The Terry Pratchett Prize, Round Two...

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Re: The Terry Pratchett Prize, Round Two...

Postby Quatermass » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:25 am

So far, not so bad. I've done about 10K words. Whether I can make it to 80K, I have no idea.
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Re: The Terry Pratchett Prize, Round Two...

Postby Quatermass » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:49 pm

Welp, any such optimism in writing for the TP Prize has drained away again. :cry: My book is probably not going to stretch to 80K words any time soon, no matter what I do, so I'm going to take a break from writing for the TP Prize, if not from my writing for the book itself. I was doing fine with it before the latest TP Prize was announced, as I had set it (mostly) on the Moon, something I can't do for the TP Prize (which explicitly requires it to be on Earth), and I was developing a story that I was beginning to become satisfied with. So, if I really want to bring something out for the TP Prize, I'll have to think of something else. :think: Plus, I have an interview in the new year I have to prepare for.

I have a whole year to come up with something for the TP Prize anyway. And if I am lucky, in the meantime, I might get published. I have two avenues in that regard. I have a book that, a revision aside, I am almost completely satisfied with.

I need a creativity enema, to flush out the writer's block I have. :o
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Re: The Terry Pratchett Prize, Round Two...

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:36 pm

Try breaking it into little bits?

Writing 500-1000 words per day is not a very tall order really and the math is even simpler - you'd be finished in 160 days tops, so you could even do 500-1000 words every other day and still be finished inside a year... ;)
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Re: The Terry Pratchett Prize, Round Two...

Postby PyscoFalcon » Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:29 pm

I'd love to have a go at this and all ready have an idea but....

... I got an E in English and really struggle with it especially spelling. Also been trying to write a fantasy novel for last 7 years but only got a few pages down. Oh I can recite it in my head and dream it VERY easy, but when it comes to putting it to paper everything goes to mush :(


So go for it Q :D
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Re: The Terry Pratchett Prize, Round Two...

Postby raisindot » Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:21 pm

Quatermass wrote:Well, I've assessed the situation with the book that I was going to submit to the TP Prize, and I don't think I can use it. Don't get me wrong, it's a good story, but I don't think I'll be able to stretch it beyond 60,000 words at most, especially when I change the time from the future to the alternative present. I'm considering revisiting an earlier idea I had for the contest, though whether I can make that last up to 80,000 words, I have no idea.


The worst thing that a struggling fiction writer can do is to try to write an extensive work for a contest. It places undue pressure on you, makes you change your vision to accommodate contest rules, and creates unrealistic expectations. If you don't think you can beat your story into shape, then think where this puts you in relation to the thousands of other writers you're competing with who have beat their story into shape because it's been one sitting around on their hard disk that got rejected by all mainstream publishers but just might be good enough for contest consideration or--shudder-anthologies (Dangerous Visions, anyone?).

And even if you do get it done, are you ready for the huge letdown you'll inevitable have when you don't win. You think of all the time you wasted trying to write to a contest when you could have spending that time creating your own singular vision. (Not saying this will happen to you, Q; just saying that this what happens to everyone else who submits a story that doesn't win.

Write you want to write first. If it doesn't match the Pratchett contest guidelines, big deal. There are hundreds of other contests out there that you could submit it to.
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Re: The Terry Pratchett Prize, Round Two...

Postby stripy_tie » Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:21 pm

raisindot wrote:
Quatermass wrote:Well, I've assessed the situation with the book that I was going to submit to the TP Prize, and I don't think I can use it. Don't get me wrong, it's a good story, but I don't think I'll be able to stretch it beyond 60,000 words at most, especially when I change the time from the future to the alternative present. I'm considering revisiting an earlier idea I had for the contest, though whether I can make that last up to 80,000 words, I have no idea.


The worst thing that a struggling fiction writer can do is to try to write an extensive work for a contest. It places undue pressure on you, makes you change your vision to accommodate contest rules, and creates unrealistic expectations. If you don't think you can beat your story into shape, then think where this puts you in relation to the thousands of other writers you're competing with who have beat their story into shape because it's been one sitting around on their hard disk that got rejected by all mainstream publishers but just might be good enough for contest consideration or--shudder-anthologies (Dangerous Visions, anyone?).

And even if you do get it done, are you ready for the huge letdown you'll inevitable have when you don't win. You think of all the time you wasted trying to write to a contest when you could have spending that time creating your own singular vision. (Not saying this will happen to you, Q; just saying that this what happens to everyone else who submits a story that doesn't win.

Write you want to write first. If it doesn't match the Pratchett contest guidelines, big deal. There are hundreds of other contests out there that you could submit it to.


THIS.
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Re: The Terry Pratchett Prize, Round Two...

Postby Quatermass » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:42 pm

εὕρηκα!!!

Objective achieved!!!

Loyhargil!!!
:o :D

...Oops. Sorry, I suddenly channeled the Rani's Big Brain from Doctor Who: Time and the Rani (which, by the way, I only recommend watching if you go in with a mindset suited to watching Mystery Science Theatre 3000 :shifty: ).

Okay, I'll calm down, and then tell y'all why I am so excited. :)

I've found an alternative story to the one I was writing. Instead of taking my cue from the Quatermass serials of the 1950s and the Andromeda serials of the 1960s, I'm taking my cue from Bioshock, as well as other biopunk sources, not to mention (to a small degree) the Girl Genius comic series. The main theme will be on the ethics of human medical and genetic experimentation. Beyond that, I cannot say, though it will be a distinct work (with very different characters from my previous attempt for the TP Prize), I have the divergence point already thought out, and I hope that it will be a thought-provoking (as well as entertaining) read.

