Online Editing Aids

This forum is intended for our members to discuss issues related to authoring.
Forum rules
-Topics related to authoring are encouraged in this forum.
-Original works created by our members are desirable.
-The general Code of Conduct rules apply to this forum.
-Be prepared to show authorization to publish copyrighted content.

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Kellemora » 01 Nov 2013, 10:11

Excellent explanation of how things work Icey.

Even if we did learn some things in skewl, what we learned is either useless for our particular career choices, or we forgot all of it, between the time we learned it, and the time we need to know it.

I've had a few co-workers laugh at me, when they found out by snooping through employee records, that I had 18 years of college and no degree in anything.
They quit laughing when I was promoted to engineering.
They cried when they realized, I had no student loans, and I took many of the same classes they did.
For each credit hour they paid like 1,300 bucks for, getting loans. I only paid 13 dollars for the same class, same teacher.
The only difference between us, they had a piece of paper showing they held a degree.
All I had was a receipt showing I paid for the class, and an attendance record proving I was there.
In other words, both of us had some type of paper as proof. I had receipts, they had a degree.
But when it came to taking the tests to get the promotion, I attended the classes again as a refresher, before taking the tests. They relied on what they remembered from when the got their degree.

Unfortunately, a lot of companies want to see that piece of paper that says Degree on it, whether or not you know how to do the job or not. My mom's dad lost his job, because of a new degree only policy the company (or in this case, the city) required. Within a month after firing him. They came BEGGING at his door to come back and fix the MESS the Degreed employees made of the place. At first he turned them down flat. They kept upping the fee for him to come back. He finally agreed to come in only long enough to teach those who were supposed to know what they were doing, how to test and measure the amount of chemicals required to keep the cities water supplies safe.

I had found myself in a similar situation, only it didn't have anything to do with kowledge degrees. Had more to do with the bullheadedness of an employer. To make matters more tense, I went to work for this man as a favor to him, when he was in a bind. We had an agreement, that one aspect of the business would be handled another person, and I would handle all the rest of the work. One person could not possibly do both jobs and be able to keep up with everything that needed to be done.
Because we are talking about live animals here, the other side of the job. And buildings, machinery and maintenance as the other side of the job. They are two totally different types of jobs. One in Animal Husbandry, the other in Mechanical Engineering. He agreed I would not have to work on the animals side of the fence, as he already had people working that end of the business. I went to work for him, by myself on my side of the fence. He promised me two helpers from day one.
All the years I knew him, he kept three employees on the Animal side, and four on the Maintenance and Construction side.
Realize, when I went to help him, he had three on the Animal side, and NO ONE on the Mechanical side. He was in dire straits.
I worked my tail to the bone to get everything back in tip-top shape, as fast as possible, by myself. He never hired any helpers to work with me. On the Animals side, one employee quit, then another, leaving only one to do the work.
I was fairly well caught up with my work, because of the way I did things. I always watched for possible problems and addressed them before the problem became worse.
So I helped out on the Animal side on the days the last worker was sick, or late getting to work. The more I helped him, the more often he showed up late. My boss knew I was handling the morning feeding, plus keeping up with my own work. So he canned the guy. I asked him daily for over six months to hire somebody for that job. He kept saying he's taking interviews.
The last two months, I had to get up in the dark, and work until close to 10 at night, just to keep things running properly. Some general maintenance I had to push aside, not enough hours in the day.
I finally gave him two weeks notice to hire at least a feed boy, to bring in the livestock and get them fed in the morning. Two weeks later, when no one showed up for work, after I fed the animals, I left, after never having missed a single day of work.
I drove by around 11am to see if they were turned back out to pasture. They were, so I drove on by.
I worry about the animals, so I drove by the following morning. All the animals were in their stalls and fed. Great, he hired someone, finally. Or he may have handled the morning feeding himself. Since I saw no car in the drives.
I drove by again around two in the afternoon and saw seven cars in the drive, and just as many workers milling around the place.
This went on for an entire week. Seven cars and seven workers, yet I never saw anything being accomplished. They were only doing the bare minimums necessary to keep the place going. By the end of the week, I saw things beginning to break, not being repaired, and other things that will get badly damaged if the minor things were not fixed and soon.

