Welcome Back Patricia

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Jacey Bedford

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Apr 9, 2008, 6:13:10 AM4/9/08
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I see you're back.
:-)
<waves>

Has the intervening period been productive?

Jacey
--
Jacey Bedford
jacey at artisan hyphen harmony dot com
posting via usenet and not googlegroups, ourdebate
or any other forum that reprints usenet posts as
though they were the forum's own

Jonathan L Cunningham

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Apr 9, 2008, 9:36:32 AM4/9/08
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Jacey Bedford <look...@nospam.invalid> wrote:

> I see you're back.
> :-)
> <waves>

She's back! Excellent. More missed than[*] many more merely moderately
missed, maybe.

Patricia, I hope you will be able to stick around long enough to do some
of your clarificatory[**] posts - as well as discuss cats and chocolate
:-).

I have a long list of questions arising ... but I'll let you get your
breath first! :-)

Jonathan
[*] It's a pity that "than" doesn't begin with an "m".
[**] I'm sure that's not a word, but I had a late night last night and
can't even alliterate properly.

Patricia C. Wrede

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Apr 9, 2008, 11:13:16 AM4/9/08
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"Jacey Bedford" <look...@nospam.invalid> wrote in message
news:pLKlDmN2aJ$HF...@parkhead.demon.co.uk...

>I see you're back.
> :-)
> <waves>
>
> Has the intervening period been productive?

Well, the first draft of the first novel of the trilogy is more-or-less
done, and a great deal of Crazy Life Stuff has been taken care of.
Unfortunately, there's a lot more Crazy Life Stuff and two more novels
coming down the pike at top speed. So...the answer is a qualified maybe.

Patricia C. Wrede


Jacey Bedford

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Apr 9, 2008, 1:13:41 PM4/9/08
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In message <mtCdnal9UZQAQGHanZ2dnUVZ_vOlnZ2d@visi>, Patricia C. Wrede
<PWred...@aol.com> writes

Gawds! I know the feeling about crazy life stuff!

But to ask the obvious question about the three book deal...

You've done trilogies and linked books before - what's different about
this? Were the others not sold as a 'set'?

ShellyS

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Apr 9, 2008, 8:22:49 PM4/9/08
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On Apr 9, 11:13 am, "Patricia C. Wrede" <PWrede6...@aol.com> wrote:
> "Jacey Bedford" <lookin...@nospam.invalid> wrote in message

Adding my welcome back, too. I hope you can manage a few posts now and
then around the "Crazy Life Stuff" and more novels. :)

-- Shelly

Patricia C. Wrede

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Apr 9, 2008, 8:52:21 PM4/9/08
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"Jonathan L Cunningham" <sp...@sofluc.co.uk.invalid> wrote in message
news:1if4w6r.fp8xx1sbzhfmN%sp...@sofluc.co.uk.invalid...

> I have a long list of questions arising ... but I'll let you get your
> breath first! :-)

Don't wait too long. Life is nuts, and it looks like being several years
before it will stop being nuts, and it will get worse before it gets better.

Patricia C. Wrede


Patricia C. Wrede

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Apr 9, 2008, 8:59:43 PM4/9/08
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"Jacey Bedford" <look...@nospam.invalid> wrote in message
news:u52EPFeFlP$HF...@parkhead.demon.co.uk...

> But to ask the obvious question about the three book deal...
>
> You've done trilogies and linked books before - what's different about
> this? Were the others not sold as a 'set'?

Nope. The closest I ever got before was with the Enchanted Forest
Chronicles, where I wrote "Talking to Dragons" as a stand-alone, then did
"Dealing with Dragons" as a stand-alone prequel, and then Jane called up and
said "Do the middle book and I'll buy the other one and make it a trilogy!"
and the middle book ended up being two books instead of one.

Everything else was, I wrote one book and then somebody talked me into
writing another one. I did at one point have a bunch of books stacked up
under contract, but that was because I was writing the EFC for Harcourt and
the middle book had just undergone mitosis, while I'd signed a contract with
Tor for two books (The Raven Ring and Mairelon the Magician). This time, I
knew I had more story than would fit in one book, really, and I also knew
that I'd probably get talked into doing another one and another one anyway,
and committing to all of them up front made it all much easier to sell, so I
thought "Why not?"

Now that it's too late, I remember "why not." Or maybe it's just that I'm
cranky about the way this dratted thing has been misbehaving for so long. I
do hope the next one doesn't work like this, or I'm going to be in real
trouble.

Patricia C. Wrede


Jacey Bedford

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Apr 10, 2008, 6:07:03 PM4/10/08
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In message <LuCdndmr-aiM-mDanZ2dnUVZ_q-jnZ2d@visi>, Patricia C. Wrede
<PWred...@aol.com> writes
>

>"Jacey Bedford" <look...@nospam.invalid> wrote in message
>news:u52EPFeFlP$HF...@parkhead.demon.co.uk...
>> But to ask the obvious question about the three book deal...
>>
>> You've done trilogies and linked books before - what's different about
>> this? Were the others not sold as a 'set'?
>
>Nope. The closest I ever got before was with the Enchanted Forest
>Chronicles, where I wrote "Talking to Dragons" as a stand-alone, then did
>"Dealing with Dragons" as a stand-alone prequel, and then Jane called up and
>said "Do the middle book and I'll buy the other one and make it a trilogy!"
>and the middle book ended up being two books instead of one.
<snip>

>
>Now that it's too late, I remember "why not." Or maybe it's just that I'm
>cranky about the way this dratted thing has been misbehaving for so long. I
>do hope the next one doesn't work like this, or I'm going to be in real
>trouble.

Hmmm... I guess that means you're not coming to Milford this year? or
maybe you should come for a rest! (The new venue in Wales is lovely! You
can see to the top of mount Snowdon from the crit room window,)

This is my Milford page with some pix of the new venue
http://www.jaceybedford.co.uk/milford/milford.html

The official milford URL is now
http://www.milfordsf.co.uk

Nicky

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Apr 11, 2008, 4:49:06 AM4/11/08
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On Apr 10, 11:07 pm, Jacey Bedford <lookin...@nospam.invalid> wrote:
> > This is my Milford page with some pix of the new venuehttp://www.jaceybedford.co.uk/milford/milford.html

>
> The official milford URL is nowhttp://www.milfordsf.co.uk
>
It looks good. Maybe when I'm a grown up...

