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#31 of 59 Old 09-23-2009, 06:10 PM
 
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Great writing samples ladies...I'm very impressed.

I posted one on my blog again yesterday. Mine is an epic love story so you can expect mush and romance. Here is a sample.

"As they casually picked up their drinks with their hands, her right, his left, he saw them. His eyes narrowed. The twin purple-blue roses, bright and vivid on her paler skin, his deep and dark though more faded than hers, were disconnected now, but, if the couple held hands, they would join at the stem perfectly. The roses were not only identical, they were made for each other. He suddenly understood everything. He said nothing."

I'm moving along. added a few more chapters today. I'm at 44, 059 today with more to come tonight.

I'm feeling very pleased with myself. I found this website and it's been helpful. I did the spreadsheet and now I'm filling in some gaps with scenes and chapters to support the main story. It's great!!!
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#32 of 59 Old 09-24-2009, 03:45 PM
 
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I'm at 46, 043 today...right on target! It's going super super well since I started using the spread sheet and set up my scenes left to be written!

I'm excited!
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#33 of 59 Old 09-24-2009, 05:57 PM
 
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I am in love with my outline spreadsheet, too. I know they don't work for some but I felt I couldn't have done it without my outline.

Nice, interesting excerpt!

I'm still working on Chapter 30, but I'm hoping I can get it finished up and move on to 31 tonight. I gave my protag some more stuff to speak up about and then another action paragraph or two toward the end... so we'll see how that plays out....

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#34 of 59 Old 09-25-2009, 12:42 PM
 
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Erin, thanks for the links!

I can't believe how much progress you've all made in the months since I've visited MDC!!! Wow! Congratulations!!!!!!!!

I long to take a writing class and join some sort of critiquing group. I need to make that my next priority. I have just finished putting my novel on the computer from my notebooks. I can finally weight her, and she's a little underweight for mainstream fiction at 64,704.

While looking for classes/groups, I will be printing, re-reading, and evaluating the draft for structural problems, inconsistencies, holes, and other problems. I made the mistake while working on draft two of spending more effort on character development, grammar, and dialogue than overall plot and structure, which may turn out to have been a waste of time if these elements need slashing. What a learning process!!!! Like some of you, I'd no idea this would be so time consuming when I began --- almost seven months ago!!!!!

I am not wordy, and my favorite part of noveling is dialogue. When I need to write a descriptive scene, I stumble and stagger.

Jenny, reading & writing mama of dd(18), ds(6), and ds(3)
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#35 of 59 Old 09-25-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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I'm at 50,100...I wrote a ton today and it's all really good...seriously...I am really good at the romantic descriptive stuff...I love what I've written...

ok...enough about me...how are you all doing?
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#36 of 59 Old 09-26-2009, 12:37 AM
 
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For the novelists..check out my blog. I was inspired to write about writing tonight...I thought you guys would "get" it.

Ps..in siggy
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#37 of 59 Old 09-26-2009, 08:17 PM
 
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Way to go, Breeze --- that is some major progress!

Jenny, reading & writing mama of dd(18), ds(6), and ds(3)
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#38 of 59 Old 09-26-2009, 10:13 PM
 
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52, 745...and I take two days off..my hubby is home but I'm doing crazy amounts of writing. I went for a walk, came back and wrote nearly 2000 words...a wonderful chapter that I was stuck on.

My next excerpt for the blog is posted! see siggy.

I'm so loving this process...I'm hoping my first draft is finished in a month. My inlaws are visiting come Oct. 26 and if I can have it finished by then I can send it to my first readers...any volunteers?

Then once everybody has wrecked it I'll start editing it. That's going to be the tough part. You become so attached to your work.

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#39 of 59 Old 09-27-2009, 02:24 AM
 
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Jenny -- Do you tend to add words when you revise? My first draft was only 56k but I tend to underwrite -- not the dialogue, though I hate writing it, but I underwrite the description. It's 90k now so I've added a ton (some new scenes, but also just fleshing out the things I only sketched the first time through).

