Sime~Gen(tm) Inc.

Where Sime and Gen Meet, Creativity Happens

WorldCrafters Guild

Workshop:Chat hosted by T-zero 

Jean Lorrah, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, 
Anne Phyllis Pinzow, Karen MacLeod



Chat was arranged by Margaret I. Carr
Editor of T-Zero 
With permission to post on
Chat with Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Jean Lorrah
July 21, 2002  3 p.m. Eastern time


MargareTZ> hi JL

Questions> Hi JL

Judy> Welcome, JL!

JL> Hi - working on getting on with another computer to so I don't lose you.

Janet-WVU> Hi JL! Welcome!

JL> Hi all!

JL> JL is Jacqueline Lichtenberg

jean> Hello!

Judy> Hi!

MargareTZ> hi Jean

jean> Hi, Margaret, everyone.

Janet-WVU> Hi Jean. Welcome!

jean> Thank you. I'm happy to be here.

JL> yes, this looks like a good group.

jean> All sorts of wonderful things are happening in my writing career, and Jacqueline's, too.

Janet-WVU> I would like to congratulate you both on your fine writing. I am now learning all about Sime~Gen.

JL> Oh, you're new to S~G?

JL> How did you discover it?

jean> Excellent! We have lots of free S~G material on the website.

MargareTZ> I have 11:58, will probably do intro in about two minutes

Janet-WVU> I was inspired to learn about Sime~Gen from Margaret. :-)

JL> Ah - word of mouth.

JL> Yes, wait a while.

JL> Was there an advertised end to this chat?

jean> Word of mouth is the best kind of advertising.

JL> What was the first S~G item you read?

MargareTZ> no JL, but we usually try not to wear our guests out, we try not to exceed an hour by too much

MelissaAnne-M25> Hello, everyone. Have you started yet?

Janet-WVU> I have been visiting the web site and reading up on Sime~Gen. Can you recommend a book to start with?

JL> Ah, you haven't read any novels yet?

MargareTZ> Starting Now.

JL> OK, when we start maybe we should start with that.

JL> Is there anyone else here who hasn't read any of our novels yet?

Janet-WVU> I read till I can't hardly see. LOL. Now I will be reading even more.

jean> We're starting the reprints with _House of Zeor_ because it's an excellent intro.

MelissaAnne-M25> Me

JL> good - anyone else?

JL> Don't be shy.

Janet-WVU> That will be at the top of my list. Thanks Jean.

jean> So are _First Channel_ and _Ambrov Keon_.

CalisCat> I haven't. Just saw the chat opportunity and wanted to listen in :)

Janet-WVU> Second and third. :-)

JL> And as I understand it, most of you are writing students?

jean> All the books are designed to introduce, but fans seem to recommend those three.

MargareTZ> Welcome to the Guest Chat with authors Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Jean Lorrah. They recently signed with Meisha Merlin to reprint their classic Sime~Gen books and also to print new books in the series.

MargareTZ> This Chat will be moderated. Please click on the "Questions" in the nickname panel to send questions.

Janet-WVU> So far, all in attendance are writers from WVU.

JL> OK, then we can discuss how to do this kind of writing.

MargareTZ> Welcome Jacqueline and Jean!

Janet-WVU> It is our pleasure to have such wonderful authors join us.

jean> Excellent! I'd like to talk about how the Internet got our careers going again.

JL> Thank you Margaret! Jean's next novel will be a new S~G that's also going to be a good intro to the Universe.

Janet-WVU> Thanks Jean. We would be most interested!

jean> It's called _To Kiss or to Kill_, which is intriguing if you don't know S~G, and moreso if you do.

JL> There are two parts to a writer's life. Writing - and marketing. It's very hard to be both.

JL> We started out knowing how to write, and had to learn about markets.

jean> Yes, we are exhausting ourselves with promoting, leaving almost no time for writing.

JL> Now Jean's done a Sime~Gen novel that's aimed at a whole new market - the Romance genre E-BOOKS with an sf motif.

jean> I sold an e-book last year, BLOOD WILL TELL (a vampire romance), and a children's e-book the year before that.

jean> Both won awards.

Janet-WVU> Congratulations!

jean> The Lord Ruthven Assembly award has led to BLOOD WILL TELL being picked up by a trade publisher.

MargareTZ> Question is "Do you set time aside to write each day?"

jean> That's one way the Internet has helped--no tree publisher would take it, but Awe-Struck E-books was willing to take the chance.

JL> I've spent the last few weeks building the promotion site for Sime~Gen's Revival --  -- the section of our domain is for professional writers to share their material with you as writing textbooks. We have writer Spotlights and chats where you can meet writers, and individual book promotion sites and personal, and much much more. Jean has a site for her vampire e-book that won an award.

jean> I keep trying to set aside every Sunday to write.

