The next chapter: October 2018 and #NaNoWriMo week 1 update

Sooo…. I didn’t have the time on Wednesday to prepare this post and schedule it. And then NaNoWriMo started. And then Wordstock Sudbury started.

Accordingly, this will be a very brief update and combined with m week 1 NaNoWriMo check in.

My main project for October was to complete the outline for Tamisashki and I’m happy to say that work was completed Wednesday night.

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Because the outline is written in a notebook, I didn’t count the words. Further, I did a more rambling, draft version for each plot line, so it’s over double the word count of the final product. I’m better prepared to finish NaNo this year, though, and better prepared to finish the draft in the months following.

OctProgress

I wrote 4,528 words on this blog, which is 162% of my 2,800-word goal, and I submitted my DIY MFA column on time at 1,079 words (it’s coming out Tuesday), or 108% of my 1,000-word goal.

While there were no writing-related events in October, Phil and I did attend the 50th birthday celebration for our friend, Mark Kuntsi.

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Timing is everything with NaNo and for the past three years, the Wordstock Sudbury Literary festival has been on the first weekend in November. I do support the event and I make the time to attend, but that means sacrificing NaNo time.

I also signed up for Mary Robinette Kowal’s No-prep NaNoWriMo workshop, which was on Monday night. Though I’ve outlined, I figured having additional tools at my disposal (because I always, ALWAYS diverge from the outline) would be good. I also dig Mary’s strategies. Though I’ve heard many of them before, the reinforcement is always useful.

After the workshop, she stayed online for a group writing session which I didn’t participate in. I’d managed to write 1,758 words already that day and felt good about that progress.

On Friday, I attended Sarah Selecky’s book club about her new novel, Radiant, Shimmering, Light. I’ve been subscribed to her newsletter for years and found the concept—the commodification of self-care and how it affects two women, cousins, who navigate the social media minefield—and bought the book (of course).

Then, I attended a session on telling a good story with Waubgeshik Rice and Lee Maracle, two indigenous writers, moderated by Will Morin.

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I wrote 1,290 words on Friday.

On Saturday, I attended Alternate Realities, a session with Brit Griffin and Elan Mastai, both authors of speculative fiction. the discussion was moderated by CBC‘s Morning North’s host, Marcus Schwabe.

I then personned the Sudbury Writers’ Guild table until 5 pm, helped Dave Wickenden pack up, and went to supper with my dear friend, Kim Fahner, who gifted me with this lovely, lovely, handmade journal.

I managed only 690 words yesterday.

Here’s my book haul…

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Today, I’m off to the launch of Rosanna Micelotta Battigelli’s La Brigantessa, an historical novel set in the aftermath of Italy’s 1861 Unification.

Will update you next week about the launch and my NaNo progress for the week. I’m back to the day job for most of it.

Until then, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.

The Next Chapter

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 4-10, 2016

Lots of informal writerly learnings for you this week 🙂

K.M. Weiland posts another instalment in her most common writing mistakes series. Last week, it was part 53: no contractions in dialogue. Helping writers become authors

Later in the week, Kate returns with more lessons from the MCU: the right way and the wrong way to foreshadow.

Janice Hardy guest posts on Writers helping writers: how to stay organized during revision.

Later she posts on killing your darlings on her own Fiction University blog.

Sophie Masson offers some tips on how to use real-world places to inspire fictional settings. Writer Unboxed

Donald Maass: intensity. Writer Unboxed

Steven Pressfield examines the inciting incident and the call.

I shared the Tweet that inspired Chuck Wendig’s grammar rant last week. I’d also heard Grammar Girl, Mignon Fogarty, discuss it on her podcast a week or two earlier. Chuck brings up some good points, though. The ideal order of adjectives may well be how they sound best when spoken, and this can vary between English speaking countries as well as regionally, within each country, based on dialectical differences. Words like absolute and must, while they exist in the English language, sometimes don’t apply to it universally.

Annie Neugebauer is back with part two of her query letter mini-series: the extras. Writer Unboxed

Professional book critic, Laura Miller, extols the merits of Amazon reader reviews. Slate

If you’re going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, you’d better start planning now. Bess Cosby for DIYMFA.

Sarah Selecky wonders how we make the time to write? An exploration of the concept of white space as it applies to process. Story is a state of mind

With timeframes ranging from 2.5 days to 16 years, this infographic on how long it takes to write a novel could give you the encouragement you need. Or not. Mental Floss

Jael Richardson outlines six reasons you should attend a Canadian literary festival. Includes lists of festivals into 2017. Open Book Toronto

Award news: The Scotiabank Giller Prize 2016 long list.

Gail Anderson-Dargatz: when the book is ready, it will find a home. The Globe and Mail

Ann Patchett: If writers are to survive, we must take responsibility for ourselves and our industry. The Guardian

This was the big, and somewhat controversial, news lat week. No, the internet hasn’t killed the printed book. Most readers still prefer them. Daniel Victor for The New York Times.

