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New to LJ, and DS is my OTF.I saw the 2010 comment about posting here to prevent purging of community, and then didn't see a 2011 post, so I decided to BE the 2011 post.

Maintain the right!

\0/ Ride
  • luzula

Dogsledding—what is it like in practice?

I've always been fascinated by dogsledding, possibly due to an overdose of "Call of the Wild" as a child (the Jack London book, that is, not the due South episode or the Robert Service poem). When I first saw the pilot of due South, it was the dogsledding that drew me in as much as, well, other things.

Recently I went dogsledding for a week, and I thought I'd share what it was like. The purpose of this post is to describe the practical details, which can be important if you want to write post-CotW stories. It's not about winter camping or cold-weather survival, though--we stayed in cabins, and it's April, so it wasn't very cold.

Keep in mind that I'm not an expert in this, and I'm sure there are many ways to dogsled--probably I am influenced by the opinions of the musher who was with us as a guide. I did look up all the English terms, though, so they should be accurate. The pictures look kind of small, but if you click on them twice, you'll get bigger ones so you can see the details. Thanks to isiscolo for beta-reading!

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narrative vs. non-narrative plotting (the non-A-B-C-D plot Q)

Firstly, my apologies on the tardiness of this piece. I was supposed to go a week or two after nos4a2no9. Riiiight. *sigh* Anyway, here we go!

The original question was:

“What's the best way to structure a story that doesn't use a conventional A-B-C plotline? I want (desperately) to write a story that manipulates time and incorporates a lot of flashbacks/flash-forwards but I'm not sure how to go about it, or what to avoid. Can someone help?”

I've broken up the answer into parts, including
Why this question took so frakkin’ long to answer

Writing a story vs. Telling a story, and about the DS stories, and movies, analyzed here

Learning the rules so you can break them: Chronological narratives with causally dependent plot events—the conventional story narrative

How to write chronological narrative stories

“Post-modern” plots which are actually narratives, underneath all their fancy dress: Pulp Fiction, Memento, Run Lola Run

Non-narrative/non-chronological plots that actually are narrative/chronological, Part I: Examples in DS fanfic (“Tell Me A Story”; “More Than You Know”; “After”)

Non-narrative/non-chronological plots that actually are narrative/chronological, Part II: Examples in DS fanfic: (untitled Post-It notes story; At The Time Of Writing)

Complicated or multiple narratives within the same story: DS fanfic example (“Acharnement”)

How to write a truly non-chronological, non-narrative story

A note on truly non-narrative, non-chronological “plotless” stories (and DS fic comparison: The Fraser Record (Excerpts))

Finally, complicated or multiple narratives within the same story, with flashbacks and/or flashforwards (DS story examples: Stop Me If You've Heard This One; Thus Every Feather Obeys The Wind)

In summary

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classic fishie

Life In Northern Canada (Part Deux)

Hi everyone!

I promised ages ago to write a follow-up post to my first workshop piece on Life In Northern Canada. sageness and a few other folks had specific questions they wanted me to address, hence the sequel. If you're looking for more general topics about northern Canada, such as landscape and geography, weather, the role of the RCMP, shopping and dining, education and healthcare, I covered a lot of that material in the original post. However, I'm always happy to answer any questions you might have, or go into more specific explanations if you need them for a post-"Call of the Wild" story.

Again, I should make the caveat that I'm not an expert in Canadiana, and a lot of my knowledge is anecdotal. I grew up in a fairly large city in northern British Columbia, and so most of my observations come from spending summers in the communities further north, or taking trips around the region with my parents. Don't take anything I say as gospel, in other words, and if something doesn't sound right or you want me to clarify, please feel free to ask in the comments, or shoot me an email at nos4a2no9@gmail.com

Alright, on to the questions! Most of these are from sageness, because her brain is shiny like that.

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Which brings us to possibly the best question ever...

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I wish I had something a little cheerier to end on. If you have a question that I haven't yet addressed, or you'd like to discuss some of these issues in more detail, please feel free to comment here. I hope some of this is useful for those of you trying to compose a post-CotW story. Or we could, y'know, talk in person at bitchinparty!
classic fishie

"Would that make you the Mount-ee or the Mount-ed?": The Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Hello everyone! I'm Nos, your friendly resident Canadian liaison, and I'm here to kick off a shiny new round of ds_workshop posts with a discussion of everyone's favourite para-military force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Due to a number of reasons that don't bear exploring at this juncture (except they kinda do, so I'll go into them a little later) the RCMP is conducting an aggressive and unprecedented recruitment drive at Canadian high schools, colleges and universities. I happened to get wind of an RCMP Information Night at my Olde Institution of Higher Learning, and like a good dS fangirl I had to stop by. And take notes. And then share my findings with you.

I'm sure you all understand the basics of Mountie history and how the organization works in Canada. I'll be providing some of that information here, but I'm hardly better able to explain than the Wikipedia article on the subject. If you want a true primer on the Gendarmerie Royale du Canada I'd suggest you start there: I'm here mainly to fill you in on some fun and surprising details I learned courtesy of the Information Night. And away we go!

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Well, that's the RCMP training and recruitment process in a nutshell. There's another information session being held in early March, and since I had to duck out of this one a bit early I hope to attend and actually ask some questions during the Q&A. If you've got a burning question about the RCMP, please ask it in the comments below, and if I can't find an answer I'll ask at the next info session. I hope I've provided at least a few new details and tasty facts here that will, hopefully, lead to some plot bunnies.

