Sunday, January 11, 2009

In Play

Quick update. A submission-worthy draft of "Leonard" was placed in Agent S' hands shortly before Christmas meaning that the game is afoot. I think the manuscript's pretty darned tight and a good read. Hopefully publishers will agree. Finger crossings, prayers, and happy vibe thoughts are all welcome and appreciated.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Note to People Who Read Books

Please buy some! Publishing is yet another industry that is really hurting and could use your help. People are being laid off, imprints are getting the ax, and book lists are sure to be pruned with even more vigor than usual. It's not a pretty picture.

As an aspiring novelist, I fully admit this post is self-serving. But here's the deal: When times are hard, publishers get cautious and cut way back on bringing along new talent, tending to go with their tried and true authors instead of those of us with question marks over our heads. That certainly makes sense from a business perspective, but totally sucks from the "trying to get a foot in the door" side of things. Speaking as my alter ego, Commander Obvious, the low sales trend needs to be reversed in order for them to feel comfortable again about taking on us new guys.

So this holiday season, if you're trying to choose between purchasing a Wisconsin Cheeseman Gift Tower and a good novel or a Kung Fu Panda plushy and a quality picture book, all I'm asking is that you help a novelista in need by dropping your dime on the books. Thanks!

Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm a Weiner!

Well, I did it. Went over the 50k mark at around 3:00 this afternoon. Go me.

Going to continue adding to the word count over the two remaining days in the challenge. Then I'll let it sit (probably until early next year) before I start what I know is going to be a rough and tumble edit.

In general, I'm pleased with what I've got, but there are some interesting logic flaws in the story's time line that should be quite a challenge to solve. I also I have a sneaking suspicion that I may have one or two more main characters than I need. Anyway, I'll deal with all after I've had a chance to rest my critical eye.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Process This

Well, I reached 40k tonight -- a little behind on my personal goal based on 2k a day from Nov. 1, but still within my comfort zone. I've got between now and next Sunday to crank out 10k. Barring any wordless dead zones, I should make it with a little room to spare.

This year's NaNo effort is different than last year in many ways. Foremost is the fact that I finished a complete first draft of this year's novel this past Friday! It came in at around 38k so while I had a rough yet complete manuscript, I did not yet have a winning NaNo word count.

I mentioned that this draft was feeling a little sparse, so what I did was go back to page one and start looking for parts to flesh out. I found close to an additional 2k within the first thirty-three pages so I'm optimistic I'll find 10k in the remaining one hundred and eighty nine. After the end of the month I'll be pushing on, trying to beef it up to around 70k.

Last year, I reached 52k by the end of the month but felt nowhere near the actual end of the story. The finished manuscript for last year's effort came in at around 77k.

I know, lots of boring stats but I have to admit that part of the fun of this challenge is the process.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Time to Get Moving!

Got me some catching up to do. Hoped to reach 40k by the end of the day on Thurs. 11/20 but as of the end of writing on Wednesday night, I'm at 34k. Employment and rehearsals for a theatrical play I'm doing are conspiring to keep my daily word count lower than I had hoped. Oh well, at least I have good/fun reasons for being behind. Who knows, maybe I'll rip out a quick 6k tomorrow and get all caught up.

(cough) fat chance (cough)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gasping for Breath

A little fried right now so this'll be a quickie. Had a very productive weekend. Finished a (hopefully) final polish draft on Leonard and sent it off to Agent S. This pass focused on the main character's motivation for continuing the quest through impossible obstacles. I'm happy with how it turned out.
Punched up my animation proposal and added sample story premises -- sent it off to the animation agency for notes.
Finally...reached 32k by Sunday night!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Grinding It Out


So far so good with NaNo. A week into it and I've got a little over 17k words. That puts me well on the way to my goal of 20k by this Monday and 30k by next Saturday. I love the little burst of nervous "I've got to write if I'm going to reach..." energy that this challenge provides.


Liking what I've written so far although it's feeling kind of sparse in terms of description and humor -- but that's what I'll focus on fixing in December. Right now my task is to get those bytes down on virtual paper and not worry about the fancy stuff.


On a semi-related note, I'm finding the little NaNo calendar thing to be kind of irritating. I'm sure it's because of my lack of understanding of the subtle interaction between statistics and percentages, but I'm not liking that the days keep changing colors even though the word count is already known. It makes my tiny brain pucker and reveals why I steered away from the sciences. I think next time I'll just go for a straight bar graph word count widget (try saying that three times fast).
UPDATE: Decided to chuck the calendar altogether and go for a straight word progress chart. I'm more concerned about meeting word goals by date than by daily percentage. Fascinating, isn't it?!


In other news, I've come up with a bunch of fun story premises for the animation proposal. My animation agent offered some interesting insight when I told him of my plans to write a pilot script. He said pilot scripts are best written to help the creator figure out what his show is going to be about -- not necessarily to show to development execs, etc. He said that pilot scripts are more about setup and less about story so they really don't give a good feel about what the actual show is going to be like. His suggestion was that I make the script more "first episode" and less pilot. I think that makes a lot of sense so I'll probably write both -- the pilot for me and the first episode to show to others.

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