Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2011 writing plans

I have not written anything new in December. Call it post-nano syndrome.  Not that I am blaming my lack of committing to a new project on that.  If you have been following my blogs, September I wrote a 70,000+ word novel and in October wrote a 100 page screenplay.  All that leading up to Nanowrimo in November for the 100,000 word novel. So I’m good!

And you know I have all the ideas in my head.  So that’s not it.  I have been editing All That It Seems and nearly done, FINALLY.  It won’t get down to 70K words like the publisher likes, but I’ll see what happens when I end it at about 72K.  I also have been reading through “Sister Circle” my second novel, not really editing it though because it is not quite finished.  Missing those last great ending chapters.  So in January, I will work on finishing that and doing a quick first edit on it.

I figure I might as well break the rest of my projects down by the month.  Work on something and then wherever I am in the process leave it alone to finish another project.

Jan - Sister Circle finish and 1st edit (did not finish)

Feb – screenplay rewrites and edits (not going to work on this at all)

April-Script Frenzy, write FOUR new screenplays

May –Start the first round of edits for the Millionaire Playboy novel.  Have not looked at that since September!

June/July- I may be finally ready to read through my Nanowrimo project!  Woohoo!  In conjunction with this, I will also edit the first novel in the Six Sexy Sisters series (and find a title for it!)  Hopefully this will prepare me for outlining the TWO novels in the SSS series I plan on writing for the 2011 Nanowrimo in November

Aug – Back to Sister Circle for more edits, hopefully get it ready enough for others to critique.  Hope to start sending this one out by the end of the year.

And that’s all I have for now.  I am sure this will not be how it all exactly works, but I can dream and it’s better to pre-plan than not plan at all!  I will start sending out All That It Seems to agents, publishers and wherever else I care to starting Jan 1.  Actually considering e-publishing, but still researching that.  I want to try things the old fashioned way if possible.

Still trying to stick to nothing new except for Script Frenzy and Nanowrimo, and easily done because I have so much unfinished work!  Yeah, I’m good with my writing for 2011.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sister Circle's leading men

I like my male characters to be someone I would be interested in.  So even though I think all of them are smokin hot, that may not be the concensus.  I start with Kenyon Moore because he is just so flippin hot!  The character as well as the person I vision he looks like.  That's Brian White, so hot!  Kenyon is creeping with Zavrina, but he's nothing like the "frat ho" everyone deems him to be.  He takes extra special care of Zavrina and he has a secret he's not sharing with anyone.

Then there is Sherry's man, Donte.  He is the perfect gentleman and so in love with Sherry...well, so it seems.  I did not visualize Lance Gross when I first created the character, but when I saw pics of him and Eva together, I thought what a cute couple!  They have broken up though.  Nothing last forever in LaLa Land or in my fictional world either.  But enjoy this handsome dark chocolate brother.

Then there is Ivan, Supersonic....I mean Jill's BFF.  He's been her friend forever, but he's ready to upgrade.  They share classes together, they hang out, he does everything with her except get the benefits of a boy friend. Why? Jill is so hung up on finding a "blacker, than black man" for her "Mr. Right" she may let a good guy go.

Speaking of blacker than black, this is Frankie, Lark's basketball playing honey.  This is the guy she must avoid because she has a long-time boy friend.  Plus, she needs to focus on her school work and pledging.  But Frankie is not one to stay in the back ground for long.

These are just the main men.  There's also Lark's boy friend Ross, Jill's crush Mac and Sherry replacement Taj.  Who said there's not enough men to go around? 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Cool it Now" Lark McCormack

In Sister Circle, my current wip, Lark is the newest member of the sorority.  She actually starts her senior year hoping she makes the new line.  Afterall, this is her last chance.  She has struggled to get her GPA and other requirements where they need to be.  But don't let that fool you, Lark is a pretty smart girl.  A bit shy, a bit introverted, but she is all about business as well.  I chose YaYa, because despite the haters she had, she still goes down as my favorite ANTM contestant.  And Lark matches her to a tee.

Lark took over the Association of Black Collegians from Zavrina, and now serves as the President.  She does not mingle with others on campus because she has tunnel vision, to be accepted into this elite sorority.  Her  boy friend of three years is older, out of college and against her pledging into a sorority.  Even her parents have forbidden it.  But there is no stopping her.

Enter Frankie, the hot junior basketball player with eyes for Lark.  He could be the distraction that she doesn't need.  He is definitely an attraction she must avoid...but can't seem to.

