ShoStoWriMo 2014!

April 22nd, 2014  |  Published in ShoStoWriMo

Up until a few minutes ago, I was unsure whether I would do ShoStoWriMo this year or not, but since I just created a subreddit for it, it would appear that I am going to do it after all. I’ll post more about it as May approaches, promise.

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It is June now

June 3rd, 2013  |  Published in announcement

Wow, I’m going to call May a wash. On one hand, I read/listened to a lot of short fiction, some of which was good, some of which was great, and some of which was terrible. On the other hand, between the eight month old child to watch and spending a week in Colorado, I got very little writing done. I’m still working on Assassination, and hope to finish the rough draft of that soon (but no promises), I ended up having to rewrite more of it from scratch than I had originally anticipated, but I’m happy with where it has headed. I also have three other stories crowding my head, largely thanks to the short fiction that I read this past month, and I hope to give those voice soon.

Next week I hope to have a post about logic and literacy for you, and I’ll keep you updated about my progress. In the meantime, if you want something strage, wonderful, and obscene, you should give this bacon filled story a listen: Spar (The Bacon Remix). But enough about that, I’m going to try and get some more writing done before I have to go to work.

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A First Draft

May 7th, 2013  |  Published in ShoStoWriMo

I haven’t really gotten much writing done this past week. Which isn’t to say that I haven’t wanted to, but rather that I haven’t made enough time to do so (and to be fair, some of this is out of my control). In fact, as I have been consuming a bunch of short fiction, in the form of Diverse Energies, Podcastle, and Escape Pod (and then At The Mouth Of The River Of Bees and High-Tech Gothic), I have had a lot of ideas for stories, which is frustrating as I can only work on one at a time. One of the great thing about Speculative Fiction is that, once you read enough of it, the outlines of a great conversation begin to emerge (a similar phenomenon can be found in philosophy), and the more of that conversation that I see, the more I want to participate (and in the case of short fiction, the more attainable that participation is). At the moment, there really isn’t much to do about it, other than to make notes about the stories I want to write (which are great to have for when you sit down to write but aren’t able to come up with a story, by the way). But enough about that, this post is titled “A First Draft”.

Back when I first started to work on Broken Shores, while I was still figuring out how the world worked (I hadn’t figured out what to call it, if I recall correctly), I wrote a short story with the working title of “Assassination”. I liked this story, but Broken Shores went a different direction, and I shelved it. But I have always wanted to dust it off, and make it work, but every time I looked at it, I was daunted by how much would need to change (almost all of it). Well, fuck it. I’m going to make it work, and you get to see the process. Just remember that what follows is a ROUGH DRAFT, and will be full of errors (continuity, plot, grammar, and otherwise) and represents a direction that the Broken Shores setting could have gone, but didn’t. Really, I want you to go into this expecting less than nothing. If you continue to read beyond this point, you will never get those minutes of your life back, and I cannot be held responsible, so don’t bother asking. Also, although I dislike doing it, I’m going to put a page break after the first scene, which I hope doesn’t mess with the feed/email subscriptions, but if it does I’m sorry. Feedback is welcome, just keep in mind, there is much necrotic tissue that is already marked for removal. Without further ado:

Assasination (working title)

by Tom Dillon

FIRST DRAFT (“here there be errors”) / 6.27.2008 / approximately 6,200 words

“We must never forget our history, what our forefathers went through to ensure our safety.  We have become complacent, and there is nothing to stop another disaster from occurring.  My opponent insists that the time for caution is over, that the threat is past, but it is not.  If anything, it is greater than ever.”  Senator Burien’s words blended into the noise of the crowd as something else caught Devin’s attention.

The man was easy to spot, moving quickly through a crowd that seemed to sway sluggishly in Devin’s ramped-up state.   She didn’t bother to signal as she braced herself, the guards on the perimeter had already done so.  The guards on the stage with her noticed as well, and she heard a series of thunks from their crossbows just moments before a few quarrels embedded themselves in the man’s chest.

The bolts didn’t slow the man down, he kept on dodging through the crowd as one of his hands plucked the quarrels from his chest and the other drew a long knife.  The guards that were closest to Senator Burien bunched up, making a human wall in front of him.  Even if the assassin got through them, they would slow him down enough for Devin and the rest of the guards to do their jobs.

Then the assassin jumped.  His momentum carried him in a smooth arc over the guards’ heads.  He ducked his head and crossed his arms in front of him just in time for the metal plates on his forearms to deflect three or four more quarrels.

He landed to the left of the main bunching of guards, in between them and her.  He ricocheted off of them, heading straight for her.  For a moment, his face was nearly touching hers, and she could see the tinge of blue under a layer of powder.  Then she felt her dagger slide along one of his ribs.  It caught, then he shoved off of her causing the blade to snap off as she lost her balance.

Even ramped up as she was, it was over by the time she regained her feet.  Senator Burien was on the ground, the assassin’s knife protruding from his temple.  It wouldn’t matter how much Ve they pumped into him, there was no coming back from something like that.

