A Writer's Life,  Second Life

Writer’s Workshop with Ceejay Writer: Getting Down To It – The Reality of Fiction Writing

Writing Workshop with Ceejay Writer
Getting Down To It – The Reality of Fiction Writing
April 22, 2024 – 3:00pm-4:00pm SLT
Fantasy Faire’s Literary Festival (to benefit Relay for Life)
Sometimes the hardest part of writing is just getting started. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about how to start turning your concepts into manuscripts, we’ll get you going by breaking it down into manageable tasks.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/FF%20Samsara/168/95/63

What follows is the transcript of a workshop held in the virtual world of Second Life. About 30 avatars attended. There’s lots of chatter and brainstorming going on (as often happens in SL) as I presented my workshop. Enjoy!

Ceejay Writer: Heya Tan!
Tanarian Davies: Surprise!
Ceejay Writer: It IS! But a very good one!
Darlingmonster Ember: om goodness, Tanarian!
Darlingmonster Ember: hugs softly
Tanarian Davies squees
Ceejay Writer: And Darlingmonster! This is fun!
Darlingmonster Ember: 😀
Ceejay Writer: i think I shall stand since this skirt does not behave while sitting.
Darlingmonster Ember: ok
Tanarian Davies laughs
Tanarian Davies: Miss Darlingmonster as intriguing as usual!
Ceejay Writer: And hello Lady Aeval-Leigh!
Lady Aeval-Leigh of Speirling: Hi hi 🙂
Ceejay Writer: We have about 15 minutes before we start, I am going to go find a cup of tea. EVERYONE BEHAVE.
Darlingmonster Ember: anyone need wings…I just pixeled them this morning… they are dry and ready.
Tanarian Davies laughs
Darlingmonster Ember: welcome Savanah
Savanah: Thank you 🙂
Tanarian Davies: Hi, Miss Savanah.
Savanah: Good afternoon 🙂
Ceejay Writer: Back with my good friend, Earl Grey.
Savanah: yes!
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: hi ceejay
Ceejay Writer: He’s very warm and invigorating. What a guy.
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: ceejay too
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: ^^
Tanarian Davies giggles
Ceejay Writer: Hi Ginny!
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: hahaha
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: may be scheming
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: funny
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: 😀
Ceejay Writer: I’ve been asked a few times about this, so will mention that I’ll be putting a tidied-up version of our workshop up on my website, which is predictably ceejaywriter.com. All my editing-coaching-book reviewing etc-ing stuff goes there.
Savanah: ty
Darlingmonster Ember: sweet
Ceejay Writer: I have another site for my actual books and author stuff, brassbrightcity.com
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: yay
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: thanks
Ceejay Writer: If you’re in my Ceejaytopia group, I’ll be mentioning when it’s posted there.
Sly: hi Ceejay are we out here or inside?
Ceejay Writer: His Sly! Right here in the fresh air.
Sly: I have my website in my profile
Ceejay Writer peeks. Oh, so you do! *bookmarks*
Sly: aww tyvm 😀
Ceejay Writer: I love prowling through other’s websites, I’m so nosy.
Darlingmonster Ember: 😀
Sly: Hi Tanarian mind if I join you?
Tanarian Davies: Plenty of room!
Sly: 😀
Tanarian Davies: This is all chat, right?
Ceejay Writer: Yes it is – voice is not needed.
Tanarian Davies: Thanks, wanted to make sure!
Ceejay Writer: Fun fact, I have no voice at present but that’s being hopefully fixed tomorrow morning. Am I nervous? You betcha!
Sly: oops
Sly: cute outfit ceejay
Ceejay Writer: Thanks Sly! This is actually about a decade old, but I think it’s timeless
Tanarian Davies: Tomorrow already?!
Sly: what’s tomorrow?
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: umm ceejay?
Ceejay Writer: Yep! 10:30 am I bid farewell to my thyroid. I asked for an AI implant, we’ll see how that goes. 😉
Tanarian Davies giggles more
Savanah: Oh my lol
Darlingmonster Ember: wow
Sly: omg good luck! that sounds scary
Lizzie Gudkov waves hello to all
Darlingmonster Ember: sending mojo Ceejay
Sly: hi Lizzie
Savanah: Hi Lizzie 🙂
Tanarian Davies: Will Mister Ken keep us posted?
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: full steam ahead? wasn’t one of pratchetts disc world novels named that, too?
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: oh wait
Ceejay Writer: Ginny, yes – there’s actually, I think 7 books with that name out in the world.
