Cheeseburger Gothic

Update

Posted September 15 into Writing by John Birmingham

No, I'm not dead. Just busy.

In the last six weeks I've written just over 80,000 words. I intend to keep going at this rate until mid-December. By that time I will have finished Stalin's Hammer: Paris, A Girl in Time, and the new, full-length AOT novel which kicks off the world War 3.1 series. (Oh, and the Dave Hooper fanfic project).

I'm not sitting up until midnight with my underpants in my head to do this, but I am working consistently, continuously and at a pretty intense level.

At a minimum I drop 2000 words into Scrivener every day. Most days I shoot for two and a half or three thousand.

As always, come mid-afternoon I crash back to the surface of Planet Parenthood for a couple of hours of kid wrangling.

That's why you're not seeing many updates around here. I'm prioritsing the books and by the time I'm finished for the day... I am fucking finished for the day.

I have been following the discussion in the World War 3.1 thread, copying and pasting the highlights across to my research files. I've also had some very useful OOB stuff sent to me by Dirk and JL. I'm grateful for the help.

Also hugely helpful, the beta readers on Paris. I've been gradually taking in their edits and suggestions over the past fortnight, and will wrap that up and send the finished draft off to the pro-editor in the next couple of days. The cover art was finalised a long time ago, and the formatting won't take long, so it will be published within a month.

I will have another topic for 3.1 which I will put up later today. But right now, I have those KPIs to hit.

12 Responses to ‘Update’

Dave W mutters...

Posted September 15
I thought it would be something like this.

I've not been much use in the Pepsi Challenge...what with knowing next to nothing about military strategy, materiel or history. My history major kind of focussed on the causes of wars 1 and 2, rather than the military consequences. It's been interesting but quite intense to follow the threads.

Look forward to the next update.

Lulu asserts...

Posted September 16
"what with knowing next to nothing about military strategy, materiel "

Yep, same here. My only contribution would be '(a) supply lines? have you thought about your supply lines? Oh, and (b) don't invade Russia during winter, because, well (a)'.

Dave W mumbles...

Posted September 16
Plus: Never get involved in a land war in Asia (tip o' the hat to the Princess Bride).

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Leftarc puts forth...

Posted September 15
Is that how you re calibrate the diesel emissions code in a Golf?

Dirk is gonna tell you...

Posted September 15
Naah that's easy :)

Well John bring it on!

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Halwes reckons...

Posted September 15
I just read your SMH article on the plebiscite. I was determined not to care about this issue until I had to but I think that time has come. The full enormity of how the debate will unfold has finally penetrated. As I listened to how the two sides would be funded I realised how this funding will be used by the homosexual bashers and I despaired. Most can handle it I reckon and will give as good as they get but what about the fragile and the young.? They are about to get a bashing that they will never forget. There is no way that there wont be serious collateral damage and lasting enmity. By the way, the line on the plebiscite carrying less legal weight than a fridge magnet poem was gold.

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jl mutters...

Posted September 16
A little bit of staff work on our part frees you up to do what's important- writing. This is entirely selfish because the more you write the more I get to read, and it sounds like you've got some good ideas brewing down there.

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Rob puts forth...

Posted September 16
I love that gif so much.

JB send me an email about the cover image you wanted if you have the time. I have ...erm ,,,, more time that I know what to do with.

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Rhino puts forth...

Posted September 16
You keep banging that keyboard. Me 'n H got this shit locked down tight.

I wanna get my mitts on that commie stomping opus you are working on ... So, if any a these mooks try to derail ya, well, that'd be bad.

All I'm sayin is, You don't get theses eatin' borscht and pettin Uncle Joe's pecker.

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DaveC is gonna tell you...

Posted September 17
80 K words in a month and a half is pretty epic. Of course I'm drooling to read 3.1, but I'm also really looking forward to reading A Girl in Time. That premise has been bouncing around in my head and I can't wait to see where it takes them.

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien has opinions thus...

Posted September 20
I am interested in A Girl in Time as well. I didn't submit a favorite time period for the story suggestion because I couldn't decide on one.

But for me the main show will be WW 3.1. I still hold on to my boyhood dream of getting Tuckerized into one of the novels.

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insomniac reckons...

Posted September 20
We need a new post. The current one should be labelled NSFW in an open plan office.

