Writing Exercises for May – POV

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You can see other writing exercises here.

On Tuesday, I challenged the readers of this blog to share first-person diary entries. I encourage you to write diary-style entries regularly – whether they are your actual diary or diaries as written by characters residing in your head.

The Door I Chose – My experiment with first-person POV in a sci-fi inspired drama

I shared the opening of The Door I Chose, I story I wrote as a series of diary entries from two possible realities. The main character, Sean, stumbles out of his parents’s car after an accident, and goes back to the car to open either the driver’s side door or the passenger’s side. That’s where the timeline splits – if Sean opens one door first, his father survives, and if he opens the other, his mother survives. The story splits into two narratives, each one following a possible outcome of that fateful crash.

Flowers for Algernon – a great first-person novel

If you want an excellent example of a sci-fi-ish story told in the first-person, I encourage you to read Flowers for Algernon if you haven’t already. It follows the story of a mentally disabled adult who undergoes an experimental treatment. The complexity of the narrative increases as the main character’s intelligence is boosted by the experiment – it’s a really cool way to show how the character and his view of the world changes and evolves.

 

In your writing, I hope you will find cool ways to use first-person narrative. It lends itself very well to dramatic, life-changing and world-view-changing events!

 

Below is my opening for The Door I Chose – I hope it will inspire you to share your own work.

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Writing Exercises for May – POV

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First person? Third person? Or try something crazy like second person? Photo by N i c o l a

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You can see other writing exercises here.

Welcome to the third month of Writing Exercises!

This month, I’m looking at writing through other perspectives. Join me in exploring point of view through some simple, fun exercises.

For the first exercise, let’s write a diary!

You could write your own diary with names changed to protect private info, or you could write a diary from the point of view of a character you are working with. Whatever, as long as it’s in the first person. I did that, I said that, I ate that. Me, me, me!

I wrote a short story about parallel realities in the first person, as a series of fictional diary entries. Here’s how the first entry started:


Tuesday July 2, 2013 – The first anniversary

My mind still replays the night the drunk driver hit us.

I see headlights swirling around my head as I stumble out, rain soaking my rented tuxedo. Damn Pomp and Circumstance starts replaying in my head as I pull myself up. I thrust my hand up to block the streetlight overhead. My feet are icy blocks; I look down and find out I’m ankle-deep in a puddle. Damn potholes.

I splash through the water, back to the car. This is where my near-perfect playback messes up. I can’t even remember which door I open, which side I rush to first. Whichever one it is, red and blue lights shine in my eyes just as I get it open.


I hope you’ll share some first person, diary-style writing. See you on Thursday!

Introducing Peripheral Portraits, the 3rd Anthology for the Busan Writing Group

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Our book is available online!

The Busan Writing Group is proud to announce the online release of the Peripheral Portraits ebook.  We’ve had a lot of interest in the locally published paper copies, and it’s time to show off our work on Amazon.

This volume started with an unusual word: sonder.

It is the sudden realization that a stranger is living a life as vast and complex as your own. Authors were asked to create work outside of the self, about the people on the margins, the portraits out there in the peripheral.

The result is an extraordinary series of short fiction, poems, and plays that are at times dark, comedic, and downright strange.

Peripheral Portraits is the Busan Writing Group’s third anthology collection, featuring authors living and working all across the Korean Peninsula.

I’m particularly fond of my own fantasy piece in this one, a story about a retired superhero taking care of his equally superpowered daughter as he meets a new love interest.

This work follows last year’s Convergence, and the previous year’s Nothing too Familiar. This book features the works of 14 different authors:

James Carlisle

Amber Corrine

TCC Edwards 

Vanessa Fernadez

MA Geer

Raquel Hana

Vanessa Hawkins

Rachael Johnson

Sarah Lakin

Venus Lukic

Stefanie Seaton

Mark Stratti

Michael W White

SA Viau

 

This ebook is just $3 US in the Kindle store, so grab your copy today!

#IWSG March 2017 – My Teaching Begins

Welcome folks with the Insecure Writers Support Group and all my visitors.

This promises to be a busy month, as I’m off vacation and back to work as a teacher. I’ll be teaching ESL to university freshman as I continue hammering out my novel, Far Flung!

I love the question for this month,

Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Uh, that’s what I’m doing, basically. I tried Far Flung as serial fiction, but my results were not so great. I made the mistake of rushing out the chapters instead of prescheduling – I was too eager to get it out after so many years of being an aspiring author.

What I’m working on now is based heavily on the chapters I released freely earlier. What I released is still available, but might not be for much longer. I will soon replace it with preview chapters for the novel I’m working on. It will be so different, I’m confident people will want this book when it is finished. Characters are deeper, there’s a lot more danger and action, and the story is just better. I expect to have a major announcement regarding my progress later this year.

