Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Writers' Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-30-2012, 03:51 PM   #1
Steven Lake
Sci-Fi Author
Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lake's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,083
Karma: 14319765
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Michigan
Device: PC (Calibre)
What type of books are your most technically challenging to write?

I'm wondering, what would you consider to be your most technically challenging books to write? IE, what are the ones you work the hardest on in order to create an interesting story and keep it that way throughout the book? IE, keep the reader hooked all the way through. I think mine would have to be the more methodical, slower paced books. I can do action, adventure, drama, space opera, and anything a mixture of strong action and mystery/intrigue. Going between the intrigue and the action for me is easy. It's also a good way to break up a book to keep the reader interested without subjecting them to action burnout.

But when you're dealing with mostly light drama and suspense with very little action, generally I struggle at that. My current novel seems to be that way. I ended up 2/3rds of the way through the story before I hit any action, and that was very brief. The rest of it is held together with drama and suspense. So far that's proving to be tough for me to do and still keep it together without the benefits of some action to keep things stirred up.

What about you guys? What's your most technically challenging thing to write?
Steven Lake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2012, 05:47 PM   #2
EileenG
Zealot
EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
EileenG's Avatar
 
Posts: 146
Karma: 7462052
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Dublin
Device: My phone
I found that my Peninsular War mystery/romance was really tough. It needed a bucketload of research, and I've still got a stack of about two dozen reference books sitting on my kitchen table. And that's not counting the ones that went back to the library or are in my Kindle.

Then there was the problem of language. I had to try to balance the way they spoke (or at least the way they wrote letters) with what a modern reader would tolerate. It was almost like writing on a foreign language.

And getting into the mindset was a challenge as well.
EileenG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2012, 08:23 PM   #3
Steven Lake
Sci-Fi Author
Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lake's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,083
Karma: 14319765
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Michigan
Device: PC (Calibre)
HA! I love your comment about the problem with language. I had a British character I wrote into my latest novel that proved to be quite the literary workout for me. I pulled it off, but it wasn't easy by a long shot. In fact, it kinda killed my interest in using British characters in my books again unless absolutely needed. heh. ^_^;;
Steven Lake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2012, 08:31 PM   #4
EileenG
Zealot
EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EileenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
EileenG's Avatar
 
Posts: 146
Karma: 7462052
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Dublin
Device: My phone
I'm constantly getting hell from my editor about having American characters who speak Irish, or rather, use Irish phrases and wording. Even when the story is set in Ireland, I'm still supposed to make them speak American.

At least with a historical, I don't have to worry about that.
EileenG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 11:17 AM   #5
DarkScribe
Apprentice Curmudgeon.
DarkScribe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DarkScribe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DarkScribe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DarkScribe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DarkScribe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DarkScribe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DarkScribe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DarkScribe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DarkScribe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DarkScribe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DarkScribe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
DarkScribe's Avatar
 
Posts: 424
Karma: 3286968
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Runaway Bay, QLD, , Australia
Device: Kindle DX Graphite, Touch, Paperwhite, Sony, and Nook.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Lake View Post
HA! I love your comment about the problem with language. I had a British character I wrote into my latest novel that proved to be quite the literary workout for me. I pulled it off, but it wasn't easy by a long shot. In fact, it kinda killed my interest in using British characters in my books again unless absolutely needed. heh. ^_^;;
In what way do you feel that British or American characters are different (with regard to speech) when used in a novel? If both are educated there is little to tell them apart. Even if working or Blue Collar class, unless the person is fairly old there is still little difference. The days when idiomatic differences were clearly noticed are well past - movies and television have melded speech patterns from both sides of the Atlantic. Some writers tend to make any Brit into a caricature of a 1930's Englishman - I hope that was not so in your case. Nowadays there really is little difference.
DarkScribe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 01:02 PM   #6
mr ploppy
Feral Underclass
mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
mr ploppy's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,541
Karma: 26555555
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Yorkshire, tha noz
Device: 2nd hand paperback
I read a book a while ago where the English characters kept drinking tea every few minutes and said things like "Blimey" a lot.
mr ploppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 04:56 PM   #7
Steven Lake
Sci-Fi Author
Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lake's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,083
Karma: 14319765
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Michigan
Device: PC (Calibre)
Mr. Ploppy has it right. Educated or not, there are language idioms, colloquialisms, verbal shorthand that define people from a particular region or nationality and are imperative for getting the character's voice right. People from other countries also quite often have different names for things. For example, to the British, a flashlight is a "torch", a truck is a "lorry", and a highway is a "carriage way". Or take cars for example. To them a hood is a "bonnet", and the truck is the "boot". Again, to use another example of localised word use, you can't expect a Canadian to say they're from "out yonder", but you can certainly expect someone from down south to say that. There's also the mannerisms, what they consider polite, rude, in some cases curse words, general expressions, etc. In short, to get a character of a defined nationality right, you have to ensure that all of the obvious expressions are visible to the reader. Ie, the things they expect. If you don't have it, you kill the story by shattering the ability to suspend belief.
Steven Lake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 05:14 PM   #8
Bilbo1967
Not scared!
Bilbo1967 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bilbo1967 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bilbo1967 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bilbo1967 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bilbo1967 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bilbo1967 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bilbo1967 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bilbo1967 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bilbo1967 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bilbo1967 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bilbo1967 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bilbo1967's Avatar
 
