Doing my best to Camp

Camp Nano 2014 banner: Mesnard

I am participating in Camp once again.  Part of me wonders if I have a choice…and the other side tells me I need a deadline to be productive.  Despite how it looks, I am still pursuing my lofty (if not mysterious and farcical) Road to Glory campaign.

I have it easier this year than last.  I should have no excuse…once I finally get my notes down to “jump the gap” – as I have told people.  I have the end sketched fairly well, and I have most of the script written…but there is a small bit which still needs to be filled; to link both parts.

Taking the opportunity to procrastinate again post, I also slightly modified the sidebar.  Life has kept me busy enough not to even update my 2013 progress nor what I have in store for 2014.  Maybe I’ll  get to it as part of my Camp Nano victory lap…should I reach it.

On the bright side, much of my “spare” time went into a writing project.  I am on hiatus at the moment: which puts me at a seemingly-perfect point to continue my Script Frenzy tribute project from last year.

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2013 Flashback – My Desktop: July 2013

Mesnard desktop 13.07

(This feature promotes discussion and interaction: giving an inside look of my creative craziness.  Ask about something about the desktop image and I shall answer.)

Wait?  Can it be?  Less icons this time around.  Amazing – I know.

The desktop reflected heading back to Camp Nano and reflecting at my April accomplishment of a screenplay (albeit unfinished).  I want to tackle prose this July; even if I may skip around in unfinished territory.

Last month I was dealing with some screenplays: one being the aforementioned script; and another was reading/critiquing a project written by a friend and holds a lot of potential.

Below the sanctioned Camp Nano image was something I ran into: The Six Stage Story Structure by Michael Hauge.

Once I started developing my own style (which I really wish I knew what it was…but I’m sure there’s one hiding in there somewhere), I found little use for the three-act structure of screenplays.  I believe in a beginning, middle, and ending.  I believe in hiding the blatancy [however necessary] of backstory; the term exposition often eludes me.  Characters need should be individuals with unique voices.

I do my best to make things just interesting enough for the person to want to turn the page; click the page down button; hit the jump. Continue reading

2013 Flashback – My Desktop: May 2013

Mesnard desktop 13.05

(This feature promotes discussion and interaction: giving an inside look of my creative craziness.  Ask about something about the desktop image and I shall answer.)

March had a lot of shortcomings and April was a month I’d rather gloss over than delve into.  Enough words spoken by the desktop alone, so I felt like keeping words short there.  If I’m asked to expound, however…I’ll deliver.

Back to March…  I had two writing gigs.  One was a full-blown scam with international ties [yes; I should be retelling that ordeal, but I did not have the time to revisit that debacle].  The other was something which went down in flames, but I gave it my best effort…and perhaps gained some writing samples from it; showing my rewriting skills in action.

The “highlight” of April was achieving my Camp Nano goal despite overwhelming odds.  With all said and done; I have an unfinished screenplay sitting at 102 pages without an ending.  No finish, but it was enough to count as another “win” for Camp Nanowrimo.

Despite being a first draft, I can say it’s one of my best original screenplays thus far – hopefully keeping people guessing until the very end.  What good is a princess story if it has a predictable ending?  Can something be “happily ever after” and still be a surprise?

Not to go into the details, but the ending is already planned out.  Once I connect where I left the story to the “beginning” of the ending events, I’ll be all set.  There was a point where I kind of shocked myself with an element of the ending chain of events.  Enough so to put down what I was doing and really evaluate it all for a day.  It appears long right now, and it shall be trimmed later, but I don’t wish to excise anything until after a full-blown table reading.

Back to the image…  I had to add something new, so I went generic by way of Apple.  It was one of the defaults; looking the most fitting as a “Lady in Red” motif.  I hoped to finally clean my desktop up…but way more important things were in motion.  Would it be a wanted achievement to gussy up the mess of icons and folders…or is the chaos more welcome here?  Please do comment.

2013 Flashback – My Desktop: April 2013

Mesnard desktop 13.04

My plan was to clean up the desktop somewhat to start my next writing project with a cleaner slate, but things spread and sprawled instead.

[If you think that looks messy, just peek inside one of my steno books.  It’s where I actually lay the groundwork for my writing endeavors — when I’m not pantsing it.]

The desktop image is about as obvious as it gets.  I could not find a good fan-made Camp image, so I reverted to the official Camp Nanowrimo logo.

