It’s been a crazy week out here, so I thought I’d sum up everything I’ve done over the past 7 days for my fives of readers.
Last Monday was the the first day of my clinical rotations in vet school. Instead of going back to class as I’ve done at the start of the last five semesters, I headed to the biological and physical science building to start my molecular biology rotation. I was initially really worried about this. Classes in vet school may have been hard, but I’ve learned how to deal with them over the past years. Clinical rotations were something completely new.
Luckily, my rotation is apparently the easiest one out there. Whereas most of my classmates are spending 10 – 12 hours a day in the hospital filing paperwork and dealing with a never-ending parade of clients, I’m sitting in a lab for 5 hours a day running PCRs.
Just amplifying DNA, no big thing.
For real though, this rotation is insanely easy. I am learning things like how to run PCRs, do gel electrophoresis, complete genetic testing, and reading some research papers, but my days are very short and there’s almost never anything to do outside the lab. Compared to my classmates, I have it insanely easy. I actually spend a lot of my time in the lab on Facebook.
If any of my supervisors from the lab check out this blog, that was completely a joke. By “Facebook” I meant “research on copper toxicosis.”
So what have I been doing in my spare time? Surprisingly, I’ve been productive. The past week’s been filled with my various writing projects, which I’ll try to break down.
As I said in my previous entry “On Screenwriting,” my partner Ed and I are finishing up work on a script and show bible for a TV pilot. We’d considered both documents to be fully ready, but we recently asked a friend from the Jimmy Neutron fanfiction site if she’d check out our stuff. She obliged and gave us some notes on our script, which were (thank goodness) mostly positive. Never before had we gotten feedback from another writer and had to change so little. There were only about four lines that needed revising, and we didn’t even have to make any major structural changes such as adding or removing entire scenes. All in all it was a great sign that we are, in fact, ready to finally send this thing out.
Going along in that vein, we’ve also been trying to find an artist for our show bible. You can certainly send one out without art, but since we’re newcomers to the screenwriting industry and don’t have an agent, we want to appear as professional as possible.
This was my sketch for Paranoia‘s cover. You can see that we need all the help we can get in the art department.
So we’ve been searching the web for talented artists at low prices. It’s been slow going, but we finally found a couple people who seem promising. We’re hoping to get that art finalized by the end of January, and then start sending out Continuum stuff next month.
Probably the biggest thing about the past week was that I started writing the novelization of Continuum. Developing this idea as both a TV pilot and a novel has obvious future legal problems, but it does double my chances of getting this story out there in some form. After developing it for over a year, I can’t bear to let it fizzle out and never amount to anything. If that means taking a chance on ultimately wasting my time on one of those mediums, then so be it.
To prepare for this novel, I’d actually penned a couple short fanfics over winter break to ease back into writing.
An excerpt from what I intend to be my final piece of fanfiction, Scattering Ashes.
It was a bit difficult to get back into writing, but it was by no means the worst case of writer’s block I’d ever had. I got both of the ~5,000 word stories done in about two days each. I was happy to put a proper bookend on my fanfiction career, and they definitely helped get the first chapter of Continuum‘s novelization done. When I wrote that first chapter yesterday, it was actually the smoothest writing I’d done in almost a year. I finished the 3,500 word chapter in less than three hours. It’s certainly a rough draft and I’m sure I’ll make substantial changes to it over the coming year, but it felt good to write original stuff again so easily.
What was most interesting about writing that chapter was how I essentially “stole” stuff from my script. It was so weird to transplant lines of dialogue from the pilot script into this chapter. I’ve also already discussed in previous posts how different screenwriting and novel writing are, and that distinction was readily apparent on Sunday. The first 5 pages of my script, roughly 700 words, equated to about 3,500 words when novelized. I didn’t have to worry about making making sure this opening to the story fit into a handful of minutes like I did when writing the script. I was able to put back some of the dialogue I’d hated to trim from the script and explain in more detail what was going on in the characters’ heads. Overall, it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
As for Paranoia, thing are still proceeding slowly. It’s only selling one copy every few days, which is understandable at this point but still frustrating. I’m slated to have 5 blogs review it by the end of the month, which will hopefully start the ball rolling. I’m also launching a free promotion tomorrow & Wednesday, which will undoubtedly draw in new readers and reviews but of course won’t make me a dime.
That’s right. On Tuesday 1/13 & Wednesday 1/14, Paranoia will be available for free download at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RDYVTD8. There’s no reason not to check it out because…well, FREE! All I ask is that if you do read it, please leave an honest star rating on Amazon.
But hopefully by getting some reads and reviews more people will hear of it and buy Paranoia in the future. I never expected to get rich off my debut novel anyway; at this point I’m more concerned with people actually reading it and having it touch them in some way. So I hope at least some people decide to take a look and find it worthwhile.
There’s really only been two other things occupying my time. The first is that, in order to improve my prose, I’ve decided to read a book for the first time in a while. (I know it’s unusual for a writer to not read anything, but I’ve just been so busy I haven’t had the time.) I’ve tried to make time to read Stephen King’s The Shining, which seemed an intimidating read at over 600 pages. But I’m already over 200 pages in and loving it so far.
It’s got great characters, a wondrous setting, and some absolutely fabulous prose. Reading it’s been a joy so far, and I think it’s helped sharpen my own writing a lot.
The only other thing on my agenda has been watching Friends on Netflix. I used to absolutely adore that show back in high school, but I haven’t seen it in years. I used to own the first 5 seasons on DVD, so I picked back up on the second half of the series. It’s really impressive how even in the eighth season, which I’m currently on, it’s still so funny and the writing is pretty sharp.
You have to either be a really great show or a really awful show for this to happen.
So, that’s it. This was kind of a basic post; I think I just needed to blast out a thousand words on the past week to unwind. I’ll try to come up with a more fruitful topic in the next few days. The last thing I wanted to do was thank everyone who’s been reading, liking, following, and commenting on this blog so far. I need all the help I can get at this point in my writing career, so I appreciate every bit of feedback and support I’m offered. If anyone feels extra generous and wants to help me out further, please consider checking out my book or sharing and/or following my blog.
https://www.fanfiction.net/u/851789/quietthinker – My fanfiction profile page, which I don’t expect to get any new story updates for a long time if ever. But I still keep an eye out for any reviews and try to respond to each one.
https://www.facebook.com/quiet.thinker.9 – My facebook. Feel free to friend me or shoot a message.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RDYVTD8 – The link to my novel Paranoia one more time.