Plotting Vs Organic Writing.

I recently read another authors blog post about whether he meticulously plots out the events of his work (he does) or lets it flow naturally.  He stated that he has experimented with both styles and decided that Plotting worked better for him.  I find myself to be a more organic writer.

When I really began to consider ‘The MisEducation of A Minor‘ a serious project, I sat down and outlined the events of the story. At the time the project was titled ‘Legacy’ and was intended to be a one-off engagement.  I went through the chapters that I had written and meticulously outlined exactly what actually happened, taking care to highlight what I found to be the poignant moments.  Then life happened and I ended up taking a break from both Legacy and writing in general.

Last year the untimely death of my computer and the miraculous salvation of my hard drive, prompted me to get back into writing and Legacy.  I reread what was written and then checked with my trusty road map (read outline) to see where I intended for the story to go and I attempted to start writing again.  As a person I was in a much different place than I was when I started working on it and immediately my writing started to reflect that.  For me it was very clear while reading to pin point where I had stopped in the previous endeavor and where I  had attempted to dive back in.  Hopefully after a few editing miracles, it wont be so obvious to everyone else.

I also noticed that although my outline had everything happening in One story, there was just too much adventure and too much emotion to convey for  it to be tied up neatly at the end of any book that didn’t border on the love child of the King James’ version of of the bible and War and Peace, ie clearly not one book, so I began to adjust my outline to reflect the new nature of the project.  And that was about the time when the outline lost all purpose as a writing tool for me.

My characters started to really speak to me and tell me about events in their lives that they felt needed to be told and people that needed to be a part of the story.  Three characters in particular from the very first chapter of the first book were not intended to be seen again.  They were each meant to be a simple one dimensional look at Lee’s past.  Just a footnote in his history.  While each of these characters plays a much more substantial role in Lee’s life, one character in particular has proven themselves to be so important that the entire world and possibly the universe must stand up and take notice of the repercussions.   In the first book alone, several very prominent characters were created after my hiatus.  Ford, for all who have read the book, being the most note worthy.  His appearance has literally changed the entire outlook of the series.

I find that every time I attempt to plan out the events of the upcoming chapters, even in little ways like picking the title, I almost never seem capable of following that plan.  Back in late January early February, I noted that I had written myself into a corner regarding book 2, I solved the problem but it wasn’t until I started writing this that I realized the issue was that I tried to plot.  I had a direction I wanted a specific character to go in and an arc I wanted him to follow and he essentially told me to ‘shut up, go sit in THAT corner and write’.  And so I did and several new characters arose to rectify my perceived pickle.

One of my Content Editors was severely T’Oed when she read the wall I ran into.  And luckily completely relieved and intrigued by my solution.  But there most definitely is an evil underbelly to forgoing plotting.   When you  are running full steam ahead while trying to wall paper the room as you go occasionally you miss a spot.  That is why I am so lucky to have such a great editing team.  They ask me questions about things that I wouldn’t have seen as being even the slightest bit unclear.  For instance, during the series Ford buys a birthday present for Lee.  Quite simply during the course of writing the chapter, i never got around to deciding what the present actually was.  During our discussion she helped clarify how quite divergent inferences could be gathered from that simple exchange.

So I guess when it comes to writing I am team ‘Go Green!’.  when it comes to foods I’d rather save the dollar and acknowledge that whatever damage inorganic food was going to do to my body was done already when I was in my more formative years.

Now we edit our faces off.

JUST just put the last period on the last sentence of the last chapter in Pandemonium Justified.  I’m super excited to be done with this portion of the project.  It’s definitely been a long journey for me personally and I am super excited to be able to say that I have completed this.  It took a little longer than I originally anticipated but that time gave me and the characters a chance to develop into something unique and different.  I will keep you all posted on the progress of editing and formalization of the finished product.  My original goal was to have it in print by now actually but my new more realistic goal is to have it out by my birthday APRIL 21 or there abouts. Thanks to everyone involved in helping me achieve my dream.  

-Manny L Birch

(mannybirch.wix.com/Manny-l-birch) 

Chapter List Update

Almost done with Pandemonium Justified.  A few more chapters and I am officially in Edit mode.  Was supposed to have happened a bit earlier in the month but Life happened hard Core.  So here is an update of the chapter list as it stands so far.

Book Two Pandemonium Justified
Prologue: Number Four
I. Please Don’t Stop The Music
II. What You Think About That
III. The Scientist
IV. Tell Me A Lie
V. Father of Mine
VI Ease off the Liquor
VII Comes Around
VIII. Feedback
IX I Dreamed a Dream
X Back In Time
XI Who is She 2 U
XII. Justify My Thug

XIII. The Show Goes On

XIV. Monster

XV. Put You On Game 

XVI.POWER
XVII. Daydreamin’
XVIII. Seven Devils
XIX. Ironic
XX. Keep Singing My Song
XXI. Graduation Day
XXII. One of the Boys
XXIII. He’s The Wizard
XXVII. Carmen 

Easy Friends Excerpt, my first script attempt

This is a piece of my first script attempt.  Tell me what you think 

Evan

Hey, This is Evan, i just pulled up on campus. Where exactly should I report to?

