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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Hatrack Groups » Updates to Hatrack Blogs (Page 4)

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Author Topic: Updates to Hatrack Blogs
Osiris
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A new post over at Scientific American:
The Future of Epidemiology: Next-Gen Sequencing

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Unwritten
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The One Where I Stop Being Sad, And Start Being Awesome!

http://theprosers.blogspot.com/2012/04/humor-makes-me-laugh-even-when-i-want.html

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MAP
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New post at Prosers. How to make the Ensemble Work
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LDWriter2
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A few posts for mine.
Two non-writing subjects:
Warning

Letter to editor


Back to writing

update thingie

udate thingie2


Maybe a update thingie three if I get to it.

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MartinV
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It's finally done: Clockworks Warrior
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MAP
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Another post on Prosers. Sometimes the boy shouldn't get the girl
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Unwritten
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Congratulations MartinV! That's awesome.

Here is my post about why writers shouldn't read:
http://theprosers.blogspot.com/2012/04/sometimes-writers-shouldnt-read.html

Well, that might not be what it's really about, but I guess you'll have to go look at it and find out for sure, right?

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MAP
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Sheena's out of town. So I'm advertising for her awesome new post. Character quirks
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MAP
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Osiris, I just read your blog from Scientific America. Very interesting. Sorry I wasn't able to critique it for you, but I don't think you needed my help. It was very well done.
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MAP
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My new post on The Prosers. How Writing is like Parenting
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RoxyL
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The latest on the Prosers is up.

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Insights on writing tricky action sequences and fight scenes.

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MartinV
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Great post, RoxyL. It got me thinking and I've written a blog post of my own about battle scenes. I hope you find it interesting.

Battle Scenes

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LDWriter2
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I'm behind on my updating, there's something like 10 new posts since my last updating I've been a bit busy with the blog it looks like. They deal with asteroid mining. One about UF, one about "Blood Will Tell" and another update or two.

But the last one Is Here and has a nice surprise.

The post is about Lisa Shearin a writer with about seven books out--at least five--all in one series. She sells T-shirts with sayings from her series. But recently she added what I call writing T-shirts. So I mentioned that and listed a link to the T-shirt page on her web site. http://www.cafepress.com/lisashearin

Surprise she left a "thank you" note on the blog. I've E-mailed her a few times and she usually responds- I say usually because she didn't the last time-even though at times I get long winded.

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Unwritten
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Here is my Prosers post about the importance of first sentences. Some of you old-timers might remember [endlessly] critiquing this first 13 a few years ago.
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Crank
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Ouch. I've completely neglected this thread. Actually, I've been neglecting my blog almost as much. My Cinco de Mayo resolution will be to attend to both more often.

Ironically, my first offering is a post from the day I decided I needed to post more often: Digital Spring Cleaning

Here's one of the many ways I conquer a rainy day: WWaHD

Here's a post about my idea of combining my Writer's Playoff Beard practice with a traditional hockey playoff beard: Double Bearded

...and here's the post where I started wondering what was going though my mind when I came up with that idea: Unshaven Goals

Thanx in advance for checking out my thoughts!

S!

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mbwood
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Hey, Unwritten, in regard to your 'openings,' maybe I can offer this:

Openings: An old and tired classic...

“It was a dark and stormy night...”

This opening will guarantee rejection. Why?
First, it is a tired, tired cliché.
But that’s not its only sin, for it also uses passive voice construction. The setting acts upon the characters.
Third, it is a redundant phrase. When are nights not dark? Especially a stormy night. Duh!
Fourth, it is vague, lacking in specificity. What kind of storm? Is it a snowstorm, windstorm, hailstorm, rainstorm, thunderstorm? Well, what is it? A duststorm?

Lastly, stories are about people, and to start with setting requires a very strong reason rather than creating a mood. Give the reader something to care about.

Got it?

mbwood

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Unwritten
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@mbwood: I'm not certain if you didn't read my post or if it simply confused you, but I in no way meant to imply that "It was a dark and stormy night" was a sentence anyone should use, unless it was in parody of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's first usage of the word. Toward the end, I mention that even though I always thought it was a beautiful sentence, it didn't meet my criteria of leaving the reader with an unanswered question.

On the other hand, as I read the comments people have left on my blog post, I tend to agree with them--its incredibly important that the first sentence is true to the rest of the story. And if someone feels like the way to do that is by mentioning the weather first, I say more power to them.

I apologize for inadvertently making you so upset...but I appreciate that you stopped by to visit. I'm much more likely to see comments if you leave them on the blog. Thank you.

[ May 06, 2012, 08:54 AM: Message edited by: Unwritten ]

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mbwood
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@unwritten:

Naw, I wasn't upset. It was just a little piece I used in a writing workshop presentation.

Yep, I agree, the first sentence is the most important sentence in a novel, along with the first paragraph and the first page holding the same rank.

IMHO, the only author who had used setting (successfully) as an opener (and for a close) is James Lee Burke - see Neon Rain.

Remember the first rule of writing... Write!
mbwood

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LDWriter2
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Have two more posts-maybe three- but the most important one deals with the Craft Of Writing . It deals with some of what I have learned about writing.

There is also an old post I never finished. This one deals with a series I am reading so even though I finished the book months ago it still fits.


