Writing: Novel In Progress Part 2

Click here for Part 1 So I’m not 100% happy on the conversations or introductions of characters.  But I barely know them yet.  All I know right now… well before I wrote this all I knew was it was in space and there were ambassadors.  I still don’t actually know where the plot is going to go… or who the “villain” will be.  We’ll find out! Part 2: Now they assembled in the docking bay to await the first orgalla ambassador in history.  Communication itself had proved nigh-impossible with the species; the war had never been officially ended.  The orgalla had withdrawn when the combined human, kikital, and devallo forces which created a barrier of fighting to a stand-still.  The orgalla had simply stopped attacking and after much argument the joint forces had agreed not to pursue the powerful race. Twenty years passed and then the silence was broken with the first radio signal from orgalla space in history.  They requested – in

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Writing: Dream last night

I have vivid dreams sometimes. Last night was especially interesting and honestly, I kind of want to write it out because it WAS so interesting. So the dream is in third person, like I’m watching a tv show or reading a book with a good imagination (ahem).  The setting is a weird mix of classical Indian and Japanese.  And there are things that call out that it is a weird mix.  Most of the people in the room think nothing of it, but there are 2 men dressed as Middle Easterns but clearly fake beards (I mean, pretty good – but in modern terms “clearly fake”) who make comments about stuff being unusual. The room is set for a party.  And there are several young women who are considered to be psychic who will be “summoning the dead to speak” tonight.  Of course my foreign men scoff at this witchcraft nonsense, but the two young women most involved are quite serious. 

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Writing: damnit!

The downside, as I’ve said before, to writing “the story I want to read” is when I notice an old file, open it – have an inkling of what I intended and go “damnit. I wanna know what happens!” I totally did that with a ~1 pg document.  There is a teaser.  A tiny, itsy-bitsy teaser that is driving me crazy.  I don’t remember who the villain was going to be, I have just enough to be curious.  I guess it wasn’t my worst beginning…. You tell me. Prologue It is so small and weak. The voice was quiet, pleading. Their species is not weak. It is almost a bark, with an angry edge to it. Our younglings are just as helpless. They are not as loud. A third tone, almost a soft musical chime to the worlds. Do as you wish your highness. Keep it as a pet if you so choose, but if it ever looks the least harmful,

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Short Story: Mastermind or Not?

I look out over the city.  There are cheers.  I hate it. You see, the problem is that I tried to be a villain.  I never actively tried to help people.  In fact, the problem with my city was the morass of super-heroes.  It was actually a problem because you had “heroes” like Betsy Bobcat – a literal bobcat that had been given human intelligence.  Her thing was people illegally feeding pigeons.  Did you know it was illegal to intentionally feed pigeons?  I didn’t.  Then there was the strongarm-super-fast Mr. Thumbs.  Something about his thumbs was special I guess.  He was annoyingly particular about people speeding through lights. I hated them.  I hated that one of the speedsters gave my dad a jaywalking ticket and when my dad tried to argue it in court he was given 30 days in jail for “anti-superhero actions.”  A misdemeanor that not only lost him his accounting job but made it nearly impossible to find

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Writing: When I doubt

When I doubt; when I feel unsure; I remember when I was given kindness. As I stand on the precipice of decision; The moment stretches into eternity; I force myself to take another breath; I remember who is the hero of the story. It isn’t me. It isn’t you. It is us. Plural. The stranger frightens me until I remember They are a friend I haven’t made yet. The dragon looms monstrous and evil to defend the princess from her kidnapper. It isn’t me. It isn’t you. It is us. Plural. Today I am the supportive teacher. I will help someone else rise higher. Today I am the guardian at the gate. I will keep out the wolves and the night. As I look into the face of the poor; I listen to a tale of global woe; I wait in line behind a crying toddler: I remember who is the hero of the story. It isn’t me. It isn’t

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Writing: Writer vs. Reader Opinions

