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| | |-+  Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
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Author Topic: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel  (Read 37069 times)
John H
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« Reply #165 on: July 24, 2009, 02:26:17 AM »


“True, but my point is that the principal payers aren’t commenting. So unless we have some corroboration--”


Is that principal payers or principal players?

I loved the Nike dream sequence thing.
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carwood
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« Reply #166 on: July 24, 2009, 09:32:32 PM »

IB, I posted the link to the yahoo poultry groups on Chapter 1 on your blog.  Hope you get lots of readers!  I also posted the kunstlercast.com link as well.  Might get some of those Fox News listeners that we have to educate! 

I wanted to post here a humorous comment one yahoo poultry group writer sent in:

Eggs come from cartons after all, not from chickens!
Gloves, mask, full body suit, and tongs, let's not forget
the tongs!
When my egg-collecting robot is perfected (around the same time
that sealing wax gets perfected), mankind will be completely
insulated from knowing where it's food comes from. Then we can market
any darn thing as food and someone will eat it!
Oh wait...we do that now....just what part of a chicken IS the nugget?

Wayne Seidl
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carwood
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« Reply #167 on: July 24, 2009, 10:15:54 PM »

I only saw one typo, i.e., where "their" should be you have "there."

"That’s there job"

Can't wait for the next chapters as usual!
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John H
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« Reply #168 on: July 26, 2009, 09:01:38 AM »

What is your imagined final product of your novel, IB?  Do you desire the publication of a hard copy book?  I profess total ignorance of the publishing business.  I imagine this business to be riddled with nepotism, intrigue and other pitfalls.  Since you are a screen writer, is this story cinematic a la Thomas Hardy stories?

It has been a good read so far and I look forward to more chapters.
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Innocent Byproduct
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« Reply #169 on: July 27, 2009, 11:06:32 PM »

Carwood, thanks for the free advertising. Smiley And yes, very humorous! Chicken nuggets indeed! Grin And thanks for the typos catch. Typos almost never get caught by spell chyeck  and only sometimes get picked up by grammar check.


John H, it should be principal players. Grin (More typos!) As for my intent for the novel ....




I think I have just hit the midway mark for completeing this novel novel. I am at Chapter 32 in my laptop at 74,000 words so far. I suspect I will take this baby all the way to a full 150,000 words before I am through, so it's a full bown summer beach book in the making. And even then, I have another story with the same characters planned as a sequel to this one. So the tale has a very broad scope to it.

I would hope to publish it for real as an actual novel -- like ... you know .... at Barnes & Noble and Amazon Grin. Truthfully, I am "just a screenwriter," so always envision each and every one of my latest story ideas in my head as a movie, and as I start to fashion the story's initial framework, I am always working out my initial story outline (usualy just a one-page outline), as a screenplays rather than as a novel. But as I attempted to sketch this story out into an outline last year (in May or June of 2008) as  a screenplay, I realized the intended scope of the story would prove far too large to be encapsulted into just a 2-hour movie. My next attempt was to re-think it as a 12-hour TV mini-series (even though mini-series are super-duper hard to sell), but even THEN it was still just way too large even for the far more vast vehicle of a mini-series. So I was finally forced to go to the format of a novel. So in July of last year I started writing this one as a novel.

It was VERY hard for me to do that because I haven't written in past tense nor in prose for many years now. Screenplays are ALWAYS written in present tense, but novels are (about 99.997% of the time) written in past tense. So even just switching from present tense to past tense was a huge leap for me. And then there's the additional hurdle of rethinking my descriptions so that instead of the super-short, even telegraphic descriptions (sometimes even broken sentence fragments) used in screenplays, I had to once again find within myself the ability to write prosaically with both grace and flair. Writing in Third-Person POV and also in past tense and also with grace and flair was way too much to ask of myself, so I made one compromise to my screenwriter's handicap: I launched into this novel while employing First Person POV instead of Third Person. That is why I have a narrator/MC named Pete Walczak (the abbreviation for "main character" is MC). By adopting First Person instead of Thrid Person, I was covertly straddling the line between screenplay and novel -- that's because my naration is like an extention of screenplay dialogue (i totally love writing dialogue!). So he and his narration is my secret crutch in making this very difficult leap from screenplay format into novel format.

