John Meaney

John Meaney

  • Posted Final curtsy... to Charlie's Diary
    What he said, below... So, thanks Karl, it was a huge pleasure being in the same tag team. (If we do it again, maybe we should have, like, costumes and a heroic name.) Thanks to Charlie for inviting us and...
  • Posted Swirling/writing (3): When I Was Stephen King to Charlie's Diary
    So, I heard a multitude of heads following off when I posted Chris Priest's admonition to print off the first draft and delete all electronic copies... I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only...?" Er, I...
  • Commented on Swirling/writing (1): time & beginnings
    it's been gnawing at the back of my head that I should be exercising my creative talents That's a pretty compelling and vivid message from the subconscious! Temp jobs and "proper" jobs have different advantages. Either way, enabling you to...
  • Posted Swirling/writing (2): <em>shugyo</em> to Charlie's Diary
    ...which is normally translated as austere discipline. No one pays you for a first novel that doesn't exist yet. Likewise short stories for paying markets. (Being independently wealthy might help, but I'm not even sure about that - it doesn't...
  • Commented on Tomorrow always comes
    I'm just back from my nephew's passing-out parade in Catterick. Welsh Guards in his case, with Coldstream, Scots and Irish Guards in the same training platoon. (Emotional, me? Must be grit in my eye.)...
  • Posted Swirling/writing (1): time & beginnings to Charlie's Diary
    My thesis is that I have no thesis. I'm writing this in something like the manner that Stephen King employs with his novels: I'll whip up a starting-point and then just go with it. I have to say, that works...
  • Commented on Wicked (1)
    tp1024 @ 41: I think you missed the main reason why climate change is such wicked problem. And that is systematic false reporting of likely effects, following the Al-Gore-Doctrine that people won't act unless you overstate the case you're arguing...
  • Commented on Tomorrow always comes
    You're 100% right - people differ in their responses, and you have to read them and the situation. In the particular case I'm thinking of, I used a calm voice and a rock-steady stance. (I was not the intended victim...
  • Commented on Tomorrow always comes
    Cheers all the same! Thanks for the endorsement. Plus, now that I'm trying to make a go at this writing thing full-time, I finally registered with the PLR scheme, which means I get some pennies whenever someone borrows one of...
  • Commented on Tomorrow always comes
    Robert Sneedon @ 41: Re programming killers. I found this book useful, although I was researching suicide cults when I read it. Some time back, US Army research revealed that very few professional soldiers are actually able to shoot to...
  • Commented on Tomorrow always comes
    karrde @ 36: Have you read any of the works of Rory Miller? He is a retired American policeman/prison-warden, who occasionally does talks about violence at conferences full of aspiring writers. He is also author of a book titled "Meditations...
  • Commented on It's people!
    You've given me my next pseudonynm, thank you! From now on I'll be Seán O Maonaigh......
  • Posted Tomorrow always comes to Charlie's Diary
    Near-future extrapolation, as Karl has recently written, is not for the faint-hearted. Vague though I was about the exact dates of my two near-future thrillers (10-30 years from now), I hope to be alive during that time period... So how...
  • Posted It's people! to Charlie's Diary
    Yes, it's made out of people, but I don't mean the food - I mean the society in which any SF novel takes place. (I could've quoted Margaret Thatcher instead, about there being no such thing as society, but only...
  • Commented on Big Ideas, Little Ideas
    Alain @ 73: Thank you! There's a fine line between assuming specialist knowledge (and explaining nothing) and being condescending by delivering an unnecessary explanation. Derren Brown would add here, "'Condescending' means talking down to someone." :-) I can in fact...
  • Commented on Big Ideas, Little Ideas
    Well, if nothing can escape from a black hole, why can gravity? "Nothing" ranks alongside "infinity" as a useful-but-dodgy concept... speaking as a non-Platonist, who regards ideal concepts as approximations that help us build useful models. (But I'll leave it...
  • Commented on Big Ideas, Little Ideas
    Nestor @1 : I was thinking of Heinlein's tendency to have doors "iris open" in space ships and elsewhere. When it appears in other folk's books, I normally assume it's intended as homage. It formed a notable example of Campbell's...
  • Commented on Where do you get...?
    TechSlave @ 25: Re writing speed... A *very* long time ago, Anne McCaffrey told me I should learn to touch type. I saluted and obeyed. (She has that effect on me. Something to do with her father being a colonel...
  • Commented on Where do you get...?
    the characters continue to pop into my brain every now and again You'll never get any peace until you write them an ending. :-) Does that happen to people who actually finish writing what they start? Not if you provide...
  • Posted Big Ideas, Little Ideas to Charlie's Diary
    World-building - where do we begin? For me it's a top-down, bottom-up, sideways-in, you-name-it accretion of (primarily visual) insights. The very word insight suggests visualization. (We're mixing physics and metacognition here.) I like weird, abstract ideas on the edge of...
  • Commented on Where do you get...?
    I just subdivide the problem until it's obvious what the next line of code has to be. So you have a repeat-until iteration with a well-formed test condition. Nice. 1. The word *just* suggests that a) you perform this subdivision...
  • Commented on Where do you get...?
    One thing that's not nice, and is shared with actors, is the part of the writer's mind that continues to observe people's reactions in the midst of tragedy, knowing that some day those observations will be useful......
  • Commented on Where do you get...?
    The abilty of the writer, in (nice) magpie-fashion to pick up bits and pieces and INTEGRATE them Totally agree, Greg. Picking things up from everywhere. And to heteromeles @5... I was delighted to read in one of Zelazny's later interviews...
  • Commented on Where do you get...?
    Sitting and gazing gives me scenes that are more than flash ideas. When I know a lot about characters and scenes but the story's not there yet, then I sometimes work things out by pacing up and down while interrogating...
  • Posted Where do you get...? to Charlie's Diary
    During Charlie's globe-trotting, interruptions to his supply of liquid helium cause difficulties in maintaining the optimum operating temperature (4K) of the superconducting neurons in his prodigious precuneus. (This is not rude.) So here I am, Not Charlie, humbly filling in....
  • Posted Where do you get...? to Charlie's Diary Test Bed
    During Charlie's globe-trotting, interruptions to his supply of liquid helium cause difficulties in maintaining the optimum operating temperature (4K) of the superconducting neurons in his prodigious precuneus. (This is not rude.) So here I am, Not Charlie, humbly filling in. Faithful readers know there are two FAQs that one really shouldn't ask. There's “I've an idea, will you write the book for me and we'll split the money?”, which generates a reflexive two-monosyllable reply in any writer's mind (modulated by varying degrees of politeness as subsequently uttered). But “Where do you get your ideas from?” elicits a different reaction: a...
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