Nicky

Jacey Bedford

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Apr 11, 2008, 7:49:17 AM4/11/08
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In message
<b30ec700-f1fe-41ec...@l64g2000hse.googlegroups.com>,
Nicky <nicky.m...@btinternet.com> writes

Err... I haven't met any real grown ups at Milford, though there have
been plenty of SF writers over the years - including plenty who write
for children and YA. (I'm sure Patricia won't mind being called not a
real grown up in this context.)

I always reckon it doesn't matter how old you get as long as you realise
you don't have to grow up.

I love Milford because it's like time-out from the real world and I
always come back with my writerly batteries charged.

Rik Roots

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Apr 11, 2008, 8:09:01 AM4/11/08
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Jacey Bedford wrote:

> Hmmm... I guess that means you're not coming to Milford this year? or
> maybe you should come for a rest! (The new venue in Wales is lovely! You
> can see to the top of mount Snowdon from the crit room window,)
>
> This is my Milford page with some pix of the new venue
> http://www.jaceybedford.co.uk/milford/milford.html
>
> The official milford URL is now
> http://www.milfordsf.co.uk
>

Ack! I've just missed Eastercon because I didn't realise it existed
until a couple of days before it started, and now here's another one
I'll not be able to attend (partly because it clashes with my birthday
but mainly because I've not sold anything yet).

So what are the key workshops and conventions a wannabe SF writer in the
UK should be showing their face at?

> Jacey
>
Rik

(ps Jacey: did you receive my comments on your MS? Haven't heard
anything from you, so I'm hoping they went missing in the aether rather
than offending you ...)

Jacey Bedford

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Apr 11, 2008, 8:42:24 AM4/11/08
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In message <yyILj.6771$Q95....@newsfe23.ams2>, Rik Roots
<r...@nowayhosay.org> writes

Oooh yes, thanks, just found them in my spam filter. Very sorry. Missed
them when they arrived. Many thanks. It will be Sunday before I can give
them brainspace as I have lines to learn for a murder mystery thing I'm
acting in tomorrow night.

Cheers

Patricia C. Wrede

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Apr 11, 2008, 9:09:55 AM4/11/08
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"Jacey Bedford" <look...@nospam.invalid> wrote in message
news:m222MJ$H+o$HF...@parkhead.demon.co.uk...

> In message <LuCdndmr-aiM-mDanZ2dnUVZ_q-jnZ2d@visi>, Patricia C. Wrede
> <PWred...@aol.com> writes

>>Now that it's too late, I remember "why not." Or maybe it's just that I'm


>>cranky about the way this dratted thing has been misbehaving for so long.
>>I
>>do hope the next one doesn't work like this, or I'm going to be in real
>>trouble.
>
> Hmmm... I guess that means you're not coming to Milford this year? or
> maybe you should come for a rest! (The new venue in Wales is lovely! You
> can see to the top of mount Snowdon from the crit room window,)

I'm afraid not. Right now, I'm severely limiting my out-of-town travel
unless it's to Chicago, and I'm already booked solid for that. I will be in
Denver, though; pretty much had to go, since Lois is GoH!

If things lighten up, maybe in a year or three, but for the moment, it's
just not possible.

Patricia C. Wrede


Patricia C. Wrede

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Apr 11, 2008, 9:13:04 AM4/11/08
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"Jacey Bedford" <look...@nospam.invalid> wrote in message
news:9FIAgeF9A1$HF...@parkhead.demon.co.uk...

>> It looks good. Maybe when I'm a grown up...
>>


> Err... I haven't met any real grown ups at Milford, though there have been
> plenty of SF writers over the years - including plenty who write for
> children and YA. (I'm sure Patricia won't mind being called not a real
> grown up in this context.)
>
> I always reckon it doesn't matter how old you get as long as you realise
> you don't have to grow up.

What you said. Which is why I like the xkcd cartoon on the subject so well:
http://xkcd.com/150/

Patricia C. Wrede


Jacey Bedford

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Apr 11, 2008, 10:24:59 AM4/11/08
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In message <5Pednejkfo3u-WLanZ2dnUVZ_tWtnZ2d@visi>, Patricia C. Wrede
<PWred...@aol.com> writes
>

Lovely
:-)
I've added the feed to my LJ friends list.
BTW are you on LJ?

Patricia C. Wrede

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Apr 11, 2008, 11:04:42 AM4/11/08
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"Jacey Bedford" <look...@nospam.invalid> wrote in message
news:Tip75uS7S3$HF...@parkhead.demon.co.uk...

> In message <5Pednejkfo3u-WLanZ2dnUVZ_tWtnZ2d@visi>, Patricia C. Wrede
> <PWred...@aol.com> writes

>>What you said. Which is why I like the xkcd cartoon on the subject so

>>well:
>>http://xkcd.com/150/
>
> Lovely
> :-)
> I've added the feed to my LJ friends list.
> BTW are you on LJ?

Nope, and I'm unlikely to be any time soon. I don't care how *other* people
use it; for *me* it would be a time-sink, and I have enough of those in my
life already.

Patricia C. Wrede


Jonathan L Cunningham

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Apr 11, 2008, 1:13:53 PM4/11/08
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My most recent questions were about pacing (a thread started by Zeborah,
which is still live - unless the most recent posts are about chocolate:
I haven't read them yet).

I don't remember, and I'm not going to seek out, any specific questions
which came up. Maybe if the thread hasn't quite fizzled yet something
will come up again. It must be a topic which regularly recurs, and it
makes sense (to my mind) to wait until the questions are current (again)
and just hope you are around some time when they come up. Or if you have
any already-written essays about pacing you can refer to ... ?

At the moment, anyway, I've become a bit disillusioned about how much
re-writing I feel I need to do (on my many multifarious WIPs), and so I
am amusing myself with an insane writing exercise which focuses down to
word choice and sentence structure at the paragraph level. It's
something I normally do automatically, but I'm hoping that paying
attention to it will magically improve my automatic choices next time I
write some fiction.

So I'm not thinking about pacing anyway.

(Actually, I lie: I had my best idea for a short story for ages in the
bath this morning, and I had to make a start on it before I forgot the
quite-complex plot. This time I have remembered to write down a complete
and detailed plot synopsis *including the twist at the end* so that even
if I have to leave it, when I come back I won't have an excuse not to
finish the thing, for once.)

Jonathan

Patricia C. Wrede

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Apr 12, 2008, 12:40:57 AM4/12/08
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"Jonathan L Cunningham" <sp...@sofluc.co.uk.invalid> wrote in message
news:1if8v99.wlde6514hp4jkN%sp...@sofluc.co.uk.invalid...

> Patricia C. Wrede <PWred...@aol.com> wrote:
>> Don't wait too long. Life is nuts, and it looks like being several years
>> before it will stop being nuts, and it will get worse before it gets
>> better.
>
> My most recent questions were about pacing (a thread started by Zeborah,
> which is still live - unless the most recent posts are about chocolate:
> I haven't read them yet).

