Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Roy's Top 10 Writing Process Tips

After a couple of conversations with people and some discussions about writing. I began to think about the various things I do to help along in writing my novel. I wanted to share my take on some of the things I do to help my writing process. Here's some insightful suggestions that I use myself. These may not work for everyone, but they do work for me. No one example is directed at any particular person; so without further adieu... and in no particular order:

  1. No Video Games. I do not have any games installed on my computer. There's no temptation to reach over and click, getting sucked into wasting two or four hours playing around in someone's else's story. I avoid all the MMPORPG games and I've never played freecell or any of those types of games either. Those are incredibly mind numbing to me. I'd rather find something else to do. I'm not saying I don't play video games, My wife and I play LEGO indiana jones on the PS2. It's in the other room and since she and I play Co-Op, we only play when her and I have time together, so it has limits in time and location, and we get to have some fun together.

  2. Limited TV. By this I mean I don't have tivo full of " gotta watch my shows". I don't have a tivo. There might some things I'd say "ohh- I'd like to see that" ( usually it's on Discovery Channel during Shark Week) But I don't have my week planned out for me by unfunny sitcoms, reality TV or dimeadozen cop shows. I don't watch sports at all. So with all of this elimnated, It does free up a lot of time for other things.

  3. Keep a reasonable schedule. Even on the weekends I try to get up early enough. It's the most creative time for me it's quiet and I try to untilize it. Obviously I'm not a robot, But if i get up at 7 am on saturday, like I do during the work week., I'll use that quiet, creative time to focus and write.

  4. Writing Accessible. I don't bury my writing in a maze of sub folders. I keep the writing open, minimzed if I'm working on other stuff, and full screen when I walk away, so that it's in my face the next time I sit down.

  5. Do something with it every day. Even if it's just a changing some wording. It's still progress.

  6. Keep inspiration around. As an artist I can visually create characters and make logos and other things to realize my story so even if i can't work on directly I can keep thinking about it. I listen to music when I write. Some of my best ideas are developed in the shower, or at night before bed. ( which usually leadsto me jumping up and rushing to the computer to make notes of some brilliant revelation I had, which upon review in the morning makes little to no sense.) Movie posters or keep pictures of your dream cast around when project is made into a hollywood blockbuster ( indulging in a little day dreaming never hurts either.) I keep a couple of my favorite books around relating to the story, that I will stop and flip through. Dragonlance and Alice in wonderland, usually.

  7. Write notes- I have simple TXT file I keep right on my desktop that I type scenes notes and reminders. If I have an idea at work I'll jot it or I will e-mail it to myself if I can.

  8. Write about writing it. uh.. kinda like I'm doing now.

  9. Don't listen to critics. By this I mean the nay sayers. Constructive, professionalism critisms of course you should listen to. But in the end it's your project. Reagardless if it's your bar buddies or Stephen King giving you insight, in the end it's your project and Stephen King might have some good ideas, but he's not vested in your story like you are. I would imagine Stephen King might have a little bit moe on target comments though, than your weekly bowling team. Still, you never know. You have every right to pick and choose what you feel is best for your story. You're the one that is doing it- not the naysayers. They are not vesting thier time and energy into it. Most time people will try and knock you down to make them feel better or criticize just because their opinion has been asked. People tend to mistake eliciting feedback for "fishing for compliments", and then any feedback you might get may be skewed by resentment. So as a general rule... I don't listen to people who go.. " oh, you're writing a novel.. we'll make sure you lead character does this." or "take it from me don't even bother, you'll never get published." Well they might be right, but it's your choice not theirs. When Iask for feedback on something, It's the fact that I'm asking that person in the first place, is really meant as a compliment. but often, people will give feedback and be insulted when it's not incorporated. Which I think is a common misunderstanding. Typically, I ignore that sort of stuff though. Why give power to the people who tell you can't do it? When they're not doing anything themselves. The best information is the drive to prove some jerk they are wrong. Instead show them you can do it. And then do it which leads us to number 10...

  10. If you start it, finish it. If you take yourself professionally, seriously then other people will too. It will come back to you and you will be professional and serious about it. But the other part to this is- Esteem. It's always satisfying to finish a project you start. It's a measure of yourself. Certainly push your comfort zone a little, but know your limits or it'll back fire and you'll have a lot of half started failures and no esteem. Pick a small project plan it out and make it happen. Be careful of what you commit to, but when you do commit. do so fully and finish it. Even if it sucks, see it through to the end. why? Because you commited to it. It's about intergrity.
  11. Be aware of what you choose to do with your time. There may be times when you don't feel like writing or working on your project, which is fine, but be aware of it. I say to myself "well I could surf the web for a little while.. or I could write". Then usually, if you're doing it right, guilt kicks in and you'll be writing. But also by establishing you are choosing one thing over another, you are also reminding yourself to write even if you don't , and showing yourself when you are or are not. If you find yourself choosing to do everything but write, then get back to it!

