Beginning Editing, and a movie

Date posted: March 12, 2018

Hello again. I’ve returned.

So what shall I talk about this week? Well, first off I’m working my was slowly through this latest book. Yes it’s basically done, though there is still a scene the co-author wants to put in, but that’s much later into the book than where I’m currently editing. So far I’ve only caught a few issues with tense, and added in a bit more descriptions where necessary. As this is the first pass through, I expect the next to be a bit more in depth. Currently I’m just trying to clear a few things up without changing anything drastically.

When talking with the co-author this last week we’ve come up with a couple more idea’s for books we’d like to write together. This happens to us from time to time, but before we usually tried out those ideas in the book we have been writing. But now that this one is basically finished it leaves us free to start thinking about other things we could collaborate on. We aren’t sure if they’ll be whole novels or not, but they could be at least short stories that we might put into a single release at some point. Nothing is decided yet, as we are more focused on getting this first book finished, but it’s nice they still want to work with me on more things.

We’ve both gone back over the first part of this book a few times. I think we both find it helps when we’re looking at motivation, and how the character has changed as we’ve written. That being the case it was already fairly polished, though it hasn’t hurt to add a few words here and there to clarify a few things. We’ve talked about making character sheets for all the characters for fun, and to use as a means of keeping track of who they are, but so far nothing seems to be off to me. Perhaps other things we work on will start off with such things, but currently it doesn’t seem to need it. Though perhaps it would help with any kind of cover art, if we go the route of having characters illustrated there.

Other than that I’ve watched a few movies, a few anime, and read a few books since last I reviewed anything. The last being Valerian. Unfortunately I didn’t much care for it. There were some interesting things in the movie, but it all seem disjointed, and I didn’t have a sense of connection with any of the characters. As it was, I was watching it with the co-author, as we watch movies together from time to time, and the only thing that kept us going was making up amusing stories, or alternative situations to what we were seeing on screen. Both of us also were getting frustrated at how poorly the narrative was being handled, and how we might have edited the movie into a more cohesive whole. Though we both agreed it would have needed a re-write to make it a better movie. The acting was fine, and it looked okay, it just didn’t come together into anything more than just being a movie. It wasn’t even bad enough to be a good ‘B’ movie. So like it’s name, it left us both drowsy.

That’s it for now. I’ll keep editing, and keep thinking of new stories to write about. I hope you all have a good week, and wish you all to find something you enjoy doing.

 

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 4% into editing

Steven Oaks

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A little work history, and inspiration

Date posted: March 5, 2018

 

I have returned, more tired than ever.

This weekend I worked two 12hour shifts, and that was something. In my younger days I worked a couple of jobs for nearly two years, and it was for a little longer than 12hours total, but I wasn’t walking nearly as much at the time. Well I can tell you this was a bit much for me. Would I do it again? Sure, if the money was right, and this time it was pretty decent.

One of the previous couple of jobs was at a martial arts school, where I took care of making sure everything was clean before students showed up, and taught classes when the regular instructors were late, or sick, or just couldn’t make it in. Also I took phone calls, and assisted in getting people signed up for classes. So yes, there were a few days of exhaustion. That and I was regularly participating in classes. My Sensei and his family became like a second family to me, and we still are close. Since I moved we don’t see as much of each other as we had (I lived just a few blocks away from them for years) but they still visit often. It was a really fun job, and I miss it.

The other was at a hotel. This was overnight work, as the previous one was afternoons. This job had me checking in guests, doing laundry, and getting the breakfast area stocked. Some nights were non-stop guests, other nights there was nothing to do. Winters were especially dead, save near holidays. It was a nice enough job, though it didn’t pay all that well. But one of the perks was that I was able to have visitors. My friend who was a night owl would sometimes show up, and we’d play cards or just talk. Also being married at the time to my ex-wife who also worked at a hotel owned by the same people, she’d visit. And if it got too busy she’d help out if I was off doing something else when guest would arrive.

But since I was working both of these jobs, and only had a few hours to catch some sleep, I was exhausted at all times. Sleeping in the day can be difficult, especially when you don’t have much time to wind down before you need to get into bed. I don’t think I had many days were I was able to get 8hours of sleep. I was lucky to get 5. I don’t know how I was able to keep it up as long as I did.

