I Was A Middle Aged Writer

February 19, 2010

Second Draft Begins

Filed under: Uncategorized,writing — danielrdavis @ 5:27 pm
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Yes, I finally got some feedback on the Rogue 5 novel and I’m beginning the rewrite. It’s been slow going getting started. It seems everything in life the past couple weeks has been attempting to keep me from continuing. It’s actually beginning to make me angry. I need some meditation or something. Maybe some time to myself. Every time I start I have to stop to do something else unrelated to writing.

The feedback was good and found a couple plot holes I’ll need to fill in. Good feedback is hard to come by sometimes, but essential. Often the writer is too close to the work and can’t always see the forest for the trees. So it’s nice when you can hand the manuscript to a reader who can point out the places that may not make sense or the weak spots in the prose. Once you have yourself an agent and editor it’s a bit easier, as these people will be able to help on that, but starting out, you really do need a good beta reader or proofer — someone you can trust to give you good and constructive criticism.

Now if only I can push away distractions I can actually get this second draft written. I’ll keep my readers posted and hopefully I’ll get this thing done soon. I need to start on the next project.

D

December 29, 2009

Starting Another Work

Filed under: Uncategorized,writing — danielrdavis @ 5:36 pm
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So I’m starting a new project. It’ll be slow going for a bit until we get through cleaning for New Year and prepping for January Christmas with out of town relatives, but I’m going to be tracking my progress again. It’s a Sci-Fi fantasy novel. Should be a one shot with possibilities for expansion added in.

In truth, I’ve already started it, but I’ve come to realize that the tracking I did on the last novel really helped me keep going. I started hitting the keys on this one during Thanksgiving, but set it aside for when I had more time to work on it. The first thing I’ll probably be doing on it is write up a good brainstorm on not only the world, but the villains, magic system, plot, everything. It’s going to need a lot of structure as far as that goes. I want to make sure the magic and the pantheon is worked up and at least makes enough sense that it’s not broken. The other thing I need to do is read Daily Life in Medieval Times. I’ll need at least a passing familiarity with a medieval setting beyond that found in an RPG. It’s going to be a higher magic type world, so there are likely conveniences I can use to fudge the lifestyle, but I do want to at least mimic a medieval setting.

However, I have another novel I need to work on and I may try to juggle them both. The other novel is an Urban Fantasy and unfortunately it sounds like UF is an easier sell in the current market. The market just seems flooded with UF to the point where I can’t pick up a book lately without discovering that it’s first person urban fantasy, usually with a female lead. Before anyone gets up in arms over that comment, keep in mind that I don’t mind them in general. I rather enjoy Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series and Faith Hunter’s Rogue Mage and Skinwalker books, but I get tired of the same thing over and over again. And many of them are. The same, that is. The voice is the same, the writing’s the same, even many of the terms are the same. Jayne’s been picking some up from the library and really it just seems to be SSDA, same sh*t, different author. Change a few things, file off the serial numbers and you have a new novel. And they’re all selling. It makes me not want to touch first person urban fantasy with a ten foot pole unless I have something really “wowingly” (yes I know that’s not a word, but I’m channeling my inner Joss*) different. I just see an eventual future where peple are going to start seeing the same things I’ve noticed and get tired of the genre. I’d rather work on something else and plan for that eventuality.

So, I’m going to a setting that has been in decline for quite some time. I don’t know why I’ve suddenly been drawn to working on Science Fiction. It’s certainly not a desire to go with the underdog, though I’ve never been one to do anything the easy way. It’s not necessarily that I want to single-handedly champion the genre and try to bring it back into a golden age, but there’s just some strange appeal of working in something that’s not currently waterlogged, so to speak; something that’s not already saturating the market.

I walked into a local bookstore recently and checked the shelves. I was stunned that just about the only Sci-Fi I saw there were Extended Universes (BSG, Star Trek, Star Wars, etc). I remember a time when there was a lot of original sci-fi and sci-fi fantasy out there. I saw very little. This bothered me a bit because my finished (well, sort of finished) piece is sci-fi. I knew there was a lot more sci-fi titles in Romance and that’s what my novel qualifies as, but I started to wonder about mainstream sci-fi. I asked around (though I really should have known) of people in the business. I wondered if perhaps it was just the store in question. I was told that yes, the sci-fi genre has been in decline for easily 10 years. In a way it bothered me and it also got me to wonder if I should even try. I mean, if the publishers aren’t picking up much sci-fi then it’s that much more difficult to get published. But my stubborn streak now won’t let it go. I think I can write some quality sci-fi (focusing on space opera and fantasy aspects of course, I’m not big into hard science) and with a little luck get it published. I like the challenge, oddly enough.

And hey, it’s all about revolution. What goes around comes around. Sci-Fi was big once. Fantasy took center stage for a while. Now it’s Urban Fantasy. Who knows, perhaps it’s time for a resurgence of the sci-fi genre. It’s worth a shot anyway.

