Archive for the ‘iIzAGudRider’ Category

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Welp, Script Frenzy starts tomorrow…

March 30, 2009

As is to be expected, I’m excited, nervous, and a bit anxious.  It is, after all, a dramatic undertaking – one which I will have to balance with several other activities.  As I have mentioned, April is gardening season.  In addition, my sister is placing pretty heavy demands on me to help with “our” project.  I should be quite busy this April.

With that in mind, I’ve made a list of things I will need to do today and in the upcoming month…

  1. Get up-to-date on all the webcomics I read today.  Then see if I can go the entire month without ever reading them.
  2. Vacuum all the floors in the house, including the linoleum bits.  That will greatly reduce the amount of housework I have to do during SF.
  3. Let my little brother have significant quantities of computer time.  Notebooks may be my friend this April.
  4. Play TFOS with my siblings at least twice.
  5. Finish making the hairs for my sister and continue to supply input for that particular project.  Drag the inspiration out kicking and screaming if I must.
  6. Carve the remaining sections of my script from more-or-less whole cloth.
  7. And, of course, continue to update iApprove more or less daily.

What fun.  I’ve finished catching up on the webcomics already, so now I’m going to attempt #2 and #3.

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It’s Essay Time.

March 5, 2009

When the time comes to take my GED exam, I will be required to write an essay.  I am fairly sure I will be able to do this, although I find myself somewhat nervous about it.

Essay writing is a subject in which I have a significant amount of experience.  I have been writing essays, in one form or another, for several years.  Some of them are available on the Internet, and they cover a wide variety of topics.  Usually these are rather inane, such as time travel, fish, or vampires, but I do occasionally dabble into practical subjects.

I am a bit unsure as to the nature of the things I’ll need to include in this essay.  All I know at this point is that I will be required to write on a specific topic, and that I must use a standard essay formula: an opening paragraph, followed by three paragraphs of content and a final, closing paragraph.  This, too, is a subject in which I have some experience.  In the many essays I have written, it has always felt strange if I neglected to include a closing sentence.

Despite my experience, I am still a bit nervous about the whole process.  I am concerned that I will not be able to impart as much information as an essay should contain.  I am less concerned about matters of sentence structure; as stated above, I have been doing this sort of thing for some time.  The other thing that worries me is the time limit; I should have about forty-five minutes to complete the task and, though I am sure that is plenty of time, I still feel constrained by it.

Given my history and experience with the subject, I am fairly certain that my misgivings are poorly placed or at the least exaggerated.  However, I will continue to practice the art of essay-writing whenever the situation arises.

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So… The Big Rewrite.

January 28, 2009

This is the fun part.  I have to take the first draft of my novel, written in November, and hack it apart and rearrange it and rewrite large portions of it until it becomes the novel I was actually trying to write.

Of course, by “the fun part” I mean “even harder than writing the draft in the first place”.  In order to make sure that the story ends up where I want it, I first had to write down a point-by-point summary of the story, then change the summary into the new plot I want.  (If I didn’t, I’d experience the same thing I did when writing the first draft – start out in one place, then end up somewhere completely different because of some plot point that thought it ought to be added.  Writing out the plot beforehand enables me to keep constant tabs on what direction I want to be taking the story.)  After that, I have to take the story and re-work it to fit the layout of the new plot.

To make this easier, I’m merging the old and new plot into a single document and labeled the parts accordingly: old plot points that I’m leaving out (or moving) are in italics, plot points that are staying in the same place are underlined, and plot points that are new (or moved) are bold-underlined.

This may sound like a ton of work, but it’s actually only taken me a couple of days (work-time) to do, and in the end it’ll make the rewrite significantly easier.  Maybe.  I’ll have to try it first, but I’m pretty sure it will.

Aaaaaand that’s the scoop.

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NaNoWriMo: What happened to summarizing my book?

November 18, 2008

Well, to put it quite simply, I ran out of time.  I’m pretty busy these days, between keeping up a blog and writing a book and doing occasional housework and getting over the cold.  So I haven’t had the time to put up continual summaries, and when I have I haven’t had the energy.

The end result of this is, unfortunately, that you’re not getting any more summaries for awhile.  But that’s no biggie.  Wil Wheaton said it was okay.

