A theory: I has it.
I’ll post a bit about WisCon by the end of the week (short version: it ruled; long version: it ruled hard), but for now there’s today’s Magic District post. It’s probably just the result of an overtired brain, but it’s a theory about plot — internal and external arcs — and what drives it. Also, I get to talk about Princess Asskicker, the Twinklestone, Lord Evil Von Nasty, and Yonkers.
Today’s Magic District post offers a glimpse of my writing process — specifically, the part of the writing process that happens when I get stuck, stuck, stuck. I’m not thoroughly stuck* at the moment, just wrestling with a piece of the story that isn’t turning out how I’d planned.
And here I thought setting all of my characters on fire would help matters.
* And yes, I know that sounds a bit like the old assertion: “We’re not lost. If we were lost, we wouldn’t know where we are. And we know we’re here. So we’re not lost.”
I’ll be at WisCon this coming weekend, lurching in late Thursday night. And, as usual, I’ve gotten in over my head quite nicely:
Friday, 9 AM – 12 PM: Writer’s Workshop
I’ll be leading a small workshop session.
Friday, 1PM – 3:45 PM: Tarot Reading at the Gathering. Capitol/Wisconsin Ballroom.
Short tarot readings for fun and entertainment. (Pretty much what it says on the tin.)
Friday, 4PM – 5:15 PM: Forces Beyond Our Control: Power, Identity, and Magic in Fantasy. Conference Room 2.
Reading with N.K. Jemisin, Alaya Dawn Johnson, and Doselle Young. I’m looking forward to hearing everyone else’s work — and hoping mine will stack up.
Saturday, 4PM – 5:15 PM: Roll to See If I Advance the Plot. Room 629.
Panelists: F.J. Bergmann, Laurel Amberdine, and me as moderator.
From Philip K. Dick’s rumored use of the I Ching in The Man in the High Castle to Italo Calvino’s use of Tarot cards in The Castle of Crossed Destinies, authors have used a number of games of chance or other random mechanisms to come up with stories. More recently, sillier methods have come up on the Internet, like the iTunes Plot Generator or the Evil Overlord Devises A Plot. Panelists will speculate on some of the advantages and flaws of each method, and then create several stories using these techniques. (I’m expecting this to be a fairly light and silly panel. Hell, I should probably get some Toon Instant Plot Generator tables as well.)
Monday, 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM: The SignOut. Capitol/Wisconsin Ballroom.
Hell, I’ll sign anything. Except body parts. Even if they’re still attached.
As you can see, by Friday evening I will probably be a puddle of goo and used-up brainmeats. (If there’s karaoke again, let me just say now to everyone who might end up in earshot: I am so very, very sorry.) However, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, and as long as I don’t get con-brain I’ll be happy to sit down and have coffee/foods/drink with anyone who asks.
See you there!
This is “Tea Machine I” by Joshua Foy, and it’s part of the most awesome teapot exhibit I’ve seen yet: Da Yu Xiao Hu 3: Third International Small Teapot Competition. It’s funny; I’ve gotten in the habit of just looking for unusual teapots, but a lot of these qualify as art rather than just “weird teapots”. Of course, there are plenty of those too.
Okay, so it’s not Wednesday. I was late with this week’s post — depending on what time zone you’re in, I got it in either six minutes too late or with fifty-four minutes to spare.
Anyway, the post is a confession of mine: I’m a gamer geek. And I’m the kind who’ll forget the rules, lose dice, goof up the game…and then have a blast with the stories from it.
And writing it has gotten me in the mood to play another game of Shab-al-Hiri Roach. Hmm…
Somehow, when I say the title of this post, it comes out sounding less like James Brown and more like The Flying Lizards.
Today’s Magic District post could easily be titled “Do as I say, not as I do.” In other words, it’s about the importance of exercise and physical activity to writing. That’s a bit of a stretch for me, since, as I say in the post, “left to my own devices, I’d spend most evenings sacked out on the couch.” Go take a look, or else turn off the computer and go get some fresh air. (Wish I could.)
This is what I get for searching for teapots without having coffee first. See, I think it’s a teapot. But the handle’s on that side, and the spout’s over there, and it…I…the thing…tea…
There are chocolate biscuits. So it’s a teapot. END OF DISCUSSION.