Fan rant follows.
Chuck Wendig, author and blogger extraordinaire, has this to say on the subject of writing the book you have inside you.
For those who like to write, if you could only read one really helpful article this
year decade lifetime, this is the one. I’m a huge fan of El Wendigo, which is why I buy his books. Buying the first one is applause for the author. Buying subsequent ones is a standing ovation.
I’m steely-eyed when it comes to reading ‘advice’ from people who think they know how to do everything but can’t get other people to buy their books. Most of what they write about writing is obvious, pretentious, or just plain bullshit. So, I’m not a fan of writers trying to tell others what they should or shouldn’t do, when they don’t take their own advice. Fuck them. I have nothing against the horse they rode in on, though.
Go read what Wendig just wrote. The man deserves a statue like Rocky Balboa had, although it’d probably need pen and paper rather than boxing gloves, less hair, and maybe a bit of a paunch.
Well, no more than usual. I had the first part of a longer story I called ‘The Queen’s Guard’ here. I just deleted it, and here’s why. It began as a simple idea but it’s taken on a life of its own. The more I write the next instalments the more I think I’m writing at the highest level of my ability. This is a story worth doing something with, so I’m going to be more careful with it. I’m also seriously thinking about making changes to it and turning it into a steampunk novella.
I started the story yesterday, and I wrote just over 7,000 words. The story isn’t close to being told and the steampunk idea could well turn it into 20,000 – 25,000 words or maybe more. When it’s done I might post it over on the private blog so you folks with access can tell me what you think. Apologies to those silent readers who came and looked, but I’ve said from the beginning that the stuff I post here is just for fun and practice. I don’t post the stuff out in the wild that I think is the best I can do.
This story isn’t a pleasant one and it doesn’t have a redeeming ending. Sometimes, when I’m working on a main character for a larger story I write shorts like this, to get more insight into how that character would react when the shit hits the fan.
I know it doesn’t seem a very nice thing to do, but writing a complex character means that I have to throw everything at him or her, to find out where the high points and the breaking points are. This, then, was an exercise in breaking the lead character and seeing if he’d recover from it, and how long it’d take him, and how he’d do it. In this story, he hasn’t recovered even though the years have passed. Life can be like that.
This short is a bit clunky. I didn’t go back to smooth it out because it served its purpose and it led to another short I’m in the process of writing but which is, I think, a pretty controversial subject. We’ll see about that one.
This story comes with multiple warnings:
:::Death::: :::Bigotry::: :::Racism::: :::Loss of a child:::
The ‘better angels of my nature’ like it when I write stories like this. I generally don’t listen to them, because what the angels are implying makes me uncomfortable.
This story had its genesis in a few others, most notably in a picture and poem by Souldier Girl.
The first story is here: Unlocked. https://p33d33.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/unlocked
From that story and the comments in it, I wrote Psychosphere.
The Soul Keeper is the progression of both of them, and I suppose as far as sending a message can go on a barely-read blog, I wanted to say that not all men are evil, that not all women are innocent, and that somewhere in the Great Somewhere, there is a consciousness that wastes nothing.
Thanks for this sometimes personally painful but nevertheless worth-writing collection go to:
Souldier Girl. http://souldiergirl.com
Here’s The Soul Keeper.
This one comes with multiple warnings.
:::Distressing content. Domestic violence. Catastrophic injuries:::
I wrote ‘Unlocked’ a few days ago, having been inspired, if that’s the right word, by a poem and photo belonging to Souldier Girl. Two of the comments that story attracted came from gigoid and Addy (Adam), and both comments struck me for very different reasons. In this story, gigoid has been renamed as Bob and Addy is Doctor Adam. I hope neither of those good gentlemen mind. I think I’ve faithfully shown their perceptions of Unlocked.
I’ve written this in the ‘staccato’ style. It’s jarring, because it’s meant to be; a sort of stream of consciousness that’s intercepted by outside events. Getting this style right is difficult, because you still need to make the story comprehensible. It can’t be random junk thrown together and called ‘art-that-no-one-is-supposed-to-understand’.
I think I’m done with this topic now, although I said that last time, so obviously the topic wasn’t done with me.
To quote a Joss Whedon line. Yep, huge Firefly and Serenity fan here. Although, as soon as I wrote the header I swear I heard Village People singing ‘Can’t stop the music’. Anyway, it’s true that you can’t stop the signal, but it’s equally true that you don’t have to tune into it.
For the last few days I’ve been toying with the idea of writing about creativity and where my ideas come from, because I have a process that often works for me. Some people get a story idea and then find the characters needed to tell it. Others develop a character and then find a story to fit around it. Others do both, and some find a specific theme they like and find a thousand ways to tell it.
