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Tag: plotting about

[Plotting About] Oh, the joys of Scrivener…

I’m late to the party with Scrivener. I know I haven’t even scratched the surface of what it can do. One of the lovely features in Scrivener is character photos.
After last years NaNoWrimo I bought a license and have been adding pictures. The one slight down side I’ve found so far is Microsoft Word Tracking Changes and Scrivener do not seem to like each other. Probably a M$ glitch.
The nice thing is the 3×5 card app for my iPad can upload to Dropbox and import to Scrivener. Now, Scrivener just needs to make the jump to iOS and I can stop using iA Writer.
So, if the question is ever asked: If they ever made a movie or TV Show who would you cast as this character, here are the answers.
Spencer on the top row, the second row is the salvage team/family aka the “Reynolds” from the first two chapters.
The others have been introduced in one form or another in the older drafts and will make their way into the current one soon. Third row not so much, yet.
The details for each of the character sheets is pretty good and easily adjustable.

Overall, the app is work looking into. Comes in Mac and PC flavors.

[Plotting About] POV and you…

I had mentioned previously that I had POV problems in my first two chapters so I went back and thanks to the feedback from the SFF Online Writing Workshop I think I’ve ironed out the problems.
Chapter 4 hasn’t been touched since I wanted to get those POV problems fixed first. So the Reynolds for the first three chapters are done. Dunno if I’ll begin Chapter 4 with Spencer or not.
Current Bar looks like this:

By the way if anyone is looking to use this bar it can be found over here.

[Plotting About] Chapter 3 done.

Congrats to Warren Ellis for naming his progress meter: DEATH BAR.
I’ve been meaning to post a word count for a bit, I’m not going to be naming my progress meter.
If I did it would be: Why the frack haven’t finished me yet, you bastard. Stop watching television season finales and finish me!
As you can well imagine my progress bar is a little angry.

Chapter 3 entitled Fallout is done and now for Chapter 4 entitled: How the Frack do I universe build without making it into a giant 4 page info dump like a David Webber novel is soon to begin.
I gotten some good feedback coming in from SFF Online Writing Workshop. Good people, little odd set up both otherwise good site for feedback if you’re writing SF/Horror/Fantasy and need some feedback.
Otherwise, work continues, probably going to post a Thor review tomorrow once I get back from seeing the movie.

[Plotting About] An update…

We had 18 people at the Worcester Writers Meet Up tonight. Thankfully, unlike last week, we had a long enough table to pull it off.
And, damn is parts of 146S are dark on a rainy night. I mean there are long stretches with no lights, anywhere.
You know you’re about to hit civilization when you see the beckoning beacons of the gas station/Dunkin Donuts appear on the horizon.
In writing news, I think I’m happy with the first two chapters of the manuscript I’m been hammering out for the last few months.
Managed to get through one of the page by page crits from one of the groups and I decided to split Chapter One in two. 50 pages for chapter seemed just a bit too much. So two chapters of the salvage operators known for now as the Reynolds and Chapter Three entitled “Fallout” needs work since it entirely too short.
The new chapter four (the old chapter two) is gonna be moved forward since I think I’m going to stick with the Reynolds for a few chapters and shift the focus back to our other main character which we’ll call Spencer.

[Plotting About] Editing and writing groups…

The current work in progress went through a few revisions recently all thanks to feedback from writing groups.
Feedback from someone not related to you is worth it’s weight in gold. It can also be a nice ego boost when 1/3 of the group are not avid sci-fi readers but enjoyed the story and found it easy to read.
Sure, it means more revising but revising is good too since the first draft of anything will always suck. Look no further than Transformers 2 or in my case the first two chapters of my work in progress.
The first chapter worked, the second chapter sucked. So out went the second chapter, I kept the first, moved it and after feedback about what the hell was going on I tried to explain what happened before but that sucked due to too much exposition. Another chapter one was started and it felt right. Example: A family of Salvage Operators find our protagonist and it leads to chapter 2 and so on.
More feedback came in about the space aged nuclear family of 4 let’s call them the Reynolds for now, why not drop Mister Reynolds and let Missus Reynolds lead the family instead. So, slicing off the fat off your prized baby is a good thing.
Now, I have five print outs to go through to check for grammar also a good thing since I suck at that and hopefully the other reviewers don’t.
I also have Chapter 3 to worry about since sorta starting to suck too.
So, over all, I’ve had a good experience with all this and I highly recommend finding a group if you’re looking for feedback since they will give it to you.
If you are looking for a writing group, I’d recommend checking first, they have their act together.

