Goal for the Weekend

I realized that my Goal for the Weekend posts probably don’t make as much sense without the back story for that. Between a wife in nursing school and a two year old devil-boy, my free time is usually Friday and Saturday night, starting around ten and going as long as I can keep my eyes open. I try to get a good game plan together every Friday afternoon for what I want to accomplish before Monday morning.

So, the goals:

  • Edit. Edit a lot.

I wanted to edit last night, then we had a thunderstorm which knocked out our AC. I spent all night trying to figure out what to do about that and failing. Luckily, after a restless night in an eighty degree bedroom, the AC is back up. The goal is a bare minimum of 44 pages, but I would love to do double that (actually about 100 pages). I am also looking at couple of chapters that have changed as the story evolved these five years and been rewritten several times. They are going to need some serious work, I believe. I’m trying not to fall into the trap of rewriting this to death, but my gut is telling me these chapters succumbed to that trap long ago and need to be scrapped and replaced.

  • Write in the second book.

Less concerned about word count here, really just want to get past a particular story arc. I am in a place in the book I didn’t anticipate, didn’t imagine, and have no clue what to do with. I want to get a good running start and go at it like that dude in Wanted.

Sometimes your book is something you love. You want to respond in turn. Other times its your enemy and well, you’re just declaring war on it. I want to do that to my book!

Okay, everything except at the end where he gets shot in the head. That would be bad.

 

Ebooks VS. Hardcover Books

Writer Unboxed has a pretty important article up that I haven’t really seen elsewhere. Basically, it details the price and royalty comparison between hardcover books and ebooks, and how it effects the profit margin of publishers and authors.

Basically, it comes down to a publisher explaining in an earnings meeting that they make more off ebooks because of lower royalties and lower costs. That would be fine if they brought absolutely anything to the table, had to take more risk, anything, but they are facilitating what most people can accomplish for free on their own.

It’s definitely worth a read.

Writing Status 6/27

Wow, it is almost July. Seems like just the other day we were celebrating the new year. Time flies, I guess.

So far, I am behind. My writing goal is pretty much shot to hell. Anniversaries, work stuff, etc. have limited that, as well as a big ol whallop of procrastination. As far as editing goes (and as bad a habit as this is, it’s my focus right now) I am on page 69 of 308. I actually should be on page 108, but didn’t do anything the weekend of my anniversary.

Plan on catching up this weekend, and spending a lot of time writing. Dean Wesley Smith says make a goal, try your best to stick to it, and if you get behind just keep with the plan. That’s what I am going to try and do.

But hell or high water, I am hitting this August 12th date.

That’s going to bite me in the ass.

Man Of Steel

Just about every writer I read has had an issue with this movie. They picked it apart for its emphasis on action, lacking the qualities that make Superman, its gritty nature, etc. I really, really wanted to love this movie and be like hah but that just wasn’t meant to be.

The movie isn’t terrible, it’s just alright. The action was well done, but has the same problem I’ve always had with Superman, a whole lot of teasing with no payoff. Sure, a whole hell of a lot of buildings got destroyed, but everyone else just walked it off. They didn’t even breathe heavy. When everyone comes out of going through multiples buildings, having a train dropped on them, exploded, etc. and they don’t get scratched at all, it removes the climax of the combat. The only reason anyone stopped hitting each other was seemingly because they got bored or distracted and wandered over to something else.

BUT, I wouldn’t say this movie lacked the qualities of Superman. He’s still a boyscout, it still has plenty of hope, and it’s not near as gritty as everyone makes it out to be. This is NOT batman (and it shouldn’t be), don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If anything, I would say it’s too hopeful, almost cheesy. Not as bad as Superman Returns, but half the movie is him flashing back to the awesomeness of Kansas and his family and how great they were and how much he wants to make his dad proud…yada, yada, yada. It’s fine, that’s what makes Superman, you know, Superman, but why is everyone talking about how dark it was?

SPOILER ALERT!

SPOILER ALERT!

SPOILER ALERT!

Is it because he kills Zod? Really? Fucking really? They guy who was going to destroy the whole human race, destroyed half of Metropolis, and was in the middle of trying to outright murder a family? That guy should  have been spared? Superman should have just figured it out? It wasn’t gritty, it wasn’t some ruthless, Punisher-style take down. It took him forever to finally do it, and then he cried about it!

This is dark, eighties Superman? Really? Because, I’m pretty sure just about any other character would have killed Zod when he set out to kill seven billion people. Or when the non-lethal Phantom Zone plan (and why is it better to trap someone in a black hole for eternity?) didn’t pan out.

Something else everyone keeps harping on, is that it’s more about him being from Krypton than Kansas. No, not really. The movie’s action focuses on that (and I agree, they should have skipped the whole intro) but the theme, Superman’s character, comes exactly from the fact that he was raised by farmers, taught to restrain himself, taught to take care of the majority, to sacrifice himself, to be the bigger person, to be better, to be more.

The big moment isn’t when he meets Jor-El, it’s when he talks about his father’s death. When he finds out he’s an alien, he doesn’t ask if there are more like him, he asks, couldn’t I just go on pretending he your son? And his father tells him, you are my son! That’s what the movie was about. That’s the father that meant the most, the home that meant the most, and that he would protect it above anything else.

A Couple Articles by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Read this and this.

I talk about Dean Wesley Smith a lot (or I did a lot on the old Story Arcs) but less about his wife, Kristine Kathryn Rusch. I don’t really know how that happened, but I am going to correct it.

Personally, I think if you take her Business Rusch posts and the Shatzkin Files, you pretty much have everything you need to know about publishing as an industry. They’re well informed, experience, very analytical and sit on different sides of the publishing spectrum. Note on that, reading Mike Shatzkin is a bit like reading H. P. Lovecraft. Not so much the supernatural aspect, more like, “What the hell did that paragraph just say?”

Anyway, Ms. Rusch has an incredible way of being brutally honest, and being uplifting at the same time. If you have anything to do with publishing, no matter its form, read her stuff. If you don’t agree with her, it will at least serve as a counterbalance.

Also, the first article is about her path to publishing her Smokey Dalton series. I don’t want to endorse it before reading, but it’s set in Memphis and there just aren’t enough stories set in this area. Love to see it and am looking forward to checking it out.