Tag Archives: outlining

Productive Holiday

I headed for the writing cabin about 6:30 this morning. It was clear and cold, and apparently determined to stay that way. (Our high temperature today was a blistering nine degrees.)

Lisa* knew I was coming. (She monitors my phone and gyrocopter.) When I walked into the writing cabin, the fireplaces were pushing heat, and the coffee was hot. “What's the plan today, boss?”

“The Yak Guy. We're getting close to the end, and I want to keep making progress. Is the yak still in the basement stable?”

“Sure is.”

I turned toward the staircase, and Lisa stopped me. “Wait. Give him his carrot. I picked up a bunch, and give him one every day.”

“Won't Bunny get jealous?”

“Oh no. He gets some too.”

I grabbed the carrot by the leaves, scooped up some hot coffee, and headed downstairs.

The yak stood in his stall, but the gate was open. “Hey, brought you a carrot.”

“Thanks, but I don't care for them that much,” the yak said.

I glanced back over my shoulder. “You're going to have to eat it. Lisa thinks she's doing something wonderful for you.”

“Fine, but I've had to eat a lot of carrots in the last six months. I don't want to let out my saddle.” He accepted the carrot and started munching.

“I'm heading for the Wheel of Fortune part of the story. Is the Yak Guy ready for it?”

“He isn't too bright, but he seems to be ready when the next event comes along. All you can do is try. I don't know how he's going to react to a decision he has to make with imperfect information. He always wants to know all the answers ahead of time.”

“Don't we all. It seems more prevalent with Yak Guy's generation though. I have a hunch, he'll deal with it if I don't give him any choice.”

“You can always have me gore him in the butt again.”

“Heh, that was fun, but I don't know if we can do it again without it seeming forced.”

“I understand, but there are days I'd like to.”

“Alright, buddy, get your saddle on and I'll have Yak Guy meet you in the meadow.”

I tromped upstairs to my office and kicked Yak Guy off the couch. “Time to get to work.” He begrudgingly left, and headed outside.

Words flowed well, and the Wheel Of Fortune lesson is over. All I have to do is rescue some kids, then find some refugees, and reunite him with the love of his life. I think it's going to hit 80,000 words, and if not I'll have to enhance a couple of places. I have a hard time calling it a novel if I don't get the word count.

The yak led his human into the basement and got him all settled. Lisa asked if that was it for the day.

“I think I can manage a bit more, to be honest. I'm going to try a baseball story.”

“Oh, crap, I never called any of them.”

“No problem, this story is about a barbecue on a day when the players are off. I'm going to explore their feelings about being placed on waivers, and who their competitors are for post-season slots. We'll write it, and interview them all later to make it feel right.”

“Too bad, I would have enjoyed a barbecue and a dinner party. I have this cute little black–“

“Nevermind, let's just write it. Maybe you can put an old game on TV for some atmosphere.”

“Oh sure, no problem.”

That seemed to get Lisa focused, and I cranked out a 1000 word micro-story. I'm enjoying these tales, but I don't know how the world will receive them at large. There are a bunch of stories, and a few recurring characters. It tells the story of a mythical season, but delves behind the scenes and covers a lot of activities off the field too. In a way, it has some similarities to The Playground in the way I'm relaying it. Because there is an overarching story, I can't do the twist endings my short stories are known for. There are some, but not with the frequency an Experimental Notebook would have.

I leaned back in my chair and took a sip of my coffee. “Let's make a couple of storyboards.”

“Are you serious? I didn't thaw out the left side of your brain. I might be able to, but don't want to scorch it again.”

“Don't worry about him. We'll just pin some cards up, and we can make them perfect later on.”

Lisa headed for the basement, and returned with two storyboards, a pile of index cards, some sticky notes, and all the colored pens you could want. What can I say, the girl likes making storyboards.

