Updates, excitement, and justifying laziness

Or “I finally fixed my description for Joshua’s Nightmares, I have big writing news, and figured out a way to explain some of the laziness in my writing that makes sense.”

Over the course of the past month or so, I’ve written over fifty-thousand new words in my first draft of Joshua’s Nightmares. That’s a NaNoWriMo’s worth of words. Almost a metric shit-ton, or perhaps more than a metric- shit-ton (I honestly don’t know how to properly quantify that much, but I know it’s a lot). It’s been an extraordinary adventure, and I still have a fair bit to go before it’s over. Again, I want to apologize to, as well as thank, all of the people who have to endure me talking at great lengths about this project. I almost apologized to my journal a couple nights ago because I keep writing about writing this, and that’s when I realized I need to calm down and just enjoy every little bit of the writing process as this idea gradually grows into its end stages. It’s the longest piece of writing I’ve ever worked on, and it’s the most excited I’ve been to work on anything in quite some time (since before Thesis Seminar at Edinboro, which was certainly a thing that happened). It’s fifteen pages shy of hitting the 200 page mark, and that seems pretty amazing to me. Continue reading

Reimagining the Bogeyman

Or “How I unintentionally transformed a villain whose sole purpose was to act as a plot device to something I think turned out pretty cool.”

Sometimes, and by sometimes I mean more often than I probably should, I create characters out of need to move the plot forward. Don’t give me that side-eyes look, now, because I’m sure it’s not an even remotely uncommon practice. I’m also, after a bit of fun personal experience, certain it can result in some pretty fun ideas. Continue reading

Progress report on Joshua’s Nightmares

Or “I’m pretty damn excited because I’ve been writing all weekend, and this is the most I’ve enjoyed working on a project in a long, long time.”

Tonight, mere moments ago, Joshua’s Nightmares broke the 30,000 words mark. It’s on it’s forty-sixth page, and still has a ways to go before it’s completed. Most importantly, I’m loving every second of it.

I’d also like to extend my thanks to all of my followers. WordPress tells me I hit one hundred followers, and that’s also pretty amazing news. Thank you to everyone who has stuck around and kept reading. You’re all fantastic.

This post feels a bit naked without my standard, rambling prose, and so I’ll end it with this beautiful piece of music from the game Puppeteer (a game truly worth purchasing for its compelling narrative, beautiful art style, and amazing music).

The Monsters of Joshua’s Nightmares

Or “I totally just posted about villains not even a day ago, but have some more stuff about villains.  I’m not even a little sorry.”

I wrote what amounted to a love letter to all things villain-related just hours ago, and it spawned another idea that has been bouncing around my brain inconveniently (and preventing me from sleeping, which is awful as I have to be awake in less than four hours from now).  I’ve done a lot of talking about Joshua’s Nightmares here, which makes sense because this blog was born as part of my efforts related to working on it.  I have a page about the novel-to-be (that needs revising, I fear) that gives a solid enough synopsis of its plot.  Beyond that, I’ve not really posted anything from the actual story, whether it’s for fear of it being swiped and used elsewhere (gasp!) or just because I’m overly-picky over who gets to see works-in-progress.

However, it only seems appropriate to share a little, and so I present the villains and monsters (a sampling, so as to not bring out any major spoilers) of Joshua’s Nightmares.  Obligatory “the following characters and locations are my intellectual property, and are not to be used in any way without my express permission” comment goes here. Continue reading

How early is too early to plan a sequel?

Or “How to handle being too attached to your own characters without killing them all at the end of the book.”

I skipped out on writing and reading yesterday (ignoring my journal entry last night, which doesn’t really count since it’s not creative writing and the goal was some creative writing each day).  I’d like to say I took a day off for a good reason, but it was mostly just a mix of laziness and being tired from work.  Excuses, excuses.

Naturally, I felt a bit guilty about that today, and so I focused on getting some new bits added to “Joshua’s Nightmares”.  I had errands to run today in preparation of an important interview of the job variety, which meant I had to get a shower at some point.  In the process of getting ready to shower (yes, I know, there is a lot of process to me not being lazy on my weekends off), I found myself thinking about certain prominent characters from “Joshua’s Nightmares” and where they’d end up at the end of the story.  Yes, there would be closure for them, but it felt like there was more that could happen.

