Dialogue, Dialect, and Narrative Voice

Next Class: Deep Dive Into Dialogue, Dialect, and Narrative Voice

The next Writing the Other class I’m teaching with Nisi Shawl is on Dialogue, Dialect, and Narrative Voice. Details below!

When: April 9 – 23, 2022
Where: Online via Zoom or Asynchronous classroom, accessible at your own pace
Price: $200 – $300 (Scholarships Available)

An essential part of creating a character is understanding how that individual speaks or communicates. For writers who are working to create inclusive fiction with diverse characters from races, cultures, and backgrounds different from their own, crafting appropriate dialogue is more than just idealizing and compressing speech to make it seem natural. It may also mean figuring out how to get across the nuances of language, accent, or dialect without Othering or exoticizing characters or the real cultures and identity groups they represent.

In this craft-focused class we’ll help you sharpen your dialogue skills and show you how to apply those same skills to the narrative voice through lectures, hands-on exercises, selected readings, and feedback. We’ll analyze ways familiar and unfamiliar cultural assumptions are embedded in texts and talk about alternative techniques for conveying difference via voice–yours and your characters’. At the end of class you’ll have a wealth of resources for further study and practice.

For all the details including required reading, the scholarship application, and more, please visit Writing the Other.com.

Tempest In A Teapot

Come Write With Me… or just hang out | February 2022 Tea Time With Tempest

Welcome to the new home of the Teapot newsletter, my own blog! I’ve been thinking about moving away from Substack since last year when we discovered, in the words of Annalee Newitz, that Substack “paid a secret group of writers to make newsletter authorship seem lucrative.” Recent policy communications from SubStack pushed me over the edge, and my reasoning is very close to that of Grave Lavery, who wrote a good essay on why she’s leaving as well.

Hopefully the change was seamless on your end and you’ll enjoy commenting here better than SubStack since you don’t have to sign in. Onward!

The biggest news I have on the book front right now is that I don’t have big news yet. Eep! I’ve seen a sketch of my cover and it looks so good and is so close to being ready, but can’t be revealed now. Soon, though, and I know y’all will love it.

Things are calm enough this month that I’m heading up north for a a week-long writing retreat in-between class obligations. After that it’s going to be class, class, maybe a convention if it seems safe, class, class, more class, book launch. I’m trying not to be pre-exhausted.

There will be more to tell next month, I’m sure. And I’m still working on sorting pictures from Egypt. There are soooo many.

🧡 Tempest


I have a bit of news to share with you below, but down in the comments I want to hear your news. Tell me about the stuff going on in your life that you’d like to share. Can be great things, or not so great things, or a funny story, or an epic story. Share pictures, share laughter, share what’s troubling you, share wisdom.
Continue reading “Come Write With Me… or just hang out | February 2022 Tea Time With Tempest”

33 Days of Inspiration

33 Days of Inspiration: An Auto-Class for Writers

Need to rekindle your creative spark? Reconnect with your muse? Generate some new ideas? Get back to the story/book/narrative you put down when things got to be too much? I have the perfect balm for all of your woes: Writing Exercises!

WAIT, DON’T LEAVE!

I know the phrase ‘Writing Exercises’ gives some wordsmiths the hives. You’re probably thinking:

What’s the point?

or

I don’t need to waste my time exercising, I need to get words on the page!

Hear me out. Don’t think of writing exercises as wasted time or words, think of them as research projects into your own creative mind. They help you dig down through the layers of what makes your characters who they are and what’s going on in your world beyond what’s needed for the plot or story. Exploring all that through exploring and playing around with craft makes for richer prose and narratives.

Prompts and exercises are especially useful for writers in a slump or who constantly feel blocked due to stress, uncertainty, or just not wanting to write due to to the state of the world. There are a ton of us. You’re not alone.

If you’re ready to try and get back to writing, these short, low pressure writing prompts and exercises can help.

You’ll start with fun, game-esque generative prompts designed to put you in a playful mindset and maybe plant some story seeds. If you already have stories or novels or other works in progress, you can use these exercises to kick your brain into creative gear without pressure.

Ready to get started?

Click Here To Register

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Daily Writing Exercises Returns! Get ready for NaNoWriMo (or not-NaNo)

It’s almost October, which means it’s almost November, which means that a bunch of writers around the world are about to take part in the ritual of setting a goal to write fifty thousand words in one month. NaNo excitement!

Given all this writerly energy in the air, this is also a great time of year to try and get back into a regular writing practice, if possible (sometimes it really, really isn’t). If that’s something you’re interested in, allow me to tempt you with the Daily Writing Exercises email series.

