Re: Contemplations It took me several hours of watching dance videos before I determined that trying to describe a known dance would get me in trouble from readers later on. So I decided to make up my own routine and call it freestyle!
Re: Contemplations I find myself creating many things. My latest and the reason my writing has slowed is the creation of both military and civilian awards for the PLS. It's harder to do this than I thought it would be...
Re: Contemplations My story bible is now at 3,189 words and growing. I am creating the PLS Honors system so I know what I am doing when a character gets an Honor, Decoration, Medal, or Award. I have the Honors section outlined now and am moving on to the Decorations.
Re: Contemplations I suddenly find myself thankful for the time I spent as the Star Principle Herald to the Kingdom of Ansteorra in the Society for Creative Anachronism. Creating a complete set of awards and honors is a blast but it is also time-consuming. I shudder to think about how long it would take to do this if I didn't already have experience in how to do this.
Re: Contemplations Looking at my military rankings for TABA I suddenly realized that it was based on USA military rankings. Not cool for a society that has nation states on other planets!
I searched and thought, then thought some more and searched some more. In the end, I came up with my own system based on the USA template but using elements from the Indian, Chinese, UK, Australian, and USA militaries. Ranks stay almost the same but the uniform insignias changed a little bit to reflect a Solar System Society with a rich history in the past.
Egads! I have real uniforms for my TABA military now!
Re: Contemplations I am having troubles today. It is the opposite of writer's block. I have several scenes jumbled up in my head and this desire to explain story related things that have zero to do with the scene I am working on.
Re: Contemplations This morning I couldn't think! So I did some editing on my hymnbook project. The hymns are the cool part but index checking is totally boring to me. After my THIRD cup of coffee, my mind started functioning again and I was able to start writing on the TABA story again. I took a look at my story line notes and got to thinking of them as chapter headings instead of being "just notes." I wonder if that is how chapters come about. The notes seem to suggest that might be the case at least some of the time.
Re: Contemplations The idea of government intrigue in TABA is interesting. I am thinking the corruption needs to be in its infancy stages with some high-powered figures involved. The number needs to be small enough that the system isn't broken, just bent.
Re: Contemplations I have realized something today. I don't have to detail each event and scene in my story as long as there are enough "juicy tidbits" referencing what the scene accomplished to keep the reader informed.
Re: Contemplations My personal goal was 50,000 words before my Dad's birthday (June 13) and barring a complete disaster I will meet that goal easily. Shoot, the way it looks now I will make that goal before my Mom's birthday (April 5).
So the easy part is done. This part of the story is something I have thought about for years while thinking "one of these days I'll write a book about it." Now I come to the hard part because the rest of the story deals with things I just glossed over when I talked about it in the past.
The first part dealt with the how and the second part has to focus on the characters. That's a tad bit on the scary side for me and the main reason I have not tried to write the story out in the past. It is funny to discover that aspect on why I didn't try to do this before but now that I have made it this far I am not stopping until it is done (scary or not).
Re: Contemplations I wonder if the setting of a specific word count goal is one of those counter-productive things? For five months I have had the number "50,000" in front of me and it inspired me to do something every day. This morning when I actually hit that number I stopped writing! Why? Heck if I know but it is after eight o'clock at night and I am just now starting to think about continuing the story. I am setting a new word count goal, 85,000 words, which is the minimum word count Baen Publishers says they will look at. I do not hold any illusions. I know the odds are against my story. I also know that the odds are much better if I have the story written instead of just being an idea in my head...
Re: Contemplations I am actually weaving in small hints (if you know where to look) of the future conflict between the outer and inner system members of the PLS. I am discovering that this is also helping the first story even though that conflict is not the protagonist this time around!
Re: Contemplations My story bible continues to grow as I move from one major story setting into the second series of settings. LibreOffice tells me the story bible is now 13 pages long and over 3,780 words! I wonder just how big it is going to get when all is said and done ...
Re: Contemplations I read in my formatting books, to get a more accurate word count, you take the:
number of words per line (not the actual words themselves ... the number of characters per line on average, times the average number of characters in an average word ... what is the average number of characters in the majority of the words on the page/s)
number of lines per page
number of pages
This is for print publication. It's the word count you put on the first page of the MS, and what you put in your query letter. ... You even count the blank spaces per page. So, if a page has 24 lines on average, you count 24 lines on each page, even the pages that aren't finished, that only have a few lines.
Though, for myself, I only count the lines on pages that aren't finished, instead of counting all the lines that aren't there. But that's because I want to know my own personal word count, and not the word count the printed publication version will be. I also keep up with the programs word count, just to see how my results and its results differ. Actually, I keep up with all three versions.
Re: Contemplations I was worried about the complexity of my story. Especially when early "readability" scores were showing me that a person needed to be a High School Senior to make sense of what I was writing. In my mind that chops off a major target market.
Today, after I added a bit to my story, I used my B-Day present to edit the November post. Amazingly, after the edit, the readability scores changed dramatically to report:
"Your text has an average grade level of about 9. It should be easily understood by 14 to 15-year-olds."
Conclusion: Grammatical editing is well worth the time!
Re: Contemplations Jox, that sounds very complicated...
In Germany, we use a "norm page" and count characters, not words. A norm page has 60 characters x 30 lines = 1,800 characters.
So you can devide the sum of all characters (including spaces) of your manuscript by 1,800, and the result will be the number of norm pages for print. This is just an approximation, of course, but this is what publishers use to estimate print pages, cost and such.
I found that 6 characters roughly equal one word, both in German and English.
I no longer bother with all this. It doesn't matter for ebooks, and not really for print, either, with PoD available.
Rick: Well done! (What was your birthday present?)
Re: Contemplations Active voice moves the story, and passive voice is just wordy. I am not sure I agree with that. The active voice might advance the story but figuring out how to change a sentence from passive to active is tough and time-consuming at times.
Say I write 100 words in the story. I call that progress. Now say the first three words indicate a passive voice and it takes me an hour to figure out how to change that to the active voice. Have I moved the story or spent way to much time trying to satisfy a writing rule?