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Thread: Learn Writing with Uncle Jim, Volume 1

  1. #8201
    They've been very bad, Mr Flibble Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    My PC is almost never out of action. In fours years it's had one fried HD ( cost 40, out of action two hours) and a dodgy fan ( twenty minutes, and a resolution to clean the dust out of the intakes every once in a while )

    Whereas my brother's MAC breaks down at least once a month.




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  2. #8202
    Any computer will break down -- Mac, PC, or otherwise. Also, speaking as someone who's been in one side and out the other of the computer industry, computers break down more when in the hands of someone that doesn't quite know how to use one.

    My personal favorite all time think it's the best ever computer: Alpha. We had an Alpha server back in 1999 that ran our database and that thing was the most solid, sweetest piece of hardware I ever had the pleasure to query. Of course, including the rackmount drives, the thing cost around $80k. But it was still pretty sweet
    Read all about the iPad.

  3. #8203
    Esteemed thinker Calliopenjo's Avatar
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    Hi Uncle Jim,

    Off topic question. When changing POVs in a story does the different POV need to be in italics or would a lead in be better to let the reader know that a change in viewpoint is coming up?

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

  4. #8204
    Dragon rider Perle_Rare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calliopenjo View Post
    Hi Uncle Jim,

    Off topic question. When changing POVs in a story does the different POV need to be in italics or would a lead in be better to let the reader know that a change in viewpoint is coming up?
    Uncle Jim likely has a better answer but this is what I've been doing:

    I keep the same POV throughout a scene. If I change the POV, I do so for a new scene and I start that scene with that POV person.

    For example, scene 1 is from Martin's POV so the first line of that scene might be:

    "The shadows were snaking along the ground when Martin stepped past the gate and entered the cemetery. Blah, blah, blah."

    Now, a scene with Alison as POV character. I start the new scene talking about Alison:

    "Alison ran home as if a vampire was chasing her. Blah, blah, blah."

    No italics required and the reader knows immediately whose POV he's seeing the world from.

  5. #8205
    Coming soon to a nightmare near you Requiescat In Pace
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    Also, just like different sections in a chapter, use the "numeric symbol" divider.
    #
    Then you start your new POV and the reader can know what's going on. That's not to say you couldn't use italics, or to say that I'm even right. It's just my opinion.
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  6. #8206
    Esteemed thinker Calliopenjo's Avatar
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    I have one chapter that the POV changes because the original POV is no longer relevant.

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

  7. #8207
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calliopenjo View Post
    Hi Uncle Jim,

    Off topic question. When changing POVs in a story does the different POV need to be in italics or would a lead in be better to let the reader know that a change in viewpoint is coming up?
    Line break, and continue in the new POV.

    Just make sure the readers aren't confused.

  8. #8208
    exactly, sort of
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    Just an example of modern Marketing storytelling in action: Microsoft has a current spot out showing a young, insecure woman who pretends to be an independent thinker, trying to get a 17" laptop for under 1000 $. After not finding a Mac for that price, she buys a PC Laptop for 800$. End of spot. If you go online and check the specs of that model, you'll quickly find the 1000 $ worth of parts she thought she got but is actually missing. The funniest being the 17" monitor that only displays the amount of a 15 inch monitor (old hardware, lower resolution) There go about 400$ she thought she saved but actually overspent for nothing, just with that. You have to admire the cleverness of the character building and the storytelling in that and all the other spots that makes customers defend the Mac/PC cost myth with such conviction against all facts.

    But even if you live with the low quality and direct your eye to the saved money for condolence, if you work as a freelancer and take 30$/hour, estimating standard PC maintenance, you'll use up the "saved" 1000$ in 32 hours or about 2h/week=4 months. So after only 4 months, you spent exactly as much as for a Mac, only that there is a computer on your desk with old technology that additionally already lost half of its market value.

