Represent #ROW80 Update

Okay, I’m going to be adjusting my goals. Let me explain.

I’m in the last three or four chapters of my book and I’ve been getting writing done towards them. Writing I like. Mighty writing. Some days are tougher than others, but that’s par for the course especially for a newbie like me. Despite my progress, it’s been bugging me these last chapters are so tough. Why? The rest of the book was WAY easier to write. I was talking about this with my buddy Susan and she offered to help me brainstorm. She just needed a summary to work with. While chatting with my other buddy, Kait, the same subject came up and I told her I’d send her the summary too.

They sent me lightning quick feedback . . . and it was AWESOME.

Even though they were working from a summary, they still threw out enough questions and examples for me to look at my story in a whole new way. The main problem I see? Parts of my story are the dreaded “meh”. In terms of story quality, it’s the worst reaction I can imagine for my work. Even if someone hated it, at least it’s a reaction. Not the desired one, but an emotion none the less. If I put the book out the way it is, I think it’s good. I think some people would really like it. And others would think meh. It held their interest enough to finish, but will there be a lasting effect? Doubt it. I DO NOT want this. So, I need to change my goals.

First on the agenda is to read Story Engineering. As Kait said in her review, it’s the kind of book you read slowly so the information can absorb into your brain. It’s fifty chapters and if I read two a day, I’ll be done in under a month. I’ve already read the first four. The way author Larry Brooks puts it, the six core competencies he lays out are in EVERY book published today. Knowing them means knowing the structure for any kind of story you want to write.

I’m going to keep working on my vampire book, but I’ll give more time to my short story idea. Writing it will be a good litmus test for my grasp of Story Engineering and what Susan and Kait told me. Plus . . . FUN.

That’s where I’m at. I am really excited because the one thing I know about myself is if show you me the correct way to do something, I can learn it and I’ll do it well. So Represent by Weezer makes a perfect inspirational song for this week. It was written as the unofficial anthem for the US Men’s National Soccer Team, but the lyrics still speak to me as a call to never give up and strive for the best you can do. Sounds like a plan.

Info stuff- Follow my ROW80 progress every Wednesday and Sunday and be here Tuesdays and Thursdays for new posts on me, writing, superheroes, monsters, comics and any other geeky stuff on my mind.

And a head’s up for Thursday’s post: I’ll be talking about one of my favorite movies, Regarding Henry and how it impacts my WIP more than I thought. For some reason it’s not on Netflix, but it is available to rent on Amazon and itunes if anyone wants to watch it ahead of time. Even if you don’t, you’ll still be able to get something out of the post. No spoilers and it won’t be a straight up review.

9 comments on “Represent #ROW80 Update

  1. You’ve convinced me. I read Kait’s review but this is the final push I needed to go and order Story Engineering off Amazon. Luckily they have it and hopefully I will get my sticky mitts on it sometime this week.

    I’m kinda hoping I can get on the beta list for this book of yours – I’ve heard so much about it!! If not, oh well, I’ll just buy it when it comes out, like all the other normal people 🙂

  2. Story Engineering sounds great! I’ll have to check on that.

    Hang in there!

  3. It’s great that you’ve gotten actionable feedback – and that you’re taking it in the spirit it was offered. Very happy for you!

  4. Andrew, you could have no better people to look at your work than Susan and Kait. I’m glad you’re sounding so excited about your work!

  5. Enjoy learning. 😉 The great thing about writing is that there is always something to learn, and taking the time to arm yourself with the right tools is a good idea. Best of luck.

  6. I loved Story Engineering. Larry Brooks is very talented at explaining story structure (or architecture if you will). For the first time I can wrap my brain around it and it’s stuck. Good luck with it!

    And good luck with your new goals! You gotta do what’s best for the book. 🙂

  7. Feedback is a great thing. I spend Saturday afternoon talking to my co-worker’s 17yo son about my WIP. He offered some great ideas based soley on my blurb 🙂 He asked so many questions, I had to jot them all down!

  8. Story Engineering….I think I’ve heard of that one.

    Sharing your summary story has inspired me. I’ve taken a few writing workshops where we share a bit at a time, and the questions the instructors throw back really do help strengthen your work. I’m in a new writing bootcamp and I think I may do this with each act…even though I’m 60K+ words through my wip.

    I always love reading your updates!

  9. @Anne Mhairi- Of course you can beta. I always figured I’d make it an open invite kind of thing. I’d love to hear what you think.

    Glad you’re getting Story Engineering. Well worth it.

    @Laurel- Yes! It’s a fantastic book.

    @Cathryn- Thank you!

    @Lauralynn- Yeah, they’re pretty frickin’ awesome.

    @Claire- Exactly right! And short stories will be a great way to learn AND create.

    @Sadie- Thanks! You’re right, I’m a few chapters in and I already feel like I have a better understanding of what my story should be.

    @Claudia- Question feedback is SO helpful. It’s like giving you the answer by letting YOU figure it out. I’m glad your session went so well!

    @Tiffany- The other great thing about the summary is I got a good look at everything happening in my story. It’s a lot. It’ll take some time and hard work, but I’m going to make it all connect together.

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