Sly: I know one friend who had it removed, but a while back. didn’t know AI was an option now
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: I see
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: haha
Ceejay Writer: Fun fact! A book title cannot be copyrighted
moi: hi to the gang
Tanarian Davies: [muses on Titlegate last year]
Sly: hi moi
Pяαєѕєѕ вєαℓтαιηє: Just as well for the Bible…lol
Ceejay Writer: Tan, I’ll figure out something. I’ll try to update myself from my phone.
Sly: moi has been living it up at the faire it seems
Ceejay Writer: I think I’m happy I missed something called Titlegate?
moi: of course 😉
Darlingmonster Ember: I can stand if anyone needs a seat
Ceejay Writer: Okay! Why don’t we get started?
Sly: hey Finn
moi: I have a wearable chair
moi: it’s fine
Ceejay Writer: All the ruined stones around us are seats.
Finn Bookmite: Hey all
Savanah: Hi Finn
Sly: the’s a rock next to ceejay
Ceejay Writer clears non-voice
Ceejay Writer: Hello, and welcome! The fact that you’re here is exciting – it means that you want to write a story, and the world needs a lot more of those.
Ceejay Writer: First things first. We need to make sure we’re following all the rules for writing a novel. Rule one: There are no rules. None at all. There, wasn’t that easy? Goodnight, folks! I’m kidding.
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: finn: there is still space on my bench
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: 🙂
Finn Bookmite: TY Ginny – I was worried that my wings were bothering you
Ceejay Writer: This is a workshop, NOT a lecture. If you have a question just speak up, and we’ll see if we can answer it. Other comments on your own writing experience are also quite welcome, too.
Sly: there’s a stone seat there
Tanarian Davies: My Emotional Support Canadian told me I have to write the dream I had.
Tanarian Davies: So, timing is perfect.
Ceejay Writer: Well then of course you have to!
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: I would rather say
Savanah: nods
Darlingmonster Ember: writing dreams is a great passion
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: there are rules
Sly: I have four or five stories that were dreams Tanarian
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: YOUR rules as you make them up
Sly: If I wake up and it’s a linerar plot, I write it down
Ceejay Writer: I’ve dreamt some stories that are now jotted down in my Bunny Farm folder
Tanarian Davies: It was a snippet.
Ceejay Writer: Someday, they may grow up to be stories, right?
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: ^^
Sly: I just self published a novella that was a dream
Ceejay Writer: But honestly, the only rules you need to follow are your own. If you’re writing a story to submit to a contest or other type of publishing venture, you’ll need to follow their rules of submission, of course. But as for your story itself: it’s emergence into a readable, complete manuscript comes from a pact between you and those words.
Sly: they are usually short stores
Ceejay Writer: Sly – congrats!
Sly: ty
Ceejay Writer: Stay true to your vision. Don’t worry about what other people are writing. Don’t worry about whether you are ‘doing it right’. Stuff can always be tweaked later. But, and here’s something you might want to have tattooed on your arm… You can’t edit what doesn’t exist. This workshop is focused on getting you what you need to get those words out and make your story exist.
Ceejay Writer: Maybe next year I’ll do a workshop about what happens next – the multiple rounds of editing, finding beta readers, how to accept constructive critisism, and all that jazz. By then, you may have a completed story to put through the process!
Tanarian Davies claps
Savanah: sounnds good
Sly: someone told me about my first draft its about getting the clay on the wheel. you can shape the clay once its there
Tanarian Davies: Nice analogy.
Ceejay Writer: I like that!
Darlingmonster Ember: nice
Ceejay Writer: I may steal it. 😉
Sly: I did XD
Ceejay Writer: At this stage, it doesn’t matter if you want to write a short story or a novel. Please don’t be put off by the word ‘novel’. It’s the most daunting form of storytelling (well, except for intrepetive dance), so it’s the form most often talked about. But whatever you’re goal is, take what you need from this workshop and get your story told, in whatever format feels right to you.
Lady Aeval-Leigh of Speirling: “How to finish the danged thing and not get distracted by every new shiny idea…”
Ceejay Writer: Writers who have completed a manuscript will offer heaps of advice about how to write. They’ll try to sell you on their word processing software, or lack of it. They’ll share their YouTube playlists. You’ll probably get a lot of reverse-advise too – topics you should never write about, plot structures you should avoid, tropes to steer clear of.
Sly: I never do that XD
Liz Wilner: waves to all
Ceejay Writer: And they’ll be passionate about the advice they give you, because it worked for *them*. And that’s fantastic! But, what will YOUR path to a completed manuscript look like? Only you know. It won’t be the same as my path, or anyone elses. Your writing journey will be unique.
