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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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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WRITING UPDATE uses POOR AND OUTDATED MEME.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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I could start talking about why I haven’t been here recently (hint: it’s depression). I could talk about how hard it is to edit your own writing or how easy it is to come up with an idea vs. how hard it is to start writing that idea.

Nope. This post has nothing to do with writing.

It’s about my life! That’s totally exciting, right?

So, recently, I submitted for a legal name change to ease my anxiety about life in general. But it was expensive. So, I set up a crowdsourcing thing to help pay my parents back for the name change! Just go here and pitch in–if you can. If not, that’s okay.

Also, there are rewards! Yay! This post will be updated every so often to add new information to rewards.

Under the cut…

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So, this week has been fairly busy.

I hit my two month “anniversary” for writing on this blog (April 18th) and forgot to post about it. I got loads of cheap CDs from the library. I wrote a short story about the end of the world. I began writing scraps of my novel Bad Moon Rising. Today was the Day of Silence, so I refrained from speaking all day to commemorate queer youth who cannot speak.

Yep. I forgot to blog about my anniversary and it sucked. Also, I’m going for the pen review really soon, I think. Once I get around to it. You know.

Hey, at least I wrote a short story and posted it on here! I didn’t ever post “Le Conflit” or “Nous Devons Voyager” on here because they’re chapters to Bad Moon Rising, which is basically my huge dorky werewolf book about some kids named Violet and Oliver. The two stories on my Figment are part of the secondary plot, concerning two different kids in the Victorian era called Violet and Oliver. Yep. That’s the point.

Today, I randomly got inspired and wrote “Four.” It’s about the Four Horsemen bringing the Apocalypse. I specifically meant for the Horsemen to be a certain group of four men. The first person to guess who I’m talking about gets… something. A flash fiction or a hug or something. Nothing material, though. And Maui is automatically disqualified.

Screnzy is going slowly. I’m at 40 pages or something. This is the best I’ve ever done in all the years I’ve done Screnzy, which says a lot about how I’ve done in other years. I just started Chapter Three, though, which is really cool.

So that is how my life has been.

-Jimmy

Time flies when you’re having fun, eh?

Not in my case. Depression/anxiety have been kicking my ass and making time disappear! Isn’t that great?

But enough about me.

I’ve hit a bit of a road block on my novel (Four Eyes— the main character of which is Cory Fraizer, whom you might remember from the last post), which is pretty distressing as it’s a really great outlet for all of my negative feelings. So I wanted to ask you guys a question which relates to the chapter on which I’m stuck at the moment.

Actually, two questions.

1. What is the strangest secret a person’s ever told you?
2. How did you react to said secret?

Also, if any of you enjoy writing…

3. Have you ever been stuck in a story where you know where you’re going, just not how to lead up to where you’re going?
4. How did you get past that roadblock?

Thank you, non-existent readers!

-Jimmy

What’s in a pocket? That which can define a character
Would be revealed by a simple examination of their belongings.
(I am not Shakespeare, I know.)

I’ve decided to try and give some advice about making things up. This is also to help me, because I sometimes come up with things and forget them. So this first thingy is about fleshing out a character. I stole it from my Creative Writing class (my teacher probably stole it from some class he’d taken) and it was a prompt one day:

Make a list of the things in a character’s pocket (or purse, or sock drawer, or bedside drawer, or backpack, or whatever).

It’s a really handy way to give your character depth. Just thinking about what they’d keep in some strange compartment (and why) gives them another layer. Even an epic fantasy (imagine what Legolas keeps in his sock drawer!) or science fiction (what would you find in Ford Prefect’s pocket?) character can go through this: what’s at the bottom of their satchel, what odd objects float in their infinite space cube?

To start, I’m subjecting my character Cory Fraizer to this treatment. BELOW THE BREEAAK…

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So, I’ve been bouncing some ideas back and forth in my head here, and I was wondering a few things.

1. Should I start doing daily/weekly/monthly writing prompts?
2. Would anyone be interested if I started doing writing how-tos? Probably based on your suggestions, though.

That’s pretty much all I wanted to say here.

Oh! And I think I may upload a bit of Bright Outside once I finish the first chapter and run it through my “editor” (Ven). Said editor is a very talented writer herself, and won Most Creative in the Poetry Slam a little while ago.

Cool, thanks.

-Jimmy