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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2011 edited
    @Fauxhammer: There is no knowing anything about a novel, much less if you're ready. If you think you're ready, you're probably not. Uncertainty can be a good thing.

    I've started... god, too many novels to think about without crying. I've gotten past a hundred pages in four of them, and almost to two hundred in one. Still haven't written "the end" for anything over a hundred pages, though. I don't say that to discourage you - quite the opposite, in fact! Even if you don't finish, it's an absolute blast just sitting down with those characters every day. If reading can take you out of an unpleasant world, then writing does it even better. Don't even worry about if you're ready, or if you'll finish, or if it'll be any good. Worry about having fun and getting a little bit better every day - that's the only kind of worrying that'll do you any good as a writer.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2011
    @ Rachael: Yeah,my heart goes out to you.It really fooking does.I feel like crawling down the net to give them spastard welfare people a good english bashing but even if i could it would probably just make things worse for you and i would end up in the cells kicked to shit by the five-0.Shit gets me so angry and frustrated.Take care,girl,ok?!

    @Anchorbeard: Good advice mate.I've got tons of unfinished stories.And when i go back to read some of them i can't even remember doing them.I was so wired on speed that the plots disintegrated into a mess of bloated pregnant pauses.Nowadays when i write i get so deep into the story etc. that it can be very scary.Yet fun.Especially if i'm doing something about my life but turning it up a notch with existential horror.What i'm tempted to do to get some closure with all the mad crap i wrote is do a William Burroughs job and just slam it all together in one volume with the minimum of editing.If i tried to make sense of it all now it would be too much of a headache.I shudder a bit with embarrassment thinking what it would be like but even if it was utter shite at least it would be my shite.Heartfelt and true.I would much prefer to live that life as a writer than succumb to being a hack.

    I hate hacks.And the people who support them reading their generic toss like cattle.Nothing but hatred and contempt.At least comic fanboys can be good for a laugh.I should know.I invented them.I was there at the dawn of time getting Alan Moore to sign Watchmen etc like a fly on shit.Yeah,there may have been a few before me but i was king of them.The Ultimate Fanboy.

    Bloody hell.Can anyone remember when The Mighty World Of Marvel came out in the early seventies in England?Rhetorical question.I can.It was like xmas day every saturday getting my pocket money and running to the newsagent to get that bastard.You got a iron on transfer of The Hulk with issue one and i wore that green nutter with pride.The day i got my F.O.O.M package by slug mail.I swear if i'd been old enough to wank..there would have been sex piss everywhere.

    I enjoyed that trip down memory lane.We got it lucky nowadays with comics.Even if nothing good was to come out for a while there are piles of good stuff to periodically mount and mindfook.

    Small pleasures in these dark and uncertain times.And by the acrid steam emanating from my foul mutated satanic stump they are dark.Stay frosty kids.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2011
    @Anchorbeard--Yeah, at this point, it's still all about refining my process. Gotta earn your chops somehow.
  1.  (10381.24)
    I swear if i'd been old enough to wank..there would have been sex piss everywhere.

    I think everytime I think of Flecky, that quote will be in my head.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2011

    I've been collecting writing 'tips' that work for me this year. Most to do with novel writing. Been to some talks by the likes of Denise Mina and Alan Bisset that were very helpful. Here goes.

    1) Don't start writing until you're sure enough about the background detail - do some research first, then close the research part down (for now).

    2) Write the first draft as quickly as possible. 500 words a day if you can. No research while writing (Google maps is allowed, dictionary is allowed). No talking to people about the plot, characters, or title. Exceptions: long-suffering partner/spouse, writing group (IF they are helping crit draft 1 while in progress), and a maximum of two beta-readers (what Stephen King calls 'Ideal Readers' - people who like That Kind Of Thing, who you trust).

    3) Keep a folder for questions which need research. Don't try and answer them in the first draft - if you don't know how it works make it up. You can change it later.

