Tag Archives: Writers

If It’s Not Broke…

There is truth in the old adage, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” I have a personal motto that is a spin on that saying: “If it isn’t broke, don’t break it.”

While I may not be 100% satisfied in the current structure of the story, I recognize the importance of progress. Concerning myself over how to piece together the final product at this stage is spinning my wheels at best.

Puzzles are pictures broken up into dozens, hundreds of pieces. I’m not arguining against knowing what the final product will look like. While there is a lot of value in knowing what picture the puzzle is making… it is pointless to start putting it together if you don’t even have all the pieces. To that end, progress is more important (at this stage) than structure.

Therefore, I will keep the structure as it currently stands: 3 books, each with 3 parts – where the first part is a slice of the prologue piece of the story.

Now that the structure has been decided, it is now time to prepare to progress. Issue with that is: I have not read the completed matetial in years. My current task is to re-read the first book, making notes and edits as I go. I will be focusing on the main scenario (which means I will not currently review the prologue chapters – that will come later).

Apologies

I know this post comes late, and is also short in content. This week was focused on making a purchase… it took a lot of time. I’d like to introduce you all to… the new Clarkmobile!

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My next post will come soon. I will be updating all of you on my impressions of the state of the book (how much edit work left, any extensive re-writes) and an estimate on when I will get back to drafting new content.

Goal #1 – Get the story written. All of it.

A Way Forward

Greetings! Things are progressing at a great pace, and I’m beginning to piece together a plan of evaluation. The first draft of book 1, Katsukami (working title), was completed nearly 10 years ago. It’s hard for me to believe how fast time has flown; however, watching the clock is a waste of time. Dwelling on lost time will not get pages reviewed, scenes organized or new content drafted.

Must press ever onward!

Series Structure

In an effort to begin looking for a place to dive in this very large universe again, I am faced with looking at the basics – the structure of the series’ narrative. Currently, the story is broken up into 9 main parts, where part 1 is the earliest events of the narrative and part 9 is the farthest on the right of the timeline. The first 3 parts make up a type of prologue. Parts 4 through 9 make up the main storyline (you may say, present day). Each book of the series contains 3 of the 9 parts – equalling out to a trilogy.

One may be thinking, “Sounds like there’s not much to consider as far as structure goes.” On the surface, this could be true. I could write the books in chronological succession, with the first book on the timeline released first. For many reasons, however, that would simply not work as the story stands now.

1. There are a number of plot devices that the first 3 parts reveal that would make events in the subsequent 6 parts predictable. What I mean here is, the main narrative is found in parts 4 – 9 for a reason – one I won’t get into here.

2. The main character serves little purpose in parts 1 – 3. Releasing a book as first of a series with the immediate sequel introducing a new main character would not be attractive to readers unless executed perfectly.

3. The points on the timeline are not equal distance-wise. What I mean by this is that part 1-3 are set a considerable amount of time before part 4-9. In addition, there are decent sized gaps between part 1, 2 and 3 as well. On the other hand, Parts 4 – 9 all happen in succession.

“So, what structure did you go with originally? You did write a big chunk of the story, right?”

The current structure of the series is to take a piece of the past events (parts 1, 2 or 3) to open each book followed by 2 parts from the main storyline (parts 4 – 9). Here, let me give you a visual. Below, I will list each book and follow with which parts are included, in the order as they appear in the book.

Book 1: Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Book 2: Part 2, Part 6, Part 7

Book 3: Part 1, Part 8, Part 9

The idea behind this is to show the “past” backwards – the further back, the more the reader can discover the origin story… which provides answers to numerous plot points. The “present” is revealed like a typical narrative… and proceeds forward chronologically. Each book is given a slice of the past as an opening which coincides with much of the story revealed in the “present.”

Now, I am faced with a number of options concerning structure.

1. Keep it the way it is

2. Cut the prologue pieces, expand the narrative of the “present,” and release the “past” (parts 1 – 3) as its own book (probably just before the final book).

3. Expand the story – including yet unwritten/unplanned content between parts 3 and 4. This possibility, while allowing the narrative to progress naturally (start to finish), is not preferable – at least with the story in its current state.

4. Release part 1 – 3 as their own books (each). Expanding these stories to short novel status would not require drastic story changes. Part 3 would be released first, followed by book 1 (part 4 and 5). Next, Part 2 short novel would be released, followed by book 2 (Part 6 and 7). Finally, Part 1 (short novel), and finishing off with book 3 (parts 8 and 9).

Blah Blah Blah.

I know this is not a very interesting bit of information. I also know that making a decision on structure of release maybe shouldn’t even be a primary concern. My issue is that, every time I sit down to edit, I’m annoyingly distracted by my brain trying to work out story structure issues. Until I make a decision on this, I can’t go back and work on editing the narrative already written and move on to drafting new content.

What Is Currently Drafted?

Parts 2, 3, 4, 5 and most of 6 are drafted. This means book 1’s draft is complete with book 2 being nearly 60% complete. Of course, this is under current structure rules.

I currently have part 7 outlined. Part 1, 8 and 9 are roughly outlined with the main points of the story already decided. In addition, a specific plot point in part 7 has gifted me with a slew of potential content from which I would love to create a stand alone series.

Decisions To Be Made

Choosing the structure to a point that will allow me to move forward is the next step. I know that, until I pick a direction (however temporary it is), I will not be able to put my entire effort into edits and new content.

