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# Episode 33 - Giggling Snowballs

##Works in Progress
[00:00:35] Mike is working on *Zero Ward* but won't get NaNoWriMo done as he's only 18k words in. So he's not going to stress himself out trying to get it done.

Mike's story *Rotgut* did not win the MashStories competition for which he had been shortlisted. We're still proud of him!

John is at 13k, so even Mike has him beat in the NaNos.

Eric is making great progress on *Don't Wake Up* as well as some updates to *Prince of Pigeon Hill* as he's getting it ready to get back out to agents.

##What's happening online

###13 Things I Learned about Writing Faster
[00:02:09] Veronica Sicoe wrote [13 Things I Learned About Writing Faster]( Apparently John doesn't follow any of them. Because he's slow.

Her advice:

1. Make writing your Top Priority
2. Writing first thing in the morning is HUGELY helpful
3. Having a great outline is half the victory
4. Your first outline isn’t necessarily a great outline
5. What gets measured gets managed
6. Separating decision-making from typing does the trick
7. [Placeholders] are your [friends]
8. Social media isn’t
9. Perfectionism is the death of creativity
10. Celebrating progress is VITAL
11. Conversational tone is the fastest to write and the easiest to read
12. Knowing “it can be done” is a great motivator
13. Life doesn’t care about your writing time

###Microsoft commissions science fiction inspired by its research
[00:04:05] Future Visions is a Microsoft sponsored science fiction anthology where the company invited authors to come in and see some of the technologies the company is working on, and use that as a springboard for works of fiction. Ann Leckie, Seanan McGuire and Greg Bear were a few of the authors who contributed. It's pitched as "original fiction inspired by Microsoft. There were no qualifications for the authors to use specific Microsoft technologies in the fiction, but the stories did inspire stories about machine learning, deep neural networks, and Skype Translation.

The anthology is available for free on Amazon.



###Bad Sex with Morrisey

[00:05:31] For the past 23 years, the Literary Review awards the "Bad Sext Prize" to “to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them... the most egregious passage of sexual description in a work of fiction”. This year, the musician Morrisey came away with the prize for his

> “Eliza and Exra rolled together into the one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation,”
> "Eliza’s breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra’s howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it smacked its way into every muscle of Eliza’s body except for the otherwise central zone."


###What It's Like Being a Self-Published Author
[00:06:46] [What It's Like Being a Self-Published Author]( looks at four anonymous authors and the successes they had in self-publishing.

###Homemade Guns
[00:08:08] If your novel requires some research on weapons, you may find [Homemade Guns]( an interesting research site. Guns are a relatively simple device at the basic level (you can make one out of a bamboo pole or piece of pipe). This site shows and discusses various guns built from scratch.

###Bond, James Bond.
[For Our Eyes Only]( is a review of the book [The Man with the Golden Typewriter](, a biography of James Bond creator Ian Fleming edited by Fergus Fleming. The book is a collection of letters between Ian Fleming and his publishers, friends, readers and fans. Ian Fleming was interested in becoming famous, and wasn't beyond using his contacts in the news media to get good reviews of his books.

##Reading Spotlight

John started reading Joseph John's first novella [The Eighth Day]( which is about to come out as a paperback.

##Tech Focus - Plotist
[00:12:39] [Plotist]( is a tool by software developer Jay Cano.

With Plotist, you start by creating a story. For each story you add characters, locations, objects and events. You create a timeline of your story. You pull in characters and locations onto your timeline. On the timeline you add the events that correspond to your story. This allows you to visualize your plot in a very beautiful way.

It's still in beta, but Jay is improving it nearly daily.

##Amazon Storywriter
[00:15:18] [Storywriter]( is a [new tool from Amazon for screenwriters]( This cloud-based app allows writers to create their screenplays in a standard format and bypassing expensive industry software like [Final Draft](

When completed, creators can submit their scripts to Amazon Studios. They can then option your screenplay to become a series or film for Amazon Video.

[celtx]( is a free script writing tool Eric has used to write some scripts. The free version doesn't include a lot of budgeting and scheduling features a professional (paid) account does, but the screenwriting features are always free.

John had the idea that Amazon should create their own version of Scrivener next to allow authors to write and publish their manuscripts directly to Kindle.

##Craft Talk
[00:22:06] [Gotta Read It! - Five Simple Steps to a Fiction Pitch That Sells]( by Libbie Hawker

> Blurbs, product descriptions, query letters… no matter what you call them, they’re a chore to write. And yet the success of any novel can depend on its pitch. In this short, instructive ebook, Libbie Hawker takes the pain out of pitch-writing and shares the secrets of a perfect fiction pitch. Whether you’re an indie writer seeking to improve sales of your self-published novels or an author hoping to hook your dream agent with a can’t-resist query letter, GOTTA READ IT! Is the ebook for you.

What you need to cover:

- Character
- Desire
- Antagonist
- Struggle
- Stakes

This ties back into things we talked about in Loglines.

Mike picked up a book on Kindle First book selection called [Daughter of Sand and Stone]( written by Libbie Hawker. It's not a genre he'd normally purchase, so she must be doing something right.