We made one for a science fiction tale I'm calling Estivation. This is like hybernation, but occurs when things get too hot. It involves a cute young couple who have to spend three months in a survival bunker while a parasite sun passes by their planet. I invented the term parasite sun for a gas giant planet that manages to ignite somehow. When things line up, their own sun plus the parasite sun, makes the surface deadly.

Their bunker is already occupied by a thief, and they all get locked in together. Happiness and merriment ensue. (Not really) They don't have enough food to last three months now. Throwing the bad guy out will expose them all to deadly radiation.

Lisa put that board aside, and we made one for a project called The Hat. This involves a hard working girl, who missed out on the family decision about what to do with grandma's personal possessions. She had to pull an extra shift and missed the meeting by a couple of hours. When she gets to granny's junk shop, her evil uncle decided to sell everything. All the heronine wanted was one of grandma's house plants, but even this was denied her.

When evil uncle's back is turned, she grabs a box and takes it home. Inside the box is an old fedora hat. It wasn't even grandma's, it belonged to the grandfather she never knew. Turns out the hat talks and forms a kind of symbiotic relationship with the wearer. This one is going to become a kind of paranormal superhero type story.

When wearing the hat, my heroine can see through his eyes too. They can communicate without vocalizing their words. She can see behind her, or wherever he is looking. She can also shoot guns while using his vision, while her own vision aims a different direction. On top of that, The Hat, plays an upright bass. She needs to wear him, and he uses her fingers and hands. This part is going to be great for character purposes.

I think my main plot problem is going to involve baby snatchers, and I've decided to include an unhelpful witch in the supporting staff.

The Hat is going to be more of a buddy tale, with my heroine and the hat making up the buddies. They're going to bicker and (hopefully) grow during the tale.

Lisa said, “So The Hat can be any kind of hat she wants, as long as it's a hat? Is that what's going on?”

“Yeah, basically. She can be seen in one thing, round the corner, and it's something else completely. Maybe headphones or something. Might make a reasonable way to avoid the cops.”

“This is so exciting, I'm going to order a small mountain of hats.”

“You party on, Lisa.”

And that's where I called it a day.

*Lisa Burton is my robotic personal assistant, and the spokesmodel for Entertaining Stories.

If any of you are that interested, you can check out pin boards for The Hat, and Estivation on my Pinterest site.

 

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Weekending

We didn't take anything too seriously this weekend. We started off with gift cards from Christmas. We did the standard thing, by each spending more than was on the card. Mine went to Men's Wearhouse, and my wife's went to the Apple Store. I wound up with some nice dress shirts and ties, plus a couple of pairs of pants. It was a buy one get one free deal, so not too bad. My wife got some wireless Beats headphones. Her 'phones are awesome too.

After dumping our cards (Plus about that much more of our own money) we stopped at Old Chicago for beer and pizza. All in all, it was a nice day together.

Today, we decided not to go out at all. There are a couple of movies that look interesting, but we both weren't feeling it.

I sequestered myself away and added 1500 words to The Yak Guy Project. It's not great, but it's progress. I'm off tomorrow and have the house to myself. (Myself and Otto, who has his own demands some mornings.)

I spent several hours doing research into one of my future projects. I may start outlining both of the future projects, but won't begin writing until I get my current projects finished.

My intention was to work on The Enhanced League for a while tonight, but I never got that far. Something about a Steelers game that got a late start.

I hope you all had great weekends. I'm very content with mine. We managed a fun date – day, as opposed to date night. I made small progress on projects today, and being content seems to cover it.

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It’s still progress

Today didn't go as well as yesterday. I still came in slightly over 2000 words, and hope for more tomorrow. I wrote the scene with The Hanged Man, and it came out pretty well. I don't know that his lesson is finished, but the Hanged Man has been buried. Yak guy needs to reflect upon it while he's crossing the steppes. Maybe he can find some connection to the Hermit and decide he misjudged the fellow to a degree. Maybe the yak can throw that in his face, which is what usually happens.

