Nine Stages

For the past few days I’ve been pushing forth the idea of now or never with my writing goals and projects. The time has come to push them forward, because keep dreaming of them being published and/or produced as opposed to getting them completed really isn’t good for me.

So today I’m a starting projects, with goals and deadlines involved. Hopefully by June of 2018 I’ll have completed writing them, and will move them to the next plateau.  I’m listing my goals below to show what I’m thinking and going. I’ll start of small, and keep intensifying the work.

Stage One:

  • First deadline: 11/31/17
  • Choose four of my story ideas.
  • Convert the ideas into premises.
  • Type the story ideas and premises.
  • Begin preliminary research (article, book or two).

Stage Two:

  • Deadline: 12/31/17
  • Main Character notes (identify MCs heart’s desire or greatest fear, wound, or flaw).
  • Add notes from other characters.
  • Do more research (minimum 4 additional resources).
  • Initiate first draft of outline (minimum: ACT One for each project).

Stage Three

  • Deadline: 1/31/18
  • Complete act Two AND Three of outlines.

Stage Four

  • Deadline: 2/28/18
  • Allow 1 Week for outline draft cool downs.
  • Begin writing Act 1 of each screenplay.

Stage Five

  • Deadline: 3/31/18
  • Begin writing Act 2 of each screenplay.

Stage Six

  • Deadline: 4/31/18
  • Begin writing Act 3 of storylines.

Stage Seven

  • Deadline: 5/31/18
  • Cool down period. Go work on something else/distract self.

Stage Eight

  • Deadline: 6/30/18
  • Complete rewrites and then relax. Project done for the moment.

Stage Nine

  • Deadline 7/31/18
  • Look for agent.
  • Send out queries
  • Submit complete projects.
  • Start new projects.

Wish me luck.  Happy creative endeavors.

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Tuesday is a Silly Day…Somewhat

Today I shall simply write, as ideas seem to pop outta nowhere, and they are outlandish. Outlandish is good, fun, and notoriously silly. They make me laugh, and then I move on from them.

I usually leave my outlandish ideas off the table for consideration to produce or publish, as my fear is no one will “get” these ideas, but today, let’s throw caution to the wind.

The fact remains that there’s a chance that any or all of my material won’t be considered for production  and published (and I have had a screenplay and several stories rejected)  and while rejection is a hard groin kicker, it’s not like that’s ever made me feel like I need to go 100% full stop. I’m a masochist for writing projects.

I must also be an optimist who believes in his work, and wants to get better. I confess every day is a learning process that I’m willing to work on and improve.

That said I have an idea—it’s silly, nonsensical, and amusing–that needs to get onto paper. Gotta go make that happen.

Happy creative endeavors.

The Weekend

Hey,

Today looks promising, and it is. I have to set some committed goals and deadlines for myself, otherwise I may never get anything done. Pretty much like this weekend, where I mostly gamed ALL DARN DAY except for when I was cooking (spaghetti), and I have to take some time to make it taste good, otherwise my family will hate on my cooking skills. Can’t have that.

What annoyed me, and I need to break away from, is too much gaming. So, I need to set aside one hour minimum to get writing done, then I can game.  Also I need to play a few different games. I’ve been maxing out my time on three games that I really need to step back from–if only for a week or two—to put energy towards learning new things.

Also I’d like to see my writing output on a consistent level. I did, before going to bed, jot down some of what I wanted to see from myself, and here it is:

  • I’d like to watch more movies and TV shows. Do something other than gaming.
  • I need to pick three of my writing projects and get them to completion. This means:
  1. Idea (defined)
  2. Premise (refined Idea)
  3. Research
  4. Outline
  5. Writing
  6. Cool off
  7. Revise
  • Gaming in moderation—it’s for fun, relaxing, and a bit of escapism.  Also I can post more gaming vids on a frequent basis.

Reading more. Sometimes it pays to read a novel or two.  Something for enjoyment,

My ultimate goal is to get myself into a healthy frequency of writing with a balance of materials such as entertainment, and keeping up with my blog.  If I can get at least two posts this week, then I’m doing well.

As always, happy creative endeavors.

 

 

My Precioussss

I don’t quite nuance that title as well as Gollum does in the Lord of the Rings films, but that was the aim.

As I continue to research, write, and learn, I noticed a lot of my characters are very much blank slates to a point that things happen to them, as opposed to them making things happen.  My characters can and should be active and not passive in their respective worlds.

