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Author Topic: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)  (Read 10118 times)

nicksgal

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Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
« Reply #165 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.
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~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal

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Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
« Reply #166 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.
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~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal

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Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
« Reply #167 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.
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~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

RokofAges75

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Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
« Reply #168 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.
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~Julie

"Sometimes writers and sociopaths are hard to tell apart." -J.K. Rowling

RokofAges75

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Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
« Reply #169 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.
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~Julie

"Sometimes writers and sociopaths are hard to tell apart." -J.K. Rowling

RokofAges75

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Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
« Reply #170 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.
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"Sometimes writers and sociopaths are hard to tell apart." -J.K. Rowling

nicksgal

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Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
« Reply #171 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
« Last Edit: July 09, 2021, 02:45:04 PM by nicksgal »
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~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal

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Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
« Reply #172 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.
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~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal

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Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
« Reply #173 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.
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~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal

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Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
« Reply #174 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.
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~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal

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Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
« Reply #175 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
« Last Edit: July 09, 2021, 05:13:53 PM by nicksgal »
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~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

RokofAges75

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Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
« Reply #176 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...
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~Julie

"Sometimes writers and sociopaths are hard to tell apart." -J.K. Rowling

nicksgal

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Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
« Reply #177 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.
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~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

RokofAges75

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Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
« Reply #178 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.
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~Julie

"Sometimes writers and sociopaths are hard to tell apart." -J.K. Rowling

RokofAges75

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Re: Writing & Thread (aka The Writing Thread 4)
« Reply #179 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.
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~Julie

"Sometimes writers and sociopaths are hard to tell apart." -J.K. Rowling
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