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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


You can get over a lot with gusto. Make sure your character is really into whatever they're doing and people will paper over any cracks.

Re the parody/pisstake, try to make sure it's a competent and entertaining example of whatever it is parodying.

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Pollyanna
Mar 5, 2005

Milk's on them.




sebmojo posted:

Re the parody/pisstake, try to make sure it's a competent and entertaining example of whatever it is parodying.

It absolutely 100% will not be but I'll drat well try to make something entertaining anyway!!

Sounds like I just need to go for it and get this story down, then try and figure out the problem with this character afterwards.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


That's right. It very probably won't be as big a problem as you're imagining, or the problems will resolve themselves in the process of writing. If not, then gently caress IT, FIX IT IN POST

Pennsylvanian
May 22, 2010


I finally gave up on Scrivener. I get how this is probably useful for people who want a writing app that does very specific things for their profession, but it's a usability nightmare, especially on a large monitor.

General Battuta
Feb 7, 2011

This is how you communicate with a fellow intelligence: you hurt it, you keep on hurting it, until you can distinguish the posts from the screams.

Pennsylvanian posted:

I finally gave up on Scrivener. I get how this is probably useful for people who want a writing app that does very specific things for their profession, but it's a usability nightmare, especially on a large monitor.

What kind of issues were you having? I always found it super friendly. Vertical split, one pane for writing, one for looking up notes and stuff. Outline on the left, search on the right.

Pennsylvanian
May 22, 2010


General Battuta posted:

What kind of issues were you having? I always found it super friendly. Vertical split, one pane for writing, one for looking up notes and stuff. Outline on the left, search on the right.

Maybe it's just from using Works/Word for 20+ years, but I'm one of those people that needs to just have a that Word-style page right in front of my face with a minimum amount of futzing around involved. It's a good system for taking notes and planning out projects, and I'll use it for that in the future, but just trying to move forward and type out long passages feels like the furthest thing from the developers' minds sometimes. It's hard to describe beyond just a "bad feeling."

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool


Pennsylvanian posted:

Maybe it's just from using Works/Word for 20+ years, but I'm one of those people that needs to just have a that Word-style page right in front of my face with a minimum amount of futzing around involved. It's a good system for taking notes and planning out projects, and I'll use it for that in the future, but just trying to move forward and type out long passages feels like the furthest thing from the developers' minds sometimes. It's hard to describe beyond just a "bad feeling."

idk i just hit f11/fullscreen and use zoom to just get the text in front of my face to avoid all the excess noise and that helped me tremendously

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

rock
ice
storm
abyss



It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

*


I completely forgot to advertise it bc depression ate my calendar and I woke up and it was February, but I am teaching a class at Clarion West Online about how to pack some feelings into your fiction using lessons learned from romance novels! Itíll be fun. You might learn something. Unfortunately itís this upcoming weekend, sorry for the lack of notice!

Edwardly
Jun 28, 2011


Anomalous Blowout posted:

I completely forgot to advertise it bc depression ate my calendar and I woke up and it was February, but I am teaching a class at Clarion West Online about how to pack some feelings into your fiction using lessons learned from romance novels! It’ll be fun. You might learn something. Unfortunately it’s this upcoming weekend, sorry for the lack of notice!

It's also booked up! I joined the wait-list though.

quote:

Similarly, if you are looking for a class on how to write romance stories in genre settings, this may not be for youĖwhile this class breaks down a lot of classic romance story elements, it does not cover how to write satisfying romance arcs.

Is there a "how to write a romance arc in a genre settings" class? If not, anything I can do to understand this better? Keep in mind I am a goon so please treat me as if I have no idea how romance works.

Edwardly fucked around with this message at 19:33 on Feb 8, 2021

Coquito Ergo Sum
Feb 9, 2021


Does anyone have a good source or have advice on which punctuation I'm supposed to use when I'm expounding upon information presented in narration? I always second guess whether I'm supposed to use a hyphen or a semicolon, or just start a new sentence altogether.

EDIT: adding in that I've looked up guides online for this, but most of the ones I've read seem kind of inconsistent and seem to use double dashes for the exact same type of instance as they suggest I use semicolons for.

Coquito Ergo Sum fucked around with this message at 17:08 on Feb 10, 2021

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



Coquito Ergo Sum posted:

Does anyone have a good source or have advice on which punctuation I'm supposed to use when I'm expounding upon information presented in narration? I always second guess whether I'm supposed to use a hyphen or a semicolon, or just start a new sentence altogether.

