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Can the "Old Fashioned"way of telling a story, still work?

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  #1  
Old 02-11-2013, 09:27 AM
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Default Can the "Old Fashioned"way of telling a story, still work?


Never tried it until today, I'm telling story about a homeless couple I knew that were almost washed away while living underneath a bridge.

I have characters, background, plot and relationships, but it is all tell and not much show.

Kind of "American Folksy" which feels like a very natural voice for me.

My partner ( who is also writer) does not like it.

I think it is interesting and written in a compelling way.

Can it still be done, or are we just to used to hearing a different type of storytelling?

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Old 02-11-2013, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Elyzabeth View Post
Never tried it until today, I'm telling story about a homeless couple I knew that were almost washed away while living underneath a bridge.

I have characters, background, plot and relationships, but it is all tell and not much show.

Kind of "American Folksy" which feels like a very natural voice for me.

My partner ( who is also writer) does not like it.

I think it is interesting and written in a compelling way.

Can it still be done, or are we just to used to hearing a different type of storytelling?
You have Steins book...he talks about that subject.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:01 AM
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I'm all for old fashion if it has an new interesting new twist. So idk what the example would be, but maybe just put a slight tweak in the story telling of it. Easier said than done I'm sure.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Elyzabeth View Post
Never tried it until today, I'm telling story about a homeless couple I knew that were almost washed away while living underneath a bridge.

I have characters, background, plot and relationships, but it is all tell and not much show.

Kind of "American Folksy" which feels like a very natural voice for me.

My partner ( who is also writer) does not like it.

I think it is interesting and written in a compelling way.

Can it still be done, or are we just to used to hearing a different type of storytelling?
Does it feel right to 'you'? If it does, then that's the only blessing you need to continue writing it.

So, if you think it fits, go for it. Readers will let you know what they think, I'm sure, and they're the only ones that matter.

Edit: Honestly, don't be afraid of trying new things or doing the opposite of what others say. By challenging ourselves and trying new things, it's how we learn, no? So, even if it doesn't work out, you'll have the experience from it.
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Last edited by DavidGil; 02-11-2013 at 11:13 AM..
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by DavidGil View Post
Does it feel right to 'you'? If it does, then that's the only blessing you need to continue writing it.

So, if you think it fits, go for it. Readers will let you know what they think, I'm sure, and they're the only ones that matter.

Edit: Honestly, don't be afraid of trying new things or doing the opposite of what others say. By challenging ourselves and trying new things, it's how we learn, no? So, even if it doesn't work out, you'll have the experience from it.
You make an interesting point about being afraid to try new things. As someone who is only starting out, I have been reading a lot of writer's tips, and they become quite overwhelming with all their 'rules'

The thing is, i have read over some of my favourite books, and none of them seem to care one bit for these imaginary rules, and i still liked them. and apparently so did the publishers who approved them.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Honest Bill View Post
You make an interesting point about being afraid to try new things. As someone who is only starting out, I have been reading a lot of writer's tips, and they become quite overwhelming with all their 'rules'

The thing is, i have read over some of my favourite books, and none of them seem to care one bit for these imaginary rules, and i still liked them. and apparently so did the publishers who approved them.
Your words make me think I should post something I typed up earlier on 'rules' like show, don't tell. I might still do so.

But yeah, to quote someone else who is no longer around here:

"The answer to these questions is the vast body of literature out there."

Bottom line, there's only one rule:

Do your best to make sure readers get something out of your writing.

Everything else is advice. And you'll note I didn't include using correct grammar as a rule either.

Unless you find they give you structure or whatever, you're probably best writing without considering all of these 'rules' at all. Leads to a more... well, let's just say you won't be worrying about things as much and you can do whatever's necessary to do a piece justice.
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Last edited by DavidGil; 02-12-2013 at 10:23 AM..
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by DavidGil View Post
Your words make me think I should post something I typed up earlier on 'rules' like show, don't tell. I might still do so.

But yeah, to quote someone else who is no longer around here:

"The answer to these questions is the vast body of literature out there."

Bottom line, there's only one rule:

Do your best to make sure readers get something out of your writing.

Everything else is advice. And you'll note I didn't include using correct grammar as a rule either.

