I'm the Special Guest at Diversicon
, a small, mellow, local, in-person
Minnesota convention! The theme is "The Roaring 2020s" and it will be held July 30th - August 1st, 2021 at Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West in Plymouth, MN. Register for Diversicon: http://www.diversicon.org/
Immediately before, I will be doing a reading with Michael Merriam at Dreamhaven. This marks the return of the in-person Speculations Reading Series
at Dreamhaven! After difficulties, the Speculations Readings Series returns in July to DreamHaven Books, 2301 38th St E, Minneapolis. As before, the readings will run from 6:30-7:45 p.m., including an autographing and reception with free soda pop and cookies. After the event, interested persons will adjourn to a bistro to hang out. Dreamhaven Books
(This was actually part of my writing markets newsletter, so here's the writing thoughts tip and the link to the whole thing. Also? That whole "write in the diary every day for 10 minutes didn't...uh...stay consistent for long, but I'm not giving up hope.)
Thoughts in Passing
So here's a trick you can do to get better at writing ... that doesn't involve practicing fiction writing. Read 20 books. Not only the award-winning books in your genre (read those, too, but not all for this exercise), not the newest hot releases, not even only books in your genre. Don't even read the books all the way through. Go to your local library and pick an assortment of 20 books off the shelves. Do not read the back cover copy. Do not try to find books to your tastes. Grab a few from each genre: mystery/thriller, romance, mainstream, YA, SF/fantasy/horror, western, classics.
Go home, pick up a book, grab a notebook and pen, and start reading. In the first 25 pages, does it hook you enough to want to keep reading? When? How? Was it plot, word-craft, character, questions unanswered, worldbuilding, something else? If it didn't, why not? What were you looking for that you didn't find? How do you feel about the main character(s)? Why? What would have made you feel differently? Are there any relationships (romantic or otherwise) that you want to know more about? How about the setting? Does it affect the story's appeal (for you) at all? Why or why not? Were there any points where you got mad, frustrated, or so bored that you just wanted to stop reading? When you kept reading, did that urge to stop reading change at any point? Why? Make notes, including page numbers.
Flip to the end of the book. Read the last 10 pages (not including epilogues). What do you see that connects to the beginning? What do you see that seems totally disconnected? Have the characters had an internal change or do they seem the same? Are the tone and mood different or the same as at the beginning? How about the setting?
Take your time to read through the beginning of all the books and take your notes (but remember the library due dates!). Finish the books if you like (why?), stop after 25 pages if you don't (why?). After you've gone through *all* the books, set aside a couple of hours to sit down to read all your notes and flip through to the key points of *all* the books. Try to do this in one chunk of time.
That's it. Your brain will figure out patterns, because that's what humans do. Pay attention. For bonus points, read the first 25 pages of your novel in progress immediately after the big notes review.
Full newsletter here: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/markets.html
Originally posted at https://cloudscudding.dreamwidth.org/1138179.html on Dreamwidth.org.