And so yes, you will be seeing another tracking session on here soon. One that will hopefully help me get another couple novels finished in the new year.

D


* Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse and about a bajillion “Jossisms.”

September 10, 2009

And Just Like That…

Filed under: writing — danielrdavis @ 1:54 pm
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The first draft is complete! I finished the first draft of my novel yesterday. 87,429 words, 211 pages, Courier 12 point. It’s done! Now the “fun” begins. I get to go back through and find all the things that make me, and other readers, cringe. I get to send it to proofers and have them tear it apart and send me all their opinions. Then, I get to start rewriting the whole thing. But, it’ll be much better because of it. There’s not a soul in the writing world who is so amazing that they don’t need editing. If they think that, then they especially likely need editing. Me, I know I’m a good writer. However, I’m not pretentious enough to even presume that everything I put on paper is the purest gold. Everyone needs quality editing.

I both dread and can’t wait for revision suggestions and opinions. I want this thing to be the best I can get it. Rewrites are needed. I can see stuff now that needs fixed as I’m rereading the thing. The story’s great. Now the tightening begins. With diligence I’ll see this thing tight and finished before November. With luck I can find a place for it before it gets too cold, and perhaps someone willing to give me an advance so I can buy some heat this winter. We have fuel oil…it’s expensive…space heaters only do so much…I’m tired of freezing in the winter. Seriously.

To those who expressed an interest in proofing for me, the beast will hit your inbox shortly.

I’m one step closer to my first finished manuscript. Stay tuned.

D

August 24, 2009

Rewrites Done, Novel Next

Filed under: writing — danielrdavis @ 1:49 pm
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Greetings,

The recent rewrites of the script that isn’t mine, but is are now finished.  I’ve not heard word on whether there are any more needed, but I do know there will likely be a third minor rewrite (called polishing), in the future.  I say “isn’t mine, but is” because when I was originally handed the script it was not much more than a 50 page outline with some good ideas, but some bad ones too.  It was an interesting premise, but was a skeleton in many regards.  In a couple months I’ve built a solid foundation around it and fleshed it out greatly with the things needed for good storytelling.  It’s definitely a quality piece of work now and I’m hoping others will feel the same.

On that note, I was told that the producers have a meeting with Paramount to pitch the film.  Should all go well we may see the script picked up by one of the big companies on the block.  The work is much more solid now and, fingers crossed, it’ll gain some attention in the mainstream market.  I’m especially hoping that the revisions I’ve been doing on it will get notice as well and perhaps push some interest my way.  It would be a great thing to have Paramount contact me asking if I want to work on a script for them.  A great thing indeed.  I want people saying, “where the heck did this writer come from and why haven’t we heard of him yet!”

Until I hear back from Shane I’m moving back to my novel, working to get the final words added into the first draft.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get it finished by the end of the week.  I’m guessing, barring snags, I’ll be able to send it out to my proofreaders by the weekend.  I think I have a good mix of proofers, some like SF, some like Romance, some like both.  It’ll be interesting to see what the feedback is like.  My sister in law loved the first 20 pages I gave her.

Speaking of, we heard a piece of news on the personal front that our sis in law is pregnant.  Awesome!  I’m sure my bro will make a great Dad.  Like me, he had a good teacher.  We wish them all the best of luck and I’ll likely be either the cool uncle or the crazy one.  The one that teaches the bad habits, makes monsters for movies and has all the cool toys hanging on walls.  I’m sure in a few years the kid will want to watch Uncle Dan and Aunt Jayne making monsters, just like our daughter does now.

And that’s it for the news of me for now.  Tune in next time where hopefully I’ll have good news on both the script and the novel.

D

March 20, 2009

ARRGH! My Simple Story Is Not!

Filed under: writing — danielrdavis @ 3:19 am
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Simple, that is.

What started out as a simple hunter tale set in a fantasy realm has turned into a horrid monster from beyond the darkness between the stars.  It has morphed into some epic tale that could take as many as three books to complete it.

Oh, I’m sure I could make it much smaller in scope; change it around so that the bad guy gets his just desserts before all Hell breaks loose, but I just wrote an epic…no, EPIC! synopsis that not only traverses a continent, but includes a battle that spans an entire region maybe the size of Texas or maybe Florida and threatens the very existence of the humanoids who call the continent their home.  My only problem writing this will eventually be the battle at the end.  How will a battle of that size really be fought?  That much ground can’t be held, can it?

Okay, picture, Texas, or maybe Florida.  I think Florida is a better comparison.  Now picture the bottom third as one vast and dark swamp.  Now picture armies and armies of monsters coming out of that area to attack a number of lordships, like smaller states all banded together to fight off that horde.  Now picture that they get reinforcements from other good races/governments.  Yeah, it’s that kind of big.

So, what was once going to be a simple story about a group of monster hunters going against a powerful villain is now a massive epic tale that could easily encompass three books.

I’m not sure yet if this is a good thing or a bad one.  Guess it depends on whether I can actually get them all written…along with the multitude of other things I need to write and do.

D

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