Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Clarion West Write-a-thon

From Kelley's blog:

The Clarion West Writers Workshop has begun, and the Write-a-thon is in progress! We have 79 writers signed up, and donations to support them are rolling in. Our goal is 200 donors. There are so many great writers to sponsor — please consider picking one and pledging. Any amount is welcome. Every single dollar helps. And we love our donors, and our love is strong (smile).

Here’s a particularly inventive and cool way to support the Write-a-thon and give a gift to yourself or someone you love. The fabulous Michael Swanwick is writing one piece of flash fiction every day for the next six weeks (I know, is this man awesome or what?). For a donation of $10, you can ask Michael to Tuckerize one of these stories for you or someone you know/love (no strangers, please!). What’s Tuckerization, you ask? Well, you provide your name and a few random details about yourself, and Michael puts you into one of his Write-a-thon stories. You can see the stories at Michael’s blog, and you can go to his Write-a-thon page to get on board the Tucker Train. It’s fun, it’s cool, and it’s in a great cause!

Part of my commitment is to blog regularly about my progress, so here you go: I’ve begun my YA novel. Beginnings are always slow for me, so I can currently report only 577 words of draft. Which really means I’ve probably written 1,000 words and then deleted/revised/fussed them down to 577. Although I’m in “push ahead” mode on this, I still always find that I need to fuss with beginnings. On some level, the beginning needs to feel right before I can move on. The details of the scene aren’t important — in many (many!) cases, the opening scene changes dramatically over the course of several drafts. But I’m a writer of character, and I use emotional events as my primary story anchor points: and so I have to know where I am to begin with. It’s best for me to put the time in up front to get squarely inside my character.

So the real progress is that I know where my protagonist is in space, time, action and most importantly, in her head and heart. In a coy and thoroughly unhelpful teaser, it has to do with pennies…

It’s been all screenplay all the time for me for quite a while, and so I’m especially excited to be working on new fiction! And I hope you’ll support me and Clarion West. Thanks to all who have already donated — I really appreciate it.

Any amount $10, $100, $500 is welcome--every single penny goes to Clarion West. In my opinion, CW is the best writing workshop in the world. It's been going continuously since 1984 and has a stellar roster of graduates and teachers. Kelley is the current Board Chair. We've both taught there. I can't recommend the organisation highly enough. Trust me: any money you give will be very, very well spent.

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