Writing again . . . so damn painful


I realize no one has heard from me in a while, but I’m still here.  Don’t you feel so lucky?  Seriously, though,  I’m starting to work on the next Mass Effect book in my fan ficition/alternate ending universe and it is pretty rough to start off.  I meant to get writing a few months ago (okay a year ago, really).  I had replayed the games, revisited my own Mass Effect 4, and it was all fresh in my mind.  Then, as always, life happened and I kept telling myself I would start it tomorrow and tomorrow and another tomorrow.  Four months later (or a year and four months later) I have a prologue and the beginning of chapter one but every step of the way I’m finding I have to pause, go back to what I wrote in “New Masters” and then continue, making sure I’m not creating continuity issues as I go.

My feeling this time is maybe to get a few chapters done at a time before posting them up as, last time, trying to knock out a chapter a week was pretty grueling.  Yeah, I know that a self-imposed deadline, but I also know how bad I am at procrastinating (see the 1 year and 4 months reference above).  The other reason is because I am also working on a screenplay as well as ripping apart an original 500 page fantasy novel and rebooting it (right now) as a series of shorter tales told with each charater or (or group of characters) as the main focus.  There is potentially a video game story that I may be helping a friend with to pile on top.  We’ll see how this multi-tasking goes . . .

More on that fantasy work . . .

This collection of short stories idea, here, is mainly because I had 500 pages with lots of things happening, but when it was done, there was not actually a story there.  There were a series of actions and events that were somewhat connected and leading somewhere, but I just kept thinking to myself “what do I have?”  The answer was “a fantasy world that was pretty fleshed out, but not a good narrative.”  No main character or maybe too many main characters, because that’s how they all felt.  Too many origins to explain, to many “leading up to this” background stories to fill in (and which kept growing and building themselves in my mind), and well, there’s so much that I didn’t feel right about so I had to reimagine how to tell the story.  (Side note: like most creative people, I’m my own worst critic, so that 500 pages might actually be a great first novel to a longer series as intended, but I just . . . I don’t know.  I’ve had it in the works for SO many years that I’ve just started to wonder about the whole damn thing.)

So with a strong foundation, I’m going back and overhauling the idea of how I will tell the story I wanted to in the first place.  Now, this may turn out to be a worse idea than before because I’m trying to do short stories (or more likely novellas) and I have no handle on that medium.  Believe me, I’ve tried.  Hell, the Mass Effect story was just supposed to be a re-write of Mass Effect 3’s terrible ending and it turned into what?  A re-written chapter and then an almost 500 page “what happens next” story.  Shit, what I’m writing now is just supposed to be a quick update (fail).

The screenplay . . .

This one is a contemporary piece that I’m actually writing in hopes of filming myself (with some like minded friends) and I want to pull off a real cold-blooded, dark feel.  Sort of along the lines of maybe Last Man Standing or No Country For Old Men . . . though probably more Last Man Standing because that was fun (though harsh) action flick.  But darker.

I’m always amazed at some of the simpler films that pull off something way beyond their tiny budgets and premises.  One example that always comes to mind is Cube.  If you haven’t seen it, go find it.  Not a 5-star movie, I’ll grant you, but (and this is sort of a spoiler), the entire thing happens in one area.  90 minutes of story in a box.  How?  You’ll have to watch it.  How many people watched The Blair Witch Project?  Kids in the woods and yet I worked the theaters when this was out and it packed the seats for weeks.  Crazy.  Another one I just saw that was actually really good and starred the late Paul Walker (he actually did pretty damn good acting in this, such a shame) is Hours. Again, simple premise, one location, but gripping.  Hell I gave that one 4 out of 5 on Netflix. So yeah, I would love to be able to pull off something that has a tiny budget (basically, no budget) that is still a decent product.  Anyway, my story is crime world related and will no doubt have lots of action and hopefully a little mystery and few moments/twists that may not blow you away, but at least should be somewhat unexpected.

Yeah . . . I’m done.  I guess.

Oh!  The game idea!  Psych!  I’ve got really a bare minimum on that so there’s no point in even putting out any details at this point other than to let you, my readers (all 2 of you), know what all is on my plate and why there may not be quite as fast a release of chapters this go round on Mass Effect.

Not yours truly at all,