    So,based on hard facts, and the shared reality that 1+1 equals 2, Macs are, financially the overall better buy. That makes every "expensive Mac" story really deal with something of greater importance than money. A pattern, a theme. Some underlying emotional something. A strange occurrence of repeating bad luck. A proof of expensive Macs it is not. But maybe the beginning of an interesting story.
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  9. #8209
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi!

    I'm slowly making my way through the six years of posts in this thread and, as a young amateur writer I'm finding this VERY helpful. Thanks so much for spending so much time on this! I'm really enjoying it.

  10. #8210
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pictopedia View Post
    Macs are, financially the overall better buy.
    I wouldn't take another Mac as a gift. If you work as a freelancer you can't afford the repairs and the time the thing is off in the shop.
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 03-28-2009 at 02:20 PM.

  11. #8211
    exactly, sort of
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    Interesting. All right Jim. I'll drop the uncle and go along with your story. Substracts a little illusion and adds a little illusion to my reality. 1-1=0. System back to neutral and rebooting. 3..2...1....
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  12. #8212
    Coming soon to a nightmare near you Requiescat In Pace
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    Never had to pay a dollar to upgrade, update, or repair my PC. As stated earlier, they replaced the motherboard in two days under warranty. I'm learning about computers on this computer. So lets see, $700 (the dollar sign goes in front), a year old, one problem which cost me no money= PC.
    A computer I couldn't afford that I would have less-than-no-clue how to use= Mac.

    1+1=2: PC is the way to go for most discerning people.

    But Pic, you stick with what works for you. Just be prepared- from what I've read, when something DOES go wrong it's gonna be a hassle.

    #

    Now for something related to writing novels:

    How does everybody break the bonds of writer's block? I usually write something out of my usual comfort zone. I want to see what some other methods are.
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  13. #8213
    Part of the Scenery Neversage's Avatar
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    To work around blocks (I'm still of my own opinions on those in general) I skip ahead to later int he book, or the sequel, and write a scene I'm looking forward to. I may never use it, and will certainly change it, but it helps me get back into the fun of telling the story.

    One of the reasons Never writes is because reality often bores him.

  14. #8214
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neversage View Post
    To work around blocks (I'm still of my own opinions on those in general) I skip ahead to later int he book, or the sequel, and write a scene I'm looking forward to. I may never use it, and will certainly change it, but it helps me get back into the fun of telling the story.
    Now that's interesting... I never thought of going to "sequel-status," I have gone to later in the book, however. It does help.
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    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"I'm alone here, with emptiness, eagles and snow, unfriendliness chilling my body, and taunting with pictures of home."~Deep Purple [I]Pictures of Home[/I][/FONT][/CENTER]

  15. #8215
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    I've already mentioned mine: Just type "Suddenly, without warning, a naked woman screamed," and continue from there.

  16. #8216
    Part of the Scenery Neversage's Avatar
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    Uncle Jim, I love that. I recently had my protag engage in a steamy makeout session, with a supporting character, in the middle of the road; to shake my thoughts up. Only then did I realize that he has a thing for her. Now the plot is far more interesting.

    One of the reasons Never writes is because reality often bores him.

  17. #8217
    Coming soon to a nightmare near you Requiescat In Pace
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    I've already mentioned mine: Just type "Suddenly, without warning, a naked woman screamed," and continue from there.
    And that one still tops my list of favorite lines!
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    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua][/FONT] [/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"I'm alone here, with emptiness, eagles and snow, unfriendliness chilling my body, and taunting with pictures of home."~Deep Purple [I]Pictures of Home[/I][/FONT][/CENTER]

  18. #8218
    They've been very bad, Mr Flibble Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Naked woman, check. Actually, make it a naked man. With baby oil. That should get my writing going again!

    But even if you live with the low quality and direct your eye to the saved money for condolence, if you work as a freelancer and take 30$/hour, estimating standard PC maintenance, you'll use up the "saved" 1000$ in 32 hours or about 2h/week=4 months. So after only 4 months, you spent exactly as much as for a Mac, only that there is a computer on your desk with old technology that additionally already lost half of its market value.
    Huh? Spending almost nil on maintenance / repairs, and I use my PC at least six hours a day ( OK, 40 for new HD and 15 pa for virus checker) makes it more expensive than the Mac that was several hundred pounds more expensive to buy? Within four months? Try within four years, if ever ( not including maintenance / repair expenditures for MACs when they break down)

    Sorry, does not compute.
    Last edited by Mr Flibble; 03-28-2009 at 11:43 PM.




