The Town Square II

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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Shawna » Sep 28, 2019 8:24 am

Dang, I keep forgetting to come here for months at a time. So, hi everyone.

Rya, that's so exciting about your new home. Congratulations! How's that story you mentioned coming?

I actually just published my first novel. It's called "Seven Years Awesome Luck" and is about a boy who turns into a cat, then turns into a boy again seven years later and hates it. It was fun to write and turned out way longer than expected, and the whole editing/proofreading/publishing process took longer than anticipated. By the time I finished writing it, I just wanted to get it out there and finished, so I was like, "Ugh, why do I have to keep reading it over and over just to make sure it's *ready*?" LOL. Necessary but tedious is the editing process for me. But anyway, it feels good to actually see it through to completion.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Arwen_Daeneri31 » Sep 28, 2019 6:28 pm

Is there an RPs going on?

*new girl asks while peeking around the forums.*
It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Lady Arwen » Sep 29, 2019 12:43 am

Hello, Arwen! Nice to meet you...er, myself. ;) ;)) Welcome to the forum!

Because the Town has been so quiet of late, there are only two writing events going on: one is Apartment 51, where individuals write their own stories, and then chat about them with each other, or the Mansion, which is an RP that is about 3/4 of the way done with its current story. If you take a read through it and are interested in joining, drop me a PM, and we will work on getting your character in. Otherwise, the next RP will start about mid-December. You can PM me by hitting the little box with the pawn and "PM" on it, located under my information on the right. If you have general questions, too, I can probably help you out!

There are a lot of authors and storytellers hanging around, though! Most of us are rather Entish (in that we're slow moving and take a long time to think). :)

Speaking of...Conga-rats, Shawna!
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Arwen_Daeneri31 » Sep 29, 2019 12:36 pm

I do understand ent-ish I am that way too with school going on. I will read through it and message you. And tis nice to meet you too...or me... :)
It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Shawna » Sep 29, 2019 8:13 pm

Thanks, Lady Arwen. :)
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby stargazer » Sep 29, 2019 9:19 pm

Congrats, Shawna!

Welcome, Arwen. Glad to meet another writer and look forward to reading about your characters.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Arwen_Daeneri31 » Sep 29, 2019 10:25 pm

Thanks stargazer

How do I get an avatar that fits and a signature? im not that tech savvy.

Thank you Ryadian for your help.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Ryadian » Sep 30, 2019 3:27 pm

Welcome to the forum, Arwen, and welcome to Ditto Town! :) To answer your question, if you're looking for an image that fits the requirements, we actually have a couple of threads on the forum for those who like to make avatars and signature images, which generally fit our image requirements. Here's one for avatars specifically for Narnia, and here's one for any non-Narnian graphics. I know some search engines can search for images of a specific pixel size, though I only use Google and Google seems to have lost that feature (either that or I can't find it anymore).

If you're looking for information about how to add an image to your profile, there's a guide here. You'l have to scroll down to the "How to upload images to your profile" section. And if you have any more questions, feel free to PM me or another mod and we'll help you out. :)

(That reminds me, I really should update my avatar sometime. ;)) )

Conga Rats, Shawna!! :D Your premise sounds amazing - either transformation would've been interesting on its own, but doing both? Now I really want to see how this turns out! I'm glad all your hard work has paid off. :) I can only imagine what the editing process is like. I have a hard enough time getting myself to sit down and just finish a complete draft!

Speaking of which, I'll admit I'm not working on that particular story anymore. ;)) That is to say, I'm not actively working on it at the moment - I haven't abandoned it entirely. I've been having a hard time staying focused and motivated enough to write at all, so I've been letting myself jump from story to story as it grabs my interest. Probably bad for getting any particular story done, but at least I'm writing. :P I've taken to leaving the house for at least an hour, ideally two, a week, and spending my time away focusing entirely on writing. That, at least, has been very helpful.

*Sighs contentedly and basks in the glories of autumn* I love fall (have I ever mentioned this before? :P ). October is my favorite month of the year, and I'm so looking forward to it beginning tomorrow!
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Shawna » Sep 30, 2019 9:38 pm

Thanks, Stargazer and Rya!

Staying focused is definitely a big part of the challenge. It's very much still something I'm working on. One day, I was able to stay super-focused and got 10k words done that day. So I know it's possible. It's so incredibly easy to get distracted, though, and it's harder to stay focused when I'm not totally sure what I'm doing for each scene. (On that day, I had the next several scenes planned out, so 'what am I doing with this?' wasn't an issue.) I've been keeping a daily word count ledger for the past few years, and the number of days where the word count is zero makes me really ashamed of myself. Like, months at a time. It's inexcusable.

