Cheeseburger Gothic

New best friends

Posted December 9 by John Birmingham

All sorts of things surprised me about Seoul. And some delighted me. Among the latter was the inescapable everywhereness of cartoonified... mascots? Characters? Anime friends?
I don’t really know the correct nomenclature, but they’re everywhere. Like, literally everywhere you turn you are likely to run into the gigantic plastic or furry manifeststation of Korea’s childlike fascination with delightful little cartoon friends.

Pondering the sorrows of human conflict at the National War Museum?
Let your little friends help you process that.

Drank too much soju and got a little rowdy?
Officer Friendly and PC Plod have a bed for you in the lock up until you feel better.

I found these things everywhere. The foyers of banks, the forecourts of giant industrial combines. And of course in the many, many, many brick and mortar shopfronts of the various corporations (such as Japan’s Line messaging app) that brand themselves with little friends.

At first it was just weird. You’ve got this hugely successful, super advanced post industrial civilisation, and it looks like it’s obsessed with infantilised cartoon culture.

But within days, so was I. There is something hugely appealing about universal whimsy. I found the more time I spent in the company of my little cartoon friends...

...Some not so little...

... the calmer and happier I was. The 24hr insta-rage energy of Twitter and Facebook pretty much lost all attraction for me. I ignored Facebook the whole time I was there, and logged into Twitter rarely, mostly to post pics of my dinner when I ordered too much. There just seemed to be no sense to any of it when I could be spending time digging on the magical superquirk of Korea’s cartoon mojo.

It wasn’t a youth culture thing. I saw very serious looking, and very successful businessmen lined up to buy teddy bear stickers, stuffed toys, weird, almost inexplicable plastic fancies (cartoon sperm, plastic egg yolk superhero totes).

I never really came to understand any of it. I still don’t.

But I did love it.

3 Responses to ‘New best friends’

Bondiboy66 mumbles...

Posted December 9
Japan appears similar. On a short stopover in Tokyo a few years back I noted that anime-like cartoons all over the place on signage etc...not so much the oversized Korean versions though!

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted December 9
Indeed John Oliver commented on the thousands of mascots throughout Japan on his program 'The Japanese city of Susaki cut ties with their unofficial otter mascot, Chiitan, and otter wearing a turtle for a hat, leaving their official otter mascot, Shinjo-kun, all alone. So we came up with a plan to help'.

It sounds like you really liked Seoul if you could would you live there? If I could choose I think I would live in Iceland.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted December 10
I asked myself this a few times while walking around the city. I feel like I could, because my work isn't geotagged to any one place. But I'd have to learn the language, which is not easy. And I do wonder what Jane might think of it.

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I heart Seoul

Posted December 6 by John Birmingham

I went to Korea for Schoolies Week and I loved it. A long time ago we offered both kids a choice. They could take themselves off to Schoolies, or we could take them overseas. They’re not dummies. They took the travel option.

I got Thomas, who chose Hong Kong (I know, right) and Seoul.

We flew into HK the weekend of the big campus showdown (bows and arrows and molotovs vs sound cannons and tear gas).

It was fine. I thought it would be. Having done a lot of reporting on riots and political violence when I started out I know that as intense as the scenes can be on TV, you get a block away from the action... nada.

Still, you could see the damage from previous street battles most places we went. And beer was very expensive. I was happy to fly up to Seoul after a couple of days.

I know Murph had a terrible time in Korea, but I blame his hosts; the US Army. We had a great time. We stayed in a cool hotel, the L7 in Hongdae.

It had a boss level lounge and bar, a well equipped gym, and it sits on the edge of a groovy part of town, next to Hongik University. The uni used to be the old Defence Headquarters (I think) but it’s now an art/design centre. The streets around it are full of student bars and cafes and there’s this sort of winding mall where would-be K-Pop stars perform every night.

It was a carnival space, really. You could have your fill of cheap beer and fried chicken, check out half a dozen acts in the space of five minutes, and just hang with the crowds.

