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 YouTube as writer's aid?

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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: YouTube as writer's aid?   YouTube as writer's aid? EmptyWed Sep 14, 2011 9:15 pm

I just have to share something that I just found.

Over the next couple of days, my character, Joshua Stone, is going to get his first look at Enchanted Rock. If you have read Chapter 6 in the WIP, you may remember that Stone is an NYPD cop who moves to the Hill Country in 2002 to start a new life with his children after the death of his wife. He is working as a deputy sheriff in the little town of Sandy Creek. As this scenario begins, he has been assigned the job of delivering a prisoner to Fredricksburg. The drive there will take him by the rock. He doesn't know anything about it, though. He will be taking almost the same route that the kids and I took in early May. I remember the awesome feeling I got as we approached, and I knew what to expect, because I had seen and been collecting images of the rock itself. But I wanted Joshua to have a profound experience of coming onto this thing cold. I was doing a new google search to see if I could find something new to use to prick my memory. I ran across this video. It is a little different, but even there it is helpful. The video shows the drive from the town of Llano down Highway 16 south, onto Ranch Road 695 which goes past the rock on the way to Fredricksburg. Llano is the real town my fictional town of Sandy Creek is based on. It is a few miles closer. In fact, I believe the video actually crosses he stream, Sandy Creek, not far from where my fictional town is. The driver in the video decides to pull in and explore the rock on his way south, whereas Stone will make the drive all the way to Fredricksburg to drop his prisoner off, and will decide to explore the place on his way back. While he is there, he will run into the hermit, Old Dan, that Khani told him about in Chapter 6, and Old Dan will become his mentor.

So, with that in mind, take a peek at the video and see why I'm so excited. (I recommend muting the music, though. It's far to discordant for the tone the scenario needs.



Ann
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10716
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: YouTube as writer's aid?   YouTube as writer's aid? EmptyWed Sep 14, 2011 11:37 pm

Ann,
just watched the video and I'm trying to ascertain the cause of your excitement.
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dkchristi
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dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: YouTube as writer's aid?   YouTube as writer's aid? EmptyThu Sep 15, 2011 4:39 am

!! And I agree; the music was not pleasant.
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
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Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: YouTube as writer's aid?   YouTube as writer's aid? EmptyThu Sep 15, 2011 5:06 am

I should probably have said to fast forward through the first couple of minutes and stop once the drive-thru at the rock was done. And, of course, even without the music, the speed of the video is a problem. It probably works for me because I made the same trip in real time.

The thing is, there is no feature to the surrounding landscape that is anything like this place. When you are driving toward it, as you go up and downhill, you only get tiny glimpses at first, and what you see is so unusual, you think it might be an optical illusion, but as you proceed, the glimpses last longer and the hill looms larger until you are there.

Another point is that a video or picture doesn't quite capture the intensity of feeling that actually being there does.

What I am getting from the video is the visualization of the scene I want to describe, and the twists in the road, the rise and fall of perspective, etc. I can slow the video down in my head, I guess, since I have actually been there.

This website of still photos taken along that ranch road as it was being constructed and paved gives you more of a chance for your eyes to linger on the rock itself. Maybe it will show you more of what I mean.

http://www.texasfreeway.com/Statewide/Statewide/photos/central_texas/fm965_enchanted_rock.shtml

Ann

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Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12621
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: YouTube as writer's aid?   YouTube as writer's aid? EmptyThu Sep 15, 2011 6:36 am

I watched the first minute and thought how boring the landscape was so fast forwarded a couple of minutes and, as I anticipated, the landscape was the same. Then I caught a glimpse of a mound ahead which came and went, then a rock to the left appeared. It did break up the monotony of the journey, even over just a few minutes viewing (didn't have the movement of the car to lull me along!) and it did make viewing a lot more interesting.

_________________
YouTube as writer's aid? 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ YouTube as writer's aid? 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ YouTube as writer's aid? 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ YouTube as writer's aid? 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ YouTube as writer's aid? 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ YouTube as writer's aid? 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
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PostSubject: Re: YouTube as writer's aid?   YouTube as writer's aid? EmptyThu Sep 15, 2011 7:50 am

Yes, that is the part that is most interesting. I didn't intend it to be an exciting video. But it is providing me with a chance to relive my own trip so that I can have a visual of the twists and turns in the road as I describe Stone's approach and first apprehension.

That was what excited me so much when I found it late last night, and it was that excitement I wanted to share.

Ann
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LC
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LC

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PostSubject: Re: YouTube as writer's aid?   YouTube as writer's aid? EmptyThu Sep 15, 2011 2:49 pm

Whatever works! I think it's great that you found a YouTube video that helps you visualize your story's location. The internet has so many riches to be mined. In one of Kiyosaki's ("Rich Dad, Poor Dad" fame) books, he talks about how a cheap computer and the internet can enable anyone to make money.

