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Author Topic: Will Ross' Writing Progress  (Read 21219 times)
smartbombradio
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« on: January 16, 2007, 05:30:47 AM »

I've got about a zillion irons in the fire, and I tend to disapear into second life when I don't have people riding me.  Here's my to do.  (I'm the lazy balding guy from Smart Bomb Radio/Pickle Tales/Barfly/Traveling Avatar's Quick and Dirty Tips for Second Life)

Barfly (barfly.libsyn.com) Need to write the last 7 chapters and keep it under 2 "Poem" episodes.  That means minimum 5 flashfic stories with thread tie ins to at least one other episode.

Novel #1 B-Team Heroes
About 4 chapters in to my fantasy/humor novel.  Entire novel plotted in my head, gotta get it down on paper.  All finished chapters have at least 2 edits.

Novel #2 Celeste

My Humor/Animestylebiblefanfic project.  3 chapters in with multiple edits, ending and most of novel plotted.  Still hunting wordiness and redundancy.

Escape Pod Flashfic Contest

One Entry in and up for voting, second entry written and through 2 drafts.  Still haven't gotten a third entry thought up. 
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SFEley
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2007, 11:44:48 AM »

Barfly (barfly.libsyn.com) Need to write the last 7 chapters and keep it under 2 "Poem" episodes.  That means minimum 5 flashfic stories with thread tie ins to at least one other episode.

I heard the Barfly piece that was read on Air Out My Shorts.  Good stuff!
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ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
Bdoomed
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2007, 12:04:06 AM »

i love Air Out My Shorts, i liked the barfly story too!

umm are you sure that ANYONE can actually write THAT much?  thats a hefty load o' literature ya got there!
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I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?
Musings and Ramblings
smartbombradio
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2007, 01:24:23 AM »

Lol I have no idea which episode they played it on, I got a backlog of "air out" to listen to since I changed from a job where I could listen to 5 hours of podcasts a day at to a job where I have to be on a phone for 8 hours.

As for keeping up, well most of the Barfly stories are conceptualized, I just have to get them down on paper, organize voices and readers and then... ok well that is a lot, lol.  And the novels... I need to finish the first drafts on one or the other by the time barfly is finished (probably late april.)  Rough but not impossible, it will probably be B-Team Heroes because that's the one I've got rollin in my head most often lately and I get to write lines like

"What's this then?"  "It's a bomb.  It makes you die."  and "Never mess with a guy with a crank operated dynamo."

I typically slam out a couple pages at work, and then type them in as my first draft.  Then I force them on my wife, who tells me what sucks, then draft two and so on.  The best part of working overnights is that I can write for a living during the dead times.
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2007, 08:35:44 AM »

Well, got a second flash fic entry done! Woot for progress.

First looks at both books!  This is as good a chance as any to throw out some snippets and get some criticism.

***I KEELLLL YOU BOTH!!!**** Bad prose!!! Bad Bad Prose *hits it with a newspaper.... These are no longer up to snuff and I have keeled them.

Thoughts?
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2007, 11:34:23 PM »

Got the third entry into the flash fiction contest and am about two pages into a new barfly. 

One Barfly story has both vocal tracks finished and a second has two out of three. 

And I'm currently working on the Exposition chapters of B-Team Heroes.  I hate getting the background information set because although it's neccesary to the story, if you screw up exposition it becomes like sitting through history class.  I'm trying to do the entire set up through the eyes of the "Villian." 

I'm also kicking around a couple of short stories, but I don't want to lose focus so I think I'll backburner any new projects until the completion of Barfly and I'm safely an episode or two into which ever podiobook I decide to run with first.
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2007, 04:31:09 AM »

Figured out my "Exposition Problem" with B-Team Heroes, which might make for a long first episode, but I'll be able to keep the action and story going without resorting to "Long long ago a..."