What seems to be going on in that thread at the moment isn't really about
pacing; it's about telling whether a scene is superfluous, which is not
quite the same thing.

Pacing is about...well, I think it's about the rhythm of the story: spacing
the ebbs and flows of the action (physical, mental, or emotional) so that
that they suck the reader along at an appropriate speed. I do it mainly by
instinct, but I think one could analyze it if one had to.

Though it depends on what kind of pacing problems one is having. Back when
I was submitting "Talking to Dragons," the first editor who saw it said "The
pacing is slow." I thought that meant some scenes had to go, but I couldn't
find any to cut. So I went through, page by page, and cut two lines from
every single manuscript page in the book -- it ended up being about 5,000
words, if I remember correctly. It was horribly difficult, and took me three
solid weeks, but it was an amazing education in writing tight prose.

That picked up the pace some, but I think "Talking" still reads more slowly
than the other three books in that series. But I don't think I could pick up
the pace any more without doing a major rewrite that would change the story
significantly -- there aren't any scenes that can just be tossed, and the
prose is pretty tight by this time.
Because it's not enough to know that "pacing" is the problem; you need to
know *why*. If something has a pace that is too fast or abrupt, it could be
because there's too much happening all at once and the reader needs some
down-time, or it could be because important stuff has gotten left out
altogether. It could be "jerky" because the text skips too rapidly from one
thing to another, or because it's not skipping rapidly enough. Maybe too
many things are being made to seem of equal weight or importance, or
obviously unimportant things are presented with more weight than obviously
important things. If the pace is too slow, it may be because the writer is
presenting every single possible detail at length, or because she's
summarizing things that should be dramatized, or focusing on things that are
of minor interest when there are world-shaking or character-changing events
happening in the background.

Also, pacing is counterintuitive. That is, a book or a scene that is "too
fast-paced" is often improved by cutting, while one that is "too slow"
frequently benefits from adding more words (if they're the right words).
This is one of the more annoying things about the whole concept, IMO.

> and just hope you are around some time when they come up. Or if you have
> any already-written essays about pacing you can refer to ... ?

Not specifically, that I have handy. I've talked about it a time or two, but
generally in the context of a specific question about a specific story.
They're not very transferrable.

Patricia C. Wrede


Alma Hromic Deckert

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Apr 12, 2008, 12:46:04 AM4/12/08
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On Fri, 11 Apr 2008 23:40:57 -0500, "Patricia C. Wrede"
<PWred...@aol.com> wrote:


>
>Also, pacing is counterintuitive. That is, a book or a scene that is "too
>fast-paced" is often improved by cutting, while one that is "too slow"
>frequently benefits from adding more words (if they're the right words).
>This is one of the more annoying things about the whole concept, IMO.

I think I just figured out why one of my scenes is dragging. I need to
make it longer.

Thanks, Patricia.

A.

Dorothy J Heydt

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Apr 12, 2008, 1:36:32 AM4/12/08
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In article <4if004l621f7dithr...@4ax.com>,

That sounds right. Gerald Weinberg once ran a set of experiments
with people having committee meetings. He would tell them up
front that one of their number had secretly been told to hurry
the meeting up ("Pretend you have an early dinner appointment!")
and another had been secretly told to make it drag out as long as
possible ("Pretend that if this meeting goes on long enough
you'll get to miss another, even more boring!")

Inevitably the participants would select the one who'd been told
to hurry the meeting up, as the one who'd been told to prolong
it. That was because he'd keep trying to rush things, push
people into a decision, and the resulting arguments would delay
the meeting even further.

Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djh...@kithrup.com

Zeborah

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Apr 12, 2008, 12:54:03 AM4/12/08
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Patricia C. Wrede <PWred...@aol.com> wrote:

> "Jonathan L Cunningham" <sp...@sofluc.co.uk.invalid> wrote in message
> news:1if8v99.wlde6514hp4jkN%sp...@sofluc.co.uk.invalid...

> > My most recent questions were about pacing (a thread started by Zeborah,
> > which is still live - unless the most recent posts are about chocolate:
> > I haven't read them yet).
>
> What seems to be going on in that thread at the moment isn't really about
> pacing; it's about telling whether a scene is superfluous, which is not
> quite the same thing.

I think it can sometimes overlap, but no, not the same thing.

> Pacing is about...well, I think it's about the rhythm of the story: spacing
> the ebbs and flows of the action (physical, mental, or emotional) so that
> that they suck the reader along at an appropriate speed. I do it mainly by
> instinct, but I think one could analyze it if one had to.

I don't do it by instinct at all. ...Well, I'm starting to be able to a
bit, but it's for me very much a learned process: first learning how to
do it on sentence-scale, then on paragraph-scale, then on chapter-scale.
I seem to be making progress so it's reasonable to expect that I may
(hopefully soon) be able to do it on book-scale other than by accident.

I talk about it in terms of shape metaphors, but I think about rhythm as
the shape sound comes in, so for me it's the same thing as what I think
you're talking about.

> Though it depends on what kind of pacing problems one is having. Back when
> I was submitting "Talking to Dragons," the first editor who saw it said "The
> pacing is slow."

<snip>

The problems I have could probably best be described, in the speed
metaphor, as the pacing being uneven. Inappropriately uneven I mean.
Because pacing *ought* to vary in a book; it's just I have it varying in
the wrong ways, so that a part that ought to have an accelerating pace
has a static pace and a part that ought to have a decelerating pace is
rushing forward.

I'm presently letting my subconscious stew on the problem of
transferring my ideas of how to do pacing in a scene to how to do pacing
in the whole book. I think it's that kind of a thing that requires time
more than anything. Though I suspect talking about it gives my
subconscious extra fodder to work with too.

Zeborah
--
Gravity is no joke.
http://www.geocities.com/zeborahnz/
rasfc FAQ: http://www.lshelby.com/rasfcFAQ.html

Zeborah

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Apr 12, 2008, 1:11:44 AM4/12/08
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In terms of writing: when I try to keep a scene short, I try to cram
all the stuff that needs to be in there into a shorter space, which, now
I think of it, only increases the information:wordage ratio, which slows
the reading time.

So if I want to keep a scene short *and* keep the pacing up, I need to
cut out actual information. In practical terms, for me, the most
obvious way to do that is to get rid of all those little subplots that
keep sprouting up all over the place. This confirms my decision to let
the envoy go his way unmolested and unnamed, but I hope it doesn't mean
I have to do the same with Svend.

