Texas has treated us to a classic thunderstorm today with lightning, thunder, and sheets of rain, so I am waiting another half an hour before braving the office, because I don’t know where the umbrella is and I don’t want to get soaked. So some answers to the questions.
First things first: for those of you on iPad, are you seeing the weird menu issue in the sideways view. If so please comment, so I know it’s not an isolated occurrence.
Industry question. How do you get inspiration for a fight scene?
Fight scene mechanics are similar to sex scene mechanics: unless you add emotion, both will be flat. The most important part is getting the emotional undercurrent correctly. The reader should feel in danger. They should hold their breath and hope to dodge a fatal strike. That’s why Richard Mar was such a pain to write. The character was written as extremely precise and during most of his fights, he would be cool as a cucumber.
To infuse the fight with emotion, you really have to pull the character apart and show exactly what they are thinking. If you look at Maud’s fight, she is progressively getting more and more ruthless because things keep getting more and more desperate, to the point of kicking a pitcher at a woman whom she desperately hoped to impress. The shattered pitcher is kind of a high point there, because things are so bad, we’re expecting something to break.
That said, this is analysis post-writing. During the writing, there is no conscious process of “Put this in, it’s important.” We kind of put ourselves into Maud’s shoes or Hugh’s shoes or whoever’s shoes and try to survive. I do have to say, the arm breaking move took a while. It’s an escrima move called pangilog and at some point Gordon and I did it to each other a few times, because it wasn’t clear how much pressure it would put on the shoulder and would a shoulder pop before hyperextending the elbow.
Are y’all still considering going to DragonCon?
We are, but it is a long process. You have to fill out an application and then you may or may not get approved.
If not already asked: what are the optimal dimensions for a moat? Respectfully, member BDH
Hugh is building a big ass moat and lining it with Roman concrete. It is costing a ton of money, but supposedly it will all be worth it. 😉
Industry-ish question: I’m writing my book, but I struggle with conversation and witty banter. It all comes out super flat and fake sounding. Nothing feels realistic and I just feel like I’m missing something. How do you make your character interactions and conversations in your books seem so entertaining and yet real at the same time. I’m sure practice is involved, so I don’t expect an easy fix, but any insight you have would help. I’m thinking of taking a creative writing class at my local cc to help me improve, but until I can gather those funds, I’m still staring at my seemingly unnecessary conversations in absolute disgust.
Sherre, you are thinking too much. Crack yourself up with the dialogue. Seriously, write to amuse yourself. Don’t worry about being clever or not, just write until you snicker. Sometimes a good joke takes awhile, so if you are stuck, walk away and do the dishes. Your mind will come up with a witty comeback.
For us, we’ve had a lot of practice and both of us are naturally caustic. Also, if you put either one of us on the spot, we will absolutely fold. I just asked Gordon how does he write witty dialogue, and he said, “I don’t know.”
Well, I am going to go and check to see if the rain let up. We have battling to write.
LOL. “I don’t know.” Classic! Doing and teaching are separate skill sets.
Brent Stypczynski says
Speaking as a teacher . . . yes. In order to teach something, you must be able to do it. But being able to do it doesn’t mean you can teach it.
Looks fine on my iPad, just now.
The Facebook browser window may render fine, but on my iPad Mini 4, both Chrome and Safari mash the menu into the first paragraph.
I’ve got myself an original iPad from 2005. Yes, it still works for browsing with Safari. It can’t run anything newer than iOS 5, so I’m not expecting full compatibility, just stating what I’ve got. The menu is fine, but it also hasn’t changed recently. I still get the condensed drop down menus above and below the header.
One thing that did change within the past fortnight?
The iPad is no longer rendering images from this website. I am still rendering images from reddit, so there’s something specific about how the images are displayed on the blog and the innkeeper site that changed.
I too am running an original iPad, purchased the first week they hit the market. I thought the menu issue was just me and figured out a work around. Yes, it’s still happening in landscape view. As for pictures, I can see some, but not what I assume are photos of the wall and of muddy dogs.
It’s looks like to above picture for me as well.
Ilona you can’t just say “gladiator wereogres, will explain more later” in the last update and then leave me hanging now. I HAVE to know more.
Truth was just spoken there…
Mary Beth says
Glad it’s not just me.
If you are really desperate to get to the office, you can always cut a hole in a plastic garbage bag and pull it over you as a quick rain poncho. I know that I and my friends did that when camping during an unpredicted rainstorm. Otherwise drink tea and do “research”.
I’m on an ipad and not seeing a weird menu issue. Not sure I know exactly what the weird menu issue might be.
Same here. Nothing weird.
Susan E says
Same here. All looks good
I’m on an iPad and if I go to Home (the screen with Maud’s picture and description ) there are a second set of headings superimposed over the description. The superimposed headings are the ones the top of this screen ( which I call the blog screen) . I realise this isn’t very coherent . Hope it helps.
Same, nothing weird
I have a 2 year old ipad with latest updates. When turn sideways the menu is in the middle of the first paragraph. After you scroll the text, the menu stays at the top not interfering with the text. Don’t know if that helps
We got a 1/10th of an inch of rain yesterday, the most precipitation in months. Btw, in thunderstorms, I usually unplug my desktop. I had a close lightenting strike melt a surge protector and wipe a hard drive.
