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Anesor last won the day on March 27

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About Anesor

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  1. Are you slamming AI linguistics?
  2. Anesor

    How long do you prefer chapters?

    Admittedly, it depends on the author and even the mood of the chapter. Shorter chapters that work well are usually humorous or sharply focused on an emotion like angst or pining. Short chunks are sometimes a drive-by posting without character or plot advancement when an author wants to post something but is verbally flailing as to what. I've written shorter than a drabble when there is a total breakpoint for characters, and up to about 7k which are usually my finales. I prefer to write 1k to 4k. I like to read in that range as well. I can and have spent many hours on one well written and gripping story. (I won a bet with myself as a teen and read a thousand page paperback in one twelve hour binge-) But one of the reasons for chapters is to control the pacing of the stories, balancing plot, character, and climaxes. I know I have to end the chapter when a cliffhanger appears, otherwise I’m wasting the tension and reader’s wishes to know what happens next. One of the sweetest things is to see comments from readers howling to know what comes next. If the chapter seems on the short side I may go back and add or elaborate on a scene, but my muse is usually insistent on stopping if the narrative hits a cliffhanger. Another is to break the story into manageable chunks, as a writer and as a reader. (don’t we all tend to write what we like?) Chapters longer than about 6k, if that is typically clear from story stats, already have a strike against them. They require longer blocks of time and I cannot count on uninterrupted time as I got older. If I often get interrupted by RL I lose track of events and have to go backwards to refresh the story's flow. Really long chapters above 15k are approaching novella (and I'm reluctant to even start stories like that in fandoms I follow). There are several fanfics I've loved but had ended up dropping as I could not easily reenter chapters partway through without a visual marker. (I cannot dog-ear a scrolling page like I did before reformatting electronic books) I kept looking a while back when I started revising an original for professional publication and found answers ranging somewhere below 10k but no upper limit. One of the better suggestions was a chapter that most readers can finish in about fifteen minutes. Guessing that is another story, but 5k in 15 min → 333 words/minute as words per page is a slippery value... The time for editing long chapters or even stories is not a linear relationship either but a steep curve. I can easily edit a 1k flash in a day. A 2k is a day also. A 5k can run a week, even outside any time for a beta. A 60k novel? The sheer bulk is not just intimidating, but tracking all the bits of theme, character, plot and finicky details can drive you mad. I still have not come up with a way to organize it for my novels. I have found as my life got busier, I enjoy strong shorter pieces more, as a reader and as inspiration. One of my favorite writers right now can write an evocative, insightful story that rips your heart out in under a thousand words, many times a week. (Sorry to ramble on in a topic about length but answering tl:dr would not explain why that applies to fiction as well)
  3. Tourist postcard showing moonlit beach: “Welcome to sunny Barovia!”

    I’m looking forward to my trip! I get sunburn easily. ^_^

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Desiderius Price

      Desiderius Price

      Sunburn or not, try not to pick up any “lines” in it :)

    3. Anesor


      :jaws:In small print on the postcard is a scrawled comment (to the tune of the Bob Hope song) ‘Fangs for the memories...’

      The Neverwinter free MMO endgame campaign looks to recreate the essentials of Ravenloft: Vistani, tarokka cards. and gothic mood. It took all my gaining time last night to install the 7gig update so I didn’t start any of the plot...

    4. Anesor


      It was always one of my favorite tabletop campaigns, but gothic mood is harder than sheer violence.

