Episode 32: Benevolent Dictation
Works in Progress
[00:00:34] Eric is becoming a NaNoWriMo coach. He's slammed with all sorts of other writing doing the rewrites on Don't Wake Up, and some cleanup on Prince of Pigeon Hill before sending it back out.
Mike won't be giving any testimonials for Eric on his coaching as Mike's failing at his NaNo goal. 14,500 words at this point, but that's only a quarter of what he should have written. Zero Ward is not flowing the way he'd like.
John was travelling and flying at bad hours (late in the evening and super early in the morning) for trying to write while on the plane.
What's happening online
The Curious Case of Paul Bernardo
A 600-page political spy thriller called A Mad World Order was published by Paul Bernardo, who is serving life sentences for sexual assaults and murders he committed with his wife in the early 1990s. Canada passed a law similar to the "Son of Sam" act in the United States that prevents criminals from profiting off the story of their crimes.
It's highly likely someone on the outside compiled the manuscript, and since the book was about a variety of things such as the Russian mob, virtual reality, the Chinese, Mexican drug cartel, NSA, and al Qaeda; it does not specifically break the rules about discussing his crimes.
However, people have taken to rating the book on Amazon to express their displeasure with him making a profit off a book while in prison. One star reviews called for the removal of the book, while 5-star reviews were created to counter the censorship.
In the end, Amazon decided to pull the title, but it brings up a big question about censorship. OJ Simpson's If I Did It, Adolph Hitler's Mein Kampf, and Charles Manson's autobiography are all available. These specifically discuss their lives and crimes (acquitted or not). Why should they remain available while a clear work of fiction is mob-banned?
Online Income Report
[00:09:09] Matthew at True Valhalla posts an income report from his online endeavors, including a book on programming. Putting his sales numbers up there is an interesting idea. We speculate as to whether or not there are any authors out there who similarly post their sales numbers. However, many authors are won't discuss their sales numbers or even their book advances.
[00:10:41] Penny sellers purchase books by the tonnage and turn around to sell them online, sometimes as cheaply as a penny each. They essentially make money on this and the shipping fees. Their employees are trained to look for rare books and stock those while also providing other books at a great discount. In Episode 28 we talked about Richard Stallman's The Danger of E-Books and this
Bob Ross Lipsum
[00:11:52] Bob Ross was an American painter with a famous public television program called The Joy of Painting. Known for his permed head of hair and wet-on-wet painting technique, Bob was a transcendent painter most famously known for his catchphrases like "happy little trees". Now you can fill your NaNoWriMo work with Bob-like quotes using the Bob Ross Lipsum generator.
Better Writing books
25 Books to Guaranteed to Make You a Better Writer. These books are
Make Believable Weapons
[00:14:41] 6 Ways to Make Sci-Fi and Fantasy Weapons More Believable. Some of the advice from the article:
- Keep it simple. The more tricked out the gun or knife, the less practical it becomes.
- Be consistent: Why would a character carry both a crossbow and a firearm? If gunpowder is available in the setting, why rely on outdated technology? Have a reason: Darrell in Walking Dead uses a crossbow because it's quiet, and its ammo is reusable.
- Choose what your weapon does and stick to it. Don't add features along the way
- Ammo, does it run out?
- Match your Characters: Katniss Everdeen and her bow, Rambo and his M-60.
[00:18:18] Google Voice Typing is speech-to-text in Google Chrome. If you can dictate what you write, it can be very fast.
The voice typing uses simple formatting:
- "Exclamation point"
- "Question mark"
- "New line"
- "New paragraph"
No advanced selection/editing like Dragon
Craft Talk - Writing Blocks
[00:24:12] With NaNoWriMo going on, this is the best season for getting blocked. Some people are blocked frequently, others don't believe in blocks at all.
Why are we blocked and how do we get away from that.
Do you take the dog out, make a cup of coffee, post a picture of your coffee on Instagram, cross-link the Instagram post on Twitter and Facebook. Stop. JUST. STOP. Write your first 100 words first, then get your coffee. You don't have an excuse to not write and don't reward yourself with something before you've done the work.
Fear is another block and can stop you when you think about people reading what you've written.
Writing that Pays
[00:34:04] Announcing the open call for submissions for the upcoming Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling anthology. The call will close on December 31, 2015
Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling is a collection of stories that aims to subvert many of the popular tropes and cliches to show them in a new light.
Each story in our collection will be an author’s creative examination of a specific trope that is prevalent in science fiction, horror, and fantasy.
- Chainmaille Bikini
- The Super Soldier
- The Villain Had a Crappy Childhood
- Prostitute with a Heart of Gold
- The Singularity will Cause the Apocalypse
Definitions and more on http://tvtropes.org
To be considered for Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling we ask that authors
a) identify the trope and
b) break, bend, twist, smash it in some creative, literary fashion.
Trope examinations may range from: poetry, short stories (up to 5000 words), flash fiction, interstitial fiction (e.g. fake interviews with public domain characters), song lyrics, and other written forms.
Writers will receive $0.06 per word, to be paid out of the Kickstarter. As creators ourselves, we are planning on introducing stretch goals to further raise the word rate.