Would really need a more specific example of what you mean.

ultrachrist
Sep 27, 2008


I'm assuming they mean something like...

"He was very tall-- nearly everyone had to crane their neck to see his face."

or

"He was very tall; nearly everyone had to crane their neck to see his face."

or

"He was very tall. Nearly everyone had to crane their neck to see his face."


If that's correct, I don't know if there's formal rules. I use whatever feels better. Going purely by feel, a period = pause for a new, complete thought, a semicolon = a related thought or aside, and double hyphen = expansion of thought.

I'd be curious if there was formal rules myself.

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018

Don't cry
Don't raise your eye
It's only teenage wasteland


I'd go with a colon for the above

"He was tall: Nearly everyone had to crane their neck to see his face."

I can't tell you why though. The semicolon version of the sentence feels like there'd need to be more after craning to see his face.

Coquito Ergo Sum
Feb 9, 2021


ultrachrist posted:

I'm assuming they mean something like...

"He was very tall-- nearly everyone had to crane their neck to see his face."

or

"He was very tall; nearly everyone had to crane their neck to see his face."

or

"He was very tall. Nearly everyone had to crane their neck to see his face."


If that's correct, I don't know if there's formal rules. I use whatever feels better. Going purely by feel, a period = pause for a new, complete thought, a semicolon = a related thought or aside, and double hyphen = expansion of thought.

I'd be curious if there was formal rules myself.

Yeah, that's exactly the instance I was going for. I have some people critiquing a novel I'm working on, but after some bad experiences, I'm giving each person their own .doc file. When I first put my work out there, I just let whoever had the link post whatever critiques they wanted. As a result, I one person would make a criticism and then everybody would immediately go "yeah, he's right." After that, one or two people would dissent against what the first people said, and even with a good argument they would get shouted down. With separate commentary, I've gotten better critique, but it's also resulted in situations where I will get one person saying I should go with a semicolon, one with a colon, another saying I should go with a hyphen or double dash, and several people just ignoring the passage.

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



ultrachrist posted:

I'd be curious if there was formal rules myself.

There are formal rules but none of those examples violate them (except for the space after the ó). In your example my inclination is the same as Azza's, towards the colon, but all of them are acceptable and all of them read a little differently to me.

A semi-colon is saying that these are two separate but related statements; it's the most neutral.

With a colon you're emphasizing the first clause by presenting the second clause as an illustration of the first.

An em dash is placing syntactic emphasis on the second clause as you're presenting it as an interruption/parenthetical.

Wallet fucked around with this message at 22:05 on Feb 10, 2021

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


Yeah, with punctuation like that every different option is 'saying' something different. None of them are any more correct than the others, it's just about what you're trying to convey.

Semicolons indicate simple relation, colons indicate examples, and em dashes indicate asides. You could also use a comma, which would be even more subtle than the semicolon.

Nae
Sep 3, 2020

what.


Djeser posted:

You could also use a comma, which would be even more subtle than the semicolon.

Unless I'm mistaken, "He was very tall" and "Nearly everyone had to crane their neck to see his face" are both independent clauses, so separating them with a comma would be considered a Highly Illegal Comma Splice, a technique best left to shitposting.

Wungus
Mar 5, 2004



There's always the option of rewriting to not have to worry about it, like how I always rename characters if their name ends with an s and they have to be referred to with a possessive.

ie, "He was tall enough that everyone had to crane their necks to see his face."

SimonChris
Apr 24, 2008

The Baron's daughter is missing, and you are the man to find her. No problem. With your inexhaustible arsenal of hard-boiled similes, there is nothing you can't handle.

Grimey Drawer

Whalley posted:

There's always the option of rewriting to not have to worry about it, like how I always rename characters if their name ends with an s and they have to be referred to with a possessive.

ie, "He was tall enough that everyone had to crane their necks to see his face."

"https://www.azquotes.com/quote/1595971" posted:

Parker wasn't supposed to be a series. He was supposed to be one book, and if he was only going to be in one book, I didn't worry about it. And then an editor at Pocket Books said "Write more books about him." So I didn't go back at that point and give him a first name. If I'd known he would've been a series, I would've done two things differently. First, I would've given him a first name because that means for 27 books, I've had to find some other way to say, "Parker parked the car."

Reminds me of this.

In the Mel Gibson movie "Payback", based on the Parker books, they renamed him "Porter".