  4. Anesor

    Fan Fiction and Original Characters

    It depends on the source and your tastes. I generally prefer a majority of characters to be canon, but some settings that really isn’t possible. I attempted writing for the Neverwinter MMO setting, but those plots and characters were so loosey goosey within the setting that, aside from mentioning an event or character in passing my story didn’t even feel much part of that setting. By the time I had created that many OCs to be the entire cast, I realized I wasn’t writing fanfic anymore but an original fiction. I wasn’t attached to the canon-weak characters and events that I didn’t want or need them, I was doing ALL of the work of writing an original story without being able to take credit. It wasn’t hard to file off the original setting. (BW knows that hiatus’d story) MMOs with the generic nature of character interaction and repetition, seem very unlikely to build a gripping foundation for fanfic. The original Guild Wars had the bones for some gripping sequences, but with the very fluidity of the interative and constantly retconned canon, it’s not stable enough or even accessable years later to refresh the canon. Now single player games like NWNights and Dragon Age are released in large enough chunks they are stable enough for replay for fun or research as you have a copy of the game you played on disk. Canon characters are far better developed and rich for exploration and use in fiction. Few games have made as good characters. Too many characters mean they aren’t 3D enough to tempt my muse. I had hopes for project eternity game, but the supporting cast was too generic and boring, I believe that it is the canon characters (and lesserly- events) who drive my interest in fanfiction. If the significant cast is all original, I know I’m not as interested in reading. Writing about the adventures on the SS Vanguard that has no impact on the world just feels futile. What would be different if this happened instead of canon? Sometimes I’ve read even a single OC who can break the setting completely, the OCs need to play mostly by the setting rules too. (and not outshine canon) Some settings have so many minor characters that there’s usually an existing character for most any purpose, and these characters are already woven into the setting, OC’s need more work to get them to fit seamlessly into the setting and existing cast. (A small part of why Rey is a Sue is that her background is basically to be plopped into a saga that deals heavily in lineage and fate. She’s a rehash of early Luke without any real past, brought forth from the brow of the Mouse with less past than the leads of computer games) A good OC needs to be part of the world and have a good significant reason for why the character was offstage during canon. (wandering away again, sorry) I like using canon characters, and the challenge to keeping them in character but still have them deal with new problems and people. Banter and interaction with OCs is fun. It’s very therapeutic to have someone slap someone who’s being stupid in canon. But then many good stories can just reshuffle canon, like one where Kirk might have kidnapped Edith Keeler to the future. Few canon characters are that developed that you cannot develop them in a new way... or just better depicted than canon. We can show their thought stream better than video. In practice, my OCs seem to hold below about 25% of the significant cast. Mainly because the canon cast is as much a part of the settings as phasers and mithral. I find I cannot keep up with stories about the characters I like, and by definition I don't know OCs in OC laden stories. So I move on.
  5. My ISP stopped sending me emails at midnight. Seems the upgrades require pwd change. It would not have been a bad thing if they told us instead of watching no email come for at least 12 hours.

    Just to make it more fun, upgrading my mail apps password has hit a really, really fun snag. It looks like it is downloading emails dating back a decade and tying itself in knots. At least 5k messages, including a lot of back and forths about my earliest fanfiction that I thought lost when tech issues deleted my archives.

    Heading toward 6k emails… oy vey.

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. Anesor


      shavit, I wanted to delete a duplicate, sorry about removing responses. :blush::dualpistols::bash::behead:

      I’m not quite mad enough to delete them all to save time. I’m deleting dupes and doing a cleanout of things I really don’t need like old news and subscriptions I never read. I’m hoping to reduce the inbox unopened at least 1k a day until I’m back at the bad-enough 6k I was at last week.  Even my trash bin had 40k...

      Sa:6k>43k>36k S:34k

    3. Anesor


      Tu:31k (I confess I’m losing patience)

    4. Anesor


      M:28k and now it’s a grind with new ones coming in. down to 28k now and removing a few hundred at a time… goal is 10k :rolleyes:

  6. I also read other books, related or non-fiction, watch videos. I never know what wilfix a broken plot point. Working on something else, chore or another craft can also help. Most of us are not depending on this for bread on the table, so relax.
  7. I find antagonists with similar goals can cause the biggest problems. They may be heroes with their own flaws and hurdles. Or just plain careless and dumb. But those aren’t the villains, the ones involved in selfish and cruel agendas. I know their major goals, but I still work on intermediate steps and remembering to show those results subtly. I want to show how the big bad is hacking city infrastructure, enough to make problems and get his jollies after earlier losses, but not enough to draw the heroes’ attention fromthe antagonist who’s a pain but not the real big bad. I’m rather pleased about this villain compared to my usual. I have had some flat villains, but thinking back on the first, I did give him some background and a wife killed earlier by the heroes. He wasn’t that clever on the fly but he was a pain...
  8. Hmm. I get very attached to mine, even the neutrals/supporting if I develop them beyond a certain point. And my leads? Nah, I don’t think I could kill them, outside flash or one-shots. (even that is rare) I prefer centering on growth and hope so true-death is rare. [my first story had the lead get resurrected a lot, so it wasn’t anything permanent] Many of my stories are slice of life epilogues, so it’s more about rebuilding after the big bad is gone. I don’t want to lessen the ‘big badness’ by new big bads to kill, just smaller bads. Deaths, messy deaths, get in the way of healing and growth. (#screwPalpy) So I am very light on deaths of named characters, I may even be surprised when I’ve started redemption arcs for demi-big bads. Even more when I see a place for them in the post saga plot that is especially fun… if I kill Dooku after all, he cannot be on the Council on Earth after the end. I’m hoping to work on my treatment of villains, but I’m terrible at killing all my characters. It’s probably a bigger weakness in my writing. Plots are problems to solve, and I like elegant solutions that minimize death and destruction. Deaths don’t cure many problems or character flaws. Sure, killing me would stop my nail biting, but that’s just an obnoxious development and has no meaning. Memorable stories have meaning. “Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it is not yet the end.” The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  9. Annoyance is waking up and realizing that the chapter ending you struggled for days to wrap up, will have to be gutted. Introducing a new speaking part should accomplish something.

