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Messages - Jos Van Brussel

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Thanks for the heads-up :).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand words a day club 2015
« on: September 12, 2015, 10:38:24 am »
I wrote 2000 words and edited 5000.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Who basically writes a book a month and how?
« on: September 12, 2015, 10:37:53 am »
I haven't had much success with Dragon. No matter how hard I try, he keeps misunderstanding me. Bananas turns into 'by anonymous' or 'bonanno'. Cats turns into 'kept' etc. Even if I train him he still gets it wrong. So I'll stick to typing. I'm a fast typer so it's fine (I learned to type the old-fashioned way, with ten fingers on a typewriter in school).

Writers' Cafe / Re: What Type Of Music Do You Listen To While Writing?
« on: September 12, 2015, 10:32:10 am »
I like rain sounds when I write. I blocks out everything else and really creates a writing bubble. I find music distracts me because it puts me in a certain mood, which tends to take me out of my story.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand words a day club 2015
« on: September 11, 2015, 09:03:09 am »
I did 2000 words yesterday (and 4000 edited) and 2000 today (and 7000 edited). I find it an interesting experiment, to combine writing a new book with editing the previous one. So far so good.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand words a day club 2015
« on: September 08, 2015, 03:29:12 am »
2,607 today on a new project, and now I'm off editing the previous one (I'm trying to combine writing a new book while editing the old one--no idea if it will work).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Who basically writes a book a month and how?
« on: September 07, 2015, 07:25:12 am »
Jos, I enjoyed reading this, and I'm going to bookmark your comment so that I can come back to it for inspiration.  :) 

I'm currently doing my version of the "5 down and 1 in the hole" Liliana Nirvana technique.  I'm writing novellas.  (You say you write books at around the 35,000 length.)  The five will go to my editor in November, and I'll publish the five in December.  Then I'll have two more for January and two more for February.  (Although, after reading your inspiring post, I may produce more than two a month after I publish my five.)

I do outline.  I read Libbie's book, and I gave it five stars.  I also mind map, which has been working well for me.  (Here is a blog post on mind mapping I found, but there's lots more information on mind mapping out there. -

That said, you've had success as a pantser, and I know other authors have as well.  Fortunately, there is no ONE way to write a book.

Thanks Jolie. It's true, there are probably as many ways to write a book as there are writers. And I do think that if I hadn't spent years studying story structure and fiddling with outlines I wouldn't be able to pants my way through my stories now. I dabbled in screenwriting for three years, and lived and breathed story structure and outlining during that time. I guess it's all one great learning process and different for each one of us. Regarding Liliana's technique, I don't think I could do it. Each time I finish a book, I can't wait to publish it :).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand words a day club 2015
« on: September 07, 2015, 07:07:24 am »
I did 6,644 words and finished my WIP so now it's on to the dreaded editing. The full manuscript is 65,547 words so that'll take a little time to get through.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Who basically writes a book a month and how?
« on: September 06, 2015, 10:38:10 am »
Iíve been averaging around 100,000 words a month for around six months now, finishing 18 short romance novels in the process (about 35,000 words each). What essentially pushed me to quit messing around was the prospect of having to go back to work (I quit my job the year before and had been dabbling with different genres and different pen names without much success). Since I focused on one pen name and one genre and started writing like the proverbial wind, my income increased to the point that it now sustains my family.

To my detriment, Iíve had to accept that outlining doesnít work for me (and my chosen genre). Iíve tried it time and time again, and only managed to lose a lot of time (my hard disk is littered with outlines that never came to fruition). In fact I was doing quite well when I decided to try this outlining thing again at the end of July. I spent August writing two outlines and have had to accept defeat after trying to turn them into novels. I finally gave up and returned to my trusty pantsing ways, and am finally moving ahead again. I did lose one monthís worth of production and income, so I wonít be going down that road again.

I shoot for a daily word count (currently 6000) and use WriteOrDie, which forces me to push out my fresh words of the day (relatively) painlessly. I try to do this as early in the day as possible. Then I transfer my morning words to Scrivener and spend the rest of the day editing. I keep track of the story and the characters as I write, spending a little time going over all the Ďelementsí in the story: whoís doing what to whom where, how and why, and ponder a bit over possible future developments (without actually committing to any storylinesómerely priming the subconscious pump). Then the next day I read over my list of elements and start writing again.

This system has worked very well for me, but then itís something Iíve learned through trial and (a lot of) error over a period of about a decade (I wrote my first novel in 2005 and am now at #38). I think I must have read all the writing advice books available, read all the blogs, facebook posts, forum threads and generally anything Iíve been able to glean from writers more successful than me (in other words, every other writer out there) and have finally had to conclude that every writer is different and that what works for one person, often doesnít work for another. So I think Iíll stick to this for now :).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thank you, Harvey
« on: August 28, 2015, 12:06:58 am »
Thanks for creating these boards Harvey, and for being such a great person. Be well.

