G'day from Oz - a little introduction

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Oskari, Aug 2, 2011.

  1.  
    Oskari

    Oskari Registered Lunatic

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    G'day all,

    Nice forum you have here. I trust I'm not breaking any unwritten rules by posting a thread to introduce myself. Many forums have a section for this purpose, but I couldn't find one here. I think it's a nice idea to help break the ice (cliche intended) and it gives me an excuse to make my first post. Of course, moderators/administrators are free to move or delete this.

    Although my main interest is literary fiction, I have a passion for science fiction. The first book I read, which actually got me reading, was Farmer's Riverworld books, especially the first one - To Our Scattered Bodies Go (I'm not 100% sure of the title). From that moment onward I read everything Farmer published.

    Then I progressed to other writers: Asimov, Dick, Herbert. Regarding the latter, I was fortunate enough to meet Frank in 1981. We talked for a few minutes while he signed my copy of Dune and I discovered that one of his great passions was language, especially names and naming. Long to short, he proved to be an intelligent and giving man. RIP.

    I have been writing a science fiction epic for the last 20 years (most of it in my head and on bits of paper), and I only persist because I think the ideas I have developed over that time have real interest. Although I enjoy science, I am not a scientist. My main focus is good storytelling. My main area of expertise/interest is mythology.

    But I'll save that potential discussion for a later time.

    Why am I here?

    I hope to start the writing process very soon and I would like to share my thoughts and ideas with a receptive audience. After 20 years, I think it's time. ;)

    Having studied professional writing and editing, especially fiction (short story and novel), I value the feedback of others. My belief is that even the greatest writer and/or editor needs the assistance of others. I hope to help others, too.

    I'll leave it there.

    Oskari.
  2.  
    slack

    slack within the depths

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    There is a place for introductions, but don't worry, I'm sure a moderator will move this thread there shortly.

    Hopefully you will post a sample of your writing here in the Critiques forum. I look forward to reading it. I also tend to prefer literary fiction, partly because of a slightly obnoxious and elitist belief I have that you are what you eat, or in this case, read. So I'm still reading a bunch of classics, and always searching for great writing, regardless of genre.

    You might consider joining the Challenges around here. They're good fun.
  3.  
    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    Welcome, Oskari!

    A wise prediction. One just has.


    But not, of course, before the 30 post threshold has been reached, as per the Critiques forum rules. Then post away.

    In the meantime, as slack suggests, you might have a go at our monthly 75 Word Writing Challenges. A new challenge has just begun. http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/foru...seventy-five-word-writing-challenge-read.html
  4.  
    Oskari

    Oskari Registered Lunatic

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    Thanks Slack,

    Ooops! I'm glad there is an intro section.

    I'm definitely not an elitist, but I find writing free of genre is, generally, more satisfying. A couple of my modern favourties are JM Coetzee (Disgrace) and Kate Grenville (The Secret River).

    Another way to look at this really effectively is asking yourself how often really good science fiction movies come along (or fantasy or crime or ... ). Yes, there are quite a few good ones out there, but I've lived long enough now to be quite wary and discerning. And when it comes to books, could someone please explain the popularity or credibility of a writer like Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code). Okay, interesting premise, but the actual story and the writing - aarghooschlop!

    I can understand comments like mine making me seem elitist, but, like I said, I've lived through enough trash to learn to be more discriminating. And, of course, having said that, it might also come across as elitist. Oh well, my loss. The worst part of making statements like this, of course, is the pressure it puts on me as a writer!
  5.  
    Oskari

    Oskari Registered Lunatic

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    Thanks Teresa. I'll look into the challenge.

    Why does it say, Posts: 0?

    I suspect it's a minor glitch.

    Did I mention I'm a Grammar Nazi?
  6.  
    slack

    slack within the depths

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    I agree. A lot of the stuff I write nowadays is science-fiction only in a very loose way; I'm hesitant to even put it in that genre. But I've always liked using a fantastic backdrop, speculating not so much on the science or technology, but the effect it has on people. Drugs seem to pop up quite often in my work ... I'm not an addict, I swear.

    I wouldn't worry about it. I think the writers here understand that everyone is trying to improve their craft. I am very opinionated when it comes to writing, or any kind of art that I have pursed, because I care deeply about making it the best it can be.

