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Showing posts from 2010

Thanksgiving Thoughts and an Update...

FIrst off, HAPPY THANKSGIVING everybody.  A day early, but I'm not going to be working tomorrow so I had to get it out now.

Next up, I'm still without a properly working laptop.  My old one is still working as a word processor and I've been able to make some progress on the 7th edit of my novel.  Just haven't had much time to work on it due to college demands.  Hope to get further on it over the next 4 days.  I was going to get a replacement this weekend when I visited family, unfortunately the check engine light in my car came on and that trip has been nixed, until I get the car checked and fixed.  Oh, well.

I'm also hoping to get a couple of 'finals' done for college as well.  Instead of exams, I'm getting papers that need to be done.  One is already completed, it just needs to be edited and cleaned up.  The other I've already got the material to work from, I just got to get it started.  I also hope to complete a third paper this weekend or at lea…

Today's Topic: Saving Your Work on Disc/Stick

For those of you who've been following my exploits on Facebook, you already know that my laptop suffered a 'slight' difficulty.  When I say slight, I mean a virus got in there and trashed most of the internet functions.  Right now all it's good for is a Word Processor that also plays videos on  CD/DVD's.  This is why I haven't been blogging much lately.  I'm using a library computer at my college to post this.  I hope to have a new laptop by the end of the month, so please bear with me. 

You can imagine my horror when I realized what had happened and raced to warn others on Facebook not to accept anything from me until I notified them otherwise.  This was a virus that recreates itself by accessing everyone in your address book from e-mail, Facebook, etc. and mails itself to all of them.  As far as I know only a couple of people fell for it because they didn't read my warnings and it got past their Virus Protection programs. 

That's the long and sh…

Oh Look A New Entry... YAY!!!

One word... COLLEGE.  I'm enjoying it, but man it takes up a lot of time.  Also, I've been going at my novel with a vengeance lately.  Now it's time for Zombie-Author to take over.  No wait, I'll save that for later this month when it's closer to Halloween.

Now for today's subject... any suggestions?  Just kidding.  All this talk about college has made me think a lot about doing your homework.  And even in writing, there's a lot to be done.  Yes, you can write a book and start sending it off willy-nilly to every publisher and agent you can find.  Just be prepared to do an awful lot of waiting and smacking your head against the wall.

I suggest you keep a large supply of Aspirin, Tylenol, or Ibuprofen near the wall for afterwards.  And please don't do it in the middle of the night, the neighbors may start to complain.  Also, don't keep using the same spot on the same wall, you may end up leaving a forehead print.  Move around, maybe try a different wa…

Perspectives...

Sorry for the delay between postings.  College has been a little crazy and I'm still letting the dust settle.  Might have taken too many units this time around, so I'm cutting back a bit.  There are only so many hours in the day and so many days in a week.  I can only do so much at a time as I'm coming to realize.  And I have 2 more semesters where I can easily fulfill all the class requirements I need to complete.

I've also been fighting a bug, there's a flu going around at the campus.  He's easy to recognize kinda gross looking, bad attitude.  He's watching everyone go by and if you make eye contact he points at you to as if to say, "You're next."  Which is unfortunate because I was checking out a hot babe walking behind him.  Said babe, being my wife.  Ah, the price one pays for love.

Anyhow... this weeks subject Perspectives.  When I was in my early teens I became involved in magic thanks to a friend who was already a fine magician.  I sta…

A 9/11 Message To All...

I don't normally do this, but I think it's overdue.  I'll get back to my usual blogging in a day or so.  So here goes...

I want to say thank you to those at Ground Zero 9 years ago.  To the police and fire crews who saw, suffered and lost especially.

But I also want to salute the ordinary people.  The ones who did not run away but towards the towers when the first plane hit.  The chefs, the mailman, the secretary, the construction workers... everyone who raced towards the place where people needed help.  You who pulled open your shirts, blouses, to reveal a huge "S" on your chest or maybe it was golden eagle, a lightning bolt or some other inspiring symbol.  You might not have even known it was there until that moment, and you acted.  You did all that you could assist your fellow human beings in trouble.  You didn't care about their race, religion, sexual orientation, or whatever.  You simply reacted to a tragedy of epic proportions and reached out.

Than…

Drawing from Life...

Greetings one and all.  I survived my first week of College, got all the classes I wanted and a nasty case of Heat Exhaustion.  Doing better now, but it has been quite an experience.  Which brings me to today's topic...

A lot of people wonder where can they find inspiration, settings, characters to write about.  My answer is, look back on your life.  You may not think you've led a very interesting life or maybe you've been all over the place and have had numerous adventures and wouldn't know where to start.  In either case, you have a wealth of material to draw upon.

For example, in my novel I chose upstate Connecticut.  My grandmother lived there for many years and the place always fascinated me.  She was caretaker for a famous architect who owned a mansion there, that dated back to the 1600's.  Beyond the mansion was a 100 foot hill with a little cottage at the top.  While near the house my grandmother lived in was a large kennel, that housed the architect's…

Listen to the Voices In Your Head...

Now you're probably wondering, has this guy suddenly opened shop as a shrink and is trying to drum up business or something?  Rest easy dear friends, that is not the case.  When I say listen to the voices in your head, I'm talking about the characters your writing about.  You may have them completely fleshed out in your head.  Their appearance, personal history, likes/dislikes, the works.  But once you start writing about them, a lot of that is going to change.

I can't tell you how many twists and turns my book has taken because characters will suddenly be running off in a totally different direction than what I had planned.  They take side trips that sometimes work really well. It's even happened with some of the secondary and background characters.  I'll be writing a little walk on scene with them and BANG,  I know their background and history and how it will play a key role in the main story.