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Rekindling Your Enthusiasm With Darren Brown!

November 16, 2008

Well, I posted this on the NaNoWriMo message board, but it struck me as being a pretty useful piece of text so I thought I’d pop it up here as well, for those who don’t frequent the board.

So, I’ve noticed a rather disturbing trend around here.  People – me included – are beginning to grow weary of their novels.  They’ve been working and working on them for ages and they just never seem to be getting anywhere.  On the other hand, we’re getting bright new ideas in our heads about new novels that we want to work on that should be so much better than what we’re doing now.

Obviously, what we need is a way to shift our motivation.  A way to rekindle that flame of love toward our original project.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t hire the real Darren Brown to reprogram your brains, so we’re going to have to do it a bit differently.

The first thing you need to do is think about all the enthusiasm you have for this new project.  Not about its essence, or the words, or whether you think you could finish it by the end of November.  Just focus on your enthusiasm.

Next, think about what you have planned next for your WriMo novel.  Boring by comparison, is it?  Just a lackluster chunk of plot with no feeling?  Yep, I thought so.

So what you’re going to do is you’re going to take the last piece of plot you’ve worked on, and look at it as though it’s the very start (or near the very start) of your book.  Figure out what kind of magical things are going to happen in this scene to lure you into the world and make you want to explore it some more.  Don’t worry about repeating things you’ve written earlier; duplicates can be taken care of in December.  Craft your world from the bottom up, as it were.  Expand those little things that you’ve been wanting to toy with but never figured out how to fit in.  Introduce a brand new cast of characters, if you want.  Remember, although it’s cleaner storytelling to introduce everyone in the beginning, it’s more intriguing – and much more realistic – just to weave them in as you go along.  Try exploring tangents of your story that you’ve never thought of before.  Do subplots within subplots of completely unimportant characters if you want to.  You can do anything with your story, as long as it gets your blood flowing and that new-novel itch back into your system.

Or, if your plot seems to be completely dead and just won’t move no matter how you prod it, it may be time for a new plot twist.  This could be any random thing, if you’re not worried about violating your genre.  It could be something that you thought about including some time back but threw out because you found it superfluous.  Well, drag it out and try it on for size!  It can’t do any more than not fit.  Or it could send your story spiralling into marvelous new directions that you never thought possible.

The only thing you must do is do what thrills you.  Whatever makes you excited about writing; whatever sparks that new-book smell, as it were.  Have fun and good luck.

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NaNoWriMo: Totally rearranging my plot.

November 8, 2008

Not rewriting, mind you.  Just rearranging.  Now that the mad rush of Week One is over, I’m taking some time during Week Two to figure out exactly where I’m going with the plot.  This is essential, because as it was I had one side of the plot proceeding way faster than it should have, while the other side was lagging behind.  So I’m removing the faster stuff and concentrating more on a part of the plot that needs to be developed first.

This means that much of the summary I have provided is now obsolete.  Stevens is no longer getting weird messages in his office and getting rescued by Keller; instead, he’s busy studying pictures sent to him by Iverson from the dig.  This is relevant, as it enables him to figure out what the dragons were doing there, while allowing enough time for the men in the laboratory to finish their extraction project.

Here’s a sample of what’s getting added:

* * *

Stevens examined the photograph currently displayed on the computer.  It was a very lovely male skull – full-grown, by the look of it – with most of a neck and a good set of forearms attached.  He wondered idly if this one was perhaps the mate of the female.  What about the others, then?  Their children?  Pack members?  He thought on that.  Herding behavior wasn’t unheard of in dinosaurs, although it seemed to him that a dragonlike creature would be solitary.  Perhaps they had banded together merely for migration.  No, that didn’t quite cover it.  A dragon wouldn’t be migrating while it had an unhatched egg.  It would migrate somewhere to breed…

Mating season!  That was it!  The dig wasn’t just a mass grave, he realized now.  It was an ancient dragon breeding site — a site gone horribly wrong.

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NaNoWriMo: The Plot So Far.

November 7, 2008

Now that I’m caught up on my word count, I need to get back to summarizing this thing, or I’m never going to get back up to date on the plot.  So here we go:

After meeting Keller, Stevens heads home for the day.  The next morning, he receives a call from Miron, telling him that the fossil’s been unpacked and he can come check it out.  He hauls his rear to work, despite the fact that he slept poorly the night before, and shows up at the lab.  Things are going all right until he makes physical contact with the fossilized object and suffers a psychic flash, at which point Miron orders him to take some time off and sort himself out.

