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Showing posts from 2015

Happy New Year

So Christmas down and now New Years. One thing I don't like about New Years is everyone make promises they never keep. If you don't count in the news and politics, was 2015 really all that bad? Was it any different than the year before, or the one before that? 

That's the crazy thing about the Holiday and personally I don't want anything to do with that. It's just excuses. If you are one to keep to your resolutions,  then fine, but if you know after a few days,  a week, a month, you are going to be back to the same way, then forget it. 

If you are going to make a promise to yourself to do something, then that's it. You do it. 
Personally, I made the decision to get down and dirty with my writing and didn't need any special day to do it. I just made the decision. I had been sitting on material and working on things here and there, but let minor things hold me back. Could have been I was too tired, or this show was on tonight, or I had to do that thing. Whatever…

Bring Horror Back

I've been seeing a lot of writers of "horror" write about stories that aren’t horror. Don't get me wrong. There are many things that people do that can constitute as horror. Yes. But I'm talking about horror. Real horror. Supernatural aspect. The feel of it, where you know you're unmistakably reading horror. 

You know, that feeling where even if it's not flat-out horror, you still know it belongs in the genre. Sort of like Korn, which they call "Nu-Metal;" it sounds different in a lot of ways, but you know it's still metal. And you also know it is still Korn. 

Remember, this is opinion, some aspects of it can change as I evolve, but for the most part I feel that horror has dropped down a few notches due to current events in the world. Why read something horrific when you could just turn on the news and there you go? Just about every time you turn on the news... 

See horror is...well...horrific, but even though it should seem real and plausible,…

We Can Do It!

You can walk outside and get inspiration from anything. That’s why sometimes working a day job is good. Or of you’re in the position of not needing money because your writing is paying the bills, then you can do  volunteer work. But the point here is bringing out ideas. Just walking down the street can conjure up a scene, or even a whole novel.

I was recently thinking about how you can sit behind the paper to write and think this won't happen again, I've done my best. Or you put something aside and say you’ll get to it later, you’ve reached the peak for that moment and more will come later. But then that time comes and you feel you can't go over that peak. You felt you might have that special feeling later, but when that time comes you get cold feet and nothing comes into your mind. You see your earlier self and loath him/her, because they had something and passed the torch you your current self with confidence you could do it, but you find out you can’t.

But if you si…

Popping In For A Bit

It's been a bit. Have been pretty busy, but that's sort of expected around this time of the year. 

I re-did The Cat in long hand, script, and like the way it evolved. I will be working full-time on this to get it out and then going back to my first novel. Going to further explore writing by hand as it slows things down a bit to think. Also, I have become more conscious of privacy and  using other, more open, methods to write. So my answer is long hand, at least until the day job is a memory. 

Had to re-evaluate a few goals, but things are still going pretty good for a guy with a 3 year old and a full time job :) 

Been thinking about a few new writing tactics, too. How to make dialogue sound more realistic, not just with the actual dialogue itself, but spacing it out with the actions of the characters between what they say. There is a way and I am going to find the formula. Very important if you want your audience to get lost in your story. 

And that's what I want, someone to e…

Coping with Stress

Thanksgiving has come and gone, the holidays are now in the proverbial sights. Shopping, decorations, rushing! 

Anxiety is high as I try to find time between work, life and writing. I love the fast pace, but writing is mostly, at least for me, something that needs a slower speed. 

The industry can seem fast, and unless you're one of those writers who can put out a book every few years like you didn’t miss a beat, it can seem even faster. Writers are expected to have a new book out every 6 months or so. Throw in working full time and you may feel as though you have no time at all. 

Things should slow a bit once my writing pays the bills and I can quit the day job, but that could open another can of worms.  Working at home can make you lazy. You may have more time because you’re not working the grind, but if you don’t have a routine, you can keep putting things off in favor of the comfort of your pajamas and bed. 

Remember, the day job can be beneficial, as well, with the wealth of mate…

Active and Passive Voice

What I post helps me in a particular way, but may not help you unless you modify it. Though, it may help you off the bat. Please do your own research on any subject I discuss. 

With that out of the way, something I've come across in my formula for perfecting my story is the Active and Passive voice. 

While there are times when the Passive Voice is necessary, (maybe to slow things down, or some other effect like possibly throwing off your reader) active voice is easier and more entertaining to read. It gets to the point and doesn't make the reader have to wait, which can be very annoying. 

Try changing some of your sentences and see how it works for you. I will discuss more perhaps in another post about this subject. 

I have a link below that is an excellent example of this subject. There are many more if you Google Active vs. Passive. Very interesting stuff: 

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/539/01/

Or:

http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/passive-voice/

Opinions about movies and TV series

I miss the days when movies were great. I don’t see this much anymore. There are some good films, even a few great ones, but most of the extraordinary entertainment is now in the former of TV series. Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead etc. These TV shows are now in the mainstream and doing great. 