Savanah: breathes relief
Sly: haha
Ceejay Writer: After your manuscript is finally completed, you might even catch yourself giving advice to another fledgling writer. You’re forgiven in advance. I’ve done it too. And it’s okay, something you say may actually prove to be inspirational or helpful.
Forest Wells: I am SO glad I got here in time to hear someone say that!
Savanah: me too
Ceejay Writer grins at Forest
moi agrees
Ceejay Writer: Recently I heard another author say something that really touched my heart. “I’ve set aside my novel manuscript because my characters stopped speaking to me.”
Tanarian Davies: Ooof
Wildstar Beaumont: aww
Tanarian Davies: Tragic.
Darlingmonster Ember: ooo
Ceejay Writer: My own characters tend to be natural chatterboxes (probably because their creator is one), and are always yammering on about something. I told her how I first started hearing their voices. It was during my morning commute to work. It was almost as if they were riding along in the back seat of the car.
Tanarian Davies waves at Wildstar
Wildstar Beaumont waves back 🙂
Ceejay Writer: They chattered, taunted each other (I’m not touching you! Does this bug you? Are we there yet? I think I have to pee.) and told me about things they wanted to do. This not only helped me know what they wanted and needed out of their literary lives, but now I knew how they sounded, which made it easier to write in their style. I’d found my answer. My characters like car rides.
Lady Aeval-Leigh of Speirling: That’s heartbreaking–they become like family.
Ceejay Writer: They ARE family, yes.
Sly: I had some obstacles, and a friend told me to listen to the characters tell me what to do
Ceejay Writer: Our characters have ears to hear us and voices to tell us what they need, don’t they?
Savanah: indeed
Sly: nice antlers Saffia
Ceejay Writer: I suggested to my new writer-friend that she might want to try being in a place where her characters could feel comfortable coming out again. I told her about mine and the car rides. She loved that, and said she might give it a try. Maybe it’ll help. But most likely, she’ll find another way to coax her inner voices out into a safe space. Whatever works for her is the right solution.
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: yeah
Ceejay Writer: Another roadblock is the feeling that your chosen genre carries certain expectations. This is especially true with fantasy stories. Don’t feel like you *have* to include a dragon if your story doesn’t need one. You aren’t Anne McCaffrey. You are you! Your story can’t be told by anyone else. If everyone wrote like Anne McCaffrey, we’d have no variety in fantasy, and our reading experience would be diminished. Readers need *your* story.
Sly: sometimes I give them theme music and listen to their theme to get into their heads…
Ceejay Writer: Nice, Sly!
Ceejay Writer: So then… there’s your pep talk, but you’re here to get some practical help with the mechanics of writing. Let’s dig in. Ironically, after telling you that you don’t have to take everyone’s advice… I’m going to give you a lot of advice!!! Funny how that works, eh? But you don’t have to take it all if you don’t want to. Grab the bits that feel right and give them a try.
TheResistor: A nice place and a conversation. I like that thought
Sly: XD

Ceejay Writer: Claim Your Time
Ceejay Writer: Create a consistent daily writing routine that works for you. Are you a morning person? Can you get up a half hour earlier than usual every day to write? Night owls might be able to take some time as the day is winding down.
fyre turns down tunes to hear Ceejay a bit better then chuckles*
Ceejay Writer: Lunch breaks at work are popular writing times, as it doesn’t interfere with your home life. I wrote “The Flight To Brassbright” in 20 minute bursts, as part of my lunch hour. Another writer-friend has written dozens of swashbuckling pirate stories, using a pen and paper, during her 15 minute breaks in a factory. Little bursts of time add up rapidly if they are taken advantage of regularly! Choose a time that consistently works for you, and remember to explain what you’re doing to those around you so they don’t accidentally sabotage your efforts.
Tanarian Davies grins at the pirate stories.
Lady Aeval-Leigh of Speirling uses a pomodoro timer
Ceejay Writer: Some of you may be familiar with those pirate stories. 😉
Ceejay Writer: If you can, establish a specific spot to write in. This could be your dining room table, or a coffee shop, or a louge area at work. Explore your available spaces and stake your claim.
Tepic Harlequin: are you allowed to tie up an gag those who woun’t leave you alone?
moi: I wish lol
Wildstar Beaumont: 🙂
Saffia Widdershins: LOL
Lady Aeval-Leigh of Speirling: Threaten to make them into characters
Ceejay Writer: Well…… I think we have to go on a case by case basis, Tepic.
