mercredi 31 octobre 2012

How about ideas ?

Well of course you all know ideas are the core of the book. Because if you have no idea, you have no book.

Ideas can come from pretty much anywhere. But are you prepared to take them when you get them ?

I don't try to keep them all in my memory, because that's just crazy. Especially when they come to me in the middle of the night.

ideas are a low-tech process for me. they can't wait for the computer to power up, and i hate typing notes on a computer/phone/tablet.
Plus i need to be able to get my ideas down anytime anyplace.

So i have this old notebook.

Now, i'm not some hipster and i am a writer : i have no money. So forget the stupid moleskin notebook. It's expensive and way too small (or not compact enough if large enough) for all my creation to flow.
So i use a 100 pages phonebook-type notebook. The tabs allow me to go back to each project faster.

I use at least two colors on each page, sometimes three or four, to keep track of what i edited along the way
Because one modification can seem very bad a day or two after you got the idea.

And i use pages from right to left. But that's just me being weird.

Once ideas have been laid on the page, they usually go through an excel sheet. a logical structure is laid out, be it for characters, story flow or how the book will be structured when i'm working on non-fiction.
The layout allows me to get back to pertinent information in the blink of an eye. For example, i can know right away what a particular character is, what he/she drives, what his relation to other characters is...

Then ideas are translated into text. That's when i have to get creative, to make the raw information appealing enough.

jeudi 25 octobre 2012

So, why write your own books ?

Well, that's a nice question you got right there. And thank you for asking.

I read somewhere a long time ago that everybody thinks they can write one book. I'm not sure it is true, but I'm pretty sure most people can come up with one book.
It does not have to be a work of fiction. But everything knows something about a subject, has a fiction story on the ready, or had a life worth narrating. Well for the last one, you have to wait until you're at least 40.

There is no telling it would sell or even get published though (self-published work does not count).

So what about me ?

Well I've been reading books since i could read basically. Based on what I gathered from my years in psychology, I'll say the main reason for that was an educated father, always reading history, works of fiction and so on.
 And after reading stories in books, i made up stories for my toys. Because after all Lego men are not just pieces of plastic, they where heroes of their own world.

Then i would just tell myself stories when i got bored. I long train/subway/car trips, i would invent worlds and watch/have adventures in it. Epic adventures, i might add.
Oral presentations at school were also my forte, because you could turn any subject into a story : review the protagonists (be they historic figures or atoms...), tell where they came from, where they went, and what happened when they crossed paths.

Then a few years back i got my first gig as a writer. Granted, i was not mystery or even fiction writer : i wrote (and still do) articles about security forces, weapons, tanks, and all that. But it got me going.

A few years after that I decided i would write a tentative first book. That did not go far. Well i'm telling that but it got to the point where i have a complete story with every twist detailed (pretty much a movie storyboard, without the pictures, they are in my head). In two years i wrote about 10 short chapters.

Then i got my first book contract. Once again, not for anything fancy, just for an 84-pages book about the US Army in 2012.

But it got the machine running again.

So now i have four books in my metaphorical drawers. One is my old project, going back to 2009 and not going anywhere fast. The second is a WWII story with a twist, with so much research needed i don't have the physical time or money to get it rolling (or maybe it's just me finding an excuse to do nothing).
The third one is a brand new story using the characters and settings of my first project (i'm stripping it for parts but the frame is left intact for completion and/or re-writing later) and is running not as full speed, but at a nice steady pace (3 weeks have produced 23 chapters for about 50/60 pages at 1500 sign/page) so far.
the last one came at me one night and has been shaping up nicely, but will demand a more dense approach, being set up in a parallel timeline (the 3 other project use the events of our very own timeline for the time being).

And fear not, all of those will feature blackjack and/or hookers.

jeudi 18 octobre 2012

But... Why ?

Sooo... New blog eh ?

What's up with that ?
Is a blog still relevant now ? I mean... with The Facebook, Da Twitters and all those things, blogs are pretty much like newspapers now, nobody reads them and they just take up space in your living room/attic/toilets. Am i right, hip people ?

So why ?

What the hell am i trying to do here ? Be oldschool ?

Well, in a way. You see, i'm a writer.
But not any kind of writer : i write pieces that get published in magazines. Those papery things, yes.

And i write books.
I mean, i'm trying.

Well i wrote one that is schedueled to go on sale sometime in the next 6 months (according to my contract).

And i have a few other projects.

The blog is gonna be about that. About writing books, about working with the publisher, about signing contracts.

Because one day i woke up and said : well then, i'll go write my own books. With blackjack. And hookers.