I thought the Korean kids were awesome. Seoul is a 24 hour city, but everything accelrates after dark. Most places don’t seem to fire up before lunch time, but when night falls ... boom!

I’d get up most mornings and go hunt out a coffee. It’s true what they say about cafe’s in Seoul. They’re everywhere. These guys are obsessed with the bean. I’d walk up to a 24hr place where the old boy working the espresso machine baked fresh madelines every morning.

It meant walking through a night club district just as the doors were opening and the revellers spilled onto the streets. You know what a shit show that can be.

Except it wasn’t. I don’t know that getting blotto is a big part of their culture. The kids would appear blinking in the dawn, but also smiling and tired. No aggro. Not once. The whole city had a really chilled vibe like that.

Maybe it’s because all the young blokes have to do two years in the army and they all know taekwondo or something. Or maybe K-Pop is just cooler than bogan culture.

Either way I walked that club district every day for ten days and saw nothing but good vibes.
Pics and stories to come.

6 Responses to ‘I heart Seoul’

AuntyLou swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 6
Seriously? You got drinkable coffee in Seoul? Hubby & I spent a couple of nights stopover in central Seoul a few years ago & could not believe how bad the coffee was everywhere we went. Burnt dirt over & over. Apart from that...fabulous place. Would happily return. Travel tips gratefully received. Glad your boy has turned into such a sensible young man. Congratulations.

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Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted December 7
There literally is not enough money on the planet to get me to visit that part of the planet again. Eleven months was plenty.

As for Seoul, well, a night at the symphony was nice while trussed up in a civilian double breasted number, but I did not enjoy my time there. The best moment was getting on the plane and leaving.

No fault to the Koreans, to be fair. I didn't really deal with them much.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted December 7
That matches with what I heard from a couple of colleagues that did post docs in Seoul, they said similar stuff. Sounds like a good place to go especially since I wouldn't need to give up my coffee. Where did the other half of the family choose if you don't mind me asking?

Murphy_of_Missouri mutters...

Posted December 7
It must not smell like shit anymore.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted December 8
Ha. No. It smells like waffles. There was a waffle cart directly out front of our hotel. When I think of the smell of Seoul, that's what I remember. Despite all of the beer and fried chicken.

Barnes: Italy and HKG.

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Dave W is gonna tell you...

Posted December 8
When Mrs W and I spent a stopover (in mid-fucking-winter) in Seoul a few years ago, we visited the local war-memorial/museum. It was also frequented by the US service-people stationed nearby.

With my number-zero haircut I got a few weird doubletakes from the those guys when they saw that I was with a *gasp* lady.

We also had some inexplicable trouble with the local ATMs, so spent a day absolutely cash-less until we found one that would accept one of our cards. And as for no, awful, instant, nestle shit. But this was in the mid-2000s.

And did I mention that it was mid-winter. It was -15c most of the time.

But you paint a much more attractive word-picture, JB, and pretty much could entice me to go back. So my perceptions of Seoul and Korea aren't as bad as Mr Murphy's.

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No time to die

Posted December 5 into Movies by John Birmingham

This looks good.

And yes, I'm back. Time for some gratuitous sex and violence.

9 Responses to ‘No time to die’

jl has opinions thus...

Posted December 5
Nice to see the 'Burger cranking up again!

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Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 5
Bond flick looks good - nice to see the classic Aston Martin back!

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Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted December 5
Wasn't that fussed, until I saw Rami Said Malek in it. NOW I'm interested.

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Dave W ducks in to say...

Posted December 5
I was going to say that it's _always_ time for gratuitous sex and violence. And then I realised that it would make me seem just a bit odd.

Where's Havock to tell us instead? We expect it of him.

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HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted December 5
BAAAAAAH FKN BANZAI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BITCHES!

Whats NOT TO FKNB LIKE, BOND ( me or fkn based on me ...rather looosly I might add, cois---I'M FKN BETTER!