When he gets home, he will find the shit's really hit the fan. This will move the story into act three, and he's going to have to make some big, life changing, decisions. I need to get him home, but I don't want to lose the idea that it takes a long time to ride a yak across the steppes. Maybe beta readers will decide I can make some cuts along these lines.

His next lesson will be the Wheel of Fortune, and I may still work in Justice. They are out of order now, but I prefer the way the story flows.

I spent a huge amount of time playing pumpkin ball with Otto today. He's hard to resist, and he's been such a good boy while we are at work lately. I can't blame him for being excited when someone is home. If the opportunity comes up tomorrow, I'll probably play even more pumpkin ball.

Where I screwed up is in the short fiction department. I had the chance to work on some this afternoon and just blew it off. That's no way to become a productive writer.

I would like to get both Yak Guy, and The Enhanced League out the door in the first quarter of 2017. I have two or three stories that are screaming at me to get written, and they're likely to come in as novellas. (Something new for me.) I think I'll write them while polishing my outline for the next novel. I've never spent as long on a novel as I have with Yak Guy, and that isn't good. My outline wasn't as tight, and that's the reason. With a tight outline, I wrote The Cock of the South in three months, and it turned out great.

I counted on the tarot card order to act as part of my outline, and they did to a degree. Yak Guy still has to move through his world and deal with problems, and a real outline would have helped. Lesson learned: More time outlining = less time drafting.

PS: I'm glad I'm not a celebrity yet. 2016 doesn't seem to be the best year for them. Maybe 2017 is a better year to become a million seller.

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Time to stop researching

I looked up from my iPad and watched a pair of flamingos wing overhead. The smell of a distant brushfire faded and was replaced with a delicious smell from the cook tent. Lisa* popped outside and placed the folding table in the shade.

“Your lunch is about ready. I still can’t believe you shot that gazelle,” she said.

“I couldn’t eat another can of that Dwarven scrapple. I know you’re an animal lover, but a man has to eat. Besides, all you need is recharging.” I moved to the table, and refilled my coffee.

“What’s on the agenda today? Watch the rhinos in the mud again? Maybe watch the elephants water again?”

“Nope. I think it’s time to go home. I’ve gathered enough research, now I need to figure out what to do with it all. I’m still making everything up, but it’s nice to have some points to ground my stories. Besides, I’ll bet you miss Bunny.”

Lisa sat down my plate and turned away. “I’ll get started packing. Do we have to break down these tents?”

“The service will do everything. Load our gear, gas up, and we’re out of here.” I tucked into my lunch.

Lisa loaded her trunk, and my few meager items. She used the hand pump to fill the Landrover, then lifted the rear of the vehicle so the differential sat on a rock with the tires off the ground. “I still think we should have ordered a new starter.”

“It’s an old car, and getting one clear out here isn’t easy. We’ll order one back at the writing cabin. Besides, you’re a good starter.”

She muttered, “Yup, that’s me. Girl Friday, auto mechanic, cook, and laundry.” She placed the transmission in gear, and wrapped the right rear tire with a length of rope.

“Don’t forget spokes model, and main character too.”

“Hmph!” She grabbed the end of the rope and gave it a mighty pull. The rope spun the tire, and the Landrover engine coughed to life. Once she had the car out of gear, she lifted it off the rock, climbed behind the wheel, and backed over to where I sat.

I walked across the compound and coiled up the rope. “We’d better take this, just in case. We can pay the service for it when we get home.”

I crawled in beside Lisa and we got underway. A huge dust cloud formed behind us and I had a hard time looking back at Camp Research.

“So are you ready to choose your next novel?” She asked.

“No. I have two outlines that are into act two, a third one that’s almost there, and one that’s languishing.”

“Lorelei** is getting impatient.”

“I know, but I need to get back to the writing cabin and use the Internet.”

“Oh sure, I need the Internet and it’s no big deal. You need it, and it’s worth breaking camp over.”

