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Anyone here write?

 
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John Skaggs wrote:I'm finding editing a book-length manuscript far more challenging than writing it.  


Oh, for sure.  Editing is a whole other huge challenge for so many reasons.  The proofreading has its own challenges of tedium and frustration.  And then the consistency issue when your main character's name is Jane but you discover that in a couple scenes you're calling her Phyllis, or he's the brother of a biologist in one part of the book but later on the brother is an accountant.  And then when somewhere in the middle of the book you realize your hero can't be about to stride through the door of the castle right then because you forgot you wrote that his leg was broken earlier on and he's got to still be on crutches, or that you have absolutely no way for the wife to kill her husband because you've left her in Antarctica absorbed in a scientific experiment and he's drinking margaritas on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.  Or when you realize that a scene you especially love just has to go and it's tearing your heart out to delete it... and then fix everything else that led up to it and the consequences of it, after.

It goes on and on.  Editing is never over - you just have to call it done at some point and then put it out of your mind.  
 
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I have always heard that getting a copy editor is the best thing you can do; for you, and your book. You can find freelancers pretty easily online; about $750 for a decent sized book...
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:I have always heard that getting a copy editor is the best thing you can do; for you, and your book. You can find freelancers pretty easily online; about $750 for a decent sized book...


Well yeah, but when it comes to writing for yourself (be it fiction or non-fiction) a copy editor doesn't actually make the changes to your manuscript -- that's still up to the author to do.  That's the case anytime when the author holds the rights to the work.  It's a different story if the writer is being paid by someone to write for that person -- then an editor (e.g. for a newspaper) can make direct changes.

The reason for this is pretty clear:  Only the author knows knows what the writing is supposed to be.  What might appear to be a typo to a copy editor might be a deliberate misspelling or an unusual use of punctuation or grammar for a reason.  A copy editor could mess things up by making changes directly without first consulting the author.  It's a different thing with writing-for-hire, of course.  In that case the "author" is the person you're writing for, and then that person can make any changes he/she wants to the work.

Hiring a copy editor should be in addition to your own editing, not a substitute for it!  
 
Travis Johnson
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Well it depends...

It depends really on two things: what kind of writer you are, and what kind of Copy Editor you get.

For some writers like Stephen King, they just sit down to the laptop and start fingers flying and wordsmith fast and furious without really thinking about much really. They are just getting their ideas down on paper, down and dirty. And I was told in school that is exactly what a writer should be doing. So for that style of writer, they are going to go back and do a lot of rewording and editing. And there is nothing wrong with that.

I am not that way.

When I write, I write slow and deliberate, really disliking poor sentence structure, and repetitive words and that sort of thing. In short, when I go back and edit my work, I make very few changes because I have really thought out my words as I went along. So for me "editing" is not a laborious task, because the writing itself was done in that manner. They say this is not an efficient way to write, but that is just my writing style, and I could give three turds less about how other people think I should write.

But with copy editor's, you get what you ask, and what you pay for. Your work is your work is your work, and they can never take that away from you. You pay them for their advice and schooling so that your book has better flow and clarity. How deeply they do that, is based on how much you pay them for that extra time or not, and your comfort level with them. A good copy editor will never change your writing style; they read it, get a sense of how you write, and then rework it.

It is never their work, because you have a simple choice; you can accept their SUGGESTED changes, or you can keep your original manuscript. It is that simple. You still have to pay them for the work done eve if you do not like their suggestions, but ultimately you include their revisions or not.

But...it is very easy for a writer to fall in love with their own words, and it really is to the betterment of the writer to have a professional take an unbiased look at their manuscript, and accept the majority of the suggested changes.

It would be like me thinking I know what is best, and only best for this farm, and refusing to get an agronomist here to give me some advice. A good agronomist I know, will listen to what I want to do, and then make suggestions to get that very thing out of my farm the best way. And after hearing their suggestions, I would be a total fool to just dismiss what they had to say. Now if the agronomist ignores my farming style, and gives me suggestions for poatoe farming when I am a sheep farm, well you can bet that agronomist will never set foot on my farm again. It is the same with a copy editor that destroyed my style of writing: I did not get an experienced copy editor.
 
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I'm not interested in professionally becoming a writer but enjoy the creative process.  I attend a local writer's group where we are given some topics to select and then write on; we then read our work back to the group for feedback.  This is my latest one which was well received so thought I'd share it here.

