Writing update

29 12 2008

So, I’ve been writing a lot, finally.

In the week and a half before Christmas, I wrote a story currently titled “The Master Clock,” about 6500 words. It’s in editing stages. I sent it to a couple people to read and I hope they like it. (I already know where some of the problems are. Eeek. I wish I’d proofread it before I gave it to them, but I needed it out the door to feel good about myself.)

Since Christmas eve, I’ve laid down 7500 words of a story “The Crystal Face of God,” and it’s almost drafted. I think I have a fair amount more editing to do on this one though, and at least another 1000 words to add or more, because I just filled in some details so I could get to the end and have it all down.

Both are entering the editing stages. I have a few more stories in the brain pipeline that I might start working on while editing, but that will require me to pay special attention to time management, making sure I can finish everything.

Woo, productivity! Sadly, I have real work tomorrow morning, and I am up past my bedtime.


some writing

18 12 2008

So I have neglected to find more links or make other posts because I am in the process of writing stories. Somehow I got into my head that I could be a speculative fiction writer instead of just a fan. I’ve been writing a lot in and around my work schedule.

I went through documents that accrued over four years of school and found a decent stash of story gems, so I took one of them and started running with it. I’ve written about 6k words since last week, and I think I have the basic frameworks of the story in place. It’s nice to see that. The hard part now is going through and making sure the continuity makes sense and the story says what I want it to say without second-guessing my choice of language or general skill as a writer (and then going on and messing up the story with over-editing or giving up completely). I’d say I’m 2/3rds done. It’s a short story.

After I finish it, I’m going to ship it off to a few people to read. If they don’t say, “Augh, this is terrible,” or even if they do, I will try to incorporate some of their comments into the piece and then ship it off to various spec fic magazines. This is my plan, and is also why I have been and may continue to be lax in updating.

Comic writing vs screenplays

13 12 2008

A little early morning linking for your pleasure and my late-for-work.

Mark Waid, writer of um… comics, shares some thoughts on the differences between screenwriting and comic writing:

Screenwriter walks into my office. Famous, one of the two or three whose name is as instantly recognizable to movie fans in Iowa as it is to us Left Coasters. And he’s immediately on my good side because the first words out of his mouth are not “so I have this pitch for a supernatural western,” but, rather, “I know how to write for film but I don’t know how to write for comics, and I presume there’s a difference.”

The single most important difference between a screenplay and a comic book script is that a comic story is made up of frozen moments. Screen stills. Snapshots.

Read more thoughts over at Kung Fu Monkey.

I read an interesting blog on screenwriting written by John August, writer of Big Fish and a few other notable movies. He answers lots of interesting “how do I” questions and also writes about the industry. He was doing some good blogging on the writer’s strike at the beginning of 2008. Visit JohnAugust.com.

Link #2 — Under a Cabbage Leaf (where stories come from)

30 11 2008

Under a Cabbage Leaf (where stories come from) is a little essay on Storytellers Unplugged by Elizabeth Bear, a speculative fiction writer I’ve reviewed previously.

It’s a bunch of generalized thoughts on building stories. I really enjoyed it and am saving it for later reference. I thought you might like to read it, because it’s kind of a great little look at the creative process in general.

So say you’re building a wall… er. Writing a novel. You might start with one big block and a couple of little ones, and have no real idea yet how they go together. So you fuss with them a bit, move them around, and figure out some of the ways they might fit. But then you need more pieces. Fragments, bigger stuff. Great big chunks you have to call a friend to help lift. You start putting them together and see how they fit, and when you’ve got them wedged and balanced just right–voila, you have a book. Or a wall. Whatever.

So where do you find all these bits?

Go read it! Let me know where it is similar to your creative process.

Happy National Novel Writing Month!

1 11 2008

November is National Novel Writing Month! I am celebrating by attempting to write a novel. We shall see how this works out. I have figured out that if I write roughly 6 pages a day (starting today, of course) then I will be able to complete the challenge. Wish me luck! I will try to keep you all up to date as far as my progress is going, and if I decide I’ve written things worth reading, I’ll share.

Are any of you out there attempting this brave feat?

The Invisible College

16 10 2008

The first issue of my self-published comic book is here! You can find it in the comics link under my little section of the site. I recently printed a stack of issues to hand out to friends and fellow comics-ers at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD, and the folks at Robot Martini have just posted a review of it in their blog. It’s the first time I’ve ever been reviewed for creative work in a public forum.

For Lindsay

29 09 2008

The wasted scrap of a human girl gently puts down her bowl of crude paint made from bird droppings mashed with three (three!) kinds of colorful berries, wipes the blonde dirty hair from her eyes and sits down on a rock, sighing. The sighing soon leads to some gnashing of teeth, and a few half-hearted grunts topped off with an exasperated wail for good measure. As she sits the girl surveys the blag-wall of her dingy cave, on which she has up until recently been scrawling all manner of desperate incantations. The girl thinks maybe she should just get up and walk out of the cave. There are so many things out there to be doing! There are rivers to be crossed, rabbits to skin! There are whole wild minutes just waiting to be lived out in the wide world.

But no. The girl has a duty. The others may have forgotten but she cannot. Though she has forgotten the original purpose of her role here (was there something about goggles and red capes?), the acts of wall-blagging are so ingrained that she could no more stop smearing the walls with bird-shit-berries than she could cease breathing, or scratching fleas. Besides, the only things truly waiting outside the cave are heat, blindness, and burning at the hands of the wretched star of day.