Another crazy thing I’m doing! (aka: Camp NaNoWriMo)

If you’ve seen me around the internet just about anywhere (or even if you’ve been here for long) then you probably already know that I love NaNoWriMo.

I started participating in 2009, hit a 65k very rough first draft that November, and kind of hit the ground running from there. I’ve participated in every NaNoWriMo since then – and have prompted WriMos in my region to say that they would be concerned that I had been replaced by an imposter if I only made the 50k goal instead of nearing or over 100k for a NaNo-project these days.

I have also participated gleefully in every session of Camp NaNoWriMo – NaNoWriMo’s more laid back, younger cousin. It began in 2011, and runs twice every summer. It has gotten some upgrades this year, and was already pretty awesome. Continue reading

Explaining Drabbles! – Part One, Basics

Drabbles!

These are an elusive and oft-misunderstood form of fiction – or so it seems to me, in my travels throughout the internet – but can be very fun for both reader and writer.

I write this post in part because of the lack of understanding or awareness of this form of short fiction, in hopes that someone might find their way to it and enjoy it as much as I do. (Also because it seems I am asked about them quite frequently.)

I suppose I have unintentionally become somewhat of an expert on the topic of drabbles – perhaps appropriately, as I came to write in this format for the first time by accident.

My qualification for being an expert? To date I have written, between several fandoms and my original works, somewhere around 1,300 drabbles.

. . .yeah. This medium suits me, evidently – a surprising discovery for someone as verbose as I can most certainly be.

So, first of all. . .

 

What is a drabble, anyway?

A true drabble is precisely 100 words that form a complete story.  Continue reading

Long-Awaited – (Story for a Flashfiction Challenge)

I delighted in playing with Chuck Wendig’s weekly flashfiction challenge over at TerribleMinds once again this week! The current challenge is ‘Another Roll of the Dice‘. The two subgenres I have smashed together are Haunted House, and Erotica. I did not use a d20 to choose them – a friend I was discussing the challenge with laughingly suggested she would challenge me to make something of that particular pair, and five minutes later it turned into a real challenge. It was rather fun, actually.

The two ‘must feature’ items for the challenge were chosen by rolling a d10, and are noted below the story. Once more, I rode the line of the wordcount limit, and my flashfiction is precisely 1,000 words.

Summary: After over a decade, Jesse has finally found his lover again.

WARNING: This story contains explicit sexual content.

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Fog and Fear – A Vampire Tale (Story Post)

This short story actually finds its home in a much larger world of mine. Much of this particular world is in short story format – but this particular one is special.

Because this particular story was entered into a contest held by Rebekah Loper in 2011 for All Hallows Eve – and it won first place!

The criteria were for a piece of vampire fiction between 1,000 and 5,000 words, rated PG-13 or under – no erotica, no sparkling. (One of these two criteria was much more difficult for me than the other. . .)

My story is precisely 2,500 words long. There are (very) occasional uses of non-English words. Mouse over anything you don’t recognise for a translation. There is also a list at the end.
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Tulsa Creative Writer’s Mini-Conference Report – Short Fiction

A few weeks ago, my friend (and fellow Ferret) Lissa came across a free creative writing conference being held by Tulsa Community College and the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa.

Rebekah, Lissa, and I all managed to fit it into our schedule and attended Thursday afternoon. We split up, because there were four sessions being run concurrently after the keynote speech (which was hilarious and excellent): Novel, Short Fiction, Poetry, and Memoir.

Rebekah stuck around in the large, open room after the keynote for the Novel session, Lissa headed down the hall to a classroom for the Poetry session – and I traipsed across the street, into the depths of another building, and up six floors to a conference room for the Short Fiction session.

It was wonderful, with two instructors – Josh Parish and Sloan Davis, who worked really well off of each other and led a very interesting, interactive sort of ‘lecture’.

In fact, in the Short Fiction session, we covered plot arcs, including timing and the hows and whys of tension, release, climax, etc., character and building characters – and how to build characters quickly, what is most important/catches the reader quickest – setting, dialogue, emotion, and above all, how everything has to work together to make a story work.

There was lots that worked for all kinds of fiction mediums, and some specific discussion on how to make other forms work as well, but I’ll keep these notes to the short fiction specific thoughts.

I was left with pages of notes, a handful of hand-outs, a list of new books to read (a couple just for story, and more for theory of writing), some new quotes on writing, and a new exercise I think I will be doing more often, because I loved it and it was very interesting.
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RRFS Introductions (and a lack of inspiration)

Not a lot to say today – life hit one of those stages that seems to be sapping ability, ideas, inspiration, motivation . . . all but my actual desire to write. (Those days, like I’ve been having for the past week and a half, are always hard.) As soon as I manage to kick it off and work on (almost) whatever I want, as usual, I’ll probably write about exactly that – it’s so frustrating to overcome!

I know I can’t be the only one to suffer that problem, or to try and fight through it, and after going on four years of dedicated daily writing (I only rarely regret that promise to myself) while it is fortunately not a common obstacle for me, it is still horrible every time.

For now, though, if you’ve been more curious about the mad woman behind this place, the introduction for the final Ferret – that’s me! – has gone up at the RRFS blog today! Also, if you’ve ever wondered about what methods the Queen of Creative Deaths would choose to use if she really had to kill people, or what method she would never use . . . well, so did Jess, and there’s an answer in my Ferret Introduction post!

Next week the RRFS blog will take off with what will become its usual fare – including a post on her personal writing strengths and weaknesses from Rebekah, and even a surprise from me!

Lack of inspiration or no, there will be more from me here this week, too, so see you soon!

~Serena

Under the Strawberry Moon – (Story for a Flashfiction Challenge)

Every week Chuck Wendig does a flashfiction challenge over at TerribleMinds, which I love (in fact, when there was a WordPress mishap and it didn’t show up until two days late this week I was very sad, and kept poking the blog waiting). This week’s challenge was called ‘Choose Your Random Words‘, which I did with the aid of my d10 (I keep a small set of D&D dice on my worktable, of course – who doesn’t?) and wound up with the words: Tongue, Wolf, and Legend.

The challenge was to use these words not just in the story but as part of plot, character, or theme. More complicated, also more fun, at least in my book. I rode the line of the wordcount limit, and Under the Strawberry Moon is precisely 1,000 words.

Summary: The sorceress needs a wolf’s tongue for her spell under the strawberry moon. Can Braxas’ packmates save him in time?

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