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novels

okay. it’s actually been almost a year since I last posted here, and for that, I apologize. depression and school have gotten me down in a huge way, and I just… forget to blog sometimes. I have two modes: blog once or twice a day, or blog once or twice a year. we all know which mode has recently dominated my life.

in funny news: I was looking over my list of WIP novels in my categories and I am literally not working on any of them. Figment Wilson, kind of, but not at the moment.

I’ve been working on my fictional, semi-collaborative universe: the world of Evrehn, or the Angelverse after the work that originated it.
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I swear to the stars, Mr. Sheh is the greatest Creative Writing teacher ever. This is my second year in his class (hopefully, I’ll also be in his English class next year) and his current fancy is screenwriting. We recently completed outlines for 10-page-long screenplays with plans to continue work on them over the next few weeks.

I’m turning Bright Outside–or, at least, the idea I had for the opening scene–into a short that could potentially serve as the opening sequence to a feature-length film. I’m about to start work on the treatment for it. Meanwhile, my assignment is to write something outside of the script that characterizes the main character. (The example was the transcript of the dating profile video that incited the date that was the plot of Mr. Sheh’s screenplay.)

Wow. This is harder than it sounds, to be completely honest, because though I thought I knew everything about Zachery, I don’t. What do I write? One of his query letters? A blog post? His self-written author blurb from his 95,000 word manuscript? How the fuck do you characterize a character outside of their novel?!

I’m not asking you. I’m actually going to attempt to answer this apparently unsolvable question.

So who the hell is Zachery Fleming, anyway? 

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I am such a lazy writer that I couldn’t figure out how to start this goddamn post.

To be fair, I recently started school again. I’ve been buried under homework, personal stress, and general life bullshit. But, at last, I’m crawling out from my Batcave* and hissing at the daylight to blog about writing once more.

It’s not like I haven’t been writing lately, it’s just…
It’s just that…
I guess…
Okay, I haven’t been writing much. I’m back in Creative Writing class (the class for which I wrote “Forged in Fire,” “Pretty Miss Douglass,” and “Forward Motion” last year) and so I’m writing. Nothing of substance, not yet, but writing is good, even if it’s shit. It’s better to write shit than nothing at all, right?

I’ve quote-unquote started writing two short stories, titled “Bring Me a Dream” and “Scary Monsters,” but I haven’t written enough of either to say if they’re ever going to come to fruition or not. I mean, I haven’t touched that “She Who Fights Monsters” one in months and I still kind of want to. Anyway, I’ve been focused on this novel idea that I had in March. I’m officially 2000-some words into it, so I can tell you that it’s a supernatural spy thriller entitled Human Again. But that’s all. Seriously.

I’m still–slowly, very slowly–working on Figment Wilson. I’m two chapters into the revision and… ouch. Clumsy, clumsy writing. One of my favorite people, Evvy of Fuck Yeah Character Development, made an incredible post about good vs. bad writing and summed it up like this: “…I judge everything in the arts world as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ based on whether or not it does its job, and whether or not it does its job elegantly.” Most of Figment Wilson is at a place where the writing does its job, but in the most convoluted, difficult, overall least elegant way possible. Some of it doesn’t even do its job, which is even more painful to fix.

But, hey, at least I’m getting there.

Runs In The Family is on hold for the time being. I’m probably going to start it for real in November, for National Novel Writing Month. It’s my favorite month. So many novels!

Just recently, I finished a novelette (it’s about 9400 words long) entitled “Who Killed Amanda Palmer?” It’s based on the amazing Amanda Palmer’s debut solo album of the same name, with each mini-chapter corresponding to a song. I’m seeing Amanda live for the first time this Saturday! I have a copy of the book (ordered from Lulu, who I’ve found I like better than CreateSpace) that I plan on giving her. Keep your fingers crossed!
The novelette was written for WriteWorld’s Album Challenge, and will eventually be posted on their site for reading.