I write pretty clean drafts, though, so I do very light editing. I did the much deeper editing (to the point of re-writing the whole thing) for several years there with other projects (and there's still a book I wrote several years ago that I want to completely rewrite), but I'm at the point where I can mostly figure out that something isn't working as I write it and make immediate corrections rather than having to go back and fix it (or overhaul it) later. Practice makes perfect and all.

Still very much figuring out what my process should be, and I really need to figure out how to make books the length I want them to be. My target for this last one was 100k and it ended up over 160k. I'm very bad at anything to do with estimating numbers, but this is one area where I really need to figure it out. I want to do a sci-fi trilogy next, but I'm sort of taking a break and writing some fanfic.

And you know, one of these days, I still want to write a series using the VF (not as the main character). Funny how characters or plot ideas can stick with us for years or decades before we finally get around to using them in an actual book. I've got another series I'm working on where the first book is finished (not published yet), but which I had worked on and re-worked and completely re-wrote for maybe 15 years before I finally got it in a form I liked, because I liked the core of what I had, and it just took that long for my abilities to live up to the story's potential.

I love fall, too. It's not feeling very autumny yet for me, but it's turning that way. :)
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Ryadian » Jan 18, 2020 10:04 am

Well, it took me long enough to come back. :P :ymblushing:

Having clean drafts must be a huge help. My rough drafts tend to be of the "scrap the entire thing and start over" variety, so getting a lot of writing done can help me organize my ideas better for next time... but I rarely get to keep the actual writing. Or maybe I just judge myself too harshly in my first drafts. That is a distinct possibility. :P But I do think that if I let myself go too long without writing, I just end up in a rut of self-doubts and lose all interest in my own writing. That's probably the most dangerous thing.

I think I know what you mean. Most of my stories are variations on ideas I've been working on since my earliest writing days. ;)) I even have an idea for a Phoenix Archer reboot that I keep coming back to (a reboot that, admittedly, bears almost no resemblance to the original :P ). You saying that you've been working on the series for about 15 years is both encouraging and frightening. I've got a few stories that I've been working on for well over a decade with apparently no progress, and I trick myself into thinking that I should be done with them already. Ignoring that most successful authors had to work on their projects for years before they were ready.

Things are starting to quiet down now that Christmas is over and work is getting less busy. (Normally our winter lull would've started in November, but mitigating circumstances kept us busy until pretty much just this week.) I'm hoping that things quieting down will mean that I'll actually, y'know, get things done, be they chores or writing projects. I've lived in my new house for almost a year and I still have boxes that aren't unpacked. But I guess I'll have to see how well that works out. ;))
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Shawna » Jan 20, 2020 4:30 pm

Rya, how many novels have you finished at least the first draft of? (Fanfic counts.) I actually started with screenplays, and I wrote at least three of those and two TV show scripts, so I got a lot of my practice in that way. Then I wrote a lot of short fanfic. Even then, the first original novel I finished, I did a lot of editing on it and it still isn't very good (I want to do a total rewrite one of these days). You really do have to do a lot of practice before you can get to the point of putting out something you're happy with.

When I say I worked on it 15 years, obviously that wasn't the only thing I was doing (including other writing). But even still, things take me way, way longer to write than they really should. I'm constantly trying to figure out how to improve my productivity. I think one of the big thing that makes it hard is that while there are many books telling people how to write, everyone is different, so what any individual person's process needs to be is something that person has to trial-and-error their way through themselves, and it's pretty much never an easy or quick process. (IMO, anyway.)
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Ryadian » Jan 20, 2020 10:58 pm

If you count NaNos and a couple of other odds and ends... I think, even including fanfiction, probably only two that I could fairly call a "finished first draft". (I have a fanfiction that's probably long enough to count, except I never actually finished it. :P ) I am very bad about starting a draft, getting frustrated, and starting completely over. I had grand plans of finishing another draft last year to give me a goal and something to be proud of once I was done, but... well, I have to make the same goal this year. :P

Ugh, I know the productivity struggle all too well - and then the experts will all tell you different things about what you should/shouldn't do. I try to find a balance between being disciplined and still enjoying the writing I do, but the pendulum always ends up on one side or the other. It doesn't help that it seems like my long period of not writing at all basically hit the rest button on knowing what methods do and don't work for me.

Were the screenplays you wrote also fanfic, or were they original? Either way, do you still like script writing or do you prefer novels? I've tried my hand at scripts, but I've never been particularly happy with the results. Then again, I'm never particularly happy with my prose, so there's that. ;))
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby coracle » Jan 22, 2020 1:33 am

My friend here has recently got into Lego in her 50s. She tells me it's more expensive here, and asked if I could buy her some items while I am in USA. There is at least one biggish box she'd like, that I may buy and post over.

