Monday, May 25, 2009

Bad Company: Preparing for June's "BadCoFiMo"

So far this month, I've been pretty much content to take a break from writing. Mostly, I've been focusing on my guitar lessons. But on June 1, my break ends. Sure, I'll continue with my guitar practice; after all, I've got songs to rerecord. But on June 1, I will return to the '07 NaNoWriMo novel that has given me so much trouble over the past year and a half. For me, June '09 is "BadCoFiMo" — "Bad Company Finishing Month"!

I have a whole bunch of small files in the BadCo directory on my hard drive, built up over a period of about two months from mid-December (NaNoFiMo '08), through January (the JanNoWriMo in which I pulled off my most spectacular WriMo victory ever, with over 65,000 words), and fizzling out in February (in which I shifted my emphasis from NaNoPubYe's FebNoWriMo to FAWM). Some of these files contain scenes from different chapters in widely separated parts of the book. My first challenge, which I never bothered to get around to during NaNoEdMo, is to assemble all these files and all these scenes, putting them all into their proper places in the book. That is my first task for BadCoFiMo.

Even once I've put every scene back into its place, there will still be some plot holes remaining. My second task is to fill them. I will plot every single storyline, determine where each scene fits within the various storylines, find where the plot holes are, and write all the new scenes I need to fill them. This will give me my first complete draft.

My third task: a one-pass revision to create the second complete draft. In her workshop, Holly Lisle strongly suggests that her method will get you "from first draft to last in one cycle". I'm going to see if I can actually pull off such a feat. The first draft will still be rough, even after all the revisions I put into my many incomplete drafts. The second draft will be much smoother and read much easier.

Once I get the second draft finished, I'll prepare an "e-book" version that I'll have certain friends, relatives, and fellow "wrimos" read and critique. They may give me criticisms and ideas that could result in a third draft — but if I don't have the time left, I'll leave a third draft till later, like after I'm done writing the first draft of Black Science during JulNoWriMo and AugNoWriMo. Interestingly enough, it was on the first day of last year's AugNo that I burned out on BadCo, pretty much preventing me from even touching my computer till almost the end of NaNo '08, which I would have lost but for one of my most productive Panic Times in my entire WriMo career. A book never emerged out of it, but at least I won...

Now I'll get back to my guitar practice, and spending way too much time on the Web, and trying to find some way to get broadband access (I'm poor, I'm afraid) so I can avoid those long dialup load times. And I'll continue my rest from novel writing till June 1. But in June, I'm going to finish Bad Company, no matter what!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bad Company: The Script Frenzy FAILS!

I made my third attempt at Script Frenzy last month. However, it seems, attempting to adapt my NaNoWriMo novels jinxes my Screnzy. Once again, I failed to adapt a novel. Plus, I had a huge complication: I moved across town. Moving takes your attention away from creative things. And so all I ended up writing was 15 pages of the movie adaptation of Bad Company, basically the "Intro" and "Outro" from the novel.

So I decided to take a break for an entire month. I'm skipping MayNoWriMo.

So what am I doing this month? Mainly, I'm focusing on learning how to play the guitar. My guitar lessons started almost serendipitously in the middle of FAWM, while I was furiously writing 38 songs (write 14 and you're a winner — some extremely productive FAWMers actually wrote over 100 songs). Early this month, I got this year's birthday present from my mother two months early: a new Stratocaster-type electric guitar. One of my goals is to record all the FAWM songs I haven't cut demos for, and rerecord almost all the songs I've already recorded (the one exception being "Stayed Up Too Late" (MP3 link), the "Casiopunk" tune, in which I'm keeping my MIDI-simulated guitar sound). I'm not practicing my guitar(s) as regularly as I'd like, but at least I can actually play guitar now.

As for Bad Company — after the failure of my Script Frenzy in April, and limited success in NaNoEdMo in March, I've decided to dedicate June to finishing the first draft. Sure, I'll still be continuing my guitar lessons (in part, to prepare for 50 Songs in 90 Days). But my main focus in June will be what I call "BadCoFiMo": Bad Company Finishing Month. My goals:
  1. Assemble the many fragments I wrote during NaNoFiMo and JanNoWriMo and import them into the main manuscript file.
  2. Fill in all the remaining plot holes, and finish the plotlines I've left incomplete.
  3. Give the finished manuscript a one-pass edit.
During Script Frenzy, my goal was to adapt Bad Company into both movie and graphic novel scripts. As I said, I only managed to adapt the novel's prologue and epilogue. Since the adaptation attempt was unsuccessful, I'm going to focus on the novel for one more month. Any adaptations will then have to wait.

Meanwhile, I've started to get a fresh new set of story ideas for Black Science. But I'll save that for future posts...