lundi 24 décembre 2012

Writing for friends

So a few weeks ago, one of my friends told me about a project : do some kind of cheap indie zombie movie, just for the kicks.
Being a writer, i told him i was interested in writing it, for fun. And to add one line in my magical writer resume. You know, in case i ever get my ass to Hollywood and write a re-re-re-reboot of the Spiderman franchise for Sony.

But here is the problem with working for friends and/or family on this kind of project : you have to tell them who's boss the very first day. Hell, even before you take the gig.
Because those people won't see you as the writer (even if you are a real writer, with article, books and so on with your damn name on them). They see you as good ol'Bob, the guy they've known for 10 years.
So they will chime in. And you can't use every (sometimes even any) of their ideas. Because usually you can't fit them into whatever you have already written.

For example, a few months ago a high school friend came to me with a web series project about time travel. He pitched me an idea and wanted me (the writer) to take his basic idea (basically, 'something with a car-time machine in it') and turn it into a short abstract and a few lines about the people and the tech and so on.
So i spend a few hours doing my thing : writing basically what could be a first 5 to 10-minutes episode about some guy traveling in time. It's not Back to the future, but it's solid enough, with alternatives at every plot point for him to chose from.
And basically he took what i had done and decided that instead of the light-hearted homage to time-traveling movies i had written, the story should be some conceptual mambo-jambo about some guy that believed he was traveling through time, while he really doesn't. But for some reason he does not get that nothing happens.
And after that the project just died.

So on that new project, I'm keeping my independence.

And so it was

For Christmas i am alone in my tiny apartment.
So i wrote the final chapter to my book.

Mainly it means i had enough willpower to write almost everyday for 3 months and finish something.

What about the future ?

Well first, editing.
Then, second draft.
Then i'll give the book to a few people and get some feedback.
Then third draft.

Then i'll try and sell it.

After that i'll be leaving the fiction writing alone for a bit. My non-fiction editor has asked me for 2 new books and a few articles, so i'll do that for the holidays.

mardi 11 décembre 2012

Still going strong.

Today i hit a mark : after the end of the 66th chapter (that number, as stated before, could be cut shorter in the final draft), i'm on the verge of starting the 6th and final part of the book. So far it's 200 pages of action and investigations.

After i finish it it's gonna be sent to a few friends for review and edits, then in January i'll start to shop it around and hopefully get it published.

As i said before, this book has been in the works for about two months now, and i wrote 1500 to 5000 characters every day for those two months. Now that it's nearing completion, i'm not sure what i'll do next. Maybe i'll just work on my "day job" (magazine articles) for a while, then get my second non-fiction book really going. And maybe i'll work on my second fiction project - which is way heavier than this one - while i'm at it.

So stay tuned ?

mercredi 5 décembre 2012

In other news - II

As i said, my first contracted non-fiction book is out and about.

The US Army Soldier, a review of US Army equipment in 2012

It's available here in French, and i have no idea how to get it in English for now (except in my own collection).

Work is going well

So i've been on this book for about two whole months now, a piece at a time. And now it's almost finished, with a few chapters still to go. I've got two main parts to cover - one to finish, has been laid as a flow chart on a piece of paper, and one to round it all up and provide the missing answers, and and opening into a second book if this one sells.

I'm pretty amazed at the fact that i worked at this so long, piece by piece. Usually i suck at following up and cave after one or two weeks, and translations and non-fiction i write on a sugar high in one day or a few when it's a book or a whole magazine. Here i took the time, let the ideas bloom day after day, and did not stress myself or put any pressure on my creative flow. And amazingly it worked.

I'm pretty shocked at my own awesomeness.

mercredi 21 novembre 2012

In other news

So i got a call from my editor about 30 minutes ago, and the first batch my first book (non-fiction) has arrived. I pick up the finished product friday morning.

Yay for me !

jeudi 15 novembre 2012

On taking the time to write

So this past week i did not write as much as i usually do.
Why, i hear you ask.

Well usually my writing times go as follow : i do a minimum of one hour every evening / night : one "theoretical" chapter - second draft can make multiple chapters fold into one - that can go from 1000 to 5000 characters depending on where it is in the story and how much time i feel i have. Sometimes i sit down for a thousand characters because i feel i need to rest and it's already one in the morning, and i end up writing for a few hours. Sometimes i just write a few lines, just because i force myself to.

Usually i don't write on Friday night.
Not because i'm a social butterfly and go to clubs, pubs and whatnot. Just because i get home at 9 and have to get up at 7 the following morning, so i don't go around writing until the sun goes up.
Plus i don't have any social life. I'm a writer guys. Come on, be serious.

So last week to make a few bucks i ended up doing some technical translation for the patent office. And that ended up being my "writing time" for a few days. Plus i had a kind of sleepover at a friends house (allowed me to go driving around in a Crown V Police Interceptor, so that was fun, but also "research", kind of). And so i did not write anything for those two days.
And so yesterday i had to kick my ass back in gear to go back to my book. And i kind of wondered if the flame was gone. But it wasn't, so yay for me.