Friday, June 23, 2017

For the Love of Clichés

Ah, romance.

I swing wildly between thinking the romantic aspect of my story is going to be the easiest or the hardest part. "Oh sure, I'll just throw these people together and they'll grow to like each other." "Wait, is this a horribly clichéd and contrived plot?"

Now, I've never read a romance novel. I've considered it, for research purposes. But they always sound so boring. It all "Sassy von Heroine spent her life doing X, but everything changed when she met Hero McStudPants." And I don't know if those are just the crappy ones, but that's what I keep seeing. So I just googled "best contemporary romance novels," clicked the first thing that wasn't Fifty Shades… and well, I'm not impressed with that either. I just don't see the appeal.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Will the Plot Ever Twist or Will I Still Resist?

I have so much to do for my next project, and only about two weeks to do it. It feels like such a big undertaking and I don't where to begin.

I need characters.

I need a setting

I need a plot.

You can see the problem. I mean, sure, I have some vague ideas. But it's a far cry from an actual outline.

But we're not going to talk about my shortcomings. Not those shortcomings, anyway. No, we're going to talk about a vital piece of plot that I've never really managed to use.

The Plot Twist.

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Review on Revisions

As promised, I read over Draft Two of "My Soul to Take," made a few revisions, and here it is.

So go ahead and read that, because we're going to talk about it.

First off, my whole determination to have a proper omniscience narrator didn't really work out. The whole point of that was to explain the soul thing, because most people don't really grasp the metaphysical junk going on around them. But then Evie just says, "…it ripped something out of them. Like it tore their souls out." And boom, there we are. Souls and things that eat them. So maybe I don't need an omniscient narrator. Or maybe I'm still just no good at writing one.

Second, I have some interesting descriptions. I was trying to think outside the box and not use the same tired old phrases. Because I fall back on the same tired old phrases all the time. So I tried to get creative.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Second Time Around

Draft Two of "My Soul to Take" is, for all intents and purposes, done. And I'm pretty pleased with it. Half the time when I finish something, I just want to put it in a box, in a drawer, in a locked basement, and forget about it for a while. But this one… I like it. I'm not angry and frustrated at it.

So, some highlights.

Just past the midpoint of the story, Jake was starting to not be a total selfish asshole. He'd found a possible way out, but then Evie was in trouble, and he decided to go back and he ran in for his Big Damn Heroes moment.

So in all that, I wrote a paragraph. It was just a paragraph, to get everyone where they needed to be for the next scene. But the more I read it over, the more I like it.

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Consequences of Vagueness

Outlining is great. We’ve learned this. We can put all our plot points onto a line and see the skeleton of our story.

But it's just that. A skeleton. It doesn't have any tissue or muscle or ligaments. No juicy bits to bring the skeleton to life. That's what actual, you know, story is for. The scenes and the action and the dialogue. And that all comes later.

The problem arises when later comes and you realize you don't know what's supposed to go on this part of the skeleton.  We know the general shape of it, from the bones, but is this supposed to be a hand or a flipper or a wing? The squishy parts are unclear.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Digging Deep

It's hard to finish one project when you have all these ideas for the next one. So I'm trying to figure out how Jake and Evie are going to escape the soul-eating entity, but then I'm thinking about subterranean worlds in 1912, government psy-ops programs, nerdy romance, and coal mines.

So I'm going to give you an idea of all the stuff I've been looking through.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Antihero's Journey

There's another session of Camp NaNoWriMo in July, and oh my god, I'm so excited!

That right there, that's why I keep doing NaNo. If I ever stop looking forward to it, then I guess that's when I'll stop.

So as it stands, I'm planning on doing my Subterranean Detective Romance for July. That gives me a month to finish what I'm doing and get some kind of plan going. There's a lot of research I need to do for this. I have a whole list of things I need to look into. I think I'll get into that next time.

Today, we're still working on that silly train story. I wrote about 860 more words last night, so I've nearly doubled what I already had. If we're going by my little plot arc thing, I've covered the first four plot points, and am about to reach the fifth.

It's been interesting, this antihero business. I mean, usually your heroes are… heroic. Moral and noble, albeit with their flaws. Jake Barlow is… well, he's an asshole. Also a murderer, but I feel like that's beside the point. Well, I mean, he doesn't have much of a soul, on account of all the murdering, so that probably contributes to his attitude.

That was an issue I had in the first draft. He was supposed to be this indifferent sociopath, but he came off more as just a guy who happened to kill people. I've been trying to fix that this time around.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What Day Is It? And What Year? Have I Gone Back In Time Again?

You ever stop to think about the time you're living in? How the era you grew up in shaped who you are? And how ridiculous it is that we're now living in the future and everyone has a computer in their pocket and they're using it to look at cat videos and send people pictures of their junk rather than curing cancer or developing a universal translator?

115 years ago, we couldn't get an aircraft off the ground. Less than 50 years ago, we put a guy on the moon and managed to not leave him there. Now we've got robots on Mars. That's impressive, people. Be god damn impressed.

I had a point to all this, though it's gotten away from me because I am constantly amazed that we're living in the god damn future. We take for granted the time that we're living in.

Oh. Right. Time.

That's where I was going.

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Sound of Years Past

You know where we haven't been in a while? Mad's Music Corner. I think it's time to go back, get cozy, and listen to some tunes.

I know you're all eagerly awaiting all the things I'm supposed to be working on, but we all need a break. And it's a holiday weekend (Monday is Memorial Day, in case you're outside the US). I mean, not for me. I'm still working the holiday, but whatever. I'm taking my three day weekend in one evening.

I didn't set out to have a theme for this, but as I build my list, it looks like we're leaning toward "nostalgia." So take a walk down my own personal memory lane with me.

Lots of videos ahead, ye of low bandwidth beware.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Inconvenience of Knowing Everything

And here we are again. I've had a few ideas for that crazy story that democracy has thrust upon me. But before I can get into that, I have to finish my previous project, which was rewriting "My Soul to Take," which some of you may remember as something I started last year. Then I shoved it in a box with its disappointing non-ending, and I left it there until it started to smell a little weird in the back of the closet. Then I took it out, made a valiant attempt at a plot outline/character arc, and waited for it to emerge, fully-formed.

Obvious that's not going to happen.

So I actually, finally, sat down the other day, and started writing. I'm about 800 words in. I have the first two points on my little plot mountain. It's going seemingly well.

But already, trouble lurks.

Not in the seemingly haunted mansion beside the railroad tracks. Although, yes, there also. But more importantly, in the very fiber of the story. The Fates may weave the tapestry, but are they using the right string?

Point of view. That's what I'm talking about, behind all the metaphors.