Thursday, August 3, 2006
I gave CKR a rest for the past couple of weeks. Taking what the Pens said to heart, I let it simmer for a while, because I was getting full of myself and totally strayed from the REAL story. It happens now and then. No big deal. Sometimes you get too close to a story and it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. For me, it helps to stand back on occasion and look at the big picture (sorry for all the clichés), which is where a synopsis statement (or hook—there’s that word again) is helpful. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to do just that while replying to a message from a MySpace pal, Emily (Hi, Kid Rockin’ Mama!). Here’s the new and improved “HOOK,” which answers the question, “What is this book about?”:
In a nutshell, the book is about a 40-yr-old radio show writer/producer, Ted Seever, and the dysfunctional relationships he has with his wife, his boss, and his two best friends. Beginning a few days after Ted's wife files for divorce, Ted's convinced he can change her mind if only she goes to a Kid Rock concert with him. But, first, he's got to get through a long Daytona 500 weekend with his friends.
It needs some tweaking, but I think it’s much better than the first hook I came up with, which had way too much of the “action” and not enough of the plot/theme. So, thanks, Em!
NOTE: This is where I stopped using the FreeWebSpace.com site and began blogging, posting “CKR Diary” entries on MySpace, and talking up the book to generate interest and feedback. As a consequence, the style and format of entries changed a bit. The added “work load” (aka, the eternal distraction that is MySpace) also made it difficult to write updates as frequently. But, since I slowed progress on the book, there wasn’t much to tell. What follows are all blog posts relevant to CKR, whether formal Diary entries or general, related posts…
Adding MySpace Friends to the Book
August 7, 2006
So, I got this idea: Mention a few MySpace friends in my next novel, CKR. But which MySpace friends do I mention? Should I get their permission, first? And, I probably shouldn't name too many, but how many is too many? To be honest, I haven't a clue.
But, what the hell, adding a MySpace element to the book sounds like a great idea to me. Good, strong fiction imitates life, giving the reader a kind of "snapshot in time." What better snapshot is there than a social networking site? (Okay, there's the war and global warming and all, but "CKR" is a novel written for people who want to forget that shit for a while.)
I can't proceed willy nilly, however, so there should be a few ground rules for choosing who makes the cut and gets into the book:
1. Must be my "friend"--that's a given.
2. Should be a subscriber to the blog--not a requirement, but I'll be posting updates here and it's only fair I give "props" to people actually interested in the story and the process of writing it.
3. I have to be convinced you deserve it. And, yes, that's totally vague and subjective, but you'll know who you are.
I expect to be finished with the first draft of the manuscript in about a month or so. Many thanks in advance for joining me on the ride.
** NOTE, 2/13/11: This book has been written, so the contest is long over. But you can still suck up. :)
“CKR” Diary Post No. 1
August 10, 2006
For my first "real" day at the keyboard in weeks, I added a scene yesterday to Chapter 5 (Ted, Alex, and Jimmy's drive to Orlando) and incorporated the first of several MySpace friend mentions. (You'll have to wait 'til the manuscript is finished before I reveal any names.) Initially, I worried that adding a MySpace element to the story might be regarded as gimmicky, but the Internet plot-line in "Immortal Bonds" ended up being a critical part of the book. So what the hell. Let people think what they think.
Today, I'm editing Chapter 7 (the follow-up to the strip club and the first chapter set at Pleasure Island). Tonight's the Pens meeting, so I'm hoping to bring both chapters 5 and 7 and am prepared to have my ass critiqued off. But that's the price I pay to yank the good stuff out of me. (And, for those of you who aren't familiar with The Bloody Pens, they're my writers' group.) If I still have an ass left tomorrow, I'll let you know how the critique went.
“CKR” Diary Post No. 2
August 17, 2006
The process of writing a novel, at least for me, starts with an idea that becomes an outline and grows from there. Shooting for a finished product of roughly 90,000 words, I write until I get to the end of the story, to the final sentence. With CKR, that took me only a few months. But I'm always thinking of changes and additions, so I write them down on the outline or some scrap of paper somewhere. Then I compile all my critiques and edits and do a re-write of the entire book, from page 1, to clean up errors and to make sure it has a consistent theme and sufficient word count. That's where I am today with this book.
I've been working like a fiend for the past few days and, as of yesterday, the first re-write is finished through Chapter 9. Only 19 to go!! The Bloody Pens didn't get to tear into Chaps 5 and 7 last week, so I'm trying again tonight. You'll be the first to know how it works out.
I also met with a friend yesterday who, among other things, pointed out that I might not want to put Kid Rock's name out there so much--to avoid looking like an opportunist. He made a good point and, to anyone who might think I'm attempting to ride on someone else's fame, all I can say is "I'm sorry, but that's not what's happening here."
So, if you've been following along for a while, you might notice I've changed all the subject lines and headings of my posts and will no longer refer to the book as anything but "CKR." Better safe than sorry, right? I don't want to do something stupid and jeopardize this project. I know my intentions, but not everyone will take my word for it.
(to be continued...)