Archive through May 30, 2006

Janny Wurts Chat Area: Arc 3: Alliance of Light: Stormed Fortress: Status: Archive through May 30, 2006
   By Janny Wurts on Friday, May 19, 2006 - 02:11 pm: Edit Post

Status, Stormed Fortress - manuscript page count 802, with chapter 12's main sequence into full draft.

Har, how's that to kick off your weekend!

   By Theresa on Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 12:30 am: Edit Post

Janny - I think that's a quite fine start to the weekend. :-)

Now I shall go crawl back under my rock....

   By Trys on Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 06:37 am: Edit Post

Teresa, I see I need to find a way to get of that rock so that you can contribute here more. :-)

   By Fanatic on Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 12:22 pm: Edit Post

Go on Munster, my weekends getting better and better

   By Maddie on Sunday, May 21, 2006 - 12:49 pm: Edit Post


Any chance of a sneak peak please, Fionn and Dakar would be great or anything you wish. Can't wait for sf.

Also a question that really bugs me, why is it that authors start sentences with and or use commas before and? As I understood it and was more like a pause so never needed a comma and defintely never to use it to start a sentence. It is the same with but. I had been taught this is really bad English. This is directed to all authors just wondered if you could help. I never studied the English Language at a higher level except from G.C.S.E's at school.

   By Janny Wurts on Sunday, May 21, 2006 - 01:56 pm: Edit Post

Maddie -

Over the course of years, "rules" of grammar change - what was considered good style years ago is considered bad style now...some "hard fast rules" like no comma after the last of a list, with 'and' seem to change arbitrarily according to copyeditors doings....or younger set editors, or something.

Also, "writer's workshopitis" who take sweeping statements meant as guidelines for "beginner writers" to keep them on track until they understand their craft get coopted and turned into "rules" of "bad/good writing" from whence the original intent got trashed or forgotten.

Commas right now are "out of fashion" and to my mind, sometimes, this is to the detriment of the readability of a complex sentence. As I have a somewhat complex style, keeping the ideas segmented for readability is paramount. But "simple" is "in" and too often, commas that are out of fashion for "simple third grade level reading style" (of our national magazines standard) - where in a simple style, too many commas would be cumbersome - the same "fashion" gets applied to more complex work, to the detriment of understandability.

I do hate guidelines that make sense being turned into "RULES" or LAWS that do harm to us - actually hamper what is the right thing to do....both in governments and in grammar, this is one peeve of mine.

I think that's the point I tried to make in a recent novel - that doing "rules" without thinking is basically suicidal to the survival and wellbeing of the human race as a whole.

I suppose that comma or not should be a thoughtful choice not a hardfast line in the sand. If the comma makes the text work better, go for it, if it segments two concepts that need to be discreet - but if it interrupts a contiguous concept, junk it.

Wurts' rule of thumb, for what it's worth....

   By Myranda Rose on Sunday, May 21, 2006 - 03:16 pm: Edit Post

I'm with Janny on this one... while we're taught the correct rules of the english language at school we're also given a great look into the evolution of the same language by studying shakespear (I'd bet that you all did study shakespear).

Queens English was the best selection from near 500 dialects in England at the time, which is why so many spelling "rules" have "exceptions". It was not meant as a set of laws that anyone disobeying them would be hung, drawn and quartered, but to help us understand each other.

If an author wants to use long sentances that are "too long" for good english and then make it flow and read better with a comma or two then good for them. The next Author will will probably do something else thats not within the "rules" When I was younger than I am now I read a book by Ian Watson, read brilliantly and generated brilliant mental images - but I had to stop every 5 minutes to look up a work that even after nearly twice as much living in the world I've still never heard or read elsewhere.

There is also the question of what sells... Dan Brown wrote 4 books with incredibly predictable plots, trashy dialect an art history lectures yet he's sold millions and millions of copies - I have 3 of his books and couldn't put them down, no matter how trashy they are. Lord of the Rings is another... one book so big that it had to be split into three volumes - more of that book is long winded padding than there is story long sentances that are grammatically perfect but hard to read. (Also he got a spelling wrong, plural of Dwarf is Dwarfs, but he used Dwarves - many litterary mistakes have become the standard spelling now).

I think if anyone is looking at a book and saying "that's spelt wrong" or "that's not grammatically correct" is missing the point - or the story doesn't speak to them and they're bored enough to be looking for it.

