Nicholas Reicher

Writing Your Next Blockbuster Film or Novel

Category: Musings (Page 1 of 3)

The problem with Holiday Time

One of the biggest problems we’ve got as writers is that holiday time has so many obligations on us. We have to see family, or go to Bangor for shopping, or out to Bigfork to see the holiday lights.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

it keeps us from our schedules.

We’ve got writing to do. There are demands on our time.

There are times you have to be resolute. When you’re not making a living as a writer, you need to get downright possessive about your time. “I have to do my writing.” If you’re doing it as  a hobby, and it’s only going on the internet, then you can be more relaxed. But novels take time to write. Screenplays take time to write. If you aim to be a writer (and nothing else), then you need to do just that – write.

In my case, my family time is important to me. The person making demands on my time is – me! So, this is where I’ve got to be resolute, and say to myself, “Get it done.”

Schedule time to write. What gets scheduled gets done.

If you’re working on several projects at once, write in no more than two of them at a time.

Keep social media time down to a minimum. If you spent 5 hours on Facebook, you’ve spent waaay too much time! Get back on your novel or screenplay.

Set deadlines. My deadline with myself is to have my books edited and publish ready by April. Get it done! I’ve got screenplays that need to be written and re-written. Get it done!

BUT.

Don’t make the mistake of pushing family away. Again, my time with my family is important. I need to spend time with them. I just need to prioritize!

Family.

Then writing.

But get the writing done. Quit procrastinating.

And oh, yes – go to the holiday lighting event in New Haven.

Progress

I’m writing this as of Nov. 12.
My blog entries are written up to the 23rd.
Twitter tweets are written in advance up to the 21st.
Facebook posts are done.
Next month I set up my LinkedIn page, and I’ll have about 30 of those to write for the month.
I’ve got about 6 or 7 meme’s made in Adobe Spark.

Ideally, I’d like to get to about the 10th of the month, and have everything finished for the month.

Plan your work, work your plan!

Stuck in my chair on Thanksgiving Day

I’m writing this on thanksgiving. I’m stuck in my chair. My cat has pretty much decided he wants to eat a lot today. When he doesn’t get his way, he goes everywhere else for a while.

Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash

Then he comes back and sits on my lap, putting all of his body weight – only about 12 or 13 pounds – into holding me down. There’s a big difference between when he’s resting in my lap, and when he’s trying to punish me.

You’d never think that 13 pounds would pin you down. But Burmese I guess are known for being big, heavy cats. Yes, you’ve got your 23 pound Maine Coon. But I guarantee your 23 pound Maine Coon does not way as much as a 13 pound Burmese.

Every Burmese owner is nodding right now. And grunting in agony over the heavy load of a Burmese crushing their thigh bones.

In 59 minutes, I have to push my cat off of me, so I can go prep up the turkey. Let’s get this out of the way…

Ignore turkey cooking directions. a 13 pound turkey (ironically, weighing much less than a 13 pound Burmese) supposedly only takes 3 1/2 hours to cook.

Hah hah hah hah!

No.

Have you EVER had a turkey take precisely the amount of time to cook that the directions say it does?

I’m now factoring in an extra 90 minutes to any cooking time I see, because let me tell you, my turkey is still pasty and gobbling at 3 hours into cooking.

I’m surprised there aren’t widely publicized statistics of people starving to death on Thanksgiving over the incredibly long delay in waiting for your bird to finish its cooking.

This is a time to celebrate tradition, a slice of American life, Thanksgiving, where my mother would head downstairs at 5:30 in the morning, full of resentment over all of us wanting to eat this massive feast of yams, dead bird, some bread and raisin concoction jammed inside the body of the bird, and of course, cinnamon candies boiled in water and added to apple sauce. “Mom, where’s the marshmallows?”

I’m calling the rules committee on this – you just can’t take a dead bird and stick it in oil. No. That’s a Chanukah thing, not thanksgiving! The bird gets butter smeared on its corpse, and jammed into an oven wrapped in foil like a tasty culinary mummy of some kind. If you cheat on this, I guarantee you haven’t kept Thanksgiving, and you’re going to need to repeat it 30 days later so you can get it right.