Monica

What campus are you at Evan?

Evan

The New York one….

Monica
Ok, sorry about that I just got a call from some genius that was in Hong Kong asking about

which dormitory he needed to go to. I literally had to ask him seven times in three different languages where he was and in the end, it was a loud speaker announcement that said welcome to Hong Kong that told me he wasn’t quite in the area.

Evan

(laughing) Did he not speak English?

Monica

Please that son of a mother was from Kansas. I can’t with some of the brain surgeons we hire. So back to you, Where exactly are you now?

Evan

In front of a big ole archway.
(CONTINUED)

Monica 

Does it look like it will fall in the next year or…

Evan

No it looks pretty stable.

Monica

Ok you are over by Belamo Square. Are you driving?

Evan

Yeah, I am.

Monica

Ok, well. Park in the red lot. You should see a sign for it right by where you are.

Evan

Yeah i see it. I’m pulling in now.

Monica

Ok, well there is a fun little crumbling staircase on the right side of that lot. Use the grass next to that to come up the hill and the Campus Center is that building at the top of the stairs. Once you go in make a right and walk straight and there you will find your new best friend.

Evan

The guy signing my checks is going to be there?

Monica

(laughing) Trust me you will like me better than her.

(CONTINUED)

 Evan Parks the car grabs his backpack and makes his way up the grass path next to the stair case in need of desperate repair.

llianna

Hey, you are new student here?

Evan

Nah, I’m a staff member.

Illianna

Fantastical. I am Illianna i am student here. I have been here two years and i really like it here. anything you need to know you can come ask me.

Evan

Which way is Monica’s desk?

Illianna

Who?

Evan
Seriously?…..

(Evan stands there waiting for her to end the joke. She stares at him blankly).
Well nice to meet you. I’m Evan. and I’m sure i’ll see you around.

(CONTINUED)

Illianna

Of Course. Nice to be meeting you Evan. Remember anything at all you are in need of and you can ask me.

Evan contiues walking, following the directions that Monica had given him.

Monica

New guy wth a single backpack. You must be Evan. Hotter than you sound on the phone. Quick word of advice, you can date anyone here born in America and keep your job. Everyone else, no matter how old, hot or EASY huh see what i did there, is off limits. remember that. Your job became available because the last hot guy forgot that fact.

Evan

Well hello to you to. I’m Evan Chips. I’m starting work here today. I was looking for a young lady named Monica, she I assume is going to help me get registered and settled.

Monica

Boy come sit down. I called Alexei and told him you were here so he should be down to meet you soon.

Evan

(Saluting) Yes Ma’am

Monica

Smart assery will get you everywhere. (Singing) Now come let me show, you the world that i know, the wonders and magesty abound.

(CONTINUED)

It’s time that we go, on a tour of Glove’s Row, to learn the tricks and tools of this town.

Evan

I only have a year of jazz tap but i have seven of Ballet and modern is that enough to audition for this musical your putting on.

Monica

It’s not but you are pretty and we have an opening.

Alexei

Shane, I really don’t understand your need for skinny jeans. You do realize you’re a big guy right.

Shane

So what that mean? I’m not allowed to have fitted jeans.

Monica

Shane. Skinny jeans are for skinny people. (Evan starts full out laughing)

Shane

Oh no she didn’t. And who are you?

Evan

(wiping tears from his face) Sorry man I’m-

Shane

(In Rock Voice) It Doesn’t Matter

Alexei

Oh God.

(CONTINUED)

Evan

Great Scott Marty! We are back in 1998. This man just quoted the Rock at me. Nex thing you know some body is gonna come over and start wu wu wuing.

Shane

What? What is that? Who wu wu wus?

Evan

Really? SInclaire. Living SIngle. I thought we was having us a 90’s moment but it looks like you gonna tell me what Tommy does at work all day.

Shane

Now you know Tommy ain’t got no job. Anyway, i need a ride to the mall. So let’s get on that, cus i don’t do the bus. What’s your name kid?

Evan

Evan.

Shane

Well welcome Evan, Just do whatever Monica says it will make life easier. And for future I liked Regine better. Smooches. (Sashays away)

SMFTM Singles- Cosmic Love

Cosmic Love

Forty ran from the window looking as the beam of light that the lead guy shot out of his hands arched toward the house.