I use internet sites extensively in my own writing, for both research and inspiration.
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alj
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alj

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PostSubject: Re: YouTube as writer's aid?   YouTube as writer's aid? EmptyFri Sep 16, 2011 8:07 am

I agree. The sources are everywhere online, and continue to grow.

Ann
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alj
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alj

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PostSubject: Re: YouTube as writer's aid?   YouTube as writer's aid? EmptySat Sep 24, 2011 12:01 pm

If you have been following the development of Redstone's Valley, you probably know that it is set in an area of the Texas Hill Country near Enchanted Rock, and begins in the year 1852, where we meet Daniel and Maria, and watch as they decide to marry, and, on their honeymoon discuss the possibility of a new town, along the banks of Sandy Creek, about halfway between the town of Fredricksburg to the south, and the Llano river to the north,

You may also remember that the story shifted abruptly to the same place, only 150 years later, as Joshua Stone, a native of New York and New Jersey, moves into town and becomes the new deputy to sheriff Mack White. And that I started this post to share a video that inspired my writing of an important scene in the story.

Quote :
Stone settled his prisoner into the back seat of the van and locked the door. He went around to the driver’s side, opened the door, got in, and buckled , trying to curb his annoyance. He knew that Mack was right. It had turned out that this bum that he had picked up for vagrancy was wanted in Gillespie County, just to the south, on worse charges, so his extradition was necessary. So was the van necessary, even though Stone hated driving one. Like Mack had said, not only was the perp more secure, he would be less bothersome, separated from the front seat by a barred window and partition. Stone could focus on his first drive into Fredricksburg, the county seat of Gillespie County.

“An hour’s drive at most,” Mack had said. “Turn him in and spend the rest of the day on your own in Fredricksburg. I promise you, you won’t be sorry.”

So Stone shrugged and started the lumbering vehicle, and eased it onto the street. "Take the main road south of town until you hit RM 965 and turn right." Mack had told him. "Just follow it all the way into downtown."

Main road was a loose term. The two lanes meandered through hills and around curves bordered by grazing land broken by a few mesquite trees, some rocks, cactus plants, and low hills. Stone didn’t know what he had expected, but when he reached the ranch to market road and turned onto it, he didn’t find it much improved as highways go. It seemed only a slightly better paved version of the same rises, falls, and curves.

“What the f**k,” he found himself saying out loud. At first glimpse ahead,, he thought he was seeing things, a trick of the eyes, brought on by the monotony of the landscape. He settled into another small draw before the road started climbing again. He rounded another curve, and blinked. There it was again. It disappeared again. He wasn’t even sure what “it” was, the glimpses had been so brief. It appeared to be a hill, or maybe a small, low mountain, rising briefly out of the landscape, only this one was different from the others, the green ones with their overgrowth of mesquite and skimpy live oaks. This one was more like a gigantic rock, or huge, monolithic, deep pink stone, looming just ahead of him. The road rose and twisted sharply and it was gone again. He still wondered if he had imagined it, it was so incongruous with the rest of the countryside. More rises and curves in the road. He thought he had seen the last of it. The road, now on something of a plateau, curved to the right, and right again, and then sharply swerved to the left, and there the damn thing was again, looming directly in front of him. The road grew straight, then, and led directly toward this great red stone beast, lying along the ground.

And then, something seemed to happen to Stone. He slowed the van down and approached more reverently, feeling almost as though he was approaching a sacred place. He wanted a better look at this thing which sprawled along, spreading out for over a mile along, apparently, on either side of the road. The more he looked at this big, bald stone thing, the more it seemed to be singing to him, calling softly for him to come closer. Another rise and twist in the road and it was gone again, briefly, but soon back and even larger. It disappeared a few more times as the road resumed its twists and falls. Again, he wondered if his mind was playing tricks, only now he saw a sign, off to his right: Entrance to Enchanted Rock State Park. Traffic slowed as cars ahead of him waited their turn to enter the park. Then, as he passed the entrance, he saw it up close, off to his right, a rise, or series of stone rises, of a salmon-pink shading into grey and again to almost red rock, rising above the surrounding countryside of grass, mesquite, and cactus. Once again he got the feeling that it was beckoning him to stop and come even closer. He shook away the feeling and continued his drive south toward the Gillespie County line and the little city of Fredricksburg.


Last edited by alj on Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:36 pm; edited 2 times in total
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dkchristi
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dkchristi

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PostSubject: Re: YouTube as writer's aid?   YouTube as writer's aid? EmptySat Sep 24, 2011 12:23 pm

YouTUBE is apparently a great place to make lots of money. Did anyone see the special on Generation YouTube? We're missing the boat - all it takes is a camera and a little cleverness.
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alj
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alj

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PostSubject: Re: YouTube as writer's aid?   YouTube as writer's aid? EmptySat Sep 24, 2011 12:35 pm

Yes, I guess so. It's like every place else that begins more as a social activity. the same thing is happening at Facebook.

Ann
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