It does not help matters that her line sister is slacking and Lark has to make sure they stay on top of things. Then brings the drama....but more on that maybe later.

Needless to say, Lark makes it into the sorority, and decides she is ready to make her own decisions, including deciding who she wants to date.  Good news for Frankie, not for her longtime boy friend Ross.

To try and get her back, Ross tells her parents she is now in a sorority.  Her parents cut her off, leaving her to fend financially for herself.  Who steps up to the plate for her?

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Super Sonic" Jill Redmond


In Sister Circle, that's about how Ms. Jill talks, all CAPS!  Meaning she screams and even her normal voice is very loud.  Hence the name SUPER SONIC, because of her big voice and sometimes hyperactive energy level.  Jill is a junior and the youngest of the sorority sisters.  She does a morning campus radio show and wakes everyone up daily with her big voice.  She's a media broadcast major.  She also serves as the Dean of Pledges.

I selected Danielle (now simply Dani) from ANTM.  Everything about her is Jill.  Tall, skinny, pretty but not overly so.  The guys fall all over her, too bad she's way too picky with the guys she wants.  And this year, she is on a mission to find "Mr. Right."


So every day after her show, many of her "groupies" await her and she turns them all down.  The one she is interested in attends a nearby college but he doesn't notice her much.  Till she gets him to notice her.

But then, there is also her friend Ivan, who she has no interest in, but he reveals his feelings to her:

“Unh-unh, man, stop playing,” Jill said, pushing him away. “You're my boy, you ain’t supposed to be pushing up on me like that.”

“Why won’t you take me serious?”

“Cause you…you my boy.”

“It’s because I’m white,” he said.

“That too.”

She has several very funny dating experiences.  She is naive, wants things her way and acts like a big baby a lot of time.  She needs a bit more fleshing out, but definitely a fun character to write.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Bossy" Sherry Donovan

If there is one character in all my "girlfriend" novels that is the least exciting, Sherry gets that title.  I'd compare her with MyKayla or Nola.  They just don't have that great a story.  Well, actually, she does, it'll take me as the writer to make her scenes as enjoyable to read as Zavrina's.  First off, I chose Eva Pigford as Sherry.  She nearly fit my vision of her to a tee.  Nearly.  The face, not the body.

Sherry is a junior, smart as a whip, former student gospel choir director, current tutor, an Elementary Education major, and President of the sorority.  She's all about business and not afraid to tell you what to do, hence her name, "Bossy."  She doesn't look like the other pretty girls either.  She wears he curly hair short and not overly style or with weave.  She's not a skinny toothpick (so again, ignore the ANTM body, think Eva with about 50 extra pounds on her). 

She loves to be in love, hence her boy friend of about a year Donte.  They walk around campus like the couple of the year.  They openly display their affections, and others envy what they have.  Donte, the perfect gentleman, even though he is in the same fraternity as "frat ho" Kenyon, he doesn't act like those other fraternity guys.
Or does he?

Giving away too much here, but yes, Donte is not all he's cracked up to be....

But Sherry is not one to be alone.  So in comes Taj. 

Now if a girl had to choose, the boy she still loves or the guy filling in the blanks, well, it's not that obvious as it may seem.

Oh, and stay tuned and keep checking back and I will post the "eye candy"... I mean, the leading men in a blog.  It'll get really HOT IN HERRE!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Princess Pepper" Zavrina DeCosta

I have a little thing with giving my MCs nicknames!  I just noticed that.  Read the character descriptions of Shae, Amari and MyKayla from "All That it Seems".  Read the character descriptions of the Six Sexy Sisters: Sarena, Ashley, Kitty, Krystle, Tenille and Nola.  Yep.  I did not even realize I did this!

Anyhoo, for my characters in Sister Circle, I used former contestants from America's Next Top Model to cast my MCs.  I don't know why.  I just saw their pictures in a magazine and it called to me.  I already had a general idea of the characters, and in fact, some did not even fit the look of the ANTM, but I worked it out and I think it all works. 

I'm starting with Zavrina DeCosta because well, the first page starts off with her, and she is the most...wackiest...umm, wild....bitchiest.....lovable character.  Always the sassy ones are my favorites.  She's definitely up there with Amari and Sarena as taking the show every scene she is in.  And if you watched Top Model Cycle 4 with Jade, you know she was the BITCH that season.  Is my Zavrina like her?  Yeah, somewhat.

