Dogtown Weekly: Ghosted Out

Weekly Round-up: 2/22/13

YAtopia: Amazing Advice from Some Amazing Authors:
First of all, here's a round-up of a lot of short yet useful writing advice from a variety of authors, including Heather Brewer. Pick and choose.

Livehacked: Learning to Spell At Fifty:
This is inspiring. It's the tale of a writer who struggled through school, and gotten into some shabby situations throughout the years, but eventually found his passion in writing.

YAvengers: Writing For Trends:
This is a new YA group blog (like YA Confidential, YA Indie, and YA Highway--see a pattern?). It comes with a twist: the blog authors assume the identity of a character from The Avengers movie. I can't see what they do with this concept.

Yet again, trends. What a polarizing topic. For me, I don't have a strong opinion. It's more about how they use them than the presence of them, most of the time.

The Write Practice: Do You Have a Purpose? The Absurd in Literature:
I'm including this because absurdist literature seems like an interesting type of fiction that you might want to at least dip into. Bring on the artistically pointless!

Pub Crawl: In Defense of Love Interests:
I would say this is an example of trends gone wrong, when people start shoving related yet different conventions into the same prominent box.

Love triangles and webs can be done in a chockload amount of ways, many unlike some of what is usually seen. For example, in The Sims 2 (yes, I switched games from last week; sue me), my teen Sim has dated at least five different Sims. I'm not sure if he will continue doing this in university, but he'll eventually settle done, for the sake of me being able to raise a Sim child.

But still, love triangles can be done in different ways. But know what I haven't seen yet? A true polygamous relationship between three teens. I want to see a book explore how it works, and the conflicts that sprout from it.

Feel free to steal that idea.

terribleminds: How to Push Past the Bullshit and Write That Goddamn Novel: A Very Simple No Fucker Writing Plan to get Shit Done:
I considered censoring this title, but it would've lessened the impact of the headline.

Finally, a challenge for you. I'll be following the spirit of it.


One more note: I was going to include another article that I severely disagreed with, but I had so much to say about it, and the topic served as a great vehicle to teach a few lessons, it'll be the center of Monday's post.

Let's say that by this point, I'm ready to receive some criticism from other blog writers.

Writer's Update: Boo!

Today, I'll be writing out a new story, since progress with Manifestation Files has gone sterile.

I've already got down the basic concept, and I'm considering some of the details.

The premise is: "An aimless teen medium meets another ghost magnet and fights a spirit outbreak, despite wanting to forfeit his powers."

I packed a lot of information into that one sentence, but it's a story about a teen who helps ghosts pass on, but feels like he lacks identity beyond being a self-proclaimed "ghost magnet". He has to help a ghost every week or so, and this takes a chunk out of his life because he has to spend time helping his "clients". This has became routine, but he finds his obligations stifling.

Until another teenager with his powers moves into town. Unlike my protagonist, she loves helping ghosts, and is quite happy. 

My protagonist becomes relieved when he finds that his workload is lightened, since some of the ghosts come to the newcomer.

Except suddenly, an outburst happens, and more and more ghosts from further distances pop up, and both ghost magnets team up to find out what happened, before the public find out about ghosts.

Oh, and the protagonist is going to be asexual. It's another issue the protagonist is going to be conflicted about, since sexuality is considered important to teenagers, and lacking it might make someone feel a little bummed about it.

Now, to use the snow day tomorrow.

A Musical Note

By the way, I'm listening to an album I just got: Electra Heart by Marina and the Diamonds. The singer explores a variety of personas relating to love and fame.

It's quite dark, and sometimes depressing, yet it's compelling. It's far from a club banger, but it's the most downtempo album in my collection currently. Check it out.

YOUR TURN: What are you writing this week? How about music?