Life Flashed Before My Eyes

by Rod Dunne on April 11, 2013

in Blog

I’m sure, for some people, when that fateful day arrives, that seeing their life flash before their eyes will be profound.

A moment of conciliation, maybe even redemption.

But hopefully, its not one of regret… or worse still boredom.

“Is it over yet?”

Rest assured [and you will be resting, quite peacefully] you may wish it had more action, some explosions, space-people standing ominously in corridors, pensive silences, meaningful looks, meaningless looks, confrontations with blue people, ill thought out headdresses, unwanted advances…

… and critically

… most crucially

You will have wanted more Joan Collins.

When Life Flashes Before Your Eyes - The Space 1999 version

 

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Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and writer Rod DunneI am the founder & sole writer on Squidinky.com. This is my personal blog detailing my creative writing. This includes novel writing (check out Terra Swarm, Erebus, and Soundings) and song writing.

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Bring Back the Mom & Pop Shop

by Rod Dunne on April 6, 2013

in Blog

On my trips to the UK & US I find myself reminiscing of my earliest trips abroad. Especially discovering little Mom & Pop shops – cafes, family run petrol/gas stations, hardware stores, bookshops, diners, B&B’s, etc.

Just seems the more I travel the more beige everything becomes.

NY is London is Dublin is LA.

The bland chain hotel, the evergreen chain coffee shop, the lurid chain gas station.

Thing is, when a big chain stumbles then thousands of employees experience the ripples of austerity.

Whereas, an archipelago of Mom & Pop are resilient.

Moreover, our archipelago of Mom & Pops help distribute the profits across a community…. f**k it, these people ARE our community.

You buy into the chain then you line the shareholders pockets.

Shop local.
Love the independents.

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Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and writer Rod DunneI am the founder & sole writer on Squidinky.com. This is my personal blog detailing my creative writing. This includes novel writing (check out Terra Swarm, Erebus, and Soundings) and song writing.

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Here is the opening to Terra Swarm

     “Where am I?” Linien mumbled, his eyes struggling to see where he was. The buffeting of the room rattled his view of the few clearly lit things he could see. Then, a figure dressed in yellow moved into view.

“Stay put Linien. You’re waking too early.” the female voice said, a tremble and urgency in her every word. “I’m Perfidia. Just stay where you are for now. I’m strapping you to your bed. The ship is going through a meteorite field at velocity. We need to slow down.”

Perfidia ran out of the room and straight onto the ship’s bridge, the stronger light levels streamed back into the medical bay. Linien looked around and could just about make out three empty beds, a huge volume of medical equipment, robotic arms and medication.

Terra Swarm - Dust Cover The above 132 words is the opening paragraphs from my novel Terra Swarm.

I’m a firm believer in a strong opening so these paragraphs were critical to get right.

Getting to Writing These First Words

Before writing the above I had already

  • Outlined a trilogy of books (this was the first)
  • Designed the character arc for each character in this novel
  • Written a short summary of each chapter in the novel as a 3-act piece (intro, middle, payoff).

So you see… even before a single word was written I had already mapped out to a great extent where the book was to go, with the emotional payoff of each scene.

Then the radical bit… I removed the first chapter!

YES, originally there was to be more information to set up where this new environment is (a spaceship going through a meteorite field).

In writing film screenplays, this is referred to as Setting Up the Ordinary World. It makes the transition to the Special World of the story more noticeable.

But I chose to omit that exposition.

You see, I wanted to throw the reader into the story, just as Linien is thrown into wondering where he is. This way, the reader identifies with my main protagonist from the first sentence.

Also, modern readers are smart. You don’t need to hand hold people through extravagant setups & story backgrounds… the readers imaginations will welcome the workout and fill in the blanks admirably. The above paragraphs give you all the kernels of information you need:

Linien, buffeting, yellow blur, female, Perfidia, tremble, meteorite field, medical bay, ships bridge, empty beds, robotic arms

The Choice of Dialogue

Opening with the phrase ‘Where am I?’ is very deliberate.

  • For starters, readers are thinking precisely that as they read a new novel.
  • Secondly, it becomes a catchphrase for these space explorers as each is awoken. This question is a hint at what their inner journey is.

