random tidbit from worldbuilding this morning

I’ve been working on designing some alien species for this hard sci fi I’ve got planned for after nano. (I’m working on this instead of my nano project to A) keep myself distracted enough I don’t jump the gun and start my nano early and B) make my nano jealous so I will really hit the ground running with it when I *can* start it.)

Anyway, so I’m designing these creatures right? And I’m thinking, okay, for plot reasons they basically supplant humans, but also can nearly blend in with us, so humanoid. Pursuit predator style mechanics of course. Hm, probably a bit sturdier, too–they need to survive like, catastrophic levels of awful (plot reasons!); they probably heal faster, too. Oh, and maybe they have claws and fangs, those are fun and advantageous! What about night vision, they should probably have good night vision, maybe better sense of smell……..

Werewolves. I’m designing space werewolves. Dear lord, self.

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Dialogue Tags: version 2.0

So, today I have a post over on the RRFS blog about dialogue tags which is probably pretty similar to the one I did last year here on this blog. I’ve learned a couple of things since then, (and not just about dialogue tags), and I’m going to be doing a series of posts over there about tips and tricks to editing your own work, especially if you’re a new-ish writer.

Feel free to take a look at the original post using the link above for a more detailed post. For now, here’s a really short and sweet version of it.

Read your work out loud and ask yourself these questions about your dialogue tags:

1) Is it clear who’s speaking what line?

2) Does each separate speaker have their own paragraph?

3) Am I using a word too repetitiously? (e.g.: does “said” appear on the page more than five times? Is it noticeable when I read the page out loud?)

4) Am I using the correct word? Does reading the page out loud make it sound like I am auditioning for a villain’s role in a melodrama?

Remember that dialogue tags don’t have to be a variant of he said or she said. You can use pieces of action to identify speakers just as well, like “Carolyn waved. ‘Hey girl!'” Not only is “Carolyn waved” not a variant of he said/she said but also adds variety and character movement when there otherwise wouldn’t be any. In most cases, it’s more interesting to read.

Next time I’ll be talking about tenses, so be sure to check it out.

– Eris

Holy Crap, It’s 2015

Well, I took a longer break than anticipated. Six months may have gone by without a peep from me, but I was able to get quite a few things done. I have successfully completed NaNoWriMo this November, wrote several new stories which I have posted on AO3, and finished a script for a fan comic. Also the normal (and some days quite abnormal) amount of regular work and other such daily dreck to keep myself living under a roof with actual food.

But it’s 2015 now, and it’s time to make some goals for myself.

1) Read more books. Specifically at least 13 books. This last year I have read reams and reams of fanfiction, but not original works. And that really needs to change. (Not that there’s anything wrong with fanfiction, and I still highly encourage it as a practice and an art form.) I need to read more widely–nonfiction, literary works, poetry–and stop reading obsessively in my comfort zone. First up on the list is the thriller Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’ve already started reading it, and it’s good in ways I wasn’t really expecting. I am planning on posting a review of it when I’m finished.

2) Clean my house. My house is a mess. The less said about this, the better. Moving on…

3) Paint six things. Canvases, actually. I got back into painting this late summer/fall, and got an easel for Christmas. I’m really enjoying it, and learning/relearning things is supposed to be good for me, or something. It certainly has been eye-opening for my own particular artistic style. When I finish a few pieces, I will showcase them here. 🙂

4) Draw the Rival Neighbors comic. Remember that script I said I finished? This is it. It’s a book-length graphic novel. I’d really, really like to get the thing finished before 2016. Since the script is finished, I need to cement the character designs and the “set” locations, then start paneling. A fellow fan and fast internet friend has already volunteered to ink the thing for me, as I am terrible at inking and he is actually quite, quite good at it. 🙂 Hopefully that means that the comic will be done and ready to post faster. Huzzah!

5) Write/Finish two long projects. Right now, by “projects” I mean novels–but that is subject to change. I am very much looking forward to rewriting Cloudy with a Chance of Satan and editing Monsters and Ghosts. Maybe by the end of the year I will have two manuscripts I can start sending to people to beta-read. 😀 I am very excited about these prospects.

6) Write/Finish/Post seven shorter projects. I’ve got a To-Write List approximately 50 stories deep, and I really, really need to mark some of them off. Hopefully by the time I weed out the unviable ideas, I will have at least seven completed stories of which to post/query/what-have-you. (I’m sure I won’t get through all my list this year, but I’m hoping to make a large dent in it. However, I know that some stories are just not going to take shape or aren’t quite ready to be written yet, so that’s why I’m only holding myself to seven finished ones.)