    1. Desiderius Price

      Desiderius Price

      Sometimes that’s the nature of writing.  Like suddenly realizing that the line you just wrote ended the story, sooner than you had planned on, so anything that followed now has to be rewritten into a sequel.

  10. Anesor


    Professional is not all knowing. He’s not writing for us, people already with some experience and thinking about technique. I maintain it’s a marketing tool for his service. Active blogs are advised for building an audience in multiple sites. I would be more impressed if his advice was detailed and insightful enough to be useful to more writers, and features what value he adds to my writing. Fanfic thrives on angst and melodrama, mainstream maybe not so much. He’s suggesting less, and I really wonder what story he read that triggered this less than cohesive blog of frustration. There have been a few stories I read in the Pit where it was all door slamming and tearful accusitions of the LI instead of making the lead interesting or plot engaging. (Nor is he writing for my one college friend who didn’t understand why I didn’t want to take his rambling unconnected trope-fest into a book or books. He had the income for services, but not the interest in doing the writing.) The blogger’s not writing to editors or readers like telling a war story, there’s no juicy details to make the story interesting in its own right. Who do you think he writing this for?
  11. Heh, I doubt most of my readers are aware of this. Guess my just acquired copy of Eats Shoots and Leaves may be obsolete...
  12. Having an editor or several betas is an ideal, but the world doesn’t seem to provide as many of them as are wanted. The college bud who ‘did freelance editing’ never really responded to a heya to catchup, before I could sound her out about professional help. So it’s more ghosting. I find editing short and flash stories to be less wrenching in editing. I haven’t invested as much and criticism is less painful. Paid editing would be cheaper for short works, too, if I went that route. As a reader, I’ve noticed far fewer grammar and usage issues in shorter stuff than longer. That seems to hold for pro and fanfic. Some genres, the short story was the traditional gateway for new writers. That starts pro contects and lets some bootstrapping work for you. Once established as a short writer, the publisher may offer editing like for BW, or you will have acquired some fans for betas. A LOT of recent books list multiple betas in the forwards. But it still comes down to grabbing your readers, enough to give reviews, enough for editors want to acquire the story, and enough for buyers to throw money.
  13. This is not the profile you’re looking for… move along.

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. Anesor


      Is that Raiders Ark or Noah’s? I’m so sick of rain.

    3. BronxWench


      I keep checking to see if I’m getting mossy.

    4. Anesor


      Keep rolling along and you’ll be fine...

  14. Agreed, but some fans are weird enough to like it for the creepy, cloying feel.
  15. I had to think about this a bit, but stopping writing altogether is not the way to stop the stagnation. That only ossifies the problem and makes it even harder to start again. I think stagnation is another flavor of block. I think a writer or two that I really liked in an earlier fandom, kept reskinning the same period and setting. The writing was still good, the new leads had different issues, but the spark was either missing in the writing or the reading-repeating. If you don’t figure out why you’re in a rut, you will just repeat that cycle later in a new rut… until you find the off-ramp by luck. Some paperback writers make solid careers of a marketable rut. Stopping writing is like selling your car because you’re sick of the daily commute to work. It misses the issue with dramatic overkill. It only makes new problems, especially if you live somewhere without a good rapid transit. Is the stagnation because you keep writing the same kind of story over and over? (does it shift back to ‘a script’) Or because no noticeably different stories appeal to your muse? (you can’t force your right brain to follow your logical plans) Listen to that muse, it doesn’t speak clearly, but it gets bored in ruts. Look for fresh air in a new fandom, new genres, or even strike out into original works to sell. Those will refresh everything. The basic romance that is the core of a large portion of fanfic is a formula, a rut, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel stagnant. Pride and Prejudice are as much in the genre as Twilight, so there is a LOT of elbow room in that genre. A new penname is only useful if your fans will not be willing to accept a change in your writing. And maintaining them as separate can be a lot of work, and alienate them anyway. One writer I liked their earlier penname better, and since then they abandoned that subgenre, I’ve gradually stopped reading them and the newer ones are really in ruts. Chasing after the other pennames got too confusing and tiring. (I plan to keep only two, fanfic and original fic) If all you write are kidnapping hedgehogs and are thinking of changing but afraid your fans won’t accept your story of stopping the evil milkmaid empire, start with a smaller story to test it. Your fans may surprise you and thrive on buttermilk! (this was supposed to be a short answer but...)