I landed another job, so did not do another drive-by for nearly three weeks. There were only three vehicles there, one being a larger box van I recognized. It belonged to the manager of another ranch down the road. The place was in shambles, in that short of time period. None of the fences were working, doors were hanging off the hinges, the fields not mowed, and an entire range was closed, due to a failed grain bin.
I knew this manager ate at a certain restaurant every day at a certain time, and knew he would not deviate from his lifelong schedule. Sure enough, he was there. I stopped to talk to him. He was hired to manage the ranch, and offered all the things I was promised and never got. Only in his case, he was getting all but one of them. Because it was one he didn't need or want.
He was surprised I quit, since I planned on making that my career. Needless to say, I told him of all that transpired, leading up to the reason I left. And mentioned I saw seven cars up there, daily, for several weeks. He laughed and said they sure made a mess of things. It will take close to a year to get everything back in order, and not as well as I handled things.
He said, Mr. O. gave him the authority to hire the necessary workers and to sub-contract out work. And dig this, to buy a used pick-up truck to replace the one that broke down right after I started working there. I was using my own vehicles in the fields.
I went by again a couple of months later. This time I stopped in. By my standards, the place was still a shambles, but at least everything was working. Mr. O. changed the deal on him also. He now was only allowed two helpers and no more sub-contracting of major work out. Just like Mr. O. did to me, he was having them straighten out bent rusty nails, rather than buying new ones. The time to do that is more expensive than buying new nails. And whatever you use them on, won't hold up either. He was not happy at all with the way things were turning out. Only he was worse off than I was, he can't quit, he agreed to a five year contract, which was part of the deal of him leaving the other ranch to come here.

I guess it goes without saying that at the end of that five years, he was long gone and working at well-maintained professional stables.

The ranch is still there, taken over by the owners sons. No longer an operating ranch, other than for their personal pleasure.
Most of the older buildings were torn down, and in some cases, metal buildings put in their place. One younger kid was all I saw, keeping the fence rows clean, even if the fields didn't get mowed often. No other activity to speak of.

TTUL
Gary
User avatar
Kellemora
Brainiac Class Poster
Brainiac Class Poster
 
Posts: 3389
Joined: 07 Jul 2012, 18:52
Location: From St. Louis, current Knoxville, TN

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Ice.Maiden » 01 Nov 2013, 12:35

You see, this's a perfect example of a bad employer and when folk lose respect for each other, it's definitely time to bow out. You made the right move Gary, but you can give yourself a pat on the back for what you achieved. Your ex. boss might've taken advantage of your hard work and good nature, but I bet he regretted losing you. I hope the man's sons run the ranch better than he did, even if it IS only for themselves now.

I've said before, but we have quite an elderly employee who I feel'd almost work here for nothing! He has no paper qualifications, but what he doesn't know about gardening, animals and DIY stuff's no one's business. He's an old Yorkshireman, and takes no prisoners. He's blunt, grumpy (ha ha ha) but always there, and no one can tell him how to get a job done. You want something doing - George's there - and he's taken it upon himself to act as all sorts. He even has a room in the house so that if he finishes late at night, he can retire to it without trundling home. I'll miss his presence when he goes, and I hope it's not for many more years yet.
User avatar
Ice.Maiden
Golden Poster
Golden Poster
 
Posts: 70045
Joined: 14 Aug 2009, 23:31
Location: Peak District

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Kellemora » 02 Nov 2013, 10:26

Almost sounded like you were talking about my grandfather.
Besides working a full-time job during the day. He maintained the property for a wealthy family and all of their polo ponies.
He was taken advantage of by them, his entire life!
User avatar
Kellemora
Brainiac Class Poster
Brainiac Class Poster
 
Posts: 3389
Joined: 07 Jul 2012, 18:52
Location: From St. Louis, current Knoxville, TN

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Ice.Maiden » 03 Nov 2013, 07:37

Awww!!!

We don't take advantage of anyone who works for us, because we see it like this; if you treat people well, they're going to enjoy doing their work, and therefore make a better job of it. We pay over the odds, always remember birthdays and Christmases, and although there's an "us and them" unspoken rule, we try to treat everyone as a friend. I'm better at that than my husband is, tbh, but they all know that if they need to talk about something with us, we listen. It works well, and being hands-on yourself doesn't hurt. Better to lead by example than stand there dictating or making impossible demands.
User avatar
Ice.Maiden
Golden Poster
Golden Poster
 
Posts: 70045
Joined: 14 Aug 2009, 23:31
Location: Peak District

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Kellemora » 04 Nov 2013, 11:29

Our family business was like that. Many of our employees became family, they were with us so long. And also were invited to come to many of our private family functions, like they were family.
Perhaps that is why our employees stayed with us from teenage to beyond retirement.

I wasn't saying my other grandpa's boss was bad to him. It's just that he took too many advantages he shouldn't have.
Grandpa was trustworthy, to get all jobs done and truly cared about the animals.
It was just an accumulation of little things, that "he" felt was part of the job, which were not.
This grandpa was poor. So for him to lay out the money to pay the horse shoer, the vets and buy the many little things he bought to maintain the place, always left him short, not enough to put a full dinner on the table.
He did get paid back, but never on a timely basis. He didn't mind paying for these things, but he shouldn't have to wait for six months or a year to get paid back.
Sure, the little things, five or ten bucks here or there, he didn't mind waiting a whole year, so he had it all at once for Christmas. But the larger expenses, his boss would drag his feet, sometimes for many months before refunding him.
And I saw how this put him in a serious bind more than once. Especially when things piled up back to back.
He did the same thing to me when I was working there as well. Only in my case, knowing how he was, I never paid money out of my own pocket. However, I did use much of my own equipment, including my car as a truck around the place. To haul things like grain and hay to the fields, because the truck didn't run. A job I was not supposed to be doing in the first place.

