Uncle Josh Enumerates Some Fears

I’m taking a break from NaNoWriMo to write about NaNoWriMo, because this year is a bit more of an experiment. I have a spotty history with NaNoWriMo. My first try was back in 2004, and I finished the story at 35k. I’ve tried in other years but the NaNoWriMo database seems to only go back to 2011. In 2013 I tried to write Loyalty Oath, which is a story I’ve had in my head since I was a teenager and the novel has been kicking around my someday list since 2005. There seems to me to be enough to this story to warrant a novel, or at least a full NaNo attempt. So this year I am re-writing it, and I’m trying a few different things. One, I’m trying to write each major scene from more than one person’s point of view. I have four main characters in this thing, Continue reading Uncle Josh Enumerates Some Fears

Uncle Josh Contemplates Narrative Bookends

As part of my online writing course, someone asked for a critique of a story that she felt wasn’t working. I offered to blather about it a bit. One of her concerns was the ending falls flat. There was a decent enough emotional ending, but I think I understand her feeling. The rough story: Inspector on unpleasant field work. The draft I have is 8 pages long. The first 6 and a half pages take place in the field, the last page and a half in the office, where the narrator learns she actually suceeded in the external task of the story. In my commentary, I suggested that this feels wrong because it is only one half of a pair of bookends. If the story started in the office, went to the field, and returned, then the bookends may work better. Alternatively, cutting the setting of the ending and keeping Continue reading Uncle Josh Contemplates Narrative Bookends

Uncle Josh Struggles with a Writing Assignment

This post is part ramble, part warm up. I’ve been taking a MOOC from the Univserty of Iowa called How Writers Write Fiction, because I find taking classes can spur me to write when the rejection letters get too heavy on me. This is week three, and the focus is on plot. Here is the assignment: Write a story with any number of characters (these can be newly created characters or borrowed from your Class Session 1 and 2 writing assignments), where an external force demands that a character or all the characters jump into action. No problem there. The thing I wrote for Session 1 was a scene froma story I’ve been trying to write since 2006 or so. Here’s the second part: Additionally, include in the story a separate decision made by a character/the characters that does not result directly from the external force. And….this is where everything Continue reading Uncle Josh Struggles with a Writing Assignment

Uncle Josh Plans for the End of the Year

Now that I have a little more time on my hands, I hope to get back to pet projects: writing, submitting, and reading more. My Better Writing Through Reading project has gone off the rails again, and I hope to get it back on track. This post is about some of the post Hugos fallout, and while the award proposoal by Jay Maynard leaves a sour taste in my mouth, this idea from Cat Valente seems slightly better. Not that I want to replace the Hugos in any way. I’m sure the non-existent problems of pre-puppy slating will be fixed eventually. Cat’s ideas may have some fun ideas tucked away. As an aside, I haven’t watched MTV in ages, but I seem to remember the MTV movie awards had categories like Best Kiss and Best Action Sequence, not whole movies, but parts of the stories. Certainly the Best Kisses need Continue reading Uncle Josh Plans for the End of the Year