Saturday, July 11, 2015

Prologue and Chapter 1 done!

Prologue and first chapter finished. WooHoo!

Gotta say it's pretty satisfying. Since this book is an adaptation from a screenplay I wrote, there was a lot of work that needed to be done in order to expand the original concept.

So far, I'm happy with it. We'll see if it conflicts with any of the original material down the road.

About converting the script, what I ended up doing was push everything down. So, what was the original beginning of the script has now been pushed to the middle of the book. Which means I had to come up with a new beginning to the story and new ways to introduce all my characters.

Took some thinking (as it always does), but I'm satisfied with this new introduction to the main character and the world. The plan is to continue writing up until I meet up with the material of the screenplay. One of the future struggles I foresee having is keeping an open mind when modifying the original material.

I can see wanting to keep as much as possible because I fell in love with how everything flowed as a screenplay. I'm sure I'll have to deal with my own "kill your darlings" moments at some point during this experience.

Spent yesterday brainstorming the next couple of chapters so I'll have some diving points when I find myself with a good chunk of time. Don't know when that'll be. Supposed to busy all weekend with family commitments, but hopefully I can sneak some typing in here and there. (That's what phone's are for.)

Plus, we all have to go to the bathroom now and then. Who said pooping couldn't be productive? ;)


Friday, June 19, 2015


Last Friday I challenged myself to write an outline for a novel in a week. I might have cheated a little since material for said novel already existed in another form (that of a screenplay). But when expanding it into the longer form of the novel a lot more thought was involved. A general expansion of the plot, with additional subplots and characters. I'm pretty sure all of this is obvious, but it was challenging nonetheless. Especially never having done it before.

It's a week later and, even though it's loose, the outline is done to a point where I feel comfortable starting the prose of the novel. To be honest I'm a little scared at the prospect of writing something so long (never having done it before),but scared in an excited sort of way.

I found, through writing short stories, that I prefer the freedom of discovery writing, but feel I need the structure of an outline when I don't know where to go with the story. I discovered that I prefer to use a hybrid of the two. Having certain plot points nailed down while giving myself the freedom to get there in my own way seems to work for me.

I have a few alpha readers I trust, but I'm not sure if I feel comfortable about using them for an in-progress work. I don't mind getting feedback, but I'm not sure if this will end up impacting the plot. Then again, it could end up making it stronger. Hmmm...

No harm in trying something new, I guess.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

January 2015 Productivity Report

I was thinking about ways to keep myself accountable with how much work and effort I'm putting in to my writing.

I decided to write blog posts at the beginning of each month detailing what I've accomplished. I find it's an easy way to keep myself honest with how I'm spending my time. So this will either be a way to impress myself or shame myself.

The month of January was shameful!!!

I don't know how much of a pass I should give myself on this one, but I was sick the majority of the month. In fact I was rife with viruses, colds, and food poisonings since Christmas. Every time I got a little better and was on the mend, some other viral ninja shurikened my immune system and I was out of commission. This torturous cycle lasted for three and a half weeks and stole any kind of progress I would've liked to have made on my book and short stories.

Not a good way to begin the year.

I was able to flesh out some character backstories and ancillary story material for my novel. So it wasn't a complete bust for January productivity.

It's February 1st and I'm still experimenting on how to divide my time. I'm going to try and alternate weeks. One week for a short story, and the next week for the novel, etc.

We'll see how this goes and hopefully I'll have a longer list of accomplishments for the March 1st Productivity Report.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Writing "out of pocket"

When I'm looking at the screen, and nothing's coming to me right away, I start to get a little frightened. This should be easy. Write one word and follow it with another, etc. When I'm writing I usually get assaulted with words. Like some unseen word fairy chuckin' words from the aether to the front of my brain which translates to my fingers typing it out.

When the front of my brain isn't being pelted, that's when I start to think I have to "try" being a writer and that's what unnerves me. Words manifesting from nowhere feels natural and therefore propels me into believing I'm a writer. (The way it's supposed to be.)

It gets bad when I've been thinking about what's supposed to come next for too long. (Not from an plot outline standpoint, but what's happening in the scene.) Thinking and thinking ends up working against me. I start thinking about the laundry, what I'm going to make for dinner tonight, food... food... lunch... is it lunch time yet? 9:20 a.m.? Shit! I'm kinda hungry now. (So I get up for a snack.)

(Comes back from the snack) What now? Oh, writing! Where was I?

After I take a minute to reinsert myself into the Matrix, I usually end up throwing up words on the screen just to prove to myself that they don't belong there. Like when a quarterback is forced to leave the protection of his defensive line or be sacked. It feels like I'm "out of pocket" when I'm trying too hard, and I'm forced to make rash decisions to move forward.

But, sometimes when a quaterback is forced out of pocket that's when sight lines become clear. It's never a waste of time to try something that may or may not belong. If only to prove that it doesn't belong there. Moving away from what's expected can sometimes lead you in a more interesting direction, or show you're not going in the right direction and need try something else. Keep tinkering. Eventually the word fairy will chuck the right words at your brain.