1. paul stewart
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    paul stewart Banned

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    Trying to set the differences.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by paul stewart, Aug 10, 2012.

    Not sure if it's plot related, as my plot is the last 40+ years of the industry I've worked in. Which in itself should make the book interesting. Can't say more here, PM me if you want to know.

    To give you a flavour of what I'm trying to achieve is to set the scene of the world when I was born and a kid. My Mother get an extra egg a week on her ration book, I played in bombed out ruins left over from the Blitz, collected scrap metal from the buildings for pennies, cars TVs, Fridges were luxuries and and we could only watch the BBC until 1955 and it was in black and white.

    Then the industry I was in has changed even more. A lot more.

    So what I'm trying to do is set the scene of those times, in contrast to todays. without getting too boring. :eek:
     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    The last 40 years of an industry is a setting, not a plot. What is the story? What are the conflicts? Who are the characters and why should the reader care?

    There are two things about your opening that jump off the page at me: 1) there is nothing to pull the reader into the story - no hint of why anyone would be interested, not even a hint of what we are going to read about; 2) Addressing comments to the reader, sometimes called "breaking the 4th wall", is generally considered poor writing, because it reminds the reader that (s)he is reading the story rather than being drawn into it. The comment about spell-checker is completely off-putting and adds nothing to the story.

    Setting the scene is generally best accomplished through the telling of the story, not something done separate and apart from it (what you have is the beginning of what is commonly called an "info-dump" - if you do a search on the term, you will see numerous comments on the topic).

    You may want to review the forum rules to understand when and where to post pieces of your writing for critique. You must have been a member for at least two weeks, have made a certain number of posts (I forget the number) and have posted at least two critiques in the Writers Workshop area before you post anything for review. I would also suggest that you review some of the forum topics to get a handle on the kind of advice you can reasonably expect to receive here.

    Good luck.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry, paul, but i have to agree with ed... in toto...

    what you seem to be writing is a memoir... so you need to do the requisite research and study bestselling memoirs, before jumping into trying to write one...
     
  4. paul stewart
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    paul stewart Banned

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    Thanks for the comments. Yes I know my working life is the setting, this was the only place I could find to post the question. The plot is how the industry has changed in 40 years. Conflicts are many, Police, Governments and Prudes. The characters are me and the people I've met along the journey. I see what you're saying here and will develop the characters more.

    1) Don't want to get banned, so let's just leave it at producing the content for Top Shelf Magazines and videos.. That should interest a lot of men, it will be how it's changed, the fun and disasters I've had. Plus some sheer times of boredom.
    2) I was thinking of telling my story, opening up some light on what the guys I worked along side do. The spell checker remark was me trying to inject humour and be honest. I'm not a writer nor good at spelling. There are many humorous events I can relate to the reader from the last 40 odd years.

    Will take a look at where I can post for review. Problem is I can't post much due to the subject. Don't worry nothing to terrible.

    mammamaia yes it's my memoirs.
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    So, I take it you are planning this as a nonfictional account of the industry. Most of my comments were assuming that you were writing fiction, but your writing still needs to be engaging. If you are going with a nonfiction account, given the industry, you may have to be careful of what you write about others. Also, assuming that you are looking to publish this, you may want to send a proposal to nonfiction publishers or agents to see if there would be interest. Before you do that, though, make sure you have a very clear idea of what you want to write, including a concise outline.
     
  6. paul stewart
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    paul stewart Banned

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    Thanks ED I appreciate your input.

    It will be partly fact and partly fiction, I'll embroider some stories. Adding some drama, comedy and erotica. Changing the names of most people, many I don't remember and some we never exchanged names. Especially when in front of the cameras.

    I have the structure of it. I "fell" into the industry in 1966 to 1970, came back to it in 77 due to going close to bankruptcy, worked part time behind the camera until 88 and to 2008 full time. Moved to Czech in 1998 after marrying my third wife, who's younger than my daughter. We had a lot of success here. Loads of good looking women here.

    The characters stringing it all together are the industry and me going from days of movies on film, that were illegal. To today when it's all on a chips and everywhere. From cameras costing $30,000 to cameras on mobile phones. From a pot of gold to not having to pay for it. Also how much fun it was and the treadmill it is today.

    The industry and I are the main characters.

    What I would like to do is write it and have a writer, edit it. Except for the trust part, that would be a good way forward, IMO.
     
  7. EdFromNY
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    Well, then, if it's "partly fact and partly fiction", then it's fiction, and everything I said initially applies. My advice would be to not think of the character as you, but rather a fictional character based on you. Also, keep in mind that just because you had a great time does not necessarily mean that what you write will automatically be a great story for someone else to read. You still have to make it engaging for the reader.

    Having an editor is certainly a way to go, if you can find one who will be interested in working with you on the project. For that to happen, there will have to be something about you and your story (and the potential marketability thereof) that is particularly promising.
     
  8. paul stewart
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    paul stewart Banned

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    Thanks Ed, I appreciate your input. Will send you a PM to give you the outline of what I'm telling. As it's adult I don't want to put it here.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, as ed notes, it would be fiction then, not a memoir...

    if all you need is 'editing' that you can't do well enough yourself, then i agree with ed that hiring an editor may do the trick... keeping in mind, however, that what you spend [and good editors don't come cheap] will have little to no chance of being recouped...

    and if you can't write it well enough on your own, then you may need to work with someone who does rewrites, and not just an editor... that's even more costly [starting at 5-figures, for a good one] and there is still no guarantee the book will ever sell...

    here i have to disagree [sorry, ed!]... editors and rewrite/ghostwriting service providers are kind of like attorneys... your lawyer doesn't have to like you, or agree with what you've done/want to do, or even be sure they can win, in order to give you the best defense/representation... if they did, they'd never have enough clients to make a living at their profession...

    the same thing is true with those of us who offer writing services... we don't have to like our clients, or their stories, to be able to do a good job for them, writing-wise... of course it does help, if the client and the service provider 'click' on a personal level, to some extent, but it's the writing that matters, in the end...

    and a good, professional service provider doesn't have to like the story/subject/genre to be able to bring it up to marketable quality... nor does s/he have to think it has good marketing potential... some of my clients have come to me with books that i can't see having much, if any chance to be accepted by a paying publisher, but if it's important enough to the writer for me to 'fix it' for him/her, i'll still take on the job, if the client wants to go ahead despite my being 100% honest about its slim-to-none chances... these clients considered the cost to be justified, even if they'll have to self-publish... and they have just as much right to be helped as those do who have material that's commercially viable, imo...

    besides, this business is so unpredictable that just about anything can end up being an exception to the rule... and even poor stories with poor writing get published, so by my improving the writing quality of what i might consider a silly story, the client's chances are at least 50% better than they were before the rewrite...
     
  10. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I try to NEVER argue with mamma!:)
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    and, since we almost always agree on all things writing-wise, you never have to! ;)
     

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