Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Stoopid Stoopid Stoopid

That's me.

Just accepted a challenge with Jenny and Ali. Whoever produces the highest wordcount in two weeks, starting next Monday, wins. The one who comes in last has to buy dinner.

**CORRECTION** The losers go in together to buy the winner dinner. Which makes more sense since the winner is the only one getting something and the losers share the pain of losing.

I still say, "Ack!"
Courtney brought up a good point in her response to my Project Runway post. [And, no, Jenny, I wasn't talking about you.] She talked about how some of the contestants freak out when asked to step out of their comfort zone. Same thing happens on Top Chef. Courtney's argument was that chefs, designers and writers need to be able to step outside their boxes once in a while.

Folks, that's why you see prompts and challenges on this and other blogs from the Pirates. That's why UGWP does round stories. That's why we have played a card game where you pick the cards that you will build the story on. Not because we think that one day Jenny will figure out how to market a Top Chef kind of show involving wrters (although that would be groovy), but because we all get those stray ideas that don't fit into our usual genres. Or maybe we realize that one of our story ideas would work better as a screen or stage play than a novel. Or we really, really want to enter that short story contest with the big prize payout. If those muscles are already warmed up, it's easier to engage them when the time comes.

There's another aspect to what Courtney said. That the contestants are freaked out by the twists the shows throw at them. On more than one occasion, I've said, "Don't they watch this show?" Because they always have twists, often the same ones from season to season.

Which comes back to research. I know I've talked about it before, but it bears repeating. DO the research. Want to submit to the Super Groovy Magazine Contest? First, read the guidelines. Second, look at a recent issue. If they only publish hyper-literary stories between 3,000-5,000 words, don't submit a 7,000 word fantasy piece. Same goes with agents.

Two reality shows about seemingly unrelated jobs that are both, apparently, unrelated to writing. But I've been able to adapt lessons from both into my writing. Are there other shows that have given you insight into your craft? Movies? Music? Something else?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September What?

Wow! Six days into the new month. Guess I should post my goals, huh?

Getting my submission ready for CWC cut into my roll on MMG, but it needed to be done. I'm pretty happy with the result as I submitted 98 pages--the longest submission so far. I also finished the critique for Mary.

My goals for September are going to sound familiar, but with a twist.

--Flesh out the rest of TNN and get it ready for submission. [I want this done before I get feedback on the first part. Otherwise, I have a tendency to want to change direction based on comments rather than letting the story unfold the way I first envisioned it. I've learned that people can change their opinion of the first bit after they read the rest. And it lessens future pressure when it comes time to submit.]
--Get revised bio to Ali by 9/7/09. Yeah, not much wiggle room on this one.
--Critique Shane's submission.

And that's it for this month. Didn't expect that, did you? Where's MMG? I figure I've got about 150 pages of TNN to knock out. Using Jenny's writing math, that comes to almost 7 pages a day in order to be done by the CWC meeting on the 28th. That's NaNo level page count. I think that's plenty to shoot for in one month. Especially one month that's already seen a week go by. And one in which I'm taking on a new tap and jazz class.

With that amount of new writing and trying to get my body to move in new and unusual ways, I think I'm pretty much taking on Ali's challenge as well.

How 'bout you?