Back to the Grind

Image Source: https://medium.com/the-mission/the-daily-routine-of-20-famous-writers-and-how-you-can-use-them-to-succeed-1603f52fbb77

So, last night, I wrote for the first time in almost a week.  I don’t know why I haven’t wanted to write in the past couple of weeks, except that I felt like my writing just wasn’t going well.  While I finished the rough draft of Project Star, it isn’t like finishing an actual project.  There’s not that sustained natural high that there is when one finishes a full project.  However, for some unknown reason, I really wanted write, so I made myself write and I really enjoyed it.

Reading and Writing Taking up the Same Time

I love to read and I love to write and sometimes those two loves compete for my (limited) pool of time.  For some reason, this week, I’ve really wanted to read, but I used the time that I would normally write and just read.  I’m rereading The Mallorean by David Eddings and I feel that has helped me stay sane.  However, my writing time has taken a hit because I’m using that writing time to do my reading.  Last night, however, I was so invested in writing that I wrote very quickly and finished up pretty quickly as well.  I then, still had enough time to read a little bit of The Mallorean.

I Feel Sickness Coming On . . .

The problem is that I think I’m getting sick.  I had a student in class today who had a Sinus Infection and some bronchus going on as well.  Based on how I feel writing this blog post, I really don’ t want to get sick as I have waaaaaayyyyyy too much to do, but it looks like that is what’s happening. Not sure how this will affect my writing as I play it by ear; it just depends on how I feel.  Well, that’s all that I have for now.  See you next week!

Sidney




  • Current Work-in-Progress: The Independent (Sci-Fi Short-Story – 2nd Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Project Star (Sci-Fi Short-Story -1st Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Ship of Shadows (Sci-Fi Graphic Novel – Script, Issue # 2, Currently on Script Page 31)
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Finished Rough Draft for Project Star

Yay!  I finally finished something!  Last week I managed to finish the rough draft for Project Star, a Science Fiction project that has been in the back of my mind for quite a while.  Even though it isn’t ready for me to show anyone (the main character doesn’t even have a NAME yet), it still feels good to get all of the plot down on paper.

Character Over Plot

Now, I’m a HUGE plot guy, but as I reread The Belgariad and The Mallorean to keep myself sane with all the work that I have to do, I find that now that I know the story so well, I’m skipping over the plot elements and just focusing on the character elements and reliving (vicariously) through the characters the same type of fun serious-comedic dynamic that I used to have with my family before they passed away.  The point I’m trying to make is that even though I read it at first for the story (characters and plot), I keep coming back to it over and over again for the characters.  I knew this instinctively, but I figured my characters were strong enough to overcome my tendency to focus on plot over characters, but that’s not the case.

Balance in the Force

Today, I stumbled across this YouTube video that describes one writer’s preference for characters over plot (I’m adding it at the end of this entry).  While I think that he may push the needle too far in the characters camp, I still found his argument compelling.  I think I’d like to use his ideas to “balance” my writing.  By trying to get the Rough Draft done and focusing on plot, I think now it is time to stop, reflect on the character, and really dig in and give the character a history, some motivation, traits, and a real personality.

Oh, yes, and a name would be nice as well. 😉

Sidney




  • Current Work-in-Progress: The Independent (Sci-Fi Short-Story – 2nd Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Ship of Shadows (Sci-Fi Graphic Novel – Script, Issue #2, Currently on Script Page 30)

The UnPower of Three

Well, I tried an experiment, but it didn’t work.  For those who are regular readers of the blog, you will remember that late in September (or perhaps earlier) when I decided to try maximize my writing time.  I had bought a set of letter holders and they are designed to hold three letters at a time.  So, my thought was, let me try to select three projects that I’m really interested in and just rotate through these three projects and hopefully I will be able to maximize my writing time and complete 3 times as many projects during the same time.

False Trails

It seemed to work when I finished the 1st issue of my Ship of Shadows Graphic Novel this way.  However, after finishing that issue, I’ve struggled with time and haven’t been able to really finish/work on anything on a consistent basis.  I’m even having problems writing blog entries, which should be easy as I’m basically holding myself now (during school) to 250 – 300 words for these posts (which equates to about 15-20 mins worth of writing).  Add in about 10 mins to find an image, note the image source, and do the tagging for the blog entry, and I’m sitting at about half an hour or 30 mins to do an entry and I feel that is doable, but the proof is in the pudding – the fact that I’ve been highly erratic for the past three  to four weeks is telling me something is wrong.

