L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami December 8, 2013 - 5:40pm

* Snip Nevermind I'll just post it on my blog.

big_old_dave's picture
big_old_dave from Watford, about 20 miles outside London, Uk November 21, 2013 - 2:51am

Working on a story that came out of craig clevenger's course and a little somthing I did just before that's only about 1,400 words long. Working to get both in the workshop at the same time. Not too sure if I'm going to make it this year mind.  

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami November 21, 2013 - 8:00pm

Something I've found that really helps if you have trouble with being verbose. Use smaller paragraphs, and lower your stories scope to encompass about a day. In fact, the story I recently finished encompasses maybe about a hour at most.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal November 22, 2013 - 11:34pm

Hit a slump, trying to get back into the groove.

I spend too much time worrying about structure of my stories to actually write shit down, and I'm definitely trying to break myself from those rounds of endless second-guessing that just lead down the path to nowhere.

Going at it old school, which is basically start at the beginning, like far back, just take a character and create a history that will probably get cut out, but I need to do it. The slump will not win.

 

 

I swear, I have written so much dialogue to illustrate character history that will almost surely never make the cut it's ridiculous.  Same reason.  But anything to get the juices flowing again, and to make the characters feel real again, right?

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami December 8, 2013 - 5:40pm

* Snip Nevermind, I'll just post it on my blog.

Bob Pastorella's picture
Bob Pastorella from Groves, Texas is reading murder books trying to stay hip, I'm thinking of you, and you're out there so Say your prayers, Say your prayers, Say your prayers November 23, 2013 - 5:58am

I swear, I have written so much dialogue to illustrate character history that will almost surely never make the cut it's ridiculous.  Same reason.  But anything to get the juices flowing again, and to make the characters feel real again, right?

I think it's my obession with this particular character that keeps me returning to the idea. He a paradox, something that shouldn't exist, and he doesn't know why he exists and ultimately, doesn't care, because if the only reason is true, he wants nothing to do with it. 

A little background: this particular character is a suicidal immortal. No superpowers other than he can't die and his blood is like acid to other 'immortals'. I've got a whole history for this guy, so I'm working on a structure that makes sense: start with now, jump back to when he first discovered he was immortal from the perspective of another character that knows him, back to now, then to a concurrent perspective of the antagonist, then back to the main character. I like that structure. I want to make him a series character, and realized the other night that I could structure each book that way, giving him action both now and revealing him through the perspective of other characters he's known in the past. Will I use all of his history? Probably not, but for me, it's the best way to get him on the page and into a story. I have to have some kind of structure, a scaffold to support my characters that I can hang shelves of history on, and some of those shelves will be secure, others will fall to the ground. 

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt December 5, 2013 - 9:54am

Anyone working on anything new?

I'm currently considering re-working a short story of mine. I thought it was done but after a few rejections i realized it needed something. It was leaning towards literary, but I think I may add aliens to it, or some sort of fantastic element. Been into that sort of thing lately.

Linda's picture
Linda from Sweden is reading Fearful Symmetries December 5, 2013 - 10:24am

^You know, I've been keeping monsters out of my stories all autumn, and haven't been able to finish one to my satisfaction. Go for it, I say!

 

Remember this guy?

I have a story that someone wants to publish, but they don't like the ending (which is understandable because it's terrible) and I can't figure out a way to make it work.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami December 8, 2013 - 5:41pm

* Snip Nevermind, I'll just post it on my blog.

Sean Stallard's picture
Sean Stallard from Tecumseh, ON is reading The Brothers Karamazov and A Lover's Discourse December 5, 2013 - 5:36pm

I'm writing a psychological adventure family drama novel for 18-30year olds. Each of 5 sibilngs represents a different side of popular or indie culture, and they're fighting, sort of, over their inheritance.But it's mostly about Life with a capital L, as in the universe, 'death', and 'time'.

RR

Tim Johnson's picture
Tim Johnson from Rockville, MD is reading Notes From a Necrophobe by T.C. Armstrong December 6, 2013 - 6:21am

I have a story that someone wants to publish, but they don't like the ending (which is understandable because it's terrible) and I can't figure out a way to make it work.

Any way anyone can help? Feel free to PM me the synopsis if you want to kick it around.

I've started my second novel and am loving it.

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Ira Levin December 6, 2013 - 1:29pm

I'd hit a full stop with my novella for the past few months, I'm hoping it's cleared now. I've also come up with another interesting idea I'd like to explore, again probably with multiple narrators, but I'm trying not to think to hard about it at the moment. I need to get my other one done first :)

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt December 6, 2013 - 2:49pm

@Linda: Keeping monsters out of your stories is a bad idea. They pop up elsewhere. If you want, email me that story and I'll let you know what I think.

@Em: Is it a story I've read? I think I remember you mentioning you were thinking about expanding that story from our Thunderdome battle. Is it that one?

