The Bransforumsfest Writing Workshop Brainstorm

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dios4vida
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Re: The Bransforumsfest Writing Workshop Brainstorm

Post by dios4vida » August 23rd, 2011, 12:28 pm

Margo wrote:On a vaguely related note...I don't drink. :lol:
...I thought you wanted more booze-induced writing discussions...

And I don't drink, either. We'll sit in the back and laugh at everyone else. :)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: The Bransforumsfest Writing Workshop Brainstorm

Post by Margo » August 23rd, 2011, 12:48 pm

dios4vida wrote:...I thought you wanted more booze-induced writing discussions...
I have mastered being passionately opinionated and enthusiastic on a topic (with a touch of morose upon occasion) without requiring alcohol to loosen my tongue. :twisted:
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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Re: The Bransforumsfest Writing Workshop Brainstorm

Post by Cookie » August 23rd, 2011, 12:54 pm

dios4vida wrote:
Margo wrote:On a vaguely related note...I don't drink. :lol:
...I thought you wanted more booze-induced writing discussions...

And I don't drink, either. We'll sit in the back and laugh at everyone else. :)
When I was little, I couldn't wait to turn 18, so I could go sit at the bar my mom worked at and laugh at all the drunks.

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Re: The Bransforumsfest Writing Workshop Brainstorm

Post by Nicole R » August 23rd, 2011, 1:31 pm

Sommer Leigh wrote:I am definately in for the socializing more than the work, but I am also excited about getting to sit with my favorite online people to pick brains and share ideas and get input.
Yup! This is what I'm looking forward to the most. I'm pretty confident that we Bransforumers could start a conversation on just about any subject in the world...and we'd still end up turning it into a writing chat/brainstorm. :P

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Re: The Bransforumsfest Writing Workshop Brainstorm

Post by Claudie » August 23rd, 2011, 1:49 pm

Margo wrote:
dios4vida wrote:...I thought you wanted more booze-induced writing discussions...
I have mastered being passionately opinionated and enthusiastic on a topic (with a touch of morose upon occasion) without requiring alcohol to loosen my tongue. :twisted:
O.o Oh, I better not be the only one enjoying a good drink on that trip! My accent is going to be funny enough without the booze, just imagine with it!

I agree that everything doesn't have to be planned around workshops. In fact, I'd vote to keep a day free of anything on the schedule, so we can all spontaneously do Vegas stuff (in addition to the planned entertainment).

And to those who'd bring friends: yeeessss! For the record I'm not going cross-country for Vegas. I'm going across countries. :D The only Bransforumers I'm not allowed to lord the "I'm covering more distance" over are those who'll be coming from Europe. :P (if any?)

My boyfriend is semi-worried about being left with nothing to do, to the point where he'd enjoy participating in the more creative workshops (those that involve writing from prompts, for example). He has no plans of professional writing, but he does participate in NaNo, which means if you give him a laptop and ask him to write and hush, he wouldn't be a bother. Of course if there are other non-writers about, planning an activity out, he might prefer that.

I love the insecurities sharing session. There aren't a lot of people you can share these things with, but Bransforumers are among the lot.

Finally, ditto on Sommer and being excited about getting to pick everyone's brains and be inspired by you awesome folks.
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

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Re: The Bransforumsfest Writing Workshop Brainstorm

Post by dios4vida » August 23rd, 2011, 2:15 pm

Claudie wrote:O.o Oh, I better not be the only one enjoying a good drink on that trip! My accent is going to be funny enough without the booze, just imagine with it!

My boyfriend is semi-worried about being left with nothing to do, to the point where he'd enjoy participating in the more creative workshops (those that involve writing from prompts, for example). He has no plans of professional writing, but he does participate in NaNo, which means if you give him a laptop and ask him to write and hush, he wouldn't be a bother. Of course if there are other non-writers about, planning an activity out, he might prefer that.

I love the insecurities sharing session. There aren't a lot of people you can share these things with, but Bransforumers are among the lot.

Finally, ditto on Sommer and being excited about getting to pick everyone's brains and be inspired by you awesome folks.
I'm actually excited to hear your accent. Down here all I hear is Mexican-Spanish, so to me French-Canadian accents are super exotic. I know, it's weird, but it's true.