On the topic of 'see you upstairs' or 'he had fallen very fast asleep'.  
                                                                                           
                                                                     - o 0 o -

A Wake Up Call


He had fallen very fast asleep....AGAIN!  It was in the middle of his favourite programme too.  I thought this really won't do.  Was it down to getting older - his declining health or maybe that large meal we just had?  I settled on it being the latter.  It was annoying since I wanted to talk to him about that phone call.

Our honeymoon stage was definitely well and truly behind us now.  I tried to recall the last romantic thing either of us did for each other and struggled.  This was no way to continue!  Perhaps I had been shaken by Lucy's phonecall - I thought their marriage would last...it showed no signs of being rocky...what goes on behind closed doors though, I sighed.

It galvanised me into making more of an effort.  The next day I went to the hairdressers with my dowdy hair and left with a perky, springy hairstyle.  I also managed to find that skimpy dress I know he used to like; thankfully it still fitted!  A modest bit of sparkling jewellery - perhaps a little mascara.  I wondered whether he'd think he had forgotten our anniversary!  Ha!

When he came home he looked momentarily surprised but pleased by my makeover.

'Have I forgotten our anniversary?'

I knew he'd think that and teased him.  Was that a twinkle in his eye?

That evening we ate more lightly - oysters, asparagus and a boozy, home-made tiramisu; it's said to be a 'pick-me-up'....hopefully without the aid of a hoist, I thought to myself!

I made a conscious effort to talk on subjects that interested him and that I could learn more about.  So I listened more closely and nodded as he enthused about his allotment and defeating foxes.  He seemed glad of this opportunity.  In turn, I was heartened that he seemed more attentive towards me - asking about my day - and I quietly delighted in this new development; it reminded me of our earlier days together.  We shared an intense smiling gaze.

Just as I was contemplating getting us some drinks, I could hardly believe my ears when I heard him say 'see you upstairs!'


 
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Larry Bock wrote:Anyone here write or more specifically? Anyone feel a need to write? when I was in high school, I was a less than perfect student. Additionally, no one could figure out why I would get an "A"'in English/Creative writing and not even show up for the classes I did not care for. Eventually, this led to being " placed" in an alternitive education program for the last year and a half
  Decades and a lifetime sneak past. The last 18 months, I've chosen to eliminate TV from my life. Slowly, I started writing again. Now, I go nowhere without a composition book and a pen. Some writings start off with snippets or observations, some times abandoned for months, others will flow out on paper at a pretty quick pace. I note the date, time and give it a reference " title".  
 Somewhere along the line, this became pretty important to me from a lot of aspects . One being that once things are in ink, they need not rent space in my mind, the other, sometimes ( after many rewrites) I'm pretty happy with the final products. At times I approach a writing with a purpose. Ie. Cancer took my 20 year old daughters mother or could be just something little.



I have written extensive throughout my entire life.

Currently, I journal - utilizing the BestSelf Journal in a morning / evening ritual.

I try to write in blog form periodically, but don't stick with it as I'm convinced it doesn't "serve" me.

I very much wish to execute on the Self-Authoring Suite that someone gifted me...it looks like a great guided platform for writers.

I long for writing, and as I continue making lifestyle changes, I hope to get back into these habits of old.

These are dying habits indeed.  Great post.
 
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Thank you for sharing! I also belong to a group which hands out prompts for each meeting - this morning I rough drafted a response to: If it rained food, what would you want the forecast to look like?

I hope, after the next couple of drafts it will require, to have a comedic story about dealing with food waste in either a middle-grade or young-adult fantasy setting. (The main character can literally ask for any food and it magically rains down - but then she discovers that she's not creating new food, but taking it from other people's plates and fridges... and eventually decides to only ask for food that otherwise would be tossed.)
 
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John Weiland wrote:Just adding this here for those interested.  An interesting book on the alphabet and the origins and magic of words is David Abram's "The Spell of the Sensuous".  One of the concepts that was intriguing to me was the history of the verb "to spell":

"Maybe just the first thing I'll say in relation to the questions you are raising is that I'm not in any way interested in demonizing writing or the alphabet or in saying that it's bad in any way. I am a writer, and I love the written word; I love it. And, I love what it enables for me. What I am saying is that writing is magic and that it is a very potent form of magic. And that, unless we recognize how potent, how powerful this technology is, and how profoundly and how even in many non-rational ways, it influences our experience, unless we recognize the magic of the written word, then we are simply under its spell. And, it's not by chance that the word spell has this double meaning - to cast a spell, or to arrange the letters in the correct order to spell out a word. Because these two meanings were at one time very, very close. Because to learn to read with this new magical technology, to be able to arrange the letters in the right order, to actually conjure, as it were, that thing that you just spelled—it was experienced by oral peoples, who had not met the written word before, as magic, as a very powerful form of magic. -- David Abrams   (  http://www.childrenofthecode.org/interviews/abram.htm#The_Magical_Spell_of_Writing: )