I didn’t have a good title for this post, but I’ve tried 3 times to write something similar and it hasn’t worked yet, so we’re going with this title for the time being and maybe someday I can come up with something better (I’m open to ideas!) The thing is, I’ve been reading books lately by male authors and I’m surprised by how much I am liking the female characters.  I’m reading a Brandon Sanderson book right now and damn if he doesn’t write females that I like.  And variety.  They aren’t all simpering male-hunters or just background or evil hags or… pick any of the stereotypes that plague female characters. I also can’t help but see elements of discussions of race and equality in books lately.  I’m seeing political discussions that I’m not sure whether the author meant them or not.  Authoritarianism vs. independence, responsibilities of leaders to those they lead – I can’t tell if the art is

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Writing: Editing process

I have 2 types of editing I do.  One is the “technical” editing of words, grammar, punctuation, etc.  I (like many writers apparently) pretty much hate this part of editing.  It needs to be done and I know that.  *But I hates it. (*Gollum’s voice there) So I get myself through it by brute force.  I start at the end and take it one sentence at a time.  Occasionally, I’ll print a page off (double-spaced) and red-pen mark up the grammar.  I have even been known to diagram a sentence to prove to myself I’m not being grammatically evil (or I am because I want to be evil). I find by working backwards, I don’t get caught up (errr… usually don’t get caught up) reading what I wrote.  This is the danger.  Reading is much more fun than editing and if allowed, my brain will begin reading what I’ve been writing and sinking back into the story and characters and world. It’s trudging

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Writing: I want to write a TV Show

I have been re-listening to Ready Player One – and it has made me go from “dislike” to “UGH THE WORST” on the movie.  I have moved my dial from “well, you can tell it was “inspired by” to “were they even trying?!?” And I know, they probably had a ton of difficulty getting rights to stuff (stupid copyright holders probably being greedy, selfish, bastards). But part of the problem is containing that scale into a movie.  I have been tumbling through my Plex list of movies and IMDB to see if I can think of a single movie that gives a scale to the universe that RPO should have had and honestly, the closest I get is Star Wars IV A New Hope, but that is journey movie – they have 3 major locations (Tattoine, Death Star/Alderaan, and Yavin) and they are SO DIFFERENT it helps.  Now, it might also be that I grew up so entangled in all three of the orignal

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Writing: Magic exploration

I thought today I would walk through an example of my “back end” thought process on Magic. I have a magic system that I want to have “locked” from a past conflict in the world.  It has minimized the magic any one person has and definitely minimized magic in the world. The “adventure” for the protagonist will be her (initially unwitting) cascade of unleashing this magic back into her world. My struggle is that I want to have relatively-low-magic but not NO magic.  So I am trying to set limitations: Healers all have a random disability (blindness, deafness, loss of motor skills, debilitating migraines, etc.) because theirs is actually DEATH magic.  They don’t know this… Fire starters can’t feel injuries – making them TERRIBLE to try to use in battle.  They might be dying of a wound and not have any clue about it until they’ve bled too close to death to be saved. Water manipulators ??? – I don’t

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Trivia: Peppers

I get so annoyed with people confusing black pepper with bell peppers.  How can anyone who cooks think these things are anything alike? Thanks English (#ThanksObama) Well in this case I can very firmly blame the English.  Ok, mostly the English but also the Dutch, Portugese and Spanish – basically “Europe.” You see, when Europeans came to America and found these…. things… that added flavor to food; they didn’t want to bother learning the natives’ language so they took them back to Europe and marketed them as “peppers.” Prior to America, the most “spicy” food most Europeans ate came imported from Indian in the form of these little black pods called “peppercorns.”  So, these master marketers decided to call this new tasty treat a pepper!  (So creative. The most creative. Believe me.) As an aside – corn meant “grain” so a “peppercorn” is a pepper-grain (which is fitting).  And pepper was a word from sanskrit which might have meant something like “berry” waaaaay back when;

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