SimonChris fucked around with this message at 12:38 on Feb 11, 2021

ultrachrist
Sep 27, 2008


I came up with that sentence to help articulate what Coquito Ergo Sum was describing. It's not actually from my writing, but yeah, I would definitely make it one sentence. "He was so tall that nearly everyone had to crane their necks to see his face."

Coquito Ergo Sum posted:

Yeah, that's exactly the instance I was going for. I have some people critiquing a novel I'm working on, but after some bad experiences, I'm giving each person their own .doc file. When I first put my work out there, I just let whoever had the link post whatever critiques they wanted. As a result, I one person would make a criticism and then everybody would immediately go "yeah, he's right." After that, one or two people would dissent against what the first people said, and even with a good argument they would get shouted down. With separate commentary, I've gotten better critique, but it's also resulted in situations where I will get one person saying I should go with a semicolon, one with a colon, another saying I should go with a hyphen or double dash, and several people just ignoring the passage.

Sounds like the goon consensus is they can all be used with slightly different meanings. You should post a specific example.

When a bunch of people zero in on the same thing but with different solutions, it's often because they're objecting to something else about the writing and don't know it. Either that or it's just noise.

Nae
Sep 3, 2020

what.


Whalley posted:

There's always the option of rewriting to not have to worry about it, like how I always rename characters if their name ends with an s and they have to be referred to with a possessive.

I have gone out of my way to never use names ending in S for precisely this reason.

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



ultrachrist posted:

Sounds like the goon consensus is they can all be used with slightly different meanings. You should post a specific example.

That's why I asked for an example at the beginning. It's very context dependent.

I've been assuming this is in narration but the different ways to punctuate the two clauses accomplish different things in dialogue because they communicate something about the thought process of the speaker.

I might use a colon for someone telling a story that they have told before because this pair of clauses would be premeditated/rehearsed. If it was improvisational I'd be more likely to use a period or a dash depending on the character's level of energy. I might use a semicolon if the speaker was more polished.

Obviously you can just rewrite to use a coordinating conjunction, and in some cases that's likely the right choice, but as a universal solution you're foreclosing on a lot of texture that is otherwise available to you.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


Nae posted:

Unless I'm mistaken, "He was very tall" and "Nearly everyone had to crane their neck to see his face" are both independent clauses, so separating them with a comma would be considered a Highly Illegal Comma Splice, a technique best left to shitposting.

I have in fact used comma splices frequently for effect! There's a lot of formal rules of English that get broken all the time because they're 'rules' for the sake of clarity.

Your eighth grade English teacher isn't going to be grading your manuscript, you don't have to go through and fix all the prepositions your sentences end on.

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



Djeser posted:

I have in fact used comma splices frequently for effect!

There's nothing wrong with breaking rules, though it's helpful to know what they are so that you're doing so intentionally. Some of them are stupid as poo poo and you should break them without thinking about it, others are important to keep in mind because breaking them without thought can make things ambiguous or confusing when you don't intend them to be.


Djeser posted:

Your eighth grade English teacher isn't going to be grading your manuscript, you don't have to go through and fix all the prepositions your sentences end on.

This one was never a "real" rule, and it definitely isn't one now.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


There's a ton of 'rules' that have stuck around in English grammar solely because they make English more like Latin.

What does Latin have to do with English, a primarily Germanic language whose Latin influence is only via the medieval French that the Normans brought to England? Absolutely nothing, but for the longest time people wanted to make English "more Latin" because obviously that meant more classical and cultured. (See also: the idea of split infinitives. No reason why you can't say "to boldly go" except that in Latin "to go" is one word so you can't put an adverb in the middle of it.)

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018

Don't cry
Don't raise your eye
It's only teenage wasteland


There's a rule that you don't start your sentences with things like and or but. And everyone knows that sucks.

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



Azza Bamboo posted:

There's a rule that you don't start your sentences with things like and or but. And everyone knows that sucks.

This is also not a rule.

REMEMBER SPONGE MONKEYS
Oct 3, 2003

What do you think it means, bitch?


Wallet posted:

This is also not a rule.

I mean who doesnít like buts?

showbiz_liz
Jun 2, 2008


Lately I've been having something that feels like writer's block but worse, where the very idea of sitting down to write something feels actively humiliating. Like there's no way I can produce anything that wouldn't be laughably terrible so even trying to do it would be embarrassing. I don't know where this is coming from but I just keep opening up my draft file and closing it again.

I've had good feedback before from people whose work I respect! I sold my first story right before the pandemic hit! Why am I like this!