Going Back One Project At a Time

So, basically, I just want to let you know that I’m going back to working on one project at a time.  I really want to just finish projects and “build” my stories while making them as best as I can. I don’t want to belabor the point, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m going back to trying to finish one story at a time (either rough draft, 1st Draft, 2nd or 3rd draft, and submission draft).  Hopefully, this will help.

Gotta’ run!

Sidney




  • Current Work-in-Progress: The Independent (Sci-Fi Short-Story – 2nd Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Project Star (Sci-Fi Short-Story -1st Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Ship of Shadows (Sci-Fi Graphic Novel – Script, Issue #1, Currently on Script Page 28)

NaNoWriMo: 30 Days of Novel

NaNo-2018-Writer-Twitter-Header

Image Source: NaNoWriMo.org

November is National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo as it is more colloquially known).  I have a love/hate relationship with NaNoWriMo.  I love the concept of it as it seems like a great idea.  50,000 words isn’t that much (especially for a Fantasy or Sci-Fi novel) as many of the novels that I read end up being 100,000 words plus.  However, November is the absolute WORST month ever (for me) for this type of project.  No matter where I am, Library, Teacher, or PhD Student, trying to do 1,667 words a day (or about 2-3 hours of writing EVERY DAY is simply not tenable for me.  At the Library, that meant that I would have not played any video games or done any work for school (while working on my two Master’s Degrees).  As a teacher, planning lessons and grading had to be done, and now I’ve got both teaching duties, student duties, and a part-time job and (surprise) there’s no time this month either.  However, I’ve come up with a way around this–I think.

30 Days of Write

So there was a movie a while back called 30 Days of Night.  The basic plot of the movie is that the heroes have to survive 30 days (of night) at the arctic circle until the sun comes up.  I’m going to take this premise and use it to help me write (or more accurately, plan a novel).  So for the next 30 days in November, I’m writing a 1-2 sentence synopsis of each chapter for the current project that I’m working on: Ship of Shadows.  So, today I wrote a 2 sentence synopsis for Chapter 1.  My plan is to do this for the next 30 days and have a plot outline for a Ship of Shadows novel.  In December, I’ll update you with how it has gone, but this is the only way that I can actually participate in NaNoWriMo.  Instead of actually drafting, I’ll have to use it as a launching pad to help me get ready for 2019, which I’m hoping will be a year of Ship of Shadows where I try to write a chapter per month (*fingers crossed*).

So, I guess I just wanted to update everyone on what I’m doing in terms of writing and in terms of NaNoWriMo this year and inspire myself to simply sit down and do it and get my novel written (and to find techniques that I can use to help me get my dissertation written as well).

Well, that’s all for now.

Sidney




  • Current Work-in-Progress: The Independent (Sci-Fi Short-Story – 2nd Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Project Star (Sci-Fi Short-Story -1st Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Ship of Shadows (Sci-Fi Graphic Novel – Script, Issue #1, Currently on Script Page 28)

 

 

A Working Writer Writes

This is an extremely hard thing to figure out.  There is something about writing in which we give all the praise for writing that has been written versus writing that is being written.  Grades, publications, and feedback all come from reading writing that that has been produced rather than writing that is in the process of being produced, but for me, I need the drafting process.  I can’t be a “pantser” or a “gardener” because I need the multiple drafts to essentially work on different elements of the story at different times.  For me, trying to do character, dialogue (which is a function of character), plot, setting and theme all in one go is simply too much for me as a writer.  I need to be able to separate these individual elements out rather than trying to focus on them all at once.

The Architect, Builder, and Craftsman

There is an image of the Eiffel tower is being built.  We see its base, and we see it being constructed and being erected slowly, piece-by-piece, but at the end we see the completed masterpiece.  This is basically the way I write.  I build up images and impressions.  They seem so clear in my mind, but as I write them, I find that they are really “fuzzy” and “blurry” (in terms of pure storytelling).  The more I work on them and revise them, the “clearer” they become (again, in terms of storytelling).  While my new stories might not work in terms of publication because they are not as “grimdark” as the current Sci-Fi/Fantasy works, they do seem to be a lot closer to the vision that I had in my head for the original story genesis.  Now I just have to find a way to keep drafting (and perhaps speed up just a bit) so as to get more work done monthly, so that I can finish projects and feel a sense of accomplishment that also drives my writing.

