What I'm Working On Now

Three short films are in Post-Production, soon to be submitting to film festivals.
Producing/editing a pilot for a new web-series inspired by the Alice in Wonderland tales.
Producing/editing a documentary on Gene Roddenberry and the genesis of Star Trek The Original Series.
There are a number of other projects in development, just waiting their turn to be produced.

Monday, April 29, 2013

NOW I'M BACK...REALLY, AND I HAVE SOME COOL UPDATES

     So, I keep saying that I'm back and that my posting will get back to normal...and then I take another week off. Well, this time it's for real. No more distractions. I'll be posting Monday/Wednesday/Friday once again and here's how it's going to be: Monday's I'll be posting something about film making (convenient since I'll be shooting two short films this month), Wednesday's will be a general post with observations or updates about writing, and Friday's will be poetry.

     As I mentioned, I've got two films I'm working on right now, "Merlin in Love" and "Scream for the Whisperer" (I posted an older draft of the script which you can read here). We held auditions earlier this month and have begun auditions...but that stuff, sadly, makes for pretty dull reading, so let me tell you a story, or actually two stories.

*

     Morgan was not having a very good start this week, work was frustrating, school was terrible, but the last straw was when, yesterday, an old man wandered out into the middle of the street right in front of her car. There was no way she could have stopped in time and she struck the old man. He was already fading fast when Morgan got to his side.
     "I had to see you...one last time," the old man said, blood in his mouth. He died there in her arms.
     Morgan couldn't take anymore this week, and called in sick to both work and school, opting instead to go to her favorite park and try to forget what had happened. The park bench was a bit chilly but not uncomfortable as she ate her lunch.
     "Excuse me," said a voice, "may I sit down?"
     Morgan said yes without looking up at the newcomer, engrossed in her own thoughts.
     "Have we met yet?" asked the man at her side.
     His voice was strangely familiar, though definitely not one of her friends, possibly an acquaintance. Morgan glanced at the man and felt her jaw drop. It couldn't be, he was dead, the old man from yesterday.
     "Right," said the old man in an understanding tone and extended his hand in greeting, "my name's Merlin."

*

     Melissa really didn't care for Sophie. She was arrogant, ignorant, and attracted far more attention from the male customers than she deserved. If it weren't for the fact that Sophie was a Speaker, able to command magic by simply speaking normally, Melissa would have fired her long ago. Still, Speakers were rare and usually didn't stoop to such a menial job as waiting tables. Every other waitress Melissa had hired before Sophie was, at best, a Shouter, and they were all but useless. Not only did they have to shout to command magic, they also had to be so specific that a single command could take several minutes to construct. Perhaps it was Sophie's personality flaws that made her unemployable in a better job. Whatever the reasons were, Melissa didn't ask. She tried to minimize how much she had to talk to Sophie. At the moment it was nearly midnight and she, Melissa, was finally on her way home. She'd forgotten to command the cupboards to open before sending the dishes to them and had to put the broken plates back together. She was still muttering under her breath, frustrated with herself for making such a stupid mistake, when she tripped over something on the sidewalk. In the dim light of a nearby street lamp, Melissa saw what she'd tripped over: a leg stuck out at an odd angle from the dark alley Melissa had been passing.
     Melissa followed the leg and into the alley until she found the face. Sophie stared blindly up into the night sky, blood spattered around her mouth and dribbling onto her neck.
     A foot scuffed from deeper in the alley. She looked, and as she did the shadows seemed to pull away from the walls, coalescing into the form of a man.
     "scream for the whisperer," he muttered. The air around him wavered and then Melissa began to scream.

Monday, April 22, 2013

IMMOLATION: COMPLETED

The problems that I was having with IMMOLATION have been dealt with and I've updated chapters 56 and 57. Chapter 58 is gone, along with that direction of the story, sorry for those of you who may have liked where it was going.

Below is both chapters, though you can also find them at their respective links above.


