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October 15th, 2018

Guess What Today Is?

Happy Monday!  I know you were expecting Kaige, but she’s recuperating from her vacation.  Which means you’re stuck with me.  Again.    It’s starting to cool off here in the desert, which is nice in the sense that it doesn’t get bitterly cold here.   I’m a wimp, however, and get cold once we dip below 70º.

Reminders:

1. Flash Challenge!  Your flash challenge prompt is: video games.  Give me 100 words or a graphic and I’ll reward you with my undying love and admiration. 

2. Last week’s challenges:

SibilateWeekend Challenge: Four SeasonsPolychromaticSay What Friday
Coupe de Foudre272PreambleDandleOPsittacine

3. Big Buddy 48%!  How are you doing?  I’m sitting at almost 2k more than I need at the moment.  SCORE!

asphaltcowgrrl –  7,200
agdhani – 14,880
simplyn2deep - 1,440
sharpiesgal –  2,880
thatwasjustadream.dreamwidth.org – 9,600
cmk418 – 1,440
katleept –  22,320
weakmoments – 24,000
candream – 240

If you still want to, you can sign up for October here!  Come join us, it’s fun!  The Daily Count challenge is here if you want to check on when you’re up next.

4. October’s challenge is looking to be interesting – Original fiction!  Come on out and give it a try, even if you don’t normally write original work.  It can be fun, trust me.  You can find all the prompts to date at the tag here.

So far, hockey season is not off to a good start.  *sigh*  But it’s all good – it’s only their second season, we cannot expect miracles (no matter how much we want them).  So, what are your plans for making this week awesome?  Chime in and let us know!

Daily Count reminder

How is the writing thing going for you? Any bumps or hiccups in remembering the days you're accountable for?

If not, great! If so, that's still great! We're going to help you with that!

Here are the next 7 people for the month! Let's cheer them on to get those words!!

MO 15 – weakmoments
TU 16 – katleept
WE 17 – bizarra
TH 18 – Dreamy
FR 19 – simplyn2deep
SA 20 – sharpiesgal

SU 21 – candream

Happy continued writing!

Word of the Day 10/15/18 Blellum

Blellum (noun)
blellum [blel-uh m]


noun Scot. Obsolete.
1. an idle, indiscreet talker.



Origin: First recorded in 1780–90; origin uncertain

Now YOU come up with a sentence (or fic? or graphic?) that best illustrates the word.
Original Fic Challenge: Write A Story About a Musical Instrument

Original Fic Tip: Make Sure Everything has a Reason

Today's tip is definitely talking about one of my big weaknesses - adding cool stuff because, well, it's cool. Even if it does nothing to help the story or the plot. This tip is part of a longer article on storytelling, and I encourage y'all to check it out.

Stuff Can’t Happen Just to Have Stuff Happen

Storytellers notoriously get sidetracked by shiny baubles.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to read the transcripts from the story planning sessions in which Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Lawrence Kasdan met to discuss Raiders of the Lost Ark. I get an endless kick over how Lucas and Kasdan are calmly working their way through ideas and plots to arrive at the story basically as we know it—and all the while, Spielberg just keeps on throwing in all these wild and crazy ideas, like a little kid having the best time playing make-believe: “Oh, and then you know what would be really cool? We should have a giant boulder come out and squish this guy!”

It’s hilarious mostly because it’s so relatable. We’re all Spielberg. Not only do we want our stories to be as cool as possible for our readers, we’re also just really excited about the cool possibilities for ourselves.

But beware of cool. Cool is seductive and can lead far too easily to stories that are chock full of stuff—but stuff that doesn’t matter. And without meaning, cool really isn’t that cool.

This temptation is especially dangerous for speculative writers. The endless possibilities of science fiction and fantasy provide us the opportunity to throw in all kinds of cool stuff just because it’s cool. But as another Spielberg character says in Jurassic Park: They were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.

Check Yourself:

Why are you adding that gnarly new character? Why did you characters travel to that exotic new setting? Why have you included that funny little subplot? If your primary answer is Because… it’s cool?, stop and take a second look.

There’s no reason you can’t include all that cool stuff, but first you’ve got to make it matter to the story. It’s got to be so integral to the plot that if you yanked it, meaning would be lost. Even better, it needs to resonate on a thematic level. It needs to offer more than coolness; it needs to either ask questions or provide answers.

There’s nothing I love more than long, complex books or movies… when they work. When all that complexity comes together to create the warp and weft of a magical whole, it’s too delicious for words. But there’s also nothing I hate more than long, messy books or movies that drag me through the authors’ self-indulgent refusal to recognize and discard meaningless elements. This is even true of stories in which the pieces are great but ultimately detract from what might otherwise have been an even better whole.

Now go forth and write!

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