This is topic Novel Support Group 3/31 - 4/6 in forum Hatrack Groups at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by Meredith (Member # 8368) on :
Welcome to this week's Novel Support Group. Anyone can join. If you're new, tell us a bit about who you are and what project you are working on. Feel free to update the NSG Work in Progress thread with your current projects. Although we can report on any number of things, here is a list of suggestions (suggestions welcomed).

What were your goals last week and did you accomplish them?
Describe what you worked on.
Set goals for next week.
Did you learn something during this week?

Here is a list of things that you can do each week as we work on our novels (suggestions welcomed).

Writing on a novel
World Building
Relevant research


As for me:

Last Week's Goals:

Easy one. [Smile]

Refresh existing catalog: BLOOD WILL TELL, BLOOD IS THICKER, and the boxed set all really need new covers. After that, all that will be left will be the shorter works--at least one of which will also likely need a new cover. *Sigh*
Covers are done. In the process of getting everything up on Amazon. [Smile]

BECOME: BROTHERS: Continue revisions based on critique.
Some. I finally figured out the scene I need to add for character development. [Smile]

MAGE STORM: Continue to work through what I've already rewritten.
Um. No. [Frown]

Update my blog twice a week.
Yes. [Smile]

Next Week's Goals:

Nothing this week.

Refresh existing catalog:
Finish updating the CHIMERIA series and move on to the remainder of my catalog.

Continue revisions based on critique. Work on the cover.

All things above considered, probably nothing this week.

Update my blog twice a week.
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
Sketches ran aground when the keel met the inlet bar, when mental composition met words on the page. Mental composition translates too easily to flat and "fat" summary and explanation tell or mostly dialogue, both short of essential reality imitation wrap.

Both plague the current project's full realization; meantime, knowledge that rewrites and revision do adjust for shortfalls; meantime, the stronger impulse is that a puzzle piece is missed; meantime, knowledge that that latter is a consequence of mental composition and the piece missed is how descriptive details by their selves are superficial without implied emotional charge and subtext -- sarcasm, irony, satire, metaphor: T.S. Eliot's objective correlative significance.

"Objective correlative: the tangible manifestation of an intangible, created and used by the author to help the reader grasp the intangible concept. Most literature is about emotions or ideals — things that you cannot see or touch. So the objective correlative becomes a focus, a tangible surrogate. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, the painting becomes the objective correlative of Dorian Gray’s soul — it shows the invisible rot. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester’s child is the objective correlative of her sinful passions.

"An important characteristic of objective correlatives is that they are usually vested with attributes which tilt the reader toward the emotion the author wants him to feel in relation to the intangible being staged. (T. S. Eliot)" (David Smith, CSFW, "Being a Glossary of Terms Useful in Critiquing Science Fiction").

The scene on point I mentally visualize and not yet contains that kind of "telling detail" attribute significance. Several options present: change the setting's time, place, and situation; realize details of the setting that hold such significance, yet are drawable from personal, relatable experience; locate a suitable, similar model elsewhere and imitate-emulate its expression. No imitation source realized yet, none even close to similar entail the kind of smooth, seamless, expression, or implications strove for.

Problems are models that fit one criteria, say, of reality imitation realized, don't fit another design, say, apt drama introductions. I do not much care for narrator-lectured starts. The nonnarrated model is the goal. One narrative in my purview suits that latter, though is shy of the mark, too. Nell Zink's The Wallcreeper. Oh my! what an apt correlative objective the bird species is for the action of the work. Underrealized, though. See? The agonist is a wall creeper who crawls walls until . . . The dramatic action opens in medias res and reality imitation. Sublime though shy of timely inferableness, and surpassable.
Posted by Disgruntled Peony (Member # 10416) on :
Just remember, extrinsic: You don't have to get it right on the first try. I know it's tempting to try and fix it, but in my experience it's honestly better just to get the first draft out. You can clean it up later. [Smile] (I'm never happy with my stories until at least draft three, these days.)
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
My raw drafts that come from mental composition, out of the blue, are overwrought. A strategy that works for me is to mentally compose a narrative, then start over scratch-raw -- everything different except for the human condition contested. This is a sort of Erasmus De Copia exercise; first choice attempts often lack a true sense of the problem-want, so second, third, or more choices to try copiously. Exquisite when one clicks.
Posted by Grumpy old guy (Member # 9922) on :
extrinsic, there is a zen proverb: If you want to find something, stop looking for it. My solution is to put the thought aside and simply wait for inspiration. It usually comes in the middle of the night.

Posted by Meredith (Member # 8368) on :
Originally posted by Grumpy old guy:
extrinsic, there is a zen proverb: If you want to find something, stop looking for it. My solution is to put the thought aside and simply wait for inspiration. It usually comes in the middle of the night.


Or while driving, doing the dishes, walking the dog, . . . .
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
I have Zen and wee-early dark night dreams of Dante, drive, dish wash -- no dogs, llamas, flowers, or refrigerator science projects to walk. Doctor's orders to walk, though. Woodwork is my stronger distraction for not trying to look.
Posted by LDWriter2 (Member # 9148) on :
Bad habit: Again I skipped a week

But at the same time it hasn't really changed much.

Still looking for a beta reader for The Courier actually I have one but three or so would be better. Had one idea for the cover which I still like basically: a pic of the young woman who is the Courier but I think a smaller airship in the background would be good.

Working on that Dragonpunk steampunk WWI novel. Almost have the ending done. But still have two other chapters to do-at least two.

Working on revising my pre-industrial steampunk fantasy fusion other wise known as Journey of Mystery. This one already is around 85,000 words if I recall correctly. The new revision might place it 95,000 +
Posted by LDWriter2 (Member # 9148) on :
extrinsic if I understand you correctly I know the feeling stated in the first two of your paragraphs. But I believe you have enough experience to work through it even if the process is down right frustrating
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
I had an Oh, duh-huh! thought yesterday, that description is secondary to dramatic movement, which cleared up part of the challenge. My own guidance offered often I had overlooked for the focus of existent description details (event, setting, character, secondary to primary dramatic movement -- complication, conflict, and emotional disequilibrium).

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