be a movie called Evil Blessings about backwoods cannibals or something?  Obviously I love zombies, but I still wish he would write that movie too.  I also wanna see him play the villain instead of the hero!  I guess he was kind of a villain in The Hollow, but not the main one.  I'm also still disappointed that he did not get decapitated in that movie LOL.

I do! I wonder why he changed from backwoods cannibals to zombies? I'm guessing Kevin hated it. LMAO! Nick the villain. He would be such a large ham! You watched Dr. Horrible, right? That's the type of villain I see Nick being.

LOL! The Headless Horseman would be lucky to get Nick's head, even though his hair was only okay in that film.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 27, 2021, 07:21:27 PM
I thought about The Prince of Egypt!  But in the course of my research on when The Ten Commandments aired on TV in 2008, I learned that Passover was almost a month later than Easter that year, and Prince of Egypt is technically more of a Passover movie.  I even looked up other Easter movies for ideas, but nothing really stood out to me as something I needed Nick and Kevin to watch, so I just left it unnamed.  Some of the titles that came up as "Easter movies" were pretty funny though.  Like Monty Python and the Holy Grail??  It has a killer bunny in it; I guess that makes it an Easter movie?  LOL  I thought about using that one because I felt like they would pick something light and funny if it wasn't just whatever was on TV at the time, but I've already referenced that movie in another story.

You're totally right, it is more of a Passover movie. It's just the second thing I think of when I think of The Ten Commandments, lol. LMAO! If "has a bunny" is the only qualification for an Easter movie, then is Donnie Darko an Easter movie? Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a classic though.


That is the downside to using real timelines, when the real events of that time period don't work well with your story idea.  Does it have to be Millennium era?  Could you use Black & Blue instead?  The B&B tour started in the U.S.  But I get the appeal of using Millennium; that whole era was so iconic, between the album, the tour, and their popularity at the time.  It was a better era than B&B, even though they're so close together.

Although I like to use real details when I can, I will say that since you're already taking BSB fanfic tropes and twisting them by making Nick a background character, you could keep the setting intentionally vague.  A lot of fics, especially back in the day, weren't very specific about where or when they were taking place, and if they were, it wasn't always true to life.  So I think you could get away with that if you wanted to.

It's not really anything tied to an era outside of being "classic Backstreet," but as usual, it's easier to blissfully avoid their lives away from BSB if you go earlier than Brian and Kevin's weddings, lol. I think I could get away with it too. It being a dramedy poking the edge of satire doesn't require intense grounding in reality. Although, now that I'm thinking about it, how would they get their stage set overseas? Did they have a second one constructed over there or did it just fly over in a cargo plane? I could probably still make my idea work just fine even if they had to go to Europe first; it really ends before the tour starts. What are the chances anyone has created a detailed timeline of their lives between Millennium getting released and embarking on the tour? This would probably help me out a lot.


LOL Great minds think alike!  Dirty Rotten Scoundrels sounds like a great choice.  I did the same thing with Nick's pick, except I was like, "Nick, what about Aliens??"  In his defense, it is hard to pick just one favorite.  Not for me - mine will always be Titanic - but I have a much harder time picking, say, a favorite song because there are so many good ones.  Jaws is a great movie though.

Indeed. It's not Nick's fault. The majority of movies that came out in the '80s were awesome, so it's hard to choose between them. I'm very loyal. I pick a favorite and I stick with it. Movie, band, song, Backstreet Boy, whatever. Stuck, lol. All good, because Titanic, the Boys, QPG, and Nick are all great, lol.


The name thread was so helpful!  Erik, my douchey frat boy character I started that thread for, finally made his first appearance a few chapters ago.

Yes! Thank you for creating it. Ooh, glad Erik has finally come around. Hopefully he's working out for you. :)


Ugh, my sleep schedule has been so messed up the last few days, even more so than usual.  My current pattern is that I will go to bed well after sunrise, sleep until early afternoon, get tired at night because I only slept 5-6 hours instead of my preferred 8-9, think "Oh good, I will go to bed at a normal time tonight and reset my sleep schedule," go to bed at a normal time, wake up around 2 a.m., get back up, and don't go back to bed until well after sunrise, thus continuing the cycle.  I went to bed at like 10 last night, read for an hour or so, and fell asleep.  Woke up at 1 something, wide awake, and tried to read until I got sleepy again.  I finished my book and was still wide awake, so I got back up.  Now it's 7 a.m. LOL.  So much for resetting my sleep schedule.  I also still haven't started my chapter because I spent my pre-dawn writing time watching TV and replying to posts on this forum instead. LOL

Oh no! Sorry you're waking up in the middle of the night. I absolutely hate when that happens. :( I hope you got some good sleep in eventually. Maybe if you're up at 7am tomorrow, you can take a quick nap instead of sleeping until you wake up and that will right it a little. Hopefully writing is going productively since you woke up.


How did the rest of your night go?  I hope we both have a productive day today!

It did not, lol. Instead of writing, I decided now was a great time to start making a Google Sheet to keep track of my word counts, lol.

Today was cooking day, so I got a later start, then tried to get on with my next scene, but ended up texting my BFF to get some medical issue questions answered in more layman's terms than google was giving me, lol. So now I have a bunch of medical knowledge for only a scene, but it will be so accurate. Unlike my Backstreet timeline, lol. I've written 47 words today, lol.

Edited to Add: Oh, I didn't name the story yet, but the first chapter has a name "Chapter One: My World is Half Asleep, or How I, Nick Carter, am a Victim of Circumstance"
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 28, 2021, 12:03:24 AM
Yes, all of this. This is where I get in trouble for comparing again. I have to stop looking at r/fanfic because all the people that talk about how many stories they finish in a month and I always think "how?!" lol

Yeah, but just think, most of those are one-shots.  For novelists like us, it's more comparable to talk about how many chapters we finish in a month LOL.


Always here to make joke and tempt, lol. See, the Boys get in a lifeboat, but the regular boat manages to be just fine. All the fans get saved, but now the Boys are adrift in a lifeboat, lol. I think these days, a shipwreck on a cruise boat would be way less common than in Titanic times.

Yes, and then their lifeboat sinks LOL.  Love it.  Yeah, in reality, a shipwreck nowadays would be much less disastrous because of all the safety regulations that were put in place BECAUSE of Titanic.  They have to have enough lifeboats for everyone now and do a lifeboat drill before departure.  When that cruise ship capsized off the coast of Italy a few years ago, I think only 30 some people died compared to 1,500 with Titanic - and that was probably a bigger boat with more people on it in the first place.  So it would definitely be a stretch.  I would probably stick with Nick's personal boat sinking over an entire cruise ship because that seems more plausible.  He seems to have had a lot of issues with boats over the years LOL.


It's why I've sat on my jokes until I thought about them solidly enough. I think that's something I needed to learn back then too. I feel like my life was WADD until PBox, really. I'd write and post any old thing in my head. And then at some point during PBox (probably about a year in?) I made the conscious decision to put everything on hold until PBox was finished, of course that took a whole other year and a half, but I stopped starting new things. And then after that, I decided to only focus on Beta Sig. I think it's been better for me in the long run to only focus on one thing at a time without getting too derailed. I was thinking just the other day that I should do my utmost to make AJ important in a story at some point and here we are, a good place to do it. :)

I was pretty good at only focusing on one story at a time until my novels started getting longer and it took me longer than a month to finish them.  That's when I started overlapping stories, which can definitely become overwhelming.  I used to like having a main project and a side project so I always had something to work on even when I was feeling uninspired on my main story, but even that seems like too much for me now.  Like you, I've found I'm most successful at finishing things when I stick to one story at a time.  Hopefully your Nick-is-not-the-main-character story will give AJ a time to shine.  It took me me 13 years to write a Howie novel and 21 to get to Kevin, so I hear you.  But I also see nothing wrong with writing lots of Nick stories. ;)


If I don't rework mine, I do save them, but not to the extent that they would be any good bonus feature. Some chapters I ended up writing for OF PBox are the only thing I have like this because they would fill something that wasn't there before. In writing PNecklace, with the extensive editing I do, I've found that I'm usually able to work ideas in at different points, at least in spirit. There's definitely part of me that wishes I could do it with a whole novel before posting, but I don't have that kind of backlog at the moment, lol.

I know you don't. So you've got to weigh the options: fun bonus content or peace of mind? lol

Yeah, I'm the same as far as not having enough for fun bonus features.  Whatever I originally wrote is usually similar enough to what I ended up with that I'm not sure anyone else would enjoy reading it.  The only ones I kinda wish I still had are the original beginnings for AHTIM because they were both so different from each other and from the third and final version.  That was a lesson in perseverance for me, and it might have been interesting for people who read that story to see all the different ways I planned for Nick to get from Point A to Point B in the first few chapters.


I agree that ten chapters seems like a solid backlog. I feel far enough in to keep going and reasonably feel like I can get another ten chapters finished within ten weeks. I'm probably a little faster than that, to be honest (at least for the most part).

With SAMS, do you mean that you planned for a scene from Chapter 18 to be in the Prologue, but didn't write the prologue until after you'd written Chapter 18 or that you wrote the tiny part that was in the prologue in the beginning, but didn't finish the whole scene until you got to Chapter 18? Either way, interesting way to do it.

I am usually a little slower than that, but have managed to stay 8-9 chapters ahead of myself most of the time.  I was able to maintain weekly updates all the way through my last three finished multi-chapter stories - AHTIM, Heroic Measures, and Bethlehem - and so far so good with MBK.

With SAMS, I wrote everything in order except the prologue.  So I wrote Chapter 18 after 17 and then used an excerpt from it as my prologue.  I didn't originally plan on having a prologue, but I felt like my beginning needed a little something extra to create suspense.  I knew that scene would be coming eventually, so I waited until I got to that point in the story to write it and put it in as a prologue.  Then I was finally ready to start posting the story.


I think it makes sense to get past the inciting incident because then you know that the action's kicked off. I feel like I always put my inciting incidents fairly early in the story, within the first chapter if not the second. Do you feel yours are a little later? Or just that the "heart of the story" takes more time to get into after that?

From a storytelling perspective, that seems like the best place for the inciting incident - within the first couple chapters.  As I think about my stories, that's usually about where mine fall, too, but sometimes there's another pivotal moment or twist that comes up a little later, and that's really the point I want to get to to feel like I'm in the heart of the story.  Like with Bethlehem, I guess the inciting incident is the guys going to the cabin in Chapter 1, but really, the part I was waiting to get past was the car crash in Chapter 5 that kicks off the survival part of the story.  Curtain Call was similar - the inciting incident technically happened in Chapter 2, but the cancer bomb doesn't get dropped until the end of Chapter 5, which is a bigger moment in the story.  I have definitely shored it up since Broken, where it took me like 18 chapters to get to the point LOL.


It might not be you, I might have been off on my math! I guessed around 2003 (which is fairly close to 2004), but couldn't remember if you'd finished Broken by then or not. Was Guilty Roads the one that had won that poll or was it a different one? I get starting #2, you've gotta love a good reincarnation plotline. Did you do these types of polls often or was this more of a one time thing?

No, I think I said it was 2001 or 2002 and was off by a couple years.  I was happy I could still click on the results of that poll and see them!  Guilty Roads/Austere Refuge actually came in 4th place.  The winning idea was the Brian romance, Divergence, which evolved into an idea called Surrender My Heart that I still have a folder for in the Future Stories section of my bookmarks.  It's there waiting for me if I ever feel like writing a historical romance AU or OF, but I have not had that urge LOL.  I enjoy history, but not so much historical fiction.  That was also the problem with the reincarnation idea, which was going to take place partly during the Civil War.  I loved that damn reincarnation idea and also still have bookmarks saved for it.  It evolved into a Brian idea since that poll, though, which lists it as an AJ one LOL.  Sorry, AJ.  I actually have a decent start to an outline and eight pages of actual story written for that one too, but for whatever reason, I stopped writing it in the middle of Chapter 1 and never went back to it.  According to my notes, the last time I added anything to the outline was in 2013, which was a WADD year for me.  I eventually started SAMS toward the end of that summer, so I guess that's why I never went back to the reincarnation one.

I love doing polls like that, but don't do them very often.  Besides this one, I only remember doing one other where I described several ideas I was considering and asked readers to vote.  That was in the summer of 2017, after I finished SAMS and was having major WADD trying to figure out what to write next. http://dreamers-sanctuary.com/2017-07-01/  I actually have since finished two of the four ideas on this one (#1 was Heroic Measures, #2 was A Heart that Isn't Mine) and am working on a third (#3 was My Brother's Keeper).  And #4 is the same Brian horror story I wrote the first scene for earlier this year.  So either I'm getting better at bringing ideas into fruition, or I just have fewer ideas to choose from these days LOL.


They're your AJ compared to Nick, lol. "Hey, if you've got time, I have some stuff to do... No pressure." versus "I'MMMMM BAAAACCCCKKKK, ALLLRIIGHT!" I get it. I felt the same way about my little holiday story as Bethlehem. I could have written it for this Christmas, but the time just seemed right last year. :) I like the patiently naggy ones. They feel much more comforting.

LOL Yes!  Glad you jumped on your holiday story and got it written when the time felt right.  I did not do that with the fourth pandaskunk story idea I had last year (well, I started it, but did not finish it), and now half the idea won't work anymore unless I still set it in 2020.  But since I wrote the others all in the year they take place in, that takes some of the fun out of it.  This must be how the Boys feel about failing to deliver a Christmas album year after year LOL.  It's such a time-sensitive thing, and they are not good with being timely.  But hopefully this is the year!


Your poor whipped cream, lol! I'd asked for one for our wedding, but I think I haven't been thinking about it because we just don't have space for it on our counter or in our cabinets. Once I get back to organizing, maybe I can make some space for it though. I like the yellow one. I keep vaguely telling hubs that a yellow kitchen would be nice, but then he reminds me that I also want a yellow house. I know better than to ask for AJ's pink kitchen, haha.

I love yellow!  My kitchen is yellow!  Aside from my soon-to-be-redecorated guest bathroom, it's the only room in my house I didn't repaint when I moved in because I fell in love with the bright yellow walls the first time I looked at the house.  I decorated it with teal and red accents, and it's so colorful and cute.  It makes me happy.  So I say go for the yellow kitchen and the yellow house!  A pink kitchen would be super cute too, but yellow is probably a better option for the hubs LOL.


Yes, can't wait! "Redrum" would really pop if the background was beige or neutral, just saying, lol. I wonder if you could cover up the screw holes with some other picture.

I know, I'd temporarily forgotten about it, but knew it was up your alley. There's also the actual Stanley Hotel if you're doing an epic Colorado tourist trip, lol. I'm glad you did. I would expect nothing less for this "Shining" bathroom.

So this is my other dilemma.  I'm planning to put REDRUM on the back of the door, cause he writes it on a door in the movie, but in the movie, the door is white.  My bathroom door is currently stained wood, not painted.  It's pretty the way it is and goes with the current bathroom better than white would, but REDRUM would definitely pop more on a white door.  So I have to decide if I want to paint it or not.  I can definitely cover up the screw holes in the walls with artwork, but not the places where the paint is peeling a bit.

I would love to visit the Stanley too!  I definitely need to plan a vacation to Colorado sometime - so much to see!


Do you often have ideas that come up in the moment as your writing or do most of them end up in the outline ahead of time?

You're probably right on all of that. And Charlotte's Web is so sad, so I can imagine being doubly sad if the scene itself is sad.

The big ideas are usually planned in advance in the outline, but I come up with a lot of little things on the spot as I'm writing.  I'm counting on that happening in the Kevin chapter I barely started today because I'm worried it's gonna be a boring one otherwise LOL.


...Heroes thrust together by destiny, lol. I think of all the things I've cut, the brotherly relationship and Nick as is are what's been most important to keep for me. It's just really not the same story without it. Now I've had to tweak it some to make it feel more earned, but on a whole, it's been preserved.

LOL! I get that. I wanted to keep Nick the same because he's my tiny muse. And I could see myself flubbing it up if I renamed him more than the others.

Heroes thrust together by destiny - absolutely!  I mean, that's basically what they are in real life LOL.  As far as their relationship goes, my favorite AU I've written is Song for the Undead because it has the found family trope.  Other than Brian and Kevin, none of them knew each other at the beginning, but they developed that bond as the story went on.

Gotta keep your muse's name the same!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 28, 2021, 12:43:04 AM
OMG, yes! The misogyny! It's interesting that you had an awareness for it that seeped into the writing without you realizing. I remember doing the same thing back then. I cringed a little rereading Beta Sig when Nick was monologing about how much he liked talking to Brian and literally thinks something to the effect of "I sound like a girl that wants to date Brian." (Misogynistic and homophobic! I'm the worst!) I think that's something that can happen with all creative works. They're really a product of their time, so even something praised can become something with cringey aspects over the years. Heck, look at Hamilton. Initially praised for its diversity in cast, now judged for "Founders Chic" and lack of diverse characters.

They are definitely a product of their time.  And I think we also have to remember that just because we write characters saying or thinking certain things doesn't mean that those words reflect something we ourselves would say.  My older stories also have the guys using words like "gay" and "retarded" as insults, which I myself would never say now and hope they wouldn't either, but that was the way people talked among their friends not so long ago.  It's true to the time, even if it's not PC now.

I also saw something about Book of Mormon cast members petitioning for revisions to that musical because of the way the Africans are portrayed or something.  The article I read did not say what, specifically, they wanted changed, but my thoughts on that are, there are so many things in that musical that could be considered offensive, but that's kind of the point!  The stereotypes, like that all Africans are poor and live in mud huts and have AIDS, are there at least partly to mock how naive Americans like the Mormon missionaries would see them.  I'm curious to see if Matt and Trey comment on it because they are so against PC culture.


A valid point! AJ would be pretty badass, but probably sprain his ankle from his tight pants, lol. What do you mean I can't put AJ in coma and have him be important? I thought this story was "AJ is Nick's guardian angel"?! LMAO!

My next related thought, and I'd love to be corrected if I'm wrong. Brian's been involved in pretty much everything Nick's been involved in to some degree, though not in a while, if I'm remembering correctly... I'm probably fine to just pick whatever, yeah?

I stand corrected - definitely make AJ Nick's crippled guardian angel who's actually in a coma!

Yeah, I agree about Brian.  He's definitely been kidnapped, held hostage, stricken down by disease (especially heart disease), and involved in romantic storylines.  Seems like nowadays he mostly exists to to have angsty sexual relationships with Nick, judging by what I've read on AO3 LOL.  So I'm not sure what you would do with him, but yeah, probably anything you come up with will work.


I do! I wonder why he changed from backwoods cannibals to zombies? I'm guessing Kevin hated it. LMAO! Nick the villain. He would be such a large ham! You watched Dr. Horrible, right? That's the type of villain I see Nick being.

LOL! The Headless Horseman would be lucky to get Nick's head, even though his hair was only okay in that film.

I know his original co-writer or producer (can't remember his exact role) passed away, and that's when the idea changed.  Nick would make a great cheesy, over the top villain!  Definitely something like Dr. Horrible LOL.

Yeah, The Hollow was not Nick at his finest in terms of looks, but I'd still take his head, long hair and all.  He was sure hot in those football pants though!


You're totally right, it is more of a Passover movie. It's just the second thing I think of when I think of The Ten Commandments, lol. LMAO! If "has a bunny" is the only qualification for an Easter movie, then is Donnie Darko an Easter movie? Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a classic though.

Same!  LOL Apparently so, because Donnie Darko also came up on Google's list of "Easter movies," as did Zootopia LOL.


It's not really anything tied to an era outside of being "classic Backstreet," but as usual, it's easier to blissfully avoid their lives away from BSB if you go earlier than Brian and Kevin's weddings, lol. I think I could get away with it too. It being a dramedy poking the edge of satire doesn't require intense grounding in reality. Although, now that I'm thinking about it, how would they get their stage set overseas? Did they have a second one constructed over there or did it just fly over in a cargo plane? I could probably still make my idea work just fine even if they had to go to Europe first; it really ends before the tour starts. What are the chances anyone has created a detailed timeline of their lives between Millennium getting released and embarking on the tour? This would probably help me out a lot.

I totally get the "no wives" thing.  You could also go with the Backstreet's Back tour.  They started that one in Canada in December 97 and then had shows in the States in January 98.  Then they had a second U.S. leg that started in July 98 after a two-month break for Brian's surgery.  I could see them doing some rehearsal before that second leg just because of Brian needing time to get back into the swing of things.

Those are really good questions about how they get their whole stage setup overseas.  I have no idea LOL.  See, that's the kind of stuff they should have covered in the documentary!  It would have been so helpful to us fanfic writers to see all that behind the scenes tour stuff.

Good ol' Backstreet.net is still online and has a timeline that may be helpful for keeping track of events from back then: http://backstreet.net/timeline.html


I'm very loyal. I pick a favorite and I stick with it. Movie, band, song, Backstreet Boy, whatever. Stuck, lol. All good, because Titanic, the Boys, QPG, and Nick are all great, lol.

Same here!  My favorites are so engrained in me at this point, it would take a lot to make me switch.  Even Brian promoting Parler couldn't make me revoke my Brian girl card.  The favorite song is a tough one though.  My favorite BSB song is Don't Wanna Lose You Now, with Siberia as a close second - but sometimes I go back and forth between which one I actually like better because I love them both so much.  I can't pick an all-time favorite song by anyone though.  I guess maybe it should be DWLYN, being my favorite song by my favorite group, but I don't know that it actually is LOL.  There are just too many good songs in the world.


It did not, lol. Instead of writing, I decided now was a great time to start making a Google Sheet to keep track of my word counts, lol.

Today was cooking day, so I got a later start, then tried to get on with my next scene, but ended up texting my BFF to get some medical issue questions answered in more layman's terms than google was giving me, lol. So now I have a bunch of medical knowledge for only a scene, but it will be so accurate. Unlike my Backstreet timeline, lol. I've written 47 words today, lol.

Edited to Add: Oh, I didn't name the story yet, but the first chapter has a name "Chapter One: My World is Half Asleep, or How I, Nick Carter, am a Victim of Circumstance"

LOL It happens.  I also have not had a productive writing day so far and chose to reorganize my bookshelves and weed out some books instead of writing.  Then I watched the gymnastics Olympics trials, and now I am here.  I'm glad you at least got some research done! 

LOL I love the first chapter's title!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 28, 2021, 07:56:51 PM
Yeah, but just think, most of those are one-shots.  For novelists like us, it's more comparable to talk about how many chapters we finish in a month LOL.

You're totally right! I keep forgetting! lol This is one of those stupid bias things. I just kind of assuming everyone's up to the same thing as me if not told otherwise (e.g., writing fanfic = writing novel-length stories); I have to stop doing that. I only finished five this month... but I finished nine the month before. Maybe I am prolific, lol.


Yes, and then their lifeboat sinks LOL.  Love it.  Yeah, in reality, a shipwreck nowadays would be much less disastrous because of all the safety regulations that were put in place BECAUSE of Titanic.  They have to have enough lifeboats for everyone now and do a lifeboat drill before departure.  When that cruise ship capsized off the coast of Italy a few years ago, I think only 30 some people died compared to 1,500 with Titanic - and that was probably a bigger boat with more people on it in the first place.  So it would definitely be a stretch.  I would probably stick with Nick's personal boat sinking over an entire cruise ship because that seems more plausible.  He seems to have had a lot of issues with boats over the years LOL.

But they save it and end up capsized on that island with a million venomous snakes near Brazil. And you just know one of them would start quoting Snakes on a Plane, lol. But also they would probably die... or at the very least get arrested because it's illegal to go there.

I've done a lifeboat drill. Hubs was distracting, because our meetup spot was a bar, so he kept asking me if they would give us drinks if the boat was sinking. And I was like, no I'm pretty sure that bar service is at the bottom of the list if this drill becomes reality, lol.

It is surprisingly easy to sink a pontoon or smaller! I know several people who have done it (and been shamed). Larger than a pontoon, it gets more difficult. So yes, I'm sure Nick will sink several more boats in his lifetime. That said, it's much easier to get yourself to safety if you're sinking a smaller boat -- it has less of that undertow(?)... I looked it up, this is called cavitation (where the boat makes that suction as it sinks by pulling air down with it).


I was pretty good at only focusing on one story at a time until my novels started getting longer and it took me longer than a month to finish them.  That's when I started overlapping stories, which can definitely become overwhelming.  I used to like having a main project and a side project so I always had something to work on even when I was feeling uninspired on my main story, but even that seems like too much for me now.  Like you, I've found I'm most successful at finishing things when I stick to one story at a time.  Hopefully your Nick-is-not-the-main-character story will give AJ a time to shine.  It took me me 13 years to write a Howie novel and 21 to get to Kevin, so I hear you.  But I also see nothing wrong with writing lots of Nick stories. ;)

I think that was why I stopped. I figured if I kept writing a bunch of other things, I'd never get them done, lol. I am giving myself PBox related leeway, since I'm still editing PNecklace. So if PDemons or OF PBox strikes me while I'm writing NABTMC, I'll probably still work on them. Or Snail, of course. Anything else, I'll get out the jabby part and then move on.

You know, it is so far. He popped into the second chapter for something really mundane and pretty much took charge of the scene he was in, so... I have high hopes for him going forward. :)


Yeah, I'm the same as far as not having enough for fun bonus features.  Whatever I originally wrote is usually similar enough to what I ended up with that I'm not sure anyone else would enjoy reading it.  The only ones I kinda wish I still had are the original beginnings for AHTIM because they were both so different from each other and from the third and final version.  That was a lesson in perseverance for me, and it might have been interesting for people who read that story to see all the different ways I planned for Nick to get from Point A to Point B in the first few chapters.

Does word do version history? I wonder if they'd be recoverable at all. That would be interesting because they're so different.


I am usually a little slower than that, but have managed to stay 8-9 chapters ahead of myself most of the time.  I was able to maintain weekly updates all the way through my last three finished multi-chapter stories - AHTIM, Heroic Measures, and Bethlehem - and so far so good with MBK.

With SAMS, I wrote everything in order except the prologue.  So I wrote Chapter 18 after 17 and then used an excerpt from it as my prologue.  I didn't originally plan on having a prologue, but I felt like my beginning needed a little something extra to create suspense.  I knew that scene would be coming eventually, so I waited until I got to that point in the story to write it and put it in as a prologue.  Then I was finally ready to start posting the story.

I believe in you! I think it's great that you've gotten to keep weekly updates going without having to take a brief hiatus. My real goal, hopefully, is to be able to get to the end of posting PNecklace and be able to start posting PDemons right away. My dream would be to finish this new story while I'm still posting PNecklace, actually. Like I still think it's a pretty short idea, so I'm hoping I can finish it up quickly.

Interesting! Is that typically what you'll use prologues for and are they something you use often?


From a storytelling perspective, that seems like the best place for the inciting incident - within the first couple chapters.  As I think about my stories, that's usually about where mine fall, too, but sometimes there's another pivotal moment or twist that comes up a little later, and that's really the point I want to get to to feel like I'm in the heart of the story.  Like with Bethlehem, I guess the inciting incident is the guys going to the cabin in Chapter 1, but really, the part I was waiting to get past was the car crash in Chapter 5 that kicks off the survival part of the story.  Curtain Call was similar - the inciting incident technically happened in Chapter 2, but the cancer bomb doesn't get dropped until the end of Chapter 5, which is a bigger moment in the story.  I have definitely shored it up since Broken, where it took me like 18 chapters to get to the point LOL.

I get it, you like to make it to the turning point for the first act. :) That makes sense, because that forces the characters to make a decision they usually can't go back from. Like Brian could have decided not to drive in the rain (not that I think he would have in those circumstances), but once he did, there was no turning around once that moose appeared.

I know it feels long in Broken, but Broken's also a long story and the turning point usually happens a little earlier than a 1/3 of the way through the story. I think Chapter 18 is totally justifiable for its length. Now, would you put it earlier, thus making Broken a shorter story if you wrote it today? That's possible.


No, I think I said it was 2001 or 2002 and was off by a couple years.  I was happy I could still click on the results of that poll and see them!  Guilty Roads/Austere Refuge actually came in 4th place.  The winning idea was the Brian romance, Divergence, which evolved into an idea called Surrender My Heart that I still have a folder for in the Future Stories section of my bookmarks.  It's there waiting for me if I ever feel like writing a historical romance AU or OF, but I have not had that urge LOL.  I enjoy history, but not so much historical fiction.  That was also the problem with the reincarnation idea, which was going to take place partly during the Civil War.  I loved that damn reincarnation idea and also still have bookmarks saved for it.  It evolved into a Brian idea since that poll, though, which lists it as an AJ one LOL.  Sorry, AJ.  I actually have a decent start to an outline and eight pages of actual story written for that one too, but for whatever reason, I stopped writing it in the middle of Chapter 1 and never went back to it.  According to my notes, the last time I added anything to the outline was in 2013, which was a WADD year for me.  I eventually started SAMS toward the end of that summer, so I guess that's why I never went back to the reincarnation one.

Of course a Brian romance would win. That's what the people wanted back then, lol! The amount of research historical fiction takes is crazy. Didn't Julilly used to write a bunch of it? I was always really impressed. Dare I suggest a Brian reincarnation horror story? lol


I love doing polls like that, but don't do them very often.  Besides this one, I only remember doing one other where I described several ideas I was considering and asked readers to vote.  That was in the summer of 2017, after I finished SAMS and was having major WADD trying to figure out what to write next. http://dreamers-sanctuary.com/2017-07-01/  I actually have since finished two of the four ideas on this one (#1 was Heroic Measures, #2 was A Heart that Isn't Mine) and am working on a third (#3 was My Brother's Keeper).  And #4 is the same Brian horror story I wrote the first scene for earlier this year.  So either I'm getting better at bringing ideas into fruition, or I just have fewer ideas to choose from these days LOL.

So you do polls when you're WADDing? Interesting. We're always here to bounce ideas too. Not totally quite the same as what your readership might want, but... it's good to get some outside perspective. Or vague questions, whatever.


LOL Yes!  Glad you jumped on your holiday story and got it written when the time felt right.  I did not do that with the fourth pandaskunk story idea I had last year (well, I started it, but did not finish it), and now half the idea won't work anymore unless I still set it in 2020.  But since I wrote the others all in the year they take place in, that takes some of the fun out of it.  This must be how the Boys feel about failing to deliver a Christmas album year after year LOL.  It's such a time-sensitive thing, and they are not good with being timely.  But hopefully this is the year!

If they get this far into it and don't finish it this year, I will laugh so hard. Not even be surprised, just laugh. I feel you on your Pandaskunk story though. Maybe something will strike this year or you can figure out a way to set the last one in 2020 and 2021 at the same time.


I love yellow!  My kitchen is yellow!  Aside from my soon-to-be-redecorated guest bathroom, it's the only room in my house I didn't repaint when I moved in because I fell in love with the bright yellow walls the first time I looked at the house.  I decorated it with teal and red accents, and it's so colorful and cute.  It makes me happy.  So I say go for the yellow kitchen and the yellow house!  A pink kitchen would be super cute too, but yellow is probably a better option for the hubs LOL.

Same. And I think it's a great color for a house because it feels both neutral and cheery. :) Your kitchen sounds adorable! I haven't really redecorated yet, but our next home, I have big plans, lol. Yes, the pink kitchen would make him sad.


So this is my other dilemma.  I'm planning to put REDRUM on the back of the door, cause he writes it on a door in the movie, but in the movie, the door is white.  My bathroom door is currently stained wood, not painted.  It's pretty the way it is and goes with the current bathroom better than white would, but REDRUM would definitely pop more on a white door.  So I have to decide if I want to paint it or not.  I can definitely cover up the screw holes in the walls with artwork, but not the places where the paint is peeling a bit.

I would love to visit the Stanley too!  I definitely need to plan a vacation to Colorado sometime - so much to see!

What if you got a Redrum needlepoint thing, framed it, and hung it on the door? It's not quite the same, but it would probably be white and would pop against the door that way and you could still keep it's nice stained wood look. Peeling paint is the worst.

Yes, we have so many wonderfully weird and macabre things, lol.


The big ideas are usually planned in advance in the outline, but I come up with a lot of little things on the spot as I'm writing.  I'm counting on that happening in the Kevin chapter I barely started today because I'm worried it's gonna be a boring one otherwise LOL.

How's it going? Glad you were able to get something started.


Heroes thrust together by destiny - absolutely!  I mean, that's basically what they are in real life LOL.  As far as their relationship goes, my favorite AU I've written is Song for the Undead because it has the found family trope.  Other than Brian and Kevin, none of them knew each other at the beginning, but they developed that bond as the story went on.

Gotta keep your muse's name the same!

lol! I don't know that I'd call Lou Pearlman destiny, but sure. I'm glad they were heroes thrust together by a ponzi schemer, lol. Love found family. That's PBox too.

I think he would be mad if I didn't, lol!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 28, 2021, 09:50:21 PM
They are definitely a product of their time.  And I think we also have to remember that just because we write characters saying or thinking certain things doesn't mean that those words reflect something we ourselves would say.  My older stories also have the guys using words like "gay" and "retarded" as insults, which I myself would never say now and hope they wouldn't either, but that was the way people talked among their friends not so long ago.  It's true to the time, even if it's not PC now.

I also saw something about Book of Mormon cast members petitioning for revisions to that musical because of the way the Africans are portrayed or something.  The article I read did not say what, specifically, they wanted changed, but my thoughts on that are, there are so many things in that musical that could be considered offensive, but that's kind of the point!  The stereotypes, like that all Africans are poor and live in mud huts and have AIDS, are there at least partly to mock how naive Americans like the Mormon missionaries would see them.  I'm curious to see if Matt and Trey comment on it because they are so against PC culture.

That's a valid point. If anything, characters should be different from us and if that's something they would say, they should say it (and get called out on it, and hopefully the Boys don't speak that way now, if they did then). But it's also good that we recognize it in our earlier works and are making the necessary adjustments to do better for our community when we catch ourselves writing something that could be problematic.

Uhhh... what? Like, they've seen the show right? I think you're totally right, that's the exact point of the show. If it gets changed, then that satire level is just absent. See this is what I dislike about PC culture. Something where the whole purpose is to say "this is crazy and offensive" is being called crazy and offensive. We should recognize our biases and have conversations with people when they are being biased (or racist, homophobic, etcetera), but we've gotta stop "canceling" everything.


I stand corrected - definitely make AJ Nick's crippled guardian angel who's actually in a coma!

Yeah, I agree about Brian.  He's definitely been kidnapped, held hostage, stricken down by disease (especially heart disease), and involved in romantic storylines.  Seems like nowadays he mostly exists to to have angsty sexual relationships with Nick, judging by what I've read on AO3 LOL.  So I'm not sure what you would do with him, but yeah, probably anything you come up with will work.

LMFAO! It was my joke initially, but just seeing you write it made it funnier.

Okay, well the way to subvert that is writing Brian in a relationship with his wife and I just don't feel like writing about her, so... I'm going to go with my original plan, lol. Which was not an angsty sexual relationship with Nick, lol.


I know his original co-writer or producer (can't remember his exact role) passed away, and that's when the idea changed.  Nick would make a great cheesy, over the top villain!  Definitely something like Dr. Horrible LOL.

Yeah, The Hollow was not Nick at his finest in terms of looks, but I'd still take his head, long hair and all.  He was sure hot in those football pants though!

Oh, that's sad. I didn't know that. :( Nick would be great at that, especially if he could be a singing supervillain!

Can't give a cute butt a bad haircut! lol Football pants, baseball pants, all great. :)


Same!  LOL Apparently so, because Donnie Darko also came up on Google's list of "Easter movies," as did Zootopia LOL.

WTF google? This belongs in that thread apparently, lol.


I totally get the "no wives" thing.  You could also go with the Backstreet's Back tour.  They started that one in Canada in December 97 and then had shows in the States in January 98.  Then they had a second U.S. leg that started in July 98 after a two-month break for Brian's surgery.  I could see them doing some rehearsal before that second leg just because of Brian needing time to get back into the swing of things.

Those are really good questions about how they get their whole stage setup overseas.  I have no idea LOL.  See, that's the kind of stuff they should have covered in the documentary!  It would have been so helpful to us fanfic writers to see all that behind the scenes tour stuff.

Good ol' Backstreet.net is still online and has a timeline that may be helpful for keeping track of events from back then: http://backstreet.net/timeline.html

Hmmm... that might actually work too! Great suggestion to go further back. Good ol' Backstreet.net! I haven't thought about you in forever, but what a blessing!

Next time they solicit fan questions, this is what I'm going to ask. What's the process of preparing for a tour? Please tell me about your job and not your underwear preferences! lol My first thought was actually boat, but then I remembered that cargo planes are a thing and not just passenger planes, lol.


Same here!  My favorites are so engrained in me at this point, it would take a lot to make me switch.  Even Brian promoting Parler couldn't make me revoke my Brian girl card.  The favorite song is a tough one though.  My favorite BSB song is Don't Wanna Lose You Now, with Siberia as a close second - but sometimes I go back and forth between which one I actually like better because I love them both so much.  I can't pick an all-time favorite song by anyone though.  I guess maybe it should be DWLYN, being my favorite song by my favorite group, but I don't know that it actually is LOL.  There are just too many good songs in the world.

Even Nick's whole blah. But we've discussed that already.

There are so many great songs! But favorite song by favorite band makes the most sense to me, so I've stuck with it.


LOL It happens.  I also have not had a productive writing day so far and chose to reorganize my bookshelves and weed out some books instead of writing.  Then I watched the gymnastics Olympics trials, and now I am here.  I'm glad you at least got some research done! 

LOL I love the first chapter's title!

I ended up writing around 500 words yesterday, and then about 200 editing, but yeah... Not productive at all. I mean cooking and laundry, sure! I think I just need to get into the groove with this story. I envisioned it as some sort of hilarious thing and it ended up more serious than I'd planned on. Curse you, Team Dark!

