Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Back on the Road

In the midst of working on other projects, I'm always thinking about The Long Road, my NaNo novel from last year, and how I'm going to fix it. If you're just joining us, it was essentially about three friends who go on a road trip, and slip from reality into pockets of weirdness. It didn't work out, as a NaNo novel, coming in at only 25,000 words, but it had so much potential.

The main thing I've been thinking about lately is that it needs more lead-up, more time to establish characters. Which means a minimum of two chapters before anything weird even happens. We need to learn who these people are before we throw them in the grinder.

For instance, Tony has to wander off. That's a given. It's a thing he does, that kicks off a major plot point. But he also needs to do it sooner. I need to show that this is a character trait of his, so that when he does it at the worst possible time, you're not wondering why.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Taking a Step Back

So I've written a bit of a twist in the last installment of this story, and I'm not totally sure where to go from there. Hence the lateness of the post. Also I went to go see Black Panther (super good, go see it), and then took at least two naps. Saturdays are my napping day.

I am calling the story "Just One Yesterday" for the time being, so now all the pieces are tagged with that. And I guess it's going on hiatus for the moment, since I'm not sure what happens next and I don't want to screw it up. It'll be back next week. Maybe even on time. But probably not.

What am I going to talk about today, then? Well, I'm glad you asked.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Apropos of Nothing

Titles are important. That's the first thing anyone sees of your book or short story. It has to be catchy, and good, and it has to mean something.

Well, that's the goal, anyway. I have a history of working titles that don't necessarily mean anything. They sound cool, and somehow reference something in the story or in its creation, but don't necessarily make sense for the finished project.

What do I mean? Well, I'm glad you asked. Here's some examples:

  • Locking Up the Sun: This was a superhero story about a guy who could teleport. The title vaguely made sense because the main character was sent to rescue a superhero named Supernova. But really, it was just named after this song.
  • Secrets and Thieves: A post-apocalyptic adventure with a wide variety of strange characters. And while yes, there are secrets, and at least one thief, I don't know that they were central enough to get a spot in the title. It's a line from this song, which has nothing to do with anything. It's just a good line.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Filling in Blanks

All right, here's Part Four. Three hours of sleep followed by at least three naps and I finally got it done. A lot of dialogue today. Hopefully moving us into the next part.
“Really?” the girl asked. “Because I just saw you fight an old Asian man, murder him, and then he disintegrated. So please, let’s hear your perfectly reasonable explanation.”

“Okay, maybe not perfectly reasonable.”

She took her phone out of her pocket. “I’m going to call the cops.”

“Are you?” he asked, sounding bolder than he felt. “You gonna tell them I vaporized a guy?”

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Thoughts So Far

So we're on, what, part three of that serial story (which may be called "Second Chances," I haven't really decided)? What do you think so far? I kind of know what's coming up next, but I have yet to work out a long term plan. So I don't really know how long it's going to be or where it will end up.

I'm hopefully going to a thing this weekend about outlining, so maybe I'll learn a thing or two. Maybe I'll come back as an outlining machine! Probably not that.

So anyway, I've been trying to build this world and these characters without all the baggage of a full length novel. We just don't have time for that here. It's a fine line between no extra info, and not enough info. I'm not sure what side of that line I'm on right now. I'm hoping the answered questions in there right now will be answered by the end.

I'm going to cut this one short because I have to go to work and I don't want to put this off another day. I'd like to post on time every now and again.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Getting the Hang of This

If you've been keeping score at home, you may know that we’ve just passed the two year mark. My first post was February 2nd, 2016. I kind of forgot it was the anniversary, so I didn't plan anything special. I hope the next part of the serial story will be enough.

And yes, it's up late. I had to do adult things like buy a new microwave, and then less adult things like watch Star Trek. I'm trying to get back on schedule, I'm just really bad at it.

So here's Part Three:
The dusty remains of the thing settled on the kitchen floor. Patrick looked at his arm. Irregular teeth marks had been cut into either side. He wrapped it in a dish towel and peered out the kitchen window. There were probably more of those things out there. And he was probably supposed to fight them.

That bus station guy had been really vague on the details.

There was another knock on the door. Great, what now?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Who Am I?

I'm trying to get the story posts back to the weekend, so we're going to talk about some other shit today. Namely, names.

Specifically, my name.

I've mentioned at some point in the past (I don't remember when, I have over 200 posts, man) that I had this whole debate about pseudonyms and whether or not I wanted to use one. I was going to. That's why the blog is under Mad Cooper. That's what I was going to publish as, when I got around to publishing. But the more I thought about it, the more I didn't like the idea. It would be a pain in the ass, more than likely, and I'd have to set up some kind of "doing business as" thing if I wanted to get paid. And I realized that people would potentially address me as "Mrs. Cooper," and I definitely didn't want that. There's a reason that's not my last name. It doesn't suit me.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Where Am I Going?

I moved the blog post to Saturday so that I could spend all day working on it.  So as you might guess from this very late post, I have spent all day doing… not that. I've been "thinking" about it, I tell myself. I do an awful lot of thinking.

Lately I've been thinking about this story I'm working on. Namely, what should happen next. I haven't written it yet because I don't know. I don't know if it's going in a good direction, as is.

As I'm sure I mentioned before, one advantage to publishing episodically is that you can get feedback along the way, right away. You can see if a character or a storyline is doing well, and that gives you some indication of where you might want to take the story.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Forces of Darkness

Boom, Part Two. One I name the damn thing, I'll tag them all with it for easier future finding. Also, we're going to Wednesdays and Saturdays, for the time being.
Patrick awoke on the ground in a pool of blood. Here was his body, right where he’d left it. He sat up. Someone screamed.

The express bus back to Earth. Good for extending your miserable life, and startling passersby who had just seen you die.

He held up a placating hand to the woman in question. “Sorry, sorry. Everything’s fine here.” He stood up and brushed himself off. It didn’t help. He was still covered in blood, people were starting to stare, and distant sirens were growing closer.

This would be a good time for him to be anywhere else, so he did the natural thing, following a near-death experience, and went home to take a shower. He earned a few stares along the way, which was to be expected. What was not to be expected was the face at the corner of 3rd and Main.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Unexpected Delays

I have found that by the time I get home around midnight, take a shower, and have some dinner, I don't have a lot of energy left for writing. So it's still taking me some time to get these posts and stories written. Hence all the lateness.

When I initially started this thing, I was in school, and had Fridays off, so I could take all day Friday to write the second post of the week, if I wanted to. Now I work Monday through Friday, so I have to get both posts done in the middle of the night. Due to this, I'm considering shifting my posting schedule, and going to Wednesday and Saturday. What do you think of that?