Archive for the ‘ Mars ’ Category

The Twisted Path of the Mind

This morning I was over at the funny and insightful blog of Colby Marshall where she talked about an interesting topic.

You should click over to the full post but the gist was that she read an article in People Magazine and began a tangent in her mind that became a funny image her imagination came up with. The reason I’m posting about this is that I think that going on tangents and letting our minds run free help with creating stories. Sitting to think of a story is hard and can become work. When a story just happens, it can be magic.

I believe that this theory of working on a story or plot is a big reason I’m struggling with Mars. The story started with a free-write I had in my journal that didn’t have a story attached. I loved the words so much that I decided to use it as the opening for a new book. Unfortunately the magic stopped there. A second chapter / teaser was written that I liked but I didn’t get much further. Yesterday I decided that Mars needed to be officially put onto ‘Hold’ status. Not that I’ve been working on it recently, but I can’t write more for Mars until I know where I want to go. I even did something I never did, which was outline. I don’t like what the story is and I honestly feel it’s weak.

As of now, I don’t know if I want to write Mars. I may shelve it and work on coming up with some new ideas. I think I may spend 30 minutes to an hour each week night just doing writing excersizes and getting into a groove where I can come up with a new story idea. My drive is dead and my idea well is dry. That has to change.


When the Drive is in Neutral

My writing has still been non-existant and I believe I haven’t written a single word in almost a month. Of course I can attribute this to some reasons and even make excuses about my move. Yes they are valid but only to a point. I will say that the two of the past three weeks have been filled with moving, a quick trip down south and other time-consuming things, but this past week has had a little more free time. Unfortunately that time has been filled with World of Warcraft, some TiVo and also Mario on the Wii. Writing has not taken a front seat on my priorities list.

Another reason for the struggle is with Mars. This is a book I was hoping would become the second novel I write but I have had major issues with it, and it’s not even started. The past few times I’ve sat down to write it, it’s been a complete struggle. Bottom line: I’m not feeling it. This is quite dissapointing though because I wrote the opener one day and brought it to my old writing group. It was well recieved and I thought it was a fantastic jumping-off point for the book. The subsequent pages have not followed suit.

I believe some of the issues lay with my internal debate as to what genre I want to write. Instinctively I’m a sci-fi guy but I also have it in my head that things in that genre aren’t as marketable. I’m sure I’m completely wrong but this debate has caused me to second-guess the plot of the story. I have a sci-fi idea but also a normal fiction idea dealing with being away from home.

I’ve come to a crossroads where I must decide what I’m going to do before proceeding with Mars. I must scrap it, put it aside and begin another project or figure out what the hell I want to write. I refuse to fight with myself and feel forced to get 60k words down on the page. Writing is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. Forcing myself to proceed will just make it painful.

Hell Froze Over: I Wrote Last Night

Yesterday I promised myself that when I got home from work that I would get my ass into the Frakkin’ chair and get some writing done. Well…. I did.

I banged out some more pages of Mars, but it was interrupted by my wife coming home and the TV going on. I must say that I am looking forward to moving soon, where I can write in my own room and she can watch TV in the living room. Until then, my available time to write in silence is limited.

So, without further adeu, here is my progress:

Words typed last night: 1,756
Total Word count: 3,900 words
Pages: 10 pages

Outline Rewrite?

Mars has been a struggle for me and I have not written much in the past few months that it’s been in the works. For the first time ever, I actually created an outline, so I had an idea of where to go and to make the story flow better. Now, I don’t know if the outline is good.

Is an outline rewrite a common thing? I am guessing it’s better to rewrite an outline rather than the bulk of the novel when it’s done. I think a fundimental problem with the book is I don’t know what genre to make it. I have thought about it being sci-fi but also a drama of being away from your family. This seems like it could be a tricky balance to achieve and on top of that, may not appeal to many people. My opening teaser chapter is suspenseful and really grabs the reader. I’ve thought of writing the whole book that way (where there’s a time-crunch or some impending doom that we’re fighting the clock on) but I feel conflicted.

My Robert book is a ‘human drama’…. for now and some of my beta feedback seems to indicate making it into a suspense story could be better. I love Dan Brown books and he writes that way, so that might work out for me. Overall, I’m not sure. For a change, I’m not feeling this book and don’t know if even a rewrite will help me. I think I need to sit down and think this through for an hour or two, instead of in a flurry of writing emotions.

A Pathetic Start


It’s been a little busy in my life the past few days, as you can see from the lack of entries. I wanted to get this post done, since I promised Auria Cortes I would post my current progress of Mars. On Friday, I tried jumping back into the creative mindset and resumed my work on Mars, my next book. I had written two teaser chapters and it’s only four pages, but then I stopped so I could focus on the Robert book and get it beta-ready.

Anyhow, Friday was a bust and I struggled for an hour to write. There were a bunch of starts and stops and I think the words I put down show a struggle. The words don’t flow. I have a scene in my head and I decided to lead into that with something else, and that held me up. The picture in my head that I can vividly see for days, still has not been put down to paper. That is something I *must* do. I’m hoping to get more of that done tonight, so we’ll see.

So with great displeasure I present my latest word-count:

Friday’s progress: 621 words, just over 1 page.

Shifting Gears


So with my Robert book now in the hands of my four faithful beta readers, I have no more work to do for now on this story. I can go ahead and shift gears into resuming my work on Mars. I know this is going to be a very interesting endeavor.

For starters, I’ve never written a book before. With my Robert book finished I’m now moving further into uncharted territory with starting a second novel. I’ve never written two books! This should be exciting.

I think the hardest thing to start will be changing my mindset and focus from an editing standpoint to a creative stance while trying to imagine this new story that I’ve seeded. The book is very short, with only two chapters finished. Both of these are teasers and the whole thing is only about four pages.

As I resume my writing, I’ll post my word counts and let everyone know the progress of this story. I’m still not 100% sure where I want to focus it, but I have it narrowed down to two ideas. I’ll go wherever the book takes me. The other thing is I don’t have a goal for my words so I won’t be posting any progress meters showing how much I’ve completed. I believe a book is as long as it wants to be. I’ll be done writing it when it wants to be done.

I think this will be exciting.

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