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vranger

  1. My high point as a writer

    In the last blog, I reported that a member of the board of directors of the original author's foundation asked, when I offered, for an epub of my manuscript.

    This was a big step, and a nervous one. I had the audacity to try to follow a renowned author in his field, and to write a sequel which would meet his standards. It's rife with the opportunity for spectacular failure, and I understood that going in. But I thought I had what it takes, so I wrote the book.

    Last night ...
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  2. The Next Step

    I just moved on in "the next step" for the sequel I can probably never publish ... but that doesn't mean I'm not going to explore it.

    I contacted someone who might carry some weight with the agency in charge of the author's estate. At least if he likes the book and would give me a letter of introduction and recommendation, it could help. He's interested in reading the novel, and agreed he always thought the original needed a sequel.

    This morning my wife and I ...

    Updated June 24th, 2020 at 06:35 AM by vranger

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  3. The ending that wasn't the ending -- or was it?

    Yesterday I noted I thought I might rework the ending of my work just completed, and so I took on that task.

    I had two villians with close ties, and they both died in the last chapter. Both deaths were "off camera", and both were unexplained, though with inference as to what caused them. I questioned the similarity.

    My first thought tempted me to change the second death, or possibly let the man live on to cause trouble in a potential sequel. When I pulled up the ...
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  4. Second guessing myself

    In Robert Heinlein's five rules for writing, he proclaimed:


    • Rule One: You Must Write. ...
    • Rule Two: Finish What You Start. ...
    • Rule Three: You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order. ...
    • Rule Four: You Must Put Your Story on the Market. ...
    • Rule Five: You Must Keep it on the Market until it has Sold.


    Hopeful authors routinely break all five rules. I'm in the middle of breaking rule number three on my just completed work--now back in revision.
    ...
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  5. Research

    I spent much of the day wasting my time to discover that I have very low regard for Pro Writing Aid, as detailed in a post in Writing Discussion.

    I loaded both the novel I wrote a sequel to, and my novel, fully analyzed both, and compared the results. The original is better than mine, and I scored better on style, grammar, and other metrics measured by the software. That's not a good recommendation for the software.

    I spent the rest of the day in another review of my manuscript, ...
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  6. First results in on my sequel

    If you're new to my blogs, in the last few weeks I wrote a sequel to a famous author's work. He passed away long ago, and I've always wanted a sequel to that story. So I finally decided to write one myself. I may never get permission to publish, but it's been a lot of fun, and I learned a lot about my writing, and writing in general, as I wrote it. And now I know what happened next, even if I did have to decide myself.

    I sent a mobi of the the sequel out to five people familiar with ...
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  7. Scrivener vs yWriter - My decision

    I'm going to end the suspense early: I selected Scrivener. (I'm also going to post this in the Forums at PiP's request).

    So what made the difference for me?
    yWriter pluses:
    • Very organized set of forms for things like Chapters, Scenes, Characters, Locations, Items ...
    • Good inter-relation between parent and child elements.
    • Can open multiple scenes at once for reference and editing.

    yWriter minuses:
    • built in Editor is just too limited - deal breaker for
    ...
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  8. Once more into the breach

    Having finished a read of the original novel in its 1957 magazine series yesterday, I decided to move straight into another read of my sequel to it. I had not done exactly that before. I reread the novel as I wrote the sequel, then read the sequel once I finished that read of the original, but that was all mixed together with writing the sequel. So this was just a straight read through of both books in sequence.

    I know I have to be prejudiced, but goodness, I think it's seamless. I ...

    Updated June 15th, 2020 at 08:56 AM by vranger

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  9. The Worst Test Ever

    Since I made no progress on new work today, not even my series of aborted attempts to start the Scrivener tutorial (getting the idea I'm not really enthusiastic about tutorials?), I thought I'd talk about a trauma from my youth. Before we begin that, I did finish the magazine series of my favorite book. Despite hints that it had extra material, it did not. It was identical to the paperback and eBook files I've read. My only conclusion is that the "extra material" are the intros each of ...
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  10. Life gets in the way

    I started out the day doing some programming on the new system my partner sold, then had to put it away until he gets a few answers from the client on details I need to proceed. (I should have this in the poetry section).

    Intent on finally getting to the Scrivener tutorial, I watched as our Samsung 4K TV gave every indication it's about to lose its main logic board. In three years, that's the second time this has happened, and really not after that many hours of operation. It was our
    ...

    Updated June 14th, 2020 at 05:33 AM by vranger

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  11. Funny episode

    I just had an amusing and somewhat perplexing episode.

    I've been doing research on the novel I just wrote a sequel too, and I came across a mention of a reader's companion to the author. I did a Google search for it, and the first result was the Amazon product page. I go there, and the blurb at the top isn't very informative, so I scroll down to see what the top rated review has to say about it. I read a few lines of the review, and I"m thinking, "I remember this book. I
    ...
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  12. Next Project

    Culture shock (or method shock) time. The book I just finished was almost entirely Pants. I had a general goal in mind for the hero, and chapter by chapter (sometimes scene by scene) I dreamed up what would happen next.

    Now I'm going back to a book I wrote three chapters of 12 years ago. I sort of started in on this book a couple of years back (maybe three), and I see what got in my way. I was very busy getting a house ready to sell and then getting it sold--a process which took more ...
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  13. "Going Live"

    My wife finished her read through last night, and I finished mine this afternoon. I found a few terms that were inconsistent and fixed those, and added one little funny scene.

    I decided it was ready for outside eyes, so I sent it off to five friends who'd expressed interest.

