After being quite worried that I wouldn’t be able to find an idea for my first short story of 2016, I decided to just stare at a blank page. Will I get inspiration? Will I go blind? Will I learn to hate the non-colour of ‘white’?
None of the above. It just so happens that the blank page helped me to come up with my idea. I have tried to go into the exact science of it all but I’m not smart enough and I don’t like it when my brain hurts so I’m settling on this.
The blank page is made of magic.
I can only assume the blank page has always had magical powers. Probably stemming from when it was first created whoever knows when. It somehow has the muscle to either make you start writing a story or mess with your head to the point where a simple white page could drive you insane.
I glared at the mass of white in front of me and the story sprung to mind. Just like that. No problem. My story revolves around the hero Daniel who decides to leave for work ten minutes earlier than usual. Sounds boring doesn’t it? Well, I used that question as a challenge and it has propelled my story. ‘How can ten minutes make such a difference?’ Has already pushed Daniel to sleep with the neighbor, feel sorry for her ‘boyfriend’ (or, at least, that’s what he thinks he is), call in sick for work and to help an old man with his shopping. And all within the first two hours of his waking day. I’m going to build the stories up throughout his day but my sci-fi & fantasy writing nature is screaming for me to make this become a world-saving thing. Or not. Or do I just keep it to Daniel’s world and not involve anyone else?
Or do I go a completely new direction? One I’ve never written before?
All in all, it’s a pretty cool set of solutions to consider to a few problems I’m having with my story. This time, last week I was afraid I would not be able to write anything brand new. Now, I’m close to finishing it. Well, a bit closer. I’m not sure what my word count should be.
Before I get back to my story, I would like to thank the many members of the wonderful and very useful writers group ‘Kboards Fantasy Author’s Group’ through Facebook. Those who replied to my question have provided some valuable feedback and ideas. Thank You.
I just thought I’d share a few words that swim around my brain on a regular basis. Usually in the order I’ve presented them in but sometimes on their own, which can be confusing. Enjoy!
After posting a short story I’ve been working on for a bit in my last post I received plenty of feedback. This was all quite helpful and very much needed. After going back over the story with the feedback in mind I could see where the story needed to be improved. Thank you to all those who commented on it. I’ll be reviewing and editing said story soon and I’ll probably post it back up for more comments.
I haven’t had any of my stories critiqued in a while so this was all very refreshing. I received some good comments about the story as a whole. Lori Fetters Lopez gave some very valued feedback indeed. Thank you Lori. I also received some good, honest and straight to the point comments about my grammar and use of commas from a few editors that frequent the Facebook writing groups I’m part of. David Neely, Sean Cleary and Roy C. Booth thank you for time and words.
If I could give any advice about being a writer it would be to embrace all kinds of feedback and take all the good parts from it. If you find yourself on the receiving end of someone’s rant about your story just so they can use a whole host of long and not needed words then just laugh at it and pick out the bits you can actually use.
Right, I’m going to get back to it. And if there are any grammatical errors in this post, either let me know or leave me to find them later.
After my lovely trip to Krakow and a few days more off work, which included a daft amount of drinks followed by a revolting hangover, I knew I had to get back into the swing of things.
Before going on holiday I was drawing ever closer to the end of the story I started whilst taking part in NaNoWriMo. I realised as I started to write again that the story was even closer than I thought to being finished. And then, as if by magic, it had finished. I suddenly realised that I was at the end of my story. It’s like it crept up on me whilst I was writing.
I had many ideas about how to end the story but all of them didn’t seem to work as I got to the last few lines of the book. I considered having it carry on after the hero’s had won the day but I ended up just finishing it with one line. After weeks of wondering how I was going to actually end my story, I settled on just one line of dialogue. If I can give out any advice about writing, and if anyone would listen, it would be this.
Trust your instincts.
After doing so and finishing my third full story since I started to write any kind of stories, I decided to edit one of the others I completed. It was a story about a small, self-sufficient town that lived in the shadow of a dense and dark forest. This forest was populated by monstrous bugbears that could attack them at any time. To stop this from happening, five hunters have been given the task to hunt and protect to town. It was a story born out of frustration as another story I had intended to be small had grown and needed more work. I just wanted to finish a story so I could go back to it and edit the thing later and iron out the creases. My very first blog post has as its subject this very story entitled ‘The Town of the Mountain.’
Anyway, the first draft has been done and I’ve started to edit it. Its looks like it will take a long time as after only the first chapter I’ve removed one big paragraph and trimmed down a lot of the others. Though I have to say I do enjoy it.
This leads me onto my question for this post….
How do you go about the editing process for any of your stories?
I’ve received some great feedback from my question in my last blog post regarding the battle scene for my story. I’ve jotted down the ideas and will be putting some of them into action soon. I can’t thank the members of the various groups I’m part of on Facebook enough. In particular, Jaden Diebold of the ‘Fantasy Writers’ group, ‘Emmalyn Edwards’ of the ‘WRITING’ group (who also mentioned me in her blog at the following address http://home.earthlink.net/~wyverns/2013.04.01_arch.html#1367095376952 which was AWESOME!!) and Gina Marquita Fiserova of the ‘Writing Friends’ group. They have all given me many nuggets of help for the future.
