Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Woes of Paper and Pen.

I'm a pen and paper guy. I think everyone who writes has their own favorite medium to work with. Some prefer the old school typewriters, others like these newfangled computers. Some are like me and choose the pen/pencil and paper combination. It’s important to be comfortable with your tools and for me I never feel better than with paper and pen. It’s like a first love. Sure computers may be faster and easier, but there is something that just feels right about my preferred method.

This of course causes me untold grief. Because I like paper and pen it means anything I write must be rewritten on the computer. I have to get it onto the computer because lets face it that’s the way the world is. Word processing programs make it so much easier to edit. The Internet makes transferring documents fast. And when I print something out from my computer I know it’s legible. Many people would be hard pressed to read my hand writing. Shoot I can’t even read some of what I’ve written if it’s been a while since I originally wrote it. I can’t tell you how many great ideas I’ve lost due to this. At least I think they were great ideas. There’s no way to know for sure now. But they must have been great, why else would I have written them down?

I wish that there was some technology that could help me get my hand written material into the computer. Now maybe it already exists and I’ve just not heard about it. If it does and if anyone reading this knows about it please let me know. What I’d like is to be able to scan my hand written text into a word program. Now hopefully the software could read and identify most of what I’ve written. But even if I have to go through it once its on the screen and correct things here and there it would be worth it. It’d be a ton better than what I do now.

I don’t have a scanner yet but if this technology exists Id’ gladly pay for both. It would save me an enormous amount of time and energy.

Space Pirates anyone? Bettered only by Space Ninjas.

So I am currently working on a story for my sister. She has a birthday coming up and I thought a story would make a great gift. It will be great because she helped come up with the idea for it.

We were texting each other a couple months ago and somehow we started making up characters. We were influenced by Disney’s Treasure Planet.

So basically it's a story about space pirates. She has no idea I'm working on it. I'm having a blast getting it ready. I've been more productive with this idea than any other idea I've ever done. I think that this is due largely because I am operating under a deadline. I’ve never had a deadline for my creative stories before. I mean I’ve set deadlines for myself but they’ve always fallen through. That’s because there’s no real penalty if I fail, and no reward if I succeed. But now I have one. The penalty will be giving a mediocre store bought gift instead of a awesome homemade adventure. The reward will be her shout of joy (and there will be shouting), and her bright smile.

So that’s what I’m working on. I still have a ways to go and it’s beginning to get into crunch time. I still want to get some people to proof read it and get feedback and then adjust it. That and I wanted to illustrate it. So I have a lot on my plate. If worse comes to worst I can save this project for Christmas. But I really want to make it for her birthday.

Now onto some side notes. I can whole heartedly recommend Treasure Planet. It’s a great adaptation of Treasure Island. I tried to read the book when I was a kid but I was too young and the book was out of my depth. Since then I have seen several versions of this story. There was a Disney live action movie, a Chipmunk tv episode, the Pagemaster version, and a Muppet Treasure Island.

Now *SPOILER ALERT* (although this book, and the movies have been around for forever so if you don’t know the plot then where have you been hiding?) In the end Jim Hawkins lets Long John Silver escape. Long John was a pirate who betrays Jim and I never understood why Jim lets him go. It never made any sense to me. Not until I saw Treasure Planet. If you want to know why I understand it now then you’ll have to watch the movie.

Nextly, although the inspiration for this story was drawn from Treasure Planet it is an original tale. It would be more accurate to say that it just shares the same flavor as Treasure Planet. And because it is meant as a gift I don’t know if anything more than that will come of it than that. Will I be able to get it published? I don’t know, I’m not sure if I’m even going to try.

Yet it just goes to show that inspiration can come from anywhere. In this case a movie and a text conversation. Maybe it wont be a story that I can get published but I’ve learned things from it. I’ve learned that deadlines help me. I’ve also learned that I can be funny with my writing. This is a skill that I once thought was completely beyond me. Now I know that if I work on it I can make people laugh. I may not be Terry Pratchett (he’s a funny writer, hilarious actually) but I can get a chuckle here and there. I think... well I hope anyway. The point is, if your reading this, that it’s important to make use of your inspiration. You never know what you might learn or what you might accomplish, all you have to do is try.