Feeding Frenzy – Serial Novel Experiment

Read it on Wattpad. Feeding Frenzy debut: Oct 31, 2014
Read it on Wattpad. Feeding Frenzy debut: Oct 31, 2014

Starting October 31, I will be combining my love of experiment with Wattpad and NaNoWrimo to do something new. As a result I will not be blogging much about creativity. I’ll be too busy getting up at 5:00 am every day to write fiction. If we want students to experiment and create, we mustn’t be afraid to do the same.

Feeding Frenzy is my newest project and a creative sandbox to explore Wattpad and serial writing. Mexican telenovelas, Ugly Betty, Being HumanSherlock and The Vampire Diaries are inspiring my approach to serial fiction, since I’m trying to teach this medium to myself.

Feeding Frenzy will be posted online, chapter-by-chapter as I write it. The germ for this idea as a science fiction story came to me a few years ago, but finding the right approach has been difficult. This problem fell away recently when I realized I already invented just the right setting for my last novel.

Loon Lake is a mythical, woodsy Canadian anytown which attracts the supernatural like a hockey net attracts the puck. Now, while I’m gathering reader feedback on the first Loon Lake novel, is the ideal time to explore Loon Lake University on the opposite shore. Here’s the blurb:

Feeding Frenzy is a paranormal thriller which explores our obsession with thinness. Imagine a supernatural mash-up between Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Stephanie Meyer’s The Host.

Sweet but chubby Tonya never gets the guy, the grades or the glory. When Loon Lake is overrun by a deadly obesity epidemic, years of dieting allow her to resist a mysterious mind-controlling entity. Can Tonya uncover the source of this evil before she too succumbs?

Follow this blog or, better yet, follow me on Wattpad to read it. It takes moments to set up a Wattpad account which gives you access to 75 million free stories, including novels by well-known authors.

It’s uncertain how long it will take to write and post a novel at the rate of one or two chapters per week, but my goal is to draft most of it during the month of November. So far I have character sketches, a few funny-looking diagrams on rolls of  paper, and sets of plot cards written, discarded and done over. Outlines are hard to write from since story often veers from the original plan. My newest idea is to plot out the main points using sticky notes on a tri-fold science fair board. (Think table top cardboard study carrel.) Normally I’d just write the thing and edit later, but knowing I can’t go back and make changes is a unique challenge, and planning is my secret weapon.

 

NaNoWriMo

The month of November means a lot of things for different people. For Americans it means Thanksgiving. For Canadians it means colder weather. For writing enthusiasts all over the globe it means NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month is a fantastic kick in the pants for those of us who have always thought we had a novel in us, but never found the time. Why wait until the kids are grown, until you retire, or until your jobs stops being so crazy? Do it now, in one month. Write that novel and bask in the glow of accomplishment.

I have done NaNoWrimo a couple of times now. Writing 50 000 words in a month is something I would normally only do during the summer, but in November there is the extra incentive of knowing ‘everyone’s doing it.’ Feeding Frenzy is going to be my NaNo novel for 2014. What about yours?

If you are interested in NaNo for yourself or as inspiration for young people, here are some useful links:

http://nanowrimo.org/

Inspiration

Young Writers Program

For Educators

Me on the NaNoWriMo site (Feel free to friend me and message me there. You may need to create an account.)

The Snowflake Method (Novel planning.)

Coffitivity (This one might help you write your report cards.)

Feeding Frenzy on Wattpad (Read the story or leave a comment. If you’re new let me show you around.)

 

Happy writing!

Podcasting and Writing Plays

I have been less active on this blog lately because I’m starting a new podcasting project. I’m going to be podcasting my novel, “Marmalade, Cat Detective,” at my new Marmalade Cat Detective blog.

I also have a long-term plan for writing a book on how to write and produce children’s plays and videos.

I’ve had so much fun doing this over the years that I think it’s time to share.  I will always be grateful to Mike Taylor, a teacher who let me help direct some of his original plays. For me, many of the special projects teachers do have to be learned on the apprenticeship system. Working with Mike, I observed which elements of a show were crucial to successful school productions.