    In some parts of the forum, such as this, posts do not add to your total count. To prevent spam, I suppose. Hence your count is zero.
  7.  
    Oskari

    Oskari Registered Lunatic

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    Ummm, I posted a 75-word story and later discovered a tiny error, i.e. one missing word, which doesn't affect the word count. Obviously I can't edit it now. You can't imagine how many times I re-read the work, but my editing faculties failed me.

    I trust that small errors like this can be over-looked.
  8.  
    Oskari

    Oskari Registered Lunatic

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    @Slack - it's all about balance, I think. What I've learned is that a writer (artist) needs to be both brazen and humble. This also applies to what we do to our bodies. I'm not a prude and have had both great and terrible experiences with drugs, i.e. magic mushrooms, LSD, cannabis, alcohol and daytime television. It all comes back to balance.
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    Hex

    Hex Mod in tooth and claw Staff Member

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    Hi Oskari,

    Welcome to the chrons and congratulations on your 75-word horror - it was truly horrible (and memorable).

    I read whatever looks interesting, although I've recently been reading a lot of fantasy because there are so many recommendations on here and I'm luxuriating in all the wonderful books I hadn't heard of before.

    But I will confess I'm the kind of person who reads Dan Brown ;) Once I get past the first few pages, I enjoy them. I think it's like watching TV -- bubblegum for the mind. I'd like to believe it doesn't make me a truly awful person (just a little bit bad). I read a lot of trash, though, and Dan Brown isn't the worst thing I've ever read. I read proper books too, honest I do.

    Anyhow, enough confession of my dodgy reading habits, welcome again and I look forward to upsetting your inner nazi with misplaced semi-colons (or commas, more likely, can't have too many commas, I always say).

    Edited to say: don't worry about the mistake in the 75-worder. It happens more often than you'd think, that people post and then discover an error.
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    The Ace

    The Ace Aye fur Alba

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    Hi and welcome aboard. :) You mean, you advocate gas chambers for people who write,'Should of,' for, 'Should have,' and those miscreants who use the wrong,'To,' 'Their,' or,'You're.'

    I think that's a little humane myself.:p
  11.  
    Oskari

    Oskari Registered Lunatic

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    @Hex - I read Dan Brown too. It was a page-turner. Occassionally I eat less than wholesome food, too. Also, the best rule about grammar is simplicity. If in doubt, leave it out. And, please, don't get me started about comma overuse.

    @The Ace - no, not a Nazi. My father tried to join the Nazi Youth when he was a teenager. Long to short, he isn't a very nice man. From now on I'll drop the Nazi moniker.

    Grammar is a tool to help make writing (and the thoughts behind it) clearer. It should also be invisible, like background music in movies.
  12.  
    Hex

    Hex Mod in tooth and claw Staff Member

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    Comma overuse is an interesting one - am I right in thinking that their use (appropriate use, I mean, not random scatterings) - goes in fashions? I worked with an older professor a few years ago -- he's retired now -- and he put commas *everywhere*.

    Glad to hear you've read Dan Brown too - and I agree the writing took some effort to ignore.
  13.  
    HareBrain

    HareBrain Lagomorphing Staff Member

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    Gosh, I think mine was "See Spot Run" or something. I am in awe.

    Welcome Oskari. Look forward to hearing more about your 20-year sci-fi/mythology thing in due course -- sounds interesting, and good to hear you've stuck with it.
  14.  
    Oskari

    Oskari Registered Lunatic

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    @Hex - yes, language and how we use it changes. There are many examples of this, but for me one of the most obvious is sentence structure. One comparison is the steady shift from long sentences to shorter ones. This shift is actively encouraged not only by lecturers and mentors but also demanded by a modern readership. It makes sense to me, but then I've never been overly fond of 19th century sentences that run-on for 20, 30 or more words. They had there time and it served its readership and, perhaps, the way writers (and artists) approached their work.

    The key, as always, is to understand the rule of something and then, with this knowledge, decide whether it serves your purpose. The worst thing you could do is stick with something just because you can. The duty of any artist is not to dwell too long in a comfortable, familiar place. An artist must take risks.

