November 18, 2009
She absolutely LOVES Capcom's Resident Evil franchise (so much so, that she asked for an early Christmas present of a Wii so she could play the new Resident Evil game that just came out, doing every chore she could find in the house and then some to make her point...but that's another story). In any case, for her most recent narrative she's writing about what happened to the R.E. characters between version #2 and #3 of the game. It always bugged her that the game developers just dropped a bunch of stuff during that time, so she decided to write about what the characters were doing in the time in between.
I'm getting asked questions like "how do you put gas in a motorcycle?" and "how many G's in lunge?". Gotta love it.
Of course, as a mostly frustrated writer I want to tell her to go do something else, but I won't. She's in for a world of hurt, but she needs to find that out on her own. For now, I'm just proud. Damn proud.
October 28, 2009
The CASTLE Halloween episode was on earlier this week, and while it was an awesome episode in its own right, the opening had a special touch for all the Browncoats out there. Watch the video below and you'll see why Firefly fans need to be Castle fans.
October 16, 2009
Okay, okay. I've been busy on a rewrite of Stealing Genius. After the, oh I don't know, 723rd request/comment on my novel's length, I decided it had to go on a serious diet. Really, it had been in the back of my mind for a while, but then I received a specific partial request if I could cut 20K from the book. So I gave in and figured I'd take a couple days to carve out the most egregiously boring parts before sending in the partial.
That was three weeks ago. And I'm half done. To date, I've cut about 25K. Granted, the first half had the most significant cuts, and subsequent requirements for scene mending and recreation. The way things are going, it will probably be another couple weeks. By then I should have cut a total of around 35K, putting the manuscript at just under 105K. Not only much more marketable, but right at the length books of this genre are expected to be at the moment.
Once I'm done, I'm going to send out another round of queries and try to forget about this book. I need to write something else. I mean NEED. I typed the first words of Stealing Genius on November 3rd, 2008. Under a year to being done--really done--is okay. Over a year and I'm afraid I'm going to become one of those writers you run into at conventions who wants to tell you about the book they've been writing for the past seventeen years. In them, it makes me want to cry. In me? Well, let's just say it rhymes with cry.
In the interim, thanks to Nathan Bransford's blog, I discovered wordle.net, and ran the last draft of Stealing Genius through it. Here it is for your visual enjoyment:
July 1, 2009
Finished reading Lee Child's first novel, Killing Floor. Just loved it. Great voice and a simple, unvarnished story. I'm not sure I'll like his subsequent books as much. Killing Floor was written in first person, and for some reason after this novel he switched to third person for his Reacher novels. I read the teaser for his next novel in the back of Killing Floor and was less than amazed by it, I'm sure mostly due to the change in proximity through the voice shift. Have to think about it.
But if you haven't read any of the Jack Reacher series, definitely read this one. Just excellent.
On a side note, titles always interest me. I kept waiting to see why this one was called Killing Floor. There's one tiny mention of a "killing floor" from a slaughter house in the book, but it has next to nothing to do with the plot. I'm pretty sure they picked it because it sounded cool and that was all. I also noticed the phrase "bad luck and trouble" in this book, which as it turns out is the title of one of the Reacher books down the line.
June 29, 2009
June 8, 2009
I did have some unusual activity on one of the partials I had out. It was rejected a few days ago with a few nice words. Okay, I was good with that (well, as good as you can be with a rejection). Then yesterday I got another email from the same agent (written from scratch, not a reply to my emails) titled "Your ms". It went on (and I mean ON) about how much she liked my story and how the writing was very good, but basically left off with "good luck with your writing". I wasn't sure what to make of it. After much humming and hawwing, I ended up sending her a thank you for the comments. Weird day.
I still haven't started the new book, yet. Lots of research and thinking, but little else so far. I also sort of want to write a couple of short stories first.
Beyond that, I've bitten the bullet and started exercising and limiting my calorie intake. About three years ago I went on the "Zone" with no exercise and lost 65 pounds in 9 months (yes, I was a pig). I fell off it after that and put about 50 back on slowly. I've decided to count calories this time (something I've never done before) and progress into a cardio/strength training routine at home. So far so good. I've lost six or seven pounds so far. Of course, I'm hungry all the time and every teeny weenie muscle in my body hates me now. :)
That's about it for now. I still haven't decided if Thrillerfest is doable or not. I'd really like to go, but that baby's expensive. We're still in a wait and see posture for now.
May 24, 2009
The world, with all its interruptions and annoyances, is what fills the writer up and enables them to write full-bodied, believable fiction. How can you write about the relationships of your characters, if you don't have any? How can you deal with the conflict between what your protagonist wants and everything else pulling at them if your life is a one note song?
Of course, we all fall into the trap now and then. The trick is to recognize it before it requires medication. Make dates with your spouse/lover. Plan weekend outings with your family. Try new things you've never done before. Your writer bone will be nervous as hell, but you'll actually be strengthening it.
I also find that when I've hit a wall and can't find a solution, getting away from the problem and doing something ordinary and mundane tends to magically solve it. Mow the lawn, paint a room, wash the car...whatever. It may not feel like it, but your writer bone -- which is in the back of your brain between the desire to put melted cheese on fries and daydreams about Missy Peregrym -- will still be chugging away on the problem and thankful that you got your interfering conscious fingers out of the way.
And when those days/weeks do come up where you need to roll the stone over your cave's entrance to hit a deadline, your family is going to be a lot more understanding. And your fiction will be that much more relevant, layered and accessible.
May 21, 2009
I know it was silly, but I was getting worried there. Just like I'll be worried again three days from now.
And just to make sure I don't get a big head from even manuscript requests, when I told my wife about it she said "This is a different agent than the last one who asked for it, right?"
Gotta love it.
May 18, 2009
By the light of dawn,
I twist the words.
No longer letters,
but merely obscureds.
The opus was done,
such a long time ago.
Or was it just yesterday?
I no longer know.
Like breadcrumbs for pidgeons,
I toss the letters out.
Then try to stay strong,
and elude the blackhole of doubt.
Though in the end,
there's nothing to do;
but wait for the clock
to stop its backward skew.
I so miss the days,
when my characters were me,
instead of just hooks,
in a blood-stained query.
May 13, 2009
May 12, 2009
May 10, 2009
April 28, 2009
April 21, 2009
April 19, 2009
April 12, 2009
So my novel is now in front of my beta readers, a small group of people I trust to get their feedback and impressions. In fact, they've had it for almost a week. Thing is, this "free time" on my hands is about to drive me CRAZY.
Sure, you can work on a new book (which I tried to do), but part of you knows there's at least one more draft of the book coming and doesn't want to allow you to let go of it. I AM champing at the bit to move onto another project, but I'm at that weird point where you just have to sit very still so the procrastination wolf doesn't see you. :)
Thankfully, this little phase should only last a week or two. And next week I'm participating in Nathan Bransford's "Be an Agent for a Day" contest, so that should be fun.
But tonight? I'm about to lose what's left of my itty-bitty mind.
(serenity now...serenity now...)