Pяαєѕєѕ вєαℓтαιηє: Depends if she is into that
fyre grinnz from her sanctuary ‘spoT’ for writing*
Wildstar Beaumont: oh yes… the michelangelo treatment
Paws Pawzouti: ‘Your mileage may vary’
Sly: I see a toolbox
Ceejay Writer: Ah hah, sharp eye! That’s a writer’s toolbox. Grab it for later, everyone. It’s filled with resources.
Tepic Harlequin: ooh!
TheResistor: I think a writing routine is dangerous. On the one hand, it leaves me with the feeling of incompleteness when I have to do something else, and on the other hand – the little incidents of daily life are not always on time
Mao Lemieux: Thank you.
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: I would threaten to write a story about them, and not a nice story, mind!
Savanah: Same Resistor
Savanah: The words come when they come
Savanah: for me
Ceejay Writer: A routine doesn’t work for everyone – but it does work for many. It’s like building a muscle memory.
Finn Bookmite: Yes, Resistor. I try not to get wound up and go with what you have
Paws Pawzouti: I just kick off when the muse hits…. I can’t force myself to schedule…. 😀
Ceejay Writer: If I’m drawing a blank at writing time, I’ll work on back cover blurbs, or other tasks that need done.
Forest Wells: The key is finding your methods, Resistor. Many benefit from a set time. Others do better when they “let things come”. I am of the latter.
Ceejay Writer: See? There are no rules. 🙂
Savanah: “Pantsing” it
Saffia Widdershins: Who was it that first said, “Thae art of writing is 90% applying your behind to the seat of your chair?
Finn Bookmite: Yay, Pantsers!
Forest Wells: But it’s good to hear tips and try some of them, so you can find what works for you.
Ceejay Writer: I can’t recall the source!

Ceejay Writer: Short Story Warm Up
Mao Lemieux: My grad school mentor, Saffia.
Ceejay Writer: If you’re struggling to get the words moving, experimenting with free-form short stories or writing exercises can help you establish your daily routine. These exercises carry no expectations, have no deadline, and are written for nobody but yourself.
Saffia Widdershins: The seat of your pants to the seat of the chair! That was it!
Tepic Harlequin: been finding running on a treadmill at the gym gives loads of time to think through writing ideas….
Savanah: yep
Sly: Yy pansters unite
Forest Wells: … someday. 😛
Ceejay Writer: <——— pantser
Ceejay Writer: A bonus benefit of writing warm up short stories is that you can play around with different writing techniques and styles, looking for the one that works best for you.
Savanah: ^^
Scooby Loochie-Doo: So I should just write… anything?
Ceejay Writer: Sure! Why not?
fyre: Last year I got more focused on listening to when my writing was happening naturally, after one of your classes, or the year before *ponders* yes, at the outdoor awesomeness CC built
Scooby Loochie-Doo: I tend to rant a lot.
Ceejay Writer: Fyre, you were getting in touch with yourself!
Ceejay Writer: If you could use some writing prompts to get you going, there are many Second Life writer’s groups that can provide them. Or just IM Elfbiter Skysmith and ask for one of his delightfully random writing prompt notecards. There’s a list of the groups I know of in this workshop’s writer’s toolbox. If you know of others, I’d love to hear about them.
Ceejay Writer: Speaking of writing groups, consider joining one or two. Spending time with other writers can be comforting and empowering for everyone involved.
Tanarian Davies: “Writing anything” is what NaNoWriMo is about.
Ceejay Writer: I love NaNoWriMo. I treat it with irreverence and that somehow seems to pay off

Ceejay Writer: From Zero to Hero
Scooby Loochie-Doo: I want to write a joke that is so immortally hilarous that not even twitter historians will be able to come after.
Scooby Loochie-Doo: After me that is.
Ceejay Writer: Even though I’m a pantser (I usually write without an outline), there’s a lot to be said for planning. Having an outline can help ease writing anxiety, since you’ll have an idea of where the story is going to go.
moi: I love writing groups in sl
Savanah: me too
Ceejay Writer: Me three.
Ceejay Writer: Everyone talks about writing a first draft, but I rarely hear mention of a zero draft. I recently watched a Reedsy video about zero drafts, and the concept appeals to me. If the Mona Lisa was a finished manuscript, a pencil-drawn stick figure would be a zero draft.
