Bardic Circle

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,832
"Striving to be the change."
An innovative nanotechnologist haunted by her past seeks redemption on an idyllic cosmopolitan world but learns both sins and enemies are hard to outrun--even across galaxies--and survival may require an allegiance with those least likely to forgive.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,832
"Striving to be the change."
An online workshop opportunity for any Bardic Bees with an interest in science fiction:

Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith, both long-time professional fiction writers and editors across multiple genres, are currently running a Kickstarter campaign for Kris's new novel "Ivory Trees" written in her "Diving" sci-fi universe. As you'll see on the sidebar on the campaign page, there is a long list of rewards you can choose for backing the project, ranging from an ebook of the novel for a US$5 pledge right up to a lifetime subscription to all of their "regular" online workshops for US$1500. But: since the campaign has already passed a couple of stretch goals, everyone who backs the campaign now gets extra stuff--even people who back at the $5 level!

At this point, if you back at any level US$5 and up you would get:
  • an ebook of Kris's space opera novel "Ivory Trees"
  • an ebook of Kris's short story "Rocket Girls"
  • an ebook of Kris's short story "Once on the Blue Moon"
  • a 3 week online workshop on "Writing About Building Cultures in Science Fiction"
The workshops are typically ~ 30 minutes of video lecture (in English) per week, plus weekly assignments which, if you submit them in time, Kris or Dean will give you (usually brief) feedback on how you did.

Depending on how many more people back the campaign, and how high the total pledge amount goes, you may get even more stuff (more short stories and more 3-week workshops) for your $5.

This campaign is only running for a few more days. So check it out soon if this interests you.

If you do check it out, I would be interested to know what you think of it. Which rewards and stretch goals, etc., appeal to you and which do not. I'm planning to run a Kickstarter campaign myself in January for my "Get Fit for the Zombie Apocalypse" workout adventure stories. Unlike Kris and Dean, I do not have a backlist of literally hundreds of stories, nor an online school with hundreds of courses, I can offer for rewards. But I do have a few ideas for things I hope people will find cool and valuable.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,832
"Striving to be the change."
Salut, Bardic Bees! Is anyone in for NaNoWriMo this year?

I am once again participating as a rebel, as I'm focused primarily on writing short stories at the moment, as well as getting ready for my Get Fit for the Zombie Apocalypse Kickstarter, which I aim to launch in January. I need to up my word count, and NaNo's 50K is about where I want to be for the month. So it's a useful tool for tracking my word count (and giving me the added incentive associated with doing so publicly, since I've participated in NaNo many times now and never failed to hit the goal in the past). But I'll be working on multiple projects throughout the month, not just one novel.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,832
"Striving to be the change."
So, dare I ask about the first week-end of this NaNo?
I am behind. But the day is still young(ish) in my little cell of the Hive.

I have at least written some new words every day thus far this month. So that is good.

Have to go up on my roof now to do a little repair job, while we have nice weather. (Not a lot of days left this year for doing roof work where I live. So I need to get this done while the going's good.) I'll likely still be behind target by the end of the day, but have hopes of doing at least a bit of catching up this evening.
 

Sólveig

Well-known member
Pirate from Cabudare - Venezuela
Pronouns: She/Her
Posts: 1,797
"ᚨ Ars longa, vita brevis"
24% completed! After tomorrow, I'm going for a non-linear method. I realized what I'm doing works better as a non-linear story since I overdeveloped my main character in one hour (in-story time) because I already had the beginning and the ending ready. It's a matter of editing, but editing is not allowed this month.
 

Nevetharine

Well-known member
Viking from The Depths
Pronouns: She/her
Posts: 879
Hi, haven't been active for a while. =) I'm not doing NaNo, but I'm writing again on an app called Inkitt. If anyone would like to follow/react/comment/read my story there, I'll post a link.

I actually had a big-ish following there before I deleted my previous profile because I started working and became too overwhelmed and pressured to update every day.

Now I'm out of work, again, and writing for my sanity. But with weekly-ish updates.

I'll see this group as motivation to keep writing. If anyone likes fantasy/sci-fi fantasy/light romance, those are my genres. Currently busy with a fantasy novel, and I plan on uploading some of the books I had on the previous profile again.

Here's the link if anyone wants to give it a go. I plan to expand a lot on this world, this is only book one in the series. It's also free, but if my story gets more reactions I *might* be able to sign a contract for a few pennies with Galatea one day.

Horrible self-promotion over, Lol.

Here's my cover. And the link.

