Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Thread: Learn Writing with Uncle Jim, Volume 1

  1. #5551
    Rogue Story Hunter
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    249
    One of these days, an author is going to write "the best book ever written" and she's going to believe it and the world is going to believe it, too.

    Then for that author, it will be Truth writ large.

    We can imagine that it will happen; we hope it might just.

    It's the lie that sustains us.

  2. #5552
    a work in progress
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    Posts
    1,489
    Quote Originally Posted by ChunkyC
    (Hi T ... I hope Mac didn't talk your ear off at LACon )
    But what a pleasant way to lose an ear!

    That "list of lies" post reads like it ought to be sung to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas":

    On day 1 of pre-production,
    My publisher did say,
    "We'll fix i-it i-in the prooooooofs..."
    Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little (Niki)

    Author, occasionally published. Watch this space for more, or visit the amazing actually writing blog. (It actually writes!)

  3. #5553
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    Quote Originally Posted by T. Nielsen Hayden
    Aaaargh! Did I actually post that in public? How young and irresponsible of me.
    Indeed you did, right out in a public newsgroup where the world could see it.

    I feel bad for anyone who's heard all four. (I also envy them.)
    Heck, I've gotten a fifth, after "We'll fix that in the paperback": "We'll fix that in the next printing."
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 09-19-2006 at 09:07 PM.

  4. #5554
    AW Ne'er-Do-Well Bayou Bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Down so low in Austin, bottom looks like up.
    Posts
    959
    Quote Originally Posted by T. Nielsen Hayden
    Aaaargh! Did I actually post that in public? How young and irresponsible of me.
    So, are you saying this was written before you became, "the learned Teresa Nielsen Hayden?" If so, it was a very prescient WAG(wild *** guess).

    Bayou Bill

    A SPECIAL PRESENT
    : an erotic love story

    "If you are looking for a short, fun and engaging read, then look no further than, A Special Present.
    I highly recommend it to anyone." - Whipped Cream Reviews - On sale from: ETERNAL PRESS

    BILL'S BILGE - my blog, check it out

    Join the New AW Blogroll

  5. #5555
    Mexican on the loose! DamaNegra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    6,256
    Reading back, I can't help but ask: Who's Yog?
    Ac in topehuaz in itlaxillo in ihuicatlan?


  6. #5556
    Outside the box, with the bunnehz KimJo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    somewhere in Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,940
    On another board at one point, as I understand it, Uncle Jim went by the name "Yog Sysop". There's a logical reason for that name, but I don't know how to spell it.
    as Jo Ramsey:
    My YA site
    My YA library
    COMING SOON:
    Work Boots and Tees Deep Secrets and Hope 5, Harmony Ink, October 2015

    As Karenna Colcroft
    My romance site- Over 18 only!
    My romance library
    COMING SOON:
    Dawn Over Dayfield, DSP Publications, March 2016



  7. #5557
    Duck of Death Marlowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Lewiston, ME
    Posts
    142
    Sounds like a Cthulhu-based Systems Operator to me.

  8. #5558
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920

  9. #5559
    Outside the box, with the bunnehz KimJo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    somewhere in Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,940
    Thanks for the link, Uncle Jim.
    as Jo Ramsey:
    My YA site
    My YA library
    COMING SOON:
    Work Boots and Tees Deep Secrets and Hope 5, Harmony Ink, October 2015

    As Karenna Colcroft
    My romance site- Over 18 only!
    My romance library
    COMING SOON:
    Dawn Over Dayfield, DSP Publications, March 2016



  10. #5560
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    Today be International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arrrr, Matey!

    A couple o' off-topic things, then an on-topic thing:

    Learn CPR at Home (for $30). I be a big believer in CPR (an' in public-access AEDs -- if yer community dasn't be havin' `em, be seein' if ye can get th' program going).

    Chapter Three o' Land o' Mist an' Snow be now on line. (An' a very nice article in one o' our local weeklies last Friday.)

    Now th' on-topic thing:

    Crawford Kilian has a series o' articles on Writin' a Novel that ye might find useful.

  11. #5561
    Naked Futon Guy allenparker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,258

    second that!

    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald

    Learn CPR at Home (for $30). I be a big believer in CPR (an' in public-access AEDs -- if yer community dasn't be havin' `em, be seein' if ye can get th' program going).
    I would like to reinforce the above mentioned items.

    It is important for everyone to take some courses in CPR, first aid, and etc. I personally have performed CPR dozens of times. If I can do it, anyone can. There have been a few times where I thought my arms would fall off before someone could spell me.

    Second, take the course in AED. It is not long or expensive. The machine is not usable without someone to operate it. The instructions are usually clear enough, but knowing what to do in advance is IMPORTANT.

    (Sorry, my piratespeak is limited to ordering grog, that is if someone else is paying for it.)

    awp
    Save the Tatas: This is important. Please forward the link to everyone you know!
    link Breast cancer sucks!
    My Web Space




  12. #5562
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    CPR an' AED courses be available in lots o' communities. Prices (an' times an' places they's offered) vary: try callin' yer local ambulance squad or hospital t' be seein' when they'll be gi'en an' what they'll cost.

