Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Week in Writing #118

Thanksgiving. Besides family and food, it also means lots of driving and very little time for writing. It's almost like I took a holiday from writing these past few days. I know the saying writers write, but sometimes that's not possible, especially after getting up at 4 in the morning and driving for 7 to 8 hours and then repeating that drive in reverse a few days later.

Now, there was time to do some writing on Friday, but I know it may sound weird to say, but I didn't want everyone to know what we were working on. Not that I'm keeping the comic book a secret, I do write about it here every week, but I didn't want to go through having to explain it and show it to people who don't read comics or who don't write. Ever feel that way about your work?

Before the holidays, we did finally speak with the man at the internet comic book site who we've been waiting to speak with for about three months. A very good conversation that was scheduled for half an hour, but went on for twice as long. It was the opinion we've been most wanting since he is actively involved in publishing. While he liked the story, he had some constructive criticism about the coloring, the lettering, the credits page and the logo. And while that sounds like we failed big time, I don't take it that way, because all of those things are fixable and things he can help us with. As a writer, I'm always interested in how to make something better, that's one reason I don't mind rewrites; they're a very necessary evil.

Even though we didn't talk about the comic book to everyone, we did speak to one relative, my nephew and Paul's cousin, who might be able to help us find someone to do a new logo. And we did spend part of Black Friday at a comic book store looking for and buying some of the comics that were recommended as examples of lettering: Saga, Thief of Thieves and Matt Fractions' Hawkeye.

While we were gone, the colorist did deliver three of the four pages he was supposed to, which is good for him. The artist did email us back after one more of my emails did not go through. It has something to do with using my AT&T email on Hotmail and it's only started when they "improved" Hotmail. Again, it's a matter of time to get it fixed and I'm always scrounging around looking for more of that commodity.

Did publish a Saturday Morning Review on Trophy Unlocked: All My Sons, officially ending our #Noirvember reviews for this year. Moving on now to Christmas and the first of our A Christmas Carol reviews will be up on Saturday. No film on Friday night, so we're still two short for the holiday extravaganza. Is that over-selling it?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Week in Writing #117

Long hours again this week at work. Coming home late every night really plays havoc with being creative. The difference between getting home at 6:30 and getting home at 7:30 or later is huge. I know I'm not the only working would-be author to have this experience. Unfortunately, everything else stays the same so creativity is the first victim of lack of time. I'm writing this to explain why I didn't reach any stretch goals this week. Does survival count?

Progress, in fits and starts, continues to be made on the comic. The artist is down to the last two pages, still in the pencil stage, but getting close. The colorist has made it to page 12, with some corrections. If he can get through eight more pages in a couple of weeks, we'll still be in line to finish by year's end. We still have a cover and lettering, but I try to remain positive.

Heard from the online comic guy this week. Sort of out of the blue. I was having lunch on Monday and mentioning I hadn't heard from him in more than a month, when the next day I get an email from him. I think it's sort of the Beetlejuice effect, say his name enough and he appears. But in this case, he will still not be nailed down, at least so far. He apologized for his delay in getting back to us and asked if we were available to talk next week, which of course is a holiday week. Suggested Tuesday to talk, but he has yet to respond to my emails. Trying hard not to take it personally. But we're sort of on his radar again.

So what writing I did was mostly rewrites on a future comic script. Even with edits, I think it's still too long. Not sure yet how much I will still have to cut out. Not much to show for a week in writing.

Published our penultimate Noirvember review; Take One False Step. Above average pageviews, so I guess it was well-received. It might have helped that I used the right hashtag this time on Twitter. I had been using #Noirember instead of #Noirvember, which is the correct one. That's what I get for posting early in the mornings.

Worked on, but have not yet finished, our second A Christmas Carol review. About 1200 words in and more to go.

