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In defense of: Phonetic Accents

So, there's an instance that's been making the rounds of rant communities and wank collections where a fanfic author used a badly written and racist accent for a character, and got her ass handed to her for it. I'm not talking about that.

In a lot of the places where people have been discussing this, a large number of voices start complaining about phonetic accents in general. That makes me kind of nervous because I have a character with a phonetic accent.

I seriously considered, when I started writing this character, whether she should have an accent or not. There are some phonetic accents that I find pretty unreadable. In the end, I went for it because I wanted to record exactly how I hear her in my head, but I came up with a set of rules for myself to keep it from being over the top. 

Here are the rules, in case you're interested.Collapse )

So what do you think about phonetic accents, in general? Non-racist ones, I mean. Do you have an accent that you hate seeing written out? Do you ever write characters with accents? Are there accents that you should never try to write out? 

Nano-ing April, and writer toys.

So, while I fix up the last of the things in my novel, and wait for some more beta readers to get back to me, I've decided to take April and try to nano the sequel's rough draft out. 

As part of that, let me give a plug to my two favorite writer toys, which are free.

750 Words is a website that challenges you to write 750 words per day. So they did a good job with the name. They send you an email every day to remind you to do your writing, which helps me. They also give you cute little badges for finishing different numbers of days in a row, and they have a NaNo badge for any month where you write 50,000 words.

yWriter is an awesome program that does everything but your taxes. It bills its self as a word processor, but I prefer openoffice for that. But what it DOES do is let you organize your book by chapters, complete with chapter word count right next to the list, and break each chapter down into scenes, which you can then drag and drop to move them around. Other cool things (that I don't usually use) are the ability to chart what characters, objects and locations are in what scenes, where scenes go on a time line, emotional content of the scene, AND you can add side notes and descriptions to remind yourself what the hell you were thinking when you planned this scene. 

Neither of these places pay me, but yWriter totally should because I tell EVERYONE about it.

Anyone else have any cool writer things they use?


Meme time!

Borrowed from falcons_honour, who used paragraphs instead of lines, so I'm continuing the tradition. Also, I still get to use my novel as a WIP because I'm still waiting to hear from beta readers. Nobody call the meme police on me.:

1. Go to page 7 (or 77) of your current WIP.
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written
* * *    

Ezzy had more patients throughout the morning and early afternoon, before they trailed off again. She took advantage of the lull to leave a note on the door saying she was running to the market, and would be back soon. The Order didn't like that, but chances were that no one would complain. She had an excellent reputation as a clinic worker, even if people though she was strange.

She didn't need to run to the market. Maddy would probably bring something home for dinner. But she knew that the market was likely to be the most populated place in the area, and that gave her the best chance for him to notice.

She bought some chicken and vegetables, and hurried back to the clinic. No one was waiting for her, so she took the food to the kitchen and started dinner.

It wasn't long before she heard the front door open. She listened, but didn't hear Maddy's voice or the clomping of her boots. There was a large knife she'd been using to cut the chicken, and she picked it up and turned around to watch the doorways. The kitchen had doors from both the clinic room and the living room, so he was bound to find his way back here.

The door from the clinic room opened slowly, and she saw a man with greasy black hair peak in. He saw her, and opened the door fully. She could see he was wearing a ratty gray coat and he held a gun casually at his side.

“I know what you are,” He said darkly.

Ezzy looked at him curiously, “Are you sure about that? You tried to read my mind at the market, but you couldn't. It would certainly be strange for a clinic worker to have a pendant, but then it would be just as strange for a clinic worker to be an Elevatus.”


I'm not going into specific political philosophies here. Just getting that out of the way.

LJ Cut for the meat of the postCollapse )

Overthinking It is meta-love.

For everyone who wanted a hilarious Hunger Games parody fic about the logistical problems of Panem. 

. . . and really, who didn't want one?

Overthinking It has given us Dockingjay

Some Things for New People

Hi! Welcome to my journal!

Some stuff about me:
Who I am.Collapse )

What I wrote.Collapse )


The Scars You Live With

Title:  The Scars You Live With
Prompt:  002 - the_empty_pale
Rating:  T for nudity, and a character being triggered
Word Count: 1300
Notes: My original fic world again, this one is about 4 years after the last one I posted. Maddy is in it, but it's not her POV. Also, slightly femmeslash-y.

The Scars You Live WithCollapse )


Between Books and Film

When you're writing a book, you can learn a lot from the way film directors work. 

It was my mother who first pointed this out to me. She was telling me about an amazing opening to a book she once read (I believe it was a George Elliot book, but it might have been Thomas Hardy) and how the description started out being of the town in general, and moved into specifics about the house, then the porch, and finally the character sitting there. It was, essentially, a pan shot, bringing the reader into the setting then setting up the main character. 

This is an awesome idea to keep in mind. Not just that specific one (which is one I don't think I could pull off, I use description with a light hand,) but other ways that movies are put together. For example:

I love Terry Pratchett, and I've probably read more words written by him then by any other author. Over time, I've noticed a little trick he uses. In most books he uses an omniscient POV, and switches between characters to tease at the things going on that our heroes don't know about, or keep track of what several protagonists at once are doing. What I figured out is that in the beginning of the book, scenes are longer, sometimes chapter length (even though he doesn't use chapters.) Towards the end of the book, scenes get shorter and shorter, leaving you hanging about what's happening to one character so that you can check in with another. It's amazing how it builds suspense, and it's the same thing as quick cuts between characters in a movie. 

So now I'm keeping my eye out for other tricks I can use. If you notice any, comment below!


Pierside is finished.

Pierside, the first novel set in my world, is now finished. It's going through beta readers right now.

While I'm waiting to get it back, I thought I'd share an interesting link that's been useful in some of the Tan prequel stories, as well as research for the second book which will be set in Tan.

Appalachian History is full of facinating stories about people living in the mountians. Some of them are funny, or sweet, or bizzare, but they're all very interesting, and the blog is worth a look.

No Lookin' Back

Title:  No Lookin' Back
Prompt:  001 - the_empty_pale
Rating:  T for language
Word Count: 772
Warnings:  A twelve year old dealing with the death of her parents.
Notes: This takes place in my original fiction world. You can find stories about Maddy and other characters in the same setting here.

No Lookin' BackCollapse )