National Novel Writing Month 2012 Page 32

  • TechnoHippy 22 Nov 2012 11:38:12 14,707 posts
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    I do plan, usually just a a paragraph or two about the main characters and a chapter plan with 4-5 bullet points for each chapter. Of course that plan changes often once I start wrtiting. I've added about five chapters since starting the first draft. I try to keep the plan up to date at least until the first draft is done.

    Day 21:

    No useful comments I'm afraid. It read well and left me wanting more.
  • TechnoHippy 22 Nov 2012 11:39:29 14,707 posts
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    One of my next books will be sci-fi. I'm looking forward to announcing it when I'm allowed to - assuming it doesn't fall through :-)
  • TechnoHippy 22 Nov 2012 12:32:07 14,707 posts
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    The support was good for him because of the increasing internet crime. Exposure on the Internet increased his youth support. I'll check to make sure this is clear.
  • Carbon_Altered 22 Nov 2012 13:25:58 870 posts
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    MetalDog wrote:

    Hey, @technohippy, are you a planner or does your stuff just happen to you as you go along, surprises being thrown in by the course of events as you go?

    Carbon, same question! Sometimes I feel like the only disorganised soul around here, I want chaos company =D
    A bit of initial planning for me - a few characters, world building, and maybe ideas for a set piece or two. But then I wing it. I like to have a rough direction to head in, but the characters will often lead me and I adapt on the fly. Quantity over quality is my speciality!
  • TechnoHippy 22 Nov 2012 13:48:26 14,707 posts
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    I'm similar, I like a framework that guides me forwarrds when I get stuck. But the plan has to remain flexible.
  • MetalDog 22 Nov 2012 13:51:51 24,080 posts
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    Cheers dude. Alles gut.

    It's always interesting to know who plans and how much, although, I'm not sure in the grand scheme of things whether it 'marks' stories at all, since I can rarely say with confidence who plans and who does not just from reading.

    I may be even more behind on the reading than the writing, but I didn't notice any shortage of quality in what I read of yours so far - you were doing just fine as far as I could see!
  • sunjumper 22 Nov 2012 14:43:54 3,378 posts
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    I am writing. Slowly but moving forwards. I have something of an on then off day which leads to a reduced average. Today I should have enough time to get closer to the finishing line. I also noticed that reading is actually important. It is a bit like ploughing the earth before sowing.
    Ploughshares deeply embedded in brain I give you the rest of my feedback.

    Chapter 15
    I’m not sure if that is a special talent of yours or if maybe there is some fundamental law in human nature dictating it, but Yew the old fucker is a person who (like Brock on Mars) in real life I would plot to dissolve in acid, but is incredibly amusing and bizarrely likable to watch in a story.

    All the stupid bickering is threatening Walkers life, so tension heightened.

    And Balestra’s leg. Really he is going to suffer from the get go? For no apparent reason. If I did not know you and this was the book from an anonymous writer, this would be the point where I’d roll my eyes and ask myself what was wrong with him/her.
    On a rational level I understand that the leg most probably got damaged in the explosion and that these things are not easily replaceable. But maybe he has spares? Like a running leg or something?
    Dudedette cut him some slack!

    When Balestra asks if they can get out of the Morgue tent. Why is he saying that? As a professional who does not want discussions in front of the dead, because he is freaked out (isn’t he used to worse) it is not quite clear to me.

    One thought that I am having since the stacks incident. Both Swejkowski and Balestra are marked and more sensitive to the Other. The stack looks like the perfect hunting ground for these creatures. With my foreknowledge I am very much expecting something like that appearing. Not as the main antagonist but as a complicating factor.

    A bit more of a reaction to the shot off leg would be nice. The way the scene works now you instantly move focus to something else. Awkward pause, uncomfortable glance, shrugging pr something would work a bit better I think.

    Ha! Ha! I just noticed that Heppa wise Yew is under Swejkowski. It does explain why he is so grumpy in his presence.

    “ The building was creepy, but only because of what had happened in it, the time of night and the emptiness.” Well then it isn’t really creepy at all. :-) That should be enough to creep out but the most icy blooded. Of course for Balestra there are things that are far more creepy than these things. Still I found that bit amusing.