Thanks! I wanted them to be funny, but the idea of using song lyrics as chapter titles was also too good to pass up, lol.

How's your writing going today?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 28, 2021, 10:59:49 PM
You're totally right! I keep forgetting! lol This is one of those stupid bias things. I just kind of assuming everyone's up to the same thing as me if not told otherwise (e.g., writing fanfic = writing novel-length stories); I have to stop doing that. I only finished five this month... but I finished nine the month before. Maybe I am prolific, lol.

Yeah, even when I was an enthusiastic and prolific new teenybopper writer, I only averaged one "novel" a month - and I have since written short stories with a higher word count than some of those "novels" LOL.  They definitely wouldn't qualify for NaNoWriMo.

I think averaging a chapter a week is a good pace.  That's what I've been doing, too.  You doubled that in May; that's impressive!  It definitely makes you prolific in my book.  That's 14 stories in two months if each chapter was a one-shot! LOL


But they save it and end up capsized on that island with a million venomous snakes near Brazil. And you just know one of them would start quoting Snakes on a Plane, lol. But also they would probably die... or at the very least get arrested because it's illegal to go there.

I've done a lifeboat drill. Hubs was distracting, because our meetup spot was a bar, so he kept asking me if they would give us drinks if the boat was sinking. And I was like, no I'm pretty sure that bar service is at the bottom of the list if this drill becomes reality, lol.

It is surprisingly easy to sink a pontoon or smaller! I know several people who have done it (and been shamed). Larger than a pontoon, it gets more difficult. So yes, I'm sure Nick will sink several more boats in his lifetime. That said, it's much easier to get yourself to safety if you're sinking a smaller boat -- it has less of that undertow(?)... I looked it up, this is called cavitation (where the boat makes that suction as it sinks by pulling air down with it).

"I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking island!"  LOL Yeah, I could totally see that.

I dunno about the drink thing; remember Benjamin Guggenheim in Titanic who was like, "We are dressed in our best and prepared to go down as gentleman... but we would like a brandy!"  He was last seen sipping brandy by the Grand Staircase, so someone must have served him.  Of course, they also had music to drown by.  I do think things would be a little different nowadays LOL.

That makes sense that a smaller boat would be easier to escape from.  Thanks for teaching me a new word!  Jack Dawson didn't use that term when he was describing the suction. LOL


I think that was why I stopped. I figured if I kept writing a bunch of other things, I'd never get them done, lol. I am giving myself PBox related leeway, since I'm still editing PNecklace. So if PDemons or OF PBox strikes me while I'm writing NABTMC, I'll probably still work on them. Or Snail, of course. Anything else, I'll get out the jabby part and then move on.

You know, it is so far. He popped into the second chapter for something really mundane and pretty much took charge of the scene he was in, so... I have high hopes for him going forward. :)

That sounds like a good compromise.  And go AJ!  It's your time to shine!


Does word do version history? I wonder if they'd be recoverable at all. That would be interesting because they're so different.

No, but they were written in Google Docs.  I remembering making the choice to delete them and not back them up once I had my third beginning that I was happy with, knowing I would never be able to recover them, so they're gone forever.  They exist now only in my memory. LOL  The third version was more similar to the first version than the second; I even used some of the same dialogue from it, so at least there's that.


I believe in you! I think it's great that you've gotten to keep weekly updates going without having to take a brief hiatus. My real goal, hopefully, is to be able to get to the end of posting PNecklace and be able to start posting PDemons right away. My dream would be to finish this new story while I'm still posting PNecklace, actually. Like I still think it's a pretty short idea, so I'm hoping I can finish it up quickly.

That's a great goal!  I wish I could get to that point too, but I haven't managed to transition from one story to another without taking at least a few weeks off from updating.  But if you have enough chapters hoarded and the new story is short enough, you can do it!!


Interesting! Is that typically what you'll use prologues for and are they something you use often?

No... I think that's the only one where I used the prologue for a flash forward like that.  Most of my stories don't even have prologues; I only use them when I have some kind of introduction or shorter beginning that I want to be set apart from the rest of the story.  And now that I'm posting on AO3, where the first chapter posts as "Chapter 1" no matter what, I will probably go out of my way to avoid prologues altogether LOL.

How about you?  Are you a fan of the prologue and/or epilogue?


I get it, you like to make it to the turning point for the first act. :) That makes sense, because that forces the characters to make a decision they usually can't go back from. Like Brian could have decided not to drive in the rain (not that I think he would have in those circumstances), but once he did, there was no turning around once that moose appeared.

I know it feels long in Broken, but Broken's also a long story and the turning point usually happens a little earlier than a 1/3 of the way through the story. I think Chapter 18 is totally justifiable for its length. Now, would you put it earlier, thus making Broken a shorter story if you wrote it today? That's possible.

Yep, that makes sense.  I guess it's also like a turning point for me as the writer - once I have them make that decision and there's no turning back, it's full steam ahead, so I might as well start posting it LOL.

Yeah, relative to its length, I guess Chapter 18 isn't bad, but that also shows me that Broken could have been shorter LOL.


Of course a Brian romance would win. That's what the people wanted back then, lol! The amount of research historical fiction takes is crazy. Didn't Julilly used to write a bunch of it? I was always really impressed. Dare I suggest a Brian reincarnation horror story? lol

Yep, and I'm sure I had a lot of Brian girls reading because most of my stories were about Brian back then.  A lot of my ideas came from the desire to write another Brian romance without finding a way to get rid of Leighanne, hence the AU... except I don't really like AU, so I didn't get anywhere with them LOL.

I'm sure historical fiction does take a ton of research.  The closest I've come to that is Guilty Roads with the Amish aspect of its storyline, and I did not enjoy researching for that as much as I thought I would, so I think historical fiction would be a challenge for me.  Yet I can spend hours researching medical stuff LOL.  Julilly did write historical fiction - kudos to her!  It is definitely impressive.

There was a supernatural element and kind of a suspense/mystery subplot to the reincarnation idea, but not full on horror.  The horror idea I do have also contains a supernatural element, but no reincarnation.  If I had an idea for a reincarnation horror story, that actually sounds cool!  Maybe I'll be able to merge some ideas someday.


So you do polls when you're WADDing? Interesting. We're always here to bounce ideas too. Not totally quite the same as what your readership might want, but... it's good to get some outside perspective. Or vague questions, whatever.

Yep.  Thanks!  Maybe I'll bounce some ideas around here when I'm ready to start a new one.  I'll appreciate any perspective I can get!  As of right now, I have no idea what my next story will be (unless it's a MBK sequel), but I don't think that will be until next year, so I'm not worried about it right now.  I usually end up changing my mind anyway, or a new idea comes along.


If they get this far into it and don't finish it this year, I will laugh so hard. Not even be surprised, just laugh. I feel you on your Pandaskunk story though. Maybe something will strike this year or you can figure out a way to set the last one in 2020 and 2021 at the same time.

LOL I know, same here.  And shake my head.  Oh Boys...   But I have faith in them this year, knowing they've already recorded.  In this day and age, it can't possibly take that long to put together a Christmas album.  They don't even have to have all original songs!

So my Pandaskunk idea had a main plot and a subplot.  The main plot I can still use if I decide to write another one.  The subplot was specific to 2020, so I'd have to either scrap it, change it, or just keep the story in 2020.  It was going to be a parody of A Christmas Carol with the three ghosts visiting Brian to try to convince him not to do that Littrell family Christmas show everyone was mad at them for doing in the middle of the pandemic last year.  The three ghosts were going to be characters I'd already killed off in the previous pandaskunk stories, so it would have been perfect.  But I may be able to use the basic idea with a different goal.  I'm sure the Littrells will do something cringey again this year that I could make incorporate LOL.


Same. And I think it's a great color for a house because it feels both neutral and cheery. :) Your kitchen sounds adorable! I haven't really redecorated yet, but our next home, I have big plans, lol. Yes, the pink kitchen would make him sad.

Yes, exactly!  Yellow goes well with most other colors.  Decorating was my favorite part of buying a house instead of renting - so many more options!

Here's a pic of my kitchen: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jSIeTE__GaA8qIH5KTKPguNZGhxl9lAn/view?usp=sharing  It's very kitschy, but I love it.  My house was built in 1952, so kitschy works.


What if you got a Redrum needlepoint thing, framed it, and hung it on the door? It's not quite the same, but it would probably be white and would pop against the door that way and you could still keep it's nice stained wood look. Peeling paint is the worst.

Yes, we have so many wonderfully weird and macabre things, lol.

That's a good idea!  I do love those needlepoints that look so sweet and pretty and then say horrible things LOL.  But I already have the vinyl wall cling, so I'm gonna use that.  I think if I end up painting the walls, I will probably also do the door... but if I don't, then I probably won't.  I am indecisive right now LOL.  I did already paint the back of the door to my writing room, which was identical, so I might as well paint another one if it will look best.  My shower curtain came today, so now I can go look for paint chips and get a feel for what will work best with the color scheme.

Weird and macabre things are the best!  Ask Rose about her zombie-themed bathroom LOL.


How's it going? Glad you were able to get something started.

I actually ended up having a pretty good writing night last night!  Once I got off here and went upstairs to write, I churned out about 1,300 words and got a good start on my chapter.


lol! I don't know that I'd call Lou Pearlman destiny, but sure. I'm glad they were heroes thrust together by a ponzi schemer, lol. Love found family. That's PBox too.

I think he would be mad if I didn't, lol!

I mean, yes, they were clearly manufactured in the beginning, but I do think there was some destiny involved with the other original members quitting and them finding Kevin, who brought in Brian.  They would not be the same group without Kevin and Brian, so that part seems like it was meant to be.  LMAO at "heroes thrust together by a ponzi scheme."
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 28, 2021, 11:33:41 PM
That's a valid point. If anything, characters should be different from us and if that's something they would say, they should say it (and get called out on it, and hopefully the Boys don't speak that way now, if they did then). But it's also good that we recognize it in our earlier works and are making the necessary adjustments to do better for our community when we catch ourselves writing something that could be problematic.

Uhhh... what? Like, they've seen the show right? I think you're totally right, that's the exact point of the show. If it gets changed, then that satire level is just absent. See this is what I dislike about PC culture. Something where the whole purpose is to say "this is crazy and offensive" is being called crazy and offensive. We should recognize our biases and have conversations with people when they are being biased (or racist, homophobic, etcetera), but we've gotta stop "canceling" everything.

Yep, I totally agree with everything you said here.  We can always learn more and do better.  I'm all for education, but not a fan of cancel culture either.  People who are truly committed to learning and growing deserve a chance to do so.

There's definitely a difference between ignorance, intolerance, and satire.  Being PC is fine in society, but it takes the fun out of satire.  And, again, I don't know the specifics of who exactly made the complaint about Book of Mormon or what they were complaining about, but so many times, it seems like it's "woke" straight white people getting all offended on behalf of minorities who may or may not actually be offended themselves.  Having those conversations before launching into social justice warrior mode is so important, and while it's great to be an ally, sometimes we need to take a back seat and let whatever group we're fighting for be in the driver's seat.


Okay, well the way to subvert that is writing Brian in a relationship with his wife and I just don't feel like writing about her, so... I'm going to go with my original plan, lol. Which was not an angsty sexual relationship with Nick, lol.

LOL Totally understand that.  Although I actually kinda like writing Leighanne in small doses; even before last year, she was so easy to poke fun of.  Now I don't even feel remotely bad about doing so.  But go with your original plan!  I'm sure it'll be great!


WTF google? This belongs in that thread apparently, lol.

LOL For sure!  I forgot to mention The Passion of the Christ, which also came up and is a valid choice for an Easter movie, but damn... my story is depressing enough already LOL.


Hmmm... that might actually work too! Great suggestion to go further back. Good ol' Backstreet.net! I haven't thought about you in forever, but what a blessing!

Next time they solicit fan questions, this is what I'm going to ask. What's the process of preparing for a tour? Please tell me about your job and not your underwear preferences! lol My first thought was actually boat, but then I remembered that cargo planes are a thing and not just passenger planes, lol.

That would be a great question!  I imagine you're right about the cargo plane; they probably sent the stage over in pieces and build it there.  But really I have no idea.  I think that's also part of the reason I hate writing tour/concert stuff, because I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes besides the little snippets we've seen in their videos, so I can't draw on my own experience, and it's not an easy thing to research.  So much of what comes up when I have tried to look stuff like that up is geared toward garage bands, not famous pop groups on world tours.


I ended up writing around 500 words yesterday, and then about 200 editing, but yeah... Not productive at all. I mean cooking and laundry, sure! I think I just need to get into the groove with this story. I envisioned it as some sort of hilarious thing and it ended up more serious than I'd planned on. Curse you, Team Dark!

Thanks! I wanted them to be funny, but the idea of using song lyrics as chapter titles was also too good to pass up, lol.

How's your writing going today?

Aww.  It's hard to be a productive writer when you have stuff to do around the house too.  I hate adulting. LOL  It's also hard when you're not quite in the groove yet, whether it be with a new story or just a new chapter.  So it'll be a black comedy!  Those are the best.

I haven't even opened my story since waking up this afternoon LOL, but last night/this morning was good.  Hopefully tonight/tomorrow morning will be too!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 29, 2021, 12:15:42 AM
This is a great thread from the Writing subreddit.  "The most painful lessons I've learned about creative writing": https://www.reddit.com/r/writing/comments/o9l1rh/the_most_painful_lessons_ive_learned_about/

There's a lot of great advice in there.  Some of it is stuff we've already talked about, but I also took away some new tidbits.  Like changing the font when I'm rereading/editing to help my eyes catch missing words and other mistakes?  We were just talking about that in the WTF Google thread, so I'll have to try that as I give my chapters the final proofread before posting them.  I did try the writing in Comic Sans thing and didn't find it made much difference, but it's hard to tell from only one trial.

The one about outlining too much and treating your characters like puppets, forcing decisions and conflicts that don't really work for the sake of the potentially faulty plot, definitely hit home for me.  That is one problem us planners and plot-driven writers tend to run into.  I think I've gotten better at being flexible with my outlines and not forcing my characters to act uncharacterist ically, but it's still hard to change directions and go one way when I really wanted to go another way.

What advice stands out to you, and what would you add to it?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 29, 2021, 12:32:13 AM
Here's another good one I found on editing, with specific things to look for when proofreading a story: https://www.reddit.com/r/writing/comments/o9mi1k/run_a_consistency_check_on_your_work/
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 29, 2021, 05:20:02 AM
Our conversation about how the stage is transported overseas for a tour gave me an idea for another question for whoever wants to answer.  What are other aspects of celebrity/musician/rich people life you've wondered about while writing and never found a definite answer for (or maybe never even tried to find out)?

This sounds so dumb, but I don't really understand how gated communities and homes work.  Like for a gated community, is there a code you enter to open the gate, or is there a guard on duty all the time to let residents through?  What about the gates celebrities have in front of their driveways?  Do people have to enter a code to get through, or is there an intercom they can use to call the person who lives there to let them in?   Could it be either?  I don't live in an area with gated communities and don't know anyone who has a gate in front of their driveway, so this is something I'm completely unfamiliar with.

I also googled the question "Do celebrities have health insurance?" earlier in the writing of this story LOL.  I didn't know if really rich people needed it, or if they just paid out of pocket for whatever medical expenses came up.  The answer I got was probably yes, so that's what I went with.  It makes the most sense.  I mean, why would you pay way more than you needed to for healthcare, even if you could afford it?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: mare on June 29, 2021, 08:10:49 PM
Most celebrities have health coverage from wherever they are most employed by. Usually the artist or the actual record company supplies the coverage. That’s how it has worked for my friends in the music/movie industry.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 29, 2021, 09:14:29 PM
This is a great thread from the Writing subreddit.  "The most painful lessons I've learned about creative writing": https://www.reddit.com/r/writing/comments/o9l1rh/the_most_painful_lessons_ive_learned_about/

There's a lot of great advice in there.  Some of it is stuff we've already talked about, but I also took away some new tidbits.  Like changing the font when I'm rereading/editing to help my eyes catch missing words and other mistakes?  We were just talking about that in the WTF Google thread, so I'll have to try that as I give my chapters the final proofread before posting them.  I did try the writing in Comic Sans thing and didn't find it made much difference, but it's hard to tell from only one trial.

The one about outlining too much and treating your characters like puppets, forcing decisions and conflicts that don't really work for the sake of the potentially faulty plot, definitely hit home for me.  That is one problem us planners and plot-driven writers tend to run into.  I think I've gotten better at being flexible with my outlines and not forcing my characters to act uncharacterist ically, but it's still hard to change directions and go one way when I really wanted to go another way.

What advice stands out to you, and what would you add to it?

That is a lot of good advice, even if it's stuff we've talked about here. For the different font, this is part of my editing process! It's a lot of why I do use "suggest mode" to edit because it makes everything green. If I'm editing, I leave it all until I finish the chapter, then reread back the whole chapter with the green bits and it will usually end up helping me catch things I missed because I'm switching back and forth between the colors. Then the final step is posting to AC and giving it a cursory skim while I format. Since the AC font is so different, I will still catch a few things or notice a place the text is awkward. :)

The one that really resonated with me (I won't say stood out) was "If you start to hate writing or you feel like something isn’t right, STOP." I've said it before, but I think I honestly needed time off from writing to really get back into a creative head space. There were times fandom was lonely because of it, but it all worked out for the best. I think this is scary advice if writing is something anyone spends a lot of time on, but I think there's definitely a point where forcing through it just isn't worth it. All that said, I do think making writing a habit is a good thing, but if I was truly unmotivated, I think I would let the streak die for at least a little bit.

I can't think of other advice that isn't in there and painful. I guess it's that the times I've been happiest writing were when I tempered my expectations, "dance like no one is watching" if you will (except I will always dance even when people are watching, lol). There was something really freeing about telling myself "Chances are high that no one will read what you're writing." And of course it makes me happy that people do (I would love to talk to them more), but just still being interested in writing even if that was a high chance was enough to keep me going. I'm not explaining this well, lol.


Here's another good one I found on editing, with specific things to look for when proofreading a story: https://www.reddit.com/r/writing/comments/o9mi1k/run_a_consistency_check_on_your_work/

I laughed so hard at the comment later on about listing colors of furniture with semicolons. I am an ellipses nut! I should be better about them, but...


:biggrin:
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 29, 2021, 09:38:58 PM
Our conversation about how the stage is transported overseas for a tour gave me an idea for another question for whoever wants to answer.  What are other aspects of celebrity/musician/rich people life you've wondered about while writing and never found a definite answer for (or maybe never even tried to find out)?

I've always wanted to know what a typical work-day schedule is. Do they always wake up at the same time? Have the same breakfast? What personal things do they make time for (or only if they stick to a routine)? What's the absolute latest they can be for a sound check (or what have you) without getting called out on it? What's a post-show ritual they can't go to sleep without doing? I'm sure it's different for everyone.

How long do they get to practice their parts before recording? What's the turnaround time on learning choreography? Do they save mementos from tours? Like does someone still have their surfboard?

Just random stuff like that?


This sounds so dumb, but I don't really understand how gated communities and homes work.  Like for a gated community, is there a code you enter to open the gate, or is there a guard on duty all the time to let residents through?  What about the gates celebrities have in front of their driveways?  Do people have to enter a code to get through, or is there an intercom they can use to call the person who lives there to let them in?   Could it be either?  I don't live in an area with gated communities and don't know anyone who has a gate in front of their driveway, so this is something I'm completely unfamiliar with.

I have an answer for this, but you're not going to like it, lol! Because... it depends on the community. Many of the pricier ones will have gate attendants, but only for certain days or times (though I'm sure some may be staffed in shifts 24 hours a day, I just haven't run into any of those); I think this is more for security than actual gate attending. Otherwise, the gates are typically coded. Sometimes they have two different gates, one for residents and one for guests. And keycards for residents are becoming more of the norm than code boxes, though there is still that option for guests. The code a guest inputs might be tied to an individual home or it might be a communal "guest code" that changes frequently. I will add the caveat that I have not been to gated communities with A-lister celebrities, so they might lean more toward a staffed gate, but they also may not.

I can't speak for certain on the individual driveway gates one way or the other, but a friend does some contracting work for a local celebrity and says it's a code for them (I asked once, but more along the lines of "how do you get into their house if they aren't home to let you in?"). But I assume it depends on if they pay someone to watch that. I know that if I had a friend coming over, I'd rather they could just let themselves in instead of me having to press a million buttons to buzz them through, at least until they got to the actual front door, lol.

So like, Justin "24 hour parenting is not normal" Timberlake probably has a buzzer, whereas I could see Nick not wanting to get up from what he was doing to let someone in until they got to the door. Didn't Rose say she'd been to his area when she was younger? She might have a more Backstreet-adjacent specific answer on this one.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 29, 2021, 09:40:07 PM
Most celebrities have health coverage from wherever they are most employed by. Usually the artist or the actual record company supplies the coverage. That’s how it has worked for my friends in the music/movie industry.

This makes sense to me, because I think even if you could afford to pay full medical bills out of pocket, why would you want to?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on June 29, 2021, 09:45:36 PM
Aw yay, somewhere between 4 and 9 people were looking at PBox's featured story thread. Thanks guests!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 30, 2021, 03:45:19 AM
Most celebrities have health coverage from wherever they are most employed by. Usually the artist or the actual record company supplies the coverage. That’s how it has worked for my friends in the music/movie industry.

Hey, thanks!  That's good to know.  I figured they would have to get private insurance on their own since they don't have a typical job that would come with those kinds of benefits, but it makes sense that if they're signed to a record company, the record company would provide that.  I guess they would have a vested interest in making sure their acts have access to healthcare LOL.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 30, 2021, 04:37:33 AM
That is a lot of good advice, even if it's stuff we've talked about here. For the different font, this is part of my editing process! It's a lot of why I do use "suggest mode" to edit because it makes everything green. If I'm editing, I leave it all until I finish the chapter, then reread back the whole chapter with the green bits and it will usually end up helping me catch things I missed because I'm switching back and forth between the colors. Then the final step is posting to AC and giving it a cursory skim while I format. Since the AC font is so different, I will still catch a few things or notice a place the text is awkward. :)

You know, I use suggest mode when I'm giving my students feedback on their writing, but I always forget about it when I'm writing myself.  Normally I think all the green and strikethroughs would bother me, but I could have used it last night.  I ended up cutting out a few paragraphs from a previous Kevin chapter, but I didn't want to completely delete them until I had filled the gap between what came before that part and what came after to make sure it still flowed well, so I just awkwardly wrote around it until I felt comfortable deleting it.  That would have been the perfect time to turn on suggest mode.


The one that really resonated with me (I won't say stood out) was "If you start to hate writing or you feel like something isn’t right, STOP." I've said it before, but I think I honestly needed time off from writing to really get back into a creative head space. There were times fandom was lonely because of it, but it all worked out for the best. I think this is scary advice if writing is something anyone spends a lot of time on, but I think there's definitely a point where forcing through it just isn't worth it. All that said, I do think making writing a habit is a good thing, but if I was truly unmotivated, I think I would let the streak die for at least a little bit.

That one resonated with me as well.  I've never stopped writing for more than a few months at a time, but even in my day-to-day writing, I can tell when I've hit a wall and it's time to stop for that session because forcing myself to keep staring at the computer is not going to get me anywhere.  The nice thing about making it part of a daily routine is that I can just say, "I'll come back to this tomorrow, if not before" instead of wondering when I'll work up the motivation to open the story again.  The times when I have taken months off have been because I was busy and overwhelmed with real life stuff and couldn't devote enough time to writing without taking it away from something more important (but not necessarily enjoyable).  As much as I love it, fanfic just became one more thing that stressed me out because of the pressure I put on myself to keep writing, keep updating, so I had to give myself permission to take a break from it until I had more time.  When I was backdating chapters of SAMS on AO3 yesterday, I got to the point in the story where I literally didn't update it for eleven months because of that.  I'm glad I've been able to get back on track.  I'm sure that must have been even harder for you after being away so long, but it sounds like it was the right decision for you to make.  You do seem to be enjoying it a lot more than you did right before your hiatus. :)


I can't think of other advice that isn't in there and painful. I guess it's that the times I've been happiest writing were when I tempered my expectations, "dance like no one is watching" if you will (except I will always dance even when people are watching, lol). There was something really freeing about telling myself "Chances are high that no one will read what you're writing." And of course it makes me happy that people do (I would love to talk to them more), but just still being interested in writing even if that was a high chance was enough to keep me going. I'm not explaining this well, lol.

You explained it perfectly!  I get what you're saying, and I agree.  We've said it before, but we have to write for ourselves first and foremost - because we enjoy it, and because we have a story to tell that we believe in and want to finish, even if no one else reads it.  Feedback is wonderful, but so is the satisfaction of finishing a project you've worked hard on, whether or not anyone else acknowledges your effort.  It's that intrinsic motivation.

I think that comes with experience.  It's easier to write for yourself and not worry about feedback when you get to the point where you actually enjoy your own writing.  I still enjoy and look forward to feedback, but I don't beat myself up and wonder what I did wrong if I don't get it.  I hadn't gotten any in a couple weeks and had accepted that maybe what I'm enjoying writing just isn't what other people want to read right now.  Then, out of nowhere, I got a comment on my site from a reader who has given pretty regular feedback on the last few stories I wrote before MBK.  She apologized for being MIA the last few months, said she had just been busy, but got caught up on the story so far and was loving it.  Just a reminder that you never know who's reading or why someone may have stopped reading - often times it has nothing to do with your story at all.  We're just at that age where life happens.


I laughed so hard at the comment later on about listing colors of furniture with semicolons. I am an ellipses nut! I should be better about them, but...
:biggrin:

LOL!  I enjoy ellipses as long as they're not overused... and I love semicolons!  I did not understand the semicolon hate in that thread; I think semicolons are a sophisticated alternative to the comma and conjunction combo. ;)
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 30, 2021, 05:14:19 AM
I've always wanted to know what a typical work-day schedule is. Do they always wake up at the same time? Have the same breakfast? What personal things do they make time for (or only if they stick to a routine)? What's the absolute latest they can be for a sound check (or what have you) without getting called out on it? What's a post-show ritual they can't go to sleep without doing? I'm sure it's different for everyone.

How long do they get to practice their parts before recording? What's the turnaround time on learning choreography? Do they save mementos from tours? Like does someone still have their surfboard?

Just random stuff like that?

Those are all great questions!  I have also wondered what they do all day before a show (or at least before soundcheck).  And how quickly they can pick up new songs and choreography.  The videos of BackSync rehearsing at Lance's house were super cute.  They reminded me of the year I did a 90s boyband number with a group of teachers at my school for the teacher act in our talent show; we learned the choreo for Everybody and Bye Bye Bye and rehearsed in my classroom just like that LOL.

It seems like they do save mementos.  Brian loaned a ton of stuff to the Grammy Museum exhibit, so it seems like he keeps a lot.  AJ posted a TikTok with a shirt he'd worn onstage during the Black & Blue tour.  I'm not sure about the surfboards, but that would have been a cool thing to keep!

They should just film a reality show during their next tour or album cycle and give us some answers!


I have an answer for this, but you're not going to like it, lol! Because... it depends on the community. Many of the pricier ones will have gate attendants, but only for certain days or times (though I'm sure some may be staffed in shifts 24 hours a day, I just haven't run into any of those); I think this is more for security than actual gate attending. Otherwise, the gates are typically coded. Sometimes they have two different gates, one for residents and one for guests. And keycards for residents are becoming more of the norm than code boxes, though there is still that option for guests. The code a guest inputs might be tied to an individual home or it might be a communal "guest code" that changes frequently. I will add the caveat that I have not been to gated communities with A-lister celebrities, so they might lean more toward a staffed gate, but they also may not.

I can't speak for certain on the individual driveway gates one way or the other, but a friend does some contracting work for a local celebrity and says it's a code for them (I asked once, but more along the lines of "how do you get into their house if they aren't home to let you in?"). But I assume it depends on if they pay someone to watch that. I know that if I had a friend coming over, I'd rather they could just let themselves in instead of me having to press a million buttons to buzz them through, at least until they got to the actual front door, lol.

So like, Justin "24 hour parenting is not normal" Timberlake probably has a buzzer, whereas I could see Nick not wanting to get up from what he was doing to let someone in until they got to the door. Didn't Rose say she'd been to his area when she was younger? She might have a more Backstreet-adjacent specific answer on this one.

LOL I do like your answer because it sounds like it could be any of the above, which means whatever I've written on this topic in my stories was probably fine.  Thanks!  All that makes perfect sense.

I know Nick lives in a gated community called Southern Highlands, so he probably doesn't even have a gate in front of his own driveway.  Rose would probably know more.

Also, LMAO at Justin "24 hour parenting is not normal" Timberlake.  What an entitled douche.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: FrickingKaos on June 30, 2021, 06:39:09 PM
How is everyone’s writing going? I’ve been doing pretty good even without feedback, which like I said previously is very surprising. I usually am able to crank out a chapter a week, depending on when during the week I get one started. I try to shoot for updating on Mondays, Wednesday at the latest. I think this system has helped me a lot, not to mention it seems like I am more productive writing at night than I am during the day.

Does anyone else have a preferred time they write?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: FrickingKaos on June 30, 2021, 06:46:29 PM
In response to the gated community discussion I can kind of chime in here, my aunt lives in a gated community in Vegas just off of the Las Vegas strip. There was a gate at the entrance but not at each of the homes, and there was a little guard station but the guard wasn’t always there. I think she had to show some kind of card in front of the sensor fo the gate to go up.

I looked up where Nick lives and he lives on the edge of a golf course, according to google maps. His house is pretty easy to find, but it doesn’t have a gate around the actual house just around the community where he lives. Sorry for sounding like a stalker lol but I was on this website about celebrity homes and Nick’s just happened to be on there.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 30, 2021, 07:07:10 PM
How is everyone’s writing going? I’ve been doing pretty good even without feedback, which like I said previously is very surprising. I usually am able to crank out a chapter a week, depending on when during the week I get one started. I try to shoot for updating on Mondays, Wednesday at the latest. I think this system has helped me a lot, not to mention it seems like I am more productive writing at night than I am during the day.

Does anyone else have a preferred time they write?

You're on a roll!  Good for you!  Sounds like you've gotten into a good routine.

My writing is going pretty well this week, although I didn't write as much this morning as I have the last two days and am not going to make my Nano goal.  I'm on the last scene of Chapter 23, so my goal for today is just to finish that chapter so I can start July Camp Nano on a new chapter.

Here is our group again, in case anyone else would like to join us and set a goal for Camp Nano.  It starts tomorrow!  https://nanowrimo.org/writing-groups/the-absolutely-chaotic-backstreet-project

I am back to my night owl writing routine as well.  I had been doing my best writing first thing in the morning after I wake up, but now that I'm staying up later and sleeping until later in the day, I can't justify staying in bed ALL day to write.  At some point I have to get up and take care of stuff I can't do in the middle of the night, like errands and yard work.  So I've switched to writing late at night, which has always been my favorite time to write.  It has rained like every night the last two weeks, so I've been going upstairs to my writing room where I can hear the rain on the roof and open the window because it's cooler at night, and it's been so pleasant!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 30, 2021, 07:14:43 PM
In response to the gated community discussion I can kind of chime in here, my aunt lives in a gated community in Vegas just off of the Las Vegas strip. There was a gate at the entrance but not at each of the homes, and there was a little guard station but the guard wasn’t always there. I think she had to show some kind of card in front of the sensor fo the gate to go up.

I looked up where Nick lives and he lives on the edge of a golf course, according to google maps. His house is pretty easy to find, but it doesn’t have a gate around the actual house just around the community where he lives. Sorry for sounding like a stalker lol but I was on this website about celebrity homes and Nick’s just happened to be on there.

Thanks, Tracy!  That looks like how Nick's community works too.  I have also creeped it on Google Maps and used Street View to see what the entrance to the community looks like.  There's a sign directing visitors to check in at the guard station, whereas residents can scan their card or whatever for the gate to go up.

It's crazy how much information you can find on the internet these days.  That's how I was able to piece together a blueprint of Kevin's old house, because there are still pictures from the real estate listing online from when he sold it back in 2009.  I've got the same thing for Nick's Franklin house and relied on those pictures a lot when I was writing Curtain Call and other stories that took place when he still owned it.  It is helpful to us as writers, but also a little scary when it comes to finding info on their current homes.  Good thing they have those gates and security guards! LOL
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: FrickingKaos on June 30, 2021, 07:15:29 PM
That’s awesome you’ve kept at it. I think what’s helping me stay on track is listening to music while I write. It doesn’t matter what music really, just any music. I also watch science fiction movies if I’m home for background noise. Titan A.E. Was a huge inspiriation for Take Me Home even though the stories aren’t that similar. I just always thought the character of Cale reminded me of Nick even though Matt Damon plays him lol
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on June 30, 2021, 07:26:51 PM
Music is so helpful to me too!  I go through phases with it, and once in a while I will write in silence, but usually I'm listening to something.  I almost always have to have instrumental music, unless I'm already really inspired and on a roll because, otherwise, music with lyrics will distract me.  What music has inspired you lately?

I don't usually write in front of the TV unless I have some kind of ambience video on, but this morning I wrote a little bit while watching ER reruns on the Pop channel.  I only wrote 129 words though, so that was not so successful LOL.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: mare on June 30, 2021, 07:42:07 PM
I’m sorry if you’ve already done this, but can you explain this nano writing thing? Does it have to be fanfic? I don’t really understand what that’s all about.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: FrickingKaos on June 30, 2021, 08:23:50 PM
Music is so helpful to me too!  I go through phases with it, and once in a while I will write in silence, but usually I'm listening to something.  I almost always have to have instrumental music, unless I'm already really inspired and on a roll because, otherwise, music with lyrics will distract me.  What music has inspired you lately?

I don't usually write in front of the TV unless I have some kind of ambience video on, but this morning I wrote a little bit while watching ER reruns on the Pop channel.  I only wrote 129 words though, so that was not so successful LOL.

Not any music in particular. Just music that happens to fit the scene I’m writing at the time. I listen to all sorts of stuff, from broadway musicals to rock and rap, everything in between.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 01, 2021, 12:10:32 AM
I’m sorry if you’ve already done this, but can you explain this nano writing thing? Does it have to be fanfic? I don’t really understand what that’s all about.

No, it can be any kind of writing!  It's through NaNoWriMo, which is short for National Novel Writing Month in November.  There the goal is write a 50,000 novel in a month.  (I don't know how anyone can do that. LOL)  Camp Nano is like a less formal version run in April and July, where you can set any goal you want with any piece of writing, even if it's already in progress.  You just create a "project" and set the word count you want to hit by the end of the month.  Then you update it throughout the month and earn badges by making progress and updating so many days in a row.  It's fun, and it has definitely made me feel more accountable.  Go to nanowrimo.org to create an account, and then you can join our group at the link I posted.  Let me know if you need any help!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 01, 2021, 12:16:15 AM
Here is our group again, in case anyone else would like to join us and set a goal for Camp Nano.  It starts tomorrow!  https://nanowrimo.org/writing-groups/the-absolutely-chaotic-backstreet-project

Yes, join us! (I'm like the children of the corn, lol.)

I’m sorry if you’ve already done this, but can you explain this nano writing thing? Does it have to be fanfic? I don’t really understand what that’s all about.

Would love to do so! So NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. They're a non-profit with two main goals: get people writing, but especially get young people writing. So the money they fundraise both goes toward keeping the lights on and supporting their young writers program. Their big event is the aforementioned National Novel Writing Month in November. The idea is that you start a new novel from scratch on November 1st and try to write 50,000 words during the month. (They're less stringent now than they used to be, so an intense level of pre-planning, working on an existing project, and writing fanfic are all now fine when they wouldn't have been before.) The site runs year round, but they run Camp NaNo in April and July. They used to put you in cabins with similar people to start writing groups, but now writing groups run all year long so you can find whatever groups to be part of. For the actual NaNo event, 50,000 word novel is really the plan. But for the Camp events you can write anything: poetry, non-fiction, screenplays, whatever (they're starting a memoir coaching track for this next one). And, unlike the Official NaNoWriMo, you can set your own word count, so it doesn't have to be 50,000.

It's fun, you get little badges and charts on your progress. Plus, you can find out just how many words you write in a minute, lol.

I'll pop back in later to respond to everything else, but saw this and figured I could give it a quick answer. Let me know if it doesn't make sense -- I am two fun glasses of wine deep because the bestie and I were both having kind of a bum day. But I did still finish editing and posting my update before Wednesday ended even though AC and AO3 think it's Thursday, so I'm still on top of things! Maybe...  :-*


Edited to add: Julie beat me to it, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 01, 2021, 12:26:55 AM
Update:  I did not make 50,000 words, but I was within 5,000 words of it and did finish Chapter 23 with about ten minutes to spare before midnight LOL.  Also, my average writing speed came up to 5 words per minute! Haha.  I'm aiming for 25,000 words in July, but hoping I can surpass that and come closer to 30,000.

Edit: I had a Nano troubleshootin g question here earlier, but I figured it out, so never mind.  I clicked a link in my email to register for Camp Nano the other day, and it prompted me to make a new project.  Then I realized I didn't really want it to be listed as a separate project since I'm still working on the same story, but I couldn't figure how how to set a new goal for my old MBK project and tie it to July Camp Nano because that wasn't coming up as an option.  I finally figured out that if I deleted the new project so I no longer had one associated with July Camp Nano, it would come up as an option for a new goal on the old project.  So what's what I did.  Now I'm ready! LOL
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 01, 2021, 12:30:39 AM
Yes, join us! (I'm like the children of the corn, lol.)

Come and write with us... forever... and ever... and ever.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: mare on July 01, 2021, 05:33:32 AM
Thanks for all the info ladies. Seems a little overwhelming for me this time around, but maybe next time I’ll be ready to write something.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: Rose on July 01, 2021, 05:41:12 AM
Soooo I've been looking at my notes for current stories. I probably won't commit to writing on them until I get moved in three weeks and my life settles a little. But I'm looking and I feel like that's a start.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 01, 2021, 05:57:53 AM
Thanks for all the info ladies. Seems a little overwhelming for me this time around, but maybe next time I’ll be ready to write something.

