Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Are Ready To Conversate (2)


So what kind of lean mean writing machine was I? By golly I was one that churned out a phenomenal amount of verbiage. Yeah, it was just that easy. Even though I didn't recognize it back then for what it was (how could I, since I never done this kind of thing before), but I had a story that was literally writing itself.

Every morning and evening I sat down at my computer (and sometimes during my breaks at work I would write by hand, back when my hands were functioning units) the words just poured out of me. They came out so fast and so furious that quite often I had problems in keeping up with the deluge.

Although I was having a blast writing this thing, I knew I had to do some basic formatting so as to make this yeccch thing readable. Now before you jump the gun and start shouting out what I did, let me tell you first what I didn't do.

1} Proper sentence structure.
2} Under-utilize adjectives and adverbs.
3} Proper dialogue structure.
4} Proper scene breaks.
5} Use the various writing guides available.
6} Chapter breaks.
7} Proper font and/or proper font size.

Now that you've digested those 7 major FUBARS (and probably thought of a few more as well), let me tell you what I did do.

1} Numbering of pages.
2} Kept the two plot lines separate and semi-coherent.

Sad, isn't it?

I would now like to give you an example of six out of those seven points (font will be tricky to show, but easy to explain) I've listed, so if you follow me to the other other other other blog, we'll continue the post over there. When you're finished laughing out loud and making entirely appropriate snide comments, come back over for the conclusion of this post.

So once I decided on a course of attack with this story, I settled down into a somewhat disturbing routine of writing that looking back on it now, really was a pretty shitty way of writing.

Up next: What the hell was this poorly written story all about.


  1. I have that Gregg Reference Manual - but I hardly ever refer to it. What guide do you use now?

    And Palatino is a lovely font.

  2. The first novel I wrote had no chapter breaks at all. STarted and went straight through to the end. I have to grin at that now.

  3. If I had to remember all seven things I probably would forget what the heck I was going to write.
    Isn't that what an editor is for?
    I'm getting very lazy in my old age. I think I would rather hand off my book to be and let somebody else whip it into shape. :)Bea

  4. Lynn: Unfortunately I don't use any beyond that old edition (perhaps I should bring back to home Charles's, eh?). I tried buying a copy of the latest edition of Gregg, but it was like the 10th anniversary/celebration of the life of William Sabin, so I didn't want to pay $40 (even with a coupon). And as for the Chicago Manual of Style, forget it. That was running about $60.

    I love Palatino. Best replacement I found to Bookman Old Style, which I got hooked into when I first started working for the state back in the mid 90's.

    Charles: I get a chuckle out of this one as well, although I somewhere along the way, I did get better. Well, almost. Still got a lot of ground to cover and I got a heck of lot worse before I got to average.

    Bea: Sometimes going on auto pilot is a good thing. :D

    In all seriousness though, I should've at least got hold of some kind of basic writing guide before I started on this crazy venture.

  5. I've always used AP style - habit from being a reporter, I guess. I suppose I'm lucky that spelling and punctuation just kind of stuck in my brain. Diplomatic ways to address people...not so much.

  6. R: I had an acquaintance (would've of turned into a semi-friend if she didn't get transferred in her security guard job. You would've found quite the interesting person: gay, in a committed relatinship and didn't believe in gay marriage. But I digress) who had to write her school assignments in the APA style. Totally lost me when I offered to proofread her report for her.

    Spelling for me has gone waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay downhill for me the older I've gotten.

    Not diplomatic? You? I would've never guessed. :D


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