My current deadline for choosing the Move-Forward Series Structure is:

Before 5 July 2017. My plan is to write an update post weekly. As of now, I will strive to have a new post with updates/decisions made by 5 July.

Thank you all for stopping by! For those of you who actually made it to the end… bravo! This blog is mostly for me… I find it cathartic. So, anyone who actually reads my ramblings through to completion… deserves some kind of prize.

Until next time!

The “Back of the Book” Description of Katsukami!

Today, I would like to show the short description I have put together for my book! It is set up similarly to a description you would find on the back cover of the book. It is still a work in progress, but this is what I got so far. PLEASE~~~ tell me what you think! Give me feedback! I want this to be intriguing, yet not too revealing.

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A galaxy racked with the pains of constant civil war, Kyosora and the humans therein do not see the coming destruction. A hero from the past has returned to seek vengeance. A mercenary stumbles upon a mystery, leading him to the clutches of doom. A young man dreams of adventure, unaware of his importance in the events to come. Future heroes are unknowingly guided together for a purpose. The Vorax again threaten the safety and security of the galaxy, forcing these heroes to answer the call. No one notices the puppet master behind the scenes, with steady hands guiding the galaxy toward its conclusion.

Katsukami presents a story of humanity’s struggle against each other and the supernatural forces threatening to end everything. Only one man has the power to put an end to all the madness – a man with a shattered mind where only one thing matters: the destruction of the galaxy itself.

Can humanity find the strength to come together and stand against the coming darkness, or will their hatred of each other lead them to their untimely end?

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What do you think? Let me know! THANKS!

Until next time!

Making Dramatic Changes: My Subconscious Cure All

I want to back things up a bit. Before I started evaluating the premise and setting of the story and posting the chapter and character profiles, I had been talking about my life as I took time to write this story. I would like to pick back up where I had left off. On my post “A Dark Place in Life” I mentioned how I got a job right after I had completed the first full draft of Katsukami.

During the rest of that year, things got a little better. I was making money and life was not being too harsh to me anymore. My life wasn’t taking any leaps forward, but I wasn’t necessarily losing ground either. I became content, complacent, stagnant. It’s been said that there is no such thing as “standing still” in life. You are either moving forward or you are moving backward. Allowing one self to stay comfortable without making any effort to better themselves only brings about negative habits of laziness and complacency.

Lucky for me, I realized this was happening before it got too carried away.

For more than six months, I worked and made money. I tried to work on my second book as well. On a roll after completing my first book, I immediately jumped into the first part of book 2. Within a matter of weeks, I finished a quarter of the story and had all but completed a very specific outline of the rest. I had the feeling that I was on fire.

New Years 2008

I don’t know why. I was fine. I was doing ok and my story was well on its way. So, why did a sudden depression overcome my mind and force me to rethink my place in life? For whatever reason, every new year I always automatically review everything that has happened to me – not just over the previous year either. On every January 1, I look over my life as a whole. I step out of my little bubble and ponder the places I have been, the people I have met, the actions I have taken, the roads I have walked, and (most importantly) the direction I am going. If, for whatever reason, the evaluation of myself is in anyway NOT good, I change directions. The change is not small in any way. Once I come to this conclusion, I begin taking steps that lead me to a dramatic change before the end of that year.

For example:

January 1, 2005 – I was in college and things were happening all around me that made me rethink the direction my life was going. During this time, I was spending my time at college pretty much year round. I would sometimes visit home on holidays, but typically I stayed at my dorm room, even when school was out. I just worked for the school doing whatever they needed and paid rent. New Years 2005 was the first time my New Years Evaluation occurred and I attempted to ignore it. The issues I was struggling with ate at me until I could not deal with it anymore. My mind became clouded. My attitude became irritable. The people I looked up to started appearing useless to me. Still, I fought against my mind. I wanted to complete my degree and nothing was going to stop me. Eight months later, I left. Literally, I made the decision to give in and was gone in 24 hours. Back to Michigan to start over.

It was happening again.

This time, I didn’t fight. The conclusion I came to after the evaluation of my life was one that shocked not only the people around me, but myself as well. I was joining the military. No one who knew me well believed a word I said when I told them of my decision. The girl I was seeing left shortly thereafter but, I really didn’t mind. Let me rephrase that, I cared for sure. I just could not stop the path I had decided to follow. I knew there would be drastic consequences. So I allowed them to happen without much struggle. My friends and family all said things like “Oh, that’s great!” but, deep down, none of them believed I would do it.

“You’re just not a military type of guy.”

In July 2008, I officially swore in to the Air Force and would leave for basic training in November. Just before I left, I mean literally the day before, I remembered something I had put on the back burner for the last (very) quick months. My story…

I let it slip. I would read it every now and then between January and when I left for Texas in November, but I really didn’t write much that entire year. It was too late now. The free time I would have (or lack thereof) over then next several months would hinder me from moving forward on my writing. It was something with which I just had to come to terms. However, the moment I stepped on that plane that would take me to San Antonio, I vowed that my story was not over. I would not just let it slip through the cracks. One day, I would pick up the pen again and keep writing. Even if it was years later…

Turns out that would not be too far from the truth. My life was changing drastically and I would soon find out how little time I had. Would I ever make the time to pick the pen up again and press forward with my story? Would the changes I made to my life prove successful or did I just waste my time? Those are questions we can look into another day. Thanks for reading! I will be back here soon!

Until next time!