Lap one complete!

finishYesterday I completed lap one and finished my first draft of Book 2! YAY!

That’s why I didn’t post yesterday, I was wrote out! lol. It always feels great to finish that first draft and get that basic story out. Because once you do that, then you can focus on tightening things up. Maybe even adding extra details. I like to get the story completely out of my head after I finish it. So I put it up and don’t touch it for a week or so (sometimes more). So then when you go back to it to make modifications you’re going in with a clear head.

Finding Inspiration

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There are times when I write that I arrive at a fork in the road, or even a dead stand still. How to proceed? So I often look to similar themed movies or shows or books for inspiration to not only solve problems but perhaps create them where they need to be.

When that doesn’t work, sometimes I will just put on some music to open up my mind a little. When that doesn’t work…I take a nap. Or just come back to it the next day with a clear head. I find it better to work on something when you are inspired, then trying to push through just to get through it and come up with sub-par material. Sure some may not be able to afford the extra time with deadlines and such. But since I make my own rules for the moment. I’ll do it any way I see fit. If it makes the story better, I’ll go with that option. I’ll take that little extra time.

Make the time.

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I am a very creative person. And life to me is all about accomplishments. Now, today I am actually celebrating my 19th wedding anniversary. We have 4 children, my mother handicapped brother, and my mother in law live with us. I make music, I write, I produce, I do graphic design, I go to the gym regularly, we have a cat, a dog, an axolotl, a hamster, a chicken and a peacock. (yes a peacock).  And we’re putting things together to start our second business endeavor in the fall. I’m  just telling you these things because I have plenty of excuses for not doing any one thing at any given moment. Very valid excuses actually that anyone would understand. But even with all those things, I know that I have some free time.

I can not even recall how many times I’ve ran across people that “don’t have the time”. (but I know it’s a lot). And I can’t fully express to you how angry hearing shit like that makes me. I was making music at the time and I wanted to get a verse from a long time friend. He wrote the verse, that part was done (so he said) so I asked him to come over and record his verse that day. Recording a verse will MAYBE take 45 minutes at the most…but it’s usually 15 minutes. This dude told me, he didn’t have the time to because “it was mothers day”. This guy has NO CHILDREN, and NO WIFE, his mother lives in town, and he only worked a part time job! I don’t think I had ever actually thrown a phone before, but it was like a reflex to hearing such bullshit. I am aware that mother’s day is a very important time. But I mean, you go get some flowers, maybe take your mom out to dinner or lunch or something and BOOM you’re a great child. Mothers day over. What could the plans for mother’s day  POSSIBLY have required of him to where he didn’t have a single hour available the entire day??? Maybe he got her some flowers and starred at her for 19 hours? Surely I will never know, because we haven’t spoken since. And I’m a reasonable guy, I can understand a lot of things. I know not everyone is driven like I am. I get that…but come on.

I just don’t understand it. If my body didn’t require me to sleep…I never would. I would much rather do something productive with the time. I fully enjoy just relaxing as well. But if it’s something I LOVE to do, I WILL MAKE THE TIME. Sure I have a wife and kids, but they go to bed. So I spend time with them and then I stay up until 3am or later if there is something I need to get done. I’LL DO IT, if it’s important to me and it’s something I enjoy. I will find a way!

Creating Characters

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I can’t emphasize enough how much of a difference plotting out the details makes.

Before I began writing my story I started with creating full profiles for each character. Name, race, background, where they grew up, what they believe, what they think about, what is important to them, what is not. All together I created 32 detailed points about each one. It seems like a lot. However, establishing those things before you even begin writing helps with the process so much. Because now you have an idea of who your characters are as people or creatures. So when you go to write about a scene where someone is say…getting robbed. You know exactly what these people will do, what they can do, and what they won’t do.

As soon as I thought of the concept for my story. The second part for me was creating these characters. So then when I am expanding on this story it plays more like a movie in my mind and the writing flows because I know who these people are. So I just throw them into various interesting situations and it all plays out quickly and smoothly.

Character profiles also allow you to add little things about them that you may not even discuss in your story right away. But who knows, as you’re writing on your third book you may want to go back and touch on that small background story you created from book one. It simply just adds depth. So below I am including my list of questions. I hope this helps you on your writing journey as well.

1. What is the character’s name?

2. Sex?

3. Age?

4. Height?

5. Weight?

6. Hair color?

7. Eye color?

8. Skin color?

9. Posture? (hunched, poised straight, etc.)

10. Voice? (gruffly, silky, glassy, etc.)

11. Speech Pattern? (slow, rapid, stumbling, etc.)

12. Dressed?

13. General health?

14. Birthmarks/Defects/Abnormalities?

Background, Personal, and Social Traits:

15. Where was the character born?

16. Where does the character live now?

17. Economic class of character?

18. Occupation?

19. Education?

20. Marital Status?

21. Religion?

22. Politics?

23. Hobbies?

24. Favorite book, song, movie, and TV show

25. One word to describe personality of character

26. Who or what does the character love?

27. Who or what does the character hate?

28. What’s the greatest fear of the character?

29. What is the character’s greatest accomplishment in life? (before or after)

30. What was their greatest disappointment?

31. What does the character need? (suppressed, subconscious)

32. What does the character want? (unsuppressed, conscious)

Developing the bad guy.

