Now Writing the Climax of Breaker Z

I’m closing in on finishing the first draft of Breaker Z. The MS sits at 26,500 words this morning, much too long. I’m definitely going to have to get jiggy with the delete key. I’m absolutely dreading the second draft of this novel. The text is riddled with notes to punch in plot and character elements throughout the story.

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Funk Toast and the Pan-galactic Prom Show – Chapter 3

Slink hung around for another fifteen minutes and watched the band set up. He noticed Craig sitting at an empty cocktail table and jabbed one of his tentacles in his direction. “What’s up with your front man?” Slink asked Kill, one of Craig’s Russian handlers.

“Stage fright,” Kill said, not able to help flexing the boulder sized muscles in his upper arms as he drew Craig’s bass from its case and placed it on a guitar stand near center stage.

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Write Yourself In: a Disturbing Experiment

A friend of mine approached me a couple of months ago and asked if there was any possibility of getting Funk Toast, an band I used to play with, back together for a reunion show.

I was delighted to discover that the guys were in fact interested in getting together for old times sake. So we started rehearsals immediately. Needless to say, catching up with these guys on a musical basis has been a blast. By the way, Should you like to attend the show, we will be playing for one night only at the first annual SLC Nerd Event to be held here in Salt Lake City, UT on March 24th, 2012.

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Funk Toast and the Pan-galactic Prom Show – Chapter II

A pair of sliding doors hissed open. Oz entered the big dance hall. “We’re a go,” he said.

The rest of the band sat on the stage in various positions, some laying on their backs, looking at the ceiling, some sitting on the edge of the platform, legs dangling over the edge into the pit. The band appeared as if not a word had passed between them since Oz had gone to Slink’s office to negotiate.

“What did I miss?” Oz asked, his tone laced with sarcasm as he spotted Rob, the guitarist, lying on the floor, propped up onto his side with a crate of something heavy, drool pooling on the floor beneath his open mouth.

“Rob snores,” Keith said.

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A new sci-fi story written by Craig Nybo

The members of the Funk Toast Band knew that playing the Pan-galactic Prom Show Gig brought with it unpredictable danger. But they had grown tired of repeatedly playing on the postage stamp sized stage at Dirk’s Freaky Lounge back in White Lake City on the planet Polidrus. So when Slink Arrowheart, the prom show’s production manager, had offered the band enough credits to fund their next record and all travel expenses for the Beatlejuice leg of their tour, as a band, they decided to take the risk and pick up the gig.

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Pounding, Scraping, and Swearing at My New Novel: Breaker Z

First drafting a novel feels like getting inside a coal miner’s cart, releasing the brakes and letting her fly. After an extremely involved story and character scoping process, I fling words out as quickly as I can. In the heat of frenzied right-brained writing, I slap down bad grammar, incorrect punctuation, horrible spelling, and even some pretty atrocious metaphors.

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Craig’s Writing Tips: Down With Nominalizations

Apart from weak verbs and wordiness, nominalizations yield ambiguity. The above sentences confuse readers. Who wrote the novel? Who ran with the bulls? Who proposed the toast and who filled the glasses? Who pulled my finger? Who bakes the bread? Effective sentences feature strong subjects, strong verbs, and, most often, strong objects. Replacing the subject of a sentence with a nominalization destroys that sentence’s potency.

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Oops, I Did It Again

Zombie Sing-a-long II sits in the lowest branch of a tree, ready to drop. The songs sound good, mixed and mastered–with the exception of a couple of solos that must yet be laid into the mixes.

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Getting the Band Back Together

Funk Toast–of which I was a member–a 90’s funk band based in Salt Lake City, is getting back together for a reunion show. I’m proud of the songs we wrote together back then. I still play with most of the guys from this band. When a friend asked us if we’d like to perform a reunion concert, we jumped at the chance. A few other original members decided to jump on board to make this a reunion of 8 original members of the band. The show, to be held on March 24th at The Complex in Salt Lake City, will take on a comic book convention persona. Gangrene Productions is producing the event, entitled SLC Nerd. It’s going to be a blast. I hope you can make it out.

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Pirating up again with a free music/video EP from my band, Rustmonster

I play in a band called Rusmonster. Mostly, Rustmonster produces pirate themed rock. We haven’t come out with new material for a while. However, lately, we put together a new EP that includes a couple of new songs and some live material. You can download it for free here. Enjoy. By the way, feel free to leave a donation for the band should you like the material.

