Hello out there in the real world! I say the real world because mine feels rather not real at the moment. I’m in the midst of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and I have to say, every year I forget how hard it is. 50,000 words, one month, and well, me being me I’m shooting for about 60,000 to 70,000 words, while not killing my health, diet or exercise regime (such as it is). I know from past experience that shooting ahead of target is great, but typically there’ll be a few days later in the month where I just can’t write—and just write a little bit of nothing (i.e. 200 to 300 words) or I just take the day off and feel both bad and relieved. Actually, even though I’ve made a conscious decision to write this blog post, I can feel the weight of expectation pressing down on my shoulders—does this really count towards NaNo? The answer of course is ‘Yes it does because it’s writing and I say it does’. The next question is ‘Is it cheating?’ to which the answer is ‘Yes it is, but it’s my time and my month and I’m going to define it any way I bloody well please’. I guess I’ve always treated NaNo as a writing month, but now, for me, writing has become more than just putting words into a draft. Currently it also means blogging, which I do far too little of, updating the Queermance website, and sending out emails regarding Queermance 2015. Speaking of, if I’ve just met you at Book Expo Australia earlier in the year (seriously it was only what, one or two months ago? Feels like a lifetime!), then expect an email from me about showing up at Queermance. The emails are on their way, I promise! Also, it’s not writing, but I am also going to be dedicating some time to video editing, both to bring you some of our recent fundraising Cabaret Get Your ROCS Off with the RMIT Occasional Choral Society, but also because Isabelle Rowan and I will be launching a Pozible Campaign very shortly in the hopes of turning our annual Anthology (Queermance Vol II) in this case, into a print book, as well as having it as an eBook. Hopefully with some amazing wrap around cover art! Our first goal, however, is to pay our authors, stay tuned for more info and pitch in if you can (either submit a story to us, support our Pozible Campaign or both), Izzy and I will love you forever if you do! If you want to see some images of the event itself or find out how it went you should have bought a ticket. But if you didn’t, you can check out the Queermance Blog over here. In other news I just splurged . . . → Read More: National Novel Writing Month: Progress, Dragon Age Inquisition and Computer Stuff
I’ve been so amazingly busy with Get Your ROCS Off, the Queermance Fundraiser, that I’ve managed to nearly forget that it’s the end of October — actually it’s Halloween tomorrow of all things. And November means National Novel Writing Month–my fifth attempt, and hopefully fifth success. For those of you who already know what NaNoWriMo is and are patiently waiting for me to upload my rebel scorecard, you can download it here:
NaNoWriMo Rebel Report Card
This scorecard works whether you’re a rebel or not, and I realised as I was editing it that I didn’t really need to make a 2014 version, and then a 2015 version and so on – the only difference between them and the 2013 version is the year in the title area of the spreadsheet. So I removed the year – you can either come back and download a fresh copy next year or save a master copy and keep using that until I come up with a better version.
For anyone who doesn’t know, National Novel Writing Month is November, where writers try to write 50,000 words of a manuscript–or a 50,000 word manuscript–just because. No judgement, no editing, no expectations. Just words, words, words.
Personally I use it to work on whatever story or stories I have going at the moment, and this year I have three–an anti-valentines day contemporary story about two friends who have a chance at more, an urban fantasy story with dragons just because, and a young adult story about what happens when you find out you’re more than you think. I’ve also got a concept I’m playing with called ‘Escape From the Breeding Colony’ as a working title, but it’s little more than a concept at the moment. It has aliens though. Too many projects, not enough time. Still, 50,000 words will go nicely towards any of them.
In any case, apologies to anyone who was waiting on the new scorecard, and I’ll see you at the write ins around Melbourne if you’re local. If you aren’t, may your inner editor be silenced for the next month.
It’s just about that time of year where we lock Matthew in the basement and make him subsist on a diet of grilled cheese sandwiches and black coffee while churning out 50,000 words (it’s okay, we have paramedics on standby). Although he did announce plans to write interactive fiction, he now looks set to start work on a sequel to Dragonslayer, the book he’s currently pitching to a number of different publishing houses.
We are, of course, busy trying to get video footage from OzmmMeet 2013 up on youtube, so you can all see what happened, and we’re still a few videos away, but you can view the current uploads here, and we’ll add more throughout November as soon as our ancient machine finishes rendering the video. We’ll also embed a few here throughout the month for everyone who’s as lazy as us.