    It is very good that you have Balaestra on the scene too. From his perspective Yew is even more of a cipher. Without Swejkowski’s sense of smell what the detective does looks even more like bullying. And I as a reader I am left wondering what really is going on. It also allows you to send of the other protagonist to search for clues and withhold for a moment the information he got. Which again leads to a lot more tension.

    I liked this chapter a lot. Again you can show of your hard earned skills at building tension from every possible starting configuration. Thus it is a joy to read this bit were your skills shine both as a normal reader as well as a fellow writer who is having a close look at how you are working your magic.


    Chapter 16

    OK what is an obs. strip. This is the second time such a thing appeared. Maybe the third but by now I have forgotten what it means.

    Good tense physical action. The bit with the cuffs and the feet was really effective. I winced in sympathetic pain.

    Of course it had to be that ear…

    Benedict. The blessed. Heh…

    Now that is an interesting conflict. I wonder what Walker has done. Or at least what Smith believes was done.

    Black to Cyan? That’s quite a step down. Again for new readers this might not hold as much information as to your old fans.

    Also Evil John is being a bit of dick to the doctor. This is possibly the window of opportunity for Walker. (wait… Johnny Walker? His childhood must have been hell…)

    Not much to say. Chapter works. Turns the thumb screws on the drama and helps with the stories over all rhythm. Well done.

    Chapter 17
    Heppa refresh is incredibly inefficient. Delayed deliver or partial refreshes would improve overall employee efficiency.

    Slow death in bath. Hmmm…

    Talk about conflict of interest. Knowing Swejkowski what he is doing is incredibly hardcore.
    You know by now I really think you might want to have at least someone talk about Swejkowski. Maybe some supers or something. He is the man who brought the law down on anyone, including his best friend, who has a work ethic that makes the Terminator look sloppy and who was involved in a mass murder, cross-company disaster where everyone went insane on another world. This does give a lot of context and help deepen the understanding on why the things that are happening here are even more momentous than they seem to be already.

    An experiment to find out which is the slowest way to kill someone? Whoever did this is so far into crazy land the he/she had probably stumbled over another hitherto unknown border.

    Again an action that is uncharacteristically antagonistic for Swejkowski. (It works though all things considered. This is an observation not a complaint. He should not behave as usual and I think you are doing a great job in showing how shaken he is without him going all ‘NOOOOOOOO’ to the camera.)

    Chapter 18

    Damn now I feel even more sorry for Swejkowski. How do you manage to use a childhood picture without it being cheesy?

    Little shriek? Very nice. :-D Although I might have gone ‘eeeek’ at that point to. I had something in the corner of my… vocal cords?

    OMG!!! He has one of those controllers? O_O

    Again a very good chapter. It is much more relaxed, easing up on the tension. But it never let’s go of it completely. The banter between the two is good and funny and several ideas that have seen the light of day in chapter before this one get reinforced.

    Looking back at all the chapters I have read today I have to say that your style is very, very consistent. I don’t see slip ups nor shifts in tone. Your characters are spot on and when they do something out of character it is for a reason. As said before you are a master of handling tension, this is something that you seem to be able to nail by now with ease. I wonder how much time and effort it took you to get this far.
    Apart from some small typos it is really hard to see how this is supposed to be a first draft and watching you write does give me a better understanding how some of the more prolific professinal writers manage to produce books at such a breezy pace, while I can’t imagine to be able to pull of a decent manuscript in under a year.
    It looks like something that was formed through a lot of effort and I have to say that it has been worth it. As always I am looking forward to read more and have to say that having several chapters at once to read does give a different perspective.

    I hope I get to read some more stuff today. But now I need to get back to writing.

    Edited by sunjumper at 14:45:14 22-11-2012
  • TechnoHippy 22 Nov 2012 15:46:57 14,707 posts
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    Chapter 34 graces us with its presence - putting me just over 37,000 words:
  • TechnoHippy 22 Nov 2012 21:24:36 14,707 posts
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    And now chapter 35 joins its fellows:
  • Carbon_Altered 22 Nov 2012 21:49:27 870 posts
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    A shorter one from me tonight

    Chapter 19
  • Carbon_Altered 22 Nov 2012 21:59:58 870 posts
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    @MetalDog - I'm up to chapter 17ish on yours. Wish I could give some constructive feedback, but it is just too damn good!

    I get all your handcuff research now. Is doing it that way round actually possible? I always thought you had to dislocate your shoulders and do it over your head. I sort of want to have a go now.

