Just thought I'd post this here, for writing and grammar geeks everywhere.
The Elements of Style from Jake Heller on Vimeo.
I've linked to the writing tips articles at the io9.com blog before. (It's science fiction based blog, but the writing tips they provide are fairly universal.)Here's another one I thought was interesting: Seven Types of Short Story Openings, which also includes this note on why first sentences are important in short stories:Sure, the opening sentences are important in novels, too. A strong beginning, in a novel, can help provide momentum that will carry the reader all the way to the last page, sometimes in one sitting. But short stories are different: the first sentence, or the first paragraph, often hangs over the whole rest of the story. Many short stories are really about one idea, or one situation, and that's what the opening sentences establish.Or fail to establish, sometimes.The examples io9 provides are from sci-fi, of course, but we can find examples from within the Housefic_Meta library as well. For instance, for #6 The Quotation, from blackmare's Down To The Water:"You never told me," Wilson says, in that quiet tone that means it'll be no good trying to deflect or outrun him, "what you were doing in the bar that night in the first place."
OK, so Twitter rumors of the Oxford comma's death may be premature but I thought I use it as an excuse to open a discussion on grammar, punctuation and other pedantic issues.(Also to apologize for not having posts here for a bit. I've been having an unpredictable life the last few months.)Obviously a clean story with no typos, grammar mistakes or misplaced punctuation is a wonderful bonus on top of a well written fic. But how important are those issues to you as readers? Do those problems take you out of a story -- bringing your inner copy editor/beta to the surface so you can't escape into it? Are you willing to let it go as long as the story flows?I'll note that I've noticed that a lot of professional fiction will often play fast and loose with the standard rules (with the understanding that these writers must know how to write properly to begin with to know what they can then trim for whatever editorial reasons). "Lord of Misrule," the novel that won the National Book Award for fiction in 2010, uses no quotation marks, for instance.Oh, and for full disclosure -- I come from the Associated Press Stylebook side of comma use, so I don't use the Oxford Comma, but have come to a measure of acceptance for others' preferences.
Happy snowy December to everyone. (Some of you seem to be having it snowier than others.)I wanted to bring back some profiles of writers and their work as a whole, and we've got one here with hannahrorlove. You can find others by clicking on the "author profile" tag. To suggest other writers to interview, please drop me a note in this post. hannahrorlove has been exploring the world of House through fanfic for more than five years now, and has shown an ability not only to explore the characters in canon angles, but also to take them into new realms, such as in her fic Left Of West in which Wilson and House are still remarkably Wilson and House, yet it's Wilson with wings.( Read more...Collapse )
Just a reminder before we get to the actual voting that comments are love, folks, and the comment post on this fic can be found hereVoting will be open for about a week and is open to community members. (It's fairly easy to get a membership, just click on "join" and let me see you're a real person.)
Does "Involuntary Commitment" belong in the Housefic Meta Library?
One more fic in this group of discussions for the Housefic Meta Library. I hope you all are enjoying discovering some new fics or re-reading some favorites as part of this process. If you'd like to make a nomination for future rounds, you can go to this thread and note it there.Title and link: Involuntary CommitmentAuthor Ignaz WisdomSummary: House heads to rehab. Things go pretty much as well as you'd expect.Nominated by: flywoman( Read more...Collapse )
OK, members. Time to vote on Coming To Terms by stenveny. Voting is open to members, and the poll will remain open for a week.Poll is now closed "Coming To Terms" has been voted into the Library.
Does "Coming To Terms" belong in the Housefic Meta Library?
During this current hiatus for the World Series, we've got a couple of fics to consider for the Library, starting with this one.Title and link: Coming To TermsAuthor: stenvenySummary: In the weeks following "Help Me", House, Wilson and Cuddy all have some adjustments to make. (Ten parts, linked from the first part.) Note: This is pre-Season Seven, based on events at the end of Season Six.Nominated by: flywoman( Read more...Collapse )
Sorry this is a bit late. Real life, yada, yada.This week, we're considering In High Seas by nieded. Take the time to read it over, if you haven't yet. Voting will be open for one week, and I'll post another fic for consideration by next Monday. We have two fics in the hopper at this point for upcoming discussions, "Coming to Terms" by stenveny and "Involuntary Commitment" by ignaz.
Does "In High Seas" belong in the Housefic Meta Library?
Here's a fic that was left over from last summer's batch (I only recently heard back from the author, who had switched names). I'll open a voting post in about a week to follow up. And, for the record, "Twenty Years Of Stealing My Food" was nominated into the Library.Title and link: In High Seas This is a sequel to Asphyxiation but only "In High Seas" is being considered.Author: niededNominated by: photoashSummary: Wilson learns his pre-history, gets naked, and jumps off a cliff.( Read more...Collapse )
Hello everyone. Voting is now open on whether Twenty Years Of Stealing My Food should go into the Housefic Meta Library. Voting will remain open for one week. Voting is open only to HM members. You can find a discussion thread on the fic here.I'll be posting another fic for discussion in the next few days.
Does "Twenty Years of Stealing My Food" belong in the Library?
Hello everyone,I know that a lot of folks have been moving their fics from LJ to other sites -- AO3, Dreamwidth, FF.net, etc. Some of you may not be moving your fic completely, but would prefer to send folks to other sites.If you've got a fic in the Library that you would like to have linked to a different location than its current one, please let me know here. If you know of a fic there whose link has expired, also let me know.Another option is to post the fic here on the Housefic_Meta site. We had one author give us permission to archive it here when she was pulling off line, and we can certainly accommodate others.If you'd like to discuss the options out there with other writers, feel free to bring up that discussion here as well.Thanks.