Unless you find they give you structure or whatever, you're probably best writing without considering all of these 'rules' at all. Leads to a more... well, let's just say you won't be worrying about things as much and you can do whatever's necessary to do a piece justice.
I think a post like that would be welcome to new writers like me. It feels quite liberating when you consider it in that way, instead of feeling restricted while writing in case you commit the cardinal sin of using an adverb or something.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:34 AM
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If your going to submit to a Standard Publisher, The rules (guide lines) should not be put aside.
If your going to self publish, use a web publisher,or Publish America, you can write upside down, and backwards.

The publishing industry is a business, and business rules still hold.
A sound business may try something new, but only after it is solvent,
and can afford, or has reason too.

Last edited by Domenic; 02-12-2013 at 11:07 AM..
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Domenic View Post
If your going to submit to a Standard Publisher, The rules (guide lines) should not be put aside.
If your going to self publish, use a web publisher,or Publish America, you can write upside down, and backwards.

The publishing industry is a business, and business rules still hold.
A sound business may try something new, but only after it is solvent,
and can afford, or has reason to.
The Road (alongside the phrases used and the writing itself, a distinct lack of commas is the defining feature here):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/B0...kd#reader-link

Trainspotting (a non-standard book if there ever was one and Irvine Welsh's first novel):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/B0...kd#reader-link

Harry Potter (1st book):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/B0...kd#reader-link

Twilight:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/B0...kd#reader-link

The Passage (published in 2010 and no 'showing' really on a brief scan through in my view):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/B0...kd#reader-link

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/B0...kd#reader-link

11.22.63:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/11-22-63-ebo...0696100&sr=1-1

Dolores Claiborne (pretty non-standard book as well and it is by King, but note the review ratings):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dolores-Clai...0696309&sr=1-1

Insomnia:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/B0...kd#reader-link

What matters is 'good' writing, a 'good' story and the ability to catch the eye of whoever's reading your submission. Then there's whether your work is a good fit and whether they think it can sell. (Some publishers may be willing to take a chance, not sure. Haven't worked in the publishing industry.) It doesn't matter whether you've followed some list to a tee or not.

And so I cover myself, good writing and/or a good story is not always needed. We all know how subjective that is.

While I've been asked to not reply to you, Domenic, I do need to say that it is people like you who are harming new writers. You want everything done in such a way that every published piece reads the same, which would, quite frankly, be boring.

And I fully expect my words to fall on deaf ears. Or for you to launch into a personal attack now, Domenic. Thing is, I don't really care anymore if the mods do anything. I'm not particularly active and I don't really need writing advice these days. All I'm really here for is to try and help others.

Basically, I just can't sit here and let people tell others what must be done to be published. Like there's a magic formula for success, because there isn't.

And for people who aren't aware of the benefit of Kindle, you can download the Kindle app for your PC. I fully recommend it as you can pick up plenty of books for free, some by well known authors (I picked up a Sword of Truth book for free earlier as an example) and all of the classics are on there. Classics like Dracula, Huckleberry Finn, Treasure Island etc.

If the books I've linked haven't given a good sample of styles etc. as well and shown where 'rules' have been broken, I can try to find other books.
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Last edited by DavidGil; 02-12-2013 at 12:48 PM..
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:58 AM
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I would suggest writers learn how the publishing industry works,their business practices. Why they except some manuscripts, and why the reject others.Why is a publishers main goal to break even.
I have been told by some that I don’t know my ass from a whole in the ground. I don’t know everything…I do know some things, and what I know I know well.
I have been told I’m harming new writers. If that is so, I apologize. I get a lot of information from writers forums. Because of that, I give back.
I try to make it a point of being able to back up what I say.
I will never say; “I don’t know how publishers work, but here is how you should do it.”
Do I follow what the experts in the publishing industry advise? Yes. If that is wrong, I will paint, “Stupid,” on my forehead. Until then, the self proclaimed experts can call me what ever name(s) that make them feel they are something they are not.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:06 PM
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Domenic...

Please look at the samples I've provided. Realise that anything anyone ever says is meant as advice. It is one person's view at the end of the day also. (They don't reject works because they're reading off some imaginary list. It depends on what is sellable, content wise, and whether something catches their attention.)