    Anyway, I believe in change. Call it evolution. Call it whatever you want, as long as you are being honest about who you are as a writer (or artist). Gee, thinking while I type, I realise the immensity of this topic of change and, in particular, our responsibility to enact change and/or revolution.

    @HareBrain - the sad fact of my upbringing meant that I wsn't introduced to books (fiction) until I hit puberty. Strangely, I have always written more than I have ever read. And, of course, you guys will be the first to be introduced to my SF epic.
  15.  
    The Judge

    The Judge Truth. Order. Moderation. Staff Member

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    Hello and Welcome to the Chronicles!

    Oooh, another nit-picking grammarian. Critiques will tremble before our assembled might!

    However, I'm afraid we may well come to quills at dawn if you believe 20 words constitute a long sentence: I'm only just getting into my stride at that point. (Two successive paragraphs on page 2 of WIP3 contain, inter alia, sentences of 43, 33 and 36 words, and two paragraphs on, I have sentences of 39 and 55...)
  16.  
    Oskari

    Oskari Registered Lunatic

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    @The Judge - did I not mention that the best rule of thumb is variation. Just as it would annoy me to read pages of short sentences, it annoys me to read one long sentence after another. Trust me, I'm a rule breaker in so far as it might serve my prupose, which is, as always, to try and use language to express my thoughts clearly. It must serve the writing, the story. I think no one would deny that their aims are the same.

    Regarding nit-picking, that's quite a subjective notion, I suppose. If I worked with an editor who I felt was nit-picking, I'd move to another tree.
  17.  
    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate I lie. A lot. Honest!

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    Hi, Oskari, and welcome to the Chrons. I think you will find that you are not, by any means, the only grammar-obsessed nit-picker here.

    And with that in mind, I can't help but point out that you said:
    when you surely must have meant "their". I'm not much of a Grammar Taleban myself (since Nazi seems to bring back bad memories for you...) but I do enjoy needling people. I can imagine you tearing up and losing hours of sleep over this grievous error for days. :p

    I know - I'm an awful person. :D



    P.S. Perhaps, I 'should of' written, a, better, welcome, message...
  18.  
    TheEndIsNigh

    TheEndIsNigh ...Prepare Thyself

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    We have a whole forest in here :)

    You seem to have bypassed the normal banter that normally greets new members. Fear not, I have spotted your post. It must therefore fall to me to redress the sad lack of warmth in the welcomes so far.

    Begone from this place, before your are sucked into the terrible depths amongst the slurping, soul eating web crawlers in the pits of misery deep within the heart of this place. So many souls crying in torment, forced daily (if not all day) to visit this mind sucking, arse end of the websphere.

    Don't fall victim, think of your loved ones, stop now before it's too late.

    Happily, I fear you are already hooked. We have you know. Your essence is ours: and a writer too, they're the tastiest morsels. Ripe for a little critiquing and easily challenged by competitions; tempted by a few words of praise and the glory of winning the ultimate prize. The three month, front of web, 300 word story publication.

    Har ha ha harr ha ahrrrr.

    Seriously though. Welcome.

    Soon you will be sent the Chrons Catalogue. You may select your preferred chair of comfort. You relations will be pleased to know that they all come pre-fitted with intravenous drip stands, a waste disposal system, and many added features that will enable the easy management of your care, as you sit glued to the screen, the Chrons Logo seared into your eyes from staring at the site, as you post and re-post in the short time we all have left.
  19.  
    Oskari

    Oskari Registered Lunatic

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    @ devil's advocate - well spotted. Just proves that even an individual that graduated with the highest score in editing and grammar needs help. This, of course, is what I have always believed, i.e. only a fool does his/her own editing and then hits the print button (or submit button).

    @ TheEndISNigh - I concur, but I am fully (?) aware of the pitfalls of wasting precious time on the Internet or watching TV or reading or walking in the forest. The point I think you're making is 'don't be too distracted from your real work'. I do have a place in my heart for a little moderation!
  20.  
    TheEndIsNigh

    TheEndIsNigh ...Prepare Thyself

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    NO! I think you completely missed the point.

    We want you here 366/24/7.

    Well, for as long as we've got left anyway. :)

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