Category Archives: Writing

Interview #71!

The seventy-first author interview on TBPL Off the Shelf went live today. This time I interviewed Rune Christiansen about what first drew him to poetry, the most rewarding and challenging aspects of teaching, and how involved he was with the translation process of his newest book.  You can find the interview here.

This is also the second interview this year with the three authors who are coming to Thunder Bay for the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) Lit On Tour event; this year the event will be on November 5th at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

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Happy Thanksiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 🙂

This week I received word that the book chapter I was waiting on was written! So I spent a lot of time this weekend working on the edits for it (around checking on my cat who wanted to be outside and going to a family Thanksgiving dinner).  I also managed to finish reading the March 2019 issue of Maclean’s – onto April 2019!

This week I’m excited (and somewhat nervous) – at work we’re doing a read through of the podcast scripts I’ve been working on! I don’t know if I’ve said much about the podcast on here, but me and a coworker have been writing a radio-drama for the 50th anniversary next year. Right now all nine scripts are written (the last few just need some tightening up); we’re hoping to start recording later this year with the first episode released around Feb 2020! I’ll let you know how the read through goes next week. 🙂

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ThunderCon Pictures Now Uploaded!

watermark I made for my photosIt took quite a bit longer than I expected, but I have now edited and posted the Day 2 pictures I took at ThunderCon last weekend! The Day 1 pictures were all posted to both Facebook and my Flickr page straight out of the camera (I wanted to get them up on Facebook that night so there were pictures showing people what they missed and might look forward to on Day 2). But the Day 2 photos included some pictures for ThunderCon sponsors (which have not been posted anywhere), so I wanted to make sure they looked good. My dad sat down with me to help with the photo editing on Friday night, then I finished up on Saturday (it took all day, on and off, to get through them all!) I also created a watermark for my Day 2 pictures (the SK Photography logo pictured). The pictures are all on both ThunderCon’s Facebook and my Flickr page, so check them out if you have a minute!

So now that ThunderCon is over, I’m turning my attention to the big project I mentioned in June: I’ve been contracted to edit a nonfiction book! 🙂 I’m super excited about it (and kind of terrified because it’s so much bigger than anything I’ve edited before).  I’m also writing a chapter that’ll appear in the book, so all around it’s a very exciting project for me. 🙂

My first order of business though is to figure out how to write the chapter in an engaging way. I finished a first draft a little while ago, and right now it’s very boring to read (it’s literally just the timeline of events typed up into prose). I started researching how to improve my prose in earnest yesterday; I even asked Twitter for some advice on the subject (but haven’t received any replies). I think a lot of my problem is that I’m writing about a place rather than people; writing about people usually lends itself a bit more to story (in my mind anyway). So yesterday I started reading the other chapters in an attempt to see how everything will fit together as a whole (and to see what exactly the story is that we’re all telling).

Have you ever written any nonfiction? How did you make your prose engaging? And as always, what are you working on? 🙂

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#WriteTuesday – Edits 2.0 Complete!

I am so excited – on Thursday I finished the edits for the Make Your Way story!!!! I sat down that afternoon and got through the first few sections. I had plans to hang out with my brother, so I wasn’t expecting to get much more done that afternoon, but our plans got delayed a bit so I kept working. I managed to get through all 15 sections just before going to his place, but I wasn’t happy with the last two (sections 70 and 71). So after I got home (and made really yummy Creamy Zucchini and Carrot soup), I sat back down and changed them up quite a bit until I was satisfied with them. And now it’s done!!!

I immediately messaged a friend to see if he was interested in giving it a read through. Ideally I’m hoping to get it to a few friends so I can get some fresh eyes looking at it. Depending on how that goes, I’ll give it another pass or two (I need to look at dialogue to make sure the characters sound different, and of course one last read-through to make sure everything looks good) then hopefully submit it before the end of the month! 🙂

So here’s the new flowchart for what the story now looks like:

Flowchart of the Make Your Way story now that editing pass 2.0 is completed

You can see that it’s very similar to the old flowchart (just two extra sections added).

With the edits done Thursday (much sooner than I’d expected), I wasn’t really sure what to do next (besides giving myself a bit of space from the story before tackling the dialogue). That night I ended up finishing cleaning up this blog’s categories (I think I started doing that in April, then just put it off since). I’m now down to 14, which is where I’m going to leave things for now.  Originally I was going to get rid of all of my sub-categories, but in the end I decided to keep a few, like the one specifically for when I’m talking about using game development tools, and a few for writing like worldbuilding and characters. I also updated both worldbuilding and game development so they list (and link to) posts about the individual projects I’m “working on” (they’ve been on the back-burner for quite awhile unfortunately….)

