The Other World

Going solo with spelling errors

IWSG: Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work? — April 7, 2021

IWSG: Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?


I have been known to put things in my books that are less than popular. Take March’s IWSG post for example. That is a shining example of an entire topic that is a risk taking topic. But other topics have come up in my writing too.

I am a risk taker in my writing. Characters with flaws and dimensions. Jena that cannot have just one Life partner, Servolos and her unexpected family debacles, Angela and her womanizing until she ran into the right person in the most unexpected way. I love writing many different things that haven’t been done before. why else would we write?

IWSG: The Uncomfortable subject of scenes we “Fade to Black” — March 3, 2021

IWSG: The Uncomfortable subject of scenes we “Fade to Black”

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I have the feeling I am going to get stung by this thorny subject. Especially because if you are a writer, you know which subject and scenes I am talking about already and are starting to cringe…

There were no classes in college that broached this subject (at least none I came across but I don’t remember looking either…) and there certainly were no classes on the subject when I was in grade school, middle school, and high school. In fact, if I tried to write this stuff in Gifted/Talented class, I probably would have been suspended or expelled.

If you haven’t gotten what I am trying to sell yet, then you might get this; those of us who try to keep our fiction as close to real as possible will usually find our characters in some sort of romantic situation sooner or later and are left with a choice; write out the romantic scene all the way to its conclusion, leaving in the coupling scene and all the steamy bits, or fade to black. We always can make the decision. later, to cut out the steamy bits and leave that hole for the readers to fill in with their imagination and sometimes frustration but either way, we are still left with the choice of fading to black or taking the scene all the way.

I don’t have a problem with writing people naked (especially when i can get away with saying naked, hehe) it is those pesky “coupling” scenes where i have to describe what the people are doing to each other, maybe in detail, that i have issue with…

To be clear: We are talking about consensual scenes. This also does not apply to my online novels which do not have any steamy coupling chapters. if those have any chapters (the .5 chapters…) they may be behind a pay wall if they ever get released.

early off in my beta reading experience, I encountered an interesting and counter intuitive conundrum with this problem. my male readers didn’t mind that I tended to fade to black once I gave them just enough information on what could happen, cut bait, and moved on. My female readers, on the other hand, gave me feed back that blatantly told me they were very unhappy with what i was doing, they wanted everything intact. one acquaintance went so far as to mention to write everything out and leave it in the chapter.

I freaked out at the suggestion. Write out the steamy scene and leave it in for the readers to see? A; i had no idea what i was doing, i litterally just faded to black all the time, i led the reader to where their imagination could take over and moved on. B; I thought it was a waste of space to put that in there. C; I thought i would be the worst writer of that stuff in the world. I didn’t want to turn my novel into fifty shades of Templar! I sighed and tried again with that chapter “in tact” and it seemed to satisfy those people so there.

I don’t know what other writers do but i have come up with this solution.

I feel slimy saying this; i write the scene out, when it comes to editing, i decide if the scene should be left in tact or it should be faded to black dependent on overall novel length, and if there is enough of everything else to see if the reader can get the gist of what is going on if I can cut out the scene. if there is no difference between the scene being in and out, the scene goes away. if the novel is already starting to get long in the tooth, the scene goes away. if I can’t find an excuse to get rid of the scene, then it stays.

I have gotten picky over the years. I probably aggravate a lot of people. I probably upset a lot of people by this post.


IWSG: Sleep and Writing — February 3, 2021

IWSG: Sleep and Writing

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Every once in a while I will stray off the beaten prompt and come up with something of my own. This time it is because of the need to rush scheduling for a post due to trying to get everything up and running on my internal systems and with my insomnia and something that comes up over and over again in these posts: Sleep.

I wonder how sleep affects writers. I know how sleep affects most people in general. we see it every time someone doesn’t get enough of it or skips a night of it. they are sluggish and they are trying not to fall asleep at their desks. being an insomniac, i can go a day or two without sleep but then sleep will chomp on me like no body’s business and pummel me when I least expect it.

I need sleep to write, i dream and I remember my dreams. they fuel my writing and my general well being. if I don’t dream then i am irritable and insufferable the next day. I imagine there are a few writers that are like this too. I still cannot help but wonder if there are any that are more like the normal people, who need their seven to nine hours of sleep or their bodies act like a car on a very cold day.

I also wonder if there are any that are like the legend some of us hear about; the super sleepers.

If you don’t know what a super sleeper is; they are those odd ducks that only need one to three hours of sleep per night and can function like a normal human being. if you are graced to know one, they function like a productive member of society but they have the extra time to perform miracles the rest of us want to do. I knew one in my childhood (dont ask me how i was able to confirm this, let me just tell you i have the facts on how i knew she was a super sleeper).

I wonder how many nanowrimo wonder people are super sleepers, they have the extra eight hours per day to write while the rest of us are comatose sleeping. I am not jealous. I spent hours in the past toiling away when I couldnt sleep writing away so I cheated in that way.

One of my main characters is a super sleeper. it would make sense since all of the crap i throw at her requires her to have that amount of time. there is no rest for the wicked, they say. I wonder if that person knew or met a super sleeper? they definitely wrote down the evidence if they did.

I know sleep can affect my form of writing. I am usually more terse with my characters but humor comes out more often when I have lack of sleep (I have more humor in me when I am grumbly or upset, go figure). it is just like I have the emotional depth of cardboard when i have a migraine. it is hard for me to tell when I should write and when I shouldnt. I want my flow to be consistent but if I want funny dialogue, i really need to be in that mood where i can write comedy as opposed to being calm and collected where i can write good scenery and cognizant enough to include all five senses (you would think with a good sense of smell I could bring that home but i seem to forget that at every turn…).

its a balance between trying to get that right amount of sleep to write good scenery, good dialogue, and keeping the flow I want. it is just like my sleep doc says; get seven hours of sleep one way or another. except with my insomnia, i can only get 4 or 5…. go figure. I am not a super sleeper, and I am not a normal sleeper. i am an odd duck writer trying to survive. what kind of sleeper and writer, or reader are you?

IWSG: Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books? — January 6, 2021

IWSG: Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?

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That is usually a hard question to answer. once I start something and get into it, it is hard to get me out of it. I will put up with almost anything the author throws at me. I know there are other people out there who cannot stand spelling mistakes or punctuation errors. There are some who find head slamming to be an issue or chaptering to be a problem if someone doesn’t divide their chapters by scene (which is hard to do if you divide your chapters by theme and name them…) but those are all fine by me.

There was one e-book which I found too frustrating to read. It will forever remain nameless because it did not follow any of the rules established for “talking” in a novel.

Established dialogue rules have always been clear, use quotations when people talk. It’s simple, It’s straight forward, you don’t have to think about it. It’s when you have to document things like thoughts or telepathic projections that you have to get creative but that is beside the point. The basic thing is when a character says, “Hey, look at me!” we all use quotation marks.

so when you decide to use italics for talking, you have broken all the rules for talking. I don’t know what is going on, I don’t know if you are talking, reading a note, thinking, projecting, telepathy is going on or anything. nothing is being documented. At least when Document a thought in italics i say the character thought it. when I use quotes and italics I say something like projected or something that announces telepathy is involved.

Straight up quotes is just a common place thing, we don’t have to think about it. you don’t always have to say, he said, she said, replied, inferred or whatever which can speed up the pace of dialogue between two people. to change what you use is not only frustrating, it messes up the pacing of your entire novel and makes it so while that story was awesome, I just couldn’t continue with it.

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