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Writing Breaker Z: A Rolling Boulder

Writing a novel feels like rolling a boulder down a hill all by yourself. At first it takes a lot of grunting and swearing to get the thing moving. You might even need to make a lever out of a hickory post and find a small stone to use as a block to get the thing in motion.

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Craig’s Writing Tips: Passive Voice Sucks

Elegant prose employs active voice. Passive voice causes writing to slog along at a boring pace. It make prose flaccid and uninteresting. Passive voice can also cause confusion between participles and their antecedents.

Whoa, baby. I’m stepping back. Without using a bunch of grammar terms and turning this article into a lecture from Mrs. Brickwell with her horn-rimmed glasses and annoying chalkboard squeals, let me try to explain the difference between active and passive voice.

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Craig’s Writing Tips: Turbo Charge Your Scene Descriptions

When it comes to writing, less is more. It’s far better, especially in subsequent revisions of your story, to get acquainted with the delete key rather than to flower your text with weighty paragraphs filled with adjectives and, even worse, adverbs. I tend to skip unnecessary paragraphs of description when reading stories—so many lost words.

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A New Year Means New Writing Resolutions

2011 was largely a lazy writing year for me. I polished the final draft of Allied Zombies for Peace, produced 1 new first draft manuscript of an unnamed novel, and him-hawed my way through about 60% of the 2nd draft of another manuscript. I spent a lot of days not writing.

Pathetic, that’s what I say. I know I could have done better and I’m mentally autoflagellating as I write this memoir entry (if you don’t know what autoflagellation means, you’d better look it up so that you don’t think that I’m being overtly foul).

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Zombie Sing-a-long II: The Music Nearing Completion

Thanks for reading. Always remember that I am grateful every time you visit. Remember to get out there and do something creative. And when you finish a project, send it to me, I’d like to see it.

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Getting Ready to Self-publish a Zombie Novel

Allied Zombies for Peace pits the undead, in the form of a zombie civil rights group, against the Ku Klux Klan in the 1968, Columbus Ohio Veterans Day parade. The entire novel takes place over a 42-minute time period. It was a riot to write; I giggled all the way through it. You can listen to the first 3 chapters if you like by clicking on the play button below.

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The Breaker Z Novel: Setting and Research

Breaker Z takes place in a fictional town called Rattler City, nestled in a real place called Apple Valley, located in Southern Utah. As I thought about what Rattler City might look like, I decided to take a look at satellite photos of Utah towns. I picked a portion of Fillmore, Utah upon which to model Rattler City. Fillmore is its own entity, not connected to other communities by suburban sprawl—and I really do have a friend in Fillmore. I picked a 12-block portion of Fillmore and made it into the Rattler City compound, where most of the action takes place.

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Push Your Writing Chops Even Further

To write well, it takes practice and continued education. Just like any other skill, no matter how good you get, there’s always someone better. For example, when I read anything by Ray Bradbury, I am both inspired and discouraged. I’m constantly baffled by the richness of his metaphors and the advanced language he uses. For most authors, pushing the language as he does comes off pretentious. But with Bradbury, it all flows beautifully, like music.

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What To Do When Your Short Story Blows Up In Your Face

Long-form work requires extensive character backgrounds, world exploration, and a good plot road map. I did no such research before diving into Breaker Z. Hence, I’ve been forced to do this research on the fly. During first drafting, I often write notes in the manuscript. These notes might say, “set up this weapon earlier in the story,” or “these two characters must meet in California in act one,” or “I’ve decided to change this character’s name to Steve, change it all the way back,” or “research how to rebuild a carburetor before filling out this description,” and on and on. These quick notes allow me to move through first drafts without getting hung up on the details. I’m writing plenty of notes in Breaker Z as I go.

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Breaker Z Heads to Novelville

Although all of the songs for Zombie Sing-a-long II have been written. Although I have been working hard engineering, adding and subtracting musical parts where needed, sprucing up bits of the instrumental and vocal performances, and mastering, there is still no story. And without a story, a concept record like Zombie Sing-a-long II can’t stand up.

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I’ll Probably Be Arrested Some Day

Orwell’s Big Brother comes to mind sometimes as I research for writing projects. The patriot act allows the government to monitor the Internet activity of individual American citizens at will. Conspiracy theorists feel that this enables the government to access information that, if leveraged correctly, can be used to control the population of the United States.

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What Does Music Have To Do With Writing?

When it comes to creative projects, I’m really just a 2-trick pony. I love to write stories and I love to compose music. I’m not alone. I know a lot of creative people, most of them with better chops than me, who reach into more than one honey jar.