That said, some of my characters are all inadvertently in melodramas (bad things happen to good people).  For example, in my novel, the MC (main character) is a dancer, but really doesn’t do much—other people cause the trouble. He just happens to be in nearby, and gets dumped on. No fighting back, and barely even a snappy line or insult.

The one time he was active is when he was placed in a situation where he had the option to run or fight. He chose to fight. I LOVED that scene. Totally my fault for the lack of an active role, though.

The MC was too precious to me to be active, OR to have true flaws to address and explore within the story. This is killing my stories from the inside. It plays a part in why I sometimes stall time after time on projects.

Let’s face it, I can procrastinate with the best of them—I’d clean my room before I spent the day writing (my personal flaw).

Ironically, the one melodrama story I worked on, has a very active character doing bad things while struggling to maintain the façade of an upstanding man of the town.  His actions cause problems as opposed to waiting, and he reacted to events. Dude has so many flaws, I was like this is good.  I have to know more (my nosy self).

Perhaps I should view my other stories as melodramas, and then I will dare to break them away from their precious, protected blank slate. I’d like to move forward in writing. A bother has to evolve creatively.

As always, happy creative endeavors, and don’t get stuck like I did.

Sixteen II, or Tell Me How You Really Feel

Yesterday I discussed writing down modes, getting them to a premise state, and wishing to type them up, and revising them. Overnight I thought about a book I was reading, and later heard the author speak, which reinforced the ideas of how emotion can drive a story forward.

So, I have a few more questions to ask of each premise:

  • So, how do these characters feel along this journey they’re going through?
  • Do these emotions change during the course of the journey?
  • What do they evolve (or devolve) into?

For the writing of the novel, the TV script, and the idea I worked on for the blog, feelings weren’t considered as the story progressed. For the novel I know I was mean to my main character, but he was kinda mellow and things happened to him, it felt like the idea was greater than the person going through the experience.

I should be so focused all the darn time, but theres something to be said for having a methodical approach especially when the goal for these stories is for them to evolve from where they currently stand.

So todays assignment is to look over what’s written, and figure out how each character feels about their life and their situation. My theory is that they will have a different or stronger directions. There will also be a moment of clarity where the character better defined.

Happy creative endeavors.

Sixteen

Yesterday was a day without heavy distractions, which is a little odd for a Friday. I decided that I should take out pen and paper and write. My first thought was to simply list the projects I was working on and define a premise for them.  This was simple enough.

As stated before, the premise is a fleshed out idea that is one or two clear, concise sentences.  There’s another step in this that I wanted to see which was a few simple questions I’ll post below.  The questions would also help me stay on point, see where my thoughts were at that moment on the concept.

One thing pointed out to me is that if your premise sounds confusing, or if your audience doesn’t understand it, then  t needs more work.  As per my own word, writing is rewriting.

The questions for me were:

  1. Who is the MC (main character)?
  2. The MC does what and when?
  3. Where does this event/journey take place?
  4. Why is the MC on this journey?
  5. How does the MC go about this journey?

Writing this down felt complicated, but some of the things were easy to jot down. For example, I knew some of the characters have names, or I used an X as their name.  I knew their situation.

Wrote it all down. I pushed for the five premises on paper, then looked at my story list, and pushed to sixteen premises put down on paper. I’m very happy I did that, but the work can’t stop here.

Now part two of this will be to type all of this out because this is where rewriting will get done as needed.  Once I get a stronger feeling that the material is clear and concise, I will be doing more research. This will lead to even more revisions, but I’m down for that kind of challenge.  I feel good when I push myself further because I want to get it all written.

As always, happy creative endeavors.

Let’s Get To It Already

Been typing my notes on writing for television, and it helps me keep up with what I wrote down. Sort of refreshing the information for me. Plus it looks neater than before. I’ve gone back a couple of times and wrote notes or thoughts on top of my typed notes.  I feel like I never left college.  LOL

Today will about two or three trial runs of plot outlines for stories. This is simply an exercise to get me into staying creative.  I will take 3 sheets of paper.  Dived each sheet into five parts, which represent the five acts of  a TV script/episode. The goal is to write down what happens in  each act.

One of these runs will be the story I wrote about in the premise I’ve been discussing on the blog. The second will be a previous pilot I wrote but know already it needs rewriting to fit the format properly. The last is up in the air, BUT I’m thinking of converting my novel into a TV outline.

Gotta get on top of this, but I’m glad I wrote a post first.  Puts things in perspective.

As always, happy creative endeavors.