Writer Workshop

(Posted by chris the cynic)

Those of you who also frequent Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings will find this somewhat familiar.  Here, as there, it was requested that there be a regular post to talk about writing projects (and other artwork-creation). Thus this post exists.

Pencil by Elisa Xyz

What are you working on? How are you feeling about it? What thoughts and/or snippets would you like to share? How does your activism work into your art? What tropes are you hoping to employ and/or avoid? Are there any questions you’d like to ask or frustrations you’d like to vent?  Writing workshop below!


11 thoughts on “Writer Workshop

  1. ZMiles October 16, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Having finished my novel draft, and inspired by the conference I just went to, I’m setting a new goal for myself for the next month or so. I am going to try to submit to three anthologies. These anthologies are:

    Membrane, by Dreadful Cafe (http://dreadfulcafe.com/news/2013/10/9/membrane-submissions-close-october-24). Topic: “Escape from the safe.” Due date: Oct. 24. And if I keep the story between 2000-2500 words then it pays professional rate.

    Upgraded, by Clarkesworlde (http://neil-clarke.com/books/submission_guidelines/). Topic: Cyborgs. Due date: Oct. 31. Word count: 1000-8000 words. Pays professional rate.

    Chiral Mad 2, by Written Backwards (http://blog.nettirw.com/2013/07/03/chiral-mad-2/). Topic: Psychological horror with a focus on chirality. Due date: Until filled, est. sometime in November. Word count: 1000-5000 words. Pays professional rate.

    I’m hoping to wrap up the Membrane submission as quickly as I can, since it’s the shortest and I already have an idea and partial outline. Then I want to try the Chiral Mad 2 submission, since I got inspired by the chirality theme. (Chirality is an adjective and describes something that is not superimposable on its mirror image. If I hold my left hand up to a mirror, for instance, I don’t see a left hand, but rather a right hand, so my left hand has chirality.) The Clakresworlde one I don’t have any ideas on yet, but I’m hoping on coming up with some in the next couple days.

  2. Lonespark October 16, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I went to the web page, but I still don’t understand their use of “chirality.”

  3. depizan October 16, 2013 at 10:38 am


    Good luck on the writing and submitting! (As a side note, wouldn’t all asymmetrical things have chirality? Or am I missing something?)

    As far as writing goes, I’m struggling with the problem of writing a sympathetic character who believes that another sympathetic character is up to no good and who is struggling with the problem of whether to engage in preemptive betrayal. (She’s wrong about him, but wrong for very reasonable reasons – he _is_ an enemy spy. Which is why the general rule of “if everyone were just honest with each other” doesn’t really work. If you have no reason to believe the other person…) But I want her to stay sympathetic even though the audience knows she’s wrong because they have information she doesn’t have.

  4. ZMiles October 16, 2013 at 11:54 am


    Yes. Any (3D) figure with a plane or center of symmetry is achiral, and so anything 3D that is chiral must be completely asymmetric. However, some figures without any such plane are also achiral, so it’s not a direct 1-1 mapping.

    In 2D, according to wikipedia, it is 1-1; that is, anything achiral has an axis of symmetry, and anything that has an axis of symmetry is achiral. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiral#Geometry)

    As for the character, I think if you make sure to demonstrate the character’s thought processes and motivations, the reader will be able to understand that the character is wrong, but not unreasonably so, which should help maintain symmetry.

  5. Lonespark October 16, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Hrrrmm. I’m only familiar with the chemistry definition, which does seem related to the geometry definition…but isn’t helping me understand how it relates to stories.

  6. ZMiles October 18, 2013 at 9:49 am

    They say ‘chirality’ can be used metaphorically, so I’m looking at some horror elements that can be found with the theme of ‘things that are not equivalent to their reflections’ (which is a colloquial definition of chirality I’ve seen). Vampires, for instance, aren’t vampires in the mirror; they’re nothing at all. Or Dorian Gray’s painting (which functioned as sort of a reflection of his inner self) which was much more twisted and evil than his outer appearance.

    As for my writing…

    Membrane submission: 1230 words drafted, remainder of the story fully outlined. Hoping to submit this weekend.
    Chiral Mad 2 submission: I have an idea. Hoping to start the story this weekend.
    Upgraded submission: I have an idea now. Hoping to start the story early next week.

  7. Lonespark October 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Hmmm. It’s a tantalizing idea. If a helix is achiral, what’s a spiral?

  8. ZMiles October 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I believe spirals are generally chiral; a clockwise spiral, for instance, is counter-clockwise in the mirror, and there’s no rotational transformation that will make the reflection clockwise, so the original cannot be superimposed on the reflection.

  9. ZMiles October 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Update: Finished drafting my submission to Membrane at 2500 words. Hopefully I can edit it tomorrow and wrap that up, and also start my Chiral Mad submission.

  10. Firedrake October 20, 2013 at 5:09 am

    A spiral is chiral in two-dimension space but not in three. A helix is chiral in three-dimensional space, but I suspect not in four.

  11. Lonespark October 20, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Ok, Firedrake, I think that’s what I was getting at. Because I think of there being two- and three- dimensional spirals.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: