Saturday, November 19, 2005


I just can't stick with NaNoWriMo this time. Don't get me wrong: I am still working on the book, but the "Keep pressing forward, don't worry about where it's going" part of it just does not work for me. I like the comfort of an outline.

So I printed out the 45 pages I had, started working on the outline for Part 1 of Novel #3, and am now merging the two. The story I have is an ensemble piece, a jigsaw puzzle where the various characters do not really intersect until late in the novel. This is not a process that lends itself to blazing through 50,000 words in 30 days or less.

I may try NaNoWriMo again next year. (Then again, my idea for Novel #4 is also kind of complicated, too.)

One good thing: NaNoWriMo 2005 gave me a good kick-start for this novel, or I might stll be noodling around with the outline.

On another note, I did finish up a comic book script last night. There is a group of Nashville writers and artists who meet twice a month at Rick's Comics City to chat about comics, encourage each other, and share what we're working on. Lately, a few of decided it would be a worthy exercise to collaborate on a "shared universe" comic book. So we created a city, and are now writing 8-page scripts that glimpse into the lives of ordinary workaday joes (and janes) who live in this city of extraordinary mystery. (The nearest comparison would be something like Common Grounds or Astro City.)

My latest contribution is a story that introduces the city hospital and its staff. Because of the aforementioned comparisons to Common Grounds and Astro City, I wanted to add some non-superhero elements to the mix to make it a little different -- so it has some sci-fi and horror elements, all mixed up into one 8-page story.

Will this script ever see print? I don't know. You still need someone to do the art (pencils, and inks, at least) and then someone to do the lettering. There are a lot of pieces that go into a simple comic book story.

But as exercises go, I feel good about it.

If you are an aspiring writer, I cannot stress this enough: All writing is valuable. To be a better writer, you need to write and write and write. (And then, of course, rewrite and rewrite and rewrite.)

But if in one of my Kansas City novels you see Detective Charlie Pasch suddenly doing a comic book story about a hospital with robots and superheroes and monsters, you'll know where it came from.

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Die Laughing: Funny Crime and Mystery Fiction


A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at Watch the trailer on YouTube.