WHOLE lot of writing-related work going on here the past two weeks. I made a ton of notes on the plot for The Witches of Green Lake last week, and this week I switched over to the adaptation of the second movie in Caleb Straus’s It’s Over trilogy, “The Storybook”. Mostly this week was spent re-familiarizing myself with the story, first reading the script, then watching the movie. Next time I rotate back to this project, I’ll start the actual adapting of the script to prose.
But first, next week. Next week I start the WRITING, not the plotting, not the note-taking or character-sketching, but the writing of The Third Floor 2: The Lonely Man.
I’m excited, anxious and terrified all at once. I love the story for this one, I love the characters and the world, and I think this could be my best horror novel. If I don’t mess it up. But no pressure, right?
Today marks day one of work on The Witches of Green Lake. Technically I guess it would be day two, since I wrote the opening scene months ago.
For now I’m just making notes on the plot, figuring out where the characters are in their lives, where in the timeline things are taking place. The transition from Werewolves of Green Lake to Vampires of Green Lake was the next day (or maybe that same day, I actually can’t remember), but the transition to this one is going to be a bit more time. I think six months have passed. Maybe more, maybe less, but it’s definitely not the next day.
I’m expanding the character base with this one, as I did in the last one, too, going from focusing strictly on David in book one to David and his cousin in book two. This book will have even more main characters, or at least the secondary characters will have more spotlight time.
Plus, I’m also figuring out how to incorporate what few details I had about The Ghosts of Green Lake, which was originally going to be the third book before I decided I needed to do Witches instead and just mix what little bit of plot I had from Ghosts in with it. It’s going to work out better this way in the end.
But I digress. Today’s focus was on plotting The Witches of Green Lake. Tomorrow I’ll do some more plotting and by this weekend I expect to have the entire plot sorted and ready for me to start the writing … on February 11th.
For the past good long while, my Saturdays have been spent not doing a lot of specific work. Maybe catching up on emails or edits when I needed to, but I never felt really productive on Saturdays. Now, I don’t get every Saturday off–not many of them, in fact–but for this year I’m making a new Saturday plan. If I have it off, I’ll do a movie review and a blog post for the Midwest Creativity Coaching website. If I have to work on Saturday, I’ll just do the blog post. Sunday is still set aside for my newsletter and plans with my kids.
It’s late Saturday night as I write this, so the newsletter is still to come, but I did get my review and blog post done today. And you can read them here:
Movie review: MOTHER’S DAY MASSACRE:
Blog post: WHEN SETTING YOUR GOALS, REMEMBER TO BE SPECIFIC:
Next week I start work on the next Monsters of Green Lake book: THE WITCHES OF GREEN LAKE.
Today was a very productive writing day. No new WORDS, necessarily, but forward progress on TWO projects.
First I did some work on the bonus material for the upcoming INVASION AGENTS YEAR ONE OMNIBUS, completing two pages of never-before-seen stuff. Then I did some research into Sufism for the Band of Gypsies sequel, BOLD AS LOVE.
For the first Band of Gypsies book, Dave and I just swapped back and forth on the first draft, adding to the story until we couldn’t think of anything else, then we sent what we had to the other and they added some until they were stuck and sent it back.
For the second book we’re trying a different approach. The plot is Dave’s, he wrote the outline a few years ago, and I’ll be taking that outline and writing the first draft. Once I’m done with that, I’ll send it to Dave to edit and rewrite as necessary.
Yesterday I had a good call with members of the former Paranormal St. Joe group, Jeannie and her sister Tracy. I took a lot of notes and I think I’ve got a solid enough base to start putting together the characters for the book that is going to require a paranormal investigation group. You’ll see. So thanks so much to Jeannie and Tracy. I will definitely be coming back with more questions as I get into the writing of that book.
If you find yourself with some downtime in a waiting room or getting your oil changed or something, try a Horror Single to pass the time (just click on a cover for more info):
Today I set aside the Third Floor 2 plot and picked up another. Today is day one of work on the next book in the Band of Gypsies series of novellas, originally titled “God of Thunder”, but I think, given the themes inside, will eventually be called, “Bold as Love.” Also, it keeps with the Jimi Hendrix theme.
In fact, I’d like to come up with a new title for the first book, just called BAND OF GYPSIES, as I’d like to make BoG the series title, like STAR WARS. But there’s time for the rebranding and whatnot later. We don’t even have a second book written yet.
Anyway, so today I read through the beats, refreshing myself on them and putting myself into the headspace of this is what I’m writing now, as opposed to several years ago when I first got them and this was still a project in the distant future.
