Two ideas are not better than one.

Hello,

I’m going to break this post down into stuff I’ve done since my last post as I haven’t posted in a while. I have been trying to create a post since my last, which seems like ages ago, and in the small amount of time I’ve had recently. Hope you like it.

This Way That Way Which way to turn

Signpost saying This Way That Way, Which way to turn good concept image for direction.

12/05/2016.

Finally, after weeks of pondering I’ve settled on two ideas for my horror stories. I initially had one idea that I was going to stick with (see https://johnrsermon.com/2016/04/28/the-horror-of-writing-a-horror/ for more information). But, as I started to plan that idea out I also found another idea. This was an idea that had been swimming in my mind for years but had obviously gotten almost drowned in the time it had spent not being outside and on the page. This has now brought to me my current predicament. Which way do I go?

From being so unsure that I doubted whether I should even bother writing a horror story to having two ideas, I can safely say this is not the worst position I ever been in. But it is one that I would like to be out of as soon as possible.

I’ve created my characters for and given them back stories. I also planned out both story ideas so when I get started I should have a better chance of making it work. Hopefully.

13/05/2016 – 21/05/2016

Work. More work. Drinking. More drinking. Running. More running. No writing completed.

22/05/2016

Completed my fourth Manchester 10k run and raised £200 for Cancer Research UK. No writing completed.

23/05/2016

Had a pizza. Watched WWE Extreme Rules 2016. No writing completed.

26/05/2016

Received my 2nd of two grades for the course I’ve been on since last September. Both I needed to pass. The 1st one I did pass (with Merit) and the 2nd…I passed as well (with Merit). Had a pizza. No writing completed.

29/05/2016

Went to the christening of my girlfriend’s niece and nephew. Had a great time. No writing completed.

02/06/2016

Big jump forward. Almost a month in fact. But it finds me with time on my hands and one page of my horror story written! Progress is slow but I hope to increase it in the coming weeks. I have week off work coming up that will become my first ever writing and blogging week. Well, writing at least.

The story I mentioned in the link under 12/05/2016 above is the same one I’ve gone with but I’ve twisted it around slightly. I have my characters and their back stories and I have a twist in mind for one of them to go completely loony bin on everyone and revert back to a Neanderthal state. I’m not sure which of my 6 characters this will happen too but it will be in the scariest manner I can muster. Finally, progress and a direction to go in.

Hope you all have a good week.

Bye!

A story finally finished and two more to write.

Hello,

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What you have just seen is the prelude to one of the greatest fights I have ever seen. Lego Darth Vader vs Lego Cheeky Monkey. Well, the greatest fight I’ve ever seen if I had seen more than this quick snap. Honestly, I can’t remember what happened but the result is that both are now standing at the edge of my desk ready to welcome anyone that comes into the spare room/office. I think it was a draw but I hope the cheeky monkey won.

Anyway, hello again.

Following on from last time, I have been doing a lot of catching up on the Reading, Writing and Discussing front. Here’s how it broke down over the last week:

READING:

I’ve been moving along nicely with God of Vengeance by Giles Kristian (http://gileskristian.com/books/god-of-vengeance/). I have always enjoyed the pace, language, wit and style of Giles Kristian’s prose. This book has kept that going as it tells the story of how the Vikings who are marauding around in Giles Kristian first three books, Raven: Blood Eye, Raven: Sons of Thunder and Raven: Odin’s wolves (http://gileskristian.com/books/) came together and specifically how their Jarl Sigurd became their Jarl. As much as I like movie prequels I enjoy them even more in written form. Remembering an old but good book is always cool when I’m reading a new and good book.

WRITING:

My latest short story has finished! I had started the story before I had to start my revision for my exam and the dam revision got in the way. Though the story was almost finished, the revision-imposed break allowed me to come up with an ending for it. I did not count on taking a break from writing my own stories and instead writing notes would give me a full formed ending. Right there, as I was walking to work, and in the freezing cold no less, which meant typing a note into my phone was annoyingly difficult.

