Friday, May 23, 2008

Well, another bump in the road

I got a form rejection in the mail from FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION magazine today. I'm slightly bummed, given that this one had stayed out for a little while. I thought they may have been giving it some serious consideration.

No Worries. Time to print out another copy and move on to the next market on the list.

For most new, unpublished, writers this submission process into the short story markets can be almost painful. You drop your 4000, 5000, or even 10000 word labor of love into the mail with hopeful granduer. That question popping up whenever your thoughts turn to your wayward manuscript; Is this the one? You check the mailbox with the same wide-eyed anticipation of a 5 year old on Christmas morning back when the toys took the kids outside to play and show off to the other kids in the neighborhood. (I never did get that Knight Rider big wheel, dammit)

The lesson we all have to learn at this stage in the game is the same that has been applied to so much modern military missle technology. FIRE AND FORGET. Write your story. FIRE it off into the mail and FORGET about it. Write the next story, rinse and repeat. I'm still learning this. Its not second nature yet. Each rejection that comes back is still a bit of a downer, but if there's still a market available, I'm sending the story back out. I may give it the once over checking for mispellings and things like that, just in case. But sure as shit, its going back out.

So I push ahead with the novel, still in the developmental stage. The production goal is set at 1000 words a day, projecting 80,000 words. When it's finished, I move on to that next stage in a writer's development; the query.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

How does one start one of those pesky novels?

The short (and smart-ass)answer is "at the beginning".

But that's not what I'm going on about today. No, I'm speaking of that most sacred cow of questions that new writers have for the pros; How do you WRITE a novel? A question that any writing pro SHOULD tell you has no direct answer. Anyway you want, is the answer I like.

There are endless creative processes to choose from. Some have to have every detail laid out in stacks and stacks of character notes and a rigid outline before anything is committed to paper. Some have whiteboards on the walls of their office with major charcters listed and track each character's progress in the story with a flow chart. A few brave souls have the raw talent to just go to town without anything more than the idea for the story. Myself, I can't micro-analyze to that degree but having some sort of roadmap is very helpful.

For my novel, I guess I could say I'm in the outline stage (and I use the term loosely). I went through a period of making some character notes a couple a few months ago. While letting the idea, and the things I planned for it, congeal into something more useful, I spent time writing short stories. After mulling things over in my head from time to time, I felt like that pie was fully cooked which brings us to now.

My "outline" is, basically, a bulleted list of events I envision for the story. I've done this before. A couple years ago before SNW, I had an idea for a Star Trek novel. Back then, I knew very little about the writing profession. I figured everyone was a heavy outliner with endless rewriting over and over and over. The thought was intimidating and I knew I didn't have the discipline for all of that at that time. I decided to try to keep things simple and started the list. I found that to a degree this list was writing itself. If THIS is going to happen then THAT has to happen. Things began to show themselves and link up in a logical progression. I completed the "outline" for that book, but never wrote it. S&S's policy about not accepting unsolicited manuscripts didn't sit well with me.

Anyway, the list is coming together pretty well. I find it easy to see holes that need to be filled. The neat thing is, some of the things in a list like this can be moved around, like chess pieces, to make the story flow the best way possible. This method could have a benefit later. If it's good and clean enough, I think it will be handy in writing my synopsis for that first agent the requests a partial.

I esitmate I'm about halfway through it at this point. Then it'll be 1000+ words a day until completion. I'm projecting 80,000 words should serve this story nicely.


Friday, May 16, 2008

A Couple of Personal Achievments I'm Proud of

Here are the results of my first project in my partial-part time fun hobby, MACHINIMA.

This is the trailer for my first video: REKGAR & BUSBY EPISODE ONE: PART A

WoW Videos

And here is the full feature....

Blog relaunch accompanies new novel project

Greetings, my friends.

Following the trend of blogging writers, I present myself to you. The novel has been in development for a while and I think I'm pretty close to beginning real, steady work on it.

Don't worry, though. While my focus is turned mostly to my writing, I'm still chock full of opinions that I'll still express from time to time.

So sit back, kick your shoes off, and lets take this wild ride together. Hopefully, when its all said and done, someone will learn something,