Additionally, I’ve been doing some edits of my short story/poetry collection, We Are All Lonely. This is super exciting, guys. I’m hoping to have it all revised and ready by mid-November so I can sell copies at my hypothetical Tucson ComiCon table. When it’s good to go, I’ll have them up for sale so you people can buy the book (and e-book, maybe?) and give me money.
The current We Are All Lonely line-up is…
“Poem of Twos”
“The Dormitories of Miskatonic University”
“Here’s To You, Mr. Robinson”
“A Voluntary Drowning”
“Four”
“Forward Motion”
“Some Nights”
“Pretty Miss Douglass”
“The Lay of Thrym” (a take on Norse mythology, originally part of The World According To Loki)
“Forged in Fire”
“The Good Feast Is On Tonight”

And that, my friends, is super duper exciting. I can’t wait until people can actually read a couple of works in here that haven’t been published before! I’m about to order a draft copy of the book so I can continue editing the stories and making them pitch-perfect.

And that’s how my writing life has been lately. Busy and yet empty at the same time.

-Jimmy

A wild WRITING UPDATE appears.
WRITING UPDATE uses POOR AND OUTDATED MEME.
It’s SUPER EFFECTIVE!

Wow, I’m actually posting a blog about writing for once, instead of about legal name changes/depression/San Francisco/being depressed while going through a legal name change in San Francisco/etc. It’s because–surprise, surprise–I’ve actually been writing again lately. Though I would hazard a guess that my newest method isn’t exactly “writing.”

I’ve been working on dictations, if you couldn’t guess from the title. I’ve been developing a novel idea with fleshed-out characters and everything. Hell, I can even watch it unfold in my head, like a movie. Unfortunately, my depression-caused apathy has lead me into a serious case of what my psychologist calls “the writer’s block.” So, despite my compelling superhero-ish novel idea (tentatively entitled Runs in the Family), I haven’t been able to write a word! Oh, lawdy, it’s bad. Why can’t someone just get an innoculation for “the writer’s block”?

Actually, there is such a thing, though it isn’t much of an innoculation as much as it is a quick-fix. It’s dictating your novel–or, at the very least, a rough outline of your novel. I dictate with my cell phone’s voice memo feature, then play it back and type what I said into Scrivener (which, by the way, is the best writing program ever). What ends up coming out is some sort of strange hybrid of a screenplay and prose. If you took a screenplay and converted it into prose, that’s sort of what this looks like.

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Ho-lee shit, it’s been nearly two months since I last posted on here. I was planning on June being an UPDATE THE BLOG EVERYDAY month, but that never happened. Hell, I never even wrote a Phoenix ComiCon recap.

So, I will get you up to speed:
Transmagical and Ghost Runners are updating. I sold a few of the TM prints at PCC.
– PhoCo went by faster than it ever has. The two-day-long Tucson ComiCon felt longer. It was brilliant, though, despite sleeping on the floor and having nasty headaches.
– In June, I wrote a 61000-word novel for this thing called Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s like NaNoWriMo, but in June. I finished with a total of 87k, the remaining 26k coming from two kind of shitty unfinished novels.
– That novel I finished last month was called Figment Wilson and the Door to Oblivion. Unlike most of my novels(‘ ideas, since this is my first complete novel), it’s not getting scrapped! I’m giving copies to friends and family to edit. I plan to enter it into the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards as YA. If I lose, then I’m getting an agent and pitching the shit out of this. (My wonderful 7th grade English teacher– who once told me that I was one of two students from whom he wanted a 10pg story– told me that I wouldn’t get published until 18. I will rub this book in his face when it’s published.)
– That 245pg book is about a kid, Figment Wilson, who thinks he’s perfectly normal until aliens crash into his school and he’s told that he’s an alien. It’s fucking awesome, fairly well-developed, and pretty coherent for a first draft written during a WriMo.
– And this month, I’m doing that crazy JulNoWriMo thing. I’m writing some more weird YA, this time in the form of a novel entitled Last Train to Summerville. It’s about Callahan Teague reuniting with an old friend and getting sucked into an alternate dimension ruled by carnivorous (and very hungry) faeries.
– I’ve discovered the magic of this thing called Scrivener. It’s basically WRITING YOUR SHIT: THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT. Seriously. Try the free trial. It’s the coolest thing ever and so totally worth $40 (or $20, if you’ve won NaNoWriMo).
– I’m also going to San Francisco for a couple weeks.