Liz Hamm says
If this is the wrong place or time to ask this, please ignore, but I was thinking about it this morning.
At some point in Legacy, Nevada is talking to her mom and grandmother about her shooting. It is assumed by the conversation that they are discussing her magic with shooting. And later, she states that she is a Magus Sagittarius (spelling likely wrong?). At the time of the conversation, Rogan smiles and says “duel.” I assumed at the time that he was referring to her having two magic types and both of some significance. Nevada asks what he is talking about, but this is never discussed again.
Or did I miss it? I am not sure which I am asking – is there more to it than that? Or did I miss the “more”?
(Btw, I am now reading this series for the fourth time. And it never gets old)
I totally understand where you’re coming from even though I can’t remember where that is. I’m going to have to reread that series again. I’ve read the Kate Daniels series so many times I feel like they’re some of my coolest friends. Katie and I were pregnant at the same time technically speaking.
Even though I am more like a black Andrea, as my daughter tried to crash her baby shower and I ended up in the hospital on bed rest with a high-risk pregnancy. So you ask away on those questions. Because it makes me feel like my people are talking.
I’ve really started loving this blog and the readers. Usually
I hate reading comments. I love it here.
Now I may be wrong but when reading that part I thought it was more that he was talking about her shooting ability magic coming out only when she was under pressure or against an actual opponent and that the name for that magic was duel (like a duelist) since she is only an extraordinary shot when facing a enemy and just skilled when shooting practice targets. Again maybe wrong, that is just how I took it. Would have to reread to be sure.
Duel, not dual. Yes.
Well now I feel like an idiot.
I keep trying to post this and failing. Sorry for multiple posts.
Well in a way she is like her Grandfather so even those the Dual (as in two magics) is correct for what Rogan was talking about, both explanations work, so win win in my opinion 🙂
Oh man. I never even THOUGHT of it that way! If that is true, that is brilliant. Either way,
It’s brilliant really 🙂
Tina in NJ says
I don’t have the books at the moment, but my memory says Rogan said “dual,” as in two strong magics. I’d check if I could.
I am actually rereading it now. I will see what I find!
For what it’s worth, my memory says “Duel” – because I thought like others that he meant two and I thought “Huh. Typo.”
Mystery solved. Dual! Like 2
Shannon from Texas says
White Hot chapter 6, about Kindle loc 2034. I always thought it was either dual powers (sharpshooter when under duress + truthseeker) *or* dual Prime, at prime levels in both talents. Funny that several of us are re-reading the same book at the same time.
This is my comfort, happy, escape series. I love all of IA works, but Hidden Legacy resonates with me like no other.
Liz Hamm says
Also, I am besieged somewhat constantly with stories and ideas, and I often “write” them
In my head, but lose the flow when I sit to actual put it to paper. Any advice?
Cheryl Anne farley says
Couple of thoughts from my non fiction writing life. Writing is constantly disciplining the wild toddler that is your brain. Force and discipline yourself to work through the artists way. One of the key parts of that book is requiring yourself to write three full pages of anything every morning. Too busy in the morning get up earlier. Nothing to say write that down for three pages. After doing a three hand written page brain dump you will settle right down. It’s always the work and seldom creativity.
Roman concrete got my inner history buff all excited. It’s so fascinating how they created it. Also is Hugh planning on living a couple more millennias without being Roland’s man to get full use of that moat?
How long does a filled moat need to stew before the water doesn’t look like the Las Vegas Venetian’s canal (which looks more like a resort pool than rat infested waters)? Or will he just paint the moat walls with a dark color & stock it with carnivores so someone doesn’t get the smart idea of putting a boat or pontoon on it and imitating the Jungle Cruise ride at Disney? I don’t think they’d use the more traditional latrine plumbing -> moat option?
Pat Crouch says
The dialogue thing was always my problem too. I gave up years ago. Maybe I’ll give myself another shot at this.
On my iPad turned sideways, it’s showing the menu inside of the blurb for Sweep of the Blade.
I am seeing that also with my iPad.
Same here ?
Mine is doing the same. Definitely not an isolated incident.
I’m having he same issue.
Tiger Lily says
That is what I see also.
Have a mini iPad and have the same thing.
I have the weird iPad menu issue too when it is turned sideways…
My witty comebacks don’t occur when I walk away. They happen a LONG time after I’ve done that, sometimes even the next day. It all comes back to “dang, I should have said ….”
The beauty of writing is that you can go back and write that snappy comeback in as if you’d said it right away.
I use an iPad and yes the menu looks different to me when I turn it. I think it has been this way for as long as I can remember so it doesn’t seem weird. I tend to read with it going the same way all the time. My preferred way to read is with my power button at the bottom, the menu looks like dash lines you touch them and they tell you what they represent. If I have the power button to the side the menu options are actual words. I am using a newer iPad. Hope this helps. To be honest it really doesn’t bother me.
It does the weird thing with the menu bar on the home screen on normal computers as well.
Maybe it is an apple thing. I use a mac.