Paws Pawzouti: There’s a few great ones out there. ^^
Lady Aeval-Leigh of Speirling: Sometimes it still goes delightfully off the rails. ;-p
Ceejay Writer: Rails are made to be broken! Wait…
fyre: lolz
Ceejay Writer: A zero draft is the first step towards making order out of chaos. It’s where you can unload all the random story ideas in your head and see how they look. It’s where you can start to put together your outline.
Paws Pawzouti: Not if you travel by train a lot! 8U
Ceejay Writer: Don’t worry about how your zero draft looks. Just quickly sketch out your story, at least as much as you know of it, in order from beginning to end. There will be gaps. Don’t worry about fine-tuning your characters, they can simply be stick figures right now.
Ceejay Writer: Same with dialogue. If you’ve scribbled ideas on scraps of paper or the back of your hand, stuff them in the zero draft, too. You’re going to forget about those scraps, and eventually you’ll have to wash your hand, so capture the essence before you lose it.
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: that noise is rather distracting
Sly: my zero draft mainly means a few pages in my notebook about chaaracters working them out and themes
TheResistor: A pencil and an A4 sheet folded in the middle punctual
Ceejay Writer: Try to include as much of the story’s progression as you know, in order from beginning to end. Yes, there will be gaps. Yes, the pacing may look awkward. Yes, actions may be inconsistent. Just get it all down.
Tanarian Davies: Sharpie takes ages to wash off. 😀
Ceejay Writer: Don’t I know it, Tan!
Ceejay Writer: Now you have a sketchy road map. But hey! It’s still a map! And as you continue to fine tune your story in future drafts, go back and keep your sketchy zero draft up to date. Drop in new scenes as you write them. If you think of the zero draft as a companion to all the other drafts to come, it can serve as a quick overview of how your story is progressing. Here’s a great article about how to get the most out of a zero draft. https://bookbrush.com/7-reasons-i-use-zero-drafts-and-how-you-can-too/
Ceejay Writer: And guess what? Once you’ve dumped your brain into a zero draft, your story will have taken its first shaky breath. It’s alive! Celebrate! Have some pie, soak in a bath, or just do a little happy dance. Get in the habit of celebrating your writing accomplishments, both large and small. Be good to yourself.
Ceejay Writer: And when you’ve stopped dancing and the pie is gone, get started on your first draft. It will build on the zero draft. And it won’t be perfect either. You aren’t aiming for perfection. You just want to make progress. Get the words out. If you can resist the urge, don’t edit them. It’s more important right now to reach the finish line.
Paws Pawzouti oofs, her inner perfectionist cringes at ‘don’t edit’ ;D
Ceejay Writer: As you write, keep an open mind. Ask yourself ‘what if’ questions often, take leaps of faith, and just see where the story takes you. Wander down a side road if you happen to see one. Nothing is carved in stone yet, the risks are low, just keep moving forward.
Tanarian Davies: [raises her hand]
Ceejay Writer points to the woman with her hand up.
Ceejay Writer: Yes?
Tanarian Davies: How do you keep your story “alive” in your head once you’ve done even an outline draft? I mean, you’ve kind of told it once already.
Ceejay Writer: Well, you’ve told it in a bare bones style. Think about the details. Someone gets from point A to point B. What happened along the way?
Paws Pawzouti: It’s like storyboarding.
Ceejay Writer: If it helps, write little vignettes about your people, get to know them better.
Lady Aeval-Leigh of Speirling: story layers b, c, d…and so on
Paws Pawzouti: You’ve plotted down the keyframes, now you connect the dots. 😀
Ceejay Writer: You may end up with short stories to use later.
Forest Wells: Or if you can, insert them into scenes from a movie or book or whatever. I’ve gotten to know some of mine by having them join Star Trek briefing scenes.
Darlingmonster Ember: wow, nice
Ceejay Writer: Forest, that’s creative!
Darlingmonster Ember: stealing that
Ceejay Writer: For me, it’s just letting them tag along as I do chores. They chatter a lot.
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: brb
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: loo
Forest Wells: lol, by all means, do! It won’t help everyone, but it helped me. I toss them in, and see what they do.
Ceejay Writer: But remember? NO RULES. What works for you is what’s right for you.
fyre Trekkie ear perk*
Tepic Harlequin: With oral storytellers, only noting a few story points keeps the story alive each telling, as it will be different…
Forest Wells hides his Enterprise D manual from Fyre.
Ceejay Writer: Yes, I’ve heard stand up entertainers say that the story is never the same twice.

