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Greg
Anja's Sock Puppet
Joined: 30 Aug 2004
Posts: 6672
Location: Happy Valley
Post Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 12:36 pm
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Now that I think about it, it could well be that the real reason I stopped writing science fiction stories was that I joined a writers group. Big mistake.

Heinlein had it right: "The only critic who counts is an editor with a checkbook." This is also true of my experience with learning to write. I learned a lot from Stanley Schmidt at Analog.

A writers group might be able to teach you basic mechanics of writing. A good writers group (which may not exist) might also keep you intersted and fresh, so that you will keep writing, but in general once you've learned to mind the viewpoint and never use said-bookisms, it's time to wish the writers group a fond farewell and just enjoy writing.

Remember Heinlein's rules for becoming a writer:
  1. You must write.
  2. You must finish what you write.
  3. You must put it on the market.
  4. You must keep it on the market until sold.
  5. Never rewrite except to editorial order.

About 90% of writer-wannabes never make it past rule 1. Of those who do, another 90% drop out in rule 2. And so on.

The 5th role invokes some controversey. In fact, Heinlein had a First Reader--his wife, Ginny. He did rewrite based on what Ginny thought of the story, before he submitted it to an editor. Ginny was mostly looking for inconsistencies in the story or places where it was difficult to understand what was going on.

So, I do recommend having a First Reader. A good First Reader is hard to find, and once found, a pearl of great price.

The most important rule is: Don't get discouraged. If you submit a story to an editor and it comes back with a detailed letter telling you what the editor didn't like about the story, you've made a sale! Rewrite to editorial order and there's a very good chance that the editor will buy it!



One the other hand, if the editor's comments indicate that the story is just not going to work for his publication, try a different market. One time Stanley Schmidt bounced one of my stories so high it didn't even need return postage! I never did find anyone who was willing to publish "Warranty Work." Oh well; they can't all be gems.

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Greg
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miros1
Lone Surviving Sims 1 Holdout
Joined: 05 Sep 2004
Posts: 5348
Location: NY State
Post Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 12:55 pm
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Nancy wrote:
Gretchen is beautiful! I can't ever get my sims to look like that! confused


I start with one of the base Maxis faces and tinker with it a little. Gretchen looks a lot like one of the base faces with minor tinkering to the nose. Maxis did a reasonable job on their women's base faces... only one of them is truely ugly! Now the men's base faces... yuck! Takes constant tinkering on the nose and mouth to get something you want to let breed!

BTW, never use the "complete" facial features at the top of the screens for each feature. They will always make your Sim uglier than heck!

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Rose/Miros
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Nancy
The Spoiled Brat

The Spoiled Brat
Joined: 30 Aug 2004
Posts: 1355
Location: Upstate, New York
Post Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:35 pm
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Thanks, Rose! Maybe that's what I'm doing wrong. I have never got a simmie to look that pretty.
Great job! cheers

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Nancy

nanci2121
Lydia
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Joined: 03 Jul 2006
Posts: 15
Location: Ohio
Post Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 7:57 pm
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Nancy wrote:
Gretchen is beautiful! I can't ever get my sims to look like that! confused


Thanks Nancy! I usually spend a few hours creating my Sims. Kaylyn pointed me in the direction of Body Shop so I have a lot more options when I’m working on them. Gretchen was actually a female clone of Brendon. I then turned her into an elder and got the look “just right.” When I was happy, I reverted her to an adult and tinkered some more. I wanted to make sure she aged gracefully. Since I had created Brendon before I wanted to make sure she looked like she could be his mom even though it didn’t happen that way in game. Paul, Gretchen and Stacey are all very loosely based on Brendon.

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~Lydia
Yar! pirate
Lydia
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Joined: 03 Jul 2006
Posts: 15
Location: Ohio
Post Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 8:01 pm
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“Come on Dad, I’m old enough!”
Paul chuckled to himself. Well I’ll give him one thing, the boy’s persistent. “Ok, ok but don’t expect me to go easy on you just because you’re younger than me!”
“No way! I’ve been practicing; I’m ready.”



“Alright Tiger, show me what you’ve got.”
Brendon nodded, suddenly all business.



He’s growing up so fast.

She and Paul had never even considered having children when she found out she was pregnant with Brendon. It wasn’t that they didn’t like kids; their lives were just so busy already. Gretchen’s career was really taking off then. She had just wrapped up a publicity tour for her latest book and things couldn’t have been better. With three bestsellers under her belt she was a proven author and the public was clamoring for more.



Though she had hated to disappoint her fans, somehow life had gotten in the way. Motherhood was a whole new adventure and she loved every minute of it. When they learned that she was going to have Stacey Gretchen pushed her career even further aside and reveled in her new life. And why not? There was still plenty in the bank. It wasn’t like she had to write to make ends meet. And besides, who had time to write with two little ones?



“OW!”
“Honey, you ok?” Paul called from the living room.
“Yeah, just not paying attention.”



“Way to go Gretchen,” she muttered. “Great time to travel down memory lane. Going to be using the blender soon, maybe I can relive my childhood and sever an artery while I’m at it.”



“Sounds like fun.”
“God, Paul, don’t scare me like that!”
Paul grinned as he slipped his arms around her. “Mmm, you never used to complain when I snuck up behind you…”



Gretchen arched an eyebrow. “Kids! Dinner’s ready!”
“Don’t go changing the subject,” murmured Paul with the same devilish grin on his face.
Gretchen shot him a look and started towards the table.
“What?” he asked innocently.

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~Lydia
Yar! pirate
Lydia
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Joined: 03 Jul 2006
Posts: 15
Location: Ohio
Post Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 9:04 pm
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Unintentional Nanny Torture!

This isn’t part of the story or anything but it was so weird that I just had to share.
I was just playing around with my story family tonight when an odd thing happened. I think those fish are more unusual than I thought!



The nanny had nothing to do. The house was clean and Gretchen was playing with Stacey. Brendon had challenged a school friend to a game of chess. Paul was studying on the couch. So, the nanny became obsessed with the fish. She just stood there cleaning the tank every few minutes. I soon noticed that things were not quite right. Although there was nothing holding her there she couldn’t get away!



The nanny started making odd faces.

Things were not going to end well.



I fart in your general direction!






She cleaned up her mess, cleaned the fish tank again for good measure and then walked over to Paul who did not seem to notice the stench emanating from her.



Failing to get a reaction, she left, taking her stench with her.

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~Lydia
Yar! pirate
miros1
Lone Surviving Sims 1 Holdout
Joined: 05 Sep 2004
Posts: 5348
Location: NY State
Post Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 9:35 pm
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Lol! Somewhere around here, there's a discussion thread on the fish tank, but this is the first illustrated version!

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Rose/Miros
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Kaylyn
SimsHost Champion
Joined: 06 May 2006
Posts: 582
Location: Shreveport/Bossier, Louisiana
Post Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:01 pm
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I just love how expressive Gretchen's face is! It's amazing how much emotion Sims can show if you know what you're doing!

And the nanny stuff...that's hilarious!

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~Kaylyn
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