Now this works out great for me since I'm planning a series of nov…

Ideas and Inspirations and "Dark Shadows"

I'd like to write, but I don't know what to write about.

Sound familiar?  When people talk to me about what I'm trying to do, I hear that same refrain over and over.  And I know where they're coming from.  I only decided to try my hand at writing about two years ago.  Why didn't I do it sooner?  Because I had nothing but fan-fic ideas.  Inserting myself or my friends into situations involving established well known characters like Dr. Who, Harry Potter, etc. Although my friends and I were involved, we'd just get to lend a hand and interact with these beloved characters who were still the star of the stories.  Or I'd create an original character/being who, happened to cross paths with The Doctor.  My creation was not superior to him, but they got to work together and went their separate ways.  This was fun because I was involved in fan clubs with their own newsletters where these tales would be published.  So I had both an outlet and an audience.  But when …

Solid Advice from An Agent About What to Expect

What is the Role of an Agent?http://chipmacgregor.typepad.com/main/2010/08/what-is-the-role-of-an-agent.htmlI found this article thanks to Rachell Gardner a literary agent with WordServe Literary.  She posted it on Twitter and I found it to be extremely informative and helpful.  For those of us who have yet to get that call from an agent saying, "Love your writing, I'd like to represent you..." the points brought up here are incredibly important.  You must have a good idea of what the agent's role is in your business relationship.  Furthermore, Mr. MacGregor also gives great advice about what an agent SHOULD NOT be doing.

I strongly advise you all go and click on this link and learn from it.  I know I did.

Now, I have to get back to rewriting my novel, which I have successfully brought down below the 100,000 word mark.  I've removed a lot more than I expected, but was able to add new scenes and situations that raise the tension and mystery levels to new highs.

La…

You Must Have Character(s)...

The great revision continues...  Which is why I haven't updated recently, sorry about that.  But, it's been quite the chore trying to whittle my novel down from 123,500 words to below 100,000 words.  Hardly a Herculean task, but it is time consuming. Mostly because when I've removed certain large scenes, I've been able to slip in new smaller ones.  These new scenes have helped move the plot along more quickly, but also build tension where there hadn't been enough before.  In the end I'm winding up with a better product.  Hooray for rewrites!

But I haven't been just doing the revision, I've taken time out to do some reading for my own enjoyment.  Currently, I'm re-reading "Ghost Story" by Peter Straub.  I first read this book back in 1980 and became enthralled.  Who would've thought that a mystery involving 4 old men, a young writer and a teenager could be such a page turner.  I enjoy Mr. Straub's handling of the characters and sett…

It's Still About The Rewrites...

I thought I'd said enough about rewrites in my last entry.  Well, I was wrong.  Mind you I've put away the hockey mask and chainsaw.  At least for the moment.  I managed to remove entire scenes and sections in one day bringing my word count down from 123,500 to 107,000.  Now, I've donned a surgical mask and am using a scalpel.  Why?  Because after removing the most obvious sections that took up too much space, the novel needs to be edited page by page.  I've reduced some of the word count by simply taking sentences and rephrasing what's being said, but with fewer words.  Yes, this is a lot of work, but so was writing the story in the first place.

Now, I can only speak for myself on this matter, but I'm finding editing and rewriting no bigger chore than creating the story.  Some people can get downright tired of going over the same scenes again and again, or dealing with the same characters. They get to the point where they want to add a new character armed with…

It's All About the Rewrites...

I've been busy lately with a lot of new contacts thanks to this blog and Facebook.  I'm also on Twitter these days, though I don't Tweet a lot.  At least not yet.  I resisted Twitter and doing a blog for some time, because I didn't think I'd have a lot to say.  But it seems that I do.  My biggest challenge is not blogging too often, for fear I'll run out of good topics.  That and the fact that I'll be heading back to college at the end of this month.  I don't want to suddenly cut back on my readers, that would seem unfair and inconsiderate.  And I know I can keep up with doing 2 entries a week while I'm studying.  Especially since there seems to be a lot to do when it comes to blogging, at least for me.  I always write my entry and then let it sit for a while.  Then I'll come back and look it over, do some cutting, pasting, and  rewriting before finally posting it.  

All of this holds true for writing in general.  When I completed the first dra…

The Importance of Being Beta-Read...

Been working on setting up my Twitter account and checking some other blogs.  I'm always trying to find out more about the publishing business.  There are a lot of great sites out there and I'll be adding more links soon. I strongly recommend looking the Guide to Literary Agents that I've already posted a link for here on my site.  You get the most up to date information and pieces of solid advice from sites like this one.  I've also found a lot of good advice and suggestions at my local library as well.  You can find some good books like Writer's Market, How to Become a Writer.... etc.

One of the best pieces of advice I've run across is recruiting some Beta-readers.  They can be family, friends, or if you're really lucky a friend of a friend who may actually be in the business.  Ask them to read what you've written and get back to you with their thoughts, opinions, and concerns about your work.  You can wind up avoiding a lot of embarrassment and fr…

Welcome to the Musings of a Creative Mind

My name is Allan Krummenacker.  That name probably won't mean much to a lot of people.  I'm hoping to change that one day soon or... "In the not-too-distant-future next Sunday A.D. la-la-la-la..."  OOPS that's from Mystery Science Theater 3000.  Sorry got carried away, it happens.  But that's the thing about having a creative mind and spirit.  We're drawn to things that spark our interest because they are different and original.  They inspire us to see what we can come up with.  For me it started with art.  Pencil, charcoal, pastels.  I'll try and post some of my work here very shortly.  It'll give you all a little insight of the things to come.


Currently, my creative leanings have led me to try my hand at writing.  I completed a novel a few months ago and have been sending out query letters along with a sampling of the first couple of chapters.  So far I've heard back from a former literary agent, a friend of a friend, who was kind enough to …