Friday, January 22, 2010

Zombie dinosaurs | research

I've had one of my peer reviews for Lefevre's Redemption come through for me, which is great. There was a load of good feedback and I'm looking forward to getting a few more back and using it all to improve the manuscript. It will be great.

In the mean time I have been wanting to write a bunch more for the Zombie Dinosaur project - but I realize that after the first act (which I was happy with) there is a lot of rewriting to complete, and that has to be done after I figure out how I intend to tell the whole story. My initial impression is that the story is likely going to be at least two books - so I've got to seriously work on two story arcs to make it all work. (this is preferable than writing a 4-600 page novel (which I'm not too interested in committing to). I'm also debating whether Zombie Dinosaurs is really a good title for the project; it's definitely the inspiration, but ... the story seems to be going in an entirely different direction - which is good, because the story is good.

Without giving away any of the plot - there is a significant back-story that I've had to do a lot of research for. If I intend to not only be informed on the subject, but also able to tell the story of the character who is to play a significant role in the motivations of my characters - man, I've got to learn a whole lot more on the subject I'm writing on.

So, while there haven't been many updates on the subject - I have read quite a bit on the subject in question.

First off, in the craft of writing itself, I have been through a couple of books, happily.
  • Stephen King wrote a great book (right around the time he was hit by a truck and temporarily crippled) On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft which was a lot of fun to go through. A lot of very interesting insights on how he works and how he's grown over the years. Funny anecdotes, plus the trials and tribulations of being a starving artist.

  • Syd Field is the staple book for how-to screenplays. Thus, The Screenwriter’s Workbook: is an apt title. I am still considering whether I want to develop this as a graphic novel, a screen play or a novel just yet. Not sure what I want to do with it - besides the tremendous amount of time it would take, the graphic novel idea would be really fun to finish (probably not nearly as much fun to produce, though).
  • Karen S. Weisner's From First Draft to Finished Novel which has a lot of good information for writing a novel.
  • Linda N. Edelstein’s Writer’s Guide to Character Traits to help develop characters > I've been using this quite a bit to help develop characters in The Extent, as well.
  • Richard E. Rubenstein's Aristotle’s Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews rediscovered ancient wisdom and illuminated the Middle Ages was a great book on science burgeoning out of the dark ages.
  • Jeffrey J. Butz's The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity provides a very interesting secondary perspective on the life and times of Jesus and the Jewish world of the first century.
  • Michael Grant's Nero which was about one of the Roman emperor's back in the day. There was a great fire in Rome back then, and he murdered a bunch of Christians in the name of justice.
  • And I'm currently fighting my way through David Klinghoffer's Why the Jews Rejected Jesus, providing a lot more context on the Middle East during the first century (and quite a bit before that, too). All very valuable information for the foundation of my story.
I've got a stack of other books I've not been able to get through yet, too. Dave Marcombe's Leper Knights, Scott-Martin Kosofsky's The Book of Customs and Mike Sack's And Here's the Kicker (a book on writing comedy!) so ... lots of work still to do before actually writing more on the project.

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