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Messages - Peter Spenser

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"techonologically challenged"

How about type-fingers challenged? As I am, way too often.   :)

fish spooge

"Spooge"?  :o

You can't bring yourself to say "semen"?

the fact that women have boobs means we can't shoot bows

I guess that I will have to tell my daughter, the rabid archery enthusiast, that she's physically unable to shoot any more because she's not flat chested. That will be news to her.

technical terms for fish spooge are the kind of thing I think could use a little contextualising.

It was contextualized. They were having sex. They were aliens. The word "milt" was used. I would know what that meant and it would drive home even more the idea that they were aliens. I don't need a data dump about it to slow down the action.

I would much rather the author assume that I was smart rather than I was not. If I truly need help, there's always the dictionary.

And it's called "science" fiction, after all. The reader is expected to know at least a little bit of science, and "milt" is just a bit. It's something that, if you didn't sleep through your biology class, you were exposed to in high school.

Writers' Cafe / Re: opinions on Advance Reader Copies please
« on: October 11, 2016, 12:36:57 PM »
Interesting and important questions. I would like to know the answers myself.

The only *head desk*moment I had was the proofreader who insisted I kept spelling "town" wrong, so she kept correcting it. I write Regency romances, the word was ton... I ditched that proofreader fast.

Yes, it's frustrating when you discover that the person that you've hired (or has hired you) is just a tad illiterate. Communication becomes difficult.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Vellum: the official thread
« on: October 11, 2016, 10:36:54 AM »
This particular section of the help page SugarBear57 linked to explains how to assign the same image to multiple chapters:

You can, for example, select all of your His chapters and assign one image, then select all of your Her chapters and assign the other.

When Vellum generates the eBooks for your title, each image will only be included once, regardless of how many times it is used in the book.

I stand corrected, and I'm glad.

And, once again, we see why all of us "unlimited" Vellum users have been happy to pay our money. The program is phenomenal in and of itself, and the support is the best there is.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« on: October 11, 2016, 09:50:26 AM »
I also am a slow writer, and sometimes deride myself for it, but I took comfort upon reading this:

After I read the article, I went to the library and took out the book that the article is based on, REACHER SAID NOTHING: Lee Child and the Making of MAKE ME, by Andy Martin.

It is an eye-opener and should be a comfort to all slow writers. It turns out that Lee Child is a slow-as-molasses pantser! He took seven-and-a-half months to finish Make Me, and all he started with was his genre, his predetermined main character, and the basic premiss of each book: main character goes somewhere and has an adventure.

He even readily admits to all of the things that he does not have finalized when he begins the book.

It's a fascinating look inside the mind and working methods of one of today's most successful genre authors.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Vellum: the official thread
« on: October 11, 2016, 09:36:18 AM »
Oh, and if I can use a different custom image for his and her chapter heads:

Is there a way to make it so that each image only gets stored once, or will it get stored a new time each time it is used, thus inflating the book's file size and adversely affecting delivery charges?

I think that this question was touched on before somewhere else here on this forum. If you want to have an image stored within the file but used multiple times, you have to be able to manipulate the internal code. It's do-able, but not by Vellum as it is. You could export the Vellum file as one of the EPUB types that it exports, then go into that file and re-write the code, but you need someone who really knows what they're doing or they will screw it up.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Way to Go Patty Jansen!
« on: October 11, 2016, 09:22:16 AM »
I just noticed that Patty's Ice and fire trilogy is #1 in Dark Fantasy:

Just wanted to issue a congrats and a shout out.

Please update your link. This is what I get when I click on it:

The request contains an invalid URL!

P.S. Hooray, Patty! (Though, truth be told, I have be a customer/reader of hers for a long time now.)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Formatting tables in an e-book
« on: October 08, 2016, 08:28:57 PM »
Correctly coded tables will display correctly in an e-book, even on small devices. Just get someone who knows what they're doing with the code.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« on: October 08, 2016, 05:25:12 AM »
I have not read every post so, if I'm repeating something, please pass.

I also am a slow writer, and sometimes deride myself for it, but I took comfort upon reading this:

Writers' Cafe / Re: New book cover designs! What do you think??
« on: October 06, 2016, 04:31:30 PM »
Just finished up these book cover designs. Which one do you like best?

From left to right: the first 2. The third one, not much at all.

If you type directly into the reply field, you won't have a problem.

Unfortunately, not true. You can have diacritical marks, smart quotes, and other characters in the "Reply" field, and they will show correctly, as typed, in the "Preview" display.

