Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who is celebrating today and I hope your turkey isn’t too dry. 😉
Now that I’ve done my bit for the holiday, let’s move on to the main event: a discussion about working on that wonderful beast known as The First Draft.
The First Draft of any story is literally the first iteration of your creation. It’s the baby that forms with all the flaws, defects, flecks of beauty, and missteps that come with getting it down on paper. It’s born of passion and feeling and with time and effort can develop into a polished end result that anyone would be proud to share with the world at large.
While it would be great to skip the trials and tribulations of The First Draft, I wouldn’t advise just dashing it off and putting it out there. You only get one chance to make a good first impression and every additional minute of development time will pay off immensely in the long run. Let’s face it, very few individuals get it perfect right out of the gate and while every writer wants to believe that they will make Shakespeare’s Ghost jealous and publishers roll truckloads of cash up to their door, the reality is that every final draft of a story or novel has a trail of redrafts behind them.
Refill your coffee cup, smoke if you got em, and get that First Draft down on paper. The first stage is all about getting it finished; you can make it perfect later.
Day +6 after The Election and I am happy that I can put all that behind me and get back to focusing on my writing. I’ve never been a big fan of Politics because I’ve often found that it tends to bring out the worst in most people and I prefer not in engage in such activities. Give me 400 pages and a decent idea and I’ll spin you a yarn that will keep you busy for hours. It’s what I do.
Of course, it’s way too easy to blame civic responsibilities or whatever on not writing. The truth is that for a while I have been plagued by a lack of inspiration with regards to my stories and that bothers me because Writing is one of those things that has always filled me with a sense of purpose and accomplishment. No, I’m not thinking of quitting and though I’ve considered pulling the plug on Lights and Shadows in favor of more focus on Parallax: Genesis, I hate to leave projects unfinished so that’s not much of an option either.
Yes, I know that this reads like any number of “frustrated writer rants” that pop up out there and though I consider myself the King of Frustration, I keep soldiering on with the knowledge that I’m not alone here and one day I’ll look back and remember this process as an amusing anecdote to share with others.
Words form sentences.
Sentences form paragraphs.
Paragraphs form stories.
Stories form bodies of work.
I’ll pop the champagne cork soon enough. 😉
I’ve been under the weather of late so I’ve not been very active in either writing or being online. It’s nothing personal, people catch bugs and need time to regain their strength and enthusiasm and no one (I believe) is more lethargic than me when I’m not feeling well. Anyway, enough excuses for my diminished productivity. I’ll clap erasers after School, Teach.
Lights and Shadows is moving forward at a pace that makes glaciers appear speedy by comparison but progress is being made. I won’t get into specific word counts because I don’t feel that they are that important. I’m planning on publishing it sometime in December.
Parallax: Genesis’s development is still ongoing but realistically speaking, I probably won’t get started with the actual writing portion until at least the First Quarter 2017. Multiple projects, go figure…
Anyway, this is me peeking out of my cave. Have a good one. 🙂
Yep, it’s going to be one of THOSE conversations…
As many of you know, I have been experimenting with Amazon Marketing Services to get some sort of marketing thing going with my books. Unfortunately, I tend to have a leap before I look approach at times which while making for great anecdotes, leads to me slamming on the brakes when Reality sets in.
Me: Hot Damn, I want to do this.
Reality: You need to save up the funds to do this and develop a better plan of attack. You’re not quite the bestselling author yet, you know.
Reality: Patience, Wallace. You can only do so much. You’re a writer, not a salesman.
Okay, that’s generally what goes on in my head and while my head and my gut don’t often work in tandem (except for that one party a number of years ago that involved copious amounts of alcohol but that’s a story for another day) but when they do, it’s a rather jarring experience that leaves me at a brief standstill while I figure out what the heck happened.
I suppose the message here is to fight those impulses and move slowly unless you are fully confident that you are moving in the appropriate direction. Trust your first instincts.
One of the things that I enjoy the most about writing fiction is the world building aspect. Every story should have some history behind it no matter how much time passes within it.
So, I’m planning out the plot for Parallax: Genesis and considering the first scene where my intrepid heroes are stuck in Hyperspace and trying desperately to escape before their life support systems fail (Time works a little different in Hyperspace) and I wanted to share a story that the main character tells about a ship lost during the early days of Interstellar Travel. I’ve gone through several iterations of how that would play out when it occurred to me to have my people actually find the lost ship and cannibalize some of its parts to get them home and in the process solve the original mystery (Pratt has a knack for doing heroic things and ultimately bring unwanted attention upon himself…hehe).
My point here is that when you add historical elements that are particular to your story universe, you add depth and flavor that can potentially spur the reader forward. After all, when you are painting on a canvass that is as expansive as the Universe, you have plenty of room to fill in the corners.
I don’t stick to a daily word count when it comes to Writing. Some days I’m on fire and can easily knock out a chapter or two while other days I’m lucky to get a paragraph. That’s simply how it works with me.
I write because I enjoy it, which basically means that if I don’t feel like doing it, there’s a good chance that it won’t get done that day. Thankfully, I manage to get caught up in the long run but to engage in a set writing schedule is tantamount to throwing my hands up in the air and shouting “Please shoot me now.”
I do keep track of my progress though because it’s good to know where you are at and how far you still have to go. I’ve been making slow and steady progress between Lights and Shadows and Parallax: Genesis while working out some logistical stuff for getting L&S ready to go by the end of December and P:G by the end of March 2017. Unfortunately, the blog has been semi-neglected in the shuffle and while I enjoy updating you all on what’s happening over here, it’s a little lower on the food chain.
Before I forget, a small update on the paid advertising venture I was doing with Amazon Marketing Services. I didn’t run the campaigns for the full month as I originally planned but I did notice some significant results and am planning to restart Parallax’s campaign some time in November. I’m not thrilled with the expenditures involved but I’ve been told that’s what you have to do when you self-publish so I accept it.