My latest short story "The Night the Lights Came On"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I'm an Audiobook Narrator!

Once again my blog has been silent for a time. That's because I've recently taken on a huge project that I'm really excited about! I joined ACX, audiobook creation exchange, a few weeks ago. I uploaded some samples of me narrating fiction and non fiction. I tried out for one fairly short non-fiction book about teaching. I was going to become a teacher before I changed my mind and went into the arts so it's something I'm interested in. Then I started receiving messages from a gentleman with questions about how it all worked to get his novel made into an audio book. I quickly and professionally answered all of his questions. Quite a few messages were exchanged and then he sent me a message stating that he'd like me to narrate his novel. I couldn't believe my eyes. I thought it would take much longer to land a gig narrating someone's novel. I'm still waiting to hear from the non-fiction author. It's always been a dream of mine to narrate audio books. He said his wife liked my voice and thought it would fit his book well. Thank goodness for his wife! :) I'm so excited! This project is going to take every last second of my time to get done under deadline, but I'm really enjoying it. Once the project is finished I'll be sure to give you guys all the details of where to find it on Audible and Amazon. I added a progress meter to the right. Once that thing fills with blue I'll be done and I can go back to cranking out the first draft of my current novel "Zombie Super Powers." Wish me luck! So far I'm very pleased with how it's turning out. This will be a long steady race, not like recording one of my short stories. I was a distance runner in high school though, and writing novels is a similar long slow process, so I think I'll be okay :) Thanks for stopping by.

The isolation box I built for my microphone in my closet to record

Friday, March 15, 2013

Writing My First Draft

Chapter Outline - Click to View Larger
It's been quiet around here because I've been writing, and taking care of sick kids with my amazing wife. I initially wrote 9K+ words. Then I stopped and studied story structure for a month. Then I came up with a new outline. Then I started rewriting and now I'm back up to 11,357 words as I write this blog post. I've revised much of the first few chapters I had written so they follow my new outline. I started with trying to get every single chapter of my book onto one line of paper. Check out my results to the right. I think I'll do this with every book from now on. It took me a few days because I had to brain storm to fill in some of the gaps. I knew the major plot points, so I wrote those in but then there were still a lot of gaps. Filling in the chapters between was tough, and that was just getting one sentence down. Once I had this chapter outline done I could see the entire book on one page. This is awesome! I can see that everything is in the right place according to the story structure I've been studying. I knew I wanted my book to be short, about 60,000 words. I also knew I wanted each chapter to be short at around 2,500 words. So that gave me 24 chapters. From there I know that the 25% mark of my novel where I move from Act I to Act II is at the end of chapter 6. Right now I'm fleshing out chapters 5 and 6 to get there because in my outline I made it too easy for them to escape from the underground research facility. This was like putting together a puzzle, and while it took a lot of brain storming it was really fun and I'd much rather figure this story stuff out now rather than while writing the story. They say to try all different kinds of writing, outlining, no outline, but I've come to discover I'm definitely an outliner. I enjoy writing so much more when I know where I'm going. It shouldn't be a surprise - that's what I'm like with everything else in life. I like to have everything planned out in advance before making the first move. What about you writers out there? Are you an outliner or a seat of your pants kind of writer? Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

My Zombie Novel Is Officially Under Way

The novel I had the amazing opportunity to workshop on The Roundtable Podcast is officially under way. It was under way quite a while ago, and I wrote over 9K words, but then I stopped to really study story structure. After I studied story structure I used it to help me write a more thorough outline. I originally named it "The Truth About Zombies," but the story has changed a lot. Now I'm calling it "Zombie Super Powers." We'll see if it sticks, I'm not sure but it works for now. I now have a brand new beginning, and have revised the first chapter quite a bit. You can listen to the original first chapter, complete with music and sound effects. A lot of it has stayed in or been moved into the next chapter, but after that the next 6,500 words I wrote that no one saw are being scrapped for the most part. Some of the scenes from these later chapters will stay too, but the events leading to them are much different and they're getting pushed further back as well. I'm hoping to really get this train moving down the tracks now. If you'd like to be an Alpha Reader and follow along as the story gets written than you can do that on Wattpad. I think this will be the first novel I write that I can publish. The last three novels taught me a lot, and I may rewrite them someday, but I think this is the one. We'll see. I thought that about the last one until it went into the hands of Beta Readers :) But on this book I had three other guys help me with better story ideas when I went on The Roundtable Podcast, and I've studied story structure and applied it to my outline. I'm really excited and I can't wait to get this thing done so I can publish and podcast it. I've been wanting to be a Podiobooks author for five years now, ever since I found out about the amazing free audio book website. I've also wanted to publish a full length novel for years now, not just short stories. Hopefully this will be my year! Thanks for stopping by.