Meanwhile, I wated to make this thing as professional as possible. I have seen many many message board forums over the years where a member steps forth and says "Hey, guys, I wrote a fan-fic!" And then he or she posts the fan-fic, and it's kinda .... average (and sometimes even kinda embarrassing). I do NOT want to be average here. I want to be publishable. So I was hoping you guys would be a little more brutal with me than you have been. Brutal is what hammers a novel into top form, not kid gloves.

As for navigating the publishing industry itself, I am far more familiar with Hollywood's gauntlet for getting a script sold than I am with New York's gauntlet for getting a book published. But my general thumb nail understanding of New York is this:

1) Do not query any publishers and/or literary agencies unless you have the entire novel finished already -- only half-finsihed just won't cut it. It MUST be a finished MS (the abreviation for "manuscript" is MS). (You guys have been an invaluable cheer-leader squad for me, helping me to stay the course and to take the steady path onward toward the finish line. This is one honkin' huge novel I am attempting to wrangle into existence, and it's only been your collective attentions here that have helped me see it through to this midway point thus far. So PLEASE don't abandon me now, guys.)

2) Do not bother with any novel that is a mere copy of something else. New York is right now drowning in MS submissions about a) private boarding schools for wizards, and b) college professors who specialize in cryptology getting hired by the US government to figure out an elaborate secret riddle. (This seems to me to be a very orignal work--at least I HOPE its original.)

3) If you submit a query and they actually say "Yes, we'd like to read it," most agencies/publishing houses usually only want nothing more than the first five pages, or else nothig more than the first three chapters, or else something in between. They will rarely ask for the full MS (although that does happen once in a great while). And whichever amount you wind up sending them, they will know within the first two pages --often just the first two paragraphs-- if they intend to pass you by or not. But if you can hook them ni the first few sentences and hold their atention, you now have half a shot. So those first three chapters need to be killer chapters, with every single word weighed out by me with excrutiating care and very high craftsmanship. (And you guys are my sounduing board for achiveing that sort of perfection.

4) The following is a quote from an amazingly funny yet painfully true essay written by a professional literary agent. In this quote he compares the act of reading to the act of drinking water.

http://www.jeremiahtolbert.com/2009/5-lies-writers-believe-about-editors/

You [writers] get to read for pleasure, selecting material that has been through at least one filter. Whereas you turn on the tap and get a stream of nice drinkable water, we [editors] put our mouths to a sewer pipe and hope to get at least one swallow that won’t give us raging diarrhea.

So I need to make those first three chapters count. I need to make that professional reader in New York smile and sit back in his chair and want to keep on reading. And I also need to make THE REST OF IT count as well. And I am hoping you guys can help me. So I need the NEGATIVE feedback from you all as well, not just the nice stuff.

My one advantage here in actualy achieving publication is that the entire market is LACKING in post-oil dystopias. So the competition is very low right now. That could change very soon though. And if Mr. Kunstler's NEXT novel called The Witch of Hebron gets that little extra "sequel boost" that I truly suspect it might, then it could very well hit a slot on the new York Times best seller's list.

I am betting that The Witch of Hebron will get what I like to call the "Austin Powers/Jason Bourne Boost". And by that i am referring to the original The Bourne Identity] film in, and also to the orignial Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery film -- both of those (introductory) films only did "okay" at the box office --not terrible, mind you, but not phenomenal either. But then, it was the DVD/video/cableTV "after market" that gave both of those "introductory" films their super-huge followings, the likes of which neither film enjoyed during their inital theatical releases. So then, when the respective sequels to those two films came out (The Bourne Supremacy and Austin Powers the Spy Who Shagged Me), those sequels both hit #1 at the box office on their opening weekends. The third films of each franchise, The Bourne Ultimatum and Austin Powers in Goldmember topped their predecaessors even more. Anyway, I suspect that The Witch of Hebron is going to land in the book seller's market place with a huge splash, fueld by the growing awareness of Peak Oil, and the slow yet growing fan base of Mr. Kunstler's books. Maybe not enough to get it into the #1 slot on the New York Times list, but possibly somewhere in the Top 20. If so, then the very tiny genre called "post-oil dystopia" is going to be gold. And I will be one of the few writers who actualyl has a completed book to offer to New York (at least for a brief while).



