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(Fark Fiction Anthology)   "If you don't turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else's story." -Terry Pratchett. This is your Fark Writer's Thread, Storied Edition   (farkfiction.net) divider line
    More: CSB, Genre, registered trademark of Fark, panel of judges, Science fiction, best submissions, best results, Fark Fiction Anthology Submission thingee, Science Fiction  
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555 clicks; posted to Main » and Discussion » on 29 Jun 2022 at 5:00 PM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-06-29 4:19:53 PM  
Sir Terence David John Pratchett was a legendary fantasy writer who sold more than 85 million books worldwide, was knighted for his services to literature, and like any good fantasy knight, forged his own sword (with a bit of thunderbolt iron thrown in.) His writing was accessible, comfortable, and brilliant enough that even people who don't normally read fantasy are sometimes aware of his ideas: I've had business types reference the Sam Vimes "Boots" theory of socioeconomic unfairness to me, without having a clue where it came from.

This page lists some advice from Terry Pratchet for writers:

Write first, plan second. I just let it run, because you can always rewrite, check things, find the right way to say things. If you sit and plan, you get stuck in the planning. When you're writing a book, I find my fingers just start doing it.

Read non-fiction to become an ideas machine.Ideas come from anywhere and everywhere, particularly, it seems, offbeat non-fiction. Neil Gaiman is exactly the same, which is why we had so much fun doing Good Omens. Anything that looks vaguely interesting is worth reading. It could be the history of washing up. Something in there would make it worth reading and it would pop up someday when we needed it.

Take the pressure off by writing the ending first. If necessary, I will write the ending fairly early on in the process. Now that ending may not turn out to be the real ending by the time that I have finished. But I will write down now what I think the conclusion of the book is going to be. It's all a technique, not to get over writer's block, but to get 15,000 or 20,000 words of text under my belt. When you've got that text down, then you can work on it. Then you start giving yourself ideas.

Make characters relatable to connect to readers. I make considerable use of fantasy, but I also make considerable use of reality and indeed, every time Bilbo Baggins takes a quaff of ale, Tolkien makes considerable use of reality.

Study the best. To write good SF and to write good fantasy, like anything else, you have to have actually studied it. Not just thought, ooh this looks good, I know how it goes. You have to know what works. You have to know what's gone before. You have to know how Poe wrote, how everybody wrote. You have to read Brian Aldiss. But you have to read everybody, not just the SF guys. It's just following the masters. See how the best are doing it.

Well, I think he'd be fine with us studying him, then.

Actual (gasp!) writing update!

Yes, it actually happened! I finally finished up and submitted my entry to this year's Fark Fiction Anthology. As always, once I was done with it, I had no idea if it was the best thing I'd ever written or utter garbage. Lucky for me, the first readers seemed okay with it, so it's probably somewhere in between. Either way, ~8.5K words of SF/Horror are done!

Now I can get back to procrastinating about the novel I'm supposed to be working on. *cracks knuckles*

Fark Fiction Anthology Update!

It's the end of June, so that means there's just one month left to get your submissions in for this year's anothology!


We're looking for short, less than 10,000 word fiction submissions in the following genres:

Fantasy!
Science Fiction!
Humor!
Horror!
Suspense/mystery/thriller!


(And if you have a great story that doesn't fit into any of those, send it in any way! We'll find a way to make it work!)

Submissions will be open until July 31st, so get them in to us!

The 2022 Fark Fiction Anthology Submissions Page
 
2022-06-29 4:28:59 PM  
Take the pressure off by writing the ending first.If necessary, I will write the ending fairly early on in the process. Now that ending may not turn out to be the real ending by the time that I have finished. But I will write down now what I think the conclusion of the book is going to be. It's all a technique, not to get over writer's block, but to get 15,000 or 20,000 words of text under my belt. When you've got that text down, then you can work on it. Then you start giving yourself ideas.

It's Terry Pratchett, so I'm not going to say that there's no value or merit in this advice because clearly he knows a thing or two about the subject matter. But I disagree with this approach in just about any kind of writing. There are exceptions, of course, but it's been my experience, and the experience of many others, that having a defined ending can actually hamper and limit the creative process. You find yourself trapped into believing that everything you do must be toward that goal, and what can happen as a result is that you dismiss good ideas that might require upending your plans. Most of the writers I know prefer to write blind, and will articulate points that essentially boil down to, "I know what I'm doing is good because it's even surprising me."

