Day: August 25, 2017

My Novel: Father Figure (Week 8 – Friday, August 25th, 2017)

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It’s been an extraordinary week full of intense focus and free-flowing words to the point that I nearly doubled the quantity I expected to complete this week. I’m still in a bit of shock, but the scariest part is as of this afternoon, I’ve completed 27 out 28 planned chapters. And I plan to finish writing the final chapters by Monday afternoon so that I can say the first draft is done. Don’t ask how it happened, just be glad! Without any further ado, I present to you Father Figure’s weekly status:

writer

Status:  Friday, August 25, 2017 – Week #8

  • Chapters 17 thru 22
    • The goal was achieved. I actually completed the most complex portions of the novel, where all the major actions happen. It was a bit of an emotional week, living through what happened to these characters. As I was channeling the mindset when someone goes through what these wonderful extensions of my world have encountered, I found myself actually feeling depressed and excited. It’s only then that you can accept you’ve maybe dug deep enough to produce a solid story with good writing.
  • Chapters 23 thru 26
    • I wrote 4 additional chapters this week that hadn’t been planned. I’d finished my original commitment by mid-day Wednesday and decided to just “push” it, as many of you read in one of the 365 Daily Challenge posts earlier this week. These chapters were difficult, as I had to deal with the repercussions of all the drama and conflict unfolding. It’s a bit like throwing a halfway assembled puzzle into the air and finding that when it all comes falling down around you, you can see more clearly what needs to happen to finish it.
  • Favorite Line
    • One of the lines that just fell from my lips, which I hadn’t even thought of or considered during the outline, feels like a contender for my favorite one:
    • “All you’ve ever done is build a plan for my life so that you have something to regret when it falls apart. I am not the practice game for trying to figure out what you should have done with yours in the first place.”

 

 

Next Steps: Plan for Week #9

  • Write chapter 28 to finish a complete first draft of the novel pre-editing. I expect it to end up at 350 pages or about 108K words. I also expect to open a bottle of champagne at dinner on Monday evening when it’s completed as a little toast to such a major accomplishment.
    • Nine (9) weeks ago you voted for the premise of Father Figure as my next novel. I had some vague ideas of what I needed to accomplish, but nothing concrete. And it took me three (3) weeks to outline and (5) five weeks to write the whole novel — only because of everyone’s faith in me. Thank you.
  • Round 1 Edit:
    • Re-read all 28 chapters and make notes for what needs to change, move or go
    • Highlight by color each of the different character and scene descriptions to ensure everything matches across the length of the novel
    • Finalize who will be the list of the first 3 to 5 beta readers
      • I might be ready to send out a few chapters to folks the day I leave for a trip to visit family in Louisiana 9/2 thru 9/5. If not then, it will be 9/17 – 10/1 while I’m in North Carolina and Florida.
      • If you have time to read while I’m away to provide feedback when I return, private message me on Twitter, Facebook or jamesjcudney4@gmail.com.

 

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • The ending is still in heated debate. Two people have read chapters 1 and 2. A different set of two people are the only two people who have any idea what the whole story is thus far and what I’m considering doing if it’s a single book versus a potential series. Both of those people separately advised me to write the final chapter from both perspectives, which is double the work. But it might be double the pay off, so I plan to do this on Monday before I close out the first draft. I probably won’t let beta readers see both versions, perhaps just the one that sounds the best. But at least I have a fallback plan. Thoughts?
  • I’m learning more about myself from writing this book. When Amalia encounters her first conflict, I thought about what I’d do in her situation. Then I thought about what a girl her age in that situation might do. It seems I might have a few things in common with an 18 year girl from a small Ohio town. Who woulda thunk it? Not sure what it says about me either… ugh, life is quite a paradox.
  • I gained some confidence this week. I’ve written tons of book openings, outlines, and even gotten as far as writing a third of a few novels I never actually completed, before this one. But on Monday, I will have two fully written 350+ page novels under my belt. And you know what? I’m pretty darn excited and proud that I can accomplish a goal when I set my mind to it. My writing style has improved. My voice has grown strong. My perspective on life has changed for the better. I can’t tell you how much happier of a person I am by choosing this route for the future.

 

Meryl Streep is my favorite actress, so this is me right now!

