Tuesday, March 31, 2015

SHADOWFOX #7 - "All Gross, No Net. All Good"

It was one of those days where you got a lot of "gross work" done, but in terms of "net work," you actually didn't go anywhere at all...

I didn't add any new beats to the outline, but I did do a good bit of cleanup on what I already had, as well as made a few critical changes to the franchise bible. In the process, it cleared up a bit of writers block and gave me a deeper understanding of my hero.

That, in of itself, makes this day a win.

SHADOWFOX #6 - "Building the Series, Pt. 3"

Finally finished the franchise map for "Shadowfox."

Outlining for Book One resumes tomorrow. I'm glad I took this detour, though; working through the various storylines for the entire series allowed me to come up with ideas and interactions I never would've thought of otherwise. It should make for a much better and immersive read.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

SHADOWFOX #5 - "Building the Series, Pt. 2"

Another monster day working on the "Shadowfox" "franchise map," a listing of various characters and the course of their stories over the book series. It's been a huge undertaking, but also hugely rewarding, as I've come up with so many ideas for the series that I wouldn't have otherwise.

My heroine's going to suffer some major bumps and bruises along her superhero journey and I wouldn't have it any other way. This will now be an integral part of any book I write, and I look forward to putting it to practice with other Crescendo and Darque Marque projects.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

SHADOWFOX #4 - "Building the Series"

Spent all day working on the "Shadowfox" series, plotting out how many books there will be and their (tentative) titles, along with certain plot points for each book. It was a lot, and there's a ton more to do, but at least it's going to help me track subplot and character development throughout the series. I still hope to finish outlining Book One this weekend, but we'll see. What matters most is that the project is moving forward.

Oh, and by the way, we're looking at eight books so far.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

SHADOWFOX #3 - "Target Acquired"

Well, it's settled. "Shadowfox" will be a young adult novel. I'm a bit nervous about this, but the story and character I have built falls into this area, so I'm up to the challenge. The good thing is now I can examine every aspect of the story and make sure it is optimized for the projected fan base, since I have an idea of who my target is. That should provide comfort and clarity as I move forward in bringing this thing to life.

The story is moving back into the outline stage, as it was previously designed as a serialized comic series. Now that it's going to be a single volume, it gives me the chance to go back and revisit ideas that I'd taken out for the sake of getting a "fast start," and it'll allow the story to unfurl in a more relaxed, chronological pace. Basically, we'll see Shadowfox come to fruition from the beginning - unless I decide to go ahead for the fast start and cover the origin afterwords. But at least I have the option to do so without risking losing the reader due to a "slow first issue."

SHADOWFOX #2 - "Who's the Audience?"

Doing some research, trying to decide if "Shadowfox" will be a middle grade or young adult property. I dreamed of doing something that I could put in little girls' (and boys') hands, but I also have a distinct age for the character in mind and the situations she will encounter, which suggests I may be writing for more of a 13-18 crowd.

Decisions, decisions...

SHADOWFOX #1 - "Progress Report"

I haven't talked about "Shadowfox" on this blog since ten months ago this very day. The project hasn't been completely dormant, though, and now, with plans to write more prose, I'm already prepping the next franchise to kickstart alongside "Lupus Moon."

Less than a month ago, I posted on the Facebook page for what was then called Crescendo! Comics, saying that "Shadowfox" would be realized as a novel (it was almost a comic again, and still might be one day), and would be developed under sister shingle Darque Marque Press. Well, the winds of change have blown again; "Shadowfox" is going to stay under the Crescendo! name, and we've expanded the branch's name to Crescendo! Books and Comics. We think this will be a better fit not only for this project, but for others in the same vein (superheroes), the in-development "Pulse" and "Blayze" chief among them.

As with everything, more to come as things progress.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Off My Game Today...

I'm supposed to be working on "Lupus Moon" (I'm five pages in), but all this overt racism lately has got me pissed and disgusted to the point that it's hard to concentrate on lighthearted fictional entertainment.

Point blank, I'm fucking angry.

