Sunday, December 18, 2011

Speculative Fiction Links: News and Inspiration

Posted by Jennifer Baylor at The Writing Cocoon.  
Filed under "The Sunday Paper: SFF Links"

I've compiled a short list of links that I've found here and there. Mostly, the following are articles on things I find inspiring when trying to come up with story ideas or for world building, but there are articles and posts with reading lists and writing tips, too. I hope you enjoy them!

Lists to Ponder:

NPR's list of the best of 2011 in sci-fi & fantasy literature. Whilst I've been busily reading, I've not read a single book on this list, but they are all going on the reading list.

I've been contemplating my spaceship for a scifi novella idea. Here's a Top-Ten list of sci-fi spaceships from movies you may find fun and inspiring.

The Future, It is here:

The student chemistry lab of the future may be on-line. No more Bunsen Burners? I'm curious as to how the labs would be carried out. This gives me interesting thoughts for scifi stories. 

Pills to improve your memory - they're a step closer to reality.

In other medical miracles with scifi writing possibilities: Grow your own cartilage, now available.

For The Writer:

Jane Friedman gives us the "12 Must-Read Articles From 2011," here. Interesting stuff on writing, freelance writing, social media, and publishing. I'm working my way through the articles, but there seems to be a lot of good information for the interested writer.

This book, a sort-of science text book for the sci-fi fan, looks interesting. Here's an excerpt of an interview with the authors, for more insight into the book.

I subscribed to Daily Science Fiction, and I'm really enjoying the stories. Give it a try - a fresh sci-fi story delivered daily to your inbox.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Plan of Attack: 2012 Writing Plan

Posted by Jennifer Baylor at The Writing Cocoon.  
Filed under "Write1Sub1"

 I've been staring at a blank screen for some time, trying to write this post. The goals for 2012 are not the problem; I know exactly what I would like to accomplish. It is the plan itself that is holding me back. You see, in 2011 I had plenty of writing goals, but I accomplished much less than I had hoped for. Still, I wrote more in 2011 than I have in years, so that is progress. But, how do I make 2012 more productive?

Here are the main goals (and the goals specifically for this challenge):
  1. Finish WIP#1 TLCS
  2. Finish 1st Draft of WIP#2 DR
  3. Participate in W1/S1: 2 times per month
The plan:

Create and Maintain a consistent writing routine. Now, this has been a struggle for me this year. I started with a simple goal to sit at my writing desk once per day, then tried detailed daily schedules. But the detailed daily schedule was too much. Next I tried a more general weekly goal lists with no daily schedule.That worked a little better, but I'm still failing at consistency.

I'm going to experiment with starting my day a little earlier and with some guided meditation, followed by yoga practice. I'm not a morning person, and my logic is that the meditation and yoga will help me focus and wake up, basically get the blood flowing. Then, I want to get in one hour of writing before noon, then two hours of writing later in the afternoon.

Each week, I will make a list of the writing I want to accomplish. I'm not going to put in a word count goal just yet. I'm a fast writer; if I can just get into the routine of writing every day, the word count will come. The goal is to write 5 days per week, Monday through Friday. I'd like to add a sixth day, but I feel I need to work on building the habit, first.

Practice writing skills daily. My writing skills are rusty, and I've been reading whatever I can find on building up my store of writing tools. I've come across much useful material, but about a month ago I found the book I've been looking for: How to Be a Writer: Building Your Creative Skills through Practice and Play by Barbara Baig. I'm really enjoying the exercises, tools and tips. This will be my "manual" for building my daily "practice" sessions (writing that won't be included in my daily word count).

Join a writing group and/or find a crit partner. I've toyed with this idea, looked online for local writing groups, but I just haven't found one that inspired me to leave my solitary writing cave and give it a go. It is time to get out there and give them a try. There are two or three in my area. I think it is important that I start getting some of my writing "out there" and receive feedback. I'm just not sure about these local groups - if they will be a good fit for me. I think I'd prefer a crit partner, someone I could exchange writing with on a regular basis. We'll see.

In 2012, if I can create and maintain the above plan, regardless of exact word count produced, I will consider the year successful. However, I don't see any reason why I can't accomplish the specific writing goals if I stick to the plan.

Absolute Write Novel Writing Challenge Blog Chain: 

For more information about the challenge, click here.
For more information about the blog chain, click here.

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