Interesting Observations

MCMTuesday, August 25, 2009

So I'm back from my two week vacation (sometimes known as Holy Health Problems, Batman!) and am trying to catch up on work that was scheduled but not finished during my absence. This has led me to some very interesting observations...

Writing to Structure

This is not writing advice. This is something I've noticed while writing The App (which wraps up at the end of the month). The plan for that story was to write one chapter for every day of the month of August, which meant REALLY knowing how things were going to play out. Normally (as with Fission Chips), I kinda make things up as I go along. With The App, I cracked open my calendar and plotted out the whole thing, making sure I knew every little twist along the way. I was sure I was going to hate writing like that, since I was basically taking all the surprise out of the endeavour... but it actually worked out quite well. I made some slight variations to the plan (within the bounds of each chapter), but it was a lot of fun knowing where I had to go next. I made me write things faster... I finished all 31 chapters yesterday, a few days ahead of schedule (even more so when you consider my "vacation").

I still don't know that I really ENJOY writing to structure. It's something I have to do with scriptwriting (where I'm contractually obligated to stick to my plan), but for books, it feels a bit stiff. I like the undiscovered adventure of storytelling, even if I do know where most of the milestones are going to fall...

I'm going to try another super-structure project in a month or two, and see how it goes. I'll report back on my progress.

Fission Chips!

We are getting very close to the end, people! And now for some excitement! I know I said we'd wrap up the business card game at the end of Chapter 20, but I think it needs to end sooner to fit well. So the new deadline is THIS FRIDAY AT ONE MINUTE BEFORE MIDNIGHT. If you want to become a character in Fission Chips, start sending out those cards!

Also, another mini-contest for you: I will be giving a special prize to the reader who can guess the perpetrator of each of the various crimes in the story. They are:

  1. Who stole the laptop?
  2. Why did they steal the laptop?
  3. Who killed Luke Maxwell?
  4. Why did they kill Luke Maxwell?
  5. Who tried to/actually did kill Matt Richardson?
  6. Why was Matt Richardson targeted?

The first person to guess all of these correctly will win the prize. If nobody guesses before the answers are revealed, the person with the highest success rate will win. Email me your theories (they can be short) and I will announce the winners with the final chapter of the book.

And what IS the prize? Here's the fun: Fission Chips will be turning into a PRINT book in the first quarter of 2010. I'm going to revise it, patch up problems and hopefully improve the flow... then wrap it in a nice cover (which looks a lot like the current cover) and sell it on Amazon. But the winner of this contest will get their very own signed copy! Yay!

The Plan For the Next Few Weeks

I'm still badly behind on things. TorrentBoy: Pirates Attack! needs more editing work, and I'm not going to be able to catch up easily. I need to prep Xander and the Wind for release, and my various other projects are in need of serious attention. That said, with The App wrapping up and Fission Chips due to close near the end of September, I will be very close to hitting my mark of 12 books for 12 months! I just need to keep my eye on the ball and not get distracted by oooo shiny!

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