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Thread: Learn Writing with Uncle Jim, Volume 1

  1. #7676
    Where did I put me specs? euclid's Avatar
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    Or better...

    Quote Originally Posted by smsarber View Post
    But you could change the setting to Blingern, Saturn
    ...yet, Embrig Spaceport on Mandeyn.
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  2. #7677
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    That's one of the reasons I recommend reading fifty stories in a row from Fanfiction.net to simulate the slush-reading experience that agents and editors go through.
    That's just scary. (Of course alot of what's written on FFn gets "OMG you should be writing novels" tagged to it at some point, so I guess that's an accurate comparison.)

  3. #7678
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euclid View Post
    ...yet, Embrig Spaceport on Mandeyn.
    Embrig Spaceport on Mandeyn was based closely on Cartagena, Colombia. (Other places you can look for include Willemstad, Curacao, and Howard Air Force Base, Panama.)

  4. #7679
    Esteemed thinker Calliopenjo's Avatar
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    Question Peaceful Serenity

    Hi Uncle Jim,

    Is there such a thing as peaceful serenity? Or is it like saying great big huge?

    Wounded I sing, tormented I indite. Victor Herbert (1859-1924)

  5. #7680
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calliopenjo View Post
    Hi Uncle Jim,

    Is there such a thing as peaceful serenity? Or is it like saying great big huge?
    Well, is there such a thing stormy serenity? A hawkish serenity?

  6. #7681
    Fear the Death Ray maestrowork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    Well, is there such a thing stormy serenity? A hawkish serenity?
    Knowing Serenity, I think so.

    /* runs away from Serenity */

    I didn't want to work. It was as simple as that. I distrusted work, disliked it. I thought it was a very bad thing that the human race had unfortunately invented for itself.
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  7. #7682
    NCIS... Serenity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maestrowork View Post
    Knowing Serenity, I think so.

    /* runs away from Serenity */

    Hahahaha... uh... HEY, wait a minute!!!
    -Melissa

    I'm not so good at the advice thing. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?

  8. #7683
    Esteemed thinker Calliopenjo's Avatar
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    Question alright vs. all right

    Hi Uncle Jim,

    It used to be that alright meant that a person was well nothing was wrong. All right literally meant is everyone well. One person vs. a group. Then alright was considered a lazy way of saying all right and not everybody agreed with its use. I read somewhere that alright is no longer considered passable if you choose to use it in your story because it's considered lazy.

    After all of that, my question is: Should alright be changed to all right? Or should I consider its usage?

    Wounded I sing, tormented I indite. Victor Herbert (1859-1924)

  9. #7684
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    "Alright" is a non-standard variant of "all right."

    The copyeditor will change "alright" to "all right" unless you specify otherwise in your style sheet.

  10. #7685
    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    "Alright" is a non-standard variant of "all right."

    The copyeditor will change "alright" to "all right" unless you specify otherwise in your style sheet.

    ...Style sheet?
    Wait.... who am I?

  11. #7686
    cereal killer Palmfrond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makai_Lightning View Post
    ...Style sheet?
    If you don't specify exactly what non-standard usage you are using in your novel, your copyeditor will do so. He/she will generate a list of character names, invented words, and other usage not in the publisher's style manual (often related to the Chicago Manual of Style). This allows you and the publisher to agree on which rules you are going to break, and to break them consistently.

  12. #7687
    practical experience, FTW Lavinia's Avatar
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    James- Thanks for all of this. It's really great. I'm reading several pages of posts a day until I'm done. I'll take breaks if information needs time to marinate. But this is really fabulous! I see that you recommend joining a critique group or writer's workshop. In my town, there is a writer's group but it is for Christian writers. I have nothing against Christian writing, but it's not what I write. I went to it for a while and it was very beneficial. There were three or four ladies out of maybe ten that are published authors (though not widely). But honestly, most had not kept up with the "information super highway."

    Anyway- there is not a group that really fits my needs here in town. It is an artsy town so I know there are writers out there. Do you think I should try to start a group? If so, can you tell me what things would be important for me to do, or think about in setting it up? It's a scary proposition for me, but I'd be willing to do it.

    Thanks again, James. ~Karen


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  13. #7688
    AW's Resident Commie bsolah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lavinia View Post
    Do you think I should try to start a group? If so, can you tell me what things would be important for me to do, or think about in setting it up? It's a scary proposition for me, but I'd be willing to do it.
    I'd also love to hear from someone who's started a writing group from scratch and how they went about it.

  14. #7689
    Where did I put me specs? euclid's Avatar
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    In the bookshop the other day I found a newly released book called "Undertow" (Can't remember the author's name - sorry). In the secondhand bookshop next door, I found an old book called "Undertow" by Tom Foote.

