Showing posts with label minutiae. Show all posts
Showing posts with label minutiae. Show all posts

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Still Working It

I feel obligated to report that I've not been posting due to overall busy-ness. As in...

  • Finished another big edit on LTG: Dragonfriend. Cut out close to 6k words, caught more punctuation/grammatical/typographical errors. Lots of fat was tossed. Glow of overall positiveness now envelops me with regard to this manuscript. SIDE NOTE: Recommend using MS Word's "read text aloud" feature. It helped me catch many errors such as repeated/dropped words and clunky (poorly constructed) sentences.
  • Prepping above manuscript and support materials for 2011 ABNA.
  • Finished the first draft of a live-action spec pilot for kids, ala Wizards of Waverly Place. My reader's taking a look at it and I hope to be able to send it to my agents soon. I think it's a unique premise and is funny. We'll see.
  • Added some animation and kid's book FAQ's at the top of this page. Stuff I've been asked over the years which I hope you'll find of interest.
  • Minor revamp of this and my other blog.
Still chugging along toward the eventual publishing of Leonard on Amazon (via Createspace) but, as mentioned in a previous post, I'm going to shut up about my progress in that arena until  I'm close to pulling the trigger.

That is all.

UPDATE: I knew there was something else. Wrote an episode of a popular animated half-hour and just got another assignment for the same show. The pickup hasn't been announced yet so I can't reveal the name at this time. Yay, work!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chugging Away Past 20k

Surprised myself by hitting this mile marker a little bit earlier than expected. Not complaining in the least, mind you, just surprised. Here are my personal stats thanks to a stat thingy they added to my Nano stats page:

Today's Stats:
Words Written Today 2476
Words to Write until 1667: 0
Suggested Daily Word Count 1667
Cumulative Word Count 20147
Total Stats
Current Day 8
Suggested Cumulative Word Count 13334
Average Words per Day 2519
At This Rate You Will Finish On Nov 20
Days Remaining 22
Total Words Remaining 29853
Words per Day to Finish on Time 1357

I find this kind of stuff to be interesting. Then again, as mentioned in a previous post, I'm a "geedork". I'd really like to keep up this pace and "finish" the challenge on the 20th. As always, we'll see.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Moving Along Nicely...

...on the road to 2010 NaNo-dom. Just finished a rough outline for my next effort in the "month of writing dangerously." This year's novel is a sequel to my 2007 NaNo, Leonard the Great: Dragon Friend (still in editing hell). The working title is Leonard the Great: Boulderhead.

The outline itself is five full pages, divided into nineteen chapters. Most of the descriptions are two or three paragraphs long (per chapter). A few are five paragraphs long, others are only a sentence in length. The idea for this first draft is to get the very vaguest idea of what's going to happen in my manuscript. I have succeeded on that count and am pleased with the overall direction of the story.

I'll spend the rest of October going through this version, revising and expanding the notes I've made. Right now, the story mostly makes sense. Hopefully, it will completely make sense by the end of the month. No guarantees!

I'm not a rigid slave to my outlines, delighting in discovering plot and character elements along the way that I had no idea were coming, but a decent one really helps to get the ball rolling. Although some writers claim they can start writing without an outline, I can't imagine starting something as large and complex as a novel without having a pretty good idea of where I'm headed. Yay, outlining!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dude, Still there?

I haven't posted in quite some time because I've been working on whipping Leonard the Great into publishable shape -- deciding that I should just get the darned thing done rather than posting about getting the darned thing done. It's been frustrating and a little embarrassing for me to consistently zoom past posted deadlines, so I'm just going to shut up and write (or, in this case, rewrite).

I will say I'm closer than ever and hope to publish Leonard by -- oops, almost did it again. Further updates will come when I get much closer to pushing the "publish" button. Whenever that is.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Shout Out to My Fans in Snezhinsk

I occasionally get requests from nice folks in faraway lands.

Hello! Happy New Year! My name is Aleksey. I live in Russia in city Snezhinsk. Our city very small and on it for me a great honor to write to you. I am very much very much the great admirer of your activity. In our city there is a fan club of your name. Very much I ask you to send me by mail your photo and your autograph. Very much it would be would be desirable that the autograph nominal on my name. This you will make me the happiest man! Please!!! After all very not to be easy during our heavy time the happy man. Very much I hope for you! I wish you creative successes and health! With the big respect and hope, Aleksey

Although the actual details of my "activity" are a little vague, I'm delighted there is a group dedicated to it. Perhaps a visit to this showcase of the Russian nuclear program is in order the next time I sell a book.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Writing Toolkit

"I was curious what software you use for writing your books."
-- Brian I., CA
For years I've been using plain old MS Word for my picture books, my spec chapter books, and even my spec novels. With very minor tweaks, you can set it up to produce a very respectable-looking manuscript. The generally accepted format for all of these is double-spaced and indented at each new block of dialogue or descriptive text. One inch margins all around seems pretty standard, too.

I use a dedicated script program (Movie Magic Screenwriter 6) for my spec screenplays and sitcoms as the formatting in those is a little more complicated than book manuscripts -- dialogue/action/parenthetical/shots and transitions, etc. This software also includes a novel template and that's what I used to write my 2009 NaNo project -- just to mix things up. It worked fine but I wouldn't advise authors to purchase MMS 6 just for the novel template -- Word will do and you probably already own that.

As an aside, I use Final Draft 5 for my animation scripts as that program seems to be a requirement for a lot of shows in this genre. These scripts are almost always written in screenplay format although, obviously, not nearly as long. My copy of FD is ancient and creaky and I should probably upgrade soon but, hey, it's still readable by the newer versions and even the upgrades of these dedicated script apps can be pricey. That said, they really make cranking out a script a lot easier so I'd recommend investing in one if you're serious about a career in features, sitcoms, or animation. Final Draft also has a built-in novel template, but I haven't used it.

Finally, I use an outlining program for my novels and screenplays called Dramatica Pro. It's primarily an organizational tool and I like it because it helps me focus and deepen my story early on, making the actual writing a lot easier. Is a program like this a necessity? No. You can definitely get by with your own personal (and free) outlining method.

There you have it, the complete Novel Project writing toolkit. Now get to work.

Eater of the Dead: A Dragon Friend Excerpt

Just in time for Halloween! Check out a featured Dragon Friend excerpt on the BestSelling Reads blog: "The spooky season is upon us! H...