Achievement unlocked ...

Wow. I knew you guys were awesome, but you just blew me away last week. On Friday, I received an email from Clarion West that we have achieved Tier 3, our $100 goal! As a matter of fact, we shot over the goal and collected $160.00 in donations for Clarion West.

You people simply rock!

What this means is that I am now about to offer up not one, not two, but all three of the tiers to some lucky folks. Here is what I'm going to do:

  • There will be three separate blog posts following this one (Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3).
  • All you have to do to enter is comment and tell me why you should be a character in my novella.
  • You may comment on one tier or you may comment on all three. That's all you have to do to enter.

On Saturday, June 21, 2014, I will break out my trusty random number generator and pick a winner from each tier. On Monday, June 23, 2014, I will announce the winners.

STRETCH GOALS ARE COMING! Watch the website, because on Wednesday, I've got some really super authors who have offered to donate cool stuff to help us raise donations for Clarion West and make the most of their Write-a-thon.

What does Clarion West do? Clarion West is a non-profit literary organization that offers workshops for speculative fiction writers. If you would like a taste of a Clarion West workshop, Elizabeth Bear has posted a lecture that she has given at past Clarion workshops. "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Narrative" is an intensive look at story and structure and a fine example of the kind of lectures Clarion attendees receive.

UPDATE ON THE BROKEN ROAD: The novella is coming along very nicely. In between working on the website and other weekend activities, I've managed to reach 12,000 words. When writing a first draft, I often just plunge in and begin. Situations are somewhat contrived, but I keep going. I have a definite idea of how the story is supposed to go and the plot points involved, however, plot alone does not make a story work. Not for me, anyway. I need to be inside the character's heads. So while I'm writing the background scenery and working the plot, I'm also trying to attain a feel for the characters and their motivations.

I had reached the 11,000 word mark and realized that the story didn't open fast enough. I'm still not entirely pleased with the opening, but I did spend some time smoothing it out yesterday. Two things were lacking from the first rough draft: a ticking clock and a less contrived way in which to introduce my protagonist. By changing the motivation and occupation of one character, I achieved the necessary secondary character to best reflect my protagonist and his goals.

After four novels and six short stories, I've finally learned how to work through a story that doesn't waste time, but also allows me to enjoy being creative. I begin with a very brief synopsis, then I start writing. As I move through the story I am watching for pacing, characterization, and character motivations. It is a process that continues throughout the story for me. I don't remain bound to my synopsis, it is only a guideline. That freedom to improvise is what enables me to stay on track while enjoying the process of creating new characters and their worlds.

Thus ends this week's updates. If you enjoy writing, go read the Bear lecture, it is really worth your time.

If you want to help sponsor me, you can go to my Write-a-thon page. There you will see an orange button that says SPONSOR TERESA FROHOCK. This will lead you to a PayPal page where you can sponsor my goals if you like. Any donations to Clarion West are tax deductible in the U.S.

The contest for Tuckerizations will open in separate posts, so stay tuned, and be sure to come back Wednesday!

Note: I disabled comments on this post so no one got confused as to which post to comment on for the prizes.