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(pronounced Ko-Hane)
Dan is the Bram Stoker-nominated author of Plague of Darkness, Solomon’s Grave, and the critically-acclaimed Margaret's Ark. Writing as G. Daniel Gunn, he released Destroyer of Worlds and the novella (written with L.L.Soares) Nightmare in Greasepaint (Samhain Publishing),. His short stories have appeared in Cemetery Dance, Shroud Magazine, Apex Digest and many more. He and his family live in New England.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Seven Days a Week

So, I'm trying to get myself back on a schedule of writing where I actually produce something, rather than sit around in angst and curse that I've not written anything. I'm trying to just write anything, even if it's crap, because crap written still is better than genius never. To do this, I set up a daily schedule of writing, which is my mandatory writing I will do every day, with minimum of 1,000 words. Anything else is gravy. Now this is a new process-slash-experiment and I have not been very good at sticking to it, but when it comes to doing it, I must write the required topic first. I can do the thousand in an hour, if I focus. On the days I have written I haven't always hit it the word target, but have been hitting the mark 90% of the time. Only meeting my daily sit-ass-in-chair requirement 50% but that's better than zero, so it's a start, but I need to improve. Trying to re-learn the discipline I've lost over the past few years. My life just seems so much less structured than before. I'm writing this on a Wednesday because I've designated Wednesdays as "web" writing day. Usually, that means a blog entry, but could be anything web related.

So here's the schedule at the moment, as a way to get back into the swing of things and to experiment with the varied types, modes of the written word:

Monday: Movie reviews. I haven't written a solo film review for Cinema Knife Fight for over a year, until last week, when I wrote one for AFTER EARTH (2013), published yesterday (see previous blog entry). It felt great to be able to send Lauran something after so long. I enjoy doing these, and many folks have been asking when a new one will come out.

Tuesday: True stuff, aka non fiction. I've been toying, doing some light research, on Israel between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New. The worlds just seem so different. Of course, 300 years or so passed between them so there would be changes in governments, etc. But it was quite a change, and more research I did the more fascinating I found what happened in this time. Now, when I came up with a title, BETWEEN THE TESTAMENTS, I realized a few books of this kind were written over the past few decades, but I could find some way of doing this differently, though might want a new title. Too bad, this one kicks butt. Linda suggested maybe writing an historical fiction piece. Maybe. Another non-fiction idea I'd had was to take an obscure book of the Old Testament, like Leviticus, and go chapter by chapter giving my completely amateur (we like to say layperson's in the churchy world) opinion of each one. I could also do a non-spiritual concept, maybe write articles, etc. How-to's, whatever. Non-fiction articles pay pretty well.

Wednesday: that's today (as I write this). Web stuff, primarily blog entries. I'm a lousy promoter, but the more people visit your site, the more see you have a book out. But you need to talk about stuff, be honest, and real. It's cathartic, as well. This blog has become an autobiography - granted, sometimes in a very cryptic way. But, still....

Thursday: Thrillers. I figure it's a big market and to be honest, this one is the fun one. Don't care how sellable it might be, what I want to do is write short, digest-sized novels... think Perry Rhodan in the old space opera vein, or other mini book series. Thought of this at a used bookstore in Worcester when I saw a whole slew of compact thriller novels - you know, Harlequin Romance-sized minus th eopen-shirted male models. Who knows, maybe there is a market for these still. If not, nothing says I can't put them out myself through Other Road. So far I've written a couple thousand words of the opening chapters then a thousand words to so of a free-form outline, what happens next etc.

Friday: Free form... or full-length if I want to work on a novel, but in truth free-form is what it is, write whatever the frak I want. However, there really is no novel day (since no N days of the week). In here I've been free-writing character and plot sketches for a potential new novel. I had started writing a novel a few months back called Ezra and lost steam, found the main character was just not that interesting to me. But the other characters I'd introduced were very three-dimensional, especially a woman named Robin. Her and her mother. So I'm starting over, talking about Robin, the town of Ezra, her Mom, and maybe a Carney named... actually I was working on his name last time. But there's a glimmer of a cool story slowly working itself out. Want to do it this way, craft together an outline of sorts of a story I'm actually excited about - maybe it'll get me to write it.

Saturday: Now weekends are tough. No excuse, though. My kids aren't little anymore, in fact my oldest is moving to NYC in a few days, daughter #1 is off to college in the Fall and as I type this my youngest is driving us to Grammy & Grampa's house to pick up some stuff for NYC-son. Not like I have soccer practices and girl scout field trips to attend on weekend, at least not as much. Get up early and the day is yours, too. I seem to have lost the ability to sleep past 6am lately anyway.... where was I? Ah, Saturdays... (and sorry for those who came in here yesterday, for some reason some sentences were moved around...)  Screenplays and/or Songs. "Songs" is new because I realized it's something I've always considered doing. I can't write music, but lyrics... why not? I know and enjoy music of all genres, why not give some a go myself. Can't complain about so many Refrain Songs out there if I'm not willing to put my own neck out. Whether there's anyway of actually marketing this is another story, but that's not the point. A lot of what I'd written in the past was never sold... I just need to write. I found a great quote today...
"There's no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you." (Maya Angelou)
"Screenplays" because after a few fun stint's with Ned Utzig's Mad Ned productions during the 48 Hour Film Competitions, I learned enough to be interested to explore more. I think it's something I could do and enjoy.

Sunday: short stories. I have an unfinished piece I'd written the first draft of called "An Gorta Mor" for the second volume of the NEHW anthology. Never finished it. It has promise, but needs a lot of work. Plus I have a Palm Pilot full of ideas... what? Yes, I have a Palm Pilot. No, I don't own a smart phone yet... and yes, I'm typing this on a used Google Android Tablet that I got on Craigslist and don't think is even made anymore. Consider me a purveyor of antiques... anyway, I have a lot of thoughts on stories, and come up with a lot more. Hell, most writers can whip up a story just by randomly opening a dictionary and pointing. Short fiction is fun to write because you can finish it much sooner than a novel, and it's a way to get your name out there at least to other folks in the genre.


So, that's it. Now today is Wednesday and I've been feeling like a shit all day about not having written, but as I finish this, cruising along 495 I feel much better. My wrists hurt because the angle I'm typing is not the best, ergonomically. But mentally, it's like walking out to a fresh cut grass summer day after being stuck in the house with fifteen cats. I did not do any writing for past few days, but to dwell on that and not focus on the days ahead is the true sin. So now it's out there. I'll try to keep you all abreast of how it's going....

PS: as I clean this up back at the house worth mentioning I did work on a screenplay, just to dabble. But I worked on it, and that's all that matters right now.

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