11/07/2011 12:54:00 AM Posted by Nick Marino
I'd assumed that it would be easy to jump back in, but it was tough to break through the wall created by my pause in the creative process! I'm looking forward to applying what I've learned on Day 7 and turning the tide.
Day 6 also saw 873 words added to my secret project.
11/03/2011 11:45:00 PM Posted by Nick Marino
My secret project didn't benefit as much, netting only 1261. But they were good words!
Day 3 was more tame and a bit delayed, as I didn't really dig into Soulboxer until about 7 PM. I knocked out 1570 trippy, sad, awkward, and happy words. I really enjoyed these scenes.
I did a bit more for the secret project on Day 3, writing 1368 truly weird words.
Looking ahead, Day 4 should be a good time to get some writing done... but I gotta stay vigilant because I could easily avoid it and start late again. Day 5 will probably be a total bust (I'll be at a comics show in Ohio), so I'll try to make up for it with a MONSTER day on Day 6.
11/02/2011 12:09:00 AM Posted by Nick Marino
I had a big hole in the middle of my day today, which meant that my window of time to write was from 4 PM to 9 PM. I wrote from 5 PM till 8:30 PM, splitting my time between Soulboxer and an undisclosed secret project!
I actually did more work on the secret project, cranking out 1782 words. For Soulboxer, I did 1275. That brings my grand total for Soulboxer to 23251 (I started the month with 21976).
I worked on a scene that wasn't in my outline, a very emotional moment that I don't want to reveal for fear of spoilers. Suffice to say that it was really great to write and surprisingly deep for my first day.
I loved the experience and I'm jazzed for tomorrow. When I told someone how my first day went, they expressed a lot of apprehension about my plan to write two books at once. But that apprehension is really motivating to me, just to show them I can do it!!!
10/31/2011 05:49:00 PM Posted by Nick Marino
Soulboxer has been sitting on the back burner for too long. I want to finish it, and I think NaNoWriMo is the perfect opportunity.
Soulboxer will be written by the end of November, even if I have to write for two days straight at the end of the month. It will be done!!!
Edited? Now that's a totally different story. But I promise that the first draft of Soulboxer will be complete.
4/07/2011 04:22:00 PM Posted by Nick Marino
Well I'm happy to say that I've found the change I need to be satisfied with the character balance in the story. But as a writer, it's a dramatic change and I'm struggling to adjust to it.
To say I'm still relatively early on in the writing process would be an understatement -- I have just over 20,000 words logged. While I'm no expert on what it takes to write your first novel, from what I've learned online my word count is at best only 25% of the story. And that's 25% percent of the unedited first manuscript -- not the final product.
But now I'm getting off track. The point is, I'm still only a fraction of the way into writing this book and I'm already struggling with a change in one of my major characters.
As it stands right now (and remember, this is all subject to change), my two main characters in the story are Max and Soledeto.
Max is a down-on-his-luck martial artist with some impressive victories in his fighting career. Soledeto is the weird old man on the outskirts of town who trains Max for his "return to ring." Wait -- correction. Soledeto WAS the weird old man. Now he's the weird old woman.
Why did I make this change? Because I was writing a story that didn't represent who I am as a creator and the type of stories I want to tell. Too many times have I gone to the movies only to end up watching a sci-fi or action tale stuffed to the gills with developed male characters and only one female character of note. That kind of storytelling is sloppy, exclusive, and it makes me sick to my stomach.
So I decided to diversify my cast by taking my primary supporting character, Soledeto, and making he a she. It doesn't change the character personality, but it does add a unique twist to the overall tale. I can't think of a story where I've seen an older female fighter training a younger male student. I mean, I'm sure they exist. But they've never popped up on my radar.
Anyway, point is, I'm still wrestling with this change. Now I have to reconfigure the rich imaginary world of Soulboxer that exists in my mind. But I think it's worth it just knowing that this story will be more balanced, more unique, and ultimately stronger because of this change.
2/21/2011 02:46:00 PM Posted by Nick Marino
By "priorities" I'm talking about storytelling priorities. Specifically, in regards to this question: What do you do when you realize that your priorities as a storyteller have changed and the foundation of a particular story no longer meets your needs as a writer?
I'd like to think that as I evolve and hone my ability to tell an interesting story, I'm becoming a more balanced storyteller (but never so balanced that I'm bland!). And to me, part of overall balance means balancing representation. Specifically, creating a natural balance of character diversity.
In the past, I've been very male-focused with my character distribution. Look, I'm a guy, most of my friends are guys, and on a day-to-day basis, I spend more time communicating with men than women.