Read the rest of this entry »

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ShoStoWriMo ’13

May 1st, 2013  |  Published in announcement

Regrettably, I will not be running ShoStoWriMo this year. I had hoped to, but the reality of the situation is that I wouldn’t be able to do it properly (I have an 8 month old son at home and am taking a trip in the middle of the month). I will not be putting up a forum, but I was planning on moving away from that anyway (keeping the spammers away was a itself a job). Still want to participate? The good news is that ShoStoWriMo isn’t a thing, its a protocol, to participate, all you have to do is write a short story this month. That being said, here is an idealized schedule if you want to follow one:

  • May 1-9: Write the rough draft of your short story. Don’t worry about getting it perfect, just get it down. A good length to shoot for is 3,500 – 6,000 words, but shorter or longer works, too.
  • May 10-17: Give feedback, get feedback. Spend a week away from your story, preferably reading and providing feedback for others who are doing the same.
  • May 17-21: Revise. Take that feedback that you gathered and do a second draft. When you’re done, send it back out for more feedback.
  • May 22-30: Polish and share. Do more drafts, get more feedback. Read some published short stories to see how others have done it in the past.
  • May 31: Celebrate! Congratulations, you have a short story that has gone through the revision process and is ready to post, sell, publish, whatever you want to do with it.

Since I’m not setting up a forum, I went ahead and created a Facebook page for ShoStoWriMo to help people connect with other people. In the next couple of days, I might add a Google+ one as well.

I will be trying to participate, but due to time constraints, I’m setting a conservative goal of just writing a short story this month. I’ll keep you posted about how its going. Also, I plan on writing a couple of blog posts about the medium, so let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to cover.

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Nothing of substance this week.

April 4th, 2013  |  Published in announcement

Although I’ve been trying to get in the habit of writing a blog post each week, the laptop on which I write has had an accident. That being said, I do have a couple of updates for you. I’ve been working on a YA short story, and I recently passed the 7,000 word mark, so the rough draft should be done soon. Second, I’ve been making notes for the Broken Shores story that I’m working on, and even came up with something that might work as an epigram for it: “The danger is, as always it has been, that in our reaction to violence we not only become incapable, but also undeserving of peace.” It will probably change, but it fits the story, so not too much. Finally, it is April, which means that May is coming up, and I have decided that I will run the Short Story Writing month again. However, since setting up and moderating a forum has been a pain in the ass (and time suck) I’ll probably do it as a Facebook or G+ group this year. More news on that in the next couple of weeks.

Update: I went ahead and made a Facebook page, this year all things ShoStoWriMo will be at http://www.facebook.com/ShoStoWriMo. Although, there isn’t much there now, there will be soon.

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Short Story Writing Month!

April 24th, 2012  |  Published in announcement

It’s almost here! In the US at least, May is National Short Story Month, and what better way to celebrate it than to write one? Last year I declared May to be Short Story Writing Month (ShoStoWriMo), kind of like a relaxed NaNoWriMo where you write a short story (between 1,000 and 10,000 words) in a week and then spend the rest of the month giving feedback to others who did the same and revising your story with help from their feedback.

Last year it went quite well, with a number of good stories coming out of it, and this year I’d like it to be even better, so you should go and sign up! It’s open to everyone and quite a bit of fun.

In other, more personal news, things have been going well here. I have a Horizon story that needs some work but that will probably be ready sometime in May, and a Broken Shores story that will be ready sometime after that. In any case, I’ll keep you up to date on everything as it happens.

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Status Update

February 1st, 2012  |  Published in announcement

I’ve continued to work on revising Caldera, and am happy to say that I’m almost there. In other news, you may have noticed that I’ve added a link to my goodreads profile and swapped out the list of stories for image thumbnails. Unfortunately, you can’t see all of the stories listed in the sidebar, but it looks better (in my opinion) and you can still get at everything from the stories page. In other news, I’ve also been working on the ShoStoWriMo site, and have switched over to bbPress, which appears to be a better fit. You can feel free to register whenever you want, now, no authorization from me required.

In the next week, I hope to finish up my revisions of Caldera, as well as doing a second draft of The Forked Path. In addition, I plan on resuming work on Soapbox (and finally getting everything back to its pre-crash state), although probably at a reduced frequency.

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ShoStoWriMo 2012!

January 13th, 2012  |  Published in announcement

Last fall, due to spam, I took the ShoStoWriMo forum offline, with the intention of bringing it back in 2012. I had been putting it off (probably until March), but I’ve started to see people trying to go to the nonexistent forum to register. Since I lost a lot in the Hostocalypse I’ve had to restart from scratch, but the bones are up. Currently, registration is by admin approval only, but if you really want to get in, register an account and put a comment here (by clicking on the post title, this is on my to-fix list, I assure you).

In any case, I give you the 2012 Short Story Writing Month forum!

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Drop the Na, which leaves us with ShoStoWriMo

April 26th, 2011  |  Published in announcement

I realized that I didn’t like the idea of something being National, so I dropped it. In any case, it looks like I’ll actually be doing this, and maybe some other people will, too. If you’re interested, head over to shostowrimo.pawnstorm.net and get registered. I’ll try to keep everyone updated as I go.

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