Episode 40 - Game of Deadlines
Works in Progress
[01:02] John is still stuck on his drone story. He did some mind-mapping with the characters and broke all of the assumptions he had for those characters. He asked himself "What if..." questions. "What if this character did this instead?" He's hoping that by breaking things, he will jump start the story in the second act. He also did some work on the second draft of Dispossessed. It is a mess. Finally, John did some world-building on a post-apocalyptic idea.
Eric is working on a short story for BattleTech. Don't Wake Up is giving him trouble and Eric is trying to get his "sea legs" back under him as far as edits go after the holiday.
Mike created more content for two websites. He went back through his notes on his content calendar book. He further behind than he realized, but he plans to do re-outline the narrative. Using a new camera Mike got for Christmas, Mike is taking advantage of Digital Photography School's weekly photo themes to not only practice his photography, but to also create a short story based on his photo.
What's happening online
All Stories are the same
[06:09] All Stories Are the Same is an essay by John Yorke in The Atlantic. Yorke's thesis is that conflict is the same no matter the story, and at the basest level you can trace stories to the same basic themes. Yet all stories are interesting. We are wired in a way to be intrigued by stories.
[08:24] All of Eric's photos have disappeared from story.am.
Scientists and Writers
[08:42] Scientists Help Movie Writers Make Films ‘Plausible-ish’ in the Wall Street Journal discusses authors who contacted scientists to give some credibility to their work. There's even a phone number to contact to get matched with a scientist: 844-NEED-SCI.
The Expanse on SyFy seems to do a good job in keeping the science realistic in a television show.
Doc Foster at QuarkyTrons will also help you with the science in your science fiction.
[11:15] The Art of Sharpening Pencils is a nice tutorial for those who write by hand with pencil. The article discusses the options for sharpening pencils (standard, bullet point, chisel point, needle point) and tools to use when sharpening.
InCoWriMo.org is the International Correspondence Writing Month: February. Each day, you are challenged to hand-write a letter, card, or postcard and send it to someone. (The site hasn't been updated for 2016, but you can follow the hashtag #incowrimo on Twitter.)
Mike, by the way, has decided to pull an Eric and be an "InCoWriMo" coach instead of participating.
"I can't read a physical book, you expect me to write with my hands?"
[12:57] Mike is about three-quarters of the way through The Fifth Season by N.K. Jeminsin. The author switches to second person when the POV is a certain character while the others are in third person.
Eric is finishing up The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell.
Tech Focus - Apollopad
[14:51] Apollopad is a web-based writing app that's currently in beta, but has a lot of nice features. It has a lot of features of Scrivener, but in an online format. You can create characters and assets, and highlight those in your story to link to the detail page. It has some features of HiveWord, the corkboard of Scrivener and some things of Airstory.
Once you finish your writing, the site automatically creates downloadable books for you, including PDF, MOBI and EPUB, among other formats. There's also the ability to upload your work in some different formats.
Craft Talk - Writing Under Deadlines
[21:45] George R. R. Martin has blown another deadline. He gives his followers an update on his blog Last Year (Winds of Winter).
"You wanted an update. Here's the update. You won't like it. THE WINDS OF WINTER is not finished."
THE WINDS OF WINTER will not be published before the sixth season of GAME OF THRONES premieres in April
Just Write It! in the New Yorker discusses the craft of writing and what it is, exactly, that an author owes his fans (or doesn't owe his fans). When a writer's fans demand a book, they assume the work is simply a commodity product. But creating doesn't work that way.
"The online attacks on Martin suggest that some readers have a new idea about what an author owes them. They see themselves as customers, not devotees, and they expect prompt, consistent service."
"When we tell somebody to hit an air date as opposed to allowing the writing to find its own natural resting place, when it's ready, when it's baked -- we've failed"
-HBO’s President of Programming, Michael Lombardo
We are writing our own projects and at this point at our own pace. But how would we handle deadlines for our fiction?
Eric pitched a novel and had to send in the manuscript to some interested agents, but hadn't finished it yet. He found that the deadline forced him to finish and the ending is stronger, in his opinion, than the beginning. With Don't Wake Up, he also has a soft deadline.
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."
As amateur writers, there's some luxury in not having deadlines and having the time to get the story right. Like musicians, it can lead to the sophomore slump.