“Well, I am the writer, and you’re the fictional assistant.”

She backhanded me across the chest. “Does that feel fictional?”

“No!” I nearly blacked out and spent a minute catching my breath. “For whatever reasons, I need the Internet, and I have an assignment for you.”

“I’m not leaving Bunny again so soon.”

“It’s a day job, I promise. You’re posing for Sean Harrington again. We need some new blog art to promote The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack, and The Playground.”

“I hope it isn’t for a few days. I’m going to need that long to wash Camp Research out of my hair.”

The savanna faded into higher grasslands, and eventually timber. The African animals were replaced by more ice age fauna typical of the area near the writing cabin. Lisa handed me a gazelle sandwich with horseradish as the shadows grew longer.

We slowed for a unicorn in the road, and Lisa blew right by the turn to pick up Bunny. I waived at the road in confusion.

“I’ve got a great WiFi signal here. Faith said she’ll drop him off at the cabin for me.”

Lisa drove to the lower driveway and opened the garage door. She didn’t want to stop and risk having to pull start the vehicle again. Once she parked, she turned off the engine and ran up the stairs for her beloved pet.

*Lisa Burton is the robotic main character in Wild Concept. She also has a new short story in my Experimental Notebook. You can get a free set of Lisa paper dolls here.

**Lorelei is my Muse. She didn’t appear in this story, but since we talked about her, I thought I should define who she is.

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Ready for the weekend

Like all my weekends recently, it will be a combination of work and fun. I already changed my wallpaper. It must be August somewhere, right? There are fireflies in part of Will O' the Wisp, and I decided it looks cool.

I bought ink cartridges on the way home from work. I need to load them in the printer and get moving on my critique assignments. I also need to send off my 3000 words to my peers.

I still have a bit of research to do. There was a true story I wanted to borrow from, but I'm about to make the whole thing up myself. Authors are allowed to do that. I also want to work on my outlines a bit more.

I've been stalling about editing The Playground. I have a bunch of vacation time coming up, and may wait until then.

Boise has a huge Basque festival going on this weekend. We may run downtown and get some awesome Basque food tomorrow. My wife has something planned with the grandkids too, but I'm almost certain to tag along.

I may get all of it finished, I may not. Right now, I really don't care either way. It's going to be time to push my book of short stories soon, and then I'll have to get serious. We're still fiddling around with the cover art, and a few advance readers are still working on things. I earmarked September sometime for publication, so right now I'm cruising. This weekend I can just go with the flow. (And listen to all the Alice Cooper music I downloaded.)

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Monsters and Saviors

I go to work in the dark almost year round. This time of year, there’s a little bit of dawn before I walk in the office, but the days are getting shorter now. It will soon be dark for the whole commute. The point is, I have no idea what goes on in my back yard while I’m away.

Today is my rotating day off. It was glorious to get a couple more hours of sleep. My awakening was not how I wanted to start the day. There were monsters in my back yard.

They make a shrill twittering noise at first. This is the sound of a solo invader. He’s soon joined by others and the sound grows. It’s never loud. Not so loud as to rouse the unaware from slumber. I am not unaware.

I bolted from my bed and shoved a cold cup of coffee in the microwave. While it heated, I downed my blood pressure medication. This encounter would surely test my blood pressure. I even recorded the sound on my iPhone with every intention of sharing with you. I couldn’t figure out how to get it on my blog to prove I’m not crazy.

The monsters fled at the sight of me. They’re only about two inches tall. They aren’t here for me, they only come to steal away my happiness. They did a lot of damage, but I managed to salvage a bit for myself.

It's flat peach season

The dirty buggers start their harvest early. I want a fully ripened peach. The winged monsters don’t wait that long. Peaches ripen a bit at a time. The monsters eat that one perfect bit and move on, leaving the unripened portion to rot. Where they move on to, is the next nearest peach. One tiny little beast will ruin five beautiful peaches to fill its microscopic belly.