Next, the sentences are kept very short. This mirrors the urgency of the situation (going through a meteorite field).

Finally, the language is very visual. I’m painting a picture of where Linien & Perfidia are (a futuristic medical bay on a spaceship) and even what they are wearing (Perfidia as a ‘yellow blur’).

Conclusion

This approach may not work in every genre but giving your readers more credit is essential. Reducing the fluff in a story, even if that means butchering chapters, should always be considered if you need to maintain a stories tempo.

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Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and writer Rod DunneI am the founder & sole writer on Squidinky.com. This is my personal blog detailing my creative writing. This includes novel writing (check out Terra Swarm, Erebus, and Soundings) and song writing.

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Delighted to say that my new sci-fi novel Soundings is now on general release in the wild (and not so wild) and on the shelves. So it’s a good time to give you a little overview of how it came to fruition & what you can expect.

Links to the different book formats are in the right-hand border and also on my Amazon Profile page and my Lulu Profile page.

Synopsis (Back Cover Teaser)Soundings Promo Cover

What becomes of a deep space explorer once a long-settled land is reached?

Astronaut Linien Primae arrives on Aesop, a human colony 4000 years in the making.
For most arrivals, conforming to the leisure classes is a way of life, all watched over and entertained by Cybernet’s Neural Swarm.

But a society of docile unquestioning citizens makes for a sickly sort of equality.
It’s too much like voluntary servitude for Linien… and he wants none of it.

What Genre is it?

This is sci-fi of the old school variety. Space exploration is used as a backdrop to explain our own life journeys… but without aliens, dragons or other fantasy stuff.

The book is based in the distant future but with a strong grasp on reality.

What are the Themes?

The main theme of the book is Equality – what it means to be ‘an equal’ in society.

As you can guess from the back cover blurb above, a stagnant society where everybody belongs to the leisure classes may make everyone equal, but it doesn’t mean the society is working. The system may function but it’s hardly liberating.

Additional sub-themes look at connectivity in life, and questioning just how social our digital lives could/should become.

What was the Book’s Genesis?

Soundings was in fact meant to be my first sci-fi novel, but as I began researching it I realized there were 3 major stories to be told, each with a defined theme of their own.

So, I planned out the full trilogy, along with giving Soundings its own themes & events. These were quite clearly set when I started writing both of the earlier books, Terra Swarm & Erebus.

The books were set out as follows:

  1. Terra Swarm – The search for habitable planets (theme: liberty)
  2. Erebus – Terra formation of a newly/recently settled planet (theme: fraternity, or death)
  3. Soundings – Terra normalization; Bringing normality to a long-established new settlement (theme: equality). This involves the normalization of work, lifestyles, societal strata, politics, etc.
    … or as Linien put it, “Swarming, forming, norming.”

Each of the books stand on their own right as stories. Though Soundings answers some elements that were left open in the earlier stories that formed little threads across the trilogy.

And just to add to the complexity of what I was doing, each book was written in a slightly different style to mirror the progress of the main characters Linien Primae and AED (triple-C computer aboard the Spirit of Eden).

Whats Up With That Cover?

Soundings Front and Back Cover on the Paperback Version

You’ll have to read the book to find out! 🙂 Trust me, the front & back cover have a bearing on the story.

One of my big regrets about ebooks/kindle versions is that some of this book cover design is lost (as I’ve pined about before re: old vinyl LP covers).

Admittedly, the digital versions often presents a JPEG version of the front cover, which goes some of the way.

I guess I just love that new book smell.

Is There More to Follow in the Series?

Yes!

I have concepts set out for another trilogy, with 3 big themes and a whole bunch of sub-themes and plots. This new trilogy will also augment some of the worlds and events that have happened in the first three Terrasodes.

And Finally a P.S. of Sorts: Easter Egg Time

In writing the trilogy I liked to put several little Easter Eggs in the text, structure, and format of the final books. These were little ideas to give your brain a tickle at different times in the book.

Sometimes I used quite obvious techniques (e.g. using a dialogue phrase as a cue by different characters). Other times it was complex (e.g. 154).