Got another 3 Barfly stories plotted and a few hundred words into one.  It's dark, and I'm not sure why everything that comes out of my brain is so... well... disturbing right now, but I think it will be a compelling read.  I'm still going back and forth on "Figment" since it incorporates "Magical" or "Supernatural" elements, I'm not sure if it was a mistake to make that one part of Barfly, but I like the story regardless.  I've got two scripts that have "reader issues" and I might reassign them so that I don't have to rush the stories I'm working on.  So if you know any good 30ish male and 15ish female voices, let me know.

I'm going to hold off on submitting any of my flash to print until summer.  I'm really improving every day in terms of style and I want to do some rewrites and clean up when I've gotten some more experience under my belt. 

Second Escape Pod Flashfiction bullet fired and so far has been a dud as is, but I'm considering expanding it a little into something with more substance at a later time.  The third I'm not as confident in, I wrote it for me more than anyone else. 
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Jonathan C. Gillespie
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2007, 08:54:26 AM »

Watch it be the one that runs away with the gold  Grin
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Published genre fiction author with stories in print and upcoming.

Official site: http://jonathancg.net/ | Twitter: JCGAuthor | Facebook
smartbombradio
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2007, 01:34:29 AM »

Hehe, nah, it looks like one hit and two misses Smiley
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2008, 03:19:09 AM »

Well, it's been quite some time.  I did a SL podcast for about a year, and that ate my writing time, but now I'm doing One Eighteen: Migration (118migration.com) a horror/postapocalyptic lovecraftian zombie tale (that's a lot of adjectives, huh?)

I've got to finish two episodes this week (roughly 10000 words) and I'm only at about 7k.  It doesn't have to be novel polished, since it's more of a "show" than an audio novel, but it's been rough going.  Still, people seem to like it.  The 4 weeks of new episodes one off week, seems to be a winner, though.  That extra week really helps out.
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2008, 12:39:38 PM »

Developing the "novel" chapter by chapter week by week is really helpful for me, I'm finding.  Instead of writing the whole thing in a month, I have weeks between chapters to develop the story in my mind, and place appropriate plants for later episodes.  And I have a chance to ditch some bad ideas I was really into because I've got more "think time"

My prose is still sloppy, deffinately not up to "publication" scratch, but my sound editing fills the gaps and is turning this into a pretty fun little project.
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2008, 01:43:05 PM »

Anymore Barfly coming up??
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2008, 01:32:26 PM »

I'd hoped so.  Theres actually two recorded, and 5 written.  The problem is that 118 takes about 30 hours per episode between writing, recording, editing, producing and getting lines together, and keeping up with the (disturbingly rabid) fans.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE it.  I never thought people would have so many questions!  But that puts barfly on a back burner till I get some more time.  I'm considering taking 2 weeks off instead of the normal one after episode 12, when we finish the first major arc of One Eighteen, so I can try to bust out like 3 or four of them to drop automatically for the next 4 weeks or so.  Barfly WILL be finished. 

As for One Eighteen, same day same problems.  I feel like the pacing is slow and I'm nervous everyone's out there clamoring for blood, everyone's telling me it's just right, so I'm continuing as is until I've got some complaints.  Finishing up some continuity problems in the arc 1 outline so no one goes "Wha?" when we do some pretty unexpected things, which means populating episodes 8-9-10-11 with appropriate plants. 

And avoiding sentances that will make Chris's tongue roll into a square knot and explode. 
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2008, 11:59:34 AM »

Got in to episode 9, and I'm having sort of a rough time.  Speeches are hard, especially in character speeches, because I don't want to go so far that it's hammy, but I want it to be powerful enough to make an impression.  So I keep rewriting and rewriting the same 10 paragraphs.  I know you're supposed to just stop fiddling with it at a certain point so you don't edit the spirit out of it, and what not, but this is like whole beginning of the end of Arc 1 and I feel like it's got to be perfect or the last 4 episodes of the arc lose some of the adventure and horror.

