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DUNE Official Trailer (2020) Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Sci-Fi Movie HD

I dount it’s a 2020 release in the theaters

It looks brilliant though. I sawn the old versions and the one that was on TV so many years ago. It was boring and dull, kind of like Star Wars esp 3 with all the politics (which could have been cut and no one would have noticed). Whoops. Haters are coming. I said a negative thing about #STARWARS.

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The Dry Bar

I just watched this on Facebook, and it gets better the longer you watch. Hand clapping, knee slapping fun. For your pleasure, I have embedded it below. 

Massive crack-up.

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Sweating Blood over the outline

 

Sweating blood over the outline?

writing an outline

Outlines. Are they good, bad, needed or not required.

Outlines. Are they good, bad, needed or not required. I have heard authors claim not to use one, while I’ve heard that other writers can’t write a book without an outline first. Where do I stand in all of this? Well, right bang in the middle from starting my latest book, Darkness. I am new to outlining. I admit that I don’t know a whole lot about the process, I searched the web for hours trying to finding something that would work for me to no avail (not everything works for everyone), so in this article I’d like to give you a run down on what I do and some places to find good info on outlines. Hopefully these words will give you an idea on how to write them or give you an idea on making your own style.
Until recently, I never wrote an outline. I just turned on the computer, opened MS Word and away I went, typing like a madman on most occasions and on others swearing at the computer and pounding my head, wondering why the Muse was on holiday. During these times, I turn on my yahoo messenger and surf the web for small press websites and new press websites. There are a lot out there, some stay a while, others crash after a couple of years online. Where am I going with this? Well, most small press publishers I have run across lately want an outline (with or without a synopsis) before deciding if they would like to read your book. Their decisions are based on the outline or synopsis you offer.
My very first attempt at an outline was terrible. I always write from the head, and after I write the book I think about the outline. Usually I give up pretty fast and move on to something new. But I demanded an outline from my new book Darkness.
There are many references on writing the outline, or an outline that will get you in the door of editors, so they claim. Most people who know me know that I don’t do anything ‘by the book’ as it were. Instead I prefer to try new things, as with my horror website. Most horror sites are black with white or red writing – and yes, my old site used to be. I don’t like to anything the standard way and neither is the way I write my outline.
Here are a couple of the rules that I break:
  1. Write the outline for the book first
  2. Write the characters before you start the first line of the book.
  3. Write a two page outline about each character

Reasons why I break these rules:
  1. I have no idea what’s going to be on every page of the book. I start a book from a basic one line thought. An example is Darkness. The thought was: ‘A shadow sweeps along the street and enters a guy talking on a cell phone and he becomes Death.’ That was the original story line for Darkness.
  2. I have a very little idea of who will be in my book when I start writing it. Usually the ‘bad guy’ is the first character I write about.   
  3. To hell with that. My characters develop throughout the story. I only have a very loose idea of what they are like.
There is software out there that claims to be able to help with this. I have heard good comments and bad comments about these programs, I also have a couple downloaded but have yet to install them. As I mentioned, I don’t follow the rules.
So, how do I go about writing the outline, if I don’t follow the rules set above?
Answer: Section by section. First I write a section, then write in a notebook what happened in that section. I make a list using bullets. I do this for an entire chapter. Finishing that chapter, I type the outline into one flowing page. If I find errors or inconstancies they are easy to fix almost immediately. I then edit that chapter to the best I can make it.
What goes in the outline? For me I write roughly what happened in the chapter without cliff hangers. Try to avoid too much details, just the main gist is what’s required. Editors say they don’t want to left on the edge, they want to know what happened. Some editors want two pages of outline per chapter, others want only one, and some want a five page outline for the entire book.
Here’s an example of an outline. It is just a guideline to give you some ideas.
The underlying theme of the book is family and what one man will endure to avenge his family’s murder. In 27BC, Darian Farmer witnessed the death of his family before his eyes at the hands of the Elder’s guards. In a time when magic was real and feared, no one dared go against the Elders until Darian stepped forth. He formed an army and took hundreds of men to an early grave in a battle they could not win.
Darian is drowned as punishment and as an example to all. Never go against the Elders. Darian cries out for God’s help for vengeance but none comes. As the ocean water rushes over his head he turns to the dark lord and his cries are answered.

 

The above slice should give you an idea. You have to tell the story like you are talking to your best friend, and telling said friend all about the book.  
This is the kind of outline I write. As I mentioned it goes against most of what has been said about outlines, in many books by people more famous than I.