Posts: 8,479
Karma: 26087830
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Midlands, UK
Device: Sony 650, Sony T2, Xoom, Nexus 7 (2012 & 2013), Nook ST (x3)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Lake View Post
Mr. Ploppy has it right. Educated or not, there are language idioms, colloquialisms, verbal shorthand that define people from a particular region or nationality and are imperative for getting the character's voice right. People from other countries also quite often have different names for things. For example, to the British, a flashlight is a "torch", a truck is a "lorry", and a highway is a "carriage way". Or take cars for example. To them a hood is a "bonnet", and the truck is the "boot". Again, to use another example of localised word use, you can't expect a Canadian to say they're from "out yonder", but you can certainly expect someone from down south to say that. There's also the mannerisms, what they consider polite, rude, in some cases curse words, general expressions, etc. In short, to get a character of a defined nationality right, you have to ensure that all of the obvious expressions are visible to the reader. Ie, the things they expect. If you don't have it, you kill the story by shattering the ability to suspend belief.
Just to emphasise how difficult it can be, you wouldn't very often hear somebody British describe a "highway" as a "carriageway" actually. It would just be a "road". The only time you would invariably hear "carriageway" would be as part of the term "dual carriageway", used to describe a road with two lanes going in each direction.
Bilbo1967 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 05:24 PM   #9
mr ploppy
Feral Underclass
mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
mr ploppy's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,541
Karma: 26555555
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Yorkshire, tha noz
Device: 2nd hand paperback
"Pants" is another word I found out about recently. Apparently it means "trousers" in American, rather than underwear. "Sainsburys carrier bag" also generates confusion.
mr ploppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 05:30 PM   #10
Rob Lister
Fanatic
Rob Lister ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rob Lister ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rob Lister ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rob Lister ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rob Lister ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rob Lister ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rob Lister ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rob Lister ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rob Lister ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rob Lister ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rob Lister ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 533
Karma: 3293888
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Virginia
Device: Nook Simple Touch
AN/ASM 608 Inertial Measurement Unit Test Set (IMUTS) Intermediate Maintenance and Illustrated Parts Breakdown.

It was a real bitch keeping the plot consistent.
Rob Lister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2012, 12:07 AM   #11
gmw
cacoethes scribendi
gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
gmw's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,245
Karma: 69238577
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Australia
Device: Sony650
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr ploppy View Post
I read a book a while ago where the English characters kept drinking tea every few minutes and said things like "Blimey" a lot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Lake View Post
Mr. Ploppy has it right. Educated or not, there are language idioms, colloquialisms, verbal shorthand that define people from a particular region or nationality and are imperative for getting the character's voice right. People from other countries also quite often have different names for things. For example, to the British, a flashlight is a "torch", a truck is a "lorry", and a highway is a "carriage way". Or take cars for example. To them a hood is a "bonnet", and the truck is the "boot". Again, to use another example of localised word use, you can't expect a Canadian to say they're from "out yonder", but you can certainly expect someone from down south to say that. There's also the mannerisms, what they consider polite, rude, in some cases curse words, general expressions, etc. In short, to get a character of a defined nationality right, you have to ensure that all of the obvious expressions are visible to the reader. Ie, the things they expect. If you don't have it, you kill the story by shattering the ability to suspend belief.
I thought Mr Ploppy's response was tongue-in-cheek, I was going to agree that it is often very painful to see Australians portrayed in television and movies because of this tendency to take a few widely recognised mannerisms and exaggerate them out of all credibility.