I hope folk enjoy looking/finding these – they are exactly the type of nuances I love spotting in books myself or seeing in well-structured screenplays and films. They also make re-reading a volume all the more enlightening on each read.

There is one very special Easter Egg in the paperback version of Soundings which ties in with the story.

When you find it, I do hope it makes you smile and have a bit of a think about why I put it in there.

I’ll send a signed copy of the Soundings to whomever finds it first (leave a comment here or email me at rod[at]squidinky.com if you spot it).

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Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and writer Rod DunneI am the founder & sole writer on Squidinky.com. This is my personal blog detailing my creative writing. This includes novel writing (check out Terra Swarm, Erebus, and Soundings) and song writing.

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Where Has the Art of Album Art Gone?

by Rod Dunne on December 2, 2012

in Blog, Music

Am I Alone in Mourning the Loss of Album Cover Art?

Grew up listening to and loving LPs… proper LPs in 12″ cardboard covers with lyrics and band info and photos.

It was always full of cool stuff that I’d study about the band.

Every cover painted a portrait of the band behind it. Not always what they looked like – but how they wanted to be perceived & portrayed.

I’d read every single word, understand where it was recorded then look it up on a map. Ahh, so this is where the band where (on such n’ such a date)… cool!

Take two favourites: Talk Talk & Husker Du

I damn near wore both out on vinyl.

Husker Du‘s was a punk classic, recorded over a couple of days by the band – and all mostly first take (according to the album notes).

And I proudly had/have a 6′ poster of the cover on my wall since 1991. It inspired loyalty… and imagination.

Then theres Talk Talk.

Spirit of Eden (above) was painted by James Marsh, a professional artist and illustrator. He did all their artwork, covers, posters, single releases, marketing… you get the idea.

Each Talk Talk cover had meanings to complement the album’s ethos.

Heck, James Marsh even made a book about it recently (which is superb – and which I happily get a mention in).

But those days are gone…

Sure, musics changed. We (nearly) all download tunes. I’ll admit I still buy the odd CD from time to time.

But the art of album art is gone.

Miniaturized.

Diminished in stature.

A tiny JPEG in an [insert MP3 player that was marketed most persuasively to you].

And pretty soon the art of the designer/illustrator will be a memory of a bygone era. Something for museums.

I’d frame my Talk Talk/Husker Du album covers – they have that amount of beauty. My Zen Arcade poster serves that purpose already.

Now, I can’t think of a single band in this new age of ephemeral distributed digital commercial music I’d do that for… let alone remember where their album was recorded, any of their lyrics, song meanings, or even what the cover looks like.

So what?

Progress always moves on. Better musical quality had to overtake the predecessors (though I still think vinyl has more warmth).

But aren’t record companies missing a marketing opportunity as these album covers drift into the past?

So maybe my question is wrong… Maybe I shouldn’t be asking “where has the art of the album art gone?”.

Instead, I should wonder where the artists of album art are?

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Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and writer Rod DunneI am the founder & sole writer on Squidinky.com. This is my personal blog detailing my creative writing. This includes novel writing (check out Terra Swarm, Erebus, and Soundings) and song writing.

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Erebus Paperback Cover

Erebus, my new sci-fi novel, went on release today so I thought I’d provide you with some background about the book’s themes, story & genesis.

Links to the book are in the right-hand border and also on my Amazon Profile page and my Lulu Profile page.

Give me the story pitch?

The back cover synopsis gives you the flavor:

Deep-space explorer Linien Primae and the crew of the Spirit of Eden finally reach the habitable planet EREBUS. The planet’s volatile weather system and low-quality vegetation have the crew wondering whether landing had been such a good idea. A wave of terraformers had already arrived 120 years previously but they fail to welcome the newcomers.

But worse than that… they are being watched.

By conscription or by choice, the crew is marooned without hope of salvation.

In one word, what is the book’s theme?

Fraternity.

Okay… How about in 3 words?

Fraternity, or Death.

Erebus Front CoverHmm. How about a teasing soundbite?

