Camp NaNo 2019

Standard

It’s almost that time again!

It’s time for the July Camp NaNoWriMo writing challenge. I haven’t partaken in a while, but I’m up for the challenge this year. I have chosen to try and write 50K words in 31 days.

My project is one which I’ve been planning out since May. I am hoping to finish this novel and get it published. I love the concept and setting. My protagonist is in Vancouver, Canada, and they go to UBC.

My protagonist is genderfluid, and the idea is that they are just starting to come out as trans. They are trying to start dressing in traditionally feminine clothing for the first time as well, and while they are doing that, they run into the love interest who I haven’t named yet (oops). I’m modelling the love interest on actor Bradley James.

BradleyJames

For those of you who have seen the show BBC Merlin, you know that Bradley James played Prince Arthur. I love his acting in this show, but I’m only modelling Bradley James’ looks and not his personality.

As for our protagonist, I don’t really have any particular person in mind to model them after. A severe lack on genderqueer actors is one of the main reasons for this problem. I really wish that there were more to choose from!

Anyway, my protagonist Ashley (or Ash for short) runs into the love interest while dressed as a woman and then again while dressed as a man. In either case, this Bradley James look-alike seems to be flirting with them. Chaos ensues.

So that’s the story. Hopefully you’ll see it released later!

Organizing Tactics

Standard

Hello everyone,

Just wanted to write a quick post about how my organization has improved, and how those of you who are architects versus gardeners might be able to improve your writing.

So, for those of you who are uncertain what I mean by architects versus gardeners, I mean that there is a spectrum for how much writers plan their stories. Architects like to plan every detail whereas Gardeners write from ideas in their head and let it grow organically. There is no correct way to write, but either way works better for some people. And, as is usual with false binary systems, people are usually a mix of both.

So, someone who plans and outlines less is more of a Gardener, and someone who tends to plan more and outline lots is more of an Architect.

Personally, I tend to be more of an Architect, and the better I become at organization, the more I lean towards planning everything out. I am more of a chaotic person, so organization is certainly not my strong suit, but I learned how to be more organized.

So, what kinds of methods have I picked up?

Some people work well with a digital outline or something similar. I’ve used a few different programs which help with that such as Trello and Scrivener. But I find that for someone like me, I tend to need to do something physically for it to make sense. So, what is my solution?

Coloured cue-cards.

It’s simple, just add different scenes onto your cue cards and arrange them in whatever order you think they should appear. Sometimes you can colour code them, too, for different themes and secondary storylines. If something weird happens when you’re actually writing, which does sometimes occur (those pesky characters developing minds of their own!) then you can move your cue card to a different location OR take it out of your deck. 

Usually, I still save research and ideas even if I don’t use them, because they could end up in a different project.

That means that as you write, you can move your ideas around just in case something changes. It works wonders for my projects, let me tell you.

Anyone have tips on how organization works? Comment below!

Weekend Girl

Standard

Hello all! 

I’ve been outlining a new project! This one I already have a title for, which makes me so excited, because titles have always been the hardest part for me. This one is called Weekend Girl and features a nonbinary protagonist named Ashley who uses they/their pronouns, but who is also struggling with coming out. It is a romance, so there’s going to be some very funny misunderstandings happening in the future.

I have the outline complete, so I am aiming to start writing during the month of July, which is Camp NaNoWriMo month. I’m hoping to complete this novel as part of that challenge, as I usually write better under a deadline. 30 days should be long enough for 50K words, right? I’m also hoping to outline another story to write for November NaNoWriMo, but I’m not sure what yet. We shall see.

I’ve gotten a lot better at organizing since being in grad school, which is great for me. My thesis project was about 40K words long, and it went through 5 rounds of revisions. Wow, that was tough, but I finished it! But to organize all the research I did, I had to be very meticulous. I’ll talk about my new method of organization in my next post!

Anyway, if you have any questions about Weekend Girl, feel free to comment or chat with me on Twitter! (@aa_powell)

Hiatus over?

Standard

Hello all!

It’s good to be back!

I’m sorry for being gone for so long. I was mostly working on my education, so I hope you will forgive me. I am graduating from UNBC with an MA in English on May 31st!

Anyway, that’s exciting for me. But what’s exciting for you guys is that I am back to work on creative writing stuff! I am currently finishing up dev edits on Yaliana that I was supposed to finish up over a year ago. Now that it’s back on track, I will probably be able to give you an update on publication dates soon!

Not only that, check this out!

Read and Write with Pride Turns 5

I’m doing a reading event in Edmonton again! It’s the annual Read and Write with Pride happening with some great LGBTQ writers in attendence. I’m excited about that, but I still don’t know what I’m going to be reading! I’ll let everyone know closer to the date.

There are so many things I’m working on right now, but I will have time this summer to work on creative writing, and hopefully taking a gap year between MA and PhD will give me lots of time to write.

I’ll tell you more about projects as they develop!