That's not to say you can't have an idea of where things need to end, of course. You just have to be willing to accept that just because you've already written an ending, it's not written in stone. It needs to be every bit as much on the table as everything else you're writing. That's the part that can be hard for novice writers to wrap their heads around.
 
2022-06-29 4:43:53 PM  
I'm just here to chime in that Pratchett almost always found and told the truth about interpersonal, political and socioeconomic issues.  His first Vimes-centric story, Guards Guards, is an 100% accurate parable about how Trump was elected, but written in 1989.
 
2022-06-29 4:44:07 PM  
upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size
 
2022-06-29 5:02:16 PM  
I had that conversation with my boss just two days ago.  "You live only so long as people keep talking about you.   So try and live forever."
 
2022-06-29 5:04:12 PM  

Rent Party: I had that conversation with my boss just two days ago.  "You live only so long as people keep talking about you.   So try and live forever."


and Milan Kundera is also often correct
 
2022-06-29 5:05:54 PM  
Well, that's something
 
2022-06-29 5:09:30 PM  

Rent Party: I had that conversation with my boss just two days ago.  "You live only so long as people keep talking about you.   So try and live forever."


66.media.tumblr.comView Full Size
 
2022-06-29 5:16:52 PM  
I'm still looking for someone to write my story.  From orphaned newborn, to adoptee of a migrant farm family, to NSF researcher, to automated-driving pioneer, and someday, evil genius who destroys manki...

This is why I need someone else to write it.  I cannot stay on track.  Anyway, special events include making out with famous people, being struck by lightning, and fathering a child with an exceptionally enthusiastic ...

Dammit.  Im never going to get the real story out.
 
2022-06-29 5:16:55 PM  
Not mine, spotted as a screenie of someone else's facebook post, retyped to make copy/pasta easier.

GNU Terry Pratchett.

I started out reading a fantasy novel. A simple police procedural in a city far away, that straddles an old slow river.

But no, it was about ethics. It was about knowing the difference between what's allowed, what's legal, and what's right. And that fairly often those three don't line up.

Or it was about gender politics. About the first person in a society willing to step up and say "You've called me by this name, and this pronoun, all my life. But that isn't me. This is me. No, we don't even have that pronoun yet, but this is still me."

Or it was about racism. That constant social whine of "well, everybody knows what they're like." The blame game that's based on the whispered mutterings that never have a source, and always boil down to "I'm terrified because they are different. I'm terrified because when I look at them, for a second there I can see myself in their eyes and if I was wrong, then all I've said and done..."

It was about giving voices to the voiceless, and hearing how much they've been trying to say this whole time.

It was about what it means to be human.

I always start out reading a fantasy novel when it comes to Pratchett. And somehow it ends up in a moral philosophy lesson from a professor with a grasp of humanity that still leaves me astonished.
 
2022-06-29 5:19:35 PM  
I stop at the beginning.
 
2022-06-29 5:38:43 PM  
Some of us were destined to be "comic relief" in other folks' dramas.
Now if you'll excuse me I have to fart embarrassingly.
 
2022-06-29 6:00:23 PM  

whidbey: [upload.wikimedia.org image 324x346]


Gnu Zoo Revue
 
2022-06-29 6:05:25 PM  
"But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."
 
2022-06-29 6:18:43 PM  
I love Terry Pratchett. The idea of writing about serious themes but having it be funny to trick people into thinking about those themes was sheer genius. Like Kurt Vonnegut with a penchant for footnotes and wizard's robes. Like Mark Twain without all the racism.

Also, I finally finished my book, but after six months of trying to get agents to read it, I gave up and put it on Amazon. Anyone have any ideas on where to promote it? I stuck it up on the scifi sub on Reddit, but other than that, I really have no idea.
 
2022-06-29 6:18:59 PM  
I've started at the end and worked my way backwards a couple of times. I have trouble ending stories, so that exercise came in handy.
 
2022-06-29 7:19:27 PM  
Working on a play right now that both is and isn't personal to me.  Trouble is, if it ever gets produced in my hometown (a not-impossible thing as I know a BUNCH of theatre folk there) a lot of people are going to go 'oh, it's about (X). You're character (Y).'  This is doubly true of people in the theatre community there.

Somehow I doubt I'll be able to convince them of the truth:
1.  None of the characters are me.
2.  All three characters are me.

I mean, sure these statements directly contradict each other.  But they're still true.
 
