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Writing a Book - Looking for an Audience :-)

Jerkbane

Cuttlefish
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Jun 8, 2020
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18
Hey there everyone :smile:

After having a Sci-Fi book knocking around in my head for most of 20 years, I've gotten up the motivation and inspiration to start writing it down. What I have so far is a Background for the Universe I'm building, and a set of chapters that are writing themselves.

I have an idea of where I want to go, but as per typical the characters are writing themselves into a story and don't always agree with where I want them to go. We will strike a compromise I'm sure.

In any case, I'm really interested in writing true to life as far as I can possibly go. I want to respect the Ceph in the story, and in the world as we know it before changing it into something else :wink:

So may I ask for a Beta Reader pool for feedback? Owing to this is *all* plot holes at the moment, my strategy is to come up with a Timeline, and then write chapters and segments of narrative as inspiration strikes. Then place the chunks into the Timeline and weave them together as they join up.

So, again, a pleasure to be here and I hope we can have a great ride together on this project!
 

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Jerkbane

Cuttlefish
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Jun 8, 2020
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I'm inspired by the length of time these creatures have been around, and the sheer resilience of them.

I've seen them in action both in captivity and in the wild and I love the sheer *cleverness*. I want to riff on the fact that hard materials technology is mostly practical in an air environment rather than underwater. This is why I went with a devolved member of a more advanced race..

Essentially I'm going to have a panspermia seeding of the planet followed by the actual colonisation of Earth by the Galactic Ceph civilisation shortly before the Cretaceous disaster. It will account for a more advanced forms, the devolution of the stranded species members, and the presence of advanced technology as it is quite literally uncovered. Essentially the asteroid smashes the young colony along with the last Dinosaur age, and the surface becomes very difficult to live on by the refugees that are unsupported by high technology. Then you get both loss of amphibious ability and evolution to fill ecological niches. The Hiatus.
 

Jerkbane

Cuttlefish
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Jun 8, 2020
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Right, well I got snapped on some borderline language, apologies!

I'll upload the new narrative bits as Zip Files to continue on with. This is the kind of feedback I was interested in too. I want to write realistic, but clean as well. If the Readers find anything a bit too dicey, please tell me?

Thank you very much! :smile:
 

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tonmo

Cthulhu
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Thanks for sharing! I have some stylistic and grammar input FWIW. I took several copy editing courses in college, which was a LONG time ago (I still use two spaces after a sentence :mrgreen:), so take this with a grain of salt. I'll use this paragraph as an example (cleaning up a little language with *'s for search engine friendliness!):

“Are all you a**holes down on deck ready to get the lines in the water?!” Cel wanted to get the lines down early tonight so they could get a decent catch on board tonight and another session before going back to port at dawn. The six Linesmen, strike that *five* Linesmen and *Debbie* (who was going to give her Hell if she slipped and said “You Guys” again) gave her a thumbs up and the Roustys on the gaffs, knife, and ice bunker waved. “PPE in order?!” “If I have to take a hiding for one of you *morons* for leaving your harness off again, I’ll throw you off the boat myself!” All the Lines *people* (dammit Debbie) shook their harnesses and gave her a thumbs-up. Helen on the Knife saluted with her blade and shot Cel a toothy grin. Helen had trained a s Sushi Chef and still did the job when she was in port at a local upscale Restaurant, but claimed it was “Boring because the fish never fought back.” Helen had a thing for knives, and kept her own set that nobody else was allowed to touch. She and Victor got on well.
To break it down:

General comment: quotes from characters should usually break up a paragraph. I don't believe you should bunch quotes from different characters in the same block.

1.
Cel wanted to get the lines down early tonight so they could get a decent catch on board tonight and another session before going back to port at dawn.
Double "tonight" usage.

2.
“PPE in order?!” “If I have to take a hiding for one of you *morons* for leaving your harness off again, I’ll throw you off the boat myself!”
No need to break up the quotes if it's continuous.

3.
All the Lines *people* (dammit Debbie) shook their harnesses and gave her a thumbs-up.
Although it's amusing, I would advise against inserting yourself as the author into the story by offering such commentary. You're "breaking the 4th wall" or whatever, and that is a big leap to make when writing sci-fi. It's usually best reserved for true absurdist comedy, IMO.

4.
Helen had trained a s Sushi Chef and still did the job when she was in port at a local upscale Restaurant, but claimed it was “Boring because the fish never fought back.”
  • There is a misplaced space between a and s.
  • Sushi Chef is a generic occupation and should not be capitalized.
  • The restaurant is not named, and therefore should not be capitalized.
  • The "claimed it was "Boring... " bit has a few grammatical issues. First, when embedding a quote as a supporting piece of the sentence structure, the word "boring" should not be capitalized. In reality, it probably should not be wrapped in quotes anyhow, because as the author of a novel, you are permitted to represent Helen's words and thoughts without necessarily wrapping them in quotes. Along those lines, as the author, you can say she felt it was boring vs. she claimed it was boring. This gives the reader powerful insight into the character's thoughts, without you (the author) obfuscating what you're trying to convey by saying she "claimed it" (leaving the reader to determine whether or not the claim about her own feelings is genuine).
I think there are some other capitalization issues, like Linesman and You Guys.

Again, for what it's worth... I hope this helps and good luck with your project! Writing is a cathartic joy, and it brings creativity from deep within, which is healthy for the mind -- it's important to exercise it!
 

Jerkbane

Cuttlefish
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Jun 8, 2020
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18
Again, for what it's worth... I hope this helps and good luck with your project! Writing is a cathartic joy, and it brings creativity from deep within, which is healthy for the mind -- it's important to exercise it!
Thank you for your excellent feedback!

I write with the Oxford Comma, and two spaces after a full stop as well. Must be a generational thing. I'm 52 this year :lol:
 

Jerkbane

Cuttlefish
Registered
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Jun 8, 2020
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Two additions, one for part of the background:

Ceph art is centered around form. They thrive on shape, texture and patterns. Sculpture of hard and soft substances is a primary base for much of their Art. three dimensional and layered sculpture can be done in any hard and durable material, and they do have a ceramics industry and art being able to survive outside of water to manipulate materials and gaseous air technologies. Underwater the shaping of water and currents into ephemera art is very popular and ever changing. They can manipulate water currents with great delicacy being as dexterous as they are. A great game is being able to shape squirts of their own Ink in water. This is a challenging game as the ink is poisonous so as the plume is being shaped it has to be done in such a way that the currents of water are pushed and shaped in such a way that the sculpture is moving away from you as it is formed. Three dimensional shapes created in the water are fleeting, and can even be *animated* by the greatest practitioners of this art. Children and adults both also play with and shape vortices in water, and can even play "catch" with these spinning circles of bubbles.

Dance is a very highly developed art form that takes many roles in society. Speech is in essence dancing for a Ceph, and therefore a very stylized speech is even a form of dance. Speech is dancing, dancing is speech. Epic tales and Sagas are set to a dance that is both a physical performance and a tale at the same time. The ability to act many different characters convincingly can take a lifetime to achieve.

Murals, patterns, weaving, mosaic, all of these are popular, and the fact that the Ceph can mimic these with their skin makes creating a pattern on a wall and in your own skin complementary skills. You can become part of your own exhibition! Even when in a state of Bliss, a Ceph will participate in building art with patterns and sculpture as he or she will arrange the shells and bones of its prey into a "garden" near it's nest, and decorate the garden with intricate and subtle patterns and additional rocks and shells in complementary colour and shape.
 

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