MakeUseOf: How to Plot and Write a Novel With 12 Free Templates & Worksheets. “Writing your first novel can be more daunting in life than actually putting pen to paper or finger to keyboard. The untouched page is a frank sign of how much work there is to do…. Yet getting started is easier once you’ve done some initial prep work on your story; its structure, characters, and how on earth you’re going to get this thing out of your head. That’s where these free novel-writing templates and worksheets prove handy.” This is for every single one of you out there who vows to do NaNoWriMo every goldang year, and every year you blow it to the point that you’re now anxious about it, and even though it’s only November 1 you’re already beating yourself up over failing this year. This is for you. You are my people.
The Verge: Inside National Conspiracy Writing Month, A Challenge For Creating ‘Fan Fiction About Reality’. “The project is called National Conspiracy Writing Month, an unofficial spinoff of the long-running National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) challenge. Where NaNoWriMo requires participants to write a 50,000-word novel, the inaugural NaCoWriMo asks them to produce a ‘deep, viable, and complete conspiracy theory.’ Its creator Tim Hwang hopes these fake plots can illuminate a pervasive cultural phenomenon — helping both participants and spectators understand how conspiracy theories emerge. He just hopes people don’t take them too seriously.” Oh dear. I don’t like this. It’s like forking National Fire Safety Month by having a kerosene-making contest.
Duke Research Blog: Hamlet is Everywhere. To Cite, or Not to Cite?. “Some stories are too good to forget. With almost formulaic accuracy, elements from classic narratives are constantly being reused and retained in our cultural consciousness, to the extent that a room of people who’ve never read Romeo and Juliet could probably still piece out its major plot points. But when stories are so pervasive, how can we tell what’s original and what’s Shakespeare with a facelift? This summer, three Duke undergraduate students in the Data+ summer research program built a computer program to find reused stories.”
The Daily Dot: Nonprofit fanfiction database Archive of Our Own wins a Hugo. “Archive of Our Own (AO3), the fan-run, nonprofit website that’s home to more than 5 million transformative works like fanfiction, fanart, and podfics, won one of science fiction’s most prestigious awards at Worldcon Sunday night.”
BuzzFeed News: YA Twitter Can Be Toxic, But It Also Points Out Real Problems. “However flawed social media may be, it’s still an important tool for giving marginalized voices and diversity advocates a much-needed platform. And if we set aside, for a moment, the focus on the authors; if we pause to remember that there are bad-faith voices in all parts of Twitter, not just YA; and if we step back and consider that the power to publish or cancel a book lies not with internet critics but with publishers and authors — then there’s another aspect of these stories that’s often ignored in mainstream discussions: What if these critics, with their focus on representation and diversity, have a point?”
Wired: Fans Are Better Than Tech at Organizing Information Online. “Kudos to the fans. One of the nominees for the Hugo Awards this year is Archive of Our Own, a fanfiction archive containing nearly 5 million fanworks—about the size of the English Wikipedia, and several years younger. It’s not just the fanfic, fanart, fanvids, and other fanworks, impressive as they are, that make Archive of Our Own worthy of one of the biggest honors in science fiction and fantasy. It’s also the architecture of the site itself.”
UK Web Archive Blog: Collecting Interactive Fiction. “Works of interactive fiction are stories where the reader/player can guide or affect the narrative in some way. This can be through turning to a specific page as in ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’, or clicking a link or typing text in digital works. “