K.C. Alexander: publishing while female (A.K.A. why I stopped internalizing your shit). Terribleminds

Dashka Slater exposes the uncomfortable truth about children’s books. Mother Jones

Nisi Shawl: representing my equals. A discussion of how and why she chose the eleven POV characters in Everfair. Tor/Forge blog

Why Yassmin Abdel-Magied walked out of the key note speech at the Brisbane Writers Festival. Medium

The do’s and don’ts of writing a transgendered or non-binary character. The story and its writer

Brooks Barnes considers this summer’s mega-hits and super flops in cinema. Was this the year that movies stopped mattering? The New York Times

Natalie Zutter has updated the (very long) list of SFF works coming to the big and little screens, from the rumoured to in production. Tor.com

This is beautiful. Though it was completed more than a decade ago, this is the first time I’ve seen Destino, Walt Disney’s collaboration with Salvador Dali.

 

Marvel’s Luke Cage is the unapologetic, black superhero we’ve been waiting for. Evan Narcisse for i09.

Here’s the trailer for the next MCU movie I’m looking forward to: Dr. Strange.

 

And . . . Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

 

Come back Thursday for a short but insightful bit of thoughty.

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 7-13, 2016

Bumper week here at Writerly Goodness 🙂

The week previous, K.M. Weiland shared the reasons she believes writing is important, last week, she collected her readers’ thoughts on the issue. Helping writers become authors

On a related note: what do we write when the world feels insane? Sarah Selecky’s Story is a state of mind.

K.M. Weiland returns with more writing lessons from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with the single best way to write powerful themes.

Roz Morris offers ten eye-opening tips to add impact to your storytelling. Nail your novel

Chuck Wendig lists 25 reasons he stops reading books. Terribleminds

Then Chuck shares ten things he learned about storytelling from Stranger Things.

Related: Janice Hardy shares lessons learned about handling flashbacks from Stranger Things. Fiction University. Nick Wisseman then guests posts on Janice’s blog, explaining how to plot your pants (wait . . . that sounds bad).

Janice then hopes over to Writers in the Storm to post: using internal conflict to create plot.

Finally, Janice guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog: if you’re stuck on plot, start at the end.

Lisa Cron writes about getting out of your process comfort zone: there is no safe place. Not plotter or pantser, but seeker. Writer Unboxed

Allie Larkin shows us how to organize a second draft with note cards and Tom Petty. Writer Unboxed

Christine Frazier shows us how to write a fight scene in which the hero fends off an attack to save a friend. The better novel project

Chris Winkle shares what she knows about creating realistic cultures. Mythcreants

Sarah Callender writes about enduring the long road to publication for Writer Unboxed.

The author as busy, busy bee and other bee-filled nightmares. Kameron Hurley.

Phil Stamper-Halpin shares what the editors of Penguin Random House look for in the first page of a novel.

Jennifer Johnson Blalock offers six ways to make comp titles work for you on Carly Watters’ blog.

Susan Spann helps you understand ebook rights. Writers in the Storm.

Robin Lovett shares what she learned from a negative experience: when your book doesn’t sell. DIYMFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Andrew Piper (not the Canadian author) on her DIYMFA Radio podcast. Will an MFA influence your chances of success as an author?

Timothy Beck Werth looks at Djuna Barnes’ 1936 novel Nightwood and what may be the first trans woman in western literature. The Awl

Lorraine Berry: the horror of female adolescence and how to write about it. The Guardian

Michael Newton leads a celebration of Alan Garner. The Guardian

Ursula K. Le Guin writes about the golden age for The New Yorker. “I . . . think it ungrateful in a writer to write science fiction and deny that it’s science fiction.”

BrainPickings looks at Le Guin’s thoughts on aging and the meaning of beauty.

“What the market wants” is code for white stories in science fiction where black writers face universal racism. Amy McNeill for The National Post.

Michael Swanick lists five fantasy novels you won’t find in the fantasy section. Tor.com

Sarah Gailey writes in defence of villainesses for Tor.com.

Writing begins with forgiveness: why one of the most common pieces of writing advice is wrong. Daniel José Older on Seven Scribes.

Every writer’s worst nightmare: Helen Gladwell died before learning that her first book had been accepted for publication. Worse, her body remained undiscovered for months. The Telegraph

I saw this article in many forms over the last week. This one, by Jenn Savedge for Mother Nature Network, was the first. Reading a minimum of 30 minutes a day can extend your lifespan.

Jacob Mikanowski examines the Oneirocritica, an ancient encyclopaedia of dreams and dream interpretation. The Awl

Anthony Jones lists 25 words for other words. Mental Floss

Abraham Riesman interviews Margaret Atwood at San Diego ComiCon. The Vulture

Katharine Trendacosta reports that The Silver Chair, the next film adaptation of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series, is in production. Whee! i09

Germaine Lussier presents a first look at the Arrival trailer. i09

Phil and I are looking forward to September 30 for this reason: Luke Cage. i09

Laura Prudom breaks George R.R. Martin news for Variety: Wild Cards series in development.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer.

 

Thems was some juicy informal writerly learnings, eh?