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First Draft done

Posted August 25 into Writing by John Birmingham

Just put the last full stop in place and compiled the Scrivener file of Paris. 48 250 words. I'll give the Word doc a read thru this arvo and tomorrow, and send it out to Beta.

Publication in late September, I reckon, depending on the pro-edit.

33 Responses to ‘First Draft done’

jl mumbles...

Posted August 25
Always gives a feeling of accomplishment when you get to that stage. Well done, sir, take a micro break. Looking forward to reading your latest effort, revisited all of the AoT books recently so that I'm up to par.

Alister ducks in to say...

Posted September 6
Just like JL, I've trawled AoT over the last few days, and am back doing Stalin's Hammer. It's bloody awesome, and better than moping over having put my beloved on a plane yesterday and not seeing her until Dec.

BRING ON PARIS, JB! Watchu got?

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Peter Bradley reckons...

Posted August 25
Just a tad excited by this....just a tad.

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Marzuk asserts...

Posted August 26
So excited, this can't come soon enough. Will make the wait till the new AoT stuff next year a but more bearable

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien would have you know...

Posted August 26
This just made my day! I will make myself one of those website countdowns that calculate it down to a second until arrival...

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Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 26
Choice bro!

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she_jedi reckons...

Posted August 26
I can feel an epic *squeeee* coming on

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 27
I'm going to need an infographic and some reading time to catch up before spoilopalooza

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Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted August 28
Finished first read through on the beach.

All I have to say is, dammmmnnnnnnnnnn, dude.

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insomniac reckons...

Posted August 28
No beta read this time?

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted August 28
Yeah. I'll just sending out the main round of invites now. Wanting to test the new platform with a smaller group first.

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted August 29
I hate to taunt, (read that as "sorry, not sorry") ... But this is some awesome stuff. Since AoT is what brought a lot of us to the table to begin with, there is great joy in seeing these characters again ... And so many surprises.

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DarrenBloomfield has opinions thus...

Posted August 29
I just read up to chapter 4 on my lunch break.

I'm just waiting for the shocking JB Universes cross-over reveal: Slim Jim to The Dave "I am your father". Kinda both think with the same brain.

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DarrenBloomfield swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 29
crap, posted in wrong thread, Soz

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jl mumbles...

Posted August 29
Paris is fkn awesome! Highly recommend it to AoT junkies (like me).

DaveC is gonna tell you...

Posted August 30
I concur with Jason. Paris be God damned righteous!

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DarrenBloomfield ducks in to say...

Posted August 30
I just finished it at lunchthine. Awesome.

I now needto go back again, since I found the last 4-5 chapters so compelling I forgot to read for edits, you know, like he's paying us big bucks to do...

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Ron Schaffer reckons...

Posted August 31
where do i find the beta - I cant wait

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted September 2
Ron. Send me your email and I'll send you a link.

Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted September 2

NO! He doesn't get a link just by ASKING! Flinging betas out willy hilly and higgedly piggedly.That just isn't done. It has to be bestowed, after years of toil and meritorious Burger service.



Oh, who am I kidding? Come on in, the water is fine. If mostly beer and piss counts as fine.

HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted September 2
um...did you tell him about the INITIATION FKN CEREMONY! or fkn what! cos I need advance notice to buy all those fkn leftovers!

Rhino puts forth...

Posted September 3
This really needs to be on the agenda for the next meeting.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted September 5
I concur. Where is Man Clumsy, always banging on about an agenda, well here's something for his agenda.
Ahem " This house agrees that Beta Readers be no longer referred to as "exclusive" "discerning" nor "select.'

HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted September 5
I think we say yes kinda and the CAP THE FKR!

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Sparty ducks in to say...

Posted September 1
still doing proofing - but story wise - bang on perfect! kind of all the good things of the Force Awakens...

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Nathan ducks in to say...

Posted September 1
I'd love to give it a read

Rhino mutters...

Posted September 3

Nathan, quick question, How the hell am I supposed to be able to gloat about being a member of an exclusive club if everyone can be a member just by asking nicely?



Do you not give one whit of caring about my privelege?



What kind of monster are you?

DarrenBloomfield asserts...

Posted September 6
He's history's greatest monster. That's what kind.

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ShushKebab mutters...

Posted September 5
Wouldn't mind reading the beta too. And before anyone asks - I've been bere for ages. Long time lurker. And before you ask, I still have my copy of WW2.3 paperback copy - a tad worn out yes, but only because I read it whilst sitting on the loo.

