Saturday, April 20, 2019

Year of an Indie Writer: Week 16

Scott D. Parker

Crap, I need an extra chapter.

Proofing Aztec Sword

I wrote Aztec Sword last year and have read it through a couple of times. I check for spelling--and I always miss a few--word choice, the odd punctuation or misplaced word. You know. The usual suspects. Moreover, I start and keep a separate word file in which I outline the book as I go, noting the introductions of various characters and their descriptions, little nuggets I threw in about the characters, locations, and, the like. I also make note of where the text indicates I should start a new chapter versus merely a sub-section as in the original version. I also always include the end-of-chapter and end-of-section sentences so I know where my cliffhangers are.

Well, imagine my surprise that, upon re-reading this book again, my original ending seemed to lack something. It has been months since I last read this book, and dang it if I, as a reader, wanted an epilogue. So I'm writing one.

And I know that by writing this out in public, everyone can compare all the chapters of the book to the last chapter, but who cares? This blog series is my journey through a year of writing and publishing independently, and if I don't make a point to show certain trials and tribulations, then what good is it?

I wonder what that says about me the writer from 2018 and me the reader in 2019. I'd like to think my storytelling abilities have progressed in that time. Heck, don't we all hope that?

A Rod Serling Biography

Last week, I watched "The Comedian," the premiere episode of the Jordan Peele version of The Twilight Zone. It's on YouTube and it's free. Immediately after that episode, YouTube led into a short piece from CBS Sunday Morning talking about creator Rod Serling, Peele, and the massive undertaking it is to reboot a franchise such as The Twilight Zone.

My wife's a fan of Serling's other major television series, Night Gallery, and a thought came to mind. Serling wrote something like half of all Twilight Zone episodes and probably something like half of the Night Gallery episodes. As a writer myself, the feat is extraordinary, especially considering the quality of Serling's writings remained high.

That led me to the internet. Was there a biography of Rod Serling? Yup. And it was published just last year. Quickly I placed my order for Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination by Nicholas Parisi. It came in the mail on Wednesday and I'm only on chapter 1, but it looks to be precisely the book I want to read about Serling. I'll let y'all know later.

That Little Voice in Our Heads

Two separate blog posts jumped out at me this week, arguably talking about the same thing.

One is directly related to writing. Kristine Kathryn Rusch's Thursday article on "Critical Voice" is a must read for all creative types. She talks about that critical voice that's in our heads and how it impedes the childlike nature of our creative brain. She quotes an article in which said critical voice is personified. Were that a real person, would you even want to talk to him or her? Then why the heck is that voice in our heads? She provides some answers.

On another blog entirely is Leo Babauta. I cannot remember how I ran across his Zen Habits blog years ago, but I have it linked up in my Feedly feed. This week, he wrote a piece entitled "The Universal Narrative: When You Feel Unworthy." Like Rusch's piece, he takes you through a thought experiment about how we often feel ourselves unworthy of things. Most importantly, he offers new habits we can develop to, hopefully, offset those unwanted feelings.

These two pieces go well together.

Quote of the Week

To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.
- Leonard Bernstein

Considering I found a perceived defect in my book--and I do not plan on changing my 1 May publication date--Bernstein's quote is particularly apt. Guess what I'll be doing this weekend when not in church?

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