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Author Topic: Pitfalls of writing SF and F (applies to F in H, too, I think)  (Read 8015 times)
Ed
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« on: December 16, 2008, 05:05:44 PM »

Can't remember how I came across this link to Vonda McIntyre's site, but on the end of this link is another one of those tip lists that famous and up and coming authors seem fond of writing. The tips make a fair bit of sense, though.

http://www.vondanmcintyre.com/Pitfalls.html
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2008, 05:27:01 PM »

Very nice!
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2008, 12:52:50 AM »

It seems she apparently knows what she's talking about!

DW santa_cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2008, 01:07:43 AM »

These things are always useful, but rarely different from one another.  I guess there's only so many ways to write poorly, haha
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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2008, 03:35:35 AM »

It is always fun to read another list. Nothing new there really compared to Al Guthrie's Hunting down the pleonasms
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102594

and Elmore Leonard's 10 Tips
http://www.elmoreleonard.com/index.php?/weblog/more/elmore_leonards_ten_rules_of_writing/

Pleonasms, or redundancy, and its laceration takes up much of my life as a freelance writer. None of those tips focus on POV, Show not tell, and making characters 3D - those three take up much of my time too.

Geoff
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« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2008, 06:12:46 AM »

Quote
and making characters 3D - those three take up much of my time too.

I reckon I'm going to attach a pair of those blue and red cardboard spectacles when submitting stories to editors in future... 

Del
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"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2008, 11:39:58 AM »

Quote
and making characters 3D - those three take up much of my time too.

I reckon I'm going to attach a pair of those blue and red cardboard spectacles when submitting stories to editors in future... 

Del

LOL. You don't need to worry with your characters - those in your Silver scifi story still stick in my mind.

Geoff
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« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2008, 12:12:54 PM »

Cheers, Ed

Ooh, Christmas smilies  santa_cheesy
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Ed
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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2008, 07:03:47 PM »

Her pdf on manuscript preparation is good, too - http://www.vondanmcintyre.com/Mssprep.pdf
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2008, 04:45:01 AM »

Her formatting guidelines are a bit dated. I know of no mainstream publisher that still wants italicised words to be underlined in an electronicor paper submission format. For small press it is a pain to convert them especially as some underlined words might be hyperlinks. Most do not want two spaces between each sentence, though they are easy to fix.
Good overal advice though.

She seems to avoid mentioning the real reason why subs are in Courier - she mentions ease of reading and acquisition eds being used to Courier but in fact it is easier to read a serif font - on paper or screen if you are to read thousands of words in one session. Courier, is a font where each letter has equal width. Consequently, it is easier to estimate the word length. No one seems to trust the word count software.

Very handy list of the submission links to the main US editors for SF.
Just remember there are British and Irish mags too - and Escape Velocity!

Geoff
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