Barbeque turkey… okay, it’s a neat idea. But this is thanksgiving. You smear the thing with butter, salt, pepper, and that,s it, because that’s how the Pilgrims did it, as advised in their Ye Olde Better Homes and Gardens Cookbooke! Save the Barbeque Turkey for the Superbowl or something.

And it’s called stuffing. not dressing. See the thanksgiving rule book. I’m calling foul on most of you!

Or maybe it’s fowl.

I’m delirious with hunger now, because my cat has me pinned in my chair.

Sigh.

Gorilla Slippers

I used to have a set of Gorilla slippers. I think my wife bought them for me as a joke. I got frustrated with them, because they got my feet sweaty, and when I sat down, I couldn’t cross my feet, my favorite way of sitting in a chair.

And it seemed like my feet were bigger, and I was endlessly tripping.

But on a cold morning, there’s nothing like a set of Gorilla slippers. Your feet are finally warm, and not touching the hard wood floors, which of course are a passive form of refrigeration, and could probably keep raw meat below safe levels in all months except the summer.

So I went looking for my Gorilla slippers. I was sure they were in my closet. I’ve lost all feeling in my feet, and one of my toes seems to go numb from the cold.
I can’t find my gorilla slippers.

I start moving my boots. I joke with myself and tell myself, that when I retire and just write for a living, I’ll wear sneakers the rest of my life. But of course I know that I’ll probably wear khakis and pants with cargo pockets, and boots, just like Carpenter (a character in my novels).

No Gorilla slippers.

The numbness is now spreading to my ankles.

When they find my cold lifeless body in the spring, please…
Bury me in my Gorilla slippers.

Updates

My web site has been around only for a few months, and I’ve got a lot of content on stuff that interests me, and hopefully one or two things that interest you?
I’ve also got a checklist of things to do.

Updates

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Moving To WordPress
Moving to WordPress has been a huge job. I must not have done it right, because it moved everything over – but it didn’t move ANYONE over who was subscribed to the blog! I can’t read and comment on your blog, if you don’t subscribe to this one!

I installed All In One SEO, and that has almost doubled the time it takes to get a blog post on-line. What is it? It is a Search Engine Optimization tool that allows me to enter meta-data for use with anyone copying an article to Facebook or Twitter, and also for what shows up in Google. The good part of All In One is I’m able to get myself higher in the search engines that way. The bad part is – it takes almost as much time to enter keywords and meta descriptions as it does to write the post! I still need to go back and add Meta’s to about 60% of my blog articles. How will anyone find my ramblings on Godzilla if I don’t’?

Adding Images
I’ve finally started getting images entered for every blog post. That was something I was delaying, because pure and simple, it adds yet another 5 minutes of work per blog post. When I once had a hobby blog, I could just write it up in Windows Live Writer and post away! Now, I write it in Scrivener, copy and paste to the website later on, tweak the formatting, enter keywords, enter SEO Keywords and Meta tags, and NOW I have to add an image!
Oh well. That’s what professionals have to do!

Photo Session
Need to get some photographs of myself on the website, and edit the website header image to include a picture of me. Not for me, I know what I look like, but it’s the professional thing to do. Done!

Social Media
So far, I’ve got my Twitter account set up. Still need a Facebook and LinkedIn.

These are my big to-do’s… what’s yours?

Travato!

Winnebago Travato

I want one of these! Right after I make enough money to move to Rhode Island, buy a house, etc… I’m buying one!
Winnebago Travato!

Winnebago Travato

This way I can go see the Grand Canyon, etc… and still meet writing deadlines!
…and bring the kitties with me everywhere we go!

Winnebago Travato

Someday soon!

Interacting With Your Favorite Authors

You buy the book… and it’s written. You think to yourself that “Wow, it would have been great if Stephen had just…” whatever.
Favorite Authors

Photo by Lou Levit on Unsplash

One of the major issues facing readers of fiction is – you feel like you’re after the fact. Like a sport game after it’s done, and you get to find out who the champion skier was. Who got the gold. Etc. (Is it still Jean-Claude Killy?)

