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 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

Uncle Josh Tries to Plot His Way out of a Paper Bag

Writing has been slow. Very slow. I used to be able to spit out large quantities of text and a good clip, but lately my muse has become tight-fisted with the words. The 100 prompts project? I’ve read 12 of them. I believe I should have been closed to finished by now. The current story, based on a 7-sentence structure, seems to be crawling, even though I know exactly what I want to do with the story, and where each scene needs to go. The words just don’t flow. I seem to be freer with opinion these days, because I’ve always had a lot of opinions. When I turn to my overfull pile of half finished manuscripts (excuse the hyperbole, they’re all in Google Docs so I no longer get the feeling of it being overstuffed), I find I don’t even know what the next action should be, and it’s Continue reading Uncle Josh Tries to Plot His Way out of a Paper Bag