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obvious noob questions from a writer
(11-11-2013, 05:43 AM)Drashner1 Wrote: Just read the blurb on authonomy for your book - it certainly sound interesting and like something from early in the OA timelineSmile

Couple of thoughts here:

a) Could you tell us more about how Authonomy works? I don't think we've heard of it before and it might be something we'd like to play with or encourage our authors to play with.

b) Would you be amenable to providing some feedback on how well the OA project does in terms of encouraging authors to write stories in the setting? Both in terms of the pay structure, but also just as a setting for an author to play in. Many of us have been part of the project for a long time and its often useful to get an outside perspective to point out issues or problems that the 'veterans' don't notice.

All the above is purely voluntary of course. Feel free to decline or even ignore the request if you wish - it won't have any impact on any future conversations or business dealings or whateverSmile Just something I thought to I'd ask.



Well...okay then. Quite an amazing response, really.

So basically...I can rape and pillage at will, lift all these great ideas, and all OA an attribution?

Well...yeah. I can do that. Smile

Consider me on board.

In response to your questions,
a) authonomy is sponsored by HarperCollins, a largely Brit-based publishing house...essentially the way it works is, you post your works, and they're reviewed by other authors...usually in exchange for read-swaps and critiques of their works. Through some Byzantine system of vote collection I won't even pretend to understand, once you've gotten your work on enough "bookshelves" you can apparently also get your stuff reviewed by a HarperCollins editor...which allegedly takes at least a year. I wasn't really interested in that aspect - it seems more than a little like a twitter-follower contest, and it definitely seems to reward social activity a lot more than quality, which I really don't have the time or honestly the inclination for - I mostly wanted to talk to other authors and get some feedback on my story. And there do seem to be some pretty good writers in there.

b) As far as providing feedback...yeah, I'd be more than happy to do that. I did a little digging and didn't see the pay scale stuff, but I can tell you that the first thing I saw is that the sheer scale of your Universe presents some interesting problems for a prospective writer. I'm a hard-core geek (or at least, I thought I was), and I've read pretty much everything from Gibson, Sterling, Vernor Vinge, Heinlein, Spinrad, Vonnegut, Varley, all the way back to Asimov. Which means I've got a pretty firm backing on not just modern SF but the precursors to the modern genres...and I was still overwhelmed (and still am, honestly), by the sheer volume of terminology and ideas-atop-other-ideas Babel stack you've got going here. Reading some of the Encyclopedia Galactica, I'm pretty much having to cross-click links incessantly for definitions and chew slowly and digest in increments...and I still get the idea it'll take months to get totally up to speed. Which is cool (and honestly, exciting, it's a treasure trove!)...but it also means the macro scale of the OA Universe seriously needs to be broken down into micro lumps for dispensation.

The thing that I saw, clicking on some of the fiction here, is that the macro scale of the Universe was overwhelming some of the narrative sensibilities of the authors. You click on some of these stories and you get an overpowering fire-hose blast of geekdom square in the face. Which is cool if you speak the lingo...but when even a Gibson/Vinge/Niven guy like me doesn't know what the fark you're talking about, what it means is you're talking some obscure dialect of geek that's completely inaccessible not just to the masses (which I know is not your target audience), but also to the reasonably well-educated...and that is a problem.

The most obvious thing I saw was: this universe could badly use some windows into it. The obvious parallel is Linux...Linux was a shared collaborative geek endeavor that was once largely exclusive to the uber-geeks because it didn't have a user-friendly GUI (which rendered it inoperable to all but the true technophiles)...but add a user-friendly interface and all of a sudden you've got Ubuntu running on hundreds of thousands of systems worldwide. This division of your boards so that the right-brained can talk amongst themselves...seems wise, on your part.

Like I said, OA is an obvious treasure trove. The trick, at least from where I'm sitting, is going to be delving into it...with moderation, keeping the scale micro. And keeping stories character-driven...while keeping in mind what the OA-savvy know...and what the prospective target audience probably doesn't, and making sure there's a idea-dispensation rate that an uninitiated brain can process without tuning out.

Thanks for your thoughtful responses. It's certainly a lot more than a noob expected to get. Wink[/i]

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RE: obvious noob questions from a writer - by TheodoreBonn - 11-12-2013, 02:34 PM

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