My tree overproduced last year, despite my thinning like a madman. It was certain this year would be puny by comparison. It’s not enough to deal with a tiny granddaughter who discovered a baby pumpkin tree. That part I can laugh off. (And it was pretty funny.) These peach eating demons are just wasteful.

I grabbed some small baskets and filled my refrigerator with peaches. There are some green edges on a few of them, but they are mouth wateringly good. I need to scrub them down before eating even though I’m not a big pesticide user. You just never know what the monsters left behind.

Life’s funny sometimes. After salvaging some of my tree’s fruit for myself I heated up another cup of coffee and checked my email. I discovered I had apps to update.

Pinnic updated their cork board app to include index cards. They now offer everything I want in a storyboard app. I emailed them a month or so ago and mentioned this to them. They assured me that index cards would be in the next update. The heavens parted and the angels sang. I think I’m going to recreate my four outlines today in Pinnic. As I do it, I’ll be downing microwave coffee and eating the most perfect flat peaches ever.

Either that, or I’m going to go stand under my tree and eat peaches until the juice runs down my beard. All the while watching the monsters weep from my neighbor’s yard. I haven’t decided yet.

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A dressing down from my Muse

The sounds of insects roused me from my sleep. A few sandgrouse called down toward the river. My head throbbed. What did I drink last night?

I pulled back the mosquito netting, dressed and poked my head outside. A huge ginger maned lion curled up near the cold fire pit. A director’s chair, the kind John Ford might have used, stood beside it. It said ‘Lorelei’* on the back.

She crouched down and scratched the lion under the chin. He raised his head and closed his eyes.

I wandered outside and shielded my eyes against the rising sun. Lorelei sat in her chair and gazed off into the distance. The lion looked at me like lunch.

“Lisa’s** in the kitchen tent making your coffee and preparing your breakfast,” Lorelei said.

I stepped carefully across the compound, and maneuvered until Lorelei was between me and the lion. “So who’s your friend? And how do you manage to get along with him.”

She pointed a green manicured nail at herself. “Goddess, remember?” She fiddled with her hat and snapped the brim to the side. “He was here when I arrived, and I introduced myself.”

She caught me looking at her nails. “Do you like them? I heard you’re into green things these days.”

“Yeah, um, they’re pretty.” I wrapped a hand around my beard. “What brings you all the way out here today?”

“You’ve been at Camp Research for quite some time now. Are you any closer to choosing an outline?”

I sat in one of the regular camp chairs. “No. I got some good data in Lisaville. It’s mostly about my grinder story. There’s a bio-hack that could add some real flavor. I just need to figure out how to use it.”

“I see. And your other outlines?”

“I have a new idea that could help with the fantasy story, but it isn’t forming as fast as the others. I love the idea, and maybe it will pick up the pace. I’m having trouble figuring out the twists and turns this story needs. I’ve got the yak guy’s turning point all figured out, I just need to work out how, and how to set the stage.”

“And the African adventure?”

“It’s coming along well. I have a lot of ideas for it. I’m struggling with the need to compress history a little bit. To make the story work, I may need to force historical events from different years into the same year.”

She shined her nails on her custom bush jacket, and placed her hand over her knee where I could see the green polish. “It’s a work of fiction. Others have done similar things. What’s the problem?”

“Should I put a disclaimer at the front, or something similar?”

“Probably. Is that all that’s holding you back?” Lorelei rubbed her boot under his chin.

I stared at the lion as he extended his neck.”No. It’s more of an adventure story, and I want a speculative element in there somewhere to work with my branding.”

“Pfft!” She flicked her wrist toward me.

The sound grabbed the lion’s attention and he bolted to his feet. I secretly prayed Lisa had him covered with her gun. “Look, can we lose the lion?”

