Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hammer Down

All right. I admit it. The past two weeks have been less than productive, and this coming off of the holiday season during which my effort has been sub-par at best.
But all of that is about to change.

I have a project that I'm working on called Dead in the Water. I've been working on it off and on for over a year. At one point the project was, pardon the pun, dead in the water.
Since then, I pulled out my notes and took another stab at it during nanowrimo. I fixed a lot of the things that were bothering me about it and really got excited about it. I finished the first draft for nano and now I'm working on the rewrite.
The problem is that I wrote it very fast during nano, and to be able to do so, I had to leave out several characters and their subplots. I'm now going through the process of putting them in, making sure that I have a consistency throughout, and all the while correcting any oversights that I find along the way.
I've been poking at this, but to be honest, it's time to just get this project over with. I have ideas for several new projects that I'd like to work on, and I'm really bothered that this one isn't done yet.
I have all I need in place. Time to just do it.
So over the next couple of weeks I'll be doing just that. It will be a mini nanowrimo for me, except that when I'm done I'll have the second draft of my book ready to send out to beta readers and there will be much rejoicing. Until then, however, it will be late nights and guarana capsules and Pepsi. I've procrastinated long enough. Time to finish.
Wish me luck, and if anybody would like to volunteer to read the manuscript for me and tell me what they think, email me at portertrepanier@hotmail.com. The goal is to be done by Superbowl Sunday.
Not wanting to leave you on such a serious and melodramatic note, here's something to laugh at today:

We all know that January is the month to set goals in the area of physical excellence. February is the month to break them. No, just kidding, but if you are trying to get in shape this year, I hope you have better success than these people. I just started a running routine, and it's helped me get a handle on my schedule. A lot.
Just forcing myself to be disciplined for running is forcing me to become more structured in other areas of my life, too. And it feels great.
So, again, wish me luck. Thanks for following my blog and I hope to have good news the next time I post. Until then, Adeu!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

10 Movies That Made me Want to be an Author

I've wanted to be a writer for a long time. In elementary school I wrote stories for fun. I loved the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine and the Hardy Boys. Subsequently, I wrote a couple of cheap knock-offs of those series, so carried away was I with my infatuation with them.
Since then, I've come a long way, and, thankfully, I no longer am limited to writing Goosebumps fanfic. I'm working on my second book, and have half a dozen respectable short stories that I'm working on getting published.
Through the years, I've maintained a strong love for the written word. But one of the things that has continued to excite me about writing fiction is seeing on the silver screen. The following is the list of my top ten movies that made me want to either become a writer or continue working hard to become one.
  • Casablanca This is probably my favorite movie, tops. It's a timeless classic, with plenty of romance, intrigue, and action. True, it's not something that would thrill special-effects fanatics today, but the writing, the story, is awesome.
  • Gone With The Wind I first saw this movie when I was about 5 years old. I love the way it is written, for the clever way it tells the audience about an entire time period and what it was like, all the while telling a great story. History is fun, at least for me, as is fiction. Combine them effectively and you've got cinematic and literary gold.
  • Million-Dollar Baby I saw this movie shortly after getting home off of my mission for the LDS church. It literally knocked my socks off. This was probably the first time I got really excited about writing, at least as far as thinking of it as a career.
  • Gran Torino Between this and Million-Dollar Baby, Clint Eastwood really outdid himself. I loved the themes that were prevalent throughout this show, and the ending, much like the one in Million-Dollar Baby, was fantastic.
  • Secret Window From the King of Creepy comes this story about an author accused of plagiarism. When he is hounded by this stranger, things quickly get out of control. Johnny Depp did a great job, but again, the reason I'm including it is because the story is written really well.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean The whole franchise. Do I really have to explain why this movie made me want to write awesome fiction?
  • The Hunt for Red October Classic cold-war suspense involving awesome submarine technology and Scottish and Russian accents. Regardless the story is really good and one that helped shape me as an author.
  • Alien vs Predator Hey, this is my list, not AMC's, so I'll put this one on it if I want. And just the first one, not the load of tripe that they put out in the second one. The first movie did a great job of combining two of my favorite franchises while at the same time making a great story out of it. Score one for fanfic, I guess.
  • Misery Another one from Stephen King, this one is a good story, though, based on the content, I'm not sure that it made me want to be a published author. Ever. But it's a good story and one of my favorites nonetheless.
  • The Shawshank Redemption I know that King's work is more than amply covered already, but that is not a bias, more a tribute to just how good his work is. And one of the crowning achievements that made it to film was The Shawshank Redemption. Strong story, good characters, and compelling themes throughout. Also, if you've seen the movie and enjoyed as much as I did, you might like this following little clip:

Anyway, these are some of the films that helped shape me as an author. What about you? What are some movies that you feel have influenced your writing positively?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Birthday Shout-Out

On this day in 1892 J.R.R. Tolkien was born. Ironically, the Father of the Fantasy Genre's birthday comes just one day after Isaac Asimov, who if not the Father of Sci-Fi, at least his work has been key to the development of that genre.
Anyway, I've enjoyed both of these authors for years. They're classics in their own right. I just wanted to take a chance and thank both of these men for there contributions to the world of fiction. Happy Birthday.