Author: Dora

Preptober 6 / 31 – Synopsis

Preptober 6 / 31 – Synopsis

I’m a planster, but more on the side of a pastser than a planner, for NaNoWriMo. That said, this year’s novel has a little more of a synopsis than usual because I’ve been having fun with NaNo to write an ongoing series of short novels. This one picks up where last year’s one leaves off. However, this is as much of a synopsis as it’s going to get. A big part of NaNo’s value to me is that the radical format–high speed, low quality, social writing, little planning–helps break me out of creative ruts and explore writing and story in new, fresh ways.

Preptober 5 / 31 – POV

Preptober 5 / 31 – POV

I really like writing in first person POVs. I like having access to the characters’ full sensorium; I like being able to embody my MCs in my imagination. But I also need a justification for why this person is self-narrating, or why they would be narrating to the reader. Who are they telling their story too? Mac’s character concept was in part an excuse for a specific POV when I first started with him, though he’s a lot more than just that.

Preptober 3 / 31 – Plot Formula

Preptober 3 / 31 – Plot Formula

Todays prompt was “choose a plot formula.” I had to look up what that meant, but it turned out to be the term for things like Aristotle’s Incline (note: this is just a nice write up; I have no connection to the author of the blog), which I’ve used for most things I’ve written for the past decade at least. I found this Lester Dent plot formula and reading it made me laugh. My hand written summary is just a summary–read the whole entertaining thing.

Preptober! 1 / 31 – Word Goal

Preptober! 1 / 31 – Word Goal

NaNoWriMo Season is almost upon us, and I’m always so excited I want to start RIGHT AWAY. Thankfully, there is Preptober, the month in which we prepare for NaNoWriMo in order to assist with impulse control. Because according to Traditional NaNoWriMo Rules, November 1st at midnight is when hundreds of thousands of people all over the world put down the first words on a new novel in the ridiculousness that is National Novel Writing Month.

I love this event. I’ve done it every year since 2008, except the year I was completing my dissertation. I’ve never shared the details much outside of my regular writing group though. This year we won’t be able to do the usual in-person write-ins and everything sucks, so I’m going to blog process and progress and share more with my fellow WriMos and Storytellers, even though it’s always a hot mess LOL

Here’s the list of Preptober prompts I’m using this year if anyone wants to follow along.

And here’s my first prompt, announce your word goal! You can connect with me / be my NaNo buddy at https://nanowrimo.org/participants/intralimina.

Mac Carroll Multiverse Novel Notebook

This is a brief flip-through of the traveler’s notebook I keep for stories in the Mac Carroll multiverse.

Tools I use:

Inserts are for:

  1. Working things out which gets set aside when filled;
  2. Each novel as it develops that gives a longer-term reference for that particular book’s details;
  3. A world bible intended for permanent reference for things like maps, timelines, character details, technology, world-rules, etc.
  4. (Sometimes, but not pictured here, an insert for administrative and marketing type tasks related to stories or books in the world.)

You can read a story in this universe in the anthology Spoon Knife 4: A Neurodivergent Guide to Spacetime from Autonomous Press.

Writing an Original Research Article as a Story

Writing an Original Research Article as a Story

I approach the structure of an academic research article similarly to how I approach a piece of fiction. I shared this with a student the other day, and am elevating it from “Random Email I’ll Lose” to “Blog Post I Can Link Back To.”

I like to think of an original research report like a story: The first “chapter”—Background—sets up the characters, setting, and conflict—why was it urgent to do this research? What pressures are building, what gaps exist, what is troublesome about existing knowledge, who is yelling that problems are unaddressed and why? That chapter ends with, “therefore, because of these conflicts/tensions/gaps/needs, we decided to do a study to address them through these research aims.” Or, to go forth on a journey to resolve these conflicts through the objectives of the study.


The second “chapter”—Methods—is like equipping your heroes and sending them out to achieve those necessary objectives. We therefore took these bold actions to resolve the conflict! March forth and design, recruit, collect, analyze! Do the study thing! Here is how we did it.


The third “chapter”—Results—is the climax chapter. It says what actually happened in the study. What was the result of that journey?


The final “chapter”—Discussion—is the resolution chapter. It ties up all the loose ends. It summarizes what happened on the journey and then ties it back to why you had to go forth in the first place, which is introduced first in the Background. It’s where you conclude how the gaps were filled (or not), the troublesome ideas adjusted (or not), the problems addressed (or not). How did the result of the journey change the world? Or, at least, how did it change the current state of the science, literature, practice, policy, and community? 🙂 

Thinking of the research in this way may help provide some structure, and also make it more engaging to read. No, I am not recommending turning the paper into a literary work full of hyperbole and action sequences! But readers can more easily follow a narrative where the pieces relate to each other clearly. I have also found it easier to write when I consider the process of conducting original research as a narrative arc. HTH <3

Theme: Overlay by Kaira 2020 Dora M Raymaker
Portland, Oregon