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Month: July 2015

Hugos 2015: Final roundup

We interrupt our regularly scheduled 2015 Clarion West Write-a-thon series to bring you the final Hugo roundup. Sponsor me, sponsor another writer, or learn more about the Write-a-thon With the deadline closing in at midnight on Friday July 31, I had three novels left so I decided to race them. The first to drop out was the Jim Butcher. I like urban fantasy, but have never really warmed up to the Dresden Files books, and this was no exception. The next to go was Ancillary Sword. I couldn’t really warm up to it, either, but the interesting SF ideas made…

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Hugos 2015 roundup: Part 3

We interrupt our regularly scheduled 2015 Clarion West Write-a-thon series to bring you another Hugo roundup. Sponsor me, sponsor another writer, or learn more about the Write-a-thon Some more Hugo reads in no particular order: Title: Reduce Reuse Reanimate Author: Carter Reid Category: Graphic story Slated: Sad and Rabid Premise: Zombies Where it grabbed me: Zombies Where it lost me: The art isn’t distinctive or expressive. Also, I didn’t notice any actual… you know, characters. Or stories. In fact, the content seems astonishingly low-narrative for something nominated as a “graphic story.” I saw a lot of drawings of celebrities as…

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The Shadow Workshop [5]: Joy of deadlines

Part of the 2015 Clarion West Write-a-thon series! Sponsor me, sponsor another writer, or learn more about the Write-a-thon Returning to my notebook observations after the first Shadow Workshop: I sometimes put barriers up that are wholly artificial. Like, “I have to finish this thing before I work on this other thing.” If you’re like me, you’re constantly juggling a lot of different projects all at the same time, and have a to-do list that never seems to end. Right now, sitting here, at the end of Clarion West Week 5, there are at least a dozen different things I…

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The Shadow Workshop [4]: Confessions of a reformed pantser

“Are you a plotter or a pantser?” I was asked this while sitting at the Clarion West booth at Emerald City Comicon. I first saw this dichotomy outlined in a post on the NaNoWriMo blog. (NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month, where the challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. “Plotter” or “planner” is fairly obvious — somebody who plans out a novel before starting to write it. “Pantser” refers to “seat-of-pants” meaning, you just start writing and see what happens. It’s kind of a funny way to describe oneself, really. “Pantser” isn’t even…

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Hugos 2015 roundup: Part 2

Some more Hugo nominees I’ve read, in no particular order: Title: Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium Author: Gray Rinehart Published in: Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show Category: Novelette Slated: Sad and Rabid Premise: A dying man tries to free a human colony from its alien conquerors by arranging to be buried after death, a custom the aliens find abhorrent. Where it grabbed me: The writing isn’t bad, and I liked the details on the human-alien interaction. Where it lost me: It’s talky and the characters feel generic. Also, I was never fully convinced by its…

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Hugos 2015 roundup: Part 1

I’ve been reading the fiction that came in my Hugo packet and, with the vote deadline looming at the end of July, decided it was time to corral my scattered thoughts. In no particular order, here are some things I’ve read so far: Title: Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal Author: written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt Category: Graphic story Slated: No Premise: A teenage daughter of conservative Muslim immigrant parents struggles to reconcile her different worlds, a struggle that becomes infinitely more complicated when she gets super powers and becomes the new Ms. Marvel.…

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The Shadow Workshop [3]: When is it time to let go?

Part of the 2015 Clarion West Write-a-thon series! Sponsor me, sponsor another writer, or learn more about the Write-a-thon Writing six stories in six weeks means six ideas, right? At least, that’s what I thought during my do-it-yourself Clarion West shadow workshop. With a deadline only I cared about, and nobody critiquing the stories but me, I still put in a good faith effort to write six stories. But only one of them ended up being a finished story of the type that I might hypothetically submit for publication somewhere. The others were a collection of scenes and notes and…

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The Shadow Workshop [2]: A crit group of one

Part of the 2015 Clarion West Write-a-thon series! Sponsor me, sponsor another writer, or learn more about the Write-a-thon For my second Write-a-thon topic, I want to tackle the last thought in my notebook: Sometimes I like my work. Sometimes I hate it. I don’t know which time I’m correct. When I did my shadow Clarion West, I knew that there was one thing a real student would get that I didn’t get: critiques. What I didn’t know was that giving critiques, and listening to the critiques of others, was actually the more significant experience. (Discussed here in last year’s…

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