Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

John Brown – the author’s official site » Blog Archive » Writing update: Curse Draft 3 FINISHED, The Book Academy.

I am mentioned as a reader! John asked me to read it because I had not yet read the first book in the series and he wanted to make sure things still made sense to me. I made it through a couple chapters (if I recall correctly) before things got a bit confusing, but I applaud John’s idea to make each book stand a bit on its own.

I hope he gets done with it soon because I am really looking forward to reading the first book (I’ve had it in my To Read pile for almost a year, I believe).

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7
Oct

Lightning Write

   Posted by: Garrett Tags: ,

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Brainstorming

I had my classes do a lightning write activity this week, and I realized that I never shared the one I participated in at the Codex retreat (CoWW).

For this activity, you need a group (a group of 6 works pretty well). Each person has about a minute to write the beginning to a story. Then, the stories get passed around from one person to the next after a set limit of time (that gradually increases so as to allow people to read what has already been written). Finally, the original story starter gets their paper back and they get to finish the story.

See the story, after the break.

26
Sep

Restarting tree.love

   Posted by: Garrett Tags: , ,

After taking an unintentional break from this short story that I started at CoWW, I’ve come back to it within the past couple weeks (first, because it gave me something fun to do during class when I had the students doing peer reviews of each other’s papers; and second, because I keep telling myself to watch less TV (I don’t really watch much anyway) and get to writing).

In any case, I started by rereading the beginning, and editing as I went. I tightened up the prose by making it more immediate and action-y. I also decided to just do it from one point of view. I think two POVs is a bit of a stretch for this story. I liked the idea at the time, but the only reason was so I could get the reader in the head of the love interest so they’d fall in love with him too. I can do this by showing it from Liza’s (the protagonist) POV, just as well. The other reason I had done it is because I believe that you should tell the scene from the POV of the person in the most pain (or happiest, depending on mood being set) at that point. But, I think this works better for novels.

I didn’t have to throw away much, though, because it was easy to switch his POV over to Liza’s. Which is also how I really figured out that it would be OK.

It’s going to get a bit dicey towards the end of the story, but I’ll just have to have him tell her what happened.

22
Sep

1001 Ideas

   Posted by: Garrett Tags: , ,

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Brainstorming

I just got back from teaching my Writing for Digital Media class, and I went through Orson Scott Card’s 1001 ideas in an hour with them. It worked out really well. I’m not nearly as good as OSC at pulling more and more ideas out, but we came up with some doozies. Very cool ideas.

The main one was about an alien coming to earth to desroy it since she is the last surviving member of her species and world. But she falls in love with the president of the world, who is 96, but she gives him a treatment that makes him look 30. Then, they must contend with the destroyer alien coming to finish the job he started with her planet.

Yeah, they were in a weird mood today. But, it was fun, and we got out some good ideas as we learned about brainstorming and loglines.

I am really enjoying learning all this new lingo and style in the digital media world.

2
Jun

Revising Boot Camp Story

   Posted by: Garrett Tags: , ,

In May, I worked on updating and fixing (hopefully) the story I wrote at boot camp.

I was lucky enough to get both these great writers to come to my Pack Meeting this last week.

It was a great event.

Jessica emailed me the next day and said she had a great time, and Brandon stayed so long he missed his writing group meeting.

We had about 50 people there (adults and children). Each of them talked for about 20 minutes on their books and how they got the ideas and why they wrote them. Interestingly, the girls were more interested in Jessica’s work (she has female protagonists) and the boys were more interested in Brandon’s (his youth book has a male protag). I guess it is true about boys not wanting to read female protags. I must have really been a weird kid, because I didn’t mind at all when I was that age. I loved to read anything.

Interestingly, Brandon talked about how he hated to read, up until about the 8th grade because all the books he was given to read all seemed to be about boys who have dogs or moms who die at the end. And he just didn’t want to read that stuff. Then, he was given a nice fat epic fantasy and he loved it.