    I choked up again reading the last scene, thought it's the fifth time (at least) I've read it. The MC is talking to someone who died in the original novel, but who remains a constant focus of inspiration ...
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  14. Finishing Touches

    Last night and today my wife did a read through and found about 20 things to correct. That means I rushed my proofreading in the app too much, and I'll admit that. I was eager to get the book onto a Kindle and read it straight through. I've been doing my read through, too. I found a couple of punctuation errors she missed, but most of my changes have been to introduce more interesting wording where I found a "vague" phrase.

    A little alarming, two sections of text were in the ...
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  15. Third day of Proofreading

    Well, I didn't make it easy on myself. I had about 350 sentences to go when I decided it made more sense to re-proof all the sentences with linking verbs I had moved through before I added the feature, and before I finished those last 350.. So I went into the database and wrote a query to mark all sentences with a "to be" conjugation, which had not been updated, back to the "unread" status.

    Suddenly my To Do count jumped back up to almost 1700. It was discouraging. ...
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  16. Second day of proofreading

    Tough day of proofreading, and it started last night.

    It seems that each time I finish a novel and start revisions and proofreading, I get fixated on a different issue. This time it's linking verbs (copulas). That's not to say I've ignored fixing instances of linking verbs and passive voice in previous novels, because I don't ignore them, but last night I added a feature to my proofreading app to flag copulas in the current sentence displayed.

    I started finding more of ...

    Updated June 7th, 2020 at 02:29 AM by vranger

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  17. First day of proofreading and my method

    I finished revisions for my first read-through yesterday. Nothing exciting or illuminating to report today. I did complete 53% of my proofread with my proofreading app, and was happy to only find four typos.

    The app breaks the document into separate sentences and shows me one sentence at a time to proofread. That keeps errors from being buried in the middle of a paragraph, or from overlooking them from being either too interested (or too bored, in the case of the n'th time through the ...
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  18. Chapter Twenty

    Having only 1100 words to reach my goal for the novel, I wrote a bit over, but not by much. I managed to dispose of the villain, and finish with a meaningful scene that choked me and my wife both up, again. Not being satisfied with that, I added a bit in the middle which will do that, too. So if you read the original book, you may tear up twice. If you then read my sequel, I may get you three times.

    My wife was eager to hear the ending, and now she's eager for me to finish my first ...
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  19. Chapter Ninteen and almost done

    The day before I decided in general how my villain would be defeated. Yesterday I had to think up the details. As it turned out, I only needed to describe two phases of the program in detail, starting with the elimination of his main lieutenant. I was worried I had more story yet to tell than the word count I had in mind for the total novel length. It doesn't look like that will be much of a concern. I wound up with enough room to write a couple of scenes capable of setting up another book in the ...
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  20. Chapter Eighteen and part of Ninteen

    Chapter Eighteen was a series of meetings to wrap up a few more loose ends, followed by the MC planning how to deal with his bete noire.

    It all came pretty easily, and into activity in Chapter Nineteen, which I actually got about 40% through.

    Now I have one worry. I'll be at least halfway through Chapter Nineteen with still plenty of work to resolve the struggle the book started with. I was supposed to finish Chapter Twenty by tomorrow and finish the first draft, and a ...

    Updated June 2nd, 2020 at 05:22 PM by vranger

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  21. Chapter Seventeen, and part of Eighteen

    Chapter Seventeen came pretty easily, but still drug out through the afternoon and evening. It wrapped up some plot questions from the last several chapters. There were a lot of events I had plotted, but were mystery to the reader. So I wrapped up the loose ends.

    Then I had a happy event, followed by a description of how Faster Than Light travel works in that story's universe. That part was tricky, because the author I'm following made some brief statements about it without going full ...
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  22. Chapter Sixteen

    I got a slow start on Chapter Sixteen. It was strangely like my report on Thirteen. I knew a lot about what should happen in Sixteen, but a lot of it was more relaxed activity than the last two chapters, which were full of tense action.

    I finally got started mid-afternoon, and by early evening I had a thousand words. My wife taunted me with the conclusion I wouldn't get a full chapter in, but this chapter came in thousand word segments, and I got in three more, finally finding another ...
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  23. Chapters Fourteen and Fifteen

    I got started writing at about one in the afternoon. As I flirted with my morning's thoughts: after a short paragraph of exposition I launched into dialogue. Chapter Fourteen emerged, but I filled up my quota for the chapter long before I ran out of the ideas that were supposed to be included. Somewhere around 4100 words I wrote a line which needed to end a chapter. So I wrote the line "Chapter Fifteen" and kept going.

    4400 words later I wrote another line that needed to end ...
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  24. Chapter Thirteen

    After writing twelve pretty easy chapters, and bragging to everyone in sight at my incredible productivity on this WIP, I came to Chapter Thirteen. Being a lifelong contrarian, it's a number I don't fear.

    And as opposed to the last few chapters where I typed the chapter heading and had nothing specific in mind for 'what happens next', I knew a lot about what should happen next in Chapter Thirteen. It's possible I knew too much. I sat, and I sat. Then I took a nap. In fairness, I hadn't ...
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  25. The Mystery Project

    [duplicated from a post in "What are you doing now?]

    Just put the finishing touches on Chapter 12 of my WIP, which was a totally unexpected project, and may have zero chance of being marketable.

    About 50 years ago I read a book by a famous author, and it was written about 16 years before that. I've always been dissatisfied in the conclusion to the book, because it left a young character's future completely open, with his primary aspiration unfulfilled. Here's problem ...
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