I’ve got a hunch . . .

So there’s a new running joke around my house these days . . . we’ve been binge watching NCIS — after burning through all the CSI we can get our grubby eyes to watch, we started NCIS — and I have to say, the first season is rife with lazy writing.

Not the “magic solution” type of writing, but for a show about investigations, shouldn’t there be some investigating going on?  Most of the show (at least in the first season — I know there are at least another 11 to go — lord, I hope it gets better) revolves around the two nebbish investigators and their back-n-forth.  The “boss” (who gets called “boss” at least 30 times an episode — so annoying) seems to have it all figured out and leads the other two  by the nose until the climax.  Rarely do they seem to have any brains at all, let alone investigative instincts.  Hence the title of this post — it seems as if the “boss” has a “hunch” every episode that just happens to be spot on perfect.  Case closed.

So why my beef?  It’s just damned lazy.  For my novella, (available on Amazon, do buy it, will you?) I tried so hard not to be lazy — to not have a simple solution — to make things just a little bit difficult for my protagonists.  I’m working on the next book now, and I’m encountering the same issues — to not be lazy.  So, to see people who are professionals – getting paid lots more than I am — being what I’m trying so hard not to be, makes me angry.   I can’t change the way the show is written, but what I CAN do is make sure whatever I write isn’t lazy.

Now, don’t get me wrong — this isn’t a totally bad show and I get that they only have 44 minutes to tell some sort of story — that’s not a small issue.  Any TV show has similar constraints.  I just wish they’d be a little more intelligent about it, that’s all.  Am I going to keep on watching it?  Probably.  I’ll at least skip ahead to see if things get any better.  If not, I’ll find something else to binge watch (love that Hulu) . . .

 

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Discovery writing vs Outlining

I’ve been a discovery writer all my life — even the crap I wrote as a kid, whether for my own enjoyment or for school, was all by the seat of my pants.  It wasn’t until recently (well, in the past couple of years) that I read about outlining your work to help you stay organized.  I fully embrace anything to keep me organized — as a creative person, I’m pretty much not-organized.  Well, for my day-job, I have to be, so maybe that’s forced a little of that back into my writing — but I’m getting ahead of myself.

So — my book, recently published, was a total seat-of-my-pants sort of thing.  I had written myself into a corner, I set it aside, life got in the way for a long time, then when I finally sat back down to keep writing, I couldn’t remember where I wanted to go.  So, discovery sometimes sucks. I basically ended up re-writing the story from the beginning.  Which wasn’t a bad thing when all was said and done as I think it became a stronger story.

This weekend I had the chance to catch up with my brother, who also writes, but has yet to publish anything.  He’s a total discovery writer and we debated the merits of outlining versus seat-of-the-pants.  He contends he’d get bored if he outlined everything.  I see his point, but then again, I think there has to be a road-map — so you don’t get lost, if I can stretch the analogy a bit further.

I’ve come to the conclusion I may be a tweener — I like to see where things take me, but I do want to have a map telling me where I want to go. I’m going to try my road map in my next project and see how that works.

I’d love to hear how others do this — total outlining, total discovery or some place in between?  Let me know in the comments.

Post publish blues

What do you do after meeting a goal?  The smart answer is setting another goal, isn’t it?  I have a new goal, write the second Adventure of Tremain and Christopher, but I’m not ready to start it yet.  Start the planning and writing, that is.  I’ve already started imagining scenes and dialog.  I think I have the beginning and the ending figured out.  But actually sitting down and writing this out?  Nope.  Not yet.

Part of this is I really want to see how well book #1 does.  It’s only been a week since I hit the “go live” button on Amazon — For those that have already purchased and read it, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  For those who haven’t heard of it (or me, for that matter) yet, I’m trying to reach you!  The marketing of this is stymieing me.  I can see why some opt for the piles of rejection letters from agents or publishers.  They won’t have to deal with marketing themselves.  I don’t have any “platform” yet — I haven’t built an audience.  Hopefully, this blog and the mailing list attached to it will help in this.  It’s just getting myself to a point where people notice me and my book(s).

I know I have to get more work out there to get noticed.  Intellectually, I’m well aware of that fact.  Emotionally, I’m still letting go of my first book, it’s been an education for me to do something that I’ve always wanted to do — and now I’ve experienced the challenges and the fun involved.  Yes, there is fun involved.

The fun is friends asking if I would sign their books.  Really!  I’m thinking I’m still just a poser here, I’ve written one book, why would you want me to sign it?  Still, it’s fun to be asked.  It’s cool.

I keep fighting the urge to check and see how well (or not) it’s selling.  I’m not always successful in that.  I do check it and am pleasantly surprised that I have sold some copies in just the few days it’s been out.  I’m not going to be quitting my day job just yet, but it’s nice to see someone has bought it.

I’m going to drive myself nuts doing that — but until I feel more comfortable with the process, I guess nuts is what I’ll be.  This audience building thing is like walking up a hill made of loose sand.  It’s hard work. Everyone will tell you it’s hard work, and I’m sitting here quietly thinking to myself “really, I just wrote something everyone is going to love, how hard can it be?”  Let me tell you — It’s not easy.  But then again, nothing worthwhile ever is.

I’ll figure this thing out.  I’ll keep writing.  I’ll keep publishing.  I’ll slowly build my “empire”.  Let’s see where we can go.

The Book is out!

So I finally finished the book, worked with my editor, hired the cover artist and published the darned thing!  It’s available now on Amazon!  To say I’m excited about it is an understatement . . . http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Tremain-Christopher-Missing-Yesterdays/dp/1530729874/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1460490333&sr=8-1&keywords=marchion

If you read it, please leave me a review — or comment here — let me know what you think — there’s more coming!!!