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HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted September 6
YOU should be SHOT for that , fk me man, Its a Coulda been Nobel Prize winning fkn book if ol kb wasn't shafted. And you read it whilst on the shitter.

Adiry whips and Books, AoT dont go together in my opinion.

Loved a term I heard last night online.

" FECAL EXPLOSION" fkn wicked

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted September 6
no..sorry it was that he did a FECAL JACKSON POLLACK

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Marzuk asserts...

Posted September 7
Haha fecal explosion, i will somehow have to work that term into a conversation today.

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Paris progress

Posted August 22 into Writing by John Birmingham

Just passed 40K of a planned 45K final word count. Unless I am suddenly siezed of a madness that demands I add a couple of last minute chapters, I should have this bad boy ready for beta in a couple of days. I'll probably send it out at the end of the week. I'll need a day or so to go through the compiled manuscript and do a light edit.

I could push on today. I got plenty left in the tank. But I've adopted the practice of finishing up when I hit my word goal for the day, even if I finish early. It's one of a couple of tweaks I've made to my work flow and it's helped a lot. I'm writing more consistently over the course of the week by not thashing myself every day.

12 Responses to ‘Paris progress’

Surtac reckons...

Posted August 22
Huzzah!

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insomniac mutters...

Posted August 22
Out of interest, how many words are in one of the original trilogy books? ebooks make it hard to get a sense of the relative heft you get with a dead tree book.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted August 22
They ran to 160K. When I do the long form AoT booklet in 1942 and 1955 next year, I'll shoot for 110K, which was the length of the Dave novels.

jason ducks in to say...

Posted August 23
I adopted the idea of a word budget from "how to be a writer" and I love it. I hit the word budget before lunch last Friday and was floating on air for the rest of the day, ended up almost doubling it which made up for only just making it in the previous week.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted August 23
There is no finer feeling than being in surplus by lunch time.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted August 22
That'l do bunnies. That'l do.

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Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted August 22
Looking forward to seeing it.

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DaveC mumbles...

Posted August 22
I'm preparing my steepled fingers, and well loved catch-cry.

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Dave W swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 22
Saw your Digital Preservation talk thingy on the Nat Library website today. Very interesting.

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jl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 22
Sweet, beta reading! If I'm not on the list, pretty please put me in there, sir.

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Chirurgean ducks in to say...

Posted August 23
Good news. Will you be using an iPad friendly collaboration app so I can lie on the couch and type in comments to my heart's content?
Dropbox Papers (in Beta)?
An article on your worflow in writing books would make interesting reading

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Dirk reckons...

Posted August 25
the sacred words "So, bring it on!" spring to mind :)

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Writing update.

Posted August 17 into Writing by John Birmingham

Yes, it's been very quiet around here hasn't it. That's because I am a deep in a massive structural re-engineering of Paris. The e-book, not the city. It was something I kept putting off and putting off, trying to convince myself I didn't have to do.
But I did.
So please forgive my tardiness in not keeping things regularly updated here. There is a reason. I want this book to be really good. With this last episode of the Stalin's Hammer sequence, I want to restart the entire series, both the original 1940s-based narrative arc, and the new one I'm setting up for the 1950s.
I feel a little bit like I did that time I had to shut down the Burger in its original form at journalspace. I just needed to concentrate on AoT and nothing else. I haven't done that this time, and I will resist doing it, but I will also maintain my focus on the manuscript alone for at least another two weeks.

31 Responses to ‘Writing update. ’

dweeze asserts...

Posted August 17
I, for one, say "GO FOR IT, SON". Do what ya gotta do to make the bestest book. We all got lives we can get on with while you are massaging the beast.

GhostSwirv reckons...

Posted August 19

He said 'massaging the beast' !!!

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Bondiboy66 mutters...

Posted August 17
All good - the finished product will be the confirmation of the correctness of this decision

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Surtac would have you know...

Posted August 17
Do what you need to. I'm happy to wait.

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Gutz reckons...

Posted August 17
No worries Guvnor, wot them other blokes said. I think i heard this from somewhere? "with great power comes great responsibility"...

So get to scribbling your words down and we shall amuse ourselves around here. Anyone got a bag of marbles? I seem to have lost mine.

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DarrenBloomfield mumbles...