JL> Me too - writing time is at a premium now.

jean> I would LOVE to be able to write every day. With my workload, it's not possible.

Janet-WVU> Thank you for the sites. As writers we all like to share our work.

MargareTZ> yes, Q and same way click on nick.


Questions> Do you find being published by e-books easier than by a regular publisher and what are the pro's and con's

jean> Besides the regular cons--tree publishers also go out of business, change hands, cheat authors, etc.,

jean> e-publishers don't pay as much.

JL> I've just read two of awe-struck's books - that is one publisher that publishes WELL EDITED books, that are the equal of anything out of Manhattan. The most recent reads I've done have confirmed that opinion.

jean> You get a way larger percentage of cover price on far, far fewer sales.

jean> You have to find a reputable publisher--I have faith in Awe-Struck, which has been in business for years now.

Janet-WVU> It sounds like the way to go, Jean and JL.

JL> Since I also do reviews, (   ) I pay a lot of attention to the markets in general, and Awe-Struck is one of the few that actually has a consistent high quality product.

JL> If you want to go e-book start your marketing there.

jean> However, Lois Wickstrom and I carefully chose Crossroads for NESSIE AND THE LIVING STONE, only to have it go under a year later.

JL> Crossroads was doing so very well.

MargareTZ> ouch!

JL> One of our other favorite e-publishers went under too.

jean> But that happens with tree publishers, too.

JL> Dreams - what was the name?

MargareTZ> that is one of the reasons our e-press is going slow

MargareTZ> Unlimited

jean> E-publishing contracts are MUCH more writer-favorable.

JL> yes, Dreams Unlimited - is gone. And that's such a shame.

MargareTZ> miss Silke!

jean> The author retains everything but e-rights, so if an offer comes along, you are set to take it.

JL> Two years ago, it was an impossible dream to go from ebook to tree. Now it's being done, and Jean's doing it too.

MargareTZ> Questions> How long did you practice writing before you published your first work.. and were you nervous that no one would like what you wrote?- CalisCat

jean> BLOOD WILL TELL is now available as an e-book from

JL> I'm never nervous about people liking what I write - but then I don't suffer from stagefright either. I'm odd that way.

jean> In March, 2003, it will be available as a tree book in brick-and-mortar bookstores, with Ben Bella Books as the publisher.

JL> However, I think it's not so much a matter of how LONG you work to become publishable, but whether you ARE a writer or not.

jean> That's a new small press, so don't look for it in Wal-Mart.

Janet-WVU> LOL Jean!

JL> A writer is a person who can't not-write. It's that simple. Marion Zimmer Bradley had a sign up over her desk that said, "Nobody told you not to be a plumber" -- and the meaning was that you can make much more money with less effort at a number of other trades. Writing is a trade.

jean> But it should be in Barnes and Noble, on, and in many independent bookstores.

jean> Writing is also a craft and an art.

JL> When I was a teen, I was taught by Alma Hill (who ran the N3F Writer's Bureau) that Writing is a Performing Art - and that's true too.

JL> The Performing Arts are trades as well - there's the art itself, and all the discipline that goes into it.

jean> And all the promotion.

JL> and then there's the BUSINESS of being a writer - aside from the writing itself.

jean> Think of actors doing all the talk shows when their films come out.

JL> yes, Jean and the world has changed in that today almost all genre writers are required to promote themselves. It used to be career death to open your mouth and blow your own horn.

jean> We're not important enough to be on the _Today_ show, so we have to work harder.

jean> Which aspect of writing are you interested in?

Janet-WVU> At WVU we encourage all genres of writing. No limits. :-)

jean> We shouldn't be talking promotion if you want to know about plot development.

MargareTZ> Where is your favourite place to write?

jean> At a computer.

JL> Anyway, I started being a writer when I was about 10 - and I decided to devote my life to professional writing when I was sophomore in HS. At that point, I took out from the library all the past copies of THE WRITER magazine, read them, analyzed all the advice, and started producing actual stories designed to sell.

jean> Back in the early 80's, I got my first notebook computer, and writing changed drastically.

MargareTZ> Jean, our students have an insatiable hunger to know everything!

jean> All the mechanical problems went away and I could just WRITE.

JL> I was about 25 when I sold my first story, OPERATION HIGH TIME (the first Sime~Gen story published). That was in the January 1969 issue of WORLDS OF IF MAGAZINE edited by Fred Pohl who also bought my first nonfiction book, STAR TREK LIVES! when he was later editor at Bantam Books.

