Tailgating off my last post on ideas becoming a premise, I took out a sheet and wrote out story title, idea, premise, and lastly research topics. This is me trying to get my concepts into some type of rotation I can complete.  For example, the novel (yes, I still work on it) has aspects of dance in them, so I have some books on dancing to take notes on.

The TV show has several topics, such as; LLC, politics, religion, dysfunctional families, corporate business, and self-confidence.  I need to read some articles at minimum on these, and maybe peep a book or two for some varying point of views.

Research plays an important part in stories, as it gives authenticity to the text, as well as clarifies points to help shape the story better.  I am sure I can find more articles.

So now I have a to do list of work to be done.  Sadly, I put this on a blank sheet of paper, and not a notebook.  it’s still attached to my clipboard. May need to buy a binder soon, to make sure I hold onto papers like this.

Happy creative endeavors.


Story Swagger

Yesterday, I tried writing a post about how mood and emotion affect the narratives, characters, and overall aesthetic of the text. It was too long, and didn’t say what I meant. So, I gave it a lot overnight thought.

To give an example of what I mean, a show like Pushing Daises has a fairy tale (or storybook) like quality that is repeated in the visuals, characters, and narrative elements.

Or a film like Bram Stoker’s Dracula was described as an “erotic dream” which did have an impact on the style. It also included a lot of fairy tale elements but that’s another topic.

Last night and this morning, I thought of things like noir, and horror, which definitely make viewers or readers feel a distinct emotions.  Noir was dark, depressing, and had a particular style to the lighting. the characters are a distinct and you had types (hard luck heroes, femme and homme fatales, etc.).

Horror has a basis with fear being the main theme, so elements focus towards that emotion.  The aforementioned Dracula film was steeped in horror, which twisted the erotic aspects into the fantastical, grotesque and frightening.

As a writer, I wondered, and still wonder if style (which incorporates mood and emotion) could and should be at the forefront of my mind as I work on a project.  Also what style am I trying to convey with each project.

It sounds overwhelming, but I think what makes some story distinct and memorable is that they had their own swagger, and internal logic.

Change is Good…Sometimes

Sometimes change is good, and it’s better for writing, because writing is rewriting, however there are times what I know and do-in regards to writing -doesn’t really compute.

Wrote tings that I know can and will change, however I’m a bit stuck because I’m too attached to the material. So I need to leave some items alone for a while. That way I hope I can “divorce” myself from from the story.  This way I will look at it and be willing to cut or change without holding too much onto it.

Case in point, I have a script I have been thinking of lately, and I remember hating the ending, and there was a point where I *din’t* want to change the main characters, but forced myself to do it, because it wasn’t working.  I tweaked and tweaked trying to resit the change until I got frustrated.

Now, if I look at the script (and subsequent episodes), I know I’ve spent time away to make changes.  So maybe I can go back, reclaim and revise without too much attachment to it.  I don’t feel hesitation or reservation to cut or alter. Also I’ve had enough time to think of a new ending.

Also I need to make room for a couple of screenplays. Was talking with my brother and told him that was into some action films, and need to write a couple of my own.  I sense a  new project in my future.  Hopefully it will help me resolve older material too.

As always, happy creative endeavors.

Thursday Progress

Last night I think I at least completed the first draft of this chapter for the novel. It is, more or less a crossing of the threshold for the hero. At least more than I realized when i originally wrote the outline. This changes some things for me., as I know what’s going to happen next, however, that changes slightly now that we’re in act two, but I think I can make the necessarily adjustments. I may need to go back and adjust the outline, just the same.

I know act one is a bit of a mess with this one guiding light. Things have really shifted, but I am sure I can clean this text up there as well. I had a few false starts, and I have some writing I’m loving that needs to be cleaned and organized.  I’m tempted to go back and make the changes necessary before pushing forward. I also have to open up a few chapters for some breaks from the main hero to some other characters, and introduce the MC’s allies.

What I’ve noticed with the current writing is I need to place more time on character interaction, reactions, and conflicts.  Otherwise nothing’s happening of true interest other than me indulging myself.

So I need to do some more writing. One word at a time. I also know a couple of scenes need to be revised because they are good but lack some oomph. I can do this. I know I can.

Now for math: if I have twenty-five chapters and they average ten pages minimum, I’ll have two-hundred fifty pages.  That’s a lotta writing.

Happy creative endeavors.

Fifteen Points Part I

Well, just cause I talked about it, I now have to share this. On Tuesday’s post, I mentioned I used a fifteen point plot. My friend Sarah told me this, so credit where credit is due.

It’s fairly simple, so I hope it helps. First thing’s first. In order to do this you’re simply writing the first part of your plot, and the the resolution to this. This is points one and fifteen. By the way, I made up this plot for this example.