General Battuta
Feb 7, 2011

This is how you communicate with a fellow intelligence: you hurt it, you keep on hurting it, until you can distinguish the posts from the screams.

There is a phenomenon where, when you're working hard at craft or putting more expectations on yourself, your ability to detect what's wrong with your writing (or the setting of your 'detect problems with writing' brain module) increases MUCH faster than your ability to write. This creates the illusion that you are backsliding, making negative progress. Strongly influenced by brain health too in my experience.

Also there's lots of brain hazards just floating around generally right now.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Weaponised Ambient Brainfuck

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




General Battuta posted:

There is a phenomenon where, when you're working hard at craft or putting more expectations on yourself, your ability to detect what's wrong with your writing (or the setting of your 'detect problems with writing' brain module) increases MUCH faster than your ability to write. This creates the illusion that you are backsliding, making negative progress. Strongly influenced by brain health too in my experience.

Also there's lots of brain hazards just floating around generally right now.

Yeah, you're probably in one of these situations.

https://twitter.com/tituslunter/status/1143872735837347840

showbiz_liz
Jun 2, 2008


Thanks, guys. It sounds like I just need to try brute-forcing it for a while.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


showbiz_liz posted:

Thanks, guys. It sounds like I just need to try brute-forcing it for a while.

Was having a similar problem where my need to write goodly was slowing me down too much, writing less than 250 words a day (if that). Which is ok, donít get me wrong. But I had all this story in my head waiting to come out. Writing constipation, if you will

I only just got over it by going gently caress it, itís only the first draft, and (re)committing myself to writing crappily if need be just to get the story out. Sure it means more mess to clean up later, but even if I wrote well I might cut all those words in the next draft, so gently caress the need to make them sing right now.

How I get over feeling bad about writing crappily is having fun with it. I pick scenes I can get excited about writing because interesting poo poo is happening. I refocus my mind on who Iím writing foróif not just for myself, for a friend who represents the kind of audience Iím going for and write as if Iím writing to them. It helps me get out of my own head a bit

General Battuta
Feb 7, 2011

This is how you communicate with a fellow intelligence: you hurt it, you keep on hurting it, until you can distinguish the posts from the screams.

showbiz_liz posted:

Thanks, guys. It sounds like I just need to try brute-forcing it for a while.

Or you can take a break. Writing while miserable just teaches your brain that writing is miserable.

Wungus
Mar 5, 2004



Definitely have breaks when you need them, if you need them. I've just come off the back of a week's break and it was super needed.

Also like, it's possible you've just been doing a lot of editing lately and you've forgotten that fresh words never match edited words in quality. Or, you've been reading a lot of highly polished poo poo, stuff that is genuinely a lot better than you're currently capable of writing, and you're being comparative for no reason. Or, who knows, it could just be depression hiding behind an excuse of writer's block. There's a huge amount of possible reasons you feel yikes about your writing.

showbiz_liz
Jun 2, 2008


Whalley posted:

Definitely have breaks when you need them, if you need them. I've just come off the back of a week's break and it was super needed.

Also like, it's possible you've just been doing a lot of editing lately and you've forgotten that fresh words never match edited words in quality. Or, you've been reading a lot of highly polished poo poo, stuff that is genuinely a lot better than you're currently capable of writing, and you're being comparative for no reason. Or, who knows, it could just be depression hiding behind an excuse of writer's block. There's a huge amount of possible reasons you feel yikes about your writing.

Oh I'm definitely depressed lol, no question about that. But I think the "reading a lot of good poo poo" thing is also affecting me. I used to participate in a pretty serious sci-fi writing critique group, and being able to read other peoples' unpolished work regularly was always good inspiration. I haven't been participating in the Zoom meetups of that group since the pandemic started but I really should. I'll see when the next one is.

the_sea_hag
Oct 9, 2012
LOAF FANCIER

Hello! I have a project that's in its very early stages (it's been an RP line since last October and I'm working with my cowriter to get it in shape as a romance novel) and I'd like to see if I can get any feedback on how I should talk about the character before I start seeking out a sensitivity reader. I am a queer cis woman.

My character, Y, started the story as gender non-conforming amab, but through rereading what I have so far it's becoming clear to me that Y's past and experience of gender would fit a trans woman well. So I'm at a crossroads:

a) Has Y not come to realize herself as a woman yet? If so, I would be putting her coming out close to the end of the book if not in the epilogue. My problem is that she would be deadnamed and referred to with incorrect pronouns throughout most of the narrative. So I'm questioning how this would impact my audience; if you are trans, how would it impact your reading and enjoyment of the story if, at the end, Y came out as trans? (Just an immediate response is what I'm looking for here.)