Yes I know.. this top ten list goes to eleven. Thank you Captain Obvious.

Monday, July 28, 2008

just a quick update

Alot of my writing this weekend was actually filling in or expanding scenes in chapter 19 & 21. Chapters 19 & 21 are complete after one last review. Chapter 20 still needs further development I have to wrap my head around a few things in order to write it.
And then it's onward to Chapter 22. Which would be considered the part where Cinderella meets her Fairy God Mother. I mean Shards of the Glass Slipper is about fairy tales so of course, you knew this would happen.

At Chapter 23 the final act of my story begins.
There's not that much left, except to write it. And these are the scenes I've been waiting to write since almost when I started the story. I can't wait to see what happens!

I'm hoping to get Shards finished soon, for a variety of reasons, one is so I can get to creating some new art. I'm itching to play with some new toys I got.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Count So Far...

For those of you keeping score at home, here's the latest...

Shards of The Glass Slipper Manuscript to date:
  • 72,514 (Approx. word count.) typically 80k-90k is average novel.
  • 353 pages (Approx. page count) to compare- Dragonlance: DoAT is about 450 pages.

Of course my numbers are all approximate until it hits the bookshelves.

Amazingly enough, it seems I still have about 100 pages left, on average this would be about 5 chapters. I'm working on chap. 21 right now (Actually chapters 19, 20 & 21).

It's good to take these measurements along the way, to see how far I've come and better gauge what's left. Going back to my outline and notes it seems there still a lot that needs to happen in these last 100 pages. To tell the story, I may push it further by another 50 pages *ack!* I've already trimmed some of the minor story details. We'll just have to see how this plays out.

What I might do is spend some time and take what I've written so far, warts and all, and do a "mock up". Format the page (similar to the chapter 1 sample) add drop caps, indents, illustrations, fonts etc. I already have the cover made. It might serve as a nice change of pace, and perhaps as inspiration as well.

That's latest, what do you all think? Please post comments!

Monday, July 7, 2008


  As this website continues to grow, I've added some RSS feed capability  ( located to the right.) 
Please  let me know if this works okay. Thank you for your interest and support!  (You all know who you are.)

Some Cool Wonderland News

Not exactly related to my Shards of the Glass Slipper novel, Fairy tales are none the less popular (and public domain). I'm very curious about an upcoming comic book series called " Beyond Wonderland". Again this seems to rely on the typical " fairy tale and modern world crossover" and might seem even more similar to another recent novel called " The Looking Glass Wars." I just want to put this up here, before I get a flood of e-mails telling me about this, as an uh-oh.. look what somebody else is doing ( Yes I know about Fables, too. I'll read it someday when I'm done writing my own story). And thanks to everyone who's looking out for me. I'll point out that despite this, the overall concept of Shards of the Glass Slipper, still very different and I have not seen it's equal, yet. I'm a big fan of Alice in wonderland ( Also- Tim Burton is making a live action/motion capture version of Alice in Wonderland, which starts filming this month. That's should prove interesting.) All of this is exciting because it further inspires me that Shards of the Glass Slipper has the potential to be very popular as well. There's obvious demand to continue to explore these fairy tales.
You can see more (it's at the bottom of the page ) if you click here...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

them's the breaks

Chapter breaks. As I'm writing the the third act of Shards. I had completed writing a chapter except for the last scene. As that scene played out I then realized I had to go back and add another scene and some dialogue. This now forced me into splitting the chapter elsewhere, as it would have been too long a chapter ( I try to keep them between 20-30 pages each) otherwise. Now it feels like the story isn't progressing toward the end, so much as it's getting more deeply involved, fleshing out what's already there.. I've read that some authors prefer to just write the whole thing first and then break the chapters. When I outlined my novel, I had a rough idea where I wanted story breaks and chapters starts etc. Sometimes it's good, other times, like now, it can be a bit of a pain.

Sometimes when in the middle of writing a scene I'll get this great idea for another scene, then it's a matter of figuring out the ramafications of including or not including this new scene. So I will ponder and go down each "choose my own adventure" path to see how best it will serve or hinder other various story aspects. I'll consider what other characters may be affected. Sometimes I've ejected these ideas. Sometimes, I've gone back and included them later on in the story.
All of this is compounded due to the fact that it is the final act of the story.

The other night I actually had to wake up, jump from the bed and turning on the computer like some mad scientist flipping switches in his secret laboratory. I have a TXT file I keep on my desktop where I keep all of my shards notes and ideas. And this last on turned out to be a doozy of an idea.
But I'm still trying to figure out how it affects things down the road.
I'm getting excited as I'm finally getting to the climax of several story arcs, and then I can start the final act of the story.
I can't tell you how close I am to being finished. The scenes I've been envisioning for over a year I'm finally starting to write!
Once I iron out some of these chapter breaks.