 

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Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • Amalia Graeme, sheltered and abused for most her life in Mississippi, longs to escape her difficult family and small hometown in 1984. When her older brother returns with his best friend, Amalia is tempted to have her first experience with a boy that summer. As they head off to college for her first year and his senior year, she begins to learn about life and love, battling her loss of innocence with the attraction she’s developed to an older professor. After she suffers a few personal tragedies, Amalia is forced to head back home, uncertain how to handle the permanent impacts on her life and future. No matter where she turns, someone or something always takes away her possibility of hope.
  • Brianna Porter is desperate to discover the purpose of her life, develop confidence in who she is, accept the consequences of who she has fallen in love with, and discover her father’s identity. Set twenty years in the future in New York City, there’s a connection between these two women’s stories that is about to be discovered. As Brianna stumbles upon her mother’s old journal, she learns a shocking secret about her father, rocked by a truth that could completely change the future. It may be too late to deal with the impacts of unleashing a history that was meant to stay buried for many reasons. When it leads to someone’s death, Brianna must come to terms with the choices she’s made and what is left of her own future.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am have signed a contract for a publisher on my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish and submit it to a publisher in November, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 166 – Comet

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Cometa celestial object consisting of a nucleus of ice and dust and, when near the sun, a “tail” of gas and dust particles pointing away from the sun; the Broadway musical I watched this week

comet

A comet is basically a dusty snowball that shoots around the sun, often remarked for the images they create with trailing gases and the speed at which they can race through the galaxy. Sometimes that’s how we feel… like a comet shooting gases (our mouths off) all in the vain of trying to get somewhere. Although I try to keep my mouth shut 99% of the time, there have been moments where I just needed to vent. And that’s OK. Venting can be a healthy way to let off steam and propel you forward to whatever comes next.

A friend of W’s, who is also now a friend of mine, suggested we see the Broadway play, The Great Comet of 1812, this week. I love Broadway and I enjoy going to musicals and shows, but they can be expensive. When this one came up, knowing I had a list of others I knew I wanted to see, I wasn’t initially interested. I was also way too busy to stop and look up anything about it so I felt educated in my decision. I remembered seeing it mentioned at the Tony Awards when we watched them last June, but also uncertain if it had been nominated or just discussed. Then I remembered Josh Groban was in it, so I got excited and said, “yeah, let’s go.” The day finally came this week and we went to dinner first, where I asked about Groban’s role and the point of the whole show. Again, I really should have looked it up in advance. Two things happened at that moment: (1) Josh Groban isn’t in it anymore and (2) It’s an adaption of parts of Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace.’

OK, three things happened, the third being me dropping my fork and grabbing my glass of cider — with alcohol, of course, as I was not thrilled about seeing the show anymore. But I hide it well and got through dinner, hoping maybe it wouldn’t be a boring show about fighting and fixing things and the world from 1812. I love history and I love all things based on timelines, but War and Peace on a weeknight? Another glass of cider… maybe two… dinner ends, we walk to the Imperial Theatre. I’m online, looking at all the advertisements and watching people on line waiting to get in. (Aside: oh, that was funny… on line… on line…)

It’s a Russian story, so I am starting to grow more intrigued. But at the same time, I’m worried it’ll be boring, despite my friend seeing it five previous times and raving about it. Sometimes I can be quite a lump when I get an idea in my head that something will be bad. And then I won’t let any positive thoughts shine through. By the way, that’s not a good way to be — I’ve worked hard to get rid of those parts of me… but every once in awhile they shine through. Kinda like a comet, I suppose. When we arrive in the theatre, I’m absolutely shocked, impressed, magnetized and confounded. They’d re-configured the entire theatre to look more like a cafe. Seats were removed in the normal seating area, replaced with mini-stages and walkways for the actors to wander around and interact with the audience a bit. There were seats on the stage, both regular seats and tables as though you were in a 19th century Russian club. It was breathtaking. I loved it and asked tons of questions in the fifteen minutes before ‘curtains’ opened, as there were no curtains. The actors had already been out wandering around talking to people. It truly was a remarkable show, in my top 5, and I’ve seen hundreds at this point in my life.

The music was incredible, everything from opera to rap, reggae to house club, ballads to rock songs. All original. All chosen to determine the mood of the character who was ‘center-stage’ in those scenes. The choreography was impeccable, almost like a circus performance with almost unbelievable body movements and dancing. The lighting was brilliant and always on point. I never pay attention to the lighting, but between smoke machines, lanterns, spotlights, strobe lights and lights descending and swinging around the entire theatre, the beauty never ended. Truly one of those shows were you are fully immersed in everything happening, as it’s basically a 360 degree play all around you. I don’t often buy albums or music, but I will be getting this one.

I also have a new theme for a giant birthday party next year. And I hate birthday parties. That’s how fun this show was. I implore anyone in the NYC area to try to get there before it closes on September 3rd. And if you miss it, find a performance somewhere near you just to hear the music and see the fantastic beauty. If you’re interested in learning more, below are the links to the Broadway play’s website and Wikipedia’s page on the show.

 

 

So be your own comet. Leave a trail. Shoot across the galaxy that is your world. And give things a chance before you get all pissy over something that you’ll end up loving!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.