Tag Archives: fiction

Setting the Mood

Light some candles, flick on your favorite smooth singer, and sit back and relax it’s time for some- writing?

This image was used alongside my short story at http://www.absentwillowreview.com/ Since the site has been closed- I can’t find the artists name. This isn’t my painting, but someone extremely talented.

Whoah, that’s not right, is it? Ah, you thought I was going somewhere else with that right? ūüėČ Well setting the mood is also a great activity to do when you’re working on your draft. Music and atmosphere can resonate through your ears and out through your fingers letting out some of the most passionate writing you can muster or it may just distract you. Different strokes for different folks they say. I’m 50/50.

I remember when I was thirteen a friend of the families gave me my first Mp3 player; that was sometime in 2006. The world had opened and gone be the days where a bulky portable CD player would hog up my pocket space. This 512 mb gadget housed eighty or so songs and I quickly used it to add a soundtrack to my reading of the time. The latter Hogwarts years blasted by alongside the ferocity of Disturbed, the darkness of Marilyn Manson, and the angst of Linkin Park. This also led me to write many rip-off poems and lyrics that still loiter on crumbled notebooks pages buried somewhere in my desk. This sort of music helped me shape the world I was reading.

Now for creation; for many years I wrote in absolute silence. I was under the impression that any song with lyrics may influence or distract my writing, so I instead pursued a pure¬†environment¬†void of outside stimuli; essentially a step up from an isolation tank. Though sometimes it’s hard to enter the mood of a dark tale when the sun is blaring through your windows and the sounds of neighborly children are chirping outside of your windows.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Where No One Listens

It’s 2012 and it seems that the microphones are surrounding every single move we make or words we say.

Journals are also great for writing lyrics. Yessir

No, I’m not talking about the government or some conspiracy theories that are likely true; thank you Patriot Act. No. I’m talking about the internet and its social implications.¬†Everything¬†we do online is available for the world to chronicle, archive, and read forever. I love blogging. While this blog is more niche` than others, I still find that many of my ideas I am able to share and explain without the need to feel¬†insecure. However, there is also downsides to this public nature: the decline of journaling. Journaling?Yes their may be a better verb to use, but I like the word. How many people actually write in a journal? Too few.

I just picked up a cheap¬†composition¬†notebook from the dollar store and I’ve started some writing. I barely¬†hand-write¬†anymore, so this is a pleasant change. I found an article 101 Reasons To Write a Journal, and it goes over 101 different reasons to start writing in a journal. Some of them are obvious: recording ideas, expression emotion, and plan future things. Others are less obvious: learning to trust yourself, discovering hidden talents, and unraveling romantic confusion. It truly is a great list of things, very enlightening.

Continue reading


Editing Woes

Well yesterday I started to write ¬†the short story I’ve been working on. It’s actually a rehash of my story “Cycles”,

This bloody draft

which for some of you older readers you will remember I got published last June in the late Absent Willow Review. Long story short I have had odd feelings for that piece since the day after it was published; I noticed errors in the syntax that eluded both myself and the editor. Also, my writing has drastically changed since I wrote the damn thing: I’ve learned that ‘the road to hell is paved with adverbs’ (King) and to just cut the bullshit out of my writing.

Back to the topic at hand. As I began to write my 1000 word quota yesterday, I made it 589 words with my fingers dragging across the plastic keys and my brain aching with each word. I felt as if my mind was fogged. Turns out Brain Fog¬† is a real thing. The only thing I could think of was that instead of sugar in my coffee, I used aspartame¬†sweetener. I know it’s terrible, but I¬†substituted¬†one evil with another. So instead of forcing myself to work on the draft i did something more labor intensive: editing.

I dug through my folders of tons of essays, short stories, and poems, plucked a rather long short story of 6100 words out of its confines and tossed it on my desk. With a red pen in hand, I dived deep into this poor crafted monster. The story was there, the narration was there, and even the flow was there. The issue? It was littered with loads of filthy adverbs, poor word usage, and grammar issues.

My 8th grade¬†English¬†teacher someone who has had a massive impact on my writing, once told me on a cold winter day in 2007 that if my rough draft didn’t look like a battlefield- that I was doing something wrong. From this one point I have made editing an onslaught of the written word. It’s time to kill my darlings! I have found quite a few gems littered throughout my folders; some are great (or so I think) and I will be sending them out once they’re polished, some are good and I will share on this site, and some are shit, but I’ll let my little brother make comics out of them or something.

I’m taking this writing game by storm. Too long have I sat a side without my fingers on the keys and I called myself a writer. No, I am writing everyday, and reading everyday, and networking everyday. This is my time to hone my craft and share my art and I won’t let this slip away from me again.

How do you edit? Let’s trade strategies drop your comments below and maybe we can exchange tips ūüôā

Thanks,

Damian


Another Award: The Liebster Award

So I have been nominated again for a blogging award and this one comes from Maeve Murray from Wings and Waters as well. The award is based on a solid blog that has less than 200 subscriber, but upon choosing my nominees I may just break the rules a bit. Hey! I found a couple of great bloggers that I want to show off. Truth be told I have just over 50 email subscribers and a¬†handful¬†or RSS guys (plus loads of people following me across my social networks). If you would like to subscribe click the sign me up button to the right of this post or click the orange RSS icon. Do it and keep me annoying throughout the week ūüôā Thanks again Maeve and here we go!