Here's what all three Austin Powers movies did:

Austin Powers: International man of Mystery 1997
Total Domestic Box Office Gross: $53,883,989 (never went higher than the #2 slot at the box office)
http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=austinpowers.htm

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me   1999
Total Domestic Box Office gross: $206,040,086 (debuted at #1, and in just that one weekend it took in $54,917,604, beating the entire theatruical run of the first movie)
http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=austinpowers2.htm

Austin Powers in Goldmember 2002
Total Domestic Box Office Gross: $213,307,889 (debuted at #1, and in just that one weekend took in $73,071,188)
http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=austinpowers3.htm



And here's all three Bourne movies:

The Bourne Identity 2002
Total Domestic Box Office Gross: $121,661,683 (never went higher than the #2 slot at the box office)
http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=bourneidentity.htm

The Bourne Supremacy 2004
Total Domestic Box Office gross: $176,241,941 (debuted at #1, and in just that one weekend it took in $52,521,865, almost double the debut weekend of the first movie)
http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=bournesupremacy.htm

The Bourne Ultimatum 2007
Total Domestic Box Office gross: $227,471,070 (debuted at #1, and in just that one weekend it took in $69,283,690)
http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=bourneultimatum.htm










On other matters ....



I am having  a difficut time even getting online to post here at the forums because I am constantly at the hospital with my mom.  They took her into surgery today to remove the ventilator tube from her mouth and replace it with a trachea tube in her throat -- she has been on the ventilator for over two weeks now, and two weeks is just too long to be on one of those. So the next step was a trachea tube. The surgeyr went well and she is now sleeping off the anesthesia. After she recovers from today's surgery, she will be in ICU for only another day or two and then get sent to an intermediate care unit that has been specially designed to help respiratory patients to get weaned off of a ventilator.

I am unfortunately NOT writing as "lean" as I would prefer to write. These last fifteen chapters have been very lengthy and lacking the same brevity and punch and forward momentum of my earlier chapters. I am concerned about that. Brevity is something I can achieve only when I have LOTS of time to read my work, and then re-read it, and re-read it again. And via all that re-reading I can cut and trim and slowly pare things back. I often need 20 re-reads to achieve that sort of concise level of compact dynamism to my work. I do not have that time right now so my writing is oming out as kinda over-done and is getting sloppy and droning on and on and on and *zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz* ............

If anything this crisis has all brought my family closer together. And I can't complain about that.









 






« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 12:57:06 AM by Innocent Byproduct » Logged

"This is an emergency far worse than World War I and World War II put together." --Sir Richard Branson

"The airlines in this sector are really the canaries in the coal mine." --J Kunstler

"This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind." --R Rainwater
carwood
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« Reply #170 on: July 28, 2009, 06:09:35 AM »

IB, I am very glad our encouragement keeps you going and as to criticism, could it possibly be that there is nothing to criticize, that you are doing a really good job?  Reviewing my pleasure at reading your novel, I can't think of anything that I want to criticize.  You are doing a great job and if a jaded New York reader doesn't know gold when he or she sees it, then they need to get out of the polluted air and get some oxygen in their brains!

Concurrently with reading your novel, I have been reading in publication order the novels of Elizabeth George.  All the critics rave about her and I don't see any disappointment in terms of skill in going from your writing to her writing. 

We're with you all the way and I just know somehow the gods of publishing will smile on you and get you started into being the new star author.  Of course, to keep up the new women writers is a big job because they have been truly great in every respect--Elizabeth George, Sara Paretsky, Nevada Barr, Abigail Padgett, to name a few, but none are writing dystopias and you are indeed at the cutting edge of tomorrow's fiction genre, a subcategory of science fiction, I expect, but a reality-based science fiction, not the awful stuff that has been done to date, i.e., high tech monstrosities.  Of couse, two women writers, Jean Hegland and Olivia Butler, have done dystopias and good ones as well. 
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Innocent Byproduct
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« Reply #171 on: August 01, 2009, 07:39:40 PM »