At first I was going to write a book about it. I even drew up a list of chapters and topics but the process seemed daunting. I work as a teacher-librarian, I’m a hockey mom and my first love is fiction. Where would I find the time to write a non-fiction book? Instead, I started a blog about the process of writing and directing scripts for kids called Dramafun. It seemed like a good way to share some of my tips and tricks with others.

Last night I discovered Howtoblogabook.com. It’s ingenious! The idea is to write a blog which becomes a book. Written in small increments, even a long book shouldn’t take more than a year to write. Who knows, maybe once I’ve taught myself to podcast by podcasting my novel, I might podcast episodes about making plays and movies with children as well.

Drama Blog and Cat Detective Blog

I’m busy promoting book fair at my school and with Word on the Street Toronto coming up, this fall it’s all about the books. I’ve even started a couple of new blogs recently.

This funny blog, for kids and imaginative adults, is inspired by the protagonist of my novel-in-progress.

http://marmaladecatdetective.com/

As a teacher, with experience writing and producing stage plays and videos, I want to swap inspiration with others who do the same.

http://dramafun.wordpress.com/

Shameless Ego Boosting

I recently added a new gadget to my blog. If you scroll to the very bottom, you’ll see a map which records the location of blog visitors. Lately I have been getting about 10 readers a day. I assumed, until now, that these readers were mostly friends I knew in the real world. I started this blog to keep track of my (now finished) sabbatical. I don’t post ads. I don’t handle contentious topics. I haven’t run a contest or done much promotion. Where would I find the time to answer all the comments that would come with a big deal blog, even if I could create one?

Nevertheless I just love looking at my new toy. I have little red spots all over! USA, Canada (a big dot in Toronto, a small one in BC), India, Malaysia, France, Spain, England. I know who the red dot in Australia represents but Spain? I do love a good mystery: Is the Carol in Scarborough the thin blonde librarian I think she is? Will I finally meet Lotus some day? Is my vistitor from Lima, Peru a relative? Each small dot represents 1-9 visits so I’ll never know without a comment from you.

Come out, come out wherever you are! If you’ve never left me a comment, why not say hello? I know I’m anonymous on this blog for work reasons but be creative and drop me a clue. Family and friends can also look me up on FaceBook, under my real name.

Writing Prompts:

There’s a new site called Writers Island, which posts a new writing prompt every Saturday. Each Tuesday a new post opens where participants are encouraged to post a link to the creative responses on their blogs. I’ve discovered lots of interesting personal book blogs by participating in Booking Through Thursday, which follows a similar format.

I don’t think I’ll participate in Writers Island myself. It isn’t prompts I lack, but time to write the ideas I have.

Updated Format

It may not look changed but I’ve updated my blog. I’ve switched to the newest Blogger toolkit and updated the Feedburner link. Unfortunately, I lost my nice visitor counter. My stats are nothing compared to many blogs but I still find it amazing that this site has been viewed 2,860 times!

Sabbatical Year Blog

  • When you were a kid did you read everything? I did: books, street signs, magazines, comic books, newspapers. My parents could hardly get me away from text long enough to feed me. When I did finally get to the table I would even read the… you guessed it: cereal box.
  • I’m a working mom in Toronto, Canada (a middle-sized North American city.) I’m a fan of books, competitive swimming, Spanish, French, theatre, film. I’ve also had a great time writing and producing school musicals. This year I’m on sabbatical from my job teaching gifted children and French at a suburban school. I’ve just finished working with the greatest class of grade sixes ever! As you can see I’m very enthousiastic about teaching — thus the year off.
  • To properly enjoy my time as an at-home-mom, I will be attending the Toronto International Film Festival. I’ve never been able to do the festival properly because it coincides with the start of the school year. My next entries will be about the festival.
  • If there’s anyone out there: Enjoy!
Cereal Girl