Narrative Summary

I recently realized in my “real job” that I need to write something up in detail before I write a summary of it.  Even though in the recent case in point I knew all I was going to eventually need was the summary, I needed to go through the exercise of thinking through the whole thing.

To some extent, I have always done some version of that.  For example, in five paragraph essays for school (back in the day), I liked to write the three body paragraphs to figure out what I was doing and *then* write the introduction/conclusion.  I’ve done that for technical papers at work as well.

So it shouldn’t have surprised me when I realized I needed to do that in my stories, too.  Having drunk from the “show don’t tell” Kool-Aid, I tend to try to describe step-by-step action to try to capture the visuals that I am seeing in my head.  Unfortunately, this can generate some really, well, *boring* prose.  Yes, seeing an acrobatic troupe build a human pyramid is cool, but describing each jump and flip to make it?  Not so much.

So in the current short project, 173 visually awesome but boring-as-showing words have now been summarized in 23 action-packed narrative summary words.  Much better.

August Stats

I spent August working through the snowflake method to plan a novel.  I am now somewhere between steps 5 and 6, which is to say that I’ve written a character synopsis for my main character the length of the plot synopsis in part 6 and several but not all of my one-page character summaries for the other characters.  As such, I have written lots of words, but none that I can count towards word count.  My plan, BTW, is to finish the character summaries, call steps 5 and 6 done, skip step 7, and go straight to step 8, listing the scenes in the novel.  Then I will be ready to start writing it.

However, I had a short story idea come to me, so that may get written first.

Either way, I expect to generate some actual word count this month.




LoneStarCon 3 – WorldCon 71 Report

View from our Hotel Window



My kids and I drive the TARDIS.


I am back from my first WorldCon!

I have to admit, I went in fan mode and not author mode.

I partially picked panels to go to based on who was going to be in them.  In retrospect, that was actually a pretty good way to pick panels.  The people I expected to be thoughtful were thoughtful, and the people I expected to be funny were funny.  And sometimes vice versa.

I also stood in line for signatures and worked up the courage to approach a couple of authors outside of their official signings to get some books signed.  The authors were all very gracious and fun to talk to.  Squee!

I was excited to be able to nominate and vote for the Hugos this year, and getting to see the ceremony live and in person without DRM or technical issues and with some strong opinions about who I wanted to win was a real treat.

Somehow, although it seems like I didn’t see enough people or go to enough panels, I still didn’t find much time to visit the dealer room until the last hour we were at the con.

Overall, a great experience.