50,234 Words…And Counting | PLAY 002 Reflection

This is my reflection to our most recent experiment, PLAY 002 | NaNoWriMo and Other Challenges, in which I learn a lot about some of my previous outlining ideas. You can find an intro to our reflections over here, along with links to others’ experiences during November 2016.

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Reflection | PLAY 002: NaNoWrimo and Other Challenges

The month is complete, and our PLAY 002 comes to a close (for most). But Adventures in Storytelling isn’t just about the doing (though that’s a very important part). It’s also about reflecting on the doing.

So as we recover from our sprints and our dashes, take a few moments to finally clean out our writer’s mug (“What is that oh, oh god, no, Ahhhh!”), and prepare ourselves for the new challenge of keeping our writing going through the December holidays, join us here as we reflect on what we learned at the end of it all. Continue reading “Reflection | PLAY 002: NaNoWrimo and Other Challenges”

It’s a Bit Formulaic, Wouldn’t You Say?

Here’s an important fact about me: I stink at storytelling.

I don’t struggle to write. When I have an ongoing project, I write every day. Maybe not the NaNoWriMo-approved 1,667 words, and sometimes not even the Chuck Wendig-approved 350, but I get some words on the screen. I’ve worked hard to cultivate that “thinking comes later” attitude that Luke mentions in his comment on Madeline’s Play 002 post. Continue reading “It’s a Bit Formulaic, Wouldn’t You Say?”

PLAY 002: Half Way to Your Goal

National Novel Writing Month is now half way through! If you’re one of those brave souls writing 1,667 words every day, stay strong! You’ve got less to go than you’ve already completed, so might as well just finish swimming to shore, right?

For those of you not NaNoWriMo-ing it, but playing along with your own goal, stay strong! Your goal was achievable, it was attainable, and it’s in reach, too, so don’t give up now. Giving up is a silly idea. You’ve got this and there’s not one person that doesn’t think you can make it (except for that guy down the street named Steve, and no one’s going to listen to him). Continue reading “PLAY 002: Half Way to Your Goal”

PLAY 002: NaNoWrimo and Other Challenges

The month of October has almost run to its completion. Last minute costumes are being frantically bought with questions of “Can you be a sexy alligator?” and “What can I make with an old sweater and duct tape?” The colder air has inspired the wearing of parkas for plus ten weather, and Frugal lovers of candy wait eagerly for the discounted haul they will be able to collect on November first. And while nothing in my books is as important as cheap, sugary confections, November 1st brings another opportunity with it; NaNoWriMo.

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On Writing Alone

Writing is / can feel like a solitary adventure, going off to strange lands that you operate as a ghost in, exploring characters and rolling landscapes that you can only observe. The creative process is unique to everyone, and everyone experiences creative flow differently, but I’ve found this analogy of being a witness to the events, characters, or both to be commonly understood by creative writers. But from what angle, what side of things do you witness and build the narrative? This is where many people differ.

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Why Do I Like Storytelling?

Recently, my partner Candice asked me a question:

“Why do you like storytelling?”

That’s—a really good question. One I’m a little disappointed it’s taken me this long to reflect on. I think asking “why” is important to understand the heart/core/meaning of the things we do. If we don’t ask why, we don’t understand, and if we don’t understand something, then we have no control over it; no ability to improve. In the creative world that translates into an inability to create. Continue reading “Why Do I Like Storytelling?”

Writing Wrongs: Doing Right by your Villain

Last month, I wrote a section of Charlotte’s Journey that is told from the perspective of our villain, Count Vilnius. When we eventually assemble the jigsaw puzzle and put all these sections in order, “A Vile View of Vilnius” should be the second chapter dealing with our big bad, but in draft format this section was the first time Luke and I had privileged access to Vilnius’ thoughts. It was also the first time I had a chance to write the character at all.

The constant refrain when writing Charlotte’s Journey has been “do something simple very well.” The simple part is so that Luke and I are working in a frame we’re familiar with. The very well part is there so we challenge ourselves in that frame. Although I’ve encountered a number of difficulties writing Charlotte’s Journey, writing Vilnius was perhaps the most difficult so far. As it result, it may also have been the most rewarding. Continue reading “Writing Wrongs: Doing Right by your Villain”

Harry Potter and the Perfectly Plotted Novel

Although I would give Harry Potter and the Cursed Child a bit of a mixed review overall, I’d still say that I liked it. Perhaps my favourite part of the play has nothing at all to do with the actual content, though. From the release of The Prisoner of Azkaban on, I have had a Harry Potter tradition. After reading the new book in a single sitting (unless I had to sleep for a few hours), I would immediately turn to The Philosopher’s Stone and read the entire series through, including the new addition. I never expected to be able to preform this ritual another time, and I’m grateful Cursed Child exists simply because it gave me a great excuse to spend a couple weeks with my nose stuck in some of my favourite books. Continue reading “Harry Potter and the Perfectly Plotted Novel”

“Oh My God, Why” and Other Ways to Write and Reflect with Intention

Whether it’s through paint, dance, written word, digital media or any other method of creating, we are all storytellers, attempting to craft a narrative that communicates a something to our audience. For myself, this has always been a given, an obvious “duh” that didn’t register when experiencing that special hybrid of partial writer’s block and frustration. This is often the inevitable slow down following the excitement of starting a new project. The story and my creative intentions have grown muddy, and I am left with a side by side comparison of what I want to create, and how things are unfolding. This can take on many forms, but usually gives off a sense of not quite right. The story is there, the syntax is there, but the mood or the characters are off. And while there is something to letting creativity run where it wants, sometimes this is just a genuine sign that the something you want to give is missing; your first, second or 50th draft is finished, and it’s time to start a new one.

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