So when a new job presented itself, one that paid better and had normal 8hour days, I went for it. I had to give up two fun jobs for this call center work, but I did it. After only around half a year of doing that they moved me elsewhere in the company to handle a new account. And I stayed there until the company moved the position out of the country.

But even as long as it’s been since then, I still at times long for the days when I was constantly training in martial arts. Certainly I work on what I’ve learned even today, but it isn’t the same. But once a martial artist, always a martial artist. When my Sensei and his family come over, and maybe we watch a movie together, we all laugh when we see moves we learned in class being used in weird ways.

Working at the Dojo is where I came up with the idea for the outsider series in the first place. Though I was calling it Leviathan at the time. It changed over the years, and I even lost my original first draft, but the idea never went away.

I’d always wanted to write a book, and when the call center moved their jobs to India and gave us all a decent severance, I decided right then to get to work. Though I had been writing little things before, short stories and poetry, this time I set myself a daily work load, and that first draft was finished in a month.

It sounds like such a small amount of time, but that book had been in my head for years. When I just let it come out it already was almost fully formed. Though certain things changed, like it wasn’t an epic that spanned centuries like I first planned, much of the world was already there when I was writing. The main character though, that just wound up being a mix of myself and a close friend, instead of the world weary immortal I had planned.

So that was a little background about where I worked, and perhaps a hint at were some of my ideas came from. I didn’t even mention the huge amount of reading I was doing at the time, but that certainly inspired me as well.

Until next time, I hope you have a great week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: 129% of first draft complete. Editing begins

Steven Oaks

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The Nature of the book

Date posted: February 26, 2018

Greetings and salutations friends.

I have just finished writing the final scene, and put the last words to this book. Well, my own final words, besides editing in a few when I go back through a few more times. There also is a scene the co-author wishes to write in, and we’ll see how many more words that’ll be.

This book is different from my earlier ones. How you might ask? Well, it’s not science fiction. Indeed, it is written in a fantasy motif. One that relies heavily on the mythology of the Norse people. I’ve for many years delved into the historical documents one might find of this culture, the best one being the Poetic Eddas. Compiled by a Christian monk in Iceland, who seemed to have been fascinated by their way of composing their epics, and relying on oral traditions to make sure they are passed on to the next generation. He took it upon himself to be one of the first to compile all the poems he could into a book.

There have been some issues historians put upon the accuracy of the book, since the author was a man of Christian faith. He would sometimes inject his particular view upon what he put to page, however once you realize that it isn’t difficult to find where those changes are.

The Poetic Eddas, along with many other sources, hopefully helped me write accurately about the perspective of the people of this world, and the many others that exist in such a universe. We took as few liberties with the source material as we could, but of course their will be some changes that those who are knowledgeable about the subject will notice. However as there are many missing poems, due to the nature of oral history. That being the case I think much of what was written by us could easily be allowed to pass as appropriate.

So now will come the time of making this first draft into the final one. No longer will I be spending my free hours writing new lines, save where they might be needed to smooth out the plot. Some have said this is their least favorite part of writing, but I find it fun to re-read a story I’ve written. There certainly can be days where it seems tedious, especially when it’s my fifth time starting from the very beginning. But in the end I find it easier than making up whole new plot points, or trying to write those final words.

It can come as a bit of a downer when you realize the characters that you’ve spent so much time with, or at the very least the world you built, their time is over. There’s nothing left to be said about their adventures, at least in terms of where the plot was heading from the very beginning, and you are done. Fortunately I can always imagine writing another story, even if it isn’t in this world that I’ve made, or we’ve made in this case. But I always miss these people I’ve imagined.

But that’s all I have for you today. My ramblings about finishing up a draft, and the nature of this book. I hope you all have as good fortune to work on something you love in this life as I. I’ll talk to you next time. TTFN

 

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: 129% of first draft complete.

Steven Oaks

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An End, and working on one

Date posted: February 19, 2018

Hello again friends.

This last week has been a challenging one. The place I had been working announced to me in the middle of the week that this would be the last one I would be working for them. I wasn’t shocked by this or anything, as when I started I was lead to believe that I likely wouldn’t be there very long. So here, a year and a half later, they’ve finally decided that it was the occasion for my time there to end.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to work there, as it gave me the chance to exercise to my fullest, at least insofar as walking goes. My daily rounds were around twenty miles, and I can tell you after a few days of that it grew difficult. As my weeks came to an end, I was left with sore feet and legs. So sore in fact that walking was difficult on my day’s off. But, as time went on I grew stronger, and here at the end, while sore, I was not nearly left so weak by the time they decided my time there was over.