Zarina DeCosta is a senior, pre-law student that is holding down the top position at the school, as Student Body President.  She is running thangs!  She also serves as Senior Resident Assistant and was President of the Association of Black Collegians two years running.  She's pint-sized, maybe five feet nothing (so ignore Jade's model height), she rocks the extra large afro, she's multi-racial (Black, Mexican and Asian) and she believes the world revolves around her.

Well, if you read the opening scene, you know she is creeping around with one of the hottest men on campus, Kenyon Moore, only he's a known playboy and her sorority sisters hates him.  Speaking of the sorority, not giving up the details on how I created the fictional sorority, but I LOVE it! Zavrina pledged her sophomore year, when she started to "creep" with Kenyon, the "frat ho" while several of her Big Sisters were fighting over him.  Hence, Kenyon was off-limits to all members of the sorority.

That never stopped Zavrina, who continued her undercover relationship with him, off and on for years.  Now Kenyon wants more.  He wants to take the relationship public but Zavrina fights it all the way.  What's a girl to do?

Oh yeah, and the "Princess Pepper" name is because she's so SPICY!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bring out the Claws

For my second screenplay for Script Frenzy I will tackle a horror, and just like the RomCom, I selected who my leading lady will be.  This is Heather Hemmons.  She currently stars on Hellcats, my guilty pleasure show.  But its actually a good show!  Heather plays one of the cheerleaders, and she's the bitch, and those type of characters I LOVE!

So it will be kind of ironic that the horror screenplay is about cheerleaders.  Oooo!  I have had this idea in my mind for more than ten years!  It started as a made up movie that a character in one of my YA novels won a role in.  The movie became a cult success for the character and she went on to make a sequel (but I won't even begin to go there for now).  So after that novel was complete I thought, why not write the actual screenplay?

I started and stopped, never got far.  I don't even know where those old pages are, but it doesn't matter because I want to start all new and fresh this time.  In my mind I have changed some things.  Horror movies just are not the same as they were ten years ago.  Around this time, I think the first Scream had come out.  There was no Saw or Final Destination (both my fave horror series).  I like in those that there is no actual "killerman" or "boogeyman."   I mean sorta in Saw, because someone has to set the traps. 

So I want some kind of "unknown" element on the lose.  This is going to be way complicated to do!  Me, the writer who does not like to kill off any characters, not even my bad guys.  The writer that talks a good game but knows nothing about guns and knives.  Me, the writer that passes out at the sight of my son's bloody nose.  Me, write a horror?  Hey, I need this to help me grow!  It's all about the creative process.  The story may very well suck, but I want to try new genres in my forte of writing, screenplays.

Better this than a horror novel.  You loss me there detailing everything in it.

I had the title in the YA novel, but it has sorta been used since then. Sorta, but I can't really explain it.  The new title I want for it, gives too much away in the title, or does it? I am thinking of using the title as a twist.  The audience will think one thing, but then bam, they get totally shocked.  And I like Heather for the part not because her character in Hellcats, but I needed a biracial lead character, someone who's nationality was not really known (back in the day I wanted Christina Milian).  And again, I am not writing it for HER, just using her as a basis for the character. 

I also added a few other famous females in supporting roles, meaning, maybe they all get killed!  That is going to be so much fun!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Living in LaLa Land

I read this blog today all about how if you want to make it in the screenwriting world, you must live in L.A.  Of course, like most screenwriters NOT in L.A. I felt discouraged.  Right out of undergrad my first plan was to go to New York.  A few years later, I attempted to move to L.A. with another friend who is a writer.

That very year I decided I wanted to have a family instead and adopted my two kids.  Dreams deferred I thought.  Writing went on the back burner.  I knew how difficult it was to become an established writer not living in L.A.  So I gave up.  Why even bother, right?

Years later, I decided if screenwriting was so hard to break into in my hometown of St. Louis, maybe I could try my hand at writing a novel.  I studied SCREENWRITING in college, not novel writing.  That was not my passion.  But yet, I learned the craft and drafted my first novel (currently editing it).

Do I still want to become a screenwriter?  YES!!  Can I do so not living in L.A? Maybe.  Doubtful. VERY hard!  But I think if you have the goods, and you are writing what Hollywood needs at the time, anyone can become successful.  So for me, I like to think I will get in where I can fit in.  Either I write and publish an awesome book so that when I shop a screenplay, people know my name, or I write an AWESOME screenplay that Hollywood can't refuse, no matter where I reside.

Will I ever leave and head for LaLa Land? I keep my options open, but there is no rush.  If I am a good writer in St. Louis and can make some connections (and you can outside of Cali), I'll be even better in L.A.  I don't think I am the best writer I can be right now.  I'm not the best person either, because I don't do well with schmoozing with those types of people.  Let me practice my schmoozing here in my safe comfortable home. 