Matthew’s also updated his rebel scorecard for NaNoWriMo, although we understand the changes consisted of replacing “2012″ with “2013″. We think you could have done that yourself, but it’s here for the downloading if you like. You can also use it as a normal scorecard, but it’s here for rebels like Matthew–he’s already started writing Moonchild, which is against the NaNoWriMo guidelines, but he wouldn’t listen when we said the muses wouldn’t be impressed. He muttered something about his muse being wonderful, understanding and hot, but didn’t elaborate further.
More on that as it develops, hopefully.
Download the NaNoWrimo 2013 Rebel scorecard here
Still from Confessions of a Drunkard by Film By Democracy
So it’s the middle of NaNoWriMo, and Matthew has more or less left us to our own devices. We understand he’s passed the half way mark of 25,000 words, and is apparently four or five chapters away from finishing the draft of Prophecy, which will hopefully then make it into print after he finished editing it. Other than that, he says he’s struggling to make his word count targets and keep on top of everything else.
In more interesting news, Matthew is about to make his Big Screen debut in Film by Democracy‘s Confessions of a Drunkard, their entry into Melbourne’s 2012 48 Hour Film Festival. Matthew previously auditioned for a web series that never quite got off the ground, and was recently invited by director Monte Macpherson in the 48 Hour Film Project shoot. The Film By Democracy crew were given a film genre of Black Comedy, the character of an activist, the prop of a magnet, and the line “Let me tell you a secret,” all of which had to be included in the final film. Matthew played a largely improvised role of a partygoer–a metrosexual who was planning on being just gay enough to get the girl. He also possibly ended up murdered.
If you’d like to see him in all of his potential acting glory (we’re still dubious, but don’t tell him we said that, he won’t find out until he checks his website in December), you can come along to the second screening of 48 hour film festival entries:
Where: Cinema Nova, Lygon Street, Carlton When: Wednesday, November 14, 8:15 PM for an 8:30 PM start Tickets: General Admission $22, Concession $18.70, bookings here.
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In addition to Confessions of a Drunkard, you’ll also be able to see fifteen other short films. If Confessions of a Drunkard gets through to the top twelve, you can also come along to the Awards night on Friday the 16th of November. We can’t show you a video preview of the film, sadly, but we can show you film director Monte rushing to get the film finished and handed in on time.
We’ve also added the option for you to follow The Writing of Matthew Lang on Facebook via Networked Blogs–just click the follow button over on the right and you can access the latest from Matthew’s site directly from Facebook. Or you can just click here.
Matthew Lang’s short story Screens is now available on Amazon.com. We’ve convinced Matthew to do an experiment, and put it up on Kindle Select, and in celebration of National Novel Writing Month, we’re making it free for the next 3 days. That’s the 1st to the 3rd of November, and it’s available right now. To get your copy, just click the book cover on the left.
You can of course still purchase Screens as part of the banQuetpress 2012 men Anthology, which is available in print and ebook.
photo credit: a.drian via photopin cc
National Novel Writing Month sweeps around the globe and starts very close to me here in Australia. In some places, it’s already started, but here, it’s less than 1 hour away, and I’m wondering if I’m going to be staying up for a midnight start.
For anyone in the writing community who hasn’t stumbled across it yet, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is an event that, last year, was celebrated, participated in, dreaded and lauded across the globe by over 250,000 writers, myself included.
The basic tenet of NaNoWriMo is the attempt to write a novel, or perhaps more accurately a novella in the month of November. The suggested word target is 50,000 words, or 1667 a day for 30 days.
Personally, I throw the guidelines out the window and aim for 2000 words a day and plow on with whatever writing project I’m currently working on, and this year, for the third time, I will be working on Prophecy, in this case, on the third draft, which I am happy to report is the first draft I’m happy with.
Now if you’re like me, and would like some visual encouragement, I’ve put together a tracking sheet for NaNoWriMo 2012 for rebels like me. Of course, it’s pretty much just like my 2011 spreadsheet, but if you’d like ready made for you, you can download it via the link below.
As per my annual tradition, during November, word count comes first to just about everything. I apologise in advance if I’m unresponsive, and I will do my best to catch up when I slow down in December. Until then, see you on the other side, and if you’re being as crazy as I am and diving into the writing, feel free to add me as a buddy.