*     *     *
Chapter 56
Papers lay scattered across Matt's desk. A solitary lamp hung overhead, swaying slightly each time the ground quaked. Matt tried not to think about what each shock wave meant, and the fact that they were becoming stronger and more frequent. Still, it wasn't any more terrifying than the tight, handwritten scrawl that covered each page. He was all too familiar with that handwriting on the papers before him and Matt shook his head in horror. Nuclear power plant designs, oil refineries, and schematics for explosives were just a few of the things Matt had found in Dr. Muto's office.
The door opened behind Matt and the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end as footsteps, muffled ever so slightly by the thin carpet, heralded the approach.
How could you?” Matt asked in a low whisper.
The footsteps stopped just to his side and Matt looked up at Dr. Muto's shadowed face. Dr. Muto looked to the mess on the desk and then back to Matt, acting as though he had not heard Matt and collected up the papers.
What were you looking for?” Dr. Muto's tone was conversational, if a bit stiff.
What do you think?” Matt asked.
I really couldn't tell, considering what you've laid out for yourself.”
The plans, Muto, I was looking for the plans.”
And it would appear as though you've found them.”
The plans for the heat Machine,” Matt corrected. “It might not be too late, we could still stop the world from destroying itself.”
Dr. Muto chuckled.
What's so funny?” Matt demanded, incensed at Dr. Muto's apparent lack of concern.
What do you think all of this was for?” Dr. Muto asked, waving the papers in front of Matt. “Our world was dying.”
Matt jumped to his feet. “And now you've gone and killed it!”
It's people, perhaps,” Dr. Muto said dismissively, putting the papers back into their respective folders and drawers. “But I've come to accept the fact that the human race is determined to destroy itself, no matter how hard you or I try to save it.”
Then can't we at least postpone that end?” Matt pleaded.
How?”
Share the plans to the Heat Machine!”
NO!” Dr. Muto shouted, forcing Matt back down into his seat. “Do you think that will change anything now? Can they build one? Do they have the resources? The man power? The time? I doubt any of these so called armies even have a plan to get back to their own countries.”
Dr. Muto—”
No,” Dr. Muto cut Matt off, “The fighting going on out there has long ago stopped being about energy. Their only goal is destruction now.”
Well, now that I have this,” Matt said, holding up a small thumb drive, “we can see which of us is right.”
Matt got back out of his chair and pushed passed a stunned Dr. Muto.
Where did you get that drive?” Dr. Muto asked breathlessly.
Matt paused in the doorway. “I hacked into your computer about a week ago,” he said unabashedly, “and at first I was frustrated that I still couldn't find the plans. Then I found this in your desk,” Matt held up the unremarkable thumb drive. “I still haven't been able to break the encryption on it, but I'm all but certain this is it. Any way, I'm going to hand it over to them and let them figure it out.”
Dr. Muto screamed and lashed out, his cries were wild and bestial as he clawed at Matt, trying to get the thumb drive away from him. For a moment, all Matt could think to do was hold the drive out of Dr. Muto's reach. The crazed ferocity was something Matt had only seen once before; when Dr. Muto attacked him during his thesis defense. Matt buried his fist into Dr. Muto's stomach, doubling him over, and followed it up with a right cross that snapped his head to the side with a crack and Dr. Muto crumpled to the floor where he lay motionless.
Matt hurried out of the office and down the hall. He didn't care if he'd overdone it on Dr. Muto. Either way, if things went according to plan, Matt wouldn't be seeing his old mentor again. It didn't take long for Matt to make his way to the observation room and he took his customary position at the main computer.
Everyone out,” Matt ordered as soon as he was logged in. “Now!”
There were looks of confusion and concern on their faces as the technicians left, but Matt ignored them. Like Dr. Muto, Matt wouldn't be seeing them again. The moment the door was shut, Matt began disabling the security systems, turning off the cameras, and deactivating the security doors. Finally he pressed the button that unlocked the door to the Heat Machine. All he had to do now was go in there and lift the latch and the door would swing open. A minute later he was standing in front of the Heat Machine itself. There was no way to communicate with Joan and let her know what he was doing.
I'm sorry for everything, Joan,” Matt whispered.
He raised the latch and unbearable heat poured out, forcing Matt backwards and he realized this may not have been the best way to go about freeing Joan.