Jesus that was a long sentence.  Lucky I don't have to edit these. 

For anyone who happens to be reading this and is a listener of the show, by episode 10 you'll know enough about the plot of the show to make a final decision on if it's for you or not.  By ten we'll have put to bed some of the mysteries and settled a few things that without that information may have been causing you to raise eyebrows. 
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2008, 12:55:36 PM »

Working on getting some of the "implausable" kinks out of the last four episodes of arc one.  We've got a character doing something... well, somewhat out of character.  Logical, but out of character, so we've got to plant some additional motivation.  That and repeating words and sentence style.  I keep using the same word like a sentence apart and that makes me an unhappy carebear. 

Still, in 8 episodes we haven't missed any deadlines by more than a day, so we're getting it done.
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2008, 12:49:40 PM »

As I improve, I'm finding more things in past episodes that I'd rewrite entirely.  I'm not sure that this is a bad thing, exactly, and I'd never George Lucas a finished episode.  I guess the problem with growing as a podcaster is through that growth you'll eventually become dissatisfied with your own work. 

If I had a choice for the episodes to stay at the writing and SFX level of episode 1 for the full run, or keep getting better, I'd go for "keep getting better."  But my writing is sloppy in places and I can only use the "this is how Jonas who's not trying to be a professional writer" journal excuse for so long. 

It does make me happy to think that when we move into the next story 30+ episodes from now, I'll be starting out at this level (or at whatever level I end up at.)

I break a LOT of the rules of writing, and I'm not really a good enough writer to do that yet.  Still, the mix of acting, ambient and SFX cover up a lot of things that would be nails on a chalkboard if you were reading it right off a page in a quiet room. 

"Thank god for sound effects.  They cover up bad prose." - something Michael Bay would probably say.
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2008, 01:52:35 PM »

This has sort of become my general blog for the show and writing progress in general.  So, for the next entry, something I put on the webpage.

"Your iPod is Not a Page

Hey guys, Will here, chief sound mucky muck.  I spent some time yesterday fretting over two things. 

1) The way we've been writing the story, it will not translate to paper form without a LOT of rewriting.  Some sections are completely audio based.  Some sections are underwritten because a layer of ambient or SFX becomes the second storyteller.

2) I keep missing my deadlines by a day or two.  Nothing serious, but if I dropped the SFX, and even some of the voice casting, I could much more easily hit deadlines. 

Then I remembered something I was told back in the days of webcomics.  A very smart man once told me "Don't draw a page, draw a MONITOR.  If you're doing webcomics as a back door into comics, you're half assing both YOUR chosen media, and the media you're hoping to get into.   If you wanna draw or write paper comics, do that, and submit based on those rules.  Don't try to take a shortcut."

He's right.  Monitors aren't shaped like pages, and neither are iPods.  Drawing a paper comic and making people scroll down to read it just so you can hopefully resell it later does a disservice to your reader, the same way that us altering the story to make the process easier or more book friendly does a disservice to all of you.  It says your listener (comic reader) is a stepping stone to "legitimate" work.  It takes all the audio format spice out of podcasting and just makes your listeners beta testers.

I'm not saying folks like Scott Sigler or JC Hutchins should rewrite their stuff, their novels were written with "legitimate" publication in mind, and when that didn't work out quite right they moved to podcasting (and Scott does a great job of adding a few SFX for spice, especially in Infection(Infested? Whatever it is now, chicken scissors FTW.))  But ours wasn't.  It was meant to be a podcast.

When the three of us sat down for the first story meeting in a hamburger restaurant sadly named "FudRuckers" we talked about ways podcasting could tell the story BETTER.  For me to puss out and start making adjustments so I have to do less work or to try to push a square peg into a round hole is both lazy and disrespectful to all of you who come here for audio horror that's different. 

