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Author Topic: Listener's Writing Adventures  (Read 75563 times)
Listener
Hipparch
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I place things in locations which later elude me.


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« on: November 13, 2007, 03:44:47 PM »

I got about 1500 words into this new story of mine (IFOWONRO, or "Robot Overlords" for short) and, after I closed the lappy for the day, realized that the protagonist wasn't as bleak as I'd like him to be.

So I scrapped everything except the eight paragraphs that were the germ of the character and the story and started again.

I'm much happier.  Except that the story will be developing more slowly than I'd like, and may have to be a novella to be told correctly.  I guess I'll just work my way through it and see how long it ends up.  Most of my short-stories are over 10,000 words unless I actively try to shorten them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novella

The SFWA says 17,500 to 50,000 is a novella.  Well, I don't know if I'll get this story up to 17,500 but I certainly can build in some more backstory that will help explain the character's motivations.  I just hope it doesn't come off as forced.

Does anyone think titling a story with a derivative of a line from The Simpsons would get me in trouble with their legal department?  I was going for a really catchy title, which I think this is.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2007, 04:58:18 PM by Listener » Logged

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3186


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2007, 11:13:44 AM »

My first attempt at breaking into the horror genre, "The Very Next Day", was rejected by Weird Tales.  It has now gone off to +Horror Library+ Volume 3.
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3186


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2007, 11:14:41 AM »

"I For One Welcome Our New Robot Overlords" is done and is in the first-revision phase.  The title will definitely be changed, because as it turns out, they're not robots.

I've also started a new piece called "locksmith" on my computer.  Don't know what the final title will be; not sure if it'll be horror or SF but I'm leaning toward horror because of the locksmith's appearance and overall funk.  (He's based on a rather stinky guy here at work.)
« Last Edit: December 03, 2007, 04:59:28 PM by Listener » Logged

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3186


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2007, 09:21:26 AM »

"locksmith" continues to sit on my hard drive.  IFOWONRO is in my bag, waiting to be edited.

Last night, the story that had been chewing at my brain for the past few days bit through the straps and, despite that I had to be up at 5:30 and was (and am) pretty sick right now, I rolled out of bed and sat down at the computer and, from 10:45pm to 12:55am, wrote the 4500-word story currently titled "My Pillow".  I may change that if something else jumps out at me in editing.

The premise is:  there's a dude who has back problems and also trouble sleeping.  His friend -- who's also his massage therapist -- suggests one of those knee-separating pillows, but the lady at Bed Bath and Beyond convinces him to get a body pillow instead.  Then it veers into weird territory, though I think not explicitly enough in the execution -- the pillow absorbs his negative feelings until it acts to change his life -- to say it actually makes sense.  I'm trying to keep it under 5000 words so it's easier to sell, but I don't know if I'll be able to pull it off.

*sigh*  I need a beta reader.

Anyway, that's where I am.  Still haven't heard back from +Horror Library+ Volume 3 about "The Very Next Day".
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3186


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2008, 12:58:36 PM »

Wrote a short horror story called "My Pillow", which my friend called, after reading it, "the homicidal body pillow" story.  It's going to get a pretty major rewrite when I have time.

Still no word on "The Very Next Day".

25% through the first edit to "Robot Overlords".

Currently focusing on a rather long (outline-wise) piece of erotica called "Shell Game".  Rather than posting a link to it here, if you want the URL where I've got it online, PM me and I will send it to you.  (Warning:  not sci-fi, fantasy, or horror in any way.)  So far I've written about 30,000 words of it in six total finished chapters.

Figures... the stuff I progress most on will likely be the hardest for me to sell.
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3186


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2008, 09:07:59 AM »

In addition to SF/F/H, I also write erotica.

There.  I said it.  If there's ever an Eropod (Poderos?), I'll be first in line to work on it.

Anyway, right around (I think the day before or the day after) Christmas, I wrote a 3300-word piece of BDSM erotica.