Minnesota friends, is it likely that I'd find basically all the box sets in most Lego stores? Or would the Mall of America one be unusual in its stock?
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Ryadian » Jan 22, 2020 11:15 am

I'll admit, it's been a while since I've visited the MoA (I go there so rarely considering how close I live :P ), but they've got a pretty wide variety at there. I haven't been to a dedicated toy store in ages either, but from what I remember, they generally have an entire section devoted to Lego, so there'd probably be a good variety there, too.

My experience is mostly from big-box stores. They tend to have at least one aisle of Lego, if not two or three, and there's a wide range. I feel like there's a pretty big emphasis on licensed products (especially Star Wars) there, though. Then again, I think that's true of Lego in general these days, but that's neither here nor there. ;))

Lovely to see you in the Town Square, Auntie! :)
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Shawna » Feb 22, 2020 11:56 am

"(I have a fanfiction that's probably long enough to count, except I never actually finished it."

Yeah, I really hate how many unfinished fanfics I have out there. Nothing long enough to be a novel in itself (I don't think), but long enough that I hate having abandoned them. I took some down but left some up because maybe, one day, I really would like to finish them. I'm optimistic like that. But I really try now not to start posting anything until I've got it complete. (I hate disappointing people who do read it, since I've read too many great unfinished fanfics myself, and it sucks.)

The tricky thing about productivity is that everyone has to figure out their own way. Some people need to spend time doing something else for their brain to work stuff out. I find that I need to actively work through a thing for me to figure it out. So it's hard to tell someone else how to do it.

"Were the screenplays you wrote also fanfic, or were they original?"

Let's see, I wrote ...
2 fully original screenplays
1 fanfic screenplay
2 spec scripts for TV shows (which is where you write an episode of an existing show, which makes it basically fanfic, except that's actually how it's done in TV writing when you're trying to make a portfolio)

The first original screenplay is the one I'm basing a novel series off of. The second, I might one day turn into a standalone novel, though I'll really have to take a look at it and see if there's enough there to make something good. The fanfic screenplay, I might turn that into an actual fanfic at some point. Maybe the spec scripts, too, if I ever get interested in that show again.

I don't write screenplays anymore. When I decided to focus on novels, I shifted completely over. There's just no reason to write screenplays unless you're willing to put in the considerable effort to try to sell them to someone. So, I can't really say if I like it anymore, since I don't do it anymore. I probably would, if someone wanted to hire me to write a screenplay. Though I love how much more in the heads of characters I can get with novels. Screenplays are so outside of the character (and you have to be really limited in what you describe, since you've got to leave room for actors and directors to do their jobs), it's just a very different thing. Fun in it's own way, yes, but really not rewarding at all unless you've got some way to sell it or make your own film. I actually posted one or two of the spec scripts I wrote on a fanfic site, and it got basically no reads. People just don't want to read anything in script form (it's about as exciting as looking at blueprints).
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Ryadian » Mar 22, 2020 3:39 pm

I'm kind of in the same boat of not wanting to publish things until they're finished, though for me, it's more because of how often I want to start over and change everything. But my brother and I are talking about starting a webcomic now, so... if I'm going to do that, I've gotta ditch that mentality. :P Granted, we're working on a couple of practice comics first so we're not basically our first draft out there. But at some point, I'm going to have to just commit to what we've written and move on.

Righting spec scripts sounds like it would be really interesting! (Come to think of it, I technically did that once. Oh, goodness, that was over 10 years ago now. I'm not sure I want to remember....) I hadn't thought about the loss of control of your characters in a script. They're my favorite part of writing (even if they're so difficult to wrangle!), I'm not sure how I'd feel about handing it off to someone else to interpret. Granted, maybe I should actually finish something before I get too concerned about that. ;))

I'm glad to hear you're still getting some use out of your screenplays, though! At least having the story figured out must be so helpful for turning it into a novel. But I can see why you'd want to pick one or the other. It's not like either format is easy.

I'm working from home these days (at least temporarily), which so far I'm actually really enjoying (if not the reason why). I like having a 30 second commute. ;)) I have been burning out towards the end of the day, and I suspect two causes. One, I'm pushing myself to work really hard so that I can hopefully convince my boss to let me do this again in the future, under better circumstances. Two, I've been mostly using my breaks to do chores, instead of just read/browse the interwebs like I was doing at the office, so I don't get as much relaxation time as I did before. So I may have to back off on that a bit.

Buuut, I also had one of the best creative weekends I've had in ages, I think because I had fewer chores to worry about when it came to my free time. I had to get my oil changed on Saturday (oh, the errands I wish I'd run two weeks ago!), and I forced myself to write while I waited rather than play on my phone. I think that kept me in a creative mood for the rest of the night. I was actually enjoying writing again for once! It was a great feeling. :)
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