David Friedman

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Apr 12, 2008, 2:35:00 AM4/12/08
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In article <mL6dnTZeO_5roJ3VnZ2dnUVZ_qqgnZ2d@visi>,

"Patricia C. Wrede" <PWred...@aol.com> wrote:

> Also, pacing is counterintuitive. That is, a book or a scene that is "too
> fast-paced" is often improved by cutting, while one that is "too slow"
> frequently benefits from adding more words (if they're the right words).

Is that because, in both cases, what you are really changing is not
words but content? Taking some of the less essential action out makes
the book slower, putting additional events in makes it faster?

--
http://www.daviddfriedman.com/ http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/
Author of _Harald_, a fantasy without magic.
Published by Baen, paperback in bookstores now

Catja Pafort

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Apr 12, 2008, 8:21:07 AM4/12/08
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Zeborah wrote:

> In terms of writing: when I try to keep a scene short, I try to cram
> all the stuff that needs to be in there into a shorter space, which, now
> I think of it, only increases the information:wordage ratio, which slows
> the reading time.

I've recently come across an example where someone was doing just that
with description.

>Wind whistled down the raddled canyon, plucking at tortured pińons
>standing mute testimony to the cruelty of time.

>Compared to this:

>A southwest wind bore memories of the hot Chihuahuan sand along the
>spiny twists and turns of the blackrock canyon. It worried the
>ocotillo, set the cactus spines to rattling like old women at canasta,
>and forced the jackrabbits to remain snug in their gravel-lined beds.
>The ancient pińons groaned as they turned on their roots, twisting in
>the endless dance forced upon them by the cruelty of time.

(both by Jay Lake, http://jaylake.livejournal.com/1448098.html)


The short sentence contained a boatload of information and felt much
denser and took much more time to process; while the longer paragraph
contained objectively more stuff, but it was tied to familiar concepts
and thus more accessible to me.

Don't know how they feel to others here.


Catja

--
writing blog @ http://beyond-elechan.livejournal.com

ShellyS

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Apr 12, 2008, 9:28:18 AM4/12/08
to
On Apr 12, 8:21 am, green_kni...@greenknight.org.uk.invalid (Catja

Pafort) wrote:
> Zeborah wrote:
> > In terms of writing:  when I try to keep a scene short, I try to cram
> > all the stuff that needs to be in there into a shorter space, which, now
> > I think of it, only increases the information:wordage ratio, which slows
> > the reading time.
>
> I've recently come across an example where someone was doing just that
> with description.
>
> >Wind whistled down the raddled canyon, plucking at tortured piñons

> >standing mute testimony to the cruelty of time.
> >Compared to this:
> >A southwest wind bore memories of the hot Chihuahuan sand along the
> >spiny twists and turns of the blackrock canyon. It worried the
> >ocotillo, set the cactus spines to rattling like old women at canasta,
> >and forced the jackrabbits to remain snug in their gravel-lined beds.
> >The ancient piñons groaned as they turned on their roots, twisting in

> >the endless dance forced upon them by the cruelty of time.
>
> (both by Jay Lake,http://jaylake.livejournal.com/1448098.html)

>
> The short sentence contained a boatload of information and felt much
> denser and took much more time to process; while the longer paragraph
> contained objectively more stuff, but it was tied to familiar concepts
> and thus more accessible to me.
>
> Don't know how they feel to others here.

To me, the first doesn't really say anything. There's nothing really
specific about it. In terms of pacing, I could just not worry about
what it means in terms of the story, so it would not slow things down,
or I could try to find something meaningful in it which might take
time and not be successful. So for me, the first is neither quickly
paced or slow.

The second is full of specifics that drew me in and enhanced the
reading experience, so I'd say it was better or faster paced.

Time is a nebulous concept. The same hour can feel appreciably longer
if I'm sitting at the reference desk waiting for someone to ask a
question, or it can be seem to zip by because I'm fielding dozens of
questions, some which require a fair amount of work. I might be tired
at the end of the hour in the second instance, and not in the first
one, but that second one will feel shorter despite more happening.

-- Shelly

Jonathan L Cunningham

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Apr 12, 2008, 9:46:05 AM4/12/08
to
Catja Pafort <green_...@greenknight.org.uk.invalid> wrote:

> Zeborah wrote:
>
> > In terms of writing: when I try to keep a scene short, I try to cram
> > all the stuff that needs to be in there into a shorter space, which, now
> > I think of it, only increases the information:wordage ratio, which slows
> > the reading time.
>
> I've recently come across an example where someone was doing just that
> with description.
>

> >Wind whistled down the raddled canyon, plucking at tortured piñons


> >standing mute testimony to the cruelty of time.
>
> >Compared to this:
>
> >A southwest wind bore memories of the hot Chihuahuan sand along the
> >spiny twists and turns of the blackrock canyon. It worried the
> >ocotillo, set the cactus spines to rattling like old women at canasta,
> >and forced the jackrabbits to remain snug in their gravel-lined beds.

> >The ancient piñons groaned as they turned on their roots, twisting in


> >the endless dance forced upon them by the cruelty of time.
>
> (both by Jay Lake, http://jaylake.livejournal.com/1448098.html)
>
>
>
>
>
>
> The short sentence contained a boatload of information and felt much
> denser and took much more time to process; while the longer paragraph
> contained objectively more stuff, but it was tied to familiar concepts
> and thus more accessible to me.
>
> Don't know how they feel to others here.

I expect to be in a minority, but I prefer the short version. The first
two words are the only salient facts: "wind whistled". I suppose the
fact that it's a canyon, and that there are piñons could be important.

Actually, there is one piece of information in the longer version which
is missing from the shorter: "hot". So it would be better as:

"Hot winds whistled down ..."

YMMV (and probably will) -- but I'm not famed for my love of lavish
description.

Jonathan

Jonathan L Cunningham

unread,
Apr 12, 2008, 9:46:06 AM4/12/08
to
Patricia C. Wrede <PWred...@aol.com> wrote:

> "Jonathan L Cunningham" <sp...@sofluc.co.uk.invalid> wrote in message
> news:1if8v99.wlde6514hp4jkN%sp...@sofluc.co.uk.invalid...
> > Patricia C. Wrede <PWred...@aol.com> wrote:
> >> Don't wait too long. Life is nuts, and it looks like being several years
> >> before it will stop being nuts, and it will get worse before it gets
> >> better.
> >
> > My most recent questions were about pacing (a thread started by Zeborah,
> > which is still live - unless the most recent posts are about chocolate:
> > I haven't read them yet).
>
> What seems to be going on in that thread at the moment isn't really about
> pacing; it's about telling whether a scene is superfluous, which is not
> quite the same thing.