Ceejay Writer: Self Care
Ceejay Writer: We’ve all seen the classic image of the exhausted writer in a dark, smoky room, toiling over their upright Underwood typewriter, laboring to produce one more page to lay on the stack, pausing only to pour another whiskey and rake their fingers through disheveled hair. I’m a writer! I’ll sleep when I’m dead!
Ceejay Writer: What a load of horse hockey. I refuse to accept that cliché as normal!
Scooby Loochie-Doo: Sounds ’bout right.
Tepic Harlequin: the whiskey bit may be true… 🙂
Tanarian Davies: [uses a point to point teleport to nick the manual]
Ceejay Writer: Writing shouldn’t be self-inflicted torture. Sure, you will have stressy times, and get frustrated often; it’s hard work to pull a world filled with characters and adventures out of your own skull. But it’s important to nurture the writer, not just the writing.
Forest Wells: Unless my characters won’t let me sleep that night. 😛
Ceejay Writer: Forest, if they keep you awake, you’ve done something right. 😉
Sly: I took a trick from star discovetillyry that had 20 minute shorts with tilly. did that one became my prolog
Ceejay Writer: Tilly is the BEST. She could be a muse.
Tanarian Davies: Ginger!
Darlingmonster Ember: ha
Ceejay Writer: Take breaks when you need to. Get a good night’s sleep. Feed yourself nourishing meals. Read lots of books by other writers. In the long run, a refreshed, healthy, writer will have renewed their perspective and be so much more productive than that miserable soul locked in their room with the Underwood and the whiskey.
Sly: write drunk edit sovber
Ceejay Writer: (yes this is all my opinion…. but I’m right demmit!)
Savanah: lol Sly
Ceejay Writer: I tried that a few times Sly…. I wrote crap! 😀
Scooby Loochie-Doo: It worked wonders for me… ㋡
Ceejay Writer: Okay, big finish to my written notes here, so listen up. I think this is the most important advice of all.
Tanarian Davies: One of the great screenwriters of the ’40s-’50s could onlly write drunk.
fyre: Write high too *is me in the evenings from 420 til night dreams* technical stuff early AM
Finn Bookmite: If you are in the UK Society of Authors, they have a series of self-care classes online
Ceejay Writer: Care for yourself mentally, too. You’re going to have moments when you feel like your writing is crap. You’re going to doubt your whole story. You may even feel some imposter syndrome. Guess what? Every writer feels it sometimes. And if every writer feels what you’re feeling, that’s a shared experience. You *are* a writer, and no one writes like you do. No one else has your voice or sees the world through your eyes. Your story matters. Someone out there needs to hear it.
Mao Lemieux: This is probably the most important advice.
Ceejay Writer: We choose to do something that has to come from somewhere deep in us. It’s not like we’re slinging burgers here, we are creating life of a sort. Lets be good to ourselves.
Darlingmonster Ember: so say we all
Ceejay Writer: And that’s all I got! Do you have something to share, or questions?
fyre: Aho!
Forest Wells: It would help if my stories would be good to me too… sorry. book 3 is really fighting me as of late.
Savanah: great workshop
Finn Bookmite: TY Ceejay
Ceejay Writer: Thank you Savanah
Darlingmonster Ember: ty Ceejay… good chat
MєƖуηα Vαмρυяя: Thank you Ceejay!
Elvira Mistwood: Thank you
Lady Aeval-Leigh of Speirling has a question about a rather established character (meaning it would take a lot for me to rewrite).
Ceejay Writer: Forest, maybe take a break from it, write a side story? Then come back fresh?
Mao Lemieux: Thankyou, Ceejay!
Sly: yayyyy applaus
Ceejay Writer: Tell us about that character, Lady Aeval-Leigh
Tepic Harlequin: there’s a donation kiosk at the back….
Tanarian Davies: Thank you, Tepic.
Saffia Widdershins: Ceejay that was excellent! It’s encouraging me to get back to The Royal Werewolves of England ….
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: sight a ride story maybe too`?
Ceejay Writer also points at the RFL box
fyre: Blessings Ceejay. You really cracked something open in me a few years ago that had been a long struggle. Words are coming easier now, I really had to take the pressure off myself
Lady Aeval-Leigh of Speirling: I have a character who regularly drops Hungarian phrases in the text. Should I supply footnotes with the translations? I feel like the reader is missing a lot of her personality if they don’t know what those mean.
Saffia Widdershins: and yes, PLEASE donate to the kiosk!
Ceejay Writer: Saffia, I would be THRILLED if you created more of that story!
Ceejay Writer: Fyre… that’s marvelous!
TheResistor: A colorful round 🙂
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: hm
Ceejay Writer: Hmm. Footnotes are interesting animals. Terry Pratchett loved em.