Realise that there is no magic formula to success. Yes, by following what Solstein says, you may find success. Or you may not. You could try and find your own way without any of this 'advice' and find success. Whatever you do and whatever you pay attention to, it's a crap shoot.

The best advice that can ever be given is to 'read'. And I say this as someone who doesn't read as much as writers should (my writing has probably been more informed by television shows than anything else). I mostly use books these days to just study language, though I am trying to plod through Insomnia currently.

And regarding all of this advice too, there's a good reason blanket rules can't be made when it concerns 'show, don't tell' etc. There's a good reason because each situation is unique. Telling might be ideal for one situation and it might not be ideal for another.

Anyway, I'm not sure there's much more I can say on this. But please, have a look at the samples I've shown. See the variety out there.

Edit: (And getting this advice off writing forums and then passing it on is what actually causes the problem in the first place.)
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Last edited by DavidGil; 02-12-2013 at 12:20 PM..
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:29 PM
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Edit: (And getting this advice off writing forums and then passing it on is what actually causes the problem in the first place.)[/QUOTE] David
Domenic...

Please look at the samples I've provided. Realise that anything anyone ever says is meant as advice. It is one person's view at the end of the day also.

Realise that there is no magic formula to success. Yes, by following what Solstein says, you may find success. Or you may not. You could try and find your own way without any of this 'advice' and find success. Whatever you do and whatever you pay attention to, it's a crap shoot.

The best advice that can ever be given is to 'read'. And I say this as someone who doesn't read as much as I should (my writing has probably more informed by television shows than anything else). I mostly use books these days to just study language, though I am trying to plod through Insomnia currently.
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David,
I do not like, or dislike you. For some reason you seem to feel threatened by my presents on this forum. You have called me names, challenge anything I post, even though you say, you know nothing about what I have posted..
You say I am harming new writers. I have not told them, “Write any way you want, break the rules, getting publish is a Crap shot.”
I don’t know everything, but what I do know, I know well. I have worked for two publishers. I have studied the publishing industry for many years, preparing to submit when my work it’s ready.
I treat the publishing industry like the business it is. Break their rules, and they won’t play with you.
Do I approve you taking money from new writers on a forum? No I do not. I know how Editors work. Yes, I’m sure you are good at Grammar, and Spelling , but Editors do much more than that…they can make good changes in a manuscript…without changing a writers voice. Changes they know Agents, and Publisher will like. Do I believe you are scamming new writers. No I do not. I don’t think you are being fair with them.
Why don’t you stop trying to prove to members of this forum how good you are, and go to school to become a real Editor?
If you don’t have the money, there are federal Grants.
I am not at war with you, nor will I be. I do hope sometime in the future we can be friends…it’s up to you. Waste your time trying to step on my bones, or move ahead, and become what you want to be. You really can do it.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Domenic View Post
Edit: (And getting this advice off writing forums and then passing it on is what actually causes the problem in the first place.) David
Domenic...

Please look at the samples I've provided. Realise that anything anyone ever says is meant as advice. It is one person's view at the end of the day also.

Realise that there is no magic formula to success. Yes, by following what Solstein says, you may find success. Or you may not. You could try and find your own way without any of this 'advice' and find success. Whatever you do and whatever you pay attention to, it's a crap shoot.

The best advice that can ever be given is to 'read'. And I say this as someone who doesn't read as much as I should (my writing has probably more informed by television shows than anything else). I mostly use books these days to just study language, though I am trying to plod through Insomnia currently.
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David,
I do not like, or dislike you. For some reason you seem to feel threatened by my presents on this forum. You have called me names, challenge anything I post, even though you say, you know nothing about what I have posted..
You say I am harming new writers. I have not told them, “Write any way you want, break the rules, getting publish is a Crap shot.”
I don’t know everything, but what I do know, I know well. I have worked for two publishers. I have studied the publishing industry for many years, preparing to submit when my work it’s ready.
I treat the publishing industry like the business it is. Break their rules, and they won’t play with you.
Do I approve you taking money from new writers on a forum? No I do not. I know how Editors work. Yes, I’m sure you are good at Grammar, and Spelling , but Editors do much more than that…they can make good changes in a manuscript…without changing a writers voice. Changes they know Agents, and Publisher will like. Do I believe you are scamming new writers. No I do not. I don’t think you are being fair with them.
Why don’t you stop trying to prove to members of this forum how good you are, and go to school to become a real Editor?
If you don’t have the money, there are federal Grants.
I am not at war with you, nor will I be. I do hope sometime in the future we can be friends…it’s up to you. Waste your time trying to step on my bones, or move ahead, and become what you want to be. You really can do it.

