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  1. #1
    Super Moderator josta59's Avatar
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    My story project

    Hi, all. Been a while since I posted much. The news on me is that I've moved my family into an amazing new house on our Tennessee mountain, and just got my gall bladder out. Doing ok overall.

    My gaming gear is sitting in boxes on the desk next to my work desk in my awesome new study. I've been very busy. I have two creative thrusts that are taking up what might otherwise be gaming time: 1) a gig playing songs at a party next week, and 2) coming up with a story for what could eventually be a book.

    It's the latter thing I wanted to type about here today. It's too boring to be a Facebook post, so I'm putting it here to get it out of my system. Thanks for obliging me.

    There are a few types of stories that I like best. They usually involve espionage or military action, and my favorites include both. I like the idea of long series of novels. My problem with most of them is that they have one central character followed through many books, and really there's only so much interesting action that can happen to one person in their lifetime, so the realism breaks down.

    When I grew up on comic books, I always preferred the team books to the singular hero books. I loved the evolving interaction from month to month between characters who were equally important to the story.

    Funny how it's common for TV series to have multiple characters who are equally important to the story, whereas this is extremely rare in novels. I've read some articles about why this is. But I'm unsatisfied.

    What I've wanted for years is a long series of books with multiple characters who are equally important to the story. This isn't really done. I do especially love Brad Taylor's series about the "Task Force" (terrible name) and the Ghost Recon series of books, both of which include a central team of characters. But they both have one central character, too. Like Jesus and the disciples. So I still have never seen exactly what I'm looking for.

    I'll caveat that I haven't yet given Tom Clancy a fair shake. I'm exactly his target demographic, but for some reason it just hasn't clicked for me yet. I'm pretty interested in the Op-Center series of 18 books that bear his name, although he didn't write any of them. They appear to be what I'm looking for, so I plan to give them a chance at some point.

    All that to say that what I've dreamed of doing for years, and am finally getting started on, is designing a novel using the concepts I've learned from team-based comic books. I have multiple characters who are equally important to the story, and I'm switching point-of-view characters from one chapter to the next. In fact, I'm creating an entire "universe," with several teams that interact with each other in different ways.

    Right now I'm in the outline stage, which is fun because it's brief and I get to put a lot of interesting ideas down. It's exciting. We'll see if things change when I finally finish my outline and it's time to write prose. Many writers find that less fun, and I've experienced that problem myself. At least I'm prepared for it this time.

    Like most aspiring novelists, I've never written a novel. Could it actually happen? I feel like I've set up enough structure for myself and understand myself well enough that it could actually happen this time. But saying that could seriously jinx me!

  2. #2
    Administrator Whiterook's Avatar
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    I am SO excited to see this thread, and Iím glad you chose the site to post about it. I agree that facebook isn;t the best venue for that, as they in my view are more snippet-related...not in the weeds (forums still excellent in the latter!). Iíll be watching this closely!

    First...sorry to hear of the surgery, but Iím glad it went well and youíre recovering well. And the gig sounds awesome...I admire your musical prowess, young man! Iíve also beeen following along on your posts about the move, and it certainly sounds like youíve found a little slice of Heaven!

    OK...so, I share your desire in novel writing; and also, I too love the idea of a giant story arc and canon that involves many characters and stories within stories aside stories! My interests are more in the sci-fi realm...I have had one in the soup for many years now (not an easy endeavor for me, time-wise, but I love what Iíve been able to craft together).

    I would HIGHLY recommend you look into Scrivener, which is a word-processing program and outliner designed for specifically for authors. It works on PC or Mac...I own both, actually. Scrivener provides a management system for documents, notes and metadata. This allows the user to organize notes, concepts, research, and whole documents for easy access and reference. Itís really amazing, and I found it to be a game changer....especially for keeping track of my characters and their bio.

    Anyway....yes...AWSOME! Please feel free to bounce anything youíd like to off me...always glad to share what little I know, LOL!
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator josta59's Avatar
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    Thanks! I had read a bit about Scrivener and then forgotten about it. I appreciate the reminder!

    I love that we both have a passion for complex continuity. It's interesting to see the weird things we have in common.

  4. #4
    Administrator Whiterook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by josta59 View Post
    Thanks! I had read a bit about Scrivener and then forgotten about it. I appreciate the reminder!
    Not a prob...I really love it, for it’s simplicity and not needing to read a huge manual! I forgot that I also had a similar system for my iPad...and app called Storyist, which was very good, as well, but no where as good as Scrivener IMHO.

    I forgot to mention, for others reading this... the bonus of these program are, they pre-format your manuscripts ready-for-ePub! So you can go from final edit to publishing in a snap!

    Quote Originally Posted by josta59 View Post
    I love that we both have a passion for complex continuity. It's interesting to see the weird things we have in common.
    Haha...I’ve thought the same thing more than once. Brothers from a different mother LOL!

    Yeah, I have always loved Epic storytelling — books and visual media that have a long arc with many threads, characters, and sometimes even timelines!
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator josta59's Avatar
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    I'm about halfway through my very detailed story outline now. So there's pretty much no turning back, after all the work I've put in. I've created fifty characters and about 14 pages of outline so far. And I have a good idea how the story will end up. I even have ideas for a sequel.

    This is a pretty unique project. Each chapter is really a plot for a comic book, and the chapters alternate between multiple comic book titles. In the outlines, I've even numbered the chapters as if they were comics coming out month by month next to each other in a comic shop. I plan to write the manuscript like a regular novel, but structuring it this way, with this mindset, is going to make this story fairly unique.

    To give an example of what I mean, for those of you familiar with Marvel Comics, imagine if someone took a run of about 20 to 25 X-Men comics from a big event spanning multiple issues across multiple X-Men-related titles, and turned it into a novel. That's how I've set this up. And that's why there are so many characters, because I have multiple "titles" running simultaneously. I'm leaving cliffhangers at the end of each chapter, and then switching the action to a whole new set of characters for the next chapter. But everything is very related in terms of plot, and characters cross over into each others' chapters. So everything will feel very organic and related.
    Last edited by josta59; 07-06-2020 at 11:41 AM.

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