Monthly Archives: October 2011

Let’s Do It.

Currently Listening To: Time To Pretend, by MGMT

So I, A.C. Gates, vow to take this novel, Perverse Selection, seriously and by the end of 2012 (give or take a few months), will have a polished manuscript, synopsis, etc. ready to be sent off. If after everything I do, I still can’t get an agent, then I will consider independent publishing.


A.C. Gates.

…figured I had to get that in writing.


A Title!

Currently Listening To: Won’t Be Fooled Again, by The Who

Decided on a title for now!

Perverse Selection

The opposite of natural selection.

Priorities and What Drives The Plot

Currently Listening To: Lost, by Avenged Sevenfold

So, NaNoWriMo is starting to look more and more…bleak.

Not because I’m chicken.

There’s a good chance I’ll have to work some major overtime at work next month. I won’t bore you with why.


I found this nifty little article on the website Writer’s Store

As the URL suggest, this is an article about whether your story is action-driven or character-driven.

There’s a quiz that you can take to determine what you prefer to write.

Myself? I seem to prefer a little of both.

I like characters that evolve. I like characters who make mistakes and learn from them. After all, they are human (usually). Like the protagonists,I want to leave the story with an experience that changes something about me.

Maybe it’s my view on life after reading The Stranger and seeing Mersault finally break down about the meaningless of life.

Maybe it’s how I take on the inevitable fact that I grow up after reading Harry Potter and watching Harry, Ron and Hermione grow and take on the difficult tasks that lie ahead of them while dealing with seemingly trivial things that were a big deal for their age.

But to watch those characters grow, I need to see them fall on their face. I need to see them work hard to achieve something. Let them be faced with death and finally break out. Let them try and win a tournament there weren’t suppose to be in. Does it hurt me that the protagonist fails sometimes? Of course it does, but when a character gets back up and continues to climb over the hurdles placed in front of them, I want to keep turning the pages. What happens in the end?

I want to see a character go from point A to point B. Don’t just say they did, show it! Every action they take to reach their goal, I want to see them fall and get up.

A character could be the most interesting guy or gal ever, but if they have no goals, why would I want to read about them?

So in short, I favor action-driven stories just slightly more than character-driven stories because I want to read about a character who has goals. I want to see how and if they achieve them and how the “quest” changes them (hopefully).


Currently Listening To: Damnit by Blink-182

As I said in an earlier post, I’m someone who would rather overwrite and work on cutting down the words and fluff rather than force my creativity to save the day.

I almost decided to not go through that route as I was outlining the book by chapter. The goal here was to really just make sure I’m having the story flow. Every action should affect the story in some way.

I was getting nervous as my chapter count went up. As a new guy, I can’t hope to break through with a fifty chapter book! Hell, Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone has seventeen chapters! How can I limit my story to such a low chapter count?

Well that’s the problem.

I’m not J.K. Rowling.

Everyone has different writing styles. I seem to favor numerous quick chapters. Some people favor longer chapters.

I haven’t even written the draft yet and I am freaking out about the length. Not a good way to start.

So, to sum up the lesson I learned: Stop freaking, start writing! Give me a week and I will be typing like a mad man.

One Week From Tomorrow

Currently Listening To: Micro Cuts, by Muse

To quote the website:

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59, November 30.

Is this for everyone? Of course not!

Why do I utilize it so much? I just seem to get so much done in that month. Every draft for the book has come out of NaNoWrimo.

I also have a bit of a competitive side. Lately I’ve been top 5-10 amongst people I know. This year I want to push my creativity to its limits.

Plus, I like the timing: Spend a lot of the month writing and spend a good Thanksgiving with the family. Then utilize being stuck in the winter finishing that draft and editing it.

Let me say this again:

This is not for everyone.

Some people prefer spacing out their writing, instead of squeezing 50,000+ words into a month. That’s fine, really.

NaNoWrimo is just one of many methods to write, or rather start a novel.


NaNoWriMo web badge.

Writing more the first time.

Currently Listening To: “…And Justice For All”, by Metallica.

So as I am planning out my novel (again), I notice I am hesitant to  add too much material.

You know what?

Screw that, I’ll just keep on writing and writing!

Personally, I’d rather overwrite and take out scenes and chapters I don’t need after a few read-throughs than go “Darn, I should have added a chapter about this and that”.  Of course, if I have to do the latter, then so be it.

I just need to have a first draft being scanned by my eyes!

NaNoWriMo and plot holes.

Currently Listening To: Knights of Cydonia, by Muse

So for last month, I’ve been carrying a little black notebook with me.

It’s filled with every thought I’ve had about my novel.

The plot has been given a makeover. Plot holes are closing up as I connect all my thoughts and ideas together.

Still a work in progress, but this year’s NaNoWriMo might be just what I need.

I’ve been going through rewrite and rewrite of the plot. My characters are the ones that seem to fuel it the most.