Since then, I have written a total of 47,600 words in nine completed chapters, including two that were about 6000 and one that was 9000.  (And that 9000-word one is a single story arc so I really can't split it into two separate chapters.)  Yesterday I added another thousand words.  I've outlined this story for 26 chapters, though I may do some cutting here and there for plot points that don't need to be addressed.  (I have a three-chapter arc that I probably can toss later on.)

It amuses me that the 16-chapter novel I wrote in 2003 is only 65,000 words (it was horrific; don't ask), while this thing will be twice that size.

If you'd like to read some of it (the in-progress story, not the other novel), PM me and I'll send you the link.  I'd rather not put the URL here.

Anyway.  Onward.
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
jrderego
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Writer of Union Dues stories (among others)


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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2008, 05:46:26 PM »


It amuses me that the 16-chapter novel I wrote in 2003 is only 65,000 words (it was horrific; don't ask), while this thing will be twice that size.


It's funny when we look back at past projects isn't it? I recently reread the first longform fiction I wrote as part of a college directed study, about 65k words too... and it made me wish I was born both blind and illiterate. It is literally the worst collection of English words ever assembled into something resembling paragraphs ever produced by any human, anywhere, in any medium, in this universe or any others.

It's a manuscript so bad it makes even L Ron Hubbard's work look polished and well thought out. A story so relentlessly unfocused, poorly plotted, and ham handed, that reading it silently made my children cry (and possibly the children in a 100 mile radius).
« Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 08:38:03 PM by jrderego » Logged

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3186


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2008, 07:49:22 AM »

Up over 60,000 words on "Shell Game".  Haven't written any actual sellable fiction lately, or edited any of my three completed stories.

Horror Library declined "The Very Next Day", so time for another small polish and another submission.
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3186


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2008, 11:28:07 AM »

Over 70,000 words on "Shell Game".  Actually, probably close to 75,000.  Plus another 3500 on a new story called "Any Port In A Storm".

At some point I do have to finish revising "Robot Overlords"... and come up with a new title.
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
FamilyGuy
Matross
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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2008, 07:46:39 PM »

"Any Port In A Storm".

I hope it doesn't involve an anal probe.  Grin
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When will all the rhetorical questions end?
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3186


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2008, 09:11:58 AM »

"Any Port In A Storm".

I hope it doesn't involve an anal probe.  Grin

I'm sorry, but I can't divulge that information.  Mostly because there's no real outline and I don't actually know what's going to happen, exactly.
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3186


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2008, 10:37:02 PM »

ZOMG!!!

As I said in the EP#147 thread, when Steve said there was precious little underwater sci-fi lately, I had an inspiration born of my scuba diving experiences and the fact that I really haven't written anything sci-fi, fantasy, or horror lately.

At 2 p.m., I started writing an as-yet-untitled underwater-based sci-fi story.

At 10:30 p.m., I finished it.  Six more-or-less solid hours of writing in two three-hour blocks.

11,024 words.

I feel so good about this story.  Maybe it sucks.  Maybe it's awesome.  I don't know.  But I know I loved every second of writing it, even the stressful and tough parts for my main character.

I posted a preview on my LJ, not under friends-lock, so anyone can read it.  Here's the URL:

http://listener42.livejournal.com/106207.html

It needs editing -- it is, after all, just the first draft -- but it just feels so good to get back into writing sci-fi.

If it suffers from anything, IMO, it's that the ending is VAGUELY similar to "Robot Overlords" (my other SF story that I wrote last year) although only in a very, very slight fashion.  Also, I'm not sure if I really need the coda at the very end.  *shrug*  That's what revisions and betas are for, and I now have betas.

Enjoy the preview.  Tell me what you think, either here or on the LJ.  I have to go stop my cat from peeing on the floor now.
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3186


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2008, 03:18:10 PM »

Finished first round of edits, cut down to 10,862 words.  Now sent off to my two official betas.
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3186


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2008, 11:23:37 AM »

Knocked out another chapter of Shell Game, bringing the total to about 85,000 words.
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3186


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2008, 08:15:05 AM »

Started a new sci-fi story, this one a little more hard sci-fi than "oh, look, there's some sci-fi over there, but for the most part it's a story about people".  I'm hoping it stays between 4000 and 7000 words in the end.  For the moment, it's called "Memory", and it was spawned by a discussion about Alzheimer's disease that I had at work yesterday with a couple of dudes on our team.