If he would have treated me right, and did the things he promised to do. I would probably still be there today, working for his boys now. It would not have conflicted with my day job either. His loss.

I finished up Day 3 of NaNoWriMo with 6700 total words so far.

TTUL
Gary
User avatar
Kellemora
Brainiac Class Poster
Brainiac Class Poster
 
Posts: 3389
Joined: 07 Jul 2012, 18:52
Location: From St. Louis, current Knoxville, TN

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Ice.Maiden » 04 Nov 2013, 13:48

You're a good man Gary, and it WAS that guy's loss.

Say - NaNoWriMo's going quite well isn't it!! : )
User avatar
Ice.Maiden
Golden Poster
Golden Poster
 
Posts: 70045
Joined: 14 Aug 2009, 23:31
Location: Peak District

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Kellemora » 05 Nov 2013, 09:26

I'm not as far ahead in NaNo as I wanted to be.
Closed day 4 at just over 9200 total words.
That's just barely above the minimum levels to win.
I have a wedding to attend on the 9th, a couple of other appointments, and then Thanksgiving.
So I need to be at least a whole day ahead before each of them roll around.
Nevertheless, I'm doing quite well, at least I finished my outline now and know where the story is heading.
I just don't know yet how I'm going to handle the ending.
What I write as deviations from my outline in the middle, could possibly change the ending considerably.
TTUL
Gary
User avatar
Kellemora
Brainiac Class Poster
Brainiac Class Poster
 
Posts: 3389
Joined: 07 Jul 2012, 18:52
Location: From St. Louis, current Knoxville, TN

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Ice.Maiden » 05 Nov 2013, 10:12

Well good luck with it! You might surprise yourself and come up with a spectacular ending that hasn't come to you yet. Even if you DON'T win, the fun's been in trying. Keep at it, when you can.
User avatar
Ice.Maiden
Golden Poster
Golden Poster
 
Posts: 70045
Joined: 14 Aug 2009, 23:31
Location: Peak District

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Kellemora » 06 Nov 2013, 10:20

In NaNoWriMo, a Win is simply crossing 50k words in 30 days.

Although I shunned doing it all these years.
Because I felt it was stupid to write without editing as you go.
Not taking the time to think out how you wanted to word a line before writing it.

My day writing job taught me many things.
No matter what or how we write, it is going to get changed, edited, rewritten and edited again.
Getting the entire concept and throughline down on paper, before you forget it is important.
Get the whole story down fast, you go back to reread edit or make changes later.

This is one of the reasons our company pops up once a month with the 50 topics in 60 minutes quizzes.
You don't have time to consider the best way of writing it, you must get each topic down on paper in under 1 minute.
So basically, the second you see the topic, you write the first thing that comes to mind.

The thing that helped me most, compared to the way I wrote a few decades ago.
Was a little trick another author taught to me.
You first need to know your story in your head, in order to tell it.
As a writer, you will think of your story and make an outline, study the outline and then write.
However, the trick is to tell the story as a storyteller. And how do you do that?

Writing is a whole lot different than story telling.
Picture this. You are on your way to take your kids to school, you can't be late.
You stop to get gas, and one of your childhood chums is gassing up on the other side of the pump.
They ask who you married, about your kids, and what you've done since you last met.
You don't have to make this story up, you already know your life over the past decade.
You have exactly two minutes to tell this person your last ten years events.
You don't think, you just rattle it off as fast as you can. So you can squeeze everything in.
You don't expound, because you don't have time. You stick to the major points.
You keep the story moving, and relate it to them before you have to scoot.

That is how you tell a story. It is how we write our first rough draft.
Getting all the main topics down, in order (hopefully), and reaching the end of the story.
As a writer, you can then go back and polish the details, expound on some areas and cut areas of lesser importance.

Once I learned, this is what NaNoWriMo is all about, getting the story down on paper, fast.
I finally saw the importance of what they are teaching.
Whether you are a long time writer, or a brand new writer.
Unless you can get your story down on paper, you have nothing to work with, nothing to edit.

Editing as you write, although we all do it to some extent.
Takes too much time, and gives you way too much thinking time.
This causes you to change gears too often when writing.
You never end up where you intended, when you started writing.

Now although I don't know HOW I'm going to write the ending of my NaNo WIP.
I know WHAT I want to take place and when.

I go off on tangents when writing, we all do. But rather than stop when I realize it. I keep going to see where it will carry me. Sure, it will be cut from the present story, but may work for another story. It gets cut and filed under Storyline Concepts. Or under Cut Scenes, saved to use somewhere else. Or to build a whole new story from.

Changing the topic slightly.
I have a whole drawer full of characters I've dreamed up.
In order to get to know these characters, I sit down and write their biography.
I never know when I sit down, what will end up on the page.
Often, after writing their bio, I realize they cannot possibly work in the story I intended them for.
So I pick another character name and start writing a bio about them.
Do this often enough, and you not only learn the characters, but which stories they will work well in, when needed.

