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Jay Cantrell

richardshagrin
Updated:

He just had a very interesting blog comment about his writing plans for the next three years! Are other authors here that organized?

I was interested for months about whether his name was Can trell or Can't rell. I couldn't find either trell or rell as a verb. I think I said before I finally realized the r is silent, and he Can tell (a story.) I also discovered today, when he signed his blog Jay C. that his initials are the same as Jesus Christ.

I am not planning on any kind of religious organization to admire his writing, but are there other authors whose initials are also JC? I can think of the Astounding Science Fiction Magazine (later Analog) editor John W. Campbell, Jr. but I don't think he used JC.

I don't think this is Story Discussion, so it must be Feedback.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

I don't think this is Story Discussion, so it must be Feedback.

I'd classify it as incidental rambling. 'D Feedback is when you provide input into the story itself, not guessing what a given name might mean or not.

Replies:   richardshagrin
Ernest Bywater

I know it's not common on the Internet or at SoL, but it's just possible Jay Cantrell is his real name. I don't know if it is or isn't. However, my main account is in my real name while the nom de plume I use for the Clan Amir is part of my name (almost), and I know a few authors who use their real initials in their name - example cmsix - his initial are cm and he had the same name as a number of his ancestors.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

If I reproduced his blog giving his story plans, would that have made the post better? Would you prefer I delete the post? That is an option if it is not relevant to the Forum. The central thought of my message, before all the asides, was the 3 year plan and the stories planed looked interesting, and people who didn't see the blog might want to review it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

If I reproduced his blog giving his story plans, would that have made the post better? Would you prefer I delete the post? That is an option if it is not relevant to the Forum. The central thought of my message, before all the asides, was the 3 year plan and the stories planed looked interesting, and people who didn't see the blog might want to review it.

Sorry, I was trying for 'playful teasing', but obviously missed by a wide margin.

But getting back on topic, yes, I tend to plan out years in advance. My first story was a huge volume, eventually spanning six complete books, and I had the end scene in my mind the entire time, even when I didn't know the final details.

Even now, I'm in the planning stages for two separate three volume series, and another several single book stories.

Some authors prefer short stories so they can flex their storytelling muscles with a minimum of fuss, while others like to immerse ourselves in an expansive story that evolves over time. Neither approach is superior, but each side fights tooth and nail over their approach over everyone else's! 'D

Replies:   awnlee jawking
richardshagrin

@Ernest Bywater

I always thought six was from the Signal Corps SOI (signal operating instructions) where the S one through S four call signs were one through four, The Executive Officer was five, and the Commander was six. Although when the air force says watch your six they mean look behind you, like six o'clock on a watch.

Replies:   sharkjcw
sharkjcw
Updated:

@richardshagrin

Jay Cantrell is not his real name. He addresses this in a blog post after a man named Jay Cantrell was arrested in Texas.

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer


others like to immerse ourselves in an expansive story that evolves over time. Neither approach is superior


For several obvious reasons longer stories on SOL tend to attract higher scores irrespective of quality. If amassing high scores is your objective, then longer stories are better.

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

For several obvious reasons longer stories on SOL tend to attract higher scores irrespective of quality. If amassing high scores is your objective, then longer stories are better.

Good point, but longer stories are also notorious lacking in focus (the story meanders, rather than moving towards the resolution of a central conflict). As such, although the scores might be better, it's not as beneficial in the long run. As author's gain experience, they're later stories typically score better--especially since their fans know to seek them out, and they attract fewer people not comfortable with the topics discussed. Thus, is it better to have higher scores for a single, never-ending story, or to show growth in your storytelling over time, dealing with separate issues and conflicts.

Heck, series also get better scores than other stories, as loyal fans swoop in immediately, pushing the scores up, while those who never bothered to read the first book avoid it (not wanting to start at square one), which effects the scoring in the long term.

I firmly believe that writing a series, rather than an ongoing story, produces stronger stories by dealing with a central theme/conflict at a time, rather than jumping from one to another.

That said, the ultimate decision about how to write a story depends on the individual author, and generally, which SOL stories they prefer. Most will write the same types they most often read, regardless of the merits of that kind of story.

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

For several obvious reasons longer stories on SOL tend to attract higher scores irrespective of quality.


I think that's because they're more involved. Most are much better at plot and character development than the majority of the short stories are. However, there are some very badly written long stories with low scores, juts not many. What is sad is the number of long stories that start well, get good scores, and then get lost in the wilderness for the next 40 years or chapters or whatever.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

What is sad is the number of long stories that start well, get good scores, and then get lost in the wilderness for the next 40 years or chapters or whatever.

Which is why, it's always best to have an end point in sight. By sticking with an established conflict, you avoid this, because the story ends when the initial conflict is resolved. If the conflict changes, and the hero faces a new challenge, it's better (for the story) to begin a sequel.

However, as I noted, you'll have a hard time convincing those who enjoy these types of stories to write something else.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer


However, as I noted, you'll have a hard time convincing those who enjoy these types of stories to write something else.


ayep, and despite being some one who loves writing novels and sagas, I'll never write one of those never ending stories. Even my long stories are finished before they start to appear on SoL.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

ayep, and despite being some one who loves writing novels and sagas, I'll never write one of those never ending stories. Even my long stories are finished before they start to appear on SoL.

As are mine. Despite loving those slowly unfolding sagas, when I first started writing, I set out to tell a very specific story. My first story--which started out as a proposed 3 books--ended as a huge 6 book series, but each book told a very different story, and addressed different issues thru the eyes of it's protagonist.

Focus and editing are essential for any author, and those who consider self-editing to be insignificant do so at their own peril.

KimLittle
Updated:

I would love to have the output of Jay or Ernest or Messr. The Honorable Crumbly BUT!

I found interesting Jay's comments on his blog:


I am a father, a husband, a brother, an uncle, a friend and an employee. Each of those titles takes precedence over the title of writer. I compose these stories when I have exactly nothing else that requires my attention.


I'm in the same boat-ish (hence the almost year-long hiatus from posting on my current story). Doesn't mean I stop planning/writing/re-writing in my head, but for me the hardest bit is getting 2-3 hours to sit down and actually pour out that chapter, then get another 2-3 hours to edit it and proofread it.

But I have at least 3 other stories plotted, planned and pre-written in my head. Just that I can't download my brain into SOL. Yet.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@KimLittle

But I have at least 3 other stories plotted, planned and pre-written in my head. Just that I can't download my brain into SOL. Yet.

That's good. My only point is that, by simply writing anything, in any form, you help keep your creative writing skills active, rather than having to develop them all over.

I find that, if I don't keep at least one new story going at all times, that the first several chapters of any new story are incredibly awkward and hard to read. It takes that long to break the cycle. So if jotting notes, or making observations on your phone, helps to keep your mind's 'muscles' active, it helps the process.

However, if you can't write continuously, just count though numbers in. To 'crank out' a story, you'll probably need to throw out the first 10,000 to 24,000 words! In that case, you'll probably want to 'experiment' initially with your least likely story, switching to your best option once you feel your writing is back up to snuff.

I was listing limitations I've encountered so you'll know what's realistic. I wasn't meaning you had to dedicate your life to writing all hours of the day and night. If creative writing gives you an outlet--such as writing a couple couplets about the beauty of a spring day--then it's easier to write a little on a regular basis, even if it doesn't lead anywhere. But that doesn't mean you also can't put everything aside to 'vacation' periods. You just need to be aware of the trade-offs involved.

But mostly, you asked how others dealt with the issue, so I was relying some personal observations.

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