Nanowrimo prep: Point of View

We’re coming up to the wire now: Nanowrimo starts in less than 3 hours for me (on Eastern Daylight Time) and has already started in most of the world. So here’s my final post in the Nanowrimo prep series. I hope to do a couple posts during the month of November if I can tearContinue reading “Nanowrimo prep: Point of View”

Nanowrimo prep: Themes

I remember in high school, reading books like Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and Steinbeck’s The Red Pony and having to identify the Christ metaphors and color symbolism. I knew without a doubt that no author would ever actually put this crappy symbolism stuff in their novel intentionally. Unless you were doing itContinue reading “Nanowrimo prep: Themes”

Nanowrimo prep: Setting

A lot of story planning can start with setting. Depending on the genre, you could come up with a whole series worth of plots, just from making a map and figuring out what kind of people live in the world you’ve created. The setting can (and should!) be a character in itself. It can helpContinue reading “Nanowrimo prep: Setting”

Nanowrimo prep: Making characters

We found out this really simple rule… We can take these beats, which are basically the beats of your outline, and if the words ‘and then’ belong between those beats, you’re fucked, basically. You’ve got something pretty boring. What should happen between every beat that you’ve written down is either the word ‘therefore’ or ‘but.’Continue reading “Nanowrimo prep: Making characters”

Nanowrimo prep: Outlining your novel

Nanowrimo is a month and a half away, and while technically the rules state that you can only start planning a week in advance, I say fuck the rules. If you want to end November with a novel you can actually do something with, you need a plan. Nanowrimo calls them planners and pantsers (asContinue reading “Nanowrimo prep: Outlining your novel”

The time I figured out food was trying to kill me

Back when I was a kid, I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to drink milk. The taste was nothing special, and since it made my lips and tongue itchy and made it hard to swallow, what was the point? Ice cream and cheese were fine because the taste made up for the discomfort, butContinue reading “The time I figured out food was trying to kill me”

The best laid schemes

I’d had every intention of starting Camp Nanowrimo by now, but events have conspired to keep me from even starting to think about my next project. Last Wednesday, my mother broke—nay, shattered—her ankle while walking on the beach. She is currently recovering from her first surgery and waiting for the second. The first surgery screwedContinue reading “The best laid schemes”

Book Rec: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

I feel like I don’t actually need to recommend Ancillary Justice, since everyone’s been gushing about it all year. It won the Arthur C. Clarke award for best novel, the Nebula for best novel, the BSFA award for best novel, and currently it’s up for a Hugo for best novel. Plus a boatload of otherContinue reading “Book Rec: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie”

Book rec: Gulp by Mary Roach

Mary Roach is the kind of nonfiction writer who can make any topic fascinating. No, really, anything. Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal is a book about the digestive system, covering topics from the nutritional value of dog food to the optimal decibel level of crunchy snack foods to the stain-fighting properties of saliva. AtContinue reading “Book rec: Gulp by Mary Roach”