It’s wonderful to work on this, and in the meantime I’ve been able to do things like help compile another book for the Busan Writer’s Group, and I’ve prescheduled some cool new content for Write, or Else!

Starting next week, some new writing exercises will go up on this blog. These exercises are based off the fiction writing curriculum I made for my advanced ESL students, and should help new writers get started. The first post goes up on Tuesday, March 7 – I hope you stop by when it goes up.

How about you – did you ever dig up an old story and revisit it?

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Part 3 of “The Faces They Wore” now up at my other site #amwriting

In case any readers here weren’t aware, I’m sharing some previously published short fiction.

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Go have a look over at my other site, where you can read Painted Blue Eyes and The Faces They Wore – both pieces that appear in books by the Busan Writing Group.

Click the links below for more info:

Painted Blue Eyes

The Faces They Wore

#amwriting – The Busan Writing Group Releases Convergence

I finished editing and formatting an ebook for the Busan Writing Group!

Last year, the Busan Writing Group released Nothing Too Familiar, an anthology put together from the works of group members.

Convergence is the second anthology from the Busan Writing Group, and includes writers living in Seoul. With me again in this edition are Micheal Geer and Stephan Viau, and we had Amber Corrine, Clare HartwiegSarah E Lakin, Spook Larsen, Caitlin McGrath, Jonathon McMullen, Rachel L McMullen, and Aisling Mooney with us as well.

This time around, the only theme we gave authors was the keyword convergence. These stories were all submitted during workshops with the Busan Writing Group, and feature works from authors in Busan and Seoul. The stories were critiqued and edited by workshop members, and then I compiled them all into both print and ebook versions.

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The ebook is at this Amazon page. All purchases go toward making the Busan Writing Group even better and providing more opportunities for writers in Korea.

STORIES:

– Monochrome by Amber Corrine
Set in an alternate reality where growing up becomes a little bit more “colorful”, a second person narrative about a woman struggling to find out if the world is more than just grey.

– KO·VERGENCE by Caitlin McGrath
One woman grapples with the challenges and expectations of learning a new language, along with her role as a traveler.

– Stepping Into Rivers by Clare Hartwieg
You can’t really go home again, but the people and the way they make you feel stay with you always.

– The Door I Chose by TCC Edwards
One young man’s choice leads him on two divergent realities, yet somehow the two possible paths keep crossing.

– Monday by Spook Larsen
This story is not about Tuesday through Sunday.

– Integral to the Plot by Jonathon McMullen
Two agents find out that truth is very much stranger than fiction. You really can’t make this up.

– My Brother’s Keeper by MA Geer
Sometimes a stranger just wants to chat… sometimes….

– The Plant, Author Unknown
In Korea, the conspiracy theories are true.

– Think About Coffee by Sarah E Lakin
Some people will do anything for a caffeine fix.

– The Landlord by Aisling Mooney
Is this expat teacher going crazy, or is her landlord coming in while she’s away?

– Le Plateau Platonique by SA Viau
Fires never stop the jazz in Montreal, not until one cold winter night.

POEMS:

– Brick Making on Calvary by Rachel L McMullen

– Every Day in ESL by MA Geer

 

 

#IWSG March 2016 – A colouring night to fund a book!

Last month, I posted about the difficulty in funding a writing group collaboration

The cold, hard truth is this: if you want to do a group publication with your local writer’s group, you are doing so only to “legitimize” yourselves as writers who publish, and to contribute to your local culture (and there’s nothing wrong with those goals). You simply aren’t going to sell it to many outside immediate friends and family: “Oh, this book is by Such & Such Writer’s Group. Big deal, I don’t know them. I’ll buy a different book, thanks”.

But what we certainly do not want is to publish this at a loss for our writers (been there, done that).

I had one interesting suggestion for funding that I passed on to my group, that of doing a steak night or BBQ to raise money. A good idea, and maybe we should still try it! The idea that took over, however was this:

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A colouring night?

Adult colouring books are trending big time now, and hey, as long as there’s alcohol involved, writers can be gathered for just about anything.

Yup. We’re having people come, pay a cover charge, and grab some colouring pages and crayons! I fully expect it to be very strange at first, but also very relaxing. This will make me sound like a hipster, but I was colouring before it was cool! It is very relaxing and great for my stress.

We’re holding the event this Thursday night in Busan. Any money we make off this is going directly into printing and distributing the paper copies, as well as producing the eventual ebook version.

For the IWSG folks visiting today – What do you think about this coloring night idea?

If you come check back on this site, I’ll update with the results!

 


 

jukepopMy teaching semester has started, but I should be able to update Far Flung soon!