More updates on TSS 2.0, LTUE, and a quick bit on Voice (and I use too many parenthesis).

School has started. Alas, but it is true. Spring Semester 2012 is in full swing, and I wasn't really prepared for it. I'm not too worried though. I'm taking fewer classes (and easier) than last semester, so I can handle it. In part, this more laid-back schedule is because I want to devote more time to writing. College is my backup plan (not plan A), so I feel like every once in a while I should stop trying to do the "smart thing" and really go for my dreams. This is easier said than done. I'm well aware that many writers finish books and get published despite school, a full time job, and a family. Well I'm not that guy. I'm the guy who gets addicted to World of Warcraft over Christmas break, and falls so far into depression he can't even be pulled out with an ice-cream cone. I'm the guy who spends more time bemoaning his failings (quietly of course) than trying to correct them. Come to think of it, it's a miracle I was ever able to finish my first novel.

I am working hard at it though. Every week I have set days and time where I normally had classes that are now dedicated to writing. I've kept to it so far, even though the first day was excruciating (I'm telling you, writing is not like riding a bike, you can forget/get out of practice). Today's holiday is an opportunity for me to get in another huge chunk of writing time, and I'm hoping I can persevere. (Yes, depression and addiction to WoW can sometimes feel totally out of your control, even though they're not.)

Anyway, a quick update on The Sometimes Sword 2.0. I'm now at 30k words, roughly 90 pages at it's current font and margin settings. I'm not quite a third of the way through, so its going to be running 20-30k words longer than version 1.0 (this kind of scares me). Other than the slow progress, I feel like it's going well. I've been hitting dialogue a little closer to the mark this time around, and I've been working hard at making plot points cooperate better. My characters have started with a bit more mass and volume, and I've worked out some of the kinks in my story telling. Aside from the motivation to actually sit down and write, I'm feeling pretty positive about it on the whole.

For those of you in Utah (and perhaps without), you may know of a writing convention called Life the Universe and Everything (LTUE), held in Orem (I think?). It's an annual event in February, and from what I hear, it's the bee's knees. I'll be attending all three days (if I can swing it with work), backpack and tape recorder in hand. Yeah, I'm one of those over eager amateurs, so what? If you're going, hit me up so we can chat and attend a few panels together. Just a side note, membership is FREE for current students with college ID. So yeah, no excuses.

One last thing. As some of you may know, I'm a bit obsessed with the idea of a writer's "voice". It's something that has always eluded me, and I can't even define to myself, let alone other people. I can see it in the writers I read, but not myself. It's more than a bit frustrating. Today I happened upon a post on, a writing website run by Chuck Wendig (I highly recommend you check him out). I wanted to highlight part of that post and link the rest:

"Writers are at the outset a scared species. It’s not our fault: we’re told that it’s a bad idea and unless we want to prepare for a life lived inside a palatial piano crate we should just buckle down and become accountants. And so I think there’s a lot of bad psychic voodoo that clogs the works, and until we start to clear that out, it’s really hard to find out who we are on the page and what our voice looks and sounds like. Finding your voice is then synonymous with losing the fear of not just writing but of being a writer."

You can read the entire post here, and I very much recommend that you do. I love this dude's stuff, and it has helped me a ton. A word of caution though: he does use a hilarious amount of vulgarity and straight up insanity. It enriches the experience. He is very serious about writing though, and writing well.

So that's it folks. That's what's going on with me. What about you? What have you been up to, and what's your "Plan A"?

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