East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Leave a comment

Surviving NaNOWriMO – 10 ideas

Photograph of a statue of an ape, examining a ...

So the NaNOWriMo is on.
My compliments and best wishes to all participants.
As I mentioned in the past, I will not be NaNOWriMo-ing this year simply because I’m doing a thorough revision and final draft of a text in 45 days (and as you read this, we are on day 29).

Anyway, I was rather surprised by this whole writing fast/writing good thing I’ve been through.
So far the going has been easier than anticipated – and I’ve been learning a lot of things.

So, why not share them?
I’m probably just re-inventing the wheel, here, but who knows?
Maybe someone out there might find them useful – for their NaNoWriMo marathon or for anything else.

So, here goes… Continue reading

Leave a comment

Story Bundle – Books on Writing (and more)

I mentioned it in the past – I love reading books about writing.
Handbooks, collections of essays, collections of interviews.
There’s always something useful – an insight, a suggestion, an idea.

Now, the StoryBundle guys have an offer up and running – six books about writing, freelancing and living the writing life, plus other six if you shell out enough cash.
The deal is pretty straight – you decide how much you pay, you decide how much goes to the authors, you decide if there’s a non-profit organization worthy of a 10% of your hard-earned money.

Considering that the full offer (six + six) included four titles that were already on my list, for me it was a no brainer.
Here’s the covers.
Think about it.

Screenshot from 2014-10-13 16:58:00


NaNoWriMo… sort of

crest_square-1902dc8c2829c4d58f4cd667a59f9259November is NaNoWriMo month, and this year I am doing my own version of NaNoWriMo – I’m writing my doctorate thesis in one month.
Less than one month, actually.

It was not planned in advance – but real world engagements (such as, paying the bills and finding paying jobs thereof), caused the actual, sit-down-and-write work to slide further and further as the deadline loomed larger.
Then, in a final twist of fate, the email confirming the deadline was misplaced and popped up on my mail client with a delay of twenty days.

I don’t think this is going to count as a NaNoWriMo exercise (my thesis is not, after all, a novel), but actually I have to get 40.000 words – with images, bibliography and a few maps, ready for the 25th at the latest – and with ready I mean printed and sent to the Urbino University offices.

As most NaNoWriMo participants, I collected my material and coordinated my ideas well before the first of November – I have tons of notes, preliminary reports, articles, the works. The story… ehm, I mean, the dissertation paper is written in my head, illustrated with cool graphics, and accompanied by a solid map.
But I have to turn that ideal work into actual words on paper.
And ironically, this is going to engage all my pulp hack skills and tricks, this will be the final challenge, the ultimate workout.
If I come out of it alive, I will feel in the same league with the greats.
Pity I can’t use the Lester Dent formula on my thesis.

Now I’m toying with the idea of putting up a word counter, and enroll in the challenge itself.
But maybe not – after all, the judging commission might not appreciate the fact that I turned the sacred duty of writing down the results of my research in a challenge set to the standards of some weird Canadian thing.

But let’s see how it works out.
Any way it goes, it will be fun.