    What is the legal position on book titles? Does it matter if my book title has been used before by another author?
    My web site http://www.jjtoner.net/
    I'm on Twitter @jjtoner_YA



  15. #7690
    Inarticulate Herb MumblingSage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euclid View Post
    In the bookshop the other day I found a newly released book called "Undertow" (Can't remember the author's name - sorry). In the secondhand bookshop next door, I found an old book called "Undertow" by Tom Foote.

    What is the legal position on book titles? Does it matter if my book title has been used before by another author?
    Speaking from my experiances at the library shelves, this seems to be somewhat common. For more proof of this, try doing a google search or searching a library catalog for a particularily vague title. 'Kindred Spirits' had something like 16 hits in my library system, in genres from fantasy to romance to historical suspense.
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  16. #7691
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    Titles can not be copywrit (copyrighted?) and so anyone can use any title they like. although I expect titles like Star Wars are trademarked so don't use that one. lol Use any title you like, although if you find there was a huge best seller with the same title as yours, you might consider changing yours, just so there's no confusion. Then again, if you ever sell your book, chances are the publisher might want to change your title anyway so it's not the most important thing about the book. Don't spend weeks trying to come up with the perfect title to the detriment of perfecting the book itself.

  17. #7692
    Coming soon to a nightmare near you Requiescat In Pace
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    Cool

    What if I call my book The Ring of the Lords: The Brotherhood of the Ring?
    ~Steven Michael Sarber


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    "When we write we begin to taste the textures of our own mind."~Natalie Goldberg
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  18. #7693
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    You are within your right to do that. And to deal with the confusion and consumer backlash that may result. lol Still, i doubt the publisher will let it go. unless it's a spoof.

  19. #7694
    closer + prettier than ever Captain Howdy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smsarber View Post
    What if I call my book The Ring of the Lords: The Brotherhood of the Ring?
    it's an epic drama about boxing, right?
    "Captain Howdy, do you think my Mama's pretty? Captain Howdy? Captain Howdy that's not very nice!" Linda Blair to her Ouija board in The Exorcist

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  20. #7695
    I have a question about backstory, UJ.

    In regards to this advice: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...postcount=4477

    If you need the backstory to have the plot make sense there's a chance you're starting the story at the wrong point.

    I don't know -- I haven't read your book.
    My MC is using backstory to introduce other characters involved in the plot. Sometimes she discusses past history in dialog with that character. At other times she actively remembers when she first met the character, usually through a traumatic experience they shared or she alone witnessed.

    I've done this in the second chapter; introducing the characters to the reader as the MC seeks them out to give them orders for an imminent attack. I've been able to do this in less than 2500 words. I'm moving it along as quickly as possible because the first climax peaks during a two day interval.

    The plot is character driven so I'm wondering if using backstory is good or bad for this.

  21. #7696
    Elf Queen Yeshanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smsarber View Post
    What if I call my book The Ring of the Lords: The Brotherhood of the Ring?
    You can write an R-rated spoof called Bored of the Rings if you want...

    Wait. Already been done.

    Seriously, titles can't be copyrighted. But I still wouldn't title any of my books Star Wars or Twilight, and the publisher would probably demand it be changed if I did.

  22. #7697
    Where did I put me specs? euclid's Avatar
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    Another question

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeshanu View Post
    You can write an R-rated spoof called Bored of the Rings if you want...
    What's R-rated?
    My web site http://www.jjtoner.net/
    I'm on Twitter @jjtoner_YA



  23. #7698
    Inarticulate Herb MumblingSage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Howdy View Post
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by smsarber
    What if I call my book The Ring of the Lords: The Brotherhood of the Ring?

    it's an epic drama about boxing, right?
    I did see a book entitled 'Lords of the Ring' about boxing. I'm not sure if it was a deliberate choice to mimic the fantasy epic-it almost seems it would have to be, but then I'm a fantasy geek, not a boxing fan.
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  24. #7699
    practical experience, FTW Jake Barnes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeshanu View Post
    You can write an R-rated spoof called Bored of the Rings if you want...

    Wait. Already been done.

    Seriously, titles can't be copyrighted. But I still wouldn't title any of my books Star Wars or Twilight, and the publisher would probably demand it be changed if I did.

    Actually, there are a whole mess of books out there entitled "Twilight". My guess is there will be another within a few years, although probably not about vampires.

  25. #7700
    Elf Queen Yeshanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euclid View Post
    What's R-rated?
    I think in the States you'd call it X-rated. Sexually explicit material usually earns that rating.

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