No worries!  You can create a project and set a goal for yourself on there anytime, even outside of the set months when they have an event running.  It's kinda fun to track your progress once you get into a routine.


Soooo I've been looking at my notes for current stories. I probably won't commit to writing on them until I get moved in three weeks and my life settles a little. But I'm looking and I feel like that's a start.

Yay!!  That is a great start!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: Rose on July 02, 2021, 05:38:36 AM
I definitely have a lot of emotions I want to channel into writing this year. I've been doing notes, so I figure post move I'll probably dive in. I've also had an idea for a story but I'll sit on that till I finish something.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 02, 2021, 10:08:50 PM
Obviously everyone copes with grief differently, but writing was a great escape and distraction for me after my grandpa died a few years ago.  That is when I finally got going on A Heart That Isn't Mine, and I've been writing consistently ever since.  So channel those emotions, girl!  I hope something great comes from it.  I would love to see you finish When the Daylight's Gone, and I'm curious about this new idea!  Dee and I are here a 00Carter revival whenever the time is right, too.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 03, 2021, 02:25:58 PM
Yeah, even when I was an enthusiastic and prolific new teenybopper writer, I only averaged one "novel" a month - and I have since written short stories with a higher word count than some of those "novels" LOL.  They definitely wouldn't qualify for NaNoWriMo.

I think averaging a chapter a week is a good pace.  That's what I've been doing, too.  You doubled that in May; that's impressive!  It definitely makes you prolific in my book.  That's 14 stories in two months if each chapter was a one-shot! LOL

Same. Although, comparing my teenybopper novels to middle grade novels they seem almost close in word count? So... Maybe right on the money for age.

Haha, I'll tell that to the one-shot readers. ;) PNecklace was about one chapter every four days, but this new one is going much slower. I think because I stopped the first chapter in various points, I'm not sure how long my chapters will be on average, so I'm stuck on the second one.  :shrug: It did dawn on me yesterday though that the last time I'd written a scene for it (very excitedly) was the week I listened to Millennium on repeat for its anniversary. So, I'm trying to mood listen right now to get back in the groove. We'll see how it goes.

In general, I think a chapter a week is a good pace. It gives you space to think if you need it, but also keeps you from stalling too much.


"I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking island!"  LOL Yeah, I could totally see that.

I dunno about the drink thing; remember Benjamin Guggenheim in Titanic who was like, "We are dressed in our best and prepared to go down as gentleman... but we would like a brandy!"  He was last seen sipping brandy by the Grand Staircase, so someone must have served him.  Of course, they also had music to drown by.  I do think things would be a little different nowadays LOL.

That makes sense that a smaller boat would be easier to escape from.  Thanks for teaching me a new word!  Jack Dawson didn't use that term when he was describing the suction. LOL

Exactly! lol!

If only we could sink in comfort these days, lol! I think now it's all about evacuating safely and efficiently, ergo, no time to serve evacuation drinks.

The smaller ones have less of the slorp going on. Just think of the sheer force of that suction from a luxury liner!  It was bothering me that I didn't know the word, so you're welcome, lol. And no, Jack Dawson is not one for large technical words. He also remembered fishing on a lake that hadn't been invented yet, so...


No, but they were written in Google Docs.  I remembering making the choice to delete them and not back them up once I had my third beginning that I was happy with, knowing I would never be able to recover them, so they're gone forever.  They exist now only in my memory. LOL  The third version was more similar to the first version than the second; I even used some of the same dialogue from it, so at least there's that.

I forgot, you make new documents instead of greenlining over things, lol. Interesting. Why do you think you leaned toward something more similar to the first than a combination of the two or a completely new option?

Love your little Titanic reference, lol.


That's a great goal!  I wish I could get to that point too, but I haven't managed to transition from one story to another without taking at least a few weeks off from updating.  But if you have enough chapters hoarded and the new story is short enough, you can do it!!

Thanks for the vote of confidence! :) It is not going well so far, two days in, lol. We'll see what happens. I have until November to figure it out, so that's comforting at least.


No... I think that's the only one where I used the prologue for a flash forward like that.  Most of my stories don't even have prologues; I only use them when I have some kind of introduction or shorter beginning that I want to be set apart from the rest of the story.  And now that I'm posting on AO3, where the first chapter posts as "Chapter 1" no matter what, I will probably go out of my way to avoid prologues altogether LOL.

How about you?  Are you a fan of the prologue and/or epilogue?

I don't really use them? I think PBox had a paragraph related to the actual myth of Pandora's box, but nothing that necessarily affected the story itself. I also don't really use epilogues either.

But I think what you use them for make sense. Something short to be set apart.


Yep, that makes sense.  I guess it's also like a turning point for me as the writer - once I have them make that decision and there's no turning back, it's full steam ahead, so I might as well start posting it LOL.

Yeah, relative to its length, I guess Chapter 18 isn't bad, but that also shows me that Broken could have been shorter LOL.

Haha, so up until the characters reach the turning point, you could turn back and say "nope" to the story. That's overall how I feel about posting: oh well, it's up, the plot is what it is at this point.

Sure, you know that now, but you didn't then. Broken is the exact length it needed to be at that time. :)


Yep, and I'm sure I had a lot of Brian girls reading because most of my stories were about Brian back then.  A lot of my ideas came from the desire to write another Brian romance without finding a way to get rid of Leighanne, hence the AU... except I don't really like AU, so I didn't get anywhere with them LOL.

I'm sure historical fiction does take a ton of research.  The closest I've come to that is Guilty Roads with the Amish aspect of its storyline, and I did not enjoy researching for that as much as I thought I would, so I think historical fiction would be a challenge for me.  Yet I can spend hours researching medical stuff LOL.  Julilly did write historical fiction - kudos to her!  It is definitely impressive.

There was a supernatural element and kind of a suspense/mystery subplot to the reincarnation idea, but not full on horror.  The horror idea I do have also contains a supernatural element, but no reincarnation.  If I had an idea for a reincarnation horror story, that actually sounds cool!  Maybe I'll be able to merge some ideas someday.

Makes sense that your readership would mimic your writing. In regards to getting rid of Leighanne, may I suggest the always delightful "set prior to INBYH's American version video and/or ALAYLM video," problem solved and "getting rid" unnecessary! (Admittedly, I'm fuzzy on this release timeline... I think ALAYLM may have been first?) Or realistically, as long as it was before they got married, it's a lot easier to get rid of a girlfriend than a wife (though not impossible if you consider divorce rate statistics). Relationships can all end in mundane ways under the "right" circumstances that have nothing to do with catastrophe. But I get it, hard when you want to keep stories more modern.

I think we all have our "thing" that we will pour hours into researching, then eventually look at the clock and go "oh well!" Yours is medical research, mine is myths and legends, etcetera. But, I think it is a testament to our craft that we will research what needs to be researched for the good of the story. I think for historical fiction, it would depend on the "history" for me. Like, I feel kind of "meh" about history the more modern it becomes. As far as American history goes, I'd probably be more interested in writing historical fiction about the Revolutionary War than the Civil War than either of the World Wars, and so on. Whereas, I think I've mentioned before that I spent several years checking out "The Complete Gods and Goddesses" from the library, and eventually purchased a copy, just for fun. And I think in general, I'm much happier researching anything that has to do with arts and culture, than say... politics or military anything (which you'd never know because I can definitely talk your ear off about the evolution of weaponry on battlefields or the rise and fall of dynasties -- though some more in depth than others).

Julilly, come back and tell us about your process for researching historical fiction! (We need an @ system, then it would be easy to summon people with specific questions for them instead of Mare's "I think I saw my name in here somewhere" posts every now and again.)

I'm always here for more supernatural elements! Always wishing you well in your endeavors. :)


Yep.  Thanks!  Maybe I'll bounce some ideas around here when I'm ready to start a new one.  I'll appreciate any perspective I can get!  As of right now, I have no idea what my next story will be (unless it's a MBK sequel), but I don't think that will be until next year, so I'm not worried about it right now.  I usually end up changing my mind anyway, or a new idea comes along.

I appreciated your input this past week (it gave me some things to chew on), so I'll always return the favor. Definitely focus on MBK! (I've said it before and I'll say it again when a topic leads to speculation on future endeavors.)


LOL I know, same here.  And shake my head.  Oh Boys...   But I have faith in them this year, knowing they've already recorded.  In this day and age, it can't possibly take that long to put together a Christmas album.  They don't even have to have all original songs!

So my Pandaskunk idea had a main plot and a subplot.  The main plot I can still use if I decide to write another one.  The subplot was specific to 2020, so I'd have to either scrap it, change it, or just keep the story in 2020.  It was going to be a parody of A Christmas Carol with the three ghosts visiting Brian to try to convince him not to do that Littrell family Christmas show everyone was mad at them for doing in the middle of the pandemic last year.  The three ghosts were going to be characters I'd already killed off in the previous pandaskunk stories, so it would have been perfect.  But I may be able to use the basic idea with a different goal.  I'm sure the Littrells will do something cringey again this year that I could make incorporate LOL.

Especially with most holiday songs in the public domain. I think it will be fine and finally come out. Though, I do hope at least some of them are original.

LMAO! I love this concept. I'm sure you'll have something just as cringey to draw from at some point.


Yes, exactly!  Yellow goes well with most other colors.  Decorating was my favorite part of buying a house instead of renting - so many more options!

Here's a pic of my kitchen: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jSIeTE__GaA8qIH5KTKPguNZGhxl9lAn/view?usp=sharing  It's very kitschy, but I love it.  My house was built in 1952, so kitschy works.

I adore your kitchen! It's so big and cute! :)

I've enjoyed putting nails in the walls -- something my mother would have never let me do in our apartments when I was growing up, lol. Like I never knew how much I loved frames until I could actually hang things where the weight of a frame wouldn't be a deterrent. But on a whole, I haven't super redecorated our house, since hubs has been contemplating the timeline for either selling it (or possibly keeping it as a rental property) since I moved in with him, so I just didn't want to get too attached to a pricey renovation project if we were moving elsewhere in the next few years. I am looking forward to really personalizing our next place though.


That's a good idea!  I do love those needlepoints that look so sweet and pretty and then say horrible things LOL.  But I already have the vinyl wall cling, so I'm gonna use that.  I think if I end up painting the walls, I will probably also do the door... but if I don't, then I probably won't.  I am indecisive right now LOL.  I did already paint the back of the door to my writing room, which was identical, so I might as well paint another one if it will look best.  My shower curtain came today, so now I can go look for paint chips and get a feel for what will work best with the color scheme.

Weird and macabre things are the best!  Ask Rose about her zombie-themed bathroom LOL.

I figured you would and it goes with the kitschy 1952 vibe of your home, lol. How's life with your new shower curtain? Has it made you feel more stabby? lol

@Rose (see, how great would this be?), I think this is a call for you to post a picture of your bathroom.


I actually ended up having a pretty good writing night last night!  Once I got off here and went upstairs to write, I churned out about 1,300 words and got a good start on my chapter.

Woop! (I'm delayed, so I will hold off on my "how's writing going" related questions.)


I mean, yes, they were clearly manufactured in the beginning, but I do think there was some destiny involved with the other original members quitting and them finding Kevin, who brought in Brian.  They would not be the same group without Kevin and Brian, so that part seems like it was meant to be.  LMAO at "heroes thrust together by a ponzi scheme."

Kevin getting Brian out of class was probably one of the best things that ever happened to Brian. I just can't picture us adoring a Charles and a Sam, lol. Team Kentucky cousins forever! And equally great, thank goodness AJ and Nick auditioned despite being out of the age range the ad specified! And that Howie auditioned twice. Just... all meant to be. :)

Hey, not all heroes can have such picturesque origin stories, okay? LOL! (On a side note, when Gobosei gets its rewrite, this might end up in the summary, since it's still funny a week later, lol.)
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 03, 2021, 02:42:02 PM
Yep, I totally agree with everything you said here.  We can always learn more and do better.  I'm all for education, but not a fan of cancel culture either.  People who are truly committed to learning and growing deserve a chance to do so.

There's definitely a difference between ignorance, intolerance, and satire.  Being PC is fine in society, but it takes the fun out of satire.  And, again, I don't know the specifics of who exactly made the complaint about Book of Mormon or what they were complaining about, but so many times, it seems like it's "woke" straight white people getting all offended on behalf of minorities who may or may not actually be offended themselves.  Having those conversations before launching into social justice warrior mode is so important, and while it's great to be an ally, sometimes we need to take a back seat and let whatever group we're fighting for be in the driver's seat.

I agree with all of this. Actually, I would argue that if any of us are being a true ally (the type that has the conversations and provides the support that we're asked for rather than making assumptions), we should always be in the back seat. And what's equally frustrating is that many of these "woke people" will only jump on being these social justice warrior types when it's the "hip thing to do." Like a year later, I've taken many DEI focused trainings because it's something I'm actively exploring, but in general, it's not something I'm having many day-to-day conversations about anymore. And it's terrible that these things that are actually flaws and issues in society are treated like "fads."


LOL Totally understand that.  Although I actually kinda like writing Leighanne in small doses; even before last year, she was so easy to poke fun of.  Now I don't even feel remotely bad about doing so.  But go with your original plan!  I'm sure it'll be great!

See, I have no plans for her character outside of "poking fun," so it just doesn't seem worth it to include her, lol.


LOL For sure!  I forgot to mention The Passion of the Christ, which also came up and is a valid choice for an Easter movie, but damn... my story is depressing enough already LOL.

I agree that's definitely a valid choice (definitely more than Monty Python, lol), but you're right, very depressing.


That would be a great question!  I imagine you're right about the cargo plane; they probably sent the stage over in pieces and build it there.  But really I have no idea.  I think that's also part of the reason I hate writing tour/concert stuff, because I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes besides the little snippets we've seen in their videos, so I can't draw on my own experience, and it's not an easy thing to research.  So much of what comes up when I have tried to look stuff like that up is geared toward garage bands, not famous pop groups on world tours.

It just doesn't seem cost effective to have two different stages. Yes! And it's the "not actual stage show" stuff that is interesting to write about a tour, especially because our perspective on a tour is probably very different from theirs.

Like what do they really think about while one of the other Boys is singing and they're doing choreography they've practiced a million times or even just sitting on the stools. I assume not laundry or anything, but there's had to be times where Brian's passionately singing INBYH and Nick is just contemplating a cheeseburger or how badly he has to use the bathroom, lol.


Aww.  It's hard to be a productive writer when you have stuff to do around the house too.  I hate adulting. LOL  It's also hard when you're not quite in the groove yet, whether it be with a new story or just a new chapter.  So it'll be a black comedy!  Those are the best.

I haven't even opened my story since waking up this afternoon LOL, but last night/this morning was good.  Hopefully tonight/tomorrow morning will be too!

I'm finally on Summer Break, so I think I'll have plenty of time to do house stuff and write! :) Yeah, I'm averaging about 500 words a day on this new story, which is much lower than PNecklace was... Blah! It's my fault for trying to be realistic instead of funny, haha.

You really are in your night groove if you're not opening it in the afternoons at all.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 03, 2021, 03:03:51 PM
You know, I use suggest mode when I'm giving my students feedback on their writing, but I always forget about it when I'm writing myself.  Normally I think all the green and strikethroughs would bother me, but I could have used it last night.  I ended up cutting out a few paragraphs from a previous Kevin chapter, but I didn't want to completely delete them until I had filled the gap between what came before that part and what came after to make sure it still flowed well, so I just awkwardly wrote around it until I felt comfortable deleting it.  That would have been the perfect time to turn on suggest mode.

I wish you could change the color, lol. I'd rather mine were pink or something. I'm always jealous that I get stuck with green and other people get to pink. Yeah, suggest mode it the best whenever I'm trying to work around something I wrote, then changed my mind on. That way, I can still see it as I flesh out the scene around or instead of it. I haven't been using it as much on this story and I'm forgetting how easy it makes things if I come back to them after a few days. If it's a previous chapter, but I'm not ready to part with it yet, I'll usually move it into a new document -- either "deleted scenes" or "edits."


That one resonated with me as well.  I've never stopped writing for more than a few months at a time, but even in my day-to-day writing, I can tell when I've hit a wall and it's time to stop for that session because forcing myself to keep staring at the computer is not going to get me anywhere.  The nice thing about making it part of a daily routine is that I can just say, "I'll come back to this tomorrow, if not before" instead of wondering when I'll work up the motivation to open the story again.  The times when I have taken months off have been because I was busy and overwhelmed with real life stuff and couldn't devote enough time to writing without taking it away from something more important (but not necessarily enjoyable).  As much as I love it, fanfic just became one more thing that stressed me out because of the pressure I put on myself to keep writing, keep updating, so I had to give myself permission to take a break from it until I had more time.  When I was backdating chapters of SAMS on AO3 yesterday, I got to the point in the story where I literally didn't update it for eleven months because of that.  I'm glad I've been able to get back on track.  I'm sure that must have been even harder for you after being away so long, but it sounds like it was the right decision for you to make.  You do seem to be enjoying it a lot more than you did right before your hiatus. :)

Exactly! That's what I enjoy about the streak routine aspect of it. I think that opening and staring at blank pages was a horrible routine to get into, because it just reminded me that I had nothing on a constant basis. But now, I can think, "well, at least I wrote something," even if I hate it and end up deleting it later. But I've also learned my limits from my hiatus and think that I can better recognize when something isn't working and be better about giving myself grace (however, I definitely want to make it to 150 days, what an accomplishment!).

I think it's important to take a break, even if it's a hobby we love, since a stressful hobby is not very fun! And if eleven months was what you needed, then it's good you took it until it felt like fun and not stress again. :) There's times when eventually something just has to give when there's too much on your plate.

Looking back at early chapters of PNecklace, I was rustier than I thought when I started up again, haha. On a whole, I feel much better about everything now. :)


You explained it perfectly!  I get what you're saying, and I agree.  We've said it before, but we have to write for ourselves first and foremost - because we enjoy it, and because we have a story to tell that we believe in and want to finish, even if no one else reads it.  Feedback is wonderful, but so is the satisfaction of finishing a project you've worked hard on, whether or not anyone else acknowledges your effort.  It's that intrinsic motivation.

I think that comes with experience.  It's easier to write for yourself and not worry about feedback when you get to the point where you actually enjoy your own writing.  I still enjoy and look forward to feedback, but I don't beat myself up and wonder what I did wrong if I don't get it.  I hadn't gotten any in a couple weeks and had accepted that maybe what I'm enjoying writing just isn't what other people want to read right now.  Then, out of nowhere, I got a comment on my site from a reader who has given pretty regular feedback on the last few stories I wrote before MBK.  She apologized for being MIA the last few months, said she had just been busy, but got caught up on the story so far and was loving it.  Just a reminder that you never know who's reading or why someone may have stopped reading - often times it has nothing to do with your story at all.  We're just at that age where life happens.

Yes, exactly that! :) And it is important to remember that everyone has their own things going on and while our stories may be close to the center of our world at any given time, they could be periphery for other people. I've thought about this often, but as I'm writing, if I have free time, I would prefer devoting it to my own work than reading other peoples' work (as selfish as it sounds). I need to be better about balancing it more.


LOL!  I enjoy ellipses as long as they're not overused... and I love semicolons!  I did not understand the semicolon hate in that thread; I think semicolons are a sophisticated alternative to the comma and conjunction combo. ;)

LOL! I believe we've also done a disservice to the em-dash in this discussion -- a great punctuation to use when adding additional information into a sentence.  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 03, 2021, 03:10:21 PM
Those are all great questions!  I have also wondered what they do all day before a show (or at least before soundcheck).  And how quickly they can pick up new songs and choreography.  The videos of BackSync rehearsing at Lance's house were super cute.  They reminded me of the year I did a 90s boyband number with a group of teachers at my school for the teacher act in our talent show; we learned the choreo for Everybody and Bye Bye Bye and rehearsed in my classroom just like that LOL.

Kevin sleeps in, I assume? lol I loved their rehearsal videos. I'd put money on AJ already knowing the Bye Bye Bye choreography based on how into it he seemed. :) I love that you did a teacher act with boyband choreography. How long did the practice take?


It seems like they do save mementos.  Brian loaned a ton of stuff to the Grammy Museum exhibit, so it seems like he keeps a lot.  AJ posted a TikTok with a shirt he'd worn onstage during the Black & Blue tour.  I'm not sure about the surfboards, but that would have been a cool thing to keep!

They should just film a reality show during their next tour or album cycle and give us some answers!

Good. They should get to keep some of that stuff; they've worked hard.

Yes! This is the type of reality show I'd watch.


LOL I do like your answer because it sounds like it could be any of the above, which means whatever I've written on this topic in my stories was probably fine.  Thanks!  All that makes perfect sense.

I know Nick lives in a gated community called Southern Highlands, so he probably doesn't even have a gate in front of his own driveway.  Rose would probably know more.

Also, LMAO at Justin "24 hour parenting is not normal" Timberlake.  What an entitled douche.

I'm glad the ambiguous answer suited your needs, lol. I think many things like this can fall into the "it depends" category.

He just doesn't strike me as someone who would want to deal with that many gates.

Yes. I died laughing when I read that quote sometime around April last year because I had the same thought. Like, dang, Justin... when did you decide that you were the best thing since sliced bread? lol So entitled.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 03, 2021, 03:25:08 PM
In response to the gated community discussion I can kind of chime in here, my aunt lives in a gated community in Vegas just off of the Las Vegas strip. There was a gate at the entrance but not at each of the homes, and there was a little guard station but the guard wasn’t always there. I think she had to show some kind of card in front of the sensor fo the gate to go up.

I looked up where Nick lives and he lives on the edge of a golf course, according to google maps. His house is pretty easy to find, but it doesn’t have a gate around the actual house just around the community where he lives. Sorry for sounding like a stalker lol but I was on this website about celebrity homes and Nick’s just happened to be on there.

Thanks, Tracy!  That looks like how Nick's community works too.  I have also creeped it on Google Maps and used Street View to see what the entrance to the community looks like.  There's a sign directing visitors to check in at the guard station, whereas residents can scan their card or whatever for the gate to go up.

It's crazy how much information you can find on the internet these days.  That's how I was able to piece together a blueprint of Kevin's old house, because there are still pictures from the real estate listing online from when he sold it back in 2009.  I've got the same thing for Nick's Franklin house and relied on those pictures a lot when I was writing Curtain Call and other stories that took place when he still owned it.  It is helpful to us as writers, but also a little scary when it comes to finding info on their current homes.  Good thing they have those gates and security guards! LOL

It's crazy to me just how easy this stuff is to find on google! From a writing aspect, it's good for accuracy, but if you're looking a privacy, yeah, yikes!

I wonder how close he lives to the holes. I would be really upset if gold balls constantly broke my windows.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 03, 2021, 03:33:21 PM
How is everyone’s writing going? I’ve been doing pretty good even without feedback, which like I said previously is very surprising. I usually am able to crank out a chapter a week, depending on when during the week I get one started. I try to shoot for updating on Mondays, Wednesday at the latest. I think this system has helped me a lot, not to mention it seems like I am more productive writing at night than I am during the day.

Glad it's going well and that you've gotten a good routine down! :) I think a chapter per week is a good goal/output.


Does anyone else have a preferred time they write?

I think I get the most done if I wake up at a decent time and get going before 11am. Any later than that and I get increasingly useless as time goes. I decided I wanted two cups of coffee today and here I am, still mood listening and catching up on forum posts... At least I'm almost all caught up. This is how y'all feel coming back to the long conversations, isn't it? lol

I am back to my night owl writing routine as well.  I had been doing my best writing first thing in the morning after I wake up, but now that I'm staying up later and sleeping until later in the day, I can't justify staying in bed ALL day to write.  At some point I have to get up and take care of stuff I can't do in the middle of the night, like errands and yard work.  So I've switched to writing late at night, which has always been my favorite time to write.  It has rained like every night the last two weeks, so I've been going upstairs to my writing room where I can hear the rain on the roof and open the window because it's cooler at night, and it's been so pleasant!

But beds are soooo cozy! lol I would also feel useless if I spent all day in bed. All that rain sounds lovely!


That’s awesome you’ve kept at it. I think what’s helping me stay on track is listening to music while I write. It doesn’t matter what music really, just any music. I also watch science fiction movies if I’m home for background noise. Titan A.E. Was a huge inspiriation for Take Me Home even though the stories aren’t that similar. I just always thought the character of Cale reminded me of Nick even though Matt Damon plays him lol

Hadn't you said before that you often write in silence or am I making that up? Do you feel like your routine changes with the story?

And on Titan A.E., yes! I agree completely. I think it's Cale's haircut, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 03, 2021, 03:43:56 PM
Update:  I did not make 50,000 words, but I was within 5,000 words of it and did finish Chapter 23 with about ten minutes to spare before midnight LOL.  Also, my average writing speed came up to 5 words per minute! Haha.  I'm aiming for 25,000 words in July, but hoping I can surpass that and come closer to 30,000.

Edit: I had a Nano troubleshootin g question here earlier, but I figured it out, so never mind.  I clicked a link in my email to register for Camp Nano the other day, and it prompted me to make a new project.  Then I realized I didn't really want it to be listed as a separate project since I'm still working on the same story, but I couldn't figure how how to set a new goal for my old MBK project and tie it to July Camp Nano because that wasn't coming up as an option.  I finally figured out that if I deleted the new project so I no longer had one associated with July Camp Nano, it would come up as an option for a new goal on the old project.  So what's what I did.  Now I'm ready! LOL

That's how I was in April. That's why I think the word count goals can be kind of limiting and think it's good to have a second, less tangible goal sometimes. Weren't we both "with x minutes to spare" in April too? haha. And woo! Five words per minute! You're a speed demon! I think 25,000 is a good goal. I made mine about 30,000 because of my typical output, but now I feel like I should lower it. We'll see what happens if I can get into the groove or not.

Glad you're ready! You've got this!


Come and write with us... forever... and ever... and ever.

LOL! Thanks for improving my joke. ;D


Thanks for all the info ladies. Seems a little overwhelming for me this time around, but maybe next time I’ll be ready to write something.

I think if I hadn't been a month in on PNecklace inspiration, I wouldn't have done it either last year. It's definitely something to commit to when you feel like you're in the right spot. But like Julie said, it is fun to track your goal and see your writing hang out around your par bar when you're at that point.


Soooo I've been looking at my notes for current stories. I probably won't commit to writing on them until I get moved in three weeks and my life settles a little. But I'm looking and I feel like that's a start.

Yay! Looking is a great start! :)
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 03, 2021, 03:48:28 PM
I definitely have a lot of emotions I want to channel into writing this year. I've been doing notes, so I figure post move I'll probably dive in. I've also had an idea for a story but I'll sit on that till I finish something.

Obviously everyone copes with grief differently, but writing was a great escape and distraction for me after my grandpa died a few years ago.  That is when I finally got going on A Heart That Isn't Mine, and I've been writing consistently ever since.  So channel those emotions, girl!  I hope something great comes from it.  I would love to see you finish When the Daylight's Gone, and I'm curious about this new idea!

I think there's real power in being able to write something down to process it. It's similar to having a conversation with someone, but it's like being able to have that conversation without having to think about or wait for the other person's feelings and reactions. Just seeing something written on the page can be really cathartic.

I read a great article about this the other day, though it specifically uses examples on the "trauma of the pandemic," but I think it still applies here: https://hbr.org/2021/07/writing-can-help-us-heal-from-trauma (https://hbr.org/2021/07/writing-can-help-us-heal-from-trauma)


Dee and I are here a 00Carter revival whenever the time is right, too.

Yup! :cheers:
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 03, 2021, 03:59:59 PM
How is everyone’s writing going?

Only okay? Right now I'm stuck in the idea that my story is funnier from Nick's perspective, but that adds an inherent flaw to his avoidance of being a main character. Although now that I'm thinking about it, something like the Great Gatsby, clearly Gatsby is the main character, but Nick Carraway is the narrator. I really did set out to give all five Boys the POV though, so... I wouldn't call it a struggle, but it is definitely way less productive than PNecklace was. I've written 586 words so far this month, but I'm always way less productive by Thursday.

I'm hoping being on break will give me my mojo back. And that listening to old school Backstreet will help get me into the right mood for this story. I had Backstreet Boys and Millennium going yesterday and this morning, then I remembered that I'd uploaded my old itunes to google play music once and that it was now on YouTube music, so I am deep into the Red Album at the moment. Although, to properly dive into the nostalgia, I should see if my boom box still works and crank some actual CDs! lol Because it's definitely confused by the Red Album and the American Backstreet Boys both being self-titled, but with different songs. So it has both AFY and QPG as the second track, and both INBYH and Backstreet's Back as the fourth track. I didn't realize just how much I missed songs like JTBC until I heard it just a moment ago, lol.

I've yet to write anything today. I'm useless, lol. I told hubs I would go to the baseball game tonight though, so who knows how the rest of today will go.

How's everyone else three days into July? Catching up on these threads made me realize we have not had a questions recap in a while, making it more time consuming to catch up. I feel like y'all all come on when I'm gone or sleeping -- is it me making this place quiet? lol

Edited to Add: Good news! Nostalgia music seems to be working as I have finally surpassed 500ish words in a writing session and feel pretty good about my work instead of ho hum.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: Rose on July 04, 2021, 05:56:14 AM
You know I think jumping back into 00Carter might be the best thing for me. Because y'all know how I am with collaborating. I push myself harder cause I don't like letting anyone down. Guilt lol. My schedule fluctuates but I'm ready to dive back in.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 04, 2021, 11:38:11 PM
I forgot, you make new documents instead of greenlining over things, lol. Interesting. Why do you think you leaned toward something more similar to the first than a combination of the two or a completely new option?

Love your little Titanic reference, lol.

Yeah, I did make three separate documents for that one because I started from scratch each time instead of revising the old version.  It helps me to have a blank canvas; I get overwhelmed by all the strikethroughs and green text.

The second version was probably the least plausible of the three beginnings, as far as how I was going to get Nick from Point A to Point B, so I scrapped it and went back to a situation that was more similar to the first one.  It was still different, but closer to version 1 than version 2.

Thanks for noticing my Titanic reference! LOl


Makes sense that your readership would mimic your writing. In regards to getting rid of Leighanne, may I suggest the always delightful "set prior to INBYH's American version video and/or ALAYLM video," problem solved and "getting rid" unnecessary! (Admittedly, I'm fuzzy on this release timeline... I think ALAYLM may have been first?) Or realistically, as long as it was before they got married, it's a lot easier to get rid of a girlfriend than a wife (though not impossible if you consider divorce rate statistics). Relationships can all end in mundane ways under the "right" circumstances that have nothing to do with catastrophe. But I get it, hard when you want to keep stories more modern.

Yes, Brian before Leighanne is always a good option.  ALAYLM did come first; they met on the set of that video.


I adore your kitchen! It's so big and cute! :)

I've enjoyed putting nails in the walls -- something my mother would have never let me do in our apartments when I was growing up, lol. Like I never knew how much I loved frames until I could actually hang things where the weight of a frame wouldn't be a deterrent. But on a whole, I haven't super redecorated our house, since hubs has been contemplating the timeline for either selling it (or possibly keeping it as a rental property) since I moved in with him, so I just didn't want to get too attached to a pricey renovation project if we were moving elsewhere in the next few years. I am looking forward to really personalizing our next place though.

I figured you would and it goes with the kitschy 1952 vibe of your home, lol. How's life with your new shower curtain? Has it made you feel more stabby? lol

Thanks!

I am also a big fan of frames.  I guess that's a sign of adulthood - I put my BSB posters in frames now instead if just taping them straight to the wall. ;)  I love those Command strips for hanging stuff; they're easier than nails and don't put holes in the wall.

I love the new shower curtain, but nothing is up yet because I decided I am going to paint first.  I just haven't gotten paint yet.  It's been a busy weekend!


Like what do they really think about while one of the other Boys is singing and they're doing choreography they've practiced a million times or even just sitting on the stools. I assume not laundry or anything, but there's had to be times where Brian's passionately singing INBYH and Nick is just contemplating a cheeseburger or how badly he has to use the bathroom, lol.

LOL Another great question!  Cause you're right, I'm sure there are times when they perform on autopilot, especially those songs when they're just backup singers.


I'm finally on Summer Break, so I think I'll have plenty of time to do house stuff and write! :) Yeah, I'm averaging about 500 words a day on this new story, which is much lower than PNecklace was... Blah! It's my fault for trying to be realistic instead of funny, haha.

Yay!!!  You just need time to get into the groove of this new story.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 04, 2021, 11:54:46 PM
Yes, exactly that! :) And it is important to remember that everyone has their own things going on and while our stories may be close to the center of our world at any given time, they could be periphery for other people. I've thought about this often, but as I'm writing, if I have free time, I would prefer devoting it to my own work than reading other peoples' work (as selfish as it sounds). I need to be better about balancing it more.

Very true!  I am the same way about writing vs. reading.  I do enjoy reading, and I know it's important to read a lot if you want to be a good writer, but when my time is limited and the inspiration is there, I would rather devote it to writing than reading.


I love that you did a teacher act with boyband choreography. How long did the practice take?

Yeah, it was a music-through-the-decades kind of thing, and of course my immediate suggestion for the 90s section was boybands.  We pulled it together in a few days practicing after school.


That's how I was in April. That's why I think the word count goals can be kind of limiting and think it's good to have a second, less tangible goal sometimes. Weren't we both "with x minutes to spare" in April too? haha. And woo! Five words per minute! You're a speed demon! I think 25,000 is a good goal. I made mine about 30,000 because of my typical output, but now I feel like I should lower it. We'll see what happens if I can get into the groove or not.

Glad you're ready! You've got this!

LOL Yep; I think I finished with like 30 minutes to spare in April.

I am off to a terrible start with this month's goal, but it's been a busy holiday weekend.  My routine is all messed up, and I haven't had a good long writing session yet this month.  I've kept the streak alive, but only barely.  Hopefully I'll get back on track tomorrow.

No shame in lowering your goal, especially since you're working on a new story.  I still don't know how people do 50,000.  I could lock myself in a room for a month straight and still not hit 50,000 words.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 05, 2021, 12:07:14 AM
I think there's real power in being able to write something down to process it. It's similar to having a conversation with someone, but it's like being able to have that conversation without having to think about or wait for the other person's feelings and reactions. Just seeing something written on the page can be really cathartic.

I read a great article about this the other day, though it specifically uses examples on the "trauma of the pandemic," but I think it still applies here: https://hbr.org/2021/07/writing-can-help-us-heal-from-trauma (https://hbr.org/2021/07/writing-can-help-us-heal-from-trauma)

Absolutely!  I am not someone who likes to talk about my feelings, so writing is a great outlet for me.  I haven't kept a journal in a long time, so I don't usually write about my own personal stuff, but I find fiction to be a great way to channel feelings and experiences, whether consciously or subconsciously .

Writing is also a great distraction.  If I can get my mind to focus on someone else's fictional problems instead of my own for a while, awesome!  And when the writing goes well, it puts me in a better mood.


You know I think jumping back into 00Carter might be the best thing for me. Because y'all know how I am with collaborating. I push myself harder cause I don't like letting anyone down. Guilt lol. My schedule fluctuates but I'm ready to dive back in.

I'm here for it!  I think we should start slow and give each other plenty of grace, knowing that none of us has written on it in years.  We should probably find somewhere else to talk about it so we're not spamming up the forum with 00Carter stuff again LOL.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 05, 2021, 12:10:47 AM
Only okay? Right now I'm stuck in the idea that my story is funnier from Nick's perspective, but that adds an inherent flaw to his avoidance of being a main character. Although now that I'm thinking about it, something like the Great Gatsby, clearly Gatsby is the main character, but Nick Carraway is the narrator. I really did set out to give all five Boys the POV though, so... I wouldn't call it a struggle, but it is definitely way less productive than PNecklace was. I've written 586 words so far this month, but I'm always way less productive by Thursday.

I'm hoping being on break will give me my mojo back. And that listening to old school Backstreet will help get me into the right mood for this story. I had Backstreet Boys and Millennium going yesterday and this morning, then I remembered that I'd uploaded my old itunes to google play music once and that it was now on YouTube music, so I am deep into the Red Album at the moment. Although, to properly dive into the nostalgia, I should see if my boom box still works and crank some actual CDs! lol Because it's definitely confused by the Red Album and the American Backstreet Boys both being self-titled, but with different songs. So it has both AFY and QPG as the second track, and both INBYH and Backstreet's Back as the fourth track. I didn't realize just how much I missed songs like JTBC until I heard it just a moment ago, lol.

I've yet to write anything today. I'm useless, lol. I told hubs I would go to the baseball game tonight though, so who knows how the rest of today will go.

How's everyone else three days into July? Catching up on these threads made me realize we have not had a questions recap in a while, making it more time consuming to catch up. I feel like y'all all come on when I'm gone or sleeping -- is it me making this place quiet? lol

Edited to Add: Good news! Nostalgia music seems to be working as I have finally surpassed 500ish words in a writing session and feel pretty good about my work instead of ho hum.

Yay!  Nostalgia for the win!  Glad you're getting into a groove with it.

That is quite a conundrum with wanting to write the story in Nick's POV without making him the main character.  But I think you're onto something with the Gatsby reference.  Nick can narrate, but still focus on what the other guys are doing more so than what he himself is doing.  It could be his reaction to the plot unfolding around him and events happening to the others.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: Rose on July 05, 2021, 05:34:25 AM
Any ideas of where we wanna talk 00Carter? And oh yeah we'll definitely all need patience. I'm just very self critical lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 05, 2021, 10:42:41 PM
Google has a chat feature.  That might be a nice replacement for good old Yahoo Messenger, and I know we all use Google already.  Dee, what is your gmail?