Or, expanding on what you said, summarising an event v. making it a full
scene? That's the same kind of decision as to whether to cut or not, and
what to include.

> Pacing is about...well, I think it's about the rhythm of the story: spacing
> the ebbs and flows of the action (physical, mental, or emotional) so that
> that they suck the reader along at an appropriate speed. I do it mainly by
> instinct, but I think one could analyze it if one had to.

I think the rhythm is something I could profitably think more about,
particularly the emotional rhythm - something I may tend to neglect.

I'm currently reading (and analysing) something where the protagonist is
a relatively immature and reckless young man, and there is a definite
alternation between hope and despair, between plunging unthinkingly into
a situation to get what he wants, and then the belated realisation that
he will have to suffer the consequences. (As has just been pointed out
by some older and more circumspect acquaintances.)

That's a different kind of rhythm to the (for me, usual) balance between
action and reflection, or action and dialogue (although the two are/can
be related).

Jonathan

Michelle Bottorff

unread,
Apr 12, 2008, 12:08:31 PM4/12/08
to
David Friedman <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> wrote:

> In article <mL6dnTZeO_5roJ3VnZ2dnUVZ_qqgnZ2d@visi>,
> "Patricia C. Wrede" <PWred...@aol.com> wrote:
>
> > Also, pacing is counterintuitive. That is, a book or a scene that is "too
> > fast-paced" is often improved by cutting, while one that is "too slow"
> > frequently benefits from adding more words (if they're the right words).
>
> Is that because, in both cases, what you are really changing is not
> words but content? Taking some of the less essential action out makes
> the book slower, putting additional events in makes it faster?

I fix pacing all the time by saying something in an earlier chapter that
makes the stuff in the later chapter feel more important.

Totally boggles my husband. "Oh, this is *better*. What did you
*change*?"

Well, nothing, sort of. I didn't change, I *clarified*.

::big evil grin::

(But then, he also couldn't figure out what I did differently when I
rearranged stuff so that what had taken five days now only took four.
"You already did your big rewrite? Are you sure? I thought you must
not have gotten around to it yet.")


--
Michelle Bottorff -> Chelle B. -> Shelby
L. Shelby, Writer http://www.lshelby.com/
Livejournal http://lavenderbard.livejournal.com/
rec.arts.sf.composition FAQ http://www.lshelby.com/rasfcFAQ.html

Michelle Bottorff

unread,
Apr 12, 2008, 12:08:30 PM4/12/08
to
Jonathan L Cunningham <sp...@sofluc.co.uk.invalid> wrote:

> > The short sentence contained a boatload of information and felt much
> > denser and took much more time to process; while the longer paragraph
> > contained objectively more stuff, but it was tied to familiar concepts
> > and thus more accessible to me.
> >
> > Don't know how they feel to others here.
>
> I expect to be in a minority, but I prefer the short version.

I actually *read* the short version.

The long version I started reading and went *blip*.

I have a hard enough time concentrating on reading descriptions when I
know they are relevent to something I care about. Giving me a paragraph
of description just to prove a point to me, tends to make me wander off
into some other conversation.

Patricia C. Wrede

unread,
Apr 12, 2008, 12:49:19 PM4/12/08
to

"Zeborah" <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1ifaptf.ty84li1nezesuN%zeb...@gmail.com...

> In terms of writing: when I try to keep a scene short, I try to cram
> all the stuff that needs to be in there into a shorter space, which, now
> I think of it, only increases the information:wordage ratio, which slows
> the reading time.
>
> So if I want to keep a scene short *and* keep the pacing up, I need to
> cut out actual information.

Well, yes. IF you want to keep the scene short, but that seems a bit
arbitrary to me. OK, when you have a scene that's already gone on for
twenty pages, you *probably* want to do something to restrict the length,
but even then, not always. Unless you're doing some sort of experiment
involving deliberately short scenes?

Scenes should be as long as they need to be to get the job done. Sometimes,
that's a couple of paragraphs; sometimes, it's twenty pages.

> In practical terms, for me, the most
> obvious way to do that is to get rid of all those little subplots that
> keep sprouting up all over the place. This confirms my decision to let
> the envoy go his way unmolested and unnamed, but I hope it doesn't mean
> I have to do the same with Svend.

That sounds like a slightly different problem to me, but it may not be. My
brain is still mushy from finishing the rough draft and getting the
preliminary tax forms done, so I'm not sure. Are you trying to hold the
subplot-expansion down to a dull roar by keeping the scenes short, or is
keeping the scene(s) short an end in itself? I can see aiming for shorter
scenes being a potentially useful trick for achieving the former, but I'm
not at all clear on why you'd want to do the latter.

Patricia C. Wrede


Patricia C. Wrede

unread,
Apr 12, 2008, 1:12:27 PM4/12/08
to

"David Friedman" <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> wrote in message
news:ddfr-D215E9.2...@sfo.news.speakeasy.net...

> In article <mL6dnTZeO_5roJ3VnZ2dnUVZ_qqgnZ2d@visi>,
> "Patricia C. Wrede" <PWred...@aol.com> wrote:
>
>> Also, pacing is counterintuitive. That is, a book or a scene that is "too
>> fast-paced" is often improved by cutting, while one that is "too slow"
>> frequently benefits from adding more words (if they're the right words).
>
> Is that because, in both cases, what you are really changing is not
> words but content? Taking some of the less essential action out makes
> the book slower, putting additional events in makes it faster?

It's pretty hard to cut or add *without* changing content in some way, so
I'm not sure that "what you are really changing" means anything in this
context. But for me, especially with the "too slow" part, it's often a
matter of density. A narrative summary description of an event can often be
done in one or two dense descriptive paragraphs...but dense descriptive
paragraphs "read slow." The exact same event, dramatized, might take two or
three pages or more, but it would "feel" faster and read faster, because the
reader feels as if something is *happening*. It's not putting in additional
events; it's putting in more details and spreading out the information so
that it can be absorbed painlessly.

(Also, sometimes the short version is short because it skips steps. If the
scene works anyway, it's because the reader can infer what the missing
pieces are, but the more that's been left out, the more mental work it
takes. It doesn't usually register, because all fiction writing has to leave
*some* stuff out; even a description of a long, bare hallway would take
paragraphs to do if the writer put in *everything*. So all readers are used
to filling in the gaps between telling details, to some extent. But the
bigger the gaps, and the more there are, the harder the reader has to work,
and a lot of the time, this unconscious extra work translates to "slow." If
the writer expands the scene by making a few of the implicit things
explicit, the reader doesn't have as much work to do and the scene "reads
faster.")