You are speaking my language! I am a total word nerd and I will hunt this bookdown enthusiastically. I love etymology and linguistics. I indulge my love in teaching my kids ot read  and yes I write! I have recently found a way to combine my writing with another passion so now they no longer compete for my attention and are combined. I am not as prolific as DEB, 3000 words a day! I have a few stories I started years ago and I chip away at them when I can, with lots of young kids its hard to have time to be inside my own imagination. Mostly I life young adult fiction righting and fantasy, but I also write childrens stories. I don't have many stories but they are precious to me.
 
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My journey has been unique. I have always written stuff since I was 15 year old or so...

Two years ago I got serious with my writing and things just really picked up speed. It has been a lot of learning, but on two fronts; writing better, but also in bookbinding itself.

It took me awhile to learn how to print both hard and soft cover books that look just like store-boughten books without the expensive printing costs. By that I mean glossy covers with embossed titles and everything. I always had a farm anyway, so I derived an off-shoot of it as a publishing company, devised my own home-made publishing equipment out of plywood, and have self-printed my own authored books over the last two years.

I am just finishing my 8th novel (85,000 words per novel on average so real novels). It just feels nice to have books I have authored in both soft and hard cover form, giving the whole experience a real-world, in your-hands, kind of feel to them. If I was to die tomorrow, the books I have authored would live on because they are in printed form. There is a sense of accomplishment in that.

My only advice to other writers is to: just write. It is 2023 almost, with todays computerized equipment, with equipment you have at home already, you can produce a book that is equal to what is on bookstore shelves, and for about $2 per book. Cost and equipment need not be a stumbling block to have YOUR book in printed form.

Writers: You Got This!
 
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I write.

I write here. I used to blog, but I decided I don't really like publishing my personal things to the public. My compromise is permies, where I publish garden and project things but not so much personal things.

I tried to write fiction for about ten years. I still occasionally write a story, but now only when I feel the urge and never because I think I should be writing. I did the nanowrimo thing for a while. I really wanted to tell great, epic stories, but I realized I don't really have the knack for compelling storytelling. Before that I wrote poetry. Some of it was alright, most of it was crap. I still write poetry when something really traumatic happens in my life. It helped me through the suicides of several friends.

Now, other than on permies, I just write for myself. I journal about my garden and the weather and things I've done and want to do. Looking back through my journals has proved useful for gardening, I can see when I planted something, and if I might adjust that for the following year, or about when would be good to harvest. I can also reflect on how the weather probably influenced my harvests and productivity. It also helps, as others have said, to just get things out of my head and onto paper.

I also have three professional books in the works. Hopefully I will publish them one day. They're all on education or language topics. If I don't get them published, oh well. Writing them helps me organize my thoughts around my day job.

 
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There are several books in my head, and plans to write it all out.. someday. The obstacle I always encounter is time. My busy life doesn’t allow for long stretches of unbroken concentration and work, and that is what I feel that I require to write as I would like to. When writing, I feel like an athlete or machine warming up before the full exertion of my energies. It starts slow, but then the flow begins.

While on my way to writing my first book,  “Land For Sale in New Mexico”, I was interrupted by my current situation. I had $25,000 saved, a vintage travel trailer, and had planned to sit in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico (a quirky town based around hot springs) to relax in the healing waters, and dedicate my time to writing my story. Fate intervened, and I am currently living my second book, tentatively titled “Life And Death In The Oasis Valley”..

Time will tell if these books are meant to be.
 
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Steve Zoma wrote:

I am just finishing my 8th novel (85,000 words per novel on average so real novels). It just feels nice to have books I have authored in both soft and hard cover form, giving the whole experience a real-world, in your-hands, kind of feel to them. If I was to die tomorrow, the books I have authored would live on because they are in printed form. There is a sense of accomplishment in that.

My only advice to other writers is to: just write. It is 2023 almost, with todays computerized equipment, with equipment you have at home already, you can produce a book that is equal to what is on bookstore shelves, and for about $2 per book. Cost and equipment need not be a stumbling block to have YOUR book in printed form.

Writers: You Got This!



Congratulations! Eight novels already in just two years is awesome. Even more awesome that you're literally making the books yourself. Wish I could do that.

What do you mean by real novels? If you mean current market length, that's good but it's not the definition. Any fictitious prose narrative of at least 50,000 words is a novel.

