Watch Me Live-Write My Next Novel To Raise Funds For The Clarion Write-A-Thon!
Today, I am the proud author of three books: Flex, which Barnes and Noble picked as one of their top 25 sci-fi books of 2015, its sequel The Flux, and its soon-to-be-released finale to the trilogy, Fix. I’ve had over thirty short stories published, for cash, and I’ve been nominated for the Nebula Award for my novella Sauerkraut Station.
Yet on this day in 2008, I had been writing for twenty years and had almost nothing published.
What unlocked this potential for me? The Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. That’s where I (and seventeen other students) had our stories critiqued until we learned how to write at a professional level.
I’d like to thank them… but more importantly, I’d like to show you some of what the Clarion experience is like.
Because here’s the deal: Clarion needs money. So to fund-raise, each year they hold a write-a-thon, getting authors to write to raise money.
In a week, I’ll start writing my next novel: The Song That Shapes the World, a novel I am currently describing as “Pitch Perfect with magic.” It’s a crazy-ass tale involving the shadow world of Backstage, where the best performers in the multiverse battle to create the song that guides humanity: hope, fear, despair, anger. It involves dragon-riding cello players, dubstep warriors, and a scrappy femme protagonist from Earth who wasn’t meant to be here.
Give Clarion ten dollars, and I’ll let you watch me write the opening chapters.
No, it’s more than that: I’ll write the chapters, and I’ll write a blog entry detailing the techniques I’m using, the things I know I’ll have to fix on the second draft, the errors I made yesterday that I’m scratching out and writing today. I’ll do this for four weeks, and that’s the meat of it: the opening chapters are so critical, where most writers fail, so you’ll get to watch me agonize and dissect and perfect.
All for a minimum of ten bucks.
I’ll be doing this, as I’ve done for years now, at the Clarion Echo LiveJournal community – which, once you donate your shekels, I’ll give you access to. Sorry I can’t use 2016 technology, but the Clarion Echo also has all of my past Clarion Write-a-Thons – so once you join, you can scan back to see the novels and stories I wrote and/or revised then, including the first-draft opening chapters of my novel Flex and my unpublished novel The Upterlife.
Even if you’re not interested in being a writer yourself, you’ll get a look at some wild fiction and a DVD commentary track on the author’s process, done with my usual blogly flair. If you’re a fan of my work, you get to see a very advance preview of my next novel for $10.
I think that’s a preeeeetty good bargain.
So How’s This Work?
Step #1: Donate at least $10 to the Clarion Foundation. More is good if you can spare it. You don’t have to donate in my name or anything, because honestly, their Write-a-Thon webpage forms are dreadful.
Step #2: If you don’t already have one, create a LiveJournal account. Rejoice in this feeling of web page time-travel, as one suspects there’s not a lot of new LJ accounts created!
Step #3: Email email@example.com with your Clarion receipt and your LiveJournal handle, with a header of “HEY FERRETT LET ME IN.” I’ll do the mystical LJ gestures to get you access.
Step #4: Wait until next Friday, when I start to write this novel. Expect angsting and teeth-gnashing. Openings are hard, mang.
Step #5: While you’re waiting, may I gently suggest sharing this blog post somewhere to spread the word?
So anyway! Here we are! Me, and a crazy-ass novel I’m about to unleash to keep the Clarion Workshop alive!