Writing blindness. Is it a thing?

For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to get feedback for my immortal around Manchester (England) story ‘Do I have parents at all’? I have had varying degrees of success with this. But the success I’ve had has been very useful.

This success has come in the form of some very useful pieces of feedback that have opened my eyes to something that, if I wasn’t so biased towards how good I thought my story was to notice it, was staring me in the face; A different ending to my story. Each piece of feedback had the same theme that the ending wasn’t believable or that the reader needed more information to believe it. On each occasion, I pondered if what I was being told was just the reader not reading clearly enough or if the current ending to my story was too far-fetched.

Turns out, it was the latter.

Reading through my story’s end again, which has my hero become one of 21 supreme overlords of the world, made me realise that no amount of explanation could make my ending realistic enough. But thankfully another ending came to mind almost immediately. I have since re-written the ending that suits my lead character a lot more. Turns out he wasn’t cut out for world domination. Not many people are I suppose.

This all got me thinking about all the other story’s I have written and whether their endings are correct. I admit it’s hard not to be blinded by how apparently great the first ending that I have come up is, is that writing blindness?, but I think it’s something I’ll have to get over. I am now a lot happier with the new ending I have come up with and may test it out on people in future. I continued to think that at no point have I questioned any of my endings accept for a time travel story I wrote a few months ago. I’ve mostly just taken them as being what’s best for the story. I have a lot of endings to look back over and possibly change. Though I might just write alternate endings for all of them, regardless of how I feel about the first one, and then take it from there.

With all this in mind, I ask you this, do you write one ending for your story’s or do you have several in mind before or after you’ve written them?

Have a good week. Bye!

That’s time travel done with. What’s next?

Hello

I’ve finished my time travel story! I managed to answer all the questions I had rolling around in my head about it and then come up with two possible endings for it. And now I’ve moved onto another project.

Okay. Picture the scene. I’m typing furiously and marching my way to the end of my story. The hero and villain are engaged in a battle of wills for the fate of the country. As I was writing it I wasn’t really sure where the ending would come from. I had a vague idea but I always prefer it when the ending naturally presents itself. And then two endings did. Great. Another question to answer. Which ending to pick? The happy one, which in itself leaves the reader (or it should anyway) wondering whether our hero has made his decision for the right or wrong reasons, or the apocalyptic one, where everything goes to hell in a hand basket.

I have to say I’ve never been so worked up about the ending to one of my stories in my life. I felt like I was going to tear up when I thought about my apocalyptic ending, which is brought on by an unexpected event. Should I go down the sad route? I thought over and over again. But then I realised that I didn’t really like that ending. Hell, I really didn’t like it and I didn’t think it fitted well with the story. So, I went with the happy one, which leaves unanswered questions. I always prefer books and films that leave you to discuss its ending with others till the end of time rather than have it spoon fed to me. I did write the apocalyptic ending out as well and I’m even more convinced I picked the right one. If ever gets published I’m sure I’ll be proved wrong.

Anyway, once this was done I decided to enter a competition. I had found one but misread the deadline date and it was the end of May 2014. Not 2015. Well done eagle eye. Although it didn’t take me long to find another short story competition to enter. And I can use an already written story for it as well! So now I’m back to editing. Again. Like always. The competition is the British Fantasy Society Short Story comp at www.britishfantasysociety.co.uk. 5,000 words and for any type of fantasy. Wish me luck.

Okay. Have a good week and do good things and all that.

Bye!

Time travel and moral ambiguity. Obviously?

Hello

With my last post in mind I am still no closer to knowing what I would do if I knew when and how I was going to die. And no one else does either considering I didn’t get an answer to the question I posed last time. Yeah, I’m sticking with that for the reason why nobody answered it. I’ll sleep better if I do.

Anyway, I closer to the end of my sci-fi story. Well at least I think I am.