We had also talked about trying to do a live reading via Google Meet to catch up - might be funny.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 05, 2021, 10:49:32 PM
Yeah, I did make three separate documents for that one because I started from scratch each time instead of revising the old version.  It helps me to have a blank canvas; I get overwhelmed by all the strikethroughs and green text.

The second version was probably the least plausible of the three beginnings, as far as how I was going to get Nick from Point A to Point B, so I scrapped it and went back to a situation that was more similar to the first one.  It was still different, but closer to version 1 than version 2.

Thanks for noticing my Titanic reference! LOl

They don't bother me as much as they used to. At first, they definitely did, but now that I've used it so much, they're just friendly little greens as I edit. I think it helps knowing that they're only there until the editing is done. But, I can also see why they would be overwhelming and a blank page could be easier.

I think it's great that you tried several different ways! It's hard to be sure something won't work until you write it down. Sometimes, if I'm juggling a couple different ideas, I'll write the craziest sounding one first just to see how it goes. Full disclosure, I have ended up keeping the craziest scenario a few times.


Yes, Brian before Leighanne is always a good option.  ALAYLM did come first; they met on the set of that video.

I think I get confused since chronologicall y INBYH was a single before ALAYLM existed, but not in the US.


Thanks!

I am also a big fan of frames.  I guess that's a sign of adulthood - I put my BSB posters in frames now instead if just taping them straight to the wall. ;)  I love those Command strips for hanging stuff; they're easier than nails and don't put holes in the wall.

I love the new shower curtain, but nothing is up yet because I decided I am going to paint first.  I just haven't gotten paint yet.  It's been a busy weekend!

That's why I hate textured paint also, lol. Hubs loves it and looks at me like I'm crazy every time I say, "but it's terrible for hanging things!" lol! See, I've broken many a wall with them, so I'd rather patch a hole at this point. I blame the wall more than me.

What color did you decide to go with? And I get it, holiday weekends are always busy.


LOL Another great question!  Cause you're right, I'm sure there are times when they perform on autopilot, especially those songs when they're just backup singers.

I feel like they'd never admit it though? lol I wonder who's on autopilot the most.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 05, 2021, 11:07:35 PM
Very true!  I am the same way about writing vs. reading.  I do enjoy reading, and I know it's important to read a lot if you want to be a good writer, but when my time is limited and the inspiration is there, I would rather devote it to writing than reading.

I think if I really want to be better about it, I'll have to look at it as a habit, like I did when I started writing again. Realistically, I could be better about reading a book before bed (for instance), rather than crawling into bed and staring at the tiny internet on my phone, lol.


Yeah, it was a music-through-the-decades kind of thing, and of course my immediate suggestion for the 90s section was boybands.  We pulled it together in a few days practicing after school.

Love it! No better suggestion for the 90s than boybands, plus the dances are just iconic. I'm impressed! Only a few days! Was it several teachers or just a few? Anyone else know the choreography already?


LOL Yep; I think I finished with like 30 minutes to spare in April.

I am off to a terrible start with this month's goal, but it's been a busy holiday weekend.  My routine is all messed up, and I haven't had a good long writing session yet this month.  I've kept the streak alive, but only barely.  Hopefully I'll get back on track tomorrow.

No shame in lowering your goal, especially since you're working on a new story.  I still don't know how people do 50,000.  I could lock myself in a room for a month straight and still not hit 50,000 words.

You still finished your chapter each time and that's what counts. :) I also like to fly by the seat of my pants, lol.

Holidays are hard, there's always a lot more going on that doesn't usually fit with "sit and write for an extended period of time." We were at two of our friends' house for the past day or so and sitting in the sun all day, so I managed the quick scene "[Brian takes a phone call]" when we got back today, lol. I totally get it. But we've still got plenty of time! :)

I think I'm being overly hard on myself and it's too early to say it definitely needs to be lowered. I'm still not sure how I did it on PNecklace, but I can confirm that it is possible, lol.


Absolutely!  I am not someone who likes to talk about my feelings, so writing is a great outlet for me.  I haven't kept a journal in a long time, so I don't usually write about my own personal stuff, but I find fiction to be a great way to channel feelings and experiences, whether consciously or subconsciously .

Writing is also a great distraction.  If I can get my mind to focus on someone else's fictional problems instead of my own for a while, awesome!  And when the writing goes well, it puts me in a better mood.

It's been a while since I kept a journal as well. My old blog was probably the closest I've been to a journal or diary in a while. I bought one of those "line a day" journals to try and get back into it, but didn't keep up with it.

I think that channeling feelings works out better for me in the cathartic sense. I tended to meander when it was too close to personal experience. And I agree completely about the distraction; I'd forgotten how much writing used to get me out of "feelings spirals." (probably because writing itself became a feelings spiral, lol.)


Yay!  Nostalgia for the win!  Glad you're getting into a groove with it.

That is quite a conundrum with wanting to write the story in Nick's POV without making him the main character.  But I think you're onto something with the Gatsby reference.  Nick can narrate, but still focus on what the other guys are doing more so than what he himself is doing.  It could be his reaction to the plot unfolding around him and events happening to the others.

The holiday derailed me for sure, but here's hoping for tomorrow. I think I might skip around a bit and see if that helps too. It feels like my main problem might be that my "Nick voice" is the strongest of all the Boys, so it just inherently feels more interesting. I honestly might be using it as a crutch, since I already know I can spin the story to Nick's POV and it will be entertaining. I think I want to tackle the first Howie chapter tomorrow rather than continuing on with this Brian one, though, so we'll see how Howie goes. :)

I also doesn't help that I've totally distracted myself with both that World Anvil thing I was talking about and Grammarly, lol. It doesn't point out everything I hoped it would, but it has been helpful with suggesting sentences that may need clarity for a general audience. World Anvil, meanwhile, might be the biggest rabbit hole I've ever jumped into; I think it will help, but it is a monstrosity.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 05, 2021, 11:12:25 PM
You know I think jumping back into 00Carter might be the best thing for me. Because y'all know how I am with collaborating. I push myself harder cause I don't like letting anyone down. Guilt lol. My schedule fluctuates but I'm ready to dive back in.

If a collaboration helps get your writing mojo going again, I am here for it! No guilt though!

I'm here for it!  I think we should start slow and give each other plenty of grace, knowing that none of us has written on it in years.  We should probably find somewhere else to talk about it so we're not spamming up the forum with 00Carter stuff again LOL.

Bolded for agreement.

What?! But spamming the forum with 00Carter is classic AC FicTalk content! LOL!

Any ideas of where we wanna talk 00Carter? And oh yeah we'll definitely all need patience. I'm just very self critical lol.

Aren't we all?

Google has a chat feature.  That might be a nice replacement for good old Yahoo Messenger, and I know we all use Google already.  Dee, what is your gmail?

We had also talked about trying to do a live reading via Google Meet to catch up - might be funny.

That was going to be my suggestion, GChat or maybe GroupMe. Though it would be easier to archive the chat into a google doc.

I'm deciding which one to use, lol. I'll PM y'all.

I see your "might," but I'm pretty sure you mean would be hilarious.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 05, 2021, 11:12:40 PM
Happy birthday, Tracy! :)
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 05, 2021, 11:49:38 PM
That's why I hate textured paint also, lol. Hubs loves it and looks at me like I'm crazy every time I say, "but it's terrible for hanging things!" lol! See, I've broken many a wall with them, so I'd rather patch a hole at this point. I blame the wall more than me.

What color did you decide to go with? And I get it, holiday weekends are always busy.

Ah yes, textured paint probably makes it harder for the strips to stick.  They usually work fine for me, but I had a hell of a time hanging my framed Millennium record.  I framed the DNA record and hung it up with Command strips, and it stayed fine.  Then, months later, I tried to hang Millennium on the same wall with the same kind of album frame, and it kept falling down, breaking the glass and taking some of the paint and dry wall with it.  I think it was too humid, and the strips wouldn't fuse to the wall right.  I finally gave up and waited until it was cooler to try again, and then I was able to get it to stick.  It's now hiding the damaged part of the wall LOL.

I'm getting a color called "olive white."  It's a really light, subtle olive green - almost beige/gray.  I think it will compliment the 70s orange, red, and brown of the shower curtain, and it's a nod to the green bathroom in room 237 without being full on seafoam green.  I'm also going to paint the back of the door an antique white to make REDRUM stand out more.


I feel like they'd never admit it though? lol I wonder who's on autopilot the most.

Kevin and Howie definitely have the most opportunities to be on autopilot, with all the songs they have no solos on.


I think if I really want to be better about it, I'll have to look at it as a habit, like I did when I started writing again. Realistically, I could be better about reading a book before bed (for instance), rather than crawling into bed and staring at the tiny internet on my phone, lol.

Very true.  I do most of my reading in bed, too, and it's definitely easier with a physical book or on a tablet with a larger screen than on my phone.  I don't like leaving reviews on my phone either just because it takes longer.  If I'm reading an entire story, I'll read on my tablet or Chromebook in a comfy place, but if I'm following a story as it's written, I try to make myself read and review the latest chapter before I open my own story to write.


Love it! No better suggestion for the 90s than boybands, plus the dances are just iconic. I'm impressed! Only a few days! Was it several teachers or just a few? Anyone else know the choreography already?

I teach in a big school, so we had ten of us for the boyband part!  We made shirts that said BSB for five of us and shirts that spelled out NSYNC for the other five.  Of course, I was a Backstreet Boy.  None of the others knew the choreography, so I ended up being the one to teach the rest of them.


I think that channeling feelings works out better for me in the cathartic sense. I tended to meander when it was too close to personal experience. And I agree completely about the distraction; I'd forgotten how much writing used to get me out of "feelings spirals." (probably because writing itself became a feelings spiral, lol.)

That's exactly it - it's cathartic to write (and read) about other people's (fictional) problems, which are usually worse than mine.  I think that's why I've always preferred drama.


The holiday derailed me for sure, but here's hoping for tomorrow. I think I might skip around a bit and see if that helps too. It feels like my main problem might be that my "Nick voice" is the strongest of all the Boys, so it just inherently feels more interesting. I honestly might be using it as a crutch, since I already know I can spin the story to Nick's POV and it will be entertaining. I think I want to tackle the first Howie chapter tomorrow rather than continuing on with this Brian one, though, so we'll see how Howie goes. :)

I also doesn't help that I've totally distracted myself with both that World Anvil thing I was talking about and Grammarly, lol. It doesn't point out everything I hoped it would, but it has been helpful with suggesting sentences that may need clarity for a general audience. World Anvil, meanwhile, might be the biggest rabbit hole I've ever jumped into; I think it will help, but it is a monstrosity.

It definitely derailed me too.  Unlike the previous chapter, I know exactly how this chapter is going to go, and oddly enough, I think that's part of what is making me procrastinate on it.  I'm like, "Eh, I can write this any time; I'll wait till I feel like it to really sit down and hammer it out."  But that hasn't happened yet this month; I just keep writing a few sentences at a time to keep the streak alive and then moving on to something else - whoops.

You could always experiment with trying to write a scene in one of the other guys' POV and then write the same scene in Nick's and see which you like better.  If it helps, you'll probably get more readers if it seems like a Nick story. ;)

Ooh, new toys!  I don't know anything about World Anvil except for what you said here, but it does seem like it would be time-consuming.  Hopefully worth it in the long run!  Have fun playing with it!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 05, 2021, 11:51:41 PM
What?! But spamming the forum with 00Carter is classic AC FicTalk content! LOL!

That was going to be my suggestion, GChat or maybe GroupMe. Though it would be easier to archive the chat into a google doc.

I'm deciding which one to use, lol. I'll PM y'all.

I see your "might," but I'm pretty sure you mean would be hilarious.

LOL Very true.

I haven't used either, but it seems like the Google one would be easier to streamline with Docs.

It definitely would be hilarious, especially if we drink while we do it!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: FrickingKaos on July 06, 2021, 12:17:57 AM
Happy birthday, Tracy! :)

Thank you!!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 06, 2021, 12:29:29 AM
Ah yes, textured paint probably makes it harder for the strips to stick.  They usually work fine for me, but I had a hell of a time hanging my framed Millennium record.  I framed the DNA record and hung it up with Command strips, and it stayed fine.  Then, months later, I tried to hang Millennium on the same wall with the same kind of album frame, and it kept falling down, breaking the glass and taking some of the paint and dry wall with it.  I think it was too humid, and the strips wouldn't fuse to the wall right.  I finally gave up and waited until it was cooler to try again, and then I was able to get it to stick.  It's now hiding the damaged part of the wall LOL.

I'm getting a color called "olive white."  It's a really light, subtle olive green - almost beige/gray.  I think it will compliment the 70s orange, red, and brown of the shower curtain, and it's a nod to the green bathroom in room 237 without being full on seafoam green.  I'm also going to paint the back of the door an antique white to make REDRUM stand out more.

Poor Millennium! Glad the actual record seems to be okay and only the wall/frame were casualties, lol. When I lived in my sorority house, they painted one summer as part of renovations and when we moved back in, I hung a white board calendar with command strips next to my desk. At the end of the year, nothing I could do would remove it from the wall... until I managed to rip it down, with a 3" x 2" chunk of the newly painted wall, lol. Oops!

Seafoam would clash with those colors, so I think the subtler nod is a good choice. Are you keeping the front of the door the stained wood then? That's a good compromise! :)


Kevin and Howie definitely have the most opportunities to be on autopilot, with all the songs they have no solos on.

The beginning of Kevin's hiatus must have been an adjustment for Howie, lol. Suddenly un-autopilot would be a learning curve.


Very true.  I do most of my reading in bed, too, and it's definitely easier with a physical book or on a tablet with a larger screen than on my phone.  I don't like leaving reviews on my phone either just because it takes longer.  If I'm reading an entire story, I'll read on my tablet or Chromebook in a comfy place, but if I'm following a story as it's written, I try to make myself read and review the latest chapter before I open my own story to write.

Everything takes such a long time on a phone unless there's an app. This forum is the most frustrating on a phone. I tried in the beginning, but then these monster-sized posts just made it impossible, lol.

That's a good plan! I need to be better about doing that, since I've done the opposite: open my own stuff, then maybe get around to reading in the wee hours of the morning if I can... Leads to a lot less reading and reviewing.


I teach in a big school, so we had ten of us for the boyband part!  We made shirts that said BSB for five of us and shirts that spelled out NSYNC for the other five.  Of course, I was a Backstreet Boy.  None of the others knew the choreography, so I ended up being the one to teach the rest of them.

That is a big school! One for each BackSync member makes sense; I figured you were not just one of the Boys, but Brian, lol. I assume you still had Backstreet's Back memorized, but did you have to brush up on Bye Bye Bye?


That's exactly it - it's cathartic to write (and read) about other people's (fictional) problems, which are usually worse than mine.  I think that's why I've always preferred drama.

That makes sense that catharsis would be why you lean toward drama. Now if only we could figure out why I lean toward sword stabbing, lol.


It definitely derailed me too.  Unlike the previous chapter, I know exactly how this chapter is going to go, and oddly enough, I think that's part of what is making me procrastinate on it.  I'm like, "Eh, I can write this any time; I'll wait till I feel like it to really sit down and hammer it out."  But that hasn't happened yet this month; I just keep writing a few sentences at a time to keep the streak alive and then moving on to something else - whoops.

Those always get me too! I don't know what it is about knowing what happens that makes me procrastinate. .. I think it's because I spend such a long time mulling over the best way to write "what exactly happens." Hopefully now that the holidays are over, your motivation returns. :)


You could always experiment with trying to write a scene in one of the other guys' POV and then write the same scene in Nick's and see which you like better.  If it helps, you'll probably get more readers if it seems like a Nick story. ;)

Ooh, new toys!  I don't know anything about World Anvil except for what you said here, but it does seem like it would be time-consuming.  Hopefully worth it in the long run!  Have fun playing with it!

I was thinking about that for the AJ one coming up. It felt like a good way to test it more than some of these other ones where Nick's not there the entire time for whatever reason.

I started with Nick, since that seemed like an easy place to start, and just filling in their "prompt" information they ask to get you started (stuff like related groups, places, etcetera), I already have ten other related "articles" to fill in. So, as it turns out, not easy! lol
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 06, 2021, 12:31:56 AM
LOL Very true.

I haven't used either, but it seems like the Google one would be easier to streamline with Docs.

It definitely would be hilarious, especially if we drink while we do it!

GChat is fairly similar to the simpler aspects of YIM. GroupMe is like a slightly fancier group text.

Would we be drinking 00Carter signature drinks? Wasn't it chocolate milk, shaken, not stirred? lmao
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 06, 2021, 12:32:28 AM
Thank you!!

What did you do to celebrate? :)
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: FrickingKaos on July 06, 2021, 12:55:37 AM
Not a whole lot. I had a virtual birthday party on Saturday, Sunday I went to dinner at a pizzeria in town with a friend before we went to see fireworks. Then today I went and ran som errands with my dad, who bought me pizza so I had pizza for dinner again. We also went to Starbucks so I could get my free birthday drink coupon that was in my app redeemed. My dad paid for those too. We came home, ate dinner and then I watched Big Bang Theory for about an hour before I went in the pool for a while. Then I sat out on the patio in the backyard, watched the sun go down and listened to Elton John on my iPad. I went inside, watched a couple movies and cuddled my cat to end the night. Also Nick tweeted me today so that was nice.

I did get another chapter posted on Saturday before the birthday party started so that was nice. I didn’t get much writing done after that. We were on video chat for 5 hours and I got drunk so definitely wasn’t going to write LOL
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: Rose on July 06, 2021, 07:20:32 AM
Google has a chat feature.  That might be a nice replacement for good old Yahoo Messenger, and I know we all use Google already.  Dee, what is your gmail?

We had also talked about trying to do a live reading via Google Meet to catch up - might be funny.

That would be hilarious lol
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 06, 2021, 12:59:58 PM
Not a whole lot. I had a virtual birthday party on Saturday, Sunday I went to dinner at a pizzeria in town with a friend before we went to see fireworks. Then today I went and ran som errands with my dad, who bought me pizza so I had pizza for dinner again. We also went to Starbucks so I could get my free birthday drink coupon that was in my app redeemed. My dad paid for those too. We came home, ate dinner and then I watched Big Bang Theory for about an hour before I went in the pool for a while. Then I sat out on the patio in the backyard, watched the sun go down and listened to Elton John on my iPad. I went inside, watched a couple movies and cuddled my cat to end the night. Also Nick tweeted me today so that was nice.

I did get another chapter posted on Saturday before the birthday party started so that was nice. I didn’t get much writing done after that. We were on video chat for 5 hours and I got drunk so definitely wasn’t going to write LOL

That all sounds fun! (Although like a lot of pizza, lol.) It's nice to be able to relax a little on the actual day and do the more "party" event another time, especially when your birthday is right around a busy holiday (I can relate).

I'm happy you were able to get some writing in before the celebrations. :) It's definitely hard to write after long video calls and drunken shenanigans. Hopefully this next week's writing goes well!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 06, 2021, 11:47:38 PM
Today I am useless. I got about 300 words in, wrote the most hilarious joke ever and just don't think I can top it, so I stalled on that project. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon researching growing seasons to name my months. So... now Nick's birthday is officially in "the month of almonding." Why am I like this? lol

Hope writing is going much better for everyone else!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 07, 2021, 09:04:30 PM
Found a fun writing question on r/writing: https://www.reddit.com/r/writing/comments/obpzey/writing_rules_that_are_stupid_and_meant_to_be/

So what are writing "rules" that you think should be breakable? And are there any writing "rules" that feel less like rules in fanfic?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 07, 2021, 11:35:42 PM
Hm... I'm with the majority of posters in that thread who basically said "rules" are meant to be broken.  I've never even heard the one about not starting with dialogue, but I don't see why not, as long as you eventually provide some context.  I'm also clearly not a fan of "write what you know" because that's what the internet is for - use your resources and find out what you don't know before you write it.  And although I am a grammar Nazi when it comes to academic writing, I acknowledge that, in fiction writing, some conventions can be broken for the sake of style and flow, such as using fragments, starting sentences with conjunctions, and ending sentences with prepositions.  Sometimes it just sounds better that way, especially in dialogue.

I think with fanfic in particular, anything goes.  We're all publishing for free on the internet, so there are no agents or editors telling us what to do or not to do, and we're not scamming anyone out of money by putting out poorly-written stories.  Even poorly-written fanfic can be entertaining, and at the end of the day, that's the whole point:  entertainment.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 08, 2021, 12:15:19 AM
I literally hate the "write short stories before you write novels." I get that it's more of an output thing, but why not just write novels if you plan to write novels?

I agree with everything you said. I think it's weird that they're "rules" and not "tips." Don't people always attribute "never use adverbs" to King and I'm pretty sure he uses plenty of adverbs and means "don't use a weak modifying adverb when a strong verb that says the same thing is available." The shorthand for any of the "rules" is what always gets me. Like "write what you know" means more "when you don't know about something and write about it, it shows" and not "all of your stories can only be about a 30-something teacher who writes as a hobby." (This could be you or me, really, lol.) And yes, the things any of us know from personal experience will be easier to write about, but this feels the same as trying to take a Calculus test before enrolling in a Calculus class. No one would expect that, so why isn't "or are willing to research/learn" part of it. But I'm ranting about something we've already talked about ad nauseam, so...

I get not starting with dialogue if it falls into "white room syndrome," it's pretty jarring to read and not know any context about the characters or where they are. It's similar to our "don't bother describing the Boys in detail" thing. If anyone read who wouldn't say "Ah, yes, this is about Nick Carter circa 1999. I know what Nick Carter circa 1999 is like," I'm sure that would make them feel lost too. But again, this short hand is missing details. "If you start with dialogue, provide context immediately afterward or during."

I was laughing a lot about broken conventions in my writing when I was playing around with grammarly. Once I switched my settings from "casual" to "intermediate," it had a lot more to say about my sentence structure and ellipses abuse, lol.

Maybe the question should have been, what rule can you never break? I think that's "readable formatting," lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 08, 2021, 02:05:59 PM
I made the ultimate decision to halve my writing goal for Camp NaNo since it's been a week and I've had more free time due to Summer Break, but haven't managed to crack 1000 words in a day yet. I did finish the first chapter though, so at least that's something.

I started this morning semi-productive, then wanted to find some joke I'd written here for it, but instead of logging in to search I just thought "I know it was The Writing Thread 3, I'll find it..." and spent an hour rereading the thread, oops. Sooo now we'll see if I can get back into the swing of productivity.

Off-topic, but I randomly browse r/fantasywriters because sometimes they have interesting discussions (though most of it is "seeking critiques") and stumbled on one today that was "How long would it take a human riding a pterodactyl to cross half a small continent?" And one of the answers was "African or European?" I laughed so hard. This is where I am today, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 08, 2021, 09:50:56 PM
So I'm backdating PBox right now (I'm trying to avoid laundry, shhhh...) and I found I can access my old reviews even though you can't leave reviews on AC and it's helping me backdate, for the most part. But I apparently had a stretch where I updated every single day from June 1st to at least June 7th back in 2006. Every. Single. Day. Why would I do this? That's seven weeks of solid updates right there! I think it was the reviewer shouting "More" at me. I'd forgotten I'd had one, lol.

(after a couple more backdates...)

Apparently I had a couple. I would be ecstatic about this these days, lol. I should go back to 2006 and tell me how things end up in a few years. "You thought you had no readers in 2006, just wait until you take a six month hiatus from PBox... and then a 10 year hiatus from fanfic at all." Past me would hate me so much, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 09, 2021, 12:22:05 AM
I literally hate the "write short stories before you write novels." I get that it's more of an output thing, but why not just write novels if you plan to write novels?

I agree with everything you said. I think it's weird that they're "rules" and not "tips." Don't people always attribute "never use adverbs" to King and I'm pretty sure he uses plenty of adverbs and means "don't use a weak modifying adverb when a strong verb that says the same thing is available." The shorthand for any of the "rules" is what always gets me. Like "write what you know" means more "when you don't know about something and write about it, it shows" and not "all of your stories can only be about a 30-something teacher who writes as a hobby." (This could be you or me, really, lol.) And yes, the things any of us know from personal experience will be easier to write about, but this feels the same as trying to take a Calculus test before enrolling in a Calculus class. No one would expect that, so why isn't "or are willing to research/learn" part of it. But I'm ranting about something we've already talked about ad nauseam, so...

I get not starting with dialogue if it falls into "white room syndrome," it's pretty jarring to read and not know any context about the characters or where they are. It's similar to our "don't bother describing the Boys in detail" thing. If anyone read who wouldn't say "Ah, yes, this is about Nick Carter circa 1999. I know what Nick Carter circa 1999 is like," I'm sure that would make them feel lost too. But again, this short hand is missing details. "If you start with dialogue, provide context immediately afterward or during."

I was laughing a lot about broken conventions in my writing when I was playing around with grammarly. Once I switched my settings from "casual" to "intermediate," it had a lot more to say about my sentence structure and ellipses abuse, lol.

Maybe the question should have been, what rule can you never break? I think that's "readable formatting," lol.

Yes, I agree with everything you said as well.  They should be considered tips or guidelines rather than hard and fast rules.  There is valid reasoning behind each one, but there are also occasions when it's perfectly reasonable to go against them and do something different.

I get the idea behind starting with short stories before attempting to write a novel.  A short story is a good opportunity to practice the basics of writing fiction, such as character development and plot structure, without the commitment of a novel.  But I definitely don't think you have to start out that way.  Realistically, we probably all started out writing short stories as kids before we ever attempted a novel, fanfic or otherwise, but as far as fanfics go, I wrote 8 "novels" before my first one-shot.  Granted, they would probably be considered novellas in terms of word count, but they were multi-chapter stories nonetheless.  I learned more about writing from those than I did my short stories.

That's neat that Grammarly has different settings depending on the formality of the writing.  I think what we do would be considered "casual" writing.  As long as you're not overusing ellipses to the point that it gets annoying, you're fine.  Ellipses help set the tone of your writing.

I agree about the readable formatting, too.  Giant walls of text with no punctuation, capital letters, or line breaks... not cool, unless it's meant to represent a character's stream of consciousness while they're locked in the mental ward or something.  See, even then, rules can be broken LOL.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 09, 2021, 12:28:49 AM
I made the ultimate decision to halve my writing goal for Camp NaNo since it's been a week and I've had more free time due to Summer Break, but haven't managed to crack 1000 words in a day yet. I did finish the first chapter though, so at least that's something.

I started this morning semi-productive, then wanted to find some joke I'd written here for it, but instead of logging in to search I just thought "I know it was The Writing Thread 3, I'll find it..." and spent an hour rereading the thread, oops. Sooo now we'll see if I can get back into the swing of productivity.

Off-topic, but I randomly browse r/fantasywriters because sometimes they have interesting discussions (though most of it is "seeking critiques") and stumbled on one today that was "How long would it take a human riding a pterodactyl to cross half a small continent?" And one of the answers was "African or European?" I laughed so hard. This is where I am today, lol.

Good for you.  That takes some of the pressure off.  Yay for finishing the first chapter though!  Sometimes the first one is the hardest.  I hope they get easier from here.

I may have to do the same with mine.  I was out with friends until almost midnight and literally had to open my story on my phone and discreetly write a 9-word sentence (that I probably won't even keep) to keep my streak alive.  I have no plans tomorrow or this weekend, so I'm hoping I'll be able to get back on track.  I think part of my problem is that I haven't followed the routine that works for me at all in the last week - I haven't stayed in bed with coffee or gone upstairs to my writing room, which are the two places I tend to be most productive.  I just haven't felt like it.  I'm not sure if it's because I finally hit a wall with my story and am feeling burnt out, or if it's because I started binge-watching Schitt's Creek and would rather do that.  We'll see how this next week goes.

LOL I'm sure there are some interesting threads on that subreddit.  I wonder if that reply was referring to the continent or the human LOL.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 09, 2021, 12:33:51 AM
So I'm backdating PBox right now (I'm trying to avoid laundry, shhhh...) and I found I can access my old reviews even though you can't leave reviews on AC and it's helping me backdate, for the most part. But I apparently had a stretch where I updated every single day from June 1st to at least June 7th back in 2006. Every. Single. Day. Why would I do this? That's seven weeks of solid updates right there! I think it was the reviewer shouting "More" at me. I'd forgotten I'd had one, lol.

(after a couple more backdates...)

Apparently I had a couple. I would be ecstatic about this these days, lol. I should go back to 2006 and tell me how things end up in a few years. "You thought you had no readers in 2006, just wait until you take a six month hiatus from PBox... and then a 10 year hiatus from fanfic at all." Past me would hate me so much, lol.

I'm glad the reviews are still saved and accessible!  I've lost all the old feedback emails I used to save because I switched from Hotmail to Yahoo to Gmail over the years, and Hotmail and Yahoo delete everything when your account is inactive too long - sad panda.  So it's nice to be able to go back and look at AC reviews if I want to.

It's nice that you have old PBox reviews to look back at.  I wonder what happened to those readers.

There's a good question for everyone:  If you could go back and tell your younger self something, what would it be?  You can answer in terms of fanfic, the fandom, or whatever you want.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 09, 2021, 02:01:51 PM
I have officially finished backdating PBox and decided to add these additional tags to it: Families of Choice, Demons, Mythology References, Worldbuilding, Character Development

I feel like those accurately describe PBox. There's probably more I could add, but I'm not ready to go tag-crazy yet... Now let's see if adding additional tags does anything for the views. I love a good science experiment.

As for current writing... Y'all ever sit down to write and then write something, either ridiculously funny or poignantly beautiful or horrifically scary or whatever and it's only a paragraph or a couple exchanges of dialogue, but your brain says "Ah yes, this is excellent writing. We've done our job for the day." And then you're like, "What? No. Brain... we were just getting started." This is where I am today again... Why does this keep happening? lol
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 09, 2021, 02:19:48 PM
Yes, I agree with everything you said as well.  They should be considered tips or guidelines rather than hard and fast rules.  There is valid reasoning behind each one, but there are also occasions when it's perfectly reasonable to go against them and do something different.

I get the idea behind starting with short stories before attempting to write a novel.  A short story is a good opportunity to practice the basics of writing fiction, such as character development and plot structure, without the commitment of a novel.  But I definitely don't think you have to start out that way.  Realistically, we probably all started out writing short stories as kids before we ever attempted a novel, fanfic or otherwise, but as far as fanfics go, I wrote 8 "novels" before my first one-shot.  Granted, they would probably be considered novellas in terms of word count, but they were multi-chapter stories nonetheless.  I learned more about writing from those than I did my short stories.

That's neat that Grammarly has different settings depending on the formality of the writing.  I think what we do would be considered "casual" writing.  As long as you're not overusing ellipses to the point that it gets annoying, you're fine.  Ellipses help set the tone of your writing.

I agree about the readable formatting, too.  Giant walls of text with no punctuation, capital letters, or line breaks... not cool, unless it's meant to represent a character's stream of consciousness while they're locked in the mental ward or something.  See, even then, rules can be broken LOL.

I think they became "rules" at some point because there's some idea out there that if anyone doesn't understand why it's a "rule," then they shouldn't be breaking it. But then I ask, well, how else is anyone supposed to learn how to execute these things effectively without trying it out? It's the same thing you were saying about all of us starting to write shorter stories as kids. Once we realized we liked writing, how did we start writing longer stories? Well, we tried things out and figured out what worked and what didn't. I honestly think that's better than just avoiding everything because it's a "rule." I honestly think I needed my purple prose phase to get better. Cerulean orbs and all.

As for short stories, I agree. Though all stories have the same inherent structure, there's something more bare bones about a short story. And I think the ultimate goal of a short story is "I can do all these things and finish in a timely manner." A novel is definitely more time consuming and easier to get burnt out on, I think.

I mean, I love me a good ellipses, lol. There's probably some times when I overuse them, but I just don't care at this point. I thought that too, but then it didn't really have a lot to say except a couple times when it was like, "Yo, the general audience you're aiming for might find this sentence confusing." And I was like "Yes, I see what you mean. I do not have a good alternative right now." I also had fun checking it for plagiarism and you will all be happy to know that it did not find AC on the internet, because it would have told me "Hey, this is 100% the same text" and it did not.


"Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words AHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHH!!!!..." <--- Done. Clearly I could not think of anything in particular to write. lol. I hope everyone enjoyed the ellipses abuse at the end.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 09, 2021, 02:44:44 PM
Good for you.  That takes some of the pressure off.  Yay for finishing the first chapter though!  Sometimes the first one is the hardest.  I hope they get easier from here.

After writing that, I ended up shuffling some things around and did end up cracking 1000 words. So maybe all I needed was to make my goal a little smaller, lol. It felt a little daunting expecting a PBox&Co level of output with a story that's only been bopping around in my head for a few months, especially when the output didn't match at the beginning. I also keep writing the most hilarious jokes and wanting to share them with you all, but also not wanting to spoil the hilarity of them in an actual read through. It's sad now, but that may get me to finish the story faster, lol.

Other things I figured out yesterday were: the title, probably, "Come What May" (the line from Time) is what I'm percolating right now; exactly how many chapters it is, only fifteen unless Nick does something crazy in the middle like refusing to die and spoiling my plans (this is a PBox reference, I'm not planning on killing any of the Boys off in this one); and that I had to include Leighanne as a periphery character for Brian to have the character arc he needed (boooooo...). And that's where we are! I've been writing a little PDemons on the side, hoping to get at least ten (fifteen is better) chapters complete by the last week of PNecklace posting. If I get that far and finish this one, then I'll post this story while I'm still posting PNecklace. Right now, instead of just writing something every day, I'm writing whatever strikes me and at least a little of this story.


I may have to do the same with mine.  I was out with friends until almost midnight and literally had to open my story on my phone and discreetly write a 9-word sentence (that I probably won't even keep) to keep my streak alive.  I have no plans tomorrow or this weekend, so I'm hoping I'll be able to get back on track.  I think part of my problem is that I haven't followed the routine that works for me at all in the last week - I haven't stayed in bed with coffee or gone upstairs to my writing room, which are the two places I tend to be most productive.  I just haven't felt like it.  I'm not sure if it's because I finally hit a wall with my story and am feeling burnt out, or if it's because I started binge-watching Schitt's Creek and would rather do that.  We'll see how this next week goes.

I've done that before too. I also deleted it, lol. I get how getting off a routine is hard. I've been sleeping in a lot this week and showering after lunch and I've definitely felt less productive. Hopefully with three days of time to yourself, you'll be able to get back on track. Or, fully binge Schitt's Creek. Whichever seems more fun. I tried to get into it recently, but didn't get past the first episode. The last two shows I binge-watched were Brooklyn 99 and The Good Place. If you're burned out, I think it's okay to give yourself some grace and still keep the streak alive little by little.


LOL I'm sure there are some interesting threads on that subreddit.  I wonder if that reply was referring to the continent or the human LOL.

Yeah, when they're not critique ones, they're usually gold. I found one a while ago that was discussing clothing for winged characters and I was like "I relate to this so much."

LMAO. Those are even funnier. However, since that poster's response to "Assuming they beat their wings 24 times per minute..." was "Exactly," I'm guessing it was the pterodactyl, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 09, 2021, 02:57:38 PM
I'm glad the reviews are still saved and accessible!  I've lost all the old feedback emails I used to save because I switched from Hotmail to Yahoo to Gmail over the years, and Hotmail and Yahoo delete everything when your account is inactive too long - sad panda.  So it's nice to be able to go back and look at AC reviews if I want to.

It's nice that you have old PBox reviews to look back at.  I wonder what happened to those readers.

There's a good question for everyone:  If you could go back and tell your younger self something, what would it be?  You can answer in terms of fanfic, the fandom, or whatever you want.

Aw, I didn't know they started deleting things. Alas, I can never go back to being "nicksgalbsbrul es," lol. If only you could go back and save them in a more permanent spot.

It was nice to look at them again. And well, if they're subscribed to me and still use their old emails, then they got a nice little note that I returned from the dead, lol. I do wonder what some of the oldies are up to whenever I peruse old threads. Anyone else look at the front page lately? I saw the Lenni posted something (another blast from the past) and someone else I don't recognize updated something from 2015. Maybe a little resurgence is slowly starting. I hope they come say hello.

I joke, and have joked before, but in all reality I feel like I'd do it all again (for the most part) since I wouldn't have all this wisdom now if I hadn't done whatever in the first place. Fandom-wise, maybe I would tell myself to actually come back the one time I'd considered it in 2011. Then I could have gone on a cruise with everyone with the money I didn't have, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 09, 2021, 04:50:55 PM
I don't think I'm googling the right thing... Anyone know off hand which of the Boys were still living in Florida circa Millennium? Mostly Kevin's living arrangements at the time. It's honestly just a "what Kevin was doing prior to this scene" type throw away line and I thought "on a date with Kristin" might be good whereabouts.

Edited to Add: Nevermind, I finally found an old article referencing Kevin and Brian's engagements that said that Kevin was still living in Florida, but Kristin was living in LA around that time. Think she would have happened to pop by Florida to hang out before the Boys officially left on tour? lol
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 10, 2021, 12:09:42 AM
I have officially finished backdating PBox and decided to add these additional tags to it: Families of Choice, Demons, Mythology References, Worldbuilding, Character Development

I feel like those accurately describe PBox. There's probably more I could add, but I'm not ready to go tag-crazy yet... Now let's see if adding additional tags does anything for the views. I love a good science experiment.

As for current writing... Y'all ever sit down to write and then write something, either ridiculously funny or poignantly beautiful or horrifically scary or whatever and it's only a paragraph or a couple exchanges of dialogue, but your brain says "Ah yes, this is excellent writing. We've done our job for the day." And then you're like, "What? No. Brain... we were just getting started." This is where I am today again... Why does this keep happening? lol

Yay for finishing backdating!  That is a big undertaking, but a good feeling when you finish.  You'll have to let us know if you notice increased readership after adding new tags.

