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Nano Musings

Well Nanowrimo is over and I've recovered. Now comes the time to reflect on what I did and didn't do and how all that can help me (and others) in the future. I did learn some stuff. I learned the value (to me) of novel writing software. For the last severnal years I've written shorts and they have gotten shorter. Maybe they followed my memory. But in any case if I'm to write a novel in the future I will need something, software or a good note system to keep track of all that is happening in the novel that is not happening right now.

Nanowrimo, Day 1

Being without internet (or power, for that matter) makes you think differently. I'd been waffling about whether to do nanowrimo this year, and had nearly convinced myself out of it. But writing is one of those things you don't need a computer to do, and I have nearly a lifetime supply of paper and pens--as well as a story I've been noodling for a few weeks.

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On Second Thought

Don't you just hate it when you've spend some time working on a story and then when it's mostly done you come up with an idea on how to tell it in a much better way.

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Fantasy to Science Fiction: the Speculative Spectrum

As usual I'm reading some forum soemwhere on the web and I come across an argument about what is science fiction and what is fantasy and hard vs. soft SF. This brings up Clarke's third law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. My tastes tend to be on the harder side but I did enjoy Lord of the Rings way back when and I do follow Butcher's Dresden Files series so I'm not 100% hard core. I have also written a few fantasy stories myself.

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Story or Writing

I'm reading Robopocalypse: a novel by Daniel H. Wilson. Interesting and I'm enjoying it. I did find/notice two instances of what I would consider poor copy editing. More than a typo but not bad writing. Sort of like, "me and John went..." I'm not sure if that is meant to show the education level of the character but it's not in dialog or first person. In any case it was enough to pop me out of the story, to get me thinking about the writing and not the story.

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Every now and then someone in a writing forum asks about prologues. Are the forbidden? Are they a good idea? The replies break down into: prologues suck, I never read them, simply fold the back story into the rest of the novel; or it's part of the book so I read them; or the ever non-helpful, if it works for the story then it's OK.

I'm of the opinion that the author put it in and it may contain information that I would find useful and it's usually a small part of the story so I read it. From a writer's perspective I haven't had an opportunity to need one.

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Book VS E-books

The publishing world is all abuzz about e-publishing vs paper and when or if electronic formats will replace paper. The electronic proponents like to point out the music business and how that is now largely electronic. And with that, all the problems of pirating. The problem with that comparison is that books and music are used quite differently. A book is used like a movie. It will be read/watched once or maybe a few times and in a setting in which you are not doing much else.

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Writers are told to put conflict in their stories, that stories without conflict are boring. This is true. While the prose of a story may be beautiful without conflict what you have is more like poetry. That is fine and if that is what you're going for: great. Or, it may be history, a boring part of history, but a true story. But if you want a story in which a reader will be interested you will need conflict.

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Tribute to Discovery

Tribute to Discovery

I watched the shuttle Discovery land this morning. It's last landing; the beginning of the end of an era. It brought this to mind:

"I pray for one last landing

On the globe that gave me birth;

Let me rest my eyes on the fleecy skies

And the cool, green hills of Earth."

Robert A. Heinlein


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Good Enough

I occasionally read blogs where the theme is "good enough isn't good enough". This sounds stupid to me. It's like saying green isn't green. The context is that you should write and edit repeatedly until the prose is perfect then send it to an agent. That only the very best writing will get published. Has everything you've read been perfect? I didn't think so.

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