What happens When the Words Stop.

In Which GeGi addresses an issue all writers have eventually encountered.

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Greetings, fellow octopi! This is GeGi hosting today.

There are times in a writer’s life when the words stop. The flow seems to dry up; you struggle to craft even the simplest sentences. Inspiration and creative energy feel like things of the past, and you wonder if you’ll ever write again.

I do, at least. The rhythm of my writing is very cyclical — abundance is followed by drought followed by fresh abundance, and on, and on, and on. When I was younger this worried me. Each time I took an involuntary break from writing, I felt like it was the final time. The well had run dry, and I wasn’t a real writer after all.  Then the words would come rushing back, and I would be consumed by writing again, trying to ignore everything else so I could spend hours upon hours in the fictional worlds of my own creation. I would tell myself that this time it had to be real, that it would last. Which, of course, it never did.

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Image description: photo of an octopus, one tentacle upraised and coiled at the end. Caption reads “curse you” with extra u’s at the end, and three exclamation marks.

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Q&A: Writer Friends and the Importance of Having Them. Part Two.

In Which Your Hosts Continue to Answer a Few Questions about Friendship of a Writerly Variety.

Greetings, fellow octopi. Welcome Back to our First Ever Q&A!

Today we shall continue exploring The Topic of Writerly Friends, via endever*. Once again this will be a Question and Answer format — to give you, dear readers, a chance to see this important facet of our lives from two different viewpoints. Last week the set of questions were answered be GeGi; and now we get to see what endever* has to say about the subject…

Without further ado, let us acquire appropriate refreshments and begin!

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image description: photo of a clear glass mug, featuring an orange octopus tea infuser.

Continue reading “Q&A: Writer Friends and the Importance of Having Them. Part Two.”

Q&A: Writer Friends and the Importance of Having Them. Part One.

In Which Your Hosts Answer a Few Questions about Friendship of a Writerly Variety.

Greetings, fellow octopi. Welcome to our First Ever Q&A!

With you today for this Very Special occasion will be our two co-founders: GeGi and endever*. The Topic is Writerly Friends, and it’s one which we’ve been nibbling about the edges of for quite some time here at The Octopus Society of Evil Authors Headquarters. We’ve decided, after much discussion between ourselves, to cover this area of writer life via a Question and Answer format; both in order to make our lives a little easier, but also — more importantly — to give you, dear readers, a chance to see this important facet of our lives from two different viewpoints. First to answer will be GeGi, followed by the same set of questions next week to be answered by endever*.

Without further ado, let us acquire appropriate refreshments and begin!

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image description: photo of a cup-and-saucer set featuring pink roses, and green leaves, with vines connecting, edged in gold. Also featured are green-and-gold octopus tentacles emerging from inside the cup.

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Extracurricular mediums

In Which endever* shares specific ideas about developing your world and characters.

GeGi wrote beautifully last week about the importance of developing a clear vision of the world you’re building in your fiction, even if all the details don’t directly end up in your finished piece. Today I’d like to share some of my techniques for worldbuilding as well as characterbuilding – that is, all the ways I novel when I’m not actually writing. The idea is to develop a clear vision of your characters, including their backstory, and of the universe they occupy and its history. The better you know your characters and the situation you’ve placed them in, the easier it’s going to be to let them make decisions that make sense (rather than jerking them around in service of your plot).

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Being a Writer; GeGi’s musing on the heart of the matter.

In Which GeGi Becomes Philosophical about being a Writer.

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image description: photo of an octopus with caption reading “oh hello there, welcome to my humble abode”.

endever* and I (GeGi) have rather different approaches to writing (partly because we have very different backgrounds for how we became writers). It’s one of the contributing factors for the awesomeness of our writerly discussions. Things are generally much more interesting when different points of view can come together to tackle a problem, after all. Talking about your writing with someone who will ask questions you never thought of is extremely helpful. The reverse of that — being asked questions you hadn’t thought of about someone else’s writing — is incredibly useful for exploring knowledge you have but hadn’t bothered to put into words. Incidentally, it also happens to be a excellent example of the whole “teaching is the best way to learn” advice… But getting into the importance of writerly friends is a topic for a future post!

Continue reading “Being a Writer; GeGi’s musing on the heart of the matter.”

Writing as unschooling

In Which endever* discusses the connections between unschooling and being a writer.

Hi there, endever* here! I’d like to talk a little today about writing as a form of self-directed learning.

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Image description: pencil drawing of an octopus holding several open books

Never heard of the concept? It’s most frequently discussed in reference to “school-age” youth, generally as a subtype of homeschooling or as a value held by an alternative school. In the context of young people’s lives I consider unschooling necessary to anti-ageist revolution, something dear to my heart. Extrapolated to usage across the lifespan, it has a lot to do with a deliberate, holistic commitment to lifelong learning.

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Suggestions and Ideas for the Wary Author.

Tips for Octopi on methods of discretion while researching.

In this day and age, it becomes a sensible precaution for the aspiring Evil Author to take a few extra measures to ensure privacy and discretion in the pursuit of research. Should the hapless outsider discover an Evil Author’s internet queries out of context, for example, the author might be suspected of plotting deeds most foul in the physical world, rather than merely bringing suffering and excitement to the world of their own creation. Such unpleasantness should be avoided, as it only serves as a distraction from precious time which should rightly be spent writing. Fortunately, my dear octopi, endever* and I (GeGi) have decided to compile a few helpful suggestions to aid you in this avoidance.

onward-human-to-glory
image: photo of tiny orange octopus sitting on the back of a SCUBA diver’s hand, one tentacle upraise; caption “Onward Human, To Glory!”

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