Read Aeacasius: Shadowborn for free on Inkitt https://www.inkitt.com/stories/fantasy/1134078?utm_source=shared_ios

Aeacasius Shadowborn Cover.jpg
 

Nevetharine

Well-known member
Viking from The Depths
Pronouns: She/her
Posts: 879
I've posted the chapter I finished today on my thread for those of you who'd maybe like to offer some comments/advice. 😄 Maybe a bit random but it's not so long. The chapters are short and meant to be read on mobile. I think I've found the true villian in my story now... man and what a face he's got... eek.
 

Nevetharine

Well-known member
Viking from The Depths
Pronouns: She/her
Posts: 879
write in that voice, even if it changes from previous writing, try it! Go go go! Yesssss!
I'm actually writing this book in 2 voices. One is more old world medieval, and one is modern. Because one brother is from a magical world, the other was stuck on Earth as an orphan and grew up on the streets of America. The old world voice takes the longest to write. And I use the Thesaurus a lot.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,832
"Striving to be the change."
Here we go! I signed up for a challenge to write one short story a week, every week, for a year. Since this is my 54th year, my goal is actually to write 54 stories in the year. So I'll need to squeeze a couple extra in there somewhere. But the official challenge is one story a week, with the deadline for each story being midnight Pacific Time on Sunday nights.

I just turned in my first story of the challenge with 4 hours to spare. Definitely a rocky start to the challenge for me. My hope it to finish these stories 58 hours before each deadline, so I can work on other things on the weekends. Missed that goal by a long shot this week! (I'm 3 hours ahead of Pacific Time. So finishing with only 4 hours to spare is not great. Four hours before the deadline is the latest hour I allow myself to count as GBOT--which I obviously missed tonight.) Still: it's a start. I hope to be able to ramp up speed as I get going on this project.

How are the rest of you doing with your own writing?
 

Maegaranthelas

Well-known member
Bard from The Netherlands
Pronouns: They/them
Posts: 556
"I sing and I know things"
I have been wanting to write songs,but for that I need to spend time not distracting myself with other things. For which I need to not be sick or in pain, as distraction is the only thing keeping depression at bay when the blehs hit. And this year so far there haven't been many days where it hasn't been bleh or pain :')
I also should listen more to the kind of music I am hoping to write. I find it inspires my brain to come up with its own stories and lyrics. I would like to get one a month done, but at the moment I would be happy just to get in the zone for it once a month xD
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,832
"Striving to be the change."
I need to spend time not distracting myself with other things.
I have this issue too. In my case, the stressful situations I'm avoiding are different ones from yours, but there is definitely a lot of escapism going on.

The thing is: in my youth, writing was my escape! I used to lock myself in the bathroom and write for literally two to three hours at a time, pretty much every day. (We had a second bathroom in our basement which I was pretty much the only person who used during my high school years. Which is why I could get away with doing this.)

Now writing has become too much tied up with my stress. (If this story isn't good it won't sell and then I'll never make any money and I'll end up couch surfing for the rest of my life, unable to purchase healthy food or vision or dental care or drugs that I might need in my later years and I'll wind up sick and die young. Boo hoo!)

Part of doing this story a week challenge is, for me, trying to move myself beyond that nonsense. I know that writing gets easier for me the more that I do it! And I get better at it the more I do it. Not to mention the hands down most reliable way to make more money from writing these days is simply to have more product out there available for people to find and purchase.

I definitely struggled with "this story isn't good enough" issues last week. I thought about giving up, about saying, "there's just too much stress in my life right now for me to be able to do this." But I pushed through that crap. I got the story done. Now that one small success has given me more incentive to keep going. And it already does feel a little bit easier.

Best wishes to you with your own challenges, @Maegaranthelas . I hope you will be able to get down to more song writing soon!
:hug: :vibes::pose:
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,832
"Striving to be the change."
Week #2 of 52, story #2 of 54 is done.
Turned this one in with 2 hours to spare. Which is far too late.
(2 hours before deadline = 1AM in my time zone.)
But the story is done. (Not 100% certain that it has the right ending. But it has an ending. And it's done. At least for now.)

I'm having issues with formatting in my word processor. I don't have MS Word. I use Open Office. Format my stories beautifully in manuscript format. Then save them as Word files. And a page break gets inexplicably added somewhere on the second page. The file looks fine. I save it. Close it. Re-open it. And there's an unasked for page break. I remove the page break. Re-save. Close and open again. Same thing. This always happens at the end of a paragraph. So I have tried removing the offending line break, allowing the two paragraphs where the problem was occurring to run together. But then the problem just occurs after the next paragraph.

