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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Star Wars 7 -updates, thoughts, ramblings

Man, Vader's got good taste in books!

Some of you may know I'm a Star Wars geek...if you've read my blog you may have seen my Star Wars related posts (all of which are downright hilarious if I do say so myself)

The future of Star Wars -Star Wars VII 

Ten most annoying Star Wars characters. Ever. 

Star Wars 7; stop the nonsense 

A Jedi's Lament...part I 

Top five youtube videos supporting my disdain for the Star Wars prequels 

Yes, this is Star Wars related -ThinkGeek.com -funny stuff! 

Now that you're done reading all those gems, I thought I'd continue sharing my thoughts on the upcoming film.

Here is what we know:

Damn near nothing.

We know, from the StarWars.com news page that the release date (at the moment) is December 18, 2015.  From the site: (Feel free to skip right over this...)

"With pre-production in full-swing, a confirmed release date of December 18, 2015, has been set for Lucasfilm's highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII.
"We're very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture," said Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.
Star Wars: Episode VII will be directed by J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek) and is being scripted by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi). Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, with Tommy Harper (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Jack Ryan, Star Trek Into Darkness) and Jason McGatlin (Tintin, War of the Worlds) serving as executive producers. John Williams is returning to score Star Wars: Episode VII.
Shooting is scheduled to begin spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios."

 Actually, according to Alan Horn, the big cheese at Walt Disney Studios, filming is already underway.

As far as casting...according to this news report Chewbacca has been cast by the actor who has played him since the originals, Peter Mayhew

I'm not sure how I feel about Chewbacca being in the re-load of Star Wars.  I was hoping J.J. Abrams would move away from all the fuzzy, annoying and outdated characters (essentially the entire original cast) and on to characters with more depth and interest.

The IMDB page has (sadly) many of the original cast members listed...

...but fortunately their status remains rumored.

Think about Star Trek under J.J. Abrams's wing.  Did we see a bloated Bill Shatner squeeze into an Enterprise uniform? No!

  or an ancient looking Walter Koenig (Chekov)? No!

So why would we try and throw Mark Hammil (looking more alien than human)

or Carrie Fisher, a far cry from her days as Jabba the Hutt's palace slave girl, in the mix?

All I'm saying is that I fear for the film when I hear the rumors about casting members of the original cast.  We need to, as that insanely popular Disney flick, Frozen, character sings, Let it go!

In J.J I trust

My worries are quieted somewhat now that J.J. Abrams is at the helm.  I believe he is setting himself up as the next uber-power director in Hollywood a-la Stephen Spielberg.  He nailed it with Star Trek so why wouldn't he nail it with Star Wars?  Disney?

lets hope Disney doesn't try to shove too many kid friendly characters into the mix making it just plain annoying.

There was also some question as to whether the film would follow the Expanded Universe stuff (more on the EU below).  The Answer is no. (source article below)

So, will the old characters be in episode 7?  What do you think?

My answer: God, I hope not.

One thing I did discover was something called the Star Wars Expanded Universe (I'm a fan of the movies...depending on which ones we're talking about -these guys are hard-core!) which is HUGE and quite amazing.  Read more about it HERE or watch the video at the bottom.

Source articles: 
Star Wars: Episode 7 -What we know so far Cinemablend.com
StarWars.com Episode VII news
Star Wars films 'not beholden' to Expanded Universe

Other cool related sites:

Fan Site listing:

Fan sites...wookieepedia LOL

Interesting video about the Star Wars Expanded universe.

If you write an awesome Star Wars blog, tell me!  I'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Using Scrivener when working with your copyeditor -comparing snapshots

the scrivener logo
I know, this is quite different than my typical creative blog post...but I also know there are a few writers who read my blog and other Scrivener users (If I tag this right) who may benefit.

I'm quasi-new to Scrivener and wanted to use it with my editor to allow her to make changes as well as allowing me to view and approve the changes she made.  After searching on the web for a good explanation (and not finding one), I had to figure it out myself. 

Note: I use a Mac

There is a video that is helpful (below) but it misses some things.

The first thing you have to decide is how you are going to share the Scrivener file.  My editor and I use DropboxDropbox is a file sharing site like Google docs only I like how it interfaces with my computer and portable devices better than Google docs.  Once you create a Dropbox account and load it onto your computer, it appears and behaves as a drive (on a Mac), which is very handy.

So we figured out how to share the file back and forth.  Now to view and approve changes.

I'm going to assume you are familiar with the Scrivener layout. (if not, watch this video)  Before you send your draft off to your editor, you'll need to take snapshots of the document (or every chapter depending on how you lay out your document).

In the inspector, click on the small camera Icon at the bottom.  This will take you to the snapshots view.

For some reason, I wasn't able to snapshot my entire manuscript at once.  I had to do it chapter-by-chapter.  In order to do that, click on the chapter content containing the text in the Binder.  That will bring it up in the editor in the middle.  From there simply click the plus.

Re-name the snapshot by clicking on the default title...or not, up to you.  When you've done this for all your chapters, you're ready to send it off to your editor.  I always copy the original file and keep one for myself and put the other in the DropBox shared folder. 

Your editor can go through your manuscript, make changes, add comments etc. When she is done, she should do the same thing -take a snapshot.  When she moves it into the Dropbox folder, you can open the file and should see her snapshot below your own.

Now, to compare.

The editor allows you to view the two versions vertically (side-by-side) or horizontally (one on top of the other)  I prefer the vertical view.  To change go to:
View --> Layout -->Split Vertically (or horizontally)

You want to compare the original against your editor's copy.  In the inspector, select both and click compare.  You should see the changes in the inspector. You can change colors of the changes (red = delete, green = addition etc.) in preferences (watch the video above for details)

The thing is, you don't want to approve changes in this tiny screen.  You need to move a snapshot to the right panel of the editor in order to do a side-by-side comparison.  This is the part that I had trouble with because they didn't describe it in the video too well so PAY ATTENTION.

I don't quite understand why you must do this but this is how it works. 

Right now, you've got two vertical screens with identical contents in them and the changes showing up in the inspector. 
To get the changes to show up in the right side of the editor you need to first click anywhere in the LEFT side of the editor.  Now, go back to the inspector and click on the ORIGINAL snapshot (the one with the oldest date). 

Now, click and drag that snapshot to the top menu bar of the right panel in the editor. 

STOP! Before you do this you must press and hold the option key (Alt)... but don't hit it first.  Click, start dragging then press and hold option, continue dragging and drop it in the top menu bar.

Now you will have the changes appear on the right, the original on the left. 

I have no idea why you drag the original snapshot when you want to compare the newest snapshot...you'd think since the original is already in the left panel that you would drag and drop the newer snapshot.  I also have no idea why pressing option before you click and drag doesn't work...it just doesn't (for me, anyway).

Compare old to new, you can make changes to the version in the left panel (which is the most current version -the one your editor has updated, saved and put into Dropbox) or not depending on whether you want to accept the changes. 

When you're done, save and TAKE ANOTHER SNAPSHOT.  This will ensure the editor can compare her changes with any changes you have made when she does another pass.

I don't believe this is as robust a method as provided by Word via track changes (Scrivener can import and export Word docs with ease...but that's just one more piece of software, one more step) but the benefits of Scrivener far outweigh this quasi-cumbersome method of comparing versions.

If you know something I don't, please share!  I am a relative rookie to Scrivener and always appreciate hearing from people with more knowledge on the subject.