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  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by LCLee View Post
    It took three years with eight female beta readers telling me things like, “that’s impossible.” Two male Alpha readers and one female development reader.
    After I released it I had complaints about the editing so I pulled it back and did a professional edit. It was all a bit of a learning curve at the time that has humbled me to work smarter and get over my cocky self.
    The research I had done in years past from going to the library (no internet). I wanted to show how the Taino Indians were mistreated by Christopher Columbus when he thought they had gold. Also, I wanted to point out that Haiti used to be their home before the French and Spanish took it over. But in the end my character took over the book, and it was all about her. The preaching about the wrongdoing was sidelined.
    That's a process I respect. What's the name of the book? After reading Avengers of the New World it sounds like something I would be interested in.

  2. #42
    On, "kill your darlings". Maybe I forgot the context of King's advice, but Robert McKee in Story (talking about screenwriting) says that anytime a line jumps out as "Oh what a clever little line I am" it should be cut. The key in this advice is that it should only be cut if it jumps out at you, and this is made clear when he suggests that these lines break the story teller's illusion by speaking too directly to the audience.

  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Brown View Post
    On, "kill your darlings". Maybe I forgot the context of King's advice, but Robert McKee in Story (talking about screenwriting) says that anytime a line jumps out as "Oh what a clever little line I am" it should be cut. The key in this advice is that it should only be cut if it jumps out at you, and this is made clear when he suggests that these lines break the story teller's illusion by speaking too directly to the audience.
    I'm not sure that's a correct interpretation of McKee. Do you have a link to a source? I would be interested in seeing the quote in full context to better understand it as it doesn't seem to make sense. I have read The Perennial Seller which quotes from him quite a bit so I'm kind of familiar but not extensively so.

    From what I read, it seems McKee's advice on that front can basically be summed up as 'don't set out to try to write a masterpiece, just set out to write the best that you can'.

    I think that's sound advice. I read the difference between 'setting out to write a masterpiece' and 'setting out to write the best that you can' as coming down to the former trying to anticipate, in some sense, the mass effect it would have on readers, the grandiose commercial appeal of the work, and the latter simply about writing faithfully to a vision: Lots of good writing isn't masterpiece level and you can't necessarily control that. But you can control whether a vision is executed properly.

    I believe that's essentially what 'kill your darlings' is about, too. I think when people talk about killing darlings they are most definitely NOT saying 'if it's really good then you should cut it'.

    I think what they are saying is "don't become so in love with something that you keep it at all costs". What it's saying is, 'don't be afraid to make tough decisions...even ones that result initially in a sense of loss'.

    I think most people have had this conundrum pretty regularly. Quite often I find I come up with something -- a character, a scene, maybe just a line -- in the first draft or whatnot that I really like only to find later that doesn't really fit with how things panned out. It's hard to let go of those things, because they're valuable.

    But a book isn't about cramming all kinds of pieces that are beautiful in isolation. A close inspection of even the most vibrant mosaic contains some rather plain, rather ordinary, pieces that, if replaced with diamonds or emeralds, would totally ruin the completed image. Even the most complex aircraft needs plain axle grease to function. Even the most beautiful city needs a sewer system and plain-but-functional roadways. Not everything in every story needs to be incredible or complex or individually significant. Some parts are going to simply function as axle grease that help the thing get off the ground.
    Last edited by luckyscars; June 30th, 2020 at 07:53 AM.

  4. #44
    Wɾ‘ʇ‘∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    I try not to get myself into the trap of thinking in terms of advice (good or bad), or rules, or do's and dont's, because they all suggest a degree of "this alone is what works." My takeaway is: they can all work, they are all tools in the box to be used at appropriate times. Yes, try writing what you know. Yes, try and find your voice. No, don't try to imitate Ray Bradbury today but maybe do try it on another day. Many of the rules are kind of whimsical and jokey anyway (looking at you, W. Somerset Maugham) so they're clearly not meant to be taken all that seriously. This is the joy of the Literary Maneuvers comp - it challenges us to write according to different bits of advice.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by hugodrax View Post
    As a new writer - at least in fiction prose - I'd like to know how to differentiate. Is it even possible? It's especially confusing when everything I read online immediately contradicts every book I open. Is turn-of-the-century writing stylistically dated? Should I only ape current trends? Sometimes, the old rule I was taught seems to stand: nobody knows anything.
    Hugo

    three thoughts. Traditional. Anti-Traditional and Un-Traditional.

    1. Traditional means the established fact as a course of action. This are the establish traditions in all cultures. some of them might be very new to and outsider.
    3. Anti-Traditional means breaking all the rules as a course of action. This is like funk art, the fur lined toaster. The surrealists. This comes form break the established.
    3. Un-Traditional means everything above and more is possible and should be made to fit what you are creating right back to the cave painting and everything else throughout history, and in all nations and cultures. It means the limits are boundless. This is the reaching of true creative thought. It is unrestrained in any way. It will try anything that works for the benefit of the creative process. It means there are rules and no rules, nor any rules to break, but you should break any rule you want to break. You are only guided by yourself. What is successful if more to the point; which means — what do you wish to create in relationship to the reader, listener, viewer, eater, whatever the art form calls for as the means to capture the "Evoked One." Who is also part of the process of all of the humanities. This means part of you job as the writer is to evoke something into someone else. You want them to feel what you write. So you never write for yourself. You write for the world which mean yourself because as an identity you are the center of the universe. The "Higgs" particle proved that. Are laughing It's important to maintain humor when writing because life is full of ironies. Ironies that you will write about.