Well I like the one I put on the book’s front cover:

Blinded by reaching journey’s end.
Marooned without hope.
Seduced by fraternity.
Destroyed by Erebus.

Where does ‘Fraternity, or Death’ come into this picture?

Fraternity, or Death forms the external journey that the book deals with as characters come to terms with being marooned on EREBUS. Meaning, the things people do for brotherhood when push comes to shove.

As such, these are adult themes, dealt with in a sensitive way. The book may not be suitable for young children in the same way that, say, reading Stephen King’s The Shining would be too grown up for them.

Is there an internal journey too?

Yes. All good stories should have one, or several, inner emotional journeys. I go for several.

In EREBUS, I paired up specific characters to provide emotional ‘inner’ journeys with polar opposite goals. The two principal inner journeys are testing out fidelity & perseverance. But there are other sub-themes too (see the next Q on references).

However, just because I put multiple layers into the story, I made sure it doesn’t make the story overly complex. Folks can still enjoy it on face value as a dramatic sci-fi adventure.

The adventurous of you can dig beneath the surface and you’ll find EREBUS is an allegorical journey of fraternity, fidelity, and struggle under the harshest of circumstances – a life marooned – whether in society, work, politics, religion, philosophy, relationships, etc.

What are the book’s references? E.G. Where does the name EREBUS come from?

It’s from Greek mythology. EREBUS was a place in the underworld the dead had to pass, between Earth and Hades (Hell). My story chose the name specifically because of this meaning. This becomes clear as Linien & Co’s journey unfolds.

There are many, many references in the book. Taken from my personal life & research I did for the two books relating to:

  • Exploration: The Franklin explorations of the Northwest passage
  • Politics: Étienne Cabet’s Icarian movement & settlements in the U.S. Also the concept of Fraternity, or Death is taken from the national motto for France as it was during the French revolution (Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, ou la Mort). Terra Swarm was primarily about Liberty, and the next book deals with Equality
  • Sociological & Philisophical: Isaiah Berlin’s Positive and Negative Liberty (the key theme in Terra Swarm)
  • Punk Culture: Obscure punk/pop song ‘Outdoor Miner’ by Wire provided a huge inspiration around concepts for imagery and characters… it’s a song I’ve waxed lyrical about before)

And there are others, but that should be half the fun of finding them.

Do I need to read the previous book ‘Terra Swarm’ first?

No. EREBUS is a standalone story.

Many characters from Terra Swarm do make an appearance and their journeys unfold along with Linien Primaes own story – my main character. Reading the first book gives you additional background flavor.

Was it fun creating a new world/planet?

Loved it. Heartily recommend everybody should create a fictitious world off of this planet.

My reason for choosing to write sci-fi novels was that it’s possible to paint pictures of new environments, allowing me & the reader to reset our perceptions about a place and not color them with our preconceived thoughts.

For example, Terra Swarm was originally planned to be set directly after World War II, but I switched it to far into the future so that modern readers thoughts of the war, and its people & places, didn’t affect the story telling.

So, in writing EREBUS, I mapped out as much of the new physical landscape as possible first. The following is included in the print edition (click it to see a larger version).

Erebus Map of the Settlement in Icaria

Any overlap with polar exploration is completely intentional on my part.

Anything memorable about the writing process?

The stand out moment was reaching the central axis point in the story. As soon as I got to that exact moment in the writing I suffered a slipped disk & trapped nerve in my lower spine. This stopped me from writing for two weeks, which thankfully gave me more time to consider the third act.

To mark the axis point, I added a single page with the phrase ‘Death, or Fraternity’ to show how the story’s emphasis had switched (along with my own health 😉 ).

Is there more to follow?

Yes. Some of the characters will be back. The next installment is called Soundings and it ties up a number of loose strings. As mentioned above, its main theme will be equality.

Long term, I have 3 further stories in the series planned, but I will probably write something different before starting into these. Maybe even write a general fiction, non-sci-fi book.

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Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and writer Rod DunneI am the founder & sole writer on Squidinky.com. This is my personal blog detailing my creative writing. This includes novel writing (check out Terra Swarm, Erebus, and Soundings) and song writing.

