Sunday, May 6, 2007

"And just like that...a new story"

Lately I have realized something--I am becoming a bore! I noticed the other day, after talking to a very good friend of mine, that I have NOTHING to talk about, that's worth discussing, apart from my book!!! I have become so consumed with "Proud Souls" that I honestly have nothing new to bring to the table, apart from writing (and the publishing process).

So, I thought I would share the news (naturally, it's about writing as well) that I have reached the final steps in publishing "Proud Souls" and I have picked up the pen to begin my next story, one that I will call "Tin Boxes."

I thought this would be an excellent opportunity (to talk about writing Bobby???) to talk about HOW I actually create a novel length manuscript. This is not the only way to create a story, but the manner in which has worked for me so far. As I have said, the final leg of the race with regards to publishing "Proud Souls" is here. On Sunday the 13th I will get together (one final time!!!) with my web-developer and graphic artist to finalize the cover to "PS." We will make sure the back cover photo is properly aligned and the ISBN/barcode are formatted within the appropriate specifications and review the text one last time, to make sure it's catchy enough to make people (YOU) want to read it. Then, it's all a matter of waiting...waiting on a scheduled date for my first Podcast first radio interview this summer on 95.9 The Ranch...waiting on confirmation that I do have a location to hold my first book-signing...and then waiting (as patiently as I can) for July 1st to roll around as "Proud Souls" then becomes available to the mass market via the Internet.

So, since there is almost NOTHING left to do, apart from waiting...I thought I would write.

I won't share too much information (right now) about the personal insight into this new story, one that I presumed originally would be nothing more than a short-story, but has ALL the tendencies to become a full length manuscript. What I will share is this: I believe this next story will be the VERY story I can use, to incorporate some of my personal experiences growing up in the North Side of Ft. Worth, Texas and my wonderful relationship with my father, Robert Joe Ozuna. I have been very fortunate in my life to have a father as strong, loving and committed to his children and family as my dad. I have always wanted to write a story about my relationship to my father and life within the neighborhood where I was born--without actually writing a story about my relationship with my father or life within the neighborhood where I was born.

See, I have said many times before, all fiction stems from some form of truth within the author. And in order to capture and captivate true human form on paper, a writer has to study humanity, the characteristics within all life and the flaws that make each person an individual, whether they are emotional, physical or spiritual. And to take that concept a bit further, I believe a writer should experience those aspects of humanity, incorporate those flaws within his or her life and allow themselves to be used, abused and forgotten, so we can better write the pains of our lives within the characters of our pages. That is where I believe "Tin Boxes" will take its readers. It will be a character driven story, one that presses the story forward based on the emotions and reactions of the characters.

Now, to answer the question of how do you take the concept of a story, and make it a full length manuscript???

You have to commit to writing, first and foremost. I get a one-hour lunch, the same as most people. I go home because I live so close to my job, but you could easily go to a library, a quiet break room or bookstore and do the same. I write ALL my drafts for stories on paper first, then after I have the basis of the story, the creative portion down and out of my mind, I then begin the grueling process of transferring that information to typed text. It is then that I begin backfilling the story with history's of each character, add more depth to the scenery and start acting out the dialogue to ensure it flows true. But, until then it’s all about the handwritten draft. You have to first let the story develop WITHOUT killing your creative flow by editing your mistakes and proofreading grammatical and structure flaws. Just write!

I started "Tin Boxes" at the end of April and already I have over 20 pages of text. The story is beginning to grow within my mind; as I sleep and drive down the road or sit quietly alone, I discover more and more about each character. Everyday I go home, write anywhere from 2~4 new pages of free-flowing draft and at this pace, by or before September 1st, I will have close to a novel length draft. It will take me anywhere from 1~3 months to type up the text and add more "fluff" to the story and another 6 months to proofread, edit and critique. And the finished product, some 12 months from now, will be a second novel.

So, no more excuses...get out the paper, find 15 minutes to yourself and write! I PROMISE, if you commit to this simple task, you will amaze yourself by what you have accomplished and what you have completed, all before school starts in the fall.

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