Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Speedwell War - Draft 2 - Status Update 6

Last update I was down to eight scenes to write and one to re-write.  This week I'm down to TWO scenes to write and one to re-write.  Boo-yah!

Writing through the story threads has both sped things up and helped stay focused on what I'm writing.  It also changed the way I was going on the scenes as the story evolved organically while I was writing it.  I'm writing this Monday night and once I'm done I'm going to do the scene re-write to get that out of the way now.  The last two scenes I need to write are split between Chapter 5 and Chapter 7.  The Chapter 7 scene will be large as it involves a battle in a dome on Mars and I still need to sketch out the area the action will happen in so what I write will be coherent.  The Chapter 5 scene I think I'm going to change.  It will still contain the same subset of characters, but a little further along on their timeline as what I was going to write is starting to seem a bit boring and superfluous.

I feel confident now that I will finish writing this by December 31, in fact, I'll probably finish before mid-month in December, but I don't want to go counting my chickens just yet.

Current Word Count: 70,032 words

The scarey/weird part is I'm at the point where I need to start seriously thinking about publication routes.  I want to publish and I want a physical book - these are things I firm on.  After that...things get a bit fuzzy.  I have a friend in L.A. I'll send a copy of the completed draft to along with the question "Is this worth getting an agent for?"  He has experience in that arena and I trust his opinion.  I think I'm in good shape, but I need an outside voice of experience to confirm or deny that.

That's it for now.  Later!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Speedwell War - Draft 2 - Status Update 5

Sorry for the radio silence - I've been busy and sick, in that order.  Now I'm on vacation.  I wanted this to be a reading vacation, but I also want to finish writing my novel by the end of the year, so I'm doing some writing instead or reading.

I'm down to eight scenes to write and one scene to re-write to match the current draft better.  That number may shrink due to combining scenes as I write - in fact I know for a fact it will happen at least once.  I'll mention that when the appropriate scenes get written.

Current Word Count: 67,146 words

Now, what I really want to talk about is a small observation that I've heard before but saw in action recently. The observation is this:

If you want to write, read a lot of material that is the type of writing you want to do. 

So, for instance, if you want to write science fiction, READ a lot of science fiction.  It gives you a grounding in what you are trying to write and provides the mental equipment to write.  It should also give you a clue is the brilliant story twist is actually a trope that everyone knows about already and will spot early on or even what tropes are appropriate.  It also gives you better mental space to work in.

I saw this in action on Face Off, the movie make-up/special effects show on 'The Channel Previously Known as The Sci-Fi Channel".  My wife and I were watching Season 3, where one of the contestants had a strict Mennonite upbringing.  She had strong skills in make-up and prosthetics, but limited experience with pop culture.  She had no idea what sort of mind space 'zombies' might or might not inhabit, and the only cyborg experience she had was with Terminator and Terminator 2, which she saw ~20 years earlier, which knocked her out of the running when a cyborg challenge happened.  This lack of cultural experience left her at a severe disadvantage in a special effects competition where design was just as important as technical competency.  In real life it would (and probably does) inhibit her job opportunities.

Writing is the same way.  If you do not have experience at what you want to write about, then your ability to envision (design) what you are writing about is hampered and it will show.  The ability to string words together is limited by your ability to imagine what you are writing about.  If you want to write scripts for TV shows, read scripts and watch the shows to see how things are done.  Expand your mental drafting table/sandbox and your writing will be able to go farther and present more interesting things.

And that's all I have for today.  Later!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Speedwell War - Draft 2 - Status Update 4

I've had to do some more research, mostly for ship naming consistency, but have added a new scene for the White Rabbit story thread this week.  (No, I probably won't be explaining that here.)  This establishes several things that I needed emphasised, notably that there is a warp point out of the Sol System and people can actually use it, but don't just yet.  The warp point gets mentioned in passing in Chapter 1 and again in Chapter 8, but I needed it to be represented more.

(I realize that that entire paragraph is pretty opaque if you haven't read any of the draft material. Sorry about that.)

I'll update this post tonight with the actual word count.  I'm at the Day Job and don't have the file in an accessible place.  (Love those corporate firewalls.)

In summation: work progresses, but a bit slower than I expected.  I still plan on having a complete manuscript by December 31 and still feel I will make that (self-imposed) deadline.

That's all for now.  Later!

UPDATE: As it turns out, the draft achieved an even number.  First time for everything.
Word Count: 65,500 words