Thursday, July 21, 2005

Another Milestone

Phew. Phee-you. My fingers hurt.

I started this novel almost a year ago and I'm finally in the final stretch. I'm finding myself getting excited - almost as much as my future readers - about how the thing will end.

Of course, I do actually know this already. It's planned, but not to the point of organising the layout of the pieces of uncooked pasta themselves.


Word Count: 60,134

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Truth - Part II

To recap: I am Danny Hawaii. Danny Hawaii is not me. Both of these are true.

After I came up with the name (I won't type it again just yet), I spent about a year and a half doing music under it. You can listen to some of the better tracks here:

While this was in progress, Tropfest 2004 came along. For those that don't know, Tropfest is a yearly short film festival held in Sydney once a year on an annual basis. I came up with an idea for a short film, but I didn't have any characters. I thought, why bother inventing something new? After months of negotiations, this brought Danny Hawaii to the silver screen. Here's a sample:

Suffice it to say the movie was nothing special, but the soundtrack and the editing were pretty good.

What made the movie mediocre? The story. Being a private investigator (in a fictional sense), it made sense for me to find out why the story was so crap. The book I read to find out why, or at least the first book I read to find out why, was Story by Robert McKee.

One book led to another, and six books on writing later, I had been bitten badly by the spidery mistress that is writing.

I'm lazy, just like anyone else, so why bother reinventing another character? I mean, I had a great name that had already been road-tested.

Thus the novel began.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Truth - Part I

I am Danny Hawaii. Danny Hawaii is not me. Both of these are true.

Danny Hawaii was a name that came to me when I was looking for it. I was writing music under the name 'Braincancel' and decided that it didn't suit the direction I was heading in. And it was a crap name. Really crap.

If you know anything about coming up with names, you'll know that there's no sure-fire system. I tried random name generators, words I saw on bus stops, eavesdropping on conversations, you name it (couldn't help that one). Nothing clicked.

My real name is Daniel Hatadi. I've always hated being called Danny. So I thought it would be a lark if I made Danny the first name of my musical persona. A few days later I was thinking along the lines of a Danny-ised version of Johnny Hero or Johnny Plastic or Johnny Doohicky. You know, the good old generic American military superhero.

And somehow, my last name fell and bumped itself on my tongue as it flew out of my mouth.

Danny Hawaii was born.

There's more to the story. Why did I make a short film? Why did I write a novel?

I'm going to make you wait for that. Tee hee.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Great Revision Begins

No, I haven't finished the first draft yet. A couple of months away I'd say. So it's not a hack and slash revision that I'm talking about, more a prune and trim.

Every now and then, when I can't bring about enough enthusiasm to plod through the next scene, I go back and revise. This time I went back about a hundred pages. There's still twenty to go before I return to the end, but I've actually enjoyed it.

Yes. Revision. Enjoyed.

This is because all I've done is taken a coarse brush and removed all the dead bits from the text. Words like 'just', 'a bit', and maybe even 'and' and 'the', depending on the context. I rewrite particularly unwieldy sentences and in a few places I'll chop them out altogether. The added bonus is that I get to know the characters and situations 'just a bit' better.

But the novel's structure, even though it is lacking in maturity, stands. I want to get the novel down. It's the only way.

Then I'll go back with the heavy machinery and see what limbs need to get chopped before I think about putting clothes on it.