NaNoWriMo Day 19: End in Sight

Finished:
41610 words
10 chapters
206 pages

63% of the way through the month
83% of the way through the word count
8390 words to 50k

Remaining to finish novel:
~50000 words
12 chapters
~250 pages

46% Complete to estimated length
Projected finish date: Dec 10

Blah

I haven’t been writing enough this week. I think only a couple thousand all week. I’ve been busy, is part of it, and I haven’t felt that well on top of it. I have a stomach ache that’s lasted since like Wednesday. This corresponds with my attempt to eat slightly better. Maybe my digestive tract is saying it cannot survive without daily candy intake.

Last night, I sat down to write, I was all ready, had busted out a couple hundred in like 10 minutes, and I got a phone call from my mother. She has taken my younger brother to Las Vegas for his birthday. My brother had managed to lose his wallet in the first, oh, hour or so that they’d been on the ground and I had to go get into my mother’s safe and see if I could find his passport and get it to someone else who was flying to Las Vegas. And to also scan and email it out to them.

So, that adventure rather prevented a lot of writing to happen. So I’m like 9000 words behind where I’d like to be.

I really want one of these stupid things:

Word processing with no distractions

NaNoWriMo Day 6

20% of the way through the month!

Right, so, I’m about 48% of the way to 50k, which is good. I have 26217 words remaining to write to win NaNo. According to my computer models, this is about 16 hours of work and, at current pace, I’ll be done on November 14th.

My excel sheets super math estimation of my final length is 98555. So, I’m only about 24% through the novel itself. This is about 44 hours of work and, at current pace, I’ll be done on November 29th.

I have so far added one chapter, which gives 20 chapters, a prologue and an epilogue, which I’ve combined into one chapter in the calculations game, since they’re shortish.

I have completed 5.5/21 chapters.

Maybe the most interesting thing I can say is that my completed feature screenplay is less than 19,000 words long. This thing is going to be the length of 5 screenplays put together. I sometimes suspect my definition of interesting is a bit off…

Cinematic Appraisals: Scam or Science?

Their Site's Main Image

I’m a writer, which means that I have to spend a lot of time looking out for scams trying to take advantage of me.  There are fake agentsfake contests, and fake publishers who are all trying to get my money by promising me riches and fortune and, most importantly, an audience.  If anything can teach you skepticism, it’s trying to navigate the minefield of nearly, but not quite, professional writing.

I think you should go look at this.  It’s a “Mind Science” based analysis service for screenplays.  That seems highly unlikely to me, but here is an excerpt from the site:

Once your screenplay has been received, trained evaluators conduct an analysis using our proprietary Mind Science Method to ascertain individual scores for each line, each page, and for the screenplay as a whole. This scoring system evaluates the different criteria, story structure, dialog and action of each individual line.

Once the analysis is complete, a score is assigned that can be compared equally against the score of any other screenplay, if you have chosen to submit a second screenplay of a previously produced project.

After the initial page-by-page study is complete and individual score determined, the screenplay is then studied and examined by separate evaluators for its story structure and connection strength, yielding the second analysis based on content.

You will receive both the score and complete analysis in your final report, including a hardcopy of the screenplay with review notations.

The Mind Science score and analysis will allow you to gauge the degree of stimulation/mental connection the screenplay evokes. And, by comparing the score of a new script with the score of a script from a produced film in the same genre, you can compare its potential success apples-to-apples.

Does this sound like Scientology to anyone else?  It sounds like all they’re doing is providing detailed coverage and calling it “Mind Science”.

I mean, maybe what they do is legitimate in the sense that they provide a service, but they charge, get this, FIFTY DOLLARS A PAGE to review your screenplay.  That’s $6000 for a 120 page script.

$6000.

Everyone, for 1 dollar a page, I will read and review your screenplay!  I dunno how appealing that is, but it’s certainly a hell of a lot cheaper!  I’m no one, but at least I’ve optioned a screenplay and that makes me 100% qualified to use my own Proprietary Mind Science to evaluate your screenplay’s ability to engage an audience’s interest.  For $6000 dollars, who knows what I’d do (e-mail your inquiries).

Hell, pay an 8-year-old a dollar and see how long he can sit through it before getting up.  If it’s more than 10 pages, you’ve got a winner!