My hero Arthur had just woken up on the day of his death and was about to put his plan in motion. He did just that and it all went exactly as he wanted it to. But only if you forget about the explosive reaction of a certain someone within the government. That someone was watching him all the time and kidnapped him and took him to his lair. Makes my villain sound like the claw or something. He might be? I’ve taken Arthur to his final show down with the villain of the piece and I am enjoying writing it. I have said in the past that I mostly enjoy writing battle scenes but battles of will’s between hero and villain are actually pretty cool to construct in themselves as well.

So how did I end up having to develop moral ambiguity within my story?

This did creep up on me I have to say. I’m about half way through the ending of the story and my hero is faced with a problem. Should he let the government head honcho continue ruling as a secret dictator, which has made the UK very wealthy, or stop him completely and thus restoring the UK population to its free and sometimes reckless self. I’m not sure which way he should go. On the one hand my hero, who is only just beginning to live life the way he wants to after years of slogging away for seemingly nothing, could rule the UK and become an even further behind the scenes dictator of a dictator. On the other hand he could destroy said dictator along with the government and put the UK into potential chaos, but it would be a chaos that could lead to a better future without being pushed down by an iron fist the public currently don’t know anything about.

I got to this point all on my own and then I read a wonderful article by Alex Davis in the February edition of Writing Magazine that concerned character-building. There is a section about moral ambiguity that I seem to have covered all on my own. Though I have opened myself up to asking more questions and making sure I’ve got it right. I may even have to rewrite parts of the story so it will flow.

And with that in mind I’m going to go away and try and answer them. Once my story is finished I’ll post parts of it on here for your eyes to peruse. Or not. Your choice of course.

Bye Bye

My time travel story is almost complete. How will it end?

Hello

Well, following on from last time, this isn’t one week later but it almost was. I felt sure I was going to finish my time travel story and be able to update this blog last Thursday but a few things like life and hangovers got in the way.

Seriously though, I did think I would have my latest short story done and done by now but I underestimated it as I usually do with these things. I have however, sent my hero through time.

So, to re-cap ever so slightly without giving too much away, my story is set in Manchester, UK circa 2020 and the ability to travel forward in time is available to the general public either at an extremely high cost or if a member of said public is lucky enough to win a government run competition to qualify for it. If you are a winner, which my hero Arthur is, then you can travel up to six months into the future. The risks with doing this are many, especially if you see your future self.

Arthur has travelled forward two months has seen his future self (what else was going to happen?). And he is now in the process of trying to change the events of his future self, which is where I’m up to. My hero has a plan and he’s just woken up on the day of his death to try and put it in motion.

I can’t imagine what I’d feel like if I knew, without any doubt, the day and exact time I was going to die. What would I do? I’d like to think I’d do what my hero is doing. Everything possible to stop it. I already roughly know how the story is going to end but I always like it to form as I write. With all this in mind I’m going to get back to it. But I leave you with a question.

If you knew when you were going to die and exactly the time of your death, what would you do?

Getting back into the swing of things and feeling giddy about it.

Hello

As I mentioned last time out I’ve started to write my own time travel story. Once I’d gotten my head around my own concept, which was sending me loopy as I started to get into the story I have to admit (see https://johnrsermon.com/2015/01/29/oh-life-its-bigger/ for more details) it has been full steam ahead.

I’ve given myself the task of writing at least 500 words whenever I sit down to write and so far the story is moving along nicely. I’m hoping to get it all finished within the next week or so and then start editing it. I’ve introduced my two main characters and started my main character, Arthur, on the road to having his own ‘Future Chance’. Albeit against his wishes and he would’ve avoided any chance of taking such a…chance if his friend and would be/possibly/I’ve not decided yet love interest Victoria had not drunken entered him into a competition to win one. He is reluctant, given that it could end up in his death, but he’s starting to figure a plan to change all of that.

Pow! And that’s how far I am. I reckon it’ll only be another 8 – 10 pages before I’m finished and I have to say it has made me slightly giddy about the whole thing. Why only yesterday, when I’d done some exercise and eaten my t, did I feel a long dormant (a few months) giddiness about writing. I was about to write, get the 1st draft well on its way to being finished, and feel even better about myself than I usually do. And with that in mind…

I’m off to do some more writing.

Bye Bye

P.S Here’s a picture. Just because I felt like it.

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