So, the story centers on a young couple who survive an attack by the huge rock worms a la Gears of War 2 (http://gearsofwar.wikia.com/wiki/Riftworm). Now, the worms aren’t as aggressive or mean looking as the ones from Gears of War 2. They are intelligent and just want to find a new place to live after their home planet got exploded. They found Earth and let us know what they wanted. We naturally tried to destroy them so they retaliated. The young couple survives and then find themselves face to face with the chief rock worm. In shock, they try and figure out their next move. This could potentially change the course of mankind. I’ve had this idea in my head for a while but the ending was something I’d hoped to get to as I was writing the story, which is usually the way my endings appear. I have now finished one story and as I turned the pages of my notebook I found two post-it notes with ideas for two more. Two more stories I will write in the not too distant future. Once they have been planned out. Pfft. Notes and more notes.

 

 

DISCUSSING:

My discussions have mostly been around two things with the odd blog post comment thrown in-between: Wrestlemania 32 and my work exam. Even though the exam has been and gone those of us in the office who sat the thing have been going over what we did write and what we did not write and slowly sending each other crazy. I am glad the chatter has gone silent now when it comes to the exam. Though I have thoroughly enjoyed studying for it, I am glad to have a break from it. At least for now. There also was the little matter of Wrestlemania 32 to contend with. I enjoyed the event and the match quality was up there with some of the best Wrestlemania’s I have seen but as for the results? Only liked a few of them. Most of them did not make much sense from a fan who is looking at what the result will do for the progression of the storylines between the wrestlers involved. Hopefully, new stories will be written off the back of them so I can try and forget how, in some cases, the results were meaningless. It has also been nice to talk to my friends who aren’t wrestling fans and try and get them on board. It will happen one day. I will keep trying.

Right, well I’m going to go back and finish my notes for my next story. I hope you all have a good week.

Bye!

 

My writing week in not so many words and a few pictures.

Hello,

Over the past week, I have been more focused on studying for my exam at the beginning of April than anything else, which has affected my writing output. I’ve said to myself each day that I would come home from work write and finish my latest short story but I haven’t. I’ve come home, exercised, eaten, studied, and then gone to bed. Not the worst cycle I’ve ever been in but it does not include my own writing so it’s close.

I have managed to do a small amount and moved the story along but it is not enough. The story, about the earth being taken over by giant rock worms and a young couple’s efforts to stop them, does move along nicely when I’m writing it but the ‘when I’m writing it’ part is in short supply. I have a chilled out weekend planned so I aim to get more of the story written then. If studying doesn’t stop me that is.

With weekends in mind, off the back of the blogging 101 course I took throughout February I joined a group Bloggers meetup, which has many members who took the same course and want to keep in contact and help each other out. Inside this wonderful group there lies a challenge. The challenge is to include a link to the site to spread the word and carry on the challenge within a post that details something I did over the weekend. Well, firstly here’s the link https://bloggersmeetup.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/weekend-wanderings/. And secondly, last weekend I was in Manchester, UK and I was walking along Market Street in the City Centre when I came upon the most show off-y, egotistical man I have ever seen. The picture below details how full of himself he is. I’m joking, though. It was a pretty impressive site. See for yourself.

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Look at his smiling face. Rubbing his skill and happiness in my face! I am usually happy anyway but not this level happy. He has literally go up to another level.

And here’s another picture I took on my way from work last Friday. Thought it were mildly amusing.

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That’s all from me. Hope you all have a good weekend and get everything done that you want to do.

Goodbye!

Getting back to blogging basics. Let me (re)introduce myself.

Hello,

Back in 2012, March 7th to be exact, I published my first ever blog post. This went as follows:

Well, I’ve took the plunge and created my own blog. Its use is to either:

  1. Read other writers blogs and stories and maybe have them do the same for me.
  2. Rant about stuff.

But which do i do first?

Short and sweet and to the point. Well, two points. Point 2 hasn’t happened that much as I don’t tend to rant that often. However, point 1 still rings true today. I want to read other authors blogs and stories. I want to do this to try and take in all kinds of styles and genres that may help me when I come to do my own writing.

Then, there’s the maybe.

I like the word maybe. When used correctly it can invoke intrigue and suspense. Or at least, I hope it can. But, when I used it in my first blog post ‘maybe have them do the same for me’, it was used incorrectly. In fact, it should not have been used at all. Now, I very much want other authors and non-authors alike to read my stories and blog posts so I can converse with them and learn and grow when it comes to my writing. Happily, I have made that clear since March 2012 and I speak to authors regularly but not as often as I’d like. But I would like to increase the amount of people I speak to.

