I Was A Middle Aged Writer

May 30, 2009

Starting a New Project

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielrdavis @ 1:10 am

Greetings,

I’ve started the new project.  What is it, you may ask?  Well, maybe you won’t, but I’ll tell you a bit about it anyway.  I find myself writing romance at the moment, sci-fi Space Opera romance, to be specific.  It’s a collaboration between my wife and I.  We’re hoping it’ll be accepted for an anthology.  It’s supposed to be novella length and supposed to be submitted by August 10th.  I figure if I keep plugging away at it at the rate I have the past 2 days we’ll get it there.  Yesterday I hit 2,122 words on it.  Today I feel as though I didn’t do any work on it whatsoever, even though I wrote the entire synopsis I’ll be using as the backbone of the story.  The synopsis weighed in at 3,692 words, so it’s got a little meat on its bones already…sort of like ligaments and gristle and such.  I still can’t help but feel like I didn’t accomplish much on the story though, even though I wrote over 3500 words just today.  I think it’s because I’m used to writing the story itself without working up a synopsis.  Usually the synopsis is sitting up in my head already, but the past couple stories I’ve started on I’ve decided to try writing out the synopsis first.  It seems to have its plusses and minuses.

To me, strangely, writing a synopsis feels kinda like pulling teeth, a pain that seems to take forever while sitting in an uncomfortable chair.  I know, get a more comfortable chair, you say.  Believe me, I’ve thought about it, but the one I’d like to have costs a little more than I’ve got and I just can’t justify getting it yet.  Maybe when something gets published I’ll actually feel like I deserve it.

Anyhoo, the story sounds pretty good so far.  I’ve strayed a little from some of the standard tropes to try and make it different enough so it’s not just one more spaceship commander/pilot blah of the starship boobyprize.  Hopefully the editor won’t look at it and say, wha…?  I’m sure they won’t, but you never know.  I like it so far and it seems a little different, but it also has a couple minor similarities here and there to other things.  Nothing major.  Mostly the same similarities that most tales have.  After all, you can point to just about any story out there and say it’s similar to something else.  Even Star Wars is similar to stories that have come before it.  My only real hope is that it’ll get accepted and people will like it.  I’d like to be kept in mind for other publishing opportunities, should they like it enough.

Now, my biggest thought is whether I should publish it under a pen name or not.  If I want to use my name in the mainstream sci-fi or fantasy market without becoming “that guy that writes love stories,” I’m wondering if it’d be better to go with a pen name or a shortening of my name.  It’d be easy enough to just shorten my first name, but I’d definitely want to keep the last name because I want to publish this as a collaboration piece with my wife and have both our names in the byline.  So I may just shorten my name anyway just to be safe.

I’ll keep you posted.

D

2122 / 30000 words. 7% done!

May 26, 2009

The Return to the Script of Doom, and other subjects

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielrdavis @ 8:30 pm

Greetings,

So, I just finished updating the blog.  I finally figured out how to change the font size, and then I had to manually add paragraph breaks in HTML.  Yay, what fun…  All to make it easier to read.  Even I was having a hard time reading it and I’m far sighted.

So, what should rear its ugly head again?  The script.  Yep.  Whenever I think I’m free it drags me back in.  Evidently, they want more scenes with the major bad guys.  It flows much better the way it is now and puts the story emphasis on the survivors, not the villains, but I’ll come up with something, I guess.  Still, it’s excellent the way it is. They are the clients though.  It’s not my script anyway.

Still, I’d like to see the thing shine, since we’re going to be doing special effects for it as well.  We’ll see what happens.  I may want to use a pen name on it, just in case.