It works in reverse for the "too fast" scenes -- summarizing some of what's
happening instead of doing a full dramatization gives the reader less
distracting and unnecessary information, so the key stuff gets absorbed at a
more convenient rate. It's not always about more events or fewer events;
it's about the rate at which key information flows from the page to the
reader. Of course, sometimes the reason the information isn't flowing
properly is that there's too much stuff going on, or too many irrelevant
details, so too much/not enough action/events/details can certainly be one
of the things that needs fixing.

Patricia C. Wrede


Patricia C. Wrede

unread,
Apr 12, 2008, 1:15:28 PM4/12/08
to

"Michelle Bottorff" <mbot...@lshelby.com> wrote in message
news:1ifa63x.ww6pm1jvw1zuN%mbot...@lshelby.com...

> I fix pacing all the time by saying something in an earlier chapter that
> makes the stuff in the later chapter feel more important.
>
> Totally boggles my husband. "Oh, this is *better*. What did you
> *change*?"
>
> Well, nothing, sort of. I didn't change, I *clarified*.
>
> ::big evil grin::

Heh. I've had any number of folks who'd read the first editions of SHADOW
MAGIC or TALKING TO DRAGONS come up to me and tell me that they'd just
gotten a new copy "and it's even better than I remembered!" I just grin. If
they can't tell that there were major revisions between the first version
and the current one, I did my job right.

Patricia C. Wrede


Patricia C. Wrede

unread,
Apr 12, 2008, 1:38:09 PM4/12/08
to

"Jonathan L Cunningham" <sp...@sofluc.co.uk.invalid> wrote in message
news:1ifagps.mybv2d1a5zvb4N%sp...@sofluc.co.uk.invalid...

> Patricia C. Wrede <PWred...@aol.com> wrote:
>
>> "Jonathan L Cunningham" <sp...@sofluc.co.uk.invalid> wrote in message

>> > My most recent questions were about pacing (a thread started by

>> > Zeborah,
>> > which is still live - unless the most recent posts are about chocolate:
>> > I haven't read them yet).
>>
>> What seems to be going on in that thread at the moment isn't really about
>> pacing; it's about telling whether a scene is superfluous, which is not
>> quite the same thing.
>
> Or, expanding on what you said, summarising an event v. making it a full
> scene? That's the same kind of decision as to whether to cut or not, and
> what to include.

It's a related decision, but it's not quite the same. Deciding whether or
not to include an incident or event in a story is a decision about what is
part of the story and what isn't. That's pretty fundamental. Deciding
whether to summarize or dramatize the incident or event is a decision about
presentation. Yes, if you decide to dramatize the scene, you're going to be
including a lot of details about setting and action and maybe dialog that
won't get included in the story at all if you summarize the incident, so in
that sense it's a decision about including or excluding stuff from the
story.

But it feels to me as if there's some sort of qualitative difference
between, oh, deciding that the caravan gets ambushed by lizard-warriors, and
deciding whether to make the ambush a full-fledged scene or just include it
in the list of stuff that happened during the desert crossing. The
second -- scene or summary -- is a matter of how much weight and emphasis to
give to the incident; the first is whether to have it in the story at all.

> I'm currently reading (and analysing) something where the protagonist is
> a relatively immature and reckless young man, and there is a definite
> alternation between hope and despair, between plunging unthinkingly into
> a situation to get what he wants, and then the belated realisation that
> he will have to suffer the consequences. (As has just been pointed out
> by some older and more circumspect acquaintances.)
>
> That's a different kind of rhythm to the (for me, usual) balance between
> action and reflection, or action and dialogue (although the two are/can
> be related).

Uh -- but it's the same thing; it's just translated to a different level of
the story. If the story focuses on physical action, you have a swordfight
or a car chase scene and then the character has a scene or scenelet where he
catches his breath and mops up. If the story focuses on emotional action,
something causes the character to have some intensely emotional
experience -- angst, hope, love, despair -- and then the character has a
scene or scenelet where he calms down and absorbs or evaluates or
internalizes at least some of what's just happened. The rhythm is the same;
you could diagram it the same way you can diagram iambic pentameter. It's
just expressed through different kinds of incidents.

Maybe what you're having trouble with is that both things happen at the same
time, but you only notice one? That is, in some stories, the hero has a
swordfight or car chase that is *both* heavy on the physical action *and*
emotionally intense, and then the mopping-up-afterward scene is *also* where
he absorbs and evaluates the emotional impact. Both things happen at once,
but if one is predisposed to follow the physical-action plot, one might not
be as quick to notice that the emotional stuff has the same rhythm going on.

Patricia C. Wrede


Brian M. Scott

unread,
Apr 12, 2008, 1:43:54 PM4/12/08
to
On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 13:21:07 +0100, Catja Pafort
<green_...@greenknight.org.uk.invalid> wrote in
<news:1if9y2e.1rjtzd514heo5jN%green_...@greenknight.org.uk.invalid>
in rec.arts.sf.composition:

> Zeborah wrote:

>> In terms of writing: when I try to keep a scene short, I try to cram
>> all the stuff that needs to be in there into a shorter space, which, now
>> I think of it, only increases the information:wordage ratio, which slows
>> the reading time.

> I've recently come across an example where someone was doing just that
> with description.

>>Wind whistled down the raddled canyon, plucking at tortured piñons


>>standing mute testimony to the cruelty of time.

>>Compared to this:

>>A southwest wind bore memories of the hot Chihuahuan sand along the
>>spiny twists and turns of the blackrock canyon. It worried the
>>ocotillo, set the cactus spines to rattling like old women at canasta,
>>and forced the jackrabbits to remain snug in their gravel-lined beds.

>>The ancient piñons groaned as they turned on their roots, twisting in


>>the endless dance forced upon them by the cruelty of time.

> The short sentence contained a boatload of information and felt much
> denser and took much more time to process; while the longer paragraph
> contained objectively more stuff, but it was tied to familiar concepts
> and thus more accessible to me.

> Don't know how they feel to others here.

I find them equally easy to read, but taken out of any
context both give the impression that the author is trying a
bit too hard, especially in the first; in the second the
imagery seems less forced. The second is definitely more
explicitly informative: the wind is at least warm and
possibly hot, and there are cacti and jackrabbits in the
canyon.

