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The Cleon Memorial Library For discussion of Traveller fiction, both official and fan-written. Fan-written drafts are explicitly welcome.

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  #11  
Old February 16th, 2021, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Proneutron View Post
How many of the "critics" are successfully published authors?
How many demanding readers are successfully published authors? And yet, it is they who have expectations about the books they buy, and who make such book a success or not.

I think the Critique Circle, which this thread made me discover, is a nice idea. I'll go there and offer some constructive advice.
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  #12  
Old March 5th, 2021, 06:03 PM
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Lots of talented aspiring writers over there!

I've been trying to write two critiques a day, but there are dozens of stories waiting to be read. Not much SF though, so if any of youse gents want to try his hands at it, the science-fiction niche is wide open.
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  #13  
Old March 6th, 2021, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlanticFriend View Post
How many demanding readers are successfully published authors? And yet, it is they who have expectations about the books they buy, and who make such book a success or not.

I think the Critique Circle, which this thread made me discover, is a nice idea. I'll go there and offer some constructive advice.
The most demanding readers I know are not published as fiction authors. (I did layout for a non-profit and their newsletter for 3-4 years. The whole board were prolific and hypercritical readers. After the meetings, it often sounded like a book club, not a non-profit clinic/advocacy agency full of psych professionals.)

Note that almost all of them were published - most had post-grad degrees and some articles published in journals. But none of them for fiction

Technically, I've only been published as an editor and layout guy, not an author.
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  #14  
Old March 6th, 2021, 06:33 AM
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I agree. If I tried to write and get published I'd want readers' opinions more than authors'. After all, it's readers who would decide if I'm good enough.
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Old March 6th, 2021, 08:00 AM
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There's a level of feedback you have to ignore. What "some editors" do or don't like is irrelevant. But having readers point out things that might have been in your mental picture but didn't make it into the written scene is very useful. I often ask if the characters and story were engaging. If a reader likes them then the reader is more likely to continue reading. If not, I need to fix that. Reader engagement is huge.

I find writing feedback helps my games. Once I started thinking about how the DM and other players built their mental image from what I wrote, I started writing game posts better. Not perfect, but hopefully more engaging. As a DM, it's fun to think about what information the players need to make in-character decisions and then provide that information in a descriptive way. For example, I ran a short game where several characters had sneaky skills, so I ensured the setting descriptions showed what type of hiding places there were and what sorts of lighting were in effect.

Most play by post gamers could write a scene for Critique Circle. With an engaging plot and interesting characters, you could write a decent story. Whether or not you do the work to hone your craft is up to you, but I enjoy the stories I've written over the years. The more I put into them the more I often get back.
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Old March 13th, 2021, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiikeri View Post
Which writing software did you get?
Scrivener and Scapple.

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Originally Posted by Fovean View Post
Writing is hard. There’s no software that will make it easy.
Very true. For me, it's like programming. Putting my thoughts to printed page, etc. Then there is the layout/format design to do. And the art. And so on.
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Old March 13th, 2021, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ShawnDriscoll View Post
Very true. For me, it's like programming. Putting my thoughts to printed page, etc. Then there is the layout/format design to do. And the art. And so on.
The hard part for me is that the writing is "unprompted".

Most of my "writing" is prompted by something else. A question to be answered, an opinion, perhaps unsolicited, offered. In either case, it's a reactionary thing.

Arguably, so is my programming. Here is Task, make computer do Task.

The game for me is I need to break down a story/article/book in to the series of questions I'm being asked, and then respond to them. With something as a driver, it's really hard to put stuff to "paper" for me.
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Old March 13th, 2021, 08:28 PM
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Where I stumble is the rewrites. I’m pretty good at getting things down, sometimes rambling, sometimes concise, sometimes way too terse. But once I’ve “finished” I have a hard time getting back into it, to shape it and sharpen it. Thus many of my efforts never see the light of day.

It’s disappointing at times, my apparent apathy, but I don’t let it get me down. For me, most often, the process is the product.
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Old March 14th, 2021, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whartung View Post
The hard part for me is that the writing is "unprompted".

Most of my "writing" is prompted by something else. A question to be answered, an opinion, perhaps unsolicited, offered. In either case, it's a reactionary thing.

Arguably, so is my programming. Here is Task, make computer do Task.

The game for me is I need to break down a story/article/book in to the series of questions I'm being asked, and then respond to them. With something as a driver, it's really hard to put stuff to "paper" for me.
Characters should be character-driven is all. Just like when role-playing. They'll write for themselves.
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Old March 15th, 2021, 08:31 AM
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Dwight Swain's "Techniques of the Selling Writer" helps, as does Christopher Vogler's "The Writer's Journey". Put together they can make an awesome story toolbox.

Not all scenes are good story material. But some have the potential to grow into a rich and engaging tale. If you can take a scene, or character, and build a structure based on "Journey", then you may have the makings of a great story. Recurring questions are "What am I trying to say?" and "Who is the best person to say that?"

My first book grew very organically, and it was a slow read. I took the story structure from "Journey" and the second book was a lot more active. Things happened. My books are sort of "Sandlot kids become Guardians of the Galaxy".

The third book was fun, I wanted to deal with bullies and how friendships can form across wide social and educational gaps. Revising the fourth book is going to be tough, it deals with teen pregnancy, suicide, sacrifice, and mental health labels.
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