@Tim: Congrats on finishing (and selling, if I remember correctly from the Whoring thread) the first novel. I haven't quite gotten there yet.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami December 6, 2013 - 6:59pm

Has anyone else had the experience, where their draft increases in length after trying to revise it? I ended up filling up a couple of plot-holes, and I'm about to fill up another. But I'm not real sure at this point, how I'm going to cut stuff without hurting it. I'm wanting to keep it under 3K, if at all possible.

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Ira Levin December 7, 2013 - 1:37pm

@sound/matt~ yeah, it is the one from out 3way thunderdome battle :) that story is the opening, then we fall back some four hours earlier and come around full circle to that point again and that's either the half way point or two thirds, I'm not sure yet. It has 3 different narrators and events happen simultaneously and intertwine. Think pulp fiction meets rules of attraction meets penny dreadful, only with a dose of breaking bad's flipped archetypes. Wrote some 10,000 words before I hit that fullstop. Hoping its cleared now, next part will introduce two more narrators.

My other idea is so far only a title I really like and an excited butterflies feeling in my tummy... Ha, not much right?

Linda's picture
Linda from Sweden is reading Fearful Symmetries December 8, 2013 - 5:37am

@sound and Tim: Thanks guys! I might well take you up on that. They'd given me till Friday so right now I'm waiting to hear back and see if they've given up on me or not.

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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig December 8, 2013 - 1:32pm

Sarah-- it all depends on how you write, really. I know there is this measuring stick that you are supposed to cut, cut, cut, but if you write more like a dense outline, or if you see something you missed developing, it might grow. The important thing is to have a tight, well written story when you're done. For me, I already know I will be cutting AND adding in my revisions.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 8, 2013 - 2:28pm

I am starting to think most writers get bogged down in detailed lists of info dumps, which turns expand into the exception.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 9, 2013 - 5:40pm

@Bob

I've heard lots of writers and directors doing this, it's their way of making the characters real.  When they were filmiing Collateral, Tom Cruise's character had an entire history written for him that never came up any more than the obscure reference to buying Jamie Foxx's character's mother flowers.  He also trained a lot shooting handguns so it'd be natural, and Jamie Foxx did all kinds of driving training in the car he was a driving throughout the movie on courses and whatnot.  It's all background stuff that the audience/reader doesn't see (until the special features DVD comes out), but some say it works.

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt February 27, 2014 - 4:37pm

So. What is everyone working on/finishing/submitting?

I've just finished edits on a story I started a year ago. It's about a boy and a sea monster who travel to the edge of the world together. Written a bit like a fable. just started submitting this version.

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Ira Levin February 28, 2014 - 1:58am

That sounds cool, Sound. Best of luck with it.

I'm still climbing out of that full stop I fell into with regards to my novella. Kind of got me quite down, but it's not something I want to force, so yeah, i just suck it up. Anyway the clouds cleared in my head on Wednesday and I made a start at the next bit so hopefully it will carry on that way.

Otherwise I'm tweaking and polishing lots of short stories. Itching to write some more, got a few ideas floating around, nothing dead aim yet tho.

 

SamaLamaWama's picture
SamaLamaWama from Dallas is reading Something Wicked This Way Comes February 28, 2014 - 7:15am

I'm this close to finishing the second draft of my novel from TeleportUs and have hired a professional editor to do a plot, characterization, tone, and theme pass on it before I start my next edit. I've never worked with a pro before, so this should be interesting. I'm hoping to start the query process this year--no, let me rephrase that, I WILL start the query process this year. That'll be another first for me. And, I'm registered as a junior to complete my English Lit degree; another first. This year, I'm justa popping those cherries. 

Congrats to everyone. Voodoo_em, keep working. You're a great writer.   

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Ira Levin February 28, 2014 - 8:55am

Thanks Sam :) it all sounds go, go, go for you this year. Very cool. Are you still working on that horror demon possession story from Craig's class?

SamaLamaWama's picture
SamaLamaWama from Dallas is reading Something Wicked This Way Comes February 28, 2014 - 9:48am

No, I let that go. It's still percolating in the back of my head though. I'd like to bring in another element to the story other than God vs.the Devil, which is a little cliched in horror. I'm playing with the concept of negative and positive energy and spaces in time. There's something there, I just got to let it come to me naturally. Thanks for asking.    

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) February 28, 2014 - 10:45am

SamaLamaWama - you are building on Yes, Admin? That's great really enjoyed that story. Best of luck with it. I'll be in line to buy a copy when it gets published (when, not if).

I've gone through a period of trying to squeeze too much into my short stories, so I've pretty much given up. I'm slowly building one of them up into a bigger story, though how big, I have no idea. It's called Bad Teeth, and it's my take on a genre that has had way too much written about it to stand much chance of success. It just won't dislodge from my head, so I figure it'll have to be written before I can move on.