There’s also a Masterclass with James Paterson, that I would recommend watching.
Main question: Should you write an outline? I’ll leave the answer up to you.
Here’s a few sites where you can find more info on outlines.
http://www.sff.net/people/alicia/artout.htm (write an outline in 30 minutes)

A video that might help as well. 

Till next time,

Keep the blood flowing…
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The Mangled Fingers

 For a laugh I used a plot generator and it gave me this. With a bit of work, I could actually write this, with some changes of course. 

The Mangled Fingers

A Crime Thriller
by Lee Pletzers

Mangled fingers have been turning up all over Japan and the inhabitants are scared. Ten murders in ten weeks, all committed with a gun, and still nobody has a clue who the sinister killer is.

James Arron Ray is a beautiful and delightful police officer with a fondness for books. He doesn’t know it yet but he is the only one who can stop the callous killer.

When his girlfriend, Arisa Nishikawa, is kidnapped, James Ray finds himself thrown into the centre of the investigation. His only clue is a warped banana.

He enlists the help of a helpful psychiatrist called Saxton Middleton.

Can Middleton help Ray overcome his pain addiction and find the answers before the tactless killer and his deadly gun strike again?

Auto Praise for The Mangled Fingers

“James Ray is the best detective ever. A passion for books and pain is something we all can relate to.”
– The Daily Tale
“About as scary as a minute ant, but The Mangled Fingersdoes deliver an important message about the dangers of a gun.”
– Enid Kibbler
“As always, a helpful psychiatrist makes the best sidekick.”
– Hit the Spoof
“I could do better.”
– Zob Gloop

LOL. It even gave me a cover. 

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Writing Software

They say writers need them or should use them. I’ve been using various forms of writing software since 2007. Before that I used MS Word. Wrote three novels and sold 50 short stories with just the word processor. 

Times change. Now I use Scrivener and pretty much nothing else. Tho, I am old version. My old MacAir can’t handle more then 2 GB memory. Can’t upgrade. Stingy Apple. I still use it for writing. But, I am growing tired of old version of Scrivener and I have been looking around for other stuff. 

(Image: Pexels.com Free stock images)

I’ll post my fav, a little later. First let’s look at some software. 

Technology changes at a fast pace–or is the updates at a fast pace? Either way, I’ve found some cool new ways to write, especially on the go. 

The software I’ll list is stuff I have used or purchased. No links. Sorry. If interested just highlight the software and right click search for… Works a charm. I could be like those Internet blogs that have affiliate links everywhere, but that’s not me. 

First off (in no apparent order–just as I recall them):

yWriter — this was great writing software for the time. Made by a legacy published writer. Made for himself. He found it useful and offered it free on his site.A lot of writers used it. Not sure if it is still around. I still have version 5 on my computer. Not installed. It was great. It broke all chapters into scenes. And one would write their book, scene by scene. 

Power Wtiter: This was expensive in 2006 $149 USD. But it looked brilliant. I wrote a could of novels on this software and I liked it a lot. I don’t remember too much about it tho. I do recall selling it three years later. 

Zoho docs. Very nice word processor software, but that’s all it is. I liked it as it was online and I can access it from any machine. This is a big issue for me as I write on two machines, Mac and Win10. 

oStorywriter — wouldn’t load. And when it did, the UI was not as friendly as I would have thought. 

Darkwriter — Distraction free writing. Everything is blacked out but the writing space. It’s pretty decent and as long as you have headphones on, it is honestly distraction free. You don’t even realize your laptop battery is dying.

Pages — (Mac). A friend of mine writers all her novels on this word processor. I have only written short stories on it. Pages is nicer to write on than most processors. I don’t know why. It just feels good to use. 

Bean — (Mac) a discontinued word processor. I loved it until I discovered Pages. 

Scrivener — This is perhaps the most popular piece of writing software out there today. Originally, only for Mac the creators released a Windows version. I have only ever used the Mac. I’ve written two novels on this and several short stories.

Hemingway Writer: I used the free version and loved it. So, I paid $10 and got the full version plus a lifetime of updates. This software tells you if your sentence is too long, passive, has adverbs, or is difficult to read. It’s pretty decent software, especially for ten bucks. 

Manuskript — is a great piece of software. 

Celtx — I didn’t really like this way back in the day. 

Now, there are a host of free software out there and one such site that lists most is: https://alternativeto.net/software/bibisco/

It is a brilliant site. 

My fav is Scrivener. But I’m looking for cloud based solutions, so I can write anywhere on Laptop, Macbook, smart phone, etc. 