One of the guys I work with, does the same thing, only he does not know their names when he starts.
He surfs the web and copies a photo of an interesting person. And places it in a file for several months.
As he is writing his story, he pictures in his head what the person looks like, then hunts through his file for that image.
With the image in hand, he too, sits down and writes a bio, based on the image.
Somewhere along the line, while writing, the perfect name for that character pops into his head.
He has the advantage of knowing what the character looks like, before he writes what they look like.
I may try that approach myself as I have time to add to my folder of character bios.

TTUL
Gary
User avatar
Kellemora
Brainiac Class Poster
Brainiac Class Poster
 
Posts: 3389
Joined: 07 Jul 2012, 18:52
Location: From St. Louis, current Knoxville, TN

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Ice.Maiden » 06 Nov 2013, 10:42

Brilliant - but it sounds like an awful lot of work?

If I get an idea for a story - we'll say a shortish one, because those're what I've been doing over the past few years - it's not just the story itself, but I "see" my characters almost immediately, plus visualise them in whatever setting's appropriate at whichever point in the story. I don't have to pay much attention to this, because what they look like, names, professions, etc., seem to arrive with amazing speed, and I don't forget them.

I have a story tucked away which I wrote when I was somewhere between 7-8. The characters are still there in my mind, and the story filled full-scap pages of a book. My teacher at the time called my parents in, and said it was amazing, and that I should become a writer. Well I haven't - yet - apart from small things which've gone into a few magazines, but I have an ability to visualise a story from beginning to end, and so it's just a matter of filling it in and making it interesting by way of good descriptions. I try t make sure that the first few lines make an impact on the reader, and I like my endings to be good. "Good" usually means something far removed from what the reader expects. I like the element of surprise, but it also means that in MY case, I DO know that I'm going to end up where I intended, because I have it all mapped out beforehand.

Anyway, thanks for explaining about NaNoWriMo. By the sound of things, you're doing alright with it, but I doubt I could manage anything like that. I automatically edit as I'm going along, and although I might decide to add another paragraph along the way, it just spills out as I think it, and my first attempts are always the best. Editing afterwards seems to spoil the flow, to me.
User avatar
Ice.Maiden
Golden Poster
Golden Poster
 
Posts: 70045
Joined: 14 Aug 2009, 23:31
Location: Peak District

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby kg » 06 Nov 2013, 23:09


Kellemora wrote:In NaNoWriMo, a Win is simply crossing 50k words in 30 days.


That brought starting "The Chronicles" a couple of years ago to mind. I could have easily won NaNoWriMo that year...twice! I think it took me around two months to initially write the chapters, and it ended up around 130k words. It was terrible...full of grammatical errors and what Hooch and I lovingly called, "Harlequinisms," but the basis of the story was written down in that time period.

Kellemora wrote:No matter what or how we write, it is going to get changed, edited, rewritten and edited again.


You got that right! Two months to write it, and two years later, it still needs some editing!

Kellemora wrote:Getting the entire concept and throughline down on paper, before you forget it is important.
Get the whole story down fast, you go back to reread edit or make changes later.


Which is how I started writing, and am still writing. I don't know...it seems to work for me, much better than outlining.

Kellemora wrote:I have a whole drawer full of characters I've dreamed up.
In order to get to know these characters, I sit down and write their biography.
I never know when I sit down, what will end up on the page.
Often, after writing their bio, I realize they cannot possibly work in the story I intended them for.
So I pick another character name and start writing a bio about them.
Do this often enough, and you not only learn the characters, but which stories they will work well in, when needed.


An interesting procedure, but I'm not sure it would work for me. When I conceive of a character, that character's "characteristics" form fairly quickly in my mind. I literally develop that character into the story, rather than going through a list of characters I've already developed to see who might fit.

Kellemora wrote:One of the guys I work with, does the same thing, only he does not know their names when he starts.
He surfs the web and copies a photo of an interesting person. And places it in a file for several months.
As he is writing his story, he pictures in his head what the person looks like, then hunts through his file for that image.
With the image in hand, he too, sits down and writes a bio, based on the image.
Somewhere along the line, while writing, the perfect name for that character pops into his head.


That sounds more workable to me, though I'm not very prone to physical descriptions of my characters. When I read, a picture of the character develops in my mind, anyway. No amount of description by the author can change that image, so I don't bother too much with describing mine.

Perhaps I'm in error. I know that my mind operates unconventionally, and others might have problems with such visualizations. Not having a description of the individual might be a turn-off to such people, which is something I don't want to happen.
User avatar
kg
Honored 10k Club Member
Honored 10k Club Member
 
Posts: 10656
Joined: 06 Sep 2007, 23:45
Location: Godfrey, IL.

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Ice.Maiden » 07 Nov 2013, 09:53

May I just step in here Glenn, and reply to what you said about not being very prone to physical descriptions of your characters?

Readers always form their own visualisations, but at the same time, I found your dragon descriptions very good. You might not put it straight down in one paragraph, sort of thing, but as one reads on, you might've got the idea about their eyes, their scaly wings or whatever, and then further characteristics appear, which complete the picture.