    Also, nice detail on the blindfold. Only a little thing, but I initially thought he could effectively "rub" it off on his shoulder, but the detail with the cable ties answered that in short order. It's some of the little details that really make your stories.

    I look forward to more
  • MetalDog 23 Nov 2012 00:37:12 24,080 posts
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    Short, but existing.
    Day 22

    I want to steal your word count so bad right now =D

    I gather it is possible if you're skinny and flexible enough. Hard though - certainly not possible over my womanly hips* I don't think. I've seen the over-the-head method used with chain cuffs, but couldn't find anyone doing it with the rigid cuffs, I don't think they have the range of motion required. I don't think law will be using chain cuffs much longer, the rigid ones are kind of awesome for control and can be applied one-handed.

    *fat arse

    Thank you again, dude, you're a review machine. Pom poms for your writing too *\o/*

    You're right about the medical stuff - all the googling in the world has yet to turn me into a medic, darnit.
    Balestra may have a few aches and inconveniences, but comparatively he's doing the best out of the three, chill =)

    Answers to questions that I can give:
    They all wanted to leave the morgue, Balestra was just the only one prepared to voice that want in front of the others.

    Obs strip - basic observation strip, temperature, pulse, BP, etc. I think I've only ever explained this once, in Steam =D

    It was Blue to Cyan - I took the Be down to B because Black was already differentiated with the Bk. I might change it back if it's confusing.

    You're right about a few things that I need to address before I go much further - very useful observations, I owe you beer.

    There's lots I want to fix, you're just too kind, I'm criminally prone to over-filtering, redundancies, sentences that should be shot =) I'm glad I'm consistent though, it's been hard this year to knock stuff out.

    You can finish a draft in under a year, you just need to stick at it. Go sunjumper! Go! Write like the wind!
  • sunjumper 23 Nov 2012 01:50:26 3,378 posts
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    Today was a slow but steady day for writing. Which is kind of awesome.
    Chapter four turns out to be rather more like chapter four, five, six and seven but I think I am nearly done now. So there should be a big honking update soon.

    I noticed that I have a strange flow of writing. Sometimes I need to stay on course and just keep writing and sometimes I need a break and actually do something else (on purpose not as an excuse) to come back fresh.
    And at least for me reading does actually help. If I read other peoples fiction my own stuff seems to flow much better later on. Funny that.

    Second break of the day so time for some feedback.


    Chapter 19
    I wonder, might John be insane… hmmm…
    Are you kidding that guy is an utter nutcase. And the nuts are hallucinogenic.
    This guy has the potential to out Andy, Andy. He is less of a self-contained arsehole so deep within his egos event horizon as to be irrevocably lost to this universe and more of a calculating malicious piece of shit.

    By the way looking at John’s parents you do have here some very interesting nature vs. nurture conflicts to explore. Actually it goes even deeper. John’s parents were more or less decent. Walker was back then a bit of a fucker maybe even loads of, but not on John’s level, Tish probably was not a crazy arse witch right? In the end Walker grew out of his arsehole and turned out to have been a human being all along. (How did that happen) Then we have Swejkowski who has gotten the short end of the stick and was then vigorously beaten with it. When Walker found him he was borderline retarded and pretty much useless. Yet look at him now. He is a bit emotionally awkward but pretty much one of the most decent people on the planet.
    Balestra is a nice case of all perfect in the nature department but totally shafted during the nurture round. All things considered he is one hard motherfucker.

    I think there is some food for thought there. I hope this helps you down the line.

    OK back to writing. Depending how I goes I might be able to read some more.
  • sunjumper 23 Nov 2012 03:16:30 3,378 posts
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    5199 words.

    Or Chapter 6 as I like to call them.

    Slightly over 26k. Still quite a bit behind but I have covered a lot of empty space. I feel so very slightly smug. I even like the chapter, which probably means that it's shit, but at least I seem to be overcoming the distaste I had for the story at first.

    No idea if I'll make it this year but if I don't I will go down fighting.

    Insomnia is strong but I need another break again.

    This is the perfect excuse to read some more.

    So keeping with the original order of things it’s time to return to Blerk.


    Chapter 5.3
    And you start with showing off. :-D
    What a Bladerunner moment.