WENCHES...TWIN....THATS TWIN! FKN MINI"S ON THE ASTON!..yeah baby come get some, Bond doing donuits,,,well circle work for us real fkn shkips and more bloody British teas at dawn away borders jkilling shit .

Oh yes, the musical score is also something to behold. The picture whilst at times grainy and deliberate for effect culminates in what can only be described as world-class cinematography. No fancy choppers and what not dropping off surfers whilst 18 year s storm the beach the Wagner and such, but non the less, well crafted I must say.

Shall be an EPIC FKN WATCH!

Naut is gonna tell you...

Posted December 6
H, I love your rants and will defend your right to nuke whatever you like from orbit. But when you misspell donut


I accept donut and doughnut but donuit is a crime and cannot go unpunished

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Dirk is gonna tell you...

Posted December 6
It's always time for some gratuitous sex and violence, JB.

PS the donuit is a nightly French donut, also known as a Macron, or as Angela Merkel tends to call him, her little French crumpet. But this aside ...

HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 8
Yeah, Donuit...whats Dirk fkn Said NAUT!

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Dave W is gonna tell you...

Posted December 8
Yes, very much like the 50s-60s look and feel, and then the shift to the present. I'm intrigued.

And the obvious parallel of Bond of the 50s-60s to the present. Quite intrigued.

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The Cruel Stars. Spoiler thread

Posted September 11 by John Birmingham

Lord Bob of the Nowhere System requested a spoileriffic discusion thread for either Zero Day Code or The Cruel Stars. I guess we'll work backwards into the future and go with Stars first.

Some of you got in on the beta read and so you saw the first draft, but there were a couple of significant structural changes in the final version. Most significant was the compression of Lucinda's arc. I always imagined TCS as being her story, and with this in mind the first run at the manuscript alternated chapters on HMAS Defiant (see what I did there?) with the introductions to each of the other 'supporting' characters.

My editor, Sarah, suggested this slowed things down too much and so instead we got a long first look at the Armadalen stealth destroyer, before cutting away to McLennan et al. I think she was right, but there were a few reviewers who struggled to tie together the larger narative from the five individual threads. I'll bear that in mind next time.

The next book, The Shattered Skies, is due Jan 24. That's a self selected deadline, to make sure I hit the British/Aust pre-order date of 20 August, 2020. I want the books to be stand alone stories, as much as possible, with closure at the end of each. There's a prequel sitting part-done in a folder on my hard drive too, a joint effort with Jason Lambright called The Javan War. Be nice to drop that into the channel some time in the next six months.

But before then, I'm open to questions, discussion, whatevs. I'll see if I can dig up the pitch document and post it here in the next few days.

27 Responses to ‘The Cruel Stars. Spoiler thread’

Sparty mumbles...

Posted September 11
I think the editor suggestions were right on target. Stopped it becoming the "Lucinda story" not that anything wrong with that but the book wanted to be "bigger" than that. I love (and maybe its only me) that on a geopolitics scale i cant work out whose side I'm actually on. With Speph et al it seems you were doing a bit of a Micheal Moorcock eternal champion type thing (or at least eternal pirates)? So many good things - everything pretty much on target (Rutger Hauer tribute well timed!). one nerd question :-) Flesh eater rounds are illegal (when Steph used then) but by the book Royal Aramadala Lucinda also loaded them?
5 Genuine Cruel Stars from me

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted September 11
Flesh eater rounds re illegal for someone awful like Seph, not a good girl like Lucinda.

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The Admiral asserts...

Posted September 11
Overall: bloody loved this book, enjoyed it thoroughly from end to end. I saw a few comments on Goodreads etc about confusion with the introduction of the characters but it honestly was zero issue for me - I start to worry if people can't keep a handful of arcs happening in their heads.

I was going to ask if we could get the Javan war backstory but you've answered that one. One thing I'd love to see in Book 2 is a map of the galaxy / inner dark etc. I know that's easier said than done but it would help me keep things a bit straighter as far as locations etc.