Lorelei shifted and faced me head on. “That all depends. Answer me one question.” She plopped her hat back on her head. “Did you ask me to appear on Charles Yallowitz’ blog so you could have a fling with The Green Fairy?”

The lion’s tail twitched nervously at the end. His gaze anchored me to my chair.

“N, No!” I wrapped my arms around my chest out of reflex. “I, I, I didn’t know what was in that drink. Local cuisine and all that. You know how it goes.”

“Local cuisine is a hippo fillet. You could have ordered a beer.”

“It was a bar. When in Rome, and all that–“

She leaned forward. “You’ve never been to Rome.” She stood and scratched the lion behind the ears. “Sorry, Bernard, you’ll have to find your breakfast elsewhere today.”

The lion snarled and darted for the long grass.

I deflated like one of those gorillas outside the car dealership after the air is turned off. “Bernard, really?”

“He said it’s the name his mother gave him.” She held out her hand and helped me to my feet. “I don’t care what you write, as long as you write. If you want an African adventure, write one.”

We headed toward the kitchen tent. “I could use a little Muse inspiration here. Maybe I can add some magic to keep it in the same arena.”

“Perhaps. You didn’t even comment on my new bush outfit.”

“Sorry, I was kind of distracted. What kind of hatband is that, some kind of golden cat?”

“Please. It’s a golden hind.”

“Of course it is. Nice fit on those pants though.”

“There’s the old Craig I remember. Lisa said she was heating up a can of scrapple for you.”

“Yuck. What possessed The Southern Dwarves to market that stuff?”

“You wrote them to be very industrious. It’s actually selling quite well. Lisa said she could make hash out of it.”

“I like hash…

*Lisa is my robotic assistant. She doesn’t appear in this story, but since she’s mentioned, I thought I should note it. You can get a free Lisa Burton paper doll by clicking here.

**Lorelei is my Muse. My very jealous Muse.

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Weekend winding down

My wife decided she wanted to watch the Women's World Cup game. We haven't watched soccer since the last Olympics, but what the heck.

I didn't manage any editing this weekend, and I also didn't work on any short stories. I really wanted to work on short stories.

My son is working in Nevada. We had our daughter-in-law and the kids over last night. All the adults got a small lobster tail, and a large king crab leg. We rounded it out with potato salad and Mexican corn on the cob. The girls picked up some fireworks and we participated in the neighborhood volly to celebrate the 4th.

Some things you just have to do. I can't write all the time. Still, I managed to write out some blog posts and send them to others. I don't have all the dates, but I'm going to be popping up here and there. I also have another guest appearing here this week.

I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to post the PDF images of the paper dolls on WordPress. In the end, I decided to post links to the printable files, and images of what they look like. I really enjoyed this project, and it looks like quite a few people clicked on the PDF files. It would be cool to see a photo of your paper doll wherever you might be. I'll be content when I see Lisa on the International Space Station. Maybe Vanessa-Jane Chapman can have her jumping out of a cake, or something.

This page with the paper dolls also required a post to talk about what the heck I was doing. This post is less than a half dozen “likes” from making it into my top ten posts of all time. I would really appreciate those half dozen likes if some of you have the time. My top ten get read regularly, and they are a decent introduction to what you might find on my blog. In any case, the page with the downloads will remain.

I spent a little quality time on a beta read for a friend, but I have more to do. I also worked up my critiques for the group meeting tomorrow night.

The outlines all creeped ahead in one fashion or another. I have a few months to tinker with them, so they aren't as urgent.

My brother made me a hammered copper hatband for the cowboy hat I bought in Jackson. I spent a couple of weeks letting it patina, but didn't like the look. I touched it up with a little 2000 grit sandpaper and it came alive. The green color remained in the deep hammer marks, and the polished copper held the high parts. I sprayed it with a clear coat, so it wouldn't continue to patina and stain my hat. All the green turned black upon contact with the clear coat. Nothing I can do about it, but it still looks pretty good.

