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Author Topic: Writing ELH Fiction  (Read 879 times)

five_corparty

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Writing ELH Fiction
« on: 11 August 2021, 14:23:34 »
Hello, all-

so, one of the great things about the new Shrapnel series is we have a LOT of new authors submitting!  Also, around here on the boards, we have a lot of people thinking of submitting, which is a great thing!

Every so often, I or other writers (most notably Craig "Turboturtle" Reed") will write a post discussing the writing process, and they seem to be well received by new or potential writers, so I thought I'd start up a thread.  This will be where I discuss writing "No We in Mercenary" and (eventually, no spoilers!) "No Dust, No Wear."  (for plot point discussions, I may discuss here or back on the main ELH fiction thread)

So, let me start out with something technical.  Shrapnel is open to all submissions: you blast it in, see what happens.  But these anthology series are solicited, in other words, the Catalyst crew sends out the project and asks writers for their story ideas.  Then the fiction teams picks the best ideas and tells those writers "get to writing!"  I've had a few stories accepted in various anthologies (such as the battle for terra and Operation Rat) and a couple rejected (the 20 year Art book, but BattleCorps still accepted the story I wrote from my pitch, "Something More," and the Tukkayid anthology)

If you are a jourenyman writer, and you are asked to "pitch," it can be a little freaky.  WHAT IS A GOOD PITCH?  So, I figured I'd post my pitch for this story, so you can have an idea / skeleton to borrow.

Quote
My pitch for Story #4

The 21st Striker Regiment is listed in the 4SW Vol 1 (PDF page 92) as winning against House Hiritsu on Kawich, while only taking one casualty.  However, the write-up, as written, has a lot of ambiguity.  The tanks and infantry are said to start the engagement, and then the BattleMechs of the ELH engage.  Colonel Winston is said to "collapse" in his Battlemaster, and the write up implies it was a naturally-occurring heart-attack.

My take: a Capellan House Battalion (listed as veteran in the old house book) is a tough nut to crack, even at 3-1 odds; but the actual ELH BM companies shown is only 7- just over 2:1.  The Capellans also have a Hover BN (out numbering the ELH single tank company) and 2 companies of infantry: in other words, this is very much a tough fight that the ELH could have lost, especially if they received their orders late?  There is no reason the tanks and infantry should have tried to take on an entire Capellan force by themselves unless they were trying to buy time for their Mechs to arrive: they were not "fully prepared" as FM: Comstar says, but mislead and miles out of position.

This is the story I want to tell: the tanks, infantry and perhaps one medium company buying time while the rest of the ELH get into position, and Col Winston dying in his Mech of a heart attack from him personally holding the line as the veteran heavy BattleMech company of House Hiritsu makes their final, suicidal assault.

Notes:
In your pitch:
- Kinda restate what they're looking for (they specifically wanted a story on Kawich and wanted intrigue- perhaps Micheal hasek Davion misled them, perhaps they took more damage than they expected, something that would put some drama and a knife in the ELH/FS relationship)
- List pertinent details, about a paragraph.  Remember, less is more
- YOUR TAKE.  WHY should they hire YOU?  When a company solicits, there is going to be multiple applicants per job: why should they pick YOUR story?  For BattleTech, specifically, how will this flesh out the universe, or be fun for the players?

AND BE PROFESSIONAL.  This is a job opening, and a pitch is your resume- this is NOT the time for, "hey, buddy, wait till you see how -curse word- I can write this ELH -swear-!"  Be brief, be brilliant, be professional, and let the chips fall as they may.

I'll stop here, leaving this as a one-topic post.

five_corparty

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #1 on: 11 August 2021, 14:40:51 »
So, they asked for multiple solicitations per writer- they don't want everyone pitching for the same story, you know?  So, I also pitched for story 9, which I'll discuss in a few months when it's out.

And then I waited.  The thing was, this was early February and they made clear they wanted the stories by FEB 23rd.  Now, readers, I can type prettttty quickly, but you NEVER want to run up on the deadline as a writer.  You want to finish early so you can walk away for a bit, let it breathe, and then go back and proofread it for stupid mistakes.  I knew in my head this was going to be on the upper edge of their allowed word-count (7-10K for this particular anthology) and, even at 1K a day (which is a LOT!!!) this was going to be cutting it close.  So, I fretted.

Ok, so, let's take one step back and discuss writing styles.  I will discuss MINE, but 1) EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, and 2) THERE IS NO WRONG WAY IF YOU ARE WRITING.  if your BUTT is in the SEAT pounding keys, whatever works for you is GOOD.