    4) Finish the first draft before doing any revisions. If the novel is a mystery / thriller / suspense type thing, don't plan too much. I've been putting plot points and chapter beats on cards and re-arranging them - this has been helpful for keeping the overall structure in my head, but its kind of cheating. If you know what happens next, chances are your readers will too. After Chapter 2 I started doing 1-page thumbnails of each chapter, a day or two before embarking on them - this keeps things fresh, and is better than trying to stick to my larger outline. That thing was just slowing me down.

    5) Draft 2 is for research. Get all your folder questions answered by an expert of some kind while re-writing. Draft 2 is also for theme - whatever the book is about, besides the story and characters. Find the theme while re-reading - don't force it into the first draft. In draft 2, ask yourself what serves to illuminate / make effective this theme. Consider cutting stuff that contradicts or muddies it.

    6) Draft 2 is for nailing 'the voice' and making sense of the plot. Listen to your beta readers, ask them to underline parts where you get it all right.... make the whole book like that, cut whatever is out of place.

    7) Kill your darlings.

    8) The villain is the most important character.

    9) Your hero should suffer often, and hideously. Keep throwing stuff at him/her, see what s/he can take.

    That's all I have so far. I'm still in first draft territory - every day's a slog. Third attempt at a novel, feels like this one might be the one I finish. Speaking of which.... I should be writing.

    Good luck man! Is it going to be a scholomance novel?
  2.  (10381.26)
    Contact cement is not the same as Rubber cement- don't let anyone convince you otherwise especially if you are making latex clothing....

    The people at lowes tried to convince me they were the same so i tried it and NO. No at all. I can tell you their chemical compound is different also Rubber Cement would actually make the latex stick together and i would not be able to peel it off.... Time and effort is wasted and annoying.

    And why the fuck are people who work at lowes and home deopt have NO clue what they are doing. Also trying to talk to the and telling him that rubber cement is used in plumbing not wood working and having NO idea what the fuck i'm talking about. It would be so nice to talk to knowledgeable people.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2011
    @texture It's definitely going to have Jason December and a gang of Practitioners! As far as Scholomance, "Sigil Kids" is definitely in the works, but I don't know if it's going to be a novel from the start, a Weaponizer serial, or do the latter first and rework it into a novel later (which is what I'm doing with WCP; I'm collecting the parts now, and I'll be expanding out from the 30K words it is now to about 60K if I can). This one's going to be a slightly different version of the script for The Fall, taking some of the visual parts and making them fit a prose framework. No sense in throwing out perfectly good ideas; they'll just need a novel-y polish.

    Excellent advice, though, and I'm going to need all I can get. Fuckaround time is over, and if I'm not at least making progress by 40, I foresee significant psychiatric issues in the offing.
  3.  (10381.28)
    Interesting writing discussion. I haven't attempted a novel yet, but I have several screenplays, TV pilots and comic scripts under my belt. I think I completely disagree with Anchorbeard though. I find immense value in finishing what I start. Unless it is clear beyond question that what I'm writing is complete and utter shite, I slog through to the end. At least of the first draft.

    I spent years starting things and then moving on to the new shiny idea and never finished anything longer than a 10 page short story (and even that was more an exception). Since I've started forcing myself to finish my overall productivity has gone way up. I also started outlining before I do a first draft. (and do a lot of work in my head before the outline) That way I can work out the beats. This is probably more important with things like comics and TV where there are hard breaks that you need to build up to, while still moving the overall story forward.

    My other policy is that I expect the first draft to be crap. Don't worry about it, slog through. Then eviscerate it every draft until there is nothing that doesn't feel like it needs to be there. I do drafts where I focus on different things. Dialog. Plot. Secondary Characters. Individual scene structure. Most of the work for me is in the rewrites.

    Here is Mamet talking about writing. I read that from time to time just to remind myself how much of a hack I am.
  4.  (10381.29)
    Everyone in the world is creepy or a disappointment. I know I might have been raised with the kind of ridiculous romance that is preposterous to expect in modern adulthood, but ....

    Fuck. Stop. Stop trying to get in my pants. Stop putting the ownness on ME for being "so hot". Stop telling me that I can't expect to have people in my life who aren't trying to bed me.

