Thursday, June 24, 2010

CanWrite starts tomorrow!

I'm volunteering all weekend at the CanWrite! 2010 conference. I'll be at registration, and then doing signup for the blue pencil sessions. I'll probably be everywhere, but I can be tracked down there, if anyone is so inclined. I'm excited at the prospect of my first writing conference, and this one is focusing on something dear to my heart - applying technology to your writing.

It's interesting how technology is changing the industry. People are experimenting with storytelling via Twitter the mind-bogglingly broad spectrum of webcomics. Two of my recent discoveries have been Metaphysical Neuroma by Attila and FreakAngels, written by the iconic Warren Ellis.

Comics are their own separate world from writing and publishing books, but they have strange and sometimes beautiful overlap, such as that personified in Neil Gaiman, who has written everything from the screenplay and then novel of the BBC's Neverwhere to the children's book Coraline to the fantastic graphic novel Sandman to the novel American Gods. He's amazingly dynamic, and has had a definite impact on both my writing and the variety of vectors my interests follow.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Open Source - not just for computer people

Open source is more than a way to get great software like web browsers Firefox and Chrome, word processor Open Office, art program GIMP and antivirus program ClamWin. It's a movement towards freedom of intellectual property - towards intellectual communism.

Open source software isn't new, though - the GNU Project, the precursor to Linux (a family of open source operating systems), was started in 1983. But in the past few years, open source has moved from a computer thing to a culture thing. Creative Commons took the idea of open source and applied it to intellectual property other than code.

Now some of the same principles - not being forced to pay for interesting things - are being brought back to the physical world through things like Decentralize Dance Paries. Which looks completely awesome.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Character Creation

The Victoria Writers' Society had its last meeting before the summer on Wednesday. Tricia Dower spoke about character creation and read from her book, Silent Girl. Despite being sick and having to leave the room a couple times, she gave a really great talk.

Character creation, and the role of the character in the story (should they drive the plot? should the plot dictate everything about them? is setting a character, and should it be?) is a topic that comes up on every writing forum I'm a member of. Every writer is different, and takes different approaches, even amongst different of their own works.

Tricia Dower had an interesting approach to interviewing one's characters, getting to know them as individuals beyond the page so that they inhabit the page as whole beings.