Tuesday, January 16, 2018

One Piece at a Time

I've been thinking about serials. Not killers, not at the moment, anyway. I'm talking about old school serial novels published in magazines or newspapers. If you were anyone in the Victorian era, you published your book in serial form first, and then in a single volume. Everyone did it. Arthur Conan Doyle. Alexandre Dumas. Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Now, obviously, this has something to do with only offering Part One of my story last week (it still doesn't have a name). I have realized that I can release this thing, and future… things, piece by piece.

This brings up a new can of worms regarding formatting. Or structure, I guess. Each piece needs to have its own story arc. Like a TV episode. There's an big arc for the whole season, but there's also an arc for each episode. I am intrigued by this.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Heaven Nor Hell

I did indeed set out to write you a short story based on the vague idea I had the other day. But the more I thought about, the more I realized I was not going to be able to write the whole story in the amount of time I had.

So here's Part One.
Patrick’s arrival at the Pearly Gates was not as advertised. For starters, there were no gates to be found. Rather, he appeared to be at an abandoned bus station in rural Montana in the middle of the night.

Had he stepped off a bus to get here? He couldn’t remember. For a moment, he couldn’t remember anything. He looked around, up and down the empty road. No, that was right. It came back to him in flashes. An uneventful life and an abrupt end. Somehow that had landed him here.

Wherever here was.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Project, At Last

I have no ideas. Zero. This isn't even writer's block. This is just writer's meh.

I want to work on something. Anything. I've been going through all these writing prompts and nothing has ignited that spark. I'm trying to make a fire with wet paper over here. Any little inkling of an idea I get quickly drives itself into the ground in a spectacular show of boringness. They never even have a chance. As I try to develop them, the creative part of my brain just fucks off, leaving the part of my brain that ruins things.

I had this whole plan at work today. I was going to come home, pick a prompt from my giant list, and talk a bit about its possibilities. What I could do with it. What sort of characters might be called for. And then I'd write an actual short story for Friday. Then I got home, looked at the prompts, and thbpbp! Nothing good.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Searching For Inspiration

I'm still not back to posting on time. Yet. I'm considering changing the format a bit. A comment on one of my recent posts mentioned formerly having a blog with one editorial piece and one short story per week. And I'm starting to think I should try something similar. I could talk about something on Tuesdays, and try to implement that something on Fridays.

At least until some NaNo project or another starts up. Then it'll all go to hell, as usual.

I haven't written anything new since the end of November. That's over a month. What have I been doing with my life? Making excuses, mostly. And coming up with random ideas I don't know what to do with. Like, "A handful of people are trapped by a snowstorm. One of them has a secret."

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Something About Nothing

You know, when I was in college, my issue with doing research papers was not the research. It was the paper. I love research. Learning new things and just absorbing information. Having to turn around and vomit the relevant data onto paper with some sense of coherency was less fun.

Similarly, I have a tendency to go onto Netflix and add a whole bunch of interesting-looking things to my list, and watch none of them. I do the same with writing prompts. I save them, lists and lists of them, but don't ever use them.

I like collecting things. Not so much doing something with those things.

Friday, December 29, 2017

A Slurry of Possibilities

Here I am, posting late again and pretending I didn't. I should be done with all the crazy distracting stuff, so I can get back to posting on time next week.

So where are we?

I've been trying to get going on a new project, whatever that might turn out to be. But then I was thinking about old projects, through the novella lens. That is, stories that maybe I couldn't edit/expand into a full novel, but could probably make into a novella. I have a few rough drafts that range from 10,000 to about 26,000 words that have enough raw material to eventually turn into a solid novella.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Words, Words, Words

I certainly meant to post this on Friday. And then I meant to post it on Tuesday, and now it's technically Wednesday, but I'm going to backdate it to yesterday so the whole thing doesn't fall into anarchy. Suffice it to say, I had a lot going on. I continue to have a lot going on. I've been seriously considering putting the blog on a hiatus, but I'm a little afraid that if I stop, I'll never start again.

The space story and its space cops continues to churn around in my head. I also caught a bit of a Discovery  Channel thing on Nikola Tesla's death ray, which gave me an idea about a time traveller. That's just how my brain works.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Murder! In Space!

I don't know if this is going to come into play in my next project, but lately I've drawn to the trope They Fight Crime. As in, "She's a by-the-book detective. He's an amorphous blob of mac and cheese. Together, they fight crime!" Or something, you know, less nonsensical. He's an FBI agent, she's a forensic anthropologist. A cop and a novelist. An Ontarian and a Quebecois. You get the idea.

I was also thinking about space cops, but I don't know if I know enough about law enforcement and, you know, space, to pull it off. The initial idea I had for my "space story" was that the main character joined what I called "The Corps." I don't know what that is. I never figured that out. Maybe they're space cops. I don't really know what they would be policing, on a lonely ship, wandering through space all alone. I mean, I guess they could keep the citizenry in line. I don't know. I have no idea what I'm doing, as usual.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Choices, Choices

I haven't gone through all my stories yet, but so far it looks like I haven't killed that many people. Or maybe I'm just growing numb to all the murder. By my estimation, there were 13 deaths in The Long Road's 25,000 or so words. And a lot of that was just one guy. And yeah, that's a lot, but most of the others are one, maybe two deaths. A lot have none at all!

I'll get back to you when I actually find the time to reread all the stories and get a final body count.

In the meantime, I'm probably trying not to kill anyone. I'm still not sure what my next project is, if I'm trying to go all literary and get locally published, or what.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

By the Numbers

I read an article once. This article. They were comparing things like exclamation points, first sentence length, and cliché usage between various authors.

So I decided to track some things in my own works. I tried for things that could be easily found with a simple Ctrl+F, for the sake of sanity. Things like clichés would require me to either search for every known cliché in each file, or actually read the whole damn thing and try to catch them. Too much effort on my part.

I took every NaNoWriMo novel, any Camp NaNos that reached some form of completion, and some short stories from the past few years. I'm not sure what I'm trying to prove with any of this, or if there's any useful information to be learned here, but damn it, I do love charts.