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GailD
03-01-2011, 04:37 PM
Hello, Goeie Dag, Sawu-bona - and greetings in our other 8 official languages.

I hail from Johannesburg, South Africa. Any other tjaina's here?:hi:

SaraP
03-01-2011, 09:44 PM
Hi GailD, welcome aboard. :welcome:

desertbob
03-02-2011, 01:13 AM
Hi Gail,
I'm also proudly South African - you're not alone!
I was living in Joburg until about 8 months ago when my day job brought me to the backwaters of Brazil :) Now I'm a confused gringoChina with a mighty longing for biltong

SaraP
03-02-2011, 02:14 AM
Welcome, desertbob. :hi:

Ian Isaro
03-02-2011, 02:00 PM
I have friends in South Africa that write, but they're not members here. Glad to have you aboard and sorry I don't know any languages from the southern regions.

GailD
03-02-2011, 02:04 PM
Hi Gail,
I'm also proudly South African - you're not alone!
I was living in Joburg until about 8 months ago when my day job brought me to the backwaters of Brazil :) Now I'm a confused gringoChina with a mighty longing for biltong

Hi desertbob,

Just for you I'm cutting up some biltong, putting the boerewors on the braai and looking for ways of parceling up some bobotie, pap and chakalaka. Darn! The customs people might have a problem with that.:chair

I hear they make good empanadas in brazil.

When you're not doing your day job, what do you write?

GailD
03-02-2011, 02:08 PM
I have friends in South Africa that write, but they're not members here. Glad to have you aboard and sorry I don't know any languages from the southern regions.

Hi Ian,

Tanzania is good. Welcome to AW.

What do you write?

desertbob
03-02-2011, 08:29 PM
Hi desertbob,

Just for you I'm cutting up some biltong, putting the boerewors on the braai and looking for ways of parceling up some bobotie, pap and chakalaka. Darn! The customs people might have a problem with that.:chair

I hear they make good empanadas in brazil.

When you're not doing your day job, what do you write?

Hehe, thanks Gail!
I've smuggled biltong over in my suitcase before - the trick is in vacuum packing it securely, otherwise those lovely beagles at airport security start getting overly interested in your baggage, and then you have problems!
Yes, empanadas are awesome (I live in empanada central - Goias) and sadly my day job is the sort where "non-working" time is just sufficient to choose between eating and sleeping that day... so the writing suffers. But someday when I get sick of this and am happily unemployed, I plan to finish the messy Sci-Fi novel that's been floating around on scrap paper and in various misplaced journals for the last few years.

How bout you? Do you write about life in South Africa? I'm finding living out here has really influenced the tone and character of what I want to write (even in a futurist sci-fi) - but I guess thatīs natural, life's experiences is where we draw inspiration, right?

GailD
03-03-2011, 01:19 PM
Hehe, thanks Gail!
I've smuggled biltong over in my suitcase before - the trick is in vacuum packing it securely, otherwise those lovely beagles at airport security start getting overly interested in your baggage, and then you have problems!
Yes, empanadas are awesome (I live in empanada central - Goias) and sadly my day job is the sort where "non-working" time is just sufficient to choose between eating and sleeping that day... so the writing suffers. But someday when I get sick of this and am happily unemployed, I plan to finish the messy Sci-Fi novel that's been floating around on scrap paper and in various misplaced journals for the last few years.

How bout you? Do you write about life in South Africa? I'm finding living out here has really influenced the tone and character of what I want to write (even in a futurist sci-fi) - but I guess thatīs natural, life's experiences is where we draw inspiration, right?

Hi desertbob,
Sci-fi! Wow. I think you sci-fi writers have the most awesome imaginations. Wish I could think up stuff like that.

This having to earn-a-living business really puts an irritating spoke in the wheel of one's writing life, doesn't it? I'm in the same boat (to mix metaphors). I have just completed my first crime/suspense novel, set in the US and written for an American audience. The local market is too small to be really profitable and (if the book is any good) I'd like to earn some $s.
What I did learn along the way is that one doesn't have to set aside large blocks of time for writing. One can learn to write in small increments, even 15 minutes is enough to jot down a couple of sentences. It's a little frustrating at first because you think you're going lose your train of thought but with practice you really can pick up where you left off each time.
Oops, sorry, that sounded like lecture.:Lecture:
I'll get back to making that milktart and try and vacuum-pack it.

PS - I love the 'hehe'!

Ian Isaro
03-03-2011, 06:34 PM
What do you write?
Fantasy, most subgenres.


I'm finding living out here has really influenced the tone and character of what I want to write (even in a futurist sci-fi) - but I guess thatīs natural, life's experiences is where we draw inspiration, right?
Definitely. I hope to see some fantasy in a Serengeti-like environment. It'd be interesting to see a futurist story with a SA touch.

GailD
03-04-2011, 01:32 PM
Fantasy, most subgenres.


Definitely. I hope to see some fantasy in a Serengeti-like environment. It'd be interesting to see a futurist story with a SA touch.

That would be awesome! Although I read mostly crime/suspense novels, once in a while I like to kick back with a good fantasy novel. I'm a big Terry Prachett fan. You've got my imagination going.

