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      January Bulletin   12/31/2017

      January's bulletin is up! It includes information about recent staff/prefect bumps, the upcoming FROGS, some special awards, and more! You can check it out +here.

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Found 8 results

  1. Happy Christmas

    Well, I failed Nano again So that means I am on par with every other year!! Life simply got me with having a new baby with a toddler at home. I have been binge watching Netflix though while I nurse Jakob. I have caught up to date with Suits, and O.M.G! I WANT TO BE DONNA!!! I think her character is simply awesome. It's not just her quirky lines, but there is so much more to Donna than meets the eye. Just when you think you have her sussed, she surprises you. Apart from that, writing has been at a minimum as I prepare for Christmas. I swear, I need to spoil my kids less. They have everything. It makes my shopping life hell. I did a lot of guessing and spending this year, so fingers crossed, I have happy kids for Christmas. I may not get a chance to get back till after Christmas, so I wish you all a safe holiday, regardless of what you celebrate or don't celebrate. Just make sure you all stay happy and safe xoxo
  2. Hey guys, it's negative nancy, here with some good news (seriously, where is this positivity coming from?) For my final year i was meant to be writing a script. I'd heard lots of things from past students on what to do and what not to do, and in the end I had vague aspirations that lead to giving up on my degree and marrying into money. But I trudged on, creating an extremely political scary world with some fairly eccentric characters thrown in. There was just one problem: I hated it. I hated my plot, I hated my characters, and I hated that it felt like there was no one on my team - because no one understood it. So I scrapped it! Now instead I'm writing a piece about age, sexuality, and family secrets...and it's not so daunting. I always saw original fiction as some strange next level writing - because with FF for me it was just playing. I touched on serious topics like dementia, anxiety, and adultery - but the characters were ready made. I had my own spin on a few, but the challenge was to present them in character. In original fiction, the rules are yours...which should be liberating - but to me it wasn't. I felt like I had to create an exciting new world because so many had already been created, wizarding worlds, Narnia, Gallifrey - and I thought by making it 'normal' I'd be boring. I thought that if my play wasn't challenging then I was writing it wrong. I don't think I'm that creative, most ideas never make it out of my brain and onto paper because I don't have the determination to complete it - and I was trying to defend a world and a setting more than an actual plot. It was like if JKR had created the wizarding world, and just gone: here you go, have fun. Rather than giving us the chosen one, or Voldemort and his death eaters - and all these families that we love, imagine if Rowling had just given us the world. It's still magical and exciting, but it isn't enough. My piece seemed half baked. I was trying so hard to remould it, and make it what other people wanted, until I realised I wasn't enjoying myself anymore. Which naturally meant it wouldn't be my best work. The best thing I ever wrote was a piece called In the Mourning, a short story about Harry and Professor McGonagall, and if Harry had visited his parents grave before the scene in deathly hallows. Or Storge, my one shot about Ariana Dumbledore and her death. The reason I think that they're probably my best, is because I loved them. I planned them out from start to finish, and put so much love and care into them...which is why I like them anyway. With my initial script it was just like, I need to get this done! It was about pleasing others, and not myself. I think that original fiction is very similar to FF really, and I'm not sure why I had it placed on this metaphoric pedestal for so many years. I don't think I could write a book myself, but from what I've written so far - I had to enjoy what I was writing. I had to be comfortable with my idea. I want it to be entertaining, and insightful. I want to make people laugh, and cry, I want them to be shocked, maybe even uncomfortable - but I want them to feel. Which I think is what every writer wants, original or not. Maybe my initial experience is completely different to other people's, but this is my first time writing original fiction, and my first time writing a play! Once I liked what I had the words kept flowing...though maybe that was because it was 2am, and now I'm up to 600 words! I know I keep going on about it and you're probably getting sick of it, but this really is a huge milestone for me. Obviously I'm far from done...in fact, I've come up with a list! This is the most basic list, that I'll have to edit as I go along, but I thought you might like to see in case I'm missing something obvious, or if you'd just like to take a gander! OF List: fully flesh out characters: 1/6 understand plot have a timeline (halfway there) know the beginning know the middle know the end come up with a title create a summary/blurb pitch it to other people have set/costume/props in mind anyway, I think I've bored you all to death by now - and I have a scene to finish!