But recently, I have discovered cloud writing. Google has this with a word processor. But it is only that and as I writer I like things to look writerly. 

I have discovered: True Novelist. Very basic if going by the website. I think it is free. 

Living Writer is a pay service. I feel more secure with a pay service: https://livingwriter.com/  

The Quill, looks better. They are currently free as they work out a pay system: https://thequill.app/

Wordcradle is the best so far, but free freaks me out. http://www.wordcradle.com/

I’ll let you know which one I’ll use. 

What do you write with? 

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The Gym is Open (You’ve Been Warned)

As a gym rat, I stumbled on this and thought I’d share:

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It all starts with an idea



It all starts with an idea and they come at any time of any day and you can’t control it. You have no say in the matter, really. For me, ideas just pop into my head, as if my muse was chewing her pencil and a crack appeared in the 
fabric of space and time. From that crack, a slice of thought slipped out and my muse caught it.



A lot of people believe ideas are the product of the universe and some people (Dean Koontz?) can just grab them when they need. But adhering to this belief, one must assume thousands of other people also received the very same thought. Writers would plot around it; poets would create beauty from it; hundreds would do nothing with it. This is called the initial idea and it is the start of whatever you want to make of it.


My initial idea is to write a series of articles based on writing / learning the art of screenwriting. It is an area that interests me and has done for years. Only now do I have the opportunity to attempt it. 
Screenwriters make 200,000 smackaroonies a year according to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. A movie from a “known” scriptwriter can command anything from one million all the way up to four million. The six major film studios must pay a minimum of $106,000 for an original screenplay (according to the recently expired contract). 


The above was discovered once I started studying screenwriting. Naturally to get the above movie sale, a writer is in a never-ending contest with a zillion other writers. And once you get the sale (if you are that lucky or your stars were in alignment with Mercury and interstellar solar particles), one can expect at least a dozen rewrites. Not all rewrites are done by you. But for 106 grand, I’d do it.

Note: If you are really serious about screenwriting, get a copy of Final Draft. Yes it will cost you a few dollars and there is a reason for that: it is bloody good and does all the formatting for you. It has become the industry standard and even Stallone wrote his latest Rocky flick using this software. Find some way to get the money for it: beg on the street; busk; strike a pose; make a sign that reads: Starving Writer Needs Software; just don’t ask your folks, okay. That’s the easy way. If you earn it, then buy it, you’ll use it and master it. The software will have more value added to it instantly: Your sweat, blood and tears as you laid tar on the roads and dug trenches for pipes, would have all been worth it.

UPDATE: Writer duet is filpping fabulous: https://www.writerduet.com/ END OF UPDATE 

The initial idea comes from many places. Some places are: A crack in the universe / hearing part of a conversation on the street, bus, train etc / experiencing life, café / workplace / a book, movie, TV show / stuck in traffic / newspaper or magazine headline or article / childhood memory / the moment before sleep claims you / dreams / a blank page (works for most people) / typing random words for a full thirty seconds and then reading what you wrote (this is an amazing technique; sometimes when you rearrange the words you have a complete sentence) / reading this article. (Side note: having written about the words on the page I had an image in my head of words swirling on the page and a middle age guy watching them and hearing words. They are telling him to “kill” — initial idea.)


Now we have the idea. Great! That was the easy part. What do you mean, the idea was hard? I look at a coffee cup and I wonder who made it. Where did they stand in the production line? Are they/he/she young or old or somewhere in-between? There are a lot of chemicals in a place like that. What if…?
There are a million, trillion, gazillion ideas out there, open your mind to them and you’ll never run dry. Now develop it, nurture it and help it grow.

  1. How does it start?
  2. What happens next?
  3. Who is she / he / them?
  4. Next?
  5. What are they doing?
  6. Why?
  7. Next?
  8. Spot the problem.
  9. What is it?
  10. How do/does he / she / they deal with it?
  11. Why?

(Put your characters through hell. My wife sometimes says, “I don’t like this now.” And pouts. This means she cares about what’s happening to the characters, but she still can’t turn away from the story. The outcome is just around the corner)

The All-Important Outcome

To help build and nurture that fantastic idea is to use some excellent software, like Freemind and it is fantastic for helping answer these questions and more, and it will help you construct a plot. This is the roadmap and Freemind can lay out the highways and side streets. It is a learning curve to master but simple once you get the hang of it. And you’ll wonder how you survived without it. 
A novelist views the world in paragraphs. A screenwriter views the world in visual snapshots. The trick is to combine the two.