Wednesday, June 29, 2011

First draft done, what next?

Editing. :)

My first draft took me six months, the longest first draft timetable for me out of any of my completed books. I don't know why it took so long, but it did and there it is.

I am now doing a polish, then I'm planning on sending it out to some Beta's to get some feedback and hopefully get back to revising sometime in August. In the meantime, what should I do next? Write the query? Outline another book? Something smaller?

What do you do to occupy your time while you await feedback?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Small Vacation

This week and next Monday I will be out of town visiting family in California. I will get back to posting next week, either Tuesday or Wednesday. Until then everyone stay safe and enjoy the local weather.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Battle: LA Movie Review.

We rented this moving last night and went in not expecting much from it. It looked pretty cheesy from the previews and didn't do very well in the theaters. I now wonder why?

It's pretty much pure action from start to finish. Lots of drama with the characters, and overall a good pace. I can see that a few of the things that people didn't care for such as the lack of character development for most of the people except for a few. But the few that were there it was standard action stuff. Not a lot of depth, but enough to connect to the character. I didn't feel sad when any of the minor characters died until near the end when some surprises happen. I found the special effects to be decent. Nothing wonderful, about a step up from SyFy movies.

The one thing that I think was my favorite aspect of the movie was that it was an alien invasion movie, yet it dealt with the military in a different way. It was a platoon of ground troops, not air force, not navy, but some grunts on the ground doing all the dirty work. It felt different to me. I enjoyed it overall, but don't expect too much. If you go in expecting something wonderful. Taper your expectations and it might surprise you.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Building an audience

I've been writing for close to 16 years now trying to get something published. Pretty sad that I haven't yet, but then again I've never really given short fiction a fair shake and I have dedicated myself to more longer pieces, novels and screenplays.

Until about two years ago, I started to focus on building an audience for my books, also called a platform. Now I'm generally a shy guy, like to keep to myself at parties, don't like to make waves, or be the center of attention and now I am finding that to get an audience of fans, I need to do this more. Maybe not wave my arms and shout for people to look at me, but I need to build close relationships with others.

I've witnessed Elana's rise to superstardom over the past couple years since we were in a crit group a long while back. Followed her blog, friended her on Facebook, follow her on twitter and all that. I am amazed at how she managed to put herself out there. Kept true to herself and really showed people how friendly, helpful, just plain kick ass of a person. So my question is, what are some tips to get myself out there. Should I throw some contests? What are some of the things that worked for you guys? Most of my followers have bigger followings than I do. I'm just curious. I'm a nice guy, but shy. How can I show the world this? Heck how can I show just North America?

Monday, June 13, 2011

I took a small break from writing and lived to tell the story

This past weekend, I decided not to charge my laptop, which I write on, because I needed a breather. My characters were upset that I wasn't going to spend the weekend with them, but for my own sanity and health I needed to get away so that I could better understand their position, their problems, and then I could come back and help them along their journey.

Now this break was only three days, but during those three days, the characters reveled in the freedom, they had no work to do and now it's Monday and we all seem on the same page. I can see the next scene in my head, I can see the next few things leading up to the ending and I needed this because I was becoming too close to the story. I was sort of not seeing the forest for the trees so to speak. 

I got lost in the minute details of everything, most of it might be cut in the revision, some might be polished up to make shiny and stick out, because it makes the book stronger. 

My question for you, my faithful readers and commentors, when you take a break, if you do, what do you find the most fun when getting back at it? What do you think draws you back to the book and not just shelving it? My reason is the characters. They won't leave the heck alone. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

WiP Update.

So after doing my rewrite of my last twenty or so pages of my WiP, I have hit my stride. I am looking at about another 40 pages to be complete or so. I actually have an ending visulized, and the next scene ready to go for when I get some time tonight. I've got the excitement back in my writing which had been missing during last week.
So my little break last weekend and going back to a few earlier chapters helped spawn new ideas. Wonderful how that works.

By the way, I've decided not to put a timetable on completing this draft,(I've already missed two self imposed deadlines) its already taken longer than expected, but I think it's better than it would have been if I just tried to bust it out quick style.

This got me thinking about how long do your first draft usually take? I consider mine more of a draft 1.5 since I've been getting feedback while doing the draft, which could explain part of the time it took me to write it. At least now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it makes me a bit giddy.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

In honor of Possession by Elana Johnson

I know I don't usually post on Tuesday's but today is a special day. My friend Elana Johnson's book "Possession" comes out today. I critiqued it many many months ago and it's great to see her reach her goals of being published. I am participating in a contest for it and a way to spread the word so I need to write a post on a time I broke the rules. So here it goes, it goes back a long time ago, I think I was between twelve and thirteen, maybe younger.

My sister lived in an apartment complex behind my parents house when I was a preteen, me and my friends used to go over there to hang out and watch MTV way back then. One day she wasn't home, so we started to climb the garage building. It was cool, dangerous, and looking back sort of stupid. However, it got worse. To get down, we jumped off the roof and landed on the hood of a dusty car that looked like it hadn't been used in years. We didn't think anything of it, except for how fun it was to jump off the roof of a building and to land on something. Sort of like an action movie. I remember denting it pretty good on a few of my jumps and so did my friends. We put some major work into it as we jumped on both the hood and the roof. So after doing this for about an hour, like normal kids, we got bored and left to do something else. When we returned a day or two later, police were there asking questions.

Now that was one of a few dumb things I did during my youth and regret now. So what is something you did that broke the rules?

Monday, June 6, 2011


My current project has got my head spinning and its frustrating to know that I was unable to figure out the reason behind it. So this past weekend, I did no writing. I did some yard work, hung out with friends and family, and gave myself a weekend to relax and recharge my batteries.

When do you know it's time for a break? Do you ever get the feeling that you are surrounded by the impossible task of writing a novel? What do you do to relax? I did do some brain storming while I was relaxing, and think that this week will be a good one. I might have figured out a solution to my problem part.

Have you ever taken a break to try and see a problem from another angle? How long did you take? What were the results?

Oh yeah, just in case anyone didn't know yet Elana Johnson's novel Possession is coming out tomorrow June 7th. Go check out her blog to find out where her blog tour is going to be taking her? Have a great and productive week.

Friday, June 3, 2011

"Plaugue" by Michael Grant

I've been reading this series over the last year and this is his newest creation. The kids have been alone for 8 months now. Some crazy stuff has happened to them during this time. About half the kids developed powers, the other half haven't. Creates a lot of tension.

So this book starts off where the last one left off. (I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll try to keep it vague.) They are low on water, so they send the MC out to search for water leaving the town in capable hands. That is until an old friend returns to seek revenge on the town. This book upped the tension with so many different problems. Water and Food shortages. New bugs that are nearly impossible to kill and if they bite you you become infested, people not trusting one another, humans vs mutants, and the list goes on and on. These poor kids have it rough.

The characters of this one are as good as they have been all series. Deep, realistic, emotional and their actions have weight behind them.

Lots of twists and turns and some sad moments, which makes me excited for the next book in the series. I give this book a solid 5/5. You should pick it up as soon as you get a chance, but after my friends book that comes out Tuesday the 7th of June. Possession by Elana Johnson.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spectacular Contest alert

A friend of mine just released her first novel as an indie author and is having a contest. You should check it out as there are some cool prizes:

Also, I think its pretty cool that she published on her own and following her journey is becoming a fascination. Good luck to her.