7) Drink more water. I’m pretty sure I can achieve this one. I just need to stay on it and stop thinking “I’ll get a glass of water when I am done with [x]” and actually get up when I realize that I am thirsty. 🙂

8) Cook more. Mostly because I want to stop spending so much money on take out.

9) Exercise more. Ah, the ever present “Exercise more” or “Lose weight” goal of every person’s New Year Resolutions list. We’ll see if I can manage this.

10) Pay off large credit card. 😛 Kind of personal, I know, but it’s a goal of mine. I’m working it down by bits and chunks.

Well, that’s it for me. How is your 2015 so far? Got any goals you’d like to share?

-Eris

Write Motivation – April Week 4 and May’s Upcoming Goals

Hey guys, happy May! April has come to a close, and I still feel like I haven’t gotten as much done as I wanted. Oh well. April was also an incredibly busy month, too, so maybe I’m just being hard on myself.

This is how I fared:

  • Write The Beacon Hills Reboot: Part Two. Well, I worked on it. I really only gained about 10,000 words this month. I really did want to work on it, but I ended up having to go back and reorder some plot events, and that took time. Hopefully now I am in a better spot to really make some progress.
  • Finish, Edit, and Post two stories. None at all. 😦 Booo
  • Read two books. I finished Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin and Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer. WOO! I can mark this one off the list!
  • Stretch Goal: Finish at least one piece of art you had promised you’d do. I opened my sketchbook at least. :/
  • Stretch Goal: Clean the kitchen. It’s still a disaster area. 😦 (But I managed to wash a bunch of tupperware and return it to my mom’s, so… progress?
  • Stretch Goal: Watch Veronica Mars. Critic and I are almost done with the first season! Yay! (I’m marking this off because we have been pretty good about meeting once a week and going through an entire disk. Considering that I’m getting them through Netflix, and therefore have to wait for the mail, I’m feeling pretty confident about our progress through the show.)

And since it’s now May, I’ve signed up for the newest iteration of #WriteMotivation! Here are my new goals:

  • Edit the first draft of Monsters & Ghosts.
  • Edit the second draft of my friend’s story
  • Finish and post two side stories.

And, as always, here are some stretch goals for myself:

  • Finally finish that art commission you were given like, four months ago.
  • Edit that other story for a friend (assuming, of course, she finishes it.)
  • Write another 10k on the BHReboot Part 2

This month, I’d also like to add in a few more things that I’d like to get done, but don’t necessarily want to make them goals. (I’m not actually sure what that makes them, then. To-do lists? I don’t know.) But here’s some possible extras to accomplish this month:

  • Read three books
  • Work my way through three research books (as in, taking notes, etc.)
  • Write my Teen Wolf and Consent master dissertation (it’s no longer just a blog post guys. This thing is going to be massive.)
  • Do my 5k Training program

I have some days off coming my way in May, so hopefully I’ll actually have time to sit down and knock some of these projects out. And I’m already done a lot of progress on my 5k Training program, so as long as I keep it up this month, I’ll count it as a goal achieved! (The training program won’t actually end until June/July, after all.)

Anyway, how was your month? Any new goals you’re looking forward to accomplishing?

– Eris

April WriteMotivation: Week 1

So… whoops! I’ve been so busy lately that I forgot to post my accomplishments so far for April! Here they are:

  • Write The Beacon Hills Reboot: Part Two. According to my Camp NaNo stats, I am at 4,262 words. I still have several pages to type up, but even so, I know I’m several thousand words behind.
  • Finish, Edit, and Post two stories. Like I said before, I have one already betaed. I just need to read through the edits, clean it up, and post it online. The other story I have started, but not yet finished yet.
  • Read two books. Well, I’m on pages 600-ish (I forgot already. Whoops!) of Storm of Swords. So… only like 400 more pages to read.
  • Stretch Goal: Finish at least one piece of art you had promised you’d do. I really, really, really need to get this done. Like, sooner rather than later. :/
  • Stretch Goal: Clean the kitchen. Luckily, with Critic coming over at least once a week to watch Veronica Mars, I’ve been working on cleaning the whole house to try to make it more accommodating for guests. And yeah, that includes the kitchen. It’s better than it’s been in a long while, but I still have a loooooong way to go before it’s clean. (Oh my god, I am so sorry Critic for making you sit in my messy house to watch silly teenaged detective shows with me.)
  • Stretch Goal: Watch Veronica Mars. Critic and I have managed to power our way through the first eight episodes, and we are loving it! She was even talking about buying the first season so we didn’t have to keep waiting on Netflix to deliver us more disks. 🙂