Allgirls -- Wow, you're on a roll! That's a lot of new words. How far through the story do you think you are? And a lovely blog entry, too. In a month I'll have a newborn on my hands so I'm probably going to be no good as a reader, alas. Sorry!


I finished chapter 30 and read over chapter 31, where I am, of course, stuck. All the most important threads are concluded in the version I have, but it's awkward and feels a bit forced. I think I might go back and smooth out the other bits that were added new in this draft and just let the ending percolate a bit. I need to finish the synopsis, too.

And I need to dig up a few more agents to send it to. I have a shortlist but I should make a LONGER list. A friend who sold a novel last year advised me to consider targeting an editor directly, too, as that's how he sold his--editor first, then agent. But I'm having trouble figuring out how to figure out which editors would be interested in my subgenre (sword and sorcery). S&S is soooo not 'in' right now. There are only 2 big publishers that read unagented SF/F manuscripts but I'm still slightly stumped.

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#40 of 59 Old 09-27-2009, 09:58 AM
 
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Allgirls -- Wow, you're on a roll! That's a lot of new words. How far through the story do you think you are? And a lovely blog entry, too. In a month I'll have a newborn on my hands so I'm probably going to be no good as a reader, alas. Sorry!
I'm pretty well into the story...I wrote the ending a while ago...I've got 3 or 4 chapters to add at the beginning..it starts a bit slow so I've added some scenes to build on the relationship of the couple

And I have some final chapters to change to match some changes I made in the initial story that weren't working...I didn't write in order...

First draft is going to be around 65000 I think but the second draft will add more...I think it's going to need a lot more dialogue and fleshing out at that point.

I would love to be around 75,000 to 80,000 for the final which I'm told is a good size for a first book.

I've lined up three first readers...Steven King says five....I wish I could be a Steven King first reader...lol.

Two days off now..hubby is home...we have a ton of things to get done and I feel happy with what I've accomplished. So time to start dreaming and thinking and planning the next chapters...I love when I see pretty bits of scenery to incorporate. I write little phrases and ideas and incorporate them. I thought of a funny thing that happened to a friend and I while we were visiting one of the cities where my book is set and I'm going to write it into a scene between my main characters.

Loving the process
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#41 of 59 Old 09-28-2009, 08:43 AM
 
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Who is working today? I'm back at it...goal of 2000 words...some early chapters to insert...I had some great inspiration of how to go about it over the weekend...my brain is so full of this story...it's always thinking about it!

Back later with an update!

UPDATE: I am at 55,775! I'm thrilled. I'm getting close to finishing the first draft but I'm hating my chapters 2, 3, and 4...they just aren't as good as the rest. I'll rework them before I finish but I'm going back to the end again and start finishing up the final chapters including the death of the main male character. I"m sad thinking about that.
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#42 of 59 Old 09-28-2009, 05:29 PM
 
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I didn't touch anything in the novel this weekend but I do a bunch of agent research and re-write my synopsis (AGAIN). I have a list of 5 or 6 agents to target first and I think my new synopsis (it must be version 15 by now) is maybe a keeper.

The ending is still giving me fits, though.

55k is great! You are really on a roll. I feel for you with those "inadequate"-feeling chapters. I have a few of those myself... when I finish messing around in the synopsis I need to go back and revise chapter 7, because it's still not adequate IMO.


So back to the agent thing. I have a dilemma. And this is long, sorry:

I have several friends/acquaintances who are real, published writers. Three of the top agents on my list agent my acquaintances. Would it be out of line to ask people to consider referring me? I feel a little weird about it because the three people who might be good referrals haven't read my writing recently, and none writes the same stuff -- one writes paranormal romance (and while we've "known" each other for 20 years since we were in a fanfic club together, we've only met once in person!); one is a workshop classmate who writes SF; and the other is a friend-of-a-friend who is an up-and-coming epic fantasy writer.