Between TCS and ZDC you have me rabid to re-start my own hack efforts but sadly study stuff takes precedence.

Again - brilliant stuff and counting the days until Book 2.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 11
How hard was it not to write "we don't need no stinkin badges" when Coto thought there were pirate badges?

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The Admiral puts forth...

Posted September 11
Overall: bloody loved this book, enjoyed it thoroughly from end to end. I saw a few comments on Goodreads etc about confusion with the introduction of the characters but it honestly was zero issue for me - I start to worry if people can't keep a handful of arcs happening in their heads.

I was going to ask if we could get the Javan war backstory but you've answered that one. One thing I'd love to see in Book 2 is a map of the galaxy / inner dark etc. I know that's easier said than done but it would help me keep things a bit straighter as far as locations etc.

Between TCS and ZDC you have me rabid to re-start my own hack efforts but sadly study stuff takes precedence.

Again - brilliant stuff and counting the days until Book 2.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon mumbles...

Posted September 11
Also like to add that this has been the first book in ages that i felt like annotating with a pencil on all the references/cookies in there so i wouldn't forget them . . .i didn't (annotate) and i did (forget). Fastest read ever.

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she_jedi mutters...

Posted September 11
I came to TCS cold, and your editor was correct, and is also a genius. The longer Defiant intro gave me a great grounding in the book’s universe, and then the addition of the other plot lines fleshed it out while you wove those strands together.

I’m on my second read through at the moment (was temporarily diverted by beta reading Mr Lambright’s latest opus), and what has struck me on the second read through is how gosh darn tight everything is. Your characters, your plotting, the tech and the rules of the universe, nothing is out of place or a weak link. It’s a frigging work of art is what it is. I know I sound like a deranged fangirl but anyone who’s read it will know what I mean.

Once i’d finished it the first time I immediately started it again because I couldn’t let go of these characters or the world/s you’ve created for them. I felt truly horrified for poor Defiant being jettisoned the way he was, and Chief Trim better survive. In fact we need more Chief Trim; the only way this series could be improved is additional space faring kitteh!

jl mumbles...

Posted September 11
Read both versions, Beta and Actual. Really liked what happened with the structure, agreed, She Jedi.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted September 11
1. TCS is a triumph JB.
Easily my favourite Birmo 'spolosions (in paper) since Pete got f*cked by the fickle finger of fate. Cover to cover in first read, then arc by arc second.

2. You delivered 'plastic pals who are fun to be with' beautifully, I was particularly impressed with the Sun Tzu-ish use of them as both strength and vulnerability. I imagined it going further as Habs entirely managed by them begin to fail, complex structures like them wouldn't be set & forget, rather they'd requiring constant tweaking & management -eg our ISS periodically has to boost back up to counter minimal but constant atmospheric drag. Things getting uncomfortably toasty sun-side & chilly dark-side, air getting thick & stale, no water in taps, waste systems failing, won't be long before occupants cracking open the neighbours skulls and feasting on the living goo inside. The relationship between McLennon and his AI were (again, for me) more engaging than Princess stick-in-her-butt and her urchin friends. Was there a discongruance between rocks/no rocks in his whiskey?

3. I stumbled on when FTL was & was not viable. Our protagonist seems to walk >half a K before winking through to the bridge.

Things have been fiscally tricksy out in the Nowhere System, so I was unable to cash up for the Patreon process. With hindsight I hugely enjoyed TCS in a giant gluttonous gulp, I doubt little demitasse servings would have been as enjoyable.

More soon.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon mumbles...

