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Tue, Dec. 9th, 2008, 06:52 pm
Speech recognition

Today I decided to try something new. I'm posting a livejournal entry with my hands behind my back. Yep that's right, I'm playing around with speech recognition. So far it's not too bad; I'm only using the Windows Vista version but it still works pretty well. I've got to say I was surprised at how little training it needed. I'd don't know if it will ever replace using the keyboard. Still it's an interesting approach to writing, and one I think I'll use again. If nothing else it's a good way to exercise different parts of your brain, besides you don't get carpal tunnel syndrome.

Mon, Dec. 8th, 2008, 07:06 pm
Pet Peeves: Vladdy-Stu

What's Vladdy-Stu you ask? It's that angsty vampire sex-god character designed to be the love interest for a Mary-Sue type of character in fiction. Vladdy-Stus are one of the reasons I can't stand so many vampire books these days. Too many are wish-fulfillment fantasies and they drive me nuts.

Write about vampires all you want: just please leave Vladdy-Stu at home.

Mon, Dec. 8th, 2008, 01:53 pm
What a morning

So, this morning I was getting the weeble (my six-year-old) ready for school and she tells me, "you're handsome."

My immediate response is, "you're beautiful."

So she laughs and says, "you were supposed to say you're crazy."

Kids, you just have to love them.


So, I was thinking about submissions: specifically magazines (including ezines) vs. anthologies and I think it's probably in my best interest to focus on 'zines rather than anthologies. A big part of it has to do with how they are structured. Original anthologies are normally themed, and that means not only does one have to write to publishable standard, one also has to write to the editors' interpretation of the theme. That can be difficult, especially if your interpretation differs from theirs.

As it is I'm hoping to get a few dozen stories out so I can keep something on submission at all times. Go scatterguns.

Thu, Dec. 4th, 2008, 12:46 pm
Different stories, Different methods

With Summonings Wanted, the "Princess" story I started with an idea and wrote about a third of the story before I did anything regarding an outline. Even then all I really did was figure out a very rough sequence of events and write down the conclusion. If anyone's interested the story's posted in the "Share Your Work" section of Absolute Write under science fiction and fantasy.

Now with Orc's Drift I find I'm not only doing more outlining, but that I'm explicitly outlining the character arc as well as the plot. At this point I don't know if it's a better method for writing a short story, but it's definitely a different one. I'm also working more slowly on this story than I did on the other and I'm not sure why. I don't think either story is going to turn out spectacularly better than the other (though I could be wrong-- one could merely turn out spectacularly worse than the other).

If I had to guess, I'd say it's just a reflection of the differences between the stories: the only things they really have in common is the English language and the past tense.

Tue, Dec. 2nd, 2008, 04:50 pm
Story Done

Summonings Wanted: Draft one complete at 2946 words.

I'm quite happy with it for a first draft. I figure one read-over then set it aside while I work on my next story.

This one was urban fantasy - bordering on horror, so the next one is pure fantasy. My working thought is a dwarf at Rorke's Drift. There's a little more to it than that but it's the closest I can come to the feel of the story.

At this rate I should be doing fine to get stories out and going.

Tue, Dec. 2nd, 2008, 07:11 am
Here we go again

Long weekend, much food, not much work done. No surprise there.

In other news I did get the hardcover collection of Gaiman's Eternals revival and I really enjoyed it. It came together much better as a single piece than when it was serialized. It's a nice dark green hardcover that looks like a great match to my copy of 1602. Gaiman and JRjr really did a good job of evoking the sheer immensity of late-period Kirby.

When it came to writing, yesterday was pretty much a bust. I did get one crit off to critters, and some notes done on my "Princess" story; but that's about it. The good news is that I now know exactly where I'm going with that story even if part of the route is still a little hazy. I'm writing this one a little differently than I normally do. I started with a basic idea and then started writing directly to draw out the characters. Normally I try to have the whole arc of a short in mind before I start writing, but that doesn't always work for me in that it leads to never starting short stories. So this time I waited until I had my main characters down and then jotted the rest of the plot arc. That's good because I know how it finishes, but bad because I'm behind schedule.

So what happens last night; other than the dream where I was selected to go to Mars in two days and had the epiphany that I'd better call my parents to tell them before leaving? I get another short story idea. This one expands on back story for a character in the novel I've got on the back burner while I do some shorts. Now I just need to finish the current one and move on to it. (Oh and do at least one if not two more critters crits this week).

I almost forgot: I've got a paying piece to work on too - and some elance connects to use up before Thursday.

Off I go.

Fri, Nov. 28th, 2008, 07:02 pm

Here I am, getting back into writing fiction because the freelance sites have dried up when a buyer I thought had disappeared suddenly reappears out of nowhere and funds the project. So I'm back working on his project (which may or may not slow my fiction work, I'm not sure yet).

Meanwhile I still have my one short going - it's not finished yet by any means but I have a good idea of what I'm doing with it, and some thoughts about a next story. I'm going to need to do a lot of typing to get six done by the end of the year. (It may actually be four or five because I was thinking one a week and there was only the one week left in November).

Crittering is proving interesting, though I'm not sure how good my crits will turn out. I figure on getting a few done first before throwing my own stuff into the queue.

My biggest foe right now is my to-be-read queue, which must have something like 30 or 40 members in it - not counting the boosk I've started but not yet managed to finish. Yes I'm one of those people who doesn't finish every book I start. One thing I've noticed is that I've gotten particularly bad about finishing paperback fantasy (not SF but fantasy) novels by new (to me) authors. I think part of it is the format. I wear progressive lenses and prefer to read in bed; unfortunately I've been finding it more and more difficult to find a position where I can lie comfortably and see the page through the right area of my glasses. The need to make sure I have light on the page just adds to the difficulty.

Luckily I do a fair amount of reading on my Palm T|X and that helps.

While there are days I would KILL for an e-ink device (I want a Sony Reader PRS505 so bad I can taste it) there are definitely times when I'm very thankful for the T|X and its backlight. When I'm reading on it I never have to worry about whether I have enough light on the page.

What's odd is I don't need large type - small type's fine so long as I'm at the right angle. Large type at the wrong angle is just large and fuzzy; not any easier to read.

Oh well, I'm 45 and my eyes are what they are.

At least I can read and that's all that matters.

Tue, Nov. 25th, 2008, 05:21 pm

Story is coming along; not as fast as yesterday, but it's moving. In the meantime I've signed up for Critters and with any luck that will help my writing. Today's goal is to at least pass 2000 words if not 2500.


Tue, Nov. 25th, 2008, 11:40 am

I have returned from my trip to the wilds of downtown-- clutching the post office receipt in my hand.

Two submissions away, now off to work on my story.

Tue, Nov. 25th, 2008, 10:00 am
Ready to go

Since I've decided to go into short stories again I figure it's best to get things rolling with a bang.

So right now I have two submissions sitting in their envelopes ready to go: one for Analog and one for Black Static. Once I get a few things done around the house it's off downtown to the post office. It feels good to be getting back on the submissions horse.

Later today I figure I'll do some more of Princess' story and work on getting myself into full on short story mode. I simply haven't written enough of them and I really need to get more done. I want to do at least half a dozen the remainder of this year (counting Princess).

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