Thursday, October 30, 2014

Writing and Momentum

I spent about 20 minutes last night working on the latest novel. Our family worked our final game at the concession stand at my son's school. Football is officially over. I got a couple of pages churned out in that 20 minutes, and it wasn't a long session, but at least I got some writing in. It's important to  keep momentum going on a novel. My usual goal is 3-5 pages per day. Most days I hit it. Other days life keeps me from that exact number. Getting some writing in every day keeps the story fresh in my head and gets me one step closer to finishing.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Horror Movies, The Walking Dead, and Such

Watched Book of Eli, which I liked a lot. Also checked out You're Next. I'm about 3/4 quarters of the way through. It builds tension nicely but it's plagued by SHMCD (Stupid Horror Movie Character Decisions). Everyone knows you don't go check out the spooky noises by yourself. And never split up, for Chrissakes. The Walking Dead is off to a strong start with two solid episodes. Let's hope they keep it up. It's a much better show when the situation is fluid and the characters don't get bogged down in one location for an entire season. Also, my twelve-year-old said, "Rick looks bad ass with that beard. Just like you, Dad." I hardly qualify as a badass, but I'll take it.

Just finished reading: Kill Whitey by Brian Keene

Just started reading: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Killer on the Road Finished

The draft for Killer on the Road is done and off to the proof reader. The title will likely change to Where the Dead Go. I'll have to give it some thought. Fall foliage is in full swing here in the Buffalo area and I have roughly eight million leaves to rake this weekend. Even so, I plan on getting some pages done on the new novel. I write pretty much every day, even if it's just a page or two. Those pages grow into novels rather quickly.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Setting the Stories

My wife asked my the other day about the settings of my books and what has served as inspiration for the places in my stories. Off the top of my head, here's a list by book:
Cruel Winter (Knox Estate, East Aurora, NY)
Evil Harvest (Kenmore, NY, Machias, NY)
The Dark Ones (Downtown Buffalo, Bethlehem Steel Plant)
No Escape (Robert Moses State Park, Thousand Islands)
The Hollow (Letchworth State Park, Erie, PA)
Forgotten (Montana)
The Dead Land Trilogy (Downtown Buffalo, NY, Naval Yard, Amherst, NY)
Beat The Devil (Chaffee, NY, South Wales, NY, Grand Island, NY)
Where the Dead Go/KIller on the Road (forthcoming - South Wales, Delaware/Chippewa area of Downtown)
Getaway (Buffalo's West Side)
One Crazy Night (East Aurora,NY - our first apartment there)
Strike Force Z (post-apocalypse Downtown Buffalo)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Killer on the Road and Outlining

The latest novel I'm working on, tentatively titled Killer on the Road, is nearly done. Once I finish up my edits over the next two days, it's off to the proofreader. I wrote this book - and the third Dead Land book - with no outline and minimal notes. I've come to enjoy writing this way. I have an idea of where the story is headed and who the characters are, but no outline leaves room for the story to grow. It also leaves room to surprise my self, and that's the best way to surprise the reader. And as my wife would probably tell you, I'm terrible at planning surprises.

One of the dangers in writing with an outline is the tendency to think up a cool scene that has to occur in the book. You can wind up cramming this scene into the book even if it's something implausible or out-of-character for one of your story people. And sometimes outlining can leave a writer feeling like they've already told the story.

I've also settled in on what the next book will be. I've written the first few scenes and once edits are done on Killer, I'll start the other book in earnest.

Saw A Quiet Place II This Weekend

Jenn and I went for lunch yesterday, then saw A Quiet Place II at the Aurora Theater. The Aurora is a great little theater. One screen, and...