Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A little game.

Hello everyone!

I'd like to play a little game. A writing game, for fun and greater expertise. One that we can all enjoy and have some fun with. One that will hopefully teach us all something good about making engaging plots and working with other characters and settings that we normally might not touch.

Here's the setup:

In the comments, you will sign up by saying you're signing up in whatever way seems appropriate. "Hell yeah! I'm in! Go fuck yourself!" All of these are good. You will then provide three things:

  1. A Character: This can be vague like, "A fireman" or specific "Lucy Jones, a weary stock trader just a few weeks from retirement.
  2. A Setting: Time and/or place, an alien planet, an asteroid, 18th century Paris, a paleolithic cave in north Africa, 40 Million AD, etc.
  3. An Object: Could be an apple, could be a priceless vase, could be a starship. Whatever you desire, and the author chooses its importance to the story.
After I've collected a few of these (hopefully there's more than one of you!) I will randomize them, juggle my digital sack, and redistribute the characters and settings and objects back to you. We will then write stories! All genres accepted, whatever you want. I suggest something inbetween 1-5k, depending on how crazy people get. We'll take two weeks (starting this Sunday) to write our stories, no real worries about the editing, and then come back on Feb 15th to share and go crazy-go-nuts! :D

I hope you guys are excited about this, because I think it will be a fun, fun time. To start things off, here are my 3:

  1. A janitor who used to be something else.
  2. The bottom of the ocean. (ours or some other)
  3. Three golden bananas.
Lets play! 

Monday, January 13, 2014


#Nanopals, it's time. Time for the decision of the century. I'm sure you've all been holding your breath and are now dead because it's been like a week, people, come on. Don't be silly. I was unable to get my judges to respond in time, so in the end it has come down to the IMPERIAL STICK. There also seems to be some technical issues, because I cannot find the #PitchParty tweets from Jan. 4th on any timeline. They're gone! So I'm randomly picking one of the tweeters for victory.

The entries were all excellent, and made me look like a burrito full of horseshit. I'm so thrilled that everyone came in and commented -- did you know there were 52 fricken comments on this? That's a lot of feedback! This was once again an awesome exercise and I wish all of you people were near me physically. Second life is too creepy to hang out in, so that's off the table.

I had my personal favourites but consensus is consensus, and brief polls and the comments will confirm that @tiakall is the assured victor of the 100-word pitch contest. Her pitch, here again:

Reina, a girl searching for her missing parents, starts in a place most wouldn't expect: a magical realm. Transported by accident, she stumbles up against a vicious demon of destruction who may have the clue she needs. Reina teams up with a flamboyant fairy and embarks on a journey to find out if, in order to save her family, she must destroy the demon... or save him.

This is some dense writing. You know a lot about why, where, and how shit's gonna go down, without actually knowing any details. Plus, who doesn't like fairies? And saving demons? Who's heard of such a thing?? Seriously though, I'm a huge sucker for evil creatures being made semi-good. There's a quest to save her family, a loveable sidekick, magical crazy-times, and all in a hundred words. Congrats Tia!

And I have rolled a die to decide the winner of the tweet contest, as any good D&Der does. That winner is... @blacklily_f! Congrats Melanie!

For your prizes, tell me what song you like and I'll sing it in Gollum's voice, or whatever character voice you and I can agree on. Feel free to email or just comment down here. Twitter works too, who cares!

Congrats to our winners and I'm only now left wondering who is going to pick up the torch for the next round... You've gotta be quick!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Why Beta-Read?

Hello everyone! I'm here with a note about why you should be a beta reader. If you've already read the blog, you probably already are, but if you aren't, here's a few great reasons why reading someone else's unpolished manuscript is an awesome opportunity.

1) Free book! You're reading all the time, and you have to pay for the things, which is great for the author but if you make as little money as I do and read as fast as I do, it starts cutting into the things I need like food and heat. These books may not be as polished and have fancy covers like the money variety, but you can't beat the price, and 

2) You get to discover something new! In the course of beta-reading I've touched on novels I probably would have passed when it came to money. I've read a Sex-in-the-City with gorgons and greek gods, a new england family drama centered around an ancient curse, and the tale of an elven priestess who discovers she actually cares about love and kingdom after all. Discovering new things opens your mind and helps

3) Improve your writing! See other people's styles in their raw form, encounter new literary tactics, clever twists and tricks and everything else under the sun! You can see what didn't work for the author, what didn't work you, and offer them tips to improve. Teaching is the best way to learn, they say, and you get both when you beta-read. While being much more entertained than in a classroom (at least for me).

4) Help someone else. By Beta-reading, you greatly improve the chances that your MS will be beta-read, and the more beta-readers you have, the better your book will be (there's probably an upper limit but let's ignore that) Reaching out to strangers and helping them realize the same dream you have, of getting published and making a bestselling novel, improves everyone's lives, especially yours.

So get out there and read, why don't you! Stop by the beta-buddy page and become one today :D Reach out on Twitter, I'm always happy to give a shoutout.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Yo yo yo it's still six a.m. here but a post must needs be born! Actually not sure if I'm using that construction properly, I've never quite understood it except as a regional creation.

But you didn't come here for that. You came for the party and the pitches. Well, since I'm rewriting this at work, you don't get mine till later this afternoon. But post your one hundred word pitch here in the comments in the comments and prepare for judgement to be rendered!

The winner will be chosen by myself with input from two of my close friends, and receive a video of me singing their favorite song in a silly voice of their choice from my repertoire (ps pick Dudley Do-Right)

I look forward to reading all your pitches, and if you didn't catch them yesterday, check out the tweet length pitches on Twitter with the #PitchParty hashtag.