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Dispatches from Planet EREBUS

by Rod Dunne on September 20, 2012

in Blog, Books, Writing

Our own correspondent: Linien Primae

Fact is, the landing didn’t go well. The Spirit of Eden is busted up. The other craft didn’t have an easy time of it either – atmospheric contamination killed propulsion. The Serendipity landed to the north, distress signal transmitting but no comms so I’ve sent a search party.

Gjoa isn’t happy with us landing, but it’d be another 8 years before we get to another habitable planet like his. Chiseller hacked their GPS and got the map below of habitable sections near Gjoa’s citadel.

Erebus

Why he chose Erebus as a name is a concern – in Greek mythology it was a region of the Underworld where the dead had to pass immediately after dying. So, not good.

Crew still malnourished so hoping to ID plant life we can grow hydroponically back in the hive (left in orbit over Erebus).

Getting a distinct feeling we’re being watched, though not picking up lifeforms on the scanners.

Dispatch again when contact made.

– Linien Primae, Spirit of Eden:  on the surface of Erebus

================================
EREBUS by Rod Dunne COMING SOON

Previous adventure for Linien & the Sprit of Eden crew
Terraswarm available on Kindle, eBook , Paperback  and iTunes.

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Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and writer Rod DunneI am the founder & sole writer on Squidinky.com. This is my personal blog detailing my creative writing. This includes novel writing (check out Terra Swarm, Erebus, and Soundings) and song writing.

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A Lifetime of Hats

by Rod Dunne on August 10, 2012

in Blog, Resources

Some new, some vintage, some silly, some tatty.
Some in the shop, I thought looked dead natty.

Of cities I’ve been to, people I knew.
Reminders of ideas, events I went through.

Each has a story, waiting to be told.
And some I bought, just because it was cold.

They just kept appearing, ’till one day I found.
I have quite a few, laying around.

A Lifetime of Hats

 

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Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and writer Rod DunneI am the founder & sole writer on Squidinky.com. This is my personal blog detailing my creative writing. This includes novel writing (check out Terra Swarm, Erebus, and Soundings) and song writing.

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The summers I had from 7 to 12 years old now seem so locked into my memory as glorious salad days. Maybe I’m being nostalgic about it but 1977-1982 was a period when I realized a great love for music, books and movies. Especially the movies!

From ‘75 onward there just seemed to be fantastic films out every week at Saturday Cinema. And you know what; it was ALWAYS the villains that made these movies great for me… never the heroes.

Think about it…

Darth Vader was the ultimate villain.

Star Trek II would have been nothing if it were not for Ricardo Montalban playing Khan (“For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee!” as he quoted from Moby Dick).

Not to forget, cyborg baddie Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner ending the movie with the poetic lines “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain… Time to die.”

And I could go on (Gene Hackman as Lex Luther in Superman II, etc. etc. etc….).

Now, you see, in reminiscing about these characters from my youth with a friend, I was struggling to remember great performances from the supposed heroes of these movies.

  • Skywalker was a whiner.
  • Kirk was smug.
  • Superman was a drip!
  • Deckard… as lively as a wet weekend in a run-down trailer park.

The baddies really sold these memorable movies!

The Traditional Hero vs. The Villainous-Hero

What triggered this bit of nostalgia was a discussion I had with a movie-buff friend of mine at a writer’s workshop. She insisted the villain in any story was only there to make the hero look good; so the hero rises to even greater challenges.

She was paraphrasing the old maxim that “a movie is only as good as its villain”.

See, for me, I’d argue the hero in any story was only there to make the villain look good.

The villain is the story.

They’re the lead role.

Having a hero is optional! Kill your hero in Act One or before the copyright page!!!

Don’t believe me? Try finding a traditional hero in Taxi Driver, UnforgivenFight Club, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Leon, Memento, Heat, etc.

The villain has to be a far more convincing character and a worthy adversary to the hero. This applies to the villains I loved 30 years ago and still holds in the intervening years (think of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, William Munny in Unforgiven and Tyler Durden in Fight Club).

Some call Bickle, Munny & Durden anti-heroes. But my take on this was that they are most definitely villains. Calling them villainous-heroes might be closer the mark.

