"Mr. Fall, who sources speculate loves Thanksgiving, butternut squash soup, homecoming parades, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” apple-picking, and haunted hayrides, emerges reliably every year around this time in his traditional uniform, sometimes alternating his iconic sweater with a fleece vest or pullover."
Pixar story artists are some of the most noteworthy public storytellers of our generation. Emma Coats put together #storybasics and they are now celebrated as relentlessly effective rules for a good story. Here is the full list, with emphasis added.
You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.
Dragon acid is nasty stuff. Black and thick and stinking. It slurps down the back of your coat and coats your hands and covers your boots until they slip against scales as you try to climb. You’ll never get it out of your hair. The stick will follow you like a haze for a week, wash after wash, even after your skin is rubbed raw, until you realize the smell is inside your nose and down your throat.
She locks her caribeaner in place, piercing through a spiney fin. She holds onto the stiff cartilage for a second, the wind ripping at her clothes, cold scraping at her skin, squinting at the next fin, further up the spine. She braces, then launches, her boots smacking one two three before the spine drops out from under her with a heave and she is airborne, free falling, arms wide, aiming as best she can for the next spine.
She lands with an Ompff, the air knocked from her lungs and pain blooming in her knee. She rolls, snags the fin, and latches on.
I wrote this about my first day at Dashcon and the resulting ridiculousness. Again, feel free to ask questions.
I was going to write a quick review of my experience at the first Dashcon… well apparently, things took kind of a weird turn when Welcome to Night Vale, the ‘keystone event’ of the convention had to cancel.
“When I was learning how to critique other writers’ stories, one of my biggest lessons was this: Critique the story they wrote, not the story you wish they’d written.”—Jodi Meadows (via tristinawright)
Dax Tran-Caffee is a genderqueer artist and maker living San Francisco. They’re currently putting endless work and love into an Eisner-nominated comic called Failing Sky. The short pitch is “an internet graphic novel about a failed sailor, a genderqueer nancy drew, and giant robots.”
Dax, thanks so much for agreeing to this interview! Let’s get started. You’ve called Failing Sky a genderqueer graphic novel. How is genderqueerness woven into this project?
Write with Lions - Kindle edition by Jim Markus, Nicole Meekhof. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Write with Lions.
Hello Neil! Do you have any tips when it comes to public speaking as a writer and beating stage fright? I'm reading one of my stories in front of an audience tomorrow, which I've never done before, and I'm terrified.
And as for readings, the last time I was asked, I said, on my blog:
Read it as if you’re telling a story. Read it as if you’re interested and you care. And, the biggest and most important one, vary the tune.
I heard a young writer reading some of his own work in public a few weeks ago, and every sentence had exactly the same tune, the same rising and falling cadences. They all ended on the same note. The beat that ran through the whole passage did not change from first to last. It was hypnotically dull.
Listen to people read who are good at it. BBC Radio Four Extra and BBC Radio 4 (here’s the Radio 4 Readings website)are a great source of an ever-changing series of books and stories, fiction and non-fiction, all read aloud and read aloud well. Listen to the tune, where voices go up or down. Listen to what makes a reader speed up or slow down — listen to what keeps you interested and where you lose interest. And do it as they do — change the tune, change the pace, keep interested and it will keep interesting.
But mostly my advice is this: just do it. Enthusiasm and willingness to do it counts for most of it, and you learn by doing it and get better from doing it.
I’ve been reading in front of audiences now for almost 20 years. I’ve got significantly better in that time, mostly because I’ve done it so much. You learn as you go. You get better as you go. Practice makes if not perfect then at least pretty decent.