And while you are certainly correct about different word usage in different regions, an outsider is rarely likely to get it exactly right - especially if you insist on considering "British" or "American" each as a single collection of idioms. Such aspects can be important to a story, but the importance varies with the type of book and its presentation. Sometimes exaggerated idioms are exactly right, but sometimes you're better off skipping them rather than getting them wrong.
gmw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2012, 12:34 AM   #12
Steven Lake
Sci-Fi Author
Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lake's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,083
Karma: 14319765
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Michigan
Device: PC (Calibre)
GMW, I've done Australian characters before, and unless they're bush people, like Crocodile Dundee was portrayed to be, it's best to look at mainstream Australian television shows, news, and so on (widely available for free on the web) as one of the better ways to get the daily word usage and other idioms right. Surprisingly enough, which most people don't realise, is that the Australians (mainstream, not bush) sound surprisingly like an Americanised Brit. Well, to an American anyways. I was listening to a clip from a cop show from Australia, and aside from a few one in a billion "Australia only" words or phrases, and a slight, almost unnoticeable accent, they sounded just like I'd expect of someone from Washington DC or even Florida.

So it really depends on what you're shooting for as far as a cultural identification. For example, in the latest Madagascar movie, they take the European national identifications and lather them on thick, and I mean THICK. Okay, yes, it's a comedy, so going a little overboard isn't all that bad in a case like that. (heck, look at how weird they designed the characters in the movie. Freaky.) But the point is, what are you trying to portray from your character?

Another good example of choosing how far to stretch your character's culturally identifiable speech is to look at the Uncharted series. In the second instalment the two British characters were straight up, back alley, hard core London Brits all the way. If you've played the games, you'll notice that they fit perfectly with what the writer was after for them. Yes, they're a little cliche stereotyped that way, but it worked perfectly for the story.
Steven Lake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2012, 01:03 AM   #13
gmw
cacoethes scribendi
gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
gmw's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,245
Karma: 69238577
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Australia
Device: Sony650
I agree, a lot of Australian television shows very heavy American influence, more so than actually exists on the street, I think, although, like elsewhere, there are regional and generational variations. In a truly serious piece of literate or historical fiction, you would have a lot of work to do - well beyond watching a few television shows.

But you're right. In comedy, children's or YA works an exaggeration is often fitting, even ideal. But if exaggeration is not your intention, then I still think it is better to go light with such characterisation than to go heavy but wrong.
gmw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2012, 08:00 AM   #14
tonymcfadden
Writer guy
tonymcfadden ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tonymcfadden ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tonymcfadden ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tonymcfadden ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tonymcfadden ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tonymcfadden ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tonymcfadden ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tonymcfadden ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tonymcfadden ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tonymcfadden ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tonymcfadden ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
tonymcfadden's Avatar
 
Posts: 33
Karma: 725824
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Northern Beaches, Sydney, Australia
Device: iPod Touch, iPad
My most technically challanging "write" so far was writing the female Australian protagonist in first person. In two of my books I alternated chapters with her POV (odd chapters) and even chapters as 3rd person. Don't know that I'd do it again.
tonymcfadden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2012, 12:12 PM   #15
Steven Lake
Sci-Fi Author
Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lake's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,083
Karma: 14319765
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Michigan
Device: PC (Calibre)
Have any of you ever tried doing the "letter writing" approach? CS Lewis did it with the Screwtape Letters. I tried it once and gave up after the first chapter. It has to be the single most impossible form of literary writing out there, because you have to literally create a story through the one sided first person narrative format of a letter. You can create multiple sided stories using multiple letters, but Lewis did it with a single person, IE Screwtape, and thus upped the impossibility factor by miles.
Steven Lake is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hi - I am new and technically impaired dadusek2180 Introduce Yourself 2 07-19-2011 05:57 AM
How to Write Books Luke King Writers' Corner 11 12-16-2010 07:58 PM
iPad Sony interested in challenging Apple's iPad kjk Apple Devices 18 02-05-2010 07:39 AM
Do you like to write notes in books? AprilHare Lounge 116 09-18-2009 02:12 PM
E-books could be more than just type Colin Dunstan News 17 09-12-2005 05:17 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:46 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.