Photo Credit: Drew Coffman via Compfight cc Spent most the day reading up on Philippine history. Am feeling more pressured to just start writing--mostly because the plan is that once...
I’ve finished working on the 2nd draft for episode 1 of The Star-Gazers Inn. I have to say I’m a bit more confident about the outcome of this draft, especially after I had my wife read it.
My Ideal Reader
All the writing books I’ve read often have one common advice to new, struggling, or burgeoning writers: don’t write for everybody. In other words, target a specific audience.
Does that mean you have to have a specific demographic in mind (10-13 year-old, middle class, asian)? No. Not necessarily.
It might mean that you target a specific niche. Are you writing for fantasy lovers? Steampunk? Zombie enthusiasts? Romance? Within those niches, what type of person do you think would most love your book? Hopeless romantics? Wannabe adventurers? D&D players?
In my case, The Star-Gazers Inn aims to be something that’s great for sci-fi lovers, as well as practically anyone who’s out looking for a good story to read.
Above all, I don’t want to be restricted by the requirements or the cliches of a certain genre. Brian McDonald (Invisible Ink and The Golden Theme) said in an interview that genre is the clothing that your story puts on, and a lot of the well-beloved films are usually stories that transcend the genre (Aliens, E.T., Terminator). To add to that list, I’d also include Firefly, Freaks and Geeks, The Truman Show, The Apartment, It’s a Wonderful Life.
In fact, when you think about most of the Pixar films, a lot of them are a bit difficult to categorize. Toy Story, for instance, once you remove the category of “Family Film” doesn’t exactly fall into any specific genre. Is it fantasy? Comedy? Ratatouille, Up, Monsters Inc, and Finding Nemo all have that same effect.
So if you were to ask me who my ideal reader was? I’d simply say that it was my wife. There’s no one I know that’s more critical towards storytelling than she is.
She’s easily bored by the kind of wayward storytelling that TV shows like to go at these days, wherein they insert all these filler episodes just so that they can fill the 24 episode quota. A lot of them end up being pointless episodes where characters merely meander about, arguing and being annoying as can be. And you learn nothing new in the process. You don’t get more clues to the main mystery. You don’t get any questions answered. You’re just stuck for a whole episode, with nothing relevant to the plot really happening.
If I could take hold of her attention for the duration of my story, then I know that I’m at least doing something right.
Alright! So right now I’m thinking that NaNoWriMo is less than 30 days ahead, and for some reason I feel like this year I should really take the event seriously.
Maybe I should write a novel.
There’s an annual local contest here in Manila that I’ve been dying to be a part of. The problem is that I never write anything in time for the submissions, which are usually are March or April. So I’m thinking that NaNoWriMo would be the perfect opportunity for me to actually write something for the contest.
Winning would earn me a bit more prestige, as well as credibility as a writer. After all, it is the most prestigious writing contest in the country. Gaining acknowledgment from critics might help me make a bigger mark locally, and help me network with a lot of the local writers.
On the other hand, I’m thinking I should get started writing blog posts for Hawkers.
I was thinking of disseminating the contents of The Hawkers Project into bite-size pieces of information, publishing them as blog posts and then later compiling and re-purposing them as a free ebook.
What I really want, anyway, is to be writing stories. The more stories I’m able to write, the better. I’m thinking of writing short stories that are part of The Star-Gazers Inn universe, and pitch them to some of the online journals and publications like Clarkesworld. That way, I can also gain some traffic and some new readers from their market.
So those are my thought on the months to come so far. I’m not sure yet what I’ll really be focusing on.
On the one hand, I want to outline all the episodes I’m planning for the graphic novel series. On the other hand, I’m thinking of writing a whole novel and some short stories to submit to several publications. Either way, I want to be busy, busy, busy writing.
In fact, in preparation for NaNoWriMo, I’ve been reading up again several of the books I have that have really helped me honed my craft over the years. You can take a look at them if you want. Click on the links to head over to Amazon and buy a copy.
- Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland
- Structuring Your Novel by K.M. Weiland
- The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler
- Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell
- and of course, Brian McDonald’s books
If you get the chance, check out these books. They’ve helped me out a ton, so I’m almost 100% sure that they’ll be able to help you out as well.
The Star-Gazers Inn Episode 1 (1st Draft)
Currently Working on: Episode 1 Script
- Backstory: 100%
- Episode Outline: 100% (4th draft)
- Pages Written: 73/73
- Pages Thumbnailed: 0/60
- Pages Sketched: 0/60
- Pages Inked: 0/60
180 (1st Draft)
Currently Working on: Character Development
- Outline: 100%
- Pages Thumbnailed: 0/180
- Pages Sketched:: 0/180
- Pages Inked: 0/180
- Pages Colored: 0/180
The Hawkers Project (A.K.A. The Webcomic Creator’s Journey)
Currently Working on: N/A
- Outline: 1st Draft 100%
- Pages Written: 0