Me, personally: when I'm starting a story, I generally have the "wavetops" in my brain, of where I want to go.  Specific scenes, moments, ertc., that I want to hit, and my story is the way I get there. I honestly have NO idea what's going to happen, just whatever feels "right" at the time.  I do have a couple of rules I try to keep too at all times:
1) I play the game, so I try to make sure everything is legal by the rules.  I will make sure that i don't throw twenty points of damage into an 18 point section, for example, or if I do, I will make it clear all the armor is gone.  Stuff like that.  i want the battles to be replicable on the tabletop, if anyone so chose.
2) no stupid enemies.  now, keeping in mind that some nations will push on (DC, CC, for example) while others might retreat, unless I am writing about a militia or untrained pilot, these are professional militaries.  they do army stuff in an army manner.  Now, this is -MY- writing rule, and a lot of Battletech writers are looser with it, which is GOOD because it keeps our fiction different and unique and fun. :-)  I'm just saying what guides ME.

So, anyways, wavetops: at this point, I didn't know exactly how this story would flow, or the characters, or even how it would begin!  All I knew is that it was going to be much tighter than the book says, the ELH would take far worse casualties, and that someone in the FS (I was thinking either Ardan or their liaison at this point) would tell them they'd cover up the political intrigue and the ELH would NOT be happy about it.  I can't remember how I decided on the title, I think I saw a meme that said "yes, there's no "I" in team but there is no 'we' either..." and realized, "waiiiit, there's no WE in MERCENARY, either!"  So, yeah, while I didn't know EXACTLY how the story would go, i knew it was going to end on a "we don't hide things" "well, there's no 'we' in 'mercenary' so you'll hide whatever the hell I pay you to to hide" type conversation.

But everything ELSE?  no clue.

While i was waiting, i started cracking the books, including and especially the legendary "Phone Book" in the Mercenary handbook.  Almost EVERY member of the ELH is listed BY NAME, so somewhere in here was going to be my POV characters.

worktroll

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #2 on: 11 August 2021, 14:49:26 »
TAGged! And it's a long way from Waziristan, isn't it?  :beer:
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

five_corparty

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #3 on: 11 August 2021, 14:51:33 »
I will take a pause here to say, I knew EXACTLY how nine was going to go.  I had the characters in my head, I had the voice, I had the scenes and the vibe and feel and I was really, REALLY hoping to get picked up for nine.  I solicited for Four because I knew I could tell this story, and I liked where I was going with it, but since they only ever pick one story per writer, I was hoping nine was mine.

Readers.
READERS.

When I got the email saying I was picked up for TWO stories, i had a moment of pure elation!  NOONE gets picked up for two!  This is awesome and amazing and OH MY GOD I HAVE 13 DAYS TO WRITE TWO 10K STORIES???  because, yeah, this was about Feb 10 and the deadline was feb 23!
Terror.  That icy hand that grabs your heart when you realize "oh God i'm in over my head."

wife: "can you ask for more time?"
me: "maybe, but I have to get as close as i can so I can give them a resonable idea of how long I'll need."

oh, back to professionallism: NEVER MISS A DEADLINE.  You are NOT the most important person in the world, you are NOT special, and especially for something like THIS which involves multiple writers, an editing team, and whatever the heck might be going on at TPTB level, there are multiple plates spinning and YOU are just a small part of it.  Hitting your deadlines is PROFESIONAL and if you want to keep writing, then BE PROFESSIONAL.  It is a part-time job, treat it as such.

So, while I knew the editors -might- be willing to cut me some slack because, you know, TWO stories!!, I had to meet them half-way and get as much done as possible.

I began to write.  one coffee, one beer, one water, repeat.  That was what i was slamming as I typed as fast as i could for about two days, cranking out the initial scenes for this story.

now, thankfully, on the 11th/12th or so, they said that the 23rd was NOT the deadline, we'd have more time and we'd get individual emails about due dates.  I had this HUGE sigh of relief, closed my laptop for the night, and switched to a "beer, repeat," schedule for the night to give my brain a chance to collect itself.   ^-^ ;D

five_corparty

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #4 on: 11 August 2021, 14:53:15 »
TAGged! And it's a long way from Waziristan, isn't it?  :beer:

it is!  What a long, strange trip it's been from sending in RS: Unique submissions from a tin-shack MCT building on Salerno to writing ACTUAL stories ABOUT THE ELH!!! :-)

five_corparty

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #5 on: 11 August 2021, 15:09:06 »
So, I was cranking on this story (discuss more in a sec) and hit a wall.  The story just wouldn't come: I couldn't... SEE it yet.  Partially because I didn't have the POV right yet.

