Posts Tagged ‘sequel’

I wrote a post earlier on how I was working a bit more on the sequel LoC, and it got me thinking on my current responsibilities as a writer. Jukepop Serials has given me the great opportunity of uploading three chapters a month, making it immediately available for everyone to read. And they have some wonderful incentives, too! Like I said before, I’ve reached a new point in my career as a writer because I’m also concentrating on the sequel to my first book.

So, it’s time to put behind my past as a Panster (look it up!), and adhere to a daily writing routine. Here’s how my current schedule looks like.

5 PM: Write in Radio Silence for forty minutes. Reread, edit, and if necessary, rewrite.

6 PM: Write in LoC sequel for forty minutes. Reread, edit, and if necessary, rewrite.

7 PM: Alternate between other projects, and write in whichever one I choose for forty minutes. Reread, edit, rinse and repeat.

So, that’s my writing schedule. Not as hardcore as some other writers, perhaps, but I’m beginning a slow crawl to, dare I say it, becoming a professional writer? Now, I don’t mean professional as in a bestseller. But I do want to have the habits of a real author.

I’ll be posting weekly updates on how this is going, but I want to talk a little bit on my first few days of following this routine.

Day 1

5 PM: I literally realized I had to follow my schedule when I was three minutes away from 5 PM. So, I stopped watching shows on my computer, and began writing Chapter 7 of Radio Silence. I managed to finish most of the chapter before I got burnt out, and reached the 40 minute time limit. I reread it, edited it, and considered it a job well done.

6 PM: I went through all of the existing chapters, and added a few things to tie up a few inconsistencies. Also wrote half a chapter in the perspective of both Maheus and Ambrose. Deleted a scene or two from the perspective of a new character I introduced, and planned the next few chapters. I reread what I wrote, edited the entire document, and considered it a job well done.

7 PM: I reopened an old project I started with my sister, and I started deleting and writing a few new scenes. I can’t really divulge much information about it, but let’s just say it’s very different from Radio Silence and the Line of Corruption sequel. It was a breath of fresh air, and I considered it less a ‘chore’, and more a break from the two earlier projects.

In summation… It was a good day.

Day 2

11 AM: Started a little early because the next chapter of Radio Silence had to be done. Completed chapter 7. Reread it. And… rewrote it. The ending was just terrible. I don’t know what I was thinking. Reread what I wrote, and I made a massive factual error. I’m glad my mother managed to spot it, and so I rewrote it again. When I finally finished, I was really proud of what I managed to accomplish. Had my family review it, and after some changes, I uploaded it on Jukepop Serials.

I’ll stop right here. I suddenly realized that such a strict schedule was not for me. I couldn’t really stick to times like these, because my mood varies a lot. But, I did realize that I had to have some order in my writing. So, I’ll continue to set apart some time every day to write for Radio Silence, for the LoC sequel, and for one of my numerous other projects.

It’s very refreshing to go back to a daily writing routine, and I honestly feel a lot more productive about everything. It’s difficult. I mean, I’m two days into it, and I’ve already abandoned one part of the schedule.

I can’t imagine what it’s like for my idols. So. Right now, I’m just wondering how I’ll get through Day 3. And Day 4. And Day 5…

If you don’t hear from me for over a week, at least you’ll know why.

Oh, I’d love it if you took the time to comment, and tell me what you think. Do you follow a schedule? I know I wrote a post about schedules earlier, but I’m curious to know if you tried a similar template/schedule to mine, and how you coped with it. I wanna hear all about it. Thanks.

~Jian

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Hey, it’s been awhile. Miss me? No? Well, I’ll still chew your ear off with my stories. So, I’ve been kind of busy the past week reading my novel, Line of Corruption. I realized a few things about it while I was reading it. I have way too many run-on sentences near the end of the book (when the fight scenes became very hectic), and I really miss writing in the world of Line of Corruption.

I miss writing about the characters, I miss the magic system, I miss… Well, everything about it. So, I’ve decided to start working on the sequel to LoC a bit more. In the week after I finished the Line of Corruption, I quickly started a new file for the sequel, and wrote eleven thousand words setting up the groundwork.

After reading over the current chapters I’ve already written for the sequel, I have no idea what I was thinking at a few sections. “Who is this incompetent writer?” I shouted. But, I had a ton of fun just reading about the characters that I’d made up almost two years ago.