I also think that by way of mentioning a character's past and present activities, and by the way they speak, that it brings to mind ideas of what they look like. It could be something as simple as someone resting their glasses on the table in front of them. That tells us that this person wears them, at least some of the time, but without the need to expand on that. There are different ways of bringing a character to life.

With me, I "see" each character from the start. Their personalities might develop as I write, but their ages, what they look like and what they might wear or do for a living's already there in my mind before I mention them. Depending on their importance to the storyline, I'll embellish on these facts where necessary, and then it's up to the reader to interpret each character as they do.

Both you and Gary have different writing styles, but you both write enough for me to form pictures in my mind.
User avatar
Ice.Maiden
Golden Poster
Golden Poster
 
Posts: 70045
Joined: 14 Aug 2009, 23:31
Location: Peak District

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Kellemora » 07 Nov 2013, 10:57

Because of how we do things at work. I have changed considerably in how I do things over these past five or six years.
Like Icey, I used to ponder over a single paragraph, editing and rewriting it, until I had it just right. Then move on to the next.
This worked well for short stories, newspaper columns and essays.
But as I began writing longer novels. I would first write it as a short story or a series of short stories. Then go back and build an outline, or actually a list of chapters, then fill in the details.
Writing as a job for a publisher along with several other writers is a whole different ball game.
We never see all of anything, and each of us works in small sections.
So it is imperative that we maintain extensive character and scene sketches.
Mainly so we don't repeat descriptions or get events out of their timeline.
In-house writing is nothing like freelancing or ghost writing, although technically we are all ghost writers, and get no credit for our work, other than a paycheck.
Even when I'm sub-contracted through work to work directly with an author, I only see perhaps one chapter of their entire works. Or am asked to build another plotline that will be added throughout the work later, by the author himself or by rewriters.

Technically, I do not go to my file drawer and look for a character I've done a bio on that fits my story.
Normally, I already know who the characters will be, and what they will look like.
But before I sit down to write the story, I will write a bio for each character and then place it in my file drawer.
After writing their bio, many of them do not fit in the story the way I first envisioned. They may or may not contribute to the story. If they just don't fit, I don't use them. Or if I'm writing a character bio and realize I've done one like it, I check the drawer to find that person. Saves a lot of rewriting. Although I may change things about that character.

On my main series novels, because I am covering such a long time span, 175 years. I must maintain genealogies for everyone and everything, including pets, cars, buildings, how areas in the scenes change as time goes on.
Farmers fields become subdivisions, or factories or the town grows to take over the land for shops and stores.
These structures age, get damaged, get repaired, upgraded or razed, and something else takes their place.
So there is one heck of a lot of bookwork and timelines to keep track of.
Which all take more time than the writing itself.

Now, to give you an idea of how crazy this can become. Add a dozen other writers to the soup, each of them working on the same novel, in different places in the same novel. And the timelines must remain accurate, the scenes flow properly, and the characters change over time and become almost like different people, from their experiences.

Now you know why I'm Meshugenah!

TTUL
Gary
User avatar
Kellemora
Brainiac Class Poster
Brainiac Class Poster
 
Posts: 3389
Joined: 07 Jul 2012, 18:52
Location: From St. Louis, current Knoxville, TN

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Ice.Maiden » 07 Nov 2013, 14:29

LOOL! I had to look that up, and I don't think you're strange or eccentric at all. What a good word though!! : )

Yes, I can see that things are different in your job, than they might be when you're writing at home, sort of thing, but I'd so hate to have a dozen or so writers touch my work! Good grief. I don't know how you all keep the flow!

Your book spanning 175 years MUST be quite difficult, in that you have to remember who was related to who, or what property passed on to which person and so forth. 175 years's quite a long time to summarize quickly - but could be done more rapidly if you were writing complete fiction, because you could skip through time by putting something like: "Twenty years later, the hardware store no longer stood, and the house at the bottom of the street'd passed into the hands of the Smiths', newcomers to Lakeville ...." Totally off the top of my head, but you see the sort of thing I mean. Big chunks of time could be erased, and the readers'd understand that the old hardware store now ceased to exist, but if you're writing as factual and historical, then obviously you need to put more into it .... or DO you? You could crop 50 years away, by saying: "By 1920 (example), the town no longer resembled the place which'd stood 40 years earlier ...." but of course, it depends on the point of your novel. Writing about the history of an area can take pages and pages!! I think it's commendable that you're undertaking such a monumental task (no pun intended!). : )

I'd love to read a sample of that work one day Gary. Sounds interesting. I know I've said this before though, but from what little knowledge I have of how you write, I'd say that humour's your forté. Some of the examples you've given, when you've regaled tales from the past've had me in stitches - and I mean that in a very good way.

Whatever you do, I'm sure that you get great pleasure from your writing. What can be better than that?
User avatar
Ice.Maiden
Golden Poster
Golden Poster
 
Posts: 70045
Joined: 14 Aug 2009, 23:31
Location: Peak District

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Kellemora » 08 Nov 2013, 12:09

Yes I do enjoy writing. Unfortunately, I have tried my hand at humor. I was a comedy musician for a number of years. But getting it across in writing is probably the hardest thing to do.

