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What are you Writing?

MikeKardec

One Too Many
Messages
1,148
Location
Los Angeles
I'm back doing some research, rereading "Two Bit Culture" which is a history of the American paperback. I doubt I'll find too much more stuff but it does put me back in the right frame of mind after having to be Mr Contract. It's kind of cool, I worked down the hall from Ian Ballantine in NYC when I was a kid working with Bantam Audio Publishing in the 1980s. The dude had insane eyebrows. Besides his own company Ballantine Books he worked at Penguin (the granddaddy of British paperbacks), Bantam and Random House. He was a great storyteller when it came to book biz lore and was related to Emma Goldman somehow. Kind of a trip down memory lane. Got to get down to business, maybe tomorrow.

Hawaii's pretty interesting as soon as you get away from the tourist spots. I'd love to go back with my mother and try to pick her brain, she spend a couple of years there in the 1950s.
 

AmateisGal

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,069
Location
Nebraska
Whew! Finished revisions tonight on the novel. I want to go back and take another look tomorrow before I send it off to my agent. So glad I'm done with it. I think the story is MUCH stronger now. Funny how that works... :D
 

MikeKardec

One Too Many
Messages
1,148
Location
Los Angeles
Whew! Finished revisions tonight on the novel. I want to go back and take another look tomorrow before I send it off to my agent. So glad I'm done with it. I think the story is MUCH stronger now. Funny how that works... :D

I always feel that a bit of distance and then a rewrite is like having a dialog with the material. Once you have some distance you stop imposing your initial attitudes and it can start telling you what it wants to become. I think it's super important to be open to letting it tell you what it wants to be. That's pretty airy fairy but ...
 

AmateisGal

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,069
Location
Nebraska
I always feel that a bit of distance and then a rewrite is like having a dialog with the material. Once you have some distance you stop imposing your initial attitudes and it can start telling you what it wants to become. I think it's super important to be open to letting it tell you what it wants to be. That's pretty airy fairy but ...

Totally agree with you. It's integral to get some distance from it. Heck, even a good night's sleep will do the trick sometimes (as it did this time). I went to bed last night thinking of all the loose ends I needed to tie up. Hoping I got them all. It's now in my agent's hands. :)
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
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31,533
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
Starting an essay on Matt Cvetic, the author of "I Was A Communist For The FBI," one of the most most prominent and most dubious popular-culture figures to come out of the postwar Red Scare era. Even J. Edgar Hoover thought he was a schmuck, which makes the piece reasonably easy to write. I must, however, restrain my natural sarcasm, it's supposed to be at least semi-scholarly.
 

AmateisGal

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,069
Location
Nebraska
Starting an essay on Matt Cvetic, the author of "I Was A Communist For The FBI," one of the most most prominent and most dubious popular-culture figures to come out of the postwar Red Scare era. Even J. Edgar Hoover thought he was a schmuck, which makes the piece reasonably easy to write. I must, however, restrain my natural sarcasm, it's supposed to be at least semi-scholarly.

This sounds really intriguing, Lizzie. Is this for print or web or...?
 
Messages
16,060
Location
New York City
Starting an essay on Matt Cvetic, the author of "I Was A Communist For The FBI," one of the most most prominent and most dubious popular-culture figures to come out of the postwar Red Scare era. Even J. Edgar Hoover thought he was a schmuck, which makes the piece reasonably easy to write. I must, however, restrain my natural sarcasm, it's supposed to be at least semi-scholarly.

Lizzie, are you writing this for a news publication, academic journal or some other entity - as your comment about having to "restrain my natural sarcasm," implies someone commissioned it? Of course, if you would rather not say, please ignore - I was just curious as to the type of organization that requested it.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
31,533
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
It's for an upcoming CD collection of the "I Was a Communist For The FBI" radio series, which indirectly led to Cvetic's downfall. He went on a lecture tour to promote the show, and his speeches got more and more exaggerated and outrageous to the point where he basically destroyed what remained of his credibility.
 
Messages
16,060
Location
New York City
^ Interesting. I'm sure your piece will be outstanding - from your narration of the truck video, to your appearance on "History's Detectives," your work is always thoughtful, detailed and professional. As are your incredible posts here.
 