So, I decided to take a ‘Blogging 101’ course to try and improve my chances and move my blog forward. The course’s first assignment is to introduce myself. As you can see, I’ve already done that but I would like to do this again. If you let me. And…

Good evening,

My name is John Robert Sermon and I’m from Stockport, Greater Manchester, UK. I have been writing on and off since 2001. With more emphasis on the off. But since 2009, I started to write more and more until March 2012 when I started this blog. Since then, I have written 21 stories (3 novels and 18 short ones) and this number is growing. I would like to use this blog to share those stories and the process I go through when I write them. I would also like to read other blogs and stories and interact with other authors.

I would like this blog to help me to improve my writing and to talk to some like-minded people.

There you have it. Happy re-meet you again. Now, back to the writing.

Bye!

 

 

NaNoWriMo has begun! (again)

Hello,

My preparation for NaNoWriMo 2015 had been gathering steam in the week before November 1st. Last time out I mentioned that I will be putting a story down on ‘paper’ that I have had knocking about my noggin for at least five-ten years. I’ve got a lot of set pieces and twists and turns already planned, but I haven’t yet done all I need to do to get ready for the challenge ahead. I’ve made some more detailed notes and come up with some chapter ideas so I’m on my way.

As I think back, I think I started to make notes regarding this story about a decade ago. The story is about a completely insane dictator, who can act better than most, who has been planning to conquer all the other realms, which includes Earth, for some time. For a long time. He now feels that he is ready to do this. Though, he’ll have to contend with the five enforcers and their army whose job it is to keep the piece and one of these enforcers may be his key to victory or spell his ultimate doom. That’s brief explanation from mostly the villain’s point of view. Our hero is taken from Earth and dumped in one of the realms to begin his training to become an enforcer.

Altogether this is my crack at telling an epic story across many worlds involving who knows how many people and creatures.

Whilst making some last minute preparations I somehow lost track of what dates and days are on my calendar. When I thought I had plenty of time I have in fact found that I had no time and 01.11.15 was upon me.

NaNoWriMo has begun!

This will be my third attempt in four years having been successful in my previous two attempts. I have started quite well I think and gone past the 10,000-word mark. But today and tomorrow and Monday I think will come unstuck.

I’m out for my friend’s birthday all day today, then nursing a hangover tomorrow, and then out to the Manchester Arena to watch WWE Raw. Unless I write whilst hungover, which sounds AWFUL, then I may have to take a day, hide away in my writing cave, and catch up to the word count I should be up to in order to complete the task. I’ve done it previously, why not this time around?

For all of you doing the 50,000 word, write a novel extravaganza NaNoWriMo (www.nanowrimo.org) all the best I hope you all complete it.

I’m going back to my cave for a few more minutes before I have to head out. Happy writing everyone!

Catching up and looking forward (NaNoWriMo is coming!)

Hello,

It’s been a while. And the reason is that I’ve been catching up on reading and mentally trying to prepare for NaNoWriMo.

As I have mentioned before, I’m a monthly subscriber to the seminal magazine ‘Writing Magazine’. If you haven’t heard of this publication it is full of useful articles, tips, hints, and everything in between for writers of all levels. I enjoy reading this magazine but lately I have found myself falling behind. Way behind. I discovered, about three months ago, that I had a pile of magazines to read. Now, whenever I read one of these I always pick up something I can use for my writing or something that I could use in future. With this in mind, along with many scratch marks on my forehead wondering how I’ve let myself get into such a position, I have read and read and read. I’m almost up to date now and have picked up even more useful writing tips. But as I have been reading I have felt a gremlin on my shoulder. A nasty, annoyed and slightly vengeful one that has creepy crawled around me for a while.

But you see, this gremlin wasn’t always a gremlin.

This gremlin, known as ‘Chip’, was once a wonderful sprite to me that stood tall and was helpful and wise. For two years, I used this NaNoWriMo sprite to complete the challenge for two years running (2012 and 2013). But last year I took it for granted. And I did a month of editing instead. Though the editing was very helpful the sprite, now hunched and dripping with anger fuelled slime, was not happy at being unused. For the last year, it has been running around trying to get my attention. And now it has.