LOL Yep, that happens to me a lot.  Sometimes that is all I get done in the day, and sometimes I'm able to push through it and make myself write more.  But hey, every little bit helps, and if you feel that satisfied with each paragraph or line, that's great!  Hopefully you'll be able to string more of them together as the story goes on.


I think they became "rules" at some point because there's some idea out there that if anyone doesn't understand why it's a "rule," then they shouldn't be breaking it. But then I ask, well, how else is anyone supposed to learn how to execute these things effectively without trying it out? It's the same thing you were saying about all of us starting to write shorter stories as kids. Once we realized we liked writing, how did we start writing longer stories? Well, we tried things out and figured out what worked and what didn't. I honestly think that's better than just avoiding everything because it's a "rule." I honestly think I needed my purple prose phase to get better. Cerulean orbs and all.

Yes!  It's better to learn by doing, even if that means doing things the "wrong" way at first and figuring out for yourself how to do them the "right" way.  I definitely needed my purple prose phase to get better.  That's how I made the transition from writing those novella-length "novels" that still had a lot of telling to writing actual novels that have more depth and description.  We had to overwrite to find that happy medium.


Done. Clearly I could not think of anything in particular to write. lol. I hope everyone enjoyed the ellipses abuse at the end.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 10, 2021, 12:07:05 PM
Yay for finishing backdating!  That is a big undertaking, but a good feeling when you finish.  You'll have to let us know if you notice increased readership after adding new tags.

LOL Yep, that happens to me a lot.  Sometimes that is all I get done in the day, and sometimes I'm able to push through it and make myself write more.  But hey, every little bit helps, and if you feel that satisfied with each paragraph or line, that's great!  Hopefully you'll be able to string more of them together as the story goes on.

It did feel nice, although I think there's a glitch because it still says that I finished posting it in 2021 even though I changed it, so who knows! I would be very sad if I truly had started PBox in 2005 and finished it in 2021, lol. The series, fine. The one book, eek, lol. So far, no increased readership; will continue to provide updates.

I was able to push through it yesterday, but not the first time it happened this week. It was just a line with a lot of alliteration, so it felt almost lyrical. I would have shared it because I enjoyed it that much, but it would have been spoilery. You're right, we've just got to keep on stringing words and sentences together! I'm glad I'm not the only one that happens to; I wonder why our brains do that.


Yes!  It's better to learn by doing, even if that means doing things the "wrong" way at first and figuring out for yourself how to do them the "right" way.  I definitely needed my purple prose phase to get better.  That's how I made the transition from writing those novella-length "novels" that still had a lot of telling to writing actual novels that have more depth and description.  We had to overwrite to find that happy medium.

I feel like a lot of new writers get bogged down by the "right" way to do things. And browsing r/writing or r/fanfic has only made me feel more that way. And I think that's disheartening that people are so paralyzed by the thought of doing something "wrong" in a creative medium that they're afraid to try. And I get wanting to help people avoid the pain of rejection for something simple like "use strong verbs instead of weak verbs paired with adverbs," but I also think that if anyone's seriously pursuing publishing that they would find people to read their drafts before sending them out to agents or publishers. And those beta readers would say "have you considered 'sprinted' instead of 'quickly ran'?" or whatever. And fanfic, even more so, I can't imagine anyone's going to pop into a review unprompted to talk about the use of adverbs or plot holes or whatever unless it was a clarity/format issue that made it hard to read/understand.

I can't remember if we talked about this back when we discussed "breakout" stories or not, but do you remember actively thinking "Oh, x is a "writing rule" I am breaking, what can I do to make my story better?" Or "I feel like I'm not doing x well enough, what can I do to fix that?" Anyone else can answer too, as always.

I know I had a PDF I'd lovingly saved to a floppy disk at my mom's work so I could bring it home to my internet-less computer because it talked about story structure and character arcs, but had a section specifically focused on villains. And this would have been when I was working on that 2003 OF because I think I some point I realized the villain was just evil for the sake of being evil and it was kind of boring. So I went on this whole research project to figure out what I was "doing wrong" with my boring villain (who shouldn't have been boring, they were a literal god and awesome in theory). Anyway, long story short, the answer was something to the effect of "because they're evil isn't a good motivation for a villain to do the things they do, so they should have a reason just like the heroes have a reason, which probably isn't 'because they're good'." Anyway, the point of this story related to BSB fanfic was that I got it figured out for that story and took it to heart when I was crafting Justin and Renee in PBox, and I like to think they're better for it. But I wouldn't have gotten to that point without reading other villains that were good and writing a bunch of BSB fanfics where the "villains" ("rivals" is probably a better term) were ho hum.

I realize this particular example isn't directly applicable to many BSB fanfics, it's not like cancer has a tragic backstory where it was shunned by the regular cells for being a little different, so it decided to make other cells like it and destroy the world. (Or maybe that is the backstory for every cancer cell, lol.)


All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...

That would have been much funnier; I have failed in this joke.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 10, 2021, 10:25:50 PM
After writing that, I ended up shuffling some things around and did end up cracking 1000 words. So maybe all I needed was to make my goal a little smaller, lol. It felt a little daunting expecting a PBox&Co level of output with a story that's only been bopping around in my head for a few months, especially when the output didn't match at the beginning. I also keep writing the most hilarious jokes and wanting to share them with you all, but also not wanting to spoil the hilarity of them in an actual read through. It's sad now, but that may get me to finish the story faster, lol.

Other things I figured out yesterday were: the title, probably, "Come What May" (the line from Time) is what I'm percolating right now; exactly how many chapters it is, only fifteen unless Nick does something crazy in the middle like refusing to die and spoiling my plans (this is a PBox reference, I'm not planning on killing any of the Boys off in this one); and that I had to include Leighanne as a periphery character for Brian to have the character arc he needed (boooooo...). And that's where we are! I've been writing a little PDemons on the side, hoping to get at least ten (fifteen is better) chapters complete by the last week of PNecklace posting. If I get that far and finish this one, then I'll post this story while I'm still posting PNecklace. Right now, instead of just writing something every day, I'm writing whatever strikes me and at least a little of this story.

Yay for 1000 words and a title!  That is huge!  And yes, anticipating the readers' reaction can be a great motivator.  Can't wait till you're far enough to start posting!


I've done that before too. I also deleted it, lol. I get how getting off a routine is hard. I've been sleeping in a lot this week and showering after lunch and I've definitely felt less productive. Hopefully with three days of time to yourself, you'll be able to get back on track. Or, fully binge Schitt's Creek. Whichever seems more fun. I tried to get into it recently, but didn't get past the first episode. The last two shows I binge-watched were Brooklyn 99 and The Good Place. If you're burned out, I think it's okay to give yourself some grace and still keep the streak alive little by little.

Yep, I definitely deleted that line when I went back to it last night LOL.  I finally made it up to my writing room and got over 100 words written in a sitting for the first time in a week, which is... something.  I did not stay up there and write for long, though.  I dunno; I just wasn't feeling it.  I haven't had caffeine in like three days, so that could be part of my problem.  After another lazy day, I am drinking coffee at 10 p.m. in hopes it will fuel me to either have a productive writing night or go paint my bathroom LOL.

I also started Schitt's Creek a few years ago and only watched the first episode.  I thought it was okay, but not great enough to keep going.  Well, my mom is obsessed with it now, so she convinced me to give it another try.  It's definitely one of those shows that gets better after a couple of episodes, when you get to know the characters.  It's not usually laugh out loud funny, but it is entertaining.  I'm not really a sitcom person; I binge-watched all of The Office a few years ago and loved that one, but that's probably the only one I've seen every episode of, besides South Park if that counts.

I've been on more of a documentary kick this weekend.  I watched two documentaries about the Olympics/gymnastics - "Golden" and "The 96 Effect" on Peacock - and am working my way through "This is Pop" on Netflix.  Brian is interviewed in the Stockholm Syndrome episode about Swedish songwriters.


LMAO. Those are even funnier. However, since that poster's response to "Assuming they beat their wings 24 times per minute..." was "Exactly," I'm guessing it was the pterodactyl, lol.

The pterodactyl!  LMAO Well, of course.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 10, 2021, 10:44:57 PM
Aw, I didn't know they started deleting things. Alas, I can never go back to being "nicksgalbsbrul es," lol. If only you could go back and save them in a more permanent spot.

It was nice to look at them again. And well, if they're subscribed to me and still use their old emails, then they got a nice little note that I returned from the dead, lol. I do wonder what some of the oldies are up to whenever I peruse old threads. Anyone else look at the front page lately? I saw the Lenni posted something (another blast from the past) and someone else I don't recognize updated something from 2015. Maybe a little resurgence is slowly starting. I hope they come say hello.

I know, it sucks.  I guess it's my fault for not logging into my old Yahoo account more often, but damn.  I wish I had copied and pasted them all into a Word document or something because I would still have that saved.  I wish there was a way to mass-save reviews from AC in case the site goes down permanently someday.  That's a lot of copy-pasting to do LOL.

I had not looked at the main site this week until you said that, but wow, how weird to see Lenni post a story out of nowhere!  That has happened over the years; old regulars will pop on and say hi or update something, then disappear again.  I'm glad you stuck around!


I joke, and have joked before, but in all reality I feel like I'd do it all again (for the most part) since I wouldn't have all this wisdom now if I hadn't done whatever in the first place. Fandom-wise, maybe I would tell myself to actually come back the one time I'd considered it in 2011. Then I could have gone on a cruise with everyone with the money I didn't have, lol.

Aww, I wish you had come back in 2011 and cruised with us!  But maybe that wasn't enough time away for you to miss fanfic enough to stage a successful comeback like you did last year.  I do believe everything happens for a reason.  And I hope there will be more cruises in the future!  My bank account and credit card are happy they've had plenty of time to recover since the last one I went on, though.

I feel the same way about that question.  I don't think I would go back and do anything differently because everything I've done up to this point has made me the writer and person I am today.  Maybe I would go back and tell myself not to post some of the stories that still sit unfinished, but even that was a valuable learning experience that taught me to hoard chapters and not post until I'm reasonably sure I can finish the story.  Maybe I would think longer and harder about the name of my site if I knew it was going to be around 21+ years later.  I don't necessarily dislike the name Dreamer's Sanctuary, but sometimes I wish I'd come up with something a little more clever or Backstreet-related.  Fun fact:  I strongly considered changing the name to "Sadness is Beautiful" sometime around 2001, but ultimately decided it would be too much work to rebrand everything and change URLs.  I'm glad I stuck with the original name just for continuity's sake.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 10, 2021, 10:56:38 PM
I don't think I'm googling the right thing... Anyone know off hand which of the Boys were still living in Florida circa Millennium? Mostly Kevin's living arrangements at the time. It's honestly just a "what Kevin was doing prior to this scene" type throw away line and I thought "on a date with Kristin" might be good whereabouts.

Edited to Add: Nevermind, I finally found an old article referencing Kevin and Brian's engagements that said that Kevin was still living in Florida, but Kristin was living in LA around that time. Think she would have happened to pop by Florida to hang out before the Boys officially left on tour? lol

Glad you found what you were looking for!  All I know is that Kevin and Kristin bought a house in L.A. in March 2001.  https://variety.com/2009/dirt/real-estalker/backstreet-boy-kevin-richardson-moving-on-1201229329/  This is the house I made the terrible blueprint for for my story LOL.

All my stories set that far back in time have taken place when they were on tour, so I've never really researched where they were all living then.  I know Brian and Leighanne bought their current house in 2000 before they got married, but I'm not sure where they lived before that.  AJ bought a house in L.A. in August 2001 (https://variety.com/2011/dirt/real-estalker/backstreet-boy-a-j-mclean-wants-to-move-1201231580/), so he may still have been living in Florida before that.  I'm assuming Howie and Nick also still lived in Florida then.

In summary, I think you can realistically write them all living in Florida in your story, just not in the same house by the beach in Orlando. ;)
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 10, 2021, 11:41:48 PM
Yay for 1000 words and a title!  That is huge!  And yes, anticipating the readers' reaction can be a great motivator.  Can't wait till you're far enough to start posting!

It's definitely getting somewhere, just slowly lurching along. It helps that the chapters feel more like 2500 word ones than 3000 word ones. So all in all, it'll only be about 40,000 words or so. If I can pick up some steam on it, I can be done with that near the end of August, hopefully. Yeah, unless y'all don't find it nearly as funny as I do. Then you'll be like "why did Dee write this weird story that isn't funny at all?" lol I hope you do enjoy it. I've been listening to the Boys all evening while shredding papers, so I'm hoping it puts me in a more BSB writing mood than chores.


Yep, I definitely deleted that line when I went back to it last night LOL.  I finally made it up to my writing room and got over 100 words written in a sitting for the first time in a week, which is... something.  I did not stay up there and write for long, though.  I dunno; I just wasn't feeling it.  I haven't had caffeine in like three days, so that could be part of my problem.  After another lazy day, I am drinking coffee at 10 p.m. in hopes it will fuel me to either have a productive writing night or go paint my bathroom LOL.

I figured you would. I always have too. I had kind of a blah writing day today too. I ended up doing some chores around my house, reading a few more chapters in "Solutions and Other Problems" after like three months, and watching a few BBT episodes. I kept popping back to writing ever few hours or so, but only got a few dozen words here and there. No caffeine?! Oh dear. I had so much caffeine yesterday and then drank all evening. That could be part of my blahs, lol. Today I had a regular amount of caffeine, but felt very lazy all day. I hope your 10pm coffee gives you the energy to do something productive! We have a clear idea of how your neighbors would feel about night lawn mowing. How would they feel about night painting? lol


I also started Schitt's Creek a few years ago and only watched the first episode.  I thought it was okay, but not great enough to keep going.  Well, my mom is obsessed with it now, so she convinced me to give it another try.  It's definitely one of those shows that gets better after a couple of episodes, when you get to know the characters.  It's not usually laugh out loud funny, but it is entertaining.  I'm not really a sitcom person; I binge-watched all of The Office a few years ago and loved that one, but that's probably the only one I've seen every episode of, besides South Park if that counts.

I've been on more of a documentary kick this weekend.  I watched two documentaries about the Olympics/gymnastics - "Golden" and "The 96 Effect" on Peacock - and am working my way through "This is Pop" on Netflix.  Brian is interviewed in the Stockholm Syndrome episode about Swedish songwriters.

Good to know. I mentioned it yesterday when we started talking about shows worth bingeing and was told it's great, so maybe I'll have to give it a rewatch if you had the same initial opinion that I did. I'm surprised I didn't like it because everyone keeps telling me it's good and I do like sitcoms.

Ooh, fun! I've been meaning to watch "This is Pop." Hubs and I were watching the "Dark Side of Football" the other day and apparently the same channel is starting "Dark Side of the 90s" and I am intrigued. But I said that to the hubs and he said "It's probably Kurt Cobain and stuff like that." He seemed skeptical when I said being in a boyband wasn't all sunshine and rainbows either (for the actual boybands, I had a great time in boyband land in the 90s). Lance made that Boyband Con film, I bet he'd go on and talk about ponzi schemes.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 11, 2021, 12:01:25 AM
I know, it sucks.  I guess it's my fault for not logging into my old Yahoo account more often, but damn.  I wish I had copied and pasted them all into a Word document or something because I would still have that saved.  I wish there was a way to mass-save reviews from AC in case the site goes down permanently someday.  That's a lot of copy-pasting to do LOL.

I had not looked at the main site this week until you said that, but wow, how weird to see Lenni post a story out of nowhere!  That has happened over the years; old regulars will pop on and say hi or update something, then disappear again.  I'm glad you stuck around!

Right? I'm thinking of all the old emails I had that I would have loved to keep if I had known the internet wasn't forever. Not review related, but I probably emailed myself the early version of PBox at one point too -- I wish I knew what the first eight chapters were originally like back in 2005. I wouldn't have any of that saved now though, since it would have been on my various laptops that died. Oh well. Saving your AC reviews sounds like your next fanfic adjacent project when you're done posting SAMS on AO3, lol.

I like to check on Wednesday when I update, just to see what everyone else is doing. Or if anyone else is doing something besides you and Tracy, but only because I know when you both update because you say so. I wonder why it's pops and not sticks. But of course! My point in saying hi was to catch back up. :)

For Lenni specifically, I wondered if she had an AO3 account. There's a lot of turtle love over there that I think would appreciate her stories too (I looked it up). Lenni, if you're lurking and you're not on AO3, you should be. You can log on and confirm or deny. :)


Aww, I wish you had come back in 2011 and cruised with us!  But maybe that wasn't enough time away for you to miss fanfic enough to stage a successful comeback like you did last year.  I do believe everything happens for a reason.  And I hope there will be more cruises in the future!  My bank account and credit card are happy they've had plenty of time to recover since the last one I went on, though.

I feel the same way about that question.  I don't think I would go back and do anything differently because everything I've done up to this point has made me the writer and person I am today.  Maybe I would go back and tell myself not to post some of the stories that still sit unfinished, but even that was a valuable learning experience that taught me to hoard chapters and not post until I'm reasonably sure I can finish the story.  Maybe I would think longer and harder about the name of my site if I knew it was going to be around 21+ years later.  I don't necessarily dislike the name Dreamer's Sanctuary, but sometimes I wish I'd come up with something a little more clever or Backstreet-related.  Fun fact:  I strongly considered changing the name to "Sadness is Beautiful" sometime around 2001, but ultimately decided it would be too much work to rebrand everything and change URLs.  I'm glad I stuck with the original name just for continuity's sake.

I will be honest. I did not set myself to "hidden" to lurk while logged in and someone came on and looked at my profile and I chickened out, lol. It might have been Rose if memory serves me correctly. I was also still not writing fanfic at the time, so I doubt my comeback would have been successful. But maybe being here would have made me want to write again too, so who knows! :shrug: I hear there's another potential Vegas residency and roulette in a casino is almost the same as roulette on a boat, lol. The pools are closed (or very limited) in December though, I think. And yes, cruises are expensive! But worth it.

Exactly. I agree, it's even worth it to make a mistake. None of us can be sure anything we do will have good or bad outcomes until we do them. That's interesting that you thought about changing the name, but you're totally right, rebranding is a headache! What made you pick Dreamer's Sanctuary to start?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 11, 2021, 12:16:22 AM
Glad you found what you were looking for!  All I know is that Kevin and Kristin bought a house in L.A. in March 2001.  https://variety.com/2009/dirt/real-estalker/backstreet-boy-kevin-richardson-moving-on-1201229329/  This is the house I made the terrible blueprint for for my story LOL.

All my stories set that far back in time have taken place when they were on tour, so I've never really researched where they were all living then.  I know Brian and Leighanne bought their current house in 2000 before they got married, but I'm not sure where they lived before that.  AJ bought a house in L.A. in August 2001 (https://variety.com/2011/dirt/real-estalker/backstreet-boy-a-j-mclean-wants-to-move-1201231580/), so he may still have been living in Florida before that.  I'm assuming Howie and Nick also still lived in Florida then.

In summary, I think you can realistically write them all living in Florida in your story, just not in the same house by the beach in Orlando. ;)

This is now the second time you've talked about this terrible blue print. I want to see it so much, lol.

For once, I have an answer to Brian and Leighanne! (I think.) That same article said Brian proposed at "their home in Atlanta," so I'm guessing they had some other home in Atlanta prior to their current home if they didn't buy that one until 2000. (https://people.com/archive/goin-to-the-chapel-vol-53-no-9/ (https://people.com/archive/goin-to-the-chapel-vol-53-no-9/))

LMAO! They are all staying in the same hotel suite in the story, which is almost like living in a beach house in Orlando together except more likely to be accurate (especially without the beach), and more so if Brian was living in Atlanta at the time and couldn't just be at home during tour rehearsals.

Also, once again, I am amazed at y'all keeping track of timelines, because this is literally the timeline I'm trying to keep track of and it is exhausting:

A tiny BSB timeline:

Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 11, 2021, 12:41:48 AM
It did feel nice, although I think there's a glitch because it still says that I finished posting it in 2021 even though I changed it, so who knows! I would be very sad if I truly had started PBox in 2005 and finished it in 2021, lol. The series, fine. The one book, eek, lol. So far, no increased readership; will continue to provide updates.

I was able to push through it yesterday, but not the first time it happened this week. It was just a line with a lot of alliteration, so it felt almost lyrical. I would have shared it because I enjoyed it that much, but it would have been spoilery. You're right, we've just got to keep on stringing words and sentences together! I'm glad I'm not the only one that happens to; I wonder why our brains do that.

You probably missed a chapter.  The same thing happened to me, and that's what it was.  I had to go back and check chapters until I found the one I had apparently skipped over, and that fixed it.

LOL That will be 00Carter, except we'll probably never actually finish it.  2007-???

I adore alliteration!!  Probably too much - sometimes I overuse it to the point of sounding cheesy, but I love that lyrical flow.  


I feel like a lot of new writers get bogged down by the "right" way to do things. And browsing r/writing or r/fanfic has only made me feel more that way. And I think that's disheartening that people are so paralyzed by the thought of doing something "wrong" in a creative medium that they're afraid to try.

Yes, that makes me sad, too.  I also cringe every time I see someone talk about the lessons they learned in school, like "show not tell" or "said is dead," confusing them or leading to overwriting/purple prose.  Personally, I don't remember ever really being taught how to write fiction in school.  The focus was on persuasive and expository writing, and the instruction was very formulaic.  We responded to writing prompts, and we used graphic organizers like the hamburger or the house, and we wrote five-paragraph essays.  It wasn't until high school that a teacher finally told us, "You know, an essay can be longer than five paragraphs."  Mind blown. LOL  So I get how kids/newbies can be so rigid in their thinking that they assume the way they were taught is the only way to do it.  Maybe it's a good thing, then, that I was never explicitly taught how to write fiction and learned it on my own by reading and emulating what other writers did.

I do teach fiction writing, and while I definitely teach "show don't tell" and have taught lessons on varying word choice instead of overusing certain words (more so words like "good" and "bad" than "said"), I try to show my students that there are multiple ways to do it.  I write in front of them to model what I'm teaching, but we also study mentor texts to see different ways published authors write.  They have a lot more freedom as far as what they write about and how they write it.  Some of them still tell far more than show, while others over-show by including every mundane detail, but I'm always impressed by how creative they are and how well some of them write.  Hopefully I've helped spark that creativity and not stifled.  I wonder if any of them have discovered fanfic over the years.  That would be cool!


And I get wanting to help people avoid the pain of rejection for something simple like "use strong verbs instead of weak verbs paired with adverbs," but I also think that if anyone's seriously pursuing publishing that they would find people to read their drafts before sending them out to agents or publishers. And those beta readers would say "have you considered 'sprinted' instead of 'quickly ran'?" or whatever. And fanfic, even more so, I can't imagine anyone's going to pop into a review unprompted to talk about the use of adverbs or plot holes or whatever unless it was a clarity/format issue that made it hard to read/understand.

Yeah, beta readers are good for that.  That seems like a good first step for anyone seriously considering publishing.  Because you're right, most reviewers aren't going to point out something like that.  It seems too nitpicky.  I would only give that kind of feedback if asked to beta read.


I can't remember if we talked about this back when we discussed "breakout" stories or not, but do you remember actively thinking "Oh, x is a "writing rule" I am breaking, what can I do to make my story better?" Or "I feel like I'm not doing x well enough, what can I do to fix that?" Anyone else can answer too, as always.

I know I had a PDF I'd lovingly saved to a floppy disk at my mom's work so I could bring it home to my internet-less computer because it talked about story structure and character arcs, but had a section specifically focused on villains. And this would have been when I was working on that 2003 OF because I think I some point I realized the villain was just evil for the sake of being evil and it was kind of boring. So I went on this whole research project to figure out what I was "doing wrong" with my boring villain (who shouldn't have been boring, they were a literal god and awesome in theory). Anyway, long story short, the answer was something to the effect of "because they're evil isn't a good motivation for a villain to do the things they do, so they should have a reason just like the heroes have a reason, which probably isn't 'because they're good'." Anyway, the point of this story related to BSB fanfic was that I got it figured out for that story and took it to heart when I was crafting Justin and Renee in PBox, and I like to think they're better for it. But I wouldn't have gotten to that point without reading other villains that were good and writing a bunch of BSB fanfics where the "villains" ("rivals" is probably a better term) were ho hum.

I realize this particular example isn't directly applicable to many BSB fanfics, it's not like cancer has a tragic backstory where it was shunned by the regular cells for being a little different, so it decided to make other cells like it and destroy the world. (Or maybe that is the backstory for every cancer cell, lol.)

That is a good question and a good example with the villain thing.  I can actually relate to that.  I used to write more suspense stories in my early days of fanfic because that is one of my favorite genres.  But I wasn't good at it.  My villains were too cliched - mostly evil NSYNC members out for revenge or evil, gold-digging girlfriends - and my plots were too predictable.  I tried writing a mystery once, and my readers figured out who the real killer was early on in the story, so I tried the Scream trick of adding a second villain, but then the second villain's motive didn't really make sense - not that the original villain's motive was great to begin with.  It was a mess.  I also wrote the Scooby Doo-style villain monologues where they explain how and why they did what they did. ("And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling Backstreet Boys!")  The best suspense story I wrote in the pre-Broken era was inspired by a Lifetime Original Movie, which says a lot LOL.

At some point I realized I sucked at writing suspense and villains and shied away from that type of story for years.  I did enjoy writing Dr. Rough in 00Carter, but he is such a parody that he doesn't really count as a serious villain.  I finally gave suspense another try with Guilty Roads, and we all know how well that went.  But the next time I tried tackling that kind of story, I put a lot more effort into developing the villains as well-rounded characters rather than cliched caricatures.  I worked on the characters first, before plotting the full story.  I did a ton of research into why real people like them do what they do and wrote detailed back stories for them to make their motives believable.  Like other psychopaths, they were charismatic and even likeable characters before their callous nature came out, rather than pure evil.  And no one fully predicted where the story was going, although points to Tracy for being suspicious about one of the villains early on.  I still was able to pull off a twist and get the reader reaction I was hoping for, instead of having people figure out everything in advance.  So that experience gave me back some confidence when it comes to writing suspense and villains.  With the right idea, I would write another one.

But I still prefer cancer as a villain.  Poor little cancer cells, shunned by the regular ones for being mutants.  Of course they want to take over the world!  They're just like Dr. Rough! LOL

Going back to your original question, I do remember actively thinking before I started Broken, "If I'm going to write another cancer story, I have to write it well.  I have to research and write it realistically and try to make it at least as good as Swollen Issues II."  I knew my writing wasn't as good as some of the stories I read, and I think it was the challenge of trying to live up to Swollen Issues II, the story that inspired Broken, that forced me to up my game and strive for greatness.  Once I got into my groove on that one, my writing just got better and better.  I'm sure part of that was just maturity and the natural progression of my writing up to that point, but I really did try to step it up with my descriptions and characters' emotions and of course the medical research.  Swollen Issues II is far from the best written piece of fanfic of all time, but it packs an emotional punch and gets the medical stuff right.  Those were the two things I was going for above all, and I think I succeeded the most I could at that point in my life.

2008 was a big year for me learning how to write a setting.  I think setting sometimes gets neglected in fanfic, at least in our fandom, because we use a lot of the same basic settings - cities like LA or Orlando, Backstreet Boys' houses, tour buses, concert venues, hospitals, etc.  I wrote a lot of AU in 2008, between 00Carter, Secrets of the Heart, and Song for the Undead, and that is how I learned to develop more detailed settings.  I remember putting a lot of effort into researching the geography of Antarctica to write the opening scene of the Ice Ice Baby episode of 00Carter.  I also read a lot of Stephen King that year and remember being inspired by 'Salem's Lot as I described the settings in Secrets of the Heart.  Granted, setting plays a more important role in 'Salem's Lot than it did in my story, but at least it got me to put more thought into my settings than I had previously.  I do a lot more Google-mapping while writing these days than I ever did before then.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 11, 2021, 12:55:34 AM
It's definitely getting somewhere, just slowly lurching along. It helps that the chapters feel more like 2500 word ones than 3000 word ones. So all in all, it'll only be about 40,000 words or so. If I can pick up some steam on it, I can be done with that near the end of August, hopefully. Yeah, unless y'all don't find it nearly as funny as I do. Then you'll be like "why did Dee write this weird story that isn't funny at all?" lol I hope you do enjoy it. I've been listening to the Boys all evening while shredding papers, so I'm hoping it puts me in a more BSB writing mood than chores.

I figured you would. I always have too. I had kind of a blah writing day today too. I ended up doing some chores around my house, reading a few more chapters in "Solutions and Other Problems" after like three months, and watching a few BBT episodes. I kept popping back to writing ever few hours or so, but only got a few dozen words here and there. No caffeine?! Oh dear. I had so much caffeine yesterday and then drank all evening. That could be part of my blahs, lol. Today I had a regular amount of caffeine, but felt very lazy all day. I hope your 10pm coffee gives you the energy to do something productive! We have a clear idea of how your neighbors would feel about night lawn mowing. How would they feel about night painting? lol

That sounds like a perfect length for a story like this!  I'm excited to read it.  And ooh, shredding paper - so satisfying!  Except I usually try to cram too much paper into the shredder at once and overheat it. :(

I think drinking/being hungover was part of my problem yesterday too.  I should have consumed caffeine, but I just lay around and did nothing but watch TV and play on my phone instead.

I finished my coffee and am at least enjoying discussing fanfic more than I felt like the last few days.  Maybe writing will follow.  Or painting.  I haven't decided yet. LOL  My bathroom is upstairs and has no windows, so the neighbors never need know about my night painting.  I don't even think they'll hear my music - because of course I can't paint without blasting music.


Ooh, fun! I've been meaning to watch "This is Pop." Hubs and I were watching the "Dark Side of Football" the other day and apparently the same channel is starting "Dark Side of the 90s" and I am intrigued. But I said that to the hubs and he said "It's probably Kurt Cobain and stuff like that." He seemed skeptical when I said being in a boyband wasn't all sunshine and rainbows either (for the actual boybands, I had a great time in boyband land in the 90s). Lance made that Boyband Con film, I bet he'd go on and talk about ponzi schemes.

This is Pop is good!  I started with the two episodes I thought would contain BSB (they are mentioned in the first episode, but it really focuses more on Boys II Men than boybands in general), but I've since started watching the other episodes, and they are interesting too.

Ooh, what channel is that with "Dark Side of the 90s"?  That does sound interesting.

Yeah, I don't think people outside the fandom and media have any idea how much drama the Boys have been through in their careers.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 11, 2021, 01:09:38 AM
Right? I'm thinking of all the old emails I had that I would have loved to keep if I had known the internet wasn't forever. Not review related, but I probably emailed myself the early version of PBox at one point too -- I wish I knew what the first eight chapters were originally like back in 2005. I wouldn't have any of that saved now though, since it would have been on my various laptops that died. Oh well. Saving your AC reviews sounds like your next fanfic adjacent project when you're done posting SAMS on AO3, lol.

I like to check on Wednesday when I update, just to see what everyone else is doing. Or if anyone else is doing something besides you and Tracy, but only because I know when you both update because you say so. I wonder why it's pops and not sticks. But of course! My point in saying hi was to catch back up. :)

For Lenni specifically, I wondered if she had an AO3 account. There's a lot of turtle love over there that I think would appreciate her stories too (I looked it up). Lenni, if you're lurking and you're not on AO3, you should be. You can log on and confirm or deny. :)

Oh man, that would be a big undertaking.  We'll see LOL.  It's not like I go back and look at old reviews often, but it's just nice to know I can if I'm feeling nostalgic.

Lenni should totally post her TMNT stories on AO3 if she's not already!  That's the downside to writing for other fandoms on AC; most of us only read BSB fic, so there's not a big audience for anything else.


I will be honest. I did not set myself to "hidden" to lurk while logged in and someone came on and looked at my profile and I chickened out, lol. It might have been Rose if memory serves me correctly. I was also still not writing fanfic at the time, so I doubt my comeback would have been successful. But maybe being here would have made me want to write again too, so who knows!

Aww, sorry one of us spooked you!


That's interesting that you thought about changing the name, but you're totally right, rebranding is a headache! What made you pick Dreamer's Sanctuary to start?

I don't even really remember.  I guess I was just going for something that sounded pretty and represented what fanfic was to me, which it still does - it's always been my secret safe space.  A lot of the fanfic sites I frequented back then had similar type names - Total Fantasy, Escape from Reality, Dreamer's Reality - so I went with the same vibe.  For as much time and thought as I put into thinking up titles for my stories now, I don't remember spending a lot of time coming up with it or what other names I may have had in mind.  I don't even know what I would change it to now if I decided to change it (which I wouldn't), so I guess it's good enough for me!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 11, 2021, 01:42:19 AM
This is now the second time you've talked about this terrible blue print. I want to see it so much, lol.

LMAO!  Fine... but only because I'm downstairs with both said blueprint and my phone readily available to take a pic of it.  Prepare to be amazed by my architectural skills: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pRSqyD5zQZx_WW9ihLgoErqFL_er88Q9/view?usp=sharing


For once, I have an answer to Brian and Leighanne! (I think.) That same article said Brian proposed at "their home in Atlanta," so I'm guessing they had some other home in Atlanta prior to their current home if they didn't buy that one until 2000. (https://people.com/archive/goin-to-the-chapel-vol-53-no-9/ (https://people.com/archive/goin-to-the-chapel-vol-53-no-9/))

That makes sense!  They probably did live in Atlanta before they got engaged because she's from Georgia and seems to get her way, so of course she would convince him to live close to her family and friends and not his.  Their current home is technically in Alpharetta, which is a suburb of Atlanta.


LMAO! They are all staying in the same hotel suite in the story, which is almost like living in a beach house in Orlando together except more likely to be accurate (especially without the beach), and more so if Brian was living in Atlanta at the time and couldn't just be at home during tour rehearsals.

Love it!!


Also, once again, I am amazed at y'all keeping track of timelines, because this is literally the timeline I'm trying to keep track of and it is exhausting:

A tiny BSB timeline:

  • April 12, 1999 -- IWITW released
  • May 11, 1999 -- filmed Disney Channel concert special in New York City
  • May 18, 1999 -- Millennium released
  • June 2, 1999 -- Into the Millennium tour kicks off in Ghent, Belgium

LOL!  What do you find most exhausting about it?  I've written a couple of stories (both unfinished) that take place during the Millennium tour, but Guilty Roads diverts from the real timeline pretty quickly in the beginning.  My Harry Potter crossover has only covered a couple of days so far, so once I figured out when to set it, I didn't have to worry much about the timeline.

The closest I've ever followed a real life timeline was with Curtain Call, and that did take a lot of outlining and fact-checking, but I had fun with it.  In some ways, it was easier to write a story set in 2010 because there were so many more resources around to find information - LD was still around, and there was Twitter and YouTube.  If I was writing about a specific show or soundcheck, I could look up videos or threads about that date.  That was actually helpful for giving me ideas and figuring out how to piece everything together.   I was also only writing a few months behind real time, so everything was pretty fresh in my mind.  Not like going back 22 years!  But the downside of that was that if I didn't get something right, readers were more likely to notice than they would be with a story set in 1999.  I don't think anyone's going to call you out if you mix something up.

But aww... looking at that timeline makes me smile.  That was such a magical time in the fandom.  IWITW is what took me from a casual fan to an obsessed fangirl, so everything was so fresh and fun back then.  I remember putting on MTV late at night in hopes they would play the IWITW video and dropping everything when I heard that plane roar in at the beginning. Preordering my copy of Millennium at Sam Goody at the mall.  Listening to it on repeat on my Discman all the way to Six Flags and back for my 8th grade field trip the week it came out. Taping the Disney concert on TV.  Talking my parents into taking me to my first concert and then crying all day when the tickets sold out in a matter of seconds, even though my mom and I were online and my dad was in line at a physical box office when they were released.  Heartbreaking!  We did eventually get tickets for the second leg, though, so it all worked out in the end.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 11, 2021, 05:35:20 PM
You probably missed a chapter.  The same thing happened to me, and that's what it was.  I had to go back and check chapters until I found the one I had apparently skipped over, and that fixed it.

LOL That will be 00Carter, except we'll probably never actually finish it.  2007-???

I adore alliteration!!  Probably too much - sometimes I overuse it to the point of sounding cheesy, but I love that lyrical flow.

I looked and I didn't skip any. So, not sure what's going on there. Short of readjusting dates, I'm not sure how to fix it.

Did 00Carter actually have a planed definitive end? Maybe it does and I missed that. I think it's fine if it never ends. Let's update it when we're sixty, lol.

Same. It had six couplets in there total, but two of my favorites were "benign and brilliant" and "horrifyingly hellish." There, no spoilers! lol


Yes, that makes me sad, too.  I also cringe every time I see someone talk about the lessons they learned in school, like "show not tell" or "said is dead," confusing them or leading to overwriting/purple prose.  Personally, I don't remember ever really being taught how to write fiction in school.  The focus was on persuasive and expository writing, and the instruction was very formulaic.  We responded to writing prompts, and we used graphic organizers like the hamburger or the house, and we wrote five-paragraph essays.  It wasn't until high school that a teacher finally told us, "You know, an essay can be longer than five paragraphs."  Mind blown. LOL  So I get how kids/newbies can be so rigid in their thinking that they assume the way they were taught is the only way to do it.  Maybe it's a good thing, then, that I was never explicitly taught how to write fiction and learned it on my own by reading and emulating what other writers did.

I do teach fiction writing, and while I definitely teach "show don't tell" and have taught lessons on varying word choice instead of overusing certain words (more so words like "good" and "bad" than "said"), I try to show my students that there are multiple ways to do it.  I write in front of them to model what I'm teaching, but we also study mentor texts to see different ways published authors write.  They have a lot more freedom as far as what they write about and how they write it.  Some of them still tell far more than show, while others over-show by including every mundane detail, but I'm always impressed by how creative they are and how well some of them write.  Hopefully I've helped spark that creativity and not stifled.  I wonder if any of them have discovered fanfic over the years.  That would be cool!