Ok, so another note about writing:
Jason Schmetzer, when he was running the fiction, rejected a few of my storeis, and on a couple of them, he wrote, "who's story is this?"

FOUR WORDS I almost LITERALLY taped to my computer from that point forward because, well, THERE IT IS.

"WHO'S STORY IS THIS?"  If you are writing, you MUST be able to answer that question.  maybe not at FIRST, sometimes you have to let the story flow and see how it shapes up, but BY GOD, when it's done, you must be able to answer the question.  if you can't, then your story is a mess, and a reader will hate it.  Sorry-not-sorry.

So, while I wasn't at that POINT, yet, where I needed to sort through who's story it was, I also didn't really know, either.  So, remember how I said I knew nine already?

Well, even though 4 was due first, I took a week or so pause and knocked out the other story.  I didn't want to be stuck with writer's block for weeks and then get stuck rushing it.  It FLOWED from me.  I wrote 18K in about 10 days or so, and then sat back and was like, "whew."  I all but -begged- for more words for that story, but the anthology was limited, so... no.  I had to cut EIGHT THOUSAND WORDS from an EIGHTEEN THOUSAND WORD story.

OUCH.  :'( :'(
« Last Edit: 11 August 2021, 15:21:24 by five_corparty »

five_corparty

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #6 on: 11 August 2021, 15:20:09 »
Another rule of writing: you have to kill your babies.

When you write, you have scenes and/or characters that you LOVE.  YOU ADORE.  They are the best thing you've ever written, the SING out loud to the readers, and...
they're unessential to the plot.  it's not THEIR story.

Remember, remember, WHO'S STORY IS THIS?

Editing is RUTHLESS.  My personal philosophy is, editing is EASIER than writing, so write EVERYTHING and then cut back what you don't need.  but this was the first time I really, REALLY felt it.  Every cut hurt, but that only got me down to 15K.  There were three beating hearts in story 9, and I had to rip out one.  It wasn't her story.
I am IMMENSLY proud of story 9, when it comes out this fall, but I'll always mourn what it was.

But I am a WRITER.  This is a PART-TIME JOB, and when the boss says "get this down to 10K," you either do or you find another line of work, you know?  PROFESSINALISM.  If you want to keep writing, let that be your byword: this is a job, it's a profession, treat it as such.


So, after about two weeks away, I came back to Four, and I knew what I wanted to say and, more or less, how I wanted to say it.

and then, well, a continuity mine buried for twenty years decided to rise up out of the muck and blow my plot to smithereens:

COL Charles Winston died on Kawich in 3029: 4SWV1
COL Charles Winston died in 3053: The Hunters / Sword and Fire

wellll, CRAP.  :D
« Last Edit: 11 August 2021, 21:07:59 by five_corparty »

five_corparty

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #7 on: 11 August 2021, 15:38:10 »
A long-standing rule for the BattleTech universe is, "the later supplement is always right."  I thought it over for about twenty minutes and then texted Phil.  Now, in the Army, you're not supposed to present a problem without at lease one solution.  So, I quickly laid out the continuity issue, and gave a couple options:
1) ignore what the 4SWV1 said, it's old or
2) it's an error, someone else died, perhaps a battalion commander,
3) it was a double or something, or,
4) since this is all intrigue and cover-up, the entire write up is in error, which was part of what the original intent of the story was for.

Phil immediately told me to run with option 4, since accidental or deliberate errors by Comstar and whomever has been in canon for a while, this was the easiest solution, and gave me the most flexibility as a writer.

This opened up a LOT of flexibility for me, because it's really, really hard to write a pitched regimental brawl where no-one dies, you know?  Well, now the kid gloves were off, and a lot of the names in that-there phone book were about to get disconnected.  ^-^

So, the story started to come together.  I cut Rowan as a POV character, because there were just too many at that point, but I kept Lila as one because I wanted to really show the combined-arms fighting style of the ELH.

