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Author Topic: First time writer
Krepta3000
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Hi, this is my first time actualy trying to write a book, it's a sci-fi story that has elements that have been rattling around in my head for quite some time. I know it's probably crap, but someone read it and really liked it, and another person read it and told me that it reminded him of OSC's work. Orson Scott Card is one of my favorite authors, and I absolutely loved the
Ender's Game series.

The book I'm trying to write is called "Missing Link", unless I decide to change the name, and I have it stored on my website at http://krepta3000.dyndns.org:53317/my%20works/missing%20link.txt.

My web and other main services get taken down at midnight -0700GMT for maintenance, then come back up at 5:00am. They are, in fact, down as I write this message, as it is 12:18am.

I came to his official site hoping to come in contact with OSC and his fans, see what's going on with his work, and introduce myself and my first attempt at book writing.

I just noticed the link for the Writing School, that's cool. [Smile] I will go there later and see what I can do to improve my writing skills. But, I wanted to see what you, fellow fans of OSC, and maybe even OSC himself, thought of my book.

I'm not going the traditional route, even if I thought it was good enough to get published by somebody. I've copyLEFTed the book and will allow anyone anywhere to distribute or edit it all they want to, as long as they keep the original credits. If you edit it, please upload it to my FTP server, or email a copy to me, so I can put it on my webserver. [Smile]

The reason I started writing this book a few days ago was because some online friends of mine told me that my writing skills, and the sheer amount of stuff I write in email all the time, are good enough that I should write a book, and see how far I can get with it. They said not to worry about spelling and grammer errors, that's what editors are for. [Smile]

So, I am trying, really trying hard, to write something that people will like enough to hopefully give me something of themselves. I'm a Gift Economist, so I'm not going to force people to pay me in return for my work.

The career path I chose for myself is Computer Networking and Information Technology, which is the name of the program I studied under at High Tech Institute of Phoenix, Arizona. For 15 months I never missed so much as an HOUR of class, every single day, riding the public bus system. I earned Perfect Attendance, and Perfect 4.0 grades the entire time. There is no such thing as Extra Credit at this school.

Anyway, I felt really great about my achievements at HTI, and I had high confidence that I would be able to get a job in my chosen career and make a living, and all that. You know, live the American Dream.

Unfortunately, my dreams have been shattered. I am unable to find a job anywhere in Mesa, the city I live in, or Phoenix, which is physicaly attached to Mesa. Until I manage to get a job, it's a major headache doing all the searching, and applying, and sending resumes, and doing the occasional interview. The interviews are rare, though.

So, I'm trying to branch out through my other skills and abilities. Back when I was in grade school I used to write short stories for class. My teachers almost always liked my stories, and sometimes they kept them so they could read them to later classes as examples. Some of my stories earned me candy and other rewards. [Smile] But I never really thought much of writing, I was a computer geek in love with the little clicks and beeps and things.

I have cared more about computers than anything else for so long, I don't really remember exactly why I started loving them. I just do.

So, Here I am. I'm wide open for attack, if you want to do that. I'm also open for friendship, if that's what you prefer. [Smile]

Have a nice day,
Aaron.

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Corwin
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Hello, Aaron !

You might want to edit the link, it's not working. [Wink]

Seriously, you might want to get rid of the blanks in the link, it may cause problems on some browsers.

Until the "big guns" of the forum get to great you, I hope you'll accept my "Welcome !".

See you around.

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Stan the man
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Corwin,
quote:
My web and other main services get taken down at midnight -0700GMT for maintenance, then come back up at 5:00am. They are, in fact, down as I write this message, as it is 12:18am.

This probably explains why the link won't work.

Just a thought.

Krepta3000, Welcome! [Wave]

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Krepta3000
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The link will work after 5:00am, as I stated in my message. [Smile] There are no spaces in the link, the %20 is perfectly recognizable standard HTML link code. If a browser doesn't understand it, it isn't useing official HTML code. Seriously, you can click the link, and it will work, after my Server's services come back up.

Right now it is having a grand old time updating the anti-virus program, scanning for viruses, running disk cleanup to get rid of temporary garbage, running scandisk to find and fix errors, and running Defrag to help keep things running smoothly.

You can grab a nice little Screenshot of my Server computer's desktop with my DeskCAM server at http://krepta3000.dyndns.org:2323, that way you can see what is really going on. [Smile]

Sometimes the Server freezes up or crashes. When that happens I have to manualy reboot and bring things up again. It's an older system, a Pentium I, 150mhz, running stupid Windoblowz 98se. It's the best version of the OS I can get, or that will actualy run on my Server machine.

