2K to 10K 31 Plays in 31 Days 750 Words A Newbie's Guide to Publishing a room of one's own Aaron Sorkin Adam Lauver Aimee Mann Alden Jones Alexander Masters All Things Considered alphabetical order amazing Amazon Ang Lee Angels in America animation Ann Patchett Ann Voss Peterson Anne Lamott Anne R. Allen AOL Instant Messenger Apartment Therapy audio drama Austin Kleon author pages avalanche thinking baby bump Barnes & Noble basement cat Belgariad benonsensical Big Fish Bill Watterson Bird by Bird Blake Snyder blogging book porn books Books-a-Million Boston Boston Playwrights' Theatre Boston Theater Marathon Brain Pickings brainstorming Brandon Sanderson brevity Bridge Rep of Boston Buffy the Vampire Slayer BuzzFeed C.J. Redwine C.S. Lewis caffeine Calvin and Hobbes Carlo Gébler cat Catherine Lacey cats Charlie Jane Anders Cheryl Strayed Chris Baty Chuck Wendig clichés coffee collaborative writing Colson Whitehead comedy conflict copyeditor Corpse Bride Cracked.com Craig Fehrman Craig Mazin creative autobiography creative nonfiction creativity Curious George Cynthia Herron Daily Kick in the Pants Dante Alighieri David Daniel David Eddings David Farland David McRaney David Ogilvy David Rakoff day jobs Dean Wesley Smith Dear Sugar Deborah Martin delayed gratification depression description dialogue discipline divorce Dogma Dragon Age: Origins Dragonlance dreams Dungeons & Dragons East of Eden Eat Pray Love Edward Kelsey Moore Elise Capron Elmore Leonard Emerson College Emily Kaye Lazzaro endings epic Ernest Hemingway escalation ESP Esquire magazine extroverts F. Scott Fitzgerald Facebook fanfic Fangs and Clause fantasy Father's Day fear fear of the basement fellowships fiction authors Fiction500 first lines first novel flash fiction formal writing Freedom freewriting full-length plays fun. Game of Thrones Gandalf genre fiction GIgantic Sequins Go God Going Viral Google graffiti Grant Snider greeting cards Half Empty Hallmark Harper Voyager HarperCollins Harry Potter homeless people Hovey Players Hovey Summer Shorts Festival Howard Gardner Hugh Howey Hurricane Island ICanLegoThat ice cream trucks IFTTT iice cream trucks imposter syndrome Incidental Comics Independent Clause internal conflicts interviews introverts io9 Ira Glass Irish Famine italics J.A. Konrath J.K. Rowling J.R.R. Tolkien James H. Duncan James Thurber Jan Reymond Jane Vandenburgh Janice Hardy jeffjlin.com Jen Doll Joanna Penn John August John Coffee John Scalzi John Steinbeck Joss Whedon jury duty Kamala Nair Karen Russell Kevin J. Anderson Kevin Smith keyhole effect kids Kimberly Ann Southwick Kindle Singles Kristine Kathryn Rusch Kurt Vonnegut L. Ron Hubbard Lake Superior State University Le Morte d'Arthur Legos Letters of Note Letters to a Young Poet LIC One Act Festival Lifehacker.com Lilo and Stitch List of Banished Words Lists of Note literary fiction literature Llyod Alexander Lord of the Rings Luke Skywalker magical fantasy world Maine man cave manuscript factory Marc Maron Margaret Weis Mark Twain Mass Effect mass effect 3 Massacre Lane Massacre Pond Maurice Sendak Megan Stielstra microfiction Microsoft Word middle school momentum Mona Simpson money Monica Byrne monologues music musical NaNoWriMo Nathan Bransford National Novel Writing Month Native Americans Neil Gaiman Never Check E-Mail in the Morning New York Times No Plot? No Problem! nonfiction Nora Roberts note to self NPR Old Testament Olivia D'Ambrosio On Writing online resources Open Culture Oprah organization outlines outlining Outward Bound overused phrases pacing page turners pantser paper routes paradigm paradigm shift parapsychology parenthood parenting passion perfectionism Pete Docter Peter Corea picture books Piers Anthony Pixar planning playwrighting playwriting plot plotter podcast poetry pomodoro technique premonitions procrastination productivity prolific prose poem psychology publishing myths race Rachel Aaron Rachel Scheller Rainer Maria Rilke Ray Bradbury real estate rejection relationships Republic of Brown research revision reward systems Richard Feynman Robert Heinlein Romainmôtier Roni Loren rough drafts running Ryan Casey Samuel Park Save the Cat! Scarborough scheduling schizophrenia science fiction Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America Scientology scrivener self-doubt self-publishing sequence Shadowrun Shakespeare shared sacrifice Sherwood Anderson shitty first drafts short films short plays short stories short-short stories singing single parent Sir Thomas Malory sketches smart phones smartphones Songs of Innocence and Experience soundtrack South Portland Spider-Man SPIN Magazine Starbucks steal like a writer Stephen King Stephen Marche stories submitting success! suicide Susan Sontag Tad Williams Tasslehoff Burrfoot teaching technology telekinesis ten-minute plays terribleminds thank you in advance The Atlantic Wire The Berenstain Bears The Boston Globe The Business Rusch The Chronicles of Narnia The Chronicles of Prydain The Creative Habit The Creative Penn The Divine Comedy The Formative Years The Game The Getaway Car The Girl in the Garden The Grinder The Interview The LIfe of Pi The Lighthouse The Manuscript Factory the new normal The New York Times The Old Reader The Other Side of the Story The Passive Voice The Rumpus Thelonious Monk thinking patterns This American Life Three-Minute Fiction time travel timed writing Tony Kushner Torch transcript Trinity College Tuesdays with Morrie Twitter Twyla Tharp undefined Vericon vignettes Virginia Woolf Voltron Wall Street Journal Whatever Where the WIld Things Are Wikipedia Wild William Blake William Shakespeare Winesburg Ohio Wool workaholic workflowy Working Writers world building Write or Die Writer... Interrupted writerly bedrooms writerly headspace writers writers block Writer's Digest Writer's Market writing writing early writing fast writing routines Written? Kitten! WTF Podcast You Are Not So Smart