  3. Ok, so - I have written 1,948 words. Yes, I am WAY behind It's OK, I will catch up. But, has anyone noticed that Christmas is coming up?? I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!! Yes, I have been Christmas shopping and not writing. To be fair though, I have 5 babies to shop for. Even though my eldest is 14 and into Anime and Pokemon, I'm still looking at HP stuff to buy. Which also reminds me. A friend's son is turning 11 this year, so he is getting a HP birthday. I'm going to crochet something small up for him and post it from "Mrs Weasley" The last few days I've spent moving my sites to a new hosting server that is more economical and that reminded me to update here. Here are a few lines from what I have written though
  4. Get ready. Get Set. And.........

    So, I lied in 2007, I wrote New Beginnings (MA) and wrote 33,560 words. This is the most I have written, not the 28,297 from the year before. I figured this out as I updated the NaNoWriMo site of my previous attempts and word counts. I'm missing documents from 2009 - 2010 or I may not have labelled them as "nano" and can't remember what they were In any case, as I type this, there are 52 minutes to go till NaNo starts here in Sydney, Australia. I decided to continue writing my original piece. I've no real idea where to start - I just plan on writing. I added my word count widget to my profile picture, so this will show my progress. Good luck for those doing NaNoWriMo 2017
  5. NaNoWriMo 2017

    The countdown to NaNoWriMo is on again. I participate EVERY year and I fail every year. I expect no different this year. Why do I do it? Because I've been working on my original fiction since 2009 and have yet to complete my first draft. It's a historical fiction based on a true timeline of events in Australia. As such, its also dealing with real towns and the longer I fail at writing, the more "life" goes on and towns change. But, I have spent over $2000 of my own money in research for this, so I can never give up - nor do I want to. Life has also played a massive part in the "no writing" aspect. I work full time and have just recently had baby #5. Motherhood kinda has to be a priority I came close to finishing NaNo once - my first year in 2006, with Draco and Ginny Pudding (MA), it sits at 28,297 words and I have yet to move all of it here to HPFT. The title was inspired by the HPFF Cliche Cafe, part of the NaNo fun on the forums of the time. It's the most I have written for NaNo - My least being 450 words last year Hopefully this year I will succeed, I just have no idea if I'll try and write my OF, start another, or write FF. Below in an excerpt from my original fiction - A first ever peek. I've never posted it publicly before. I have 3 more days to decide...I'll keep you updated.
  6. Hey, guys! Welcome to my blog For those who don't know me, my name is Jill, and I love rare pairs, the next generation, and The 100 (where I actually ship the main pairing???). I'm also addicted to coffee, work with kid's books for a living, and spend way too much time procrastinating and then wondering why my WIPs never get finished. But enough about me. Let's get onto the point of this entry. If you've visited my author's page at all, you might be familiar with my story Two Birds, One Stone (M) which was my first attempt at a Next Gen novel(la). I originally wrote it for a summer holiday challenge back at The Old Place, but it's since taken a life of it's own and has mostly been a really fun, light story for me to write -- which is different than the angst and tragedy I normally write. The story, is in short, a fake dating story between James II and my OC, Hannah Thomas-Finnigan. The two decide to date each other to get revenge on Hannah's cheating ex-boyfriend and to prove to the world/media/Hannah's best friend that James is capable of a serious relationship. Hannah's originally less than thrilled about the idea, but eventually warms up and over the course of the story, becomes a bit more comfortable with the idea. It's going to be hard to talk about this without giving away the ending, but I'm going to try. I originally wrote this (or started to write it) with the idea in mind that I was tired of fake dating turned real love, and I wanted to break away from that cliche. The ending is, well, less than happy, but I have a sequel in mind to make things right again. I also came up with the ending to go for shock value -- it doesn't end in the way you expect it to. So here's my dilemma and reason for this post: I don't know if I want to keep that storyline. I've written about 5 chapters now, and writing chapter 6, I feel like the story just kind of goes around in circles. People reacting to James and Hannah (affectionately referred to as Jannah in the story)'s relationship, James trying to prove to Hannah that yes, this is a good idea and it benefits both of them, and Hannah getting in way over her head. I've also struggled with the ending a lot -- I'm not sure if it really fits my characters and the story, even though they're human and everyone makes mistakes. Also, for the life of me, why can't I just write a happy fluffy story, dammit! I'm torn between seeing this through to the end (I have commitment problems with writing, so this is already a struggle) and taking it off the archives so that I can re-write the entire thing and making it more of a summer romance/coming of age story still with the basic premise. My writing has also improved a lot since I first wrote it in August of last year, and I want to re-write the first few chapters to reflect that. I'm just worried that if I take it off, I'm not going to finish it -- and I love this story as a whole and the characters, so I want to write it. I also have so many other projects going on in my brain right now, and of course, Haunting Shadows (I started writing chapter 12, I promise!), and my brain doesn't know how to multi-task well. So I'm asking for your opinions. Even if you've only read the story a little or haven't at all, I'm curious to what you would do in my shoes because this has been an issue for a while now. Any and all advice would be welcome
  7. Ah yes, the school year

    My promise every year is that during the summer I'm going to finish or at least severely update any of the WIPs that I have lying around in order to give anyone who bothers reading them some sort of relief. And so far, I have kept that promise, until this year. Last year I finished my little short story on Victoire Weasley being bitter and angry about anything and everything, and this year I was supposed to finish my short stories on the antics of muggle obsessed Lily Potter. Key point being supposed to. Because I'm still not done... I mean I'm halfway there, like I've spent the past two days posting chapter 5 to various fanfiction sites and the archives here are the only ones left, but still I'm not done. And the task is even more daunting now because chapter 5? Yeah, it's approximately 7000 words long (or 8000 words long if you go by ffnet). And chapter 5 is only part 1 of the topic I was covering because I really bit off more than I could chew and I never back down from a challenge so we'll see what happens. Which means chapter 6 is probably going to be like 10K words long (sorry validators). Also, shameless plug but please do go check out chapter 5 of the Shenanigans of Lily Potter I had a lot of fun writing it and I was personally entertained by it when I went back to edit. But, back to my point. I may not finish this little short story collection until summer of next year unfortunately, why, you ask? BECAUSE THE SCHOOL YEAR STARTED AND I'M DYING. Look, I love being a psychology major a lot, I love my courses, I've never in my life been so pumped for a 9 am class okay, I love it. But, there are too many goddamn exams in these courses and too many papers in a formatting that I'm not familiar with. I spent literally all of last year learning how to do CSE referencing for my science courses and now suddenly I have to do APA referencing (which has like ridiculously specific guidelines I might add). And do you know who has taught me APA referencing. NO ONE. I'm constantly having to run back and forth across campus, yelling at random strangers to get out of my way -and I mean this literally, I'm not exaggerating, I did this just today in fact- trying to keep up with my readings, and trying to remember what my neuroscience prof says after I've left the class. Look, I love that class, and my prof, to bits, it's interesting, and my prof is wild, he brought in a human brain and a few others and he's bringing a skull and a spinal cord or column in on Monday so I'm like super pumped, but I can never recall any of the information that he spoke of after I've left the class which is problematic because I have a quiz coming up on what we did. My stats course terrifies me because statistics is the only math that doesn't stick in my brain. I can do any other type of math thrown my way but not stats, my brain just does not compute (stats and perms and combs but that's a rage for another time) and I'm terrified because I don't want to fail that class but also excited because the prof is basically just me in the future. My abnormal psychology course is honestly so lit and so is the history of psychology, reading my textbook is honestly a wild ride, also my prof is a huge Harry Potter fan so I feel like he and I will be friends on like a deep level. In other news, I also recently made a resume which I will be sending out in the hopes of being hired because I'm very interested in money, I'm applying for research assistant positions in a few labs and hopefully they will overlook my abysmal grades last year and take me on anyways! Also, I got a laptop which I am writing this from which is exciting because I've never had a laptop and I also now have no reason to ever leave my room. But this means that I'm going to have less time to read and fanfiction and leave reviews, which means that work on my WIP A Minor Setback is going to have to wait another year as well and I feel so terrible about it because it's literally been abandoned for like 5 years because I just stopped writing it one day for whatever reason. So yeah, back to school season has started, I've been buying and selling textbooks all week, I have tuition to pay, and I'm waitlisted for my organic chemistry class please send help and pray for me.