My RF Series will cover several volumes. I'm only spanning about ten to twenty years between each one.
In fact. My first novel, only spanned two years, before I went into rewrite.

I'm going to give a short example of why we have to maintain such detailed sketches even on buildings.
Think of a western scene. Gunsmoke is a good example. Or Mayberry RFD is newer for the setting.
A gunslinger, or crook passes through town. He shoots at someone and misses.
The bullet gets lodged in the door frame of Floyds Barber Shop.
A detective may or may not dig the bullet out right away.

The Timeline, especially if on a TV screen, if you want to keep it accurate.
No shows before the bullet hole was in the doorframe, can show the bullet hole.
No shows after the bullet hole was made, can appear without the bullet hole.
Until the detective digs out the bullet making the hole larger.
Then the larger hole must appear in the scenes.
Until Floyd gets out some spackle and fills the hole.
Then you will see spackle until he repaints the doorframe.
Even after he repaints the doorframe, if the story continues long enough, paint deteriorates.
The old paint may peel and chip. It may or may not chip off the spackled area first.
In fact, the paint may cling tighter to the spackled area, because it is a better bond to the paint.
Assuming the detective did not take out the bullet and it remained in the doorframe.
When the building is razed, the doorframe removed, the bullet could still be lodged in the superstructure framing behind the door molding.
On a TV show, little nuances are more visual. Like when Lorne Green on Bonanza was wearing a digital watch, hi hi...
Or a jet could be seen in the sky in and 1800's movie setting.

But when you are writing books, especially where events take place that can alter the scene.
Each of these details must be recorded and the timeline maintained.
You don't want a character going to a dentist to get a filling, when a few chapters earlier, he had his false teeth in a glass on the bathroom sink.

Most books cover a very short time period, sometimes less than a day. But the timeline is still very important.
You don't want Aunt Hilda visiting her husband in the hospital, and talking with him about going ahead and getting the operation, two hours after he was already declared dead, and she made arrangements for the funeral parlor to pick him up.

I've seen these kinds of goofs in many of the books I've read.
The author forgot he already proved the characters alibi was solid as a rock.
Then near the end of the book, this same character turns out to be the purpetraitor.
Without breaking the previously stated rock solid alibi.
Like he slipped out of prison and back in again. Not likely.

Although I did like how one author managed to pull off an ending.
The killer was on stage over 500 miles away at the time of the shooting.
In front of an audience of over 1000 people.
He could not possibly have been there to pull the trigger. Or did he pull the trigger?
I don't like books with fancy electronic gadgets, like using a cell phone or some other device to set something off.
But this author did it without electronics, using only common mechanical devices.
Think more like a hand cranked Jack in the Box.
The person who was killed, works at a large desk. Like most folks, he keeps his writing implements in the center drawer.
Each morning he unlocks and opens the drawer to take out his special expensive pens or whatever.
At lunch and at night, he places them back into the drawer and locks it.
That's four times a day, he opens and closes the locked drawer.
Before and after lunch the drawer is opened and closed.
The killer wants him shot on the third day after he leaves.
Since he is setting the mechanism to pull the trigger at night.
He needs the drawer to be opened and closed eleven times.
This would mean, if all works well, the man at the desk will be killed after he returns from lunch.
He is always alone in the house after lunch.
And on the day in question, meets with a colleague for dinner.
This gives time for the killer to return to the crime scene and remove his mechanism, before the colleague goes to check on him, finding him dead.
Naturally, the coroner acurately determines the time of death. (Grammarly did not catch I spelled accurately wrong).
This makes the killer have a solid alibi.
However, the sharp detective figures it out.
And after knowing how it was done, although the killer disposed of the components in the lake.
He left fingerprints in places the device was attached, places they couldn't have got there any other way.

I need to get back to work now.
Have a Great Day!

TTUL
Gary
User avatar
Kellemora
Brainiac Class Poster
Brainiac Class Poster
 
Posts: 3389
Joined: 07 Jul 2012, 18:52
Location: From St. Louis, current Knoxville, TN

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Ice.Maiden » 08 Nov 2013, 14:50

Very clever! I like it - but sorry to say, I've never seen Bonanza or Mayberry RFD. Even so, I grasped the points you were making, and about a bullet getting lodged in a door, etc. Yes, you have to keep on the ball with the finer points, and I agree that many faux pas've been made on TV and film. I spotted one myself when watching something supposedly historical. For a couple of seconds, you could discern modern houses in the distance! Ha ha ha. It's the same when the continuity people drop clangers. I've noticed actresses wearing different earrings or hair hanging differently from the last shot, for example, when the shots of them were supposed to've been during conversation which lasted a couple of minutes or so. That's poor, and viewers DO notice these things but pass them off as another scene emerges.

