Writing Improvement Month

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Nailing Your Narrative Chat Today!

Attention fleetmates! Are you looking for tips on how to bring your SIMs to life? Do you want to grab your readers by the eyeballs and pull them headfirst into a realistic world where they can practically reach out and touch your characters, feel what they are feeling and live the story as it’s being told? The secret to that is narrative! It fills in the blanks that dialogue doesn’t and it’s an important part of each and every SIM that you read. Want your readers to know something about the way your character is feeling? Leading up to a shore leave subplot and you need to lay the foundations? About to enter a dangerous area and the tension isn’t high enough? Then the tips you need are right here!

Today, Saturday, February 15th, at 1pm PST/4pm EST/9pm GMT, join Commander Greir Reinard in the Writing Improvement Month chat room to pick up top tips on how to write all kinds of narrative, including descriptions of your surroundings and your character’s internal thoughts and feelings. Have any specific questions? Bring them with you! Think you’re sure of what you’re doing? Come on down and put the theory to the test!

We look forward to seeing you there!


Writing Improvement Month Podcast

Greetings fleet-mates!  With the return of Writing Improvement Month, there is a ton of activities going on.  To find out what is going on, check out the main page, or you can listen to this nifty special release from the Podcast Team, headed up by Lt. Commander Leo Handley-Page!  In this edition, Fleet Captains Andrus Jaxx and Diego Herrera provide details, previews, and plenty other teasers for upcoming events.  To check out this gem of information, check out the StarBase 118 YouTube Channel.


IT’S BACK! Writing Improvement Month 2014 Launches Next Week!

With February just around the corner, UFOP: Starbase 118 is proud to announce its second annual Writing Improvement Month! Those of you who were with us last year will remember how many useful events, tutorials and competitions we crammed into the space of 28 days and for those of you who weren’t? Well, there’s a lot for everyone to get excited about this time around, too!

How about we start with our opening ceremony, on Sunday 2nd February at 11am PST/2pm EST/7pm GMT? It’s the perfect place for you to chat to the organizers behind the Writing Improvement Month event and to find out which parts of the month-long convention will directly benefit you! Added to that, you’ll have a chance to engage other writers from around the fleet in conversation, sharing your thoughts about what makes a good SIM and asking for advice on areas that you’d like to develop!

From there – how about daily items designed to get you thinking about your writing, such as tutorials, top SIM spotlights and quizzes? The whole month is jam-packed with these so that there’s always something new for you to wrap your inner author around! Throw into that a series of IRC chats with commanding officers from around the fleet designed to give you a chance to get tips on specific topics such as making your narrative have as much impact as possible and making your characters three dimensional and you’re not short of chances to work on any of the aspects of your writing that you feel like you want to polish up!

The Writing Challenge competition will continue throughout the month, and we’ll also be launching the second annual competition for academy training officers to design a new scenario for the training team! Surely, there are no more stops to pull out? You’d be wrong!

We’re very pleased to announce that we have confirmed two Spreecast chats with returning panellists from last year:-

On February 8th at 10am PST/1pm EST/6pm GMT, join us for an interview with TV writer, author and WGA nominee Melinda Snodgrass, author of This Case is Gonna Kill Me and Box Office Poison (as Phillipa Bornikova)!

And on February 14th at 1pm PST/4pm EST/9pm GMT, we’ll be interviewing Hugo Award winning author Peter Watts, who will be releasing the sequel to the novel we were giving away last year, Blindsight, later in 2014!

The great news? Both of these writers have agreed to spare some of their precious writing time to chat to us and share their expertise – you get to ask them questions in an interactive interview setting!

So how will you keep up with all of this? Well, we’ve taken care of that as well! Each week, we’ll be sending you a schedule on the announce list to let you know what’s planned for the week ahead! Keep your eyes open for special announcements as well – there may be one or two more famous authors in the pipeline!

Crack those pens, keyboards and typewriters out, and hold onto your hats! February couldn’t be more awesome!


Starbase 118 Welcomes Peter Watts

sb118-Peter-WattsAs a part of our ongoing Writing Improvement Month project, the staff of Starbase 118 are proud to welcome award-winning author Peter Watts. Mr. Watts is the author of the Hugo Award-nominated novel Blindsight, which explores the question: what should be done when we hear talk from aliens who don’t know we’re listening to them?


Starbase 118 Welcomes Melinda Snodgrass

Melinda SnodgrassAs part of our Writing Improvement Project, Starbase 118 would like to extend a warm welcome and sincere thanks To Melinda Snodgrass, Author of the science-fantasy story The Edge of Reason. 

The Edge of Reason tells the story of Albuquerque Police officer Richard Oort, as he finds himself caught up in a battle which pits two worlds against one another. One one side, The Old Ones, the manifestation of the primal forced of magic and fanaticism, feeding on the suffering of mankind. On the other side, the Luminus, the unseen defenders of men, determined to keep the Old Ones under control. 