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Get Your Writing Groove On

Good music, the kind that thumps along so hard that you can’t help but start dancing, whirls out from a core of rhythm and repetition. Once a good song gets under your skin, it doesn’t leave you. You sing along; you move your feet; you smile and settle in for the ride. Developing any skill, writing being no exception, is like letting a good groove get into your soul and dancing along.

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The Big Scary Animal is Getting Away from Me

I intended to release Zombie Sing-a-long II in time for Christmas. I even announced that I aimed to send it out into the world by the time the easy listening station stops belting out it’s more than 25 versions of Little Drummer Boy. But I am facing a problem—perhaps a good problem, perhaps a bad…

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Get a First Listen to a Single from Zombie Sing-a-long II

I’ve been working hard on the new album, Zombie Sing-a-long II and I couldn’t help but let you in on some of the fun. This record will be a concept album that tells the story of a group of trucker/zombie hunters who come to the rescue of a little town called Rattler City, tucked in the womb of Apple Valley, Utah. Think Shawn of the Dead meets Smokey and the Bandit.

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What to Do When You Lose Heart in Your Project

As I wind down on the end of Zombie Sing-a-long II, I find myself facing a problem that rears its head on occasion; the closer I get to ending a project, the less I feel like working on it. Part of my mind says, “you can stop, you’ve earned it; after all, you’ve finished most…

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Holy Crap, I Forgot How to Write

Every time I sit down to write, I feel a horrible sense that I’ve forgotten how to put two intelligent words together, let alone a full narrative. This feeling is amplified when I take a break between projects, then sit down and roll up my sleeves to start a new story. Recently, as I began…

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Zombie Sing-a-long II Release in Time for Christmas

On the coat tails of his first zombie themed album, Zombie Sing-a-long, Craig Nybo stands poised to release a companion collection of songs and stories in the spirit of the undead. Unlike Zombie Sing-a-long’s campfire guitar/singer approach, Craig has rolled more instrumentation and music genre into his second contribution. Pulling friends from Rustmonster–a band with…

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New Novel on the Way

My remarkably talented friend, Mike Terrell, has agreed to draw the book cover for Allied Zombies for Peace. It’s all in his hands. I respect his capability so I’m going to stay out of his way. As far as the cover goes, he’s the guy with the skills so who am I do tell him how to draw it. I gave him a synopsis of the book and answered a few questions that he thought were important. There is one absolute when it comes to Mike’s art: it will be incredible. I can’t wait.

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Ritual and Writing

Many writers, me included, employ strange rituals to settle into the writing mind. It’s not a matter of summoning dark or light forces by disemboweling chickens and chanting absurd limericks in long dead languages. It’s more a matter of using markers and actions to get into the writing mindset.

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MythOmania Posted on Youtube

A couple of months ago, a good friend of mine, and fellow production rat, asked if I wanted to participate in making a short film. This excited me because I admire Scott’s production skills. I wrote a script and gave it to him. He decided it had the right stuff and that he was going…

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The Songs Remain the Same

My favorite songwriter of all time, Joe Henry, just released a new record; it’s called Reverie. Every time I listen to this guy, and his work should definitely be listened to through headphones, he inspires me. He uses stark metaphors in every phrase of his lyrics. He writes from a personal place, expressing passions that…

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Back to Life on Earth

I had the privilege on Saturday to play a fun show with some good friends. The event was called Pirates vs. Bigfoots. A few hundred people turned up, quite a compliment. I’m thankful when people are kind enough to show their support. This show, and other shows like it, have prevented us as a band…

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Confession of Just Another Cosmetic Geek

We have come to a place in pop culture where being a geek is all the rage. With Comicon, Dragoncon, super hero movies, 2 new Star Trek joints (one up and coming), and other countless outlets for nerds, all created with precision, talent, and marketing prowess, the powers that be have perfected the art of packaging geekdom in blazing color. They’ve shrink-wrapped it. They’ve put it out into the main stream.

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Zombie Sing-a-long II: A Fun Collaborative Experience

As I near the end of writing songs for Zombie Sing-a-long II, I have to give kudos to all of the cool people who have lent a hand. From the beginning, I intended the Zombie Sing-a-long project to be collaborative. When I started Zombie Sing-a-long I, I went through my facebook friends and extracted a…

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Enjoying the Journey: Recording and Writing Zombie Sing-a-long 2

I just finished a freaky fun recording session for Zombie Sing-a-long 2. I worked on a super funky joint named Zombulation. This song marks the 7th minus track I have slapped down for the new record. I miss playing funk, man. As this project has come together, it seems to have taken on a blue-collar theme. The songs sound like they were written with hammers.