*
Numbness held Joan in its gentle embrace, rocking her back and forth and keeping her safe from all that would destroy her. Her fire helped, too, in keeping back the walls and the darkness, for in the darkness the walls could move. In her fire she could grow flowers, blossoming and blooming at her every whim.
Awake or asleep, Joan burned. She couldn't remember a time when she didn't burn, as though the thought of not burning was something foreign and absurd. Every once in a while, in her dreams, she visited a time and a place where she burned less, or not at all. It was a wondrous place of such unimaginable joy that she often awoke from those dreams crying. So many faces and names that she could never quite remember once she was awake. The flowers in the fire were her attempt to bring some of the dream into her waking moments
Joan,” a phantom voice carried over the rushing of her fire.
Such things were not uncommon for Joan. Voices from her dreams often carried over into her waking thoughts, though this voice was one that she was less familiar with.
...my fault...won't blame you...free...”
Joan frowned. The voice was growing stronger, louder, perhaps even a bit desperate.
Who are you?” Joan asked the voice.
The voice changed and this new voice answered with a nonsense name. “It's Tom,” the voice spoke so clearly that Joan could have sworn he was standing only a short distance away. “Please don't burn me!”
It was at that moment that Joan became aware of a draft in the air around her. She dimmed her fire enough for her to see beyond it. The shock of seeing the door to her room open robbed her of her strength and she fell to the floor.
Someone stood outside of her cell, backed all the way up against the far wall, nothing more than a shadowy figure to Joan's eyes.
Please Joan,” the first voice shouted, “I want to help you, don't burn me.”
Joan overcame her shock and got back to her feet, scrambling to get out of her cell. The cool touch of the stone beneath her feet felt good and the air smelled remarkably fresh when compared to the stuffy, processed air that was pumped into the Heat Machine.
Joan hated how cold the floors were in the morning. Her parents never listened to her when she suggested they get heated floors, or carpet, or at the very least some rugs. It would certainly make getting up in the mornings easier.
Joan, hurry up,” her mother called from the kitchen.
Joan sighed and hurried down the hallway to the kitchen. Her mother stood in front of the stove, frying some eggs and bacon. A stack of pancakes already lay on a plate on the counter.
Thanks mom,” Joan purred, “It smells delicious.”
Joan, it's burning,” her mother said, though the voice was not her own and it was etched with fear. “Stop it Joan, stop it!”
JOAN!” the second voice, Tom, shouted and Joan found herself back in the enclosure, the silhouetted person still leaning against the far wall. Whoever it was, they did not move away as Joan walked closer.
Tom, is that you?” Joan asked, still not sure who Tom was, and she squinted through her fire trying to see more than just his basic form.
She continued to step closer but her fire, dimmed though it was, still prevented her from getting a clear view. At last she was close enough that she reached out her hand to touch him. Immediately he crumbled into a pile of bones and dust.
An image from her forgotten past jolted into her mind and she saw a man, Tom, curled on the ground before her, writhing in pain as he burned within her fire. No other memory about who Tom was came to her, just the image.
Fear and anger gripped Joan and she burned white hot. Who was this? Was this the real Tom? Was this someone else? From the looks of it, whoever he had been, he'd died trying to open the door. The door had expanded and jammed in heat before he could get the door open. The ground around Joan began to melt along with the rest of the door.
A thunderous crack rang out and the glass from the observation room above shattered, sending a cascade of glass shards down onto Joan. Her fire caught most of the shards, vaporizing them before they could reach the ground and the rest scattered far enough away that her fire didn't heat them too much before they tinkled to the ground. Once the last of the glass hit the floor, Joan cleared the fire away from her face to give her a better view of what was happening. The walls were ablaze, the concrete was crumbling, and everything made of glass was either shattering or else melting. High above her, the skylights of her enclosure began to warp in the heat.
Joan screamed in joy and shot a bolt of fire straight upward. Glass exploded and then vaporized and the whole enclosure was filled with sunlight. For the first time that she could remember, a warm breeze that wasn't from her fire blew around her, blowing her hair about and stirring the flames in the room. Ash and smoke billowed out and the fire burst forth with renewed vigor.