Then they go kaflooie (a technical term) in the actual post.   >:(

Interestingly, I've heard only crickets from the "suers" since I asked them for the name of a human contact at the stock photo company.

Well, surprise, surprise!

Don't pay nuthin. Let your lawyer handle it. And use exactly that phrase if someone contacts you: "I'm letting my lawyer handle it. Give me your contact information." You'd be surprised how many people disappear after hearing that.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Tried to get fancy, didn't work
« on: October 05, 2016, 02:39:01 PM »
Any good tutorials you could point me to that go though how to format this way? Nothing you have mentioned is unfamiliar to me so I think once I see it in action it will come to me pretty quick. Do you use html or as I have seen mentioned here xml (?) mark up language?


The best thing for you to do might be to write a simple test file in Word, exert it to HTML, then import that into Calibre or Sigil and convert it to an EPUB book. Look inside that EPUB file and examine the components with Sigil. That should give you a good idea of what the various components consist of and what their code looks like.

There are much easier ways to make an e-book but, if HTML is your thing, that would be a way to get started.

If you're really technically oriented, here are the whole specs:

I just remembered. There is a pretty good book: EPUB, Straight to the Point by Liz Castro. Try that.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is it okay to use sentence fragments?
« on: October 05, 2016, 08:15:36 AM »
Most of them are imperatives (like "Call me Ishmael"). In any event, what I interpreted Carol to be saying is that overuse of sentence fragments can result in something that reads LIKE (<--key word) a second-grade primer, in that the sentences/fragments are short, repetitive, choppy, and don't convey much information. She didn't say that second-grade primers consist of sentence fragments.

For instance. Maybe you're tired. Maybe. Could be. Bad day. Long day. Tired. Really tired. Lots of writing. Hard work. Plot twists. They're hard.

is approximately as interesting, compelling, and all-around readable as

See Dick Run. See Jane run. See Spot run. Run, Spot, run! Jane and Spot run. Dick runs with Jane. They all run.

Anyone could reasonably read her post as saying that all of the Dick and Jane examples that she gave were sentence fragments. They are not. All of them are imperative sentences.

And, whether she wanted to or not, she implied that all second grade primers contained lots of sentence fragments.

And, when I read the Dick and Jane books back in elementary school. I found them "interesting, compelling, and all-around readable," at least enough so that it helped to foster my love for the English language, a love that has stayed with me all of my life. I can't have been the only child who felt that way.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is it okay to use sentence fragments?
« on: October 05, 2016, 06:17:40 AM »
But "Call me Ishmael" is the first line of Moby-Dick, written by Herman Melville. Even if I keep your original spelling intact nothing comes up for Joseph Conrad.

Moby-Dick was written Herman Melville who was American. Joseph Conrad was the Polish guy writing in his second language that Abderian was thinking of. Is that more clear?

This just screams "gimmick." It [annoys] the snot out of me as a reader [I've run into it already.], and I haven't the faintest sliver of interest in animating art in my own self-published titles.

That sums my feelings up nicely.

Writers' Cafe / Re: X-Ray now can be edited by author via KDP?!
« on: October 04, 2016, 08:32:37 PM »
So far it looks neat, but it also looks like it's just another way for me to waste time when I should be writing!!  :-X

Well, if you have no self-discipline at all!   ;D

Seriously, it might be good for an epic fantasy, or a huge Dickensian historical novel, or anything to do with the British aristocracy. Some readers really get into those family/character lines.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is it okay to use sentence fragments?
« on: October 04, 2016, 08:20:01 PM »
I'll put my editor hat on for a moment and caution you to be careful not to over-use them, or you'll end up with something that reads like a second grade primer, a la:

"See Dick. See Dick run. See Jane. Jane is Dick's sister. See Dick and Jane chase Spot."

Put on a better hat. Those are not fragments. They are imperative sentences.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is it okay to use sentence fragments?
« on: October 04, 2016, 08:17:12 PM »
"Call me Isahmael." A Polish guy writing in has second language did okay with that one.

Herman Melville was Polish?

No. He was very American. That was Joseph Conrad.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Tried to get fancy, didn't work
« on: October 04, 2016, 02:41:40 PM »
I think I need to learn how to do this. Using Bluefish Editor I don't think it would be too difficult. And seems like the output would be much superior and controllable.

Don't forget the "above the visible text" stuff: the head, the meta items, etc. That stuff is needed for every chapter file.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Show me your map!
« on: October 04, 2016, 10:05:51 AM »

Yes, it's really nice! Who did it?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Extraordinary Scrivener Resource.
« on: October 04, 2016, 10:03:30 AM »
THANK YOU, RAY! It's great.  :-*

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