WIP: Last Bad Saturday

It was a typical Saturday. That’s the problem.


Woke late. Partial morning routine. Family stuff. Had to run a poker tournament. Came back wiped out. Rested. Got a little work done late, but should have just slept. Tomorrow will be a little better, and Monday and the rest of the week will rock. Next weekend, I have to stick to my morning routine. Getting up and getting words in early will make the days.

Zombies Versus Comicon Screenplay

The simple excerpt of the beginning that I currently have on the ZVC Screenplay page doesn’t capture enough of the spirit of the story. I think a set of clips showing how the story develops might be persuasive, so I worked to adapt more of the story and to find the parts to assemble. It wasn’t much, but it was all I could do with the energy I had left.

5K/10K Results

  • Words: Can’t tell becuase of the adaptation process, but it wasn’t many.
  • Steps: About 4K.

WIP: Hard To Work

That guy sure is a good con man. 15% of the country can’t see it. At all.


Morning routine. Daughter to school. Lots of good work before being distracted.

Distraction of the day decade

Today, of course, one of the worst possible things happened. The wealthiest 1% managed to seize illegitimate control of my country, giving a ridiculous sociopath an irresponsible amount of power to get it, and taking us all to the edge of a dizzying precipice, all for their benefit alone—merely more money. Perhaps, at its core, it is irrepressible human nature and they can’t help it. Maybe. At any rate, I hope I never have so much money that my singular focus becomes getting more at any cost. And I hope I never become so controlled by propaganda that I can no longer distinguish facts from obvious cons.

Anyway, back to work.


That’s right, the day after I declared that it’s time to get busy cranking out books, I spent many hours working on screenplays. It sounds stupid, and maybe it is, but I’m trying to make something happen with Zombies Versus Comicon, and I’ve been meaning to add this to my website anyway, so today was the day to get it live. If you’re interested, the screenplay section of my website is at https://tftorrey.com/screenplays/, and the Zombies Versus Comicon page links from there.

Also, the screenplays page wouldn’t look very good with only one screenplay on it, so I added the screenplay for Compensation, which I wrote years ago. That one has an audio file of the script being read by computer-generated voices for the characters, which is a little annoying, and a little cool. Find that one, too, linked from the screenplays page.

5K/10K Results

  • Words: I don’t know. My process for doing the screenplay work doesn’t lend itself to counting words. And these are supposed to be new words anyway. Shame on me.

  • Steps: About 6K. I don’t know for sure, because my pedometer was confusing some from last night. I got in a good walk in the morning, and a shorter one in the rain in the afternoon. After that, it rained the rest of the day, a cold rain, and I didn’t want to go out in it. Step fail.

Zombies Versus Comicon 99 Cents Through Sunday 1/22

 [Cover of Zombies Versus Comicon: A Novel by T.F. Torrey] Here we go. I’ve committed to a massive action to kick off my 2017, beginning with completing Vampires Versus Comicon quickly and now. That book references the action in Zombies Versus Comicon quite a bit, so if you’re not into spoilers, and you haven’t read Zombies yet, you should get to it.

And right now is the perfect time, because it’s on sale this week at Amazon for the amazing price of only 99 cents. Wow. Time to fight off those zombies!

Buy from Amazon Kindle

Also, if you’ve read and enjoyed Zombies Versus Comicon, please leave a review of it at Amazon, to make it easier for others to find, read, and enjoy. Thanks!

WIP: Making A Writing Space

Is the answer … an office job?


A good day: miracle morning, a little work on Vampires Versus Comicon, but much more work rearranging beds and furniture and lots and lots of little girl toys to make a dedicated space for writing. This has seemed like a good idea for a long time, and I’m finally doing it, but I wonder: am I turning my writing into just another office job? In a way, I think that would be a good thing.

Late at night, I spent some time working on the script for Zombies Versus Comicon, the movie. The practice in doing it is the most important thing, but I hope it turns out good, because it might be a fun project.

Momentum is building, and I feel unstoppable.

Zombies Versus Comicon 99 Cents Friday Through Thursday

 [Cover of Zombies Versus Comicon: A Novel by T.F. Torrey] It’s that time again! Comicon is here! And to celebrate, Zombies Versus Comicon, my absurd horror story of brain-hungry zombies attacking a bunch of nerds at Phoenix Comicon, is 99 cents Friday through next Thursday, only at Amazon. Learn the truth! Learn how celebrities are treated! Learn how cash is handled! Find out what happens on the mezzanine level!. (Note: Zombies Versus Comicon is still not about the real Phoenix Comicon.)

