• Writing

    A Break from Serials, Among Other Things

    by Not a lot of blogging lately, hmm? And you may or may not have noticed that I’m taking a break from serials right now, having allowed both Heroes Inc and A Matter of Honour to run to completion without immediately starting another. Also, April is shaping up to be the lowest monthly word count since the pandemic started because I’ve pretty much only done editing this month, plus just a little blogging. The reason for all of these is the same: I’ve been nose to the grindstone, pedal to the metal, shoulder to the wheel working on getting my teaching ESL course done, or as done as possible before…

  • Writing

    Yup, Still Writing FanFic

    by There’s really only one reason, and that reason trumps all of the arguments against doing it, which mostly boil down to how you can’t make money playing in other people’s universes unless you’re specifically invited by the rights holder. Here’s the thing, though. I don’t write my fanfic because I’m trying to make money at it, I’m doing it because I want new stories in the Star Trek prime universe that I would have enjoyed reading or seeing on the screen. If anyone else happens to enjoy them, too, then that’s a good thing. So far, I’m at: Published = 2 novels and 7 short stories. And I’m using…

  • Selection of tools
    Writing

    Construction in Progress

    by Or maybe spring cleaning. Or both, really, but the cleaning part will likely go past spring. Some significant changes are happening around the site right now. I’m trying to completely reorganize so that it’s more intuitive to find things and folks who visit are seeing the things they care about as well as the things I’d like them to see. The big changes: I’m switching to a static-ish front page (you may already have noticed this, or maybe not; it’s not like I get a tonne of traffic – click here to see if you’re interested). This will ultimately have a sort of standard format that includes a few…

  • Writing

    I Hate Flashbacks

    by I hate flashbacks in fiction. I’m not saying don’t ever use them. I’m not even saying I don’t ever use them. But where they exist, they should: Be really, really short. Be really, really interesting. Actually move the main plot forward. The problem is, nearly all flashbacks fail on one or more of these. More likely, they: Are very intrusive and tend to throw me out of the story. Serve to insert some “clever” bit of worldbuilding or backstory that would serve the actual story better by being included in more “current” events. Take up far more narrative space than what they’re adding warrants. Interrupt the flow of the…

  • Writing

    I Hate Dialogue Tags

    by He said, she replied, Bob yelled, etc, etc, etc. To the point where if there are more than a couple in a short story, I start to cringe. Even worse if there are adverbs involved. There’s lots of well-meaning writing advice out there (some of it by incredibly well known and successful writers) about how dialogue tags should be invisible so you should only use ‘said’ except in extreme circumstances, that they’re only there to tell the reader who’s talking, that they help the story along. I take a different view. They’re more invisible if they aren’t actually there. The reader should be able to tell who’s talking by…

  • Writing

    2020 Vs My “Best” Writing Year Ever

    by I thought it might be amusing to contrast 2020 with my best writing year ever, 2014. In 2020, we had a variety of ups and downs as a society and I had a lot of them personally. While I was technically at home for a lot of the year, there were a variety of life changes in that time, and those were very much reflected in my writing output. For the first quarter of the year, I was in a high stress, high pressure job that consumed 60-ish hours of my life per week, plus a half hour commute in each direction on five of those days. Along came…

  • Writing

    Q4 Goals Update

    by Sort of. Q4 being October, November, December, which account for a total of just over 50,000 words once I’ve totalled all the buckets. Light compared to the two quarters preceding it, but still well over the less than 22k achieved in Q1. While I’m not formally in school at this point, I have altered my life so that a major portion of each day is about Academics. I’m gradually working through an in-depth TESL course (Teaching English as a Second Language) and I’m relearning/reviewing senior high school math and science. In that second piece, it’s been a while, so it’s not as quick as it might have been, say,…

  • Writing

    Screw it. I’m doing NaNo.

    by The next paragraph is stolen from my October writing report. The rest of the post isn’t. November = NaNo = NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month, where, contrary to the national piece, slightly insane writers worldwide decide to attempt to write a complete novel of at least 50,000 words in the month of November. I just missed in 2010, with the original first draft of Arena making 50k by the end of November but still needing another 8k words to finish the story, which I stretched out a bit. And I “won” NaNo in 2014 with the first draft of Scattered on the Wind coming in at a little…

  • Writing

    October Writing Accomplishments

    by As I kick the student thing into high gear, both in terms of the course content for TESOL and in prepping for becoming a full time student in May (not January 2021 as I’d expected until recently – acceptance is in hand although not completely registered yet), the writing is naturally a little more limited. Overall, October just barely crossed the 20k barrier. Still, it’s less about the numbers and more about what I managed to accomplish which, while less than I originally wanted, was still enough to justify the time I put into things this month. Warforge editing: while the original target was to get through the final…

  • Writing

    200 Days in a Row

    by Today, as I type this blog post, I’m marking 200 days in a row with time spent on a writing activity – drafting, editing, plotting, or some combination of those – every single day. In that time, counting this post, I’ve had a net gain of 256,993 words. That number will go up a little since I still have a little time booked for drafting today, though not much, but it’s a pretty good number any way I happen to slice it. While 200 days in a row of just about anything is impressive, I wasn’t really paying attention so didn’t mark 100, and I won’t likely notice 300…