1) Your post was not flagged as helpful by Elyzabeth. Mine and Pidgeon's were. I think that should tell you something and lend credence to what I say.

2) I know there is more to editing than grammar and spelling. But I've never claimed to touch anything more than the technical aspects, unless there's something that does not make sense. I've always been up front about it. And I know all about making changes without changing the author's voice. You really don't need to state this to me.

3) You can see that Bill has said he finds all of the 'rules' overwhelming as a new writer. You claim the guidelines shouldn't be ignored. This again lends further credence to what I say.

4) I am trying to help you here, believe it or not. On this occasion, the personal attack was not warranted. It was on other occasions possibly. I find it amusing you think I feel threatened by your presence as well. The answer is I don't. I think you're either misguided, stupid or a troll. And trolls irritate me. (I'm leaning towards troll.)

5) There is a value in discussing 'rules', but only if things are not treated as cold hard facts that one should and should not do. Unfortunately, you treat things as rules. And I don't believe a writer should write in any way they want (meaning haphazardly without thought). I do believe that rules stymie creativity though. Makes one afraid of experimenting, which is important. And makes people feel like there's a cage around them.

6) I'm not even going to touch the rest of your post. I linked plenty of books and I bet you didn't even look at one of them.

7) And for your information, Domenic. I don't even have an income of $0.01 with being unemployed and I may soon be retiring my services to focus on writing, if everything goes well (I know I'll need luck). You don't know my situation either, as to why I cannot claim jobseeker's allowance. Though I will still edit for people if they want me to. You cannot blame me for trying to make a living. And I charge less than the minimum wage in the UK for the work I do, hourly wise. I work hard for it. And if only I had the luxury of being able to edit things for free. If I did not direly need the money, I would gladly do so. (And as an aside, I turned down a $600 job for 100,000 words, because it was too much work and he wasn't ready. I bet you didn't know that. Just like you didn't know I did 17/23 pages of the first block for the guy and didn't ask for a cent. I was still prepared to answer questions as well.)

I think I'm done.
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Last edited by DavidGil; 02-12-2013 at 04:16 PM..
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidGil View Post
Realise that there is no magic formula to success. Yes, by following what Solstein says, you may find success. Or you may not. You could try and find your own way without any of this 'advice' and find success. Whatever you do and whatever you pay attention to, it's a crap shoot.
I went to a talk by bestselling author Clyde Edgerton (Walking Across Egypt) at a book fair -- it wasn't about publishing, but in the Q & A afterward, a lady asked what publishers are looking for these days. He said that anyone who claims to know what publishers are looking for is either a fool or a liar. We're probably dealing with the former here.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:13 PM
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Most likely, Joe, or just a troll. And he's resorted to personal attacks again.

I hold my hands up and admit I've reacted to Domenic badly before. But I would hope anyone viewing this thread now sees I'm genuinely trying to help him and others. There was no malice in my words, until the post above with the troll comment. Which I wholeheartedly believe to be true.

I know his account was deleted ages ago as well. He had a thread created in 2011. This account of his was created in 2012. I don't know whether he asked for his previous account to be deleted, but... Yeah.

Edit: And as an aside, I think those links are pertinent to whether or not 'telling' would be viable. Yeah sure, the authors probably don't info dump or tell for the entire story by any means, but it's obvious there's quite a bit of it at the start. Character reflections too, without actions. So, I think there is a chance 'telling' could work. It really just depends on how it's done, as with everything. If no-one likes it? Then you've learnt something at the end of the day. You simply move onto the next piece.