Practice and warm-ups are fundamental to every artistic discipline, writing included. Doing short writing exercises or prompts can help kick your brain into creative gear without pressure and keep your writing muscles limber on days when you don’t have the time or energy to work on your work in progress. They’re especially useful for writers in a slump or who constantly feel blocked due to stress, uncertainty, or just not wanting to write due to to the state of the world.

There are a ton of us. You’re not alone.

Continue reading “Daily Writing Exercises Returns! Get ready for NaNoWriMo (or not-NaNo)”

The Author's Web Toolkit

Webinar Weekend: The Author’s Web Toolkit

I’ve teamed up with my fellow Debut22 author Lisa Stringfellow to bring you two webinars for writers, pre- and post-published. We both feel strongly that authors should have a web presence, even a basic one. We’ll give you the tools to create and maintain a website and a social media presence even if you aren’t tech-savvy or trained in digital marketing. Join us for:

Build It Better: Essentials of an Author Website
with Lisa Stringfellow

When: Saturday, July 24, 2021, 1-3PM Eastern

What are the essential elements of a great author’s website? Whether you are pre-published or published, there are key elements everyone should include on their websites.

In this workshop, Lisa Stringfellow will share her experience as an author and technology instructor to discuss elements of good website design and how to establish a web presence that will help your readers connect with you. She’ll discuss platforms and tools, branding, accessibility, and the nuts and bolts of building and updating your site. Learn how to make sure your author website has the essentials it needs to make an impact!

And/Or

Spend Less Time Tweeting and More Time Writing
Social Media Strategies for Authors
with K. Tempest Bradford

When: Sunday, July 25, 2021, 1-3PM Eastern

Authors need to use social media for publicity, audience building, and community connection. And yet, social networks are undoubtedly time sinks, distractions, and can sometimes be bad for our mental health. All of which can eat into writing time.

Maintaining a balance between time on and off social media is important, especially for authors who want to lean more toward being OFF it. In this webinar, K. Tempest Bradford will offer tips for how to limit your time on social media without having to delete your account and how to set up a system of auto posting and scheduling that will allow you to maintain an appropriate presence without annoying your friends and followers.

Each webinar is $40. Register for both at the same time and get $10 off.

Can’t afford the price? No worries. We have scholarships. Details on the registration page.

Creating Diverse Characters

Next Class: Deep Dive Intensive on Creating Diverse Characters

It’s Writing the Other core class time again! I’m excited for this next one as it’s my favorite: Creating Diverse Characters. I teach this one with Nisi and Piper J. Drake, so you’ll get three deep perspectives on how to write characters different from yourself.

This year we’re doing a new class structure that’s shorter and less expensive. We wanted to make it more financially accessible to folks who may still be struggling to deal with pandemic-related budget issues. And if the price is still out of reach, we have scholarships.

When: June 12 – 20, 2021
Where: Online via Zoom or Asynchronous classroom, accessible at your own pace
Price: $200 – $300

There are two course options:

Option 1: Asynchronous ($200) — Writers who cannot join us for the live Weekend Intensive can chose this option. Starting June 12 you’ll have access to the private WordPress classroom where we will post lectures in text form and the recordings of the sessions. Starting on the 14th we’ll post readings, discussions, and more writing exercises (some of which instructors will offer feedback on). For this option you can log in at any time and participate on your schedule.

The time commitment for the Asynchronous portion of the class will depend on your level of participation. Discussions based on lectures, short readings, and writing exercises will take place during the week. Discussion threads tend to be wide-ranging, so students should try to check in at least once a day or every other day. You may manage your time as needed based on your own schedule.

Option 2: Weekend Intensive Plus ($300) — On Saturday and Sunday June 12 & 13 students will gather virtually on Zoom (see detailed schedule below) for lectures, Q&A, discussion, and writing exercises with live feedback. From Monday June 14 through Friday the 18th students can log in to a private WordPress forum for further discussions based on readings and more writing exercises. This section of the class is asynchronous, meaning you can log in at any time and participate on your schedule.

This option is limited to 25 students.

See all the details, schedule, and scholarship app info at WritingTheOther.com.

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Next Writing the Other Webinar: Are You My Ally?

Yes, I do intend to have a very busy May :D In addition to the Rekindle Unworkshop I’m also co-leading a webinar on allyship for creative folks.

Got privilege? Want to know what it’s good for? Want to make use of your advantages without insulting those who may not share them? There are so many ways creative people can help each other. With suggestions ranging from practical tips to aspirational dreams, this seminar empowers would-be allies to support BIPOC and other marginalized creatives and #ownvoices work while boosting the presence of marginalized genius.

When: May 1, 2021, 10AM – 1PM Pacific Time
Where: Online via Zoom video conference
Price: $20 – $30 or Whatever You Can Afford

Visit the Writing the Other website for for further details or to register.

