A novel conundrum

Oh, hey. It’s six days into 2016 and I’ve managed to not continue writing the date with a 15 at the end. I’ll chalk that up as a pretty solid victory. Hopefully you’ve all had victories of your own, both creative and otherwise. (Really, though; can we take a moment to appreciate how easy it is to slip up and put the previous year on something? Because if you think otherwise, you clearly have your shit far more together than I do.)

With a new year, I find myself with new ideas. This shouldn’t be mistaken for me having new ideas and knowing what I want to do with them, of course, given that the new year also brought me being relocated to a new store at work. At least the ideas are there?  Continue reading

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Concept envy, and feeling defeated

This is the sort of confessional post that I feel iffy about writing, because it betrays my well-established gruff and grumbly persona and exposes my soft, vulnerable under-belly. All right. Let’s get this out of the way so I can get some actual sleep tonight, and then maybe try to see where my brain goes with writing tomorrow.

Lately, and by lately I mean for quite a few months now, I have felt defeated. I haven’t had ideas popping into my thoughts like before. My projects have been gathering cobwebs like it’s their job. As I said earlier today: I feel less like a writer as of lately and more like someone who wrote here and there. I feel defeated.  Continue reading

Hello, Old Friend

It’s that time again. Time to dust off Misadventures In Fiction, evicting spiders and so forth, and return to giving it the attention it intermittently deserves. While I certainly can’t claim to have forgotten this site–quite the contrary, in fact, as I think about what I could be writing almost daily–I must admit I haven’t done the best job of keeping it alive. Or the most mediocre job, really.

However, I am moved back to Carnegie as of a couple months ago (living partially out of boxes and bags is moved back in, right?). Life has gone on, and in ways I couldn’t have necessarily predicted but I’m entirely okay with (and no, I am not suggesting I won the lottery, so don’t start asking for yachts or anything). Tonight, when I have an overnight shift to work tomorrow and relatively unlimited time to stay up, I find myself frustrated. I am, as often is the case, in the throes of a creative funk. Continue reading

In my less-than-famous opinion

Before this continues, I want to point out that this isn’t today’s installment towards One Hundred Days of Blogging 2.0, which should sound a touch insane as that means I’m deliberately making it a point to force myself to write two posts today. Few people have accused me of having particularly good ideas, however, so this makes sense. Moving along.

Actually, I lied. I think I will use this for today’s post and follow with the other, thematically appropriate idea anyway. Not sorry.

Something I can state as purely fact, with neither pride nor disappointment, is that I haven’t really read much of A Song of Ice and Fire. I usually hit a point in Game of Thrones where, despite loving fantasy novels and having read other titanic titles such as the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy (plus The Hobbit, before it became a trilogy), I become so supremely bored that reading another page borders on self-inflicted torture. There are plenty of people I know who absolutely love George R.R. Martin’s behemoth heptalogy, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The point I’m meandering toward here is that the most common complaint I hear from these A Song of Ice and Fire fans is that Martin is writing too slowly. That he’ll probably die before he finishes the series, given his advanced age and larger-than-average stature. Fans of Robert Jordan’s works who also enjoy A Song of Ice and Fire are probably already bracing for the worst. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the Game of Thrones series on HBO having a strong chance of completing the series before the books can.

These criticisms aren’t exactly isolated, and apparently they aren’t welcomed by George R.R. Martin, especially those regarding his death.

Pictured: George R.R. Martin's response to suggestions he'll die before his books are finished. Or one very angry Santa Claus.

Pictured: George R.R. Martin’s response to suggestions he’ll die before his books are finished. Or one very angry Santa Claus.

Continue reading

Misadventures in writing a second novel

Oh, wow. How far is it into January again? I’m pretty sure the year just started yesterday.

Unless I’m actually a time-traveler who doesn’t realize he’s a time-traveler…

It goes without saying that I’m a little dazed and confused. I’d like to shift the blame to being a time-traveler, but I think this gloomy, post-Christmas gray-and-frozen weather is to blame for my inability to remember what day it is. What I do know, however, is in this haze of work and naps and new things brought along with the changing over to a new year (or a New Year) has also got me working on something new and exciting, and that’s lead to an interesting couple of revelations.

The something new is a new novel-project-mess, which I may have mentioned. It’s another new novel. I lose track because I start too many projects only to let them wander around My Documents, alone and bored until I remember they exist. All of this is especially worth talking about now because it was around this time last year that I went absolutely crazy in terms of cranking out new pages of material for Joshua Harkin and the Wicked Nightmare King, a title I have grown to regret as it might as well read Joshua Harkin and the Paragraph-Long Title.

Progress is a bit more slow than with Joshua’s Nightmares (I’m aiming for brevity here, people), taking into consideration I have a different job than I had this time last year, complete with different hours, responsibilities, and so on. I am also, I’ve found, more prone to taking naps. That’s something I still need to work on.

What I’m also noticing, however, is that this novel has already taken on enough of a life of its own that it’s impossible to really compare it to its predecessor in any real, meaningful way. Joshua’s Nightmares was general fiction in the broadest sense. It features elements of sci-fi, fantasy, humor, horror, and so on. Current Novel Without a Name (the file name, which doesn’t really betray much in terms of plot, is currently The Princess, The Lich, and Some Murders) is more restricted in that it’s a blend of humor and fantasy, skipping out on sci-fi (read as “this will be lacking in epic battles between space pirates”).

The plot itself is taking more time to unfold, as I don’t want to rush getting the major players where they need to be. Events need to unfold over the right amount of time, and getting that figured out is taking up…well, more time.

Fortunately, I can say I’m starting the year off with plenty of writing instead of plenty of slacking, as even on my worst days I’m still adding to this project’s word count.

Of course, there’s always Joshua Harkin and the Wicked Nightmare King to keep busy with until this book is finished (and eventually published, I hope). Definitely just a little proud of having a four-point-three star rating for my first novel. Please check it out and, if you’re feeling extra generous, write a review once you’re done. I’ll be donating 50% of the money I earn from book sales to the American Cancer Society via Relay for Life.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re creating, and no matter how many days you forgot just what point in the week it is, I hope you’re all having a good start to this new year so far.

Today’s writing tools and companions

While I am not overly fond of handwritten notes and so on, as typing has always been the far more effective method for me, I’m trying to see if using a means of writing that lacks internet access will help or hinder my usual productivity (or lack of productivity, as it seems to be at times).

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The notebooks and pen. Not pictured: access to millions of pictures featuring cats doing silly things.

And, of course, I need some company…which is where these come into play, I guess.

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Confession: I may have just gotten bored and picture-happy.

Without further delay, I’m off to hopeful productivity. Ignoring, of course, that I have just been chosen as Marceline’s snoozing spot. Happy writing, folks. Try to stay warm.

Become your own hero

And other one-sentence platitudes straight from the School of Shallow-Thinking Drivel-Poop.

I jest.

A very big influence in my writing, which is the same very big thing that can be applied to most any artist and their works, is the works of authors I hold in very high regard. Pratchett, Gaiman, Moore, and so on. People who have written works (books, short stories, and anything else) that have left me wanting to create something just as amazing as what I’d just read. Writing with words blended in such a masterful way that I just had to sit down and get to my own creative processes. This is both a wonderful and treacherous thing as it makes creating a balancing act.

On one hand it would be very easy to follow in the footsteps of one or more of the previously mentioned writers, borrowing bits and pieces of their styles and voices as it suited me. I imagine, with the right level of effort and patience, such writing could yield a very strong end result that would read almost entirely (but not quite) like a work of my own hard labors. Continue reading