Friday, January 30, 2015

Creative Goals for MMXV

I'm going to post this here so that I can periodically check back and see how I'm doing throughout the year. Here are my creative goals, and a very general time frame of when I'd like to accomplish them.

February: Finish a first draft of Lullaby
March: Begin my workshop draft of Lullaby
April: Work on my workshop draft of Lullaby
May: Finish my workshop draft of Lullaby
June: Edit Lullaby, begin shopping it to agents, begin writing a stageplay*
July: Stageplay writing
August: Stageplay writing
September: Stageplay editing
October: Arrange one (or more) of my musical compositions for an ensemble
November: Record the musical composition
December: "A Christmas Carol" production with Players of the Stage

*I'm torn between two stageplays that I've done a bunch of pre-writing for. One of them is a modern take on Little Women, set in the world of fundamentalist conservative homeschooling (which bears a surprising number of parallels to the world of trandscendentalism in which the original was set) It is a coming-of-age story about making your own place in the world and choosing your own path deliberately. The other play I might work on is a science fiction story set entirely in a small shuttle. It is a small cast - perhaps only two actors, though it might be as many as four when all is said and done. It is the story of a bounty hunter and her captive, and is about the concept of trust. I'm very excited about both of these ideas, and I plan to write them both eventually, but I'm not sure yet which one I want to write first.

Further out, I have lots of other projects planned:

  • Write whichever of those stageplays I don't get to this year.
  • Write and produce a feature with my frequent collaborator Jesse Kalavoda (we're working on developing a road-trip drama picture, hopefully we'll have more news on that soon)
  • Finish writing Noose, my post-post-apocalyptic epic fantasy novel. Noose is set in North America about 200 years after a zombie apocalypse has destroyed the infrastructure of our society. The threat is mostly over, but society has developed into a more-nearly feudal state.
  • Finish writing the sequels to both Lullaby and Noose (both are currently planned as four-book series, though Lullaby could probably be squeezed into three and Noose could certainly be expanded into a larger work).
  • Write the two musicals I have on the back-burner right now. One is set in the Lullaby world. It's sort of a dystopian Grapes Of Wrath meets Finding Nemo. Something like that.
  • The other is a Arthurian musical called "Four Nights." It's designed to have four different storylines happening simultaneously (and with complimentary music) in four different rooms or areas. The storylines converge in one central location several times to progress the story, and then the scenes repeat again so that the audience is able to see each of the four stories play out in whichever order they choose. The storylines are interconnected and the order in which they are watched will have a big impact on your perception of what is really going on.
That's the list of everything I can think of off the top of my head that I'm working on right now. I'll probably also spend some time composing and recording original instrumental pieces, but right now I don't have any concrete plans for those, I mostly let them come when they feel like it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lullaby: The Last Weeks

In 2013, I participated in my local NaNoWriMo group for the first time. Although I didn't win, I did get a good start on a project I've been working on in one format or another since the early aughts. Originally, Lullaby was intended to be a television series, then a stage musical, but in the end (in the interest of ease, since working without collaboration is usually less complicated) I decided to write it as a novel.  Lullaby was a lot of fun to work on during NaNo... Mostly because I wrote all of the fun parts. Now I have a large chunk of the manuscript, and my goal is to finish a first draft by the end of February, have a workshop draft finished by the end of May, run a weekend workshopping session with my artists group Ekphrasis, and then re-edit and begin shopping it by the end of June.

Lullaby is a dystopian novel in which a young musician finds himself leading a group of revolutionaries and navigating a web of secrecy in a desperate bid for freedom.

The novel is written in five acts. Currently act one and most of acts two and four are written, as well as a good portion of act five. Act three is giving a me a lot of trouble, but I have to tackle it sooner or later! Check back here often for updates, and bug me if I haven't written any for a while.

Instabam: Art from The Reckoners fanart contest

I've been ravenously reading the collected works of the person who has quickly become my favorite living author: Brandon Sanderson. A ton of his works are part of a shared universe that he calls the Cosmere (there is a whole forum dedicated to people endlessly discussing the workings of those worlds), but he recently has published the first two books in a new YA science fiction trilogy called The Reckoners. To promote the release of the second book, Firefight, a fanart contest was held. My contribution was this photo I did (using myself as a model, naturally) of one of the villians of the series, an Epic called Instabam. In the series, you never actually see this character, he dies off-screen in between books one and two sometime, but the name gave me a flash of inspiration. I won the contest, too(one of ten prizes)! Enjoy.