Thanks for graciously sharing your insights and congratulations on all your achievements :).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Alphasmart
« on: January 22, 2015, 11:20:26 am »
I thought about getting a Hemingwrite for a bit (I have a Neo) but then decided against it and got myself a Neo2 instead. As back-up and in case eBay ever runs out. It just arrived today and I'm happy as a clam :).

Just saw this now. Congrats! The book looks great!

Maybe we're supposed to look at the Hemingwrite as a first draft device. You know, let the words flow, and never mind the polishing.

Yes, that's exactly what the creators are envisioning. A first draft device without editing capabilities. Unfortunately for that price I'd like a more fully fledged product so I guess that leaves me out at this stage.

If they can add that stuff in the first go, I think   cursor up, cursor down, cursor left, cursor tight, page up and page down should merit inclusion and not wait for outside hackers to do it.

I hope so. If they're targeting screenwriters, they definitely have to add this functionality. I don't know any screenwriter who can write a script in one fell swoop without having to back up from time to time and change a piece of description, a character name or add a bit of set-up or foreshadowing.

Can I get an amen? Or am I the only one with design issues?

I quite like the design, actually. But then I write at home, so I don't have the coffee shop crowd to consider :).

I don't think there is a USB port or any other way to get your data off the Hemingwrite besides this service.

There is a USB port, and the possibility to save your work on a computer by physically connecting them. This in case there's no WIFI available. Some people have been asking for the possibility to save to a USB stick but this seems hardly necessary.

I agree. I really don't understand why they are resisting. I mean even with a typewriter you could go back and fix things.  ???

Yes, it seems odd to exclude a large part of their target demographic from the get-go. Some commenters said they don't want the Hemingwrite turned into another laptop, but arrow keys are a pretty basic thing. Even when I used to work on a typewriter, my little bottle of Tipp-Ex (whiteout) was my best friend. They did say they might include a moving cursor in something called the SDK. Apparently so programmers can change things around and customize stuff. But as I'm no hacker, I doubt if I'll ever dive under the hood to try and fix things. So I guess I'll just wait and see and hope (and pray! LOL) that they see reason and add four little keys :).

It's a pity they won't include arrow keys, otherwise this would have been the perfect machine for me. As I like to cycle back and do some minor editing before trudging ahead, the Hemingwrite won't be much use to me without a moving cursor. I hope they change their minds as I think lots of writers would like to see this basic functionality included.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Alphasmart
« on: October 05, 2014, 07:58:36 am »
Thanks for this, Chrissy. I accidentally created a bunch of extra files with an alternative Neo Manager I found somewhere, and didn't know how to delete them.

I quit my job 2 months ago because I hated it and I had some money saved. I self-published my first book one year ago but didnít sell in my genre (humor) so I switched to erotica (under a pen name) in April. I made $1000 in my first month and month 2 seems to exceed the first one, so I think (hope) Iíll be fine.

Read the report three times and I think I'm getting the gist (math was never my strong suit). What I got out of it is that self-publishing now represent about a third of Amazon's top 7000 genre books, and that they make more money from their books than traditionally published writers. What Prof Weinberg says is probably also true: if you look at all self-publishers, and not just at the ones in Amazon's top 7000, only a small percentage actually makes any money. So she's right and Hugh's right. The thing is, if I'm going to make this self-publishing work for me, I really don't need her rather depressing point of view. I'd rather drink some of Hugh's kool-aid :D.

Writers' Cafe / Re: 1 Year, 100 Titles = My Results
« on: February 10, 2014, 10:43:08 am »
I think it is indeed much more difficult than it seems. Inspired by this thread, I also decided to dip my toe in the world of erotic literature, but all I could come up with was Sister Selena having a secret tryst with the Reverend Mark in the village vicarage. I got as far as chapter 2 (Sister Selena has been invited to the vicarage under the pretense of preparing for the annual church jumble sale) before deciding to call it quits. The experience did teach me a renewed respect for writers of the genre. That stuff is really hard to write!

Writers' Cafe / Re: My Plotting vs. Pantsing theory...
« on: February 10, 2014, 12:57:13 am »
Perhaps it also depends on the genre? It seems thrillers, with their intricate plots and plenty of twists and turns, require more outlining than other genres. I've tried both outlining and pantsing, but have discovered that for some odd reason my outlining brain and my writing brain seem disconnected. The outlining-me doesn't seem to know what the writing-me is capable of, and therefore I've sometimes spent weeks outlining, only to discover once I started writing, that I couldn't write that story. It just didn't fit my writing chops and sensibilities. And vice versa, once I start writing, I tend to come up with plots and stories that I would never have been able to conceive in the outlining stage.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Do you have a favorite child... er, book
« on: February 08, 2014, 05:08:58 am »
My favorite is Mysterious Moxie. For some odd reason everything magically came together as I wrote that. And I never even outlined, just happily wrote along. I've since hoped to repeat the experience but it hasn't happened yet.

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