It kept me up and thinking for 45 minutes last night after lights-out, even after I tried to blank my mind with "Voyage of the Shadowmoon" (which I've read before), and my underwater story was the same way, so that's good.

Anyway, two pages -- about 700 words -- done.
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3186


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2008, 02:50:39 PM »

During lunch, I wrote another 900 words of "Memory", pushing up to 1767 total.
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3186


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2008, 10:37:31 AM »

The underwater story is back from my betas with generally good feedback.  Now I just need a title and I can start sending it out for consideration by publications.

Next up, hopefully more Shell Game.  Getting behind on that one.
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3186


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2008, 12:35:03 PM »

"Shell Game":  just about 100,000 words last time I counted.  Up to the middle of Chapter 17. (26 total in the outline)

"113 Feet":  my underwater sci-fi story now has a name.  I hit the dive shop yesterday and workshopped my technical stuff, and did the final round of edits last night.  Now it's time to find a place to submit it.  (Once it gets bought at least once, I'll send it to EP as well.)
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3186


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2008, 01:26:35 PM »

"Shell Game" Chapter 17 was finished yesterday -- 4900 words.

"113 Feet" goes into the mail this afternoon.  First stop: Asimov's.  Regrettably, they don't accept online submissions, so I have to mail the thing.  $4, not including the "hey, secretary, sign this and mail it back" green card.  $1.82 for postage each way, plus the "I'm actually reading this now" postcard if they choose to send it back.

In case you're interested, here is my cover letter.  As a PR writer, I love writing cover letters that stand out:

***

Greetings.  I am pleased to present to you my recently-completed short-story, "113 Feet", which I believe will be a good fit for Asimov's.  On your site, you note that you're looking for character-oriented stories, which in my opinion are the best kind.  And I'm not just saying that to kiss up; in other stories I've written, I've sacrificed the plot to build the characters.

But not in "113 Feet".  "113 Feet" is a story about obsession, SCUBA diving, and the search for the truth.  It's about a young woman named Eleanora who learns what her father's research is really about just in time to lose him to it.  But it's about more than that.  It's also about Eleanora herself -- what led her to become the woman she is, what she likes and dislikes, what bothers her, what makes her happy, that sort of thing.  She is one of the most well-rounded characters I've ever written, and I don't even describe what she looks like.  Well, not really.  I mean, I do make the occasional reference, but you won't find one of those annoying expository paragraphs about her lustrous blond hair or piercing green eyes.  (She actually possesses neither of those characteristics, but you wouldn't know that from reading the story.)

I liken the way I reveal the science in this story to Neil Gaiman's "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" in that the story is about the people, not the science, but without the science, there'd be no reason to care about the people.  I really hope you enjoyed that story, because if you didn't, I think I'm in trouble.  (If you didn't read it, I think I'll be okay.)

In any case, I hope you enjoy the story, and I hope you and the editorial team at Asimov's (which, for all I know, consists of Sheila Williams) choose to publish it.  I thank you in advance for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.

***

My rates are reasonable if you need any PR writing done.  I charge industry standard, and am willing to do research for an hourly fee.  My work has been cited on Vedior.com, an HR news source.  (Mods, if this is spam, please feel free to clip this last bit off.)

Anyway, wish me luck!
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
jrderego
Hipparch
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Posts: 680


Writer of Union Dues stories (among others)


WWW
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2008, 01:54:59 PM »

"Shell Game" Chapter 17 was finished yesterday -- 4900 words.

"113 Feet" goes into the mail this afternoon.  First stop: Asimov's.  Regrettably, they don't accept online submissions, so I have to mail the thing.  $4, not including the "hey, secretary, sign this and mail it back" green card.  $1.82 for postage each way, plus the "I'm actually reading this now" postcard if they choose to send it back...

Anyway, wish me luck!

You sent it return receipt?
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"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html
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