Posted August 17
I come for the blog. But I stay for the books.

Or some shit like that

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KreepyKrawly ducks in to say...

Posted August 17
Don't worry about us, we'll just sit in the corner waiting for the jewels of your intellect to arrive... ß-Þ (Cracks whip)

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HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted August 17
FK Me I nearly bought a ticket north for SAR for you ya muppet!


JUST gibe me the fkn keys will ya and ALL WILL BE SPANKY FKN OKAY DOKAY!.....HONEST!

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DaveC is gonna tell you...

Posted August 17
The question isn't why you had a pause from the blog to write a book on this occasion - but rather - how the fk do you you maintain the blog while writing all those other books, the rest of the time? My multi-tasking abilities are so poor I need to pause Netflix while I scratch my nuts.

Peter in the Bleachers reckons...

Posted August 17
I'm with Dave C. keep at it JB, we the minions will wait.

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David S. mutters...

Posted August 17
Damn, I was so hoping you meant the city. It could use a good restructure you know, what with all those silly arrondissements, and the bridges; don't get me started about those darn bridges!

Anyway your book, if it needs a good restructure then that's what you must do, so good luck with that.

insomniac puts forth...

Posted August 17
Paris (the city) is fine, except for all those fucking French people of course. They bring the tone down.

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SZF is gonna tell you...

Posted August 17
I just figured you wuz watching the 'Lympics. My bad.

Sudragon reckons...

Posted August 21
At least it's not Pokemon Go, like some other famous authors lately.

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she_jedi mumbles...

Posted August 17
I figured if you go quiet for a bit it's for a good writing related reason, so keep on with the "some of you will die, but that's a risk I'm willing to take" discussions you're no doubt having with your characters. We can wait.

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Dirk swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 17
What they said ...
Looking forward to it though :D

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jl mumbles...

Posted August 18
All good things are worth the wait. I know when I'm writing I go into a semi-fugue state and it's hard to take a shower or walk the dog, let alone maintain a blog, etc. I am amazed by what you do. BTW, picked up "How to be a Writer" while re-reading "Designated Targets" for the millionth time. I am learning from a master, JB.

jl has opinions thus...

Posted August 18
Finished "How to Be a Writer". Brilliant.

Quokka asserts...

Posted August 19
Ditto.

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien puts forth...

Posted August 18
JB, looks like you are close to solving the Riddle of Steel....can't wait to read it.

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted August 18
Spent an hour and a half on a time line issue this morning. No writing. Just thinking and moving shit around in my head.

HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted August 18
thats a fkn lot of free space within which to lose shit i reckon!

Dirk reckons...

Posted August 18
We tend to be good at problem solving ...

Sudragon would have you know...

Posted August 21
Confucius say: empty attic attract possums.

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Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted August 18
If you get busy you can throw us a Burger-Lite confession hour.
I've found a new source of Portuguese Custard Tarts & a new low in self-control.
Not the best combo, but one our resident Scribe will understand.

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Sparty ducks in to say...

Posted August 18
looking forward and intrigued by the thought of new 40's (and 50's) AoT.

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Joe asserts...

Posted August 19
Any AoT is worth the wait!

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Rhino ducks in to say...

Posted August 19
The best part of the new series will be the introduction of a younger, more virile (if that is even possible) Rhino.

Sorry, Birmo, if I stirred-up a hornet's nest and distracted you. Not my intent. Just wanted to stimulate some JB love as the comments were going dormant.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted August 19
A capital idea. But I wonder, will his metaphorical gonads the size of basketballs be any substitute for the elder Rhino's nuanced grasp of strategy and geo-politics?

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HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted August 19
more HMAS HAVOC...who fkn wouldn't love that shit!- and WHITE FKN DWARFS on skanky arses. well 70's versions or so

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Aaron is gonna tell you...

Posted August 19
I could imagine Stalin contemplating the 'restructuring' of paris via the hammer and leaving it as a warning a la reynes of castamere.

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Scrivener on the iPad. Finally

Posted July 21 into Writing by John Birmingham

It's here on iOS. At last. The crack cocaine of writer apps. It's US$20. Thirty down here in vegemiteland. And cheap at twice the price. As soon as it dropped yesterday, I started hitting refresh on the app store, waiting for the file to propagate. Bought it the very second it appeared.

If you're searching the app store, beware. There are many bullshit imitators with strikingly similar names.

