Category Archives: Writing

So I had, like, no ideas. And then all of the sudden I had one.

My inner dialogue has gone something like this:

Okay, let’s write something.
What should I write?
A western would be good.  I’ll do that.
Note to self: cannot write exclusively on one project.
How about fantasy?
I’ve never read a fantasy book.
How about young adult?
Or a flash fiction challenge?
OR ANYTHING?
Why is it so damn hard to come up with stuff lately?
Maybe I should write first thing in the morning.
…What is morning, anyway?
I’m obviously in a rut.
Write or die.
Write anyway.
JUST DO IT.
Now, what to do…

Yeah.  You get the picture.  I’d call it writer’s block but I know it’s because I’m going through some huge transitions in life at this point, some expected and some completely-out-of-nowhere-holy-shit-what-do-I-do-now?! unexpected.  I sit down to write and it’s like there’s this little black hole of worry sitting somewhere above my left ear sucking all of the creativity I possess into dimensions unknown.

So I had this idea, right?  I figure, I feel like my writing is just too weak.  No matter how I try to flex my writing muscle, it never seems to gain any strength.  I sit down to write and even if I felt a burst of energy not so long ago, most of the time I sit staring at the computer screen feeling completely impotent.

My idea is this: take shit that’s already been created and is awesome and rewrite it.  Give proper credit, of course.  I’m not out to plagiarize or anything.  That’s lame.  But I gotta write something. Anything.  Even if it’s not original.

Wish me luck.


Writer’s Block: Write or Die

It doesn’t exist.  I have to tell myself, over and over again, writer’s block does not exist.

You can’t touch it, or feel it, or wrap your fingers around it.

It’s not some kind of chemical imbalance that can be measured, monitored, and medicated.

There is no word troll sitting in my right brain eating all the words.

To sum up: there is no goddam excuse for my nearly non-existent word count lately.  None.  I sit here and beat myself up because my dialogue is weak and my prose is too sparse and I can’t seem to give anything I write momentum.

But rule numero uno in writing is, was, and always will be this: WRITE OR DIE.  If you don’t write, you won’t write.  Period.  End of story.  End of all stories, actually.  Tragic, really, if you think about it.  I beat myself up over my inadequacies but every time I post something my hit count climbs higher and higher.  People wouldn’t read what I’m writing if they thought it was garbage.

And I have all these sweet ideas, too.  Mostly they amount to chopping up books and movies I love and putting their pieces back together like Frankenstein’s monster, but whatever.  There’s no such thing as originality, after all.

And then, of course, there’s Salvation.  I’m in love with my characters.  I love Cherry because I’m narcissistic.  I love Casey because I’m going to be mean as hell to him but he’s gonna obey, anyway.  I love Rupert because he’s going to grow up to be one twisted mammajama.  And I love the man in black because he’s just so damn sexy in that powerful, evil, despotic kind of way.

But I keep getting hung up because I want it to be perfect the first time.  Even though I know it’s impossible, even though it was a project intended to be more word vomit than anything, some stubborn part of my subconscious gets all gun-shy and nervous about clicking the Publish button.

So consider my little hiatus over.  Done.  Finis.  I’m going to pony up and do what needs to be done, which is to write.  No more whining, no more second-guessing, no more pissing and moaning over a case of writer’s block which fundamentally can’t and never will hinder me.

I am a writer, after all.  So I gotta finish the shit that I start.


A Word on Writing

So I’ve been working on Salvation, my little miniseries.  The way it worked out, I started writing and about 600 words in I thought I’d use the firs 400 or so for a little “pilot” post.  I posted it and got a little praise from fellow writers, but then I got hung up.  I was trying to trudge along with what I’d already written, but I kept getting hung up on stale dialog and a slow pace.  I walked away for a bit, which I should never have done, and wracked my brain over what I should do next.  I realized tonight as I was putting my son asleep that there was only one thing to do: scrap what I had and start over.  So that’s what I’m going to do, and hopefully episode one will be published for your reading pleasure by the end of the weekend.

A friend of mine is also a writer, albeit a new one.  She texts me for advice and sends me Emails with pieces of her work to critique.  I find myself realizing how far I’ve come since August of last year when I started this blog with a couple trite posts about how to write.  Now that I’ve gotten a little more experience under my belt, I’m going to give the writing advice thing another go-round.  But, I’ll tell you, as any person who gives writing advice should, that what I’m about to say really only amounts to a bullshitter bullshitting other bullshitters.  Just because something works for me doesn’t mean it will work for you, but all the same, let’s begin.

~

Infodump and expect your reader to flush what you wrote.  To put it another way, don’t tell me, show me.  If you weigh your prose down with overwrought descriptions about your character’s hair color, what brand name she’s wearing, or how he parts his hair just-so, I’m going to get bored and skim over what you’ve spent so much time writing, or worse, dismiss what you’ve written altogether.  Information is best given in little snippets to keep the reader interested.  Limit your descriptions to two or three important pieces of information and move on.  Leave some of the work to your reader’s imagination.  That is, after all, why most people pick up books instead of turning on the boob tube.

Lean how to write a sentence, shithead.  A sentence is, at its most basic level, a noun and a verb.  A subject and an action.  Deify plums.  That’s a sentence.  I could go further and talk about subjects and predicates and all that other high school English gobbledeegook, but to be completely honest I was the kind of paradox that passed English with flying colors, all except for the grammar part.  That’s not to say that grammar isn’t important, not at all.  Grammar and punctuation are the aesthetics of any piece of written work.  if yu reed a sentance tht looks reel sloppy youre gunna feel lyk an idiot just reeding it?  But when your reader’s eyes skim over something coherent and structured, they’ll continue reading because reading isn’t work.  The sentences you write are your direct link to your reader.  If I write a sentence like “Elaine splashed a bit of lilac perfume on her neck, and glossed her lips cherry red,” you, the reader, can imagine the smell of lilac, a burst of vapor from a perfume bottle, the sheen of red lipstick.  From my finger tips, to little black letters on the computer screen, through your eyes and into your brain – through the magic of the written word we writers have the ability to create.  Every writer should have enough respect for the art form to at least master the basics.

Cut unnecessary words.  Adverbs are almost always unnecessary.  Following a line of dialog with anything but “he/she said” is almost always unnecessary.   Superfluous descriptors are almost always unnecessary.

Stop trying to edit as you write.  You’ll kill your flow.  First drafts are always nasty and full of plot holes, rough spots, and entire sections that need to be gutted and rewritten.  Worry about that later.  Much later.  For now, focus on the hardest part of writing: the motherfucking writing.  Trying to rectify every mistake as soon as you make it will take all the piss out of your story.  It’ll lose its life, its momentum, and become more a mother in law than a lover, and your story should always feel like a lover.

~

Aaaannndddd, that’s all I’ve got because I’m way too distracted by writing my miniseries to give this any more attention..


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