By the way, it doesn't matter about any grammar mistakes Gary. I understand exactly what you're saying, and we can all make them. I don't use a spell check or anything, so I probably make more than most!

Going back to your comedy/music routine, I can imagine you to've been good at it. I think you underestimate yourself slightly when you say that getting it down in words's harder. It probably is, and yet, as you often do on this site, you've made than myself chuckle at some of your exploits or other tales, and after all, whether written or spoken, it IS the way a person tells 'em! Some people have the knack, and I think you're one of them. Everyone has a different sense of humour - or the ridiculous. I think I fall into the latter category, but since I find your stories funny, I bet loads of other people would as well.

Still, writers write as they see fit. If you're more comfortable with the type of story that's going to span 175 years, then fair play to you. I hope it does well.
User avatar
Ice.Maiden
Golden Poster
Golden Poster
 
Posts: 70045
Joined: 14 Aug 2009, 23:31
Location: Peak District

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Kellemora » 09 Nov 2013, 12:37

Hi Icey

Although it was several years between the days I wrote teen novels, and when I was asked to come help out at another publishers. Most of my work was not writing writing. You remember me talking about the many lines of MRU's I used to churn out. But that was not the reason they kept me around.

However, from being there for over seven years now. I've picked up one heck of a lot of information, from working in the various departments, and chatting with in-house employees.
I could, for the first time in my life, see how books are manufactured, more so than being written. The probably didn't make any sense. In-house books are not written, they are compiled from tons of data from every field imaginable. Then given a storyline to fit the data. And rewritten several times, keeping the data in place, and building a story around that data.

On the outside, every person you talk to, has managed to do well a different way.
Ray Bradbury got his start doing one short story after another. As he says, you can't write 50 bad ones in a row. One will be a winner. But the point is, you learn from writing bad stuff, what not to do, and eventually, like a musician, you get better, more articulated and make less errors.
Then you can begin to tackle longer works until you get up to novel length or epics.

I'm taking part of my cue from the TV industry. Not the movie industry.
Stand alone shows don't cut it. How many can you think of on TV? If the answer is NONE, I agree.
Everything on TV is a Series. People tune into series shows RELIGIOUSLY. There is something for everyone.
Even if you don't like westerns, Bonanza captured millions of viewers, because it was different. More like a sitcom than a western.
Right now, almost all the series shows on TV have to do with Crime/Drama.
I have not seen a true Mystery series for a few years now.

In books, besides the sex novels, regardless of whether they are classified as Mystery or Historical, most are still some form of Crime or a Mystery, set in a KNOWN Historical Setting. And they try to keep the Setting so perfectly accurate, they lose pace in the story, over describing the background.

I spent over three years, designing how I was going to build my series. Taking a little from each worn out venue, and combining them into something new and fresh.

I didn't want it to be just a history book, nor just use a known historical setting, and I wanted something important going on, that could only grow over time. Thus the birth and growth of the town the worlds largest detective agency starts and grows in, until it becomes internationally famous.
But even more than that. I wanted a BROAD setting, covering many periods of time. With many different types of activities going on. A series that would run through the historical growth to modern times, and into the Mystery running it's span as the detective agency reaches its peak. From there any author in the world could use the Setting, during any period, and simply write Episodes within that timeline range.

How easy would it be for you to write a novel, based on something already popular. Like your favorite TV show, where the setting, characters and flavor of the story is already embedded in peoples minds?

That is my ultimate goal. Whether I achieve it or not remains to be seen. I may not live long enough to even come close to what my overall idea encompasses. But I'll try to "git er done."

Oh, my comedy routine took years to develop and hone. I watched what folks laughed at, and what they boo'ed.
Left out the boo's and used the laughs. But kept pace with what was in the daily news also.

If I did my skit today. It would go way over the head of most folks. Most of my act was based on current events, made funny in a subtle sort of way. And when working with music, you can use the jingle and name of a company, changing their advertising around. Like Robert Hall clothing stores. "Robert Hall this season, will show you the reason, Low Overhead." Was their Jingle. After they went Bankrupt. I used it in a skit. "Robert Hall this season, will show you the reason, NO OVERHEAD, and by the way, we are giving away Nude Pictures of Robert Hall after the show."

Now, if you didn't know what Robert Hall stores sold, or didn't know they went out of business. Then my changed ad eding would not be seen as funny. And my ending comment about the pictures might be taken offensive.
Comedy is a very demanding and dangerous area to pursue.

TTUL
Gary
User avatar
Kellemora
Brainiac Class Poster
Brainiac Class Poster
 
Posts: 3389
Joined: 07 Jul 2012, 18:52
Location: From St. Louis, current Knoxville, TN

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Ice.Maiden » 09 Nov 2013, 19:10

I'll have to take your word for it Gary, being as though you've had a stab at it, and you obviously understand a lot more than I do about how books are put together, or how to handle a comedy routine. I just think that because you've made me roll on several occasions, you could write amazingly funny things as situation comedy.

You're right about there being loads of crime series - take CSI and its off-shoots as an example, but when I have the time, I don't mind watching them, because they're quite forensically good, and I actually like Gary Sinise in his character part!