Janet-WVU> How exciting, JL!

jean> I was a little younger when I started selling, but that's because I started by selling nonfiction magazine articles.

JL> Yes, it was at the time exciting, and you know what? It still IS exciting!

jean> That was back in the days when there were zillions of little pulp magazines on any topic you can imagine, all hungry for articles.

MargareTZ> How did it feel to first see your name on the cover of a book you wrote?

jean> No longer true today.

JL> Yes, one of the things I've noticed about writing students is that it takes some years or some hard living to give a person something to SAY in fiction - but nonfiction comes easier at a younger age.

jean> That first cover is always exciting--but the First Channel covers were also a big disappointment.

jean> The hardcover had two naked men wrestling on the beach--or at least that was what we politely decided they were doing.

JL> When I got the first copies of House of Zeor, I looked at the cover and nearly DIED (you've seen the art posted on even if you don't have that particular book) -- but then I read the flap copy, the excerpted paragraph -- and scrambled through the book CERTAIN I had never written that paragraph -- it was TERRIFICALLY WELL WRITTEN!!! I couldn't possibly have written it. What a shock - I had indeed written it!

jean> It made NO sense connected to the book inside, which started with a Romeo and Juliet story and escalated from there.

JL> Yes, but by then that kind of cover was traditional for Sime~Gen.

MargareTZ> Once, an e-publisher picks you up, how long does it take to get published?- Mellissa Ann

jean> The paperback had Kadi tied to a starred-cross, and Rimon fighting off a gang of motorcycle thugs.

JL> BTW you asked about e-book publishing being easier. One thing - the writers usually have to russle up the covers!

JL> We had no input into the choice of cover scene or artist or art.

jean> The first decent cover I got was for SAVAGE EMPIRE, and that one was really good.

JL> On the Meisha Merlin deal -- we are being given a chance to give them input on the covers (though they reserve the final decision to themselves of course)

MargareTZ> I remember that one, Jean, would have bought it even without your name

JL> So covers are an issue that joins the writer's craft and art together.

jean> Actually, on e-books the publisher generally has a stable of artists, and the author is asked to suggest what to put on the cover.

JL> if you're SMART - you devise several scenes within each book that are drawable and that would make good covers.

JL> then you point that scene out to the editor at the right time in the process (not in the submission cover letter!)

jean> E-publisher time--

jean> The good ones run a year.

jean> Why? Because the good ones EDIT.

jean> So all the regular work of publishing has to take place except for printing.

JL> Many of them don't know how to edit - or don't do it at all.

MargareTZ> a moment please

jean> Don't ever go with an e-publisher who just takes your manuscript as you wrote it and sticks it up for sale.

jean> We all need editors.

JL> Many of the e-book writers don't know how to TAKE editing. Should we discuss a writer's attitude toward his/her editor?

MargareTZ> This is a moderated chat. if you have questions click on "Questions" to open a query window. I will try to post the questions here. backlog now is 8 questions unduplicated.

Janet-WVU> Absolutely, JL. We all need to learn that.

jean> Well, a good editor is a partner in making the best possible book.

MargareTZ> yes, please, JL

jean> Occasionally you get a frustrated writer who wants to imprint her vision on your book. Trouble!

JL> Margaret? Is this where you want this chat to go?

JL> I do have a bit to say on editing and how to get your guts up to TAKE the criticism.

MargareTZ> this is fine, JL

JL> Good writing is an ART!

JL> That means you have to put your emotions into it - it's very personal, very intimate to yourself.

jean> But most of the time, editors work _with_ you, asking questions instead of imposing their changes.

JL> The meaning of a piece of fiction is really INSIDE yourself. it's yours. It IS yourself.

JL> To get a book to 'work' as art you must first-draft it from that standpoint.

JL> A book has to be pulled out of your guts.

jean> But a good editor should be able to recognize your theme, if not your personal vision, and help you clarify it.

JL> Now, if it's still in that condition when you send it off to the editors you will live in TERROR of their response.

JL> We were asked at the beginning if we fear responses, and I said no.

JL> Here's the reason.

JL> After you firstdraft a piece -- you MUST then go through a psychological handspring - turn yourself upside DOWN and look at the work from the outside.

JL> You must divorce your SELF from that work.

JL> You must get into a headspace where you can be totally objective.

JL> Then you rewrite - you do the final draft from the perspective of your READER.

JL> Jean can give you lots on this subject.

jean> That's the job I'm doing on TO KISS OR TO KILL right now.

JL> The real difference between the unedited e-book market and Manhattan is simply that - the difference from the fanzine to the pro market -- whether the author has objectified and universalized their work.

jean> When I re-read the first chapter, I found the protagonist's statement of what she wished for her future.

