Thursday, October 25, 2012

Just Finished Rough Draft

That’s right—I just finished the rough draft of my latest manuscript, a middle-grade dystopian book currently called The Adult Plague.  As writers everywhere know, there’s a certain feeling of euphoria that accompanies hitting those final words “the end” when finishing the rough draft.  Of course, they also know it’s still just one phase of the long process of writing a novel, but it sure feels good to get that initial draft done, even though the one I just finished is pretty short at 42,000 words long. 

Now comes the hard part—revision, revision, revision.  I’ve written down a list of things to do—things I want to accomplish before I send this bad boy off to critique partners.  The list includes stuff like add a subplot (yeah, that’ll be a big one), make sure the romance subplot is smooth/believable, incorporate a weakness for the protag’s romantic interest (she seems way too smart and capable at the moment; a weakness will make her seem more human and likable).  Anyway, I could go on, but those are some of the things I’m looking to tackle in the next phase of this story’s growth from childhood to novelhood (if that’s not a word, it should be).  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Sparse Writer

So it turns out I’m a sparse writer.  Always have been.  I guess that’s not too bad of a thing, considering I write children’s books, which tend to be on the shorter side.  But sometimes it’s a bit of a pain.  For example, I’ve just reached 25K words in my latest manuscript.  I call this a minor accomplishment, because 25K equals about a hundred pages in the publishing biz.  But, unfortunately, my story is coming down to the homestretch.  I’d be lucky just to get another fifty pages out of this draft before it all ends, and a hundred and fifty pages—for a middle-grade dystopian—not too long…not too long at all…

So…hmmmm…what can I do?  At the moment I’m not totally sure, but I do intend to go back after I finish this draft and develop at least one subplot, which should help beef up the pages.  I also want to beef up the romance between my protagonist and, well, his romantic interest.  Heck, I’d like some beef for dinner tonight! (Can you tell it’s almost evening where I live?).  Other than that, I’ll have to keep my eyes and ears open for ways to lengthen this story without adding anything extraneous.  Not always easy, of course.
When I’m totally done with this book (including polishing), I’d be happy if it reached 50K words, but I’d really like it to reach somewhere between 60K-70K, but I don’t think that will happen.  Ah, well, we’ll see.  Of course, all in all, the most important thing I need to keep in mind is that the story should be as long as it needs to be, no more, no less.
So what type of writer are you?  Sparse or—er—non-sparse?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Resident Evil 6 - It's Finally Here!

Today we will be taking a break from writing and other book-related activities to discuss—the release date of Capcom’s Resident Evil 6 for Playstation 3 (and Xbox 360 and PC)!

Man, it’s been a long time in the waiting—about three years since Resident Evil 5 came out, which, like all the numbered games I’ve positively adored.  In any case, I can’t tell you how pumped I am.  I’m a massive Resident Evil fan, dating back to the first games on the first PlayStation console in recorded history, aptly named, Playstation.  I must’ve played Resident Evil 2 and 3 in particular a bajillion times to date (that damned Nemesis monster just never dies in my mind), and have massively enjoyed many of the others.
So what makes Resident Evil so near and dear to my heart?  I mean, aside from the unending zombie-shooting, blood-splattering mayhem?  I don’t know.  I think there are too many things to mention, so I’ll settle on what might be my favorite—I love its “eerie quiet.”  You know, those parts of the game where you’re not shattering zombies’ and other viral-infected monsters’ heads, but are simply navigating about the dreary, silent terrain.  Just waiting, waiting, waiting…for that next malicious zombie/monster to pop out and attack.  It’s that mounting of tension that gets me every time—the fact you know something evil’s in the area that wants to suck your blood clean, but it just hasn’t revealed itself to you yet.
Heck, maybe I can tie this all in to writing, after all.  Sometimes that sort of thing makes the perfect villain, too.  Sometimes when you can’t see the monster (especially in horror books and movies and, well, yes, videogames called Resident Evil), it can be all the freakier, including when special care is taken in building tension before the villain’s reveal.  I should think about that the next time I put my keys to the keyboard.  But yeah.  That’s what I love about Resident Evil.  Can’t wait to purchase me a copy of the sixth installment and get crackin’ on that bad boy (and on some zombies’ heads and other grotesque limbs and body parts).