My husband is really shy, so I doubt he'd be in on any activities for the non-writers. Maybe a hand of blackjack, if he's feeling adventurous. Most likely he'll sit in the corner playing video games on my laptop while we workshop. If anyone is a fan of video games (fantasy RPGs especially), Star Wars, paintball, or racquetball, though, you'll have an instant friend in Brian. :)

I think the one thing I'm most excited about is the chance to just hang with a bunch of other writing nerds. It'll be so nice to talk about plots and writing without rolling eyes, blank stares, or the smile-and-nod-I-have-no-idea-what-you're-talking-about faces. (Or those who think they know what writing's like cause they've always wanted to write a book and one day they just might try it but they can relate cause they've considered writing a book! Unless you've actually done it, I'm sorry, you don't understand.) I love hanging around the forums for this kind of talk with you awesome guys, and for this to happen in person will be about the coolest thing ever. :D
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: The Bransforumsfest Writing Workshop Brainstorm

Post by Claudie » August 23rd, 2011, 2:25 pm

dios4vida wrote:My husband is really shy, so I doubt he'd be in on any activities for the non-writers. Maybe a hand of blackjack, if he's feeling adventurous. Most likely he'll sit in the corner playing video games on my laptop while we workshop. If anyone is a fan of video games (fantasy RPGs especially), Star Wars, paintball, or racquetball, though, you'll have an instant friend in Brian. :)
Well, he does play a lot of video games (I really mean) and was fan enough of Star Wars to read the books. And I think he has it in him to walk up to Brian and ask what he's playing (he asks a lot of questions XD). So hey, we never know!

As for the accent, well, I can understand. I love hearing accents. If you see me stay silent somewhat at the start, it's normal. I tend to be shy around new groups for a hour (more when they're all english-speakers), and then at some point I stop and go all out, can't-stop-speaking, and no longer care how much I'm messing up the pronunciation. Alcohol will, of course, speed up the process. XD

I'm surprised at how many of you don't have close writer friends in their "real life". I met some awesome people through NaNoWriMo, and now the friends I see most often all are writers at heart. When I rant plot and characters, they all know what I'm talking about.
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

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Re: The Bransforumsfest Writing Workshop Brainstorm

Post by Margo » August 23rd, 2011, 2:28 pm

Hey, I wanna talk video games too! Is he into Fallout 3/Fallout New Vegas or the Dragon Age games?
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Re: The Bransforumsfest Writing Workshop Brainstorm

Post by MattLarkin » August 23rd, 2011, 2:31 pm

dios4vida wrote:
MattLarkin wrote:Ooo, wish I could make it. This sounds great, but highly unlikely I could go cross country for it.
Aw... :( I think there might have been another guy or two who could use a roomie, that'd save you almost $200. Seriously, though, it'd be awesome if you could make it. (Random note: I woke up thinking about Chandi and your story this morning...)
Well that's flattering! Thanks, Brenda. I've contracted a freelance editor for September, so after that, more revisions, and then we'll see. After so long writing about Chandi and Naresh, I certainly feel a connection to them.

As for the meetup, this keeps making it sound even better :( I will keep it under advisement, assuming I am in the country. I might be in India at that time. If I'm back, my wife would be with me, so it depends on if we can manage the time as much as the money.
Margo wrote:(Is it too late to argue for less workshop and more booze-fueled impromptu writing conversations? :D )
My wife and I also don't drink.
dios4vida wrote:If anyone is a fan of video games (fantasy RPGs especially), Star Wars, paintball, or racquetball, though, you'll have an instant friend in Brian.
Well video games and RPGs are a fun side hobby of mine, when I find the time (which is not too often these days).
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Re: The Bransforumsfest Writing Workshop Brainstorm

Post by Sommer Leigh » August 23rd, 2011, 2:46 pm

I may have my husband with me, but we're not sure how his school is going to be during that week (he teaches) so we'll see. He has a friend who lives in Vegas that he'll probably go see a few times, but he's a huge video game guy, so he'd play games.

Also for our video game playing husbands (and us, of course) one of my favorite places in Vegas is the Sega arcade which is HUGE and you can play unlimited games for pretty cheap. You buy a card for a certain amount of time and then you can play any of the games with a swipe of the card as many times as you want during the time frame you purchased the card for. I can kill HOURS in the Sega arcade. Hours and hours and hours.
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Re: The Bransforumsfest Writing Workshop Brainstorm

Post by dios4vida » August 23rd, 2011, 5:53 pm

Wow! I really didn't mean to derail the thread with video games! And it seems like our spouses might get along with each other as well as we do, if they're all geeky enough to love gaming and Star Wars and stuff like that. :) Maybe we should set up TVs and have people bring their consoles so that we don't have to worry about their entertainment. ;)

We've never done Fallout and Dragon Age is on our TBP (to be played) list. We're big on Final Fantasy, Legend of Zelda, Assassin's Creed, Prince of Persia, Elder Scrolls...those kind of games. Our budget is getting strained hardcore in November because we have Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Uncharted 3, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Lego Harry Potter years 5-7, and Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword all releasing within three weeks of each other. It's scary but we're uber thrilled to have new games.

Sommer, I really didn't need to know about that arcade...