I just finished the first draft of a massive story that will have to be split. It's over 300K words long right now, and while I know there will be things I will cut, it will still be at least two books.
 
Molly Kay
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Ted Abbey wrote:There are several books in my head, and plans to write it all out.. someday. The obstacle I always encounter is time. My busy life doesn’t allow for long stretches of unbroken concentration and work, and that is what I feel that I require to write as I would like to.



Have you tried writing in smaller blocks of time? Like an hour or two per day? Maybe you really do need time to sit and write for as long as it takes to get the stories down, but maybe if you can get that flow going more often, it will be easier to get it flowing again each time.

Every writer is different, so whatever works for you is the best way to write.

 
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Molly Kay wrote:

Ted Abbey wrote:There are several books in my head, and plans to write it all out.. someday. The obstacle I always encounter is time. My busy life doesn’t allow for long stretches of unbroken concentration and work, and that is what I feel that I require to write as I would like to.



Have you tried writing in smaller blocks of time? Like an hour or two per day? Maybe you really do need time to sit and write for as long as it takes to get the stories down, but maybe if you can get that flow going more often, it will be easier to get it flowing again each time.

Every writer is different, so whatever works for you is the best way to write.



Thank you Molly, and I do write a little each day. Anyone that has received a message, text, or email from me can attest to that fact! Haha.. I find writing to be enjoyable, but the flow and continuum that I find necessary to write my stories just isn’t possible for me in small chunks. I would end up with a disconnected, rambling jumble that would require so much editing and rewriting, and my time is limited as it is. My approach is more of a stream of consciousness flow, and the “overthinking” involved in filing, compiling, rewriting, and editing would kill my buzz. For now, I will remain content in my daily physical labors, and my dream of writing the books will remain just that..
 
Molly Kay
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Thank you Molly, and I do write a little each day. Anyone that has received a message, text, or email from me can attest to that fact! Haha.. I find writing to be enjoyable, but the flow and continuum that I find necessary to write my stories just isn’t possible for me in small chunks. I would end up with a disconnected, rambling jumble that would require so much editing and rewriting, and my time is limited as it is. My approach is more of a stream of consciousness flow, and the “overthinking” involved in filing, compiling, rewriting, and editing would kill my buzz. For now, I will remain content in my daily physical labors, and my dream of writing the books will remain just that..



Well I hope it becomes a reality for you when the time is right.
 
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Molly Kay wrote:



Thank you Molly, and I do write a little each day. Anyone that has received a message, text, or email from me can attest to that fact! Haha.. I find writing to be enjoyable, but the flow and continuum that I find necessary to write my stories just isn’t possible for me in small chunks. I would end up with a disconnected, rambling jumble that would require so much editing and rewriting, and my time is limited as it is. My approach is more of a stream of consciousness flow, and the “overthinking” involved in filing, compiling, rewriting, and editing would kill my buzz. For now, I will remain content in my daily physical labors, and my dream of writing the books will remain just that..

Well I hope it becomes a reality for you when the time is right.

Thanks again Molly, and I truly believe that if it is meant be, it will. If not, it will be in good company with all of my unrequited loves..
 
Steve Zoma
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Molly Kay wrote:

Congratulations! Eight novels already in just two years is awesome. Even more awesome that you're literally making the books yourself. Wish I could do that.



Oh but you can! That was the intent of my reply. There is no expensive equipment or skills needed. I mean, if people could make books in the 1500's with limited 1500 era technology, certainly we can make books in 2023!

Elmers white glue was invented as bookbinding glue.  Microsoft Word has several page set ups for books built into it. Even cheap printers can spew out a 400 page novel in 10 minutes. Laminators make the book covers and a Cricut Machine will make the titles on covers embossed. It is not expensive or difficult. You can do it. Anyone can!

I just love books and love to see more books in existence, so I really try and encourage authors to get their books in print.

Its really a great way to provide your books for beta readers and for gifts for friends and family,
 
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Molly Kay wrote:

Congratulations! Eight novels already in just two years is awesome. Even more awesome that you're literally making the books yourself. Wish I could do that.

What do you mean by real novels? If you mean current market length, that's good but it's not the definition. Any fictitious prose narrative of at least 50,000 words is a novel.

I just finished the first draft of a massive story that will have to be split. It's over 300K words long right now, and while I know there will be things I will cut, it will still be at least two books.



