WIP Update: Webisode, spec script see progress; NaNoWriMo on tap

by G. Robert Frazier

It’s Saturday, and it’s late, but I just realized I did not post an update on my works in progress Wednesday. It’s an idea borrowed (nay, stolen) from another blogger. The purpose being to help hold myself accountable for how I spend my time and as inspiration to actually get something written.

The good news is I did actually get some writing done. Not as much as I would like, mind you, but progress nonetheless. For starters, I churned out a one-page intro to a web series I’m writing. The intro piece, or title sequence, will precede all of the webisodes. I followed that up by writing a seven-page first draft script for the first episode. I can’t tell you what the webisode will be about at this point, other than to say that it will be fun. I can also probably share the title of the first webisode: “Pizza and the Pomeranian.”

It is a first draft at this point. Might be a bit too long for a webisode at seven pages, or roughly seven minutes if one page equals one minute of screen time. So there may be some trimming in order before all is said and done. But it is a start. As the webisodes will all be fairly short, I hope to churn out a couple more of these this week.

Speaking of scripts, I plan to spend the day Sunday tweaking and making some minor revisions to the feature spec script I wrote with my brother. We’ve made a number of notes since finishing the initial draft of the script and now it’s time to incorporate those notes into the script as needed. I’ll then print the script out again in full to read more intently. Then, it will be back to the computer to make additional changes. Ah, the joys of rewriting!

I’ve also got another script in its infant stage. I have an idea and a broad outline, which I shared with my fellow writers at a recent Tennessee Screenwriters Association meeting. They noted a few holes and areas in which to concentrate to make it a more viable script. But perhaps most encouraging was our fearless leader’s words that my idea was timely and has loads of potential! This past week I did some additional research for it by, get this, watching and re-watching an episode of Nancy Grace. Now tell me that doesn’t pique your curiosity.

As if that’s not enough to keep me busy, I also had another idea brainstorm for a possible spec TV pilot/series. I did some preliminary online research. And, I reached out to someone I know from my previous journalism career. He supplied me with some initial information on my subject and expressed a willingness to talk further on the subject. He also gave me the name of another possible resource. So, I am extremely excited for this series as well.

Next month is another matter, as I plan to finish my novel as part of National Novel Writing Month. I’ve already vomited out the first 30,000 words or so and hope to finish the novel by the end of November. One thing I may do this week is reread and tweak the first couple of pages. I have an opportunity to present those pages to an agent/editor roundtable at the Killer Nashville writers conference next week, so I want to make them shine.

I also have my sights set on submitting items to a couple of short story contests in the next couple of weeks. But more on that another time.

Obviously I have a full plate. But after several weeks of stagnation and a lack of motivation, I couldn’t be happier. Stay tuned for more Adventures in Writing…

Time to get serious about writing, exercizing

I finally have an accountability tracker.

After several days – nay, weeks – in which I accomplished nothing of importance and after complaining about my failings over and over again, my brother had enough of it. In response he has created a nifty Excel document that I must fill out every day to track how I spend my time.

Points are awarded based on how much time I put in, in a specific area. I get points for posting book reviews. I get points for reading scripts. I get points for attending writing classes or meetups. I even get points for doing chores around the house.

But the bulk of the points available are earned for each hour of writing and exercising. Getting published is a major goal of mine, as is getting in shape, for obvious health reasons.

Sands of Time (1024x576)

An hour of writing will earn me 16 points. Submitting a short story to a magazine, anthology, or querying a literary agent will garner 10 points.  Posting a book review or post to my blog is worth six points, as is reading and rating scripts for the Austin Film Festival. Chores around the house earn four points. I can earn a maximum of 80 points in a day or 400 points per week. I can “cash in” my points for rewards at the end of the week, or bank the points toward a larger prize later on.

Prizes include movie tickets, books, a steak dinner, concerts, clothes, and more.

By tracking points across all areas I can see how I’ve been spending my time and what’s keeping me from my main goals.

One of the best parts of all this is I don’t need a key fob to be scanned or have to log in to a website to monitor my points progress. Instead, my brother is serving as the guardian/keeper of the accountability/rewards. I must show him proof of my deeds. So if I say I wrote for two hours, I will present him with a stack of pages to read. I’ll even post my weekly point totals on this site as further proof of my accomplishments.

I could have come up with this tracker on my own, of course, but like everything else I kept putting it off.

Now that my brother has devised this system, I have no more excuses.

If this doesn’t put a spark under me to get things done, I may have to resort to more drastic measures. I don’t know what those are yet, but I’m sure my brother will think of something.

What do you do to track your time spent on your  writing goals?