    I like the next bit where the protagonist is obviously spell bound by the endless worlds in front of him forgetting for a moment that his wife has died. Not only does it work to build some emotional tension within the character, but also I as the reader feel slightly ashamed because I also went ‘Oh. Right. The wife…’

    There is another thing I like a lot. This is a father and his son. One of the more rankling bits of subtle sexism in our culture is that when children are involved it is always about them and the mother, because everyone knows that fathers are inseminating robots with no or if a crippled capacity to feel any kind of attachment towards their children.
    I really, really appreciate that here is a man who has a strong emotional bond to his son. For this I salute you.

    Alison works better now. She seems much more balanced than before where she was going from one extreme to the next.
    I do not trust her though. She is nice and helpful. And suspicious.

    I like the science bit. You refrain from going into the actual theoretical science that might make this possible, which totally saves and future proves this story. It also prevents boring everyone but the most enthusiastic physics fans to tears.
    But what I find more important is that it is all so very plausible. You built a logic framework, use that as a starting point and extrapolate from there. It looks solid and well thought out. I usually get rash and go into Hulk rages when stuff is not plausible in books.

    The bit with Allison and the little gaffe with the dead wife, does not quite work. I see what that bit is supposed to do, but somehow the feeling is not quite right. Once you come back to this part you might want to tweak it. One thing that I thought was that it was a bit strange that she apologised as if she was not affected emotionally herself.

    And indeed following that Allison does seem more upset.

    So Gladstone went insane? Or did he just leave after a breakdown? Not quite clear and I wonder why he is still alive. There is something really strange going on here.

    It all looks so neat and promising that I can’t help but wonder what on earth(s) is going on here.

    Isn’t she telling him a lot of highly classified information. I can see why she would trust him enough to confide in him though. Funnily enough I had also not thought of strip mining the other worlds despite it being rather obvious.

    They want to colonize a dead world were all sentient life suddenly vanished. This one must be on the top of the list of really not so clever ideas for dimensional travellers. Creepy.

    Also how do they know that the whole planet is dead? I assume once they deploy the anchor they can have a look around in different places? And even then it’d be hard to tell that everyone has gone.

    Good one.
    Full of information but in a good and interesting way.

    I’d love to read more but I am falling asleep in front of the monitor.

    Edited by sunjumper at 03:16:53 23-11-2012

    Edited by sunjumper at 04:18:42 23-11-2012
  • TechnoHippy 23 Nov 2012 09:38:04 14,707 posts
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    Chapter 19:

    I like the tendering process, works to add some good story before dropping into the main event (so to speak).

    Ends on a good note - hinting to what's coming next.
  • TechnoHippy 23 Nov 2012 11:00:34 14,707 posts
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    Day 22:

    Ok, not quite the direction I expected. How does it fit with the mass murder I wonder - I'm seeing a parental connection, but is there more.

    Looking forward to finding out :-)

    Edited by TechnoHippy at 11:09:26 23-11-2012

    Edited by TechnoHippy at 11:10:06 23-11-2012
  • Inertia 23 Nov 2012 11:17:27 695 posts
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    This site lets you check your writing style with other writers, by pasting in some of your own writing, and gives you a comparison to who you write like.

    And its conclusions are absolute and scientific :)
  • Carbon_Altered 23 Nov 2012 11:19:49 870 posts
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    @MetalDog - annoyingly up to dat with yours now, not enough new stuff to read. Anyway, a couple of comments. Balestra and Sway using the term "mental" and "metalist" in Walker's flat didn't quite sound right in my mind. I thought they'd use sligtly more formal terms (you can see how nit-picky I have to get to give you feedback).

    The otter and roses smell is intriguing, hinting of the wider mystery. I thought I had cracked the plot twist and that the killer is some kind of unknown brother of Sway but that wouldn't work as why would he smell a bit like Walker who isn't biologically related? Actually, thinking about it, could it be some kind of unknown child of Walker's? Maybe from a dalliance years back? Whatever it turns out to be, you've got me thinking.
  • Carbon_Altered 23 Nov 2012 11:24:40 870 posts
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    @TechnoHippy - closing in on getting up to date with you also. I don't want Sarah to like Reynolds, I want her to fall for Dan although that probably isn't what you intend. Humph.

    I think maybe in the edit you'd have a bit more about the budding relationship between Sarah and Reynolds as it feels a bit tacked on at the moment (or actually, go the other way and make it a bit more subtle). Only a minor suggestion though. The meat of the plotline is good.