    This thought comes from Sir Herbert Read, who was an art critic back around the 1960's. I think his book was called "The Creative Process," or something like that. I'm not sure about the title. It's been so long ago that I read his book. I was in my twenties, I'm now 78 — that's about 58 years ago. I know that it changed my life as a creative person, I'm an artist that works in a lot of different media, primarily in Ceramics as a potter, Oils and acrylics as a painter, and traditional forms and free verse as a poet. I've tried it all and then some mixing it all together. Wherever my interest guides me; I follow the path where it leads me with my personal interest. Which has been my idea of perceptualism. A word I created for myself back in 1970 which means more than one perception exists in all things or all view points, and that the art form should try to present different levels of concerns in any given art object: be it ceramics, painting poetry, music, etc — all of the humanities. Mr Read's book made me see the difference between creating a product, or creating an art form, object; even a unique artistic thought process, all my own.

    My advice is not to worry about it too much. Know that there are certain concepts that hold true that go all the way back to primitive arts in all the different culture that are concerned with what we call the humanities. Like rhythm for instance, Like the chant in poetry that has a beat to it, like a vehicle for paint in painting so that brushes were invented to do the job. So you get the bigger picture? There are devices already discovered that you can ad-lib on to help you write better, just don't be constrained by any one process and become a copyist; absorb them all and take what is the best for you from all cultures and traditions. This will make you be like no one else. There isn't a lot that is truly new, there are just different ways to observe it and present it to the perceptive eye. Originality is something digested by you as a creator as art, writing is an art form. So you are concerned with an actual craft with a task to capture another's attention as a reader. It doesn't mean you need to write for them at all, that's stupid. Instead in means you have write good enough to capture their attention, now that's talent. That's your craft as a writer. Hopefully they, the reader, will come out the other side with a different awareness that you have created within your presentation of your art to capture their imagination — you will have evoked them. Not an easy job to do at all. You're going to have to work hard at it and continually improve upon it for a lifetime. You need to make it your life style and a means of living that is personally yours. You might even have to do other things to support it. Think twice before you have a family. If you do have one now, hope like hell, your significant other offers you the time and space to be creative. Don't let it slip through your fingers. And always demand a place to create — within any home you move into. This is not something that is arbitrary. It's the difference of being the writer or not being the writer. You have to have a space set aside to write, that has a creative process that takes time to think to create a presentation of some kind. Don't let the big fish slip through your hands or leap out of your net.

    Your Big Fish,

    For if you hook the big one;
    The one that got away;
    you can tell the fish story.
    You know that one, don't you.
    You hold out one arm
    as far as you can reach,
    stretching your arm
    as far as you can,

    and then you say:
    The one that got away
    was that big.
    Did I catch you?

    drinks are on me
    if we ever meet.
    Thanks for reading.

    a poet friend
    RH Peat

  6. #46
    Member hugodrax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    Even the most complex aircraft needs plain axle grease to function. Even the most beautiful city needs a sewer system and plain-but-functional roadways. Not everything in every story needs to be incredible or complex or individually significant. Some parts are going to simply function as axle grease that help the thing get off the ground.
    That's an interesting point - I often look at books across the last century, and the paper/mag sub editor in me says 'strike, strike, strike' or 'don't use eight words, when three will do.' I see so much indulgence, and I see even more dead wood. But, then, your analogies remind me there has to be some semblance of the ordinary, otherwise the sparkly bits wouldn't sparkle. I think the next short I tackle, I'm going to give myself a bit more space. But I can hear my old editors clicking their red pens, and I wince...

    Quote Originally Posted by RHPeat View Post
    Hugo
    Quote Originally Posted by RHPeat View Post

    three thoughts. Traditional. Anti-Traditional and Un-Traditional.

    1. Traditional means the established fact as a course of action. This are the establish traditions in all cultures. some of them might be very new to and outsider.
    3. Anti-Traditional means breaking all the rules as a course of action. This is like funk art, the fur lined toaster. The surrealists. This comes form break the established.
    3. Un-Traditional means everything above and more is possible and should be made to fit what you are creating right back to the cave painting and everything else throughout history, and in all nations and cultures. It means the limits are boundless. This is the reaching of true creative thought. It is unrestrained in any way. It will try anything that works for the benefit of the creative process. It means there are rules and no rules, nor any rules to break, but you should break any rule you want to break. You are only guided by yourself. What is successful if more to the point; which means — what do you wish to create in relationship to the reader, listener, viewer, eater, whatever the art form calls for as the means to capture the "Evoked One." Who is also part of the process of all of the humanities. This means part of you job as the writer is to evoke something into someone else. You want them to feel what you write. So you never write for yourself. You write for the world which mean yourself because as an identity you are the center of the universe. The "Higgs" particle proved that. Are laughing It's important to maintain humor when writing because life is full of ironies. Ironies that you will write about.