NaNoWriMo Rebel Report Card 2012
So I’m being a very bad NaNoer. In addition to jumping around to work on other projects (i.e. those with deadlines), I’ve also taken writing time out to organise some blog posts with some fantastic authors with Christmas (or other holiday of your choice) stories being released that would make the ideal Christmas present–along with my new story of course. However, I’ve recently received confirmation that I will be branching out into a new field for me–the field on non-fiction. Want to know more? Check out the details below:
True To Myself
Genre: Non Fiction / Inspirational Publisher: Chicken Soup for the Soul (Anthology: Tough Times for Teens) Expected Release Date: 7th February 2012
Synopsis: A look back at the road to happiness, as trod by me. Anything more than this would be a spoiler.
Also look out for a more writerly focused article coming out early next year (sorry, no cover art as of yet).
Minor Character Generation Tables (Geek)
Genre: Non Fiction / Writing tool Publisher: Vignette Press (Geek Mook) Expected Release Date: Early 2012
Synopsis: Sometimes you need a character. Sometimes you need a character right now. Sometimes, you need a character right now and you have no idea how to think one up. Enter the Minor Character Generation Tables. Simply take 2D10 (that’s two ten sided dice for you non-geeks) and start rolling. Who will you create today?
Image by Calamity Meg
Once again, The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words. Given the spirit of November and NaNoWriMo, I heartily recommend inventing your own, or using them in your novel. Let me know if you do! And many thanks to J.P. Bowie who first pointed me towards this list:
The winners are:
1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
6. Negligent (adj.), a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
8. Gargoyle (n), olive-flavoured mouthwash.
9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
13. Pokemon (n), Rastafarian proctologist.
14. Oyster (n.), person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
16. Circumvent (n.), opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.
The Washington Post’s Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are this year’s winners:
1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.
6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.
8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. ( that one got extra credit)
9. Karmageddon (n): Its like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.
10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.
12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.
14. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form . . . → Read More: Community Wordage: NaNoChallenge Anyone?
Benjamin Solah Zombie! Photo by Quoll
I am sore today.
Sore as in pysically sore. In specific, my thighs feel like they’ve had more of a workout than they’ve got since…well, since the last Kick Off BBQ actually. One of the reasons I love NaNoWriMo is the writing community it brings together each year, or perhaps the writing community it specifically brings together in Melbourne. According to the goodie bag totals left after yesterday (i.e. none), over fifty people showed up to our NaNo 2011 kick off BBQ, bringing more sugar, sausages and crazy writing enthusiasm than is safe for the human mind to safely cope with. There was frying of foodstuffs, the eating of brownies (warning, contains nuts), and the now obligatory playground games that are also an incredibly effective form of exercise for sedentary writers more at home in a computer chair than the local gym.
I mean one of the joys of getting older, is the joys of realising that acting one’s age isn’t really as much fun as not acting ones age, and playground games are just one of the things that I highly recommend you embrace during the crazy that is NaNo. Officially, it now appears that Melbourne NaNo has two of them. Zombie Tag and Blink.
Zombie Tag at Melbourne NaNo Kickoff BBQ – Photo by Quoll
Zombie Tag Zombie Tag was a random idea I spouted off about 4 years back, mostly as a joke, which turned out to be a surprisingly good game in a confined space with dead ends–like an adventure playground. The basic idea of Zombie tag is that you start with one person, patient zero, who has to zombie shuffle and groan ‘braaaaains’ as s/he goes after the others. And once a person is caught, they too become a Zombie, and shuffles…and goes after the humans. And the plague grows until there are no humans left…and the last surviving human gets to be next game’s patient zero. Other rules: no leaving the boundaries of the adventure playground. Do not interfere with kids on the playground. If they block your way–tough.
Blink at the Melbourne NaNo Kickoff BBQ 2011 – Photo by Quoll
A variant of the ‘What’s the Time Mister Wolf’ game genre, this particular version was dreamt up by Misty, our resident creator of plotbunnies, and inspired by Doctor Who. In blink the aim is to steal an item (in this case, one of our resident mascots, Walter Wombat), from the feet of one player, who stands in the middle of a circle of people. The trick? The people in the circle can only move when the player in the middle can’t see them. If s/he catches them moving, s/he can point them out and they have to return to the outside of the circle. Once the item in the middle is nabbed by someone they have to run back out of the circle to a winning point (we used nearby . . . → Read More: The Games WriMos Play
In support of NaNoWriMo, Matthew Lang will be donating $1 from every Mr Perfect ebook sold via Smashwords to The Office of Letters and Light from now until the end of November!
So head over to Smashwords, get your copy today, and let’s raise some money for the novelling cause!