Hurry up Joan,” her friend called after her, “or all the cute guys will be taken.”
Joan tossed back her head and laughed for joy, following after her friend, though she couldn't quite remember her name.
They ran through the close trees of the woods near their home where they'd agreed to meet the others. They were going to have a bonfire. From the smell of smoke in the air, Joan guessed they'd already got the fire started. The trees grew closer and closer together until they lined the path like walls and their boughs formed a sort of ceiling, blocking out the starlight and moonlight.
I can't see where we're going,” Joan called happily to her friend who ran in front of her.
No response and the darkness grew more foreboding.
Hey, are you there?” Joan couldn't hear her friend's footsteps anymore.
Still no answer.
The darkness became complete and the walls began to move.
NO!” Joan shrieked and her fire burst back into life.
The forest was gone, replaced instead by an unfamiliar corridor. Her fire pushed the walls back to where they belonged and Joan shivered for a time, uncertain about what to do.
The ground shook.
Chapter 57
Another door melted to the ground and Joan stepped over the pool of molten slag. All around her, the corridor shone in the flicker of firelight and very once in a while, the ground shook, making her have to steady herself against the wall. She passed another sign pointing her toward the exit and she hurried her steps. Whatever was causing the ground to shake was getting stronger, and judging from the way the walls were cracking with each tremor, she guessed they were not figments of her imagination.
Joan reached what she thought was the end of the hallway only to find that it turned to the right and continued on in an equally long stretch of bare corridor. A great shuddering boom sounded above and she broke into a run. Behind her she heard sections of the hallway collapse and a large plume of dust shot up after her.
The firelight danced all around and in its shadows Joan saw all of her greatest fears. Terrors from her time trapped inside the Heat Machine. Days, weeks, months...Joan had no idea how much time had passed inside of that terrible place. She yearned to blaze like she did inside the Heat Machine, push back the shadows entirely, but she knew these walls were not sufficiently strong to handle such a blaze.
Joan,” called Tom's voice from the shadows.
Go away,” Joan ordered the voice. She didn't have time to waste on her hallucinations, not with the building collapsing all around her.
Joan, I want to come with you.”
Like I could stop you.”
I miss you Joan.”
Her vision blurred and she realized that she was crying. As she reached up to wipe away her tears she ran headlong into a security door. The impact was so great that for a moment she just lay there on the floor in a daze and it took another crash from behind to prod her back to her feet. Pieces of ceiling continued to collapse behind her and a few pebbles hit her on her head.
Melt,” Joan said as she pelted the door with her fire. “Come on.”
The door warped and began to glow red hot but the collapsing corridor was catching up and she began to panic. She had to burn hotter.
The walls crumbled and the floor bubbled and still Joan burned hotter. All around her, the air began to pop and burst as the extreme heat threatened to ignite all of the oxygen in the air.
The ground shook and the hallway collapsed right behind her. Joan shrieked and in a great surge of concentration, her fire turned white hot. The door all but vaporized, filling the air with the acrid stench of metal, and Joan started to run.
DON'T LEAVE ME!” Tom screamed from behind with such anguish that Joan was forced to stop fleeing and turn around.
There, just visible through the shifting clouds of dust and shadows stood a man with blonde hair. He pointed to the floor where a parcel of folded letters lay on the floor; her fire didn't seem to have its usual effect on the papers, though their edges were beginning to brown and crinkle.
Please Joan,” Tom pleaded in a quieter tone, “Don't leave me.”
Tom's plea was so heartfelt that Joan wanted to go and take the letters and before she knew what she was doing, she had already walked over to them and picked one of them up. However, her instincts for self preservation returned as another section of corridor collapsed and she scuttled backwards on her hands and knees.
Please,” Tom said, and Joan was torn between what to do.
While the debate raged furiously inside Joan's, the ceiling above her head cracked as another quake tore through the complex. There wasn't time to think anymore and Joan threw herself back as concrete rubble fell where she'd been crouched moments before.