    "Fade to Black is a dynamic and original introduction to a world and character that promise further exciting stories". British Fantasy Society

    The series has grown in complexity since the beginning, reaches a profoundly moving conclusion that is both unexpected and entirely satisfying - Publisher's Weekly

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  19. #8219
    DISENCHANTED coming soon Judg's Avatar
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    At this rate we're going to have to ask the mods to move this thread to the tech forum...
    Disenchanted is now out!

    My website, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ (yeah, seriously), Goodreads, Pinterest--it's getting ridiculous.

  20. #8220
    Mexican on the loose! DamaNegra's Avatar
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    Yeah, the old PC vs. Mac debate is getting old. PC rock, Macs suck, it's a fact (because I say so and that makes it a fact ) so there. Mac fans: Don't kill me!

    Back to your regularly scheduled writing thread...
    Ac in topehuaz in itlaxillo in ihuicatlan?


  21. #8221
    exactly, sort of
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    I'd like to ask everyone about something that's been bugging me some time about point of view: 1st person versus 3rd person. When you think about the books you like: is there one you prefer?

    I find it harder as a reader to feel for or identify with the main character at the beginning of a book when a book starts with "One day I did..." in contrast to "One day he/she did...." With 1st person I sometimes feel like the Siamese twin to the mc, stuck inside his head and way too close for comfort at a time where I don't care or the mc just jet.

    Do you feel that way too? Or do you think that 1rst and 3d make no difference? I'm asking because I am shortly before my first rewrite and am torn between making it 1st or 3rd. Can see good point for either one, but as a new writer, I want to take the safest road and not kick myself out of the game with unlucky style choices.
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  22. #8222
    While we are on the subject, most people overpay for the hardware they use whether it is PC or Mac. Many people don't need more than a netbook, and that will be all the more true in the next few years as cloud computing takes off.

    Unless you want to (1) play games or (2) have a very specific need that requires the power (high end graphics, SQL server, etc.), you won't need a PC or a Mac. Just a $200 netbook with Linux.

    As for what has the better quality, it's quite silly to even compare PC vs Mac. The PC is an open platform. You can have extremely high quality or extremely low quality. A Mac is a closed platform. You don't have much choice in the matter. So the real answer is that a PC is both lower quality and higher quality than a Mac.
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  23. #8223
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    There are reasons and places for both, but I wouldn't focus on "taking the safest road." In my opinion, neither is necessarily safer than the other anyway. But you have to go with what serves the story best. I find crime dramas to be best suited in first person, with third-person veiwpoints from secondary characters. Horror I personally like best in third person. YA in third. In many ways I find first person harder to write, and that may be why my first WIP is giving me stomach ulcers. It's going to get whipped into shape, though. My other WIP is horror, and in more of a comfort zone because of the genre, and it is in third person. Even when I'm stuck I just find it easier to get something out to advance it.

    Just my humble opinion, and I've only been writing for about three years, give or take a few months.
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  24. #8224
    exactly, sort of
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    Sorry, said that wrong. It's not about the fear of having to travel the road, it's about getting reeelay far on it and realising I should've taken another exit. "God, no I could be miles from here already. I could be almost there. Now I have to go BACK". That kind of feeling.

    It's not fear. It's impatience. Although... impatience is a fear of loosing time...hm....
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  25. #8225
    Mexican on the loose! DamaNegra's Avatar
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    Personally, I like 3rd person better, because 1st person needs a truly unique voice that is always harder to pull off. With sufficient skill, it does work, but most times it doesn't.

    But obviously it depends on what kind of story you're writing. It'd be good to know that.
    Ac in topehuaz in itlaxillo in ihuicatlan?


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