Trust me, if I had a job and money, which is always a good thing, I would have a much better computer, and it would be running Windows 2000. Or maybe I would put Novel Netware on it. I really like NW. I wouldn't use Linux, probably, because a lot of the programs I use are only supported in Windows. But if I had VMware I would use Linux. [Smile]

If you really can't wait till after 5:00am, I can email the book to you. Do you want me to do that?

Have a nice, uhh, night?
Aaron.

[ April 01, 2004, 02:47 AM: Message edited by: Krepta3000 ]

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Corwin
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Stan the man: [Roll Eyes] And I thought putting a [Wink] at the end of that statement would make everyone understand it was a joke. Lame, but still a joke.
(Let's not fight in front of the newcomers, doesn't give them a good impression [Wink] )

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Corwin
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Actually, Aaron, it's morning in France [Smile]
And no, please do not e-mail the book, I have so much work to do and if I receive it I'll surely forget all about it and go read the book. Hmm... Guess I should get back to work, ha ?

Good night ! (I think [Wink] )

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Krepta3000
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Hi Corwin, I'm sorry I didn't get the joke. I have a hard time getting jokes. I find myself laughing hystericaly at things no one else understands, and unable to understand why everyone else is laughing. I'm odd. [Smile] Or am I even?

Aaron.

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Stan the man
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[Smile] Fight? Never....., bad day at work. It's like a soap opera. Only worse (yeah, it can be worse.)
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Krepta3000
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I remember crying for hours and hours because of Ender's Game. I love that series. It really touched me. I want to read as many of OSCs works as I can, he is such an awesome author. [Smile]

You guys are funny, thanks for welcoming me in. [Smile]

Aaron.

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kinglear
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hey krepta -- just as a thought, you might want to head over to the Writers Workshop and maybe check out the writers forums. Those of us over in the workshop focus on writing and reviewing and suggestions and such, so it may be a better place to find people to read and comment on your story.

-jon-

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Corwin
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Aaron, even if you're odd, it doesn't matter in here.

On the other hand, it would really be odd if you were even. IMHO. [Dont Know]

Ok, now I really have to get back to work...

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Krepta3000
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Oh, cool, yah I'll go there. [Smile]

Should I copy my first message to a new one over there? Or just refer to this message thread?

Aaron.

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Krepta3000
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Hey, what is MANUSCRIPT FORMAT, and how the heck do I condense the story I've written so far to only 13 lines? That seems like Murder and Suicide at the same time! AAAAHHH... splat.

I'm not aspiring to have my work published profesionaly, I just want people to enjoy it, that's all.

Aaron.

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Stan the man
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kinglear is right on the writer's workshop. We wouldn't object to helping, but you would get better help over there. I think.....I'm not part of the workshop. It just makes sense to me what king said.

Odd? Here's somethin for you: define normal. (Actually don't. Might make some of us look like head cases. [Big Grin] )

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Krepta3000
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Have I mentioned that I never actualy got through English 101? I don't understand english literature and the professional publishing world as well as I would like to.

Uhm... Help?

Aaron.

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kinglear
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Krepta --

Manuscript format: (from what I know) double spaced, with a fixed width font (most people use 'courier new', with a centered # sign to signal a scene change.

The 13 lines things is that (again from what I've heard) when you submit a story to an editor/publisher in a properly formatted work the name/title/info on the front page leaves only 13 lines to catch the readers/editor/publishers attention. The idea is you are showing us the hook, or just 13 lines that you want review.

When you want someone to read the whole thing, you might post the first 13 lines of your story in the fragments and feedback section and then at the end ask for anyone who mioght want to read the whole thing and comment on it.

-jon-

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Krepta3000
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So people post HTML or RichText files there? All I've ever used for stuff like this is a regular old Text editor. No fancy formating stuff, just text. I could use Word97, or OpenOffice.org to write a "courier new", double-spaced, 13 lines of text that is designed to catch an editor's eye at first glance. With Dialog and Scene changes and all that. But I never took a screen-writing course, so I have no idea how to write a Script.

I also still don't know how to hack my work appart to form a perfect snapshot at only 13 lines. I would love it if someone who DOES know how to do all this can take a look at my book, and give me some suggestions on how to do this.

Otherwise, I'm lost, adrift in a sea of confusion. Well, that's normal for me anyway. Don't worry about me, I'm not completely nuts. [Smile]

Ok, here is a very small attempt to summarize my book.