With Thanksgiving rushing up, I'm not sure how much writing I'll get done. No doubt at least one late night awaits me at work, so modest goals this week.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Week in Writing #116

Well, the change in time played havoc with me this week; I need a week to make the transition either way. Still not used to driving home in the dark. Couple that with the election on Tuesday night and some long hours at work and the writing again has suffered.

I did manage to connect with a literary agent on Linkedin. She was an agent that I had actually talked to on the phone a few years before. She seemed very interested in one of my books, but we couldn't close the deal. She accepted my invitation and then sent me a message asking what I was writing. I wrote her back telling her about the novel Public and Private; the comic book and the two blogs I write on, including this one. Maybe it was too much because I never heard back. Oh, well.

Did manage to work on rewrites for future scripts. We have decided to move forward with the comic book, but I still want to be tentative until we actually sell it. To make that possible, we've worked on the next three issues as well as some work on two after that. I'm finding that I have a lot of editing to do on part-two of the second set. The script is about two plus pages too long.

But before we can get to issue three, we still have to finish issue two. To that end, we got some layouts from our artist on the last two pages and finally got two overdue pages from our colorist. By our count, he's got about 9 pages to go and I've told him we want to be done sooner rather than later. We still have a cover to work out and color as well. I super want to be done with this by the end of the year, so we can try next year to move to the next steps.

As far as Trophy Unlocked is concerned, I did publish the second Noirember review: Destination Murder (1950). I also wrote the first of the Christmas reviews. The plan this year is to review four of the adaptations of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, which was published in 1843. The first version we watched was the 1938 version from MGM starring Reginald Owen; that review is about 2400 words. The plan is to also review the 1951 version with Alastair Sim, the animated TV version featuring Mr. Magoo and the live-action TV version starring George C. Scott in the title role. I'm curious to see how the same story is handled over the years and hope that the synopses will be different enough to warrant the survey. We'll see.

Besides more Christmas movie reviews and rewrites on the comic book, I need to get over the hump with my other rewrites. I still want to get back to Familiar Stranger; remember that?

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Week in Writing #115

Another week dominated by a project at work, but also one that saw the possibility of a way forward with the comic. One of the guys I had read the book knows someone who might be interested in helping us make something more out of it. He basically took it on himself to pitch the comic book to another creator/producer and got a good reception. Really encouraging, which is nice and exciting to think about.

With work getting a little heavy and the book still in progress, we decided to wait until the beginning of next year to start talking further about it. I feel like we need to have Part 2 completed before we start to try to sell it, both as a book and for any other related projects. To that end, I need to emphasize to our artist and colorist (and letterer) that we need to get the book completed before the end of the year. This is the same group, and I'm not passing judgment here, that did not rise to the stretch goal I proposed during the summer to have it done by Labor Day, but hopefully, we're in a position where this can get done. The artist is on the last four pages and the colorist is actually doing some work after not doing much for a while.

On my side, I'm still working on rewrites for the next set of stories. Paul read through them and had some good comments. I'm going back through the scripts to edit some of the longer dialogue passages, since as he pointed out, space is limited. Trying to move dialogue around where possible and shortening where possible.

Did get a chance over the week to complete a review of 9, an animated film we saw a couple of weeks back. Far from being a perfect film, I did find myself being drawn in. I won't say more till the review is posted.

On that front, I did post the first of four reviews of film noir titles for noirember, Criss Cross (1949). The plan is to post three more before turning to Christmas films during December. I had an idea that I could review different versions of the same story, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Just an idea, since I am not the only one who would have to watch them all.

Also wrote and posted a review of Doctor Strange, the 14th installment of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), which we saw on Saturday morning at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. We try to include new films with our steady diet of "classic" cinema on Trophy Unlocked.

Well, another week in the can and another week to look forward to. At this point, I'm hoping to finish the rewrites on issues 3, 4 and 5 in addition to hopefully getting back to my other rewrite projects. I will also need to get buy-in from our creative team to get Part 2 done in the next eight weeks. Oh and see if the rest of the family is with me on the Christmas Carol idea, since we'd have to start watching them sooner than later.