Sidney




  • Current Work-in-Progress: The Independent (Sci-Fi Short-Story – 2nd Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Project Star (Sci-Fi Short-Story -1st Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Ship of Shadows (Sci-Fi Graphic Novel – Script, Issue #1, Currently on Script Page 28)

 

 

The Tao of Rest

This weekend and the first two days of this week were Fall Break for me and I went ahead and took the entire time to rest and recover.  As I said previously in another blog entry, this semester has been a challenge, so Saturday, I just rested and the results speak for themselves.

A Little Bit of Rest = A Whole New Project

I love creating–if there was job where a I could just create Sci-Fi and Fantasy worlds over and over again and get paid for it, that’s what I would do.  Writing is the closest thing to that “dream” reality, so that’s why I write short-stories and why I’m trying to expand those stories into longer and longer works with the end goal being to turn them into novels, movies, and TV series.  Not two hours after I awoke from a simple nap, a new project with a new setting, history, and tendrils of a “character” came into focus.  While not as visual as a “dream,” it feels more grounded because there’s a history behind the story world.

Those Who Forget their History . . .

This project is an epic Science Fiction project that spans multiple worlds and has a fairly cool backstory.  While I don’t want to give specifics just yet, I think that Stargate is the closest reference point to the project.  I would actually like to use Stargate as a prototype with its variety of formats.  There’s a movie, multiple TV series, graphic novels, etc., and I would like to do the same.  I think I would like to cover different time periods in different mediums.  A short story for one type of project, a graphic novel for a different time period, etc.  I’m not naming the project just yet as I’m no where near ready to work on it, but still, I have to say, for me–a little bit of rest goes a long way.

Have a great weekend!

Sidney




  • Current Work-in-Progress: The Independent (Sci-Fi Short-Story – 2nd Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Project Star (Sci-Fi Short-Story -1st Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Ship of Shadows (Sci-Fi Graphic Novel – Script, Issue #1, Currently on Script Page 28)

 

DSRV OUTRIDER–Finished the Script for Issue #1 (of 4)

“Ship of Shadows” Graphic Novel = DSRV OUTRIDER

So, a couple of nights ago, I finished the first issue of the Ship of Shadows Graphic Novel.  It is 28 pages long (so far) and is the first part of 4 stories.  I’ve decided on a name for the overall series–DSRV OUTRIDER. The DSRV stands for “Deep Space Recovery Vehicle” which is the type of the vehicle that the main character, Tana, pilots.  Outrider is the name of the ship.  This is important because I hope that I’ll be able to write more stories/have more adventures with Tana as a character (my ultimate goal is to have her become captain of the Outrider) and I want to focus more on the ship and its adventures rather than the one story that is SF Horror.

Artist or Go It Alone?

I think I may have to go it alone.  I discovered my artist last year, but it took my all year to figure out a system that works for me in terms of writing and creatively.  The artist was very interested at first, but has lost interest over time–which, I don’t guess I blame him–as it should have taken a year for the whole graphic novel, not just issue one.  I really have tried to refine my writing processes over the past year to be more effective and I’m slowly getting there, but slowly doesn’t seem to be good enough for others.  I don’t mind going it alone–it’s just that many of the publishers for graphic novels want to have a “team” in place (art and writing).

What’s Next? The Art of Adaptation

I need to figure out Issue #2, so I’m going to move it off the “front burner” and work on rough drafting Issue #2 (major plot points).  I had great success with actually writing a rough draft for the story and then writing the second draft on the next “rotation.”  The thing is, in the short-story, one of the characters saves themselves off-screen, while for issue #2, Tana will save her on-screen.  I have an idea of how this happens, but I want to write it down in rough draft first before I actually try to write it in the next draft.  I’m adapting the short-story, but that doesn’t mean that I want to make it exactly like the short-story as the graphic novel affords more pages to go into more detail.  In the story, it wasn’t necessary for Tana to actually save the other character–just to make the attempt.  However, in this story, to show Tana’s attachment to her “mother” figure, she would have to save her to make her character believable.  I’ll probably start to write issue 2 in November (maybe sooner depending on whether or not the proposals that I hope to send out are successful).

Anyway, that’ all I have for now.  Have a great day!

Sidney




  • Current Work-in-Progress: The Independent (Sci-Fi Short-Story – 2nd Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Project Star (Sci-Fi Short-Story -1st Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Ship of Shadows (Sci-Fi Graphic Novel – Script, Issue #1, Currently on Script Page 25)