Edit 2: Also, assuming it is true, what work did you do for a publisher? It certainly cannot be writing related, like editing or sending letters out, based on your typing here.
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Last edited by DavidGil; 02-12-2013 at 02:35 PM..
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:28 PM
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As the others have said if it works, it works. The publishing industry is more conservative than it used to be but what is the point of having a voice that sounds like every other writer out there?
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidGil View Post
1) Your post was not flagged as helpful by Elyzabeth. Mine and Pidgeon's were. I think that should tell you something and lend credence to what I say.

2) I know there is more to editing than grammar and spelling. But I've never claimed to touch anything more than the technical aspects, unless there's something that does not make sense. I've always been up front about it. And I know all about making changes without changing the author's voice. You really don't need to state this to me.

3) You can see that Bill has said he finds all of the 'rules' overwhelming as a new writer. You claim the guidelines shouldn't be ignored. This again lends further credence to what I say.

4) I am trying to help you here, believe it or not. On this occasion, the personal attack was not warranted. It was on other occasions possibly. I find it amusing you think I feel threatened by your presence as well. The answer is I don't. I think you're either misguided, stupid or a troll. And trolls irritate me. (I'm leaning towards troll.)

5) There is a value in discussing 'rules', but only if things are not treated as cold hard facts that one should and should not do. Unfortunately, you treat things as rules. And I don't believe a writer should write in any way they want (meaning haphazardly without thought). I do believe that rules stymie creativity though. Makes one afraid of experimenting, which is important. And makes people feel like there's a cage around them.

6) I'm not even going to touch the rest of your post. I linked plenty of books and I bet you didn't even look at one of them.

7) And for your information, Domenic. I don't even have an income of $0.01 with being unemployed and I may soon be retiring my services to focus on writing, if everything goes well (I know I'll need luck). You don't know my situation either, as to why I cannot claim jobseeker's allowance. Though I will still edit for people if they want me to. You cannot blame me for trying to make a living. And I charge less than the minimum wage in the UK for the work I do, hourly wise. I work hard for it. And if only I had the luxury of being able to edit things for free. If I did not direly need the money, I would gladly do so. (And as an aside, I turned down a $600 job for 100,000 words, because it was too much work and he wasn't ready. I bet you didn't know that. Just like you didn't know I did 17/23 pages of the first block for the guy and didn't ask for a cent. I was still prepared to answer questions as well.)

I think I'm done.
I grew up in a depression. When I was five I knew about sucking on a stone when I was hungry. Millions of people world wide are dying from hunger today. I don’t want to hear about how hard you think you have it.
People come to the U.S.A. with nothing. No knowledge of English, kids to house, and feed…they take any kind of work, for any kind of pay.
The farmers here in California were asked, “Why do you hire non citizens…why don’t you hire Americans?” Their reply was always the same. “American citizens don’t ask us for work.”
I met a ten year old kid in Oakland who asked me if I had any work. I was impressed with this kid. Most others his age, in his area sell drugs, or steal. This kid wanted work. I bought him a shoe box, with everything he would need. One of my workers showed the kid how to shin shoes. Two hours later the kid came back to show us how he had done…he made $10. A week later he came back with new pants, shirt and shoes.
He told us he met a man who owned a shoe shine shop. Said when he got older, he would have his own shoe shine shop. He lived with his Grandmother, and would give her most of his money. At the age of ten, the boy was a man.
As you say…”I’m done.”
I apologize for being a part of side tracking this thread.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:47 PM
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I don't care whether you care about my situation. I simply stated the facts and only because you seem to dislike me advertising. I don't care about what you've seen or what you said either.

You seem to have ignored everything I said as well (in an effort to help you fit in better here and to help you with writing) and just zeroed in on the personal stuff about me. Typical. So, this cycle of you pissing off others will continue.

I'm not going to apologise for derailing this either. But I do hope everyone sees you for the troll you are now.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:18 PM
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David, you've accomplished something. You edited one book that I know of and you have a satisfied customer. This gives you more credibility and experience than someone who talks a big game but hasn't actually done anything -- and can barely construct a sentence. Anyone can read a book or two and regurgitate appropriated knowledge -- and the idea that you have to study the publishing industry for years just to submit a manuscript is a joke.

I've started a business -- it's hard to make that leap. I admire you for putting yourself out there and doing something more than just yammering about it. I'm definitely rooting for you.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:24 PM
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It is and thankyou, Joe. Good luck with the business as well.

