Anyone attempt to write a book?

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Anyone attempt to write a book?

Postby Darcy » Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:58 pm

Besides RYP, anyone try writing a book?

I got laid off in the fall, first time without work in over 30 years, so sitting home twiddling my thumbs, I decided to tackle a novel. Finished before Christmas with nearly 80,000 words and now half way through the first edit. Helicopter pilot on his first tour in Africa, nervous inept guy (based loosely on this Brit I worked with in remote Tanzania a few years back) that finds himself in some serious trouble. Having a blast with it. I found an editing program that highlights all those Ds I received in English in high school, but enjoying the learning process. Not sure that I'll have anything marketable at the end of it, but I've seen some crazy shit and was able to squeeze some of it in......
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Re: Anyone attempt to write a book?

Postby seektravelinfo » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:06 am

That is a wonderful accomplishment. I admire you, I really do. To sit down everyday and write, I mean seriously write, is no small feat.

How did you do it? Did you prepare an outline first? Did the plot and the characters develop as you wrote them or did you have a firm idea from the get-go? Did you have a schedule for writing? Was the discipline hard?

Are you doing the edit yourself or do you have someone to edit for you? Word to the wise: Don't ask Penta.
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Re: Anyone attempt to write a book?

Postby Darcy » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:05 am

Thanks! It's something I've always wanted to tackle but just couldn't get started. Being unemployed for the first time in over 30 years was the catalyst, as I needed something to do with my idle hands. I set up my photography website and wrote a few songs (had a CD on iTunes years ago) but then I reread some Hemingway favourites and decided to go for it.

No outline but I had a rough idea of where I wanted to go. While managing and check pilot on an operation on the Mozambique border, this Brit showed up for his first tour overseas and I've never met someone so out of place, so I used him as my protagonist. He was likeable enough but so nervous about everything, and so pedantic about the rules, he drove everyone nuts. The story is about him attempting to come to term with his many fears, some unfounded and some legitimate. Some of the things that happen to him actually happened to me, or to others, and in other places, but thats the basic premise, and of course, I've used a fair bit of artistic license. I seriously doubt he would consider himself the inspiration were he to read it. A new crew member arrived on base after we had been there for two years, and he was the most overtly racist asshole I had ever met, and caused no end of strife, he even caused a small riot and got kicked out of the country, so I've got him in there too. The ending was tricky, I had a riot, but at first there was a murder, but it didn't fit and struggled with how to close it out, but eventually I came up with something that doesn't read like a bad Hollywood movie, I hope. I just dove in and pushed through....

The process is the fun part! I had read a report of a university study where 1/2 the students wrote by hand, and the other half wrote on computer, then switched out, and everything was analyzed, and they concluded that the hand written material was far more personal and introspective. Plus I found an article that Hemingway wrote everything by hand, and used the stage of transferring everything to typewritten as an extra stage of editing. So while in Italy I got myself a Montegrappa fountain pen and some leather bound notebooks with Italian paper and got to work. Admittedly I loved the aesthetic of sitting in dark Scotch bar in Aberdeen or Montreal and scratching out my novel. I took the notebook everywhere and wrote in airport lounges and restaurants, on my back deck with a G&T, in Scotch bars, out in the woods hunting white tails, and eventually I got to the end. I read a fair bit of my old favourites while writing for inspiration; Hemingway, Cormac McCarthy, Orwell....

Then I purchased some proper writing software; Ulysses, and set about transferring everything over to digital. I did a lot of heavy editing in the rewrite process, as per my inspiration. Ended up with nearly 80,000 words.

Then I tried to find an editor, but I received some very condescending and self-righteous replies on what they were going to do with my novel, and they hadn't even seen it yet, so I decided to go it alone. I purchased ProWritingAid, and cut and paste in a chapter at a time. This REALLY highlighted my poor grammar, flagging all the "ing" verbs and "glue" words and numerous other issues that severely affected readability, plus it explains the whys and wherefores of grammar that were lost on me. I am finding this a tedious process but admittedly I have a far better product as I progress.

I'm hoping to have it finished before the end of the month and start submitting to publishers, if i don't find a job first and get back to working! I've turned down some resident posts in various Middle East locales, and unfortunately all the Africa work is tied up by European companies, and I don't have an EU licence or passport, so I won't be getting back anytime soon. The company I've been with for the past 18 years went bankrupt. Quite a few companies claimed they'd hire me IF they win contracts now under bid, so I'm just waiting for one of those to come to fruition, in Myanmar, Thailand, Trinidad, Suriname, the Canadian Arctic and even one major contract here in Halifax that I flew for a decade long ago. At this point I'll take the first one that comes out with a solid offer.....
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Re: Anyone attempt to write a book?

Postby ReptilianKittenEater » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:46 pm

Good job. A couple of authors floating around here, SRR Is one.
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Re: Anyone attempt to write a book?

