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Sep
4
comment Alternate universe vs. historicity: how to set the threshold/expectations?
Just to mention Downton Abbey != a model of verisimilitude for 1920s England. As a British person if I was writing a historical of any kind set in this period I would probably seek out some more depth to my research. However, if I were attempting to pastiche Downton Abbey directly then I would, obviously, just watch Downton Abbey.
Aug
8
comment When does repetition start becoming tedious (especially metaphors)?
It occurs to me that simile framing in English has become the signal of a half-baked thought. One of the perennial annoyances is people using the word 'literally' to mean 'metaphorically'. I wonder if that usage crept in because 'like' and 'as if' started to become gauche...
Aug
8
comment When does repetition start becoming tedious (especially metaphors)?
Oh in the first draft the rule is "switch off the inner editor and bang it down". But then in drafting it's time to weed out those pesky as ifs, definitely.
Jun
6
comment Does self publishing via Amazon or similar services make your book ineligible for later acceptance by a publisher?
In addition I know a small press publisher personally who has let it be known that he would not be averse to re-framing and re-publishing some stuff that I've self-published before because he likes it and thinks it's good. He is a small concern though, so it's not like I'm being courted by HarperCollins or anything...
Jun
3
comment How to introduce a world that's alien to the reader
It's an odd thing though, when I was 8/9 years old watching Star Wars for the first time I didn't actually read the crawl I was just bouncing up and down in my seat excited to be seeing Star Wars. I always view the opening crawl info as optional filler, the fact of the crawl happening as an experience is more important, or was to me, than the actual content. It's a sort of meta moment, the crawl just means "Hey gang it's Star Wars time!"
May
21
comment Is there such a thing as the “master copy” of a book?
A book is an example of a "simulacrum" each one is a "copy of an object that has no original", fact fans.
Apr
30
comment How to introduce a world that's alien to the reader
Deus Ex Machina is a symptom of introducing information too late the devil of this one is in the judgement of when something is needed. See Edit Above.
Dec
20
comment How to write a novel if you only have five minutes here, ten minutes there to work on it?
Answer expanded. HTH.
Jul
10
comment Is there an alternative to the common genre-system for classifying books?
The Irony is that some volumes score Catch 22 no matter which version of the scale you use.
Jul
9
comment Is there an alternative to the common genre-system for classifying books?
Please rate this novel for philosophical wackiness on a scale from 1 to Atlas Shrugged.
Jun
28
comment Why can't I write something longer than a few pages?
Finishing is good. However, science recently told us that it is perfect practice that makes perfect. So the key to both getting better, going through it and finishing is to make sure you know your limits. Pain will make gain as long as you're not perpetuating bad habits and bad practice.
May
31
comment Time measures in fantasy worlds
The way I think it works, or I imagine it working is that the bells tell everyone to do something or to change "rhythm", so people hear a bell and if they're doing morning stuff they figure "that must be noon bell" and switch to post-noon stuff. If you're not sure which bell it was then I guess you would just ask someone nearby.
Dec
18
comment How long should it take to write 100k words?
Sort of. The reason I say "start something new" and not "forget about it for a bit" is twofold. 1. The creativity keeps on truckin' 2. Becoming obsessed with a new piece will distance you from your first draft much more quickly. Every piece of work makes you a slightly different writer. The new you will look back with less love than that required to write something fresh. If you were to down tools completely I would say it could take six months to a year to approach the same amount of distance as being completely wrapped up in project B. My answer is clearly, therefore, "value added" ;)
Nov
22
comment How many errors should I expect from a proofreader?
At the risk of seeming facetious surely the answer to this is: Below the number of errors judged to be leeway for human error specified in the Service Level Agreement clause of the contract you had with the proof reader.
Oct
29
comment How to continue someone else's story gracefully, with fan-fiction?
It should be fine as long as it's just for fun. Doctor Who, in particular, should provide a format that's fairly forgiving of you wishing to play with your own ideas. There are periods in the Doctor's history where he goes off a-wandering without his best known companions and all sorts of things could happen to him during those times.
Jul
2
comment Should my story's main obstacle be secret or common knowledge to the society?
What's the key bad thing about the drug? Scenario 1 will only really make sense if the drug has some insidious and drastic side effect. In scenario two a smaller side effect makes the revolution trickier to sympathise with.
Mar
26
comment What printing methods and quality can I expect of POD companies?
Just to add a small fyi to this the POD "shop front" on the site is often just that, a shop front. The actual POD work is farmed out to approved printers so quality of finished product may vary by territory. For example when I first had Lulu send stuff to me in the UK they used a Spanish Printer who were slow, and sometimes produced lower quality runs of books. For the last four years or so they have switched to a UK printer who is quicker and produces better goods than the original printer.
Mar
5
comment Preventing the symbolic conflict of “Hunger Games” from overshadowing widespread social plight
Do I take it you already have your own answer to this question?
Feb
3
comment Do most novels not get published?
Seems the author was tired of paying for hosting and moved to smashwords. See above. He is now charging for them when they used to be free which I would consider to be an error of judgement but they are, at least, not the digital equivalent of out of print. Maybe googling will turn up the free versions.
Jan
3
comment Quality examples of 'in medias res' starting sequences in SF literature
@standback You are correct in medias res just means start in action as opposed to ramping up into the action. The beginning of the story should still, conceptually, be "the beginning" starting literally in the middle and then flashing back to a seemingly far calmer opening sequence is something else. I think its overuse in television is to do with the enforced structure and perceived need for "beats" dictated by creative control in that medium. It's not necessary, or shouldn't be, in an actual novel, unless of course, it is, which is rarely.