Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Week writing exercise.

So, I made plans at the end of last week to do a series of cyberpunk exercises at the end of this week. I did research all day today while the movie Hackers ran in the background. (yes, I know it is a horrible portrayal of technology and 'hacking', but I like the music and some of the plot lines really make me think in unique directions.) I surprised myself by finishing my research early, so I spent a little time creating a few prompts to help me should I find myself stuck or slowed when I write on Thursday. I had originally planned to think out and create the prompts tomorrow, but I came up with  another prompt that I will write tomorrow. That one centers around character development for both days of writing. I picked up some more tools to aid in the development of characters from thescriptlab (link below). I find that, on a number of issues where I have been stuck over the last several years, screenplay ideas give scenes I am writing a bit more color. I also heavily modify other writing prompts and exercises I find to fit my style and process. I'm not closed-minded on how I do things, but I have become comfortable in the manner in which I prepare. That said, this series of exercises is yet another takeaway from my comfort zone. The last several months have seen me diverge from my 'normal' routine in order to break my creativity out of the slump I found myself in earlier in the year. I add what works to my usual routine where it makes sense. (I use that style of prep when I write my daily journals or my writing prompt development. I'll post some of these as I have time to write them out in a clear manner)

My cyberpunk exercises are borne out of a love of stories told by Richard K. Morgan and William Gibson (I had actually forgotten I had read Neuromancer until I read a little of the story. For some reason the title didn't jog a memory.)  I'll write one story on Wednesday afternoon once I complete my character development. This first will be in screenplay form so that I can take advantage of scene descriptions and get those out of my system before writing my prompt on Thursday. Friday will kick off a prompt that should take a longer form and go through the weekend. With any luck I will have the first draft of a novella or the seeds of a book by Monday. :-) It is ambitious, optimistic and reckless all at the same time and it has me really excited. I have been working on this idea for months and I finally got to a point where I was tired of working on my other items. Perfect timing for a 'break' of sorts from my normal and long running work. I have some stuff lined up for next week on a project that I have been researching for several years (It has only taken years because it took me that long to sit down and try to grasp some of the concepts I plan to use.) My last attempt was utter crap in my opinion, but that didn't keep me from saving the bits for use later. This next attempt will use none of the original story as it fell apart due to my lack of understanding. Hand-waving aside, I think I have enough of a grasp to write from a very different perspective in the story than the first try. Time will tell on that one.

Back to the writing for this week, since I don't have a writing partner and there is no one to keep me honest on word counts, etc., I will post my word counts per day in the comments here so that I am monitoring myself in a more public arena. Let's hope that keeps me motivated and not focusing in the wrong directions for too long at a time. One of the main things I hope to take away from this is whether or not I like writing this type of fiction. I have yet to 'find my place' in writing genres and I have a ton of work in various different ones as trial runs, plus a few cross genre shorts to round out the pile, but I have yet to really locate one area that defines me as a writer. It is very likely that I never will, but I do want to see where I am comfortable the most. That should dictate where my future work starts.

Here's to hoping that the week is a success and I follow through on the promise to post word counts in the comments.  Keep the faith scribblers!


P.S. I have been looking all over for the article I read on Labor Day concerning using your journal entries to kick start writing projects, but I can't lay my hands on it. I want to say it was in a Writer's Digest freebie that I got, but I have, so far, been unable to find it. May post it in comments later.

Some links for your perusal


  1. started the morning with some brainstorming. I'm moving now from a very busy text document with names and things into a first character conversation with my protagonist. I want to ask him some questions so I can get a better idea of his life and how he got to this point in it. Maybe he will tell me stories of his childhood. Maybe he will be unwilling to talk about some things and I will have to play therapist. Who knows what it will encompass. :-)

  2. 1614 words so far on my conversation with the main character. I am talking with my antagonist now to get some further details on his motivation. I already know I don't like him very much, but something he just said surprised me. There may be hope for him yet.

    I still haven't found the article I mentioned above about journaling for authors or writers, but I did start using a new software to do my daily journal entries. I'll write about it on my other blog later on. I need some time to decide how I feel about it.