Monday, April 11, 2016

UPDATES April 2016

Hello! Busy. Imagination working overtime. Fingers still twitch and tingle because, the only possible reason, my laptop has been hijacked by an alien intelligence and it is sending jolts of mind-altering energy up my arms and into my head to make my stories 10x more awesome. But still updates must be delivered. And here they are. Sweet stuff, all of it. Be good to yourself. Write what you love.

— D

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_____ Thanks for turning up and stealing all my cleverness in 3+ hours, let’s do it again and soon

Conducted a workshop last Saturday. That's the graphic banner for it at the top of this post. Great turnout and we had a lot of fun. Especially me. Fantastic to see everyone. Hope you’ve been furiously writing weird and wonderful stories since. Thanks to the Academy of Literary Arts and Publishing Singapore (training arm of the National Book Development Council of Singapore) for organising such a splendid workshop. Among other things, I showed everyone how to break the code of speculative fiction and genre writing. Now you can be clever too. It goes something like this —
science fiction
People use technology in weird and wonderful ways. Plus artificial intelligence. 
People use magic in weird and wonderful ways. Plus mythical creatures. 
People get terrified in weird and wonderful ways. Plus death. 
People encounter ghosts in weird and wonderful ways. Plus dead people. 
People are exploited in weird and wonderful ways. Plus dictator. 
People survive the end of the world in weird and wonderful ways. Plus ruins. 
People break the law in weird and wonderful ways. Plus police procedures. 
People uncover the truth in weird and wonderful ways. Plus misdirection. 
People beat the clock in weird and wonderful ways. Plus a cunning opponent. 
People are attracted to each other in weird and wonderful ways. Plus ugly fights.

Easy. And fun. Remember to download my two free PDF guides — THE 100 WRITERS STORY WORKBOOK and KEEP CALM AND UPLOAD E-BOOKS. You can get them as part of my workshop package here. What you can imagine, you can write.

_____ Prepare to be transported to a magical dimension where all your story ideas are effortlessly channelled out of your head and into the world, apparently that’s what happened at my other workshop last month, something like that

I conducted a different story writing workshop last month, hosted by the All In! Young Writers Festival 2016. This was part of my 100 WRITERS project. Thanks to workshop participants Sean Tan and his friends Ajay Nair and Ren Jia Qi for interviewing me in this post-workshop piece. They’re students from Victoria Junior College, and they recently published a compilation of their own stories. Will feature this soon. In the meantime, read what they said about my session —
Excerpt: “As he lowered his voice, the room faded into a calming silence. The entire atmosphere had changed. He sounded more calm, he heard his thoughts better, and his words now punctuated the air with more weight.”
The All In! Young Writers Festival 2016 also held a 10-word story writing competition, which I helped to judge. The organisers have created a cool PDF featuring selected entries. Get it here.

_____ The internet is a wonderful place and we make amazing new friends

Prashanth Chinnamantur is a story professional currently working at an animation studio in India. He recently wrote a piece on Medium about my work, and got in touch to talk about creating transmedia entertainment for children in Asia. Excerpt: “Super Cool Books has an admirably stated intent of specializing in ‘original story entertainment inspired by Asian legends and pop culture’. To me, that is a pithy, meaningful, challenging and exhilarating mission.” I’m always thrilled to know that there are others who share this vision. And Indian storytelling is definitely a great inspiration for me too. Read Prashanth's piece in full here.

_____ Coming up, another story-hacking workshop by StoryCode Singapore

Maybe you know this, maybe not, but I’m a co-organiser with StoryCode Singapore, an international meetup group that explores new possibilities for cross-platform storytelling. We’ll be conducting a DIY story-hacking session at this year’s Asian Festival of Children’s Content. Basically you turn up and we help you turn your story idea into a prototype before the session is over. So sign up and join us.

Story-hacking: A Journey of Narrative Creation (90 minutes) (L1 VISITORS BRIEFING ROOM)  
27 May 2016 (Friday) 4:45 PM - 6:00 PM 
Marco Sparmberg (Founder/organizer, StoryCode Singapore)
Do not miss this hands-on story-hacking workshop. Participants will embark on a unique narrative journey. Passing through various stations, each “story-hacker” will use various methods and (physical) tools to create multiple narrative layers. Final results will be documented, presented and discussed among the groups.

_____ Thrills and suspense and mystery and adventure! Sherlock Hong has them all

THE LEGEND OF LADY YUE is the fourth book in my Sherlock Hong series. Read a recent review of this at parenting blog Thots N Tots. Excerpt:
“In this book, Sherlock and his friend Aisha are excited as the circus has come to the island. Along with a lot of other people, they are at the pier to try and catch a glimpse of the acts as they arrive. There, Sherlock thinks he sees the fraudster William Fong, who escaped in the first book (The Immortal Nightingale). 
Something is amiss and Sherlock can sense it.”

_____ Coming soon: ISLAND OF LEGENDS by Don Bosco, Book 3 of the Lion City Adventures series
ISLAND OF LEGENDS Lion City Adventures, Book 3
by Don Bosco  
Illustrated by Sharon Lei 
Award-winning author Don Bosco returns with a fantastic new book inspired by the traditional tales of old Singapore. 
ISLAND OF LEGENDS features eight of the greatest legends and folk tales from the Lion City. Read about: the ancient Chinese stories of Pu Luo Chung, island of mystery and danger; Badang the Great, who had the strength of a giant and the heart of a hero; Radin Mas Ayu, the beautiful and brave princess; the magical turtle of Kusu Island; and more. 
Each chapter also contains part of a lovely picture puzzle, which readers can help to solve in order to find out the truth about a lost treasure from over 100 years ago. A most entertaining book not only for young readers, but the entire family. 

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