    The technical descriptions are as ever really easy to follow, even the stuff about the pentacle and why it has to be there.
  • TechnoHippy 23 Nov 2012 13:17:33 14,707 posts
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    Chapter 6:

    "bacon that had slowly working his way first into the cramped storage tent " - Tense confusion in working.

    "pushing into the the forest with all its fusion powered dedication" - Reads a bit clumsy

    I like the phrase "musicians throughout time and space".

    "Adrian was surprised how easy it was to recognised the marker trees" - Tense confusion in 'recognised'.

    Loving the guitar 'battle'.

    "approach to composing, The" - Comman should be full stop?

    "Kim just puled up her eye brows" - spelling.

    The trees as amps is cool.

    I am far from an expert in music but it feels authentic. One thing that may or may not be useful for you is it a very structured form of expression, more so than other art forms, yet still maintains a subjective feel.

    “Net stop Drummerburgh.” - Next stop?
  • TechnoHippy 23 Nov 2012 13:20:04 14,707 posts
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    The budding relationship is a bit tacked on, sometime charactes get what they want - not what I've planned :-)
  • TechnoHippy 23 Nov 2012 13:23:27 14,707 posts
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    Inertia wrote:

    This site lets you check your writing style with other writers, by pasting in some of your own writing, and gives you a comparison to who you write like.

    And its conclusions are absolute and scientific :)
    Heh - It tells me something different with each different smaple :-)
  • Blerk Moderator 23 Nov 2012 13:43:16 48,227 posts
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    Thanks for the mega feedback again, very much obliged, as always!

    Been quiet the last few days but I have been cracking on, albeit a little more slowly - we've had the in-laws over and it's made finding writing time a little more tricky. Managed to break 45k last night though, so not far to go now on the word-count at least.
  • TechnoHippy 23 Nov 2012 14:35:52 14,707 posts
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    Make the in-laws watch you write, or give them earlier chapters to start proofing :-)
  • sunjumper 23 Nov 2012 14:43:21 3,378 posts
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    Many thanks for the feedback Techno!

    I am glad to hear that the music part works. The structure is there but it is hidden a bit in the narrative. If you compare D.C. to Kim you will notice that Kim is far more structured and technical than D.C. who is more of an instinctual player. For example.
  • Deleted user 23 November 2012 17:06:53
    Inertia wrote:

    This site lets you check your writing style with other writers, by pasting in some of your own writing, and gives you a comparison to who you write like.

    And its conclusions are absolute and scientific :)
    "I write like
    Chuck Palahniuk"

    But I already knew that.
  • TechnoHippy 23 Nov 2012 17:18:45 14,707 posts
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    Chapter 36 stubs its toe on arusty nail:
  • sunjumper 23 Nov 2012 17:18:59 3,378 posts
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    I. I write like Oscar Wilde?

    I'm a genius! And utterly bonkers...

    Or Arthur Conan Doyle...

    Or H.P Lovecraft


    Edited by sunjumper at 17:21:01 23-11-2012
  • Salaman 23 Nov 2012 20:32:33 23,037 posts
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    Horribly behind on all stories. I've been away for work a few days and I have my daughter over for the weekend, so that's a bit full on as well.

    Techno, just to clarify I got it right. Sarah got into massive trouble for going out on a date. Even if they guy she went on a date with hadn't tried to drug her, she'd have been in trouble just for seeing the guy right?
    And now she's basically running the same risk (if not more as she was warned the alst time) by getting friendly with Reynolds. Or do I have the wrong end of the stick.

    Also, the mention of the suicide in chapter 34 reminded me of a comment I forgot to make at the time. It seemed slightly OTT that a guy would or even could kill himself by running into a wall three times. Hats off to his dedication to off himself and save his family but wouldn't he just end up with a massive bump on his head at the first attempt and maybe a concussion at the second and third? Maybe knock himself out? Seemed a bit hard to swallow that bit.


    Chapter 35:
    “He was in 1952 in a village on the Cornish coast

    The amount of tax paid indicates he must have earned above the half a million park a year.” that sentence didn't make any sense to me but I've got a strong suspicion that's just to do with me not being familiar with the expression. Not with a typo or word omission.
  • Carbon_Altered 23 Nov 2012 22:39:51 870 posts
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    Evening people

    Chapter 20

    46k, aiming for the big five-oh during the weekend.
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