You are right on the novel length. I guess I was just thinking of the genre in which I write which is typically 70,000 to 90,000 words. I am at 74,000 words now with my latest novel, but have 2 chapters to go, so with editing and other injections, I am spot-on in terms of word count. I always am always concerned with word count because I want to adequately tell whatever story I am writing for sue; but refuse to add fluff just to booster word count. Getting that right on the first challenge can be a nail-biter until that first draft is done.

As for splitting your book, I can understand that. Depending on the genre, it could be two or three novels, but depends on a lot of factors. And of course, who says anyone has to go by general book publishing rules anyway.

In high school I had a teacher who Traditionally Published a trilogy, and a lifelong dream was to do likewise. I just finished that with novel 3, 6 and 7. When I wrote #3, I never envisioned it being a trilogy, but then... it just made sense to make it one the more I thought about it, so I did. Any three can be read on their own without having to read the others in order, but reading them in order also works well. But it was a challenge. My main character in all three was Deaf making it especially challenging to write.
 
Steve Zoma
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Ted Abbey wrote:

Molly Kay wrote:



Thank you Molly, and I do write a little each day. Anyone that has received a message, text, or email from me can attest to that fact! Haha.. I find writing to be enjoyable, but the flow and continuum that I find necessary to write my stories just isn’t possible for me in small chunks. I would end up with a disconnected, rambling jumble that would require so much editing and rewriting, and my time is limited as it is. My approach is more of a stream of consciousness flow, and the “overthinking” involved in filing, compiling, rewriting, and editing would kill my buzz. For now, I will remain content in my daily physical labors, and my dream of writing the books will remain just that..



Well I hope it becomes a reality for you when the time is right.

Thanks again Molly, and I truly believe that if it is meant be, it will. If not, it will be in good company with all of my unrequited loves..

I can understand all that for sure, so the following is just thoughts to loosely consider.

I just always had the idea that if I write 1000 words per day, in 3 months I will have a 90,000 word novel. Somedays I write more, but others days not, so its all just an average.

As for jumbled thoughts, oddly, I write as inspired. Sometimes I write the last chapter first, if I know how I want my book to end. Or maybe the middle. In my current book, I started with the end, went to the start, then went and did some of the middle. In wrapping up the book I went back and forth from the two ends to get to the middle that I had already written. The point is, I never waste time trying to write chronologically. I write what I know I want to write, then "blend" it later, which for me is making sure it reads well from chapter to chapter.

It sounds weird, but I just got tired of being on chapter 5, not knowing what I wanted to write, but had chapters 8 and 9 thought out if I could only get there. That was frustrating so now I just skip around and if I know what chapters 8 and 9 will be, I write them. I know chapters 5, 6 and 7 will eventually come to me. More often than not, they are boring sections anyway so in the end, they might not even be included.

One other tidbit of information too... first chapters are notoriously hard. Just where do you start your story? How do you give it that first line hook anyway? For me, I often have no idea, so I don't even try. I typically start a novel on chapter 2 and figure out later where the actual start of my story will be.

One reason I skip around a lot is because I can easily move chapters around. I use Microsoft word and so the Navigation pane lets anyone move whole chapters with a push of the mouse. I then rearrange and renumber my chapters, and it all makes sense again very easily.
 
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Steve Zoma wrote:

Ted Abbey wrote:

Molly Kay wrote:



Thank you Molly, and I do write a little each day. Anyone that has received a message, text, or email from me can attest to that fact! Haha.. I find writing to be enjoyable, but the flow and continuum that I find necessary to write my stories just isn’t possible for me in small chunks. I would end up with a disconnected, rambling jumble that would require so much editing and rewriting, and my time is limited as it is. My approach is more of a stream of consciousness flow, and the “overthinking” involved in filing, compiling, rewriting, and editing would kill my buzz. For now, I will remain content in my daily physical labors, and my dream of writing the books will remain just that..



Well I hope it becomes a reality for you when the time is right.



Thanks again Molly, and I truly believe that if it is meant be, it will. If not, it will be in good company with all of my unrequited loves..

I can understand all that for sure, so the following is just thoughts to loosely consider.

I just always had the idea that if I write 1000 words per day, in 3 months I will have a 90,000 word novel. Somedays I write more, but others days not, so its all just an average.

As for jumbled thoughts, oddly, I write as inspired. Sometimes I write the last chapter first, if I know how I want my book to end. Or maybe the middle. In my current book, I started with the end, went to the start, then went and did some of the middle. In wrapping up the book I went back and forth from the two ends to get to the middle that I had already written. The point is, I never waste time trying to write chronologically. I write what I know I want to write, then "blend" it later, which for me is making sure it reads well from chapter to chapter.