One issue was the range of the Long Toms: I doublechecked the rules and discovered they could only shoot 15KMs, and this was going to mess up a LOT until I re-discovered there were regimental Long Toms I could swap in for fires at the right moment in the plot.  Again, would a reader have noticed? Proooobably not, but I like to keep the stories game-legal.  In my first draft, tho, they were firing FASCAM, which continuity noticed wasn't available yet.  So, I had to change around a few of the artillery barrages, but no big deal there.

five_corparty

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #8 on: 11 August 2021, 16:04:22 »
The last thing I want to talk about, discussing writing, is Rowan.

I decided at some point when Rowan was originally a POV character that she was a noble from "somewhere" and then decided, what the heck, the Alliance because having her be a black sheep might be neat.  This opened up a LOT of possibilities: gaining me access to a Merlin, which was fun to put into a story, and then her "my whole family are pilots so of COURSE I can do Close Air Support better than all-y'all" plot hook- originally Lila's company was going to call it in, but once you have a character like this, you just let the story take them where they should go.

now, researching 3025 OA stuff led me to the note about the Gregorian religion and I was like, "how awesome would it be for her to be wearing three engagement rings and then not even discuss it?"
BUT.
Old 80s BattleTech can be... weird.  Some of it hasn't exactly aged as well- nothing is OUTRIGHT bad, but there can be some... questionable areas.  For example, the LC starts drafting 14 year old kids during one of the S-Wars and is never brought up again.  My kids are about that age, and I'm not sure I want to write nor read a war story like that, you know?  This is supposed to be entertainment, at the end of the day.

So, this is where I asked some trusted friends for advice: is the Gregorian religion, encouraging Polygamic marriages an interesting idea, or something best left in the 80s?  And they both encouraged it, to show that, in the future, "non-traditional" marriages might be around in places because of society pressures or allowances we don't have here on modern Earth.  Showing things like this is VERY traditional Sci-fi, so I was glad they both approved and encouraged it.

Writers, never be afraid to consult with an outside expert if you're going to write outside of your culture.  I won't get into the whole "who should write about what" debate (consult your google) because of forum rules, but I WILL WILL WILL encourage respect and understanding and ASKING FOR ADVICE.  If you don't understand a culture, a language, an idea, ASK FOR HELP. it will make you a better writer, and your story better for the readers.

The other point is about her hair.

So, there's a few threads around here talking about Tara Bishop's "spiky" blond hair, and the main point of discussion is, "it's unrealistic to expect a person to have the same hairstyle for twenty years."
This is a fair complaint.  Now, in a IP universe, maintaining the "look" of a person is important.  See the uproar when Keri Russell cut her hair on "Felicity."  Being able to spot the character on-screen is important.
Same in fiction.  Having Tara Bishop have spikey hair from 3131 to 3151 isn't really ACCRURATE, but it allows a reader to quickly remember her from previous books that may have been written YEARS ago.  My dad would grow a beard in winter and shave it every spring, but Jamie Wolf had the old salt-and-pepper beard for DECADES of fiction time and real life!
Is it a prop used because of the fictional universe we write in? YES
Is it also lazy writing? It can be.  And that's a fair complaint.
So, these discussions were happening while this story was underway, and so I made sure to note the hair.  To make them all different.  these characters are "real" in THEIR universe, and I wanted to make sure this was shown.

oh, remember this post when story 9 comes out, by the way.

So, for rowan, I was giving her braids and then it hit me: "what if the engagement rings were barrettes? I could take this idea and new religion and combine them into something unique- I don't know of any culture, on Earth or in Sci-fi, that shows how many suiters a woman has by the number of braids in her hair!

And those are the points I want to drive in: ALWAYS play NICE in an IP, yes- professionalism.
BUT: DO be open to new ideas and DON'T be a LAZY writer.  Don't just take the writings from before and parrot them back out: make them fresh again, make them yours, and what you present to the readers will be so much more rewarding for it.

Ok, I think that's it for now. :-)  hopefully other writers will jump in on what they did and why and THEIR "rules of writing BattleTech."  :)
« Last Edit: 11 August 2021, 16:05:56 by five_corparty »

worktroll

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #9 on: 11 August 2021, 16:45:35 »
Great insight! And a question.

One of the points made about some BT fiction (Stackpole, I'm looking at you!) is that it reads like someone rolling dice on the table. Conversely, when the fiction doesn't conform with game outcomes (the infamous 'glancing blow' Gauss Rifle round to Victor S-D's head) people complain likewise.

Is this something you ever hit in your writing - you want to do X, but X doesn't happen like that in the game rules? How do you approach the game-vs-fiction dialectic?
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

five_corparty

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #10 on: 11 August 2021, 20:28:12 »
Great insight! And a question.