  8. Planning Your Novel

    How to Plan and Outline Your Novel Planning isn’t for everyone -- it wasn’t ‘for me’ either until I found an outlining system that worked for me. Since I started planning and outlining more thoroughly, I’ve found that I no longer suffer from writer’s block (not yet, anyway *crosses fingers*). Now, if I’m not writing when I could be writing (like right now), it’s because I’m being a procrastinator. Let me begin by saying that planning is not for everyone -- I know some people who have the ability to sit down and type, planning as they go and keeping track of everything in their headspace. Especially with a novel, this doesn’t work for me (my headspace is filled up with thoughts of when I’m going to have pizza next). Other people work with varying degrees of planning from basic plot and character ideas to full on detailed outlines and supplemental material. I fall in the latter category. Also, the method I’ll be using below might not work for everyone because everyone is different and will have their own style of doing things. I’ve even seen one writer start with (lengthy) individual character plots, print them out, cut them up, and put them into sequential order. I would never be able to keep track of all those bits of paper, but that’s what works for her. Here’s an example of how to plan your novel using a made-up story synopsis that will probably be lacking. Where to Start? Again, I’m just going to show you where I like to begin planning, and things may be a little different for you. Maybe you like to come up with your characters before writing your plot, or maybe you like writing the end of your novel first and work backward to the introduction. Whatever works. Step One: The Basic Plot Points The first thing I do is jot down the basic plot points, without any detail whatsoever. This helps me get the general idea of how long my story is going to be. (Generally speaking, the more plot points, the longer the story and the few plot points, the shorter the story. Once again, this isn’t always true in all cases.) Example: Boy meets Girl Boy falls in love with Girl Girl doesn’t notice Boy Boy gains superpowers from eating radioactive broccoli Girl is abducted by Evil Mutated Vegetable Warlord Boy fights Evil Mutated Vegetable Warlord and all of his Evil Mutated Vegetable Minions (probably with help) Boy saves the world | Boy saves Girl Girl falls in love with Boy Boy and Girl live happily ever after. Step Two: The Details Now that you know where your story is headed, it’s time to fill in some of the details. You can do this by separating your story into three parts (part one, part two, and part three). For now, you won’t be getting overly specific, but it should clarify some of the greater plot points. Part One: The Introduction This is where you’ll be introducing your characters, namely your protagonist. This is also where you’ll be creating the setting of the story (which can be changeable, of course) and where you’ll begin to introduce problems that your main character will be facing. Remember that nobody else will be seeing this except for you (unless you show them), Example: Boy lives in Nowheresville, New York in 2017. He’s 16 and is attending Nowheresville High. He has two friends, Comic-Relief-Bob and Steve, and is the head of the AV club. He idolizes Girl, the Mary Sue cheerleader who is beautiful and excels in everything (except for not getting caught by monsters and being a damsel in distress). Boy tries everything to impress Girl: reciting Shakespeare outside her bedroom window at night, buying her lots of expensive things like bouquets of flowers and concert tickets, even decorating her locker daily with paper-mache hearts and love notes. Nothing works. One dreary October day, Boy was eating in the cafeteria with Bob and Steve. Bob says some funny things to establish that he is the funny one. Steve agrees with everything Boy says. Boy knows that the broccoli looks funny that day (is broccoli supposed to glow?) but decides to eat it anyway. Later that night, Boy discovers that the severe indigestion was actually the imbuement of superhuman abilities like super-strength and super-speed and also he can fly! Neat. (Also, it made him at least three times more attractive, because it did.) The next day, while showing his friend his newfound abilities, an army of Evil Mutated Vegetable minions breaks into the school and the leader kidnaps Girl (because she’s the best, duh). Part Two: The Middle Bits This is where your MC will decide to solve whatever problem was presented to them at the beginning of the story. This is the largest part of your story, and a lot of important information happens here, so plan accordingly. In this section, your characters will be more fully revealed, they’ll have trying moments that teach them valuable lessons (probably), and you’ll develop an interesting story along the way. This section should also be building the story to its climax while keeping enough conflict to keep this part of the story interesting. Example: Boy has a huge decision to make. Will he leave the safety of his ordinary life behind to save the girl of his dreams? Yes. Yes, he will. He places his parents in a sleep-stasis, before heading out with Bob (who makes some funny remarks) and Steve. By the context clues left at the scene, namely an address, the boys know they will be traveling to Austria. Together they travel the Oceans by giant turtle (because speaking to animals is yet another one of Boy’s abilities), and they traverse the Alps (all 1,200kms of mountain) they finally end up in up in Vienna, Austria. They find that the inhabitants of Vienna are under the mind control of the Evil Mutated Vegetable Minions, who try to capture you all on sight. During an intense battle, Bob is captured. Now Boy is really determined to find the Evil Mutated Vegetable Warlord’s hideout and save both his to-be girlfriend and his friendly comic relief. Upon finding the lair, both Boy and Steve fall into a trap!. They are imprisoned in the Warlord’s lair. Part Three: The Ending This is what your entire story has been leading