So, I’ve begun working on the plot for the sequel. I think I have a very rough idea of what I want to happen. I’m no longer fumbling about in the dark like I was with the first book, and now I’m working on the title for the sequel. If I’m working on the first book, I think… The Circle of Insanity would be a great title!

Nah, I’m kidding… No, I’m serious. I’m kidding. I’ve introduced maybe four new characters in the chapters I’ve already written, and I’ve fallen in love with them already. I can’t say they’re great characters, because I feel like that’d be egotistic, but I love writing from their perspectives. I can’t divulge too much, because it’d be spoiling a lot.

But, I just want to talk about both the joy and the meh parts of writing the sequel. I want to make this the Empire Strikes Back of sequels, or the Godfather II of sequels. So, it’s difficult to think of a way to make this a lot cooler, a lot more visceral, yet still staying true to the book I finished almost a year ago.

Most of the characters, at the end of LoC, experienced life changing event. That isn’t a spoiler, because that’s normally a given. Unlike the first book, I need to plan almost everything about this book. I can’t walk blindly in a circle with a blindfold. (Interesting fact: it is impossible to walk in a straight line with a blindfold. See why I’m thinking of the Circle of Insanity? )

I also need to answer a lot of questions I set up in the first book, and make sure I explain anything the reader might construe as deus ex machina. Basically, I need to work a lot harder on the sequel. Sounds miserable, doesn’t it?

Well, weirdly enough, I don’t find any of it miserable. I happen to think it’s very fun, and it’s yet another challenge of my skills as a writer. For Xenon Bane, I also started working on a sequel before I gave up on the series. I wrote maybe… twenty thousand words in the sequel before I stopped writing. It was so much better than Xenon Bane, and I want to do the same with the LoC sequel. I want readers to read the first ten chapters and think: “Well, I won’t be getting any sleep tonight. This is going to be fun!”

It’s like my reaction when I watched season two of the BBC series, Sherlock. I loved season one, but season two episode one was a game changer. Finished the entire season in one day.

Do you have any experience working on a sequel? If so, feel free to comment and tell me about your fun times and not so fun times.

I realize this has been a short post, but that’s really all my thoughts on it. It’s fun and challenging. I’ve had to rewrite a lot more than when I wrote LoC, since I’ve noticed some slight continuity errors here and there already. Like I said, there are some really slow moments, but if you allow it, it will take you out on a really great ride.

~J.A. Romano

I don’t know about you, but the first thing I think after reading that title (the one above these lines and lines of text) is: Ideaception. I know. I’m the first one to ever think about it – I’ve pitched it to Warner Bros. and they’ve given me a 250 million dollar budget to do whatever I want.

Anyways, I had an idea yesterday for a new book. I won’t tell you the idea – which tells you how much I like it. Normally, I blab about my ideas like I’m at gunpoint. I just like hearing myself talk. (Wait… that doesn’t make sense…) But, with this idea, I can’t do that. I need to write it first. Only thing is – it requires a massive amount of research. I don’t know about all of you professional writers, but as a bona fide amateur writer, I normally wing it. My first book? Wrote it not knowing a lot about books. My third book? Didn’t even know the names or the plot by page 75. That’s right. I managed to get that far without names or a sensible plot.

However, with this idea, I don’t feel like an amateur anymore. This is my most ambitious project, yet, and it blends almost all of my favorite elements in a book. The problem is – what does a writer do when he has too many ideas? I know, you all think I’m terribly arrogant. But am I? At some point or another, a writer gets a huge burst of ideas, right? But, what can this writer do about it, exactly? What if the writer already has a long running book series and his readers are up in arms about the sixth book? *coughs GRRM coughs*

I have started over 12 projects. It’s not that I’m that good. It’s just that my attention span is horrible, and the smallest idea I get – I write it. Of course, lately, I’ve begun focusing my creative energy into specific projects, but that does not mean the ideas stop. There are plenty of movies that show writers having trouble writing something worthwhile – most notably the writer in Sunset Boulevard.

I’ve written done a lot of ideas, both on paper and on keyboard, but if you could write an entire book based on one idea alone, everyone would be published! You need a plot, and then you need to actually write the thing. Depending on your skill and time, it can take from six months to a year. There are certain exceptions, sure. Stephen King wrote the Running Man in three days. Say what you will about King – he can finish his books. Something I can’t boast without a bit of hesitation.