    Here's the thing. It's not a compliment. It is not a compliment to be told that you are attractive, when that means to others that you are sexual prey. I know. I know I look attractive. But it doesn't MEAN anything when I think of myself as the chick in I'm Gonna Git you Sucka (see below). It doesn't MEAN anything if I know that you'll do or say anything to get in my pants. It takes away from everything that I thought was someone who might enjoy my company. It makes interaction base. It makes me even more lonely. It makes everything I have chosen to be worthless, and reduces me to a sum of my genetics.

    When a married/taken dude wants to hang out, my reaction was always "how cool! he's taken, and he wants to hang! That means he really wants my company!" and that has proven a naive outlook. No. No. He wants to get in your pants too.

    If there was just some gentlemanly effort. Something that made me not feel like an empty vessel. Something. Please, not the nonsequiter statement of "hey, I've never kissed anyone with a tongue ring" or the drunken touching that won't back the fuck off, or the upfront offer of a "position of mistress with possible future upgrade to girlfriend".

    The married guy, the older girlfriend guy, the guy I've known since childhood, the guy I've known since highschool, my dad's best friend since childhood, the guy I tell how heartbroken I am, the girl I tried to help out with money so she could feed her cats, the guy I end up trapped under and awning with in the pouring rain.... all these have unabashedly tried to get in my pants, and the response, when I voice my frustrations is: "well, what did you expect? that's what happens when you are pretty."

    Everyone in the world is creepy.

    Or a depressing disappointment.

    Or both.

    (or too distant to know).

    But then, I posted online recently that sometimes, being called pretty make you feel small, like a smiling pointless thing. I meant it as something insulting. But nobody got it. They thought it a compliment. Even the ladies.

    Maybe it's just me.

    EDITED TO ADD: @David - this does not apply to ice cream and flowers :)
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2011 edited
    @Rachael: Speaking as a bisexual gal who has not once put a move on you when we've met and really enjoys your company I'll have to say that I really hope I'm not a depressing disappointment. I mean, I guess I AM creepy in the "I like taking pictures of murder" way, but...

    But yeah. Argh. Fuck. I know how that can be, Rae. One of the curses I tend to have with being as tall as I am is that there are a LOT of guys and gals who want me to be some sort of mistress or...something with them. What made it shitty was that I THOUGHT I was making a friend and that they liked my personality enough to want to hang out, but it all boiled down to "You're tall and I want you to beat me up while naked". Nothing can bring someone down enough to know that a good portion of people JUST see you as that and really don't care about the substantial stuff. And the fact that these people DON'T EVEN SEE HOW IT'S AN INSULT is even fucking worse.

    Creepers and tactless fetishists. I tell ya.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2011
    Fuck all that, and I'm sorry you guys have to go through it.

    Man, being perceived as creepy is such a phobia of mine, I think I come off as curt.

    Good! I'd rather be sullen than creepy any day.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2011
    @Rachael - makes me think of the "Thank God I'm Pretty" song by Emilie Autumn. It's all about how guys are always creeps to you and your accomplishments are never recognized as they should be because pretty girls can't accomplish anything :|

    I wish I could fly you over to SD to hang out with my friends, I know some guys with enough integrity to actually just want to hang out.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2011
    if I'm not at least making progress by 40, I foresee significant psychiatric issues in the offing.

    You are making progress dude - look at your wordcount! As I've said elsewhere, I love the Scholomance / practitioner stuff. It's a wicked concept. More!

    @sellmeyoursoul Cheers for the mamet link! Very interesting read.
  5.  (10381.34)
    And when you don't put out, people go away, and the people around them go away too, because it's easier to unfriend the girl that made things awkward by "making a scene", than it is to unfriend the buddy who was hitting on her. At least, that would explain why my dad is still friends with his drummer; a guy who drove me home from my Aunt's house one Christmas Eve, brought me out for a drink because he forgot it was my birthday, invited my girlfriend out to join us (who declined), and then kissed me. He'd followed me into the cab I'd gotten to get the fuck away from him, and when I woke from fading out briefly, I found that he'd put his hand down my shirt. I told my dad, and his first response was to ask if I'd been putting out signals. If "signals" is talking about my dad-issues and my current relationship woes, then the answer is yes. The dude, when confronted, said that he thought that I was into him. If talking about your dad and your current significant other is being "into someone" then yes I was.