Claudie, Brian's read all of the Star Wars books (post Return of the Jedi). He owns all but eight I think. And if your boyfriend doesn't have a problem initiating conversation, I think he and Brian will get along fabulously.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: The Bransforumsfest Writing Workshop Brainstorm

Post by jennagines » August 23rd, 2011, 11:01 pm

Me either, Margo, we can be boozeless buddies :D

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Re: The Bransforumsfest Writing Workshop Brainstorm

Post by Claudie » August 24th, 2011, 12:29 am

dios4vida wrote:Wow! I really didn't mean to derail the thread with video games! And it seems like our spouses might get along with each other as well as we do, if they're all geeky enough to love gaming and Star Wars and stuff like that. :) Maybe we should set up TVs and have people bring their consoles so that we don't have to worry about their entertainment. ;)

We've never done Fallout and Dragon Age is on our TBP (to be played) list. We're big on Final Fantasy, Legend of Zelda, Assassin's Creed, Prince of Persia, Elder Scrolls...those kind of games. Our budget is getting strained hardcore in November because we have Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Uncharted 3, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Lego Harry Potter years 5-7, and Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword all releasing within three weeks of each other. It's scary but we're uber thrilled to have new games.

Sommer, I really didn't need to know about that arcade...

Claudie, Brian's read all of the Star Wars books (post Return of the Jedi). He owns all but eight I think. And if your boyfriend doesn't have a problem initiating conversation, I think he and Brian will get along fabulously.
All I want to say is... You know that part in Assassin's Creed : Brotherhood where you get to play with Da Vinci's invention? That was done in Quebec City. And I have a friend who worked on it. YEP. CLAIM TO FAME. :D

Also, oh gosh, Sega Arcade. Lots of wasted hours in perspective! :P

And now that we're all reassured about our Significant Others, let's get back to topic, eh? ;)

Meet 'n Greet
The bookshelf picture idea seemed to have a lot of approval. I say we run with it.

I still like Sommer's idea of a genre-focused activity. It was pointed out there were a lot of us in fantasy/sci-fi. Perhaps we could do the "state our genre and expain why" thing, but go deeper? Either by explaining how the genre ties to themes we have on our minds, or how we first decided to write it. That kind of things.

Otherwise, I dug up some other ice breakers!

The Mad Paper Ball Fight. Maybe I find this one fun because I've been in a lot of snowball fights and am still a kid at hurt. You have a pile with two colour of papers. People write three facts about them (we could add genre to it) and then crumple their ball of paper. We then have a party of throwing them around, at each other's face and etc., until the balls are scattered and mixed up all across the room. Everyone then has to pick a paper ball that wasn't in his original colour, and find who originally wrote it.

The Eye of Argon. This one I'm ambivalent on because it does involve the mocking of another (dead) author's (first) piece of fiction, but I'll mention because I hear it is tons of fun. The Eye of Argon was written by Jim Theis when he was sixteen, and is apparently so bad that it's hard to read through an entire page aloud without laughing. It used to be (might still be) a classic science-fiction convention game to try and do so in a dramatic voice. A participant who laughed had to pass it along.

Cadavre Exquis. <--- this is the one I do every year at NaNo. It is a high success, and it probably has an english name I'm unaware of. Besides, I love the French one, which translates as "exquisite cadaver".

The concept is simple. You split paper sheets in halves and hand one to everyone. Participants then write a sentence or part of one on the first line and pass it to the person to their right. They'll receive one line from the person on their left. Everyone then has to write a second line, under the one they received, and fold the first. This way there is never more than one line visible.

The sheets go around the table until they are full, at which point we unroll them and read out loud. Hilarity ensues.
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

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Re: The Bransforumsfest Writing Workshop Brainstorm

Post by dios4vida » August 24th, 2011, 11:49 am

I don't have any more suggestions right now, but I do have a request.

One of my biggest problems in writing is character development. It's something that I struggle with every single time I write - my characters tend to be pretty flat. I've gotten better at it, but it's still really difficult for me. I've tried doing the character sheets but I have a hard time with the stringent, super-detailed worldbuilding sheets like Margo's. They make me shudder and feel like I'm doing homework again, and that ruins my creativity. The last novel I did character sheets for I had to trunk temporarily because I couldn't seem to think past the lists of character traits to translate them into actions and believable characters (to say nothing of the fact that I then couldn't even advance the plot!) Is there anyone who could lead/suggest exercises or tips for a character development session?
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: The Bransforumsfest Writing Workshop Brainstorm

Post by Margo » August 24th, 2011, 12:19 pm

dios4vida wrote:I've tried doing the character sheets but I have a hard time with the stringent, super-detailed worldbuilding sheets like Margo's. They make me shudder and feel like I'm doing homework again, and that ruins my creativity. The last novel I did character sheets for I had to trunk temporarily because I couldn't seem to think past the lists of character traits to translate them into actions and believable characters (to say nothing of the fact that I then couldn't even advance the plot!)
Stringent? What kind of character study questions did you try? The best ones are 5% 'traits' and 95% 'other'. I suspect that would be the problem right there.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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