It also puts forth the question that I would really like to ask if I take this route: when I'm talking about Y, should I consistently refer to her with she/her pronouns conversationally, even if I'm talking about points in the novel before her coming out? I mainly don't want to piss off my sensitivity reader. IRL I retroactively refer to the trans people in my life by their proper pronouns when talking their lives pre-transition, but I'm not sure if this would make talking about Y confusing to an outside party.

b) Should I just make Y trans throughout the story? This would mean that, at the beginning of the story, she's living as a man because she can't afford to pass/is afraid of the danger that living as a woman poses in her social environment. In passages from her perspective, she would be referring to herself by her name, but everyone including her love interest would be deadnaming her and calling her by the wrong pronouns. This would probably be for the first three or so chapters before she comes out to her love interest and lives as a woman for the rest of the novel. If you're trans, how would the shift in pronouns impact your experience reading the story? If you're cis, how do you think the shift in pronouns/name impact your reading? (Again, just an immediate response/opinion is what I'm looking for here.)

If these are questions that garner less than simple answers/a longer conversation, I am willing to compensate for the time of anyone who wants to have a private discussion as an investment in making my story better. PM me and we'll hash out the details.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


the_sea_hag posted:

Hello! I have a project that's in its very early stages (it's been an RP line since last October and I'm working with my cowriter to get it in shape as a romance novel) and I'd like to see if I can get any feedback on how I should talk about the character before I start seeking out a sensitivity reader. I am a queer cis woman.

My character, Y, started the story as gender non-conforming amab, but through rereading what I have so far it's becoming clear to me that Y's past and experience of gender would fit a trans woman well. So I'm at a crossroads:

a) Has Y not come to realize herself as a woman yet? If so, I would be putting her coming out close to the end of the book if not in the epilogue. My problem is that she would be deadnamed and referred to with incorrect pronouns throughout most of the narrative. So I'm questioning how this would impact my audience; if you are trans, how would it impact your reading and enjoyment of the story if, at the end, Y came out as trans? (Just an immediate response is what I'm looking for here.)

It also puts forth the question that I would really like to ask if I take this route: when I'm talking about Y, should I consistently refer to her with she/her pronouns conversationally, even if I'm talking about points in the novel before her coming out? I mainly don't want to piss off my sensitivity reader. IRL I retroactively refer to the trans people in my life by their proper pronouns when talking their lives pre-transition, but I'm not sure if this would make talking about Y confusing to an outside party.

b) Should I just make Y trans throughout the story? This would mean that, at the beginning of the story, she's living as a man because she can't afford to pass/is afraid of the danger that living as a woman poses in her social environment. In passages from her perspective, she would be referring to herself by her name, but everyone including her love interest would be deadnaming her and calling her by the wrong pronouns. This would probably be for the first three or so chapters before she comes out to her love interest and lives as a woman for the rest of the novel. If you're trans, how would the shift in pronouns impact your experience reading the story? If you're cis, how do you think the shift in pronouns/name impact your reading? (Again, just an immediate response/opinion is what I'm looking for here.)

If these are questions that garner less than simple answers/a longer conversation, I am willing to compensate for the time of anyone who wants to have a private discussion as an investment in making my story better. PM me and we'll hash out the details.

I can't speak for all trans folks, and there are as many trans narratives and trans perspectives as there are trans people. That said:

a) I think it's acceptable to write a story about a pre-transition trans woman that uses male pronouns and a male name if the character hasn't come to see herself as a woman at that point. If you're writing from that character's perspective, she's seeing herself as male and identifying with a particular name at that point. I think that makes a lot more sense than using pronouns and a name she hasn't discovered for herself yet.

b) I think you can definitely do this, and yeah, it makes sense for the people in her life to refer to her by the name and pronouns they know her by.

That said Ė I think a lot of trans people are wary of coming-out narratives, even when they're told by other trans people. It's very easy to tell these kinds of stories with tired tropes of trans suffering, even if you do your research. I'm not going to say you shouldn't write either version of these stories, but is there a path c) where this character exists primarily with goals that aren't transition, and pre-transition times are told via flashback and memories?

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Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Some inspiration for you guys:

https://twitter.com/saundersjoe/status/1365392422880993282

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