I’m off to WorldCon tomorrow. Poor Phil’s holding down the fort. Not to worry, my mom’s going to feed him 😀 Thursday’s curation has already been scheduled, but the blog will be silent from the 19th to the 26th. For the sake of sanity, I’m not going to catch up on the curation.

Be well. Be kind.

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 1-7, 2016

And we’re still on a roll 😉

K.M. Weiland offers six tips to help you finish your book. Helping writers become authors.

Janice Hardy helps you get your novel to the finish line: staying focused enough to write (part two). Fiction University. And part three: resisting the shiny, new idea.

K.M. Weiland shares how to harness the dark side of your impact character. Helping writers become authors.

Jami Gold answers the question, what’s the difference between plot and story?

Talking yourself down and talking yourself up: the two-headed dragon of insecurity. Ella Joy Olsen on Women Writers, Women’s Books.

Donald Maass: pixie dust, the secret ingredient to adding sparkle to your writing. Writer Unboxed.

Fantasy Faction explores languages in fantasy.

Chris Winkle offers four tips for depicting characters with disabilities. Mythcreants.

Chuck Wendig: Hello, I have anxiety. How are you?

Sarah Selecky is back with part three of her writing retreats for your wish list series: make your own retreat 🙂

Sarah Letourneau offers five reasons to do market research on your work in progress. DIYMFA.

New research explains how the pen is mightier than the keyboard. The Literacy Site.

Mallory Ortberg looks at publishing, weight, and writers who are ‘hard to look at.’ The Toast. This really pissed me off.

Jael Richardson launches the Festival of Literary Diversity. Donovan Vincent for The Toronto Star.

CBC Books lists twelve Canadian novels that describe living with mental illness.

Buzzfeed shares 21 examples of exquisite handwriting.

Gregory Woods offers his top ten landmarks in gay and lesbian literature. The Guardian.

Nicholas Lezard reviews Seven Miles of Steel Thistles.

Book Riot shares this massive list of 100 science fiction and fantasy novels by women.

Wil Wheaton mansplains the Star Wars: Rogue One hate. The Nerdist.

Alisdair Stuart reviews Captain America: Civil War (without spoilers!). Tor.com

Fire and Launch wonder if Brandon Stark is the hero of Game of Thrones (contains spoilers). Tor.com

Norman Descendants explores the historical truth of Ragnar Lothbrock.

This Harry Potter themed wedding was tasteful as fuck. Buzzfeed.

See you with your weekly dose of thoughty on Thursday!

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, April 3-9, 2016

Wahoo! Is it possible there’s even more writerly goodness in here then there was last week? Hella yeah!

More exciting local news: Sudbury is part of Reading Town 2016 (think Hockey Town with books) 🙂

 

Most common writing mistakes, part 50: Info dumps (and how to fix them). K.M. Weiland. Helping writers become authors.

Liz Bureman looks at parataxis and hypotaxis (and how Greek makes you a better writer). The Write Practice.

Sara Letourneau explores how to develop theme in your stories through symbolism. DIYMFA.

Donald Maass discusses relevance for Writer Unboxed.

Juliet Marillier writes about the different responses you can (and should) have to an editorial report. Writer Unboxed.

Roz Morris asks, must plot twists always be misfortunes or disasters? And, where does your story end? Nail you novel.

Daniel José Older offers twelve fundamentals of writing the other (and the self). Buzzfeed.

Marcy Kennedy explores how to read as a writer (part 1).

Real writers don’t self-publish, part two. Kristen Lamb shares her further thoughts on the issue.

Mike Shatzkin wonders what will happen to high-cost non-fiction in the evolving indie world.

C.S. Lakin points out the need for persistence in your writing journey. Live, write, thrive.

Janice Hardy shares her thoughts on challenging yourself, versus setting yourself up to fail. Fiction University.

Kameron Hurley writes about career milestones and prioritizing projects.

Catherine Ryan Howard recounts how the idea for her novel Distress Signals evolved.

How to create a better writing space (and other thoughts on writing). Avoiding Atrophy.

Jennie Nash shares her one page book planner on Kobo Writing Life.

Sarah Selecky shares more writing retreats for your wish list.

Speaking of writing retreats, my friend, Kim Fahner, has just spent the week in Banff with Lawrence Hill. Here are her posts on the experience: Making time to write, and Writing retreats and the friends you meet.

“Mad Men” creator, Matthew Weiner’s reassuring life advice for struggling artists. Fast Company.

Sword and Laser: Interview with Ken Liu.

 

The Writes of Women: a celebration of female writers and their work.

Stephen Greenblatt explores how Shakespeare lives now for The New York Review of Books.

A Shakespeare first folio was discovered on the Isle of Bute, just in time for the Bard’s 400th anniversary. The New York Times.

The history of typography. Ben Barrett-Forrest.

 

Christopher Zumski Finke discovers what Battlestar Galactica teaches us about the militarization of police. Yes! Magazine.

Rogue One teaser trailer.

 

Kate Spencer says, hey dudes, you should be watching Outlander. Esquire.

And that should keep you busy for a while (!)

See you on Thursday for a video heavy dose of thoughty edutainment 🙂

Tipsday