Miss Me?

Miss Me?

I’m back.

Did you miss me?

Yes, I know it’s been a while. I didn’t keep my promise that I was going to be posting at least once a week.

Yes, I know.

You can pencil me in for my public flogging later.

Believe it or not, I’ve been extremely busy. Yes, parental and adult responsibilities are holding the majority of my attention. And the kids now being out of school has been a bit of a damper.

But guess what?

I have been writing. A lot!

The last time I posted, I mentioned that I had a story that was just begging to be written and was pushing everything else out of my head. Many of you gave me permission to go ahead and pursue it. And I almost did.

A certain person, you may know her as wifey, gave me some serious side-eye and told me that I really need to finish something. And after much grumbling on my part, I realized she was right, as usual (but don’t tell her I said that).

So I compromised. I did take a break from what I was working on, but not for very long. I did some research (my favorite part of a new project), and completely outlined a story. This actually satiated my need to write this new story enough that I could go back and continue working on my original.

Taking that small break also benefited the former projects as well. I was able to come back to them with fresh eyes and fix a few problems that I hadn’t realized were there.

By the way, remember that massive saga I mentioned a long time ago? The one that spans many generations and multiple novels? Well, it’s materializing nicely. It’s still forming, but it seems so much more real to me now than before. In fact, I’m debating sharing a chapter from the short story I’m intending to use to introduce it. What do you think?

Remember that today is July 1. We are officially at the halfway point. I made a goal to have something completed at some point this year. I’m still on track to do that, but I also still have much to do.

So if you’ll excuse me, I have to dive back into my shame pile.

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My Experiment

My Experiment

For the past five weeks, you may have noticed that I’ve been posting excerpts from an unfinished story.

You also may have noticed that I never really explained why I was doing it.

Well, it was mainly just an experiment. And, during this time, I was able to get a lot of feedback from you guys.

Back in December, I stumbled across an interview with a pair of authors named Sean Platt and David Wright. These two authors are pioneers of serialized fiction.

I know that serialized fiction has been around for a long time. Charles Dickens released much of his work as serials before publishing the finished projects as complete novels.

These two guys, however, are treating their stories as if they are seasons of television shows. For a few weeks, or months, they release weekly episodes of a story. Once the story is over, they will release the entire season as a complete novel before moving on to the next story, or season.

I don’t know why, but something about this particular interview made me stop and take notice. To me, this was an extremely cool idea. I started looking into it, and decided that I wanted to give it a try.

I found an old story that I still needed to finish, and split a portion of it into small parts to be released each week.

Over the past few weeks, I discovered some interesting things. I found out when I have something that I think is cool and want to share, it’s really hard to wait for a week between blog posts. I also found that if someone is really enjoying a story, they also don’t like to wait until the next post. They also have no problem telling you that they don’t feel like waiting.

I kinda like that feeling.

I spoke directly to a few of you and was able to surmise that by releasing larger portions, readers would feel more satisfied each week. I also learned that I need to make sure every release has a good cliffhanger at the end to make sure that people come back for more.

So, what happens now?

Do it again, of course!

I’m currently brainstorming what will be the next story to release as a serial. Once I find the perfect story, you’ll see.

In the meantime, excuse me while I dive back into my shame pile.

What I’m Working On or: What I Lost When My Computer Crashed and am Working to Rewrite

What I’m Working On or: What I Lost When My Computer Crashed and am Working to Rewrite

Young writer.

I have always liked that term. It makes me think of a smiling young person happily sitting at a computer monitor while writing up whatever comes to mind with reckless abandon.

I realize however that I myself could be considered a “young writer.” I don’t know about the “young” part, but it’s true.

I know this much: my image of a young writer couldn’t be further from the truth.

Much of my time has been spent staring at blinking cursor, while I try figure out how to pull the amazing image in my head down through my arms, out of my fingers, and push it into the keyboard so it will appear on the monitor. Once I’ve accomplished that, I spend more time trying to figure out why it doesn’t read as well as it appeared in my head.

Sooner or later, I’ll figure that out. For now, I’m just happy to get it out.

Getting past that lead to my next problem. No one mentioned to me that I would spend the first few months of writing chasing my friends and family around, begging them to read something I wrote. It got to the point where anyone who even looked in my direction immediately had a page shoved in front of them while I begged them to read it. I just wanted someone to tell me that what I was writing was good.

Now, I hear that this is a pretty common phase with young writers.

Once my confidence had been given a big enough boost, I started keeping my stories and ideas to myself. I figured it would be wiser for me to show off a finished product than to present someone with something that may change drastically during the creative process. So I’ve forced myself to put my nose to the grindstone and focus on actually writing.

Would you believe I’ve gotten a lot done now because of that?

However, due to my supposed silence, I’m constantly being asked if I’m still writing. And what I’m working on.

Yeah, I know you’ve been reading for a while, but this is why I’m here. I just wanted to answer those two questions.

Yes. I’m still writing. I haven’t given up on my dream of becoming a published author. I’m actually working harder at it now than I ever have.

At some point while I had a handful of papers under a friend’s nose, I ran across a saying: “Those are who talk about writing are not writers. Writers write.”

Ok, noted. I withdrew into whatever quiet corner I could find and buckled down.

It’s now been four years since I started taking this seriously. I’m not only fielding questions from those who knew about my decision to pursue this dream, but I’m also starting to ask myself what I have to show for all of my efforts.

So here’s what I’m working on. I’m going to keep it relatively vague because I want to keep the element of surprise. I don’t like talking about things too much before they are done. Also, I know people who are quick to give me more than my fair share of finger-wagging because I may have changed my mind, killed a project, or gone in a different direction.

I started out writing a novel. And I got pretty far into the process. I did research for months. Outlined the story. And I started writing it. But because of the dark subject matter, I needed to take a break and write something lighter. So I shelved that story. I don’t think I was ready for it.

I started a second novel, which I’m currently working on. It is decidedly much lighter fare and a lot more fun to write. But that first novel is haunting me. My guilt over having this unfinished thing lying around in my house is driving me crazy. Once I finish my other project, I will be going back and completing the first one.

I also have plenty of short stories that will probably never see the light of day, at least for now. Maybe someday I’ll gain some courage and release them.

I have the blog that you’re reading now, The Shame Pile, that I’m trying to resurrect. There’s a big gap in the dates that I can’t offer any excuses for. I’m hoping to make up for that with content in the near future.

I’ve also started writing for thenerdelement.com. It’s a great site started by some friends of mine that focuses on, well, things nerds love: movies, tv, games, tech, etc. All of these are things I enjoy writing about. So I love writing for them

At some point along the way, I also picked up a writing partner. We connected over an idea for a TV show that he has. We’ve been collaborating on that for a few months now. I have to say, learning to work with another person and not rely on just my own ideas has been an eye opener for me. I had always been under the impression that writing is a lonely art. But I’m now realizing that it doesn’t have to be. In addition, I’m doing something I’ve never done before, writing a pilot script. I must admit, I’m enjoying it. Once we get this project off the ground, and I have faith that we will, I can see myself writing other scripts in the future. I definitely plan to explore that avenue thoroughly.

Unfortunately, that pilot script is one of the things that I lost when my hard drive died. So I’m working feverishly to rewrite it so I can start circulating it.

So what does the future hold?

From my perspective, it’s limitless. I have these projects to finish, and I also have a massive saga that spans generations, and many novels, forming in my head right now. Just escaping into that world when I’m researching it makes me giddy.

I can’t wait to share it with you.

I intend to give you a lot to read in the future.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to dive back into my shame pile.