We’d hate to have to confront them, but if push came to shove then we’d want them on our side.

Just as I vividly remember (and can quote off the cuff) the villainous Vader, Khan & co. 30 years on, it has actually colored the characters I myself write about. I wrote my character Linien Primae as an anti-hero who’s not quite a villain, but certainly no clean cut hero. These are the interesting roles to read and see played out.

Skywalker, Captain Kirk, Superman, Deckard – Anyone could have played those goodies!

Still not convinced? Think of any great James Bond movie… ask yourself how enjoyable was the villain? Did you regret that Bond killed him in the end? Is Daniel Craig’s Bond great because he has his own villainous streak (certainly more than his foppish baddies)?

My movie-buff friend and I finally decided to call a truce. You and I both will have evenings when we just want to watch some cookie-cutter template-based heroes in a stock movie. But it’s the niche villains and edgy anti-heroes, the ones you never quite know what they’ll say next, that will be the ones you & I remember in 30 years time.

So, as I start writing my next book, I hope my fellow fans of single-minded anti-heroes from ’75 to ’82 will get a buzz out of my nostalgic characters. In fact, you should try my book now before Hollywood & TV drama tries to sedate you with more little-guy-done-good stories, frat-house rehashes, and whatever Cinderella redux is flavor of the month.

Here’s the link to the kindle edition, ebook version & paperback edition of Terra Swarm. If you find yourself rooting for the bad guys & gals at movies, just like me, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy giving my book a try. Enjoy!

Rod :§)>

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Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and writer Rod DunneI am the founder & sole writer on Squidinky.com. This is my personal blog detailing my creative writing. This includes novel writing (check out Terra Swarm, Erebus, and Soundings) and song writing.

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Whiteboarding Ideas for a Fiction Novel

by Rod Dunne on July 16, 2012

in Blog, Writing

I feel writing takes a great deal of planning before I’m happy to get typing… at least to write anything decent.

I can’t just sit down (literally), day 1, chapter 1, page 1, and start writing.

This needs some foreplay (figuratively) before I put pen to paper.

Here’s a peek at my whiteboard for my next novel (you can click it to get a slightly larger copy). You won’t be able to read individual post-its, but it should give you a sense of the structuring I like to use. Explanation of the sections is below.

Whiteboarding a Novel Whiteboarding a Novel (CLICK TO ENLARGE… Slightly)

Whiteboard Components (L-to-R)

  • Character Arcs and Plot Arcs
    Rapidly fills up once the story is taking form. As you can see this book is at the early stages when structure & arcs is still fluid.
  • Fuzzy Concepts
    A handful of plot ideas. Taken from my personal digital mindmap containing hundreds of story ideas. Fuzzy ideas are either dropped or are firmed up to become scenes or events.
  • Scenes/Moments/Actions/Events
    This is the first section to be filled out with cards (post-its) detailing a flow of scenes. Progresses in rows (left-to-right). As you can see, the ending is already filled out and the bulk of Act II needs completion.
  • Characters
    A growing list of names for characters, location names, settings, rooms.
  • Random Generator (blurry green font… oops!)
    This is my fun way of creating obtuse, unexpected parts in a story. I put up a list of phrases which can be taken from anywhere (abstract poems/songs are great as a source to crop from). If I’m stuck in a scene then I look at the random list for some possible synchronicity. Some odd link usually jumps out.
  • Concept levels (allegory/metaphor/symbolism)
    This normally includes items like political, religion, philosophical, psychological, etc. elements I like to underpin a story with.
  • Major theme, plot & sub-plot
    This is essential to nail early on. All scenes need to progress, debate or involve the theme some way.
  • Concepts for a series
    As I’m writing, thoughts pop up for follow on books with the same characters.

Tools

  • My temporary whiteboard is actually Magic Whiteboard paper… allows it to be pulled down, transported and go with me anywhere.
  • Post-its are used so I can easily move them around.
    • Whiteboard markers are used later on to connect scenes together.
    • I also put lines in to connect scenes to concept levels (where something is progressed) and themes.