So, we may miss deadlines, maybe by a few days.  But I promise, it will always be to make the story better.  A voice wasn't right, a sound effect didn't sound like what I wanted it to, or what we wrote had so many continuity holes you could use it as a colander.  If Cristian doesn't like a voice, we don't drop the episode.  If Chris isn't happy with his read, we don't release.  I'll run myself ragged to get it done as close to every Monday morning as possible. 

But I promise, it's to give all you guys the best story possible. 

-Will Ross
Sound Guy." 
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2008, 08:55:17 PM »

You #*#$ed Up! You @*#*ed Up!

I used to love ECW wrestling, because the fans were smart marks.  They were interested in the craft of wrestling, to the point where they'd chant "You #*$*ed Up! You #*$&ed Up!" when a pair of wrestlers missed a spot.  It's one of the reasons I praise continuity detectives when they find mistakes.  It shows they care enough not to just walk away.

Wellllll I #*$#ed up.  Completely botched a pretty major point of continuity and did what I HATE in other shows (where a show doesn't follow it's own rules.)  I'm pretty bummed that none of us caught it, honestly.  I busted my ass, episode came out three days late and in the end it STILL wasn't the product I wanted served to my listeners.  I've got no one but myself to blame, obviously, but it still irks me. 

On top of that, the "creature" for the episode really does come off... well... as sort of a rip off.  Wasn't intended that way, when I wrote it in my head but when you put it all together I can sort of see it. 

These are the days it sucks to be a writer.  People still seem to dig the episode, and that's awesome, but I really am kicking myself pretty severely right now, and I'll be doing so for the next few days.  But it'll be positive kicking.  I'll work harder on my stuff and try to catch those things early. 

-Will
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2008, 01:50:07 AM »

Finished four key pages in the story, and I think they work.  It's tough to try to write in Lovecraftian or Poeesque or all the other people I enjoy ripping off, because you're walking a very fine line between terrifying and hokey.

I think I kept the balance.  We'll see when it's cut together.

I've been told that episode 7 nearly caused a car accident, and episode 8 made someone stop half way because they didn't want the fucked up baggage from what was about to happen.

Hopefully episode 9 will cause someone to renounce their religion and 10 will cause someone to miscarry.

When we get to 36, I want full on listener seppuku.

Anyway, getting it done slowly but surely.  Luckily we've got three episodes written in Arc two so if we get through may its' smooth (evil) sailing all summer.
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2008, 12:55:03 PM »

Frantically hacking away at episode ten in advance of tomorrow's recording deadline.  This is the one where people will probably decide if this story is for them or not, because it's the last great revelations of what the story is and is not.  The people looking for a typical "First 72 hours" zombie movie have already probably left. 

I'm ok with that.  This isn't really meant to be an accessible to everyone story, though I do hope it pops for a few people who didn't expect to enjoy it.

Now I've got to clean up some of my cliches.
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2008, 11:38:01 AM »

This week will be all editing, but I'm also semiwriting the next two stories along with my preliminary outlines for the show we'll do after one eighteen finishes.  My goal is to have it 100% Written and edited when I start the process so all I have to worry about is podcasting. 
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2010, 09:01:08 AM »

Went crazy, went to the mental hospital, got out, quit my job, got a new, job got fired, from that job, went crazy, discovered the true way, back on course.

http://prefacesandasides.blogspot.com/

Working on about six things, more One Eighteen Migration, a super secret podcast contest thing, editing a novel for Da Keeme, and a LOT of poetry which frankly I'm a little stunned by and mildly embarrassed for, but what the hell can you do.

Getting it done.

365 days to greatness. Tongue
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2010, 01:05:47 AM »

http://mercilessstorytellers.blogspot.com

If you bothered to read my writing progress, you deserve to see this early and jump the line.

If you wanted to compete with the likes of Christiana Ellis, Laurence Simon and the Keeme (plus me and 2? more, and we're still tracking down judges/guest judges) and you're a writer who is just tired of doing in the traditional way, put your gloves on and challenge us.

365 days to greatness
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