Postby Darcy » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:07 pm

Thanks.

Got the call today, back to work! SAR Captain/Instructor on the AW139 in Kazakhstan. I was really hoping for a DOD contract being bid in C.A.R. but I took the Kaz job. Same company is bidding some Super Pumas to bucket on fires with longline overseas so I'd be a shoe-in for that too if they win it. Now the paperwork slosh begins.....

Gotta get cracking and get this book done before I get busy......

Woo hoo!!!
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Re: Anyone attempt to write a book?

Postby ReptilianKittenEater » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:48 am

Where in Boratland?
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Re: Anyone attempt to write a book?

Postby Darcy » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:35 am

Atyrau. They actually hired me for the same job this summer and I sat home on full salary for over 3 months waiting for my paperwork to clear, foreign licence validations and what not, and I was packed with printed ticket in hand heading over in two days, and they called and cancelled everything. Unbeknownst to me at the time, they hired me to cover a long term guy who took extended medical leave, but the guy managed to get his medical back before I got there. This time someone has quit so....at least it's a job. First time I've found myself unemployed in over 30 years. Didn't much care for it.
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Re: Anyone attempt to write a book?

Postby RYP » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:19 pm

A good editor will give your hot enthusiasm a cold shower and make you go back and rewrite it until it is only the parts that make up the story. Its a good discipline. Good writers know that point where things can't be written any other way.
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Re: Anyone attempt to write a book?

Postby Darcy » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:45 pm

Thank you for that Robert, sparse is what I am striving for, but no doubt there's far more in there than required. I'm cutting heavily now, but certainly not like an editor will. Gotta start somewhere.....

Appreciate the input!
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Re: Anyone attempt to write a book?

Postby RYP » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:16 pm

I was given quite a large advance to write my autobiography. Random House was pissed that I did it in small vignettes that seemed out of order. My editor was fascinated by my pure bravado in trying something new. People hated it. People who loved adventure loved it. I wrote it that way I remembered things in my head not according to the way you are supposed to write a book.

I spend a lot of time in Colombia hanging out on the beach in between breaking people out of jail and I read only one book. Men Without Women by Hemingway. I was impressed by the ability to get a deeper image of something by reading things out of order and then after reading everything the sense that you actually knew more about the person by how they thought not a linear structure of how they wanted you to understand their life.

As for fiction. I have only written one book "Raven" and it was tough. I simply started writing and had to remember every single thing that was happening the weather, what was in the characters pockets etc. I did the opposite by keeping the hunger, timing, distance, temperature exact.

https://www.dpxgear.com/raven-robert-young-pelton.html
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you do you and upload it

Postby el3so » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:37 am

Darcy wrote:sparse is what I am striving for

Get a go-pro & start a youtube channel or something amigo.
You fly helicoptrers in/from/out of far-a-way places for a living and seem like a nice guy, FFS there's braindead chicks posting pics of themselves in a pool making a living out of this internet, surely there is some way for you to share your story and maybe get some coin out of it without some corp you will have to solicit deciding on printing bundles of paper with your name on to be sold in some hypothetical bookstore.
she isn't a man you need to shut your fucking mouth little pussy bitch - random Youtube comment
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Re: Anyone attempt to write a book?

Postby Darcy » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:28 pm

Thanks! Actually been trying that....

http://www.darcyhooverphotos.ca
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Re: Anyone attempt to write a book?

Postby Darcy » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:47 pm

Did a few very rudimentary videos, but doubt I could make any coin from them.

Out of Mombasa, up on the Somali border. We had the Kenyan Navy and private contractors providing anti-piracy patrols, we were just doing SAR. Calm day exercise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahsjs9g1i4M

And a joint exercise with the Suriname Coast Guard. The co-pilot was a very good friend who I worked with extensively off the Moroccan coast, but he crashed and died this spring on the Nicaragua/Costa Rica border in poor weather, with some Coca-cola big wigs and the former Nicaraguan Prime Minister, a good friend of his. He flew Hinds for Nicaragua in the 80's. Very cool cat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axFAMejxqXo&feature=youtu.be
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Re: Anyone attempt to write a book?

Postby Jefe » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:38 pm

I believe that Amzon actually has a program for folks like yourself. Do your book and put it up on Amazon/Kindle sort of like Uber for writers.

I have had about 25 people tell me to do it and a bunch are retired SF guys. I did think about an Interactive Coloring Book.

Book titles

Weeping Penis and the Trail of Beers
Pen name: Seldum bin Layed
"Those who beat their swords into plowshares, inevitably wind up plowing for people with swords".

Jefe: well into a 12 pack of LaBatts Blue (AKA "BlueDevils"
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Re: Anyone attempt to write a book?

Postby Darcy » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:36 pm

Definitely weeping penises and beer in my book, and even some SF dudes, but they mostly just eat pizza.
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