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Rekindle Your Will To Write | A Writing Unworkshop

If you fell off the writing wagon or constantly feel blocked due to stress, uncertainty, or just not wanting to due to *gesturesAll This and ready to try and get back to it, this unworkshop is for you. Play a no-pressure writing game with me and author Alethea Kontis to spark your imagination and get words on paper again.

We’ll be playing Sugar, Porridge, Spoons, a game for writers designed to push past your internal editor and get you creating weird and wonderful stuff without the pressure of trying to produce something specific.

We’ll meet on Zoom for live virtual game sessions on:

  • Saturday May 1 | 5PM – 7PM eastern
  • Sunday May 2 | 4PM – 6PM eastern
  • Wednesday May 5 | 4PM – 6PM eastern
  • Saturday May 8 | 5PM – 7PM eastern
  • Sunday May 9 | 4PM – 6PM eastern

Click here to convert to your time zone

All sessions are optional. If you can make some but not others, that’s fine. Participants will have access to videos of each session afterward.

You’ll also be invited to a private Discord server where you can discuss the outcome of each game session.

This unworkshop costs $40 and is open to writers ages 14 to 114 years old. There are scholarships available.

Click Here For Details or to Register

Scholarships

There are 4 scholarships available to writers who cannot afford the registration fee for class. Half are specifically for Black, Indigenous, and other Writers of Color, half are available to any writer from any identity background.

To apply, fill out this form. You’ll be asked to provide a personal statement (up to 500 words) and a statement of financial need (300 words). Please Note: I define financial need broadly, from those who absolutely can’t pay to those who may have the money but can’t set it aside for a writing course. Don’t self reject!

Application Deadline: 11:59PM Pacific April 21, 2021.

Should Authors Write Characters Different From Themselves

New Webinar: Should Authors Write Characters Different From Themselves?

I get asked a version of this question all the time. So does anyone who is outspoken in the diverse literature space. It usually comes in the form of:

Should white creators write characters of color?

or

Should abled creators write characters with disabilities?

or

Should heterosexual creators write LGBTQIA+ characters?

and so on.

Truth is, the answer is simple (yes) and also complex (yes, but…), thus some people need guidance in answering the question for themselves. Lucky for y’all, Nisi Shawl and I are willing to offer that guidance.

Our next webinar is on this topic, it costs $20 – $30 or whatever you can afford, and will happen on March 6th. If you cannot make the live webinar you can register to get the video after. Details and registration are on Writing the Other.com. Hope to see you there.

Daily Writing Exercises: Preptober + NaNoWriMo 2020

Practice and warm-ups are fundamental to every artistic discipline, writing included. Especially when you’re gearing up to set down 50,000 words in 30 days.

Doing a 10 – 20 minute writing exercise can help kick your brain into creative gear without pressure, give you the chance to try out new craft skills, or simply keep your writing muscles limber on days when you don’t have the time or energy to work on your work in progress.

Whether you’re getting ready for NaNoWriMo, or starting a new long fiction project, or just want to try building a daily writing practice, this course is for you.

Click here to Register

Part 1 – Preptober (Reg Ended)

Starting October 1 you’ll get a short writing exercise via email every day for a month. These exercises will give you an opportunity to play around with voice, point of view, dialogue, and other aspects of craft plus help you get to know your characters better and dig into details of your setting. You can use the exercises to prepare for NaNoWriMo, or a non-NaNo project, or as warm-ups before starting on your current work in progress.

Part 2 – NaNoWriMo

Starting November 1 you’ll get a different set of writing exercises via email every day for a month. The November exercises will all relate directly to your work in progress, diving into the characters, the world, and the plot in ways that will help you keep moving forward.

You can sign up for Part 2 for $45. Grants are still available for those who can’t afford the registration fee.

Grants

There are a total of 10 grants available to writers who need them. Grants are for both parts of class. Five grants are available to Black, Indigenous, and other Writers of Color, five are available to any writer from any identity background.

To apply, fill out this form. You’ll be asked to provide a personal statement (up to 500 words) and a statement of financial need (300 words). Please Note: I define financial need broadly, from those who absolutely can’t pay to those who may have the money but can’t set it aside for a writing course. Don’t self reject!

FAQ

Do I have to be doing NaNo to take this course?

Nope! If you just want a month or two of writing exercises that will help you with your fiction or get you into a daily writing practice, this course is for you.

What are the technical requirements?

Just an email account.

Can I donate so more people get grants?

Yes! And you’d be the absolute best for doing so. Click here to donate via PayPal. You can pay to cover the full grant price or just part of one. Any amount donated is appreciated.