Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Stories of the Week for August 21, 2013

The photo I chose for this week is a picture from a petting zoo. I think it's a calf, but it might as well be a puppy dog, since it's so adorable.

Anyway, on to the writing update. I've been completely monogamous with my writing this week, as one project has consumed most of my spare time.

I mentioned it a few weeks ago in a previous update. It's a Middle Grade book which sprung up from a twist on a concept in Neil Gaiman's Stardust, as well as with the issue of apartheid. Turns out, the story did change a lot from the original idea, as I ended up dropping the Stardust thing entirely (I'll probably use it for a future story, though, as I really like the twist I came up with on it). The apartheid idea is still in play, but in a scaled down form.

Last Wednesday, I was on page 2 of the book. Today, I'm on page 44. I'm not sure how fast most writers work, but for me, that's a heck of a lot of pages in one week.

The goal is 5 pages a day, which I've managed to stick to for now. I've also written up a full outline for the book, which I find helps keep my word count from getting too out of control, and also keeps me from running out of ideas later on.

I almost always have to write a couple of different outlines as I go, as concepts evolve and the characters change once you get to know them. I always used to write by the seat of my pants, having little to no idea where the story's going.  It helped the story feel organic, but I often ended up hitting a wall when I did that, and stopping somewhere in the second act, not knowing how to wrap up the plot. With an outline, you have more of a vision of the overall story, and you can work within and adapt that vision much easier, I find. 

The Movie of the Week for this week is Lawless, starring Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, and Jessica Chastain.  For something based on a true story, it did stretch the limits of plausibility at times for me, but I highly recommend this movie.  I love the setting (it's about Prohibition-era bootleggers), most of the characters, and thought it had some excellent performances, particularly Tom Hardy's gruff but strangely lovable Forrest Bondurant.  Jack's romance subplot was one of the weaker parts of the movie for me, and Jessica Chastain's character could have used more screen time, but I found myself getting really drawn into this world and its characters.  

Arbitrary rating: 5 stars. 

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