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Craig Featured in a Rock Video with Rustmonster

Rustmonster has just put the finishing touches on their first rock video, Devil’s Children, from their album Last Voyage of the Black Betty. Craig loves being a member of this band. Look for him in the video wearing a wig and fez. Rustmonster will be playing live on October 29th with Bilgemunky at the Complex…

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To Self-publish or not to Self-publish

Self-publishing scares me. Something about taking a novel, which requires so much love, hate, and passion to write, and releasing it without the security of a proven publisher seems risky. However, all that being said, I think I’m coming around. As an unpublished novelist, my goal has been to complete 10 novels and submit them…

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Distracted From Writing and Feeling Guilty

Creativity begets creativity; that’s what I’ve always believed. So when I have trouble writing—usually this is caused by procrastination or fear of writing badly—I take a side trail. The problem is, lately, my side trails seem to take over my writing. I love composing music. It’s a great way to cleanse the pallet between writing…

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Publication: A Road Wrought with Monsters

I’ve decided to get downright personal. Like any serious novelist, I seek publication of my long-form work. It’s an arduous process; I know that. The road has bumps, snags, and monsters at every turn. I’ve decided to log my trek along that tortuous road right here in my blog. Consider this my effort to reach…

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Wasasquatch Bigfoot Band a Kickin’ Good Time

I had the opportunity to play a really freaking fun rock and roll show with my best friends at The Gangrene Film Festival: Size 12 on September 2nd. This cover of Stairway to Heaven was one of the highlights. The whole show had a bigfoot theme, which made it truly fun for all the good…

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How to Write a Freaking Cool Novel: Part 10: Character Depth: Putting Flesh on the Bones

This is a reprint from the medisRif (the company at which I work) professional blog site, Blogmaster2000.com. This article is part of a series. To get the most out of this series, consider starting from article 1. NOTE: To those of you who have been following this article series, I’m sorry for the latency of…

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Wasasquatch Plays the Gangrene Film Fest

Strange as it may seem, putting on furry Bigfoot costumes, getting up on stage, and playing great 80’s songs in front of an audience of about 1,000 people is something pretty usual and expected in my life. Here’s an excerpt of our show. We had an absolute blast. I’m the one in Corn Rows and…

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The Dream Show I’ve Always Wanted To Perform

I am looking so forward to performing at this show. I have the pleasure of working with a group of lifelong friends on various musical projects over the years. We’ve done funk, country, classic rock, new wave and everything else. Lately, we’ve been rehearsing hard as a Bigfoot cover band. That’s right, furry suits and…

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MythOmania

A friend of mine, Scott Halford, contacted me a couple of months ago and asked if I would be interested in participating in production of a short film. Although I couldn’t be on set due to prior commitments, I sent him a script I had finished a while back. To my surprise and elation, he…

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Real Bigfoots Caught On Film? You Decide.

Apparently some folks at Wasasquatch.com caught actual Bigfoots on film. I found this video to be hilarious. I though you might like it too.   Okay, I’m going to come clean on this one. Me and some of my friends, all of us members of the band RUSTMONSTER, shot this video to promote our big…

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How to Write a Novel

I thought I’d share an article series I have been writing for blogmaster2000.com, a professional blog site I share with my co-workers at mediaRif where I work. In this series, I share the step-by-step approach I use to write novels. I have pasted the first article below. I hope you enjoy it.

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Journal of a Zombie Apocalypse Survivor

Do you like zombies? So do I. Check out the ongoing journal entries of Lance King, a zombie apocalypse survivor on my other blog site, zombiesingalong.com You can read the fist post below. Then just click on the read Lance’s next entry links at the bottoms of the posts to progress through the entries. At…

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SHUT UP

Do you have killer creative ideas? Excellent, we love you. But keep them to yourself please. Years ago, I had the pleasure of attending a convocation at which Ray Bradbury, perhaps my favorite writer of all time, spoke. Apart from being a sweet man and quickly climbing the ranks on my list of people who I wish could be my grandpa, he offered some great advice. He told us all that perhaps the best advice he could give us as writers was to shut up. He told us to keep our ideas to ourselves.

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Writer’s Block is a Big Fat Myth

This article is a re-post from Craig and his associates’ professional blog, Blogmaster2000.com. Blogmaster2000.com is a fun and eclectic site with many interesting articles. Recently, I watched the movie Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper. The movie was about a writer who suffers from creative block. Cooper played a New York, vagabond-looking author with a killer publication…

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