But like the Highlander, there can be only one Scivener. And if you click this link you go right there.

I spent a few hours playing with it last night. It seems to be a rock solid 1.0 build. Not as full featured as the dektop app, natch, but still massively overpowered compared to a word processor. I'll do a full write up later this week but for now I am impressed. It's not just shovelware. The developer has spent a long time reimagining the user experience for mobile. It has that most desirable of all traits in the world of engineering: elegance.

I am excite.

9 Responses to ‘Scrivener on the iPad. Finally’

DarrenBloomfield has opinions thus...

Posted July 21
I read this on wired.


http://www.wired.com/2016/07/scrivener-ios-means-can-write-zombie-novel-anywhere/


Is it possible there's more of a quid in making tools for writers than there is in writing?


John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted July 21
I know a space lizard who thinks so.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted July 21
does that mean if I want to be a writer I can just buy it and not a copy of 'how to be a writer'?

HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted July 21
hmmm. Barnes. NOPE. I'm fkn living proof of that!

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Veruca Babydoll would have you know...

Posted July 21
Do you not like Ulysses App, John?

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted July 22
Good reason to pick-up the keyboard for this iPad Pro this weekend. Been needing an excuse.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted July 22
I got my first big delivery of Bezos Bucks coming in a couple of days. Finding it really hard to imagine my immediate future without a fully tricked out iPad Pro in it.

Rhino reckons...

Posted July 22
It is sweet. I got the whole enchilada.

Need to pick-up the pen and keyboard now.

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Nocturnalist reckons...

Posted July 22
+++There are many bullshit imitators with strikingly similar names.

But like the Highlander, there can be only one Scivener. +++

Hee!

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He's baaaack

Posted July 20 into Writing by John Birmingham

15 Responses to ‘He's baaaack’

ntwinter puts forth...

Posted July 20
Ah Slim - welcome back in all your uncouth glory :)
Looking forward to this SO much.

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Bondiboy66 mumbles...

Posted July 20
He is so unlikable...yet I like his appearances in the story!

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HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted July 20
yeah, not to shabby, bout bloody time I might add.

Its funny, but Slim Jim is the only Character that I do not like and really cannot emotionally attach to in ANY FKN WAY. Really fkn crawls up my nose. I would have had the mthr fkr capped a long fkn time ago.

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jason has opinions thus...

Posted July 20
Slim Jim makes me feel ashamed and jealous at the same time. I assume this is a character flaw on my part.

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted July 20
Jimbo provides a focus for character hate. He's such an arsehole you expect a rival or victim to slot him at any stage.

HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted July 20
lol..true, its FKN VISCERAL!

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Dave W has opinions thus...

Posted July 20
Love to see the darkness and cynicism of a character who expects the worst of anyone else, therefore is willing to do the worst first.

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted July 20
Rat cunning has its roguish appeal.

How else would one explain Greybeard.

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Don Bagert mutters...

Posted July 21
And that "fancy French restaurant" is in France - Paris to be exact, right? :)

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted July 21
It's like you're looking over my shoulder as I write.

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Springfield Fats reckons...

Posted July 21
I can't remember now whether Slim Jim was in with the quiet room gang or not now, but he's always struck me as the kind of person/character that, while he would cut his own throat to get a good deal going, he's going to be reliable when it comes to the 'good guys' winning and help where he can.

Just out of curiosity JB, how much harder do you find it to write characters who are meant to be unlikeable, but are good guys/heroes in the story? I'm thinking of Dave mostly as I read Protocol, but having just finished the latest season of Rake it's front of mind from that as well.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted July 21
It's not harder writing them, Fats. The danger is enjoying it too much.

Timbo mumbles...

Posted July 21
As far as I recall, Davidson was an unwitting pawn of the QR. Maybe he and the Kohlhammer will have sex, since the Hammer made him famous.

Don Bagert has opinions thus...

Posted July 23
JB, your comment reminds me of C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters, which was originally printed in the UK in the weekly periodical The Guardian. Lewis abruptly ended the very popular series abruptly in one final letter, later stating that it had become too hard to write the horrific demon Screwtape week after week (there were 31 letters in all).

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Sudragon is gonna tell you...

Posted July 22
The trick, I've been told, is not to giggle maniacally as you write them, hunched over the keyboard at 3 in the morning.

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