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Entry date: 6-29-2022

Dear Friends,

I’m going to use today’s blog to work some things out in my head. I’m focusing on the fiction lately, although I haven’t posted any new stuff yet. A few weeks ago, I went to an event in Phoenix where a young lady I have known for a long time read from her new book. During the discussion, she mentioned a booked she used as a reference point to help her focus her writing, so I picked up a copy.

The book is called Save The Cat! Writes A Novel by Jessica Brody. It is based on the Save The Cat! book about screenwriting which breaks down stories into a certain number of beats and describes what type of action takes place in each beat. Apparently human beings really like stories to go in a pattern our brains enjoy. Go figure.

For the last week, I’ve been reading this book and using the tools it provides to suss out some of the of the stories I’ve got rattling around in my brain. A couple of which I have already put some work into here at and a few more that I haven’t introduced yet. It’s been interesting work, but it is and does feel like work.

I suppose if I want this bad enough, and I do, I must accept that writing the first book is going to be a lot of work. I have yet to read or listen to an interview with an author of a novel who has not talked about the amount of work it takes. This is the path I am choosing so please understand if I am not as available for a while as I have been. I may not be as good at multi-tasking as I have previously thought I am.

For example, the multi-tasker in me, the juggler of duties, is currently considering whether I can write two or even three books at once. I’m struggling to choose between projects. One of the concerns I have is about the path each of the ideas will take me on as the stories in my brain go in very different directions. In a way, they are all part of the same universe and I hope they can all find to interact with each other in the way that other authors weave their unique worlds together, but I have yet to find my voice.

This is where the book I have been reading has been so helpful. The work I am putting in will pay off eventually, even if that is just finishing a book and putting it out myself. That’s not the ultimate goal, though. I have expensive tastes and so does my wife, so it would be nice (really nice) if this effort could be monetized at some point. I think it can.

But the decision, must be made. I know this. I have to pick one and really concentrate on it. It should probably not be the story that will unfold on the grandest scale. I am coming to the realization that I am still learning and have tons to learn about how I tell a story that I am making up from the start. The good thing is that I am confident I can hone this to a point where others will enjoy what I am writing.

A couple of the stories I want to tell are big ones and I should probably start on a bit more focused tangent. I know that wording is leaving the back door wide open, though, to scoot through. I know myself well enough to know that I don’t like to focus on one thing for very long. I can come back to things pretty easily, so I can jump around and provide focus to one thing at a time for a bit, then skip to the next, and so on.

So, while I should really focus on just one story, that’s probably not going to happen for me. In the meantime, I will be writing this blog, making music (sort of, slowly these days and that’s fine), figuring out how to provide my students with the best online music education they could possibly want, being a dad and husband, friend, mentor, etc. Life is not going to stop so I can just sit here and write all day and that’s okay.

Luckily, I do have a few weeks, though, to really dive in and build a story. Both stories I should probably focus on initially are going to have their challenges. One I have introduced here already and that is the one I am calling the “Baseball story” for now. This story is going to take me down a tough path, emotionally, and is probably not going to be much of a feel-good story. It’s a story about a guy battling some tough demons to prove to himself he can create something people enjoy.

As I work on developing this story, I see a clear path of where it needs to go and what will happen. This is good, but part of that path is also fraught with doing a lot of, let’s say, research to make this story as believable as it needs to be for me to feel good about it. I will have to look at some things about myself that are part of the main character and figure out how to make him a different person than me.

We shall see how that goes.

The other story is one that would be a lot more fun to write and will (most likely) be a much funnier, more upbeat story. It’s about a guy with a very specific, kind of funny if you’re a music nerd like me, dream. I’ve been doing work on the character already and I like him.

I like both main characters, though, and the potential side characters in each story will be fun to write, too. One story is dark, the other is more basking in the light. Either way I go, I’m going to confuse anyone kind enough to read both, so I guess I just need to go for it.

This has helped.

See you tomorrow.

Last weekend we went out on Rangeley Lake. Bailey was having a good time. In fact, we all had a pretty good time. The weather was wonderful and the lake was as majestic as ever. I am a fan.

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