Billy Goes to Werkworth by Robert Starr


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Post July 24, 2005, 09:22:16 PM

Re: Billy Goes to Werkworth by Robert Starr

Sometimes I think about what classification my stuff fits into,but then I give my head a shake and just start writing again. LOL ( What I mean is, I'm not the kind of writer who tries to write for a certain market or genre; most of the time, the story just writes itself over several months and revisions where it goes its own way)<br> What's the process like for someone who leans more toward a specific genre?
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Post July 24, 2005, 09:35:26 PM

Re: Billy Goes to Werkworth by Robert Starr

I may not know literary from mainstream, but I knows what I likes.<br><br>Anybody remember good old Harlan Ellison? He was known to object strenuously when his work was labeled 'science fiction' (or worse, 'sci-fi'), at least partly because he knew that it would be ghettoized in the back corner of the bookstore, and never given a fancy stand-up display in the front window ... Now science fiction and fantasy bestsellers are commonplace, and the most popular outsell many 'mainstream' books by orders of magnitude. (Of course, a lot of best-selling diet and self-help books SHOULD be labeled 'fantasy' ...)<br><br>Robert M.
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Post July 24, 2005, 10:44:43 PM

Re: Billy Goes to Werkworth by Robert Starr

Sorry. Being a mutant, I never had adult eye teeth to give away, and the original 'baby' teeth got worn down to nothing. (I inherited the condition from my father. Apparently it occurs in some small percentage of the population. My mutant editorial powers are mine alone, however.)

Robert M.
<br>You mean another mutant power, beyond the ability to ignore virtually every bit of story advice I give you? :)<br><br>Nate
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Post July 24, 2005, 10:47:50 PM

Re: Billy Goes to Werkworth by Robert Starr

Many people think of mainstream and literary as the same style of writing. Actually, the opposite is true. Mainstream is itself a genre, just as are mystery, romance, and others. The opposite style of literary fiction is commercial fiction. Here's a few definitions...
<br>Good job, Donald.<br><br>There were a few in there that I couldn't honestly have told you what the difference was, and I'm saving those for future reference. Thanks!<br><br>Nate
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Post July 24, 2005, 11:01:53 PM

Re: Billy Goes to Werkworth by Robert Starr

Sometimes I think about what classification my stuff fits into,but then I give my head a shake and just start writing again. LOL ( What I mean is, I'm not the kind of writer who tries to write for a certain market or genre; most of the time, the story just writes itself over several months and revisions where it goes its own way)
What's the process like for someone who leans more toward a specific genre?
<br>I certainly couldn't say for everyone. With Another Sarah, the opener just came to be and I went with it. With a zombie piece I'm trying to peddle in paying markets now, I started with the concept "What is something that is scary?"<br><br>Zombies were classic genre staples, so I went with that. Being the target of zombies is scary, so I used that, but I also wondered if it could be scary to be the zombie. A few minutes later, I was writing.<br><br>My Nightwatch piece may be the only other piece that I had to have a specific outcome before I got very far into it, and it made it very difficult for me to write. I couldn't just let things finish as they would.<br><br>Most of the time I suspect genre writers just begin stories just the same as you do, but their imaginations already run along the lines of genre fiction.<br><br>Haven't you ever started on a piece and after a paragraph or so got a feeling about what kind of story it would be at the end? Is that much different?<br><br>Nate
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Post July 24, 2005, 11:23:03 PM

Re: Billy Goes to Werkworth by Robert Starr

Haven't you ever started on a piece and after a paragraph or so got a feeling about what kind of story it would be at the end? Is that much different?

Nate
<br><br>...and I wonder how many have started a story, all planned and outlined, and after a few paragraphs the story takes on a life of its own and almost writes itself. And how many are sometimes surprised by things their characters say and do? I'm serious.<br><br>Donald<br>
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Post July 25, 2005, 06:56:47 AM

Re: Billy Goes to Werkworth by Robert Starr

...and I wonder how many have started a story, all planned and outlined, and after a few paragraphs the story takes on a life of its own and almost writes itself. And how many are sometimes surprised by things their characters say and do? I'm serious.