[Plotting About] Stellar Cartography and you…

One of the questions that the writing workshop was how did I envision the world: Easy Sci-Fi, Medium or Hard Sci-Fi?
Now in my mind it goes like this:
Stupid, Easy, Medium and Hard. Stupid being the current incarnation of V. Easy being Farscape, Firefly, Star Wars, Fifth Element. Medium-ish-sorta being Alien/Aliens and Hard being 2001.
I decided to go with medium. Medium to me is: No sound in space, no Star Trek inertial dampeners, Alien/Firefly lived in ships and trying to stay away from Hyperspace/Warp/Light/Ludicrous Speed as much as possible.
So, I scribbled some notes and decided to break open Illustrator and start on a “map”.


[Plotting About] Welcome to Smarch…

So with one writing group meet up down and now the Providence Writers Workshop behind us, chapter one and two of the wip in progress is getting sharpened page by page.
The good news is after some good feedback from the writing group I backed up a chapter to explain things before jumping into the deep end unfortunately I did too much in the form of an info dump/interrogation scene between the main character and a cop and while it did explain everything it explained too much. So, out went three chapters and chapter one was re-written and the universe is explained in small pieces.
The Providence Writers Workshop that I went to last week at Hotel Providence was not as indepth as it made itself out to be but the amount of writers that showed up that were working on works in progress in almost every single genre out there made up for the fact that our teacher, Joanna Howard was not a stickler for following a pre-planned agenda. To give you an idea of the genres: 2 sci-fi, 1 YA/suspense/mystery, 1 children’s book, 2 genre fiction (1 moonlighting as a screenwriter), 1 urban fantasy and 1 supernatural romance. So, over all we had everything covered.
One of the more interesting things was reading the first chapter of a few different genre books and one of them being Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. I’ve only seen the movies so reading the first chapter was off putting only because Philip K Dick style hasn’t been part of my book shelf. Although China Mieville is getting added shortly and probably pick up Orson Scott Card’s How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy.
Lunch both days (included in the fee for the workshop) at Aspire were nice and I’d recommend the restaurant if you’re in the area. And, the valet service (also included in the fee) was quick and easy.
If the workshop happens in the summer I’ll probably attend again and maybe stay overnight at the Hotel, the location and warm weather being two plusses to shell out the money for a room.
Overall, it was busy last week of February, happy things have calmed down and the wip is still chugging along…

[Plotting About] Beat sheets and Borders…

So with Borders filling Chapter 11, someone put together an interactive map of which Borders stores are closing. Looks like the two in Rhode Island are clear of the chopping block. On the other end of the brick and mortar street, the B+N on RTE 2 seemed to be doing a good business the last few weeks and has been touting like clockwork their color Nook with in store demonstrations.
On the writing front, I moved from synopsis to beat sheet and narrowed down a name for the novel. The beat sheet is helping since I’m shuffling things around in the beginning, I think my pace was too much too soon so most of the stuff I’ve written is being shuffled.
In other news the Providence Writer’s Workshop is coming up Feb 26+27 and the Del Rey/Spectra/Suvudu’s Editorial Contest ends on March 18.
I don’t foresee myself finishing it in time for Del Rey Contest but you never know…

[Plotting About] Synopsis of things…

So, a new year is upon us and how goes the writing?
NaNoWrimo has been over for nearly a month and half, I haven’t looked at either my WIP from 2009 or 2008. This isn’t because I decided to heed several suggestions given by most about dumping it in a drawer for two months and come back to it.
Instead, I found out I needed to introduce the characters better than they had been in my 2008 WIP.
This was an excellent idea: how did our heroes get together? It’s a pilot episode as it were. Introduce them before and hopefully without the Avenger’s Assemble type of shenanigans while laying groundwork for the other novels.
I’m about 33 pages (double spaced) into a synopsis so far, no dialogue per se just putting down scenes that will lead towards the end and then the fateful: “What else are we going to do with our lives?” post-fallout talk and lead into the next book.
So far, I’m finding the synopsis helpful since I’m trying to break the whole: Let’s write by the seat of your pants and see where it takes us! vibe.
While I hammer that out, the sinking of Borders is happening quietly enough. Waldenbooks going under was one thing but Borders? If it happens, we’re left with Barnes and Noble and any of the mom and pop places that are still surviving.
I wondering if Joe Konrath‘s approach to publishing it yourself (obviously once you format it properly and edit the livin’ snot out of it) is worth looking into.
He’s been having several posts from different authors about self publishing over on his blog that’s worth looking into.
His Newbies Guide to Publishing is a good read.
One week until Worcester Writers Meet Up.
Two more weeks until the Rhody Writing Group Meet Up.