Welcome Aboard

Welcome to my first blog.
I'm excited you've come along for the ride with me, as I blog my thoughts and adventures on the way to being a published writer. Take a look around, post a comment or two, and enjoy!

29 January, 2011

My eyes, my eyes

I just spent the past three and a half hours finishing the final "steak edit" of my YA fantasy novel. (For details on what a steak edit is, see my last blog). As I wrote on my notepad- je suis fini. 286 pages, 83 chapters, and 68,007 words. My eyes hurt from staring at a computer screen that long.

Next step is the dessert edit. Spell check, then print out and do a page by page edit. My goal was to have the steak edit done by January 31st. Love being ahead of schedule, especially since my writing is getting backed up. I still have to finish the sitcom I'm writing to enter in the Nickelodeon fellowship, and edit the screenplay already written for the Nichol's fellowship.

Plus the character from my YA sci-fi novel is screaming at me for neglecting her. Yes I know you've been on the tarmac for awhile. I haven't forgotten you. You shouldn't be in a rush for what happens next, trust me, it's beyond anything you (or the reader) could imagine, or could have seen coming.

So I am happy to be in the final editing phase of my YA fantasy novel before I send it out looking for a buyer.

Jesus was right. "Only have faith and do not fear... All things are possible to the one who believes."

22 January, 2011

Update

101.5. That was my temperature as my body waged its battle against the flu. Never mind that I got the flu shot in October. Well, actually it did lessen the severity of the flu. And now I'm back.
The screenplay that was halfway done on January 10th I finished on January 11th. I decided to sit myself down and not get up until it was done. Something was driving me to finish it. Phew. Two screenplays in less than thirty days? Talk about mentally draining. Serious adrenaline rush though.
So what is the writer up to now?

February 4th is the deadline for Gotham Writer's to announce the winner of their YA novel contest.
February 18th is the start of the CS Open. What is that you say? Well, it's a contest with industry recognition and filming of the winning scene. You write a short scene, 3-5 pages, based on the premise they give you on the 18th. If you win, you advance to round two and do it again. The final winner gets the aforementioned prize.

The remainder of this month I am finishing what I like to call my final steak edit of my YA fantasy novel. What is a steak edit? I've been going through and adding more meat to certain chapters, and in places adding whole new chapters. I'm about forty pages from the end of the book.

After the steak edit comes the dessert edit. That's where I print out my novel (again), and do a spelling and grammar check. (Special shout out to Office Depot and Hp for having Hp ink on sale for 40% off this month).
Goal for my novel is to have it ready to submit to a publisher/agent
by February 14th.

February is also time for me to edit the last two screenplays I wrote (still haven't decided which one I'm submitting to the Nichols fellowship-The Oscars), and to work on the second novel that is already in progress.
What I have learned is that you cannot blaze through the rough draft of a novel the way you can a screenplay. The format of a screenplay allows you to write it much quicker than a novel.

Screenplays are a visual medium and novels a mental medium. It could take me six more months to finish the second novel and by that time I will have written at least five more screenplays. Then again it could take me one month to finish the novel.

I don't believe in writer's block. There was a time that I did, but then I realized, writer's block is actually a choice to not do what I love to do. Why would I deliberately block myself from that? Sure I may not like the first five minutes of what I'm writing, but after that I am in the zone.

I may write five pages or twenty one in an hour, either way I am doing what I love. And let's face it. If your not doing what you love, what are you doing?

10 January, 2011

Halfway mark-again

My new screenplay, started on January 2nd is half way done. I am deep into act two and have drawn likeable and hateable characters.
All this writing was done with pieced together time: writing on my laptop on the mornings I have free, writing long hand (yes you can write a script long hand) during times where I could not have my laptop out (thankful I can type 85 words a minute as I transfer it from handwriting to my laptop); figuring out plot points and changes to scenes while grocery shopping or even while brushing my teeth.
I'm not use to being able to write something so quickly, but then again I've never been this passionate, or this sure about my writing. I am on fire.