I really like the following short story. It was directly inspired by a poem I reblogged
from Souldier Girl
The story is about domestic violence, and once again I drew inspiration from a hauntingly beautiful image from Souldier Girl. I’ve called it ‘Eyes Behind Bars’. I’d like to thank and acknowledge SG for allowing me to use the image, and I’d like to encourage you to read her blog. Quoting myself 😉 on the reblog:
“Souldier Girl is a rare talent. Why we’re giving (paid) oxygen to poorly written and uninteresting shit when there are mixed media artists like her out there is beyond me. Her whole blog belongs in a high-end book on a bestseller’s list.”
So, thank you SG for all of it; the courage, the blog, and for allowing me to use what I needed. Here’s Unlocked.
“Georgie Porgie, Puddin’ and Pie,
Hit the girl and made her cry,
When the boy came out to play
Georgie Porgie had a hospital stay.”
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, pictures and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to blahblahblah.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Read on, fuckers!
I’m sort of not really busy fleshing out the characters for CogWorld. One of the things I like about fantasy is that you can let things get as fucked up as you can imagine, but if the story gels readers won’t only allow it, they’ll expect it. One of the reasons I’m not really busy writing CW is that some of my best ideas come when I’m doing something else, so I’ve been messing about with a story I’m tentatively calling ‘Spiral’. I think it’ll be about 6,000 words by the time it’s told. It’s a bit dark and there are shades of domination/submission later in the story, so it’ll have all the ‘Not Safe For’ labels applied, but as I’ve been writing it I’ve had a dozen completely fucked-up excellent ideas for CW. I want to tell you some of them because I’m so excited about them and I think you will be, too, but I’m not going to. Because fuck you. 😉
However, so that I don’t lose your interest completely I’d like to tell you a secret, and give you two shares.
The secret: I really like sneezing. It’s fun, it feels good, and I love making a ridiculously loud ah-choo! sound when I do it.
1. Go see grapefruitdoodles. Mad cool art. The more you look, the more you see.
2. Go see Some Bad Plankton. With a name like that, you just know it’s going to be good.
Both links are on the right of my home page. Over there –>
Avid readers of this blog (Hi Zee! Hi Warjna! G’day Bob! Oh, and, ummm … hi Ada 😀 ) will know that I’m as prolific as I am completely belligerent toward perfect grammar, pacing, ‘voice’, and giving a fuck about writerly things in general. Those things, while important, are not as important to me as loving what I’m writing.
Well, if I can keep my finger off the ‘post’ trigger, I’m going to work on what is, I think, a steampunk novella named ‘CogWorld’. My plan is to do this as a mixed media story, largely because steampunk is so highly detailed it’s easy to get bogged in descriptions that don’t advance the story. For that reason, at appropriate junctures I’m going to throw in a picture, so you can see rather than read.
I’m not sure I’m going to post the final here. Maybe I’ll upload it as a PDF and anyone who wants it can just download it. Dunno yet. I have another blog where CogWorld will soon be under construction. If you want to see how I build the world, and perhaps stick your beak in where its not wanted but might be useful, let me know and I’ll get the gears into motion. In the meantime, expect less prolificity (I invented a new word) here. Maybe.
A short story for the Chuck Wendig Challenge http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/04/10/flash-fiction-challenge-time-again-to-write-an-opening-sentence/
I wrote this from the sentence created by Tori.
The stains from dragon vomit almost never came out, and being covered in it while standing in a pile of manure, Donovan should have known better than to think the day couldn’t get any worse.
Chuck Wendig’s ‘The first line’ Challenge.
The first line was contributed by devsmess. I wonder if she knew what she was letting herself in for.
Image credits go to my newest friend and source of inspiration, Bettina, at http://zeebam.com She is a very talented visual artist and writer, and an all-round lovely person. Go there. Immerse. Repeat.
** Multiple Warnings: strong continuous horror, catastrophic violence, disturbing image **
The darkroom was decades unused, but she found it still suitable for developing photos; and as the contours of the images darkened and formed, so did her impression of the mother she thought she knew.
Here’s my first dubious contribution to the latest Wendigism. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/04/10/flash-fiction-challenge-time-again-to-write-an-opening-sentence/
The Challenge was to write a story from a first line provided by someone else. I chose Brenna Faye’s opening sentence for this story, which is long at around 3,300 words but which can be read simply as Part 1 if you prefer. Thanks to Brenna for the inspiration and Chuck for the Challenge.
“Let go of the past,” Madeline’s mother had always warned her, “for it feeds upon us all with great appetite, and wants to live again.”
So, here it goes.