    This thought comes from Sir Herbert Read, who was an art critic back around the 1960's. I think his book was called "The Creative Process," or something like that. I'm not sure about the title. It's been so long ago that I read his book. I was in my twenties, I'm now 78 — that's about 58 years ago. I know that it changed my life as a creative person, I'm an artist that works in a lot of different media, primarily in Ceramics as a potter, Oils and acrylics as a painter, and traditional forms and free verse as a poet. I've tried it all and then some mixing it all together. Wherever my interest guides me; I follow the path where it leads me with my personal interest. Which has been my idea of perceptualism. A word I created for myself back in 1970 which means more than one perception exists in all things or all view points, and that the art form should try to present different levels of concerns in any given art object: be it ceramics, painting poetry, music, etc — all of the humanities. Mr Read's book made me see the difference between creating a product, or creating an art form, object; even a unique artistic thought process, all my own.

    My advice is not to worry about it too much. Know that there are certain concepts that hold true that go all the way back to primitive arts in all the different culture that are concerned with what we call the humanities. Like rhythm for instance, Like the chant in poetry that has a beat to it, like a vehicle for paint in painting so that brushes were invented to do the job. So you get the bigger picture? There are devices already discovered that you can ad-lib on to help you write better, just don't be constrained by any one process and become a copyist; absorb them all and take what is the best for you from all cultures and traditions. This will make you be like no one else. There isn't a lot that is truly new, there are just different ways to observe it and present it to the perceptive eye. Originality is something digested by you as a creator as art, writing is an art form. So you are concerned with an actual craft with a task to capture another's attention as a reader. It doesn't mean you need to write for them at all, that's stupid. Instead in means you have write good enough to capture their attention, now that's talent. That's your craft as a writer. Hopefully they, the reader, will come out the other side with a different awareness that you have created within your presentation of your art to capture their imagination — you will have evoked them. Not an easy job to do at all. You're going to have to work hard at it and continually improve upon it for a lifetime. You need to make it your life style and a means of living that is personally yours. You might even have to do other things to support it. Think twice before you have a family. If you do have one now, hope like hell, your significant other offers you the time and space to be creative. Don't let it slip through your fingers. And always demand a place to create — within any home you move into. This is not something that is arbitrary. It's the difference of being the writer or not being the writer. You have to have a space set aside to write, that has a creative process that takes time to think to create a presentation of some kind. Don't let the big fish slip through your hands or leap out of your net.


    Thanks for the insight. I'm new to fiction but have written for mags and papers, as well as been a lyricist for decades. I've been many other creative things for as long, too, so I recognise many of your points. Fortunately, the other half is very familiar with my creative requirements, and I've got a recording studio at home to retreat to.

    Un-Traditional is a new term to me, but it sounds a lot like Post Modernism, which is how I 'd describe much of my music. Writing, I need a much more contained direction, as I'm learning as I go. I'll def check out Read's book.

    Thanks again - and thanks for the poem

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    I'm not sure that's a correct interpretation of McKee. Do you have a link to a source? I would be interested in seeing the quote in full context to better understand it as it doesn't seem to make sense. I have read The Perennial Seller which quotes from him quite a bit so I'm kind of familiar but not extensively so.
    McKee's exact quote from Story pg. 388, "Never write anything that calls attention to itself as dialogue, anything that jumps off the page and shouts: 'Oh, what a clever line I am.' The moment you think you've written something that's particularly fine and literary--cut it."
    Last edited by Frederick Brown; June 30th, 2020 at 04:43 PM. Reason: fixed incorrect punctuation

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Brown View Post
    McKee's exact quote from Story pg. 388, "Never write anything that calls attention to itself as dialogue, anything that jumps off the page and shouts: "Oh, what a clever line I am." The moment you think you've written something that's particularly fine and literary--cut it.
    I've got Story (along with stuff by Field, Vogler, etc) and I absolutely subscribe to that process. Then I open Wind in the Willows, and it's absolutely chock-full of purples passages. And I'll bet all my favourite books do, too. You can imagine what that feels like to this n00b.

  9. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Brown View Post
    McKee's exact quote from Story pg. 388, "Never write anything that calls attention to itself as dialogue, anything that jumps off the page and shouts: "Oh, what a clever line I am." The moment you think you've written something that's particularly fine and literary--cut it.
    I really don't understand the logic of this advice. Can anyone explain to me why writing something you think is clever dialogue is a problem?
    Sometimes in the waves of change we find our new direction...
    - unkown

  10. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    I really don't understand the logic of this advice. Can anyone explain to me why writing something you think is clever dialogue is a problem?
    It's not that clever dialogue itself is the problem--it's when it stands out for being so. McKee doesn't want dialogue to draw attention to itself as something that is written by an author because it destroys the story teller's illusion.

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