2022-06-29 8:08:35 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Take the pressure off by writing the ending first.If necessary, I will write the ending fairly early on in the process. Now that ending may not turn out to be the real ending by the time that I have finished. But I will write down now what I think the conclusion of the book is going to be. It's all a technique, not to get over writer's block, but to get 15,000 or 20,000 words of text under my belt. When you've got that text down, then you can work on it. Then you start giving yourself ideas.

It's Terry Pratchett, so I'm not going to say that there's no value or merit in this advice because clearly he knows a thing or two about the subject matter. But I disagree with this approach in just about any kind of writing. There are exceptions, of course, but it's been my experience, and the experience of many others, that having a defined ending can actually hamper and limit the creative process. You find yourself trapped into believing that everything you do must be toward that goal, and what can happen as a result is that you dismiss good ideas that might require upending your plans. Most of the writers I know prefer to write blind, and will articulate points that essentially boil down to, "I know what I'm doing is good because it's even surprising me."

That's not to say you can't have an idea of where things need to end, of course. You just have to be willing to accept that just because you've already written an ending, it's not written in stone. It needs to be every bit as much on the table as everything else you're writing. That's the part that can be hard for novice writers to wrap their heads around.


You just disagreed with what he said, while agreeing with it.
Pratchett:
Now that ending may not turn out to be the real ending by the time that I have finished.

You:
That's not to say you can't have an idea of where things need to end, of course. You just have to be willing to accept that just because you've already written an ending, it's not written in stone
 
2022-06-29 8:10:58 PM  
There's little to no active thought happening when I write.

I may plan broad strokes, but generally, I'm as surprised as my readers are at what I wrote. My hands type and I stare through my monitor like I'm channeling a ghost. And honestly with my creative brain it may as well be. I've learned the hard way, the more I think, the worse my writing is.

I also know a character is officially whole when I start to argue with them.

Anyways, my book's intended drop date is tomorrow.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-29 8:16:43 PM  

Ringshadow: There's little to no active thought happening when I write.

I may plan broad strokes, but generally, I'm as surprised as my readers are at what I wrote. My hands type and I stare through my monitor like I'm channeling a ghost. And honestly with my creative brain it may as well be. I've learned the hard way, the more I think, the worse my writing is.

I also know a character is officially whole when I start to argue with them.

Anyways, my book's intended drop date is tomorrow.

[Fark user image 510x680]


Give us a link when it goes live! I'll buy a copy.
 
2022-06-29 8:48:53 PM  

toraque: Give us a link when it goes live! I'll buy a copy.


Fark user imageView Full Size


:3 you got it. Thank you kind farker.
 
2022-06-29 9:01:10 PM  

aungen: I'm still looking for someone to write my story.  From orphaned newborn, to adoptee of a migrant farm family, to NSF researcher, to automated-driving pioneer, and someday, evil genius who destroys manki...

This is why I need someone else to write it.  I cannot stay on track.  Anyway, special events include making out with famous people, being struck by lightning, and fathering a child with an exceptionally enthusiastic ...

Dammit.  Im never going to get the real story out.


Wanna know the rest? Hey, buy the rights! How bizarre...
 
2022-06-29 9:05:11 PM  
GNU Terry Pratchett.
Utterly splendid author.
I wonder how Vimes, Lady Sybil and Young Sam, The Patrician, Drumknott and Pessimal, Nanny Ogg, Magrat and Agnes, and all the Faculty (not forgetting The Librarian) are getting on. I hope Carrot, Angua, Colon and Nobby still thrive. How about Von Lipwig? Is he in running as The Patrician's replacement?
And even Enrico Basilica. Keep singing, and we won't tell about the Slumpie.
I guess we'll never know.
Pratchett created all these characters, and we somehow felt that they existed independently of the books.
And he even created a character WHO TALKED IN SMALL CAPS.
AND MADE HIM LIKEABLE
 
2022-06-29 9:20:56 PM  

Ringshadow: toraque: Give us a link when it goes live! I'll buy a copy.

[Fark user image image 680x398]

:3 you got it. Thank you kind farker.


Same here!
 
2022-06-29 9:56:54 PM  
If anyone remembers me talking about the Doc Savage - Doctor Who crossover I've mentioned here a couple times (and which has been kicking around in my mind since 2011 or earlier), I've been writing.  Finally.

Draft is now up to 14,000 words and I finally have everyone on stage and all the exposition is done.  Action can now get up to full speed.
 
2022-06-29 10:04:03 PM  

Rent Party: I had that conversation with my boss just two days ago.  "You live only so long as people keep talking about you.   So try and live forever."