Today I broke the synopsis up into sections and right now I have 10. So 10 scenes. That should make a decent-sized novella.
Tomorrow I’ll have to let it rest, though, as I have a phone interview with a local paranormal investigation group to do research on a different story. Then I’ll get back to Gypsies on Wednesday.
Today I start reading:
SOMETHING IS WRONG IN HAMILTON ISLAND
The Puget Sound bedroom community seems like the perfect place — beautiful homes with white picket fences, a thriving tech sector, and one of the best school systems in the state.
On September 1, everything changes when a teacher walks into his classroom and does the unthinkable.
YOU ARE BEING WATCHED
An addict attempts to raise her dead sister’s daughter, but how can she raise a child when her sanity seems to be slipping away? And what secrets does her own childhood hold about events happening now?
The wife of a killer cannot imagine why her husband snapped — until she finds something her husband hid in their house. And that discovery could cost her everything.
A student tries to recover from the loss of his friends when someone reaches out to him promising answers. Then he finds the things under his skin. Things that make him question everything.
An actor returns home to find out that his powerful family has been lying to him. A family with dark secrets and darker pasts. When someone close to him goes missing, he brings in an outsider, an outsider haunted by tragedy that might just be repeating itself.
NOTHING IS WHAT IT SEEMS
As the survivors of September 1 attempt to put their lives back together, a dark conspiracy unfolds of missing people, dark experiments, voices in static, and something that nobody will see coming.
WhiteSpace is a character-driven, mysterious, creepy, paranoid, sci-fi thriller that would be right at home with such TV greats like LOST, The X-Files, and Fringe.
It was only supposed to be temporary, a place to stay when he returned home, just until he got back on his feet. Then he woke up to find his cousin and her husband gone, vanished in the night. But that was only the start. What they left behind was so much worse.
On the B-Side, in “Blue Moon Story”, one cop is still trying to find the man who murdered his wife. He’s about to learn the truth of what really tore his wife to pieces that night might be closer than he ever thought.
Maybe my least favorite part of writing is research. And yet it’s a part that is so important and necessary when the book you’re about to start writing contains things you know nothing about. Like paranormal investigation. I don’t know anything about it, other than what I’ve seen on shows like “Paranormal State”, and I’m not entirely convinced those things are as legit as they claim.
So today I had to do some research on paranormal investigators, including emailing these guys in hopes of finding someone I can ask a bunch of questions. It says the team was started in 2008, but I have no idea if it’s still around; I emailed them because they’re local to my area. With any luck, they are still around and I can ask them anything I need to know and, hopefully, their answers may even open new avenues of the novel’s plot, new twists and possibilities I wouldn’t have thought of before.
While it didn’t feel like I got a lot done today, I think I did anyway because it was all important stuff.
First I spent some time compiling and formatting the file for the Invasion Agents Year One Omnibus, including some extras that haven’t appeared in any of the issues before. Then I did some research for The Third Floor 2. I can’t say what kind of research just yet, I don’t want to give anything away 2 days into plotting the book, but it’s all going to be necessary to help flesh out the characters and make the writing of the book easier.
Tomorrow will be more of the same. I’ll do some more work on those extra pages for the Omnibus, then get back to the research.
Meanwhile, I’m currently reading, or going to be reading:
First day of 2019 and I’m two days into plotting out the next novel, a sequel to The Third Floor. Finally. Back in 2013 when the book was selling, people said I needed to write a sequel, but at the time I didn’t have a story for what happened next. Since then I’ve written two short stories, “In the Presence of Loneliness” which is a newsletter exclusive you can get for free HERE by signing up for my free weekly newsletter, and “Problems and Bigger Ones”.
With those stories in place as a base, I’ve come up with what I think is an excellent follow up and for the first time in years I’m excited to write a sequel to this book.
I only have 569 words of the plot written, and it’s mostly me talking to myself, sorting out details and the direction and tone of the story, but I’m glad I decided to try to iron out some of the details beforehand as opposed to just writing and hoping I got somewhere interesting. I have faith I could have written a good book that way too, but I’m much happier with the direction the plot is going when I give myself time to talk it out with myself.
Taking all these threads from the original novel and the two short stories and tying them together into one larger whole is an amazing experience and just reminds me to have faith in the process, because when I sat down yesterday to start plotting, I wanted to do anything else BUT start plotting this book. I’d worked up the idea of it so much in my head, I feared anything I wrote was going to be a disaster. And I don’t think it’s too much to say there’s a bit of pressure on this one to be good. At last count, I probably sold over 50,000 copies of The Third Floor, so yes I want this one to do as well, or close to. So a substandard follow up won’t do.
