Four Years and a Site Addition!

Four years ago I sat down, opened up Word, and typed a sentence that no longer exists due to editing. That sentence began my first actual novel, Slubes. From the early start of last decade when I wanted to make video games to realizing I far preferred writing from extensive storytelling collaborating with friends on the internet, I decided that novels were what I really wanted to do. So I wrote one. February 21st, 2010 (according to my records), I began writing Slubes.

On August 6th, I finished the first draft. It was awful. With help from my friends, I made it into what it is today. Or, well, what it was on June 4th, 2013, when I published it. Which is basically the same thing now; I did make some minor edits not too long ago.

Anyway, in honor of this, I’m putting something on my site that I should have done when Slubes first came out: You can now read a free preview of Slubes on this site by going to the Novels section of the site or by clicking here. This is more or less the same amount available on Smashwords, but now it’s someplace more tied directly to me. Like I said, I should’ve done that when the book first came out, and forthcoming books will have the same type of preview available when they come out.

That’s all I got today. See you in April for the 1-year anniversary of when I finished Slubes!

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It and They and Thon und Es; Pronouns, Pronouns! What a Mess.

So gender-neutral pronouns. English kind of failed at this; I blame Christianity. But I’m not here to blame things, I’m here to talk about solutions!

Anyone who’s read some of my stuff might notice I use “it” as a gender-neutral pronoun, used for when things don’t have a gender, have a single-gender structure, or people just don’t know the gender (though for the last one I’ve started going off what the main character assumes it is.) This works particularly well for robots because they’re machines. “It” also seems to work well for non-human characters because, well, hey, they’re not humans, clearly they are animals then so “it” is totally fine.

But this means if I did have humans appear, the possibility of using “it” would come into play. I try to stay consistent with it, but of course it is impersonal. At this point, allow me to break out Dinosaur Comics. I got to thinking this actually after watching this interview on The Colbert Report with Janet Mock (no idea who she is, by the way).

Yeah, okay, look back at the talking dinosaurs. “They” does not have to be plural, but let’s talk about grammar. My professor for a Philosophy class in college pointed this out, actually. You can say “They ate the pizza,” and it’s all fine, maybe it’s a group of friends, maybe it’s a real hungry individual. Fine. Everyone’s fine. But if “they eat the pizza,” then that has to be a group of friends. If it’s one real hungry individual it’s, “They eats the pizza.” This, of course, is because it would otherwise be “He eats the pizza,” or “She eats the pizza.”

So the problem with “they” is to be grammatically correct, you have to totes sound like you’re being grammatically incorrect. If we then go with Thon like in Dinosaur Comics, well, it’s just rather jarring in normal reading.

So why don’t we do what English does best and steal words from other languages? Let’s steal German’s “Es”. Hex, we can even just dump the dative and genitive cases like our other pronouns and just have “es” and… “es”. Wow. That’s another problem with “it”: there’s just it, it, it, and it, whereas with he and him/she and her we at least have some semblance of what we’re talking about.

What’s the solution? I haven’t gotten a figgin clue. These four (it, they, make it up, and steal foreign words) seem the best solutions, or at least the four I can think of right now. I might stick with “it” because it’s (or they’s) (or thon’s) (or es ist) the least disconcerting–I demand myself to stick with grammar unless I don’t want to, and since I want to in this case, I would use singular grammar for they, making it look weird. Then thon is, again, just jarring, and foreign words might scare people. I dunno. ES IST BEÄNGSTIGEND!

But maybe someday crazy writers can change language to better suit the world. Shakespeare did, or at least to suit himself. For now, I’ll stick with “it”, probably, but does anyone out there who doesn’t read this use a certain pronoun? (If you do read this, you can comment, too.)

Updates, Forthcoming Site Addition, Peer Reviews!!

What have I been doing the past month? Well, with almost 40% of my time now taken up by taking calls from people looking for health insurance…

I’ve been writing the end of the novel I started with NaNoWriMo in November. Almost 85,000 words total puts it at the longest work I’ve ever written. Now to set it aside until probably Darmenzi comes out, so let’s jump back and talk about that.

As of now I’m having Darmenzi looked over by a couple people. In some places this is referred to as “beta reading” but that sounds kinda weird. Regardless, it’s out of my hands for a month or two but hey, are any writers reading this? Got anything you want someone to look at? I’m someone! Or so I tell myself in the mirror every day. While making stupid faces at myself.

But yeah, since I have a book I need looking over, if anyone out there who might happen to read this is in the same situation, I have some time and a book. I haven’t the slightest clue if any writers pay attention to this place (or if anyone in general), but I thought I’d throw it out there just in case! Note that if anyone does take up the offer, the only genre I can fit it in is something regarding humor, adventure, and some mix of fantasy and science fiction. I’m up for just about whatever but would probably be most helpful with something regarding those, um, genres? Yeah, let’s go with that word.

Okay, one more thing, let’s jump back again to Slubes. On Friday I’ll be adding something to the site related to it. It’s not huge, and it already exists, but it’s a thing that’s not on the site yet and probably should have been but whatever, I’m getting to it…