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(Fark)   I have a complete guide that will tell an aspiring writer exactly how to finish their novel, or at least I will, as soon as I can finish writing it. This is your Fark Writer's Thread, pending completion edition   ( divider line
    More: CSB, Neiman Marcus, Finish, Ron Artest, James Hetfield, Cascading Style Sheets, main event, Sports, great deal of dark magic  
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413 clicks; posted to Main » and Discussion » on 27 Oct 2021 at 6:15 PM (35 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

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2021-10-27 6:35:40 PM  
4 votes:
For me, it's when I am more likely to break something than to fix something.

I think it was George Lucas who said "Projects are never completed. They are simply abandoned at some point."
2021-10-27 7:11:26 PM  
3 votes:
I found the screen writing course on Amazon's Signature Great Courses (Screenwriting 101: Mastering the Art of Story) addicting.   It is art, seen through the eyes of a Shakespeare dude who's a neural biologist with a Yale PhD in English, and quite a few produced TV and film titles.

One lecture explains how "Game of Thrones" - the Pilot bombed the first time around.  They followed the chronology of the novel.  Boring for TV.  The rewrite changed everything.  GOT used focus groups to calm the accountants and bankers.

The major technique in the course for film, TV comedy, procedural crime, sitcom writing is to move backward from the ending once you have prepared.  Even if you never touch another key on the keyboard, your experience of screen media will be transformed.
2021-10-27 7:25:10 PM  
3 votes:
So, I just had an article get completed by somebody else, without my knowing. And I think they "borrowed" my research while doing so.

Frank Herbert wrote for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat for four years before he wrote Dune and became famous. I compiled all his articles from microfilm, 140 articles and another 200 sets of photos, and made a detailed list of each category. I gave a copy of this index to the editor who oversaw my internship, and he called it a very impressive set of research.

A couple months ago, anticipating the film release, I pitched that same editor my article idea, which includes books he wrote mentioning Santa Rosa, such as The Santaroga Barrier. He finally got back to me, and said a couple other departments might be more suited for that article, and he gave me their emails. He said he had already talked to his colleagues about it. When I emailed them, I mentioned that the other editor had referred me to them. I never heard back.

Yesterday, because the movie just came out, the newspaper ran a real quick article about how Frank Herbert used to write for them. It was short and sparse on details, but it mentioned a detail which only exists in my research.

The Press Democrat writer quotes an editorial he wrote, about there being two Frank Herberts, one of whom had just moved away when the author moved to town. This caused great confusion by people looking him up in the phone book, wanting to talk to the REAL Frank Herbert. The PD writer added that the other Herbert had moved to Eureka, which was not in the editorial FH wrote. In was in my independent research, and I had spent a long, long, time reading the old social pages until I found the snippet saying he had moved to Eureka. I dug for that specific detail for a long, long time.

A throwaway detail, really. But it shows she used MY notes to write her article, without citing it. The fact that I was an intern when I did all that research, and she got paid to "scoop" my article, irritates me on a professional level as well.

That article seemed lazy, too. And whoever wrote it didn't know that much about him or his books - one of which was named after that town.

I couldn't find her email on break, I'll contact her later and ask her if she accidentally plagiarized me.

I'm curious for advice what to do.
Serious suggestions are also appreciated.
2021-10-27 7:18:40 PM  
2 votes:
Novels that end with all the loose ends tied up and all the problems solved can be cloying. Certain types of stories, such as 'who done its' require such an ending, but satisfying conclusions are rare in the real world. End a novel when you feel you have told the reader enough but not everything. Find a smart and ruthless editor that you trust.
2021-10-27 11:15:51 PM  
2 votes:
For me the story is done when it tells a story.    If it doesn't' tell a story, then it's just an idea, or some scribbling.

Getting the story on paper, on the other hand, that never seems to end.
2021-10-27 6:41:01 PM  
1 vote:

GallantPelham: Can someone please help me find a link to the epic trapped in chair thread
2021-10-27 6:41:46 PM  
1 vote:
How to write a story real good. Start and the beginning, add  a chunk of middle  stuff, and end at the ending.
2021-10-27 6:45:18 PM  
1 vote:

Sim Tree: For me, it's when I am more likely to break something than to fix something.

I think it was George Lucas who said "Projects are never completed. They are simply abandoned at some point."

The original (probably possibly):

"A poem is never finished; it is only abandoned."
~ Paul Valéry, paraphrased by W. H. Auden
2021-10-27 7:25:46 PM  
1 vote:
Finish? I recognize the term, but do not understand it in the context of writing.

I generally start out with a rough idea about what the story should cover, usually including a rough idea of how it ought to end. That bit often gets written first- or at least fairly early in the project- and then I fill in the "how we get there" bits in between the beginning and end. My problem usually falls in the huge middle bit, where I keep cramming more and more useless exposition, followed by adding bits to the beginning to lay the foundation for the useless exposition, which requires more useless exposition. Lather, rinse, and repeat a few dozen times, and I end up cutting five or six thousand words from a story to fit the ten-K word limit.

I started writing what I thought would be a short detective story- which is currently running north of 60K words. I can't decide if I want to continue as a novel or start cutting out useful bits to re-write as stand-alone short stories.
2021-10-27 7:58:41 PM  
1 vote:

Spice Must Flow: Rant about ubiquitous injustice

I was wrong and mistaken in my earlier post. I just got home and reread my notes and transcripts. The detail about Eureka was, in fact, in that editorial Frank Herbert wrote. I had been looking in the microfilm for that exact date, not the destination.

Still, all that reporter's data about Herbert's newspaper articles came directly from my research. The editor probably put my index into the Frank Herbert folder, which was recently used to hastily write that article.

Maybe if they had done an amazing job plagiarizing my research, shown they were a real fan or at least passingly familiar, I would feel honored instead of swindled.

Anyway, I just wanted to clarify that I was wrong and mistaken about that one specific detail, not to continue my rant.

But I ask my fellow writers:
Personal feelings aside, on a professional level do I have a legitimate complaint that another writer used my research without citing me? In a hasty, lazy article which I had pitched to them months ago?
2021-10-27 8:30:34 PM  
1 vote:
For me a story is like a spell. You have to include what reinforces your central idea and exclude everything else. You can reach a point where the words and the idea mesh to the best of your ability. If you then change the words or the idea, you lose some of the efficacy until you adjust one or the other. That's the best way I can explain it. Once that gestalt happens, you either change it or accept it and move on.
2021-10-28 2:07:37 AM  
1 vote:
John Coltrane complained once about never knowing how to end a solo.
Miles Davis told him, "Man, just take the horn out of your mouth."
2021-10-28 9:57:58 AM  
1 vote:

The Ice Cream Man: Considering that this is probably the same editor that you pitched the idea to, he/she was probably the one who told the author to take your notes and write the article. So, chalk it up to experience, as in "don't trust your former employers to do the right thing. Right? Write?

It was a different editor, from a different section, not the one I spoke to directly. He was a good guy.

I'm not really interested in "legal" remedies, but on a different level. Several journalists have lost their careers by making up sources, or some other unethical behavior. While I'm not really interested in destroying this person's career, I'm trying to gauge the seriousness of the situation. 

My best option is to write an amazing article for the free weekly paper instead, which published my first FH article. However, I thought the article was better suited for the newspaper, and did not want to pitch it to two publications in the same town. Now I realize I should have.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback, everyone.
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