Donald
<br>Well, I don't outline things, or I stop writing the story. Once I know how something's going to end I don't feel the need to write it any more. Writing for me is more like "directed" dreaming.<br><br>I am almost always surprised by my story openers, since except for that aforementioned zombie tale, every other one was something straight out of my subconscious. I then look at what I've written and try to see if what I've got is strong enough to be turned into a bigger story or instead left as an entry in an ever-larger ideas file.<br><br>The other time I'm surprised is when I've forgotten I've written something, such as a revision to a ten or fifteen-year old story. Then, once I find that new passage, I'm just as delighted as when I wrote it. More probably, since it doesn't strike me as all that clever when I'm writing it the first time.<br><br>Does anyone else do something like that?<br><br>Nate
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Post July 25, 2005, 07:34:07 AM

Re: Billy Goes to Werkworth by Robert Starr

Outlining, as highly touted a technique as it is, does not come natural to me. I need to write, so off I go, and let the words fall where they may... <br><br>I need to have at least a goal in mind, some scene to reach, if not the actual ending. Otherwise I feel as if I'm aimlessly stringing words, sentences, and scenes together. As long as I have some goal to go for, what happens in between or even when I achieve that goal matters little; ie, the endpoint can wind up in some other place or the story can morph into something else entirely. <br><br>While Don's notion that the character's words and actions will dictate the direction of a story or otherwise surprise you is a romantic one, really, isn't that just a function of a writer who is "merely" developing a character or set of characters on the fly as the story too takes shape? Nothing wrong with that, but give credit where credit is due. A character ain't nothing but a bunch of words that you, the writer, put together (unless it's from a story posted here). Of course, the romance of this thing we do has long been stripped away, so maybe I'm just being curmudgeonly. <br><br>Dan E.<br>PS--has any of you ever had a dream with one of your characters? I have not.

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Post July 25, 2005, 09:37:58 AM

Re: Billy Goes to Werkworth by Robert Starr

The techniques seem very much the same. THat leads me to wonder if the kinds of things you read wind up taking hold of your stories.<br> BTW I don't , or can't, outline, and do things pretty much the same way, except, something inanimate often becomes a focal point for me. <br> I've never dreamt of my characters and would be pretty upset if I did LOL. <br>BTW again: When I wrote my first novel, I had speech cards and outlines tacked to the walls and such. In the end, I ignored all of themand just ploughed through a first and then final draft, basically working on the fly.

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Post July 25, 2005, 11:23:08 AM

Re: Billy Goes to Werkworth by Robert Starr

When I first started writing, I read a book that went into great detail about how to draw up an outline. I tried it and it didn't work. Now I just form a rough outline in my head.<br><br>As for stories and characters taking on a life of their own and surprising the writer, I think that's just your subconscious at work.<br><br>Never dreamed of any of my characters yet, and hope I don't. But if I wrote something like "I Dream of Jeanie," I wouldn't mind a dream of her at all! :-)
Last edited by dsullivan on July 25, 2005, 11:26:09 AM, edited 1 time in total.
A really good story can compensate for less-than-brilliant writing, but brilliant writing will not save a bad story.

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Post July 25, 2005, 11:36:22 AM

Re: Billy Goes to Werkworth by Robert Starr

Good idea! Think I'll start writing some stories with Sandra Bullock characters in swimwear! :o

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Post July 25, 2005, 09:38:24 PM

Re: Billy Goes to Werkworth by Robert Starr

***
Never heard of Whitby Psyc. I grew up (well, maybe) in London, Ontario, and we had our own Psychiatric Hospital. Dunno what the nickname for it was, or is ...

Robert M.
<br>***<br>Does 'Highbury Hilton' ring any bells?<br>Gord
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