I'm hoping that, while I will still edit for you and others, Joe, that I can simply move to writing however. It's what I enjoy more than editing. I just need to get that compilation of shorts done (plus have luck), though I must admit, I worry about giving the reader value for money (word count wise).

Also, for the record, I know I'm not perfect at editing or writing for that matter. I don't think anyone is and there is a lot of subjectivity involved.

So, now that your distaste for me advertising and editing other people's work has been shown in this very thread, Domenic, answer me one simple question as you seem to have others fooled (or rather, no-one can prove anything):

Need an editor?

Originally Posted by Domenic View Post
Looking for an editor? Most Jr Colleges teach literature. Those who teach are always looking for class projects…and they do it for free. Get in touch with your local Jr College.

I have one near where I live, and they have agreed to take two of my full manuscripts
The bolded is the exact same as what I have in my signature. Why did you bold it? If it is not an attack on me or you're not trying to draw people away from contacting me. Regardless of your reasoning, it's odd to just bold it. And besides, if it was to stop people contacting me, you needn't have bothered. People aren't exactly flooding my email inbox or anything.

I might add this came right after we exchanged words. It smells awfully funny. Not to mention your recently updated signature.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidGil View Post
It is and thankyou, Joe. Good luck with the business as well.
I started my business about 8 years ago. A few years into it, I started providing design and consulting services to an ad agency and a couple of years ago they hired me as a creative director. Timing was perfect -- one of my best clients felt they had outgrown me -- which was true, so I was able to bring them along. I get a commission off that business. First couple of years were really tough -- two kids and my wife wasn't working. I had to do some landscaping and I delivered sandwiches for a while too. Not nearly as tough as they had it in the Great Depression though -- so it probably just sounds like I'm whining.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:57 PM
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Possibly on the whining front, Joe, depending on who's asked. I wouldn't worry about it though.

Time's are different now and while some problems may seem insiginificant compared to the ones faced by those living on the street, in rough areas (housing/apartments), and those in other areas of the world, like the Middle East, they're still problems.

I don't know what the situation is like in the states, but there's very few jobs here and businesses (retail) are closing down quite often. Retail is all I'm good for as well, I might add. Well, unless the books in my sig would allow me to get an editing job or something.

Also, I know that if my family didn't keep me, I'd be on the street. I really wish I could pay them back. That's the first thing I'll do if I get anywhere.

The main thing is how things are now though. Things are better for you? Even if the business did not last.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:04 PM
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David, you've accomplished something. You edited one book that I know of and you have a satisfied customer.
And he's editing mine. I'm very satisfied with his work. And I've edited more than a handful myself, not to mention I self-edit my own stuff and I'm very strict with my projects. For David to still catch stuff enough to tighten and make it look even better (and make me give myself dope slaps in front of my computer) . . . yeah, I'd say I'm satisfied.

I'm also watching this thread, folks. *taps foot* Do not let it fall into the hands of arguments.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidGil View Post
The main thing is how things are now though. Things are better for you? Even if the business did not last.
Heh. It's all good. The business was going great -- the agency opportunity was one I just couldn't refuse from a pay and experience standpoint. I'll be able to start another business at some point with a much higher level of client and projects.

Things are still slow here -- with high unemployment. I haven't read much specifically about retail, but I see a lot of closed stores. At my agency, we're pretty lucky -- quite a few regional agencies have either gone under or been bought out by agencies in bigger markets. My partners were smart and shifted their model very early to include web development, online advertising and project work with focus on business-to-business.

Otherwise, problems are all relative. You can play the "it could be worse" game til the cows come home. Doesn't put money in the bank. Hearing someone harkening back to the Great Depression when you're out of work is just annoying. And I see a lot of people living at home after college and moving back home too -- it's a sign of the times.

Last edited by JoeMatt; 02-12-2013 at 05:22 PM..
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:42 PM
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As far as these writing 'rules' are concerned. I'd say they probably, mostly started out as useful guidelines, which people have then taken to overzealous extremes.

For example, the one about 'thou shalt only use said as a dialogue tag' I have read books where people come up with some extremely creative alternatives, to the point where it became noticeable in a slightly negative way, he ejaculated...