At church last night our senior pastor spoke out of Hebrews 11: the faith chapter. Heroes and heroines of the bible that stepped forth in faith, trusting, receiving their promise.
I love that chapter. It is a reminder of how God uses regular, every day people like you and me. The only difference is they acted on their faith.
I am acting on my faith, hence the writing during even scraps of time.
I remember telling someone last year -"that which is important we make time for."
Make time for your passion, and watch it catch fire.

06 January, 2011

How's it going

I need to be random for a moment. I was all set to sit down with my coffee at my favorite coffee going place when I was thrown for a loop. I spend my weekday mornings writing at this place before heading to work. I love it because the table height is perfect for writing, it's not over crowded with noisy people who don't know how to use their inside voice, forcing me to crank my iPod up to dangerous levels to drown them out, and the employees are great. It only took them two weeks to figure out my usual order.

So why was I thrown for a loop? I'm now used to having my coffee and donut (gave away the name didn't I) ready for me by the time I reach the counter, without my even asking.
Today my two usual cashiers were not in. I had to actually order. I miss seeing and talking to them.
And it's nice that with the volume of people that come through every morning they pay attention. Unlike another establishment I went to daily for two months and every day I ordered the same coffee (no donuts there), but they never caught on like this place does. Okay I think I'm done.

6 days into the new year. How's that new diet coming? That commitment to write more? Are you struggling? Good.
Now let's get serious.
I've heard it said it takes 21 days to form a habit. I say 21 days won't make any difference if you don't have two things: a goal and a plan.
Psalm 37:5
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in Him, and He will act,
What is your passion? What is your dream? Have you written it down, and prayed about it. God opens doors through our prayer and our
obedience. Obedience to follow His plan for our life. So listen to Him and write it down.

Step two, the plan. What plan have you drawn out to help you reach your goal?
Haven't done it yet? That's okay. Sit down in a quiet place away from the TV, the computer, and the phone.
Talk to God. Never done that before? That's okay too. He's ready to listen. Talk with God about your plan and ask Him to help you create one based on His desires. Then write it down.
Keep it somewhere close so you can refer to it when you feel doubt and discouragement creeping in.

I know friends who also get together with another person and tell them their goals as a way of holding themselves accountable. That's good too, but I've come to find the best person to tell my goal to is Jesus. He helps me be accountable.
When it comes to your dreams and desires, don't put them off any longer.

01 January, 2011

Day One

This morning I was curled up in bed with my bible and journal reading in James. "Faith without works is dead." I take it to mean, that if I truly have faith, I would put it into action, seeing the fruit of my faith in motion. Like Noah building the ark. Noah had faith in what God told him to do, and he built the ark.

Day one of the new year and I've been at work since 10 am (it's 5:50 right now), and by work I mean writing.
Editing, revising, looking up screenplay resources on the web, checking contest deadlines, finalizing my writing schedule for 2011.
Oh yeah that,
If I was strictly writing just novels, I could plan out the entire year of writing. The issue I found is that since I am writing scripts, they don't fall into a rhythmic pattern.

I took the contest deadlines I have coming up, and the scripts I want to write and enter into those contests. I then took the two scripts I want to "shop" around Hollywood, and put all those into my calendar first.
The end result is January through April are planned out. That's not to say if an opportunity is presented to me to write a screenplay for someone, I wouldn't take it. I would. I would fit it in.

Today was a good day of writing. I have one more day of vacation. Part of my planning today was going over my Monday through Friday writing time frame and seeing if I could tweak it to get more time in the day to write. I have a plan that I will implement on Monday.

I have enjoyed my two weeks of daily writing. As my stomach grumbles to remind me I've only had a bag of microwave popcorn since lunch I feel like I could push on for at least three or four more hours, and in a way I am.
I will be watching episodes of a tv show on netflix to make sure I have the character's mannerisms correct before I start writing the script for the tv writing fellowship.
I will sit with spiral notebook and pen in hand and watch TV for the remainder of the evening.