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More sneak peeks at Scrivener 3.

So as some of you may know, I do all my writing in Scrivener1 and have done for… yikes. Eight or nine years? It’s one of the major reasons I will never have anything other than a macOS-based work-laptop.2

Point being, I’m really, really liking the sneak peeks into features coming for Scrivener 3. Yum. Can’t wait.

  1. I got ninety-nine problems but a good app ain’t one. If you’re still using Word, I feel bad for you son. []
  2. The other reason? Windows kinda sucks. Yeah, I went there. []
2018-04-27T14:02:15+10:0024th August, 2017|Tags: apps, scrivener, tech, writing|

Robots, space pirates, and AI (oh my).

Just a quick head’s up for those that may be interested, for two speculative fiction anthologies currently open to short story submissions.

The first, Mother of Invention, is Twelfth Planet Press‘s (KaleidoscopeDefying Doomsday) new anthology exploring diverse, challenging stories exploring robotics and AI outside of the usual “cis dude makes sexy robolady” construct. I backed Mother of Invention on Kickstarter, and if TPP’s past work is anything to go by, this is going to be a cracker of an anthology. So if you’ve got a story or a plotbunny you think fits, I’d highly encourage you to check out their submissions page. The anthology pays pro rates, and submissions are open until 31 August.

Secondly, and closer to home, the CSFG is also open to submissions for its annual anthology, A Hand of Knaves. As the title suggests, the theme for this one is “rogues, thieves, pirates and ne’er-do-wells”, and it’s totally something I would’ve submitted “Blue Sky Mine” to except for the fact that I’ve already published that online (natch). My loss is your gain, however, and submissions for A Hand of Knaves are open until 15 November. Pay rates for the anthology are currently being worked out, and the preference is to showcase works from Australian authors (and/or members of the CSFG).

So what are you waiting for? Get writing!

2018-11-26T08:09:40+11:007th August, 2017|Tags: sff, short stories, writing, xp|

Missing you, extra elle.

What the hell! the reader exclaims. This writer can’t spell! She’s written travelling instead of traveling and centre instead of center and realisation instead of realization. Colour instead of color.  This book is crap! It’s riddled with spelling errors and grammatical problems. It’s a bloody one star from me.

No. It’s not riddled with spelling errors and grammatical problems. It’s not written in US English.

Donna Maree Hanson on spellcheck.

So despite being set in Australia, both Liesmith and Stormbringer are published in the US, and thus written in US English. Except it’s US-English-with-Australian-idiom, which means characters describe things as (say) being “a shittonne” rather than “a shitton”, because a tonne and a ton aren’t the same thing, and Australia uses the former. Needless to say, I had some fun discussions with the copyeditor over that one…

The other big example I can think of: “was sat”/”was stood” instead of “was sitting”/”was standing”. The former are common constructions in British English, and sound grammatically odd in Australian and US English.

For the most part, I think US audiences are used to reading solely US editions of books and, yes, these will be rewritten. Which means it’s US audiences who tend to be the ones balking when they encounter non-US English. I’m not sure about the UK, but in Australia it’s kind of a toss-up on whether we get the UK, US, or specifically Australian editions of books (and, of course, if you’re buying print books from, say, Amazon, you’re almost certainly getting US editions). So readers here, I think, tend to be more accepting of grammar and spelling variants.

(The other region I’d be interested to know about would be Canada. I think Canadians tend to use British English spellings, but I’d be willing to bet most of their print books are US imports.)

Tl;dr, pretty much any review you read of the “too many typos 1-star!” variety is full of shit.

2018-05-01T10:26:19+10:004th August, 2017|Tags: language, publishing, writing|

The Doctor Who Random Story Generator.

More like “How to Write a Doctor Who Story 101” than a “generator”, per se, but still.

Something in me feels like this would be a fun collaborative workshop to run at a con or similar event. Hmm…

As an aside, the best quote, slightly edited to be universally applicable:

The best stories are very clever things disguised as something stupid. And the worst stories are very stupid things disguised as something clever.

2018-06-26T13:22:37+10:0025th June, 2017|Tags: fandom, pop culture, sff, writing|

Sherlock is garbage.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: whatever your feelings on Moffat, SherlockDoctor Whoet al, this is still an extremely useful critique breaking down narrative structure, audience expectations, and genre. It’s one of those pull-back-the-curtain, cannot-unsee things in the sense that it doesn’t just apply to the shows it’s directly referencing; it can also be used to explain levels of suckitude in, say, The X-Files and Supernatural, for example.

Which is to say, it’s infuriating and it’ll ruin a whole bunch of media for you… But you should watch it anyway, particularly if you’re the sort of person who’s interested in the mechanics of narrative.

2017-06-13T14:04:52+10:0023rd June, 2017|Tags: pop culture, video, writing|

Mimi numinum.

Latin phrase "mimi numinum niuium minimi munium nimium uini muniminum imminui uiui minimum uolunt" written in calligraphic script, rendering each letter virtually identical.

mimi numinum niuium minimi munium nimium uini muniminum imminui uiui minimum uolunt

Or: the snow gods’ smallest mimes do not wish in any way in their lives for the great duty of the defenses of wine to be diminished.

Medieval trolling in Gothic script.

2018-07-27T14:24:54+10:0015th June, 2017|Tags: language, writing|

Go ask Alis.

Anonymous asked:

I’m curious, were you a fan fiction author before you published an original novel?

There’s no “before” about it: like a lot of (particularly female) authors nowadays I’ve always written both fan- and original fiction.

I don’t publicly link my fan author name with my pro author name, again for the same reason most pro authors don’t (i.e. some people in fandom can be really assholish about it). But, yeah. I write fic.

2017-06-14T11:35:55+10:0026th December, 2016|Tags: go ask alis, type: answer, writing|

The day job.

The dangerous thing about a day job is that you can very quickly become suspicious that you are not a writer. Because you are a letter carrier. Or a waiter, which I also was for 15 years. For the longest time, I was a working-class person who thought of herself, privately, as a writer. When I was around my working class colleagues I was ashamed to say I wanted to be a writer, and when I was around writers or artists I was ashamed to say I was a waiter. Now I am a writer who’s ashamed to not know how to make money as a writer.

Because no matter how you do it, no one is paying you to write. They may pay you for something you wrote, or promise to pay you for something you have promised to write. They may pay your room and board for a month or two at a residency. They may pay you to teach, or to edit something someone else has written. They may pay you to come to a university and talk to people about writing. None of this is the same as being paid to write.

I would like to be paid to write.

Merritt Tierce on pay.

To be fair, I do technically get “paid to write”, but it certainly would be nice to get “paid to write fiction“…

2018-04-27T14:02:13+10:0014th December, 2016|Tags: publishing, writing|

$12,900.

Why you can’t be a full-time writer in Australia. Or anywhere, really, but this article is specifically about Australian writers.

I guess how I fit on this curve depends on whether I count my day job or not, which is technically a “writing job”… but probably not in a context that counts for the purpose of this article.

2018-04-27T13:58:51+10:0025th November, 2016|Tags: writing|

Other skills.

As someone who does (a hyper-specialized form of) technical writing as my day job, I endorse this article.

Also, it really should have an 11th point of “you will get paid a shittonne more” because… seriously.

2017-07-17T11:40:49+10:0015th November, 2016|Tags: writing|
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