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Thursday, July 20, 2006

The good stuff

For me, it's always easy to start a novel. The first three chapters come out easy and smooth. I think this is mainly because most of my book ideas usually fester for quite a while before I actually put pencil to paper, so I've got a lot of things worked out by the time I start writing. I don't have a good sense of the characters at this point, but I know the direction of the novel, so it's pretty painless.

The toughest part of writing my first draft is usually chapters 4-8, where I'm really digging into the character. I'm trying to make sure that the characters are three-dimensional and that they mesh well together. This is where most plot and character flaws are exposed. These chapters are usually the graveyard of my writing - most of my "almost" novels die at this point.

However, I'm glad to say that I finally made it to the point in my current WIP where I know that I can finish the novel. I'm not saying that the novel will be spectacular, but it'll at least have a beginning, middle and end. I'm at the point where I'm writing "the good stuff". The writing comes fast and easy, and although I know I'll have to revise it later, it's always easier to revise once you have something on paper.

If I get brave enough (and that's a big if), I'll eventually post the first chapter of my current WIP. I haven't liked a MC as much since Maxine.

In other news, I know I haven't posted anything about the status of the novel that my agent is shopping around (for now, let's call this novel Rhombus). Believe me, things are happening with the novel. I'm just not at liberty to say. I promise, when I'm able to post information about the acquisition process, I will.

And finally, the Austin SCBWI chapter has posted info about their upcoming conference. If you're looking for a good conference in the Texas area, I'd highly suggest trying out the conference. For those keeping track, Sara Crowe is my agent, and Esther Hershenhorn is the book editor I used to polish the manuscript before starting my agent search.

Okay, enough posting. Time to get back to the good stuff.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Where's My Supersuit?

I've been thinking a lot about comic books lately. I saw both X-Men 3 and Superman Returns at the big screen this past weekend, and with this new cable package that I signed up for, I've seen both Superman (1978) and Batman Begins over the span of two weeks. Plus, recent blog posts by Spookycyn and Coltrane Jenkins have me thinking about starting up my collection.

I've always loved comic books. I grew up as an X-Men fan (The Dark Phoenix Saga is one of the best comic book story arcs every written, IMHO). Once Marvel got more interested in making a profit instead of entertaining fans, I started collecting DC comics, specifically the Bat Family books. FYI - if you think Wolverine is a badass, you haven't read a good Batman Comic lately.

I was really surprised by how much I liked X-Men 3. I was never a big fan of Halle Berry as Storm (although Hugh Jackman is dead-on as Logan), but the addition of Beast was great. Plus, while they warped the original Dark Phoenix storyline, the movie was still entertaining.

As for Superman Returns...after much thought, I have deemed this movie to be "okay." Not great, not horrible, but okay. I was a big fan of Superman I and II (like most fans, I disown the III and IV movie). Unlike Spookycyn, I was a big fan of Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, and while I hated the way they portrayed Clark Kent as a bumbling idiot, Christopher Reeve was the prototypical Superman. I like the movies so much, I just overlook the Superkiss (in Superman II) and the way that Kal-El turned back time by reversing the rotation of the Earth in Superman I.

Bryan Singer, the director of Superman Returns, does a good job with showing that this movie is a continuation of Supes I and II. There is one big detail that I hated, but being that my brother hasn't watched the movie yet, I'll keep that detail to myself.

I could go into more detail about how the Superman Line was revamped in 1986 and why current fans may not like this movie as much but 1) If you're a comic book fan, you probably already know and 2) If you're not a comic book fan, you probably don't care.

FYI - I asked Mrs. V yesterday if I could start comic book collecting again. She hesitated, thought for a moment, and finally said, "Sure, if you can find someplace to put them."

She doesn't know it yet, but the guest bedroom is about to get a few additions.