The thing that irritates me about the script popping back up again and again is that I’m pretty much getting paid about a third to half as much as the amount of time and work is worth and it constantly cuts into my other projects that could be making money every time I have to do this.  As I type this I’m now putting aside a short story that has a deadline to work on the script again.  The recent changes will likely take a couple days easy, perhaps more, as I have to somehow add more action to an ending that pretty much kills 6 of the 11 remaining characters in the story, both good and evil.  Another major issue is that the antagonists are more powerful than the protagonists, and there’s more of them, making it difficult to have the good guys, of which there’s only one strong one in that group, go all action Jackson.  So…yeah.  It’s going to be a tough one.  And I’m NOT going to add a giant spider.  Bonus points if you got that reference. I’m thinking I may not want to keep traveling down the script revisionist road, unless I can come up with a contract that insures I get paid each time I have to work and revise a script.

On another note, I got a little case of melancholia last night.  I’m starting to think that I’m a man out of time.  One of those people that no one “gets” until years later.  I’m good.  I know I’m good.  That’s not just vanity, though there may be a little of that in there as well.  It just seems like no one really listens to what I have to say or pays attention to the details.  It’s all about killing and blood and guts, and not about telling a quality story with characters that make sense and a plot that actually makes your brain sit up and take notice.  That’s probably why I’d make a far better novelist than a script writer (I always knew that though), but other pesky things keep getting in the way of my novel writing.  Nothing worth doing is ever easy, but I wish I could simplify things at least a little bit.  Even moreso, I wish I could find focus. I just feel like I’m failing every time my novel/short story work grinds to a halt because of other outside influences or my own occasional lack of focus.

In part I know what I have to do.  However, that means basically focusing on a task and pretty much making everything else take a back seat, FX, scripts, etcetera.  If I honestly think that the writing is going to be a success I need to just do it and drop other things until it’s done.  And to make matters worse, it’s spring and our daughter wants to go outside every day, which I can’t do if I’m working on the computer.  My kingdom for a laptop.

Well, I better try to get some focus today and work.  Just thought I’d come by and update and make the blog easier to read for those interested in doing so.

D

May 21, 2009

I’m Torn

Filed under: writing — danielrdavis @ 6:33 pm
Tags: , ,

Ever have one of those stories that suddenly has two separate endings?  Well, I do.  I wanted to write a short story recently for a magazine, Crossed Genres, specifically.  I started writing one based on one of the upcoming genres.  It was coming along fine.  I’d even realized that I’d found some way to incorporate Sci-Fi or fantasy into the story.  Great.  One problem.  I suddenly realized that the story could have two separate endings and become two separate stories with the same beginning depending on how I wanted to write it.

So now I’m torn for a couple reasons.  Both are viable stories.  Now I’m trying to decide which one would be more likely to be picked up by Crossed Genres.  One has a more supernatural horror styled element to it while the other is very much more upbeat and heroic.

I’ve got time, since it’s for the child fiction, so I may end up writing both versions and then trying to get feedback from some folks on which they like better.  Both stories have a nice twist and I really like both versions, but I continually come back to wondering which one Crossed Genres might prefer.

I honestly prefer the darker elements of the first one, but from what I’ve read from their mag so far I haven’t seen a lot of darker styled stories.  Now, I’m not sure if that’s a choice they made for the magazine or just that they don’t get many darker themed stories that mesh fantasy/sci-fi, their chosen genre, and dark horror/suspense elements together.  I’d almost hate to write the thing and then not have any place to send it to if they’re not interested in darker stories.  I also can’t really send both to them at the same time, as it would likely be considered a multiple submission.  If one gets accepted the other will pretty much become obsolete, having the same exact beginning, but I’m not too worried about that.  I’ve repaired worse things.

The beginning of the story may also be something that they’re going to get a lot of submissions for, being a theme that’s fairly common, but my twist is the bit that will make the whole thing worthwhile.  I’m taking the common and making it very uncommon by the end in both versions.

The story’s going to be good, whichever way I go on it.  It’s just deciding which one to use that will be the major issue.  Guess we’ll see what happens when I get them written.

I’ll post again on this as things progress and hopefully I’ll be posting about how it was accepted.  Fingers crossed on all counts.

D

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