Friday, April 13, 2018

Memories of What Never Was - Draft 2 completed

So, after 2 months of working myself to death, I've finished the second draft of Memories of What Never Was.  If you're so inclined, you can read it by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.  Again, I write in manuscript format, which is double spaced, 12 point courier font, all itallicsare underlined rather than italicized, and there's a # to mark any blank lines.  I used to take the time to convert it to something that's a bit easier on the eye to read off my site, but it takes a considerable amount of time to do that, and when I realized how much time I was spending doing that in which I could be writing more, I just sort of stopped doing it.

Holy crap was that a lot of work.  I spent probably about 35-50 hours a week for the last 2 months working on this thing.  That's probably more time than I spent at my full time day job most weeks.  (for which I'm paid on salary, and which I get to go home after my work is done, no matter what time it is, so I get paid the same if I finish in 5 hours as I do if I finish in the 9 and a half I'm getting paid for, which gives me a pretty high incentive to get done as quickly as possible.) The first draft was really kind of a mess, and there were some rather big changes that I wanted to make to one of the characters, which then required a lot of changes being made to pretty much every chapter that she played more than a minor role in, because it changed her motivations as a character almost completely, which is not something I expected to happen when I first got the idea to make the change.  The reason I've been putting off doing this draft for so long, was because I was sort of dreading all of the work it was going to take to add these changes in, after I got the first chapter down and realized just how much work it was really going to be.  Large sections of text have either been added completely, completely replaced with other large sections of text, and many other small changes had to be made throughout literally every single interaction this character had with every single other character.  Figuring it all out is enough to drive someone insane.

In addition to changes to that particular character there were quite a few infuriatingly long run-on sentences, and quite a few ridiculously long paragraphs that all had to be broken up to reasonable sizes.  I usually use my second draft to fill in descriptive elements that are missing, some character personality elements, and to remove as many adverbs as I can.  I had so much other work that needed to be done that I didn't really get to a lot of that in this draft, and I mostly just focused on retructuring things, and getting the characters ironed out.  There are still a lot of things I need to work on with this one, mostly ironing out transitions between the changes I made in the second draft and the existing text left over from the first draft, and ironing out some more kinks in the writing.  It's still, very much, and unfinished product, but I feel that it's a big step closer to being done than it was when I finished the first draft.

And now, back to my Spires of Infinity rewrite.  It's been two months, which is probably enough to give me a bit of distance and help me find more problems that need to be fixed.  And I definitely need some time before I come back to Memories of What Never Was.  Going through that thing was pretty mentally exhausting.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Oi!

So I'm working on my second draft of Memories of What Never Was.  Boy does this book need a lot of work.  There are so many ridiculously long run on sentences, and over sized paragraphs.  Plus I made what I thought would be a small change to one of the characters, which is turning out to be a rather large change that is requiring quite of bit of either a.) rewritten text, or b.) huge chunks of added text.  It's kind of a lot of work.  This story is a lot more complex than Spires of Infinity where I got things pretty much right the first time through on the rewrite.  It is very slow going, and I can see now why I was putting it off for so long while I was overburdened at work.  This is going to take months of 4-5 hours a night after work to sort through and fix.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Spires of Infinite rewrite draft 2

So I've been working hard the last month or so on editing my Spires of Infinity rewrite, and I've finished my second draft.  Not to toot my own horn or anything, but the first draft was pretty solid.  I didn't have a lot of grammar mistakes to fix up, or descriptions to add.  Mostly what went into this draft were more character building moments.  As I was reading through I realized that Gabriel was a pretty weak protagonist in the early parts of the story, and needed to have a more firm and sympathetic goal.  I also added a few explanations of things that I felt were a little too vague, and clarified some of the wording here and there.  I'm up to 103,000 words with this draft and this is 13k over what I want it to be, so on my next draft I'm going to be looking really close at the wording of everything and seeing if I can condense it down to lose those 13k words without cutting any scenes.  I usually do this with every book that I write.  Making the prose tighter and more streamlined to shed a few thousand words.  In my opinion it makes it easier to read, and looks a bit more professional after I'm done doing it.  But since I've been doing nothing but Spires of Infinity for the last 6 months or so, I need a small break from it, so I'm going to be working on my second draft of Memories what never was next before coming back for the next draft of Spires.  Just to sort of distance myself from it for a bit so I can come back at it with a fresh perspective.

Anyway, the second draft of Spires of Inifinity is up on my website And if you plan to read this story, I definitely prefer that you read the new version, even though it isn't complete.  Even though its still being worked on, the new version is a far cry better than the old one.  And, like the first draft, I didn't bother taking the time to convert it from manuscript format to regular format.  That means it's courier font, 12 point, double spaced, and all italics are underlined instead of italicized. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Man from Medan

A month or so ago I wrote a short story called The Man from Medan.  I was bored this weekend so i recorded myself reading it and posted it on youtube.  If you feel the great urge to listen to my doofy voice badly narrating this story you can find the playlist here.

