Notice: Undefined index: a777d in /home/jpenney/public_html/jasonpenney.net/index.php on line 3
· Output Archives - All the Billion Other Moments · All the Billion Other Moments

Thoughts on Pens

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

I’ve never liked writing with pens. I’ve always preferred pencils, mostly mechanical. My handwriting is fairly attrocious, but I found the friction of the right graphite on paper slowed me down enough to be legible while not so much as to cause me to loose whatever thought I was hoping to preserve.

Recently I’ve found myself trying to find a pen that I can use comfortably. I’m not completely sure what caused me to want to switch to pens after all these years. The fact that pencils have a high tendency to fade over time has something to do with it.

One pen I’ve found I really like is the Paper Mate PhD Multi. Twisting this pen switches it between a pen, a PDA stylus, and a 0.5 mm mechanical pencil. It appears that you can replace the stylus with an additional pen refill, but I haven’t been able to find them in any color but black. Having red ink, black ink, and the pencil would be best for me. I wasn’t crazy about the included pencil leads, but I just replace them with some 2B which is simple enough. I really like the way this pen feels in my hand.

Unfortunately, the PhD is a bit large to stick in your pocket all the time, so I’ve also been using a Bullet Pen from Fisher Space Pens. When caped it’s just over half the size of a standard pen, and the cap isn’t just going to fall off in your pocket. The clip on the other hand, fell off when I breathed on it wrong, but a little Krazy Glue fixed that. It should write underwater or in outer space, and in temperatures of -30° to 250° F, which in New England should be pretty useful. It does clump occasionally, but I know it’s always going to write, even in the strangest situations. I find that comforting somehow.

1-Pass Day 33 (71519/93173)

Thursday, October 12th, 2006
Type in
71519/93173

Made some more progress last night. I’m feeling pretty ready to be done now. If anyone has some spare time they can lend me, I’d appreciate it.

Totally unrelated, but I found this pretty amusing. Oh, and if anyone wants to buy me one of these, I wouldn’t complain. I have just the spot for it in the yard.

1-Pass Day 32 (68501/94126)

Monday, October 9th, 2006
Type in
68501/94126

This morning I had a great momentum going, and had life allowed it to continue I may have finished the whole thing today. Still, not a bad day all said.

The next scene is very fast paced and covered with corrections, and my eyes are crossing, so I think that’s it for tonight.

1-Pass Day 31 (60138/96439)

Friday, October 6th, 2006
Type in

60138/96439

Not too bad. I hope I make some good progress this weekend.

1-Pass Day 30 (56346/97038)

Thursday, October 5th, 2006
Type in

56346/97038

Got some more done last night. I didn’t have much time, but last nights pages needed a bit less work than the night before, which was nice. I’ve reached one of my favorite sections, so I’m looking forward to getting back into it soon

You Write Fantasy? Isn’t That a Lot of Work?

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Holly Lisle posted the the introduction to Holly Lisle’s Create A Culture Clinic, the next volume in her Worldbuilding Course. Reading it really drove some things home for me. My wife often asks why I choose to write stories set in a fantasy world that I have to create, giving myself that much extra work to do (other people ask too, but she asks most often). There are two problems with that. Firstly, it’s not so much a choice so much as when I sit down to write, I write fantasy stories. I didn’t make a conscious decision to write fantasy stories. Secondly, I don’t think it is more work.

No one seems to believe me on either of those, but the second one seems to dwarf the first in peoples minds. How can I possibly believe such a thing? Because it’s true.

If I want to have a race of purple headed bird people in my world I have some work to do. How to they interact with other races? How are their lives different than humans? What’s their history? Do they speak their own language? Do they eat worms? That’s just the start, and perhaps these violet faced flying folk will only play a passing role in my story.

What’s that? I’m failing to prove my point? Be patient.

If I want to set a story in modern day Saginaw, Michigan, where I’ve never been, I still have quite a bit of work to do. What are the people like? What’s the economic and social structure? What local slang is in use, and by what age groups? What clothing lines are popular with high schoolers? What’s the ethnic makeup of the city? What color are the police cars? How many schools do they have? That too is just the start.

See, in the fantasy world, I make my own answers. Sure I have to make them work in a believable context, and I might make some stupid choices I have to later deal with in some way, but I can’t really be wrong. After all, I’m the world authority on those purple headed bird people. You might think people will be forgiving in the second scenario. It’s only fiction after all, right? Not that I’ve seen. Authors who take liberties with the world we live in get ripped apart. Maybe not all the time, but I’ve seen it happen about really stupid stuff.

So why not write about my hometown, or somewhere I know more about firsthand? I’ve always felt I had a lot of good reasons why I chose not to do that. But Holly’s introduction gave me another one by pointing out a big danger in writing about the world you live in. If you fail to capture the culture in the story, once the culture changes you’re story will no longer work. Yikes! It’s not that it can’t be done, and maybe I could do it, but it sounds like a lot of extra work.

1-Pass Day 29 (54467/97296)

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006
Type in

54467/97296

Made some more progress last night. Hopefully I’ll have some more time tonight.

1-Pass Day 28 (52596/97829)

Sunday, October 1st, 2006
Type in
52596/97829

This is actually from Friday night, when I fell asleep at the keyboard. Haven’t had any time this weekend.

One Pass Type-In: The Pages

Friday, September 29th, 2006

Type-in Example

I figured some of you may be wondering what the pages I’m working on now look like (or not, but I wanted to break up the word count posts). Here are two random pages from the current stack on my document holder. This are pretty representative. Some pages have only one correction, some are crossed out entirely, and some have little circled numbers, referring me to the new handwritten scenes to insert.

Also, congratulations to Kathleen Bolton who just finished a One Pass Revision, and posted her thoughts on the process.

1-Pass Day 27 (50657/98258)

Thursday, September 28th, 2006
Type in
50657/98258

Didn’t have much time today, but I made myself get half a chapter done even thought I’m exhausted.