640 reputation
113
bio website up.com
location Barcelona
age 34
visits member for 1 year, 11 months
seen Oct 25 at 15:36

I write and teach and run long distances and play a mediocre concertina.


May
23
comment Do publishers really need to translate between UK and US English?
Actually, if a friend asked you to "knock up" his girlfriend in the US, he's looking to get her pregnant.
Apr
25
comment The value of labeling book sections
Sorry for lagging in my response--been wicked busy--but I wanted to clarify something. What do you think about naming parts and chapters? Is that taking it too far? Are too many threads getting crossed?
Apr
25
comment The value of labeling book sections
I agree about the damaging effect chapter titles can have. It surprises me that Twain would go so far as to list key words to each chapter in the TOC of Huck Finn. I do, however, enjoy single word chapter titles that are based on a salient image from the chapter.
Apr
5
comment The value of labeling book sections
Made some adjustments. Thank you for the input.
Jan
4
comment Possible interactions of punctuation marks with the word “however” in a novel
Please add the entirety of the clause before the semicolon. A semicolon does a few things. See this excellent and humorous explanation of semicolon use.
Dec
31
comment How many commas is too many?
This question is a tangle. Can you give an example of something you've overwrought with commas so we can offer some concrete feedback.
Dec
31
comment How can I keep my characters' identities a mystery successfully?
There is a difference between outsmarting your readers and tricking them. You don't want to trick them.
Dec
31
comment Is it a bad practice to occasionally add first-person narrative to third-person narrative?
Strong analysis. I would disagree, though, about your edits to sentence one. The important thing isn't that Ruth disappears between the cars, but that Erin sees her disappear. This is an example of showing, showing that Erin is watching someone disappear from her, which is a lonely image.
Dec
26
comment Is it frustrating not to know the narrator's gender?
Consider Prodigy's video for "Smack My Bitch Up". What effect does it have on you?
Dec
26
comment Switching from past to present tense?
@Nick: This structure does not require that you begin in the heat of the climax, but just that you not begin at the beginning in order to establish conflict and character. Dostoyevsky's The Gambler is a good example of a 1st p. narrative that begins in medias res, at a moment near the climax, and provides a nice cliffhanger wherein the reader is wondering who the main character is and what mess he has gotten himself into. The denouement is withheld until the appropriate time, and the in medias res beginning makes us hunger for that moment.
Dec
25
comment Switching from past to present tense?
i'm offering a counter-perspective to OPs conflict. i don't know what the story is, but i think the in medias res structure is valid and has precedent, regardless of how television butchers it.
Dec
25
comment Switching from past to present tense?
sure, there are countless bad examples of a story that begins with someone dangling from a cliff edge and a narrator saying something like, "before we go any further, let me back up to last week, when this precarious position..." that's contrite, that's been done, but that's an issue of personal style and not a criticism of the form. the same could be said of dateline tags leading us through flashback sequences. i'm not going to go any further. i agree that it could be contrite, but so could anything done poorly...
Dec
25
comment Switching from past to present tense?
this technique is as old as storytelling. homer employed it, so did virgil, so did the norse epic singers. if it has been used contritely that is no fault of the technique. for that matter, comparing the tropes of television writing to novel writing is dangerous for precisely this reason. television is laden with contrived storytelling elements due to time constraints. an in medias res narrative structure doesn't have to begin just before the climax. the purpose, as i see it, is in creating early conflict. thus, homer begins the odyssey with odysseus on the brink of death. to be cont...
Dec
22
comment Peeking through character's mask
Can you elucidate a little about who this narrator is? I am interested in why you haven't made your protagonist your narrator or at least allowed your narrator into your protagonist's head. I feel like I can't give a fair answer without knowing something of the relationship between narrator and protagonist.
Dec
19
comment Characters with no names
Don't give similar characters names that begin similarly to avoid confusion. I like that real well. I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "episodic" characters, though. Does this refer to characters who appear and then reappear after a lot of time has passed?
Dec
19
comment Do You Use Any Version Controlling Software/Methods As Writers?
Can you add a link here, so people can get to this software quickly.
Dec
19
comment For Fantasy Stories, Should You Include a Map At the Beginning of the Book?
What constitutes vast? Square mileage? Population density? Intricacy of the interstellar roadways? Please give some context to the statement.
Dec
19
comment How to switch pov characters mid-scene without jarring the reader?
Can you add some details about what types of positive and negative feedback you received about this technique. I would like to know why editors oppose the idea.
Dec
19
comment Should you use two spaces after a period, or just a single one?
Can you elucidate the reasons publishers may or may not care about this rule that modern writers are taught is a relic of a bygone age.
Dec
19
comment Characters with no names
@Tannalein: That's been my thinking, or rationalizing, so far. I am thinking of my characters as stand-ins for anybody.