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Archive for January, 2014

Progress Report, in which I rock

Logged some 10K worth of rewrite on Apocalypse Pictures Presents.  Magic Meter marks the moment:

Now that’s what I’m talking about.  I finally busted through pages at something that resembles a respectable pace.  I so totally rock.

Before I get too cocky, though, I have to remind myself that the hardest part of the rewrite is still ahead.  The good news here is that a few new ideas have occurred, correcting missteps from the first draft that seem obvious in retrospect.  The corrections, however, do raise certain plot questions that I haven’t yet resolved.  But I’ll figure them out.  Probably.  I hope.  See last sentence of the previous paragraph.

Your snippet:

Susan’s mouth fell open.  “An Animate?  This?”  She extended a hand toward the corpse that stood before them.

Gil shared her disbelief.  What little he had seen of Animates before he’d fled the Hills had been crude hackwork compared to what stood before him.  The woman had an utterly natural posture, not too straight, not too stiff.  When she spoke, the words came out easily.  Even her inflections were spot-on.  For a moment, Gil suspected the woman might be lying to him.  Hesitantly, he reached for her, touched her wrist.  The skin was ice cold.  She gave him a look that said, See?  Satisfied?

He was.

“Yes, this,” Gil said.  Susan retreated a step, her lip curled.  She looked as if she might vomit.

He addressed the Animate:  “Wow.  You guys have gotten pretty good at this.  She could pass for human.”

Again, the delay before responding.  “That’s the idea,” she said.

No updates for Write Club.

Rocking on . . .

Current Music: "Blackbird"--The Beatles

Progress Report, in which I demonstrate the futility of avoidance behaviors

Notched another 5300 words on the Apocalypse Picture Presents rewrite.  Magic Meter stands thus:

Approaching the end of Act One.  So far, I’ve retooled my protagonist, ret-conned in an important plot point, and cut an entire chapter.  It’s been slow going, as readers of these reports already know.  But the hardest part of the rewrite is looming just ahead in Act Two.  I’ve been dreading it, dragging my heels.  And yet, somehow, none of my avoidance behaviors have made it go away.  Funny, that.  You’d think I’d learn.

Anyway, I have a few ideas about this rough patch.  Don’t know if they’ll work, but then, I never do.

Your snippet:

The team got to work, strapping on their backpacks, bedrolls, and weapons.  Susan walked over to Gil.  “So—about ten miles, would you say?”

“As the crow flies, yeah.  But the terrain won’t be easy.  If we get to Hollywood before sundown, I’ll be surprised.”

“No need to rush.  I’ll take point.”


She flashed a strained smile and went to join the others.

He watched her, thinking again of last night’s . . . confrontation?  Conversation?  He didn’t know how to categorize it, and that left him out of sorts, distracted.  That was no good, not for today.

Maybe he should have handled it differently.  Maybe he should have cracked down hard on her.  Or passed it off with a laugh.  What would Cameron or Kubrick have done?

“Dumb,” he said under his breath.  “Dumb, dumb, dumb.”  He went back to the SUV to retrieve his gear.

No updates for Write Club.

No way to go but forward.

Current Music: "Lenny"--Stevie Ray Vaughan

Progress Report, in which I emulate Alexander the Great

Some 3600 words’ worth of rewrite on Apocalypse Pictures Presents.  Magic Meter say:

Still not very satisfactory progress, except that I finally solved the riddle of chapter six . . . in much the same way that Alexander the Great solved the Gordian Knot.

That’s right, kids.  I cut it, after all.  I got tired of trying to infuse it with life, and finally realized I didn’t need to.  I stuffed a bit of it into a later chapter, and that was that.

This is a good thing for a couple of reasons.  Most important, I’m able to move forward again.  But it also saves me some word count that I fear I’m going to need in Act Two, which is where this rewrite gets really difficult fun.

Your snippet:

With grim amusement, he realized that he had become a bit of a cliché himself—the demanding director, à la James Cameron, or maybe Stanley Kubrick.  Now, he was leading them into . . . well, he wasn’t even sure of that, exactly.  Everyone knew the rumors about the Hills and Hollywood, but no one knew how much of them were true.  From the sound of them, though, it seemed that things had gotten worse since he’d last been there.

His only ace in the hole was Catherine.  She wouldn’t let him down; he was certain of it.  If he could get his team to the secret backdoor, Catherine would take care of the rest.

Of course, he wasn’t certain yet exactly how he would get to the secret backdoor.  But with Susan’s help, they should be able to get past the Hollywood barricades.  Hell, the Mouseketeers allegedly managed it all the time.  Gil and a skeleton cast and crew, carrying only what they would absolutely need, should be small and stealthy enough to get inside.

It would work.  It had to work.  Shooting on the backlot was meant to be.

No updates for Write Club.

Onward, though the way gets steeper from here.

Current Music: "Carpe Diem Baby"--Metallica