Friday, April 29, 2011

How Long

What is your retention time for book ideas before you just have to put it down on paper or type it up?  Does it have to be immediate or can you let it stew up their in your mind for a while and develop a bit.  I'll be honest I have a tendency to forget things; my memory is a bit faulty.  So on a general rule of thumb I need to write down pretty much everything the moment I think of it whether it be a single word, phrase, or an entire page.  I believe I've discussed this concept before so I won't linger on it again, but I did want to share a couple of pictures to illustrate it and let you know how much goes into creating a manuscript.

Yes, I do use napkins, backs of crossword puzzles, information tags from work, post its, fliers from horse shows I'm attending, etc.  basically anything I can get my hands on at that moment.  I never want to lose that creative spark/moment.

Monday, April 25, 2011

More inserts and blogging

What, two blogs a day is a no no... who says... lol

Okay so I've written a good bit in the manuscript.  In fact just laid out the works for a dramatic scene of interrogation.  Ever thought about what it would happen if you were put into a situation where your spouse's life is at the mercy of you giving information that you don't have.  What would you do? Possibly make something up, would you freeze in fear, or would you continually plead for mercy explaining you didn't have the information they requested.  Me I'd lie my ass off no doubt.  Whatever it took to save my gal, lol.  That is of course me, and of course easy enough to say when not thrust into the hands of a madman whose sense of reality is well, how should I put it... skewed.  This is the sense of what shall become I believe the new chapter 4 in the rewrite.  So now we have Horrors of the Quarry (chap 1), Fleeing Echoes (Chap 2), Dreams and Prophesies (chap 3), and now let me squeeze in Eshendown (chap 4) right before Settlements and Graveyards (chap 5).  As always, everything is subject to change and knowing me probably will before it is all said and done.  Never the less, I figured it might be fun to at least see where I am tracking with this project.

More on the Journey - Rewrites

So I will have to admit the rewrite is dramatically more difficult to write than the original manuscript.  This time around I am considering the audience, the market, the the science or writing.  There is so much more research involved on this end of the project, much more than I had anticipated.

Originally I just spewed out a bunch of what I would consider artful dialog and scenery.  There was a plot path and it flowed alright, but most certainly had holes in it.  For the rewrite I'm sitting back and looking at the work with the eyes of a reader.  What would they want to know about the characters or how would they like the book to flow.  I have thus added more push and pull between the protagonist and  antagonist giving the storyline more suspense.  It will hopefully give the reader a sense of urgency to read more to determine what the characters are going to do to one another and why the detest each other so much.

I have also new elements of the main characters struggle or conflict.  I believe this was lacking in the original, the reader will now not be left confused about this topic.  Quite simply he can not lose another woman in his life, the struggle with himself not reaching his mother's defense is quite crippling to his ego.  It is a battle which if he can win, will allow him to become the land's greatest protector.  Therefore now he is set on the task with the heroine of the book, will he and can he save her or will he fall short like he had once before?

Secondly, I have thought long and hard about the market the book will be read by.  I had originally set the stage for an adult book.  My current thinking has leaned me towards the young adult market.  I am testing the novel out in that genre editing the text as needed to attain this goal.  For instance, the first manuscript had the hero lose his wife.  This time around I have let him miss the opportunity to save his mother, brought his age down fifteen years, etc.  Logically speaking this should open up the market for the book allowing both older and younger readers some room to show interest.  Also it will leave me some flexibility in case I want to keep the characters around a while for future installments, for which I must admit I have some great ideas for.

Then there is the science of writing.  I have learned so much about what editors and publishers want in a book, I would be foolish not to incorporate this into the creation of the manuscript.  Quite specifically here lately I have discussed the opening lines of a book.  See this post for my explanation on this.  Also I have done a lot of research on the actual art of story telling and adding those elements into the book.  The conflicts, the overlining themes, foreshadowing, revelations, etc.

I look forward to sharing more with you all in the future... stay tuned.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Let me first point out some darn cool things I have got going on this evening all of which are associated with my new droid phone.  Did I mention I love this little thing.  I feel like a a coma patient who has just awoke from a long slumber with reguard to all this new technology.  The smart phones are simply incredible devices.  I seriously had no idea just how far they had come in the last 5 years.

So for example I'm using my droid phone (via pdanet application) to give my netbook internet access.  That inself is quite cool.  I can imagine being out in the boonies at one of my wife's horseshows and still able to use all my social networking and internet games.