GNU Sir PTerry.
 
2022-06-29 10:10:52 PM  

bakarocket: I love Terry Pratchett. The idea of writing about serious themes but having it be funny to trick people into thinking about those themes was sheer genius. Like Kurt Vonnegut with a penchant for footnotes and wizard's robes. Like Mark Twain without all the racism.


"So, you dwarves really do love gold?"

"No, we just say that to get it into bed with us."
 
2022-06-29 10:14:33 PM  
The first book I wrote I saw as a story that didn't end. first three really.

The one I'm on now, I wrote the end when I wrote the outline. I think it helps to know where the story is going. Of course nobody will know if I have to change it. I've already added characters I didn't plan on to fill holes or add to the story. I learned a neat trick on naming characters. For one last name I looked in my pantry. For another I picked the first name I saw looking at my library.  I wasted a lot of time thinking of names before that.

Anyway I'm to the point in the book right before the climax. Ratcheting up the action part. Building the suspense. And getting to the ending I basically know.
 
2022-06-29 10:44:28 PM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: If anyone remembers me talking about the Doc Savage - Doctor Who crossover I've mentioned here a couple times (and which has been kicking around in my mind since 2011 or earlier), I've been writing.  Finally.

Draft is now up to 14,000 words and I finally have everyone on stage and all the exposition is done.  Action can now get up to full speed.


I remember! And I'm still willing to beta read.

My opinion on writing the ending first is that sometimes it's necessary. Maybe not for you specifically, but for some writers in some situations. I've had a couple of stories coast to a stop, and the only way to get moving again was to work backwards. I don't know how you'd write a mystery any other way.
 
2022-06-29 11:01:59 PM  

Russell_Secord: Nicholas D. Wolfwood: If anyone remembers me talking about the Doc Savage - Doctor Who crossover I've mentioned here a couple times (and which has been kicking around in my mind since 2011 or earlier), I've been writing.  Finally.

Draft is now up to 14,000 words and I finally have everyone on stage and all the exposition is done.  Action can now get up to full speed.

I remember! And I'm still willing to beta read.

My opinion on writing the ending first is that sometimes it's necessary. Maybe not for you specifically, but for some writers in some situations. I've had a couple of stories coast to a stop, and the only way to get moving again was to work backwards. I don't know how you'd write a mystery any other way.


Send an email to the email address I have in my profile, and I'll send you what I've got.
 
2022-06-29 11:30:14 PM  

TelemonianAjax: aungen: I'm still looking for someone to write my story.  From orphaned newborn, to adoptee of a migrant farm family, to NSF researcher, to automated-driving pioneer, and someday, evil genius who destroys manki...

This is why I need someone else to write it.  I cannot stay on track.  Anyway, special events include making out with famous people, being struck by lightning, and fathering a child with an exceptionally enthusiastic ...

Dammit.  Im never going to get the real story out.

Wanna know the rest? Hey, buy the rights! How bizarre...


I don't need money if the final chapter includes the destruction of the species.  This is free.
 
2022-06-30 4:46:26 AM  
Sometimes, you have to take out other authors so that only your story remains.
 
2022-06-30 7:34:06 AM  

CptnSpldng: bakarocket: I love Terry Pratchett. The idea of writing about serious themes but having it be funny to trick people into thinking about those themes was sheer genius. Like Kurt Vonnegut with a penchant for footnotes and wizard's robes. Like Mark Twain without all the racism.

"So, you dwarves really do love gold?"

"No, we just say that to get it into bed with us."


Greatest deconstruction of racism evar.
 
2022-06-30 9:48:55 AM  

toraque: Give us a link when it goes live! I'll buy a copy.


Sim Tree: Same here!


Okay I'll admit it, I googled myself, and the book is live on Barnes and Noble! And some other retailers too of course.

/not seeing Amazon yet
//using tablo, might have to reach out if it doesn't pop up in a few days
 
2022-06-30 1:33:16 PM  

Ringshadow: There's little to no active thought happening when I write.

I may plan broad strokes, but generally, I'm as surprised as my readers are at what I wrote. My hands type and I stare through my monitor like I'm channeling a ghost. And honestly with my creative brain it may as well be. I've learned the hard way, the more I think, the worse my writing is.

I also know a character is officially whole when I start to argue with them.

Anyways, my book's intended drop date is tomorrow.

[Fark user image 510x680]


Congratulations!
 
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