Now, as for the battle. I continued down the route of telling the story from various view points. I’m currently writing from the view point of the main villain who is about to attack the leader of the Searchers (our heroes). This is not the leader of the army of Searchers in the battle mind you but the now disgraced leader looking to make good. Once I’ve done this I’m going to go back and add in another chapter which will be full of battle scenes. This chapter will be told from a third person perspective and will (hopefully) show how our heroes and villains both go on in the battle before the climax.
I’ve always liked writing battle scenes or any scenes were something is actually happening. I seem to write slightly quicker when I do this aswell. Ok. I’m going to get back to it.
Thanks again to everyone who helped. I’ll let you know how it all ended.
I’ve recently moved into to my third flat with my mate and as such have not been able to keep updating this cheek young blog. Sorry.
The move went well. My lovely girlfriend helped me move on 30th March and since then I’ve been hard at work(ish) getting everything sorted. It took longer than I thought. And its not even all done. But I’m happy with it so it was all worth it.
And amidst all this, I managed to get my short short story entered on time. I managed to get round the late edit I had to do(see last post) I also got a call from writing magazine who told me to confirm my address.
Of course, I haven’t told my bible for writing about my new flat! How could I do that? The nice lady confirmed my new address and confirmed the entry was all good and will be considered. Fingers crossed. I’ll post it on here at some point in the near future.
I’ve also done some more writing towards my other story. I’m up to the point where the two leaders of the armies, bad and good, are giving their speeches to drive their armies on. Just before the final battle to end it all. So, I have a question for you….
How would you inspire someone to follow you into battle?
I’ve got myself a (rough) ending to my current novel which always makes me want to write faster and for longer. Though I know that if I do it will go from (I hope) well created prose to disaffected, garbled gubbins. I’ve always liked to write in 1,000 word blocks as this allows me to make a fair amount of progress on my story and let me sleep a little better. 1,000 words is a lot you know or at least getting close to this number would help.
I love this part of writing. I usually have one or two endings in my head for any story I write. And then more often than not when I get to the end I combine these two ideas and then come up with a third which makes up my ending. The current ending I have in mind is mostly made up of numerous fights and chases across a city. Namely Manchester. But I’m having trouble conveying the urgency and speed that I think it needs.
Do you have any ideas on how I can convey these things simply and effectively?
Your thoughts are always welcome. Till next time.
As I try to get back into my writing ways I’m constantly stopped by one thing or another. I think I’ve gotten too used to doing nothing so getting back to it is harder than I’d expected. How do I get my rhythm back?
After November I have gotten into the habit of writing a least 500 words when I write of my fiction. And I also like how when I just keep writing and don’t look up at that dastardly word count, I get to my goal pretty quickly. It also helps that I’m writing some action at the moment which always makes me write faster.
I started to do my Writers Bureau Creative Writing Course again and I’m hoping this will help me get some rhythm back into my writing. I hope this will start a….rhythm of focusing on one thing for a week at a time. Last week it was writing and this week it’s my assignment. And so on and hopefully onwards and upwards.
I’m going to end this blog post now as I’ve made so many spelling errors something’s telling me my brain doesn’t want me to write tonight. I’ll have a go again tmorrow. Or next week.
I decided to take a break from writing after completing NaNoWriMo. I also said it would only be for a couple of weeks. That couple turned into a whole month. And I’m glad for it.
Though I love to write I also remember the days when I didn’t love it as much. The days when I used to fill my evenings and sometimes days with the pursuits of making my fantasy team good enough on Pro Evolution Soccer on the Xbox. Or managing my own team on football manager. Or watching a film. Or doing absolutely NOTHING!
It was very refreshing to come home from work and then just lounge about until it was time for bed. Doing this allowed my brain to calm down and return to a normal temperature. It also allowed me to miss writing which I haven’t done in a long time. But that is over now and it’s all coming back to me (see what I did? Genius. Or because I watched a Glee episode in which they systematically ruined plenty of Meat Loaf songs and one in particular has been my head for days)
I started again by writing the story that I had almost finished when I took part in NaNoWriMo (I have recently received my t-shirt to confirm this in the post. Bit chuffed I must say) I’m around four chapters or so before the end and it didn’t take me long to pick up from where I’d left off. I had to read the last four pages again which I’m glad was what it took to reignite me as reading over 50,000+ again sounded daunting.
It’s great to be back to my writing ways and I’m now going to (hopefully) stick to some kind of schedule for 2013. Writing one day, reading and commenting the next then doing my writing course and then anything else I can think of. I’ve missed it really. I prefer to keep myself busy and it will all help to get my writing finished and ready for the good/bad process of editing.
By the way, have you taken a writing break over the festive period? Or when was the last time you took a break from this writing lark?
The novel nots quite finished but I’m close.