I decided on writing a new screenplay from scratch.  In December I dashed off a short piece for Figment to make my goals for the year.  It serendipitously taught me this could be turned into a decent longer story.  A script seemed more viable than a novel at the time, so that’s where I stand.  It’s a far cry from my original inspiration for it: which means it’s even more an original idea with every page.

The running joke is this shall be my “princess” script.  A story which would fall into a hard G or light PG by way of a rating system; with a female protagonist [shocker? Not.] wedged between pleasing her father in her own way rather than what he expects a daughter of a kingdom to conduct herself.  Thrilling, eh?  [I know it doesn’t sound that way.  All part of my plan.]  If you really want to hear the pitch, contact me.  🙂

Ambition is the name of my my game.  I’d rather fail spectacularly rather than as a purplish blur of a ditto machine’s byproduct.  Call me crazy.

If you see something on my desktop you’d like to ask about, add a comment.  I’ll be happy to give the best answer I can.

I’m Published (on Leanpub)

KD first proofI’d rather talk about the tech than talk about me – but here are the nuts and bolts on the situation…

People know I write.  When asked if anything is available to read, usually I point them to my Figment profile for free stories.  I’m asked if I have anything published, and I talk about some unfinished novels, or projects to revise.

Three novels are in the pipeline for [digital] publishing.  One is the first draft of a complete story, and the other two haven’t been completed yet.  Why would I publish unfinished works?  It keeps with the motto of Leanpub: Publish early, publish often.

leanpubI discovered Leanpub this year as a sponsor for Camp Nanowrimo.  I realized they were also a sponsor for Nano 2012, but for whatever reason I did not explore it.

What stands out most publishing through Leanpub is an opportunity to have an unfinished work available for purchase; which can not only provide valuable feedback, but the opportunity to provide free updates to readers.  Leanpub also has great free services to make works ready for publishing – not only converting your text to be available for Kindle or iPad, but a pdf which can be used to make a print version.

The royalties are simple to understand (you keep 90% minus fifty cents per copy).  Another cool perk is a Nano category in their bookstore.

All three projects currently on my profile are Nano works I mentioned at various times on this blog.  They all have free previews, and variable pricing for any who hate paying retail. I have a new email address for taking feedback and critiques, and also to respond.

Leanpub is a simple (and free) way to start publishing, but much elaboration upon a book’s design or layout is possible…if the writer wishes.

The video below is a little geeky and cutesy at the same time; explaining the site better in ten minutes than I can in a thousand words.

Literary Road to Glory: 2013

Mesnard’s “Glory Road” progress:

Year 2 dorm room

Lat year I had delusions of ambition.  Not only did I make a whole slew of writing goals, but I wanted to formulate a system where I could fail and still succeed: so I wouldn’t fall into the trappings of a majority who make resolutions for a new year.  Thus, I adopted this Road to Glory point system and progress meter…heavily stolen inspired by the PSP game NCAA Football 2010.

My version entailed a month-by-month roadmap: with secondary goals to help bolster any months which I faltered; or rather, my endeavors proved too ambitious.  To top it off, I made a more long-term (and secretive) goal which I gave myself a decade to accomplish.

What’s my secret agenda?  That’s still a pinky swear with Palpatine shrouded with secrecy.  Life would be boring without secrets, don’t you think?

Though my output was abysmal a few months (and then some), writing in December rather than enjoying Nanowrimo burnout was what finally helped me amass enough points to pull off a Road 2012 victory.

Since things seemed to go so well, I decided to definitely do it all over again for 2013.  Raising the stakes higher, I even altered my long-range goal (which is the second progress bar at the top of this post) to drive myself a tad harder.

What’s in store for me this year?  Hit the jump to get the month-by-month breakdown.

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Literary Road to Glory: 2012 Recap

The dorm room is packed and cleaned; which brings my foray into literary ambition to a close…at least for this year.  I didn’t plan to give up after a single year of making resolutions.  The big question is how I fared.

Before I cap things off, here’s a look at the cryptic “score sheet” I scrawled out to help become my roadmap. [click to enlarge]

2012 goal sheet (top)

2012 goal sheet (bottom)

How cryptic was it?  I tried to decode it on at least three occasions.  The sheet of notebook paper made a lot of sense at the time, but I made alterations as the months rolled by…a bit because the unexpected cropped up, but mostly to make things more challenging for myself.

After the jump is my 2012 progress report.

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