We had a bit more creative writing, but it was really minimal compared to essays with the organizers. I remember writing some fiction pieces in middle school and definitely in elementary school, but almost nothing in high school. There was a poetry elective we could take and I took that, but I don't remember any on fiction. I would have definitely signed up if there had been. I wonder if there's less creative writing in higher grades because the teachers don't feel equipped to teach or model it effectively. Like maybe they don't consider themselves creative types. As you know, I have a BA in English and took a few courses in the BFA track, but none of those other students said they were also in the School of Ed. I don't want to generalize here and say no teachers anywhere explore creative writing pursuits, but that would make sense why fiction instruction dwindles as time goes. I will also say, it's probably easier to teach someone else conventions, format, word choice, etcetera than deep diving into plot structure, character arcs, and so on. Like you could spend weeks alone talking about Campbell's "The Hero's Journey" without ever writing a single thing down. And if you're really wanting to teach a fiction class, I would think the focus would need to be about output more than analysis, but there also needs to be a good background to provide a foundation. That's probably a lot of why creative writing gets pushed off until the university level. There's also that and the assessment piece. It's way easier to assess "understands how to write dialogue and use creative verbs" versus "tells a compelling story," which is more subjective.

Also, right? The minute I learned that essay paragraphs, like chapters, were as many as the essay needed (and each one was as long as it needed to be), my life changed forever, lol.

I'm sure you're doing a great job teaching them creative pursuits! :) I think as long as you're giving them space to practice and try it out, that's what matters. I don't really think fourth graders are at a place where they're ready for concrit yet (again, on a story telling level, not on a conventions level), but maybe you've inspired the future fanfic writers of the next generation who will one day look up Campbell or whoever to further their writing. :) Let's just hope they stay in the BTS fandom or whoever the next boyband craze is rather than becoming BSB fans and finding you, lol.


Yeah, beta readers are good for that.  That seems like a good first step for anyone seriously considering publishing.  Because you're right, most reviewers aren't going to point out something like that.  It seems too nitpicky.  I would only give that kind of feedback if asked to beta read.

Living life without a beta reader is living life on the edge of disaster, lol. These days y'all are getting author as alpha and beta reader from me. Hope everyone enjoys it! ;) I think the one type of beta reader I'm missing in my OF pursuit is someone in the fandom who will tell me what still screams "Backstreet Boys," lol.


That is a good question and a good example with the villain thing.  I can actually relate to that.  I used to write more suspense stories in my early days of fanfic because that is one of my favorite genres.  But I wasn't good at it.  My villains were too cliched - mostly evil NSYNC members out for revenge or evil, gold-digging girlfriends - and my plots were too predictable.  I tried writing a mystery once, and my readers figured out who the real killer was early on in the story, so I tried the Scream trick of adding a second villain, but then the second villain's motive didn't really make sense - not that the original villain's motive was great to begin with.  It was a mess.  I also wrote the Scooby Doo-style villain monologues where they explain how and why they did what they did. ("And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling Backstreet Boys!")  The best suspense story I wrote in the pre-Broken era was inspired by a Lifetime Original Movie, which says a lot LOL.

At some point I realized I sucked at writing suspense and villains and shied away from that type of story for years.  I did enjoy writing Dr. Rough in 00Carter, but he is such a parody that he doesn't really count as a serious villain.  I finally gave suspense another try with Guilty Roads, and we all know how well that went.  But the next time I tried tackling that kind of story, I put a lot more effort into developing the villains as well-rounded characters rather than cliched caricatures.  I worked on the characters first, before plotting the full story.  I did a ton of research into why real people like them do what they do and wrote detailed back stories for them to make their motives believable.  Like other psychopaths, they were charismatic and even likeable characters before their callous nature came out, rather than pure evil.  And no one fully predicted where the story was going, although points to Tracy for being suspicious about one of the villains early on.  I still was able to pull off a twist and get the reader reaction I was hoping for, instead of having people figure out everything in advance.  So that experience gave me back some confidence when it comes to writing suspense and villains.  With the right idea, I would write another one.

But I still prefer cancer as a villain.  Poor little cancer cells, shunned by the regular ones for being mutants.  Of course they want to take over the world!  They're just like Dr. Rough! LOL

I think that's part of why I never really wrote suspense either. So much of it depends on a villain you don't expect, which can be a real challenge. I think like you said, the way to go about it is to figure out the characters before going into the full story so they aren't caricatures and I appreciate the attention to detail in researching it. That makes it all the more realistic and a great way to recognize what may be underlying traits in certain types of "real life villains" (I'm assuming we're talking about serial killers here).

Tracy is a wizard.

I am dying at "You meddling Backstreet Boys"! lmao The world's hottest boyband is now the world's craftiest team of crime solvers! lol (Or "hottest team of crime solvers" might still work, lol.)

LMAO! They are just like Dr. Rough! Alas, poor misunderstood cancer cells.


Going back to your original question, I do remember actively thinking before I started Broken, "If I'm going to write another cancer story, I have to write it well.  I have to research and write it realistically and try to make it at least as good as Swollen Issues II."  I knew my writing wasn't as good as some of the stories I read, and I think it was the challenge of trying to live up to Swollen Issues II, the story that inspired Broken, that forced me to up my game and strive for greatness.  Once I got into my groove on that one, my writing just got better and better.  I'm sure part of that was just maturity and the natural progression of my writing up to that point, but I really did try to step it up with my descriptions and characters' emotions and of course the medical research.  Swollen Issues II is far from the best written piece of fanfic of all time, but it packs an emotional punch and gets the medical stuff right.  Those were the two things I was going for above all, and I think I succeeded the most I could at that point in my life.

2008 was a big year for me learning how to write a setting.  I think setting sometimes gets neglected in fanfic, at least in our fandom, because we use a lot of the same basic settings - cities like LA or Orlando, Backstreet Boys' houses, tour buses, concert venues, hospitals, etc.  I wrote a lot of AU in 2008, between 00Carter, Secrets of the Heart, and Song for the Undead, and that is how I learned to develop more detailed settings.  I remember putting a lot of effort into researching the geography of Antarctica to write the opening scene of the Ice Ice Baby episode of 00Carter.  I also read a lot of Stephen King that year and remember being inspired by 'Salem's Lot as I described the settings in Secrets of the Heart.  Granted, setting plays a more important role in 'Salem's Lot than it did in my story, but at least it got me to put more thought into my settings than I had previously.  I do a lot more Google-mapping while writing these days than I ever did before then.

I get wanting to do the idea justice. I think for as much as I whined about wishing people read PBox, I think I knew even back then that it really had to be compelling if they weren't "the Boys" 98% of the time. So one of my goals was always to make sure readers "got lost" in it, that it felt real and purposeful rather than just "fantasy Backstreet Boys."

Here's a loaded question for you: Is Broken at least as good as Swollen Issues II or did it surpass it? Feel free to skip if it's too loaded, lol. I've said it before, but I think the care and attention to detail speaks volumes about the growth you made and is shown in the writing. :)

Yeah setting is tough! Especially when a lot of our stories use the same settings that can be really generic if needed. I'd argue that as a fandom, description (at least in terms of establishing characters and places) is not our strong point. Probably for the reason that we just assume the blanks will get filled in. Like sure, use some words to give perfect grounding in this blond-haired, blue-eyed kid's routine when he wakes up on the road again... like how the water sloshes in the sink when he brushes his teeth... or just say "Nick was on his tour bus and then it crashed." Done. Easy. lol This is probably how the misconception "all of Florida = beachfront" started. At least with a little research, we could have had the Boys buy a house together in Miami where that would be more likely to be true, lol. I'm mad that I know so many vocabulary words about features in a desert, but it's worth it to avoid "it was a desert." lol
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 11, 2021, 05:41:34 PM
That sounds like a perfect length for a story like this!  I'm excited to read it.  And ooh, shredding paper - so satisfying!  Except I usually try to cram too much paper into the shredder at once and overheat it. :(

I'm trying to use your excitement to motivate myself, lol. It is, but I also cram too many papers in and it overheats. It got so bad that it just turned itself off then whirred to life an hour later to eat the jammed paper, lol.


I think drinking/being hungover was part of my problem yesterday too.  I should have consumed caffeine, but I just lay around and did nothing but watch TV and play on my phone instead.

I finished my coffee and am at least enjoying discussing fanfic more than I felt like the last few days.  Maybe writing will follow.  Or painting.  I haven't decided yet. LOL  My bathroom is upstairs and has no windows, so the neighbors never need know about my night painting.  I don't even think they'll hear my music - because of course I can't paint without blasting music.

People laugh when I say I went semi-sober for my novel, but it's true! It makes me way more productive.

Well, welcome back! Glad to have you around again. I'm glad the neighbors will be undisturbed by your night painting. What did you end up doing yesterday? Painting or writing?


This is Pop is good!  I started with the two episodes I thought would contain BSB (they are mentioned in the first episode, but it really focuses more on Boys II Men than boybands in general), but I've since started watching the other episodes, and they are interesting too.

Ooh, what channel is that with "Dark Side of the 90s"?  That does sound interesting.

Yeah, I don't think people outside the fandom and media have any idea how much drama the Boys have been through in their careers.

Awesome! I'll have to check it out. It's premiering on Thursday on Vice TV. They really don't. I think it's because of the "squeaky clean" persona of boybands.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 11, 2021, 05:53:29 PM
Oh man, that would be a big undertaking.  We'll see LOL.  It's not like I go back and look at old reviews often, but it's just nice to know I can if I'm feeling nostalgic.

Lenni should totally post her TMNT stories on AO3 if she's not already!  That's the downside to writing for other fandoms on AC; most of us only read BSB fic, so there's not a big audience for anything else.

Well what's the next fanfic adjacent project you're planning?

Except for crossover fanfics where NSYNC is the villain. Like I'm pretty sure that is the only reason NSYNC and other boybands became categories on AC, lol. I looked it up. I was wrong. At least half of the 33 NSYNC stories are actually about NSYNC doing NSYNC things.

Aww, sorry one of us spooked you!

I'm like a baby deer, lol!


I don't even really remember.  I guess I was just going for something that sounded pretty and represented what fanfic was to me, which it still does - it's always been my secret safe space.  A lot of the fanfic sites I frequented back then had similar type names - Total Fantasy, Escape from Reality, Dreamer's Reality - so I went with the same vibe.  For as much time and thought as I put into thinking up titles for my stories now, I don't remember spending a lot of time coming up with it or what other names I may have had in mind.  I don't even know what I would change it to now if I decided to change it (which I wouldn't), so I guess it's good enough for me!

That makes sense if many of the other sites you visited had a similar vibe you wanted to capture for yourself. I think it's a fitting website title, so it hasn't aged terribly or anything. :) But you're right, it would be fun if it was more Backstreet-y after all this time.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 11, 2021, 06:15:57 PM
LMAO!  Fine... but only because I'm downstairs with both said blueprint and my phone readily available to take a pic of it.  Prepare to be amazed by my architectural skills: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pRSqyD5zQZx_WW9ihLgoErqFL_er88Q9/view?usp=sharing

Yes! I love it! However, I see a road leading straight to the pool. Does that mean I could drive to Kevin's pool and swim in it? lol


That makes sense!  They probably did live in Atlanta before they got engaged because she's from Georgia and seems to get her way, so of course she would convince him to live close to her family and friends and not his.  Their current home is technically in Alpharetta, which is a suburb of Atlanta.

LMAO at "and seems to get her way."


LOL!  What do you find most exhausting about it?  I've written a couple of stories (both unfinished) that take place during the Millennium tour, but Guilty Roads diverts from the real timeline pretty quickly in the beginning.  My Harry Potter crossover has only covered a couple of days so far, so once I figured out when to set it, I didn't have to worry much about the timeline.

The closest I've ever followed a real life timeline was with Curtain Call, and that did take a lot of outlining and fact-checking, but I had fun with it.  In some ways, it was easier to write a story set in 2010 because there were so many more resources around to find information - LD was still around, and there was Twitter and YouTube.  If I was writing about a specific show or soundcheck, I could look up videos or threads about that date.  That was actually helpful for giving me ideas and figuring out how to piece everything together.   I was also only writing a few months behind real time, so everything was pretty fresh in my mind.  Not like going back 22 years!  But the downside of that was that if I didn't get something right, readers were more likely to notice than they would be with a story set in 1999.  I don't think anyone's going to call you out if you mix something up.

First, I hadn't written it down until I was typing this post yesterday, so I had to keep looking things up and that was annoying. This is a fatal flaw I suffer from, lol! (See: "Oh yeah, I lied, I did pick gemstones for a reason; I'd forgotten.") I have now written it down and you're right to laugh because four things doesn't seem that daunting to keep track of. Second, I think because I'm betting there are a bunch of media appearances (radio or television) in various places during that time that I can't remember, which might skew my version of events. That being said, if I don't remember them and Nick clearly thinks he was 16 when they recorded IWITW, then maybe no one else will be able to call me out on my four item detailed timeline being off, lol. Finding out that they recorded the Disney Concert before the tour was actually a load off of those worries, because then I knew they had to have rehearsed before the album was actually released, which gives a bigger chunk of time to do that in during the month of April, rather than stressing about how they rehearsed and promoted Millennium in the same two week time frame between Millennium's release and starting the tour at the beginning of June overseas. And you're honestly right, I'm not sure why I'm so worried about it because the story takes place over maybe a week... if even.

I can see why it would be a blessing and a curse to write something much closer to real time. You have all the resources at your finger tips, but so does everyone else. And because of that, why you'd need to be more meticulous. PBox&Co does have a timeline that I am fairly meticulous about, but the nice thing is that I made it up, so I don't have to go digging up specific footage or anything.

But aww... looking at that timeline makes me smile.  That was such a magical time in the fandom.  IWITW is what took me from a casual fan to an obsessed fangirl, so everything was so fresh and fun back then.  I remember putting on MTV late at night in hopes they would play the IWITW video and dropping everything when I heard that plane roar in at the beginning. Preordering my copy of Millennium at Sam Goody at the mall.  Listening to it on repeat on my Discman all the way to Six Flags and back for my 8th grade field trip the week it came out. Taping the Disney concert on TV.  Talking my parents into taking me to my first concert and then crying all day when the tickets sold out in a matter of seconds, even though my mom and I were online and my dad was in line at a physical box office when they were released.  Heartbreaking!  We did eventually get tickets for the second leg, though, so it all worked out in the end.

Such a magical time! The plane roar, AJ's laugh in LTL. Any of it, I'd drop whatever. To this day, hubs and I like to play a game at bars where we see who can name the song and the artist the quickest and my IWITW record is two notes; I'm fairly quick at other BSB songs too, but I am a savant at recognizing IWITW. I didn't actually own the CD until Christmas because my mother was a present saver when I was a child. She quickly learned that that would not be allowable in a Backstreet Boys household. (Also I miss Sam Goody.) Confession: I have actually purchased Millennium three times on CD because I played it so much that it scratched beyond repair.

Are you me? That was my same ITM Tour experience except we didn't get a second leg here (and we were only online). :( I eventually won tickets, but I was sooo heartbroken at first. I blame a new arena blocking off hoards of tickets for their investors for it being so bad. B&B was much easier to get tickets for.

On a side note, thank goodness physically waiting for tickets isn't a thing anymore, lol. I think the last time I did it was the KIISMAS Snowball in 2003.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 11, 2021, 11:08:30 PM
I looked and I didn't skip any. So, not sure what's going on there. Short of readjusting dates, I'm not sure how to fix it.

Did 00Carter actually have a planed definitive end? Maybe it does and I missed that. I think it's fine if it never ends. Let's update it when we're sixty, lol.

Same. It had six couplets in there total, but two of my favorites were "benign and brilliant" and "horrifyingly hellish." There, no spoilers! lol

Hm... I would check again if I were you.  Double check the year especially.  I'm not sure what else it would be.  Mine all reflected the right dates once I made sure I had every chapter backdated correctly.

Nope, 00Carter had plans for "Season 2 and beyond," so it could theoretically go on forever LOL.  I'm fine with that too.

Love those alliterations!


We had a bit more creative writing, but it was really minimal compared to essays with the organizers. I remember writing some fiction pieces in middle school and definitely in elementary school, but almost nothing in high school. There was a poetry elective we could take and I took that, but I don't remember any on fiction. I would have definitely signed up if there had been. I wonder if there's less creative writing in higher grades because the teachers don't feel equipped to teach or model it effectively. Like maybe they don't consider themselves creative types. As you know, I have a BA in English and took a few courses in the BFA track, but none of those other students said they were also in the School of Ed. I don't want to generalize here and say no teachers anywhere explore creative writing pursuits, but that would make sense why fiction instruction dwindles as time goes. I will also say, it's probably easier to teach someone else conventions, format, word choice, etcetera than deep diving into plot structure, character arcs, and so on. Like you could spend weeks alone talking about Campbell's "The Hero's Journey" without ever writing a single thing down. And if you're really wanting to teach a fiction class, I would think the focus would need to be about output more than analysis, but there also needs to be a good background to provide a foundation. That's probably a lot of why creative writing gets pushed off until the university level. There's also that and the assessment piece. It's way easier to assess "understands how to write dialogue and use creative verbs" versus "tells a compelling story," which is more subjective.

Also, right? The minute I learned that essay paragraphs, like chapters, were as many as the essay needed (and each one was as long as it needed to be), my life changed forever, lol.

I'm sure you're doing a great job teaching them creative pursuits! :) I think as long as you're giving them space to practice and try it out, that's what matters. I don't really think fourth graders are at a place where they're ready for concrit yet (again, on a story telling level, not on a conventions level), but maybe you've inspired the future fanfic writers of the next generation who will one day look up Campbell or whoever to further their writing. :) Let's just hope they stay in the BTS fandom or whoever the next boyband craze is rather than becoming BSB fans and finding you, lol.

I think writing fiction isn't emphasized in higher grades because it's less important as far as college and career readiness goes.  It's more important to be able to write to inform, persuade, or analyze than to entertain.  But kids who enjoy creative writing can take whatever basics they learn in elementary school and grow from there the same way we did - by reading and writing for fun and learning from experience.

Thanks! :)  LOL This is why I write under a pen name, just in case.  Even on the off chance one of them did become a BSB fan and stumbled onto one of my stories, they would never know who really wrote it.


I am dying at "You meddling Backstreet Boys"! lmao The world's hottest boyband is now the world's craftiest team of crime solvers! lol (Or "hottest team of crime solvers" might still work, lol.)

LOL I would read a story about the Boys driving around in a groovy van, fighting crime and solving mysteries.  Zoinks!


Here's a loaded question for you: Is Broken at least as good as Swollen Issues II or did it surpass it? Feel free to skip if it's too loaded, lol. I've said it before, but I think the care and attention to detail speaks volumes about the growth you made and is shown in the writing. :)

That's such a hard question to answer because I feel like I'm biased either way.  Broken is my baby, and I love it, but I didn't experience it as a reader the same way I did Swollen Issues.  From a grammatical standpoint, I think Broken is better-written, but that has a lot to do with one of the authors of Swollen speaking English as a second language.  From an emotional standpoint, Broken never made me cry the way Swollen did, but that probably has a lot to do with the writer vs. reader thing.  As we've discussed, it's rare for me to make myself cry with my own stories.  Beyond that, I can't really compare.  I haven't read Swollen in its entirety since the Broken era, so I would need to reread it as a full-fledged adult and try to compare the experience to rereading Broken without my writer hat on.


Yeah setting is tough! Especially when a lot of our stories use the same settings that can be really generic if needed. I'd argue that as a fandom, description (at least in terms of establishing characters and places) is not our strong point. Probably for the reason that we just assume the blanks will get filled in. Like sure, use some words to give perfect grounding in this blond-haired, blue-eyed kid's routine when he wakes up on the road again... like how the water sloshes in the sink when he brushes his teeth... or just say "Nick was on his tour bus and then it crashed." Done. Easy. lol This is probably how the misconception "all of Florida = beachfront" started. At least with a little research, we could have had the Boys buy a house together in Miami where that would be more likely to be true, lol. I'm mad that I know so many vocabulary words about features in a desert, but it's worth it to avoid "it was a desert." lol

That's probably true for most fanfic; we spend less time on character development and description than OF authors because we assume our readers already know who our main characters are and what they look like, so it seems like a waste of time to spend too many words describing them.  It's kinda like those middle grade series we talked about recently, where the first or second chapter gives a recap of the characters and what happened in the previous book(s).  I usually skimmed through that section with series that I read in order because I didn't need to be reminded.  But it came in handy if I accidentally started a series out of order.  (For example, the first Lurlene McDaniel book I ever read was one I ordered out of the book order in 4th grade, not knowing it one of the later books in her One Last Wish series.  That back story and character description was super important in filling in the gaps until I got the other books to read.)  I tend to use more description of characters and settings in AU because it feels more like OF.

LOL I think the "Florida = all beachfront" thing just stemmed from the naivety of most of us being kids at the time.  Most of us weren't familiar with Florida geography, and since the internet was still a newer thing, the concept of just googling a map of Florida to see where Orlando was compared to the ocean probably didn't even occur to us.  A beach house in Miami or even Tampa would have made much more sense.  It's definitely easier to write about a place when you've been there or at least researched it thoroughly, like you have with the desert.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 11, 2021, 11:31:23 PM
Hm... I would check again if I were you.  Double check the year especially.  I'm not sure what else it would be.  Mine all reflected the right dates once I made sure I had every chapter backdated correctly.

Nope, 00Carter had plans for "Season 2 and beyond," so it could theoretically go on forever LOL.  I'm fine with that too.

Love those alliterations!

Next fanfic adjacent project, lol. Did I backdate correctly? I had nightmares about accidentally clicking the "orphan work" button while trying to backdate, so maybe that did it.

Is Season One even finished? Will we ever get to Season Two, let alone finish the whole story?

Thanks!


I think writing fiction isn't emphasized in higher grades because it's less important as far as college and career readiness goes.  It's more important to be able to write to inform, persuade, or analyze than to entertain.  But kids who enjoy creative writing can take whatever basics they learn in elementary school and grow from there the same way we did - by reading and writing for fun and learning from experience.

Thanks! :)  LOL This is why I write under a pen name, just in case.  Even on the off chance one of them did become a BSB fan and stumbled onto one of my stories, they would never know who really wrote it.

It's a shame it isn't. I feel like more of high school should allow for elective selection rather than just focusing on graduation requirements to prepare for college and career. I only say this knowing I finished 90% of my requirements by Junior Year, so I was really taking things like calculus as an elective because my mom wanted me to or AP Physics because my friends said we should all do it together... We should not have done it all together, lol.

Maybe it's better to do it for fun anyway. I think I would have hated it more if it was an assignment.

I think you've hidden yourself pretty well on the interwebs. In that case, I hope it happens for you, but never for me! lol


LOL I would read a story about the Boys driving around in a groovy van, fighting crime and solving mysteries.  Zoinks!

LMFAO!


That's such a hard question to answer because I feel like I'm biased either way.  Broken is my baby, and I love it, but I didn't experience it as a reader the same way I did Swollen Issues.  From a grammatical standpoint, I think Broken is better-written, but that has a lot to do with one of the authors of Swollen speaking English as a second language.  From an emotional standpoint, Broken never made me cry the way Swollen did, but that probably has a lot to do with the writer vs. reader thing.  As we've discussed, it's rare for me to make myself cry with my own stories.  Beyond that, I can't really compare.  I haven't read Swollen in its entirety since the Broken era, so I would need to reread it as a full-fledged adult and try to compare the experience to rereading Broken without my writer hat on.

Fair. Like you said, I can see both sides. Have you ever talked with anyone who read both? Either, they found you from Swollen Issues or you led them to it from Broken?


That's probably true for most fanfic; we spend less time on character development and description than OF authors because we assume our readers already know who our main characters are and what they look like, so it seems like a waste of time to spend too many words describing them.  It's kinda like those middle grade series we talked about recently, where the first or second chapter gives a recap of the characters and what happened in the previous book(s).  I usually skimmed through that section with series that I read in order because I didn't need to be reminded.  But it came in handy if I accidentally started a series out of order.  (For example, the first Lurlene McDaniel book I ever read was one I ordered out of the book order in 4th grade, not knowing it one of the later books in her One Last Wish series.  That back story and character description was super important in filling in the gaps until I got the other books to read.)  I tend to use more description of characters and settings in AU because it feels more like OF.

LOL I think the "Florida = all beachfront" thing just stemmed from the naivety of most of us being kids at the time.  Most of us weren't familiar with Florida geography, and since the internet was still a newer thing, the concept of just googling a map of Florida to see where Orlando was compared to the ocean probably didn't even occur to us.  A beach house in Miami or even Tampa would have made much more sense.  It's definitely easier to write about a place when you've been there or at least researched it thoroughly, like you have with the desert.

Yeah, I think I usually ended up skipping the first few chapters of every Babysitters Club book now that you mention it. Why would I need to be reminded of something I loved? lol I guess it does feel like a little of a waste in a BSB fanfic, but then part of me thinks "Would I really mind someone waxing poetic on Nick's smile or Kevin's eyebrows or Brian's curls or Howie's wink or AJ's eyes when he just so slightly pulls down his sunglasses because it's the 90s again?" Probably not. Go ahead and replace Nick's smile with literally any part of his face while we're at it, lol. I'm pretty sure I never ordered a series out of order specifically to avoid having to read the backstory chapters, lol.

I don't think I ever considered using the internet to look up a map until I was writing PBox and needed a vague idea of New York City, lol. So you're right, "Florida is surrounded by ocean and Orlando is a city in Florida, therefore, Orlando is beachfront" is a pretty logical leap, lol. See, I thought about saying Tampa, but I figured if the Boys really did all live in a beach house together, Nick would want to be as far away from his family as possible. Isn't that why he likes the Keys so much? Obviously it has nothing to do with them being islands and islands being awesome, lol.

This is really off topic, but speaking of Nick's family... I was thinking the other day about how his mom made Brian his legal guardian in Germany. First of all, how crazy is that to look at some 18-year-old and say "yes, you can be my 13-year-old's legal guardian." I'm guessing Brian didn't just volunteer. lol. Was it because Brian's Christian values seemed more wholesome than Kevin who had been a legal adult for a few years at that point? I have so many questions.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 11, 2021, 11:56:44 PM
People laugh when I say I went semi-sober for my novel, but it's true! It makes me way more productive.

Same!  Sometimes I'll have one drink while I write, but any more than that and it usually just makes me sleepy.  I am definitely more of a social drinker.


Well, welcome back! Glad to have you around again. I'm glad the neighbors will be undisturbed by your night painting. What did you end up doing yesterday? Painting or writing?

Thanks!

Um, technically neither, but I did get the bathroom all prepped for painting.  I wiped down the walls, put down painter's tape, and took all my painting supplies upstairs.  It's all ready for me to go up there, pour some paint in the tray, and go for it.  Maybe tonight, unless I get on a writing kick.  I finally had a good writing session after waking up this afternoon LOL.  I forced myself to make coffee and take it back to bed, and voila!  I stayed there three hours and wrote over 700 words, which is by far the most productive writing session I've had this month.  I'm now nearing the middle of my chapter, so I hope the rest will be easier.


Awesome! I'll have to check it out. It's premiering on Thursday on Vice TV. They really don't. I think it's because of the "squeaky clean" persona of boybands.

Oh cool, I'll have to look that up!  I think I have that channel.


Well what's the next fanfic adjacent project you're planning?

I need to finish my editing-all-the-mistakes-Google-Docs-found project first, and once I finish that, I'm going to make new ebook versions with the new covers I made earlier in the summer.  I haven't felt like working on that in a while either though.  Why did I write such long stories?! LOL


That makes sense if many of the other sites you visited had a similar vibe you wanted to capture for yourself. I think it's a fitting website title, so it hasn't aged terribly or anything. :) But you're right, it would be fun if it was more Backstreet-y after all this time.

If only Safest Place to Hide existed in April 2000!  I had that song playing in the background of my site for quite a while after NG came out because I felt it perfectly fit the theme.  It even has the word "sanctuary" in it LOL.  But at least I didn't call it something like "jOoLiEe'Z kEwL bSb FaNfIcZ!"  That would have aged much worse.


Yes! I love it! However, I see a road leading straight to the pool. Does that mean I could drive to Kevin's pool and swim in it? lol

LOL Those are just walkways.  The driveway is off the garage, and you can't even see the house from the road down below/Google Street View.  Gotta use the satellite view and zoom in on 3D to see anything LOL.  Since he doesn't live there anymore, here is the realtor.com listing that has the address if you want to look it up on Google Maps: https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1377-Miller-Dr_Los-Angeles_CA_90069_M29784-27493

Yeah, I'm a stalker.  All in the name of accuracy! LOL


First, I hadn't written it down until I was typing this post yesterday, so I had to keep looking things up and that was annoying. This is a fatal flaw I suffer from, lol! (See: "Oh yeah, I lied, I did pick gemstones for a reason; I'd forgotten.") I have now written it down and you're right to laugh because four things doesn't seem that daunting to keep track of.

I get this.  I typically keep track of timelines in my outlines for stories like this, but putting in every tour date or whatever is so time-consuming!  I did it for Curtain Call because there's a good chunk of chapters that follows the first leg of the TIU tour from city to city, so I needed to know every date.  But for MBK, I just put in the start and end dates of each leg of the Unbreakable tour.  I can't tell you how many times I've had to look up the full list of tour dates in Wikipedia to find out where they were on specific dates in between, and they were only on tour for a few chapters LOL.  I guess even if I did write them down, I would have still had to look them up on my outline, so I'm not sure it would have saved me much time.


Second, I think because I'm betting there are a bunch of media appearances (radio or television) in various places during that time that I can't remember, which might skew my version of events. That being said, if I don't remember them and Nick clearly thinks he was 16 when they recorded IWITW, then maybe no one else will be able to call me out on my four item detailed timeline being off, lol. Finding out that they recorded the Disney Concert before the tour was actually a load off of those worries, because then I knew they had to have rehearsed before the album was actually released, which gives a bigger chunk of time to do that in during the month of April, rather than stressing about how they rehearsed and promoted Millennium in the same two week time frame between Millennium's release and starting the tour at the beginning of June overseas. And you're honestly right, I'm not sure why I'm so worried about it because the story takes place over maybe a week... if even.

I can see why it would be a blessing and a curse to write something much closer to real time. You have all the resources at your finger tips, but so does everyone else. And because of that, why you'd need to be more meticulous. PBox&Co does have a timeline that I am fairly meticulous about, but the nice thing is that I made it up, so I don't have to go digging up specific footage or anything.

Yeah, I think that's the advantage to you writing so far in the past.  I doubt anyone's going to remember what specific media appearances they did when.  I am pretty sure they did that two-hour live MTV special on the Sunday before Millennium came out and then a shorter live special on release day.  I still have both of those on a VHS tape somehow and used to watch the two-hour one a lot.  Beyond that, I don't remember.

It's definitely easier when you make up the timeline yourself, as long as you keep track of it so you can stay consistent.


Such a magical time! The plane roar, AJ's laugh in LTL. Any of it, I'd drop whatever. To this day, hubs and I like to play a game at bars where we see who can name the song and the artist the quickest and my IWITW record is two notes; I'm fairly quick at other BSB songs too, but I am a savant at recognizing IWITW. I didn't actually own the CD until Christmas because my mother was a present saver when I was a child. She quickly learned that that would not be allowable in a Backstreet Boys household. (Also I miss Sam Goody.) Confession: I have actually purchased Millennium three times on CD because I played it so much that it scratched beyond repair.

Are you me? That was my same ITM Tour experience except we didn't get a second leg here (and we were only online). :( I eventually won tickets, but I was sooo heartbroken at first. I blame a new arena blocking off hoards of tickets for their investors for it being so bad. B&B was much easier to get tickets for.

On a side note, thank goodness physically waiting for tickets isn't a thing anymore, lol. I think the last time I did it was the KIISMAS Snowball in 2003.

IWITW is so iconic!  Seriously one of the best pop songs of all time, even if it makes no sense LOL.  OMG, I would have been so mad at my mom for doing that!  That's a long time to hang on to a present!  My dad worked at the mall where Sam Goody was, so I had him pick up my reserved copy and was waiting at the door for him like a dog when he got home from work that day LOL.  Of course he messed with me and acted like he forgot to pick it up, but he didn't forget.  My original copy still works, surprisingly!  I can't remember the last time I played one of the physical CDs because I have everything digital now, but I still have them all.

Aww, the heartbreak is real!  That's the only tour that happened to me to as well.  We didn't have any trouble with B&B or anything since, but I think it's a big reason why so many of us get so much anxiety over buying tickets.  We have PTSD! LOL.  I'm glad you eventually won tickets!  We relied on the radio station to get tickets for the second leg; they offered a charter bus trip to the St. Louis show that guaranteed tickets, so we jumped on that opportunity.  God bless my saint of a mother for taking me, my sister, and my best friend on a bus full of BSB fans for six hours round trip LOL.

I'm also a big fan of having instant digital tickets, although I do miss having paper tickets to put in my BSB concert scrapbook.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 12, 2021, 12:31:38 AM
Is Season One even finished? Will we ever get to Season Two, let alone finish the whole story?

LOL No.  I think that would be a good goal for now... finish Season 1.  We're like halfway through it, but in 00Carter time, that could mean we'll be working on it into our sixties LOL.


It's a shame it isn't. I feel like more of high school should allow for elective selection rather than just focusing on graduation requirements to prepare for college and career. I only say this knowing I finished 90% of my requirements by Junior Year, so I was really taking things like calculus as an elective because my mom wanted me to or AP Physics because my friends said we should all do it together... We should not have done it all together, lol.

Maybe it's better to do it for fun anyway. I think I would have hated it more if it was an assignment.

I agree.  Although it seems like the high school in the community where I teach offers a lot more electives than my high school did, so maybe it's different now, or maybe it just depends on the size of the school.  My high school was smaller than the one I'm comparing it too, so not as many options.  But it seems like there are more electives available for students on the vocational track who don't care about going to college.  For the college-bound kids, the focus is definitely more on AP classes and getting so many credits for each subject area.

The only writing-related elective I took in high school was a print journalism class, which was a total joke - a lot of messing around and very little actual writing or learning.  The best thing I got out of it was an appreciation for Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which we watched in class during a unit on satire.

A creative writing class would have been interesting, but I would not want to be forced to write fiction for an assignment either - or share and discuss my work with random classmates.  So I definitely think it's better to do it for fun.


Fair. Like you said, I can see both sides. Have you ever talked with anyone who read both? Either, they found you from Swollen Issues or you led them to it from Broken?

I know people who have read both, but I don't remember ever asking them which one they thought was better.  Too awkward of a question, at least at that time.  If anyone here who has read both sees this and wants to weigh in, feel free.  You won't offend me if you say you liked Swollen Issues better; I obviously love it, too, and am far enough removed from Broken to see its flaws.


Yeah, I think I usually ended up skipping the first few chapters of every Babysitters Club book now that you mention it. Why would I need to be reminded of something I loved? lol I guess it does feel like a little of a waste in a BSB fanfic, but then part of me thinks "Would I really mind someone waxing poetic on Nick's smile or Kevin's eyebrows or Brian's curls or Howie's wink or AJ's eyes when he just so slightly pulls down his sunglasses because it's the 90s again?" Probably not. Go ahead and replace Nick's smile with literally any part of his face while we're at it, lol. I'm pretty sure I never ordered a series out of order specifically to avoid having to read the backstory chapters, lol.

I have definitely waxed poetic on some of their physical features, like Brian's "cerulean orbs" LOL.  I think it works best when describing them from another character's perspective (especially when said character is a girl who finds them attractive), rather than doing it BSC style where you devote a paragraph to what each one looks like and what outfit they're wearing on that particular day.  Though I did enjoy reading the descriptions of Stacey and Claudia's crazy outfits LOL.

In my defense, the Scholastic book order did not make it clear that the book was a sequel!  They're not numbered or anything, but there are definitely some books featuring the same characters that come before it chronologicall y.  So then when I read those later, I already knew which characters were going to die because it was spoiled for me.  Curse you, Scholastic!


I don't think I ever considered using the internet to look up a map until I was writing PBox and needed a vague idea of New York City, lol. So you're right, "Florida is surrounded by ocean and Orlando is a city in Florida, therefore, Orlando is beachfront" is a pretty logical leap, lol. See, I thought about saying Tampa, but I figured if the Boys really did all live in a beach house together, Nick would want to be as far away from his family as possible. Isn't that why he likes the Keys so much? Obviously it has nothing to do with them being islands and islands being awesome, lol.

I don't remember when I did either.  I don't think I ever wrote one of those "they all live in a beach house in Orlando" stories, but I'm sure my old stories have some geographical errors.  Although I remember one time a reader from Kentucky told me there was no airport in Lexington, and I was like, "Whoops, I guess I should have looked that up instead of assuming," and then I did look it up once, and there totally is an airport in Lexington!  A small airport, sure, but still a real airport with major commercial airlines.  But that was probably one of my first lessons in fact-checking locations I'm not familiar with.  I often look up flights from one city to another to get an idea of travel time and availability of flights.  Expedia always thinks I'm planning some cool vacation when I'm really not. :(

I think Undead is when I discovered the true potential of Google Maps - although, actually, I discovered that Bing Maps was better at that time for 3D satellite view.  You can't Street View through an air force base, but you can get a good bird's eye view.

LOL Yeah, Nick would totally prefer the Keys to get away from his family.  I bet the beaches/water are also nicer down there.  Never been to either place though.


This is really off topic, but speaking of Nick's family... I was thinking the other day about how his mom made Brian his legal guardian in Germany. First of all, how crazy is that to look at some 18-year-old and say "yes, you can be my 13-year-old's legal guardian." I'm guessing Brian didn't just volunteer. lol. Was it because Brian's Christian values seemed more wholesome than Kevin who had been a legal adult for a few years at that point? I have so many questions.