And that’s when an idea happened.  It met up with similar ideas, which in turn met with other similar ideas.  I realize this presents a bit of a bothersome situation, as I’m not even close to halfway done with “Joshua’s Nightmares” and I’m already thinking, “Hey, there should be a second book.”

So the real question to you writer-type people is how soon is too soon for sequel-oriented thinking?  Or is it just one of those things you should embrace as it happens?

Either way, I’m afraid to say I’ll have to stash the ideas away in my little red Moleskine for the time being.

The best sorts of creative outbursts

Or “How doing the dishes triggers the best kind of daydreaming, unless you daydream about doing the dishes.”

Tonight has turned out to be a fairly average Wednesday night, and I found myself washing the dishes I’ve ignored for far too long.  This is, of course, not my favorite activity, but there are only eight bowls in the house, four of which are only large enough for a small serving of cereal, and I can only justify pretending Tupperware is a solid alternative for so long.  I’m completely unashamed of the fact that I heated up soup in, and ate the aforementioned soup from, a microwave-safe container, by the way.

Veering back toward my point: I found myself listening to music on my trusty iPod, going through the robotic motions of washing the dishes, when a hint of an idea for something later in “Joshua’s Nightmares” popped up in the forefront of my thoughts.  I considered the revisions, then stored them away in their usual spot in my memory (which, by the way, probably looks something like the top of my dresser: riddled with notebooks, writing utensils, and a good deal of unused origami paper).

That’s when the idea exploded, becoming so much more (at least, as of now, to me) than it had been in its initial drafting.  It’s probably one of  my favorite parts of the writing process, because it’s something I have no control over.  The thrill of having an idea go from being a spark to an inferno is one I have yet to fully recreate elsewhere (except maybe on rollercoasters, and I think I’m mistaking the rush of creativity for the rush of blood to my brain).

The siren call of sleep

Or “I know I said I’m going to bed, and I totally am right after I write this entry.”

About now, I should be getting ready for bed.  Writing tonight’s journal entry, brushing my teeth, and so on and so on.  The cursor in Microsoft Word is blinking at me in a way that says “Why are you leaving me?  I have so many words you’ve not added to your story yet.”  That’s true, by the way.  I’ve reached that creative stride where I find myself writing almost effortlessly.  I’m sure the editing phases of this novel-to-be will be less smooth, but let’s not think about that now.

My bed, of course, is calling to me.  It’s saying how comfortable the comforter is (with emphasis on how those are practically the same word, obviously), how fluffy my pillow is, and how I will hate myself if I don’t get to sleep soon because I have a solid eight hours ahead of me at work tomorrow, and that’s a thought that makes my blood run cold these days.  And, really, any day because work is indeed work.  I’m not overly fond of work.  Mind you, I still can’t complain because it’s a great job that’s been a tremendous help.  It still isn’t writing for a living, but it helps enable the act of writing in my spare time and so I’ll take what I can get.

Now if I were to go back in time and tell myself I would have written over seven thousand new words worth of “Joshua’s Nightmares” over the course of a couple days, I would ask myself why I’m not putting time travel abilities to better use.  My moral compass points to get-rich quick schemes involving time travel.  That’s not actually the point, though.

I have made tremendous progress in terms of drafting “Joshua’s Nightmares”, which has in turn made me even more enthusiastic about working on it.  Being tired from my day-job becomes a non-issue when I get home and open Microsoft Word.  This is what I went to college for, and why I have continued to write; to recapture this feeling of happiness and accomplishment.  Okay, and maybe because I think I would just die if I stopped writing.  Nobody say that’s a good thing.  I know one or two of you are thinking it, and you are so on my shit-list.

Small confession, by the way: I wish I had some moderately decent artistic skills in terms of drawing or painting.  Down the road, I may have to pony up the money to get someone to draw a map of the Sleep State to go with “Joshua’s Nightmares”.  It would look so cool.  Trust me.  I’m probably not trying to be an unreliable narrator in this post.

The siren call of sleep has reached the point where I can’t ignore it any longer, and so I’m going to head to bed.  Wishing you all a good night, and plenty of highly productive days of creativity.  Oh, and don’t freeze tomorrow because apparently there’s more frigid fun on the way.