If you’re going to pay money to get feedback I recommend finding someone who is a screenwriter or actually works in the business — submit to ScriptSavvy or Carson Reeves, I can personally attest to both the quality and honesty of their services.

I realize that the Cinematic Appraisals Service is aimed at producers and people who are in genuine pre-production stages of getting a film made, not just struggling writers, but, until I see some evidence that what their doing actually has any evidence behind it or is more useful than, say, reading the script with a critical eye, I’m going to have to call this one as straight up bilking people out of their money.  Especially since I can’t find any information about them anywhere else on the net.  And taking money from producers, while potentially satisfying, means that there’s less money to make movies.

Writers Beware!

NaNoWriMo Day 2

Some stats for you (really for me):

Day
2/30 (7%)

Words for Nano
11500/50000 (23%)

Words to Minimum Publishable Length
11500/80000 (14%)

Chapters
3/21 (14%)

Projected length:
98000 (196% nano, 122% min publishing)

Projected time frame to 50000
~7 days

Projected time frame to 98000
~15 days

I don’t think I’ll be keeping this pace, but who knows.

I’m Excited

This is a list of my Top 10 Films. My Top 10 is not the 10 movies that I think are the best movies ever made, they are the 10 movies I would sit down and watch at any time, anywhere and love as much as the first time I saw them. They aren’t in any particular order.

  1. Dr. Strangelove
  2. The Princess Bride
  3. Die Hard
  4. Silence of the Lambs
  5. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
  6. The Shining
  7. The Labyrinth
  8. Blazing Saddles
  9. Beauty and the Beast
  10. Gone with the Wind

Someone who produced one of the movies in my top ten list is reading something I wrote. Holy Awesome!

Road Trip

I am about to drive to South Carolina, on Friday, from LA, which will be quite the adventure.  I’m planning on being in SC for the next couple of months, working on some various projects, and hopefully getting some writing done.  Debating pursuing more screenplays or another attempt at a novel, it’s weird though, I find LA to be not a great place for writing.  Maybe that’s not that weird.

Hitch on AC360

I confess I cried watching it.  I have a somewhat irrational emotional attachment to Christopher Hitchens, he has such an eloquent and engaging approach to writing and speaking.  I don’t always agree with him politically, but I think everyone has to admire the honest way he’s approaching his own death.

AC: In a moment of doubt, isn’t there… I dunno, I just find it fascinating that even when you’re alone and you know no one else is watching that there might be a moment where you, you know, want to hedge your bets.

CH: If that comes it’ll be when I’m very ill. When I’m half-demented, either by drugs or by pain, or I won’t have control over what I say. I mention this in case you ever hear a rumor later on. Because these things happen and the faithful love to spread these rumors, you know on his death bed he finally well… I can’t say that the entity that by then wouldn’t be me wouldn’t do such a pathetic thing, but I can tell you that not while I’m lucid. No, I can be quite sure of that.

Blame Jen McCreight

I’ve been reading fanfiction for the first time in several years and it’s all Jen McCreight’s fault.

The premise for this fic is that Harry Potter is hyper-rational and it is, essentially, pointing out how logically flawed the Harry Potter books are.  With love, obviously.  It’s surprisingly enjoyable, so if you’re a skeptic and an HP fan, I recommend it.  I’ve gotten to Chapter 19…

Now, for the first time, he was up against the prospect of a mystery that was threatening to be permanent. If Time didn’t work by acyclic causal networks then Harry didn’t understand what was meant by cause and effect; and if Harry didn’t understand causes and effects then he didn’t understand what sort of stuff reality might be made of instead; and it was entirely possible that his human mind never could understand, because his brain was made of old-fashioned linear-time neurons, and this had turned out to be an impoverished subset of reality.

Nicholl 2010

Didn’t make it to the QFs.

I’m bummed, but trying not to be too bummed.  I know the script is in much, much better shape than it was when it SFed last year — I’ve got industry reader feedback, so it’s not just my opinion.  It comes down to the fact that it’s an incredibly arbitrary process with over 6000 scripts competing, and if you’re script addresses anything controversial or is a weird genre, it’s not unlikely that it might hit someone the wrong way.  That’s all I can guess from the PS, 2 readers liked it and one hated it.

I am really surprised and bummed after how well it did last year, but I guess that just underlines how much luck is involved.