Tag Archive: Doctor Who



Well, we’re mostly settled into our new place, so the dust is slowly settling from all of that.

 

 Well mostly settled.

 Still unpacking and organizing where we want things to go and how, but that’s just normal after a move.

But sometimes figuring out how to organize your story and where you want certain events or revelations to go can also be pretty tricky.  It can even lead to problems I’d never thought about, like Writer’s Block.  Or, as it was with me recently,  STEALTH WRITER’S BLOCK!

Now what I mean by that is a kind of Writer’s Block you aren’t even aware of.  To give you an example, this is what happened to me.  I had finished a particular scene in my current novel and had moved way beyond it with the rest of the story.   But for some odd reason, I kept finding myself going back to that scene and wondering about it.  It would happen every so often then I’d get back to where I actually left off writing.  But soon enough I was back to that scene again.  And slowly my whole writing process came to grinding halt as I kept studying that scene and dwelling on it.  It took me a week or more to realize what had happened and that I needed to fix that scene in some way to make the rest of the book make more sense and feel complete.

At this point you can see what I called it “Stealth Writer’s Block”, and I had a bad case of it.  I kept turning that one scene over and over in my mind, like I was working on a Rubik’s Cube.  I got so desperate I turned to a Magic Eight Ball and started juggling it just for giggles.  Giggling at this point is not a good sign.  If you find yourself suffering from this, please see a doctor at once.  Preferably “Doctor Who”.

 

 Ah, much better…

Seriously, I find watching something I really enjoy sometimes helps me get past writer’s block.  It allows my mind to wander, while being entertained.  A part of my brain analyzes the story I’m watching and breaks down its pacing, plots, subplots, characterization, etc., while the rest of my mind is being entertained.  Then I’ll compare what I’ve analyzed with the scene I’m stuck on and poof, inspiration hits or in this case insight.

After watching my shows and sorting through my musings, I finally realized what was wrong with the scene, nothing.  It was fine as it stood, it even worked well with the overall feel of the novel.  So what was bothering me about it, you ask?  I could expand and change it ever so slightly to important provide foreshadowing for events coming later in the novel.

So I went back and made the adjustments I envisioned and cranked out between 3000-7000 words in a couple of days.  I even cut down the overall word-count for the novel at this point leaving myself room for extra scenes I had in mind for the climactic final battle.  For those who are wondering why I’m worried about word-count I’ll address that in one of my upcoming blogs.  It is something all writers have to be aware of when you are creating the final version of your work which you intend to send to agents or publishers.

Now I have my book back on track and its looking much better.  The story seems more gripping and the overall flow feels more natural to me.  So beware of the dreaded “Stealth Writer’s Block”, it may appear at any time.  It may even have its claws sunk into you at this moment, if it does I have this advice.  Take two episodes of whatever is your favorite show and then call your manuscript in the morning.  Once it shows up for breakfast give it a really good going over and see if any tweaking might be needed.

Until next time, keep writing.

Thank You, “Doctor Who”…


Today, I’m going to be setting aside progress on my writing and giving advice to praise one of my all time favorite shows that just turned 50 years old, “Doctor Who”.  This show has been a part of my life since I was 3 years old at least.  How can I be so certain?  Because it was way before I entered kindergarden that I saw a creature that captured my very young imagination, a Dalek.

Daleks

It is said among the Doctor Who fans you never forget your first Doctor, for me I never forgot my first villain. These oversized ‘Pepper Pots’ fascinated me to no end.  So every time I happened to run across them again, I was able to realize a show I’d loved had come back.  Or rather I’d found again.  Being so young I’d had no concept of time and what day of the week it would be showing again.  My first Doctor was Hartnell.  Mind you I’d also caught the Peter Cushing movies, but when I saw him in the role I thought, “I remembered the Doctor as being older with white longer hair.”  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I was watching the show from the day it started.  I was still inside my mom when the show began, plus I was in America not England.  No, I’d caught some re-broadcasts that had come to America I’m guessing.  In either case, I was hooked.

 

However it wasn’t until the early 70’s that I really could keep up with things.  Once more I spotted that familiar blue police box while changing channels and out came the Doctor.  Still with white hair, but much taller and agile.  I’d discovered John Pertwee, the 3rd Doctor.

Tardis

Again I was entranced and was soon introduced to the concept of regeneration and Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor.  The problem with the show for me was of course it disappearing from time to time from the TV stations in New York.  I found Tom again during the Pyramids of Mars.  Then the show was gone again.

Tom Baker

Luckily, after moving to California I found the show once more on PBS.  Tom was still doing the Doctor, but the show was being interrupted by a PBS Pledge Break.  At first I was annoyed.  I thought, “Here we go, scrounging for money for television…yadda-yadda…” But then I saw the phone banks were filled with people in costumes from the show.  It was the Sacramento Doctor Who Fan Club.  Having just moved I had no real friends and was wondering how I could meet some.  Thanks to Doctor Who, I’d just found a way.  I found out where they met and began attending meetings and quickly joined.  Not only did I make a bunch of life-long friends,  I alsoI met the woman who would become my wife Helen Henry.  Over twenty years later we’re still devoted to each other and are still watching the show with all the enthusiasm we had back then.

Soon I found myself doing costumes and working pledge breaks as one of the shows villains, “The Master”.

the master

Sadly, I do not have any photos of myself in costume to share right here, as most of my stuff is in storage after we moved to Santa Cruz and then Marina in the last 7 years.

In any case, the group also introduced me to conventions, which captured my imagination even further.  I made more costumes and even a replica of the Doctor’s mechanical dog K-9, but with a twist.  Since I was doing the Master, I made a black and silver version which had moving ears, light up eyes, the head went up and down and it could move by itself thanks to the remote control tank I’d used for the basis of it.  It made a huge hit at the conventions and on the pledge breaks.
FYI, as soon as I can get my old VHS tapes out, I’m going to transfer all the pledge breaks I have to my computer and post them onto YouTube for all my old friends who lost their copies.

Anyway, to continue.  Doing all these fun things got my mind working in another direction as well.  Writing, I did my first Fan-Fiction piece about one the doctors showing up on the set at one of our pledge breaks and mayhem ensuing partly thanks to me being dressed up as the Master.  NOTE: The Doctor’s companions make great plot tools especially if they’ve only heard a description of the Master, and said companion is a female warrior who’s always spoiling for a fight.  Needless to say I was not the hero of the piece as much as the comedy relief.  In any case, this was my first journey into writing and I found I enjoyed it.  Over the years that followed more fan-fic’s came into being and I soon joined other sci-fi fan clubs and did more ‘very amateur’ fan-fics for them as well.

Eventually though, my writing style matured more and I realized I had come up with so many different stories and ideas that many of them did not fit either Doctor Who or another favorite show from my childhood “Dark Shadows”.  In fact, I could easily leave out established characters and create completely original ones to go along with my original storylines.  (Sorry for the repeat of the word there, but it’s  the only way I can describe what happened)

Now, several years later, I’m a published Indie Author.  My next book will be out in early 2014 as many of you are aware and eagerly awaiting.  But my origins as an author go back to Doctor Who.  That funny little man in a blue police box, and TV’s first good-guy vampire Barnabas Collins in the original “Dark Shadows”.  But it mostly goes to the Doctor.  So, on this day, 50 years after he first landed in an old junkyard on Foreman Lane, I want to say “Thank you, Doctor.  You made a huge difference in my life and I can’t wait to see where you lead my wife and I, and all our friends, next.”  

12 Doctors

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