Sunday, February 19, 2012

ROW80 Update

My A Round of Words In 80 Days Update:

Wednesday Day 45 - 70 minutes. I did more things I wasn't as good at. Sketchy, cartoony characters. They look awkward to me and I give up too soon, so I just kept pushing at it. Don't have any I want to post right now though.

Thursday Day 46 - 0 minutes. I was really tired, and just had dinner, watched House and went to bed. I think I read a little.

Friday Day 47 - 60 minutes. I listened to the Beatles and and worked on a picture of Raymond Burr. I wanted to work on details and shading, so I cheated the overall proportions -- I copied the picture I was working on and used the "cutout" filter to reduce the image to a blobby version of itself. The eyes, nose and mouth ended up as four unformed slashes, but it kept the shape of the face. I then worked detail in an out with a one pixel pen and eraser. I am going to work it a little more and maybe use it in a discussion of the Perry Mason TV show.

Burr makes me want to work on eyes more. (And noses and mouths and ears.)

Saturday Day 48 - 90 minutes. Half what I wanted to spend. I had trouble concentrating today, and I wonder if it's a silent migraine. I did notice that that I have music playing in my head too persistently, so I am using the A-bomb of concentration cures: I am playing The Third Man Theme in a continuous loop rather loud. It is the most famous earbug of them all, but I've heard it so much, I'm semi-immune to it, and I find it drives other tunes out of my head. (That and The Muppet's Ma-nah Ma-nah -- but Third Man is more neutral. It's spritely enough to wake you up (especially at full volume) but even.)

Most of the progress I made was a new approach to The Serial. I am playing with the idea of Lily -- Lady Pauline's anarchist sidekick -- telling the whole series first person. She isn't there for most of it (especially not the first stories) but she's a writer and journalist, so it might make sense for her to set down these stories second hand. The other thing I could potentially do is use her as a framing device -- she sets up the story, and then a break goes into the story directly in third person (perhaps even contrasting with the opening narration, showing what Lily knows and doesn't know).

I like it, though, because it allows me to throw in information VERY efficiently.

In the meantime, here's a bit of The Third Man Theme. (My recording is a little slower than this is -- but it still comes from the movie track, I think. The interesting thing about The Third Man, which is a mystery and Cold War thriller, is that the only music is this constant, spritely zither music. Even the action scenes. It's one of the reasons the movie is so amazing.)

See you in the funny papers.


Tracy McCusker said...

I have to agree with your take on first novels. When I first dug into Terry Pratchett's Disworld series, I started with novel ... well, maybe 15. When I looped all the way around back to the first, it was such a shock. But I stuck with his first novel because I knew how good it would get later.

Same could be said of Kaminsky's work too. I read Bullet for a Star recently. It was a pretty good starting place. But there were some... ham-fisted moves that marked it out as a first novel. Still, I enjoyed it enough to want to read more!

On the other hand, I don't think "Have Gun, Will Play" suffered from too much "first novel in series-itis". But I suppose it remains to be seen how your tone & characterizations will change in the next one!

The Daring Novelist said...

Have Gun, Will Play had the advantage of having a screenplay (non-mystery) and two short stories written before the novel.

I suspect that will be a series which won't change much overall -- though there may be individual stories which go in different directions.

(I'm thinking about taking the story from the screenplay -- the "origin story" where they meet -- and turning it into a book for the series. I will have to expand it to have a mystery basis, but I might have a hook for that.)

Natasha- Girlwriter said...

Muppet's Ma-nah Ma-nah ... LOL! Love it. Its funny with me music becomes the white noise I need in order to write...but there is one movie I use to help me 'The Hours', extremely cathartic for me. Great idea with your approach to The Serial.. Have a great week of writing!

Jennette Marie Powell said...

LOL I can certainly see how the Third Man theme could get stuck in your head! It's very catchy and repetitious. I think I've had the same old Genesis song stuck in my head most of the week. But it's rare that I don't have music, so good think it doesn't distract me from writing. Sounds like you did well on your goals this week, although you had a low-key day. Sometimes we need one of those.

I saw your cover on the Book Designer blog earlier this week - congrats! There's some serious competition there. I love his site.

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks, Natasha and Jeanette.

(The Third Man Theme, btw, is a tune that gets stuck in Karla's head at one point, in The Man Who Did Too Much. That and the theme from Charade, and a few other things.)

KM Huber said...

Love The Third Man and Raymond Burr, two longtime favorites of mine. Enjoy stopping by your blog as you are always doing something interesting, and you write about it so well.


The Daring Novelist said...

Alas, maybe if I wouldn't do so many other interesting things, I'd write more....


I might do Leslie Howard next week....

Audrey Tomorrow said...

Some days I want to put a song that has me in writing mood on repeat to increase my productivity... but I fear people over hearing and holding an intervention :P

The Daring Novelist said...

Audrey: That's what headphones are for!