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Zombies, Beta Readers and an unfortunately good change of plans January 11, 2012

Posted by mattfarmer in Copy writing, writing.
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A long while ago I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts about Zombies being a writing totem, or a dream symbol of my writing for me. Well, I had another dream last night about zombies, and it is writing related. Related to my copy writing, actually. I wont relate the entire dream, although there were some very cool fight scenes in there, but just the two scenes which were the most important to me.

* Stuck up at the top of a very tall building, watching the zombie apocalypse out the window. I keep suggesting ways to escape, bu the people here are just sitting doing nothing. Most are scared, whimpering, and I know that if they do not do anything, something, then the zombies will come up here and kill them

* Have chosen to escape, with another survivor, female. On the way down the building there is a science lab with zombies in it, and I Hear an old man speaking a girl’s name. We go in there and I see an old man, blind, calling out for a girl. The calling out is what attracted the zombies. I put my hand over the old man’s mouth, he is startled to feel me, and we kill the zombies. We find the girl cowered in a little ball, shivering and sobbing. I explain to the old man about how his calls drew the attention of the zombies, and how we would now lead them both out, but he had to be quiet.

Down in the car park we have gathered another survivor, a guy who is mute, cannot speak. As we make our way to the car zombies come running (I hate the fast zombies, totally hate them). I tell the girl to go open all the car door. I start slapping the old man on the shoulder blades, left right left right, imitating running. He nods and starts running to the car. The girl has opened all the doors and is in the back seat. The mute ‘catches’ the running blind man and throws him in the car and jumps in after. I get in the driver’s seat and the other female survivor jumps in. Just as we leave I splat a zombie with my car door and I get splattered with Zombie goo (that last part isn’t writing symbology, but I had to add it in there because… well just because.)

** So, when I woke up, I connected with the scene at the top of the building immediately. I am trying to get action, get movement, do something. But the others just have given up? Are apathetic? This is me currently. I am having feelings of frustration at not getting any work. I want to work, I want to write copy for people, but it is frustrating me that each time I make some sort of movement, or offer, none is returned. I get that now, over Christmas and New Year there isn’t much work. I understand that not everyone needs it, or can afford it, or is working right now. But it is just me. I want to work. I want to write for people and show them I can do this. An idle mind…

So, the rest of this dream? When speaking with my wife about the dream, I mentioned how in my way earlier post I deduced zombies were a writing symbol for me. She then deduced for me that here I was, rescuing someone who could not see, someone who could not speak. So, is this me removing or saving the- no one can see me, or no one is talking about me, and taking control of them? She said it far more eloquently than I did. But it was truly awesome. Here is my subconscious processing my frustrations, that I want to move, to take actin, but no one can see me, no one is talking about me. So, my next question is- how to get people talking about me, and seeing what i am capable of.

And now on to my novel. I recruited 5 Beta Readers just before Christmas. I did put the pressure on them- get some feedback to me by the first week of January. Sadly I have only heard from 2 of them. Well, I heard from one of the other Beta Readers, and she had some uber-drama in her life, s.. okay. But… again, I understand, it was over Christmas and New Year, however I did ask- can you do this? So, I am a little saddened by the lack of return. But this is excited selfish writer me. They offered, voluntarily, and life can happen. So I will work with what I got.

And what I got so far is some good feedback from a reader, and some good feedback from an editor (who is trying NOT to line edit, ah ha.) I have been made aware of how the book reads, and also how there needs to be some more defined motivations and conflicts between characters.

What this has lead to is a realisation that, due to a lack of feedback, and some awesome re-write material, I wont have the full book ready for Valentine’s Day. This disappoints me, since I DECLARED a date, and as such nailed myself a time line. But, I am compromising. I don’t want to release a book and people go- yeah nice. I want a STRONG book which people will go- woah. So. I am going to release Act 1, as a free download. If I cannot deliver on my original declaration, then I will apologise and offer a free gift. And then get the rest of the book, in whole, up at a later date. I am thinking April 1st. I like funny dates.