Happy Labor Day to those of you in the U.S., and happy Monday to everyone else. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Monday.)We're going to get some conversations going on a couple of Library nominations that are out there, and I'd like to also mention that if you've got a story you'd like to nominate, there's a thread for it here.Again, as a quick reminder, the Library contains links to stories from multiple 'ships, gen stories, AUs, etc., which are discussed and voted on by the community as a whole. The only rules for nomination are that they be a completed fic and that the author agree to the process. You do not have to be a housefic_meta member to nominate a fic, but must be a member to vote.And now ...Title and link: Twenty Years Of Stealing My Food. (Link goes to the first chapter, with links via LJ or AO3 from there.)Author: hwshipperSummary: The story of House and Wilson, developed over twenty years from their first meeting.( Read more...Collapse )
This was originally posted at my journal, and namasteyoga asked me to post it here:Given the recent upheavals, migrations, etc., I'm planning to update my House rec list over the next few weeks. This will be the last major update, because I'm not really in House fandom anymore. (And now that I've declared this, watch me run back when S7 starts.)Almost all the rec list links direct to LJ pages. If you would prefer me to replace those links with links to Dreamwidth, Archive of Our Own or any other archive or journal site, please let me know ASAP. Or, if you would like your fics removed altogether, also please let me know. If I don't hear back I'll assume the links are fine as they stand.And if you could pass this on to other authors on the list whom you know, I'd greatly appreciate it. :-)
My apologies to all. I've been a bad mod, and been tied up with real-life writing and issues, and haven't been as active here as I'd like.But ... I'd like to get a couple of things relaunched again, namely both discussions for the Library and some author Q&As.There was one holdover fic from the last round of Library discussion, a nomination from sadpie that I'm checking with the author on at this point.I know it's been a while, so let me just note a few bits of info on both topics, then open the floor for nominations on both topics.( Read more...Collapse )
An essay from 1950 by detective novelist Raymond Chandler about writing: The Simple Art of Murder. I particularly like his emphasis on getting the details right, and the long section on Dashiell Hammett, who was a real-life detective before becoming a writer, that looks at how Hammett's writing works.A piece by Laura Miller in Salon: A reader's advice to writers: Beware of Mary Sue. She's referring to mainstream authors, but it's very good advice for anyone who writes fiction of any type.
I've posted a link to i09's writing tips before, and here's another one. (Yes, it's a science fiction oriented blog rather than fanfiction, but the rules are good for everyone.)Charlie Jane Andrews notes Four danger signs to search for before finalizing your writing, which will help you identify unneeded adverbs, passive writing, etc. -- even after you've read, re-read, re-edited and had your work betaed.
Hello everyone,I hope you're having a nice spring -- or fall, if you're in the southern half of the world.I know this article has been making the rounds of a few places, but thought I'd link it here because it's interesting for writers and readers. The Guardian newspaper in the UK contacted a wealth of writers -- and it is indeed a wealth of experience they bring -- about their rules for writing. Some of them were brief, some of them had detailed lists of what to do and what to avoid.Some of them also disagree.For instance.Margaret Atwood:"You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality."Roddy Doyle"Do keep a thesaurus, but in the shed at the back of the garden or behind the fridge, somewhere that demands travel or effort. Chances are the words that come into your head will do fine, eg "horse", "ran", "said"."Interestingly, many of their tips can be encompassed by Neil Gaiman's first two rules:1 Write.2 Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down."Find them all here and feel free to discuss their rules -- what you like, what you don't, or even how writing shouldn't have rules -- here.
Yes, an actual new post. Sorry it's been quiet over here. I've been tied up with some non-fic related things lately, but I wanted to get some conversation going again about fic writing and thought this would be a good time to revisit characterization in fics for the supporting characters. And since there's a brand new taub_fest taking prompts and getting started, I figured what better time to give Taub a little attention.For past character studies, click the "character study" tag above. If there's enough interest, maybe we'll revisit some of those old studies to look at what's changed in the last few years.( Read more...Collapse )
OK, so "House" isn't a sci-fi show -- although a blogger at the science fiction web site io9.com once tried to make that claim. (No, seriously.)Regardless, this post at io9 by Charlie Jane Anders on how to use adverbs in your writing applies to more than science fiction. For example:In many cases, these adverbs don't tell you anything you didn't already know. ("He screamed shrilly" is a prime example. Ditto with "bitterly disappointed.") In other cases, they make things less clear. (I've seen the phrase "smiled thinly" in a number of old science fiction novels before, and I never quite know what it means. Is the man in question smiling while pursing his lips? Is he smiling with his mouth but not his eyes? Is it only a halfway smile? It's not a clear image, at least not to me.)This kind of prose reads as though it was written very quickly, and as though you should read it equally quickly — you're reading for plot and a smattering of ideas, not for characters, themes or finely crafted prose. I don't know about you, but I read different books at different speeds, and there are lots of cues that let me know I should start speed-reading or outright skimming. Adverbs are definitely among those cues.I know I've run across fic that uses so many adverbs to describe the way a character said something that I either a) yell at the author to just use the word "said" or b) hit the back button.Check it out, and see what you think.