JL> Once you've performed that "birthing" process - cutting the emotional umbilical cord - then NOTHING anyone says good or bad can either give you a swelled head or devastate you.

jean> Now when I rewrite the last chapter, I know I have to put in her realization that she _has_ it--and it's not all she thought it would be.

jean> Because of the length of time between writing the first and last chapters, I had lost that important thread.

jean> Rewriting is where we find those threads and weave them in.

JL> But to SEE those threads, you need that objectification trick.

JL> One of the elements in our writing school's first course was a method of doing that "divorce" --

jean> Having read a great deal is how you start to see things in your own work.

JL> It's a system of asking yourself questions and answering them in your text.

jean> But learning to analyze other people's work is very important.

JL> And we've been finding that our writing students who work on our reviews site are learning how to apply that kind of analysis -

JL> that will help them learn to objectify and universalize their own work.

jean> If you want to be either an editor or a writer, you must learn to analyze.

MargareTZ> I'm going to throw out a handful of questions now before I lose them:

Questions> How did Jean decide to do a children's book?- Judy


Questions> When will the Sime-Gen books be reprinted?- Joan


Questions> Do you write just novels or have you written short stories as well? And are e-publishers more likely to publish novels than short stories?-CalisCat


Questions> How does one find an e-publisher, or has that already been discussed?- Shelley B

JL> Starting July 2003

jean> The S~G reprints will begin in July, 2003.

JL> We have the current (not graven in stone) schedule up on

jean> TO KISS OR TO KILL is scheduled for July, 2004.

JL> And you can keep track by joining the lifeforce-l newsletter.

JL> I'm sure schedules will be adjusted over the coming years - it's a very long publishing project.

JL> But for now it's one book every July.

jean> We tend to write book-length works--both of us have written more novels than short stories because we write character-driven stories.

JL> I'd say you find an e-publisher by READING -- finding one that consistently publishes your kind of book and very high quality writing.

jean> Generalizing madly, idea-driven stories are the shortest, plot-driven stories next, and character-driven the longest.

JL> Submit to them and take any rejection you get and think hard about it.

jean> Never mind that you know exceptions; in _general_ that is true.

JL> Yes, character driven stories about adults have to have show-don't-tell on a lot of psychological motivation.

JL> And dialog is NOT show-don't-tell.

JL> You must dramatize the reasons why your characters do what they do - or choose what they choose.

jean> I also recommend joining EPIC, the association of e-published authors. They will keep you up on which publishers are doing what.

JL> Oh, yes and then do your research on the contracts.

JL> Many contracts are NOT so writer-friendly.

JL> Some are negotiable some not -- the e-pub world is gradually reinventing the wheels that Manhattan had to invent. I expect agents to make their appearance soon.

jean> EPIC just pulled off a first--THEY were the first to discover a pirate site linked to dozens of pirate sites with books by many best-selling authors.

JL> E-publishers that edit must accept after READING a manuscript - and no publisher can read all the un-objectified ms's sent to them.

jean> They reported it to SFWA and the Author's Guild, who have legal departments to take it from there,

JL> Welcome Anne!

JL> APinzow is the scriptwriter for the Sime~Gen movie project.

JL> She's also been editor of Ambrov Zeor for years and years.

jean> but they wouldn't have KNOWN if EPIC members weren't always out there on the WWW discovering things.

JL> She's a professional newspaper writer.

Janet-WVU> Good to meet you, Anne!

APinzow> Hi, all.


Questions> I am having a bit of trouble building my world. Could you give me any suggestions?- Joan

Questions> Objectification trick: elapsed time between write/rewrite/final ms?- Shelley B


Questions> Where can we go to join the lifeforce-1 newsletter- Joan


Questions> and how do you find an e-editor?- Shelley B

JL> Listen to what she has to say. She also has one of the highest hit-drawing sites on in our workshop.

JL>  - click on authors and click on Anne Phyllis Pinzow - read about VISUAL WRITING - best textbook material we have.

JL> Karen MacLeod is a great e-editor (I know, Jean and I trained her). * KarenMac smiles, and still wants to lurk.

jean> An easy question first: the longer you can wait between first draft and rewrite, the more objective you can be.

JL> She's working for an e-publisher that seems to be very serious about quality.

APinzow> I was also trained by Jacqueline. She is really terrific.

JL> But they've just begun so they don't have much of a backlist.

jean> Hard question: world-building.

JL> go Jean!

KarenMac> I can agree with Anne. Without JL and Jean's training, I wouldn't be pro editing.

jean> I almost always start with characters, and what they want to tell me.

