Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving

Not much to report but I wish everyone a good turkey day. Eat lots and drink lots and of course, be responsible before going into a food coma. I'm set here, though I could use a nap and have to give Cassie a bath when she wakes up. I'm almost done with the new book. Well, almost done with the word count for Nanowrimo at any rate. I think I might actually go 2k over, but that won't be for the contest, I think, as I'm running out of time. And here I thought I'd be short. Turns out that that last 10k goes pretty damn fast. I have under a thousand words left for the contest and probably a few more after that to wrap it up, as somehow I added a Lovecraftian plot twist to the story and have to deal with the fallout of that and the severing of a statue's head. I hope it turns out well. Then it's time for Left 4 Dead.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Left 4 Dead

Sweet Jesus, this may be the best video game ever. You're fighting zombies and trying to get out of the city alive. You have tons of ammo, but these fuckers are fast and come in all sorts of varieties to kill you. If you turned the Resident Evil games into an FPS and made it squad based, this is what you would get. Thrills, chills and a fuckton of awesome. Play this game. Seriously.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Nanowrimo Fun

As I hit 14,000 words today, I breathed a sigh of relief. That's a ton of fucking writing to do in 7 days. It's very rewarding though. That's a great start to a book and it's pretty cool being able to keep such a rigid deadline when free time is at a minimum thanks to other obligations like working and playing with my beautiful baby girl. When she goes to sleep though, it's time to rock out the keyboard and add some to my google document. Hopefully I'll have it done by the time the deadline rolls around.

For the Nanowrimo novices out there, or even veterans looking for a hint or two, I would like to offer a few tips. I know it's presumptuous of me since I've only done it three times, so far out of which I've only finished once. Still, with one success, I can tell you what works for me and other people. In this case, it's how to get to the allotted words a day.

If you divide it down, you're looking at 1600 odd words a day, closer to 1700 really. That's not a ton, but it can be tough at times, especially as the hours of the waking day ebb. Some people like to sprint to this total. How, you ask? They write for several ten minute increments during the day. This cuts down on distraction and allows you to focus soley on the writing for this brief amount of time. It seems to work for a lot of people and if you have the ability and time to do so, it works well. I use this a bit during lunches, since I can crack out two intervals after eating quickly.

Usually, I just sit in front of the monitor and write until it's done. The downside of this is that there's not real rush unless I have a self-imposed time limit like bedtime or the baby waking up. That gives me time to slack, in which I'm usually not productive. However, I've gotten used to putting on Monsters HD and just letting things play in the background and type away and the words get done quickly. I did 4k today by doing that. It went by rather fast, I must say, and I still had time to read comics.

Another thing I do to help is actually write more than the 1700 words. I settled on 2000 as a nice and round number. This may seem like a no brainer, as if you're on a tear, why stop when you have so much in you? If you can write 2000 or more in a day, go for it. I do it because I know there are days when I won't be able to write at all, and instead of doing 10,000 words in a day (Thanksgiving 2007 I'm looking at you), this gives me the ability to take a day off without feeling like I'm slacking. If something arises, it gives you a security blanket. It also means that if you hit 50k early and you're still not done, you can still write more and possibly put an end to your opus in time, since come December, you may be burnt out.

That's all for now. I'm hoping to post the first chapter up here so ya'll can get a read of what I'm working on. I've read that a lot of people blog their chapters every day, but I'm not a fan of that. I'm too insecure, I reckon, and it also leaves you open to plagiarism. Regardless of what copyright you may have by posting it, it's easier to wait until you have it safely in book form or fully copyrighted, since proving that said rip-off artist actually visited your site may be difficult if you don't have proper tracking in place. Still, one chapter usually doesn't hurt and most people read it for free in the bookstore anyway, so what the hell. I'll see if I can post it this weekend.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Nanowrimo

One day down. Probably come back and write more too, as I'll need to get ahead. Google Docs is working about as well as I could ask now. I like it. I might add this to the side of the page, but probably I'll just keep repasting in the code because I don't feel like changing it later.

Kickoff

Welcome to November. I hope you all survived Halloween, the last gasp of October and sanity for the hell-ride about to come. What am I talking about? I wish I knew as I listen to my baby babble instead of go down for her nap. I knew I should have let her sleep on me while Night of the Demons was on. In any case, this marks the first day of Nanowrimo, and instead of being productive, I'm making blog posts that don't count at all. I'm going to use Google Docs this time around, I think. It allows me more access to the file wherever I go and I don't need to worry about multiple copies or a USB key like I did last year. This book's title? Well, it's the one I was going to do for the Nanowrimo in 2006--The Man Eating Women of the Isle of Why. I'd tell you more but it would spoil the content.

Instead, here's a new Top 5. It's a tough one to decide, since it's a favorite topic of mine and a lot of people would populate the list with the usual standbys. Here goes.

Top 5 Slasher Movies:

1. Halloween: This is probably one of the best, if not the best out there. For the same reasons I've outlined in the Halloween post earlier, it's a classic. Great villian, great death scenes and a ton of suspense and memorable characters. They feel fleshed out and you actually care a little when they die. Michael Myers is remorseless and implacable and goes about his business with a executioner's grace. It's one of my favorite films and a fantastic slasher movie.

2. Black Christmas: This is the original movie. Not the shitty remake. This film by Bob Clark (A Christmas Story) will terrify the hell out of you and make you fear the phone when you're alone in the house. The plot is simple. It's Christmastime and a sorority is getting ready for break. They're also getting disturbing phone calls and ending up dead via an unknown killer who has taken up residence in their attic. Olivia Hussey is sublime as one of the tormented girls and you can see a young Margot Kidder as a slutty sister, as well as the fantastic John Saxon. Perfect for the holidays and it's one of my seasonal films.

3. The Burning: This is a new one for me though it's an older film. I discovered it a few weeks ago and I've taken a great liking to it, and to a lesser extent, Madman, which is based on the same legend. It's a killer stalks the kids at camp tale, but came out around the same time as F13, so it's not really a ripoff and does it in a different manner. Kropsy doesn't give a shit if you're horny or innocent. He'll chop you the fuck up either way. It takes a lot of build-up to get to the killing, but when it happens, it doesn't relent until the memorable ending shot. It was on last night but my parents don't get IFC so I watched Degrassi of the Dead instead, which, incidentally, was a better and more loving homage to the original Dawn of the Dead than the actual remake.

4. Phenomena: No, not the John Travolta movie. This flick features Jennifer Connelly in the Alps at a private school. Her father is famous and she's a bit of an outsider and there's some killings going on that are perpetrated by a gloved assailant. That's ok, because Jennifer can control bugs and Donald Pleasence is around to help her with his pet monkey. That's right, a monkey. Probably more of a giallo than slasher, it's got all the trappings and some beautiful cinematography as well. Argento did a great job on this one. There's a few twists and turns and enough to keep you guessing all the way until the wtf ending.

5. Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Why not the original? I like this one better. I think it did more than just take a nod from Phantasm and played with the idea of your own body being possessed and controlled by a malevolent force to a new level. Freddy torments the poor boy and kills those who get in his path. I enjoyed this more, if not just for Freddy tearing his own head open to show his brain to Jesse. It was fun and inventive and probably on of the last times we saw a truly evil Freddy, instead of a wisecracking jokester who happens to murder people.