   By Janny Wurts on Sunday, May 21, 2006 - 09:48 pm: Edit Post

Ok - I caved to the begging. You have that preview posted....enjoy!!

   By Geoffrey Andrew Elliott on Monday, May 22, 2006 - 08:48 pm: Edit Post

Hi All,
I'm feeling like a bit of a dill, but, er, where is it posted?

   By Geoffrey Andrew Elliott on Monday, May 22, 2006 - 09:03 pm: Edit Post

Now I'm really feeling like a dill! Don't worry I found it. : )

   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 09:30 am: Edit Post

Another subchapter in draft...and on we go, into the wrapup of 12 set....another bit closer.

   By Myranda Rose on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 02:01 pm: Edit Post

How many chapters are you planning? I've just realised that I keep on looking out for page and chapter counts, but have no idea how many more are expected... I feel like my blonde is coming back - I'll dye it, I'm sure thats what makes me smarter

   By Auna on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 02:02 pm: Edit Post

Actually, I was just wondering that myself after seeing chapter 12.

   By HJ on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 04:50 pm: Edit Post

JANNNYYYYYYYY!!!!!! I haven't been here for ages and it's late and I SO WANT TO READ YOUR TEASER but I don't know where it is.

You are a cruel and mean and hard person to us pooor readers. Pout, sulk, winge.

;) I WILL find it tomorrow when I've got time.

PS Currently teaching 10-year-olds. I'm with you Miranda Rose and you Janny. Rules are fine, but we're constantly breaking them. I keep telling the kids to be creative and use their imaginations. Bend/break the rules and see what happens!

That's not just literacy, that's life!!

   By Janny Wurts on Thursday, May 25, 2006 - 08:55 am: Edit Post

I am hoping to wrap this volume in 14 chapter sets. It's getting close!

HJ - it's one of the threads in this topic. Look toward the bottom of the list.

In my opinion, it's the adults who ALSO need to be reminded to get creative and use their often they forget to use the resource.

   By motley on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 06:25 am: Edit Post

they compiled the first English dictionary back in 1600's or so to 'stop the rot of English'.

400 years later... people are still going on about how English is 'degrading'...

And then, there are more 2nd language speakers of English, than their are 1st language speakers, a significant portion of which, don't come from England. So who 'owns' English?

+ wot I find fscnatng - new txt spk. wh wrds r wrttn lk ths.

   By Jo on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 02:18 pm: Edit Post

I have to say I consider myself still young approaching 30 and I cannot text to save my life. I'm very bad at it. I know where Maddie is coming from though. I never took Egnlish any further than my school exams and I never realised there were fashions etc. I just thought there were rules of writing. I think it was drilled in to me all through school and in GB they are still going on about not using "proper punctuation"
With reference to Shakespear shocking as it is we never studied it at school. Well at least I have been educated you're never too old to learn!

   By Janny Wurts on Saturday, May 27, 2006 - 09:04 am: Edit Post

An evolution of language note:

Were you aware that the origin of the term

bitter end

is nautical???

It referred to the "end" of the anchor's cable, when there was no more to attach to the "bitt" (what amounts to a big, square post, usually in pairs, mounted into the foredeck, for snubbing the anchor....when you got to the "bitter end" there was no more cable to pay out.

Interesting. Another winning bit of trivia nobody ELSE might bother with, but authors dig into everything.

Harland's book is just a godsend. (Seamanship in the Age of Sail) But - and I mean but NOTHING beats it for accuracy and depth of detail.

And no, probably in this scene, I won't be using that - not necessary to the action, here. But how fun to learn something surprising. It's just put that musing grin on for the past 24 (yeah, like being two, she amuses both easy and hard....grin)

   By Janny Wurts on Saturday, May 27, 2006 - 09:07 am: Edit Post

Oh yeah, and the ominous ring to that term probably originated from the fact that, the worse the weather, (or conversely, the deeper the water) the MORE CABLE you needed to have out to keep your ship from dragging anchor....bitter end indeed...

   By Derek Coventry on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 06:59 am: Edit Post

Texting is easy if you use predictive text and avoid all the gimmicky abbreviations (like gr8 etc.) and I'm about to get my bus pass! and they stopped teaching English properly in England about the time they dropped the 11 plus. That's what I always told my children's teachers! I like a lively Parent-Teacher discussion. Mind you I've probably forgotten most of my grammar by now.

Love the Trivia Janny, does Harland say anything about weighing anchor?