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Month: March 2013

The Doctor Who Fan-Fiction Contest

The Doctor Who Fan-Fiction Contest

This is very interesting. is having a Doctor Who fan fiction contest. Details below. I find fan fiction to be really restrictive to my creativity, but this seems like it would be really fun. I love me some Doctor Who.

MARCH 21, 2013

The Doctor Who Fan-Fiction Contest

20  8 Posted by Laura Chamberlain

There are three things we Whovians know to be absolutely true:

1. Bow ties are cool.

2. The TARDIS is bigger on the inside.

3. Doctor Who returns to our televisions and our hearts on Saturday, March 30!

In celebration of The Doctor’s return, we’re hosting a wiblbly-wobbly, timey-wimey contest!


In 1,200 words or fewer, write a story inspired by Doctor Who. Tag your story DoctorWhoContest.


One grand-prize winner will receive a Doctor Who poster and Fez and Bow Tie Set.

One second-prize winner will receive a Sonic Screwdiver LED Flashlight.

One third-prize winner will receive River Song’s TARDIS Journal.

How to Enter

1. Read the full rules.

2. Create an account on

3. Start a new writing of 1,200 words or fewer.

4. Tag your writing with DoctorWhoContest on the “Details” tab.

5. Press “Publish Now.”

6. You should receive a pop-up confirmation of your entry, and in about two hours or so, your piece should appear among the submissions.

You have until Wednesday, April 3 at 11:59 p.m. ET to enter a story. Voting will run until Wednesday, April 10 at 5:00 p.m. ET. The Figment editors will choose the winners from the top 10 most-hearted entries.

via The Doctor Who Fan-Fiction Contest | The Daily Fig.

On The Theme

On The Theme

So, those of you, my vocal and not so vocal readers, what do you think of the current theme (look and feel) of the blog? Today I tinkered with it a bit and fixed things for those reading from a mobile device, mainly I’m now hiding the sidebar on really small screens and also hiding the ad at the top.

More directly, what do you think of the header image? Is it too large? I like it, but I could see as a reader how it might be a pain to have to scroll past the header.

Overall, I like this theme. I like the large font and white background especially. But I’m more than happy to make some tweaks to make you all happy too.

Mom Heart Pregnant With Baby Heart

Mom Heart Pregnant With Baby Heart

My daughter is home sick with strep throat and everyone else isn’t feeling well, either. And so, I’m home with them. Not much time to mess around here.

Instead, I thought I’d post a drawing my daughter made yesterday in the doctor’s office waiting room. I think it’s pretty adorable. Mom heart is pregnant with baby heart.

On second look, it tells a story. In the top, the heart is pregnant. The bottom right features the happy Mother and Daughter heart.


On Outlining

On Outlining

As regular readers know, I despise outlining. I just can’t get myself to do it. My mind has started to shift on this over the years, owing mostly to the fact that I haven’t been able to finish a novel doing things my way. I mean, what’s the point in doing things over and over again, continuing to fail. At some point you need to make the decision: quit or try something new. Let’s try something new.

Let’s also not that when I say outline, I’m not talking about the roman numerals from grade school. I’m talking, rather, about a skeleton of a story. Just enough to know where I’m going so I don’t completely lose my way. Actually, that sounds more like a map. Let’s call it a skeleton map because almost everything sounds better with the word skeleton before it.

Anyway, I was really excited when I came across this blog post yesterday because I’ve been searching for it for a long time. What I’ve been looking for is a breakdown of the various parts of a novel, with a rough idea of what chapter each part takes place.  Here is must an excerpt of what I’ve found and at first blush seems exactly what I’ve been searching for. Read the entire post, linked below, for the full details:

Opening – Chapter One

Act One End – Chapter Six

Mid-Point Reversal – Chapter Twelve

Act Two End – Chapter Eighteen

Act Three Starts- Chapter Nineteen

Climax Starts – Chapter Twenty-Two

If I find I need more or fewer chapters, I just adjust. If one of these events happens sooner or later, no problem. The goal isn’t to follow this exactly and make it fit, it’s to guide me so the story unfolds at the pace I’ve found gives me the best story for my style.

My first pass at outlining will look something like this (but with the details of the actual story of course):

Opening – Intro of protag getting into trouble

Act One End – First major problem that throws a wrench into protag’s plans and forces them to act outside of their comfort zone.

Mid-Point Reversal – Unexpected event that sends the entire story sideways.

Act Two End – Protagonist’s actions have led them to a point where they can’t back down, but they’ll need to sacrifice something to continue.

Act Three Starts – Protagonist has acted in ways to bring them in direct conflict with the antagonist, it’s do or die, all or nothing time.

Climax Starts – Showdown with the antagonist.

via The Other Side of the Story: I Love it When a Plan Comes Together, Plotting a Novel: Part One.

Writing Tools: 750 Words

Writing Tools: 750 Words

I recently started lurking over at the writing subreddit on, well, reddit. There was a thread over there asking about useful writing tools. One particularly interesting tool was a website called 750 Words. The tl;dr on 750 Words is that it’s important to write at least 750 words a day, so why not make it fun?

I just discovered the site is becoming a pay to use site in April, $5 a month. Take that into account before you get hooked, or, enjoy the site now and pay later.
**End Update**

750 Words

Hello, welcome to a little thing called 750 Words

★ What is this site about?

I’ve long been inspired by an idea I first learned about in The Artist’s Way called morning pages. Morning pages are three pages of writing done every day, typically encouraged to be in “long hand”, typically done in the morning, that can be about anything and everything that comes into your head. It’s about getting it all out of your head, and is not supposed to be edited or censored in any way. The idea is that if you can get in the habit of writing three pages a day, that it will help clear your mind and get the ideas flowing for the rest of the day. Unlike many of the other exercises in that book, I found that this one actually worked and was really really useful.

I’ve used the exercise as a great way to think out loud without having to worry about half-formed ideas, random tangents, private stuff, and all the other things in our heads that we often filter out before ever voicing them or writing about them. It’s a daily brain dump. Over time, I’ve found that it’s also very helpful as a tool to get thoughts going that have become stuck, or to help get to the bottom of a rotten mood.

750 Words is the online, future-ified, fun-ified translation of this exercise. Here’s how it works:

★ All Online

In the past, looking for a spare notebook was probably easier than looking for a computer. Not anymore. I don’t know if my hands even work anymore with pen and paper for any task that takes longer than signing a check or credit card reciept.

★ It’s Not Blogging

I’ve tried writing my 750 words a day on Livejournal, WordPress, PBWorks, Tumblr, and all of these other sites designed around putting content online. It hasn’t worked for me. I fear that I might accidentally forget to mark daily pages as private. And it’s just weird having my private brain dumps out on various sites that are designed to be more social. I don’t need to title my entries, or tag them, or enable comments, or any of that other stuff. This is writing, and it’s online, but it’s not blogging, or Twittering, or Facebook status updating. This is between you and you.

via About a little thing called 750 Words.

Let me know if you sign up. I’m headed over there do sign up now. I have no idea if I’ll stick with it, but I figure it’s worth a try.