Writing novels is a tireless job. It’s sort of like a death match: either you’re going to write this novel, or it will guilt you for the rest of your life with how unfinished it is. You also tend to become the novel. You can be talking about the benefits of styrofoam food (like Cheetos Puffs) when you suddenly blurt out a fact about your invented species’ reproductive methods. “Oh, yeah, I love the way they melt– holy shit, did you know that faeries typically reproduce in threesomes but can reproduce with anywhere from two to infinity participants?” The worst part is when you’re in the middle of a public space (like the Dollar Tree) and that just pops out. Congrats, writer. You are now known by the Dollar Tree staff as “that freak who talks about faerie orgies.”

Interestingly enough, despite my depression, I’m able to write. It’s all I’ve been able to do since I’ve been depressed. The only thing for which I have motivation is sitting in my room, writing. Play one of my instruments? Too much effort. Practice karate? Do I look like I have the spoons for that? Shower? Why bother? Hang out with my girlfriend? Can’t we just hang out some other time? But when it comes to writing, I can sit down and motor out fifty thousand words in twelve days. I can write the rough draft of my novel in exactly two weeks.

How have you guys been lately?

– Jimmy

P.S. I totally just wrote 642 words of a blog post instead of my novel.

I’m going to start this off by being a horrible blogger and apologize for how horrible I’ve been at blogging. School (and depression) has totally inundated me as of late. I took my first AP test last week, I have finals next week, and a lot of studying to do between then and now. Regardless, I felt like I had to update on here because next week is Phoenix ComiCon.

Yes. One week from today, I will be packing my bags for the Hyatt, securing my freebie prints with many rubber bands, and making sure everything is set on Transmagical‘s debut. I’ll probably post an update or five throughout PCC and talking about Transmagical and stuff. You have just over a week until Transmagical makes it official debut and you get to see that thing about which I’ve been talking. Then Ghost Runners launches. June, under Camp NaNoWriMo, is dedicated to The Secret of Giraffe Island, a serial adventure novel that I will be posting as chapters are finished.

Alongside that, I have just started another serial novel, concerning one of my favorite subjects. The World According to Loki (which has no relation to Marvel Comics, surprisingly) is a humorous (I hope) take on Norse mythology. The first part basically consists of Loki retelling Norse myths from his perspective. It gets weirder. It’s basically a sacrilegious funfest of doom with alcohol, crossdressing, and laughs (according to my friends). The title is a link, but you can also click here to read what I have posted. That one will update less frequently because of the massive chapters– chapter one, including its Scribe’s Note (my notes on alterations and translations), is nearly 4000 words long. Consider that one chapter is half the length of “Forged in Fire” (that’s a link, too) and realize how long that is.

I also hope to resume more frequent work on Another Sleepless Night this summer. I adore the characters and the plot, along with the stories that come in between what I have posted.

I have a lot of writing to do this summer: Transmagical and Ghost Runners, first and foremost, then Mindwarp & ErisCompass RoseThe Secret of Giraffe IslandThe World According to Loki, and Another Sleepless Night. There are also going to be short stories, of course, and maybe poetry. I do not know. I have two and a half months alone (aside from online econ, ew), and I plan on using them to their full extent.

And that’s how I’ve been.

-Jimmy

Okay, so A MILLION OR SO YEARS AGO (aka this time, 8th grade) I started writing a short story based on this dream I had. Back then, it was called “Anti.” If you don’t remember it (you probably don’t), it was about this monster-hunter girl who pisses a monster off with her pride and becomes the monster. How original. It was also poorly-written, as was everything I wrote in 8th grade.

So I started re-writing it. I wrote the first 1200 or so words last night (for my “750” words. I go on to 750words.com and write over 900 words) and I’m probably going to finish it this weekend. Now it’s titled “She Who Fights Monsters” after the well-known Nietzsche quote (“He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster”). It’s probably going to be very long. Maybe shorter than “Pretty Miss Douglass,” but perhaps longer. I’d ballpark it (from what I have written) at 2500-3500 words long.

At the same time, I’m about to log on to 750words.com to tap out a chapter for Bad Moon Rising. I’m not sure if I’m going to end up writing the first chapter or a later chapter (which I have had planned for a while), but neither would be about the Violet and Oliver from “Le Conflit” and “Nous Devons Voyager.” Actually, these chapters would be about the main characters of the novel– modern day Violet and Oliver, who are probably somehow related to Victorian-era Violet and Oliver. They’re all werewolves, anyway. This is one heck of a novel to be writing, that’s for sure.

I’m just writing a lot lately, actually. Novels, short stories, blog posts…

-Jimmy