MargareTZ> and Karen will be our guest in September!

APinzow> In all the writing I've done, newspaper, fiction, fan fiction and non-fiction, she's taught me not only how to edit but how to create my own distinctive style.

Janet-WVU> It's wonderful to have such a team of talent here with us!

jean> They show me their world.

jean> I started "Savage Empire" from a title--Anne's fault, remember?

APinzow> Oh yes.

APinzow> That was funny.

JL>  will take you directly to the lifeforce-l signup page. However, if that link doesn't work, use  which is permanent.

jean> Jacqueline and I had just finished FIRST CHANNEL, and I was hunting for ideas to start a series of my own.

MargareTZ> we will also include urls with the chat log

APinzow> Jean was telling Jacqueline, Katie Filipowitz and I about her new story idea.

APinzow> We were at a convention out on Long Island.

jean> The theme of everything I write is basically, "In union there is strength," or IDIC.

JL> With toothpaste on her fingers still - Jean was standing in the middle of the hotel room expounding!

jean> But you can't build a world on nothing but your favorite theme.

APinzow> Well, Doc Savage was being shown in the media room at midnight and I had never seen it.

jean> Anne had come in and said, "Anything with 'savage' in the title will sell.

APinzow> So even sharing a room with three people who believe staying up to 9 p.m. is living the high life, I said I was going to see Doc Savage at midnight.

jean> So I was playing with combining the word 'savage' with other words.

APinzow> The reason I said it was I couldn't figure out any other way that Doc Savage could have sold.

jean> When I put it together with 'empire,' inspiration clicked!


Janet-WVU> How hard is it to write a book as a team of two? Do you always agree on things? ~ Janet

jean> What in the world would a savage empire be?

JL> Oh, no we NEVER agree.

MargareTZ> lol

JL> but that's the whole point - UNION AND STRENGTH

JL> When you unite two disparate views, you get STRENGTH.

APinzow> I have to agree with that. :)

JL> The trick is getting them to meld.

APinzow> If two people totally agree then there is no conflict and conflict is the essence of story.

JL> Yes, Anne and I collaborated on the movie which she based on a short story of mine.

JL> Precisely Anne!

JL> Jean and I conflict in a friendly and useful manner.

jean> I've collaborated with Jacqueline, with Lois Wickstrom, and with Winston Howlett.

JL> Now, in gaming people usually "run" a character. * KarenMac smiles. "I can second that. Many aspects of Sime~Gen you STILL conflict on."

APinzow> You have to be able to trust your collaborator.

JL> Some collaborators work like that - each commanding a character -- and I find the result shallow.

JL> Jean and I usually go over each others words until it's all smoothed out.

JL> But that works because we plan carefully.

jean> When characters from my alternate-Europe wanted to go to alternate-Africa, I called on Winston, who is an expert on Africa.

APinzow> When you trust your collaborators you know that they have equal or more skill than you do.

APinzow> Also when you trust your collaborator you know that your partner's work will only enhance yours.

JL> What works best for us is that Jean first Drafts and I second draft. But since we did ZELEROD'S DOOM (where I first drafted - you can tell because my byline is first) I have learned more of Jean's structural tricks and generally don't have to restructure AFTER the first draft.

APinzow> And the trick is, the true talent of it all, is to focus your ability into enhancing your partner's work.

jean> You focus on the work, not on yourself.

JL> To see some of my early drafts to compare with the published versions (lots of free textbook material on go to  and look up my name.

Janet-WVU> Thanks JL. Will do!

JL> You'll find an early draft of the published novel UNTO ZEOR, FOREVER which will show you what I mean about restructuring.

JL> That is not an efficient way to write.

APinzow> When I took up Jacqueline's short story, believe me, I was terrified that I might ruin it someway.

JL> I remember that Anne - but you made it better.


Questions> You mentioned that it seems shallow for each to command a character. But what if each use their "gut feelings" -- their very core, as you mentioned earlier. And each collaborated with opinions/editing one another's work to meld them together?

JL> Usually - for MOST collaborators - that wouldn't work.

jean> Then I started the novelization of the script, so we are ready when it sells to provide an entire package.

JL> A novel is not a random collection of incidents and opinions. And it ISN'T "reality."

jean> But I hadn't read Jacqueline's story, so I wrote from a different character's POV!

JL> It is a work of art which has to have integrity - as Jean pointed out above, what's at the beginning has to come full circle in the end.

JL> That can't happen when two guts are involved.

JL> Remember STAR TREK was Gene Roddenberry's brainchild.

JL> it was his VISION - other people's writing.

APinzow> Exactly, you have to work together.