The Man from Medan is a sci-fi horror short story that is based on the Ourang Medan incident that may or may not have happened in the late 1940s.  It's a pretty cool urban legend if you haven't ever heard of it.  The story is a little under one hour in length and broken up into three parts.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

And done. Whoohoo!!!

I finished my first draft of my rewrite of Spires of Infinity today, and if you feel the great urge to read it, you can find it at the bottom of this page.

I've left the final draft of the original version of this story up, but if you plan to read it, I would definitely prefer that you read the new version.  Though it is only a first draft, and has much editing work left before it is complete, I still feel that it is far superior to the original version.  About 90% of the text has been completely rewritten from scratch.  Very little of the original text made it into the new version. The new version ended up just under 100,000 words, which is almost 30% down from the original version's 140,000 .  There was a lot of crap in that book that really didn't need to be there.  I cut it out, and added in character and world development in its place.  I'm, personally, pretty happy with how it all turned out, and now I've got two books in dire need of editing instead of one.  Hurray.  If you couldn't tell, editing is not my favorite thing in the universe to do.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Gettin' there

Got another 5k words down on my Spires of Infinity rewrite today.  All I have left is one fight scene and the resolution left to write.  I should be done with it this week.  I have to say, I'm pretty proud of the work I've done fixing this book.  In my opinion, it's such a better book than the original version.  And I've had a lot of fun revisiting it and fixing the mistakes I made writing it the first time.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A Tale of 2 Video Games.

So Christmas came and passed, and I got 2 video games as gifts.  Star Wars Battlefront II and Horizon Zero Dawn.

Now, I’ve been following the whole EA Battlefront 2 exploding in their faces drama with great amusement.  Why?  Because I don’t want to play online.  I don’t want to play with other people.  I want a freaking Star Wars game that I can sit down after work, relax for an hour or so, and not be bothered by anyone.  I do not find online shooting galleries fun in the slightest bit.  I find them boring as sin.  And what really pisses me off is that EA has exclusive rights to Star Wars games now, and that is the only game they are making.  I played through the single player story mode.  I was done in less than 5 hours of gameplay.  It was very boring, very disappointing, had TERRIBLE controls, awful characters, and the story was so lazily told that you wonder why you even bothered once you’re finished.  What happened to stuff like the Rogue Squadron games?  Shadows of the Empire?  Dark Forces?  The Force Unleased?  Freaking Knights of the Old Republic?  Excellent games all that told amazing stories in the Star Wars universe, with actual gameplay, likeable characters, a story that takes more than four freaking minutes to play through.  Nope.  That’s all gone for free for all FPS arena battles.  Yeah, I played around with those for about an hour, got bored, and took the game to gamestop for a $20 credit in disgust.  I didn’t bother downloading the story DLC patch.  I was so bored to death by the story what’s even the freaking point of playing more of it.  I don’t like the gameplay either.

And then I popped in Horizon Zero Dawn.  Hey EA.  This is the type of Game I am looking for.  Do this with Star Wars and I will play it through to the end, and I will even pay for more story DLC.  This game is amazing.  It has great characters, a very interesting world with cool visuals, the controls are great, the story is fantastic, and it really feels almost like a Bioware RPG, like Knights of the Old Republic, which is probably my favorite Star Wars game.  I sat down to play this game, and I looked over at the clock, and it was seven hours later.  I got so pulled into it.  I was only planning to play for an hour.  I was so drawn into this game, and I enjoy it so much, that I bought the $20 story DLC before I even finished the game, because I know that I will want more when I’m done.  I may be getting old, but gaming just isn’t as engrossing to me as it used to be.  I’ve bought several games over the last ten years or so, but I’ve finished very few of them.  Or maybe it’s the games themselves, they’re just not as good as the used to be.  Xenoblade 1&2, Tales of Xillia and Berseria, The Last Story.  I think those are the only ones I’ve actually played through to the end.  If every game was as good as Horizon Zero Dawn is, I think I would play a lot more, and finish a lot more games.

Just, seriously, 4 and a half hours of garbage story missions, EA?  That’s what you think people were asking for when they said they wanted a single player campaign?  Seriously?  Well, you can go suck Guerrilla/Sony’s dick, because the game they produced is so superior to the one you did it’s not even a comparison at all.  I wish Star Wars games could be like this again, but so long as EA holds the liscence, that will never happen, it seems.  I’m glad they took a huge hit over Battlefront 2.  And I hope Disney realizes that this garbage is not what gamers want out of Star Wars games and open it up for other companies.  I mean, Battlefront 2 just isn’t even worth the time to play, because I play games for story.  I do not play games for online shooters, because that doesn’t interest me.  I find it boring.

And in other news I also wrote 7500ish words on my Spires of Infinity rewrite today before I sat down to try out Horizon Zero Dawn, so I don’t have to feel guilty over wasting the whole day on playing video games and getting nothing else done.  Also, it’s 4:30 in the morning.  I feel like I’m rambling because I’m half asleep.  Probably because I’m rambling because I’m half asleep.