Starbase 118 Welcomes David R. George III

sb118-David-R-George-IIIFor this week’s guest author, Starbase 118 would like to welcome author David R. George III!  Mr. George will be interacting with out writers on Saturday, February 23rd via video chat (12pm PST / 3pm EST / 8pm GMT / Sunday AM for Australia). Be sure to stop in and learn a thing or two about the vast world of characterization with this Q&A session.


Publicity Team Update: Janaury

150px-PT_logo

The first month of the new year has come and gone and the Publicity Team is really looking forward to everything that Writing Improvement Month will bring to Starbase 118 as a fleet, as well as to the RPG realm in general.

The SB118 command staff and helpers in the fleet have designated February Starbase 118’s Writing Skills Improvement Month. The WSIP is an entire month of activities that will give the fleet members the opportunity to enhance their writing and simming skills. There is a full lineup of guest speakers, workshops, tutorials, interactive events, all which sound very exciting and useful for our fleet members and guests to enjoy. The listing of events can be found here!


Test Your Grammar Knowledge Here!

This is a TEST of the EMERGENCY GRAMMAR SYSTEM. This is only a test. If this had been a real grammar emergency, you would have been directed to the closest grammar textbook or website for further instructions!

So, what do you do here? Take a minute and record your answers. Then, stay tuned to your email box the answer sheet to see how many you got right. Miss a few? This tutorial includes helpful information on common grammatical errors and how you can avoid committing a crime of grammatical proportions!

1. Which of the following sentences is correct?
a. I see a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s probably a mirror.
b. I see a light at the end of the tunnel; it’s probably a mirror.
c. I see a light at the end of the tunnel it’s probably a mirror.
d. I see a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s probably a mirror.

2. I think you left ______ combadge in my quarters.
a. your
b. you’re
c. yur
d. yours

3. I can’t believe ______ going to let him return to duty so soon after his injury.
a. their
b. they’re
c. there
d. they

4. Can you get to ______ inner components?
a. it
b. its
c. it’s
d. it is

5. ______ tricorder is that on the shelf?
a. Whose
b. Who’s
c. Who
d. Whos

6. Do you know ______ going to go ______ the jeffries tube to fix it?
a. whose, through
b. who’s, through
c. whose, threw
d. who’s, threw

7. Go over ______ and get ______ scans before they leave.
a. there, their
b. they’re, there
c. there, they’re
d. their, there

8. Which of the following sentences is correct?
a. Do you know what to do when no one else shows up to a briefing?
b. Do you no what to do when no one else shows up to a briefing?
c. Do you know what to do when noone else shows up to a briefing?
d. Do you no what to do when noone else shows up to a briefing?

9. He ______ the light from the suns of at least ten different planets.
a. seen
b. saw
c. has seen
d. see

10. Which of the following sentences is correct?
a. Is the new discovery that of a intelligent species?
b. Is the new discovery that of an intelligent species?
c. Is the new discovery that of a intelligent specie’s?
d. Is the new discovery that of an intelligent species’?


Writing Improvement Month Writing Challenge

Writing Challenge LogoWe interrupt our regularly scheduled Writing Challenge to bring you (and the rest of the internet community!) a special event to coincide with our Writing Improve Month. The contest draws its name from the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Someone To Watch Over Me.” How can you interpret that title? Variously and with flair, we hope. As of today, the contest is open, so be sure to head over to the submission portal to check out rules and guidelines. Oh, and for the first time ever, our Writing Challenge is offering a prize: The first place winner will win a Spock-themed tee!

This contest ends on Saturday, February 23rd, so be sure to get your entry in before then!

Please note that the regular 118 Writing Challenge for January/February has had its deadline extended until the end of March to accommodate this special contest.


Starbase 118 Welcomes Margaret Wander Bonanno

Margaret_Wander_BonannoTo kick off February, Starbase 118’s month of simming improvement, we would like to welcome Margaret Wander Bonanno as our guest author of the week. Margaret will be interacting with 118 writers on Sunday, February 3rd, 12pm PST/3pm EST/8pm GMT/Monday AM for Australia via IRC chat. Come by and ask your questions of this storied and talented author!

Margaret Wander Bonanno’s work includes six novels set in the Trek universe, including 1987’s Strangers in the Sky, which anticipated the future of Trek past with Earth’s unexpected visit by Vulcans decades before first contact. She’s written a variety of other books, including two trilogies — The Others, cowritten with Trek actress Nichelle Nichols and followed by Otherwise and Otherwhere; and the Preternatural trilogy, the first and third of which were named New York Times Notable Books in 1997 and 2002, respectively. Called “[a]n enormously challenging puzzle story,” by Gerald Jonas of The New York TimesPreternatural is “for all its post-modern paraphernalia and homages to writers as dissimilar as Julian Jaynes and Douglas Adams, … an audacious act of the imagination that goes far beyond the merely clever.” We are lucky to have such a talented author featured here at Starbase 118!

Again, remember to stop in on Sunday, February 3rd, 12pm PST/3pm EST/8pm GMT/Monday AM for Australia for an exclusive Q&A session with Margaret Wander Bonanno. You don’t want to miss this!


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