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I had taken a cool picture of my notebook up at the cottage but then my SD card crashed, so here’s a cool picture of the rain in NDG

Did I Write This Week? I sure did. Actually, quite a bit. Which is good because it’s been two weeks since I’ve written one of these so if I hadn’t, it would be extra shameful.

What Did I Write?

So this was an interesting little period for me since I got to do a couple of different little creative writing workouts.

Despite not being my turn up as “head writer” for our little comic strip, we’ve had a few sessions lately hammering out the next comics from Jon and Sophie. Everyone kind of has a different style of how we approach the comic-writing process, and in this case both Jon and Soph only had sort of vague ideas and a few punchlines. The four of us then sit around and think about how to structure it into 4 strips, each with its own joke, that also kind of tells a story and wraps up to some degree at the end of the final comic.

I really like the process, I like the immediate response of knowing whether or not a joke lands (even if it comes at the price of immediately seeing that something you think is hilarious falls totally flat to three other people) and I like being able to ask questions like “will people get this?” and having a group to figure it out, or to make it pop a little more. You can get stuck in your own head writing and it’s pretty easy to down on yourself. Writing in a group gives you a bit of validation for your good stuff and also lets you know what your bad stuff is almost immediately.

Really hope that with everyone’s new schedule we’ll be back up and rolling weekly again with the comics, since chilling with the gang and writing funnies is one of my favorite things to do.

I wrapped up another piece of Zombies and Loathing, which is turning out to be more and more of a chore as I get more excited to really start cutting into the supposed novel plan. It’s good though. My idea, as previously mentioned is to get the last parts finished up and then publish them to the site. I also want to test my hand and editing them so I’ll likely be going back to Part 1 and revising everything. After that, I think I will make it all available on Amazon for free or a penny or something. Whatever. It will be done and that is what will matter.

I also spent a few hours up at the cottage last weekend taking some general notes about the book that I want to write. Kind of just writing down a general outline for the world that I want to create along with the overall arch of the first book. That’s right, first book. Even if I only manage to write a single book in this world I think it’s important to build a world that can support subsequent installments. So every now and then I get these little ideas, even single scenes in my head and I’m like “Can I use this?” and usually I can’t, but I store it away and hope that I can maybe use it down the road. I want the story to be self-contained, without some total cliffhanger nonsense ending, but I also want the door to be very
open for more story.

I managed to generate a very short (think 2-3 lines) outline of each of the 3 main acts, along with the turning point for each, along with an outline of the actual ending.

It’s really strange shifting between the two different projects. For the book (hereafter referred to as The Book) I don’t have character names, I don’t really know anything about them as people, only where they exist in the plot. I haven’t even decided on genders of most of them. They’re just “the guy who will introduce the main character to this and that” or “the badass who will get in their way.” In Zombies and Loathing I know everything about St-Brigid as a character. I’ve written about 16,000 words in the character’s voice in first person so I’ve got a pretty good head for how they will react to whatever story element I throw at them.

Once I flesh out the actual core cast I kind of had the thought that I might want to hammer out a few diary entries for them. I think it would be fun to try and get my head around how they think.

The idea would be, once I have created outlines for the characters and have a general idea of who they are, to write a few hundred words “in their voice” about a some mundane day that doesn’t actuall pertain to the overall story.

Is this a good idea? Man, I don’t know. It kind of seems like a good idea.

Also, I think it would be a relatively safe way to share a little bit with you about what I’m working on without actually spelling out the details of it.

What do you think?

Keith does all sorts of things here on 9to5.cc, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.

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