If you think about it, when you watch these shows it is like watching a really long movie. You have seasons, which have anywhere from 12 to 16 episodes each, more or less. Creators can do more with this than a short two and a half hour movie--and let me tell you, two and a half hours is pretty darn long for a movie compared to the old days when they were on average an hour and fifteen minutes. 

I read in an interview with a writer that it's hard now to have just one or two writers on a movie script. Usually it gets passed through a many writer's hands before it's finished. And mostly all the good writers that worked on the great movies from days past have moved on to writing for the TV…

Talent Trumps Technicality

Personally I feel talent and some hard work trumps technicality. You can have a beautifully written story, grammar perfect, syntax on spot, but if your voice and content lack then it's useless to a reader looking to get into the world  you are creating. 

I had gone through this on Ipublish and other sites where others boasted about what they accomplished and where they've gone to school and such. And that's fine. Confidence is wonderful. But when you get down to it, their bark was bigger than their bite. 

Sure they appeared to put down eloquent sentences and such, but their story content lacked--or at least wasn't on the league with which they judged others. 

Of course, that site was a free-for-all where writers were unfairly pulling down other writers with fake reviews and such, but you get the point. Fancy education and knowledge of the finer points are excellent and help a lot, but if you don't have the talent then it doesn't matter. 

I've been told numerous…

Happy Thanksgiving

Image
Here cooking and listening to Christmas music, and of course writing. At least for the site. 

I know I see readers from other countries visiting the blog, and thank you all for stopping by. What do you celebrate in your country? I'd like to meet on in the comments, along with any stories like if you're cooking, or going to someone's house. 

Are you writing? Thinking about any story ideas? 

I'm cooking, so as this bird roasts I'm in this boiling kitchen writing down some thoughts. I'm about to open a window or something, because it's getting pretty toasty in here with the oven and all. 

It's not easy to incorporate your writing into your daily routine, but it is possible. Tomorrow I have to work, but it's gonna be a dead day. I'll be bringing my writing and working on that in the spare time. 

I'll be at a cafe before I go in and then editing during the day. 

Oh and probably checking out the shopping deals for Black Friday online,too. 

So let me know…

Tips and posts

I noticed one of my more viewed posts is about writing. The process. 
I'm going to post things occasionally I think may help in posts titled Tips and Posts, on thoughts about the actual writing process. These may be tactics I'm currently testing, or techniques I use to write. Some may be new insights I come across reading about other writers. They may help, they may not. You decide. But they'll be there incase you need them. 
And of course, let me know if there is anything you use, tactics or techniques you feel help you when writing. Whether fiction, non-fiction, screen plays etc. All ideas are welcome. 

And let me know if you like those posts or not. 

WCM

Update: day before Thanksgiving

So here I am sitting in a cafe with a short story I'm finishing up to submit. I have been feeling sick, probably the change in weather. But I'm thinking about how I haven't been writing for the past few days and I start to worry.
It's like driving, you start again and remember the mechanics naturally, but there is always that self-doubt just before where you have to jump in. So I listened to my recent post about Music and started editing and got right back into it. Feels good when you pick up and things naturally come together. All the worry and fear dissolves and you see the goal clearly in front of you.
I say you have to just pick up and get to it. Don't think of anything else, just start and see how you feel. I bet you'll see it just comes naturally.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving so probably won't be able to get much writing in, but I'll try. Maybe read between cooking and straightening up.
Until next time.
Keep writing.
WCM

Music

Listen to music while you write? It could really help. In that first stage of writing, where you just put everything down on the page, you aren't really looking at structure and grammar. You are getting the rough, clay ideas out that will be molded into structures later and then chiseled into the actual story even further down the road. The music you use can shape these ideas and scenes and make them believable. It sort of goes side by side with day dreaming. Some even listen to music while they edit. 
A song can take you to another time, to another frame of mind. For instance; if I want to get into a high school student's mind I'll listen to Third Eye Blind, How's It Gonna Be. (I still tear when I think of Dawson's Creek--don't laugh!) Or if I need to get into a vampire's thoughts, I'll listen to Type O Negative, Black No 1. (or almost anything from them.) It all depends on where you want to go, and what type of character you are writing about--or which…

The Secret

I was once in a slump; some might say writers block, but that's hogwash. A friend from work suggested a movie about positive thinking that might help. I had always known about the power of the subconscious mind, but it's always helpful to be reminded every now and again—a refresher. So I watched the first half of this movie during lunch and then the rest on my way to work one morning. The very interesting and motivational movie The Secret, which is a best selling self help book turned movie, is about a secret that has been passed down from long time ago on how to get anything you want through directed thinking. It's based off the law of attraction. 

You put your thoughts out to the universe and eventually get what you ask for. You can be of any religion to do it. Positive thinking. They say you make real that which you think—sound familiar? 