Buy from Amazon Kindle

Also, if you’ve read and enjoyed Zombies Versus Comicon, please leave a review of it at Amazon, to make it easier for others to find, read, and enjoy. Thanks!

Zombies Versus Comicon 99 Cents Today Through December 29th

 [Cover of Zombies Versus Comicon: A Novel by T.F. Torrey] If you need a break from the holiday stress, or if you got a new Kindle and you need something good to read, or if you just want to take a fun little break, you’ll be happy to know that Zombies Versus Comicon, my rollicking story of brain-hungry zombies attacking a bunch of nerds at Phoenix Comicon, is 99 cents today through December 29th, only at Amazon. Get it before your brain is gone!.

Writing In Public: Year 1, Month 1, Day 15

Saturday slog

I arose late in the morning and had nothing to do all day but drive my writing forward. Sounds like a great day!

First, I looked into creating print files. As I’ve announced several times now, I was all set to pull the trigger for the print editions. However, I recently became unhappy with the page numbers, headings, kerning, and hyphenation. Not terribly unhappy, but mildly so. So in the early afternoon I checked out some alternatives for generating PDF’s from text. The cxx2xslfo project looks like it might be perfect. However, it will take some time to test it and adapt my exporter, so I won’t get to it right now.

Plus, more and more writers are saying that in their real experience, it isn’t worth the time and effort to get into print. (See these comments, for example.) So, that’s something. In the same page, you may notice people pointing out that Hugh Howey and Joe Konrath have concluded their testing and decided it’s best to go all-in with Amazon KDP Select, too. Contrarily, Dean Wesley Smith strongly advises in favor of print and against KDP Select. Hmm.


Later in the afternoon I turned my attention to Taxi Adventure. I spent most of the day taking out pieces that no longer matched the plot and rewriting that action to match what really happens in this final version. I’m not sure how many words I wrote total, but I do know that it was about a wash in terms of words added and taken out.

Most of the time, though not always, when I take out or replace a scene or subscene, I put into a Removed section of the book. So far in this book I have written and removed almost 17,000 words. What’s left in the book at the moment is about 64,000 words. So, that’s a lot.

On Outlining

What I’ve removed so far for Taxi Adventure isn’t the record, though. For Paper Cuts, I’ve written and scrapped well over 30,000 words so far. Threshold of Vengeance has over 13,000 written and removed words so far. Sure, one of Heinlein’s rules that I’m trying to follow is to not revise, but these stories were not completed in their original versions, and they don’t work. Scrap. The Dancing Queen was completed in its first run, but in the end it had well over 17,000 words written and removed. What all these have in common is that none of them were outlined before they were written.

The Desert King was outlined first, and it had almost no removed words (in its original and current version). Winter Kills was outlined first, and it had fewer than 200 removed words. Zombies Versus Comicon was also outlined first, and it had under 1,500 removed words. The Crazy Jack was outlined first, but then suffered through multiple painful, wrong-headed rewrites, and in the end it had about 16,000 removed words.

I think all this adds up to a good argument that outlining is the right approach for me. The wasted words aren’t really the point; they’re just the symptom. The real problem is that it takes a lot longer for me to write without an outline. It takes good time write good words, and it is a shame to throw them away. Plus, when you have a story of a good length that isn’t working, it is usually a lot of painful, difficult work to figure out how to change it to make it “work”, if you even can. And you might say that at least it adds up to a better story, but I don’t think so. When sections get taken out and/or rewritten, the pieces before and after them have to be carefully checked and probably at least partly revised to match the flow of the new piece. In the end, for me at least, I’m never quite sure that the new piece fits exactly. It is so much better to write it right the first time.

So, does “writing it right” mean outlining? For me, probably, at least so far.

So prepare to throw up your arms in disgust as I announce that, inspired by Dean Wesley Smith’s book Writing Into The Dark, I am planning to do a new novel in the near future with no prior development at all. No character development, no outline. Just take a general or specific idea, start typing in Chapter 1 and go. I am not kidding. It should be fun.

I just hope it doesn’t end up with a ton of wasted words.