    And all was forgiven.

    And then he chased me and my female date down at a New Years Party two years later, trying to weasle his way into our fucking hotel room after hours. And my dad invited him down to stay for the weekend in the house WHERE I LIVED on the Jersey shore. I told all this to my Aunt. She doesn't care, and still has him over for Christmas Eve. And nobody fucking cares. And I'm the one who makes this difficult. And this is why I spent LAST Christmas Eve, my fucking birthday, walking a mile to the train, taking the train one stop away, and killing 10 hours of time half in a Starbucks, and half in a cold train stop. By my fucking self. Because I didn't want to see that asshole on my birthday, didn't want to deal with my family who finds this all permissive, and couldn't otherwise escape because I'd been dumped with my Aunt to live.

    I mean, christ. Even if I WAS into this dude, that's fucking creepy. What the hell is wrong with someone who can look at a person they remember BEING BORN and find them sexually alluring? What kind of asshole friend IS that, who would be willing to fuck his oldest friend's daughter?! How am I the asshole in this situation?

    There's a problem, you see. When you are sexualized at a young age, when you have dealt with sexual predators repeatedly since you were 6, it changes your body language, your social cues, the ways you interact, and it results in a person who is more permissive and accepting of minor infractions that might otherwise might someone more bristly and uncomfortable. I've got extra buffer in dealing with the uncomfortable and forward. It's how I was programmed. So yeah. Maybe my signals aren't.... normal. Maybe I seem strangely sexual in ways I don't mean, nor understand the way they are accpeted and interpreted by uptight and repressive mainstream society.

    So last night, hanging out with my bartender friend, a fellow who I first met when I was 7 years old when he (at 19) and my mom were in art school together. Worked with him as fellow bartenders in the early aughts. And he's married. Seemed an ideal person to hang with. And half way through the night, it became obvious that he'd.... further aspirations. I am NOT a touchy feely person. Please do not get cuddly with me. Please get your fucking hand off my fucking knee. Please stop keeping your arm around me all night. I'd been convincing myself that it wasn't sexual, that he was just drunk and friendly. Until the last hug goodbye where he unintentionally let out a low sexual growl. Christ, really? Fuck. Thanks for shattering my thin viel of reality. Thank you for ruining another attempt at finding a human in the world.

    And every time this happens, it strips a little bit more of my faith in humanity away. People aren't faithful. People always have ulterior motives.

    Wow. December really fucks me up. Oh birthday, and your notoriously terrible happenings. It'd make things so much easier if I didn't really really LOVE the idea of Christmastime. I am going to assume that I will spend this Christmas and Christmas Eve mostly alone in my apartment, crying. It won't be such a bad Christmas, comparatively.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2011
    D: Wow, those are way creepy guys.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2011
    @Rachael, I think the worst part about all of this is that it puts women (me at least) on edge, which makes it impossible to truly believe strange men are being nice to me just because they're nice. Constantly on the defensive.

    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2011
    @ Rachael Tyrell: Shit,i'm not the best one to give advice yet i will go out on a limb.And this is just my opinion.As a old bloke i've seen a lot and i can assure you i'm not a creep.Maybe a disappointment to some but fuck them.

    Yet when i was younger and got drunk all i could think about was getting into bed with flesh.People and alcohol.For some reason it can turn them rampant.It would be easy for me to say it's just men.Men are dogs etc but in my experience it goes both ways.Mostly men try it on but i've had women do it to me drunk and it's not been pretty.And along the way women and i have messed up good friendships from booze,attraction and sex.I'm saying this because your bartender friend was drunk.Maybe when sober he can see the errors of his way and realise he has been out of order.It's still creepy though as this is someone you knew as a kid.