But you’re essentially separated from the authors.

I remember my dad had some Arthur C. Clarke in the house, plus his collection of strange “secret government” genre books (my dad was in the Marine Corps, and actually spent much of his career in an organization that a lot of supply clerks in the army try to pretend nowadays they’re a member of… and he used to tell me “This book is not fiction.”)

I added in Robert Heinlein, and some other books like that.

I never wrote a letter to Robert Heinlein or any other science fiction author. Back then, you had to put paper in a typewriter, and type. Then make out an envelope, put a stamp on it, and put it in the mailbox. So it was much harder then.
Kind of a shame.

Today, things are different. There’s social media. There’s blogs. You can go nowadays to any author’s website and leave comments. You can interact with them on Facebook or Twitter.

I think personally it’s great. I would love for readers to tell me later on, “Wow, it would have been great if Lynch had…” And then I can explain that Lynch ended up taking on a life of his own, and actually threatens to overshadow the antagonist in my books – so I have to reign back Lynch just a little!

But the “German” that the Inner Circle members talk about – Rolf Offenstath – I can literally make him as scary as Lynch, and not hold him back.

In my fourth book you find out a little of Lynch’s past – a little. And I’m hoping my future readers will make the discovery and want to know more (hopefully, some will pick up the hints).

Indeed, the way things are today, you can actually suggest ideas to your favorite authors! If Frank Herbert were alive today, I could have told him how he could have wrapped up the Dune series – and he certainly went in the wrong direction with them very early on. The last two books were horrible. I haven’t read them since the 80’s.

Get involved with your favorite authors! That’s why I have a commenting system. That way, you can get in on the ground floor before I’m published and my work is filmed!

Don’t be afraid to say, “I thought you should have had Carpenter blah blah blah…”. Authors (unless they’re temperamental like JD Salinger) love to talk about their book, why they had their characters do what they did. Often, as the author is explaining it, he’s figuring it out himself!

And if you start talking to the author on their website in the comment section, or on Facebook, you might be surprised and they answer you! (I wrote a letter once to a football quarterback when I was 8 years old, and to my surprise, he wrote me back, and sent me an autographed picture. Not bad for a kid who really didn’t like sports!)

Interact. Dare to interact. Often, authors only get interaction by seeing a paycheck. Some prefer it that way. I guess I’d be a little disappointed if all I got for feedback was a paycheck (not that I’d complain about it!). I’d rather hear from people and have them say, “I wish you’d given Terrell a bigger role, because I really identified with him…”

I know! I wrote him that way on purpose! I wanted to have a character that most people could identify with! There’s Carpenter, who most of us wish we could be, there’s Yossi, who’s really similar to people I know (including me!) and then there’s Terrell, who most of us will say, “Hey… that’s me!”

Conclusion

What do you think? Do you read books and then wish you could talk with the author, find out what was in their head? Have you ever read a book and thought, “No! You should have done this!” Talk about it below!

Reflections

My whole life feels in transition right now. Since working so much on writing over the last few years, I’ve felt like my life is changing.
Like doors to my old life are closing.
Doors to the next life are opening.
I truly believe that shortly, my writings are going to be commercially available in one form or another soon.
I will be making a living soon from this.
I’m convinced. Impatient, but convinced.
Excited.
My writing has improved SO MUCH in the last few months. Working on both movies AND novels has really caused my writing to improve! When you learn to get the most power out of a sentence, it changes your books greatly.

I just can’t wait to share this with you!

Web Site Score

I must be doing something right, because I ran my web site through an analytic service, and got a very good score.

I’m not really sure what I’m doing right! But I’m working on my SEO descriptions.

What do I need the most right now?

  1. Get an image for every blog post, all the way back to the first one…
  2. Add SEO descriptions to every post.
  3. Get social media added soon.
  4. Take a nap.

I think I’ll get the last one first, though!

What does your web site or blog need next? How did you fare when you analyzed your blog? Discuss it below!

Reader Survey!

Please help me by taking the following survey! I don’t collect information, I’m just trying to see how I can best serve my readers and offer content you’d like to see!

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