I have two other agented/publishing friends who were in my writing group have HAVE read my writing, but not recently. One only sold last year and is waiting for his first book (urban fantasy) to come out; the other writes hard SF and I'm not sure who her agent even is.

I'm hesitant because I really hate to "use" people, and it feels like it would be sooo awkard if they read my stuff and decided not to refer me. I don't want to put anybody in a weird position and I'm not close buds with any of these people...

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#43 of 59 Old 09-28-2009, 05:47 PM
 
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I would not ask them for a referral. I feel like you do, that it would feel like using...BUT I would have no qualms calling them up and asking for professional advice about things...how to approach and agent, the synopsis, etc.

In my experience writers love to talk about their writing and their success.

And if they offer to recommend you....though from what I can tell, agents don't go much for recommendations anyway, though it might get you read!

And maybe they'll offer to read it for you.

Which brings me to my next question. Who are your first readers? I think I have three...a fourth offered but I don't think she's going to be able to offer me the feedback..she loves me too much
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#44 of 59 Old 09-29-2009, 01:38 AM
 
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Right, it's the "being a potential mooch" thing that's getting to me. And the awkwardness if they want to say 'no'. I emailed an experienced writer who's given me some great advice in the past earlier to see what she thinks--

My first readers were my writing critique group. The group has 5 people (other than me) at present -- 3 women, 2 men, ages mid-20s to perhaps 60ish, all currently writing fantasy though we've all done at least light SF in the past.

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#45 of 59 Old 09-29-2009, 08:44 AM
 
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Critique group...good plan. My readers aren't writers or editors, just "readers" but I think they'll be honest and they're all smart. I have a friend who is an editor to read it after the first readers. She doesn't work as an editor anymore but she can get it ready for an actual editor.

I'm aiming for the end of October to finish the first draft...but I'll have to keep going at the rate I am going to do it. I think I'm going to be close. I have family visiting then and I want it complete before then.

Now though, I have a formatting problem. Somehow a table was inserted into 3 pages and I wrote in it. So there is a whole wonky section. I think I have to take it completely out and retype the three pages but until my printer has a new cartridge it's staying because when I delete the table I lose the text and if I copy/paste the table follows

So I am trying to forget it's there.

Goal of 2000 words again today...all kids will be in school so it's my time
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#46 of 59 Old 09-29-2009, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Now though, I have a formatting problem. Somehow a table was inserted into 3 pages and I wrote in it. So there is a whole wonky section. I think I have to take it completely out and retype the three pages but until my printer has a new cartridge it's staying because when I delete the table I lose the text and if I copy/paste the table follows
Oh - Try copying and pasting it into an email or into a PM to yourself here. They may wipe the table but keep the text for you, so then you can copy the text-only back to the original document.

Wife of 1. Mom of 3. Conquering disability challenges, one achievement at a time.
 

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#47 of 59 Old 09-29-2009, 10:56 AM
 
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Oh - Try copying and pasting it into an email or into a PM to yourself here. They may wipe the table but keep the text for you, so then you can copy the text-only back to the original document.
That's pretty brilliant..gonna try that...will let you know!

It worked. I seriously LOVE you!
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#48 of 59 Old 09-29-2009, 11:16 AM
 
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Here is the latest excerpt from my novel.

"St. John’s is the oldest city in North America. The ghosts of the merchants and fisherman who bartered over the price of the catch, mingle in the fog with the voices of the orphans who had once resided underneath the grimy and dismal boards of the first wharves built along the ancient shore of the harbour.
Wharfangers they had been called. Misery in small packages, these forgotten waifs survived by working for food, selling their souls and their bodies for their survival. Chris thought of them as they walked along the harbour front. Times had changed but this city held the past in its fist in a grip so tight that even now she imagined she heard the long extinct wharf urchins laugh with child-like glee from the warmth of their historic graves and the drunken ghosts that bought them, singing endless happy sea shanties in dark alleys and corrugated row houses"


We've moved from one city to another now
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#49 of 59 Old 09-29-2009, 11:13 PM
 
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I hit 58, 044 words today...and I'll hit 60,000 and it feels great! There is no maximum but it feels like I might actually do this now!!
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#50 of 59 Old 09-30-2009, 02:11 PM
 
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Where is everybody? I guess you are all so busy with the novels you have no time to post.