* * *

Stevens looked much better by Monday morning.  His hair was cut short and neatly groomed, he had on appropriate work clothes, and he’d even managed to find a tie and lab coat somewhere.  Aside from the mug of coffee he toted everywhere, Miron could hardly believe he was working with the same man.

They met up in the hallway outside the lab; the men inside were currently busy with a very touchy part of the extraction process, so Miron had been rather unceremoniously given the boot.  He wasn’t too bothered; this would give him time to catch up with his erstwhile subordinate.

“So, what do we have?” Stevens asked.  That was Stevens for you, getting straight to business.  Then again, Miron reasoned, if he’d been away from work for that long he’d be anxious to get back to work.  He supposed socialization would have to wait.

“Well,” he began, but paused, not entirely sure how to phrase his statement.  “I’m afraid I owe you an apology.”

The eyebrows popped.  “What for?”

“My initial assumption as to the nature of this creature was a bit hasty.  Now that we’ve exposed more of its bodily structure, I’m quite certain that you are correct and the wings are, in fact, a part of its body.”

Stevens nodded appreciatively.  “Well, that’s good.  Anything else new?”

“Not much.  The guys are working on a virtual model of the creature based on the bone structure they’ve got so far, but since most of it is still encased in rock it’s been slow going.”

“What about the e- the round thing?”

“It’s in the back room for now.  We plan on getting to it in the near future, but at the moment all our resources are concentrated on your dragon.”

“Hmm.”  Stevens nodded, more a gesture of understanding than agreement.  “Can I see it?”

“The dragon?”

“No, the other thing.”

Miron frowned.  “Why?”

“You remember when I mentioned that I was hearing messages from something buried with the fossil?”

“…Yes.”  Miron didn’t admit as much, but he found himself a bit skeptical about Stevens’ claims.  He hadn’t had a lot of experience with necropathy, but as far as he could tell it wasn’t too far a throw from insanity.  He hoped that Stevens wasn’t insane, but given that the younger man was claiming to hear voices in fossils he found himself a bit dubious.

“Well,” said Stevens, “I’ve got a hypothesis going about it.  But in order to confirm it, I need to be able to see inside the block containing the object.  Do you have an X-ray machine in here?”

“There’s one inside, but we can’t use it right now,” Miron answered.  Then, quickly manipulating the conversation, he asked, “So how have you been?  Sleeping better?”

Stevens nodded.  “Much better, since I got the dead mouse out of my fridge.  What about you, how’ve you been?”

“Fine.  Just keeping work up.  Speaking of which, I found your latest report on my desk this morning.  Good piece of work; very informative.”

“Thanks.”  Stevens frowned, giving Miron the impression that he wasn’t too interested in small talk.  Though perhaps that impression was wrong, as he continued: “So where’d you find your secretary?”

Miron laughed.  “Oh, so you met Miss Keller.  Handful, isn’t she?  I picked her up earlier this summer.  She’s working her way through college, and since I was just fresh out of a secretary, I thought I’d try her on for size.  It’s working out pretty well.  She’s a great typist, and she’s not even too crazy once you get to know her.  But you know how it is with students.  They’re easily intimidated by doctorates.”

“Ah… I see.”

* * *

Meanwhile, at the dig, the men are bored, despite Iverson’s recent discovery of a large male dragon skull.  Maria gives Thatcher a pep talk.

Back at the museum, the men in the laboratory have been hard at work removing the fossil — particularily Ian Moon, who has received the task of working with the skull.  While extracting the fossil from its stone casing, he discovers a substance on the surface of a cavity that ignites when exposed to oxygen, and is forced to continue his work in a vacuum chamber for fear of destroying the skull.

Stevens attempts to return to work, but finds himself absorbed by the impressions of flight coming from the object in the laboratory.  He nearly passes out, and Keller is forced to carry him outside.  Stevens learns that Keller is a nursing student, and they decide to work together on his problem.  Later that evening, Stevens and Keller meet in Stevens’ apartment; they eat dinner and discuss politics.