I keep trying to figure out a way to channel this rage. I feel like I should say something; make a film about it or something. Make a statement the best way I know how. But so far nothing has come together, just bits and pieces of concepts. I'm gonna keep at it, though. Gotta get this out of me some way.

Maybe I should call my brother and hit the gun range this weekend...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

LUPUS MOON #22.5 - "Fuhgeddaboutit"

Never underestimate the power of a good night's sleep. I stayed up late last night working on some stuff for another venture and I'm really paying for it today. I'm tired, sluggish, and have a headache. On top of that, I don't have the focus needed to work on the book. I've written five sentences before calling it quits.

I've taken some sinus medication for the headache (also have pressure behind my nose), and I've Pandora playing rock music with a mug full of coffee in front of me, but it's doing little good. Since I'm stuck at the computer for the next 2.5 hours with the day job, I'm going to switch things up and do some brainstorming for my "Shadowfox" superhero concept. I can brainstorm when I'm tired (it's mostly just letting the music take my mind places and jotting down notes), but trying to write coherent, creative content? 


Monday, March 16, 2015

LUPUS MOON #22 - "All the Eggs in One Basket"

After getting caught up with Twitter promotion for the book over the weekend (I felt it was smart to start building an audience now, as opposed to waiting until the book was done), I was finally able to transcribe my handwritten outline to the book file on my computer. So now all my notes and thoughts are in one nice, neat, organized place. Great thing about it is it gave me a chance to take in the whole story in a relatively quick sitting, allowing me to get a feel for how all the parts work together. First of all, I'm just glad to have a working story from beginning to end (no small feat), but I can say I do feel very confident about what I have. At the very least, it'll be very fun to write.

I finished this while handling the dreaded day job (boo!), so I'm going to take a break before starting the actual draft. It may even be tomorrow before I get to start, as I have some Twitter promotion for another ventured scheduled after the gym this evening. Keeping busy - but busy doing what I want to do. I'd have it no other way.

Oh, and if you want, you can follow the books progress on Twitter: @lupusmoonseries.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

LUPUS MOON #21.5 - "A Story Deferred"

Intended to actually start writing the book today, but got caught up again with Twitter promotion. Not a bad thing (the number of followers has exploded from 9 to 55 - and counting), but I can't let it take over. Funny thing is, in less than 48 hours, that account has surpassed the Facebook page in followers, which has been around since 2011. Goes to show the power of Twitter. Mark me down as a believer.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

LUPUS MOON #21 - "Follow the Green-Inked Road"

It's been a great day of writing even if I don't touch the project the rest of the day. The outline is FINISHED.

Funny thing is, I tried doing the outline in my screenwriting software (where the book will be composed), but that wasn't flexible enough due to all the existing material already in the file, so I revised an outline built from a spreadsheet that I previously used for "Darkness Walks." That felt good... for all of a day, when it quickly became apparent it be a pain when needing to move scenes around. I needed something even freer - so I grabbed a blank sheet of printer paper and green Pentel medium-point ink pen (I was using different colors for different sets of notes) and started making a list of scenes that I wanted to include, with the intention of numbering them in relation to appearing in the story. Then I went back and added the scenes that were already set... then kept adding existing scenes while integrating new ideas as they cropped up...

And before I knew it, I had outlined the entire book on the fronts and backs of three sheets of good old-fashioned 20-lb. Office Depot copy paper. Gotta say I love the method, simple as it was. And I'm really loving how the story came out. I can't wait to get into the first draft - and maybe share some sample/rough draft pages for my fans and followers - all three of them (gotta work on that)...

Sending My "Tainted" Baby Out into the World

Been a long time since I've done this. But it's done.

Let's hope for the best.

I just sent out 17 query letters for "Tainted." I spent a great amount of the day (including time split with my day job) researching which producers, managers, or agents I'd approach using Virtual Pitchfest, and in the end, I think I've selected a pretty responsive batch. The thing I like about this site is that the companies that are signed on to the site have agreed to respond to each query, whether positively or negatively. No one likes to hear "no," but what I hate worst about sending queries is not hearing anything at all. Plus, each company has the option to provide a reason for their rejection, which is information that can be used to approach them with a different project in the future.