The Missing Link, by Aaron P. Ingebrigtsen, is a sci-fi book about the beginning of the human race, why the human race seems to hate each other so much and destroy each other so often, and what happens when the apparent creator comes back for a long overdue visit. The being who gave birth, through agony and death, to the human race comes back, and is litteraly at a loss for words, since he, or she, or it, never needed words before. The nameless ONE is confronted with the awesome new responsibility of trying to help the human race move beyond it's insane need to destroy and hate, and move on to a new, brighter, future of love and understanding. This story takes place in an unspecified future time, purposely, because the author has read many stories that supposedly took place in 1990, or 2010, which now seem impossible or silly. The reader can therefore project this story as far into the future as he, or she, wishes, without difficulty.

Well, what do you think so far? I know you don't yet have access to the file, but is this a compelling introduction to the story?

Krepta.

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Krepta3000
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Well, I guess everyone is asleep, or busy with other message threads. YAWWWWN I need sleep. Sleep is good... mmmmmm... sleep.

OK, see ya all laterz. [Smile]

Krepta.

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Shigosei
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Sounds interesting! Maybe when I'm not so swamped with homework I'll read what you have on your site.

By the way, there are a couple of Jatraqueros (that's what members of Hatrack are generally called around here--when you try to pronounce it, think Spanish) in the Phoenix metro area. I'm a student at ASU, Derrell lives in Tempe, Ludosti and Slacker live in Chandler, and Architraz Warden is somewhere in Phoenix proper, I think.

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Scott R
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Krepta- Welcome to Hatrack.

The main problem that I see with your outline is that your protagonist is God. You're going to have a difficult time making us worry about Him, because he's God. At the very least, we know that He created your universe-- and that's nothing to sneeze at.

You're going to have to deal with the classic problems that face theology-- why didn't God intervene earlier? If He couldn't intervene, why should people worship a powerless creature? What kind of parent leaves its progeny alone and defenseless?

Among other reasons, this is why it's difficult to have God as a protagonist-- on the one hand, He's got too much power to make us sympathetic; on the other, He's doesn't show anyone that power candidly, so is in fact powerless.

Not that God-as-Character can't work; the right writer certainly could make it happen. But you might want to consider doing what the Christian God did to make the story a bit more interesting-- send God in the form of a human being, devoid of beauty, exhibiting human physical weakness, at times seeming to question the purpose for which He is sent. . . Such a character is far more sympathetic for your readers because we have the chance to understand him.

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Farmgirl
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Good point, Scott.

I wonder if he has read OSC's Homecoming series.

God or God-like characters always make me think of the Oversoul. Throughout so much of that series, I couldn't figure out exactly what the Oversoul was, or why it was directing certain things in a certain way, but of course, it became more and more clear as you go through the storyline.

Farmgirl

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Noemon
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Welcome to Hatrack Krepta! I'd love to read your story, although it'll probably be some time before I'm able to get to it; I still haven't managed to fight my way through to Scott R's story, the excerpts of which have been stunningly powerful. I'd take anything Scott has to say about writing to heart; I have a feeling he's going to be a name in the SF community at some point.
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TomDavidson
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"The reason I started writing this book a few days ago..."

*blink*

----

I'm afraid your link doesn't work for me at all, even after I take out the extra period at the end. Given the performance of your server, perhaps you should consider a Geocities account. [Smile]

[ April 01, 2004, 10:02 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Farmgirl
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hmmm..... ya, I'm beginning to wonder if this isn't someone's April Fool joke.

especially the more I go back and read the original.

Farmgirl

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Krepta3000
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Hi Scott, thanks for the opinion you gave here, but I think I need to correct myself because of what you said here. When I wrote the word "creator" I didn't mean GOD, it isn't a story about an omnipotent, all knowing, all powerful being who created the universe and all things in it. The story is about the creator of the human race, which was a complete accident. [Smile]

Krepta.

quote:
The main problem that I see with your outline is that your protagonist is God. You're going to have a difficult time making us worry about Him, because he's God. At the very least, we know that He created your universe-- and that's nothing to sneeze at.

You're going to have to deal with the classic problems that face theology-- why didn't God intervene earlier? If He couldn't intervene, why should people worship a powerless creature? What kind of parent leaves its progeny alone and defenseless?

Among other reasons, this is why it's difficult to have God as a protagonist-- on the one hand, He's got too much power to make us sympathetic; on the other, He's doesn't show anyone that power candidly, so is in fact powerless.

Not that God-as-Character can't work; the right writer certainly could make it happen. But you might want to consider doing what the Christian God did to make the story a bit more interesting-- send God in the form of a human being, devoid of beauty, exhibiting human physical weakness, at times seeming to question the purpose for which He is sent. . . Such a character is far more sympathetic for your readers because we have the chance to understand him.


