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Recovered Treasure. [Dec. 18th, 2003|09:45 am]
[In the Moment |jubilantjubilant]
[Special Music |DJ Shiva - Live @ Chroma]

In rummaging through my upstairs boxes of pack-ratted kitsch and forgotten possessions, I finally found the book that I have searched for years to recover . . . The Complete Guide to Writing Fiction and Nonfiction, and Getting It Published, Second Edition by Pat Kubis and Bob Howland.

This book, at the end of my high school years, inspired and amazed me, and it set me on the path of writing. It treats in a very detailed and easy-to-understand fashion the craft of writing and the business of getting published.

What it also does, it does not tell you a specific formula for 100% guaranteed success, from memory. It was one of the first books I stumbled upon that was an actual help more than a sales pitch. Those 'guaranteed published work tips' and 'guaranteed successful writing' strategies are often found for sale and displayed in key points in those somewhat-helpful but mostly useless 'writer's' magazines which shall remain nameless.

What it did for me, specifically, was help me to recognize that I truly loved to read quality works. It also helped me to analyse good works and bad works. On top of that, it encouraged me, no matter how wonderful or horrid my writings, to pursue writing over the long run of my life.

I also found a KPower kids' computer magazine from Nov/Dec 1984.

Behold the links to the days of computing's past!

http://www.openshoebox.com/images/111076 KPower Cover scan. Only $1.95!

http://www.openshoebox.com/images/111077 KPower Back Cover ad for Commodore 64!

http://www.openshoebox.com/images/111078 Behold the inner back cover ad, for the Compuserve Videotex Service, "designed for the personal computer user." The 'Internet' did exist back in '84, my friends!

If anyone wants the old computing codeshares for systems like Commodore 64, where in this magazine is shared the code to create 5 musical instruments, or other codes, if you have a program that can run old code on different systems or you possess a system covered, let me know, and I will email the code strings to you from the article.

Okay, you fine people . . . have a day!


[User Picture]From: lordjunon
2003-12-18 03:12 pm (UTC)
oh wow.. that has a WHOLE 64K OF MEMORY FOR ONLY $214!!! Ok, i'm jealous. I want one :P
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2003-12-18 03:18 pm (UTC)
Dude, you'd have been flossin' with this set of equipment back in the year of the Detroit Tigers.
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[User Picture]From: freys
2003-12-18 03:47 pm (UTC)
Is that book still onsale anywhere?
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2003-12-18 04:09 pm (UTC)

The Chapter List, as follows, from my copy:

1 Dynamics of Plot (this was choice information . . . it goes into the classic 'W' plot, followed by simple short story rise to climax and quick-wane plot, and it treats episodic, hourglass, and circle plots in brief, which are more complex and interesting forms of story structure).

2 Viewpoint: The Magic Key to Publishing (this chapter is well-worn . . . I am very adept at 1st, 2nd, 3rd person ideals, and I've always been a fan of the idea of situationality).

3 How to Open A Short Story or Novel (aka 'Get 'em early and in style because the editors will be less tempted to read the hobbitish 40 pages of initial description in these times')

4 The Art of Creating Three-Dimensional Characters (from what I remember, with an outline sheet construction for helping develop such characters. I have since expanded my study to peoples' journals . . . shh don't tell anyone! :D)

5 How to Create Effective Dialogue (great primer chapter for this subject, and further work can be done by simply developing listening skills, then going out to record conversations of people)

6 How to Develop a Good Style (this less-so, but interesting of chapters . . . I think Lucas is a good example, and most writers will tell you that you're borrowing and sometimes completely lifting other writers, and they were influenced by other writers . . . best advice is know yourself, and you will shine through and be distinct among the masses)

7 How to Create Settings (helping the writer become aware that readers like to know the where, when, and the influence of setting upon story pacing)

8 How to Create the Story: Scene, Summary, and Transition

9 How to Get Back and Forth in Time (I remember reading all of these, just I need to get done with this post!)

10 Theme: What's It All About?

11 Do Titles Really Matter? (answer: no, the editor/producer usually ends up crafting that part, so don't fall in love with your name for it)

12 Research Made Easy (aka walk the walk with your talk)

13 Article Writing: How to Begin (this begins the non-fiction writing section)

14 How to Write the Query Letter for the Article

15 Writing the Article

16 The Art of Magazine Characterization

17 The Interview Article

18 Whom Are You Writing For, and Why? (title is bad grammar, 'To Whom,' Kubis . . . demonstration that not any one book is the definitive writing book)

19 How to Approach a Publishing House (without a drawn firearm, probably best)

20 How To Develop the Nonfiction Book Query and Proposal and the Novel Package, Including Synopsis (good when finishing piece after a few revisions, before submittal)

21 Everything About Literary Agents (read: Watch out for their cut of the income)

22 Whee! You Received a Book Contract, Now What? (aka Celebrate with a bottle of your favorite drink, preferrably alcohol, but don't become Ernest Hemmingway)

The first question in the preface is . . . Why Do You Want to Write?

Well? :D

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[User Picture]From: freys
2003-12-19 12:27 am (UTC)
Sounds just awesome. I've wanted to read a book on writing for a long time now, but had no idea what to look for. Some of them really are crap. I get high on writing in English, lol, but I know I'm terrible at it at this point, especially with it being my second language. I have problems coming up with words that have the right meaning. It's great that you posted about this! ;)
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2003-12-19 12:35 am (UTC)
The beauty about English as a 2nd language is that like most primary English speakers, it breaks off and follows its own dialects and whims.

So, if you have another language that is your primary, people love unique characters, and when writing romance or whatever genre, even screenplays, when you can draw on that and bring outside characters into the mix with relevant, universal conflict, that just makes your character shine even more. :D

What I have mentioned to someone, maybe you, previously, is that when you look at these surveys and other things that people post on LJ about themselves, it by far is THE most detail you could hope for in terms of creating your own characters for stories. In terms of how you think of me or others on LJ, what you know about them, you have to approach the level of detail in these fictional characters as we are detailed in life. You will probably, if prepared this way, draw on only 5-10% of the preparation for the actual story, but if you know your character like you know your best friend, the story will 'write itself,' meaning, you will know exactly what that character will do in a situation because you have detailed that character so well. :D

Sorry, I get wordy. :D
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[User Picture]From: freys
2003-12-19 09:40 pm (UTC)
Get wordy as much as you want. *grins* Usually the stuff you say is worth hearing. ;)
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2003-12-19 09:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

Whenever you have time, it's really worth the purchase of that book. It literally helped me find more of who I was when utterly lost in my own creativity without any recognized outlet.
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