The sprite is getting back to its previous wonderful form as I start to prep for NaNoWriMo 2015 and I’ve settled on a story I want to write. It’s a story that I’ve been dwelling on for years. Almost a decade. And I’ve never put it down on paper. Why? I’ve no idea. I have all the details I need and notes required. So now is the time. I’ve done my stretches, signed back up on the official site (www.nanowrimo.org) and everything is falling into place.

NaNoWriMo 2015…Here. I. Come!

An interesting question following some very useful feedback.

Hello

I recently decided to put my short story ‘Do I have parents at all?’ which is about a 115 year old immortal man living in modern day Manchester trying to find his true calling, onto the writing feedback website www.critquecircle.com. The idea of this wonderful piece of the internet is that you have to critique other authors work to gain credits. These credits can then be used to buy a place for your story to be critiqued on their website. It’s a simple idea that has given me a lot of useful feedback over the years and has allowed me to read some brilliant prose as well. And my latest venture into the critique circle world has carried on this trend.

A reviewer by the name of ‘Fergie’ (Who is Scottish and is a Brilliant name for obvious Manchester United related reasons) decided to read my little tale and provide feedback. Amongst the many things he provided was a closing comment about how he was unsure whether or not he would buy my story if it came to his attention on a book shop shelf.

This got me thinking about how important the first line of a story is but also how important the first page can be. I would read the first page and look at the synopsis before deciding to buy a book so I asked myself, is the first page of my story eye catching enough to persuade someone to read the rest? With this in mind…

What do you think? Here is the first page of my short story and all I want to know is would you buy the rest of my story after reading it? Either way I would really appreciate your feedback. Thank you in advance if you decide to read and comment on it. If not, have a good week in whatever it is you end up doing. Bye!

I have walked the Earth for one hundred and fifteen years but the questions still remain. Where is the First? We should have some kind of connection should we not? Why am I here? Do I have parents at all?

Waking up on the ground of a forest is as much as I can ever remember about my birth. Which is more than anybody else I am sure. That first year is fragmented but there is enough to piece together the story. My story. The story of my birth or my…come now brain, let us do this dance again it may help this time around.

I am born into existence and I grow, develop, and so on until eventually I am found by that rich family and raised for a while until I age too fast and spend the rest of my first year between families. Next comes another year living with various well-meaning poor families who all end up abandoning me but, with reluctant thanks to the rich, I am prepared. By this point, I am the equivalent of a ten year old boy and I find an orphanage and live there for a year through threats and the bending the owner’s superstitious beliefs.

And so, after three actual years upon the Earth and I look fifteen. Each year equals five years until I am thirty, and then I stop growing. I just stop. But why? I travel, I learn, I earn, I frighten, as the anger builds within me and I continue to ask myself why? But remember Henry, take the best parts from life and forget the rest. You promised to stop doing this to yourself! Distraction. It is an overcast Saturday night and I will use it to take my mind off things. Manchester is the best place I know. The streets and buildings are drenched in history. I love how new and at the same time old the whole place looks and feels. The night is starting to get into full swing with people everywhere and I find myself walking inside a bar I do not recall the name of and I do not care to check. I just wish I had a friend I could share this with though I made my peace with that years ago. I will live, I always do.

“Same again?” I forget his name.

“Yes please. Thank you.” I wish these two drunken men would move from the bar. You have your drinks so why are you still here? It is time for the old nudge and move technique. I am glad I committed to the gym all those years ago.

“Hey Handsome, why do you get preferential treatment?” Handsome? Wait…I know that look. She is just after a drink. Women. I have given up trying to work them out. Some say handsome, some say ugly. I do remember one young lady telling me that my light stubble and blue eyes complimented my slightly square jaw and that I must keep my hair short and messy as tall men do not suit long hair. Of all the things I have heard why do I remember what women say about me the most? “Hey, are you okay?”

“Yes. Sorry I got distracted. My girlfriend should be here any moment.” And she is gone. I must stay focused. I cannot fall behind on my schedule. I am sure the First is in Manchester. But how can I be sure? How is it possible that I have not found him, or her, after all of this time?