    Sometimes xmas alone can be a ok thing.It's better than being with people just for the sake of.I've had some really crap times at xmas with supposed friends and family that's just descended into a stinking pot of resentment etc.I've had some ok ones on my own doing the exact opposite of what is expected from people at a trying time of year.This is just me as getting older i've sort of become a loner and it does get easier.Anyhow i hope you will be alright.

    Damn.Some people can be just plain bad.I hate creeps.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2011

    I got back a 10-page paper last week, and got 100%. I'm not saying that to gloat--I actually don't think I deserved the grade. I'm kind of annoyed; I read it again and it was far from perfect. There are holes in my argument, they're all wishy-washy and I stop referencing other works on the fifth page. The grammar isn't great either. I need to stop taking non-philosophy classes. I don't know if it's my department, but both my non-philosophy courses are a total wash. The things I've learned are non-concrete. The materials are fine, but their context and examination are lacking. My sociology of religion class failed to define religion in any way (way to be a scientist about it), and my Native American studies class has yet to have any kind of reasonable insight. It's intellectual torture.

    BUT! I get to run a class in a year! As my thesis, I'm running a philosophy of film class. I've been writing about the philosophy of film since I got to this (kind of terrible) school, so it will be deeply cathartic to finally come to some kind of fruition.

    Re: Terrible men

    I'm with Faux on this. I hate the idea that someone might think I'm creeping. I try really hard to be genuine, but I don't know how I'm perceived. It makes it hard when both trying to be respectful but exert ones-self romantically with someone else. I guess that's why so many default to being douches--it's just easier. More effective. You might be a piece of shit, but you get what you want more often than someone who doesn't give over to their more base selves. But I think it's shitty as shit can be, seeing when it hurts people. None of you should have to feel "on edge" because of these people, but you have to because it's your only defense mechanism. Fuck those people.

    You guys mind if I gripe about a semi-related thing that's been bugging me a lot and have had no real outlets for? Of course you don't!

    So someone recently brought to my attention that I have a chance with this young woman that I've known for a few years. Cool, right?! Not really. She's kind of the black widow of my social circles. This is the girl that was dating W, slept with his best friend C (alcohol was a factor), broke up with W to half-sorta-kinda date C and then bailed on him. W & C are still not friends. There's a handful of similar stories starring her.

    She's very pretty, she's smarter than she lets on, and she has tastes that roughly match with mine, but it seems pathological, the way she treats her others. I also hate the idea of dating a friends X and upsetting that person. And this is four or five times over with her, so I'm just stacking my likelihood that I am going to "fuck over" someone.

    Here is just a list of anxieties that I have regarding this situation: first and foremost, I'm terrified that I'll weaken. I don't drink so I'm not going to make THAT mistake, but I'm afraid that I'm less strong than my moral self requires. I'm afraid that if I turn her down it'll make it hard to be social with her. I have no specific criticisms of her personality, I just don't want to be more than friends. In any case, it's going to come to a point where I have to turn her down. I hope I don't fuck it up.

    This is, of course, all compounded by the fact that I've been romantically incapable since my last break-up earlier this year.

    I just don't want to be an asshole. Can anyone tell I overthink everything?
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2011
    @ted--Seems legit to me, man.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2011
    It's been my experience that males who try not to come off as creeps do alright, at least with me. When I first met my boyfriend, he tried really hard to get across the fact that he was into me without coming off as a creep, which I guess is something he also worries about, and it turned out fine. However, with guys that just go for it and don't take no for an answer, that's just creepy. And yeah, that seriously happened to me. I was crashing with some male friends and I'm totally fine with platonic cuddling, but one guy tried to take it further and would NOT take no for an answer. He seriously was begging at one point and asked if we could play "just the tip." I flat out said "No, I don't want to do anything sexual" many times, but dude wouldn't stop. There's a difference between trying to let someone know you're romantically/sexually interested and just not backing off.

    So, bottom line, just take it easy, guys, and you should be fine. Misunderstandings happen, just don't be THAT creep that won't accept a "NO."

    @ted - turning someone don't in "the best way possible" is always hard, because sometimes even the best way still sucks. I hope it goes as well as it can for you, and that the best case scenario isn't a sucky one.