Mastering The Middle – Episode 144

Last week in the podcast, I shared five tips for a successful NaNoWriMo. Lots of people have told me it helped get them through the first week so: yay!

victory

In this week’s episode I talk about the difficulties of reaching the middle of creativity challenge at the exact same moment you reach the midpoint of the novel.

(Short story writers, stay with me because a lot of what I’m going to talk about applies to you too!)

You are not imagining things: this is hard. The middle of a novel is the notoriously hard, and the middle of the challenge is hard for different reasons.

The Midpoint of the Challenge

The midpoint of the challenge is tough because you’re tired. The novelty has worn off. You’ve started to question why are you ever decided to put in all this work. And you may feel that your story isn’t worth the effort.

Allow me to help.

Continue reading “Mastering The Middle – Episode 144”

[Write On Wednesday] Penny for the Guy?

This month’s theme at StoryADay is the idea of alternative stories: writing new stories in other people’s universes. This can mean fan fiction or it can mean taking folk tales, history, or myth and writing in that. Perhaps you and a writing buddy swap universes for a day and you write about their characters for a change.

Stay tuned each Wednesday this month for more ways to play in other people’s sandboxes.

Penny for the Guy

The Prompt

Yesterday, people in the UK celebrated Guy Fawkes’ Day, a family friendly festival celebrating the gruesome end of a would-be revolutionary. Write a story inspired by that of Guy Fawkes

Tips

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[Reading Room] The Third Tower by Deborah Eisenberg

The Opening

Therese

Julia found it in a pile of old stuff. She didn’t want it so she said she would give it to Therese.

I love this as an example of starting in medias res. We dont know what it is of who they are, but THEY do.

In medias res means in the middle of things but it doesn’t necessarily mean a car chase or a fight. In the middle of a conversation where the participants know their world better than we do, counts too.

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5 Tips for A Successful NaNoWriMo

It is November and you know what that means? The whole writing world has been taken over by NaNoWriMo. 

As someone who has been participating in and leading creative challenges for over a decade, I have some tips to help you make the most of this month of extreme creativity.

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143 – NaNoWriMo Survival Tips

Whether you’re taking part in NaNoWriMo this month or simply trying to keep your rating on track, I have five tips from the trenches of the extreme creativity challenge world.

Recommended:

The Nature Fix by Florence Williams

Bright Line Eating by Susan Pierce Thompson

No Plot, Not Problem by Chris Baty

Save The Cat Writes A Novel by Jessica Brody

Power Nap  by Andrew Johnson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXBG1-1zI_E

It’s another new episode of the StoryADay Podcast

SWAGr for November 2019

Post your goals for this month and let us know how you got on with last month’s goals.

SWAGr logo

Leave a comment below telling us how you got on last month, and what you plan to do next month, then check back in on the first of each month, to see how everyone’s doing.

(It doesn’t have to be fiction. Feel free to use this group to push you in whatever creative direction you need.)

Did you live up to your commitment from last month? Don’t remember what you promised to do? Check out the comments from last month.

And don’t forget to celebrate with/encourage your fellow SWAGr-ers on their progress!

Download your SWAGr Tracking Sheet now, to keep track of your commitments this month

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Examples of Goals Set By SWAGr-ers in previous months

  • Write a story a day in May – everyone!
  • Revise at least 10 short stories – Iraide
  • Write two short stories. – Jami
  • Attend one writers’ conference – Julie
  • Write fable for WordFactory competition – Sonya
  • Re-read the backstory pieces I wrote in May and see if I can use them within my novel – Monique
  • Research the market – Jami
  • Focus on my serial – Maureen

 So, what will you accomplish this month? Leave your comment below (use the drop-down option to subscribe to the comments and receive lovely, encouraging notifications from fellow StADa SWAGr-ers!)

(Next check-in, 1st of the month. Tell your friends!)

[Reading Room] No More Than A Bubble by Jamel Brinkley

The Reading Room is a series of posts where I review short stories with a writers’ eye.

The opening

“It was back in those days. Claudius Van Clyde and I stood on the edge of the dancing crowd, each of us already three bottles into one brand of magic brew, blasted by the music throbbing from the speakers. But we weren’t listening to the songs. I’d been speaking into the open shell of his ears since we’ve gotten to the party, shouting a bunch of mopey stuff about my father. Sometime around the witching hour, he stopped his perfunctory nodding and pointed towards the staircase of the house. “Check out these biddies,” he said. Past the heads of the dancers and would-be seducers I too saw the two girls he meant.”

So what do we know from these opening lines?

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On Revision by Tony Conaway

This post came as a response to a question I posed about revision: how you approach it and how you feel about it. This answer was so good, I asked Tony if I could repost it here. Thanks Tony!

I have no trouble revising my work. I usually want it to be as good as possible.

I have no problem revising my fiction. My problem is deciding when to STOP tweaking it.

I revise to catch errors, of course.

I revise to catch overused works and sentence structure. (No semi-colons allowed, and few colons.)

I revise to even out the pacing. (One scene may resolve too quickly. Another may get more space than the scene deserves.)

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[WoW] What We Remember, What Has Been Lost

Today’s Write On Wednesday prompt was inspired by reading Wendell Berry’s story The Great Interruption: The Story of a Famous Story of Old Port William and How It Ceased To Be Told (1935-1978)  in this year’s Best American Short Stories. (Read my review here.)

journals

The Prompt

Write a story from your childhood memories, keeping in mind your audience and what changes there have been since the time of your story

Tips

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