:smash:

Do any of you my fellow Bardic Bees use Open Office? Have you run into an issue like this one?
I have no idea why it's happening. And I need to find a solution soon. (I need to start submitting these stories to pro markets, and they pretty much all want MS Word files.)

I can compile Word docs directly from Scrivener. (Which is the software I use for writing.) So perhaps that is the way to go. It's a bit of a hassle due to all the content in my Scrivener files I don't want included in the compile. And I'd need to figure out how to make Scrivener spit out standard manuscript format. (Which I have not yet learned, due to not using Scrivener to create the manuscript files in the past due to the aforementioned hassle. But likely the best solution is just to teach myself this.) I can always copy just the content I want into a clean Scrivener file and export it from there. (Scrivener even has a template with a manuscript format compile preset in it.)

Anyhow... the first step is to get to a place where I'm actually finishing my stories early enough to have enough time left over to sort this stuff out.
:p

But for now: week #2 is done. Which is a win. And I wrote this story in the same universe as my Perseverance novel-length WIP that I started last year. Which definitely slowed me down because there were a lot of things I needed to look up to make sure I wasn't contradicting world-building I'd already set up. But I loved getting back to these characters and their world, and I expanded that world with some cool new stuff in this story, and I definitely want to write more in this series. So that was a win too.
 

Sólveig

Well-known member
Pirate from Cabudare - Venezuela
Pronouns: She/Her
Posts: 1,797
"ᚨ Ars longa, vita brevis"
For formatting I always use LibreOffice instead of Open Office. Since I write through Markdown word processors (Obsidian, Ghostwriter, Manuskript), I always end up formatting while writing or editing. Ghostwriter and Manuskript both have the option to compile the Markdown file into an RTF file through Pandoc, so that's what I do to turn them into RTFs, and then in LibreOffice, I simply improve the formatting, to which a huge chunk of it is already done thanks to the Markdown code.

I used Scrivener for a week before being blessed and cursed by fate, because my computer broke. Scrivener wasn't at all helpful with my writings, and I actually lost everything because I couldn't backup properly. Aside from it, the majority of word processors have too many buttons and functions, and gizmos and things that it's just... AAAAA, it triggers my ADHD in such a way that I end up doing nothing and playing with those things. Hence I changed to Manuskript, and then later on to Obsidian. No more distractions, I can just put the thing on full screen and simply write. The Markdown code is the most beautiful way to format my work on the go, so much so that I actually use it whenever I handwrite. Lastly, it is way easier for me to back up Markdown files than other kinds of systems, as Markdown files are way lighter (since they are solely text), and I can even load up a browser app that reads Markdown, and open my files there to review them.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,832
"Striving to be the change."
I'm not familiar with most of those programs, @Sólveig .
In any case, I love Scrivener. I'm definitely not going to give it up.

For me, Scrivener is the easiest option of all for backing up files. Because all of my current WIPs are in the same file. I just need to back up one thing most days and that's it. I'm done.

Once a project is completed, and I've formatted it either as a manuscript for submission to other markets, or as an ebook for self-publishing, I make separate back-ups of those files. But for backing up my daily work, it's just the one Scrivener file.

Also, Scrivener will export directly to an MS Word file, which is required for submitting to almost every paying market. I just need to teach myself how to get the export formatted in standard manuscript format (which again, almost every pro-paying market requires, though there are some semi-pro paying markets that prefer other formats).

Scrivener will also export epubs--although, again, I've not played with formatting them from Scrivener, and I have other ebook creation software that I do know how to use and have used successfully to format some quite complex books.

Soon I will also need to figure out formatting and file creation for print books. But I'm not there yet!
 

guibo94

Well-known member
Gladiator from New Asgard
Posts: 77
"Silent but deadly."
Week #2 of 52, story #2 of 54 is done.
Turned this one in with 2 hours to spare. Which is far too late.
(2 hours before deadline = 1AM in my time zone.)
But the story is done. (Not 100% certain that it has the right ending. But it has an ending. And it's done. At least for now.)

I'm having issues with formatting in my word processor. I don't have MS Word. I use Open Office. Format my stories beautifully in manuscript format. Then save them as Word files. And a page break gets inexplicably added somewhere on the second page. The file looks fine. I save it. Close it. Re-open it. And there's an unasked for page break. I remove the page break. Re-save. Close and open again. Same thing. This always happens at the end of a paragraph. So I have tried removing the offending line break, allowing the two paragraphs where the problem was occurring to run together. But then the problem just occurs after the next paragraph.