I hit 61, 347 today and it is getting very close to complete. I really think I'm going to get the first draft done before my SIL arrives on the 24th. Ideally I'd like to be done for the 20th so I can have some focussed cleaning days before she arrives and my mil and fil arrive around the first of November.

Guess we get a new novelling thread tomorrow! Hard to believe it's the end of September. I has been a fabulous writing month for me and I'm hoping October continues in the same vein.

Looking forward to all your updates.

Allgirls
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#51 of 59 Old 09-30-2009, 03:08 PM
 
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Serious problems revising this novel.

(1) Not sure I can write. The novel seems juvenile.

(2) Having a hard time focusing on the story's holes. I'm getting caught up in reworking sentences and paragraphs, but losing sight of the story/characters as a whole --- any techniques for forcing yourself to READ the story (and make notes) as opposed to "fixing" every little mistake you see?

(3) And of course the 2-yr-old doesn't like it when I'm working...

Jenny, reading & writing mama of dd(18), ds(6), and ds(3)
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#52 of 59 Old 09-30-2009, 03:11 PM
 
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all kids will be in school so it's my time
JEALOUS!!!

Jenny, reading & writing mama of dd(18), ds(6), and ds(3)
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#53 of 59 Old 09-30-2009, 03:15 PM
 
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Jenny -- Do you tend to add words when you revise? My first draft was only 56k but I tend to underwrite -- not the dialogue, though I hate writing it, but I underwrite the description. It's 90k now so I've added a ton (some new scenes, but also just fleshing out the things I only sketched the first time through).
Yes, I seem to add more during re-writes. Glad I'm not the only one. It seems like every writing resource tells you to CUT CUT CUT when you revise, and I think, OH, CRAP, I won't have anything left!

But what ends up happening is --- I don't just edit, I REWRITE many of the scenes, and they are usually twice as long when I'm finished.

Jenny, reading & writing mama of dd(18), ds(6), and ds(3)
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#54 of 59 Old 09-30-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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Yes, I seem to add more during re-writes. Glad I'm not the only one. It seems like every writing resource tells you to CUT CUT CUT when you revise, and I think, OH, CRAP, I won't have anything left!

But what ends up happening is --- I don't just edit, I REWRITE many of the scenes, and they are usually twice as long when I'm finished.
Not every resource. I am pretty sure that there comes a time when you will need to cut redundant scenes, excessive language etc. however I was told that the first edit is not the place to do that.

Steps

First draft...write the story.
Give it to first readers for proof reading, inconsistancies, missing stuff, confusion etc.
Second draft...layer description over the story/look for holes yourself, incorporate suggestions of first readers. Sometimes when you fill a hole you can remove something else that becomes redundant. Then line edit. Go line by line removing crazy excessive language but leave that which suits the feel you are going for.
Then read the entire thing yourself. This is where you might do some cutting.
Third draft...should be edited by an editor/lot of cutting here.
do what editor says/send back to editor.
do what editor says/send back to editor
lather rinse repeat
until you get final draft.

Now I have to find the resource for that but I think it's close to Steven King's process.
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#55 of 59 Old 09-30-2009, 07:44 PM
 
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Where is everybody? I guess you are all so busy with the novels you have no time to post.
I wish! Though I did add some stuff into chapter 30 and spend awhile yesterday staring at Dread Chapter 7 without making much progress at all. And the ending is not moving along as it should. I've been carrying my notebook everywhere in case inspiration stirkes but... no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyClaire View Post
(2) Having a hard time focusing on the story's holes. I'm getting caught up in reworking sentences and paragraphs, but losing sight of the story/characters as a whole --- any techniques for forcing yourself to READ the story (and make notes) as opposed to "fixing" every little mistake you see?
Do you usually revise on the screen? I find that sometimes it changes my focus to print out the chapter I'm working on and actually go over it on paper. And I might go through it twice... once I let myself line-edit, and the other time I just read through it looking for larger issues of plot/pacing/tension/character. I may scribble whole new paragraphs in the margins or on the back. And then I may sit down with my paper and a blank Word document and re-type the whole thing from scratch, because I just find it easier to make huge changes that way.