Week Twenty Eight: Objective dialogue, subjective description

I have absolutely no idea what this means. Was this advice given specifically to me, or was it more of a general imperative?

What would subjective dialogue even look like?

So, this should be interesting! Any ideas?


Week Twenty Seven: Parented!

Read it. Read it and weep.

Between this and last week's story (or excerpt, I guess), I seem to be 1,290 words into a fantasy novel I had outlined about a month ago but then sat on. The great surprise is how much I enjoy writing a scene here and another scene there, rather than starting at the start and working my way through. I'm someone who has to watch movies and their sequels in the order they were intended. I'll never read the end of a book before I begin it (not to name names, Breda). 

But for some reason none of that applies here. Maybe it's because I have so much reverence for story that I'm terrified of writing a bad one, but if I can just sit down and tell myself Today, the merchant talks to Garith about parenting and taking responsibility... and also he's kinda drunk, it feels more like playing than work. I know some (or many) of the details will change later, but for now I'm just exploring character. And building something, scene by scene.

So the time has come, ladies and gents. I'm gonna try to write a book. I'm setting myself a deadline of October 31st for the rough draft (~90,000 words). Too ambitious? I defy your caution.

Please wish me luck (and lots and lots of impulse control).

Meanwhile, did this week's prompt do anything for your own writing?


Week Twenty Seven: Write about parenthood

"Write about parenthood"?!

What about it, Freshman Me? Be more specific. Twelve years from now when you are (thank jeebus) still not a parent, you will be perplexed by this one. You will find it difficult to make a story out of it for your blog. Others will, too.

So some consideration, please, Freshman Me. If it's not too much.

Anyway, you have your assignment. No minimum word count this time. Write however much your unshaven muse compels you to. 

See you Sunday!


Week Twenty Six: Objectified!

I surprised myself with this one and ended up writing a scene from late in Book One of my epic fantasy series that I had outlined but not yet started. I guess now I officially have!

Kyra from Week Eight's story was a rough sketch of Kaira, one of the main characters in this planned series. There are some obvious similarities, but I don't think I'm going to follow that story exactly. Or maybe. Kind of. We shall see!

Anyway, here's my Week Twenty Six

Leave yours/links to yours in the comments!


Week Twenty Six: Use objects instead of showing them

Heyyyy welcome back! Hope your Labor Day weekend (if you celebrate it) was relaxing and such.