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Krepta3000
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Hi Farmgirl, I don't think I ever read the Homecomming series. I have no idea what the Oversoul is. I do remember hearing something about "oversoul" on FFX2, which is a strange kind of super power brought on by anger or something, but only exists in the monster you fight. I don't know, really.

I want to read more of OSC's books, I think he is really cool. [Smile]

Krepta.

quote:
Good point, Scott.

I wonder if he has read OSC's Homecoming series.

God or God-like characters always make me think of the Oversoul. Throughout so much of that series, I couldn't figure out exactly what the Oversoul was, or why it was directing certain things in a certain way, but of course, it became more and more clear as you go through the storyline.

Farmgirl


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Krepta3000
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Sorry about the Server. No it's not a joke. This morning I woke up with a pounding headache at about 9, and found that my server froze last night trying to run Defrag. It had only go 80% through C:\ drive, then just froze up. The whole reason for running these maintenance programs is to KEEP it from freezing up and crashing all the time. Stupid Windows 98se.

No, I won't put anything on Geocities, I've used them before and I think their service stinks, and their rules do too. But, whatever. You are right about the trouble with the server. Right now my Server is down, because of recent electrical activity. I'm paranoid about lightning. I'll bring it back up in a few minutes, unless I hear more thunder.

And, yes, I did start writing it a few days ago. My email messages tend to be very long, so long that most people skip over most of what I write. I can write a LOT, trust me on that one, in a short time.

I want to write a lot more, but I really gotta search for a job. If I somehow manage to get on unemployment, I'll have to report my job search efforts to them, I think. Anyway, looking for a job is a hard job for me. It really sucks.

Krepta.

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Scott R
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Krepka-- I believe Tom was being ironic.

I'll critique your story, if you can get a copy to me.

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aka
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Welcome Krepka! And good luck with your writing. I don't have time to read your book but I wanted to welcome you to hatrack. You've come to the right place! [Smile]
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Krepta3000
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OH, I guess a sense of Irony is something I don't get either, when talking to others. Oh well. Thanks for the offer Scott R. [Smile] I'll get a copy to you somehow, if the stupid lightning goes away long enough. Anyway, I think the characters I create in my fantasies and writing are always very much like me, alone, not understood, definitely unable to understand what others are talking about and stuff. In a word, Alien.

Well, I'm at MCC at the moment. I think they don't want me writing this stuff, so I'll get off now. Bye. [Smile]

Krepta.

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fugu13
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Linux will run just fine on that server machine, and will be more stable and more able than windows 9x. Plus, its free (well, most versions are [Wink] ). So long as you serve up static pages you could saturate a T1 with that machine.

The main thing is not to try to run a heavy window manager (most of the time probably no window manager, in fact). Use something lightweight, like fluxbox.

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Scott R
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Krepta-- sounds like you could make a killing in the literary market-- all the characers in that genre are more alien than any in speculative fiction.

[Big Grin]

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TomDavidson
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Krepta, the central idea -- that early humanity was a mass-mind that has since become divided from itself -- is a good one, but I'm afraid the execution is painfully leaden. I won't nitpick your writing style, since that's something that will work itself out over time as you gain experience, but should point out that your structure defeats the story.

The essential wonder of your narrative, the idea that there's a mass-mind which has existed since the dawn of humanity, is completely destroyed by making that mass-mind the pompous, uninteresting narrator of an expository prologue. And by putting all that exposition in your prologue, you remove the mystery; why should we care about Fred, now, since we know who he's going to meet?

Consider how you handle "first contact:" a few dozen words after we meet the mass-mind, we're floating with Fred in space; a thousand words later, Fred is meeting an alien ship. Immediately, then, narration returns to the mass-mind -- to tell us the history of the ships, their purpose, and what they're thinking. So when the ship starts communicating with Fred, we KNOW they're being sincere about their intentions -- because you just TOLD us those intentions. There's nothing left for Fred to discover and reveal to us, the reader.

If you're going to write a big-idea novel -- and you clearly are, because this is obviously not a character-driven story -- you need to preserve our sense of discovery.

[ April 03, 2004, 01:29 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Krepta3000
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Thank you for your remarks Tom. I see your point, I think I should go back and try to take out the obviosness. I'll see if I can get Fred to learn about this alien race, thereby sharing his revelations with the reader. Maybe I should have it narated by Fred. Yah, sounds like a good idea.

As far as being pompous, I tried to make the character specificaly NOT all knowing or wise or anything. It isn't Ornate or Arrogant, it doesn't sit on a high throne commanding everyone, it isn't an absolute dictator.

I mean, it had no idea how to raise kids, lost a bunch of them to starvation and illness and injury. It was scared of what was happening to it as it nearly died in a mass overload.