I will continue to WRITE, any and everything!  I will continue to network, meet the people that make things happen in all areas of the country.  I will find an agent willing to work with my novels.  I will learn EVERYTHING about becoming a professional screenwriter, be it film or television.  When I am ready to make that plunge to L.A. I want to hit the ground running, IMMEDIATELY, get it done, sell some screenplays, get a contract, get my own television show, all that!

Dream big!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Such a diva!

I like when I can take a real person and create a crazy story.  Well, when I came up with my 4 screenplay ideas for Script Frenzy last week, it all started with one person.  Kimora Lee!  I replied to one of her tweets and she replied back with a "Oh hells yeah!" and I thought, "I LOVE HER!" she's such a character.  I want a character like her.

And why not!!

To get the facts straight, I already have ONE character based off her.  That would be Bonnie Walker from the Icee/Kitty story and a small scene in Six Sexy A$$ Sisters.  But Kimora Lee needs so much more than a few scenes.  So I came up with some ideas of a movie with a character similar to her. 

And since Kimora Lee is a St. Louis native, it's all good!  I'm one of those people that always supports my hometown people.  It's one of those things were you really feel six degrees separated at.  No, I never met her or know her personally, BUT, I did go to grad school with her brother. 

I already have the title of the screenplay . . . Fantabolous! (it's a romantic comedy).  I have two actually, just have not chosen.  I don't know anything else about it, except the character will be a little bit over the top, which I think Kimora is, but in a good way!  Least in a funny way, hence why I make this a romcom.  I don't know who would ever play the part, but as the writer, I don't have to think of things like that.  Besides, I'm an unknown, even if I wrote it for a particular actress, as if I could really snag them.

For my other 3 screenplays, I pretty much create the characters first, then the storyline.  Only for my screenplays do I write out a detailed outline, especially for Script Frenzy I will have to.

Monday, December 6, 2010

All That It Seems: Shae and Trenton's first scene

Currently in the process of editing All That It Seems, so I will post excerpts and more about the characters.

Her life, now that was a joke.

It was after six in the evening and Shae was still hard at work.

“I thought you were gone already?”

She recognized the voice, but she looked up anyway. Trenton Anderson stood at the doorway. He always seemed to find himself at Shae’s door. He constantly flirted with her and asked her out to lunch and she always refused. Not that he was unattractive, because he was incredibly handsome.

He was a rather striking man. Other women in the office always gave him extra long stares and whispers as he walked by. He was not notably tall, at about five foot eight, he stood two inches taller than Shae. His body was lean, though incredibly solid. His walnut brown skin was baby smooth, except for a small mustache, which gave him a boyish look. He appeared a lot younger than his thirty-two years.
His bank account was what women were most interested in. He worked in the Financial Business Planners Division and he dealt with the heavy hitters. With his perks, bonuses and salary, he was well over the three hundred grand mark, and everybody knew it. It was all in the way he dressed, the cars he drove, the trips around the world he took. The man was living large.

Shae knew he was a world-class jerk. He could have any woman he wanted. He walked around so cocky, as if he ruled the world. Hot damn, that turned her on! A man that made his money and was not afraid to show it off. Though he was nothing but nice to her, she knew there was more to his story.

“Hello, Mr. Anderson.” Shae wanted to piss him off so that he would leave her alone, but she knew the man was unwavering.

“Oh, so it’s like that, Ms. Morris."

“Making your rounds to all the ladies tonight, Mr. Anderson?”

“Only the sassy ones, Ms. Morris.”

Shae rolled her eyes and held back a smile. They could play the name game all night, but she was not up for it.

“I still have a lot of work to do. It’s only six fifteen. I’m here for at least another hour or so. And you?”

“Wrapping up. I thought I’d swing by and see if you were on for a drink later.”

“You never give up, do you, Mr. Anderson?”

“Oh, stop it Shae, it’s just a drink.”

“Sorry, I’ll pass.”

“One day, girl, one day.”

Shae shook her head.  No buddy, not anytime too soon.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My college years inspired me

Last night I started gathering my "ideas" written everywhere I could find.  Geesh! I was not exaggerating either, they are everywhere and on everything!  I typed up only the ones that made a little bit of sense.  Some I was like, "What in the world was I thinking?" So far, about fifty story ideas but that's not all of them!  I still have more places to look.  I did get rid of the bits of paper though so I feel like less of a pack rat now.