For those following along at home, I cranked out five short plays in just over two hours for my 31 Plays in 31 Days challenge, bringing the total to (YES) thirty one on Friday afternoon, just moments before leaving for Vacationland. 

Wooooo me! Read 'em here if you dare. I was surprised by how much fun I was able to have with them, and I think there's at least a few keepers in there worthy of revision and then... production? WE SHALL SEE.

So anyway, back to the task at hand. Quit showin' yer objects, wouldja? Use 'emthat's what they're for! The gun is not sleek and cool in your palm—the gun goes off. 

It's more of an imperative than a writing prompt, but I think some interesting stuff could come of it. 

300 words by Sunday (September 8th) at midnight.


Where is Week Twenty Six?

Okay, time to fess up: I'm blowing this week off to crank out the last of my 31 Plays in 31 Days effort. I'm off to Vacationland as of Friday afternoon, so I need to post and upload six more of these suckers between now and then. CAN HE DO IT?

Check 'em out if you haven't! My favorites are probably Bad Day, Eh and How to Eat a Fresh Maine Blobster. Going Viral is also pretty funny.

In the meanwhile, here's a beautiful and eloquently stated piece about art and life and work and passion and also dinosaurs.

What are you working on?


My anti-resume

In response to my post about Monica Byrne's tracking process, Independent Clause says:

I love the anti resume! I do not have anything near the math skills to figure out what my personal rejection rate is, but I'll try some awkward poet math and see what I come up with. I'll post mine if you post yours.

Heh, you're definitely going to win this one. Prior to this year, I submitted pitifully little: Agni and maybe Ploughshares right out of grad school. Some random online things: something called My Geek in the House that paid me $10 minus PayPal fees and then went bust. The Boston Theater Marathon off and on for several years.

But as of this year...

Boston Theater Marathon XV:
Hovey Summer Shorts Festival 2013:
Moments of Play Ten-Minute Play Festival:
VisionFest 2013:
Blue Slipper 10-Minute Play Festival:
They cancelled the festival indefinitely...? Not sure how to classify this.
Hit & Run VII:
New Works Festival 2014:

So that's two of out seven: ~28% acceptance? Or 33% if we're not counting ten-minute play festivals that died before their time through no (apparent) fault of my own. However, it does seem that I'm driving my average down by continuing to submit...

I actually had to look up several of these to find out whether or not I had been rejected. Turns out I've been so busy writing that I haven't had the time to compulsively hit "refresh" on all those festival websites.

That's a good thing!

Alright, Indy Clause. Your turn. Be gentle.


Week Twenty Five: Order'd!

This 'un is mine!

It's another cross post with my 31 Plays in 31 Days effort. You can see that I am a little behind. Excited by what I've come up with, though.

Now that I have showed you mine, I entreat you to show me yours.


Keepin' track of what and where

Happy Friday!

Writer and playwright Monica Byrne (who I discovered through the blog of playwright and actress Emily Kaye Lazzaro) posted an amazing piece about success and rejection:

  1. Of all the things I’ve ever submitted to or applied for, I’ve gotten 3% of them.
  2. I’ve been rejected before being accepted. See: FringeNYC, Millay Colony for the Arts, Shimmer, Impact Theatre, North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship.
  3. I’ve been rejected after being accepted. See: Durham Emerging Artist Grant, and God knows more to come.
  4. A work’s rejection rate has no clear relationship to its eventual success. In various guises, The Girl in the Road and What Every Girl Should Know have each been rejected 67 times.
  5. Of all submissions I made to theaters that accepted unsolicited submissions, 68% never replied at all.
  6. My personal rejection rate is 17%, which is great and kept me afloat a number of times. (Thank you, anyone who ever took the time to write me.)
  7. Yes, I’ve written exactly one erotica story. It’s about a trip to the ophthalmologist. It’s great.
  8. The same week my huge publishing deal went down, I was rejected from the third of three MFA programs I’d applied to. C’est la vie!

Read the rest here!

In particular, be sure to look at the spreadsheet she uses to keep track of what she's submitted and where. Wow.

If that doesn't inspire you to up your game, I'm uncertain anything will.

See you Sunday with Week 25's story!


I said hey, what's goin' on

I'm hard at work this week—actual work, writing work, planning away the last busy weekends of this summer—and don't have much to tell ya.

So tell me: What are you working on? What are you excited about?

Linkage is both allowed and encouraged.