Writing Fast

Last blog I talked about writing more stories to practice the art of storytelling, but writing fast does not mean typing fast, even though I can type fast.

As Dean Wesley Smith said, type slow, but spend more hours writing.

Produce more stories.

Why?

My words here! Writing one story then spending years trying to improve it only edits the life out of the story. Second, there is no perfect story, only stories that keep you reading until THE END, or stories that you don’t bother reading past the first few chapters.

This thought of mine was made clear in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s blog post on Modern Writer Survival Skills.

Some of the readers of this blog already follow DWS and KKR, but for those who don’t, do read the blog and the comments. I learn much more in the comments than in the actual blog. 🙂

I also liked the way KKR described voice and style. What do you think? Is it clearer for you?

This week I got a few more scenes written for my current WIP. Only have another eight scenes to go to catch the ones behind the killing and kidnapping attempts, and solve the problems between aliens and colonists. Great fun!

I also received comments from a beta reader for another story, and have made some of the suggested changes. It lead to another question. English is different between America and Australia.

In America they seem to hyphen a lot of words, but in Australia, we don’t. Like “wrist watch” vs. “wrist-watch” or “checklist” and “check list”, vs. “check-list”.

In USA they use “z” in a lot of words where we use “s”.

Also we spell words like “honour” with a “u” but in USA they spell “honor” without the “u”.

My question is, should writers in Australia use USA spelling for eBooks? Remember, the eBooks are purchased by European readers, as well as American readers. Does anyone know how other authors and eBook publishers handle the English spelling for each country?

Hope your week went well, writing wise.

 

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11 comments so far

  1. Shayne on

    “My question is, should writers in Australia use USA spelling for eBooks?”

    I would suggest that if you’re selling an ebook on an American site, using American spelling, and if you’re selling a book on a European site, use European spelling.

    • djmills on

      Granted, that is the simple answer.
      But, Amazon and Smashwords and B&N and others are American sites that sells to all of the world, including Australia, United Kingdom, and Europe who all spell the English way.
      Would that mean putting each ebook up twice on every site, one with American spelling and one with English/Australian spelling and note the difference in the blurb so readers can choose which to download?

  2. Shayne on

    I don’t think you need to put up each book twice – that seems overly complicated and unnecessary.

    Being a commonwealth country, in Canada we tend to use British spellings for things, but I don’t think anyone here is particularly troubled by seeing American spellings, either. I think, as long as you’re consistent with your spelling throughout the story, you’ll be fine either way.

    • djmills on

      Thanks for that, because I am selling my ebooks in Canada and UK as well as USA, and was worried some would think I can’t spell.

      When I started looking into the different spelling rules, I found that MS Word has 18 different English selections in its language list. I haven’t tested them to see the differences, and really don’t want to. I guess being consistant with Australian English is OK.

  3. Shayne on

    One thing I would caution you on, though, is to make sure any Australian-isms are clear from the context of the story, because that is something that people will get confused by if it’s not clear.

    • djmills on

      How can different spelling of the same english words with the same meanings suddenly become Australian-isms?

  4. Shayne on

    I didn’t mean english words with different spellings, I meant slang terms that are unique to Australia, that Americans or Canadians wouldn’t know. I don’t know any for Australia, but an example of a British-ism would be ‘taking the piss out of someone’. I just meant that if you use a slang term like that, it’s good to make sure the meaning is clear to readers who’ve never heard it before.

    • djmills on

      I don’t use Australian slang in my stories because my stories are Scifi, so they have their own slang, deliberately made up to suit the futureistic era. 🙂 Like Anne McCaffrey uses “by the shard”, “shards”, etc in her pern series. Or, Moddesitt uses “res” and “prod” in his SciFi novel Flash (great book, by the way).

      In fact, you could write a blog article on using or not using slang from any nationality in genre fiction. I would look forward to reading that. 🙂

      • Shayne on

        I’m not sure there’s enough to fill a blog article on the subject, or at least, I’m not sure that I’m qualified to write it. The advice I’ve read can basically be boiled down to this: 1) Avoid any kind of slang that will date your book, because that will affect the story’s longevity, and 2) If you do use slang, make sure the meaning is made clear through the context of the conversation or actions of the characters.

        Making up your own slang sounds like a really good way to avoid those problems. Unfortunately, I think that solution only works in stories that are set in places other than modern earth.

  5. J.A. Marlow on

    I would say just be consistent on how you spell. I’ve read a lot of books on both sides of the pond, and had no trouble at all adapting to the differences. It didn’t slow me down at all, as a reader.

    • djmills on

      Glad to hear that. I prefer UK English, but with the small choice over the past 5 or so years I have had to tolerate US English.

      I still do not understand a lot of brand names, not that I care what brand of shoe or handbag I purchase. When I read a story with brand names I just assume it is expensive and a snobby thing and let it go. And I don’t understand a lot of slang that hasn’t reached Australia yet.

      I still locate every spelling mistake published, whether newspapers or best selling novels, but have slowly learnt to let it go and continue the story.


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