Brian

Jonathan L Cunningham

unread,
Apr 12, 2008, 6:45:54 PM4/12/08
to
Brian M. Scott <b.s...@csuohio.edu> wrote:

> I find them equally easy to read, but taken out of any
> context both give the impression that the author is trying a
> bit too hard, especially in the first; in the second the
> imagery seems less forced. The second is definitely more
> explicitly informative: the wind is at least warm and
> possibly hot, and there are cacti and jackrabbits in the
> canyon.

A problem I have with both of them is the idea that time is cruel. It's
not cruel, it's callous. The author is whingeing, if he thinks time is
cruel. Indifference is not hatred.

But all that's irrelevant, except for telling me, in both versions, that
I'm unlikely to like this writer's writing. :-)

Jonathan

Zeborah

unread,
Apr 12, 2008, 8:12:33 PM4/12/08
to
Michelle Bottorff <mbot...@lshelby.com> wrote:

> Jonathan L Cunningham <sp...@sofluc.co.uk.invalid> wrote:
>
> > I expect to be in a minority, but I prefer the short version.
>
> I actually *read* the short version.
>
> The long version I started reading and went *blip*.

Yeah, that was me too. With one sentence I read it before noticing it's
description; with a paragraph my brain goes "Uh oh, let's just skim this
and find some dialogue now..."

Zeborah

unread,
Apr 12, 2008, 8:12:33 PM4/12/08
to
Patricia C. Wrede <PWred...@aol.com> wrote:

> "Zeborah" <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1ifaptf.ty84li1nezesuN%zeb...@gmail.com...

<snippety>


> > In practical terms, for me, the most
> > obvious way to do that is to get rid of all those little subplots that
> > keep sprouting up all over the place. This confirms my decision to let
> > the envoy go his way unmolested and unnamed, but I hope it doesn't mean
> > I have to do the same with Svend.
>
> That sounds like a slightly different problem to me, but it may not be. My
> brain is still mushy from finishing the rough draft and getting the
> preliminary tax forms done, so I'm not sure. Are you trying to hold the
> subplot-expansion down to a dull roar by keeping the scenes short, or is
> keeping the scene(s) short an end in itself? I can see aiming for shorter
> scenes being a potentially useful trick for achieving the former, but I'm
> not at all clear on why you'd want to do the latter.

For this book I know I've got 21 chapters because that's how the pov
structure goes (I'm doing almost the same pov structure as the book it's
the sequel to). (And, as in the first book, each chapter is pretty much
one long scene, though at some point I'm going to go back and try to
break them up to give a more fragmented effect.) And I don't want the
book to be too long. So each chapter should average about 20 ms pages,
so it's sort of the latter. But...

In the first book, my chapters started out about 10 pages and by the end
of the book were up to over 20 pages, and that was good. Of course, in
that book I didn't really have subplots; in this book the beasts are
multiplying like rabbits. This is partly because a) the first book
wrote itself whereas this one is fighting me all the way, and b) in the
first book almost all my pov characters were in one little tent whereas
here they're scattered over three countries; this makes things More
Complicated.

Possibly I oughtn't to have done my pov structure like this after all,
or oughtn't to have chosen these particular povs. But too late now.
I've rewritten the first few chapters seriously half a dozen times no
joke -- I have 30K words of story and 17K words of deleted stuff, and I
haven't even yet rewritten chapters 1 and 3 from the Princess' pov into
the Spider's(1) -- so No More Wholesale Changes, Muse, Okay?

...Anyway. So it's a bit of both: I do want to keep the length of the
book under control, but I also really want to keep the number of
subplots under control, and after all if I remember to keep it in mind,
this latter is far more easy to, um, control. So, mental note, yet
again: kill the subplots.

Zeborah
(1) I'm saving this task for some unspecified point in the future so I
can get on with making actual forward progress now.

Darkhawk (H. Nicoll)

unread,
Apr 12, 2008, 10:55:16 PM4/12/08
to
Zeborah <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Michelle Bottorff <mbot...@lshelby.com> wrote:
> > Jonathan L Cunningham <sp...@sofluc.co.uk.invalid> wrote:
> >
> > > I expect to be in a minority, but I prefer the short version.
> >
> > I actually *read* the short version.
> >
> > The long version I started reading and went *blip*.
>
> Yeah, that was me too. With one sentence I read it before noticing it's
> description; with a paragraph my brain goes "Uh oh, let's just skim this
> and find some dialogue now..."

I'd have read it if it were *interesting* description, as opposed to
describing for the sake of having more words in.


--
Darkhawk - K. H. A. Nicoll - http://aelfhame.net/~darkhawk/
Come, take my body (Allelu--)
Come, take my soul (Take my soul--) "Dark Time"
Come, take me over, I want to be whole. October Project

Dorothy J Heydt

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Apr 12, 2008, 11:08:42 PM4/12/08
to
In article <1ifb3nh.1cxd1lj1i537vyN%dark...@mindspring.com>,

Darkhawk (H. Nicoll) <dark...@mindspring.com> wrote:
>Zeborah <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Michelle Bottorff <mbot...@lshelby.com> wrote:
>> > Jonathan L Cunningham <sp...@sofluc.co.uk.invalid> wrote:
>> >
>> > > I expect to be in a minority, but I prefer the short version.
>> >
>> > I actually *read* the short version.
>> >
>> > The long version I started reading and went *blip*.
>>
>> Yeah, that was me too. With one sentence I read it before noticing it's
>> description; with a paragraph my brain goes "Uh oh, let's just skim this
>> and find some dialogue now..."
>
>I'd have read it if it were *interesting* description, as opposed to
>describing for the sake of having more words in.

I found the second more interesting, actually ... like somebody
trying to be Poul Anderson and not quite making it, but you
applaud him for trying. The short version struct me as a little
too ... I need an adjective. What's the adjective that goes with
the pathetic fallacy, the habit of attributing feelings to
inanimate objects?

David Langford

unread,
Apr 13, 2008, 7:41:50 AM4/13/08
to
On Thu, 10 Apr 2008 23:07:03 +0100, Jacey Bedford
<look...@nospam.invalid> wrote:

>Hmmm... I guess that means you're not coming to Milford this year? or
>maybe you should come for a rest! (The new venue in Wales is lovely! You
>can see to the top of mount Snowdon from the crit room window,)
>
>This is my Milford page with some pix of the new venue
>http://www.jaceybedford.co.uk/milford/milford.html
>
>The official milford URL is now
>http://www.milfordsf.co.uk

Just updated the =Ansible= links page. I think I'll continue to skip
Milford, though -- my hearing makes group conversations very hard to
follow.

Dave
--
David Langford | http://ansible.co.uk/ | http://news.ansible.co.uk/
See http://ansible.co.uk/bibcent.html for bibliographical horrors.

