Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Changing Direction

April is nearly upon us, and with it, Camp NaNo. If you're not familiar, it's a diet version of National Novel Writing Month. You can set your own word goal, write a short story, or a script, or a revision, or just… whatever really.

So I could use it to work on my revision of Cold Blooded. But I'm not going to do that. I'm not giving up on it. I just need to work on something else for a little while. I find that I get lots of ideas for stories when I'm not working on them. It's like when you're trying to remember something that's right on the tip of your tongue, and it suddenly comes to you when you stop thinking about it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Organizational Challenges

Where have I been? Well, that's a valid question.

I've been mucking about with this revision of Cold Blooded for… quite some time, with very little progress. Well, little visible progress.

I have a plot outline… outline. Or a template or whatever. I got it from Helping Writers Become Authors. It has all the plot points and everything, and where each major event is supposed to happen. Okay. Super. I have some of my plot points, from my rough draft, stuck in there, where they feel like they should logically go.

But then I have all these other things, and I have no idea where they fit. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Quietly Plotting

I've been reading lately, instead of writing. And yet, it's still helping. I've been at a standstill regarding Cold Blooded, completely devoid of ideas, until I read something completely unrelated. I read John Green's Paper Towns, which is a young adult novel that has nothing to do with vampires, or murder, or ice cream. And then I couldn't sleep because new ideas for my book kept popping into my head. Now, I'm in the midst of Jim Butcher's Storm Front, which is the right genre, but I had a random idea about interpersonal relationships that has nothing to do with the supernatural elements.

I'm not sure why this is working, but I'll take it.

I can watch tons of TV and movies, and maybe I'll think of random plot ideas I'd like to write one day. But I read one book, and it's like it cracks open an artesian well of creativity. Issues I've been wrestling with suddenly have answers. Like, it doesn't clutter my brain with extraneous ideas, it focuses the ideas I have.

So that's where I've been.

I haven’t had much to report, and just saying the same nonsense over and over doesn’t make for good entertainment. And at this point, I don't think anyone is reading, so I haven't felt compelled to keep creating content that much.

I'll see you, I don’t know, sometime.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

I Reject Your Reality

I don't write nonfiction.

On at least two occasions, someone has said to me, "Oh, you're a writer? You should write my tragic real life story." And then I have to find a nice way to say that I don't want to do that. I'm not interested in the confines of reality. That's not really my kind of thing.

What I really want to say is that their story is not interesting to me, and I don't want to write it. But that makes me sound like a dick. So I just have to awkwardly try to convince them to drop it.

I don't want to write a story that's about a real person who is then going to read the story. That's way too much pressure.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Great Scene Excision of 2019

This is what I'm looking at right now.

 
It's every scene in Cold Blooded, or rather, in the rough draft NaNo abomination that is going to become Cold Blooded. I took my list of scenes, and starting putting notes on them, determining the fate of that scene. Then I color coded them, because colors are pretty.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Step One is complete. I have broken the rough draft into 41 scenes, or scene-like entities. Technically, "Scene" 41 is just all the extra nonsense at the end, but I've been putting in section breaks at each scene change, so I can jump straight there, so Scene 41 is just where I would go if I want any of that.

So I have 40 scenes, really. Some are long, some are short. Some are probably several scenes crammed together, while others are just random events. But they're all broken up and catalogued. Now comes the tricky part: Figuring out what to keep and where to put it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Endless Expanse of Editing

I'm still on Step One of the editing process, the assembly of the scenes. The Roster, if you will. Who is here and who isn't.

I haven't made a lot of progress lately, what with the holidays coming up and all that. It's a lame excuse, I know. But hopefully come January, my days off will actually be off and I'll be able to work more on it.

I'm about halfway through my Word document, which means I'm more than halfway through my story, because there was a lot of extraneous stuff at the end for the sake of words that I no longer need to worry about. Basically, it just continued the story of the main character, and what he does later, which was mostly retell the whole novel to other people. You know, for words. So I'm not even going to look at that right now.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

So It Begins

I have begun the lengthy editing process. I'm starting by going through the first draft of Cold Blooded, and just making a list of all the scenes. Some, I think, are actually more than one scene, but since I wrote it without chapter breaks and just a "* * *" most of the times the setting changed or time skipped forward, it's hard to tell what is supposed to be a scene. So at any rate, I'm making a list of the events, as they happen.

Once I'm done with that, I'll start picking at which scenes are actually important and which ones don't move the plot forward. Any information in the cut scenes that is still needed will be recycled into new, better scenes. I've already started a second document of all the chunks of backstory, so that I can have them as a handy reference guide for when I want to sprinkle that information back in. Right now it’s just in a couple of big blocks, and that's no good. My research tells me that you’re not supposed to do that.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Endings and Beginnings

I'm back! NaNoWriMo is over, and I'm here with my report.

I did not make it to 50,000 words. I made it to just over 35,000. That is not to say that I came away with nothing. Even if I never turn this draft into a proper book, that doesn't mean it was wasted.

I have learned a valuable lesson about myself. Even if I can't describe a setting, or a character, or world build worth shit, my god, can I kill people. It's like time slows down and I can detail every moment of their demise. There's a procedural cop show, I've forgotten which one, CSI or Bones or something, where it does this interior simulation of arteries getting severed and whatnot? It's like that.

So I killed Steve fifteen times, and rendered each one in beautiful detail, but at no point mentioned what he looked like. That's how I roll.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Hiatus 2018

I'll be going on hiatus for the remainder of November. I'm just busy trying to finish my novel in between working.

I'll be back in December with a post-NaNo report.