up to -- the climax. Your climax should be exciting! It’s the big reveal, or the final battle, or the most important piece of the plotline. This is also where you’ll be tying up loose ends and letting the reader know how the story ends. Example: As it turns out, the bars on the imprisonment are made from anti-superhuman-ability materials, and Boy can’t break his way out. Luckily for Boy, Steve can pick a lock as well as the next guy (if the next guy were a locksmith). Once freed, Boy and Steve try to defeat the Warlord and his Minions An epic battle occurred, in which there were many times that the both sides gained the advantage and even a moment where it looked like the bad guys would inevitably win. In a most epic and trying moment, Bob is finally able to defeat the evil army with the power of fruits! As it turned out, Evil Mutated Vegetables’ greatest weakness was perfectly ripened fruits. And luckily for the protagonists, a fruit vendor wheeled his cart into the lair. Boy and Steve defeat the Warlord and his Minions before setting Girl and Bob free. Bob says funny things. Girl falls in love with Boy, and they live happily ever after and Boy continuously saves Girl from various antagonists until the end of their days. The End Step Three: Storyboard Time Next, I like to make a storyboard, where I can pile all those plot points in chronological order and fill in the blanks. This also allows me to add any and all other ideas I have for the story (subplot points, random quotes, and other ideas) into the story on some sort of timeline. Perhaps you’ll want to throw in some sort of plot twist or have finally figured out one of Bob’s extremely funny jokes. There are a ton of different ways you could storyboard. You can use the old thumb tack to wall (or cork board) trick. Take index cards with all of your plot points and ideas and stick them to something (sticky notes work, too, but be careful that the adhesive doesn’t wear out before you’ve finished). This way you can freely rearrange the storyline at will. There are also programs that allow you to move ideas around freely like Microsoft OneNote, Google Keep, and Zim. I personally enjoy storyboarding on Google Keep because it’s simple, allows me to move those notes around, pin the ones I want to keep in place and save images and links from the web when I get into the ever-important research phase. Whatever you choose, if you’re planning on using a physical approach (like a cork board), I suggest taking a picture or copying it onto into a program or document for backup purposes. Part Four: The Nitty Gritty Now that you know where your story’s going, there are several main concepts that you're going to have to figure out. Characterization: This is where you’ll delve into the who and the what of your characters. There are highly complex methods and more simplistic methods on mapping out your characters. I made a list of characterization ideas +here, but it’s pretty extensive and grueling. @Shadokat678 left a video link in the comments with a much more concise character mapping guide, and @MuggleMaybe left a list of HP-verse character-related questions as well! World-building: If you’re writing an alternate earth or in a different dimension, it’s a good idea to establish the workings of your world. Even if you’re not, it’s still a good idea to know what’s going on in the world that may affect the characters in the plot. For example, you may want to establish types of government or the current economy (especially in the location(s) that the story is taking place). @TidalDragon wrote a magnificent guide to world building +here Establishing a System for Everything ‘Superhuman’: ( Or anything else that the reader isn’t familiar with.) If you’re using Superhuman abilities, make sure to include why, and how they work, and what their limitations are. The same goes for magic. Fun things to include are if and how those things evolve over time and what the cost is for using or learning them. For more specific information on writing magical abilities, check out Sanderson’s Laws of Magic +here, which I’ve found insightful. Also, things like unfamiliar races and creatures (Orcs, Halflings, Bugbears, Gods, etc.) should be explained somewhat for your reader. Therefore, it’s a good idea to establish those things for yourself first. What can they do? What do they look like? Where do they live? Etc. Are there unfamiliar plants in your story? What about substances? Anything that the reader would feel unfamiliar with, or something you’ve created from nothing, should be fully understood by you, the writer, so that it may be understood by the reader. Step Five: The Research There are probably going to be some aspects of your story you’d like to research more. In the case of the example I used during the plotting phase, I might want to research the Alps or Austria. Maybe I’d like to research sea turtles and their migration. Extensive understanding of what your writing will translate to your reader, making your story feel more realistic and believable. Make sure you have a solid understanding of what you’ll be writing about. This is also where I find that using the storyboard-able programs are helpful for storing and organizing information. This is where some of you may think is a good time to stop and start writing. Or maybe you would stop long before now and get to the writing. I tend to take things a bit further and expand my characterizations and plot points further, just so I know where I’m going. Then, I get even crazier. Sep Six: Chapter Outlines This is where I break apart my story into chapters and extensively outline each chapter accordingly. I didn’t do this initially, but now that I’ve started, I can’t stop. This ensures that I always know what’s happening in my story and is probably the greatest contributing factor in eliminating writer’s block (for me). Conclusion: That’s a ton of work to do, but it’s how I like to plan for my story. This is not going to work for everyone, and you should definitely plan whatever ways work best for you. Feel free to share different ways that YOU like to plan, if at all.