Joann Zimmerman

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Apr 13, 2008, 12:20:47 PM4/13/08
to
In article <Jz8u2...@kithrup.com>, djh...@kithrup.com says...


> I need an adjective. What's the adjective that goes with
> the pathetic fallacy, the habit of attributing feelings to
> inanimate objects?

Anthropomorphic?

--
"I never understood people who don't have bookshelves."
--George Plimpton

Joann Zimmerman jz...@bellereti.com

Joann Zimmerman

unread,
Apr 13, 2008, 12:22:19 PM4/13/08
to
In article <1lelktrw4emrz$.4p7iobu215jx$.d...@40tude.net>,
b.s...@csuohio.edu says...

> I find them equally easy to read, but taken out of any
> context both give the impression that the author is trying a
> bit too hard, especially in the first; in the second the
> imagery seems less forced. The second is definitely more
> explicitly informative: the wind is at least warm and
> possibly hot, and there are cacti and jackrabbits in the
> canyon.

It may be that one belongs in a short story, and the other at a length
of novella or greater?

Brian M. Scott

unread,
Apr 13, 2008, 12:43:48 PM4/13/08
to
On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 11:22:19 -0500, Joann Zimmerman
<jz...@bellereti.com> wrote in
<news:MPG.226bef322...@news.individual.net> in
rec.arts.sf.composition:

> In article <1lelktrw4emrz$.4p7iobu215jx$.d...@40tude.net>,
> b.s...@csuohio.edu says...

>> I find them equally easy to read, but taken out of any
>> context both give the impression that the author is trying a
>> bit too hard, especially in the first; in the second the
>> imagery seems less forced. The second is definitely more
>> explicitly informative: the wind is at least warm and
>> possibly hot, and there are cacti and jackrabbits in the
>> canyon.

> It may be that one belongs in a short story, and the other
> at a length of novella or greater?

I take your point, but I'm not entirely sure that the first
belongs anywhere outside a collection of examples of
over-writing. I don't exclude the possibility that it would
be fine in the right context, though.

Brian

Jacey Bedford

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Apr 13, 2008, 7:50:14 PM4/13/08
to
In message <a9s304pch93k3ddqj...@4ax.com>, David Langford
<ans...@cix.co.uk> writes

>On Thu, 10 Apr 2008 23:07:03 +0100, Jacey Bedford
><look...@nospam.invalid> wrote:
>
>>Hmmm... I guess that means you're not coming to Milford this year? or
>>maybe you should come for a rest! (The new venue in Wales is lovely! You
>>can see to the top of mount Snowdon from the crit room window,)
>>
>>This is my Milford page with some pix of the new venue
>>http://www.jaceybedford.co.uk/milford/milford.html
>>
>>The official milford URL is now
>>http://www.milfordsf.co.uk
>
>Just updated the =Ansible= links page. I think I'll continue to skip
>Milford, though -- my hearing makes group conversations very hard to
>follow.

That's a real shame, but I do understand.

If you wanted to come would there be anything we could do to help? For
meeting situations there ought to be something like a portable hearing
loop... a receiver you could place in the middle of a room equidistant
from all combatants.

Jacey

--
Jacey Bedford
jacey at artisan hyphen harmony dot com
posting via usenet and not googlegroups, ourdebate
or any other forum that reprints usenet posts as
though they were the forum's own

David Langford

unread,
Apr 14, 2008, 8:33:33 AM4/14/08
to
On Mon, 14 Apr 2008 00:50:14 +0100, Jacey Bedford
<look...@nospam.invalid> wrote:

>In message <a9s304pch93k3ddqj...@4ax.com>, David Langford
><ans...@cix.co.uk> writes
>>On Thu, 10 Apr 2008 23:07:03 +0100, Jacey Bedford
>><look...@nospam.invalid> wrote:

[...]


>>>This is my Milford page with some pix of the new venue
>>>http://www.jaceybedford.co.uk/milford/milford.html
>>>
>>>The official milford URL is now
>>>http://www.milfordsf.co.uk
>>
>>Just updated the =Ansible= links page. I think I'll continue to skip
>>Milford, though -- my hearing makes group conversations very hard to
>>follow.
>
>That's a real shame, but I do understand.
>
>If you wanted to come would there be anything we could do to help? For
>meeting situations there ought to be something like a portable hearing
>loop... a receiver you could place in the middle of a room equidistant
>from all combatants.

It's a kind thought, but for some reason I don't get along with hearing
loop technology -- it never seems to deliver the goods for me. Finding time
for a whole week of Milford is also hugely difficult these days!

Chuk Goodin

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Apr 15, 2008, 1:50:23 PM4/15/08
to

I just finished his novel _Mainspring_ and it was quite unlike those short
samples. I found it to have just enough descriptive text so that you knew
what was going on, but not so much that it became annoying -- nearly
invisible, but still brought you into the setting (which is very fun, a
clockwork Earth travelling around the Sun on a geared track. Plus, it has
airships.)

--
chuk

Suzanne Blom

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Apr 16, 2008, 4:57:55 PM4/16/08
to

"David Langford" <ans...@cix.co.uk> wrote in message
news:a9s304pch93k3ddqj...@4ax.com...

> On Thu, 10 Apr 2008 23:07:03 +0100, Jacey Bedford
> <look...@nospam.invalid> wrote:
>
>>Hmmm... I guess that means you're not coming to Milford this year? or
>>maybe you should come for a rest! (The new venue in Wales is lovely! You
>>can see to the top of mount Snowdon from the crit room window,)
>>
>>This is my Milford page with some pix of the new venue
>>http://www.jaceybedford.co.uk/milford/milford.html
>>
>>The official milford URL is now
>>http://www.milfordsf.co.uk
>
> Just updated the =Ansible= links page. I think I'll continue to skip
> Milford, though -- my hearing makes group conversations very hard to
> follow.
>
OTOH I was once at a very loud party, yelling at someone's ear from about
four inches away & looked up to see two people signing over us--looked much
more fun than the way we were doing it.


Jacey Bedford

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Apr 16, 2008, 8:35:32 PM4/16/08
to
In message <gfKdnSbKaKbJ9ZvVnZ2dnUVZ_g2dnZ2d@localnet>, Suzanne Blom
<sue...@execpc.com> writes
When our kids were in Junior school they had a profoundly deaf
classmate, Ben, who used to carry on conversations with his mum during
concerts, him on the stage and her in the audience. When it came to
choir, they used to sign some songs as well as sing them. Ben's sister
was a fully qualified sign language interpreter by the time she was 12.

Both Ben and his sister have gone on to great academic achievements and
are now mid and late 20s respectively.

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