I imagine that it was originally started as a guideline to stop people doing that sort of thing, and later on gets taken to extremes. I'm sure we all know how Chinese whispers work..

They are probably all helpful guidelines meant for the author to look out for, but of course as David mentioned, if you look at books that actually do get published, they all break them several times, and still got published, which if the publishing houses were as stringent as many would have us believe, would be impossible.

So clearly they aren't 'rules' just guidelines for authors to consider, using their own better judgement. I'd say it's impossible to find any published works that follow the 'rules' at all times. I certainly haven't found one, and i have tried.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:35 PM
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Write what you know, omit needless words, show, don’t tell, don’t switch points POV, avoid "ly" adverbs, etc. etc. -- call them rules or guidelines, they just set up unnecessary barriers for no good reason. Any of them can work in the right context and you can see them all in countless published works. Anything can be overdone or done poorly -- and that's why people always resort to showing extreme examples to demonstrate why you shouldn't do these things. I think everyone would be better off forgetting about them.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:12 PM
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I think everyone would be better off forgetting about them.
Forgetting about what? I forgot. :/
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:52 PM
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Outside of self publishing, with thinking like that, your writing, and those who follow will go no further.
Bye
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeMatt View Post
... Any of them can work in the right context and you can see them all in countless published works. Anything can be overdone or done poorly -- and that's why people always resort to showing extreme examples to demonstrate why you shouldn't do these things...
That's true, but would you say there are certain things which all new writers are prone to overdoing or doing poorly which, if they don't have anyone to guide them, could easily weaken their work?

Common pitfalls if you will?
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:50 AM
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The omit needless words one is really the only thing that has some credence. But it's something that can be worried about later, past the rough draft stage and when you're getting ready to submit or self-publish. It's certainly something that editors will think about too. Main thing when just starting out anyway is for you to just write and read.

Some examples (story is already up in the member's only forum, so I don't mind showing this and it's only snippets anyway):

Pure innocence, unsullied by life, and so caring for everyone and everything around her.

And then you find yourself wonderingquestioning if god existedthere was a god. If he didexisted, why would he let her die?


(And this ties into dialog tags. Often, when you have two people talking, it's obvious who's speaking, so adding 'he/she said' on the end is just bolstering the word count really for no reason. And making every word count, within the confines of the style you've chosen, is part of the art really. It's important to stress that you can omit too much though, so that's another art. Knowing what to cut and what not to cut. But if you think you need to clarify who's speaking or how something's said, then of course feel free to use dialog tags. And please do note this isn't me referring to omitting 'superflous' content. Simply the technical aspects on a sentence by sentence basis.)

Originally Posted by Domenic View Post
Outside of self publishing, with thinking like that, your writing, and those who follow will go no further.
Bye
Dare I hope this means that you've left?

Nah, I won't. You've already claimed to have left once over the past two weeks or so, only to come back here. You'll be back.

You have fun with your rulebook, Domenic. Us? We'll continue to write without worrying, read and try to make our writing stand out from the rest.

Originally Posted by Honest Bill View Post
That's true, but would you say there are certain things which all new writers are prone to overdoing or doing poorly which, if they don't have anyone to guide them, could easily weaken their work?

Common pitfalls if you will?
Quite possibly.

Thing is, everyone starts out needing to improve their writing. You can learn these things just by critiquing, receiving critiques, reading and writing. Without them guidelines.

Let's take a badly written example here:

Bob kicked a ball. He was angry. He ran home. He ate dinner and went to bed. The next morning he woke up and found himself bored. He turned the tele on for a bit, then got up and left.

The above reads more like a list. It's not involving at all. It's possible the person who would write such a thing isn't meant to be a writer. They don't seem to get it. But it could also be that they are meant to be one. They just have... a lot of work ahead of them to learn things.

Point being, if someone's meant to be a writer, shouldn't they just pick up on these things naturally?

I hardly think all of the classics were written with a bunch of 'rules' they needed to follow.

And the fun thing that Domenic fails to acknowledge is that when self-publishing, you still need to consider the same things that people attempting to publish traditionally would.That being:

Having good writing and a good story. Being able to move people or entertain. (Myself, I place far greater stock on moving others, rather than entertaining.)

And yes, you could self-publish crap without care, but would it sell?
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