JL> There has to be a master VISION behind that work of art.

JL> Someone's talent has to be seconded to someone else's.

JL> But Jean and I work as equals.

JL> We plan the work out beforehand - deciding on the THEME and PLOT and the Character's backstories and so on.

APinzow> What any writer has to realize is that all creative work, that seen on screens, is work by committee.

jean> If you have done round robins, you know how frustrating it is when someone goes way off in a new direction, so you cannot incorporate your plans.

JL> Then someone first-drafts it from the gut - and the other second drafts -- then the first person finals.

MargareTZ> I am reminded that it is almost an hour already. seems like no more than 10 minutes, but. We will go un-moderated in a few minutes.

APinzow> In the case of the screenplay, it was Jacqueline's short story.

jean> I've written professional Star Trek novels.

JL> Good example, Jean - the round robin.

jean> I could do Roddenberry's vision as it came across in the series.

JL> Yes, and in my not at all humble opinion, Jean's novels are the BEST Star Trek ones published.

APinzow> Then I added about 75% more material to it, more characters and even changed the POV

jean> I had problems with the visions of changing editors.

APinzow> I was almost finished when I remembered that Jean was going to do the novelization and I forgot to put in a waterfall scene.

APinzow> Jean always has a waterfall scene.

Janet-WVU> Until Margaret 'unmoderates' this chat, please feel free to direct your questions through me by double clicking on my name. Thanks.

JL> Oh, I remember that! And yes, I still hope Jean will write that novelization.

jean> I don't have a waterfall scene in every book.

MargareTZ> JL, Jean, the room is yours as long as you want it. Just don't let us tire you out.

jean> Sometimes I have shower scenes instead.

APinzow> LOL

Joan> lol

JL> That's another point - when collaborating you have to make room for the other author's personal symbolism.

Janet-WVU> Shower scenes.... in Sime~Gen sounds interesting!

JL> soapy laterals.

APinzow> Ohhh, kinky.

JL> yep - very

KarenMac> To find all the fiction, including JL's works on you can look at the index at 

JL> At any rate, I had one more point to make about collaborating.

APinzow> Jean did a reading of one of her stories at the last world con, my Ghu, it was so hot.

JL> Many people think "I have this great idea, but I need someone who knows how to write to write it for me."

Janet-WVU> I would like to take this opportunity while you are still all here, JL, Jean, Anne and Karen, to invite you all back in the near future.

JL> A)don't EVER accept that kind of collaborator, and B)don't ever OFFER that kind of collaboration.

jean> There's some kinky play in TO KISS OR TO KILL--it's a novel for adults, although not "adult" in the sense of "adult website."

APinzow> And rated PG yet, that is unless you were real familiar with Sime~Gen.

Janet-WVU> That one just went to the top of my list, Jean. :-)

JL> "Writing" is just a skill. As Marion Zimmer Bradley used to say, anyone who can write a literate English sentence can sell novels.

KarenMac> Editors shouldn't write their "author's" books for them either.

APinzow> Too true.

Janet-WVU> Would that be called, ghost writing, Karen?

KarenMac> Suggest, guide, but NOT write...that's the author's job.

APinzow> I've also done editing and you have to look at the whole thing.

KarenMac> If that's ghost writing, _I_ don't do it.

JL> No, it's not ghost writing.

jean> While everyone who can write literately can write novels, there are two caveats to that statement.

APinzow> Also, it depends on the level of editing you're asked to do.

JL> Ghost writing is more what I was describing - someone's idea and another person's writing skills. But the idea person gets sole byline.

jean> Unless you are driven to write novels, write non-fiction. You will make a much better living. * KarenMac nods. "I do have MY standards."

Joan> I take it that you knew Ms. Bradley personally?

JL> Oh, yes, she was my mentor.

JL> She taught me almost everything I know about writing.

jean> And second, the ability to write literately does not guarantee that your work will be moving or even publishable.

Joan> She is one of my favorite authors. Did you ever write in her sword and sorceress books.

JL> Anne and I stayed at her house one memorable night - (there was a petty robbery) - and we sat up talking writing the rest of the night.

JL> Jean and I sold a story to the Darkover anthology.

JL> It's called THE ANSWER.

APinzow> One of my fondest memories was sitting in Jacqueline's kitchen just listening to Marion and Jacqueline discuss one of Jacqueline's books.

Joan> I will have to look into that.

jean> Marion taught me how to break my chapters so as to create suspense--one of those, "Duh! Why didn't I realize that?" things.

JL> I sold her a story for the magazine, called oh, gee I forget. See my bibliography  -- Karen's is there too under Support Staff.  