RUN!” Tom shouted and Joan obeyed, stuffing the single letter she'd managed to grab into her shirt pocket.
Joan's fire burned so hot as she ran that she hardly had to slow down for the next security door, it melted so fast. The intense heat did nothing to slow the collapse of the building, if anything it sped it up, but Joan ran on, staying just ahead of the collapse.
Door after door, turn after turn, Joan ran on while behind her the building fell, until, all at once, she found herself standing outside in the sunlight.
No,” Joan muttered. She didn't have time for another of her waking dreams. The building was going to fall on top of her at any moment and she'd be crushed. She smacked herself across the face, pinched her arm, and still the corridor did not return. A loud crash behind her made her spin around just in time to see the last remnants of the front doors of the compound collapse.
She was out.
A light breeze blew through her hair and, judging from the sweet flowery warmth in the air, it was summer time. A high mound of earth had been built up all around the compound, recently from the looks of it, and the compound itself was in ruins. The parts of it that were still standing were pocked and scarred. In the distance Joan could hear the distant rumble of machinery and the occasional cracking of gunfire.
Read it,” Tom said, walking into view from behind her. “There isn't much time.”
Joan withdrew the letter that she'd saved.
However, the wind shifted before Joan could begin reading and a very different scent accosted her nostrils, distracting her. Smoke and sulfur tinged with rot and decay so strong that it almost made Joan retch. A high pitched whistle sounded behind her, growing louder. Joan looked around, wondering what it could be until it climaxed in a thunderous boom that shattered the far side wall of the compound. Joan covered her ears and her fire blazed, feeding from and intensifying her fears once more.
Another whistle and this time Joan didn't wait around. She ran as fast as she could toward the hill surrounding the compound.
Read it,” Tom said as he ran along beside her.
Now's not a great time, you know?” Joan informed him as a blast from behind almost knocked Joan to the ground.
It'll only get worse,” Tom said. “Read it.”
Joan did the best she could, running and trying to read the paper while at the same time keeping a look out for debris that could trip her.
Dear Joan, she read, I hope this finds you well. Or at least better than last week. Things here are going well. I got a cat...
Joan paused in both her reading and her running. She'd read this before, but when or where she couldn't remember.
Tom drew closer to Joan. “Remember me.” It wasn't a question.
Joan looked at Tom, puzzled, and then back to the letter. This was from him, she realized but before she could question him about it another distant whistle spurred her onward again. This time, as she ran, she gave the letter more attention than before.
I can't think of a good name for him. I've included a picture of him so you can help me out. He likes being held, but not being scratched. He'll sit on my lap for hours, purring, as long as I don't touch him. Whenever I do try to pet him he bats my hands away. Sometimes he'll bite if I don't stop right away, but I can't feel it.
Something wasn't right. Why couldn't Tom feel the cat biting him? Something in her mind was struggling to get loose, as though the missing memory was just out of reach, hidden in shadows.
The hill exploded and the world fell silent as her eardrums burst.
Joan tumbled head over heels through the air and with each revolution she saw the apparitions from her captivity, and her memories began to unlock.
Tom was lying on the ground burning. Tom, who had written her so many letters, who loved her. Joan still didn't now if Tom's letters had stopped because the postal service had stopped or if the war had reached where he lived.
Melanie stepped out of the flame and took Joan's hand to calm her fears. Melanie had always been there, sheltered her, even knocked Mike out to help her escape, but her visits had long since stopped, thanks to Matt and his false promises.
Mike stood not far behind, surrounded by bookshelves and looking nervous but not complaining about the fire. He'd given Joan more chances than she deserved, considering how much Mike loved his bookstore. True, it was in part due to Melanie's influence but he had genuinely seemed interested in helping Joan.
NO!” Joan screamed as the apparitions vanished at the same moment she hit the ground. Tom's letter had been torn apart in the explosion and only the little piece she held between her fingers remained. Pain arched through her like electricity and put an end to the flood of memories as it became clear that she wouldn't be going anywhere any time soon. In fact, given how close she was to the explosion, she doubted she would last much longer.