That was my weekend. Some productivity, maybe it could have been more. We're camping next weekend, so I don't know if I'll get anything accomplished. There could be catfish involved, so that's a plus.

How was your weekend? Is anyone out there writing, promoting, researching?

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Writing it all out

I admit to slacking recently. I never give myself strict dates when it comes to writing. This is a hobby, and being that regimented kind of ruins it. Hobby = fun. Work = not fun, but it pays better.

Still, writing it all down helps keep me focused. Here's an idea of what I want to accomplish before Fall.

  • Write 1.5 more short stories. I have half of one, and another idea to get to.
  • Write the promo article for the book of short stories.
  • Keep moving forward on outlining, and keep the Camp Research blog idea moving.
  • Actual research to fuel my outlines.
  • Edit The Playground. Whip it into beta reading shape.
  • Organize the short stories into book format.
  • Edit the short stories into shape for beta readers.
  • Beg for beta readers for the novel and the book of shorts. (When the time comes.)
  • Choose one outline to become my next novel. Write an absurd blog post about it.
  • Work on the winning outline, while saving the rest for later.
  • Various promotional things as they come up.

I've been trying to read more. This isn't a bad thing for writers. I've even been reading outside my genre, which I do on occasion. I look at this like an ongoing goal.

 

I also took on another beta reading project. I might be able to help someone, but I learn from the process too. As long as we all play nice, we both win.

 

It seems like a lot, but it isn't. I could finish the writing part on the short stories in two hard days. Organizing them could take some time. It's like putting the songs in order for a good concert. Thank God for copy and paste.

 

Editing will take some time, but my critique group is working through the early chapters of The Playground right now.

 

Research involves enough “stuff” to get the story moving. Additional research is always required after the draft starts. I hope to start my novel by Winter time.

 

How regimented are the rest of you writers? I don't have specific dates, and there will be more camping in my future too. The world won't end if I don't get everything finished on a tight schedule. (I'll bet I'm close though.) Do you make lists? Do you have a system to enforce your schedule? I won't even participate in nanowrimo, because I don't like the tight goals.

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Let’s talk customer service

I had one of the longest days at work that I've had in years. Ten and a half hours with no lunch. I gotta tell you, this post is going to be short. I always try to post on Wednesday, so we're going to talk about customer service.

I've been on a little theme about how I use a cork board app to storyboard my novels. I really like an app called Corkulous Pro. I sent them an email years ago and asked them if we might get some pushpins and string. I explained how I use it, and that strings could really help with plants and payoffs.

The people at Corkulous responded immediately, and thought that was an awesome idea. It never happened though.

This app hasn't been updated in a couple of years, so I sent them a fresh new email. It crashes, because it hasn't kept up with the newer iOS updates. I waited a couple of weeks and bumped them with a new email. It's been about a month now, and they've been silent.

I've been searching for a new app without much luck. I was seriously considering what it might take to create my own app and market it. I decided to try one last search using new words. I tried “pin board.”

There is another app, and it's almost perfect. It even has pushpins and strings. What it doesn't have is index cards. Index cards are kind of important to my process. The app is called Pinnic.

I sent an email to their support team and explained what I needed and why. They responded in a few hours, and this is what they said:

“Thanks for contacting us Mr. Boyack,

We are now preparing a major update of Pinnic and we will add those index cards.

If you need any other feature or would like to join the Beta tests do not hesitate to post.”

That's how you respond to a business email. I may have mentioned my blog and the fact that I'm posting about apps… to a bunch of authors. (It might have happened.)

I could probably resize the sticky notes and use them. I like sticky notes for another reason. They may be yanking my chain, but the idea of a pending update sounds promising.

I'm excited, and I'll be patient about this. I can still use Corkulous for now.

That's the news of the day. Now I have an appointment with a quart sized bottle of Belgian sour beer.

Oh, and I have something crazy, interactive, and fun coming soon on the self promotion front. More on this later.

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