marycatelli: (Default)
When opting for stirring up a story with Chandler's rule, I always have to decide what, exactly, is the man coming through the door with a gun in his hand.

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marycatelli: (Default)
Recently read something that recommended flash fiction for practice writing.  It's so short that you can do it easily. . . .

Well, maybe.

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Have been philosophically contemplating epics and fantasy and the TriWizard Tournament. . .

One problem with epic fantasy (or SF) is that, unlike an epic tale of historical fiction, you can't do against the backdrop of a known epic event. An epic tale of WWII would probably concentrate on as few characters as the main ones of The Lord of the Rings, but taking the background more of less as read.
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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Dickens wrote to an aspiring writer that serials had an art of their own, on top of general writing skills.  The size of the installments and the breaks between them were crucial to it.
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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Was thinking of series and their notoriously interminable sprawls. . . the sort that Tom Simon wrote so eloquently about in Zeno's mountains.

And which Harry Potter did not turn into, however fat the later volumes became.

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Was pondering more the characters of Harry Potter, besides Ron without a distinguishing trait -- or, for that matter, a subplot, which is a good way of giving them more life.
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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Problems with recasting fairy tales:  they are almost always told omnisciently.

Unless you can pull that off -- harder in a novel than a tale -- you need to tell it from a point of view that will cover all the info.

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marycatelli: (East of the Sun)
There are three sorts of fairy tales -- or fairy tale episodes, if they are stuck together -- based on where the characters are in relation to their families.
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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Blame the panel title on Neil Gaiman, who first wrote it to the fans, and to whomever decided it would be a good title -- but it's about fannish reactions to authors.  And what's feeding them.

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NaNoWriMo !

Dec. 1st, 2013 12:27 am
marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Done, done, done!  Got it up to 50,000 words!  With two minutes to spare, even!

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
sigh

A story that had died in the writing is making noises like a story that wants me to start writing it again.  It's even given me a clear notion what went wrong.

Well, semi-clear.
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marycatelli: (Default)
grumble grumble grouse grouse

It's impossible, when revising, to entirely forget that the story's length will be going up or down with just about every line that's touched.  Particularly if it's at an awkward length.
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marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
Tom Simon is moving his blog over to Bondwine Books.  Including some rewrites of old posts inspired by a meme, "Ten things I hate in a book".
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Some times when you revise you discover surprises beside those that the gremlins left -- tearing up your deathless prose and turning it into something dead, leaden, and lifeless.  Some times the story's shape is not what you half remembered.

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Less than a week after I started to ponder the question, I have a definitive answer to the question of how to outline a fix-up-like novel.

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and promptly treats it like a cat toy.  Which, to be sure, is perhaps less annoying that when she takes a shine to an idea and thinks it a precious and wonderful thing. . . .

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marycatelli: (Strawberries)
[livejournal.com profile] jordan179 posted an index, which brought me back to this essay and inspired some reflections on it.  And Lensmen, and Asimov's Foundation series -- because space opera has another problem with great sweeping galaxy- (or cosmos-) wide events.

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marycatelli: (Default)
A story has a natural length, and hacking or stretching it past those limits distorts it -- not to its benefit.

Some story lengths are very hard to sell.

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