    Th' courses range from Free on up, dependin'.

    (In our community, me ambulance squad puts a wee kit wi' ever' public-access AED, consisin' o' a ziplock baggie holdin' a pocket CPR facemask, a couple o' pairs o' gloves, a set o' EMT shears, a washcloth, a disposable razor, an' a couple o' alcohol swabs.)

    I be seein' CPR work wid me own eyes (that be, a guy down an' dead, subsequently walkin' ou' o' th' hospital wi' nay neuro deficits). `Tis worth 't t' know how t' do that.

    (Particularly if ye`re a 50-60 year old female. Ye`re th' one most likely t' witness a cardiac event; th' shipmate sittin' across from ye at th' breakfast table goin' down hard. Ye dasn't want t' be seein' that an' nay know what ter do next.)

    While th' modern public-access AEDs be havin' pictures on 'em an' a voice chip in 'em what will talk ye through th' whole procedure, 'tis good t' familiarize yersef wi' them first. Th' number one reason they dasn't work in th' field si th' swabbie operatin' them dasn't take th' pads ou' o' th' package. Th' number two reason be th' swabbie tries t' stick th' pads abroadside o' th' patient`s clothin' rather than on th' patient`s bare chest. If ye`re suddenly faced wi' a Dead Swabbie, things get excitin' in a hurry an' 'tis easy t' get flustered. Havin' had th' machine in yer hand once in a classroom settin' can take away a wee bit o' th' high-pucker-factor that I promise ye're goin' t' feel.


    If ye wants ter buy an AED
    for yer church or home or office, they start around $900.

  13. #5563
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    Here are a couple more links for y'all:

    First is to many of the books and movies that we've talked about in Learn Writing.

    Next is to a bunch of books that would be interesting to writers.

    All the associate income from sales of these books go to AW (and y'all remember the down-time we had a couple of months ago? Legal fees and such continue....)

  14. #5564
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    A reading list for fantasy writers: http://www.worldfantasy.org/awards/

  15. #5565
    Otherwise Occupied Cassiopeia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Star to the right and straight on till morning.
    Posts
    10,792
    What sort of helps can a person wishing to write a book, say on the experiences of being LDS and divorced within a large LDS community find?

    I was asked years ago after I stopped being LDS to write such a book by a therapist. Is this a self help genre? I have no idea how to begin such an undertaking.

    "The key to writing success is perseverance, don't get discouraged,
    write from the heart and what emerges will be worthwhile." ~Author Bob Lee

  16. #5566
    practical experience, FTW Tsu Dho Nimh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    West Enchilada, AZ
    Posts
    1,340
    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald

    (Particularly if ye`re a 50-60 year old female. Ye`re th' one most likely t' witness a cardiac event; th' shipmate sittin' across from ye at th' breakfast table goin' down hard. Ye dasn't want t' be seein' that an' nay know what ter do next.)
    Me sainted mither always told me tha' the verra next thing a lively wench maun do is call her solicitor aboot the inheriting of the ship, and then see what booty (the dead mate's booty, not the wench's booty) be lyin' aboot in the form of life insurancy documents an' the ilk.

    Did ye have aught else in mind, kind sar?

    ::curtseys deeply, revealing OEC, NSP, and CPR credentials tucked in a next ta' a pair of ... next ta a pair o' me latex gloves, ye' vile old gaffer::

    ******
    Good book list.

    I would add this one - Revising fiction: A handbook for writers by David Madden - with the caveat that it is not for the easily frightened. It covers 185 writing flaws your manuscript might have, tidily organized into 8 chapters by type of flaw. I found it useful as a writer and an editor because it put a name to the flaw, and showed how to fix it. Instead of saying "it sounds wrong", I can now say "you are committing the pathetic fallacy" and sound like I know what I'm doing.

    And this one - A Writer's Guide to Transitional Words and Expressions
    by Victor C. Pellegrino - which is good for writers who have a problem with connecting the phrases so that time, sequence or consequence is clear. There's more to connection than "and then".

  17. #5567
    practical experience, FTW Tsu Dho Nimh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    West Enchilada, AZ
    Posts
    1,340
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopeia
    What sort of helps can a person wishing to write a book, say on the experiences of being LDS and divorced within a large LDS community find?

    I was asked years ago after I stopped being LDS to write such a book by a therapist. Is this a self help genre? I have no idea how to begin such an undertaking.
    The easiest way to write the first draft of an "experiences" book is chronologically ... just get it all out onto paper in more or less the order it happened. Don't be too concerned with style - just do a brain dump. Your plot already happened.

    After you have it on paper, you can decide if the time-based organization works, add explanations of how LDS theology affected events, clean up the grammar, etc. Then you can also decide if it's a "how to cope" book, a personal memoir, or whatever.

    But the first critical thing is to just write ... one way to handle something time-based is to open a file in your word processor and set it to "outline" view. Start a bunch of headings: family background, childhood, teenagehood, courtship, marriage, divorce, aftermath, future

    As events come to mind, write them as paragraphs in the appropriate section. Learn to collapse and reveal levels of headings and it makes flipping back and forth as you remember events a lot easier. Make notes to yourself about things you need to ask others, or research, as you go. Don't stop writing because you don't a bit of information ... note what you need and keep typing.