I say that to say this -- Soulboxer was conceived at a time when I was a more male-focused storyteller. I'm in a different place now, and making sure that I have balanced male/female representation is more important to me than it was back when I established the foundation of this story.
Souboxer, as it stands, features a male lead, a male antagonist, and the primary supporting character is male. The secondary supporting character is female -- and a good character, at that -- but the story was even conceived featuring a "damsel in distress" scene. YUCK!
So how do I modify my story to meet my needs as a creator? I'm struggling with that issue right now, and hopefully I can find a strong solution that keeps the core of Soulboxer in tact while feeding my creative need to balance the representation in my stories.
11/18/2010 02:12:00 PM Posted by Nick Marino
That's not to say it's been abandoned or I've given up. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. I'm just sharing my personal experience as I'm embarking on my first long-form work of prose.
And no, I'm not going to sweep the leg. BRING IT ON, WRITER'S BLOCK!!! FEEL THE WRATH OF MY KATA!!!
7/21/2010 08:01:00 AM Posted by Nick Marino
See, it's plotted out, but the plot is only a loose map containing the most major beats. I typically wait until scenes come to me rather than sitting down and forcing myself to write them. That's my experiment in form.
As comics writer, I've scripted mostly straight on humor or obvious tongue-in-cheek tales. While Soulboxer definitely occasionally has both of those at play, it's a sci-fi action tale and I strive to take the characters as seriously as possible. For what it's worth, that's my experiment in content.
I've never written anything on the physical scale of Soulboxer before. Sure, I've done extensive rewrites of scripts and poured over plots until I'm blue in the brain. But creating a novel or novella or what have you is a totally different realm of quantity. That makes Soulboxer my ambitious experiment in endurance -- probably too ambitious -- and that excites me.
6/26/2010 12:35:00 PM Posted by Nick Marino
Long before I ever considered writing for a living, I wanted to be a video store clerk. I wanted to rent and sell videos to people, making stellar recommendations off of my superb taste in film.
Turns out I don't have superb taste in film, nor do I have much luck at making excellent recommendations. But I did managed to achieve my employment goal, as my first paying job was in the video department of my local Wegman's supermarket.
And I was in heaven. Discounted (and often free) video rentals AND I got to decorate the walls with my own cut up versions of movie posters and my hand lettering. I had it made.
But FlixBuster is derived from more than just my satiated desire to rent movies to people in exchange for their money. It's also the result of a few other personal experiences.
One is the fact that I was a Blockbuster Online early adopter (back in '04), and I've been fascinated with the shipping mechanics of the business ever since. And when I learned -- from a friend who was employed at one of Blockbuster's facilities -- how the shipping actually worked, I was even more curious.
Though I've never been inside one of their warehouses, I have worked at one of Ingram's book warehouses. I worked there for a couple of weeks as a "shagger." That means I went around the warehouse and found the books that the regular order pullers couldn't (or didn't have the time) to find. Granted, it's not like Samantha's job in Soulboxer (Max's best friend, as you'll eventually come to know her). But it inspired her job.
So combine my early love of the face-to-face video rental industry WITH my fascination with the warehouse shipping end of the modern online video rental business WITH my experience working in a book warehouse and VOILA! You've got FlixBuster.
5/18/2010 04:31:00 PM Posted by Nick Marino
Something unique about Soulboxer is that the entire novel is being written in Google Docs. That's not some sort of reaction on my part to word processing software or anything like that -- Docs is just easy for on-the-go writing, plus I prefer typing over writing by hand.
So everything from the germ of the story's concept through to the actual text of the book is being done in this web-based program. In fact, here's a sample of what greets me every time I crack open the Soulboxer Google Doc:
The story is still just in one Doc at this point in time, but as the story grows to its full size, I imagine I'll be splitting it up by chapter. I'm not even finished with the full first draft yet, so I assume that splitting up is still some time off.
Anyway, not a ton to talk about here necessarily... I mean, other than the ability to access the story file from anywhere with a web connection, the only other immediate benefit I see to Google Docs is that I can review my revision history from the very start. If something from Soulboxer gets deleted or pushed aside, I still have access to it in my history. Not bad, right?
5/13/2010 05:19:00 PM Posted by Nick Marino
See, initially, I came up with this idea that I'd use the pen name Roi McKinna (an anagram for Nick Marino) and release Soulboxer piece-by-piece on this blog. I even went so far as to create a fake Roi McKinna writer's journal too.
Funny idea and maybe it would have worked, but I think I'm better off putting my real name on the story and doing my damnedest to make it into a book. So there. That's the deal.