For now, glad to see you all!

Pride Prince George

Standard

Hello everyone!

Just this weekend, I was able to attend Prince George Pride! I had an author booth at the festival, which I thought was fun. I saw a lot of people I know in the community, and it was great to see everyone out in celebration and resistance.

I think my time at the Pride festival was moderately successful. I sold a few books of mine, including a copy of Geek Out, which is a collection of trans romances. I’m going to try and get more involved in my own community, which will be fun. Up until recently, I have only ever participated as a queer author in online communities. I think Prince George needs to know that our city has queer writers and that we are writing queer lit.

I had the interesting experience of meeting lots of queer youth who had no idea that there were queer romances out there. They also had no idea that their voices could be heard, and that their own stories could be put out there in the world, too.

So, to those of you in Prince George, please feel free to chat with me. I’d love to connect with more queer writers in the community. I think at some point I will establish a queer writing club as well, to connect writers together.

I’ve done a lot of activism, but I think it’s time to join my online presence with my actual physical presence on the ground. After all, I’ve been dividing my time and presence between two places, and now it will be one. 

So welcome new followers! I will try and keep in touch with everyone! And if I can establish a queer creators community, that would also be great!

Happy Pride!

LGBT WIP

Standard

Hey everyone, long time no see!

I’m just writing in to tell you about the #LGBTWIP tag going on via Twitter this month. A lot of LGBTQ authors are responding to this tweet to talk about their latest WIP. I guess I’m band-wagoning onto the idea, because here I am.

So one of my WIP is about agender plant-aliens who are meeting humans in order to do a trade deal. The story goes that they are trying to make a trade, with a secondary goal of making an alliance, but then a radical xenophobic group gets involved and tries to mess up the tentative agreement. My MC is a scientist who does a lot of her own experiments on herself. She is a biotech engineer who is working on making their species more hardy in order to survive longer, healthier lives. Because of her work, she is added to a diplomatic team that includes her “mother,” the main diplomat and negotiator. 

The premise came from a very famous Tumblr post about how aliens might see humans as the scariest ones in the universe and not the other way around. My plant-aliens are very peaceful people who worship nature and the balance of life. Meeting war-like and aggressive humans is a bit of a culture-shock for them.

Anyway, a lot of the plot is yet undecided, and there’s a lot of work to be done on it. 

If any of you are wondering about my Across Borders rewrite, I haven’t exactly worked on it in a while, mostly because of grad school. 

I’m also working on a free read on Wattpad called Text Me. Feel free to check that one out, since it’s free. Notice I’m using the word “free” a lot? Yeah, it’s free. It’s not finished yet, but I’ve been updating it fairly regularly.

Anyway, hopefully I will finish my thesis fairly soonish and I will be able to write again. 

I keep saying that, but “soon” is a relative term.

Anyway, drop into the comments if you have anything to chat about!

Ttyl

Rewriting Part 1

Standard

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on rewriting, as this is my first project to be rewritten, but bear with me, my friends, and we’ll get through this thing together.

The first thing I had to do was reread the original novella. It didn’t take long, as it was only 26k words. It was interesting in some ways, because it was almost like reading something that someone else had written. It’s been so long, that I’d forgotten some of the details, and it was like reading it anew.

The next step for me was to decide what I wanted to keep. I made a sort of list in order to make sure I didn’t forget. It went like this:

  1. Characters. Almost all of them, obviously my two main characters, plus Mai-hua (my main character’s foster sister), her brother Jie-kang, the Emperor, Elder Breena, the Huo-long prince, etc.
  2. Premise. The two nations of the Shui-long and the Ceffyl Dwr are at war. Mai-hua wants to put an end to the war.
  3. World-building. What I had, I decided to keep. Both the Shui-long and the Ceffyl Dwr are somewhat amphibious beings that live on both land and water. There are five dragon nations.
  4. Tone/mood
  5. Some scenes from the original story.

Then, I decided what I wanted to revise. Another list. Can you tell that I like lists? I’m generally not a very organized person, so lists are good for me.

  1. Character roles: In the original story, Xin-jian didn’t know Mai-hua’s plans to make peace with the Ceffyl Dwr and only found out when she nearly died. In this story, I made them both a part of the plot, and made it so that Jie-kang’s entrance into the story is also rewritten, because in the original, he is only very briefly mentioned.
  2. Narrative arc: the whole story changes, with the exception of a few scenes that I think I will keep. Some scenes I want to keep, but am not sure how to fit them in to the new narrative arc.
  3. World-building: needs a vast amount of improvement. The original had a facade of world-building, but wouldn’t hold up under pressure or a more detailed examination.
  4. Length: this story needs much more room. It will probably span at least two novels.

There you have it. As I go on, I will definitely let you know more of what’s happening with that. Also, if I finally finish my dev edits, you will be the second to know (the first being my publishers/editors).

Thanks for tuning in!