As I was paring down the categories, I stumbled on the few blog posts about Memories. It’s been a few years since I put it aside because I didn’t know how to end it. So after I was done with the categories, I decided to play through the game again. I still really like the work I originally did on it, but unfortunately I’m still not really sure how to end it. 😦 But since that play through I’ve been puttering around with the game a bit, fixing some things I didn’t even realize needed to be fixed. A really big flaw in the game (besides the lack of ending) is that there wasn’t enough direction for what you need to do to progress. That first night I fixed a few spots, but got stuck on some others because there wasn’t an obvious  fix. I’m also very happy I made a picture with all of the NPCs (and that I noticed it while cleaning up the categories!)

The next day (Friday), I went back to working on Memories, fixing it up quite a bit. The NPCs now direct the player a bit more, explaining where things are and who needs your help next. I also had to close off one of the rooms that you could originally go through; closing it off directs your path a bit more towards certain goals earlier in the game. I also had to move a couple of NPCs to make them a bit easier to find.

Now that that’s all done, I’m back to needing to figure out how the game will end! I spent most of the weekend with that problem in the back of my head, and I’m still not 100% sure. I’ll have to keep thinking about it during this coming week; hopefully I’ll have some time to figure it out.

While I really want to get some more work done on both of these projects, unfortunately they aren’t my priority this week; ThunderCon is Sept 21 and 22 and I’m once again going to take pictures all weekend (while my friend Scott takes video footage for future ads and whatnot). I’ll be posting my pictures on my Flickr account at the end of the Con; I’ll share them here next Tuesday. 🙂

So how are your projects going? Any plans for the week? 🙂

PS, yesterday I stumbled on this Pinterest board I made for Memories a few years ago; I totally forgot it existed! That was a very fun find. 🙂

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#WriteTuesday – Editing Sections 30,38, 39, 40, 41, 44, 45 + More!

Knowing that I had weekend plans, I made sure I started editing a bit sooner during the week (rather than wait until the weekend as I normally do). I got sections 30, 38 and 39 edited last Wednesday; I was pretty proud of myself – that was after a full day of work! I sat down to edit the remaining four sections (40, 41, 44 and 45) on Saturday in the evening; I got through them pretty quickly and decided to keep going! In the end I edited five more sections (37, 42, 43, 47 and 48).

I also waffled back and forth as to whether I needed to add some new sections to the story. Both sections 30 and 38 lead into the same options, but earlier in one of those story lines, you had already met some characters who show up again, while in the other story line you hadn’t. When I wrote the sections that follow 30 and 38, I guess I wrote them from the perspective of you not having met those characters. But while editing, I realized that if you had met the characters already, it was rather awkward to reread their descriptions  again. But the descriptions were needed if you hadn’t already encountered them! My first thought was to just add new sections so that the story line where you hadn’t met the characters got the description and the one where you had met them didn’t. But if I did that, I was pretty much duplicating about 8 sections to change maybe two lines of dialogue; that did not seem ideal! So in the end, I just simplified the text as much as I could rather than duplicating that many sections.

So here I am, over 3/4 of the way through! As I mentioned last week, this week I’m on vacation from work; I’m going to push to finish editing these remaining sections this week. Wish me luck!

Flowchart of the Make Your Way story showing the sections I'm rewriting next

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#WriteTuesday – Editing Sections 9, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29

Ah, a long weekend.  Those are times that I don’t want to do any work at all, so it was a struggle to sit down and edit this weekend. Thankfully yesterday I got my butt in my chair and successfully worked through those six sections I planned to!

I’m starting to get really excited – this story is almost two-thirds edited now! It’s realistic to think that I can have the whole thing edited by the end of the month now. This week I’m going to editing only 7 sections (I have plans next weekend so I don’t know if I’ll have time to do more than this, but sections 30 and 38 will probably be similar); the following week I’m on vacation from work so I’m going to make a bigger push to get through more then.

Here’s where I’m now at, along with the plan for this coming week (editing sections 30, 38, 39, 40, 41, 44, and 45):

Flowchart of the Make Your Way story showing the sections I'm rewriting next

Once these 7 sections are done there will only be 22 left!

So how’s your week been going? What are you working on? 🙂

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#WriteTuesday – Editing Sections 49-57

I didn’t think I’d get through my planned sections this week. Life has thrown a few unexpected things my way that I’ve been thinking dealing with this week and editing sort of slipped my mind as a result. Thankfully I had some time yesterday and powered through editing those nine sections.

So here’s what’s been edited so far, along with the plan for the coming week (sections 9, 22, 23, 24, 28, and 29):

Flowchart of the Make Your Way story showing the sections I'm rewriting next

I’m now officially over half way through the edits!

I decided to go back to editing just six sections at a time this week since this weekend is the labour day weekend (and the way previous long weekends have gone, I generally don’t have a ton of time to work on writing).

So how’s your week been going? What are you working on? 🙂

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