Posted September 12
Hey NBlob, i think you got your books mixed up - its the apocalypse 'zero day code" which is the one being watched over through patreon and coming out in what seem like short bursts . . . until you do a word count. I didn't get in on the beta for TCS because i think at the time when the offer went out i had shit going down. I think i picked a good one to miss! Although JB, i think i picked up an continuity error with a bit on McLennan (although i was drinking beers at the time . . . on a Monday night). It is when McLennan is sitting in his stealth sledboat and Hero had packed some whiskey? and some shortbread biscuits (iirc it was whiskey . . . may have been a hot drink in a thermos?). Then a page later you said he tucked back into his jam sandwich - which is what he was eating back at the dig site. I think i only noticed because of the american cookie vs biscuit. If i am way off the mark here please forgive my meat sack brain and carry on.

insomniac asserts...

Posted September 12
He had the coffee/whisky plus the biscuits, and there was another sandwich as well, not jam, although that was referenced as being the last thing he had eaten since the morning.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon mumbles...

Posted September 12
ahh right. Never drink and read folks :)

NBlob asserts...

Posted September 12
FormerlyKnownAsSimon you are correct, I knew of a Beta-Reader thing and got my Birmo'Splodey mixed.
Drinking & reading are a fine combination.

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted September 12
I think the editor was right. This was a pretty pacey book, almost as if Matthew Reilly was rapping on your window, shouting things things like "Kick it in the guts JB!"

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jason has opinions thus...

Posted September 13
One of my fave parts of the book was the character voice. Each character had a style of speaking that clearly defined them. A lot of books don't have that and it's easy to muddle characters.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon mumbles...

Posted September 13
Any chance of a Master Blaster combo between Coto and the Princess? :)
I also have some very divergent finger crossing on how McLennan ends up . . . . . 1) drives a ship into the enemy dreadnought saving earth/humanity at the expense of self sacrifice. 2) goes completely bonkers and genocidal in his effort to wipe the Sturm off the face of the universe which will inadvertently wipe all humans and so Hero whisks them both into a sun 4) is the last meatbag standing and resigns himself to a long life of seeing all this happen again in a few hundred years heading off into a multiple sun sunset with his trusty horse Hero.

Would also like to add: does using the word Sturm for the baddies bring the Dragonlance chronicles to mind for everyone? I can't divorce the idea of the noble paladin of a dying order of knights that in the end were corrupt and self serving douchebags of purity as compared to the space nazis. Every time i read the word Sturm it brings with it a touch of sadness (and a "thank god that guy is dead - he was boring").

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted September 14
Funny thing about the Sturm, they used to be the Khan. In the series mythology the Republic’s Generation Ships left from the Sandakan Peninsula. Hence the nickname. But Sarah thought the Khan was too reminiscent of Star Trek. She was probably right.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon is gonna tell you...

Posted September 16
Yeah - Sandakan also brings to mind the Sardauker from dune. I always wondered about how authors manage a name generator for these things. Does it worry you at night or does it roll off the press? Not being in on the beta and not knowing about the Khan it's nothing but The Sturm all the way in my mind.

Matthew F. mumbles...

Posted October 1
Never read Dragonlance but Sturm was the name of a nasty, arrogant and ultimately traitorous general in the Gaunt's Ghosts novels so the name came with a solid "boo hiss" factor for me.

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beeso swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 19
I was a DL reader but thought Sturm was perfect word for a nazi like bad guy race. Is there a market for a fully annotated book JB?

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Tregonsee swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 1
Cracking good yarn. David Weber should start looking over his shoulder.

Only howler: an object being in geosynchronous orbit over the southern continent. Of course it would drift north and south of the equator once an orbit.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted October 1
Damn it! This is exactly why they kicked me out of astronaut school.

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Naut reckons...

Posted October 9
It felt like the story arcs were in sync - going well, unexpected obstacle, despair, unexpected hope. Worked for me, but is that a deliberate thing? I can imagine doing it so the reader doesn't have to change emotions based on the character's situation, but more on the stories overarching situation?

Or is this just going to be whatever the individual reader brings to it?

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 9
It is a very deliberate thing, mate. Has been since Plato.

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Naut ducks in to say...

Posted October 15
I guess this is why I am not writing a book :)

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balri is gonna tell you...

