Rough drafts, basic storytelling and visual writing

A friend posted several very helpful links this morning and I thought I would share.

Voice and Pitch (great blog on basic communication and genre identification)

tips for finishing a draft (lovely advice – title is self explanatory)

importance of writing ugly (this is the first part of a series on getting through that rough draft by letting the story come first)

These were great references on rough drafts and even just basic storytelling (for the point of any writing is to get the story across, and the first step to that is finding the story and pinning it down).

While most of these references appealed to me, I couldn’t help but wonder if there is anyone else out there that works like I do: visually. If I could draw the story frame-by-frame or even storyboard it, I would. Longhand scribbles flow faster though, and my real fear is I will lose the visual before I get it down on paper.

Take the sequel I’m writing, every time I finish a chapter (or scene), I go back in a day or three and check the gate to make sure it’s a rough approximation of what I saw initially in my head. If not, I tweak the camera angle and dialogue until it’s close. The more good gate scenes I get, the further and faster I progress. (And the closer I get to playing in the editing room to find that final product.)

If you are willing to share, let me know if you have any writing quirks, habits, or rules that get you through the first draft of your story.

P.S. Forgot to link to Jana’s blog where her guest poster Grace Duncan gave some terrific (and simple) advice on writing. Sorry about that!

Update on sequel

The sequel took a hit when last month’s work schedule went into overdrive, but I am back on track and making rapid progress. I should merge the two parts into a fully fledged novel by August. Then I’ll make final editing tweaks, finish the illustrations, and hand it off for final formatting.

So when will it be published? This year, definitely. After reading back over Sudarium, I realize there were technical and spelling errors near the end that I missed. Thank goodness only two of you bought it. This book should be far better.

I will post the first chapter here soon for anyone actually reading this site. I mentioned I would post the short story of the moment Sara and Vishi became friends, but I believe I will hold that for a bonus chapter at the end of the book.

You never know…

You never know when you’re going to come across an example of great storytelling.

Take this gem from A List Apart. It’s smart, funny, gives you characters, has a conflict to solve, and even teaches a lesson. The fun part? It tells stories within the story.

Most people respond to stories. They are terrific tools for teaching and venues to escape through. I just hadn’t expected to read a great story while doing research for content strategies. I’m glad it was there to find.

Now that I’ve read it, you can be sure I will look at the emails in my inbox a little differently from now on.

Once upon a time indeed.

Analytics, queries, and anti-heroes

Here’s a few links I’ve gathered from friends and other bloggers that might be of interest.

A friend of mine handed me an article from the New York Times regarding the possibility that the same game changing analytical methods/data accumulation used in baseball (and online viewing) could be applied to future book publishing. I found it very cool and somewhat creepy. I hope the publishing industry gets bigger or more varied test audiences before it starts formulating procedure changes, but this does illustrate the fact that a tale well told needs to have the teeth needed to keep a readers’s interest or no one will finish (or remember) it.

This was a startling 180 degree take on query efforts. I believe if I ever query publishers again, this information and attitude adjustment will come in handy.

I read this shared link about anti-heroes and found it interesting. I also found a related article on heroines interesting, too, especially when applied to villains. I’m not sure I would take everything little thing said in the articles to heart, but it is always wise to be open to new suggestions and ideas. Always.


Update on sequel

The sequel to Sudarium passed the 40k mark a couple of weeks ago and is rapidly proceeding to nearly novel size. I believe I will follow a friend’s advice and combine them into a novel with a title to match the overall story (along with new cover art).

So, if you are one of the two people to have purchased Sudarium (and I already know who one of you is), let me know and I will make sure you get a free copy of the entire story since you already paid the price I will charge for the novel.