Posts Tagged ‘help’

What Constitutes Storycraft?

Websites are still down. Sigh.

So, I mentioned earlier that I’ve taken over the storycraft meetings of my local speculative fiction writing group. I really enjoy these meetings, but I sometimes find it hard to pick appropriate topics to discuss.

This comes down to a couple of different things:

1) I don’t necessarily always know the level of the writers who are attending the meetings. Some members have just started writing; others are pro-writers, members of SFWA, traditionally published, the whole shebang. Some people are working on their first first drafts; others are trying to figure out how to submit to markets for the first time. I like to pick topics that will be beneficial for everyone.

2) Sometimes it feels like we’ve already talked about a lot of things–I’ve been in the group for two years, others have been around longer. How many times can we talk about plot or characters or coming up with titles?

3) I don’t know how interested people are in non-writing aspects of being a writer. Do people follow trends in our genre(s)? Do they care about discussing news about awards or controversies? Do they want to look at published books and dissect them? How open are they to doing a non-traditional meeting, where instead of discussing a writing topic, we do an exercise or read something else?

Not straight writing exercises, though. I hate those.

So, Squiders, what can be considered storycraft for meeting purposes? Do I need to stick with straight writing topics–editing, worldbuilding, aspects like pacing and conflict–mixed in with genre topics–tropes and other defining aspects? Or can I mix in other things like current events, marketing, looks at favorite books and why? Anyone have any advice for making sure a topic is useful for everyone, regardless of skill level?

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Author Websites

So, I’ve reached a point in my career where I probably need to stop mooching off of free services and create my own website.

The problem?

The last time I had my own website, I was sixteen and firmly believed in some weird movement called the Save the Electrons which preached that black backgrounds on websites saved energy. Or something like that. It was black with neon green text. There were frames.

Obviously, technology has come quite a long ways since those days, and while I’ve had to program the odd thing in my day, I find myself staring at my options without an ounce of understanding. You don’t even really have to program anything any more these days, just pick some sort of engine and a theme and buy a domain, and tada, you’re good to go.

I have two engineering degrees; this should not be as confusing as it is for me.

KD has been a dear and is trying to explain things to me and it is like she is speaking Klingon.

For those of you out there who run your own website, what do you suggest for someone who’s been mooching for the past ten years? I just want something simple and clean and customizable with all the landsquid a girl could want. Something where I can stick on widgets and social media buttons and have it look lovely and professional. Yeeeeessss.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.