Think: Discworld meets Lion King. Or what about Harry Potter meets Born Free?
If you can dream it - I can read it!

desertbob
03-05-2011, 03:17 AM
This having to earn-a-living business really puts an irritating spoke in the wheel of one's writing life, doesn't it?
What I did learn along the way is that one doesn't have to set aside large blocks of time for writing. One can learn to write in small increments, even 15 minutes is enough to jot down a couple of sentences. It's a little frustrating at first because you think you're going lose your train of thought but with practice you really can pick up where you left off each time.
Oops, sorry, that sounded like lecture.:Lecture:
I'll get back to making that milktart and try and vacuum-pack it.

PS - I love the 'hehe'!

No, no, Gail this is actually exactly what I wanted to hear. Iīve been really struggling with the motivation, and it feels like all I have are a lot of half-finnished scenes which aren't going to meet up in the middle. How did you handle structure and flow working stop-start? Did you carry on linearly, or try follow some sort of plan?
Thx for the help.
God I miss milktart...

GailD
03-05-2011, 03:15 PM
No, no, Gail this is actually exactly what I wanted to hear. Iīve been really struggling with the motivation, and it feels like all I have are a lot of half-finnished scenes which aren't going to meet up in the middle. How did you handle structure and flow working stop-start? Did you carry on linearly, or try follow some sort of plan?
Thx for the help.
God I miss milktart...

I don't know that there is any right way to write a novel. (Maybe experienced writers like SaraP can jump in here and comment.) I started off with the underlaying theme ie. good triumphs over evil or courage in the face of overwhelming odds or persistance in the quest - you know, that type of thing - so I had a basic understanding of what I wanted to say. Then I developed what I call the arc of the story - What happens in the beginning, the climax and how the story ends. I drew up profiles for each of my main characters, their backgrounds and experience, basic nature and personality as well as what they look like, their likes and dislikes, speech patterns, mannerisms etc. (Not that all of this is in the story but, I think, it helps make the characters more 3 dimensional.)
Okay, so I had a very rough idea of the outline of the story (I know some writers go to a much, much greater detail than this) and who the main players were. Then I simply sat down and started writing. For me, the characters took over the telling of the story - I had one idea, they had another - and most of the time they had a far better grasp of it than I did. (I actually found myself laughing out loud at some of the things they said - I must be nuts!)
Although I was surprised to note, when I reached the end, that I had maintained the arc as I'd originally planned it but the actual plot had become far more involved - probably the result of letting my characters run amok. (Personally I think they did a much better job of it than I ever could.)
Finally, because I live in SA and set my story in the U.S. I had to do a phenomenal amount of research. I ended up going there and spending two weeks in Ohio. (That's another whole story) And I also made friends with a professor of forensic medicine at Wits*, so I can be sure that the forensic stuff is right.
After that it was simply a matter of revise, correct, revise, correct.... until my daughter prised my reluctant fingers off the keyboad and threatened mutiny if I didn't start looking for an agent - which is what I'm doing at the moment.
So, my suggestion is that you begin with the arc of your story. I think the half-finished scenes you mention could be a good guide (you can finish them or re-write them later) and then create a profile for each of your main characters. Once they become 'real' in your mind they may do what mine did and drive the process. Hope this helps
Now I need to go and find Gail - I know she's in here somewhere.

* Wits - The University of the Witwatersrand. (Very large college in Johannesburg.)

SaraP
03-05-2011, 07:40 PM
I don't know that there is any right way to write a novel. (Maybe experienced writers like SaraP can jump in here and comment.)

There is a right way to write a novel, and that is by doing what works for you. Between outliners and pantsers, you have the whole spectrum. Each writer is different, each one works differently. As you long as put that BIC-FOK* time in, getting those words in is what really matters. :)

Btw, I'm hardly experienced, but thanks anyway. :)




*BIC-FOK = Butt In Chair - Fingers On Keyboard

GailD
03-05-2011, 09:45 PM
There is a right way to write a novel, and that is by doing what works for you. Between outliners and pantsers, you have the whole spectrum. Each writer is different, each one works differently. As you long as put that BIC-FOK* time in, getting those words in is what really matters. :)

Btw, I'm hardly experienced, but thanks anyway. :)

Thanks, Sara. You are quite correct - that is what I meant to say.


*BIC-FOK = Butt In Chair - Fingers On Keyboard
BIC-FOK! I like this. First time I've come across it.

SaraP
03-05-2011, 09:49 PM
Hang around AW and you'll see it plenty. ;)

desertbob
03-06-2011, 12:07 AM
When I saw BIC-FOk, I was thinking Bic pens and the Afrikaans expletive - this would definitely characterise my writing attitude some days!
Thanks for all the advice - i do have a rough story plan, but hadnt thought as far as character bios or an underlying theme yet (interesting, I have no idea what my story would be trying to say)
Ian, I love the idea of a Serengeti fantasy, I would definitely read that.

GailD
03-06-2011, 12:43 AM
[QUOTE=desertbob;5893513]When I saw BIC-FOk, I was thinking Bic pens and the Afrikaans expletive - this would definitely characterise my writing attitude some days!

Now you know why I like it!

Three Fish
03-06-2011, 01:32 AM
I studied in Cape Town last fall-- absolutely amazing city, with even amazing-er people :)

GailD
03-07-2011, 01:49 AM
I studied in Cape Town last fall-- absolutely amazing city, with even amazing-er people :)

Hi Jaxymack

Glad you liked Cape Town, it's my hometown. I can't say I miss the wind and the rain but I sure miss the beach and the vibe.

What were you studying? Were you at UCT?