Joan> sure will

APinzow> All of a sudden I got an idea and on the spot, while I was listening to them, wrote a short story about what they were doing, but in the Sime Gen universe. * KarenMac smiles. "I learned from MZB, too, but at the Darkover Grand Council Conventions. Unfortunately, not at Jacqueline's table."

jean> Jacqueline and I keep earning royalties for that little short story, year after year.

Joan> She inspired me to try to write just reading her books.

APinzow> The two of them just laughed their heads off at it and that became a story that went into a Companion In Zeor.

APinzow> I forgot the title though. It was a while ago.

JL> So you see, though we all share the STAR TREK CONNECTION (see my essay on that linked from my review column  ) we also share the Darkover Connection.

KarenMac> You expect me to remember, Anne? And I edit CZ. Check the list at 

Joan> Darkover is my favorite universe

JL> If you have those two kinds of fiction on your favorites list, you really ought to try SIME~GEN.

jean> If Sime~Gen ever becomes as popular as Darkover, we will be VERY HAPPY.

MargareTZ> it may just, jean, paranormal is popular again

JL> And there are free chapters posted (and a number of free professional stories) at  -- and if you join the newsletter lifeforce-l you get a free Jean Lorrah S~G story.

Janet-WVU> I do believe you are well on your way, Jean and JL!

ShelleyB> Would you be willing to share some of those tips on creating suspense by breaking chapters?

Joan> I will try Sime~Gen as soon as it is available.

jean> It's very simple:

JL> Actually, Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote a Sime~Gen story for one of the fanzines - AZ I think.

KarenMac> The books in earlier editions are STILL available.

jean> Break a chapter at a cliffhanging moment. * KarenMac nods. "Yes, its in an early Ambrov Zeor, Jacqueline. But I don't remember the title."

jean> That moment is there in the book--instead of writing on past it to its resolution, break _before_ the resolution.

Joan> I will have to look harder for them. I went to B&N but they weren't listed.

APinzow> Toche, I don't remember it either.

JL> you start a chapter with a narrative hook, and end it on a springboard into the next chapter's narrative hook.

CalisCat> I'll have to remember that

JL> The best way to learn the trick is to watch a writer who knows it take your material and CHANGE it before your eyes.

KarenMac> Joan, lots of us on the Simegen discussion list can find the books for you. Jacqueline also has some still for sale.

jean> You don't have to know from narrative hooks.

MargareTZ> Joan, for now you have to look for used books, abebooks or

JL> I remember how MZB changed some words in UNTO ZEOR, FOREVER -- one of the scenes I was having trouble with - and just with a couple of tweaks increased the CONFLICT and TENSION 1000 fold.

jean> It's just if someone is in a moment of danger, BREAK THERE instead of after s/he has gotten out of danger.

Joan> I will thanks

JL> yes, the sales flyer is in

APinzow> These fiction techniques can be used in non-fiction as well.

ShelleyB> thank you

jean> If a question is hanging, BREAK THERE instead of after it has been answered.

JL> You can buy the Sime~Gen fanzines at the Keon Emporium too.

APinzow> In newspaper writing, you have to write your lead, your hook too.

JL> (paper versions) -- Karen has some of those for sale.

KarenMac> Even our electronic fanzine is available in paper.

APinzow> There's an example of writing by committee and formula article writing at too.

jean> Used books: people on simegen-l report when they find used copies.

JL> There's an essay I did on MZB posted somewhere -- look in  under the link INFLUENCES for an essay on Ted Sturgeon's involvement and MZB's - I have had the ambition to write personal essays on all the authors listed on that page, but just haven't gotten to it.

JL> Someone with a Ted Sturgeon site made a link to my essay on him - he liked it so much.

KarenMac> Books and fanzines are available at: 

jean> We ask them NOT to send them to us, but directly to the people looking for them. Sending them to us first is a waste of time and energy and postage, and allows another chance for damage in transit.

ShelleyB> Thank you all for sharing. I look forward to September's chat!

JL> As far as I know, I haven't been invited to September.

CalisCat> Yes... this has been quite informative and inspiring.. Thank you to both!

MargareTZ> I am going to call for final questions now. We want you writing! Looking forward to more books.

Janet-WVU> JL and Jean... we would love to have you back anytime your schedule permits. :-)

MargareTZ> Thank you ever so much, Jacqueline and Jean. I hope we will have the pleasure of another chat * KarenMac smiles. "Guess you'll have to finish writing by then. I'm in a Sept. chat as Editing guest."

jean> You can always find out the latest about me at

Lucille> when will log chat be available?

MargareTZ> and we already hooked Karen

jean> Thank you for inviting us.

KarenMac> Guess I'm a glutton for punishment.