I lost weight, which I only finally was able to start doing when I decided that I should only eat two meals a day. My two dinners I called them. One right before I went in, and one soon after I returned home. I cut out almost all sugar, as I no longer had the sweet tooth that I used to have when I woke up to eat my breakfast. I only craved savory things, so that is what I ate. No cereal, no pancakes, no oatmeal. None of my normal morning meals. Sure, now and again I’d have an egg or sausage, which I consider breakfast foods, but very little in the way of grains. I can’t say this is something that others would benefit from, but it certainly did me good.

Now to the book. The final scene is perhaps half way finished, maybe more, maybe less. It’s hard to tell when you aren’t finished. There’s little in the way of it left from what the co-author and I discussed, but I haven’t gotten to the final line yet. That much I’m certain of. I’d like them to check it out, and perhaps add what I may have left out, or what they feel it needs. Then we can discuss further on how to conclude it to completion. I’m unsure where to leave the story, as I like the world built, and I like the characters, so it’s almost a shame to close their story. But of course it must be done, otherwise I’ll just be writing on it forever. Writing lives that would not end until my own does. Not a bad thing to spend time on, but there are other things I’d like to work on too.

So thus ends today’s post. I hope to have the first draft done by next week, then it’s onward to the editing. A job that can take just as much time as writing a draft, and sometimes longer. But we shall see. Since this story was bounced between two of us for this last year or more, we’ve already been editing as we went. But that is not a true edit, that’s merely reading and progressing.

Until next time, I hope you have a good week.

 

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: 127% of first draft complete.

Steven Oaks

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So very close to the end

Date posted: February 12, 2018

Hello all. I’ve come back once more.

The book is going extremely well, and we are very close to the end of the first draft. There is only the final scene to write, though of course the editing process will likely take some time. We might have to fill in certain areas, and take away a few things as we go along, but I’m feeling very good about this book.

It’s been a fun ride, if not a long one to get this book finished. At first it was just a joke idea, then it transformed into something more. Certainly I think this one is a little more jovial than my previous works, but that’s in large part thanks to the help of the co-author. I can be rather straight forward, though I do try to put in little humorous things as I go along, but mostly it’s self-referential. That may not be the best kinds of jokes, but they make me smile. They on the other hand have a sense of timing that I cannot compare to, and an eye for the strange things that make life more amusing than humdrum. I’m very lucky to have been able to work with them more completely on this book than my previous ones.

The co-author had been an editor on my first few published works, but since we came up with the idea of this particular book together, I almost forced the idea that we work together on it. Luckily they agreed, and we’ve been taking turns at the project over the last year. I’d write a beginning, and they’d continue. And we’d both bounce back and forth correcting each others mistakes, and rewording scenes to fit what each of our vision of the story was.

Working more closely with another writer can be difficult, especially for me. I tend to write stream of consciousness, but you can’t do that when you have another person who had idea’s for how the book should come along. I’m not frustrated by this, as we’ve been able to meet and discuss future scenes, as that can make it easier to write towards. However since it’s not just my book, I can’t take my wild tangents without first reflecting upon what we both agreed upon previously. In the end though I think that makes this book more concise, or at least focused on a goal, as opposed to my natural tendency to let the characters do whatever they want. Since it’s two minds working to make these fictional people, we occasionally have different interpretations as to how they’d react. But to my mind that makes them seem perhaps more natural, as they all aren’t just my own interpretation of how a person should react. I’m more focused on the logical side, though I try to throw little nonsensical reactions in if the situation calls for it. Again luckily the co-author is better at reacting with other feelings in mind.

In the end I think this collaboration is helping me become a better writer. I think I might ask them again to collaborate on future works, as we seem extremely compatible. The other books I had been working on before starting this book are calling me though, and unless they want to help more closely than editing as they’ve done in the past, I shall return to them when we finish with this one. I’m encouraging them to work on the books they told me of previously they had in mind, so we may go our separate ways to work on them when we finish with this one. But I think we’ll wind up helping edit those books together.

Until next time, I hope you have a great week. Talk to you again soon!

 

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: 125.8% of first draft complete.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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