Tanarian Davies: I wanna read about Royal Werewolves.
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: I feel a bit left out..I havent written anything yet
Tanarian Davies: And I also like footnotes.
Ceejay Writer: You could try including them, and see how it works. Run them by a beta reader down the road and get a reaction.
Ceejay Writer: I personally love to read them.
fyre loves footnotes…and maps!*
Sly: Lady I don’t see why not – can’t hurt
Ceejay Writer: But if you get negative reactions, you could provide a list of them and translations in the backmatter.
Darlingmonster Ember: Aev, it seems to me footnotes slow or pause immersion rather than elucidate… but I love the idea of the translations being offered (somewhere?)
Lady Aeval-Leigh of Speirling nods. She’s such a quirky character and those one-offs…I read back over stuff I wrote months ago and they crack me up.
Sly: people who want to know will look and those who dont wont
Scooby Loochie-Doo: I find myself troubled if I should write current dialect in my stories. Like that dreadful hyphenated text-chat language or slang like “No Cap”. Should I even attempt this or just continue as I have with words?
Savanah: I like footnotes
moi: if you need the info for the story yeah? if you can convey it without you don’t need them
Savanah: yes
Ceejay Writer: I have a character that can’t speak English well and constantly uses the wrong word or mangles a word. I try to make it so it can be understood in context, or based on whats going on
Tanarian Davies: Dialecticals are heavily contextual.
TheResistor: Footnotes may just be convenience
Ceejay Writer: Keep in mind that slang changes over time. Your story could risk becoming ‘dated’.
Saffia Widdershins: I like footnotes at the bottom of a page. Not at the end of a chapter or (horror) the end of the book. But would that work in Kindle?
Sly: I did that for a story where a charcter has her mouth full XD
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: hm
Tanarian Davies: Star Trek is again a good example of accents as seasoning.
Ceejay Writer: Lots of stories written with a Covid lockdown plot are now floundering.
Lady Aeval-Leigh of Speirling nods. I had to tone down the same character’s dialect after beta readers’ comments
Scooby Loochie-Doo: That’s something I’d like to read SLy.
Tepic Harlequin: if something is important to understanding a character or story thread, it may need to be understandable at the point of reading?
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: I as a reader rather would have a glossary at the end of the book with the notes there
moi: My teen slang is date for today kids…
Tanarian Davies: In Kindle, wouldn’t they be links?
Forest Wells: Accents can be tricky to navigate. I have alien foxes that sometimes bark or ruff words. I had to figure out how to show that without noting it every time.
Ceejay Writer: Kindle does links, and then there’s all of them piled at the back of the book, too.
Elvira Mistwood: Have a creative writing all.
Savanah: ty El
Forest Wells: Take care Elvira
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: I found footnotes oftenly too distracting
TheResistor: An e-book reader only has one side anyway
Ceejay Writer: There’s so many ways to go… but whatever we write has to resonate with our readers.
Ceejay Writer: So, I’d suggest getting an alpha reader to give their opinions.
Scooby Loochie-Doo: I guess I have to write whom I think will read and appreciate or.. just get it out of my head my way as you say.
Ceejay Writer: Someone who has fresh eyes.
TheResistor: Evil tongues would say, “Someone unspoiled?”
Ceejay Writer: Did everyone grab a toolbox?
Darlingmonster Ember: ha
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: I wouldnt mind being an alpha reader
Darlingmonster Ember: gotz
TheResistor: yes, thank you
Lady Aeval-Leigh of Speirling did
Scooby Loochie-Doo: Lemme grab annuder juuuuuust in case.
Forest Wells: I got mine, thank you
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: thank you, ceejay
Tanarian Davies: Yoinked.
Paws Pawzouti: Yes thank you. ^^
Ceejay Writer: Hey everyone Ginny wants to alpha read!
Sly: great job ceejay
Saffia Widdershins: Thank you Ceejay – this was great!
Savanah: CeeJay the workshop will be in your website/
Tepic Harlequin: hhehehehe
Savanah: ?
TheResistor: I forgot my alarm clock in a far corner of the room
Ceejay Writer: Thanks Sly – and thanks for all your input!
Liz Wilner: ty Ceejay!
Haku Tiratzo: I always liked it when in a paper book, the footnotes were actually at the bottom of the page that they occurred on.
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: if you need me, just yell at me
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: ^^
Ceejay Writer: Yes, I’ll have this up in maybe a week, or a little longer? At ceejaywriter.com
Savanah: ok
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: maybe tepic would?