That is what the third post is. A post I left unfinished and forgot about. Blogger changed they way the set up and I discovered that I had twelve unfinished posts, Oops. Most of them didn't apply anymore so I just deleted them.

Actually that post was finished a couple of posts ago but the rest of it still applies.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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mbwood and unwritten, you know, I hope, that Madeleine L'Engle started A WRINKLE IN TIME with that sentence.

Edited to add:

Tony Hillerman started most (if not all) of his books (and many of his chapters within his books) with settings/weather reports, and they all worked for me (mainly because they were usually settings/weather reports as observed by Jim Chee or Joe Leaphorn, and there was also characterization involved with the description.

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Unwritten
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@Kathleen: Yes, and I love the way Madeleine L'Engle did it. She's an amazing writer.
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MAP
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My new post on Prosers Shhhh My Mom is a Bookaholic
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mbwood
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Hmm, Stephen King, Hillerman, Clancy and other well-known authors can start their novels any way they want and the acquiring editor will rub her hands and say; “wonderful!”

However, if an aspiring, unpublished author submits a novel that starts: ‘It was a dark and stormy night,’ the acquiring editor will not hesitate to reach for a rejection slip. What was acceptable in 1962 no longer is today because it has been used. Peanuts even jeers at that opening.

Starting with setting is risky, particularly so for an unpublished writer. If a writer has a large fan base ('platform'), the standards are different.

mbwood

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MartinV
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Fascinating but I don't think it belongs to this particular thread.
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Meredith
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I just added a post about what I learned from starting to record one of my stories. You can even hear my voice if you click on the little link. [Smile]
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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mbwood, this topic is where the subject of well-known authors being able to do things new authors can't is being discussed.
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MartinV
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A little post I made today about killing characters.
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LDWriter2
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Update time for my updates.

Three writing updates on my blog.

Update One

Update Two

Update Three

Actually that is one update with two PS-s.


And one new one that's not an update.
UGH

[ May 13, 2012, 01:13 AM: Message edited by: LDWriter2 ]

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MAP
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Latest post My take on world-building
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Unwritten
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Here is my post about sadistic authors.
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MAP
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Hey people, where are your updates!!!


My latest Even the noblest of characters need flaws

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MartinV
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Here's mine.
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Owasm
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After nearly two months of nothing, I exploded into three posts. One is on my current novel writing method.

http://www.guyantibes.com/2012/05/26/so-what-method-is-working-for-me/

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LDWriter2
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Hmm, turns out I got four posts since I last posts here.

A new update Interesting stuff on my writing.

Not so interesting comments from me about my writing. here and here


But a nice, non-spoiler little review of "Side Jobs" by Jim Butcher along with a new idea of mine.

Two wizards

That's it for me for now

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MAP
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Thanks Martin, Owasm, and LDwriter2 keep it up. [Smile]


My new post The trouble with endings

Also if any of you are curious about what Foste learned while he wrote a novel in 7 days, he blogged about out over on the prosers found here. It's funny and insightful, definitely worth a read. [Smile]

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MartinV
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Good, post MaryAnn. Here's my reply. I hope you don't mind a bit of dialogue (*caugh* ideas for blog posts *caugh*).
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Osiris
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Been a little slow with the posts lately, so here I make a case for cliches. If nothing else, you should enjoy Legolas shooting a goblin between the eyes.

The Cliche Cliche: Think Twice Before The Slice

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MartinV
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Good one, Osiris. Added my 5 cents (that would be a cliche, neh?)
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Osiris
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Thanks Martin. I suppose you modified the cliche, as I've always heard it as 'my 2 cents'. I suppose with inflation since the cliche was originally coined, opinions are now worth 5 cents. [Smile]
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Wasn't first class postage only 2 cents when that was coined (as in "the cost of sending a letter to express my opinion")?

It would be a lot more than 5 cents by now, if that's the case.

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MartinV
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Nice to see my blunder is taken seriously. [Wink]
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MartinV
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My newest update.
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MAP
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My latest Best Superhero Movies

Feel free to join in on making fun of me for my #5 choice. [Smile]

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Crank
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Dagaz is the post where I remind myself to be joyful during my writing exploits.

Here's the post where I accept the fact that having definitive writing goals is the best way for me to get definitive results: Sharpshooting; here's the post where I pick an absolutely insane target: Ready, Aim...; and here's the post where I consciously chose to make things even more challenging for myself: Pour Me Another!

The Wooded Experience is just a fun post where I compare where I live now to all the places I used to live.

S!

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MAP
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Inspired by the 1st person thread here on hatrack, I blogged about The Dreaded Mary Sue
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MartinV
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It's been some time but here's a new blog post of mine. MAP, I haven't seen any of yours lately. Slacking off, are we? [Wink]
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Unwritten
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This post was written to help get my creative mojo back.
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Osiris
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Over at the Scientific American Guest Blog, I introduce a new series I'm doing on science in the Arab world.

Scientific Arabian: Revolutions Then and Now

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MAP
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@ Martin, just took a little vacation, but I'm back. [Smile]

New post Movies vs. Books

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Robert Nowall
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Not a blog update, but I did put two new stories up on my website: www.robertnowall.com

(I would'a put up a third story, but it's still at market. Curse these slow rejections!)

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