Through the gap in the hill, Joan saw an approaching army. On the far side of the ruined compound another army crested the hill. It was obvious from their movements and hand signals that they had seen one another, as well as Joan. Many of them had their weapons trained on her. As they drew closer Joan did the only thing she think of; she burned.
Fueled by her fear, her pain, and her anger, the fire exploded outward. The soldiers on both sides were forced backward by the heat. None of them had time to shoot their weapons. Men screamed and then fell silent as the fire expanded faster and faster, consuming everything within. What was left of the compound after the shelling crumbled beneath the unrelenting heat, the parts that could melt melted and the rest turned to dust.
Joan made no attempt to reign in her fire. The years of holding it back, the fear and anger at what had been done to her, finally found focus in her fire.
YOU BETRAYED ME!” Joan screamed at the armies, at her family, at Matt, and even at Judge Dervin. They all should have been the ones protecting her, helping her, and instead they'd allowed this to happen, allowed her to be abused and driven into madness.
The fire continued to press outward, burning through buildings, flooding through caves, finding every crevice and hidden bunker, purging everything in its path. Nothing escaped. And it was accelerating. Hundreds of miles had already been engulfed in the fire and still it sped on. Joan felt each new thing the fire touched and she knew what each object was, whether it was plant or beast. Everything was burned. She wondered what would happen if or when her fire found Tom, Melanie, or Mike. Would she recognize them? Would she spare them? What would be left to them in a world of dust and ash? Would it be more merciful to kill them now than to leave them to suffer and die slowly?
After another couple of minutes the oceans began to burn as her fire raced onward in every direction. The North and South poles lost their ice and cast enormous clouds of steam into the air.
Joan felt colder than usual and she wasn't sure if the gathering darkness was because of smoke clouding over the sky or if it was just her vision dimming. Her body shivered and shook but her pain, at least, lessened somewhat.
Flowers made from fire blossomed around her on the ground, waving as though in a gentle breeze. Blades of grass followed in like manner and soon Joan lay in a golden field. Trees burst out of the ground, reaching up toward the sky. As a final touch, Tom, Melanie, and Mike came and sat down beside her. Joan could feel them in her fire, though that may have been part of the hallucination. Though it didn't appear to make any difference to her friends, she told her fire not to burn them.
Tom stroked Joan's hair, ignoring the sticky patches where blood and dirt had matted it. His fingers were soft on her skin and he traced her facial features with his other hand.
The fire finished crossing the oceans and surged across land once more. In the places where there was nothing to burn but sand, Joan left glassy fields of fire flowers behind.
Melanie began to sing a lullaby and Joan was pleased that her recent deafness did not extend to her hallucinations. Melanie's voice was clear and delicate, something Joan had always admired about her. In high school, their choir teacher had complained that Melanie's voice never carried very well, but now, in this valley of fire, it carried perfectly. Joan nestled her head on Tom's lap as Melanie's lullaby resonated through her body, easing the last of the pain away.
Joan,” Mike said, “let me tell you a story.”
And he told her of a beautiful land of peace and calm, where no one was feared, where doors were never locked and the lights were never dimmed. A land where her family loved her, where her fire was never outside of her control or hurt those that she loved.
Fire met fire and Joan sighed in relief. The world spun in her fiery grasp, cradled and purged of all the pain and sorrow she'd endured, but at the same time she felt sad and empty. Joan couldn't help but to weep for the loss. The stunning cities, the wonders of nature, the loves and joys of humankind, untold beauties never to be seen or lived now that everything was...gone.
Sleep,” Mike said, and Joan's body relaxed.
Sleep,” Melanie said, and Joan's eyelids grew heavy.
Sleep,” Tom whispered, and Joan's fire went out.
She was walking hand in hand with Tom through a wide expanse of fire lilies. Melanie and Mike were not far off, also hand in hand. An understanding smile showed on each of their faces, none of them blaming her for what she'd done, and behind them, Joan left her body, and with it all her troubles and woes.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I'M BACK