Did you ever watch any of the "666 Park Avenue" series? Drama coupled with dark stuff, but I found it watchable.

Over here, we still have one-off comedy shows, which're now repeated, such as "An audience With ..." and various performers'd do a stand-up comedy show in front of a live audience, made up of invited stars along with members of the public. You're right though. In general, you get a series on TV.

You've probably seen an episode (or a few) of the English period series, Downton Abbey? It's very well acted, and apparently, since first being shown in the US in 2011, people've raved over it. So, although things are churned out as a series, they don't all have to be crime dramas - although a lot are.

We had a great series (I think the 4th finished this October), called Whitechapel. As the title suggests, it's about murders which're replicated from history - such as Jack the Ripper. Again, very well acted and very watchable, because it wasn't about police cars screeching along, with a cops and guns theme. It was quite tense drama at its best, sometimes with a twist at the end. The 4th series ties up all the loose ends for the viewer.

Anyway, on a final note before bed calls, I'm sure you'll "git er done" with regards to your novel. No one knows exactly when their time's up, so make the most of every day, and at least you've done your best.
User avatar
Ice.Maiden
Golden Poster
Golden Poster
 
Posts: 70045
Joined: 14 Aug 2009, 23:31
Location: Peak District

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Kellemora » 10 Nov 2013, 13:20

I rarely watch TV Icey.
But I have always loved the British shows.
Compared to what we have here, the British have always produced QUALITY TV fare.
I've seen several of the shows you mentioned, in spurts at different times.
I don't have the time to follow any series. Even though the frau records many of them.
Her HD drive fills up and she begins deleting ones I haven't seen, unless she feels it is one I will really enjoy. Then she will keep it until I can sit with her and watch it. She doesn't mind seeing the great ones twice. And she loves to watch me watch the show, because I study a show very close. It surprises her that I rarely, if ever, miss a clue or something unusual or wrong.

Even on that show called MONK. We watched an episode where two salt-licks were placed under a pick-up truck.
They were used as a Timer to let the truck drop when they melted from being hit by a sprinkler.
Either the person who wrote that scene is a total idiot, or he assumes those watching the show are idiots.
A sprinkler hitting a salt-lick is NOT going to dissolve the salt. Once compressed, trying to melt salt is a long slow, and sometimes seemingly impossible task.
Yet on the show. A sprinkler hitting the salt-lick, caused it to melt enough to let the pick-up truck down drop down as they melted.
I felt like sending a letter to the show to let them know, we are NOT STUPID, but their writer is!

TTUL
Gary
User avatar
Kellemora
Brainiac Class Poster
Brainiac Class Poster
 
Posts: 3389
Joined: 07 Jul 2012, 18:52
Location: From St. Louis, current Knoxville, TN

Re: Online Editing Aids

Postby Ice.Maiden » 10 Nov 2013, 14:36

Hi Gary,

Yes, I know what you mean about packed salt not melting easily, but I suppose the idea with the sprinkler was SORT of on track. LOL!!

It's odd you saying about British TV programmes, because we're flooded with stuff from the US. I DO like The Big Bang Theory though, because it's downright funny, so obviously American and British audiences share the same sense of humour there. Once upon a time, it was difficult to laugh at American humour, because the British one's based on innuendos, sarcasm and the stupidity of situations that we can all relate to because we've all been there, sort of thing. Now the two seem to be merging, which's fine by me.

Perhaps you've seen small examples on this site. Us Brits can laugh at ourselves, so feel justified in laughing at others, but it's usually tongue in cheek. We can laugh in the face of adversity, because our little country's known nothing but battles for hundreds of years. During WW1 and 2, our troops used to sing amusing songs about the enemy. It appears that radio messages were transmitted, giving dire warnings to us, but people became used to them and started to laugh instead of worry. People just dig their heels in over here, and make the most of a bad situation.

After the London riots in 2011, certain areas looked as though they'd been bombed. People were soon out on the streets, cleaning up the debris from burglaries and arson. Shop keepers came out in force, providing free food and drinks for the helpers, and those who did all the hard work weren't just from London. People turned up from various parts of the country, all sickened by what'd happened. The press reported a magnificent effort by the British public, and there was a thank you from the mayor and PM. This is what we're about though Gary. The smiles don't leave our faces for very long, and puns and jokes relating to the event were circulating on the internet within a very short space of time. It isn't that we find tragedies funny, but rather if we didn't laugh, we'd cry. Foreigners can't understand this attitude very easily, but I'm proud of the way that we manage to cope, whatever hits us. I think us, and America, are two of only a minority of places where we can "soldier on", so to speak. That was apparent during 9/11. We were just as horrified as yourselves about it, and you all rallied round and did the best you could in such an awful situation. I think "resolve's" the word I'm looking for!
User avatar
Ice.Maiden
Golden Poster
Golden Poster
 
Posts: 70045
Joined: 14 Aug 2009, 23:31
Location: Peak District

PreviousNext

Return to Writers Corner

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron