Forever ago

Oh man, I haven’t touched this blog in forever, for very many reasons. Most of them life related. Your not really here for that sort of thing though. So I won’t burden you with the explanations for why I’ve been silent for such a very long time. I may start this up again. I’ve had plenty of time to recharge my batteries and come up with some new material. Which is a challenge when your seemingly shouting into the void.

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Reminder

I take submissions for  review. I am more than willing to give feedback on any pieces of writing.

Advice for writing a series.

Hey, some quick life updates.

  1. I am being trained for assistant manager of my department.
  2. The government recognizes I am poor.
  3. What this means. I am under a lot less stress now and am likely going to be posting more often.

So lets start today off with something I’ve been thinking about more as I have been working on the series of books I am writing. There are seven planned, each estimated to be about 300 pages-ish. And I have a few thoughts I’d like to share with anyone attempting to do something on such a scale. Some advice I wish I had gotten when I first started out.

  1. Figure out what type of narrative we are telling. Is this the hero’s journey. Is this a coming of age story. What sort of overall tone are we crafting? Jot it down somewhere, and in moments of indecision about where to go, refer back to this. I’m not saying you can’t deviate, but its nice to be able to go back to the basics and refresh your understanding of what you wanted the piece to be when it was just a zygote of an idea in the back of your head.
  2. Plan an ending. To put it simply, all stories must end. A clear end point will help you stay focused on telling your one story. again, not to say you can’t deviate, but this will at least keep it from spiraling into something too big.  Moving parts are awesome, but they can get overwhelming, and you can get lost if you don’t have a specific end game in mind.
  3. Plan ahead as much as you can. Even if it seems like minor stuff. So my series is going to be a “tour of the modern supernatural communities as they are affected by an evil doers plot” so I’ve got to come up with plots that involve all of these different elements and yet fit into my singular narrative. Which can be challenging. Sometimes my planning involves just taking the time to flesh out these various different players in the series. I don’t need to know everything, but it is good to have more to work with.
  4. Don’t be afraid to deviate from your plans. You never know when something really awesome will come to mind that either contradicts what you have planned or takes your story in a different direction.
  5. Do make it end. My one endless critique of Asian media is how they will milk an intellectual property till the audience that started with it and loved it, cant stand it anymore. Naruto for instance. I loved the first few arcs, and then it got too big for itself. Worse than that, it felt like we’d lost sight of what our real story was.

Alright, food for thought, happy writing guys.

You know what kills momentum the most?

When your computer effs up and doesnt save the 5,000 words you wrote, and you had it perfect the first time. Or so you’ll tell yourself, and you just dont want to breath life into it again.

Why many genres aren’t considered respected.

I remember just a few years back attending University of Southern Maine, and taking an advanced creative writing class. On the very first day the instructor told us how this was not a “genre” class. This was a class that focused on character development. This would be a refined adult class, where we would graduate from these “Genre” pieces. Well, needless to say, none of us did graduate from our “genre” pieces. She puffed that word as if it were smoke. To this day I still have no idea why the word genre to her was such a nasty thing.

This piece originally started as a reflection on the state of the Horror genre in media, however I think that the entire notion of genre is looked at in the literary world with scorn. A snobbish elitism that does us no favors.

I’ve been putting some thought into how this divide came about. Between whats considered a “mature book” and “genre trash”. I haven’t been able to figure it out really. Seeing as many of the classic books which are totted around as being excellent fall into their own genres. Pride and Prejudice. Drama. Sherlock Holmes. Mystery. Frankenstein: Horror. Dracula: Horror.

See, what I think it ends up boiling down to is that this snobbish attitude towards genre stems from the over formulaic patterns which form in each genre, and the shear volume of pieces which fail to live up to the inspirational text.

When talking about say, horror in particular. Its the flood gates of bad flicks like Leprechaun 5. Or clear off brand knockoffs of other horror movies. It leads me to this conclusion, Genre books are looked down on because of the inevitable cascade of copycats who can’t do it quite as well.

I’m a critic and I know I have picked bones with authors over that sort of ground. However I’ve never generalized it to the whole genre. I think that’s the essence of why people look down on genres. Rather than seeing the pieces which inspired many other writers to add to the genre. They see those pieces as gleaming gems among the muk, rather than as the foundation upon which the genre is built.

Why experiencing a wide range of media is so important for a writer

This is just a quick post. The other day I sat down and decided I’d write or edit a thousand words a day, for the next, forever. After a few moments of planning I realized that if I stuck to this, I would have completed 100% and released every bit of story floating around my brain in 5 years time.  Which brought up the natural question of… “what next?” Its a thought I haven’t had for a while. Sure I’m always designing new stories for games to play with my friends, but those are different than book stories. Most of the time anyway.

That’s when I got thinking about where my desire to write anything in stemmed from.

My Urban fantasy is inspired by Dresden FIles, and World of Darkness the roleplaying games in general.

Summoners is all about Harry Potter, Magic the Gathering, League of Legends, and Game of Thrones.

Mirrors: That’s Stephen King making out wildly with World of Darkness and HP Lovecraft.

I even have a super hero story going, inspired one part by heroes, two parts by a game I played in, and one part Jericho the tv drama about nuclear holocaust.

Heck even this idea i have for a sci-fi story is basically founded from Liara from Mass effect.

When asking myself what I want to write next. I am mostly asking myself. What do I like? And most importantly, how can I make it my own.

They say that everythings been written before, all we do is find new ways to make it our own. So find some small way to own those stories.

Hi my long distant readers

The Night is dark and full of Terrors.

Some of those Terrors include such real world things as.

1. Apartment hunting in an area with very high demand and low supply.

2. Finding jobs in said area which are in equally as high demand.

3. Trying to move lots of stuff out of your old apartment only in time for them to tell you that we’re supposed to professionally have the carpets cleaned… and only getting that notice after we left our keys in our old apartment. Welp guess thats coming out of the security deposit.

Anyway, I shall be able to resume posting shortly. My condolences for the long delay as we attempt to Re-orient ourselves back into the State of Maine. It is a shame that it has been so rough.