:smash:

Do any of you my fellow Bardic Bees use Open Office? Have you run into an issue like this one?
I have no idea why it's happening. And I need to find a solution soon. (I need to start submitting these stories to pro markets, and they pretty much all want MS Word files.)

I can compile Word docs directly from Scrivener. (Which is the software I use for writing.) So perhaps that is the way to go. It's a bit of a hassle due to all the content in my Scrivener files I don't want included in the compile. And I'd need to figure out how to make Scrivener spit out standard manuscript format. (Which I have not yet learned, due to not using Scrivener to create the manuscript files in the past due to the aforementioned hassle. But likely the best solution is just to teach myself this.) I can always copy just the content I want into a clean Scrivener file and export it from there. (Scrivener even has a template with a manuscript format compile preset in it.)

Anyhow... the first step is to get to a place where I'm actually finishing my stories early enough to have enough time left over to sort this stuff out.
:p

But for now: week #2 is done. Which is a win. And I wrote this story in the same universe as my Perseverance novel-length WIP that I started last year. Which definitely slowed me down because there were a lot of things I needed to look up to make sure I wasn't contradicting world-building I'd already set up. But I loved getting back to these characters and their world, and I expanded that world with some cool new stuff in this story, and I definitely want to write more in this series. So that was a win too.
It sounds to me like learning how to compile your story directly into a Word document in Scrivener is going to be the simplest (but not easiest) option. Libre Office is another open source word processor that you can try and it is very friendly with MS Word document conversion too.

Congrats on story #2!!!
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,832
"Striving to be the change."
It sounds to me like learning how to compile your story directly into a Word document in Scrivener is going to be the simplest (but not easiest) option. Libre Office is another open source word processor that you can try and it is very friendly with MS Word document conversion too.

Congrats on story #2!!!
Thank you.

Yes, I probably should just get friendlier with Scrivener's compile feature, since I use it for just about everything else.

I may check out Libre Office. Although I don't have a lot of space left on my current computer. And really Open Office should work, and I don't understand why it isn't.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,832
"Striving to be the change."
When I need something to be in a word file I usually just make it in google docs :') no idea if that's an option for what you're doing though
Thank you. Yes, this is also a possibility.

I don't know how to get the formatting I need in Google docs either. But it's likely possible.

Also: Using Google docs to fix the bork Open Office keeps adding to the files should be easy to do. I will give this a try!

Thank you.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,832
"Striving to be the change."
It appears one can only save files as .docx from Google docs these days. Which should work for most places.

(For all I know, Open Office might stop borking the files if I tried to save from there as .docx instead of .doc . I should try that too! The guy hosting the story-a-week challenge--and other courses I am taking for which I sometimes submit assignments--was a slow adopter of .docx and didn't used to accept them. So I've been saving everything with the .doc filename extension. But I think he accepts .docx now.)

In any case, the problem was easily fixed in Google docs. So at least I know I have one method I can use to get a clean .docx file in proper manuscript format.
 

guibo94

Well-known member
Gladiator from New Asgard
Posts: 77
"Silent but deadly."
It appears one can only save files as .docx from Google docs these days. Which should work for most places.

(For all I know, Open Office might stop borking the files if I tried to save from there as .docx instead of .doc . I should try that too! The guy hosting the story-a-week challenge--and other courses I am taking for which I sometimes submit assignments--was a slow adopter of .docx and didn't used to accept them. So I've been saving everything with the .doc filename extension. But I think he accepts .docx now.)

In any case, the problem was easily fixed in Google docs. So at least I know I have one method I can use to get a clean .docx file in proper manuscript format.
Yay!

If you don't mind sharing, what are the specific formatting requirements you need for your manuscript?
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,832
"Striving to be the change."
Yay!

If you don't mind sharing, what are the specific formatting requirements you need for your manuscript?
With electronic submissions these days, some markets have moved away from standard manuscript format--so if you are submitting stories yourself, always check the formatting requirements of the specific market you are submitting to. But many still want to see subscriptions in "manuscript format". It means this:

 

guibo94

Well-known member
Gladiator from New Asgard
Posts: 77
"Silent but deadly."
With electronic submissions these days, some markets have moved away from standard manuscript format--so if you are submitting stories yourself, always check the formatting requirements of the specific market you are submitting to. But many still want to see subscriptions in "manuscript format". It means this:

Gotcha and thanks for the article!

My wife has Scrivener and I played around a little bit with the compile feature and it can do everything you need to format your manuscript based on the formatting guidelines in the article you posted. It reminds me a lot of formatting and submitting college papers. I am not sure how tech savvy you are, but I am probably going to have to learn how to do it for my wife since she is definitely not tech savvy so let me know if you need any help with it.