    When a section gets some material, you may find it easier to add more levels of subheadings and drag the events into things like:

    Childhood
    Learning to be LDS from others
    Grandmother's influence
    Teenagerhood
    Dating non-LDS members
    Dating LDS members
    Nothing is permanent ... this is just labelling your events in a bucket so you can find them. If you decide later, after the events are on paper that you want to tell the story from the POV of you, your parents and your ex ... it's easier to do because of the headings.

  18. #5568
    Otherwise Occupied Cassiopeia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Star to the right and straight on till morning.
    Posts
    10,792
    Thank you! I had no idea how to even approach this and you are so helpful!

    The first obstical I have to overcome however, is, no longer being LDS..ie..I left that religion...is that I have a concern about how the readers will view it. Is it just sour grapes or do I have something they might learn from.

    The therapist's comments upon reading some of my journal entries was that I have the ability to reach people with my writing and that I would help a great deal of LDS women who are divorced. So his is a call for me to teach and help.

    I am not certain I want to do it. Still something to think about At least now I have somewhere to start and who knows, it just might help me to understand the events as well.

    Again, my gratitude.

    Casi

    "The key to writing success is perseverance, don't get discouraged,
    write from the heart and what emerges will be worthwhile." ~Author Bob Lee

  19. #5569
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    Well, Casi, that sounds like a book you need to write.

    First, get everything on paper. Then use novelists' techniques to make it interesting to others.

    More than that -- we have a non-fiction section here at AW. You might want to hang out there, too.

    ------------

    Oh. I've just heard that Amazon now allows folks to comment on the reviews posted there.

    If I catch anyone from here commenting on reviews on your own book, I will come to your house and mock you in person. ABM, y'know?
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 09-21-2006 at 03:30 AM.

  20. #5570
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    CPR an' AED courses be available in lots o' communities.
    Oh -- funny coincidence. A good friend of mine woke up this morning at about 0130 with a panicky feeling. Yep, he was having a heart attack. (He's fine, in the Cardiac Care Unit right now.) And he's younger than me....

  21. #5571
    Lurker Extraordinaire LeeFlower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Washington's District of Columbia
    Posts
    502
    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    If I catch anyone from here commenting on reviews on your own book, I will come to your house and mock you in person.
    I give it two weeks before mocking amazon.com flamefights becomes so much like shooting fish in a barrel that people stop trying: "In today's news, Anne Rice flipped out on Amazon again. Also, the sky is blue."

    I'm afraid that if I ever get published, I might be sorely tempted to go and leave "Thank you" notes on positive reviews (assuming of course that there are any). While I imagine that would be less likely to get me mocked than pulling an Anne Rice, it would probably still be a ridiculous waste of time and an all-around bad idea.
    I seem to have de-lurked again.

  22. #5572
    glad to be here Lilybiz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    391
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopeia
    Thank you! I had no idea how to even approach this and you are so helpful!

    The first obstical I have to overcome however, is, no longer being LDS..ie..I left that religion...is that I have a concern about how the readers will view it. Is it just sour grapes or do I have something they might learn from.

    Casi
    Casi, I agree, Tsu's post was really generous and helpful.

    As for how readers might view what you have to say, you can let that concern be a barrier or choose to forge ahead. Like Jim says, I think you should get it on paper first. It may well be sour grapes, but you still need to write it. Once that's done, you'll know what steps to take.

  23. #5573
    Otherwise Occupied Cassiopeia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Star to the right and straight on till morning.
    Posts
    10,792
    Quote Originally Posted by aertep
    Casi, I agree, Tsu's post was really generous and helpful.

    As for how readers might view what you have to say, you can let that concern be a barrier or choose to forge ahead. Like Jim says, I think you should get it on paper first. It may well be sour grapes, but you still need to write it. Once that's done, you'll know what steps to take.
    I wish it were sour grapes. You have no idea how much I do. There is no way for me to convery what just thinking about writing about it does to me. Or maybe you all do. It is one of those things that sometimes you just think would be better if you held funeral services and buried it and let it go. I still have alot of respect for the people who stay in that religion... I am not keen to hurt anyone. So...yeah..will have to think about what all of you said and maybe even just start as a journal entry so I can see how I feel about it.

    Thanks a ton you guys

    "The key to writing success is perseverance, don't get discouraged,
    write from the heart and what emerges will be worthwhile." ~Author Bob Lee

  24. #5574
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    Remember that the moral of the "sour grapes" story was "It is easy to despise what you cannot have."

    When a self-published author says "Bookstores are lousy places to sell books," that's "sour grapes."

  25. #5575
    glad to be here Lilybiz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    391
    An excellent writer knows exactly what his words mean. Well said, Uncle Jim. I'm always awed by your research. I never thought to look it up because I thought I knew what it meant, but you put a finer point on it.

Page 223 of 398 FirstFirst ... 123148173198213217218219220221222223224225226227228229233248273298323 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search