I also found lots of unfinished ideas where I actually started writing something but never finished.  Oh my goodness! I crack myself up!!  About 15 years ago or so, right out of college, I started to write a TV drama type of soap opera show about college life called "Our New Life" and yes, I was totally biting off of "A Different World" my favorite show EVER!!

Someone on Twitter asked me if I write about college life a lot.  YES!!  Three screenplays, one novel.  But that ain't it.  In my findings of "ideas" I found a whole entire series for college life.  Back then my series collections had a broad theme and 26 books in it, for each letter of the alphabet.  So there are 26 story ideas in my college-life series.  How can I create that many original ideas??

Let's get back to "Our New Life."  I totally did not remember this until last night.  I had to read a bit, all handwritten, to remember it.  It is about two roommates who meet in college.  Well, those are the main characters anyway.  It deals with some of everything!  It's based off my experiences at TWO different colleges.  Yes, I attended two, one for a year, then finished off at another.  The roommates are both me...yes, how creative of me...and tell my two different stories through my first year at each college.  Okay, let's get this straight, the FICTIONALIZED me!!

I combined all my friends and experiences from each school, and they are all used in this drama series.  It was working quite well, I guess I got side-tracked with something else.  Anyway, the point I, me, myself and moi, have enough stories to tell about college life???  Uh, no problemo.

I am a very observant person by nature.  SILENT BUT DEADLY they called me at one of those colleges I attended (and I am not explaining why).  I watch people, listen to their stories, and boy are they interesting!!  I mean, stuff I went through alone is story enough, but everyone else in college?  I think I touch some of every experience in all my college-related works.  Well, maybe not, but I am still observant of young people so I think I can continue to write about that age group and those experiences.

In my second novel, "Sister Circle," when my college friends read this book, just be warned I FICTIONALIZED YOU, sheesh, so's not about YOU (you know, not really...and it's not about me....I mean, not a whole lot about me).  I compare this novel to "Unfinished Business" the book in the movie "The Best Man" with Taye Diggs.  He kept telling his friends those characters where not them, but they really were.  Then he aired his dirty secret in there and Morris Chestnut nearly killed him over it.  Soooooo, I apologize now to any of my friends that want to strangle me after reading my novel and connecting the dots.

IT AIN'T YOU!  The names are not similar or anything.  Okay, no more apologies. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

And the craziness just keeps rolling in

So yesterday I blogged  about all my current wips, and I know it seemed like a lot, but really it's not.  Do I hope any of them get published?  Sure.  If none of them do? Well, I have a hundred more ideas just waiting to put out there.

How many different, original ideas can you come up with that you would like to write?  I have jotted done ideas and outlined stories, created character descriptions, clipped articles, whatever I deem as an interesting story idea, I collect them.  At work today I did an exercise.  I gave myself ten minutes and jotted down as many story ideas as I could.  Boy, that was tough!  Only seven came to me, and I thought it would be more.

Are any of them usable? Maybe.  Some definitely need fleshing out.  They go in my file of "ideas."  I'm going to gather them all, type them up, keep them on the computer in one place so whenever I need an idea for something new I want to write, it's there.

And I need new ideas!

Now I did say that I would not write anything new in 2011 except for Script Frenzy in April and Nanowrimo in November.  So I better make it count!

As such, here's the plan for April: FOUR SCREENPLAYS.

That is 400+ pages.  My screenplays tend to be longer than the 100 pages required of Script Frenzy, but still under 120.  I already know I want to do FOUR very different genres: horror, action, drama and romcom.  WHAT??  Is she nutso?  Perhaps.  Remember, I studied screenwriting in college, so I am more comfortable writing them than novels.  Plus, I am a dialogue person, less prose.  When I reread my first draft of Six Sexy A$$ Sisters, it nearly reads like a screenplay.  I definitely have a lot of filling in the gaps.

The horror and action plot I already know because they are past ideas I've tossed around for years.  The action, actually I had since college, even wrote out character descrips I must find and redo.  The horror, maybe ten years ago.  It was a movie inside of a story I wrote where a character was an actor and stared in this made-up movie.  I thought it would make an interesting movie and have tossed that idea around.

The romcom, I kinda know.  All I know is I am writing it for a certain celebrity and I will blog about that in the future.  Not saying she has to be the one that plays the role, BUT, I use her as inspiration.  The drama, I have time to come up with something, maybe one of my old ideas when I get them all collected together.

But Script Frenzy is months away, so I'll let all those story lines marinate in my brain.