One of the points made about some BT fiction (Stackpole, I'm looking at you!) is that it reads like someone rolling dice on the table. Conversely, when the fiction doesn't conform with game outcomes (the infamous 'glancing blow' Gauss Rifle round to Victor S-D's head) people complain likewise.

Is this something you ever hit in your writing - you want to do X, but X doesn't happen like that in the game rules? How do you approach the game-vs-fiction dialectic?


That's one of the trickiest questions.  I try to never do anything overtly against the rules, as I said.  But I also will hide instances where I am playing fast and loose with the rules - for example, when Elaine ejects in "Irreplaceable," normally, ejection seats don't damage an arm.  But for fiction purposes, and since everyone can think of times when it might happen, people blow past it (continuity didn't, mind you, THEY caught it, but it was an author override.  ;-)
In this story, a) defibrillators don't revive dead people, so that was "future-fied" for story purposes, and b) I kill a LOT of tanks with the Strafing run.  Legal, yes, but borderline, and I didn't dice-roll it out.

So, I guess the answer is, yes, I'm as guilty as any other writer in putting the needs of the story first, but I never try to do it out in the spotlight with the BattleMechs, instead, hiding my fiat in the shadows.   ;) ;D

edit: I realized I didn't really answer "what if the rules say no?" question.  First, I'll try to find a way to MAKE it work WITHIN the rules: for example, in "A storm of rain and steel," I wanted SRMs to take down a VTOL.  But, they really WOULDN'T.  However, looking over the rules, INFERNOS do all SORTS of horrible things to vehicles, and it was plausible they could take one down- and plausible is good enough.  ;) ;D ;D
The other times when I can't find a legal work around, I'll change the scene.  I'm not sure I can think of one off-hand, but I know I've altered scenes because what I originally planned was CLEARLY against the rules.   :D

And finally: I don't dice-roll out the battles- I know some writers do, just to make sure the story feels random, like the actual game.  And, I can dig it: I've also said, a good rule of writing is to give your characters the tools, and let THEM fight their way out of the battle.  You don't give them a Mech that can clearly overpower everything they face, you make them win with whatever you gave them.
So, with my own rules and philosophy in mind, I can see how dice rolling might be good for some writers, because, say, they roll a crit: well, blowing out an actuator just adds to the drama of the story.

So, I'm not knocking their technique to writing (and I almost never knock another's writing in public, though if they ask, i'll give them an honest critique in private because, working together, we raise the enjoyment for the fans, which is what it's about, you know?  I'm not COMPETING against Stackpole or Craig or anyone for work, I'm just trying to write the best stories -I- can, and helping the team helps us all. :-)

and, one final, super-secret note about my writing BattleMech combat: you'll never see my name on a "best mech combat writer" list because, if you add up all the words I've ever written about ACTUAL BattleMechs shooting at OTHER Battlemechs, there's... not much.  ;)  ;D  I personally feel that BattleMech combat is there to support the characters, and - like garlic, or super-hot sauce - a little bit can go a LOOOONG way. Even the legendary "running battle" half of Irreplaceable was more running than Battle!  ;)  So, I think that little wrinting quirk of mine has ALSO helped keep me off the fans "oh-good-Lord-what-NOW?" list.  ;) ;D 
« Last Edit: 11 August 2021, 20:50:01 by five_corparty »

DarkISI

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #11 on: 12 August 2021, 11:35:11 »
And then I waited.  The thing was, this was early February and they made clear they wanted the stories by FEB 23rd.  Now, readers, I can type prettttty quickly, but you NEVER want to run up on the deadline as a writer.  You want to finish early so you can walk away for a bit, let it breathe, and then go back and proofread it for stupid mistakes.  I knew in my head this was going to be on the upper edge of their allowed word-count (7-10K for this particular anthology) and, even at 1K a day (which is a LOT!!!) this was going to be cutting it close.  So, I fretted.

So glad I wasn't the only one who went all "oh shit!" when the assignment came in and I looked at the calendar :D


In this story, a) defibrillators don't revive dead people, so that was "future-fied" for story purposes,

Pff, most people actually believe defibrillators can do that, because they do it on ER and every other hospital TV show EVER produced.
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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #12 on: 12 August 2021, 16:15:09 »
Ok, so another note about writing:
Jason Schmetzer, when he was running the fiction, rejected a few of my storeis, and on a couple of them, he wrote, "who's story is this?"