Happy writing, folks! And many thanks to kill_claudio for her very able beta assistance.

2008 craft of writing series kick-off! \o/

Hey all! Guess what? DS_Workshop's hiatus is over! We'll be starting off a new series of Workshop posts next week with a post from nos4a2no9 about the RCMP. YAY!!

What we need now are volunteers to go in the weeks after Nos.

How to volunteer:
1. Go pick out a question from the master question list. There are still LOTS of craft of writing/DS-specific questions there that haven't been answered, or you can take a subject that HAS been answered and discuss it from another angle. Also, if you don't find anything you want to lead a discussion on, you can add a new question to the list (by commenting to it) and then volunteer to answer your own question (sneaky, eh? *g*).

2. Comment below claiming the topic you want to cover.

I'd love it if we could go back to having people post once every week or two.

Last, if anyone has any questions about how this works or suggestions for making this a better workshop, please either leave a comment here or email me!

Thanks, everybody!! ♥

round table discussion: villains!

Several people seconded an off-handed mention of doing a post on writing villains -- and LOTS of us are doing either Due South Seekrit Santa and/or Yuletide this holiday season, so this is hopefully a very timely and relevant post. Feel free to pimp this far and wide because I'd love to get a good range of discussion going in the comments.

First I'm going to share my meandering thoughts, and then I've got a bunch of questions for us to consider.

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So let's talk about how to present well-drawn bad guys. What awesome bad guys have you read or seen onscreen? Name some -- from fic, novels, movies, television, comics, pop culture, whatever. What makes them effective villains?

What characters still creep you out, months or years later? Why?

What different sorts of villains are there? How can a writer use different sorts of villains in the same story?

Do you like villains better when we understand their motivation all along (and can maybe empathize) or when they're faceless blanks to be revealed at the end? What kind of story is served by each format?

What experience have you had writing bad guys in your own fic, and what pitfalls did you have to deal with? What do you know now that you wish you'd known then?

Obviously, no one has to answer everything, but I'd love for this to be a round table discussion. Please jump in with whatever grabs you, whether your examples are Due South-related or not.

Thanks! :D

Volunteer Call!

Hey everybody!

I've been a little swamped with getting DS_Match underway with china_shop, so the Craft Series has taken a little hiatus. However, just because *I've* been swamped doesn't necessarily mean that everyone else has. *g*

So...THIS post is the volunteer call for the next round of the Craft Series. Here is the master question list. If you have new questions to ADD to the list, please do! If you'd like a reminder of what makes a good Workshop Question, please refer to this post (but don't comment to it; it's been superseded by the master question list).

All clear? Okay, who can tackle a question?

(The way it works is I'll email you to confirm you're up next. Then you'll have about a week to post. Then, when the first person posts, I'll email the next, and so on, easy as pie.)

Sound good? Have a look at the master question list, claim a topic, and comment below with what you'd like to cover!

Thank you! &hearts ♥ ♥

p.s. You CAN pick a question that someone else has already done! All you have to do is come at it from a different angle or talk about some aspect of it that the first person didn't. :D

Writing From a Non-Human Perspective.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s most likely to mean Dief in this fandom. There’s just not that much Turtle fic out there. In fact the only one I know of is elementalv’s Mortal Enemies. It’s only a drabble, but I’m of the firm belief that it’s more than enough to instill a deep and abiding respect for The Turtle Mind.

So let’s stick with Dief for now, shall we? And while I’m at it, I haven’t seen nearly enough Dief fic, either, so links to any memorable ones would make me love you long time.

I guess the first thing you need to decide is whether your Dief is actually deaf, or if he’s got selective hearing. Fraser swears he can’t hear a thing, (even though he talks to him constantly) but if you watch Dead Men Don’t Throw Rice and Mountie on the Bounty, you get a couple of Dief’s ear accounts of what he hears and it’s just a little muffled. You can choose whether you want him to be able to use that or not.

The part that’s going to be the biggest challenge is sorting out how Dief interprets the world around him. Dogs don’t care much for the things we think are important. Dogs don’t worry about money or if the people next door can hear them having sex. They don’t care if Snuffy down the road told Brutus a block over that their new collar makes them look fat.

On the other hand, if Snuffy is in season at the time, her spending any time at all with Brutus is going to be major blow. (Although the Dief in my head is as fussy as Fraser and would never deign to breed with a diamond studded lapdog. Ante doesn’t count. She’s like a supermodel with brains, ok?)

I’ve had a lot of dogs in my life, but the one who has taught me the most about what makes them tick is Riff Raff. He’s half Dingo (Australia’s answer to the Wolf.) and as a result I’ve had to battle the wilder side of him to end up with the joyous companion that he is most of the time. Riffy gives me about as much grief as Dief gives Fraser, but without the fluffy.
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I could go on for days about all the neat and not so neat ways that Riffy is like Dief, but I actually need to post something that isn’t going to bore you to sleep, so I’ll move on to some other, more important issues. Like the physical differences between Us and Them. Well, the not so obvious ones.
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That gives you a lot of room to play with your Dief POV. He can be well spoken and articulate, or he can use plain language. So long as you’re consistent with what you’ve decided for him, Dief’s pretty easy to write. He’s actually a lot of fun.

Now if you want to know how to write Fraser’s horse? That’s going to need a whole new post. But I could be bribed.