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Last night as I was writing I was faced with the question. How did I want to craft my villains? Villains I believe are the most instrumental figures in every story. They provide a cause to fight for, motivation, fear, action, and even provide insight to an alternate view on the course of events for the reader instead of a single perspective.

Over the years the art of the villain has evolved drastically. Gone are the days of the mustache twisting, top hat wearing, one dimensional antagonist. We are living in the age of Walter White. If the person observing the story has a flexible enough set of morals (and who doesn’t these days) people will end up rooting for them to win. And that can be an awful lot of fun. Going against the grain, rooting for the underdog…even if they’re considered to be traditionally wrong. Which do you enjoy most?

Do you enjoy the deliciousness of the dark side?

Or do you prefer to root for the pure of heart?

Feel free to comment below.

So…why this?

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For as long as I can remember, my whole family has loved movies. I have many fond memories growing up watching “scary movies” with my mom (and some when she was asleep and I was supposed to be too).  I remember movies that were scary yet fun to watch (Monster Squad etc.). And then there were those that just scared the shit out of me (Candy-man, Nightmare on Elm St.) But my childhood was definitely filled with creatures, ghosts, demons, monsters, aliens, and robots. So I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every incarnation and spin on vampires because there were loads of those movies in the 80’s and 90’s! Going back to “Fright Night”, “Interview with the Vampire”, “The Lost Boys” “From Dusk Till Dawn” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” “Blade” “Vampire in Brooklyn” “Sleepwalkers” hell I remember the first anime that hooked me was “Vampire Hunter D”. I’ve seen them all many times over.

So when I thought of the story for my book series I was definitely a fan and familiar with the subject of vampires. I am the type of guy though that wants to blaze my own trail. I’m never happy just following a basic formula and slapping a new title on it. I feel like if I can’t offer a fresh take on a topic, then I’m not interested. If you’re not doing something new or reinventing something how can you expect to leave a mark? But that can be pretty hard to do with a subject that dates back to the 19th century.  So once I thought of it I quickly ran through my extensive mental database of movies and books for comparison. And when I realized that this was indeed a fresh take. I sunk my teeth in and began writing rabidly. But that wasn’t enough, I’ve also long been a fan of science fiction so those elements had to be in there as well.

And you know what? Just because you rarely see it, my main characters are going to be Hispanic! And yeah, I’m not just gonna have cool science fiction gadgets, I want aliens too! And I wanted a deeply rooted, rich story, with complications and points of view that could spin in many directions!

But when you try to simplify and explain what my book is about. It sounds crazy. “It’s about vampires and aliens!” It sounds like a corny B movie I know. But I assure you it is far from that. It’s the story I always wanted to read. It’s the adventure I always wanted to go on. Trust me, I’ve seen everything else. This one you’ll have to read to understand why it is what it is. But once you do, I think you’ll enjoy the ride.

Wizard World St. Louis 2018

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So this past weekend we returned to our holy land. Wizard World St. Louis! Above is a picture of our adorable daughter Trinity and a custom R2-D2 with a Batman theme! It was remote controlled and even had Batman music and audio clips it would play while rolling around. It was pretty sweet!

It was (and always is) a fantastic experience for my family and I. We’re all a bit nerdy, so this is a great place to visit so you can let your freak flag fly! Wanna meet celebrities? CHECK. Wanna dress up as those celebrities in your favorite role of theirs? CHECK. You wanna be dressed as a Disney princess and walk around with an enormous Boa constrictor around your neck? Why not? You wanna just play upcoming video games? Enjoy being around like minded people? Or buy some truly amazing geek inspired artwork for your walls at home? You can check all those things off.

It may cost you…but you can do it here.

One of the things that astounded me, was the vastness of creative minds in one place on display. So many artists, authors, jewelry makers, metal workers, prop makers, cosplay models/creators, customizers, film makers, actors, and voice actors. All under one giant roof. It was a glitter bomb of creativity! Everyone is like minded welcoming and friendly. If you wear even the most subtle of fan related clothing people will recognize it, comment on how great it is, and probably want to take a picture with you! It’s a fantastic boost of feel good inspiration. Like you could do anything!

After you see a table with 3 guys in full ridiculous costume (and bad accents) selling copies of their SUPER gay (almost pornographic) pirate novels by the truck load. SURELY your idea can’t be that hard to digest!  And surely SOMEONE will like it!

So it really gave me the inspiration I needed to not only start this blog, but in general get to work on my creative desires. As one of my role models Chris Hardwick would say “GO MAKE THE THING!” put it out into the world and the world will respond!

Now to get back to this book…