Ever wonder how a story happens? Where the idea comes from? This story, which is part one, came to be as I happened upon a concert film of Elvis Presley shown on TCM. Since I was a headbanger (thank you cousin Brendy! If it wasn’t for you, I’d probably be listening to One Direction,Lady Ga-Ga, or even, gulp, that Beiber fuck), I wasn’t even remotely interested In Elvis, or The Beatles, Bowie,or John Denver, so I watched to see what all the fuss was about. It was when he sang Love Me Tender,and began to kiss the women that the title popped in my head A God Walked Amongst Them And There Were Consequences. I thought, hmmm, what does that mean? And while I watched, the story unfolded in my brain. Contrary to belief, I am not really a writer. Oh, I get these ideas, but, ladies and gentlemen (or, Lady, and, gentleman) I cannot translate those stories in my head into written form. Trust me when I say that they are so much better, richer, more horrifying, than what I write down.
Hopefully I didn’t put you off reading the story, however. Be warned, though, it is explicit.
Thanks to Les for inviting me to author a story on his blog. Read his stuff.
Now, on with the show
That’s what this blog was founded on. Bollywood meets Armageddon.
Sure, I bugger about and trip over cables, but here in the safety of my own home, where I have solid relationships with a gerbil and a freaked-out Inner Child named Sabrina, I read more than I write. In finding stuff I like reading I hunt through bookstores and second hand shops, but I also do what you do.
Unspeakable things to myself. Ahem. Read other blogs. There are gold and diamond mines out there. I’m finding them, one blog at a time.
So, it’s always been a trait of mine that I invite guest writers to post their stuff on my page. That’s where the Bollywood big dance productions come in. Sometimes, it also involves out of control fireworks. I don’t edit what those guests write and I don’t dump their stuff unless it goes a step or fifty too far into describing genuine atrocities: harm against children, sex trade stuff; the kinds of things we should all be horrified by.
So now, Ada Ireland http://unashamedwriting.com and Bob the Wordless https://simplyterriblewriter.wordpress.com are invited Authors. They can publish directly and, being complete lunatics, they’ll probably wait until I’ve passed out from fatigue.
I hope you enjoy their stuff as much as I’m completely freaked out by it. Just like the stories in my head, this blog has multiple voices.
I wrote this in 1999 with a vague plan in mind. I wanted to create a character so charmingly vicious that he could make you laugh while he was doing the most horrendous things. He began ‘life’ as a wizard but over the years I refined his basic character and have used him as a psychopathic village school teacher and as an evil entity, part dragon and part demon, who acted as a tutor in the teacher’s reign of terror.
I began by wondering what you’d end up with if you took a highly intelligent man (in this case, but a woman could be incredible, too) who knew exactly what he was and delighted in being it. A few years later, Hannibal Lecter burst onto the scene in ‘Silence of the Lambs’, and his steady heartbeat maintained while he was doing the most gruesome things reminded me of this character. Friends weren’t so sure; they said my character was Hannibal on crack.
I had thought that if you invent a character who is so obviously evil, you can significantly cut down on the amount of graphic detail in a story. The reader’s imagination can speak louder and more thoroughly. I thought it was important to make him somehow likeable, and that got a huge reaction from readers. They liked his humour and candidness even though what he was doing with them was awful.
I hope you enjoy this short story and please, remember he’s standing behind you. You’ll know what I mean when you get to the end.
I think this short story was written in 2008. I had lived in China for some years previously, but it was a few years after leaving before I could even think of it without bitterness. I had met a really nice Canadian couple in my travels who had been to Tibet, and the man told me he’d been a pilot in the Korean War. I wrote this as an exercise in voicing disapproval without becoming a ranting maniac, and once again in practicing writing about love and tragedy.
I wrote this short story in 2007 after friends asked me to write a love story. It’s not a genre I’d had anything to do with but I’m game for anything. This, then, is the first love story I ever wrote. It made the girls cry because, y’know, ‘chicks’.
Chuck Wendig is the Ultimate Filthy Weirdo and a hell of a good writer. More than that, though, he’s a guy who shares what he’s learned and offers non-stop encouragement punctuated by butt plug bookends and monkeys doing painful shit to alien anuses.
So, after spending a few days unpicking the panties some retarded Christian app designers used to jam his butt right up to (and including) his transverse colon, he decided on a joint project smack down – this Challenge.
In 2000 words, we’re encouraged and sort of mildly threatened/intimidated into compliance with his fight for shite. For my part, which is the first Wendig Challenge I’ve undertaken, I excerpted from Book 1 of a trilogy I wrote in 2013. To fit the word count I truncated some of the original, but only to keep the smut count as high as possible.
Here ’tis. Enjoy, and go visit Wendig.