It sounds weird, but I just got tired of being on chapter 5, not knowing what I wanted to write, but had chapters 8 and 9 thought out if I could only get there. That was frustrating so now I just skip around and if I know what chapters 8 and 9 will be, I write them. I know chapters 5, 6 and 7 will eventually come to me. More often than not, they are boring sections anyway so in the end, they might not even be included.

One other tidbit of information too... first chapters are notoriously hard. Just where do you start your story? How do you give it that first line hook anyway? For me, I often have no idea, so I don't even try. I typically start a novel on chapter 2 and figure out later where the actual start of my story will be.

One reason I skip around a lot is because I can easily move chapters around. I use Microsoft word and so the Navigation pane lets anyone move whole chapters with a push of the mouse. I then rearrange and renumber my chapters, and it all makes sense again very easily.

Thanks for the tips and insight. I’m way to busy in life to even think about writing now, let alone to do it.. Nice to hear about how other people’s brains work, and the resulting approach.
 
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L. Johnson wrote:I write. I write here.



Me, too.

All my work has been published here.  I write Non-Fiction all about permaculture, cooking, homesteading, etc.

I have published 10493 times and I am going strong.
 
Steve Zoma
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Anne Miller wrote:

L. Johnson wrote:I write. I write here.



Me, too.

All my work has been published here.  I write Non-Fiction all about permaculture, cooking, homesteading, etc.

I have published 10493 times and I am going strong.



I think it’s good to have both types of writing.

It’s good to discuss specific topics in small bouts for sure, but it’s also good I think to fully flesh out ideas in a different media.

For me, real-world examples has its place too like forums, but I have a creative side too. I love the creative arts so to write fictional stories engages a different side of my personality. I think that’s good.

With digital decay today, there is a finality of having a few novels in print as well. Since that is something I have complete control over, that is gratifying as an author.
 
Anne Miller
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Steve said, "For me, real-world examples has its place too like forums, but I have a creative side too.



My creative side likes to make worthwhile posts that will benefit others.  And might also win me likes, apples, and sometimes PIE.

I don't need or want money because money comes with obligations.

Here are some of my creative side:

https://permies.com/t/89476/kitchen/Favorite-Sandwiches

https://permies.com/t/204818/kitchen/Difference-Scalloped-Au-Gratin-Potatoes

https://permies.com/t/174546/simple-device-give-min-power

https://permies.com/t/184719/store-gardening-tools

https://permies.com/t/69417/shelters-habitat/Create-Habitat-Hummingbirds
 
Steve Zoma
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Anne Miller wrote:

Steve said, "For me, real-world examples has its place too like forums, but I have a creative side too.



My creative side likes to make worthwhile posts that will benefit others.  And might also win me likes, apples, and sometimes PIE.

I don't need or want money because money comes with obligations.

Here are some of my creative side:

https://permies.com/t/89476/kitchen/Favorite-Sandwiches

https://permies.com/t/204818/kitchen/Difference-Scalloped-Au-Gratin-Potatoes

https://permies.com/t/174546/simple-device-give-min-power

https://permies.com/t/184719/store-gardening-tools

https://permies.com/t/69417/shelters-habitat/Create-Habitat-Hummingbirds



All writing has benefits whether real-world applications, or just a good story.

My girlfriend just destroys books because she does not listen to the radio or watches tv: she just reads… a lot.

Whether it is me that provides her books to read or other authors, there is tangible benefits to all writing.

Myself, and I’m sure other authors are similar, put a lot of research in what we write even if the story itself is fiction. My current book is on the Northwest Passage and the amount of real world knowledge I have gained on the Canadian Arctic, icebreakers and the Inuit People is now profound. That empowers me but also readers.

Here is the thing though, icebreakers and Permiculture is not far apart, at least for those interested in cold climate micro hydro: Frazil Ice affects both. Though a fictional story, through creativity, I’ve gained a lot of real world Permie knowledge.
 
Vera Stewart
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I just typed this question out for one of my writing groups to maybe answer, and then I looked at my open tabs and said "duh! This is a perfect question for permies!"

So here we go:

I am in the early stages of brainstorming for a creative writing project and need to decide how far away from site X to place my farm.

Project is based on an historical event, I'm adding fictional and fictionalized characters and plotting to it.

Hero will travel to X within two or possibly three days. He is on a rescue mission, and quite motivated to get there with speed, however, he has absolutely no interest in causing long term harm to his horses.

Hero is in his early to mid twenties so does not yet have huge amounts of experience, but he is very comfortable with his horses and treats them as well as he knows how.

