Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Progress Report #5, I Can’t Believe It, the Story Just Flows

The last week has allowed me a good chunk of time to write, a tough thing to admit while also trying to run a professional design shop. But my daily regime of coming in early and knocking back at least a thousand words is working and it helps to keep the thread of the story. We all hate those mornings when we pull up to the manuscript and say, “Now, where was I?”

Each of us has out own approach: mine is to reread the previous work, minor editing, and get into the flow. Some mornings it’s more like a stream of consciousness – hoping that something or someone will take the lead. The great days are those three thousand word plus days, where the story is under control and you are the master. Yeah, right! “Vengeance is mine,” sayeth the story; “I shall give, then I will take away.”

This book has a considerable amount of back-story and information dealing with World War II. Those eight to ten years of political theater and horror impacted the structure of our post-war political world more than history has ever seen, and probably ever will. Hyperbole intended. The last time I spent this much time on the war was when I was writing my non-fiction work America’s Original GI Town, Park Forest, Illinois. As the title suggests, the village was built for the returning veteran in mind. I have been immersed in documentaries, movies, wiki articles, and books about the period, especially focused on early 1945 in central Germany. To tell a good story, supporting facts are important: the who, what, where, and when of it.

The most important aspects of research are:
1.      Good organization of facts and information,
2.      Understanding connectivity and threads of the players,
3.      And making sure you don’t get lost in the research (it’s a serious time-sucker).

You need to put in enough information to add color to the story, to create a sense of realism. But good fiction is not a recitation of facts and history, leave that to non-fiction; it is the setting and style that adds to the main story. In Gone with the Wind, the Civil War provides the stage for the characters. The war is not the story, Rhett and Scarlett are.

Work on your research and stage setting; they will provide the flames of a burning Atlanta or the bombs falling on my main character, they provide the environment for their actions.

And by the way, I’m at 13,801 words and counting, my initial schedule said 20,000 by May 15th. Maybe the book will be completed faster that I thought.

Other Books:
I’ve completed the complicated task of converting GI Town into an ebook. With 65 images, it is more complicated than a book of fiction/prose, and the non-fiction chapter links are critical. Not hard, just complicated – will be on Amazon next week (fingers crossed).

We are considering reducing Land Swap 4 Death to .99 cents. This is the way of the future, volume versus price. Since the hard costs are minimal, this may be a practical solution. Question: Is the value of the product diminished if the price is lower, or does it reflect where the market is? Love to hear your thoughts.

For Containers 4 Death, a lot underway. Completing the ebook version, seeking reviews, completing the InDesign file and format for the paperback, adjusting the colors for the cover, completing the book trailer, and setting up marketing. Busy, busy.

More later . . .

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