Thanks, car. Smiley A steady readership is aleays appreciated. As for the idea that my work is flawless as is ... well ... only Shakespeare is flawless. Grin

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"This is an emergency far worse than World War I and World War II put together." --Sir Richard Branson

"The airlines in this sector are really the canaries in the coal mine." --J Kunstler

"This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind." --R Rainwater
Innocent Byproduct
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« Reply #172 on: August 01, 2009, 07:40:09 PM »

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link. If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 11:42:21 PM by Innocent Byproduct » Logged

"This is an emergency far worse than World War I and World War II put together." --Sir Richard Branson

"The airlines in this sector are really the canaries in the coal mine." --J Kunstler

"This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind." --R Rainwater
Innocent Byproduct
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« Reply #173 on: August 01, 2009, 07:40:34 PM »

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link. If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 11:42:38 PM by Innocent Byproduct » Logged

"This is an emergency far worse than World War I and World War II put together." --Sir Richard Branson

"The airlines in this sector are really the canaries in the coal mine." --J Kunstler

"This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind." --R Rainwater
Innocent Byproduct
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« Reply #174 on: August 01, 2009, 07:40:54 PM »

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link. If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 11:43:00 PM by Innocent Byproduct » Logged

"This is an emergency far worse than World War I and World War II put together." --Sir Richard Branson

"The airlines in this sector are really the canaries in the coal mine." --J Kunstler

"This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind." --R Rainwater
Innocent Byproduct
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« Reply #175 on: August 01, 2009, 07:41:09 PM »

Last chapter for the day (with just a tiny piece of Chapter Thirty tossed in at the end to add some continuity).

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link. If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 11:43:23 PM by Innocent Byproduct » Logged

"This is an emergency far worse than World War I and World War II put together." --Sir Richard Branson

"The airlines in this sector are really the canaries in the coal mine." --J Kunstler

"This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind." --R Rainwater
John H
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« Reply #176 on: August 03, 2009, 07:04:58 PM »

The silence is deafening, am I the only reader these days?

IB, there are the minor edits, mostly your use of compound words.  "Robot like" should be either robot-like or robotic.  "Water side" should be waterside and maybe river view should be either riverview, riverine or riparian (or "homes with river views").  You use "waterfront" but not "waterside".

A very minor edit. "--the sort of smile" needs a space before "the", or maybe a semi-colon.

Then there is the bigger stuff.  The hero seems rather naive about peak oil.  Especially for someone who is so practical, attends farmer markets and has seen recent military service.  If this is all news to him, shouldn't this set off a lot more questioning within him or of her?  Isn't the term "peak oil" in common use?
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kevinm
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« Reply #177 on: August 03, 2009, 07:22:17 PM »

The silence is deafening, am I the only reader these days?

You certainly are not!!  Just finished reading IB and it's great - keep it coming! Smiley
My only complaint is that this book is on my computer.  I prefer the old fashioned way.  A nice hardcover with a bookmark.
I don't want to cart this goddamn laptop up to my bedroom if I feel like a chapter before bed!
Hope this is published as I will be the first to purchase it!  I trust things are OK with your mom?
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carwood
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« Reply #178 on: August 03, 2009, 11:21:55 PM »

I concur with John H about the peak oil thing and his naivete.  I also felt the male's thoughts way too much how we women wish a man would think--just a little to romance-novelish to me.  After 2 marriages, he would not be so adolescent in his thought processes.  He would be more skeptical as burned twice is hard to overcome, at least it was for me, but maybe not, maybe you are right, at the approach of middle age, one wants to find a companion fast and idealize one quickly so as not to end your days of old age alone (which is what happened to me, hence I spend my old age alone!)

Oh, and Shakespeare was the Danielle Steel or Ken Follett of his day.  I find nothing perfect about him.  I think he should have stayed in the class that his contemporaries put him in.
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John H
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« Reply #179 on: August 04, 2009, 01:24:29 AM »

Oh, and Shakespeare was the Danielle Steel or Ken Follett of his day.  I find nothing perfect about him.  I think he should have stayed in the class that his contemporaries put him in.

And he uses too many cliches.
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