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Crunch time

I have 20 more hours to do.

Fortunately, I'm used to this insane pressure because I always manage to write until midnight to get the 50K in.

The plan is five hours every day for the last few days of March.

Who's with me?

The down side to inspiration.

Does this happen to anyone else?

You're in your magical workshop, as in sitting down to work on your story. Around you are large boxes where you keep subplots, characters, settings, clever twists, suitably edited memories and dreams, all the bits and pieces that go into creating this strange and eldritch creature you call your novel. On the work table, flank by 26 narrow silvery tools, and a handful of assorted smaller implements is the oozing, toad-like, bloated and sad thing that once was so beautiful, but now resembles the after math of a flaming bunny. Behind you, your familiar, Mota, the tiger from Vation, licks at his nose with a washcloth sized tongue of startling pink and yawns hugely. Since you've been working so much, he's nearly asleep, instead of growling at you for not working and pacing like, well, like a tiger.
Read more...Collapse )

I've been getting story ideas at least once per day lately, often several within a few minutes.

MAKE THEM STOP!

Heeelp

Just a question... What is a reasonable word goal, keeping in mind that I'll probably have about an hour or two writing time, maximum, per day? I haven't done it before, so I really have no experience - any advice would be good.

By request.

The next chapter of my story has been requested, and don’t think it doesn’t tickle me silly to be able to say so. As I don’t want to force the moderators to read through another giant post, (moderators are more than welcome to give it a look-see.) I stuck it on my own live journal.


Click here for my next chapter.

Dialog question.

I mostly write scripts and short stories where dialog is broken out into its own lines and I'm a little confused about how to format dialog in a novel.
     Putting line breaks between dialog looks the best to me, but it seems like a waste of space for a novel so I'm thinking that it is not the correct way to format. I've read books that indent dialog on a separate line and others that simply add the dialog in with no special formatting. So I'm wondering if there is a standard method when formatting dialog, or is it just a matter of taste?

1. Line Breaks
------------------------
The slouchy man wanders about the store in a semi-confused state, touching things and mumbling quietly to himself, until the young man behind the counter decides to speak up and halt his creepy escapade.

    “Hello sir,” the young man says cheerfully. “What can I help you with today?”

    The greeting wakes Slouchy Man from his inner dialogue, causing him to blink and grunt with disapproval before shuffling up to the sales counter with an uncertain gait.
-----------------------

2. Indents
------------------------
The slouchy man wanders about the store in a semi-confused state, touching things and mumbling quietly to himself, until the young man behind the counter decides to speak up and halt his creepy escapade.
     “Hello sir,” the young man says cheerfully. “What can I help you with today?”
     The greeting wakes Slouchy Man from his inner dialogue, causing him to blink and grunt with disapproval before shuffling up to the sales counter with an uncertain gait.
-----------------------

3. Nothing
------------------------
The slouchy man wanders about the store in a semi-confused state, touching things and mumbling quietly to himself, until the young man behind the counter decides to speak up and halt his creepy escapade. “Hello sir,” the young man says cheerfully. “What can I help you with today?” The greeting wakes Slouchy Man from his inner dialogue, causing him to blink and grunt with disapproval before shuffling up to the sales counter with an uncertain gait.
-----------------------

Writing for a place I've never visited

I'm writing an urban fantasy that is set in my home city (although I never name the city, and the geography is a bit fictionalized). But my characters are about to jet off to Turkey to face the big baddies on their home turf. The problem is, I've never been to Turkey. Iraq would actually make even more sense, but I don't want to suddenly have my book be about the war in Iraq, which it really, really isn't.

Do any of you have any tips for writing in a setting that they haven't visited themselves? I was going to visit a lot of travel sites and I've read books about Turkey and I'll do some other research on the area, but other than that, I'm hoping that the alternate universe will excuse me.

I could change their home base to somewhere like New York, which I actually have visited, but Turkey makes much more sense for those characters.

Halp! My point of view keeps slipping!

Yeeeaaahhh.

I was cursed with this problem soon after my first NaNo, in 2006. It's a constant problem, and it's very small and easy to overlook.

And DAMN but it's annoying when I'm trying to write something in third person.

The problem?

I can start something in third person, no problem. However, after a while, once I'm really into it, I switch into first person and don't notice until about a page later.

There are, however, two corollaries:

1. This only happens with female characters. Okay, okay, I've written from the point of view of a male character maybe three times, buuuut...

2. Only ever happens on the computer. I can type much faster than I can write longhand, and when I get into a story I tend to forget which point of view I was in and then a page later I run out of thoughts and I look back and I'm like 'Whaaaaaaa?! Damnit, I was writing in third person limited here!'

But yeah. It's highly annoying when I'm trying to write third person.

Halp?

Timelines, Outlines, etc

Do you all prefer to use notecards, stickies, notebooks, etc when mapping out your story for revisions? Or do you use software like Ywriter or Liquid Story? Or both?
I'm typically more of a hands-on person, but then the software seems to ask all the right questions for good organization, so I'm a bit torn on what to use.
Thoughts?

Out of curiosity...

Most of my "editing" so far has been me realizing that scenes or entire chapters do not work in the slightest anymore. So then I rewrite them. I've written 4000 words of new material so far. Is anyone else experiencing a WriMoEdMo?

Liquid Storybinder

I've heard a couple of people mention this program. I've downloaded the trial a while back and played with it, and while I like what it does in theory (and yearn for that level of organization, god have mercy), I'm not sure how to make it actually efficient for me particularly given that my novel is not IN it presently.

The novel itself was written over the span of two or three computers in innumerable different files as I tried to keep a general track on what I wrote in '07, what I wrote in '08 for my NaNo wordcount, what I wrote in '08 that was filler for holes I left in the '07 material... I've already come upon a segment I'd written in another file that I totally forgot to piece together in the main 'complete' manuscript file (the one I printed).

Part of my editing process is to break this down into chapters, which I'm doing with the hard-copy as I read with divider-tabs in my binder (which seems to be going well). I would also like to be able to keep track of revisions as I edit, keep all my drafts together but preserve them so I can look back at what I've done. What I feel like might have to be the case is that as I determine the chapters out of the main manuscript, I need to copy and paste them in blocks into Liquid Storybinder and save those as 'chapters' in the program, which does sound a bit tedious but is probably unavoidable and should be manageable if I don't sit down to do it all at once. Lastly, but not leastly, in my playing with this at one point a few weeks ago... I was running into a problem where after a period of copy/paste out of a main file, the program would decide that all of my punctuation was little squares? ([]), like it didn't recognize it or something. Although it will have started out just fine... Any ideas? Am I just critically failing at some essential part of this that I should know?

Does anyone use this program heavily? What is a good work-flow for you? What is the main purpose of the program in your use? Do you like it? Is there anything you have a major issue with that I should look out for? And, of course, any suggestions about organization (in or out of this program, or another if there's something else preferred) would be more than welcome.