Finally Official, Gary Braunbeck and More…

Some author once said, “You know you’re a writer when you’re looking up things on the internet that makes you look like a serial killer.”

I think I became an official writer today when I typed into Google Search the following query:

“Drugs that can be injected to make it look like a heart attack”

I disturb myself.

Today was the second day of Gary Braunbeck’s week long lecture series.  Gary is absolutely amazing and a very dedicated lecturer and critiquer.  He believes that one should not be confined to the barriers of genre, and writers should write the story they want to write without getting bogged down by genre rules.

His lecture yesterday was on DOTS–Definition of the Self.  From what I understand, DOTS is the character’s realization of himself/herself.  This deep understanding of the character’s self drives the plot, motivation and conversations of the story.   He also talked about using dialogue to drive the plot and characterization.  Dialogue when done well should reveal and/or change something about the character.  One character can bring out the “self” of another character through dialogue.  Gary gave all of us electronic copies of his book on writing, To Each Their Darkness. I’m exciting to read this book but it may not be until after Odyssey is done.

Today’s lecture was about subtext and how to show what is happening without spoon feeding the reader.  I’m convinced that Gary is a Crusader who is trying to bring meticulous craft and art back into genre. I really like how he uses examples of literary fiction to offer different techniques and use of language.

On critiquing, everyone’s writing has been improving dramatically.  I’m so proud of my fellow Odyssey buddies.  Yesterday, we had three stories that were nearly impossible to critique–they were each so charming in their own ways.

Today and tomorrow, Natalie and I will be writing like crazy.  Our story is due on Thursday morning and I’m determined to have a completed short story, dammit!

So then some pictures for fun:

Birthdays! Cakes! Yum!

Picture within a picture.  DG is mystified by our shenanigans.

Where I spent most of the day yesterday.

Yes, Jeanne does go around carrying Darth Vader’s head.  We don’t call her the Evil Overlord for nothing.


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