Thoughts

  • The fuzzy concepts and central ‘Scenes’ sections is where I start adding planned elements at the fuzzy front end of the writing design process.
  • As the book design progresses then the leftmost ‘Arcs’ section fills out as Act I, II & III flesh out and crystallize. Post-its from the ‘Scenes’ can move in to the ‘Arcs’ once I’m happy with the story structure.
  • I photograph the board each day in case I wish to rollback changes.
  • Once happy with the structure I take the final photo of the board and transcribe it onto a laptop to have the scenes set out, in the order I designed.

Final thought: This is just a dynamic approach I use. It works for me. I also tweek it each writing project I start. Some elements become very useful, others can get canned.

– Rod

:§)>

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Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and writer Rod DunneI am the founder & sole writer on Squidinky.com. This is my personal blog detailing my creative writing. This includes novel writing (check out Terra Swarm, Erebus, and Soundings) and song writing.

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Terra Swarm (Linien Primae Terrasodes) Just Released!

by Rod Dunne July 16, 2012
Terra Swarm by Rod Dunne




Finally unleashing my sci-fi novel Terra Swarm – the first of my science fiction series featuring the autonomous anti-hero Linien Primae. TERRA SWARM by Rod Dunne Available in various formats: Kindle format (Amazon) eBook/ePub format (Lulu) Paperback format (Lulu) The Back Cover Teaser Linien Primae is awoken to answer the call of duty every Terra Swarm […]




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41 Lessons Learned From My 41 Years on This Planet

by Rod Dunne May 3, 2012




I may never discover what potpourri is for. Stephen Hawkings doesn’t know either. That makes us equals in my books. Most people don’t know what they want to do when they grow up. And most folk never will. The fun part is the journey so try to do as many jobs as possible. It’s easier […]




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Where Do Clouds Come From?

by Rod Dunne May 3, 2012




Where do clouds come from? Big chimneys on the sun And where do dreams come from? Your mother weaved them all Don’t you forget my son I told you not to hurt no-one You’ll be the judge of that Another You, another Me, another pharaoh taking liberties And just don’t stand for that Some day […]




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The One Wine I Can Ever Remember

by Rod Dunne April 20, 2012




Melbourne, Australia. 1996. The Australian housemates I lived with in Melbourne were an inspiration and shaped some of my better personality traits thanks to their good example. But before this turns into an Oscar acceptance speech, they also taught me about wine :§)> Not in a ‘swilling Blue Nun’ way or a poncey ‘Oh Marjorie […]




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Voluntary Servitude – Étienne de La Boétie

by Rod Dunne April 9, 2012




Few have heard of Étienne but his essay/discourse on voluntary servitude has been a call to arms for centuries. He was the Anonymous of the 1550’s… so to speak. His essay puts forward how leaders and tyrants are only in power because we voluntarily put them up there, and then do nothing to take them […]




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Singularity Saved the 80s Star

by Rod Dunne April 8, 2012




Another jump into the time machine to ponder could the use of a singular name by a person actually dictate the life choices you make, the control you have over your life and your creativity. I’m old enough to remember the 1980s firsthand. In particular, I can recall a time when Prince and Madonna ruled […]




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Social Media for Time Travelers

by Rod Dunne March 11, 2012




A guest post by H.G.Wells Greetings time travelers. I feel esteemed today to talk with you across space and time. However, I must highlight something which may impact our future conversations. We have been fortunate enough to be able to use Samuel Morse’s electronic telegraph for communicating our dots and dashes across the ether and […]




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Better Days

by Rod Dunne March 7, 2012




– BETTER DAYS – Seems like you’re finally getting better, its about time too In spite of all my best intentions, my reflexes drew me to mechanically observing the colors running from your face An operation to remember who’s forehead I’d once embraced Remember back into the garden, posing for another painting Nearly lost amongst […]




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Guitars are for Men What Shoes are for Women

by Rod Dunne March 3, 2012




This is what loving music is all about. There I am. It’s 8 AM on a cold Dublin morning and I’m queuing up outside my favorite guitar shop waiting for its massive yearly sale. My legs are numb with cold, the skin on my face is tingling with the icy breeze. But, I wouldn’t want […]




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