February 17th, 2010 – Deadline Updates and “Mr. Fowler Takes on the Zombies”

A series of great news to announce: first, the writing is coming along very well. The outline for the book is written and the character biographies are completed. Just as I had hoped, some free time proved effective and the book is being assembled according to my timeframe.

I need to confine the chapters more, again. I thought I condensed the chapters enough, but I still have way to many. If it were to be a 400 page book it would be between 5 and 6 pages. That would be great if it were a book aimed at 10 year olds. However, I am aiming at a bit more of a challenge for the reader. The problem will be switching the narratives from character to character that the book is going to have.

Each chapter will be told from the perspective of one character. When the next chapter comes up, another character will step in as the narrator for their chapter. When I wrote this current outline for the book, I assigned a chapter to each character. So now the problem becomes how can I keep the story moving as planned while jumping the narrator when I planned specific moments to be from the perspective of one character? The answer is it won’t work. So as I try to compress the chapter count, I will have to find a way to alter the narrative to the perspective.

I also don’t want to change the book to a total omniscient style either. I don’t want to say what happens, but at one point I pull a To Have and Have Not where what seemed to be a relatively unimportant character is launched into a more important role. Changing the style of the perspectives can happen at certain parts, but to eliminate his involvement would sabotage the importance of the last quarter of the book.

The character biographies are done as well. I will want to work out a few details, but their concept and past work is done. It also helped to decide the fate of the characters that I was on the fence on. Some key decisions regarding their fate have been decided. It was hard because certain things will happen to good natured characters, but that will bring some reality to it all.

More updates on the novel as time goes on. Welcome to the first entry of Writing Wednesdays, the blog is being trimmed to three days a week: Movie Mondays, Writing Wednesdays, and Five for Fridays.

On a few side notes, I have an official interview with the Children’s Museum on Friday afternoon to become their Education Program Manager, here’s hoping because that job would be so much fun!

Also, after this book is done I think I know what I want to write next. Recently I taught Art at an elementary school I have been at several times. So I got to teach some students that I have taught in their regular classroom before. One of the students asked if he could draw me, I said yes as long as it was appropriate. Afraid that I would consider it wrong, he asked if he could draw me fighting off zombies. The picture was awesome because there was an army of zombies coming after me, I had art tools in hand, and behind me were the kids in the class. Then the idea came to me, a teacher has to protect his kids from a zombie attack while in school. It could be like Shaun of the Dead, only instead of being a romantic comedy with zombies, it could be an inspirational teacher movie with zombies. I have thought of some great one liners and would be a great comedic turn from the heavy drama that the book I’m writing now.


One comment

  1. It’s always good when stories start coming together. If you’re worried about your chapters, keep them as they are, at least for the first draft, and see how it goes. I’ve read books with lots of chapters as an adult (Baroness Orczy sometimes has 2 page chapters in her “Scarlet Pimpernel” books), and it’s never thrown me out of a story yet. If the scene needs a certain POV, don’t sacrifice it for a perceived issue with structure and “adultness” of a book. Write it first, then see how it flows once your draft is done. You can always change it up in draft #2 if it turns out to not work.

    The elementary art class sounds like it was a trip and a half. I can totally see you staving off hordes of zombies with paint brush and putty knife.^^ I would watch that movie in a heartbeat.

    Looking forward to the next one, cousin!

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