There are so many other apps that are of interest on this tiny machine that i dare not get into it, but it should be noted that it has been a slight distraction from the writing.  However, tonight I definitely made some headway with the book.  I took some terrific advice from the gals over at Confessions From Suite 500 and did a rewrite of my first page. 

The advice was simple, probably why I could handle it, heh.  Seriously though it plainly said that the first page and heck even the first couple of sentences should establish voice, character, setting, plot, conflict, and tone.  Piece of cake right?  LOL Well not for us all I can assure you of that.  Never the less, I took it to heart.  I understood and respect that these folks are doing this stuff for a living so their advice is definitely worthy of acknowledgement and in my manuscript's case...implementation!

Did I achieve it?  I'm curious to see as well.  I've submitted it to my close network of readers to determine.  Important point is this, never be so close minded in this art form known as writing as to not take some much needed advice from time to time.  Plug yourself in to blog sites that are as much fun to read as they are informational after all knowledge is power and hopefully it is the goo that helps make us better writers.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Have you ever heard the saying that goes something like, "it’s not the destination but the journey that is important."  What a true statement I am ultimately discovering during this writing process.  There is so much joy in finding out what is going to come of the characters I have created.  Why even more of us don't sit back and try this art-form is quite baffling to me.  

Keep in mind that for a reader the story unfolds over a short period of time.  They pick the book up and within hours, days, maybe months depending on their reading speed, the story brings to fruition the labors of the writer.  However, the author has mulled around the plot and character development for months or more likely years.  So to them the discovery of the twists and turns or the sorrows and elations of the people in their book is savored.  

So the journey the author has of creating these plot points and characters is like molding different puzzle pieces.  When the pieces of the puzzle finally start fitting together magical things start to happen.  It is quite satisfying knowing something exists by the sweat of their brow.  Heh, come to think of it, I suspect it must be like having a kid.  So now I know why many say that writing a manuscript is like giving birth.  I suppose it does parallel that sort of curve of emotion roller-coastering.
For example, would you want to give up those moments of pregnancy such as the first kick, or those sonograms, or the figuring out of his/her name?  Of course not, and the writer will never forget their creation of the first confrontation of the protagonist and antagonist.  They will not forget the epiphany that brought to life their main plot line or title to the manuscript. 

I will be curious to discover the similarities of this analogy after the writing process is complete and the child/novel is birthed.  Will I, the writer, just have an offspring that brings joy and laughter to my life or will it just sit around and stink up the place?     

Sunday, April 10, 2011


A bit off topic, but still worth mentioning is the concept of flash mobs.  Have you heard of this phenomenon that occurs?  Simply put, a mob of people gather and perform a dance routine in a public place.  It would appear to the common observer as a spontaneous event and that of course is why it is so unexpected and magical.

I finished watching the pilot episode of Mobbed on FOX this evening, who would have thought that concept would have such an impact.  I won't spoil it for you, but needless to say the end of the show is well worth it.  Can any of you imagine this happening to you?  The emotional roller coaster that girl went through was tear jerking even for me to watch.  So I highly recommend it to anyone out there.


I thought I would make a simple post hyping up the new phone I got.  The motorolla droid is quite simply an amazing piece of gadgetry.  I think I must have skipped a couple generations of cell phones because this thing is light years more advanced than my previous phone.  The amount of interactive apps is mind boggling.  I can't tell you how long I've sat here staring at the lil thing in awe learning all of its ins and outs.

First off I always dread having to input my contacts into a new phone.  The droid syncs up with facebook, gmail, yahoo, etc to auto input all the fields for you.  Wow this saved me a lot of time and added so many more contacts than I would have ever thought of manually entering into my phone.  Not to mention it also automatically inserts the contacts picture (from facebook) next to their name on the menu.  So as long all my friends have their stuff up to date on my various social networks then I have likewise up to date contact information.  Like I said that in itself is just amazing.

Another wonderful idea is to link up all of my email into one app.  I love how it will sync up with facebook and all my email addresses and pop them into the phone under one page.  Saves me so much log in time and allows everyone to keep in touch with me however they like.  Okay, so now I'm not able to use this as an excuse so maybe I should not have mentioned it.  lol...

There are just so many apps that it would be impossible to explain them all here in the blog.  At any rate, I'm fascinated that technology has jumped this far ahead.  To stay with the semi theme of this blog though I guess I should also mention before I check out for the day that the droid has a great qwerty keyboard and many apps available for us writers.  Heck, it even allows word, powerpoint, excel, pdf  type of items to be created and displayed.  

Off to do some more "research" on my lil droid.