His horses are draft horses. They are working horses, they plow fields, and haul timber out of the woods in the winter. They are in pretty great shape, considering it's winter, and he is too. He has two horses. (I haven't decided if they are Percheron, Clydesdale or if I'll pick a more "rare" horse breed to highlight yet)

It is winter and it's Canada. There is snow.

He has a sled. He will be carrying himself, and perhaps a friend, plus a few supplies such that they hope they can support themselves for a week to ten days or so.

If he decides to travel to X in the early afternoon of day one, and leaves almost right away, and if there is a snowstorm day two, and he arrives at X before (or perhaps a little after) nightfall on day three, how far can he travel in that time? History dictates a fairly heavy snowstorm.

Along the way to X, he encounters others travelling to help out at X, and they form a bit of a convoy. Sometimes he leads and sometimes he's following. I suspect this will allow them to go a bit faster?

If anyone can help provide a rough estimate on a credible distance that can be covered under these circumstances, I would be very grateful! Thank you!
 
Lif Strand
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Vera Stewart wrote:I just typed this question out for one of my writing groups to maybe answer, and then I looked at my open tabs and said "duh! This is a perfect question for permies!"
1  Hero will travel to X within two or possibly three days. He is on a rescue mission, and quite motivated to get there with speed, however, he has absolutely no interest in causing long term harm to his horses.
2 Hero is in his early to mid twenties so does not yet have huge amounts of experience, but he is very comfortable with his horses and treats them as well as he knows how.
3 His horses are draft horses. They are working horses, they plow fields, and haul timber out of the woods in the winter. They are in pretty great shape, considering it's winter, and he is too. He has two horses. (I haven't decided if they are Percheron, Clydesdale or if I'll pick a more "rare" horse breed to highlight yet)
4 It is winter and it's Canada. There is snow.
5 He has a sled. He will be carrying himself, and perhaps a friend, plus a few supplies such that they hope they can support themselves for a week to ten days or so.
6 If he decides to travel to X in the early afternoon of day one, and leaves almost right away, and if there is a snowstorm day two, and he arrives at X before (or perhaps a little after) nightfall on day three, how far can he travel in that time? History dictates a fairly heavy snowstorm.
7 Along the way to X, he encounters others travelling to help out at X, and they form a bit of a convoy. Sometimes he leads and sometimes he's following. I suspect this will allow them to go a bit faster?

If anyone can help provide a rough estimate on a credible distance that can be covered under these circumstances, I would be very grateful! Thank you!



I have taken the liberty of numbering the points for ease of answering.  I'm a former endurance racer and very familiar with covering long distances on horseback.
1  This is baseline info:  In good weather conditions with ample grazing and water along a relatively flat route, an experienced rider with a fit horse could cover 75-150 miles.  That's a huge range, because it all depends on weather, feed & water, and trail (surface quality and steepness)
2 Without huge amount of experience in going long distance, there are bound to be problems.  Thus I'd say 75-100 miles at best.
3  Draft horses need special consideration to go long distances at any speed.  Whereas a fit, light horse being ridden could readily travel at 5-7 MPH for 10 hours a day (given point #1), there is no way a draft horse could move at those speeds for anything more than brief bursts.  They would quickly become overheated at anything better than a brisk walk, even in winter, and then would risk chill when they stopped.  Note that the bulkier the breed, the slower it will have to go.  It's kind of like expecting a tractor to be able to cover ground as fast as a racecar could.  They are geared for torque, not for speed.
4  Cold complicates things:  chill factor if overheated and muscle stiffness from the cold when resting, snow balling up in hooves leading to lamenesses, no water or feed available along the way, slippery and hard surfaces.
5 A single draft horse will require up to 20 gallons a day when working.  So the sled will have to carry 167lbs worth of water per horse per day.  Plus about 3% of their body weight's worth of feed, the bulk of that needing to be in hay because digesting hay will keep a horse warm.  Horses -- particularly draft horses -- absolutely cannot handle very much grain without risk of... well, take my word for it.  You could kill a draft horse that's working that hard with very much grain.  Anyway, my point is that given all the other conditions, the sled will have to carry a lot of weight.  You could shirk on the feed but not the water, but maybe there would be enough open water along the way, maybe snow could be melted (remember, 20 gallons per day!).  After the horse supplies (don't forget the blankets for them because if their muscles get chilled overnight those horses will not be going anywhere fast in the morning), then you add on the human supplies.  One more issue about sleds:  Runners are fine for certain kinds of snow, but anything very soft/fluffy/deep will bog down your horses and the sled runners.  
6  Given all of what I've said above, your hero could maybe cover 25-30 miles given the time factor and the snowstorm.  Maybe half that, depending on how bad the conditions were to start with and how bad that snowstorm is.
7  A convoy might allow for more speed, but not much more.  It can only go as fast as the lead AND the last sleds or other conveyances can.