AmateisGal

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,069
Location
Nebraska
^ Interesting. I'm sure your piece will be outstanding - from your narration of the truck video, to your appearance on "History's Detectives," your work is always thoughtful, detailed and professional. As are your incredible posts here.

I keep telling Lizzie she needs to write a book. :D
 

AmateisGal

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,069
Location
Nebraska
Well, the finished novel is safely with my agent - now it's time for me to get back to the other novel I was working on before the revision process hit. I'm excited about this one, too, and hope to get some work done on it over the Thanksgiving break since I'm staying put.
 

2jakes

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,680
Location
Alamo Heights ☀️ Texas
It's for an upcoming CD collection of the "I Was a Communist For The FBI" radio series, which indirectly led to Cvetic's downfall. He went on a lecture tour to promote the show, and his speeches got more and more exaggerated and outrageous to the point where he basically destroyed what remained of his credibility.

Remembering I LED THREE LIVES: The True Story of Herbert A. Philbrick's ...
& McCarthy red scare paranoia that was sweeping the country back then .
 
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LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
31,533
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
Philbrick was Cvetic's arch-rival on the professional witness/Rotary Club Lecture Circuit in the early fifties, and he had the advantage of not being a violent, paranoid alcoholic. Cvetic hated his guts and the feeling was mutual.
 

2jakes

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,680
Location
Alamo Heights ☀️ Texas
Starting an essay on Matt Cvetic, the author of "I Was A Communist For The FBI,”..... I must, however, restrain my natural sarcasm, it's supposed to be at least semi-scholarly.

If you must.

But for my money, the “natural sarcasm” put forth in this forum by you,
has made me an avid follower. :rolleyes:...

Nevertheless...always Looking forward ...
be it semi or 100 % octane !
 
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Harp

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,508
Location
Chicago, IL US
I'm 25,000 words into a murder mystery set in Hawai'i. After 30 years of visiting the place (I married a local girl) I'm not as nervous about taking on the topic as I thought I'd be. ....

The word on Kaneohe Beach (Vietnam era) was that wahinies did not travel well and I knew that I would leave the Islands, many regrets.:(
Good luck with your novel.
 

MikeKardec

One Too Many
Messages
1,148
Location
Los Angeles
I believe I have broken through to a structure that allows me to say what I need to say and to be a nice companion piece to the intro to Volume One. Finally! As is typical, it's not too different than what I started with. There often seems to be a period of meandering that I have to do as I go from a good concept in theory to a concept I can actually execute. When writing fiction or drama I sometimes feel that with each project I have to teach myself to write all over again ... I've just gotten really fast at doing so.
 

AmateisGal

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,069
Location
Nebraska
I believe I have broken through to a structure that allows me to say what I need to say and to be a nice companion piece to the intro to Volume One. Finally! As is typical, it's not too different than what I started with. There often seems to be a period of meandering that I have to do as I go from a good concept in theory to a concept I can actually execute. When writing fiction or drama I sometimes feel that with each project I have to teach myself to write all over again ... I've just gotten really fast at doing so.

Oh, how I can relate. Each novel and each article I write always has a different process. There are some novels where the plot is pretty darn clear and what I want to say is pretty clear, as well. Others are not, and I agonize over the different parts of plot and character for months on end. In short: I don't have any type of "system" or "method" for how I write my novels. Some people plot the entire thing out every time, some people write a synopsis every time, some just start typing and see where the story takes them. I've done all of them. There is definitely NOT an easy answer to, "How do you write your novels?" It's better to ask, "How did you write THIS novel?"
 

MikeKardec

One Too Many
Messages
1,148
Location
Los Angeles
There's always a period of noodling with it after the major rewrites ... I don't seem to be doing much but it seems to be getting much better. I've never figured out if my little changes are really improving things that much or if I'm just getting used to it. I worry that my judgement of the process is not reliable and it's either my ego telling me it's better or maybe I'm just getting the form so set in my head that I start seeing it as "the way it's supposed to be." I can still be critical at that point but I never like to think I'm fooling myself. Of course sometimes little changes matter a lot.

Many writers I know have a person they trust to read it and to bounce stuff off of. I used to have someone like that but don't any longer. I have to say ... it can be VERY helpful!
 
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