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Posts Tagged ‘cool links’

With the semester starting next week and lots of writing to catch up on, I thought I’d keep today’s entry short.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen a number of really great links full o’ advice about plotting, outlining, and generally getting that novel written.  I’ve pulled them all together here for you.

So…enjoy!

First up, Michael Moorecock shares his thoughts and tips on how to write a novel in 3 days.  Seriously.  Check it out.

If that got you thinking and you’re looking for even more detail on getting the plot and narrative structure right, consider reading Alexandra Sokoloff’s Story Elements Checklist.  She breaks down the 3 Act structure in what I found to be a really useful way.

Now that we’re rolling, you might also want to give Wendy Wagner’s advice on outlining a look.  It’s over on Inkpunks and also includes a link to the aforementioned story elements checklist and other goodies.

Also, there’s this from the archives at Terrible Minds…Chuck Wendig on 25 Ways to Plot, Plan, and Prep your Novel.

Finally, Rachel Aaron has some musings to share on plotting, as well as the difference between plot and story.  They’re well worth a look.

If any of you know of other great blogs or sites that talk about plotting, outlining, and so forth, I’d be a very happy monkey if you posted them in the comments!

Okay.  That should keep you all busy for awhile.

Miranda out.

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Welcome to this writer’s workspace.  Here’s what’s happening liiiiiiiiiiiiiive at Miranda’s desk:

What I’m working on:  This week I intended to take time off from my novel projects and write a short story every day.  What’s actually ended up happening is far cooler.  I’ve written a story a day (3 down, 2 to go) AND I’ve continued work on my novel projects in the afternoon.  It’s been crazy productive (though, just writing that phrase has probably jinxed it).  Anyway, here’s a little excerpt from the short story I’m working on this morning:

…A snippet from the screen:  “I met Lenora in the desert, on my way from nowhere to nowhere.  She lived among the sage bushes, in a ruined settler’s cabin, under a sea of stars.  People in town said she was mad, an oddity.  They eyeballed me when they said it, glancing at my graffiti-covered van as if I were an oddity too.  I was curious, so I went to see her.  I found out they were wrong.  Lenora wasn’t mad, she was dead.”

On the iTunes:  All Along the Watchtower, cover by The Bandits

In my mug: Yorkshire Gold, baby.  Seering the sleep out of your brain since 1886.

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/?ui=2&ik=9e4adc5084&view=att&th=1389f97ad421ae0c&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=d45bc3808a033b9e_0.1&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P8VIlAPcHFKXrogtX_FxaC5&sadet=1342708032275&sads=7DpjZcwh9iMYH1N8l8j5u-b3CI0&sadssc=1

Keeping me company: No one! Ramses has abandoned me (and his beloved Tower of Terror) to snooze in the laundry basket atop (you guessed it) a pile of clean laundry.  Thanks, buddy!  I’m happy to redo that wash.  Really.

Out the window: Apocalypse. Flood. Hellfire. It’s like a 100 degrees, 120 percent humidity, and stormy.  If I weren’t heading to Kansas this weekend I’d think Brooklyn’s sporting the worst summer on record.  But, I suspect a week in the Burning Plains will change my view on this.

A little procrastination never hurt anyone: …especially on a Thursday.  Here’s a really cool image from Jay Lake’s Moment of Zen series.  Reminds me of an Andrew Wyeth painting.   For anyone who hasn’t read about the GR Bullies stuff, here’s a good post on it from Rachel Aaron’s blog.  This one I found via some links from my friend Ferret, and it struck me as so helpful I thought I’d better share it with you all as well:  a post from Inkpunks about outlining.  Be sure to follow the embedded links to Alexandra Sokoloff’s story elements checklist.

And with that…go forth and be productive!

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Marshaling my thoughts this week has been akin to herding cats.  This is partly due to my efforts to escape from my aforementioned liminal state.  There are lots of ways out of that maze and all of them are varying degrees of shiny.  So, in herky-jerky, bits-and-bobs fashion, here’s a smattering of all things Miranda this week:

1. I wrote a new short story!  It’s my first effort at a short in nearly a year.  I think it’s pretty darn good.  It features hedge fund douchbags, 16th century Venetian courtesans, and fireflies.

2. Grading is my ongoing albatross.  I try to work through the pile of papers and exams and they seem to mate and multiply.  I try to ignore them and they press oppressive fingers of guilt on my heart.  I try to burn them and they erupt in a wild bonfire of…wait, no, sorry…that last one is just a fantasy.  Seriously, though, I should be done today. Finally.

3. I fell off the wagon with my dieting and exercise while traveling for Paradise Lost, but I’m back on the horse (or, more accurately, the elliptical machine) again.  I’ve shed 4lbs so far–and all without going to extreme measures–which means I’m almost halfway to my goal.  I’m sure our upcoming trip to Spain (during which I will eat my weight in Jamon Iberico) won’t erase all my progress.  No, of course it won’t.

4. Here’s a bit of shiny that’s been distracting me from my work lately:  ever heard of tilt-shift photography?  I hadn’t either till I visited Ana Silva’s blog and saw her post on Ben Thomas’ work.  Basically, he works magic to make his photographic subjects (mainly cities/urban landscapes) appear as miniatures.  Mind-bendingly cool.

5. Another cool link: Abandoned ships stranded in the desert from iO9.  Very Mad Max, if you ask me.

6. What else?  Oh, yeah…those novels I’m writing.  Sigh.  Progress on my latest novel is a little stop and start.  I’ve gotten the first three chapters revised and have taken about 1400 attempts at starting the 4th.  I’ve got it outlined.  I know what needs to happen, but it just isn’t working on the page.  Should I chalk this up to the limits of outlining or to my paralyzing fear of actually writing this thing and screwing it up?

Since most of my writing blocks tend to resolve themselves while I exercise, I think I’ll head off to the gym.

Please share your own bits and bobs for the week in the comments!

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