Posted October 30
Yeah, ok so I'm a slow reader. Finished the book a couple of days ago and absolutely loved it. The universe was so richly drawn that I could easily visualise it. Booker probably could have done with a larger role but love your work JB and looking forward to the next instalment.

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Vovchara would have you know...

Posted December 4
I know you read David Weber. Read “The Honor Of The Queen”? Well, I did. A decade later I still remember how I felt when reading about bomb pumped laser stubbing into a lonesome HMS Fearless, causing bulkheads to explode, killing people, destroying equipment. How I knew, there will be no easy solutions. That no matter what, The Fearless will stay between the enemy and the planet she was trying to protect. And only through perseverance and sacrifice, they succeeded.

Well, in your book it is different.

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The weird little origami-like folds of dictating your story

Posted September 4 into Writing by John Birmingham

I'm being crushed by deadline. The sequel to Zero Day Code. So naturally in the middle of this, I lost my mind and decided it was time to have a look at my productivity. I bought a book about voice recognition software. 15 Minute Dictation by Sean Platt and Neeve Silver. Although I've been using Dragon’s dictation software for more than a decade now, it was still useful.

Honest! I didn’t waste my time! There were a couple of tricks to using dictation software, weird little origami-like folds of understanding exactly how you hold a story in your head, I suppose, that I hadn't really thought about before. And they were interacting with the way I use the pomodoro method to fuck me up, just a little bit. So I tweaked my method.

I normally work in half-hour bursts if I'm doing something I really don't want to do. That is the beating heart of the pomodoro method. Even if some writing task is completely fucking loathsome, you should be able to gut it out for twenty-five minutes. And by focusing for that small window of time you normally get past your resistance to doing The Bad Thing and the job starts to move.

When I'm working on something that I actually do want to do, I can stretch the pomodoro timer out to nearly an hour. Either 50 or 55 minutes is best. But it's not easy to talk to yourself for just under an hour. Not if you want to maintain steady progress on a narrative. It's always tempting to go back and fix up every phrase or sentence or scrap of dialogue you’ve just written. This is a completely natural process when you're typing. You don't even think about it. The words come out, they could be a little bit better, you tweak them and move on. A simple, intuitive, almost thoughtless process when typing. But not when you are using dictation software.

Oh my fucking God no.

So one of the tips for young players that this book recommended was knowing what you're going to write before you write it. This is an old hack’s trick. It is why so many of us plot out rather than just plunge into the story. You are at your most glacial when you’re trying to figure out what you are writing while you write. But you're even slower if you’re also correcting the grammar and the aesthetics of the language as you go. So slow in fact, that you can lose all of the benefits of dictation, which can be three or five or even ten times faster than composing something by hand.

So what I tried to do was reorganise the way I move through those 55-minute blocks of writing time. Rather than trying to just talk to the software for nearly an hour without a break, I wrote out the entire chapter, paragraph by paragraph, in the form of a one line summary for each par.

I then had a blueprint to refer to while I was ‘writing’ (ie, dictating).

But—and here’s the money shot—I wouldn't just look at the blueprint and try and talk my way through it, expanding each one line summary as I went. Instead I looked at the synopsis of the first par and asked myself “What is going to happen in this?”

I spent about a minute figuring it out, imagining the scene in my head, and all of the dialogue to be spoken in it. I wasn't looking for a perfect word-by-word facsimile in my head of what would soon appear on screen. I simply wanted to know what was going to happen. The story beats of the paragraph, if you will. The narrative waypoints. There’s not many of them in a single par.

This meant I was dictating about two- to three hundred words in the space of 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat the process over an hour and you get about five or six slabs of wordage, totalling 1200 or 1300 words in all.

Fuckin' romantic, innit, eh?

I didn’t edit or second guess myself as I went, I just tried to move as quickly through those short bursts of ‘writing’ as I could - after roughly figuring out where they would go, narratively. A short break followed, five minutes or so, and then I moved onto half an hours editing of the just transcribed copy.