Mao Lemieux: Thank you so much. This was lovely, and quite inspiring.
Forest Wells: Thanks for hosting.
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: I know tepic already from the goonies
Haku Tiratzo: And I’ve seen on Kindle, some footnotes would popup a window with the footnote when tapping on it. Others take you to the back, and makes it hard to get back
Savanah: Really was, ty Ceejay 🙂
Ceejay Writer: Was my pleasure. I always learn a lot from everyone else.
Tepic Harlequin: me?
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: aye
Savanah: tc everyone …happy writing
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: escapades
moi: happy writing
Mao Lemieux: Faire well, all!
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE!
fyre: Blessings Ceejay, hopefully this summer I’ll get to your Sat morning class…every time I was able to come it was a cancel day…not giving up
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: umm
MєƖуηα Vαмρυяя: Thank you so much Ceejay
Paws Pawzouti: Or say.
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: or say. rather
Mao Lemieux stands, stretches, and…
Mao Lemieux: ~**~POOF~**~
Sly: nice to see so many sl writers together
Lizzie Gudkov: Thank you, Ceejay.
Forest Wells: And again, so nice to hear someone say that some advice won’t apply. I get tired of seeing people come off as saying “this way worked for me, so it will work for you”.
Paws Pawzouti: Thank you for everything, and for being you! ♥
Ceejay Writer: Writers are the BEST!
Ceejay Writer: Forest… it was the long way around the block of saying YOU BE YOU!
Finn Bookmite: That’s true!
TheResistor: hihi
Tepic Harlequin: i suppose the classes will be on the FF website? cus the one i did on accents may be of interest?
Forest Wells: It so is! That’s why it’s refreshing to hear from a workshop.
Paws Pawzouti: Ahoy Beasil!
Beasil: Hey Paws
Finn Bookmite: Bye all.
moi: everybody has their own way to be, it is hard to find something that worls for everybody
fyre: indeed
Ceejay Writer: The FF website, Saffia might know about that.
Ceejay Writer: I’ll be back here next Monday at 3pm with my second workshop!
Lady Aeval-Leigh of Speirling: Time for me to head off. ttfn and thanks for hosting this!
Paws Pawzouti: Back to the Great Wanderings!
Tanarian Davies waves
TheResistor: oh , nice
Ceejay Writer: The AI-lephant in the Room – Is ChatGPT our Friend or Enemy?
Saffia Widdershins: Beryl is handling the roleplay. If there is a text version, Tepic, or a livestream, it could certainly go up
Tepic Harlequin: night all!
TheResistor: friend
Tanarian Davies: That’s a one word answer.
Ceejay Writer: My co-host will be…… CHAT-GPT!
Ceejay Writer: Bring spitwads if you wish. 😉
Forest Wells chuckles
TheResistor: Thank you
Forest Wells: Some just might
Tanarian Davies: I’ll bring a book on edible mushrooms from Amazon, shall I?
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: good night
Paws Pawzouti: Alas, that’s occassionally my cohost too. Polite, if a bit snooty sometimes 😀
Saffia Widdershins: Thank you so much Ceejay – this was great!
Ceejay Writer: That’s fine – I expect it to be controversial.
moi: chat gpt is a tool, it’s fine if you know how to use it
Ceejay Writer: Indeed. And I’ll explore some ethical ways we CAN use it.
Scooby Loochie-Doo: I think most are afraid of it using them.
Paws Pawzouti: Yes.
Tanarian Davies: Hm.
Liz Wilner: have a great evening everyone!
Wildstar Beaumont: thank you Ceejay. See you next week
Ceejay Writer: Anyway… that’s next Monday! Hope you can come!
Liz Wilner: ty Ceejay 🙂
Wildstar Beaumont: good bye everyone
Liz Wilner: ty Saffia!
Forest Wells: have a good night!
Paws Pawzouti: Take care. ^^
moi: I tried it a few times, it did nor work very well
Ceejay Writer: I’m going to head out myself. Enjoy the faire, everyone.
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: ceejay? will that be here?
Tanarian Davies: Nos da, Miss Ceejay!
moi: I should sleep, see you
Paws Pawzouti: Byebye. ^^
Strifeclaw nods and goes deal with a small issue
Ceejay Writer waves and backflips out
Tanarian Davies goes poof
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: I think i’ll go and take a peek at all the nice stuff here
Tanarian Davies looks faintly alarmed
Ginny Vile1 Waydelich: thanks, ceejay
Tanarian Davies poofs again

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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