Chacron's picture
Chacron from England, South Coast is reading Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb February 28, 2014 - 11:17am

Thanks Sound for bumping this one, as after ages of getting nothing finished it's surprisingly relevant to me at last. I'm finishing Shadow's Talent at the moment, the opening of which is posted in the workshop under Midnight Climber. I've done the final draft of Part One, and am about to start on Two, aiming for a final word count of around 150k. Still considering what to do with it once published, and probably erring towards a self published eBook, to get a published work to my name and see if I can actually sell it to anyone, or even get a positive review!

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt February 28, 2014 - 12:09pm

Nice, Chacron. I can't even begin to fathom 150k words. Congrats! 

Em, I recently took a class with Cat Rambo where she touted killing the inner editor on first drafts. Still getting the hang of it, but it's tough. I like to fix as I go, but I find that discourages me from a story very often.  Not sure what your process is, but maybe giving this a try, if you're not already? 

Sama, congrats on finishing up your novel. All you people with your novel writing...I'm jealous. :)

SamaLamaWama's picture
SamaLamaWama from Dallas is reading Something Wicked This Way Comes February 28, 2014 - 12:38pm

Hi Adam, I'm still working on Yes, Admin. I had to tweak it a bit and kill a few darlings (Lennon can't morph sexes anymore) but it totally works now and is logical. I'm more than happy with my stick-to-itiveness.

And just so as you know, no genre is overdone. It's popular for a reason. Keep writing Bad Teeth with fervent zeal and see what comes of it. 

Sound--thanks!    

Chacron's picture
Chacron from England, South Coast is reading Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb February 28, 2014 - 12:42pm

Don't be jealous, it's pure and total hell.

Okay, that's the dry side of my sense of humour coming out to play, but what I've come to enjoy the most is getting to the final draft. Some people say the first one is the best part because you just let the ideas come and worry about sorting it all out later, but I like the sorting out part better on my current project, if only because there was a time I thought I'd never work out how to tell the story I wanted, or get anything coherent out of the big world with loads of a characters I've created. Since 2010 I've written about 500k with various big ideas, before eventually arriving at a series outline, and I'm just about to complete book one. If anyone likes it, I've still got the rest to do, and for some reason I STILL feel like working on it despite sometimes getting the burnout factor. 

If anything, I'm jealous of people who can do short term projects and get ideas that work in just a few thousand words. Sometimes I do that, but such occasions are few and far between. In the words of Rush, 'I can't stop thinking big.' And it's a fucking curse!

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Ira Levin February 28, 2014 - 1:14pm

@Sound, yeah Nik told me pretty much the same thing. Get the first draft done, editing comes after. So thats not been a problem. Progress went: starting point (our shotgun thunderdome battle) some 10,000 words leading us back full circle and then nothing for a month or so. Then another 2,500 words of progress then nothing again for another month or so which brings me to now and a few hundred words which hopefully means it's go time again.

How's your novel with Margot and the necropolis (did i say that right?) coming along?

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt February 28, 2014 - 2:42pm

That's what I'm working on now, actually. It's been a moody project. I'll write a bit, then stop, then change directions, then fall in love with it again, then get another idea and put it aside. But it's definitely one of those ideas that I know I'll get around to writting eventually. Can't seem to forget about it. And I want to tell the story so bad.

Finally got a character goal/obstacle sheet written out, which has given me a bit of focus so that's good. 

 

Alan H Jordan's picture
Alan H Jordan from Reno, Nevada is reading "The Whisper Jar" and "The World Beneath" February 28, 2014 - 4:09pm

I've decided to revise a couple of shorts and to retype/rewrite a novella from scratch.  (Sometimes, cutting and pasting gets in the way of quality revisions. After reading this information, I'm seriously thinking of going the e-book quality self publication route instead of submitting this work to a publisher. Currently, it's my intent to make the e-books successful, then sell the hard copy rights.  

For more insight, please follow the links on this page http://hollylisle.com/self-publishers-new-numbers-you-need-now/

and consider listening to this interview: http://rockingselfpublishing.com/episode-36-top-self-publishers-common/

When I say quality self publishing, I mean work that has a professionally designed cover and has gone through several rounds of edits.  Not like the work that I workshop here.

Also, I'm seriously thinking about using a pen name and creating a series of modules on integrity-based business-to-business telephone sales and intergrity-based job seeking, using my backlist as a source.  The modules will sell for $.99 each and I plan to promote them in other English speaking countries first because readers in Australia, the U.K., etc. will be interested in discovering colloquial ways to sell and get job interviews. I've thought about this idea for a while, but didn't quite know how to package the modules. I'm taking one of Holly Lisle's courses (follow the link above) and I've decided to adapt the style that she uses in her written tutorials.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami February 28, 2014 - 6:05pm

I'm presently revising my novella. Plots going in a slightly different direction, but I actually like the plot of this one a little bit better.