It’s always best to edit dictated sections on the same day. The software is much better than it used to be, but there will still be errors and you’re more likely to clean them up accurately when the composition is fresh in your mind.

A developer who (I think) also writes video game storylines asked me on Twitter how I changed gears between creation and the ‘analysis’ of editing. She found it difficult to switch. It might be as simple a trick as thinking of those short, immediate bursts of editing, not as editing, but simply as more writing. You’re expanding and sculpting and refining the copy you just threw at the screen. I normally add another 25% in volume at this point. Structural and copy editing are different and can wait until later.

4 Responses to ‘The weird little origami-like folds of dictating your story’

Matthew F. asserts...

Posted September 5
+++But it's not easy to talk to yourself for just under an hour.+++

Oh, I don't know, I manage it pretty well when I'm on a task or out walking and have something on my mind and forget there are people around. And then I stop to take stock, or waiting to cross a road, and see all the looks I'm getting and get that sinking realisation that my internal monologue wasn't quite so internal for a little while there.

Anyway. Probably not what you meant. Carry on.

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Doccs asserts...

Posted September 9
Thank You JB-I’ve been struggling with VR software as part of my work.
Your idea kinda gels with what I’ve learnt that you have to speak in phrases, ie ones you’ve already thought out.

Will give your method a try.

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted September 11
In a previous career I schlepped AV equipment. One day a very casually dressed bloke asked if I minded him working in the back of a room I was setting for a show. Of course, so we each got on with our work. I noticed he wore a headset and would occasionally talk. I assumed a phone call. As I finished up we had a brief conversation. He is/was one of the lord high poo-bahs of the Federal Family Court. He was reading submissions and dictating notes via Dragon. I mentioned I knew a bloke who wrangled words professionally and who was down one arm at the time who spoke to the Dragon. He showed me how it learnt to understand him and the specific arcana of law-speak. He mentioned how unlike Ye olde memorex cassette & typist transcription, he composed each note in his head before speaking. An additional 30 seconds before clicking resulted in a significant decrease in edit & revision. Also some sweet ass tagging methods for subsequent analysis.

So when can we have a Spoilerific Spoily thread on 0DC &/or TCS ?

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Doccs would have you know...

Posted September 12
Thanks Nblob-helps me understand a bit more.

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She’ll be back

Posted September 4 into Movies by John Birmingham

Great profile of Linda Hamilton, aka Sarah Connor from the best of the Terminator movies. She’s back with James Cameron and Arnie for the new one. There's some fascinating stuff about how she turned some pretty shitty moments of her personal life into the completely remade Sarah of the second movie:

What she hadn’t dreamed of was a sequel. Years later, when Cameron contacted her out of the blue to see if she’d commit to “Terminator 2,” Hamilton had only one request: Instead of playing the damsel in distress again, she wanted Sarah to go crazy. “I wrote it to the hilt based on her directive,” Cameron told me.

This version of Sarah Connor, locked away in a psychiatric institution, had war in her eyes and a body trained like a weapon. In order to play her, Hamilton would have to get into staggeringly good shape, since Sarah’s robo-apocalypse training included pull-ups and, eventually, bicep-straining shotgun pumps. There was just one thing: “I was six months pregnant when Jim came to me,” Hamilton said, “and I carry my babies big...

Her then husband left her shortly after the birth of their child. She channeled the rage and fear from that into her role.

Totes worth a read at The New York Times.

4 Responses to ‘She’ll be back’

FormerlyKnownAsSimon mutters...

Posted September 4
i know the world is never just black&white but is there a douchier move than to dump someone after they give birth to their child?

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted September 4
No. There is not.

jl reckons...

Posted September 4
Agreed. Pretty bad.

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she_jedi is gonna tell you...

Posted September 5
I'm so excited for this, the Terminator franchise is nothing without Linda Hamilton. Sarah Connor had such an impact on my younger self.

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