Dear 4 to 8 people who read my last two blogs,
It’s been a few weeks. But it’s not because I haven’t been hard at work. I just haven’t written any new posts.
I’ve been cranking away at outlining my book, but I’ve also been a little distracted. In a good way. You may have noticed that this blog has a new name. It’s called Odoboros. And it looks different. That’s because I’ve decided to pivot a little bit.
I’m not going to complete a crap draft by Christmas anymore. Honestly, that was a bad idea. A cool thought, but really not all that executable. Besides, I’ve realized something these last few weeks: I really don’t like the traditional way of writing a novel. It’s me alone in a room with noise canceling headphones on, trying to decide how to torture my characters for a few hundred pages or so.
Actually, that sounds pretty great. I’m still going to do that. But I don’t like the idea of putting one to two years of work into a project before I get to share any of it. I’ve said before that writing is lonely. Plus, all my future fans, who will love my work, and throw all kinds of money at me to enjoy all this crap I made up… They’re out there waiting. Their lives feel incomplete and they don’t know why. It’s because they haven’t read my non-existent book yet.
Ok. I don’t actually believe any of that. I’m not that conceited. But I do need immediate gratification. Or at least like, pretty-soon-gratification. Plus, it’s 2017 and the idea of a story written only as text on a page or screen… well that’s boring too! (But not actually boring because I still love reading books).
Listen… All I am saying is that I want to try something a little different. And here’s why:
The 90/10 Problem… The Other Part of The Iceberg
So much goes into writing a book. It is literally so damn hard, time-consuming, stress-ridden, and existential-crisis-igniting. And eventual readers only get to experience a tiny bit of it. Any book you read is only 10% of the work that went into creating it. It’s the tip of the iceberg, the visible part. The other 90%, the stuff hidden beneath the waves that makes the visible part possible in the first place, is never experienced except by the writer and maybe a few confidants along the creative journey.
You know what? Eph that!
I want to share that 90% with you. Well… maybe like, 75%. You still need to be surprised by the final product and enjoy it.
This new approach of mine is inspired by the fact that I don’t want to wait two years for you to enjoy pieces of what I am working on, and I don’t want to let 70 to 90% percent of the work I do go to waste.
So what is Odoboros? It’s the name of a character in this book of mine. And it just sounds cool. It’s also the name of this new project. And it’s not just my project. I’ve teamed up with a lifelong friend who has been honing skills as an illustrator for nigh unto a decade. Nigh unto a decade, I say! That means for about ten years in pretentious a-hole, I think. Anyway, his name is Dallin. And he does art things on a computer.
My plan remains largely the same: Write a book. Do it quickly (if I can). Learn a ton about the craft of writing along the way. And share it with people.
But I’m also sharing the other 75% percent too. And Dallin is going to make it all look cool with fancy art things like visual concepts, sketches, full illustrations, and such. It’s like bonus features on one of those old DVD things… but before the DVD ever comes out!
Dallin and I are also teachers at heart and are always trying to master our crafts and be excellent. So we’re also going to share what we learn… In a big way…
Here’s what we’re going to be posting on a regular basis:
I’ll post notes about people, places, historic events, life in this fictional world, and other worldbuilding tidbits that I invent along the way. These may include short stories that don’t fully relate to the main story, excerpts from drafts of the main story, and basically anything I write down for the story that is awesome and will look good as an illustration. I’ll never spoil the plot of the book I am working on though.
Dallin will be creating original artwork to accompany these posts. Artwork will range from quick sketches, to concept art, to full illustrations, and to be honest whatever the hell else he wants to do.
I will be posting regularly about the progress of my book and about the things I am learning about creative writing, staying motivated, being inspired, finding the time, and other topics that keep me pressing forward instead of giving up.
Dallin will post timelapse videos of how he creates some of his best illustrated work.
And the plan is that we also post videos with tips for writing, illustrating, and being creative and inspired. It’s going to be a multimedia extravaganza centered around my grueling experience to write a damn good fantasy novel.
And mark my words… “damn good.”
Until next time.