The name of the game is to answer eleven questions and then nominate other bloggers to answer 11 questions of your own. Just to be crafty I’m¬†going¬†to nominate another 5 bloggers¬†separate¬†from yesterday; so no double dipping!

1.  What is the biggest recurring problem you have when writing?

I have the issue of¬†over plotting. Time to time I’ll dedicate hours to plotting just to find myself discarding the whole damn thing and then writing off the top of my head. Plotting can be a good tool, but I usually like to let my characters run the show.

2. What is your method of editing?

Once I finish a draft, I like to let it sit by itself for a time period (days, weeks, or months) and then I’ll go over it with a red pen. First I read it over and look for issues in plot, structure, and dialogue. Then I go over it again for grammar, spelling, and syntax.

3. If you could write one novel, and ONLY one, what would it be about?

Zombie Penguins from Mars. Kidding, but I’m working on a novel so I’m keeping this one secret ūüėČ

4. What passions did you have before you knew you wanted to be a writer?

A New York Yankee. But at the age of six i figured being a writer would be more fun.

5. Have you ever read something that took your breath away?  What was it?

Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck mastered the narrative in that one and the story is stunning. Absolutely amazing.

6. If you could design the cover to your debut novel, what would it look like?

Penguins dressed like Storm Troopers. Seriously.

7.  Have you ever written something you immediately erased or otherwise destroyed?

When I was like fifteen I wrote a book of poems that were probably damn good for my age, but in my teenage angst I tore it into shreds and through the memories away forever.

8.What is your favorite thing about being a writer ‚Äď that¬†doesn’t¬†have to do with the actual writing itself?

I like the fact that my mind is constantly creating worlds. It’s kind of like having a movie screen built into my frontal lobes.

9. Your book is going to be published!  But the day before it’s due to come out, the stock market crashes and your publisher goes out of business.  Your reaction?

Self Publish it! I’ll sell it out of bedroom if I have to. Some stories need to be told.

10. Is there anything you would NEVER write for money?

Nah. As a Freelancer I’m just a step above prostitution. I sell my¬†intellect¬†to anyone with a shiny dime and I write what they want.

11.  Are you working on or do you ever plan to write a memoir?

With only nineteen years under my belt I have experienced some wild things. A memoir will certainly exist somewhere maybe fifty or sixty years down the line.

My nominees:

http://mittenskittens.wordpress.com/

http://ofglassandpaper.com/

http://thelivingnotebook.wordpress.com/

http://cristianmihai.net/

My questions:

1. How long do you typically write per day?

2. Name the books that have influenced your writing.

3. Are you a Genre writer, literary, or both?

4. Are you into self-publishing or traditional?

5. Do you ever have problems harming your characters? Explain.

6. Do you like to plot or do you like to just jump into the page?

7. How many drafts do you write before you stop?

8. What’s your proudest moment as a writer?

9. How old were you when you began to write?

10. In your opinion, can the craft of writing be taught?

11. Aren’t you glad I’m done asking questions? ūüėČ

Alright everyone once you’ve posted your answers, comment on this post with your post link so I can keep up with the answers!

Thanks again,

Damian


To Those who Go Bump in the Night

When I was younger I was terrified of many things. I can easily remember the haunts of scary movies that would keep me up at night- and some of these late night scares may have actually been true. When I was five years old I can remember waking up late at night (probably no later than 10pm) walking down the hallway of the mobile home we lived in with my grandmother and a blue figure waving to me from her empty bedroom. Of course, this moment left me hiding in my bathroom  and I always believed in spirits or ghosts thereafter of course, there were quite a few other experiences when I was younger as well that I can recall. Did they happen? Can memories be false?

Of course, I know now that they can. My writing now has become a concoction of horror and psycho-terror. By this I mean that while the typical monster tale is always fun, but now my stories are darker prying at the confines of the human state. Constantly questioning reality and the human state.  These little pieces of psychology invoke me to discover the answers to those questions.

When I was a little older. probably ten at this point my friend and I used to wonder around our mobile park with nothing to do. Our mothers were hard at work supporting us and our fathers were off somewhere- neither of us kept in touch. But for some reason our favorite activity to due was to ‘hunt’ ghosts. Now it was common knowledge around the neighborhood that the abandoned mobile on the corner was haunted by some sort of evil spirit. It would often move the blinds, make the house creek, and far worse the¬†occasional¬†groan. Of course, the idea of some animal or homeless man finding shelter was far from our childish minds; we hunted the damn things though.

For the better part of a year during the days after school we would run around the circular neighborhood with our fingers clutched as guns eager to save the neighborhood of any ghouls or gremlins. We were ghost hunters and we were damn proud!

Now we joke about this, but we do so with a silent glance. These thoughts conjured from pure boredom have actually manifested objects within our memory. Both of us can remember these events and the appearance of these spirits in the exact same way. Can two people share a false memory?

Of course, one day these events would appear in our lives one last time during our early adolescence, but that is a story for another blog post. Trust me.

Now as I write fiction I can draw upon the strangeness of my own reality. Perhaps an imagination is a scary thing.

 

Has your imagination ever brought you along in an adventure? Has this helped you or hurt you?


%d bloggers like this: