[Writers on the Storm #1]

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Writers on the Storm
Question #1

What is the exact opposite of your current project?

Is Deadpool the opposite of Teletubbies?
Is Blues Clues the opposite of Game of Thrones?
Is a romantic comedy with Gerard Butler pretending to be American in it the opposite of The Handmaid’s Tale?

Here’s what my writers had to say:

Luna Ann Koenig, Author of Star Stolen
A book that is opposite mine (but is wonderful) is Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows. Bardugo’s main characters choose to be criminals and choose a life of excitement and adventure. In Star Stolen, the characters have adventure thrust upon them and are rebels in a revolution. Same coin, two sides.

Elizabeth Mays, Poet, Host of #JustAddTea
The genre most opposite to what I write is the Spaghetti Western, where one man comes in and uses cunning and trickery to defeat a bigger, “badder” group of bad guys. By the end, balance is restored, but even the hero isn’t a niceguy, and there’s no romance!

Benjamin Pegg, Author of The Collective
The diametrical opposite of my current WIP is probably Star Trek. My story is set in a militaristic regime with a strict grip on society and a focus on survival. Additionally, it is confined to a single city and technology has not advanced significantly.

Want to get in on this crazy-cool questionaire?
Check out the rules and e-mail novemberomalley@gmail.com by Sunday, February 3rd!

Science Fiction That Has (Supposedly) Already Happened

The thing about science-fiction is that many of the classics were written a long time ago with a vision of the future that was very different than the one we ended up with  (where’s my hoverboard?!)

Many of their timelines run right into the present day meaning we should already be seeing:

Megaman

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Capcom’s classic video game series is set in 200X which limits the possibilities to 2000-2009. While the later games are much farther flung into 21XX, it’s clear that the Super Fighting Robot should be here by now.

What We’re Missing

Sentient Three Laws Compliant robots, semi-magical elemental weapons, and – oh yeah – a massive machine apocalypse and total totalitarian 1984 government.

I, Robot

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In a similar vein, Isaac Asimov’s 1950 short story collection about a future after the development and implementation of thinking machines. The stories are only loosely related but are set in the years 1996-2064 which means a lot should already be in motion.

What We’re Missing

We haven’t quite reached the giant computers that control the world, and Asimov’s vision excluded things like the internet and cell phones while machines ran on actual punched paper. But the positronic brain should have been invented in time to be traumatized by The Hunchback of Notre Dame and here in 2018, we should have space colonies on even the most distant, hospitable planets.

.hack//

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This strange anime-and-video-game series came out of the early 2000’s fueled by the afterburn of Y2K paranoia. While the originals were oddly set only a few years after their release dates, starting around 2006, the more recent works stretch into 2030.

What We’re Missing

In this fictional 2005, a massive virus hacks absolutely every computer in the world, bringing modern society to its knees. Afterwards, everyone uses only one OS with only one multiplayer game, the most massive of MMO’s in history. Having only one game to play must’ve gotten old very fast.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

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This one’s pretty obvious, the year is right there in the title. This novel about an omnipresent government and perpetual surveilance gave rise to cool terms like “doublethink” and “Big Brother is Watching You.”

What We’re Missing

This one is especially eerie because in an age of Cambridge Analytica, Happiness Indexes, and cell phones that probably spy on us, we seem to be moving towards this and fast. Just, y’know, three decades or so late. We may not quite have an Oceania yet and there’s not yet one single Party (as far as we’re aware) but things seem to be zooming along towards something… Orwellian.

 

Oh, and let’s not forget the end of Back to the Future where they go to the actual future… now!

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Which is your favorite on this list?
Anything I missed?
Let me know in the comments!

How to Live the Writing Life and Slay 2019’s Goals + !FREE! DOWNLOADABLE WORKSHEETS

We’re already less than a month into 2019 and maybe things are already looking a little daunting. But it’s okay. Breathe. Your goals are here for the slaying, the day for the taking, the year for the making! And if you think your goals are Just Impossible, here are a few tips to get you through them:

Finish a Manuscript

Small Goals = Big Results

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You might think writing 200 words a day doesn’t get you very far, but consider how many days there are in a year! If you write that tiny bit every day will get you to 73,000 words by the end of the year and if you take off even a whopping 115 days a year for vacations, birthdays, or blockages, that’s still an entire NaNoWriMo!

Plan Where You Can

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Planning isn’t for everyone, and don’t I know it! But even as a notorious pantzer (i.e. “one who writes by the seat of one’s pants”), sometimes it’s nice to step back, see how far I’ve come and what still needs to be done.
I’m a fan of what I call my Fancy Checklists. Taking the time to hand-letter and carefully write out each step helps me stay calm and focused, and checking off all those teeny boxes is oh-so-satisfying.

Take a Challenge

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NaNoWriMo is great and all (former minion-to-the-ML here!) but man does it have a lot of rules! When to write, what to write, how much… Sure there are rebels in there somewhere, but even then, it doesn’t quite feel right. So do your own goal! Try to finish a manuscript – just the main plot and nothing else in a month! Write 20,000 words, 30,000 words, or fill an entire notebook in a month or two!
April tends to be a really good month for this. Nothing happens in April except rain and misery.

Free Worksheet: 200 Word a Day Monthly Countdown

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Build a Platform

Tweet or Post (at least) Every Day

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Whatever your poison is, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Insta, Goodreads, or one of those more obscure secrety-secret apps like Litsy, make sure you’re putting something out there at least every day. Update us all on how your project is going, share a new bit of research, join a hashtag game, or link your latest blog – whatever it takes to keep your audience engaged.

Join a Writing Group and Make Friends

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There are so many writing groups out there on Facebook, Twitter, and more where you can find people to bounce ideas off of, share your goal triumphs, and commiserate with.
Twitter regularly has “chats” around the clock virtually every day where participants answer questions in the space of an hour and there are many great Discord servers, Goodreads groups, and subreddits for you to discover!

Go Visit

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Remember all of those friends you just made? It’s time to swing by with a plate of cookies, a bottle of wine, and a favor to ask. Cross-promotion through things like guest posting on blogs, podcast appearances, and guest hosting Twitter chats is great for both parties because it gets the word out to both circles of friends, which promotes both yourself and the platform you’re visiting!

Free Worksheet: 20 Ways to Build a Platform: A Study in Winning

Get Published

Get Planning

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Publishing is something you definitely can’t pantz your way out of, it takes a lot of conscious thought and serious plotting to get there.
Keep a list of agents, agencies, editors, or publishers who make the things you like. Make checklists, timelines, calendars, and ideas for future marketing. Whether you’re going traditional or not, you need to have a good idea of what you’re doing and what steps to take next.

Hit the Books

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While books about books sound like something out of a Christopher Nolan nightmare, people who have obviously already been published are one of the best resources for Getting There. There’s also the Writer’s Market, a huge encyclopedia of publishers and agents that comes out yearly. These are a bit pricey so it’s best borrowed from the local library. I like making a trip out of it!
Just be careful that anything you read is up-to-date, information even as year or two out of date can be incorrect!

Make a Wish Come True

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One of the best resources for aspiring writers these days is the Manuscript Wish List. Here, agents will put up a profile and an updated list of what kind of books they’d like to represent. The #MSWL hashtag is also used liberally by agents and editors and publishers, so checking this every day – or every 12 hours! – will help you get in touch with people who can make your own wishes come true.

Free Worksheet: The Year to Get Published: The Fanciest of All Checklists

What are your 2019 hashtag-goals? How are you going to make this your Best Writing Year Ever?
Share in the comments!

 

This is Serious Stuff: A (Possibly Pretentious) Study in Magnetic Poetry

Ages upon ages ago, my mom and my brother went to Baltimore and while he got tickets to some stupid baseball game, I got EDGAR ALLAN POETRY.

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I actually have no problem with baseball, but this is cool, okay?

And finally, after a stressful move and a few train transfers , I finally have a fridge I’m proud of sticking ’em on!

So like any good nerd, I immediately sorted them into parts of speech. But some words could be a couple of different things and some were only sometimes used in that way and also I kinda forgot about prepositions for a full ten minutes.

It quickly became an amorphous blob of 19th-century-ness on the kitchen counter.

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My one rule for this is that I could only use every word (or word bit) the once. So things got less comprehensible as time went on.

First, up I did the sensible thing and tried to do as much of “Don’t Stop Believin” as I could which was one line.

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It’s a lot more sinister out of context, come to think…

I write one about Twinefold, where if it wasn’t full of fun-loving-slash-murderous faeries and pretty, pretty Deaglan, it’d be terrifying and depressing probably.

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This is another weird Faehunter one but spoilers. And I got the ‘Nevermore’ in there clutch.

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This one’s for the character of my new sci-fi project and has probably the last clever thing I’ve got with the mourning/morning play on words. Savor this, friends. It gets only worse from here. Also, got the “quoth” in there. Respect.

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cre·pus·cu·lar
/krəˈpəskyələr/
adjective
of, resembling, or relating to twilight.
I learned a new word today! Clearly this is a learning experience for us all and not something you’d find in the back of a highschooler’s notebook.

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This one is supposed to be about Hopper and the Tuann from In the House of Souls but also yeesh to the max, man.

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So they threw an “Amontillado” in there because it’s the Notorious E.A.P. so of course there is. So I “wrote” about death and partying and stuff? They loved that kinda thing in the Victorian times and there was a Disney movie about it so this poem must be deep and cool.

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I was running dangerously low on words here so I tried to make it rhythmic and cool and hoped no one would notice.

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Odin? I guess?

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Ooga ooga death comes for us all but love will save us.

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For best results, toss your word salad before serving then apply your meaning-dressing.

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And alas, the sad little orphans. Would you donate $100 a day to Save the Suffixes to change a life?

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(you now inexplicably hear sad piano music in the distance)

!!DEADLINE EXTENDED!! 4 Awesome Reasons to Join WRITERS ON THE STORM

Hello friends! The holidays have been crazy pants for just about everyone so I am extending the deadline to join my all new super special awesome writers roundup Writers On the Storm!

These crazy pants specifically. Festive but distressed!

Send an email to novemberomalley@gmail.com by Friday, January 11th with the following info and get on the list:

  • Preferred Name
  • Most recent/featured work
  • A headshot photograph (not an illustration)
  • A link to your website

You will get an email on Wednesday, January 16th with a question, you will have a week to answer in 50 words or less! On January 30th, a huge compilation post with everyone’s answers goes live! Be sure to share and retweet so everyone can see your amazing ideas!

Why should you join in the first place? Here are some great reasons:

4. It’s perfect for inspiration

Questions for Writers On the Storm are more than just “what’s your favorite book?” or “who’s your favorite author?” These questions will make you think! And that’s great for productivity and creativity and lots of other-tivity’s.

3. It gets your name out there

If everyone on the compilation post shares even just the once, there are thousands of people out there who will see all your epic answers, getting you and your work a whole lot of attention!

2. It’s easy peasy

Writing 50 words? Writers like that eat it for breakfast! For half an hour or less of work, you get a lot out of it. What other guest post is this simple?

1. It’s great for networking

Follow your fellow Stormwriters, make friends, kick booty, take names, overthrow small nations!

So what are you waiting for? E-mail me, novemberomalley@gmail.com, by January 11th to get in on this amazing opportunity!

See you soon!