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New contribution to Totally Novel on writing, update on Sweet Sixteen Killer

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I've been pretty quiet lately on the blog, sorry about that. I've been laying mostly low, though I did recently begin contributing to a new website for writers and readers called Totally Novel. My first contribution for members of the site is a post I titled 3 things that prevented me from writing a novel. To read the post, sign up for a free trial. Take a look around and if you don't wanna stay, don't renew membership. That said, it's a pretty cool effort being put together by a former Google+ member like myself. As a matter of fact there are several members on the site from the old Google+ days. (Side note: there is a free membership option)
I will be contributing to the Totally Novel blog bi-monthly for now. My next addition will be in August. I'm super excited for the site and I hope you can come join us and become a part of the groups, forums, blog, workshops, and more. 
All that said, I haven't given up here. This is still my primary site and blog. 👊

UPDATES: HH, Myrna and Cafe de Mort

So, yeah, I haven't been posting a lot of work lately. Part of that is because I haven't been writing a lot lately, and the other part is that I've been outlining a lot.

Hardboil High
Last summer I managed to bleed out the first draft manuscript of Hardboil High: Freshman. Since then, I've mostly stewed over it a little here and there. I knew I had some work to do, some extra writing for chapters that were too short and needed to add a few more chapters to make it more cohesive. But like a lot of things in writing, after you've bled so much, sometimes you need to replenish the supply. I've mostly ignored it over the past year, and am just now picking it back up. Wrote an additional chapter for the finale the other day, and plan to write the rest and tweak it all soon. While it's still relatively on the brain.

Myrna
The character of Myrna has been a delight to play around with. The whole story is pretty fantastic, gritty, and action-packed--so I'm pretty much in heaven developing it. You can check out the prologue here.

I wrote an outline for Myrna a while back, but have since been coming back to it and working on it. I could tell right away it needed some help, felt like it was missing some things. One thing that's been humorous/torturous is that I have this great back story for Myrna, and I can't figure out where to put it in the outline. Depending on how things go, I may just have to reserve it for another book. Yes, there will be at least two books for Myrna.

I've said this before in a previous post, and I'll say it again... I love contrast. As I work on Myrna, which is a science fiction piece that takes place out in the future, I find myself listening to some music that greatly contrasts what music would probably be like in this futuristic world. I find the contrast most helpful along the way. This song in particular is useful to me while thinking about all things Myrna.

Needy Girl (Lifelike Remix) by Chromeo on Grooveshark

Cafe de Mort
This little short has come a long way for me. It originated as an impromptu flash fiction, where I was dabbling into some areas I'd yet to do in my writing. I was writing about a setting I didn't know, in Europe, probably Spain or Italy in my mind, and I also wrote some dialogue in a foreign language--which was something else I'd yet to do.

Immediately after finishing it, I was satisfied but felt I wanted to go on with it. What next? What could possibly happen after such a slap-in-the-face of a beginning?

Feedback has been positive on this little short, and one person who liked it suggested I keep it as is--afraid going beyond it might ruin the impact. He may be right, but for now I'm following my guy... at Neal James' suggestion.

I decided to slice it out as a novella, pretty certain a novel would be too much for this tale. I outlined a decent novella, but upon further inspection knew something was wrong with it. It needed more meat.

After giving it some more thought, I wanted more character development. It was a story that consisted of almost all plot, which is ridiculous coming from me. After adding in some chapters, and refining/reordering some others, I now have a work that will most likely be a 40,000 word novel. Guess I must be getting long-winded these days.

I'm actually very excited about this one. It's suspenseful, driven by some pretty dark themes, and has some romance and action to boot.

What can we conclude?
I'm contemplating taking up some blogging, so my blog stays fresh. When you're writing these novels, or outlining them, it leaves little time for short story postings. So, sorry about that. I'll also keep going through my archive, as not everything I've written is here. When I find some good things from my archives, I'll be sure to post them.

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New contribution to Totally Novel on writing, update on Sweet Sixteen Killer