Jessica talked about how here parents didn’t let her have a really big dog, a sword, or a horse, and those are the things she likes and wants to read, so she writes about them.

The kids asked them some good questions, like how they get their ideas and how to make characters more interesting and real. I’ve heard the answers before (they are the basic stuff we all know already), but it was good for the young’uns.

Several people bought books and had them signed, so I think they both found it to be well worth their time (or at least, I hope they did).

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27
Jan

Misc

   Posted by: Garrett Tags: , , ,

I’ve just finished Well of Ascension, and it was awesome – so much so that I’ve been thinking about it a lot over the past week (which is why I haven’t posted as much here as I normally will). I wrote a little review in my reviews area.

I’ve been enjoying the story itself, but I was also looking at how well Brandon Sanderson choose plot twists and ideas. He definitely did not seem to be pulling from the cliche shelf (of course, I’m not thoroughly versed in Fantasy any more, but I was kept guessing all the time).

I’ve lately been trying to get the Transfer Loss novel going. I did finish NaNoWriMo, but that ended up being mostly just lots of short stories stuck together in one long document. So, I have been trying to plan it out and think it through a little more. But things just weren’t flowing well. I have lots of cool ideas, but I’m just going to put it aside for awhile and focus on something else.

In fact, I have started thinking again about Moon Shadow more seriously. That is the story I wrote as a flash fiction piece and then submitted for Boot Camp. I am working on the beginning. Orson Scott Card was right about it starting in the wrong place. I started a 1000 ideas in an hour session for it, and came up with some really interesting ideas. It was a one idea story at first, so a couple of these things should really make it deeper and more interesting.

20
Jan

Back At It

   Posted by: Garrett Tags: , , , ,

I haven’t done very well at writing here regularly, but I’m trying to make amends for that starting today.

I started a blog for the classes I teach, and so that has started getting me in the habit of doing this regularly. Plus, this is a great place to think through ideas and what I’m doing with writing.

I’ll go into more detail later this week, but for now, I’m excited to get back to this. I hope it helps me, and anyone else who is just getting started as a writer and happens upon this blog (I know, not likely to happen, but one can always dream ?:grin: )

That’s all I’m going to write for now since it is getting late. But I will say that I’m excited to start reading the second book in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series (The Well of Ascension). I really enjoyed the first one, and also Elantris. It is really cool that he will be writing the final book in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, as well. Way to go Brandon!

1
Nov

NaNoWriMo Has Started

   Posted by: Garrett Tags: , ,

Well, today is November 1st, and that means that it is National Novel Writing Month. I officially started work on my novel today. I wrote one chapter and that came out to around 1900 words. So, not a bad start to the month.

I am using the general story and plot that I created for bootcamp of the Transfer Loss short story. But, I am not using anything as far as wording goes from it in writing this book. Just the ideas. I am not even going to open the document to look at it. I have my written notes and that is all I’m using. So, it will probably end up being a completely altered story from the “original”. But, I can’t see this as being a bad thing. Hopefully I can improved it.

And, since last year’s novel attempt didn’t turn out as expected, or even a coherent single novel (just a bunch of different thoughts and non-fiction stuff that I was going through), this will be my first true novel attempt. I am determined to finish it this year. And while it will probably stink, at least it will be my attempt at one story and at learning what my writing process really is.

I don’t know that I’ll blog every day during this month, but I will try to catch highlights and to explore things I learn about myself and such along the way.

Cheers!

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10
Sep

Transfer Loss Updates

   Posted by: Garrett Tags:

Just a couple days ago I started in on reworking Transfer Loss. I think the main problem with this piece is that I was never sure exactly where I wanted to go with it.

I need to go back to the 1000 ideas session and do it over again to get more non-cliche situations and plot.

I tried restarting it so that it was not in medias res, but I got stuck shortly after. Maybe I’m just to stuck on all the (great) comments the other boot campers gave me on it.