I wondered that, too.  Why Brian and not Kevin or Howie?  They were both real adults who also had religious values, and Howie even had a college degree and had known Nick longer.  Was it just because Nick was closest to Brian?  Just one of many questionable parenting decisions Nick's parents made.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 12, 2021, 10:07:53 PM
Same!  Sometimes I'll have one drink while I write, but any more than that and it usually just makes me sleepy.  I am definitely more of a social drinker.

Same. I can do it, but I am the absolute slowest snail. And I sit right against the screen, squinting as I think really hard, lol.


Thanks!

Um, technically neither, but I did get the bathroom all prepped for painting.  I wiped down the walls, put down painter's tape, and took all my painting supplies upstairs.  It's all ready for me to go up there, pour some paint in the tray, and go for it.  Maybe tonight, unless I get on a writing kick.  I finally had a good writing session after waking up this afternoon LOL.  I forced myself to make coffee and take it back to bed, and voila!  I stayed there three hours and wrote over 700 words, which is by far the most productive writing session I've had this month.  I'm now nearing the middle of my chapter, so I hope the rest will be easier.

Yay! I'm glad coffee did the trick! :) Hopefully getting through the middle was a breeze! Or you got painting done. I think either is productive.

I gotta finish this edit and write at least something for my current project. I was so Backstreet excited this afternoon, then I sat through a PD and now I'm tired. So I think I have a hotel room description in me, but not much else.


Oh cool, I'll have to look that up!  I think I have that channel.

I think you said you have Xfinity. So you should if you do.


I need to finish my editing-all-the-mistakes-Google-Docs-found project first, and once I finish that, I'm going to make new ebook versions with the new covers I made earlier in the summer.  I haven't felt like working on that in a while either though.  Why did I write such long stories?! LOL

Oh right, I forgot that you were working on that project! You wrote long stories because they needed to be that length. Hopefully the mood strikes again. Or maybe it will once you hit 150 days and take a little break.


If only Safest Place to Hide existed in April 2000!  I had that song playing in the background of my site for quite a while after NG came out because I felt it perfectly fit the theme.  It even has the word "sanctuary" in it LOL.  But at least I didn't call it something like "jOoLiEe'Z kEwL bSb FaNfIcZ!"  That would have aged much worse.

Aww, I love that song. That would have been a good choice. LMFAO! But I love "jOoLiEe'Z kEwL bSb FaNficZ"! Although, where are the squiggles and stars? lol "^~*jOoLiEe'Z kEwL bSb FaNficZ*~^" At least we would know that it had kewl BSB fanfics.


LOL Those are just walkways.  The driveway is off the garage, and you can't even see the house from the road down below/Google Street View.  Gotta use the satellite view and zoom in on 3D to see anything LOL.  Since he doesn't live there anymore, here is the realtor.com listing that has the address if you want to look it up on Google Maps: https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1377-Miller-Dr_Los-Angeles_CA_90069_M29784-27493

Yeah, I'm a stalker.  All in the name of accuracy! LOL

You know what, that makes way more sense. Why did I think it was a road? lol That is exactly as rustic as I was expecting Kevin's house to be.

A stalker of history. Doesn't that make you an Indiana Jones type? lol


I get this.  I typically keep track of timelines in my outlines for stories like this, but putting in every tour date or whatever is so time-consuming!  I did it for Curtain Call because there's a good chunk of chapters that follows the first leg of the TIU tour from city to city, so I needed to know every date.  But for MBK, I just put in the start and end dates of each leg of the Unbreakable tour.  I can't tell you how many times I've had to look up the full list of tour dates in Wikipedia to find out where they were on specific dates in between, and they were only on tour for a few chapters LOL.  I guess even if I did write them down, I would have still had to look them up on my outline, so I'm not sure it would have saved me much time.

Yes! It's that level of detail I just feel like I can't commit to and have zero desire to keep looking up, but here we are. It's why I hate writing about the tours and actively avoid it as much as I can. I know this is the same as looking up anything else in research, but I just feel like I gloss over if it's a bunch of names and dates. Also, I feel like when it's a tour, that is a thing people can actively look up, so it requires more accuracy instead of just hand-waving. I'd rather hand-wave.


Yeah, I think that's the advantage to you writing so far in the past.  I doubt anyone's going to remember what specific media appearances they did when.  I am pretty sure they did that two-hour live MTV special on the Sunday before Millennium came out and then a shorter live special on release day.  I still have both of those on a VHS tape somehow and used to watch the two-hour one a lot.  Beyond that, I don't remember.

It's definitely easier when you make up the timeline yourself, as long as you keep track of it so you can stay consistent.

Thank goodness! My four things are already exhausting, lol. Thankfully, I'm pretty sure this story ends before Millennium gets released (for the most part), so I really don't have to worry about it. And aww, I miss recording BSB things on VHS tapes.

Can confirm. Don't have to look up tour schedules. Thank goodness.


IWITW is so iconic!  Seriously one of the best pop songs of all time, even if it makes no sense LOL.  OMG, I would have been so mad at my mom for doing that!  That's a long time to hang on to a present!  My dad worked at the mall where Sam Goody was, so I had him pick up my reserved copy and was waiting at the door for him like a dog when he got home from work that day LOL.  Of course he messed with me and acted like he forgot to pick it up, but he didn't forget.  My original copy still works, surprisingly!  I can't remember the last time I played one of the physical CDs because I have everything digital now, but I still have them all.

It really is. I read an article today where Kevin said they wanted to be the pop version of the Rolling Stones and I thought they totally were already. I think part of the beauty is that it doesn't make sense and is open to interpretation . (As an aside, this is how hubs feels about Meatloaf's "I Would Do Anything For Love," lol.)

I kept begging her to get it and she refused every time. Thankfully, that was the last time it happened with an album and never for concert tickets. Also luckily for her, it was very easy to buy Christmas presents during that time, lol. And I'm sure she was grateful to say "but you wanted to go to the Backstreet Boys concert" and I was perfectly happy with that.

Of course he would do that, lol. What a dad move.

I also still have all of mine and would probably still buy a physical CD for anything they released. I haven't listened to the physical CDs in a long time, but I still love having them.


Aww, the heartbreak is real!  That's the only tour that happened to me to as well.  We didn't have any trouble with B&B or anything since, but I think it's a big reason why so many of us get so much anxiety over buying tickets.  We have PTSD! LOL.  I'm glad you eventually won tickets!  We relied on the radio station to get tickets for the second leg; they offered a charter bus trip to the St. Louis show that guaranteed tickets, so we jumped on that opportunity.  God bless my saint of a mother for taking me, my sister, and my best friend on a bus full of BSB fans for six hours round trip LOL.

I'm also a big fan of having instant digital tickets, although I do miss having paper tickets to put in my BSB concert scrapbook.

Yes, buying tickets does make me anxious! I feel like I might have a mini heart attack tomorrow; don't let me do it! I love everything about that charter bus idea, but you're right, your mother is a saint for that. My mother also wasn't a fan, but always took me when I was younger. I appreciate her.

You know, I actually did get paper tickets for the second leg of the DNA tour, just for the nostalgia of it all. They're sitting in a little box on my desk waiting patiently.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 13, 2021, 12:10:08 AM
Yay! I'm glad coffee did the trick! :) Hopefully getting through the middle was a breeze! Or you got painting done. I think either is productive.

I gotta finish this edit and write at least something for my current project. I was so Backstreet excited this afternoon, then I sat through a PD and now I'm tired. So I think I have a hotel room description in me, but not much else.

I got the first coat of paint on last night!  It's gonna need another coat tonight, but I like the color.  I did not appreciate just what a pain in the ass it is to paint a bathroom though, getting behind the toilet and all that - ugh!  Will be glad to have that job done.

BSB planning got in the way of my writing today, but I have the story open now so I can get something written before midnight.

I bet it was hard to concentrate on your PD after all that excitement! LOL


I think you said you have Xfinity. So you should if you do.

Yes!  Good to know.


Oh right, I forgot that you were working on that project! You wrote long stories because they needed to be that length. Hopefully the mood strikes again. Or maybe it will once you hit 150 days and take a little break.

Absolutely.  I'm usually proud of their length, but whenever I have to do something that involves clicking through each chapter, I'm always like, "Ugh, why?!"  Broken and BMS will be terrible if I ever make it to those stories LOL.


Aww, I love that song. That would have been a good choice. LMFAO! But I love "jOoLiEe'Z kEwL bSb FaNficZ"! Although, where are the squiggles and stars? lol "^~*jOoLiEe'Z kEwL bSb FaNficZ*~^" At least we would know that it had kewl BSB fanfics.

Oh yeah, the squiggles and stars make it even better!!  And it would have had plenty of animated gifs and midis of BSB songs playing in the background.  (I actually did have midis of BSB songs playing in the background.  And purple Comic Sans font LOL.)


A stalker of history. Doesn't that make you an Indiana Jones type? lol

Yes!  Let's go with that.  I'm like an architecture archeologist.


Yes! It's that level of detail I just feel like I can't commit to and have zero desire to keep looking up, but here we are. It's why I hate writing about the tours and actively avoid it as much as I can. I know this is the same as looking up anything else in research, but I just feel like I gloss over if it's a bunch of names and dates. Also, I feel like when it's a tour, that is a thing people can actively look up, so it requires more accuracy instead of just hand-waving. I'd rather hand-wave.

Yes!  You never know who's reading who lives in a certain city and went to that show, so you want to write it accurately if you can.


And aww, I miss recording BSB things on VHS tapes.

Aww, I know!  I actually still have all my old BSB tapes and a working VCR.  I can't remember the last time I tried watching any of them, so I'm not sure they still work, but I couldn't bear to throw them away.  I still have my Titanic and Disney VHS tapes for the same reason.  #hoarder


It really is. I read an article today where Kevin said they wanted to be the pop version of the Rolling Stones and I thought they totally were already. I think part of the beauty is that it doesn't make sense and is open to interpretation . (As an aside, this is how hubs feels about Meatloaf's "I Would Do Anything For Love," lol.)

They totally are!  Btw, Kevin's gonna be 50 by the time we see them in December... ahh!

That is so true about "I Would Do Anything for Love... but I won't do that."  Won't do what??


I also still have all of mine and would probably still buy a physical CD for anything they released. I haven't listened to the physical CDs in a long time, but I still love having them.

Yep, same!  I will always buy BSB CDs.


Yes, buying tickets does make me anxious! I feel like I might have a mini heart attack tomorrow; don't let me do it! I love everything about that charter bus idea, but you're right, your mother is a saint for that. My mother also wasn't a fan, but always took me when I was younger. I appreciate her.

You know, I actually did get paper tickets for the second leg of the DNA tour, just for the nostalgia of it all. They're sitting in a little box on my desk waiting patiently.

I know, I'm already anxious about tomorrow too!  I think the fact that it's only 12 shows after all this time with no concerts has me worried everyone's gonna be wanting tickets.  But at least it's just a fan club presale.  We should be fine, but if we don't get what we want, there's always the general sale on Saturday or whenever.

Our parents were saints!  Both my mom and dad took me to shows back in the day.  I'm so grateful, but also glad to be an adult with my own income and transportation and friends who are real fans and genuinely want to go with me LOL.

Aww... and your tickets will still have the original date to remind you of how many times they got rescheduled due to COVID LOL.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: FrickingKaos on July 13, 2021, 12:22:26 AM
My writing actually went great, I put on some beach ambient music which helped with the next chapter of Take Me Home. It’s a flashback where Nick and Brian are just getting to the island they live on while they’re in hiding. I just posted chapter 36 today, so I will probably have this new chapter done very soon. So then I started watching Titanic and it inspired this little one shot thing, at least I think it’s a one shot? I don’t know what it is yet. I did write a couple paragraphs of it though. So all in all its been very productive for me.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 13, 2021, 12:50:58 AM
Ooh, that's awesome, Tracy!  A Titanic-inspired one-shot - or more?  I can't wait!

I was not able to focus on writing at all today.  The night is still young for me, but I will probably spend part of it painting instead of writing.  I did at least get 20 words written before midnight to keep the streak alive.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 17, 2021, 11:40:24 PM
It's been a slow week on here!  How's everyone's writing going?

My streak is still alive at 127 days, but I have literally been writing the same chapter all month and haven't even hit 2,000 words yet on my 25,000 word Nano goal.  *facepalm*  I don't know what my deal is.  I don't have writer's block in the sense of not knowing what to write next.  The chapter I'm on is one I've had planned for a while and was actually kind of looking forward to.  I think I'm just burnt out.  This doesn't usually happen to me in July.  July is usually my best writing month of the year because it's the middle of summer; I've had all of June to get into my groove, but don't have to really start thinking about going back to school until August, so I'm usually very productive in July.  But I had more momentum going into June this year than I usually do from doing Camp Nano in April, so maybe my usual August slowdown is happening a month early.  I just haven't been feeling it lately, and I hate that because then I feel like I'm wasting my last few weeks of freedom.  Ugh.  Hopefully I'll snap out of it soon.

What usually causes your slumps?  Writer's block?  Stress?  Burnout?  Something else?  Not sure?  What has helped you to get over them?  

I hope everyone else is having an easier time!  Tracy, did you figure out an ending for Take Me Home yet?  Dee, how's your new story going?  Rose, have you written any fanfic lately?  Mare, have you written anything lately?  Anyone else who reads this, feel free to chime in too!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: mare on July 18, 2021, 05:58:39 AM
That’s quite a streak you’ve got going there. Even though it’s slow, at least it’s going.

Writer’s block is the worst. I don’t think that’s what I have. I think I’m beyond a block. Back in the day, I would just try moving to something else to get unblocked. Usually in the form of a short story.

I’m not writing anything, sadly. Every time I want to, I just can’t bring myself to do it. If and when I do get going, it’s probably going to be a short story. I think that’s how I need get myself going again. Like above.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 18, 2021, 06:53:21 AM
Thanks!  I actually had a fairly productive writing night/morning after venting here and am now up to like 2500 words in my chapter.  Venting usually helps!  I also thought about taking a break from my novel and trying to work on something else (maybe a short story?), but I don't have any other ideas demanding to be written, so probably best for me to keep plugging away at this one.

It sounds like you're out of the habit.  Writing is like anything else; the longer you go without doing it, the harder it is to get back into it.  I know it was a struggle for me to get back into a groove after three years of sporadic writing while I was getting my master's.  I'm glad I had an in-progress project to finish because that gave me the motivation to do it.  It was a lot harder to start a new novel after finishing that one.  Short stories are a good way to get back into it without the commitment of a novel.  I hope you'll eventually come up with an idea for one that demands to be written and just go for it.  I know how frustrating it is to feel blocked and/or unmotivated, but I also know how good it feels to actually get something written.  My mood is almost always better after a good writing session.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 18, 2021, 07:14:32 AM
I just saw this thread on Reddit about how to get yourself to write when you're battling depression.  I don't think that's my problem, but it has some good advice regardless of what the reason is for a writing slump.  https://www.reddit.com/r/writing/comments/omo30p/depression_and_writing/  

I liked this response; it's what I have been doing this month:

I have deadlines, so I have to write. But if I'm struggling I completely remove that 1k a day word count target and instead tell myself, "Okay, just five minutes at the computer, that's all, but it has to be writing." and I write for those five minutes.

Or, I tell myself "just 100 words" because anyone can come up with 100 words. Even if I think they're crap, I write them anyway. The first draft doesn't have to be perfect and sometimes, when you come back to revise or edit, you can't tell which words were written in the "slump" and which ones weren't!

But if five minutes or 100 words seem too much? Then miss that day.

If ideas still come to you, let them marinate in your head and use them for your five minutes the next day. You might find that after five minutes, you want to finish that sentence, or that paragraph, or that scene, because you're somehow back in the zone.

Just don't berate yourself if you can't do it. Each day, try again.



If you look at my daily word counts for my Camp Nano goal, I have a couple days where I wrote over 700 words, and then I have days where I wrote under ten words.  On July 3, I wrote two words LOL.  But I've at least made myself open up the story every day and write something, even if it is just two words.  Usually I can at least come up with a sentence, sometimes a paragraph.  Some days that's all I feel like writing, but other days it will lead to another sentence, another paragraph, and before I know it, I'll have written an entire scene.  I never know when it's going to take off, but it always does eventually if I keep at it.  If not for my desire to keep this writing streak going, though, I may not have even opened my story in the last two weeks.  I still like it; I just haven't felt inspired lately.

But I also think ideas tend to come at the right moment, and sometimes we just have to wait for inspiration to strike.  The scene I wrote tonight was not something I had planned to be in this chapter; I just thought of it earlier today.  If I had already finished the chapter, I probably wouldn't have gone back to add it in, so maybe it was meant to be.

Also, thank god I don't have any actual deadlines.  I would like to be able to maintain weekly updates for the duration of the story, but I know it won't be the end of the world if I eventually catch up to myself and run out of chapters to post.  This is why I could never write for a career LOL.  It would feel like homework, and I would hate that.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 18, 2021, 01:07:55 PM
It's been a slow week on here!  How's everyone's writing going?

Told you it would be slow, lol. Everyone's on a post-Backstreet induced anxiety attack recovery.


My streak is still alive at 127 days, but I have literally been writing the same chapter all month and haven't even hit 2,000 words yet on my 25,000 word Nano goal.  *facepalm*  I don't know what my deal is.  I don't have writer's block in the sense of not knowing what to write next.  The chapter I'm on is one I've had planned for a while and was actually kind of looking forward to.  I think I'm just burnt out.  This doesn't usually happen to me in July.  July is usually my best writing month of the year because it's the middle of summer; I've had all of June to get into my groove, but don't have to really start thinking about going back to school until August, so I'm usually very productive in July.  But I had more momentum going into June this year than I usually do from doing Camp Nano in April, so maybe my usual August slowdown is happening a month early.  I just haven't been feeling it lately, and I hate that because then I feel like I'm wasting my last few weeks of freedom.  Ugh.  Hopefully I'll snap out of it soon.

First, celebrate day 127!  :party: :bsb: (Or 128! ​Not sure what you're calling it if you finished writing at 6am, lol.)

I think there's something to be said for burnout; maybe your brain wants you to relax a little? I think part of it could be the feeling that the world is opening up again, so there's things to do besides writing that we couldn't do this time last year. I know that I'm at this stage where I'm feeling guilty telling people I don't want to do things since we haven't been able to do things and can now. Which is also probably bad... I need to remember that hanging out at home or writing are plans, they're just plans with myself. And possibly you all if we all decide to pop on here for a break at the same time, lol. And that 99% of people wouldn't ask for an explanation beyond "I already have plans." Sorry you've been feeling slumpy, especially at a part you were looking forward to.


What usually causes your slumps?  Writer's block?  Stress?  Burnout?  Something else?  Not sure?  What has helped you to get over them?

You know, I have an answer for this because I have been meticulously tracking my word counts since November!

So let's see... When I was first starting NaNo, I had a very low slump in the beginning of the month, but I think this was related to election anxiety. This is really when I told myself "writing something is better than nothing." And, like you, had a low of 5 words on election night. I remember having a meeting then too that crazy people did not want to reschedule, so it was half not being focused on writing and half not physically being able to write. My next dip was right before I started chapter 14 of PNecklace, which would have been a heavy lore chapter, so I think I spent some time in a research rabbit hole, coupled with not knowing how to start the chapter, because I knew the scene requiring the research wasn't going to take up a whole chapter. So I think I did some editing on some PBox chapters that felt related, but needed some work, to get into the right headspace, rather than actually writing PNecklace. My "productive slumps" in November (ones where I still wrote a fair amount of words, they just made valleys) were football Saturdays. My highest peak (5,000ish words, followed by a 4000 word day) happened to fall on a Saturday football was canceled because the other team was wracked with COVID. It also fell after my research stint for chapter 14, so I wrote four chapters in two days. I don't know if I would have written nearly as much if that football game hadn't been canceled, lol.

My December slumps were all Wednesdays, since I was very devoted to our favorite pink crocodile's Masked Singer run. Plus I skipped writing on hubs' birthday, for obvious reasons. My jumps in December were mostly Mondays or Tuesdays, which makes sense because those are typically the days I edit for weekly updates and I would have been editing PNecklace and PBox at this time.

January was about the same. I skipped two days because I was recertifying for a certification at the same time as coaching in a classroom with a myriad of behavior incidents, so I know the first day I skipped was the day I spent recertifying and I was honestly probably just exhausted that next day, which would have been Friday and the end of a long week. This would have been around the time I finished editing the end of PBox as well, so I was probably just all around tired.

The first week of February was another week in that behavior incident classroom, so I was probably just tired. Otherwise, most of my slumps are Wednesdays. This could be a tired mid-week thing or it could be because Wednesdays are update days and it does take some time to update. There was no discernible slump for my first dose of the COVID vaccine.

I had a slump at the beginning of March/end of February and I did have a meeting that week, so that could be part of it. I was working on chapter 28 at the time, apparently, and I did struggle with that one a bit. My next slump was definitely COVID vaccine dose 2 related. And then otherwise my slumps were around Wednesdays.

All my April slumps fall in line with Wednesdays and a PD I was taking on Thursdays as well as a health thing I had at the end of the month. May same thing Wednesdays and Thursdays, plus the end of the month, but that would have been the end of the school year, so I think I was just exhausted in general.

June was more spikey, but that was also when I wrote the last five chapters of PNecklace, so it was huge spikes for the last few chapters and then kind of slumpy the rest of the time. The end of the month with my new story was very slumpy. Kind of the doldrums of a new story, I suppose.

This has been a very scientific look at my writing, lol.


What has helped you to get over them?

Edited to Add: I realized I didn't address this part of the question. I think what helped me get over them in the past was letting my mind wander where it wanted. I've been pretty stringent this month that my July streak goal must have some words from my new story. But before, I would count any old thing. I think one day of May or June was about 175 words of my current story even though I wasn't working on it at the time.

Or, honestly, and it sucks to say it for the streak, but taking a break. I think I've had more slump days since the streak has been going. And the mid-week slumps have been a lot smaller of a word count. Now that could be because I'd been working on the story for about six months at that point. I think if it gets to a point where it all gets slumpy, then a break isn't the worst thing. :shrug:

I hope everyone else is having an easier time!  Tracy, did you figure out an ending for Take Me Home yet?  Dee, how's your new story going?  Rose, have you written any fanfic lately?  Mare, have you written anything lately?  Anyone else who reads this, feel free to chime in too!

It is going? I saw your "writing during depression" thing down the line and that's been me this week (not the depression part, just the writing a little to keep in the habit part). I write for five minutes no matter what, then either keep going or stop. Like you, I've also hit a bit of a slump this week. I have a headache I can't shake that gets better when I eat, but then comes back later. I'm not sure what is it, because outside of feeling a bit hot, I feel fine. I'm staying very hydrated though, so that's a plus, lol. I woke up today feeling good, but now it's back, so... This is probably a sign to visit the doctor this next week.

I don't know if my slump is new story related or what, but I think there's certain parts I'm enjoying writing and certain parts I'm not, so it's all a mixed bag.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 18, 2021, 04:19:51 PM
That’s quite a streak you’ve got going there. Even though it’s slow, at least it’s going.

Writer’s block is the worst. I don’t think that’s what I have. I think I’m beyond a block. Back in the day, I would just try moving to something else to get unblocked. Usually in the form of a short story.

I’m not writing anything, sadly. Every time I want to, I just can’t bring myself to do it. If and when I do get going, it’s probably going to be a short story. I think that’s how I need get myself going again. Like above.

This was me for 10 years. I get it. When I first left I ended up starting a blog; I was feeling lost and I think I wanted to write something. This was also my heavy pinterest cultivation phase, so much so that I tracked it. Honestly this is probably what made me dislike social media so much, because it feels less like a community and more like metrics, but this is a discussion for another day. What helped me stay into it this time around was NaNo, I think. I didn't think I would hit 50,000 words, I just said "I'm going to write something every day." And then at the end I celebrated whether it was a high day or a slump day. I don't know if this worked because inspiration struck beforehand or not, but it kept me going through the slumpy days.

I was scrolling the internet a couple days ago (I should really have spent my non-writing time reading or something, but eh) and found this little short story prompt thing that could be fun if anyone wants some vague prompts for something short [these asides are my attempts to Backstreet-ify them.]:

1.  A conversation you wish had happened in canon [real life?].
2.  An expression of love (romantic, platonic, familial - you choose)
3.  Character meta [BSB being self-referential about... something?]
4.  Episode meta [Album? Song? I'm not sure how to Backstreet-ify this...]
5.  That emotional moment that you can’t find a plot for.
6.  A scene fully without context.
7.  The meeting part of a meet cute AU.
8.  A shocking announcement (or the reaction to it)
9.  A missing moment from canon [real life?].
10.  An alternate ending to an episode or scene. [Could be an alternate ending to something you'd written already?]
11. Someone just having the worst luck. [Every Nick fanfic ever.]
12.  An exchange of gifts or mementos.
13.  That great line that you can’t find a plot for.
14.  The aftermath of a scene you’ll never actually write.
15.  The scene that will give you, personally, the most joy.


And some definitions for short fiction if anyone wants to try something a little different:

6 word stories: exactly 6 words long

twitterature: 280 characters or less

7x7: exactly 49 words long (Blake’s 7 fandom)

dribble: exactly 55 words long (LoTR fandom, The Faculty fandom). The same word count was popular in both Harry Potter and Farscape, but without a specific name. Dribble is sometimes seen as a half-drabble that is therefore 50 words long.

drabble: exactly 100 words long

155 words: exactly 155 words long (X-Files fandom)

double drabble: exactly 200 words long

221B: 221 words long with the last word starting in B (Sherlock fandom)

trabble / tribble / trouble: exactly 300 words long

flash fiction: no exact word count, but generally less than 500 words (pro fiction)

pentadrabble:exactly 500 words long

short short: between 500 and 1000 words

ficlet, snippet: no exact word count needed, but generally 1K or shorter


Here's a six word story: Nick fell in a manhole. "Ouch." <--- lol
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 18, 2021, 07:28:35 PM
Told you it would be slow, lol. Everyone's on a post-Backstreet induced anxiety attack recovery.

LOL That probably is part of it!  I do seem to write best when nothing is happening in BSB world.  Concerts, album releases, etc. usually distract me or make me feel guilty for writing whatever horrors I'm writing about them.  Those are the best kind of distractions though!


First, celebrate day 127!  :party: :bsb: (Or 128! ​Not sure what you're calling it if you finished writing at 6am, lol.)

I think there's something to be said for burnout; maybe your brain wants you to relax a little? I think part of it could be the feeling that the world is opening up again, so there's things to do besides writing that we couldn't do this time last year. I know that I'm at this stage where I'm feeling guilty telling people I don't want to do things since we haven't been able to do things and can now. Which is also probably bad... I need to remember that hanging out at home or writing are plans, they're just plans with myself. And possibly you all if we all decide to pop on here for a break at the same time, lol. And that 99% of people wouldn't ask for an explanation beyond "I already have plans." Sorry you've been feeling slumpy, especially at a part you were looking forward to.

LOL I know, it gets confusing keeping track when I go to bed and wake up on the same date, but I do go by date to be consistent, since my sleep schedule is not.  So what I wrote before midnight yesterday counted as Day 127, and what I wrote after counted as Day 128.  So it's Day 128 now, yay!

I don't think that is necessarily my problem, since I'm usually just watching TV or playing on my phone or other time-wasters when I could be writing but am not LOL.  I do go out and do things with my friends and family a few times a week, but not every day.  I still have plenty of time to myself to relax, which is super important for me.  I'm such an introvert, I was well-suited to quarantine, which really wasn't all that different from my normal lifestyle LOL.  It was nice to have an excuse just to stay home.  I definitely get feeling pressured to say yes when people want to make plans now that we can go out again though.  This is why I prefer to have a small circle of friends in real life, because I would get overwhelmed with too many offers of "Wanna go out and so such-and-such?" in a week.  I'm sure the pandemic has been much harder on extroverts and/or people who are used to having busy social lives, but that is a great reminder that it's okay to say "Sorry, I already have plans" when you just want to stay home and have some me time.  That still counts as plans and is important, too!


You know, I have an answer for this because I have been meticulously tracking my word counts since November!

So let's see... When I was first starting NaNo, I had a very low slump in the beginning of the month, but I think this was related to election anxiety. This is really when I told myself "writing something is better than nothing." And, like you, had a low of 5 words on election night. I remember having a meeting then too that crazy people did not want to reschedule, so it was half not being focused on writing and half not physically being able to write. My next dip was right before I started chapter 14 of PNecklace, which would have been a heavy lore chapter, so I think I spent some time in a research rabbit hole, coupled with not knowing how to start the chapter, because I knew the scene requiring the research wasn't going to take up a whole chapter. So I think I did some editing on some PBox chapters that felt related, but needed some work, to get into the right headspace, rather than actually writing PNecklace. My "productive slumps" in November (ones where I still wrote a fair amount of words, they just made valleys) were football Saturdays. My highest peak (5,000ish words, followed by a 4000 word day) happened to fall on a Saturday football was canceled because the other team was wracked with COVID. It also fell after my research stint for chapter 14, so I wrote four chapters in two days. I don't know if I would have written nearly as much if that football game hadn't been canceled, lol.

My December slumps were all Wednesdays, since I was very devoted to our favorite pink crocodile's Masked Singer run. Plus I skipped writing on hubs' birthday, for obvious reasons. My jumps in December were mostly Mondays or Tuesdays, which makes sense because those are typically the days I edit for weekly updates and I would have been editing PNecklace and PBox at this time.

January was about the same. I skipped two days because I was recertifying for a certification at the same time as coaching in a classroom with a myriad of behavior incidents, so I know the first day I skipped was the day I spent recertifying and I was honestly probably just exhausted that next day, which would have been Friday and the end of a long week. This would have been around the time I finished editing the end of PBox as well, so I was probably just all around tired.

The first week of February was another week in that behavior incident classroom, so I was probably just tired. Otherwise, most of my slumps are Wednesdays. This could be a tired mid-week thing or it could be because Wednesdays are update days and it does take some time to update. There was no discernible slump for my first dose of the COVID vaccine.

I had a slump at the beginning of March/end of February and I did have a meeting that week, so that could be part of it. I was working on chapter 28 at the time, apparently, and I did struggle with that one a bit. My next slump was definitely COVID vaccine dose 2 related. And then otherwise my slumps were around Wednesdays.

All my April slumps fall in line with Wednesdays and a PD I was taking on Thursdays as well as a health thing I had at the end of the month. May same thing Wednesdays and Thursdays, plus the end of the month, but that would have been the end of the school year, so I think I was just exhausted in general.

June was more spikey, but that was also when I wrote the last five chapters of PNecklace, so it was huge spikes for the last few chapters and then kind of slumpy the rest of the time. The end of the month with my new story was very slumpy. Kind of the doldrums of a new story, I suppose.

This has been a very scientific look at my writing, lol.

I'm sure election week was not a productive one for any of us, in terms of writing, unless we were using writing as a distraction.  I don't think I got much, if anything, written that week either.  It was also parent-teacher conference week for me, which is the most stressful week of the school year, so writing was definitely not a priority.

It sounds like most of your slumps are because of real life getting in the way, whether it was because of TV/football, job stress, not feeling well, or special events like hubby's birthday.  That totally makes sense.  During the school year, my writing probably follows a similar pattern of being most productive on the weekends and less productive as the work week goes on, dropping off the most on days when I have TV shows I want to watch live or plans with people.

It also makes sense that you'd have the most spikes when nearing the end of a story and then slump when starting a new one.  That always happens to me, too.


I realized I didn't address this part of the question. I think what helped me get over them in the past was letting my mind wander where it wanted. I've been pretty stringent this month that my July streak goal must have some words from my new story. But before, I would count any old thing. I think one day of May or June was about 175 words of my current story even though I wasn't working on it at the time.

Or, honestly, and it sucks to say it for the streak, but taking a break. I think I've had more slump days since the streak has been going. And the mid-week slumps have been a lot smaller of a word count. Now that could be because I'd been working on the story for about six months at that point. I think if it gets to a point where it all gets slumpy, then a break isn't the worst thing. :shrug:

All that makes sense, too.  Writing is writing, no matter what you're working on.  I thought about taking a break from MBK and trying to write something else for a bit to see if that sparked some creativity, but I don't feel inspired to write anything else and am reluctant to stray from a novel that has been going well because I know sometimes it can be hard to go back.  Guilty Roads is a good example of that.

If this was happening during the school year, I would be more willing to say "Screw it" and break the streak, but since it's summer, I'm not gonna do that.  I would be mad at myself for not at least trying while I had time when school starts up again and I have a lot less time.

My biggest problem lately is probably focus.  I've been using YouTube for both writing music and research, but every time I go on there, I get distracted watching recommended videos that have nothing to do with what I'm writing.  Last night it was SNL videos.  I need to either have some more willpower or try some of my focus tricks, like turning off Wi-fi or hiding my bookmarks bar so it's not as easy to randomly click on other websites and go down a rabbit hole.


It is going? I saw your "writing during depression" thing down the line and that's been me this week (not the depression part, just the writing a little to keep in the habit part). I write for five minutes no matter what, then either keep going or stop. Like you, I've also hit a bit of a slump this week. I have a headache I can't shake that gets better when I eat, but then comes back later. I'm not sure what is it, because outside of feeling a bit hot, I feel fine. I'm staying very hydrated though, so that's a plus, lol. I woke up today feeling good, but now it's back, so... This is probably a sign to visit the doctor this next week.

I don't know if my slump is new story related or what, but I think there's certain parts I'm enjoying writing and certain parts I'm not, so it's all a mixed bag.

Sorry to hear you're going through it, too!  It's hard to stare at a screen for long periods of time when you have a headache.  And who knows, maybe that's what is causing the headaches in the first place?  This past year, I started taking my contacts out as soon as I get home from work because I spent so much more time staring at the computer screen, it would dry my eyes out and give me a headache.  I should probably invest in a pair of those blue light glasses.

I'm glad you're staying hydrated; that was my other thought, because I get headaches when I don't drink enough water.  I also get them when I don't drink enough caffeine LOL.  Could also be low blood sugar or something if eating helps.  Who knows.  I hope you find some solutions!

Your slump could definitely also be new story related.  It's hard to go from a story world you've been so immersed in for so long to a brand new one you're just beginning to create.  It took me two-and-a-half years after finishing BMS to get anywhere with a new novel on my own.  Thank goodness I had collabs to keep me going in between.  Other than 00Carter and Undead, all I wrote during that period were one-shots and beginnings of stories that usually didn't progress any further.  I was also stuck on Chapter 4 of my current story for 3 years before I came back to it this year.  Just be patient with yourself, and give yourself permission to write whatever you want until you settle into something.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 18, 2021, 07:41:25 PM
What helped me stay into it this time around was NaNo, I think. I didn't think I would hit 50,000 words, I just said "I'm going to write something every day." And then at the end I celebrated whether it was a high day or a slump day. I don't know if this worked because inspiration struck beforehand or not, but it kept me going through the slumpy days.

I don't have as much experience with NaNo as you do, but I do think it helps to have a story already started (or at least a solid idea for one) going into it.  I think opening a new Doc and staring at a blank page on the first of the month would intimidate me.  It's easier to get a daily writing streak going when you already have some momentum going into it.  But just setting a goal to write something every day, without worrying about hitting a specific word count, has been really helpful to me.  Hopefully that routine I've established will carry over when I go back to work so I don't slump as badly as I usually do when school starts.


I was scrolling the internet a couple days ago (I should really have spent my non-writing time reading or something, but eh) and found this little short story prompt thing that could be fun if anyone wants some vague prompts for something short [these asides are my attempts to Backstreet-ify them.]:

1.  A conversation you wish had happened in canon [real life?].
2.  An expression of love (romantic, platonic, familial - you choose)
3.  Character meta [BSB being self-referential about... something?]
4.  Episode meta [Album? Song? I'm not sure how to Backstreet-ify this...]
5.  That emotional moment that you can’t find a plot for.
6.  A scene fully without context.
7.  The meeting part of a meet cute AU.
8.  A shocking announcement (or the reaction to it)
9.  A missing moment from canon [real life?].
10.  An alternate ending to an episode or scene. [Could be an alternate ending to something you'd written already?]
11. Someone just having the worst luck. [Every Nick fanfic ever.]
12.  An exchange of gifts or mementos.
13.  That great line that you can’t find a plot for.
14.  The aftermath of a scene you’ll never actually write.
15.  The scene that will give you, personally, the most joy.

These are great!  Cracking up at the one I bolded. LOL

Here's a six word story: Nick fell in a manhole. "Ouch." <--- lol

Poor Nick LOL.  I'm glad he's not as accident-prone and unlucky in real life as he is in our fanfics, or I would worry about him getting that vaccine today.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 18, 2021, 08:14:36 PM
LOL That probably is part of it!  I do seem to write best when nothing is happening in BSB world.  Concerts, album releases, etc. usually distract me or make me feel guilty for writing whatever horrors I'm writing about them.  Those are the best kind of distractions though!

Don't let them make you feel guilty with their punny ad. It's 157 days, 3 hours, 3 minutes, and 8 seconds away. That's plenty of time to stab one in fiction-land.


LOL I know, it gets confusing keeping track when I go to bed and wake up on the same date, but I do go by date to be consistent, since my sleep schedule is not.  So what I wrote before midnight yesterday counted as Day 127, and what I wrote after counted as Day 128.  So it's Day 128 now, yay!