“Dad they’re here. “  He barely had time to dive to the floor as the blast knocked out the wall he was just standing near sending debris raining down on him.  Nails and glass shards cut his arms and face as he attempted to shield himself from the worst of it.  His blonde hair quickly staining red and brown as the dust began to settle.  When he was sure there was nothing left to fall. He got up and slowly continued his journey down the hall.  He stopped briefly to examine the body of one of the housekeepers, Connie or Carolina he could never tell them apart neither spoke very good English or spoke to him much at all. But he was sad to see her lying there a wood beam acting as a broken dam for the red river currently escaping her head.  She wasn’t breathing, he was glad, he had heard they sometimes made the help suffer worse for choosing to stay.  Seeing her lying there he realized that he might have fared better if he had shared her fate in that initial blast.  But he kept going. ‘Only pussies wish for death to ease the pain. You’re a fighter so fight.  Get to dad.  Plan.  Call for help. Go.  She’s gone, staring at her isn’t going to bring her back. Go. Fight’ he took another couple seconds to mentally psych himself back up, then started running again.

Everyone always said this house was bigger than it had any right to be.  Nearly 8 of his 19 years had been spent calling this place home.  Learning all the stories these halls whispered at night.  But try as he might, he couldn’t recall a single thing about the house from before he had returned from school a week ago.  None of the doctors or the medics could understand what was wrong with him.  They poked and prodded and questioned and prodded some more.  Still no answers as to what was wrong with his memory or why it was selective as to what he could and could not remember. Sometimes a single moment in an otherwise whole conversation or an entire person would just be missing from his memory.  There was something else nagging at him, some secret about himself that he should know.  He thought for the first couple of days that maybe he was gay but he couldn’t bring himself to think that way about any guys and even when he convinced himself that he was gay he still felt that nagging sensation that he was missing some vital piece of himself.   He suspected his dad actually did know what happened to his memories but was either too ashamed or too scared to tell him the truth.

“…A falling star, fell from your heart…”  The lead guy sang as he stepped through the now gaping wall.  He smiled at the sound of glass crunching under his feet.  Armed men in suits rushed past Forty as he ran toward what he thought was safety.  The men rushed guns drawn to the trio of young men that now calmly advanced in the direction of Forty.

“Freeze or we’ll-“

“…you left me in the dark!..” The leader belted out.  Some of the armed men immediately grabbed their faces, hands covering eyes, or fingers splayed in front of them trying to hold onto what vision remained.  Others maintained their vision long enough to see their comrades reactions to the boys words and his smile as the trio began to march through the armed men.

“Johnson, Oh My God. You’re eyes are bleeding.”  One of the armed man said to his partner.

“I can’t see.  Everything is just black.”

“Don’t worry Johnson, you are one of the lucky ones.  It will wear off in a few hours and you will just be night blind.  It’s the guys who can still see who should worry.  My brother saw my eyes bleed.  We thought it was because he was stronger than I was.  Until he started screaming.  I thank God every day I never saw what actually happened.  I hadn’t fought off the poison they pumped into my system, when my powers flared like they will for you in a while, it made me pass out.  You won’t be so lucky.  Whatever happens to this guy is going to be the first thing you see.” The leader said resuming his progress down the hall.

“Here Potus, Potus, Potus.  Here boy.”  The lead boy taunted as he walked down the hall.

Forty reached his father’s office rushing past the guards that were blocking the entry.  He shut the door behind him as he entered.

“Dad they’re here!”

“Yeah I know.  I have an evacuation team coming for us now.  They should be here any second.”

“Why are they coming for us dad?”

“I don’t know son.”

“You shouldn’t lie dad!”  Forty said his voice draining of emotion.

“Carey?”  The President said questioning his son.   Gun fire erupted outside the door causing the President to flinch.   Forty remained immobile staring at him.   “Carey what is wrong with you?”

The sound of singing started to leak through as the clatter of bullets died down.

“…Thousand armies couldn’t keep me out.  I don’t want your money.  I don’t want your Crown.  See I’ve come to burn your Kingdom down…”

The extraction team showed up in the office with the First lady and three suitcases and immediately made preparations for the First family to be removed from the premises.

“… and no rivers and no lakes can put my fire out.  You raised the stakes so, I’m going to smoke you out…” The body of a guard was thrown the door creating a hole that the lead boy looked through at the President.

“Here’s Johnny!” The lead boy yelled.

The extraction team immediately grabbed the First Family and teleported out of the room but not before the lead boy could grab a hold of one of the extractions team members’ powers.

“Catch you later Forty, you two Mr. Forty-five.”  He smiled at them as they disappeared.

To Be Continued

Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine

-Manny L Birch

Free Promo Weekend

Hey Friends if you haven’t already checked it out and gotten your copy Now is a great time check out my book The MisEducation of A Minor by Manny L. Birch.  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00APZYGX2 It is Free this weekend.  As always comments are always welcome.  Reviews are also welcome.  Thanks folks and have a good weekend