What a writer should do, first and foremost, is write all of his ideas. Just do it. I mean, really, does it hurt you? Nope. Might it benefit you in the future? Definitely. The next thing you should do is prioritize your projects according to whether or not you think they have the potential to be something great. Here’s an example:

Untitled Project:

So there’s this dystopian future, right? And the government is watching your every move. I’m thinking of calling the government… The Watcher… Wait, no… Big Watcher? Big Cousin?

Tentative Title – the Wrestling Club:

Basically, this salaryman is an insomniac. And he ends up meeting this really good looking guy – maybe Clooney could play this part – in the plane… and they decide to start a Club together after talking – the Wrestling Club.

Please don’t steal those brilliant ideas of mine. I’m really quite happy with ’em. But yeah, make an Idea List. Prioritize one over the other. I once read somewhere that you can’t really rate ideas by their merit alone… to which I say, that is ridiculous. Pick the idea you like best and just go with it. If you can’t think about that idea anymore, move unto the next one. That’s what I did when I got stumped on my second book. Guess what, it worked.

I haven’t finished my second book, yet, but I’ve finished my third book, and I’m working on its sequel right now. The List WORKS! Well… sort of. I really need to work on that second book.

That’s beside the point, though. What you should do, though, is see if your idea already exists. Google is a godsend, honestly. Every time I meet a senior in college, I get all serious and ask him/her: “So, you lived to see the internet without Google… how was it?”

And he/she will reply, with a quivering upper lip: “It was a dark place… A place that no one should ever visit.”

Then we cry and hug. If you don’t believe me…

So, I am looking forward to this idea. I am going to work on the research bit, and I’ll probably write long, whiny blogposts of me swearing to never take up this project again. I wasn’t kidding about the research. Imagine an enormous amount. Imagine it? Yeah, well, just about that much. Didn’t expect that, did you? Well, I like to be unpredictable.

The moral of the story – ideas, write them down. No matter what. Don’t forget them, just rank them.

P.S: I wrote this post, also, because I just wanted to blab about my idea. I couldn’t really divulge any ideas, but you can sense how excited I am about this. Hopefully, a year from now, I’ll be telling you all about the sequel to my third book, as well as the book that spawned from this meagre idea of mine. Let’s hope, eh?

~J.A. Romano

Interesting stuff to read:

Why you should read <— Got the idea for those funny book examples from this article.

Common Myths in Fictional Fights <— Didn’t really mention it in the post, but this helped me out a lot. Can’t believe how often I’ve humiliated myself in my book by doing some rookie mistake like those detailed over there. I really hope that everyone else has made the mistake of doing one of these myths.

Went to a movie theatre today, after ages of not seeing a movie on the big screen. Which is ironic since people say the biggest difference between movies and shows is: “the big screen” and the “small screen.”

What did I see, you may ask? I saw Warm Bodies. I was a big fan of the book, as I’ve said in a review. And I loved it. My sister and I kind of got annoyed at a few changes from the book. (THE MONSTERS!)

But it was still very good. I liked the ending. Of course, with the ending the way it was, it’s doubtful there will be a sequel. Fortunately, the author has said that there will be a definite sequel to his books. Whether or not there will be a movie sequel is unlikely, but hey. Who knows.

Ah, I really love watching movies in movie theaters. A lot of people think that just watching them on the computer is better. It’s not that watching new movies in the comfort of your own home isn’t good. It’s just that I have a bit of ADD. (More like a lot.)

I quickly pause movies if I have the option to do so, and forget to press play for the rest of the day. In movie theaters, I can’t stop watching. Some may say that the ability to stop a movie whenever you wish is a benefit… In which, I say, pick better movies. When I go to the movies, I make sure it’s the greatest movie ever.

Or at least very, very entertaining. It’s quite expensive, y’see. I think, however, that I’ve waited a long enough time since my last visit. I think it’s been six or seven months.

All in all, it was a great movie. Entertaining, funny, and all that. If anyone is afraid of it being a zombie equivalent of Twilight, I disagree. First of all, this was enjoyable to watch. Not in a, “THIS IS SO HORRIBLE THAT I AM LAUGHING” sort of way. This was very fun to watch.

You could draw some comparisons, of course, but it is head and shoulders above Twilight. So. If you want a romantic comedy/zombie horror flick… Here’s your movie.

 

This isn’t really a review of the movie… I’m just writing about how my day went. But, I guess, if I were pressed to give this a rating, it would have a solid 7.8.

It is a very good movie.

 

~J.A. Romano