Yay!  :party: :bsb: :broccoli: :bananapower: :wave:


I don't think that is necessarily my problem, since I'm usually just watching TV or playing on my phone or other time-wasters when I could be writing but am not LOL.  I do go out and do things with my friends and family a few times a week, but not every day.  I still have plenty of time to myself to relax, which is super important for me.  I'm such an introvert, I was well-suited to quarantine, which really wasn't all that different from my normal lifestyle LOL.  It was nice to have an excuse just to stay home.  I definitely get feeling pressured to say yes when people want to make plans now that we can go out again though.  This is why I prefer to have a small circle of friends in real life, because I would get overwhelmed with too many offers of "Wanna go out and so such-and-such?" in a week.  I'm sure the pandemic has been much harder on extroverts and/or people who are used to having busy social lives, but that is a great reminder that it's okay to say "Sorry, I already have plans" when you just want to stay home and have some me time.  That still counts as plans and is important, too!

I took most of yesterday to just watch TV and play "Little Alchemy" on my phone, so I get it, lol. I think it's good to take time for yourself and I'm trying to be better about that, that's why I watched TV yesterday and moved my writing spot to the couch today. I've gotten a few more here recently and it's been a while since I've seen some of them in person, so I am trying to say yes if I can. But you're right, I should probably space it out a bit. I think it'd be easier if I didn't have work too, lol. So far, my bids to be a stay-at-home wife haven't panned out, lol. I'm mostly kidding, I think I would get bored after a month or two without a job to go to.


I'm sure election week was not a productive one for any of us, in terms of writing, unless we were using writing as a distraction.  I don't think I got much, if anything, written that week either.  It was also parent-teacher conference week for me, which is the most stressful week of the school year, so writing was definitely not a priority.

It sounds like most of your slumps are because of real life getting in the way, whether it was because of TV/football, job stress, not feeling well, or special events like hubby's birthday.  That totally makes sense.  During the school year, my writing probably follows a similar pattern of being most productive on the weekends and less productive as the work week goes on, dropping off the most on days when I have TV shows I want to watch live or plans with people.

It also makes sense that you'd have the most spikes when nearing the end of a story and then slump when starting a new one.  That always happens to me, too.

I doubt it was for anyone, there was just too much going on in the world. I think the pandemic was the same, it either provided a good distraction or a shut down. And yes, parent-teacher conferences are stressful!

Darn real life. It makes it so hard to find time for writing, lol. If I can shake this, hubs is out of town, so I'm hoping to get really productive.

I'm glad it's a semi-universal thing. It probably has something to do with being out of the groove.


All that makes sense, too.  Writing is writing, no matter what you're working on.  I thought about taking a break from MBK and trying to write something else for a bit to see if that sparked some creativity, but I don't feel inspired to write anything else and am reluctant to stray from a novel that has been going well because I know sometimes it can be hard to go back.  Guilty Roads is a good example of that.

If this was happening during the school year, I would be more willing to say "Screw it" and break the streak, but since it's summer, I'm not gonna do that.  I would be mad at myself for not at least trying while I had time when school starts up again and I have a lot less time.

My biggest problem lately is probably focus.  I've been using YouTube for both writing music and research, but every time I go on there, I get distracted watching recommended videos that have nothing to do with what I'm writing.  Last night it was SNL videos.  I need to either have some more willpower or try some of my focus tricks, like turning off Wi-fi or hiding my bookmarks bar so it's not as easy to randomly click on other websites and go down a rabbit hole.

That makes sense to me too. I think if overall it's going well, then it's good to stick to a project. Unless nothing comes out, then a break might be the best option. And I get not wanting to end the streak when you have time to keep it going. I'm glad that you got a good day in after venting. Sometimes a good vent is all you need! It's a good way to talk out your frustrations and get them out of your head.

I wonder if there's another place with music similar to what you like on youtube that won't give recommended music for a while, then you'd only go to youtube if you needed to do research.


Sorry to hear you're going through it, too!  It's hard to stare at a screen for long periods of time when you have a headache.  And who knows, maybe that's what is causing the headaches in the first place?  This past year, I started taking my contacts out as soon as I get home from work because I spent so much more time staring at the computer screen, it would dry my eyes out and give me a headache.  I should probably invest in a pair of those blue light glasses.

I'm glad you're staying hydrated; that was my other thought, because I get headaches when I don't drink enough water.  I also get them when I don't drink enough caffeine LOL.  Could also be low blood sugar or something if eating helps.  Who knows.  I hope you find some solutions!

Your slump could definitely also be new story related.  It's hard to go from a story world you've been so immersed in for so long to a brand new one you're just beginning to create.  It took me two-and-a-half years after finishing BMS to get anywhere with a new novel on my own.  Thank goodness I had collabs to keep me going in between.  Other than 00Carter and Undead, all I wrote during that period were one-shots and beginnings of stories that usually didn't progress any further.  I was also stuck on Chapter 4 of my current story for 3 years before I came back to it this year.  Just be patient with yourself, and give yourself permission to write whatever you want until you settle into something.

Yeah, I think that was a lot of it. Should have gotten the blue light filter on my glasses after all, lol. I ate some food and finally got some ibuprofin around 11, so I mostly just feel sunburned now, lol. I've actually been writing and doing laundry (something else I hadn't felt like doing) for the last couple of hours, so I may finally be on the mend. Yay! I should probably eat something soon though. I am horrifically hydrated, which is probably how normal people feel and not me in my barely hydrated world. I'm one of those lobster girls Rose was talking about. I've also been drinking lattes again the past couple of days, so maybe the extra milk was making me feel bad. Who knows! But thanks, me too.

I think that's what I'll have to keep doing. It's not what I felt like writing today, so I haven't even looked at it yet. But the streak is alive, so that's good.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 18, 2021, 08:24:38 PM
I don't have as much experience with NaNo as you do, but I do think it helps to have a story already started (or at least a solid idea for one) going into it.  I think opening a new Doc and staring at a blank page on the first of the month would intimidate me.  It's easier to get a daily writing streak going when you already have some momentum going into it.  But just setting a goal to write something every day, without worrying about hitting a specific word count, has been really helpful to me.  Hopefully that routine I've established will carry over when I go back to work so I don't slump as badly as I usually do when school starts.

See, I'd say that too, but the whole idea is that anyone participating starts with something fresh in November. They've changed the degree of outlining they accept in recent years, but the idea is one month, one novel. I do make sure to write something each day, even if it's just a little because it's just such a part of my daily routine now. I hope that making it part of your routine helps the transition to the school year go smoother as well. :)


These are great!  Cracking up at the one I bolded. LOL

Poor Nick LOL.  I'm glad he's not as accident-prone and unlucky in real life as he is in our fanfics, or I would worry about him getting that vaccine today.

That one was my favorite too. It's fun when you just know you can fill in a name right away instead of "someone," lol.

I'd argue he's the opposite in real life, lucky ducky. Don't worry about the first dose, worry about the second one.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 18, 2021, 08:55:39 PM
Don't let them make you feel guilty with their punny ad. It's 157 days, 3 hours, 3 minutes, and 8 seconds away. That's plenty of time to stab one in fiction-land.

LOL!  No worries, the guilt never lasts long before I go right back to my torture.  This one is pretty tame compared to others, though.  No stabbings, no shootings, no cancer...  Nick can't believe his good luck!  Fanfic life has not been as kind to Kevin, but at least there are no bears this time?


I took most of yesterday to just watch TV and play "Little Alchemy" on my phone, so I get it, lol. I think it's good to take time for yourself and I'm trying to be better about that, that's why I watched TV yesterday and moved my writing spot to the couch today. I've gotten a few more here recently and it's been a while since I've seen some of them in person, so I am trying to say yes if I can. But you're right, I should probably space it out a bit. I think it'd be easier if I didn't have work too, lol. So far, my bids to be a stay-at-home wife haven't panned out, lol. I'm mostly kidding, I think I would get bored after a month or two without a job to go to.

I am obsessed with Harry Potter Puzzles and Spells, so I get it too LOL.  That is another reason why I don't read as much anymore, because I lie in bed and play that game on my phone instead.

It would definitely be easier if you didn't have work.  Damn work!  If only we could get everything we wanted for free.  But you're right.  I don't think I could be a stay-at-home mom either.  As much as I enjoy my summers off, I just feel like a more well-rounded, productive member of society when I'm working.  That's not to say being a stay-at-home mom isn't work or that it isn't stressful because it definitely is!  Having kids goes way beyond having a full-time job; that's a 24/7 job!  I like kids, but I am happy to send them back to their parents at the end of the day and go home to a quiet house where I can do whatever the hell I want for the rest of the evening.


I wonder if there's another place with music similar to what you like on youtube that won't give recommended music for a while, then you'd only go to youtube if you needed to do research.

Oh yeah, there are definitely other options.  I also have a writing playlist and stations I like on Amazon Music, as well as all the writing music I've downloaded over the years.  I allow myself to be distracted, so that's on me.  


Yeah, I think that was a lot of it. Should have gotten the blue light filter on my glasses after all, lol. I ate some food and finally got some ibuprofin around 11, so I mostly just feel sunburned now, lol. I've actually been writing and doing laundry (something else I hadn't felt like doing) for the last couple of hours, so I may finally be on the mend. Yay! I should probably eat something soon though. I am horrifically hydrated, which is probably how normal people feel and not me in my barely hydrated world. I'm one of those lobster girls Rose was talking about. I've also been drinking lattes again the past couple of days, so maybe the extra milk was making me feel bad. Who knows! But thanks, me too.

I think that's what I'll have to keep doing. It's not what I felt like writing today, so I haven't even looked at it yet. But the streak is alive, so that's good.

Glad you're feeling better!  Being sunburned could be part of it, too.  Or the milk.

I'm glad your streak is alive!  Hoping you get productive while hubby is gone!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 18, 2021, 09:15:30 PM
LOL!  No worries, the guilt never lasts long before I go right back to my torture.  This one is pretty tame compared to others, though.  No stabbings, no shootings, no cancer...  Nick can't believe his good luck!  Fanfic life has not been as kind to Kevin, but at least there are no bears this time?

Good. Stab stab! Lucky Nick. Poor Kevin, but I'm sure he's glad there aren't any bears, lol. Things are looking up!


I am obsessed with Harry Potter Puzzles and Spells, so I get it too LOL.  That is another reason why I don't read as much anymore, because I lie in bed and play that game on my phone instead.

It would definitely be easier if you didn't have work.  Damn work!  If only we could get everything we wanted for free.  But you're right.  I don't think I could be a stay-at-home mom either.  As much as I enjoy my summers off, I just feel like a more well-rounded, productive member of society when I'm working.  That's not to say being a stay-at-home mom isn't work or that it isn't stressful because it definitely is!  Having kids goes way beyond having a full-time job; that's a 24/7 job!  I like kids, but I am happy to send them back to their parents at the end of the day and go home to a quiet house where I can do whatever the hell I want for the rest of the evening.

I only have 100 items left to find, so it will come to an end soon, lol.

I wish I could get everything for free. That's what I miss most about being twenty-one, lol. See, I think he would agree if I was saying I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, I think it's the "wife, no kids, no job" part he's disagreeing with, lol. I do feel productive, I just wish I had more PTO and scheduled time off, like a week a month would be awesome. Or working 4 10s would be good too. And yes, kids are quite time consuming, I'm sure.


Oh yeah, there are definitely other options.  I also have a writing playlist and stations I like on Amazon Music, as well as all the writing music I've downloaded over the years.  I allow myself to be distracted, so that's on me.

Eh, sometimes the distractions are worth it!


Glad you're feeling better!  Being sunburned could be part of it, too.  Or the milk.

I'm glad your streak is alive!  Hoping you get productive while hubby is gone!

Me too. I have no idea what's going on, but I've got to get to the grocery store and cook food at home again. That could be part of it too.

Thanks! Hopefully your well-wishes contribute to the inspiration!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 18, 2021, 10:43:10 PM
I only have 100 items left to find, so it will come to an end soon, lol.

I'm on Level 1300 something in mine, but I'm only up to Ron puking slugs in Chamber of Secrets, so I still have a ways to go.  I'm assuming there will be enough levels to go through all seven books eventually, so I could be playing for years!


I wish I could get everything for free. That's what I miss most about being twenty-one, lol. See, I think he would agree if I was saying I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, I think it's the "wife, no kids, no job" part he's disagreeing with, lol. I do feel productive, I just wish I had more PTO and scheduled time off, like a week a month would be awesome. Or working 4 10s would be good too. And yes, kids are quite time consuming, I'm sure.

College was the best!  I have no desire to be a student or live with roommates again, but I do miss the lack of responsibility besides passing your classes.

I wish we were more like Europe when it comes to time off and other job perks.  I can't complain because of having the whole summer off, but I would happily do a year-round school schedule where you have one month in the summer in exchange for longer, more frequent breaks throughout the year.  It would be nice to have more time off to travel other times of year when it's not hot everywhere.  This Christmas residency actually worked out really well with my work schedule, but usually it's such a hassle to do any kind of vacation during the school year.  I would also happily work four longer days a week to have a three-day weekend or Wednesdays off.


Eh, sometimes the distractions are worth it!

I mean, I did get a good laugh out of the series of "Celebrities audition for [Insert Movie Here]" sketches I watched.  I'm probably more easily distracted right now because it's summer and I don't feel like I'm in a time crunch yet.  I'm a little more focused during the school year when I know I only have so many hours to write.


Me too. I have no idea what's going on, but I've got to get to the grocery store and cook food at home again. That could be part of it too.

Thanks! Hopefully your well-wishes contribute to the inspiration!

I just got back from the grocery store!  Shopping at 9:00 on a Sunday night is the best LOL.  No crowds, no lines, and I can park up close.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: mare on July 18, 2021, 11:23:05 PM
As a none working person, I can tell you it doesn’t live up to the hype. I spend most of my days feeling like a total insignificant slug. I miss teaching. I do read a lot and paint but yeah, it’s not great. I’m a stay at home cat nanny. At least giving myself a title accounts for something.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: mare on July 18, 2021, 11:31:29 PM
Thanks!  I actually had a fairly productive writing night/morning after venting here and am now up to like 2500 words in my chapter.  Venting usually helps!  I also thought about taking a break from my novel and trying to work on something else (maybe a short story?), but I don't have any other ideas demanding to be written, so probably best for me to keep plugging away at this one.

It sounds like you're out of the habit.  Writing is like anything else; the longer you go without doing it, the harder it is to get back into it.  I know it was a struggle for me to get back into a groove after three years of sporadic writing while I was getting my master's.  I'm glad I had an in-progress project to finish because that gave me the motivation to do it.  It was a lot harder to start a new novel after finishing that one.  Short stories are a good way to get back into it without the commitment of a novel.  I hope you'll eventually come up with an idea for one that demands to be written and just go for it.  I know how frustrating it is to feel blocked and/or unmotivated, but I also know how good it feels to actually get something written.  My mood is almost always better after a good writing session.

Just getting started is going to be the hardest part. I just can’t do it for whatever reason. I’m hoping all these books I’m reading will give me motivation. I do feel like I’ve lost my writing voice.

Maybe I’ll try one of those things Dee posted. We shall see.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 19, 2021, 12:18:01 AM
As a none working person, I can tell you it doesn’t live up to the hype. I spend most of my days feeling like a total insignificant slug. I miss teaching. I do read a lot and paint but yeah, it’s not great. I’m a stay at home cat nanny. At least giving myself a title accounts for something.

Stay at home cat nanny!  I love that!  I wonder if you could tutor or give private music lessons at your home after the pandemic?  Or if you could get back into writing, maybe you could find a way to make some money with that, whether it's freelance work or publishing another novel.  


Just getting started is going to be the hardest part. I just can’t do it for whatever reason. I’m hoping all these books I’m reading will give me motivation. I do feel like I’ve lost my writing voice.

Maybe I’ll try one of those things Dee posted. We shall see.


Getting started is definitely the hardest part!  You may be rusty at first, but I think writing is like swimming or riding a bike; your voice will come back to you quickly once you get going on something.  Reading is a good way to keep that writer's voice in your head, even when you're not actively using it.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 19, 2021, 12:22:44 AM
Also, you are up late, Mare!  Insomnia?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: mare on July 19, 2021, 01:59:49 AM
More like inmommia. I don’t really sleep well to begin with but there will be very little sleep this week lol
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: mare on July 19, 2021, 02:06:43 AM
Stay at home cat nanny!  I love that!  I wonder if you could tutor or give private music lessons at your home after the pandemic?  Or if you could get back into writing, maybe you could find a way to make some money with that, whether it's freelance work or publishing another novel. 

 

Getting started is definitely the hardest part!  You may be rusty at first, but I think writing is like swimming or riding a bike; your voice will come back to you quickly once you get going on something.  Reading is a good way to keep that writer's voice in your head, even when you're not actively using it.

Income is a slippery slope when in the disability process. You basically have to stay at the poverty level or you lose medical benefits. In the government’s eyes if I can teach privately than there’s no reason I can’t teach all the time. It’s all very black and white. God bless America! I have been thinking about trying to get a short story published or something. I just need to push myself up the mountain to do it.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 19, 2021, 04:35:34 AM
More like inmommia. I don’t really sleep well to begin with but there will be very little sleep this week lol

LOL Aww... hang in there.  I hope the rest of the week with your mom goes well!


Income is a slippery slope when in the disability process. You basically have to stay at the poverty level or you lose medical benefits. In the government’s eyes if I can teach privately than there’s no reason I can’t teach all the time. It’s all very black and white. God bless America! I have been thinking about trying to get a short story published or something. I just need to push myself up the mountain to do it.

Oh wow, I didn't think about that, but yeah... that does make it even more complicated.  That really sucks.  There's obviously a big difference between teaching full time in a school setting and teaching part time in your own home.  While I'm glad you're able to get benefits at all, the system is messed up.

Well, writing is at least a time-consuming hobby that you could also do for free if you can get yourself back into it.  I believe in you and your creativity!
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: mare on July 20, 2021, 04:52:36 PM
LOL Aww... hang in there.  I hope the rest of the week with your mom goes well!


Oh wow, I didn't think about that, but yeah... that does make it even more complicated.  That really sucks.  There's obviously a big difference between teaching full time in a school setting and teaching part time in your own home.  While I'm glad you're able to get benefits at all, the system is messed up.

Well, writing is at least a time-consuming hobby that you could also do for free if you can get yourself back into it.  I believe in you and your creativity!

I know, the whole thing has been a huge nightmare. I had heard stories before but I didn’t think it was going to be this bad. At the moment I have insurance but I still don’t have any actual money coming in. It’s been over a year and they are STILL working on my application. I’ve been told by pretty much everybody that it’ll  most likely be declined. They tend to decline everyone the first time you apply for disability unless you’re literally dying. It’s ridiculous.

I’m going to try to write next week. I think I need to wait until mom is gone, but maybe she’ll give me the motivation I need. lol
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 20, 2021, 10:16:00 PM
That is so frustrating.  I'm sure Covid doesn't help with the processing time, since everything probably got backed up last year.  What a mess.

LOL Well, here's hoping you get some motivation without losing your mind.  How's it been going with your mom?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 20, 2021, 10:23:09 PM
A couple questions I thought of to discuss:

Do you think your writing continues to gets better with each story, or have you already hit your peak as a writer?  If it's the latter, when (or with what story) did you peak, and why do you think that is?

For those who have taken extended breaks from writing, do you think it affected the quality of your writing when you came back?  Did you feel rusty when you started again or notice a decline?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 21, 2021, 09:49:26 PM
Inmomnia is the worst! Hopefully you'll get some real rest soon, Mare! Disability sounds really complicated. I can't believe they take such a long time to turn down people who need it. :( I hope it all gets worked out soon.

I'm sending you good writing vibes as always. :) We should all try one of those short story prompts. Here's another six word story:

"What are mask mandates?" Brian asked.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 21, 2021, 09:55:52 PM
I'm on Level 1300 something in mine, but I'm only up to Ron puking slugs in Chamber of Secrets, so I still have a ways to go.  I'm assuming there will be enough levels to go through all seven books eventually, so I could be playing for years!

That is a long game! How many more are available now?


College was the best!  I have no desire to be a student or live with roommates again, but I do miss the lack of responsibility besides passing your classes.

I wish we were more like Europe when it comes to time off and other job perks.  I can't complain because of having the whole summer off, but I would happily do a year-round school schedule where you have one month in the summer in exchange for longer, more frequent breaks throughout the year.  It would be nice to have more time off to travel other times of year when it's not hot everywhere.  This Christmas residency actually worked out really well with my work schedule, but usually it's such a hassle to do any kind of vacation during the school year.  I would also happily work four longer days a week to have a three-day weekend or Wednesdays off.

I miss the free drinks, lol.

I keep suggesting we get the whole month of July off, but it hasn't happened yet. It's not too bad to plan vacations during the school year, but it always stresses me out. I feel like I could be doing more, and then there's all the catch up when I get back. It's really not worth it. Skipping these drop in days will be totally work it though, lol. I volunteered for Wednesdays. I could definitely work two days, have Wednesday off, then work two more days.


I mean, I did get a good laugh out of the series of "Celebrities audition for [Insert Movie Here]" sketches I watched.  I'm probably more easily distracted right now because it's summer and I don't feel like I'm in a time crunch yet.  I'm a little more focused during the school year when I know I only have so many hours to write.

What movies were the celebrities auditioning for?


I just got back from the grocery store!  Shopping at 9:00 on a Sunday night is the best LOL.  No crowds, no lines, and I can park up close.

Ours is always busy, but the parking lot is so little. I finally went on Monday afternoon. My life has been a lot better since I've had yogurt and bananas back in my life, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 21, 2021, 09:59:40 PM
Here's another six word story:

"What are mask mandates?" Brian asked.

LOL!  Oh Brian...

This is probably better suited to the Backstreet discussion thread, but I listened to his episode of AJ's Pretty Messed Up Podcast, and it was delightful!  That's the kind of Brian content I need more of.  Now I should go back and listen to the Nick and Kevin episodes I missed.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 21, 2021, 10:12:28 PM
That is a long game! How many more are available now?

I have no idea.  The player in my club on there who's furthest along is on Level 1600 something, which is still Chamber of Secrets.  So it's going to be a super long game if they have levels for all seven books, which I assume they will.


I keep suggesting we get the whole month of July off, but it hasn't happened yet. It's not too bad to plan vacations during the school year, but it always stresses me out. I feel like I could be doing more, and then there's all the catch up when I get back. It's really not worth it. Skipping these drop in days will be totally work it though, lol. I volunteered for Wednesdays. I could definitely work two days, have Wednesday off, then work two more days.

Totally agree.  I hate writing sub plans and not knowing what kind of mess I might be coming back to.  Sometimes it's fine, and sometimes I come back to find none of my plans were followed and parents are pissed off about something inappropriate the sub supposedly said, and then I have to deal with the fallout of that.  So I don't miss a lot of days.

Yep, that's why having Wednesdays off would be great - you only have to work two days at a time.


What movies were the celebrities auditioning for?

I watched the ones for Jurassic Park, The Force Awakens, The Lion King, and Fifty Shades of Gray.  If you search for SNL celebrity auditions on YouTube, you too can go down that rabbit hole LOL.


Ours is always busy, but the parking lot is so little. I finally went on Monday afternoon. My life has been a lot better since I've had yogurt and bananas back in my life, lol.

Good!  I also feel my life is better when I have breakfast foods available.  I've been making breakfast a lot lately.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 21, 2021, 10:22:24 PM
I agree.  Although it seems like the high school in the community where I teach offers a lot more electives than my high school did, so maybe it's different now, or maybe it just depends on the size of the school.  My high school was smaller than the one I'm comparing it too, so not as many options.  But it seems like there are more electives available for students on the vocational track who don't care about going to college.  For the college-bound kids, the focus is definitely more on AP classes and getting so many credits for each subject area.

The only writing-related elective I took in high school was a print journalism class, which was a total joke - a lot of messing around and very little actual writing or learning.  The best thing I got out of it was an appreciation for Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which we watched in class during a unit on satire.

A creative writing class would have been interesting, but I would not want to be forced to write fiction for an assignment either - or share and discuss my work with random classmates.  So I definitely think it's better to do it for fun.

I think there is slowly becoming more of a focus on well-rounded students, so I think more electives are an option. I'm surprised they let you watch Monty Python in class, but it is an excellent movie!


I know people who have read both, but I don't remember ever asking them which one they thought was better.  Too awkward of a question, at least at that time.  If anyone here who has read both sees this and wants to weigh in, feel free.  You won't offend me if you say you liked Swollen Issues better; I obviously love it, too, and am far enough removed from Broken to see its flaws.

Maybe that's the real loaded question, lol.


I have definitely waxed poetic on some of their physical features, like Brian's "cerulean orbs" LOL.  I think it works best when describing them from another character's perspective (especially when said character is a girl who finds them attractive), rather than doing it BSC style where you devote a paragraph to what each one looks like and what outfit they're wearing on that particular day.  Though I did enjoy reading the descriptions of Stacey and Claudia's crazy outfits LOL.

In my defense, the Scholastic book order did not make it clear that the book was a sequel!  They're not numbered or anything, but there are definitely some books featuring the same characters that come before it chronologicall y.  So then when I read those later, I already knew which characters were going to die because it was spoiled for me.  Curse you, Scholastic!

You can't not wax poetic on Brian's cerulean orbs. ;) I loved Stacy's outfits (Claudia's were too cool and I didn't think I could pull them off.) I think I wanted to be Stacy... except the diabetes.

They didn't make it clear? How could they do that?! Don't they care about spoilers?! Curse you, Scholastic!


I don't remember when I did either.  I don't think I ever wrote one of those "they all live in a beach house in Orlando" stories, but I'm sure my old stories have some geographical errors.  Although I remember one time a reader from Kentucky told me there was no airport in Lexington, and I was like, "Whoops, I guess I should have looked that up instead of assuming," and then I did look it up once, and there totally is an airport in Lexington!  A small airport, sure, but still a real airport with major commercial airlines.  But that was probably one of my first lessons in fact-checking locations I'm not familiar with.  I often look up flights from one city to another to get an idea of travel time and availability of flights.  Expedia always thinks I'm planning some cool vacation when I'm really not. :(

I think Undead is when I discovered the true potential of Google Maps - although, actually, I discovered that Bing Maps was better at that time for 3D satellite view.  You can't Street View through an air force base, but you can get a good bird's eye view.

There is an airport in Lexington! I've been there because our flight to Ohio got canceled while we were at the airport, so we ended up closer to where we were going for not a bajillion dollars. For some reason, flights to Kentucky airports are suuuper expensive at the beginning of May. ;) lol (Yes, we were going for the derby and to see hubs' sister.) Anyway, it's not a new airport (built in 1940), so you were correct. But it's a good reason to learn to fact check. I never wrote a beach house story either, but I wish I did, lol.

Ugh, don't get me started on the internet thinking I'm planning a great vacation!

I love Street View too, but you're right, I don't think google has security clearance... to post maps on the internet anyway, lol.


LOL Yeah, Nick would totally prefer the Keys to get away from his family.  I bet the beaches/water are also nicer down there.  Never been to either place though.

I wondered that, too.  Why Brian and not Kevin or Howie?  They were both real adults who also had religious values, and Howie even had a college degree and had known Nick longer.  Was it just because Nick was closest to Brian?  Just one of many questionable parenting decisions Nick's parents made.

Miami is super fun, but I bet the Keys are warmer in the winter.

Oh you're right, Howie would have been the best choice. Sorry I forgot you just like Jane did, Howie! Maybe Howie said no because Nick tried to date his cousin, lol.


I got the first coat of paint on last night!  It's gonna need another coat tonight, but I like the color.  I did not appreciate just what a pain in the ass it is to paint a bathroom though, getting behind the toilet and all that - ugh!  Will be glad to have that job done.

BSB planning got in the way of my writing today, but I have the story open now so I can get something written before midnight.

I bet it was hard to concentrate on your PD after all that excitement! LOL

Ugh, painting behind the toilet would be hard! Did you finish your bathroom in the past week? I forgot to ask.

BSB planning has got in the way of my writing life lately, lol. But the streak lives! The next PD isn't until Monday, so hopefully the Boys announce nothing else crazy then, lol.


Absolutely.  I'm usually proud of their length, but whenever I have to do something that involves clicking through each chapter, I'm always like, "Ugh, why?!"  Broken and BMS will be terrible if I ever make it to those stories LOL.

I feel you on the length. But it will be worth it when you make it to the end! (I also got exhausted editing PBox near the end and it was worth it.) I'll send you good Broken/BMS vibes so you do get there!


Oh yeah, the squiggles and stars make it even better!!  And it would have had plenty of animated gifs and midis of BSB songs playing in the background.  (I actually did have midis of BSB songs playing in the background.  And purple Comic Sans font LOL.)

Yes! a 90's dream website! Clearly the Millennium ads are the gifs you should have used, lol!


Yes!  Let's go with that.  I'm like an architecture archeologist.

LOL!


Yes!  You never know who's reading who lives in a certain city and went to that show, so you want to write it accurately if you can.

I commend you for that.


Aww, I know!  I actually still have all my old BSB tapes and a working VCR.  I can't remember the last time I tried watching any of them, so I'm not sure they still work, but I couldn't bear to throw them away.  I still have my Titanic and Disney VHS tapes for the same reason.  #hoarder

All my BSB stuff was VHS, I wish I had a VCR so I could watch the green tape. What a long time ago that was. I feel like they would still work? Why wouldn't they?


They totally are!  Btw, Kevin's gonna be 50 by the time we see them in December... ahh!

That is so true about "I Would Do Anything for Love... but I won't do that."  Won't do what??

OMG! No! 50! Kevin, you'll always be 27 to me.

I keep telling hubs that it's "anal" and he gets mad at me every time, lol.


I know, I'm already anxious about tomorrow too!  I think the fact that it's only 12 shows after all this time with no concerts has me worried everyone's gonna be wanting tickets.  But at least it's just a fan club presale.  We should be fine, but if we don't get what we want, there's always the general sale on Saturday or whenever.

Our parents were saints!  Both my mom and dad took me to shows back in the day.  I'm so grateful, but also glad to be an adult with my own income and transportation and friends who are real fans and genuinely want to go with me LOL.

Aww... and your tickets will still have the original date to remind you of how many times they got rescheduled due to COVID LOL.

I was still anxious after we already had tickets, lol. It was easy and it was still nervewracking.

Yes! It's so much more fun with friends/fans/my own money than my mother, but I love her. :)

Yes, yes they will, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 21, 2021, 10:23:25 PM
My writing actually went great, I put on some beach ambient music which helped with the next chapter of Take Me Home. It’s a flashback where Nick and Brian are just getting to the island they live on while they’re in hiding. I just posted chapter 36 today, so I will probably have this new chapter done very soon. So then I started watching Titanic and it inspired this little one shot thing, at least I think it’s a one shot? I don’t know what it is yet. I did write a couple paragraphs of it though. So all in all its been very productive for me.

Glad it's all going well! How's your next chapter going? Good other than Nick potentially hating you? lol

Ooh, a Titanic one shot?
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 21, 2021, 10:31:11 PM
A couple questions I thought of to discuss:

Do you think your writing continues to gets better with each story, or have you already hit your peak as a writer?  If it's the latter, when (or with what story) did you peak, and why do you think that is?

For those who have taken extended breaks from writing, do you think it affected the quality of your writing when you came back?  Did you feel rusty when you started again or notice a decline?

I think there's always ways to improve if you continue to write. It might not be in "writer voice" (I think that's about the same as the end of PBox), but it could be in tight prose or something else. I can't think of any examples right now, but I think there's always growth and improvement in one way or another, even if it's a small thing. :) Maybe it's just writing speed.

But I also think that every story is a little different, so maybe there's something different to improve on between each work. I'm working on comedic timing right now, for instance, and that's not something that's part of PBox as much.

I didn't feel rusty when I started because I was just happy to be writing anything, but now I feel like I was rusty. (Like chapter four is so awful, I'm so sorry everyone.) And I definitely feel like some chapters are better than others even as I continue to write them. It wasn't too bad to get back into the groove again once I could get started, but I think it takes the right headspace.

I felt even rustier starting new story, because it's pretty different from PBox. But I think I've gotten away from my plan for it from the beginning, which was "What's the craziest thing I can think of? Write that." I blame trying to be medically accurate in the beginning, lol. So now I'm trying to get back to the crazier things. Escape goats are helping, lol.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 21, 2021, 10:33:32 PM
LOL!  Oh Brian...

This is probably better suited to the Backstreet discussion thread, but I listened to his episode of AJ's Pretty Messed Up Podcast, and it was delightful!  That's the kind of Brian content I need more of.  Now I should go back and listen to the Nick and Kevin episodes I missed.

Thank you for coming to the second edition of Dee's six word stories, lol. They've been more fun than I thought.

Oh was it? I might listen to those ones too. Of course I still haven't listened to the one about IWITW that I meant to listen to, so... I'm just not a podcast person. Can the Boys do a TED Talk? I love those.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 21, 2021, 10:41:01 PM
I have no idea.  The player in my club on there who's furthest along is on Level 1600 something, which is still Chamber of Secrets.  So it's going to be a super long game if they have levels for all seven books, which I assume they will.

That's a really long game! I'm sure they have an audience for it though, so if they have the funding to do it, they should just keep going.


Totally agree.  I hate writing sub plans and not knowing what kind of mess I might be coming back to.  Sometimes it's fine, and sometimes I come back to find none of my plans were followed and parents are pissed off about something inappropriate the sub supposedly said, and then I have to deal with the fallout of that.  So I don't miss a lot of days.

Yep, that's why having Wednesdays off would be great - you only have to work two days at a time.

Exactly! I've been doing some subbing in classrooms here recently and most of them aren't writing sub plans at all and it just blows my mind. So I have been practicing my skills "productively winging it." It is only going okay, lol. Ugh, angry parents are the worst.


I watched the ones for Jurassic Park, The Force Awakens, The Lion King, and Fifty Shades of Gray.  If you search for SNL celebrity auditions on YouTube, you too can go down that rabbit hole LOL.

You just want a friend in that rabbit hole, don't you? lol


Good!  I also feel my life is better when I have breakfast foods available.  I've been making breakfast a lot lately.

What have you been making? Hubs is the breakfast maker in our household, but I am very into my routine of eating a chobani and banana every day. Or every weekday at least.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: nicksgal on July 21, 2021, 10:50:13 PM
This is semi-related to BSB fanfic, did anyone else see this post on r/FanFic? https://www.reddit.com/r/FanFiction/comments/on3xw0/blast_from_the_past_fanfictionnet_20_years_ago/

I died laughing that people responded with surprise that Backstreet Boys fanfic was ever a thing, lol. Anyone recognize any of those stories on the example page? Also I just realized that I also started writing fanfic over 20 years ago... What a crazy life we live.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 21, 2021, 10:56:36 PM
You can't not wax poetic on Brian's cerulean orbs. ;) I loved Stacy's outfits (Claudia's were too cool and I didn't think I could pull them off.) I think I wanted to be Stacy... except the diabetes.

He does have beautiful face balls!

I also wanted to be Stacey; she was always my favorite!  I did not want to have diabetes, but of course that made her more interesting to me because even as a child, I was fascinated by that kind of thing.  I was more of a Mary Anne or Mallory though.

I may have asked you this already, but did you watch the Netflix adaptation of BSC last year?  It was wonderful!  I went into it thinking I would give it one episode for nostalgia's sake, and I ended up watching the whole season in one sitting LOL.


There is an airport in Lexington! I've been there because our flight to Ohio got canceled while we were at the airport, so we ended up closer to where we were going for not a bajillion dollars. For some reason, flights to Kentucky airports are suuuper expensive at the beginning of May. ;) lol (Yes, we were going for the derby and to see hubs' sister.) Anyway, it's not a new airport (built in 1940), so you were correct. But it's a good reason to learn to fact check. I never wrote a beach house story either, but I wish I did, lol.

Oh fun!  I have been to Lexington twice now, but never the airport, since I drove both times.  Makes sense that flights would be expensive during Derby week, but I bet that was a cool experience.


Oh you're right, Howie would have been the best choice. Sorry I forgot you just like Jane did, Howie! Maybe Howie said no because Nick tried to date his cousin, lol.

LOL Howie probably said no because Nick drove him nuts!


Ugh, painting behind the toilet would be hard! Did you finish your bathroom in the past week? I forgot to ask.

BSB planning has got in the way of my writing life lately, lol. But the streak lives! The next PD isn't until Monday, so hopefully the Boys announce nothing else crazy then, lol.

Yes I did!  It's done except for the Redrum decal and artwork on the walls.  I thought it would be better to wait and let the paint cure before I put that stuff up, so I'm gonna do that part next week.  I'll take pictures then.  But I love it already; the paint colors turned out great!

LOL Yes, it's been so exciting, but hard to focus on fanfic.  I'm happy we have events to look forward to that aren't still a year away though!  I'm glad your streak is still alive!  Hope you have a productive rest of the week.


I keep telling hubs that it's "anal" and he gets mad at me every time, lol.

LMAO!!  That's probably it.  But I hope that's not the way the Boys want it.


Oh was it? I might listen to those ones too. Of course I still haven't listened to the one about IWITW that I meant to listen to, so... I'm just not a podcast person. Can the Boys do a TED Talk? I love those.

I thought AJ's podcast was mostly about addiction, but they didn't discuss that at all on Brian's episode.  So for anyone else who didn't really care to hear him talk about that for an entire podcast, tune in!  It focused more on BSB and AJ and Brian's friendship.
Title: Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
Post by: RokofAges75 on July 21, 2021, 11:15:18 PM
That's a really long game! I'm sure they have an audience for it though, so if they have the funding to do it, they should just keep going.

Yep!  I hope they do the whole series.  It's a really well-designed game.  I don't play a lot of mobile games, so I can't really compare it to others like it, but I appreciate that you can play the full game for free and get that far on it.  Of course there are options to buy perks to make it easier, but I haven't spent a cent on it.


Exactly! I've been doing some subbing in classrooms here recently and most of them aren't writing sub plans at all and it just blows my mind. So I have been practicing my skills "productively winging it." It is only going okay, lol. Ugh, angry parents are the worst.

Ugh... that's so frustrating!  I would never do that to a sub.  But it is good to practice winging it! LOL