Side note: Scrivener and Manuskript are very similar writing applications for those of you following this thread. I used Manuskript for while becuase it was free/open source but I ended up going back to using Google Docs as it is much easier for me to stay organized.

Edit: I just realized that I forgot to ask you if you have updated your OpenOffice software lately and when you export from Scrivener, are you exporting as a Word document or as an ODT document (OpenOffice)? The page break issue might be related to either of those.

Edit 2: OpenOffice is very similar to LibreOffice, in fact LibreOffice is an spin off of OpenOffice since OpenOffice does not get updated or have much support anymore. It might be worth it to replace your OpenOffice with LibreOffice, or at least consider it. They are identical and probably similiar in size as well.
 
Last edited:

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,832
"Striving to be the change."
Thank you @guibo94 !

I'm not sure if my OpenOffice has been auto-updating or if I'm working with older software, to be honest. I should look into that. I will take a look at LibreOffice too.

I definitely should teach myself how to use Scrivener's compile feature better. The reason I've not been using it is because my Scrivener files have a lot of stuff in them. Right now I have one that is everything I have written in 2024. So the file itself has many folders and many text documents within each folder. But what I am needing to compile these days is only one text document at a time. So I've just been copying the text I need and pasting it into an OpenOffice document and then formatting it there. Ditto for the course work I'm doing. I have one Scrivener file which includes all of my course work from the one school. All the notes I take in every class. All the assignments I do--many of which are done at my own pace, so I don't turn them in, but some I do turn in. But when I do need to turn something in for feedback, it is again all contained within one text file within the Scrivener file. To use Scrivener's compile I would need to check every time that it was only including the one file that I want and everything else was unselected. I expect there is an easy and quick way to do this. I just have not learned it yet.

Really I should just get better at using Scrivener!

Part of my problem is my procrastination tendencies. I'm good at using Scrivener's features for drafting, organizing, editing, etc. because I do that stuff all the time. But I end up finishing whatever I am writing at the last minute for every deadline. So the whole converting the text from the format I like to work on it in to the format I need for submission task ends up being a desperate "I need to get this done now as fast as possible!" thing. And learning how to use Scrivener's compile feature has never seemed like the fastest way to get the job done in that moment. I expect that in the long run, however, it will be.

Since I aim to write 54 short stories this year, all of which will need to be converted into standard manuscript format, I'm hopeful this will be the year I finally get around to teaching myself Scrivener compile!
 

guibo94

Well-known member
Gladiator from New Asgard
Posts: 77
"Silent but deadly."
Thank you @guibo94 !

I'm not sure if my OpenOffice has been auto-updating or if I'm working with older software, to be honest. I should look into that. I will take a look at LibreOffice too.

I definitely should teach myself how to use Scrivener's compile feature better. The reason I've not been using it is because my Scrivener files have a lot of stuff in them. Right now I have one that is everything I have written in 2024. So the file itself has many folders and many text documents within each folder. But what I am needing to compile these days is only one text document at a time. So I've just been copying the text I need and pasting it into an OpenOffice document and then formatting it there. Ditto for the course work I'm doing. I have one Scrivener file which includes all of my course work from the one school. All the notes I take in every class. All the assignments I do--many of which are done at my own pace, so I don't turn them in, but some I do turn in. But when I do need to turn something in for feedback, it is again all contained within one text file within the Scrivener file. To use Scrivener's compile I would need to check every time that it was only including the one file that I want and everything else was unselected. I expect there is an easy and quick way to do this. I just have not learned it yet.

Really I should just get better at using Scrivener!

Part of my problem is my procrastination tendencies. I'm good at using Scrivener's features for drafting, organizing, editing, etc. because I do that stuff all the time. But I end up finishing whatever I am writing at the last minute for every deadline. So the whole converting the text from the format I like to work on it in to the format I need for submission task ends up being a desperate "I need to get this done now as fast as possible!" thing. And learning how to use Scrivener's compile feature has never seemed like the fastest way to get the job done in that moment. I expect that in the long run, however, it will be.

Since I aim to write 54 short stories this year, all of which will need to be converted into standard manuscript format, I'm hopeful this will be the year I finally get around to teaching myself Scrivener compile!
Wow, you are definitely getting the most out of Scrivener! Now that I know more details, it is probably easier to copy and paste into OpenOffice/Google Docs. If you decided to start saving each writing project separately, the compile feature might be more helpful, but then you have the added burden of managing and organizing all of your writing files.

Good luck with the short stories and you have inspired me to start putting "pen to paper" again!
 
Top