It’s not a foolproof method, and subject to revisions, but this is where it starts.

1:    Nico and Helga get stuck in traffic, and Helga’s water breaks (expecting next month).
15:  Helga delivers a healthy baby, her family and Kole’s  family visits her. She cries.

I don’t know how, but that’s what happens. I would go to two and fourteen next.

2:  Helga reveals the baby’s not Nico’s but his friend Kole’s.
14: Helga’s relationship with Nico is over. Kole doesn’t answer his phone.

You get the picture. Three and thirteen.

3: Helga calls Kole, and Nico has to listen to this mess.
13: Nico visits Helga at the hospital.

Four and twelve:

4: Nico calls for an ambulance, as the contractions start.
12: While delivering, Helga calls for Nico but wishes Kole was there.

Five and eleven:

5:  Helga admits Nico doesn’t excite her, Kole does, but Nico is stable and kind.
11:  Nico tries to wrap his head around this betrayal by the people he loves the most who still want him in their lives.

Six and Ten:

6: The ambulance arrives, and Nico and Helga part ways.
10: Though, upset, Helga has to focus–She’s having the baby.

Seven and nine:

7:The traffic clears up, and Kole sends Nico a few text messages.
9: Nico deletes all the messages.

Eight stands by itself.

8: Kole calls his parents, who have some harsh words for him.

More on this via part two.

As always, happy creative endeavors.

Confessions of A Wanna-Be Bizarro Novelist

Technically the title is misleading. I believe that you are or aren’t what you want to be in life, so “wanna-be” just sounded silly enough to fit the title my post. Today I am riddled with congestion and allergy woes, and the meds can’t work fast enough, but they are working, and I’m drinking a lot of water to thin the grossest of mucus out. I digress.

I believe I mentioned this a while ago; my novel is in the bizarro genre. For those not in the know, bizarro is like cult films. It blends various genre elements such as weird, surreal, absurd, satire, parody, fantasy, and science fiction. It is always entertaining. Many times odd or grotesque. It can be a lot of fun to write. It is also a challenge to work towards. This means I need to go back and reread my notes from my bizarro workshop, just to refresh my brain.

For the record, my novel is chock-full of goofy passages and ripe with bizarro aesthetics, but sometimes I don’t feel like its goofy or entertaining, and that’s cause I’m in the middle of writing it. Writing and rewriting is a pain in the ass sometimes. That doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary, or it isn’t going to happen, because it is going to be rewritten. That’s part of the gig, and as much as I protest, I like revisions. As my screenwriting professor instilled in me, “writing is rewriting.”

Let me add, writing the outline was serious biz that didn’t feel funny when I wrote it. It’s a bare bones, tell the main points of what happens. The concept is goofy, and it fits the genre well, but giving just the facts is not funny. It’s direct and simple.

Sometimes it is frustrating to have that first pass at something, and not know how to make it work they way it is supposed to. For example, I wrote a chapter, hated how it ended, rewrote it, and don’t like how I left things in that second pass. Wisely, I stopped trying to fix it so I can “divorce” that ending, and see where I can fix or cut it. I’m thinking ruthless now, cause I will cut it if it doesn’t work, and partly being so technical with material has me feeling less goofy and keeping a critical eye.

That reminds me that I’ve been wondering if I need a prologue for this story, and if I do it needs to be short and sweet. Something less than six pages. The question is how goofy will it be, because it needs to set the tone without getting too heavy and too serious. I also want to take a quick assessment to see where I am so far, but what I’ve learned from the characters and story.

Humor is tough biz, but then again, I’m tough. Just gotta work through the kinks, and keep working to be better.

As always, happy creative endeavors.


Out With the Old, In with the New

Ever had a moment where you were so frustrated that you got over whatever it was that set you off? I’ve had many of those, and I am so glad for them. It’s the things in 2015 I don’t want to carry over into the new year.

I’ve been frustrated by creativity, and trying to resolve some stories, and I’m very over trying to decide on one factor over another.  Yes, some decisions needed to be made, but that’s part of the process.  No need to anguish over the little details.  Let the journey tech me if its right, wrong, or needs a stronger resolution.

The past year also taught me to go back and look over some of my guides and instructions. I totally threw some of the story structure out the window, and had to relearn some things in order to make the format work. So at the very least a simple basic is remastered.

Also feeling a need to delve into fine art.  Its something that I’ve been trained in, and to be honest, the best time I had discovering art was in a graduate art history class. Some of the stuff was odd, and I was indifferent to some it, but it reminds me of why art was important and communication is powerful.

Have a very happy, prosperous New Year,

Happy creative endeavors.