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#56 of 59 Old 09-30-2009, 10:25 PM
 
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I'm so excited to see so much progress with everyone's writing!!!

I've been MIA due to hormonal crap - just don't feel social, kwim? But thankfully that is over for the time being and I'm back to writing...and ruining my book!!! I have reworked chapter one so much that it went from 21 pages to 13...and I was starting to get suicidal thinking I just don't have what it takes, that I suck (the usual writer's mentality) until I remembered what AllGirls said...that sometimes critique groups are not good...that they have too many rules and maybe I'm trying to make them happy instead of making a good novel...

soooo....as I might still participate, I'm holding off on chopping things to bits until I weed through the comments and figure out what will work for me, my book, and then the rest can be composted

I'm looking forward to October being MUCH better for writing and hopefully I'll be done with this one soon so I can do NaNoMo next year!!!
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#57 of 59 Old 09-30-2009, 10:49 PM
 
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I'm so excited to see so much progress with everyone's writing!!!

I've been MIA due to hormonal crap - just don't feel social, kwim? But thankfully that is over for the time being and I'm back to writing...and ruining my book!!! I have reworked chapter one so much that it went from 21 pages to 13...and I was starting to get suicidal thinking I just don't have what it takes, that I suck (the usual writer's mentality) until I remembered what AllGirls said...that sometimes critique groups are not good...that they have too many rules and maybe I'm trying to make them happy instead of making a good novel...

soooo....as I might still participate, I'm holding off on chopping things to bits until I weed through the comments and figure out what will work for me, my book, and then the rest can be composted

I'm looking forward to October being MUCH better for writing and hopefully I'll be done with this one soon so I can do NaNoMo next year!!!

Glad you're back at it! Critique groups not good or bad, just not for everyone..one, good, trustworthy editor is priceless though.

First five chapters are the most difficult for me. I think I Have a good handle on the first one.

The thing is, while there are ways to hone and perfect your craft, only you can write the way you write. There is a place for critique groups I'm sure. But if you're getting pulled in all different directions it's likely not the right way for you to go.

I just read a steven Heighton novel. It's brilliant. I couldn't write it, he's really super duper way up in the clouds beyond me..but also, I don't know that I would want to write it. It was a good story but not particularly something I would choose to read for myself, not my type of stuff. I write what I like to read.

I love Steven King. Nobody writes like Steven King. Even from the beginning when editors were insisting that he was doing this or that wrong he held out for the way he liked to do them. He was right.

Sometimes you have to trust your own intuition/instinct.

My novel may be crap, it may be drivel..but one thing is for sure, it's gonna be my crap and drivel

BUT I am learning as I go along. There is a LOT of room for improvement with what I'm writing, but I'm enjoying it and it's something I would like to read. That's the best I can hope for.

Trust yourself, trust your instinct, trust your talent.

I think writing courses/lessons would be much more helpful than critique groups for me so that's what I'm opting for. It's more about guidance and technique than criticism and it works for me.

Also, read a lot, as a writer. Study the book and the paragraph structure and how things are presented..that's helped me a lot too.

Jenny Claire I second the printing it out and hacking it with a pen. It works to give a different perspective, guess you use a whole other set of brain cells to do it that way.
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#58 of 59 Old 10-01-2009, 08:50 AM
 
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Found this blog post and loved it. It's what I've been saying all along because it makes sense!


All kids in school today...I'm aiming for 2000 words!
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#59 of 59 Old 10-01-2009, 02:19 PM
 
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October thread time! I'm going to start it if it's ok with everybody here.

Here it is!
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