But then I did get started and the words and the ideas came and I feel very confident now that The Third Floor 2 is going to be a great fucking horror novel.
Collecting the first three arcs of RICK REMENDER and WES CRAIG’s dark, violent and twistedly humorous story of a group of damaged teens enrolled in a secret high school, training to become the world’s greatest assassins. Bursting at the seams with sketches, concept art and other extras, this oversized 8×12” hardcover is the ultimate way to experience the 1980s underground.
Collecting DEADLY CLASS #1-16.
You think you know the Invasion Agents? So far we’ve only seen one corner of their world. There’s more to this universe than simple Capital City, Missouri. The Invasion Agents Annual #1 tells a story located in another part of the world, not far away, in Black Foot, Kansas.
What appears to be a simple case of arson leads to demon possession and mass murder in the span of a few hours, and that’s only the beginning.
There’s a new hero in town, one with a familiar name, and he’s on a mission. First, how can he learn to control his situation in the wake of a whole new revelation in time to be of assistance?
It’s chaos in Kansas as demons destroy, atrocities abound, and the fate of the world lies in the hands of one hero who has no idea what he’s doing.
Rat Queens Vol. 2: Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth
Collects RAT QUEENS #6-10.
Collects RAT QUEENS #1-5
Who are the Rat Queens? A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they’re in the business of killing all god’s creatures for profit. It’s also a darkly comedic sass-and-sorcery series starring Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief. This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack!
When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the “”mundys,”” their name for normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters created their own secret society that they call Fabletown.
From their exclusive luxury apartment buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, these creatures of legend must fight for their survival in the new world.
Collects FABLES #1-5.
Last week I decided to publish an old story that has, so far, only been available in anthologies and collections, but never gotten the chance to stand on its own. Which is a shame, because I think it’s a really good story. So I finally published it as a standalone short story, and you can get it HERE:
Sean Leonard went out for pizza one day and never came home. Not that he didn’t try. After what he was sure had to be twelve hours driving the same unchanging stretch of highway with no off-ramps or exits in sight, Sean finally spotted another living person, the first he’d seen in hundreds of miles.
Now Sean and Jamie are on the run down this one long stretch of road, fleeing from the trio in the black car.
“They’ll take whatever you’ve got,” Jamie says, “and if you don’t have enough, they’ll take you.”
Or, if you’d like to see it when it first appeared, in the DARK HIGHWAYS anthology, or in the short story collection of mine where it was first reprinted, WHAT THE BLIND MAN SAW, you can do that, too.
Wherever and however you read it, though, I would love it if you left a review afterward. Thanks.
I’m taking a dive into my son’s Batman graphic novel collection and reading a few books I’ve always wanted to read. Click the covers if you want to read along with me.
Tying into his other blockbuster stories of 2008 FINAL CRISIS and BATMAN, THE RESURRECTION OF RA’S AL GHUL, the legendary Grant Morrison confronts readers with the unthinkable … the death of The Dark Knight. The troubled life of Bruce Wayne seems to spin out of control when his relationship with the mysterious Jezebel Jet deepens. Soon Bruce Wayne drops out completely, having seemingly become the victim of mental illness, and abandons his Batman identity for a life on the streets of Gotham City. Capitalizing on the fall of their greatest foe, the Club of Villains begin a crime spree through the streets of Gotham that threatens to bring the city to its knees. Collects BATMAN #676-683.
A NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller!
The complete critically acclaimed and best-selling tale is now available in one sensational volume.
BATMAN: HUSH is a thrilling mystery of action, intrigue and deception penned by Jeph Loeb (BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN) and illustrated by comics superstar Jim Lee (ALL STAR BATMAN & ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER). Batman sets out to discover the identity of a mysterious mastermind using the Joker, Riddler, Ra’s al Ghul and the Dark Knight’s other enemies–and allies–as pawns in a plan to wreak havoc.
This volume collects BATMAN #609-619 as well as the 6-page segment from WIZARD #0 and a 2-page origin story.
Joined by Carrie Kelly, a teenaged female Robin, Batman takes to the streets to end the threat of the mutant gangs that have overrun the city. And after facing off against his two greatest enemies, the Joker and Two-Face, for the final time, Batman finds himself in mortal combat with his former ally, Superman, in a battle that only one of them will survive.
Frank Miller’s THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN are considered two of the most influential superhero graphic novels of all time, cementing Miller’s status as one of his generation’s greatest graphic storytellers. Collected here are both parts of Miller’s DARK KNIGHT saga, including THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS #1-4, THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN #1-3, with additional character sketch and script pages.