I'm not holding my breath for any of these, but I'd be lying if I said there weren't a couple I'd love to hear a "yes" from - if not for "Tainted," then for paid writing assignments on other projects. It would just be awesome to finally get paid for what I love to do. But we'll see.

For now, I'm dialing expectations down to "meh."

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

LUPUS MOON #20 - "(Re-) Laying the Path"

Reworking the outline for the book. Had a great day; so far, I've got 19 chapters sequenced. Even though the majority of them are in the same order/exist from previous outlines, I still started from ground zero to make sure and and all new ideas were incorporated.

I'm shutting it down for the night and will be back it at tomorrow, but I've left myself some good notes so I can jump back in. Hoping I can finish the outline tomorrow and start writing by tomorrow evening or Wednesday at the latest. Since this is my first novel, and it's not restricted by length the way screenplays are, I have no idea how long it will take me to write the first draft. In other words, there's no target end date (though I may institute daily page goals, like with my screenwriting).

I'm just looking forward to getting into it...

Friday, March 6, 2015

LUPUS MOON #19 - "Just When You Think You Know All the Answers..."

This always happens to me. I start working (or, lately, re-working) a story and, all of a sudden, I'm bombarded by ideas that take the story off in a completely different direction. In most cases it's good; it just means I have to go back and start from the beginning building the plot.

That's what I'm facing now. But I think it will make the story that much stronger, so it's my job to investigate it and see where it takes me. I understand now how it can take someone years to write a book.

Best thing about it is I can have multiple versions of the story saved on my computer, so if one version craps out and leads nowhere, I haven't lost my original path. It does get confusing, though, when you want to go back and incorporate bits from multiple versions (hunting them down and all). But hey, I chose to do this, right?

So let me get my ass to work and figure this thing out...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

LUPUS MOON #18.5 - "Research by Moonlight"

Researching moonlight and werewolf lore late into the night (trying to decide if moonlight triggers my werewolves' transformations, or simple gravity/proximity will do the trick). Was supposed to be in bed 45 minutes ago. Oh well, never can feel too bad when you're "suffering" for your art, right?

Ask me that again when the alarm goes off at in a little over five hours...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

LUPUS MOON #18 - "Change the Game"

Made a major change to the "rules" regarding how/when my werewolves transform. I tried to be a traditionalist and only had them change on full moons, but then I came up with exceptions to allow greater flexibility in storytelling. Now I've gone full-bore: they can now transform at will (with practice - and excluding full moons; those transformations are non-negotiable).

I'm also wondering if I should continue using the "lyca" term for the creatures. Even though "lycan" existed before the Underworld movies, I feel like anyone who sees that word will automatically think of that film, as it's the one that injected the word into wider pop culture. At the same time I wanted to use something different than "werewolf," hence the coining of "lyca."

I dunno. I'll work on that one...

Monday, March 2, 2015

LUPUS MOON #17 - "First Day Back"

Worked on the outline tonight. I had the scenes sequenced from previous work on the story, but going back in, I felt there a few changes to be made for the sake of flow and pacing. And there's more to come, as my second act is bogged down in too many consecutive talking scenes. I made a couple notes regarding changes to get me back up to speed when I sit down with it tomorrow.

I've also decided to have a prologue after all, but it's neither of the two I originally envisioned (it does use a pre-existing scene, though). I think it'll work really well, and will allow me to use material I thought I would have to excise because it was redundant and slowed the narrative down. Feels like a win-win. Now all I have to do is string a bunch of days like this together.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

LUPUS MOON #16 - "Back on Track"

After loads of mental wrangling, over-thinking, and various back-and-forth, I'm back to working on Lupus Moon as a novel. In fact, I'm planning on doing a lot of prose work, but more on those projects in the future. But anyway...

Did some thinking/planning on the book, and I've decided that it won't need a prologue. It was tough decision, because I have a great one from the original screenplay version, but ultimately I think it would do more damage to the novel than good. What I may do, though, is write the prologue anyway and let a test reader or two review it after the novel is finished and see if they think it adds to the story or takes away from it. That way I'll be able to actually test both versions and get feedback at the same time.