     Sorry for the unannounced leave of absence. Lots of things have been happening, none of them very interesting (except for my knee exploding...though I have begun to walk somewhat normally again), just a lot of life happening. I've also been fussing with IMMOLATION, trying to get the ending right, and I believe I've finally got it. I finished the rough draft about ten minutes ago and I'm going to polish it up and hopefully have it ready for this upcoming Monday.

     In other news, I don't have any plans to replace IMMOLATION, so I'm not sure what will happen to my Monday posts. I'm thinking it could take more of a film making slant as I will be shooting a couple of films over the next few months. Behind the scenes, production photos, cast and crew bios with perhaps a few blooper reels. We'll see. I don't know exactly how much time will be sucked away by the films and I may put Mondays on hold for the time being.

     Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the final (reworked) chapters of IMMOLATION.

Friday, April 5, 2013

POETRY: SHIFTING

Standing on the curb
Waiting for that which won't come
Cars, like life, go by
*
In our sleep, we dream
Worlds and lives that never were
Feared horrors, wished hopes
*
Seasons pass, we age
How long the Spring and Summer
How swift Winter comes
*     *     *
    I had the hardest time naming this set. Each one's about a different aspect of life that we may or may not find ourselves in, depending on how things go. And yet, each of them, for me, share a particular quality; that of inevitable change. Even for those who are stuck in a rut will experience this change as different people come and go in our lives, as we age, as we grow.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF REWRITES

The final chapters of IMMOLATION have been rubbing me wrong. I knew how I wanted things to end, but I couldn't seem to get there. I wandered, I detoured, I even tried a few meanderings but nothing worked. Joan wouldn't go to where I needed her to be, and even when I just plopped her down in the place I wanted, she wouldn't do what she was suppose to do.
What's a writer to do?
I suppose this is one of the advantages of being a writer of fiction; I get to rewrite history, or at least the history in the fictional world. Thankfully I'm only having to go back a few chapters to make things work. It could have been a whole lot worse. My other novel, the one I'm working on getting ready for agent queries and all that jazz, is currently getting a pretty thorough work over. It's not that the writing is bad (I've got that polished), it's that one of the main characters motivation never sat well with me. Every time I made a pass over the manuscript I'd make a note to fix her, and then I'd move on, never getting around to actually fixing her problems.
Well, it got to the point where I could no longer ignore her. Before I could fix anything else in the book, I had to figure out what to do with Sarah. Her original motivation was guilt over getting the protagonist, Erick, in trouble (and by trouble I mean secret government conspiracy/world domination with a dash of super powers trouble). But it didn't work, not sufficiently to explain Sarah's willingness and desire to see things through to the bitter end.
I tore her character apart, did a complete deconstruction, and began anew. Much of her original character traits, behaviors, quirks, and personality stayed the same. Her essence on the other hand, her background and plot points (which were weak or missing altogether before) all changed. Suddenly I had a fuller, more dynamic character that matched and drove Erick's plot development, rather than simply complimenting and adorning it.
It's refreshing, not having that nagging in the back of my mind every time I think about Sarah. Now all I have to do is fix Erick's family and I'm all set to begin the quest for an agent, and ultimately a publisher.

Monday, April 1, 2013

IMMOLATION: DELAYED

I know you're expecting a new chapter to Immolation today. Unfortunately, I've not been very happy with the last few chapters, and then this morning as I was reading over the next chapter before posting it, I realized what was wrong, and how to fix it. The downside is that to fix the problem requires some rewriting on the last few chapters. So, I'll be working on that today and as soon as I get done I'll get it all updated.

Sorry for the delay and thank you for your patience.