FOUR WORDS I almost LITERALLY taped to my computer from that point forward because, well, THERE IT IS.


Almost. ALMOST!?


Fired. Frickin' redlegs...
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five_corparty

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #13 on: 12 August 2021, 22:24:39 »

Almost. ALMOST!?


Fired. Frickin' redlegs...

Well, if I'd tried to print it I would have had to try and spell all the words out, and, well, there ARE four of them!!

five_corparty

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #14 on: 12 August 2021, 22:35:55 »
So glad I wasn't the only one who went all "oh shit!" when the assignment came in and I looked at the calendar :D


Pff, most people actually believe defibrillators can do that, because they do it on ER and every other hospital TV show EVER produced.

Exactly what Phil said, which is why he let me keep it in the story (dropping the word defibrillator)

and yeah, those first few days were TENSE.   :)  But I hit my deadlines with both stories, so, I'm happy.

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #15 on: 11 September 2021, 06:23:30 »
If you are interested, I provided some insight into the writing process behind "Failings in Teaching".
Have fun with it.
Spoiler alert, though.
Also, it's in German. So you might want to use a translation tool in your browser or this Gooogle Translate link:
https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&u=https://hpgstation.de/2021/09/11/fuer-die-eridani-light-horses-schreiben-spoilergefahr/

Original link (google free):
https://hpgstation.de/2021/09/11/fuer-die-eridani-light-horses-schreiben-spoilergefahr/
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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #16 on: 11 September 2021, 14:08:34 »
So, for rowan, I was giving her braids and then it hit me: "what if the engagement rings were barrettes? I could take this idea and new religion and combine them into something unique- I don't know of any culture, on Earth or in Sci-fi, that shows how many suiters a woman has by the number of braids in her hair!

When you wrote this, I briefly got a mental image of a potential suitor presenting the lady with a pistol or rifle as an engagement Barrett.  It opens to the idea of her returning the weapon if she is not interested, or using that weapon to terminate the relationship if he does something very wrong.

five_corparty

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #17 on: 12 September 2021, 16:03:14 »
When you wrote this, I briefly got a mental image of a potential suitor presenting the lady with a pistol or rifle as an engagement Barrett.  It opens to the idea of her returning the weapon if she is not interested, or using that weapon to terminate the relationship if he does something very wrong.

Love it, and that's how the Jarnfolk do it, and I'd -LOVE- to write a story about them and that! :-)  :thumbsup:

five_corparty

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #18 on: 12 September 2021, 16:10:51 »
If you are interested, I provided some insight into the writing process behind "Failings in Teaching".
Have fun with it.
Spoiler alert, though.
Also, it's in German. So you might want to use a translation tool in your browser or this Gooogle Translate link:
https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&u=https://hpgstation.de/2021/09/11/fuer-die-eridani-light-horses-schreiben-spoilergefahr/

Original link (google free):
https://hpgstation.de/2021/09/11/fuer-die-eridani-light-horses-schreiben-spoilergefahr/

Great blog!  and, for those wondering, he asked for my thoughts, so I gave them.  :)

Part of being a professional writer (in my opinion) means a) when someone asks for help, if you CAN help, try to; b) know when to ask for it, and c ) MOST IMPORNATLY, be willing to listen and take it!  :D

I appreciated him glancing over my work, and I was happy to offer my thoughts on his- MORE importantly, he took my suggestion and made an even STRONGER improvement to the story, which benefits all of us as readers!

I'll touch back on what he added to my 2nd story come November...  ;)

Lyran Wolf

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #19 on: 13 September 2021, 08:43:08 »
That is something I have heard from other writers as well so it checks out.

Listen to your editor.  A good editor is worth their weight in gold.
Don’t be afraid to go to a summit, bat around story ideas, or ask for help.  The heart of the story is still yours, the “voice” is still yours.
While some things might be worth fighting for, if you ask for help leave your pride at the door. Be willing to at least entertain what is presented.
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DarkISI

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #20 on: 13 September 2021, 09:08:41 »
Jason isn't the editor. Just two writers exchanging stories and advice :)
German novelist and part time Battletech writer.


HPG Station - German Battletech News

"if they didn't want to be stomped to death by a psychotic gang of battlemechs, they shouldn't have fallen down" - Liam's Ghost

Lyran Wolf

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Re: Writing ELH Fiction
« Reply #21 on: 13 September 2021, 13:14:46 »
More a general comment to add to the list.  Not that specific exchange. 

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