When it started out as merely two bodies, it was much more vulnerable than any of it's siblings. It had limited mobility at first, needed more care from it's parent, needed to be very carefull. If either of it's two original bodies had died before giving birth to more of it's kind, it would have simply ceased to exist as a mutli-connected being, would have become a single individual. It started life just as fragile as anyone else.

It grew, certainly, because it's connective nature allowed it to see and hear and do more, as a single being, than any other. But it was not able to UNDERSTAND the others. It was kicked out, alone, a FREAK. And there still is no explanation, either in my own mind, or in the story, as to how this interconnection was formed in the first place.

Also, I've made no mention of religion or spirituality. I'm planning on expressing the concept that this being never explored spirituality, never knew the feeling of miracles and blessings and the supernatural. It is, in several ways, less developed as a person than any of us. It is more like a database of common knowledge than a person. Though it strugles to be a person.

It left the planet because it was still unable to understand how to deal with individuals and was, in fact, frightened of them. Perhaps I should strengthen that aspect of the character. In many ways this character is like a child, having never experienced many of the things that most Humans experience every day.

Hmm, this is gonna be a major overhaul. I'll call it Version 2 when I'm done changing everything around. [Smile]

Krepta.

quote:
Krepta, the central idea -- that early humanity was a mass-mind that has since become divided from itself -- is a good one, but I'm afraid the execution is painfully leaden. I won't nitpick your writing style, since that's something that will work itself out over time as you gain experience, but should point out that your structure defeats the story.

The essential wonder of your narrative, the idea that there's a mass-mind which has existed since the dawn of humanity, is completely destroyed by making that mass-mind the pompous, uninteresting narrator of an expository prologue. And by putting all that exposition in your prologue, you remove the mystery; why should we care about Fred, now, since we know who he's going to meet?

Consider how you handle "first contact:" a few dozen words after we meet the mass-mind, we're floating with Fred in space; a thousand words later, Fred is meeting an alien ship. Immediately, then, narration returns to the mass-mind -- to tell us the history of the ships, their purpose, and what they're thinking. So when the ship starts communicating with Fred, we KNOW they're being sincere about their intentions -- because you just TOLD us those intentions. There's nothing left for Fred to discover and reveal to us, the reader.

If you're going to write a big-idea novel -- and you clearly are, because this is obviously not a character-driven story -- you need to preserve our sense of discovery.

[ April 03, 2004, 01:29 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]


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Krepta3000
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Thanks Fugu for that suggestion. [Smile] I did learn a lot about Linux in my training at High Tech Institute, and I learned how to use the Apache web server. I'm confident that I could install Linux and make it work as a server. I've never saturated a T1 before, I don't really know exactly what that means, but I am not on a T1, so, whatever. [Smile] The main reason I don't use Linux is because I have programs that only run on Windows that I really like to use, and understand really well. If I switch to unix, my Server will basicaly be out of commision while I figure stuff out, get new programs that do the same kinds of things, and get everything configured.

I would really rather start from scratch, from a completely new system. Just plug it into my network and work on it till I think it's ready to handle the stuff that I want to do, then switch from the old server to the new one. If I can possibly do it, I'd want to run RAID 5 volumes, to keep my most valuable data better protected, and I would use RAID 1, which I think is just stripeing without parity, for the swap memory and temporary stuff. All of that is really easy to setup on a Windows 2000 Server, but I don't remember being trained to do that with Redhat Linux 7, I think it was.

There are so many different kinds of *nixes, that you really have to research them to find the one that fits you best. [Smile]

Anyway, all I'm saying is that if I do any major changes to my Server's OS and stuff, it's gonna be a real BIG change, litteraly from an old machine to a new one. [Smile]

Krepta.

quote:
Linux will run just fine on that server machine, and will be more stable and more able than windows 9x. Plus, its free (well, most versions are ). So long as you serve up static pages you could saturate a T1 with that machine.

The main thing is not to try to run a heavy window manager (most of the time probably no window manager, in fact). Use something lightweight, like fluxbox.


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Krepta3000
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Well, I guess everyone is bored, by now, with my lame attempt at writing a book. I'm not sure how many people have actualy tried to read it, but here is a status report anyway.

I'm now working on Version 2 of Missing Link, I deleted two whole chapters, renamed and modified the remaining two, then wrote a third chapter. Whew. It's hard making drastic changes like that, but, life's not a walk in the park. [Smile]

Anyway, anymore ideas or suggestions are welcome, and if you want you can modify the file however you like. [Smile] Just keep the original credits, make sure you put in your own, and upload the modified file to me. [Smile]

Aaron.

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