39 thoughts on “State of the Collaboration: Rocky Start

  1. I loved geography in high school – I even did it in Year 12 (by which time it was stuff like urban planning and meteorology).

    What I hate in a novel is being lectured.

    Bob can stick a map in the front and call it done.

    Parrots, on the other hand? 🙂

  2. Well… if you’re on the App Trail, there might be an encounter with Bigfoot or the Brown Mountain lights!

  3. As someone who is geography-and-spatially challenged, I salute Bob for even knowing enough to include geographical details in setting. But, as that same person, I will totally skim them.

        1. Dad was a German shepherd and Mom an Australian shepherd. I had a dog from that cross back in the 80’s and 90’s and she was the Best Dog Ever.

          A guy on Craigslist had a litter–4 males and her. So I drove up to Marion and gave him the $25 he was asking and brought her home.

          My 18-year-old granddaughter asked, “Are you sure you have 16 years left to take care of her?” I said, “I hope so, but if I don’t, I’m leaving her to you.”

    1. That should have read “tee hee hee.” Early morning, but it gave me a good giggle. Thx!

  4. I hate geography even in non romance novels (does anyone else remember James Michener devoting an entire chapter to how the islands of Hawaii were formed during one of the picenes??zzzzzzz….) so PLEASE cut it out.

    1. I vaguely remember a novel that started with a family of beavers creating a dam and went on and on. That was back in the days when I had to finish what I started as far as reading a book. Nowadays I would have given up. There is only so much time. Cannot remember the title.

  5. All depends. If the story takes place on the Appalachian Trail, I’m with /anne… Give me a map.

    I like world building and places that are inherently characters or have an impact on character development.

    I dislike filler.

  6. “Smokies… you will” “Can’t wait”-
    Laughing loud enough to get attention from people that usually ignore me giggling at my computer

    I’m kind of interested in the Smokies formation. In a novel I’d skip, and start considering whether this was the right book for me. Like all those pages of Parisian architecture in the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Skip, skip, skip, when does the story start again! Audio on tape, I gave up.
    But in a moment when I’d picked up a book of architecture I’d have been interested. Gotta pick your context.

  7. The entire Appalachian mountain range (including the Smokies) is formed from ocean sediments. Sedimentary rock. Pick up a piece of rock nearly anyplace East of the Mississippi and south of New York, and unless it was imported by Home Depot to sell to suburban gardeners, it’s most likely sedimentary. Mostly pushed up, before and during Dinosaur Days, by the ancient continents smashing very slowly into one another.

    There. A paragraph will do it. Bring on the parrots!

  8. Ben Aaronovitch does a lot of geography (of London usually), and it’s weird, because they feel like infodumps when I read a print/screen version, and I skip them, but then I do the audiobook and I enjoy them.

    1. I love the architecture bits in those even though normally I just skim anything that feels like the author showing off their extensive knowledge.

      1. I think it’s because he makes it clear that Peter is an architecture geek. Like Lovejoy going on about antiques: it’s who he is.

  9. I won’t fault or diss the books if that stuff ends up in them but I will skip those parts.
    I skip at least half of all Diana Gabaldon books. Although I do fault her. I’m forming a rant in my head as I write this.

  10. The only geography I pay attention to is in “A River Runs Through it”

    I would however love a book with a parrot singing into the toilet bowl to get the benefit of the acoustics (see link in prior post).

  11. I think the rhyme was the structuring device, rather than a relationship comment, and the geography followed by mushy stuff was a parroting (hee hee) of the intro debate on preferred writing subject matter. Just how I interpreted it, of course.

  12. From Goodreads:

    Emma asked Lois McMaster Bujold:
    How do you decide a draft is good enough to become the final one, the one that will become the book? What criteria, conscious or subconscious, do you wield?

    Lois McMaster Bujold
    Well, as I’ve said elsewhere, I do rolling revisions now I’m working paperless, so there is no real boundary between drafts. (This does tend to result in more editing and micro-editing of the earliest parts than the latest.) Finding “the end” is done as much by feel as anything; I know it when I see it. I also collect an array of test reads, aka beta reads, both during and at the end, which gives me a mirror in which to see the work when my own eyes don’t focus anymore.

    The final editing pass is always a very nervous proposition. I’ve described late edits and changes as like trying to swap out one card in the second layer of an eight-layer house of cards.

    Other than that, I can tell the end is nigh by exhaustion; mood swings viz the work, from delight to hostility and back (though those go on in the middle as well); noting that changes are starting to muddy rather than clarify; and the ever-popular “change it and then change it back, lather, rinse, repeat” syndrome, all of which are signals that it’s time to be done.

    Deadlines, wanting the fun of publication, or the call of a new story also motivate putting the keyboard down and backing away. However, the phrase “a story is never finished, only abandoned” is one of those great truths. My daughter, a metals artist, also put it strikingly when she described a finished piece as “a series of decisions that I stopped making.”

    Ta, L.

    Sound familiar?

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