What's more, I could probably make it last to 80,000 words.

BTW, JVQ, I try to do more than 500-1000 words per day. I try to write 2500 words (my equivalent of a chapter) a day. Whether I succeed or not is another matter entirely.

And thanks for the vindication, raisindot. :) But even if I don't win, the rules state that I may still get considered for publication for other works. And even then, I have two avenues for publishing that I am yet to try with my first completed novel (though I actually want to revise part of it. Not a big bit, just a plot detail that will bring it into better focus and make better sense of the main character's backstory).

Anyway, off to watch The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn this afternoon. :D Thanks for the encouragement anyway. The idea for the new TP Prize novel came to me just before I went to bed last night.
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Re: The Terry Pratchett Prize, Round Two...

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:07 pm

I knew you could do 500 words per day easy - you must write around that just on here! ;)

And yeah - the thing with this competition is that it's a book deal for a prize, so having more than one idea's a good thing as well :lol:
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Re: The Terry Pratchett Prize, Round Two...

Postby Quatermass » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:11 am

Jan Van Quirm wrote:I knew you could do 500 words per day easy - you must write around that just on here! ;)


Ah, but writing 500 words of bullsh** is easy. It's writing 500 words of solid gold sh** that's the hard part. ;)

Especially if it has to have a plot to it, which my gibberings here don't. :lol:
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Re: The Terry Pratchett Prize, Round Two...

Postby ShadowNinjaCat » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:44 am

Good luck,Q. :)
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Re: The Terry Pratchett Prize, Round Two...

Postby Quatermass » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:46 am

ShadowNinjaCat wrote:Good luck,Q. :)


I'll need it. ;) I only just thought of the main character's name earlier today.
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Re: The Terry Pratchett Prize, Round Two...

Postby stripy_tie » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:18 pm

Quatermass wrote:
Jan Van Quirm wrote:I knew you could do 500 words per day easy - you must write around that just on here! ;)


Ah, but writing 500 words of bullsh** is easy. It's writing 500 words of solid gold sh** that's the hard part. ;)

Especially if it has to have a plot to it, which my gibberings here don't. :lol:


First drafts aren't meant to be good, it's the editing and re-writing that makes them good. The important bit is just getting the words down on paper and then doing unspeakable things to them in the editing process.
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Re: The Terry Pratchett Prize, Round Two...

Postby Quatermass » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:07 am

Well, the story has a title. I've named the two main protagonists and the two main antagonists (although given the complex morality of this tale, it's not as simple as those designations), and I have started work on the first proper chapter. :D

I've also obtained some reading material that will be research material for the book, in terms of style. What is it? It's a secret. :naughty: :shhh: Let's just say that I am taking a very cliched story trope and injecting new life into it. :D
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Re: The Terry Pratchett Prize, Round Two...

Postby Quatermass » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:30 am

Welp, my optimism has floundered. Part of the reason why is that I haven't made it clearly a parallel Earth. It should be something with wide-reaching changes to the world, but as it was, it wasn't much. I've considered ways to turn the story into a far-reaching ones, but the problem is, this is meant to be relatively hard science fiction, and I can't do it without it seeming implausible.

Back to the f***ing drawing board. Or else, f*** the TP Prize. :cry:

And BTW, how come I can't find any synopses of the winners of last years competition on Amazon or the publisher's websites? I can't find anything to do with Apocalypse Cow or Half Sick of Shadows. They may be advertised as coming out later, but if it's on Amazon already, I expect to see a blurb!
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Re: The Terry Pratchett Prize, Round Two...

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:08 pm

Q - you're over-thinking this (hard for you to avoid this I know ;) ).

Look at the rules again and interpret them to suit your scenario. There's a lot of leeway built into it if you don't let the criteria get to you. The difference can be something very slight

as in
'in a world where 2000 years ago the crowd shouted for Jesus Christ to be spared, or where in 1962, John F Kennedy’s game of chicken with the Russians went horribly wrong...'

Taking JFK as your model instead of the Bay of Pigs incident you could change what happened in Berlin where he doesn't say he's a doughnut or what would have happened if he survived the assassination attempt in Dallas (very good Red Dwarf episode dealing with that particular one heavily utilising the grassy knoll conspiracy theory).

Having decided what your twist is for the alternate Earth the actual event/evolution of that version needn't be too major.

I'll give you another example in a book I read written in the '60s that was an historical romance not even fantasy and used a viewpoint character to tell the story of the Norman Conquest (it was called Guildenford and the main thrust centred on the murder of Edward the Confessor's brother Alfred at Guildford by the hands of Harold Godwinson's family). The minor character had his fortune told - that one day he would change the course of history. He was a merchant and he set about making all kinds of canny deals that took him to Dover Castle. The way he changed history was to be the catalyst to starting the riot that took place there in 1051 and led indirectly to the whole scenario where the Godwinsons were sent into exile, thereby laying the grounds for them to scheme to take the throne on Edward's death and for the Normans to invade Britain rather than inheriting it legally (as William the Bastard had a legitimate claim to succeed childless Edward as his mother's great nephew). What was the catalyst? Far from winning fame and fortune the merchant provoked an argument with one of the Normans in Dover and got himself killed, so the actions that led to his death changed history and England was invaded by the most powerful military force in the known world in 1066... :?

So it needn't be a huge thing, just a wrong trouser leg moment rather than some ground-shaking catastrophe - although it can be that as well. It just has to 'start' somewhere... ;)
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