Richard Cartwright says
Thanks so much for the response. I have been watching cutlass, axe and saber demos on YouTube (because that’s how you do CQB in space 🙂 ) and you provided the clue by 4 I needed.
I am having the wired menu issues, but assumed you would fix it when you have time. I will attempt to add a screen capture. If it doesn’t work, the menu is embedded into the text of the description of Maud’s novella. I can get to it by swiping; it just looks weird.
I have the same issue although when I start to scroll the menu does jump back into its usual place.
Cath in Australia says
I have this issue as well.
Patsy Tisdale says
I also have that issue on my iPad.
Only on the home page, and when the safari menu bar disappeares, everything us fine.
View for me on a PC is fine. PC is running Windows 10 and I’m using Chrome. Also looks ok in IE 11 and Firefox, although Maud’s picture didn’t show up in Firefox, for some reason.
Patricia Schlorke says
The view is great on the Microsoft Edge browser ( I also have Windows 10). It looks fine when I use my Nook as a tablet (like I’m doing now).
And let the sin of failing to answer the question be on his head, me lordship.
Yep weird menu on iPad when landscape
Robin De Tota says
Yes I get the weird menu when I turn to landscape.
I don’t have an iPad I use my phone which is a Galaxy Samsung, but on the home screen Maud’s name is separated and broken up. Her first name is placed at the top right-hand corner of her picture with her first three letters being above the D. Her last name along with the rest of the paragraph is underneath the picture. I wish I could take a screenshot to show but my phone hates me.
Brent Stypczynski says
Always have trouble with dialogue. It sounds decent when I write it, but horrible when I come back to edit.
For fight scenes, I find the right music & going into “movie mode”, with some acting out. Oddly, I found it easier to write fight scenes *before* I started formal martial arts training.
My ipad shows the weird screen, too.
Yes, I have the weird menu issue with the iPad sideways.
Weird issue? I think I attached what my iPad Air is doing for both orientations.
Site looks fine on my iPad but I haven’t let it update itself lately. ?? On DragonCon!
Michelle K says
I am seeing the issue in my iPad too.
Hide the gifts! Never stop fighting. My dh finds almost every gift but it’s still worth the effort! 🙂
Thanks for the answer. It’s funny because my dad tells me I’m thinking too hard all the time, so it makes absolute sense. But stepping away and thinking about it for a second sounds good too. I’m always inspired while I’m driving…too bad driving and writing on a laptop is frowned upon…
Okay, I do not really know where I could ask this, but I’m just posting this and hoping really hard for a answer.
I was browsing the site and I found this: https://ilona-andrews.com/lucas-and-karina-have-a-family/
What is this? It’s a book? It’s becoming a book? There is not even a comment section on the page! Please tell me that is more, I already loved the characters ?
Patsy Tisdale says
I hadn’t read this before and I have to agree. What happened next?
I agree, uh oh, another book addiction…
I’ve read this. It appears to be part of a group of snippet, story ideas and edited scenes. I don’t worry about. If it’s written by the Arthorlords, I read it, when and/or if it’s published I buy. Enjoy all of it.
Thanks for the DragonCon answer! I will cross all my fingers and toes and send lots of pleasepleaseplease out into the Universe in the hopes that I will get to see you there!
Elizabeth Lyn Barbee says
On my iPad, the menu items (Home // Books // Blog, etc) sometimes appear in the middle of the text as I scroll down the page. Haven’t checked to see if it happens elsewhere.
I feel your pain with the muddy pups. I have two basset hound mixes (both are dwarfs) and I’ve had to resort to installing a gate at the entryway so I can catch and clean them before they can cavort through the house in their muddy, sloppy glory!
Not sure if the weird menu issue I have on mobile is the weird menu issue you’re asking about. What I see on mobile is that the menu overlaps the top of the cover image and the top paragraph of italicized descriptive text for Sweep of the Blade on the main page (ilona-andrews.com). (Specifically, the menu bar appears between the two lines.)
Nonmobile, all I see on the main page is the same site I’ve always seen: menu bar, text saying “registration has been disabled”, and a copyright notice at the bottom. On the assumption that this might be a cache issue, I tried an installed browser that I normally don’t use for anything, but I still don’t see the updated site.
(scrolling up: Oh, I see. I leave my iPad permanently locked in landscape, and I didn’t realize that this issue doesn’t appear in portrait.)
Adrianne Middleton says
I’m an iPad user, and when in sideways view, the line and the links above it get lost in the text. I’m just grateful I can read your offerings on it. Last week when I tried to load chapter 6, all I got was a blank page. I finally got it to load by copying the URL from my laptop, and texting it to my iPad.
Santhiya Raman says
I have attached sc from my iPad mini.
Sean Trobaugh says
The issue with iPads and the front page is that the splash image of the Maud cover is aligned with the twitter Facebook email menu bar and the normal menu bar overwrites the text on the sweep of the blade teaser.
It works fine on subpages, just not on the home page
Katherine Nobles says
I taught taekwondo and juijitsu for a couple of decades, and that particular move will always pop the elbow first. It’s much more difficult to pop a shoulder. Very good fight scene though. Maud will do what she must for her baby.