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Dogtown Weekly: Goodbye Facebook!

This is the first Dogtown Weekly!

Read through it...

...And don't be afraid to give some feedback.

Weekly Round-ups

Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:



Writer's Updates: I Submitted to a Contest!


"Let's Write a Short Story!" cover by Joe Bunting.
After spending time dividing my attention in class and pounding away at the keys in the computer lab, I've finished a short story and submitted it to the "Let's Write a Short Story!" contest.

Maybe I should've done more revision, some more overhauling, or even write another entry (which is allowed) but I'm taking my chances. I'm jumping the cliff and hoping there's a trampoline below.

It's only a pipe dream, but the prize is promising: Getting the entry published in a print book, and retaining the rights for it so it can become the cornerstone of a short story collection. The $50 Amazon gift card is reason enough to enter, but the main, main prize is worth more.

Thinking about it, my chances are slim (and the fact that I interviewed Joe Bunting earlier on my blog might make him develop a positive bias that works against me), but hey, I actually finished a project.

Now it's time to work on my next one...if I can type it.

Sorry, You Need to Wait Until NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo logo with viking hat and a sprinter running with a giant pencil.
Do you ever have a story idea that's so strong, it makes you burn in your mind?

That's the case for one story. And it was from last year.

Here's a forum thread I made for it back in January 2011. Reading it after so long creates a strange feeling within me. It's the fact that over time, it had boiled, and I clung onto some stuff, swapped details around, and forgot about other details that I either still love, or will throw away.

Read through it for some interesting thoughts.

But I digress.

This time though, Bennus, as described in the thread, is no longer the protagonist of Road, at least in my eyes.

It's the mute's story now.

I decided that his name was Jacob in the past, but I'm not sure if that fits. But for now, I've developed a fascination of him. I want to research muteness sooner or later, but the fact that he's mute creates mucho opportunities. 

I mean, what if a teenage mute is the narrator?

How do you convey 1st person without breaking the impression his lack of speaking causes? How does he "speak"? Would he rather do sign language with whoever bothered to learn it, use his robotic companion as a second-hand mouthpiece, or just use body language?

Making Jacob the protagonist solves the problem about the idea's flat nature, as the only other person in the thread brought up.

New premise? "A teenage mute struggles to maintain his silence while serving as a mecha pilot and the friend of a potential natural."

The potential natural would be most likely Bennus, and this angle will also round out the blandness he previously had.

But even with that extra element, I want to avoid the Designated Protagonist Syndrome that plague even the best of the best. Bennus will always come off as the normal everyman even if I pump him full of quirks, which just feels wrong.

Jacob is a stand-out from the very first sentence. ("Being mute has its advantages; having tasks shoved into your hands aren't one of them.")

Plus, there's a scene that I want to write, since it's...hot. Say no more.

So why NaNoWriMo?

One project at the time. I'm still writing short stories to potentially be in a collection by the end of 2013, and Manifestation Files needs to be tended to sooner or later, so I'll just have to save Road for November.

Hey, if this idea survived for twenty-one months, what's two more? The slow-boil ideas are the ones that are likely to be finished.

Blogging News: Ditched Facebook...For Now

Facebook unlike button.
As of yesterday or so, I've stopped using Facebook.

I'm not deleting my account, since I use it to log into some other sites, but I decided that it wasn't worth putting effort into it if I wasn't going to fully commit.

You see, with homework piling up, allotting social media time for each site I use is important.

Twitter I already have down with chats like #yalitchat and #indiechat, along with a growing follower's base.

For StumbleUpon, I'm going to start putting ten minutes or so each day browsing through to cultivate traffic for both myself and other people.

Google+ I'm going to arrange plans with soon, but first, I need to look for more writers and see if it's worth creating hangouts--or seeking them out.

DeviantArt and Tumblr, on the other hand, I'm going to mirror. With the idea I presented Wednesday, I'm going to encourage responses in other user's journals and Tumblr blogs, respectively. When the Response Round-ups come around, I'll be mirroring from this site to those respectively.

Basically, I'm forming a triangle. I've decided I'll have a better chance I building my stories' demographic if I aim for those networks.

Facebook? Meh. If I'm going to go with Google+, I'll have to ditch either that or this. And Facebook goes.

It might be a bad decision, but if I'm not going to pump time into it, it's not worth burning ten minutes or so sharing links there or checking it multiple times. Plus, staying away reduces the chances which I'll waste precious minutes on Bejeweled Blitz.

Social network games are evil. More on that in the future.

Lesson? Be sure to handle your social networking time carefully, and not spread yourself too far if you want to focus your efforts.


Closing Words

That's all for now! See you Saturday for the 1st Response Round-up!

YOUR TURN: What do you think of this format? Is merging the Writer's Updates and Weekly Round-ups better?