24 Hours of G & T: Hour 12 & 13
24 Hours of G & T: Hour 12 & 13 is now available to download. Check it out here. The next two hours of 24 hours of G & T Show were conducted by our Social Media Manager and published author: Janet Gershen-Siegel. This segment of the fundraiser coincides with the launch of NaNoWriMo on the East Coast and we spend the time talking about writing. We give away an autographed copy of Janet’s book: Untrustworthy. Deyvid from Trek Radio and Marv from Club 602 continue their vigil with us in the studio.
We return from our break with Mike, Deyvid, and Marv. Jespah is ready to kick off NaNoWriMo. While Janet prepares, Mike mentions that this hour’s prize is an autographed copy of her book: Untrustworthy, which Mike believes she wrote during NaNo a few years ago. When Jespah returns, she provides some background on herself and NaNo. She talks about how she got her novel published and some of the rules of NaNo. Essentially, the only rule is write 50,000 words within the month of November. Although writing is a solitary activity, NaNo allows people to share a common experience in their writing endeavors. Some people enjoy writing within social environments, Janet admits that she does not and ends up spending her time watching people.
Authors are often asked where do their ideas come from. Harlan Ellison once said Schenectady. Mike jokes that they come from a subscription box. It’s a service. Janet mentions that ideas can come from anywhere. She explains where the idea for Untrustworthy came from. She also talks about the project she wrote last year, which was the second novel in a trilogy. This year’s novel is going to be a first contact story quite different than what we normally see in Star Trek. She shares some of the highlights of the story she intends to write.
She shifts to writing. She studied under the poet, George Starbuck in college. In high school, Kitty Lindsey with her Virginian accent gave the best writing advice regarding the four C’s: Characters, Conflict, Crisis, and Change. Another piece is scene setting. Janet talks about those five parts, starting with Characters.
Characters are probably the most important aspect of any story. You need to know who they are? What is their background? They don’t need to be White Anglo-Saxon Protestant people (WASP). Nick and Terry offers some advice on how they come up with names for their own stories. Deyvid suggests looking up the meaning of a name. Janet talks about the ages of characters. There is a lot of stories with young people and even fewer featuring older people. Janet’s story this year will feature an older woman as the main character. For science fiction, species becomes important for a character. She moves on to accents and speech and references an Ask Dayton where he reads Fifty Shades of Grey as a redneck. Her goal is for the reader to believe that these people are real. Language, word choice, and regional terms are also very important. Accents can become thicker when people are emotional or tired. They can even lapse into another language when angry. Dialect can help distinguish people from each other in a scene with multiple people in it. Care should be taken so as not to overdo it.
Janet moves on to Conflict. Major conflicts such as war or fighting, but minor conflicts can be great movers in a story. They talk about climax and uses sex as an analogy. Lots of small ones can be better than one big one.
Change is the next C. She gets the most satisfaction from Change. Is the change temporary, permanent, for better, or for worst. Nick believes the problem with Voyager was that the characters never changed. Some forms of fiction requires the use of a reset button that eliminates change and Mike uses Star Trek as an example, but for the most part, change is required for good storytelling. They talk about the changes that appeared in the later Star Trek series, such as Tasha and Worf.
Janet moves into Scenes. It is more than describing what a place looks like. What does it look like, sound like, smell like, and taste? What is the weather? Air pressure? What’s the decor? All of these aspects can set the scene and can help pull a reader into a story. Terry praises Janet for the great advice she is giving. They share stories of feeling transported into another world through the use of good use of settings. Janet mentions that footnotes pulls her out of story. Tolkien used it to give a little bit of backstory about a reference to something that didn’t make the cut in the book.
They return to language and active and passive voice. Passive voice needs to be used appropriately. She chooses not to go over spelling and grammar. Janet talks about the idea jar that she has. Whenever she has an idea, she writes down the idea and throws it into the jar. She pulls out an idea from her jar and reads it to us.
She moves on to discuss opening lines. They talk about some of their favorite opening lines. Larry Nemecek drops in early for his hour. His mic caused some issues. They get worked out. They return to their discussion of opening lines. Before we get to Larry, Nick and Janet read Edgar Allen Poe‘s The Raven — a Halloween tradition for Nick.
They wind down the hour and discussion of writing and NaNoWriMo. They greet Larry before taking a break to restart the recordings.
But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.