And as of today, I have started making the first (somewhat literal) steps to changing around the way I manage my time. I walked to the coffee shop from work today to see how long of a walk it was and in what kind of pedestrian terrain, and I found it short and easily doable. So, from now on, before work I am going to go hang out at the coffee shop for an hour for some distraction-free writing time. Not only should this open up a consistent block of time for me to get stuff done, but since I’m planning on parking my car in the employee parking and walking to and from the coffee shop to work (it’s like a 5 minute walk–so no biggie), it’ll have the added bonus of extra daily exercise. 🙂 I’m really looking forward to this new plan. I hope it works out.

So guys, how about you? How is your April moving along?

– Eris

March Motivation – Week 2

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! I have a post up at the RRFS today (also filling part of one of my things to do this month, so DOUBLE YAY!)

  • Print off the first part of Cloudy with a Chance of Satan. Printed!
  • Read said first part of Cloudy (with optional note-taking). On page 40 of 100. I really need to finish this in the next few days
  • Write 10k on Cloudy. Not done reading it yet.
  • Stretch Goal: Finish Cloudy. (Yeah, we’ll see if I get anywhere near this.) See above.
  • Write all posts for the Ferret Blog that I’m responsible for through April 30th. I have one post up! Only 5 more to go!.
  • Write the first draft of the Ferret Anthology story (the one that I never quite was able to do last month). I’ll look at this… later. Like, Friday later.
  • Stretch Goal: Write 10k on the Beacon Hills Reboot Part Two. I’ve signed up for Camp Nano. I don’t think I’m going to get to this until next month, so I’m marking off this goal now. IT COUNTS. SIGNING UP FOR CAMP NANO COUNTS. *cuddles her denial*
  • Edit and send back the Teen Wolf fic I’m betaing. Several pages in. Hopefully will finish today and send back to author.
  • Finish reading A Storm of Swords (Game of Thrones, awww yisssss). On page 401 of 924.
  • Finish that X-Men commission you promised you’d do. Stiiiiiill haven’t started.
  • Finish that tattoo design commission you also promised to do. Nooooope. Will get to that next week.
  • Stretch Goal: Draw the Nuggetsune comics for Barenaked Critic. I have a first draft ready! 😀 Huzzah
  • Clean the kitchen. Like, mop and bucket and industrial sized trash bags sort of clean. Someone, please send a flame thrower.
  • Stretch Goal: Organize the art closet. My cat as turned my closet into her personal jungle gym…

I’ve gotten started on a lot of these projects, but man, I need to concentrate on just sitting down and finishing one. I need to mark more of these off.

Maybe I should take a look at the kitchen first. *dons hazmat suit* Wish me luck.

-Eris

March is “I Need To Do All the Things” Month

Well, I missed this month’s sign-ups. 😦 I was working all weekend and didn’t have time to jump on the internet once. Oh well. And even though I didn’t get much of the way of goals accomplished in February, I do think it helped me stay on track, at least a bit. It could have been a lot worse, really. (Like me not getting any writing done.)

So even if I’m not doing writemotivation, I’ll still keep you all apprised of what I’m working on.

This month, I’m breaking the goals up into manageable little chunks. Because the more I’m able to strike off, the happier I am. 😀 Ready? Let’s see what I have planned:

  • Print off the first part of Cloudy with a Chance of Satan
  • Read said first part of Cloudy (with optional note-taking)
  • Write 10k on Cloudy
  • Stretch Goal: Finish Cloudy. (Yeah, we’ll see if I get anywhere near this.)
  • Write all posts for the Ferret Blog that I’m responsible for through April 30th
  • Write the first draft of the Ferret Anthology story (the one that I never quite was able to do last month)
  • Stretch Goal: Write 10k on the Beacon Hills Reboot Part Two
  • Edit and send back the Teen Wolf fic I’m betaing
  • Finish reading A Storm of Swords (Game of Thrones, awww yisssss)
  • Finish that X-Men commission you promised you’d do
  • Finish that tattoo design commission you also promised to do
  • Stretch Goal: Draw the Nuggetsune comics for Barenaked Critic
  • Clean the kitchen. Like, mop and bucket and industrial sized trash bags sort of clean.
  • Stretch Goal: Organize the art closet

Holy crap. That’s… kind of a lot. Yikes.

*crosses fingers* Wish me luck!

-Eris