Hope that's of some help.
 
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What an amazing answer, thank you very much! All of this helps.

I am going to re-think the "supplying self" idea and probably add in a couple of scenes where he stops and gets water and feed from people along the way. Perhaps there will be a bit of conflict if someone decides they don't want to help...

And a scene where someone with a lighter, faster horse passes by, and...

Well, just thankyou again!
 
Steve Zoma
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I might go with 12 - 15 miles.

The problem is not with the endurance of the horses, but with snow enacting upon the sled.

In my experience the deeper the snow, the harder the sled pulls through it. Part of that is just slogging through deep snow like snow drifs, but also in the sled riding over, or even under buried blowdowns and dead trees. Sometimes it slides over unscathed, but other times you have to lift the leading edge to get the sled to start over. If it passes overhead it is worse because it might break off if your lucky, but if not, the horse must be backed up, the sled pulled back from underneath it, and another way around must be found. And of course, not all land freezes the same. For instance, bogs almost never fully freeze because the heat generated by anerobic action. So your protagonist might get bogged down in mud, yep... even in the dead of winter.

Of course these are all great things to add to your story. We as writers must make their lives a living hell after all to keep the tension up in our books. I did a novel once that involved an old tractor working in Siberia in 1919, and had a lot of these elements. It was a fun book to write.
 
Lif Strand
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Vera Stewart wrote:What an amazing answer, thank you very much! All of this helps.

I am going to re-think the "supplying self" idea and probably add in a couple of scenes where he stops and gets water and feed from people along the way. Perhaps there will be a bit of conflict if someone decides they don't want to help...

And a scene where someone with a lighter, faster horse passes by, and...

Well, just thankyou again!



You are welcome!  I hope you will share info about your book when it is published!
 
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i do.

https://wisdomofthewildwood.com/pagan-practice/darkening-into-lightreturn/
 
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I really enjoyed creative writing classes in school but I don't do much of that style writing as an adult.   I really enjoy creating educational content.   Sometimes it's message board style posts.   I often wonder why I haven't done a blog, it would seem to be up my alley but I never pursue it.

I do end up with PILES and PILES of notes, outlines, scribbles on scrap paper and the back of bill envelopes, etc.  

Just recently I was moved/ compelled to start putting together some of that and creating a puppy training curriculum from scratch.   I'm frustrated with the direction most training programs have taken and it needs an overhaul.   Will I teach it? I don't know,  but I'm enjoying getting it formatted and designed.  

I've moved from notes and flowcharts and random journal paragraphs, to an index card system to organize it.  
IMG_3276.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_3276.JPG]
 
Steve Zoma
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Heather Staas wrote:
I really enjoyed creative writing classes in school but I don't do much of that style writing as an adult.   I really enjoy creating educational content.   Sometimes it's message board style posts.   I often wonder why I haven't done a blog, it would seem to be up my alley but I never pursue it.

I do end up with PILES and PILES of notes, outlines, scribbles on scrap paper and the back of bill envelopes, etc.  

Just recently I was moved/ compelled to start putting together some of that and creating a puppy training curriculum from scratch.   I'm frustrated with the direction most training programs have taken and it needs an overhaul.   Will I teach it? I don't know,  but I'm enjoying getting it formatted and designed.  

I've moved from notes and flowcharts and random journal paragraphs, to an index card system to organize it.  



One way you might break into teaching is trying an Adult Education class at your local school. I have done it on Permies principals and it was a fun class with lots of great things stemming from it. You could do one on puppy training and see how it goes? You do get paid for it too.

I also tried teaching for the Federal Government but that was NOT for me.
 
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As some others in this thread, I have had a sporadic relationship with a blog over the years - Anonymous Appalachian Agrarian

It is very much just something that I have done when I felt like it and with what I felt like writing at the time. It is very bare bones. I try to include a photo with the entries when I can. Every time I start posting again I tell myself it will become a habit this time, but each time my interest for it falls off at some point. Maybe this time!
 
If you two don't stop this rough-housing somebody is going to end up crying. Sit down and read this tiny ad:
FREE Perma Veggies Book! - Learn how to grow the most delicious and nutritious food with the least amount of work.
https://permies.com/t/238620/perennial-vegetables/FREE-Perma-Veggies-Book
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