MargareTZ> Anne hope you will consider visiting us too

APinzow> Certainly.

JL> Links to Jean's site where you see her name all over

Janet-WVU> Thank you Jean and JL for being here today.

Janet-WVU> Lovely to meet you, Anne, and Karen!

MargareTZ> at WVU or at Sime~Gen?

Joan> Thanks for all the info and I will go back to your site and look somemore. Thanks again

JL> thank you ANNE for joining us.

KarenMac> Pleased to be here.

APinzow> Your welcome. It was fun.

JL> Isn't it though?

JL> This is a neat crowd of folks.

MargareTZ> thanks, JL!

JL> I would like to have a longer chat where the PEOPLE introduce themselves.

MargareTZ> that is high praise

Janet-WVU> That can be arranged, JL

JL> I don't know who I'm talking to here and everyone sounds so fascinating I want to get to know them better.

MargareTZ> sure, just tell us when you can be available

jean> Very enjoyable--good questions.

APinzow> You can find out about me at

JL> Well, Sunday daytime is best for me.

Janet-WVU> We went moderated in case you were over run with questions. :-)

jean> Next year this time we'll have the first book out.

JL> Yes, Anne's bio is in too.

Janet-WVU> Thanks Anne!

JL> I think we would have been.

JL> Oh, were there questions that didn't get asked?

APinzow> Anytime.

JL> Or entered that is?

JL> Because if so, email them and I'll see if I can answer to append to this chatlog.

Janet-WVU> I think Margaret got all the questions copied into this room.

jean> Did we miss any? They were flying thick and fast.

MargareTZ> we have a regular chat at 10 Eastern on Saturdays that you can visit any time you feel like it

JL> OK, I hope I answered them all. I was so busy typing I know there are things I didn't read.

Janet-WVU> We'll see in the log, Jean. LOL

MargareTZ> it is rather informal, but we do talk about writing, sometimes

JL> If you would like, you may email me questions from people who wanted to be here but couldn't make it.

MargareTZ> will do

JL> I have another appointment this aftn - so i really ought to rush off.

Janet-WVU> Have a great day JL!

JL> I'd like to invite everyone to check out our Reviews section - and see if you want to work there.

APinzow> I'm on a deadline myself.

Lucille> Thank you for chat.

Janet-WVU> I am going to see what I might be able to contribute, JL. :-)

MargareTZ> may we include that invitation in our school newsletter?

Janet-WVU> Hope to talk soon, Anne.

KarenMac> We can always use book reviewers, among other help.

APinzow> Definitely.

JL> Yes, please do include it in the News Letter -- with the URL of this chat. (not to duplicate info)

MargareTZ> not T-Zero, but our in-house newsletter WVU-This Week

JL> Both NL's.

jean> Oh--if any of you live in West Kentucky, I'm participating in a writing workshop in Hopkinsville on Sept. 14.

MargareTZ> I wish!

Janet-WVU> Me too... wish.

JL> and the best way to get hands-on editing is to write a Sime~Gen story for CZ.

KarenMac> Sounds like two candidates for the WorldCrafters School....

JL> That's Karen's S~G fanzine.


JL> Jean and or I read and work on every story submitted.

jean> Hoptown is also easily accessible from NW Tennessee.

JL> So you get our structural commentary and Karen's close editing. You'll be a pro in no time.

KarenMac> And I still do hands on editing for CZ.

JL> But that's only useful if you happen to KNOW the S~G background material pretty well.

MargareTZ> we try to do that with T-Zero, but in all genres

JL> Oh, we should give the URL for signing up for the school.

Janet-WVU> Yes please.

KarenMac> Or the fiction written in ANY of your universes, you've forgotten that.


JL>  - there's a link SIGN UP TODAY at the top.

APinzow> I've really got to go. JLs, thanks for inviting me and MargereTZ, thanks for the very warm welcome. It was really fun and you're a great bunch of people.

Janet-WVU> You have all given us so much valuable information and knowledge. Thank you once again for being our special guests.

jean> Any kind of writing for WorldCrafters.

JL> Thank Karen for getting Anne into the room.

APinzow> Karen, thanks for directing me.

jean> You're welcome.

Janet-WVU> Bye for now, and keep writing! :-)

JL> Yes, you are VERY welcome indeed.

MargareTZ> I've sent a few students your way. good advanced training

KarenMac> Hey, what's Simegen. com's Assistant Webmaster for? You're welcome, Anne.

jean> Great! Thanks!

JL> bye for now - hope to do this again sometime.

jean> Bye for now.

MargareTZ> hope so! take care and bye for now

jean> Don't forget to stop by  .



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