As writers and creators we do this every day. We think up a scene and it gets put down on paper (or computer) and becomes a story, a ne…

Post on Twitter

Actually a reply. I am new to the social media thing and may have made a blunder. I saw a post to an editor of a writing magazine. They limit you and the posts sound like little trolling advertisements. It's funny, but trying to convey that your intentions were exactly what you are saying is hard. The post was about retweeting other writers, and helping others out. If you look through my tweets (never thought I'd be saying that) you'll see it. I just wanted to say that anyone can come on here and talk. You can put me in my place and we can discuss, or you can ask me what you think of as the "dumbest" questions, but none are dumb. I will try my best to find the answer, or we can research together. See you then. Keep writing WCM

Been busy

Haven’t been on, busy at work and trying to finish off this short story to get out there. 

On top of that I’ve been editing the first few chapters of my first novel as many chances as I get. Time just hasn’t been my friend. But I’m going to make time my friend, because these things need to get done. 

I’m trying to get more people on here who need help and inspiration. We can all work together and help each other. Like-minded individuals who you can toss ideas off of and get honest feedback. It will come together. I was reading about this writer who had published work and something happened where he was back to square one. So he started a blog. For a year he had no views. And then things started picking up. He started inviting other writers on and his blog started to take off. Even published some more books after as well. 

So back to the point; I know this will take time, so I am sticking through with it. And if you like what you’re reading or what you see what it's  becoming, please …

Perspective

Sometimes a story cannot just be linear. Certain times it can, yes; there are always exceptions. But you run the risk of being boring if it is used a lot.
A different perspective can show the reader a different point of view and a new understanding of what the main character of the scene is portrayed as, or things you wouldn't see from the POV of that character.
Two parents may be talking about something that makes sense to adults, but a child who has snuck down to the dining room to listen is going to hear and see the situation totally different.
Now you can use this writing tactic for your stories benefit, but you have to also be careful not to let that new perspective character seem like the main characters in what they experience and express about it. They should not feel think or have ideas like you would read from the main character's POV, otherwise you destroy the spell of the reader. The child also thinks a different way with its own opinions and the narrator of the ch…

Aim High, but stay humble

We all want our writing to take off and make tons of money--fame. Some lie and say they are only doing it for the art of it. Some really are doing it for just the art, and for themselves. But most writers are trying to do it so it's their sole means of money and they can actually love their day job instead of building someone else’s dreams. 

If you get paid for writing, enough to actually live off of it and pay the bills, you are one of the lucky ones; though luck isn’t all there is to it. The ones who made it happen didn’t quit and stuck it out through many rejections and put their soul out naked for all to see. And now they can sustain their dream. You can be the boss, too, doing something you love. Yes there are aggravating times, as with any job, but if you love writing then you aren’t really working--you know, and all the other sayings that go with this statement. 

This can happen for anyone, and I believe that if you don’t quit, as with anything in life, eventually you can mak…

The Blues

I haven’t been on for a bit because I have been feeling sick. Change in the weather moving into a new season, a colder season, and wham, you’re sick. And this can make you go into different frames of mind. Of course it may not be that you’re sick, you can just be feeling blue.

You may feel depressed or like you can’t go on, that your best had been spent in your last story. This is a dangerous way to think and can destroy you if you aren’t ready for it. You have to keep moving.

Sometimes I feel this way, where everything feels like it’s coming down on me. I think about everything at once. You don’t have talent, who would read anything you write? Sound familiar? I feel talentless when things don’t come to me, ideas. I say what if I put out one story and can’t come up with anymore after this. These are irrational thoughts. Of course more ideas will come to you. If you let them, if you open up and daydream and enter that state of mind where you can create.

The blue feeling can overwhelm…

Are Writers Crazy?

This is an interesting subject.

Stephen King said (I use him a lot, it's just there was a time when I did a lot of research on him and know a bit about him) in an article--this after a youth did the unthinkable to students in Virginia Tech--about if his college writing would raise red flags. Steven said he probably would have been tabbed as mentally ill.

The stories that come from a horror writer could definitely be used or recounted in a police report or news article as evidence against a person who commits murder, or becomes a serial killer. Some might say, "Oh yeah, that's no surprise."

Some writing content certainly shows the output for potential violence of a person. There's the kid who is bullied and writes about getting even, he can't be on the football team, he's not "cool," everyone picks on him. He writes about characters that have the attributes he wants and one day polishes them and gets them published. He used his energy to tu…

Daydreaming

Is daydreaming necessary to create? 
Heck yeah! And a lot of other writers feel this way as well. Daydreaming allows you to tap into your sub-conscience and bring out a deeper world in your stories. When you write, you go into a universe inside your mind. You create something out of nothing. This place inside is just about as real as the physical world, and offers so much material for writing. The problem is getting there. 
There are people who can go into trances in the middle of a busy city cafe, while some need quiet and concentration. To create a story there shouldn't be a lot of outside distractions, but in today's world that's hard to come by. 
You may be able to pop out a burst of idea, a hook, or ending, or some really cool scene with these quick thoughts. Maybe even an underlying theme to a story you had no clue as to where it was going. It can happen at any moment: Running to catch a train, waiting online in a cafĂ©, or simply walking on the street. You jot down the …

How Many Spaces After a Period?

Back when typesetters needed the extra space to show where the sentence ended, a double space was necessary. Typewriters later used monospaced letters which meant letters took up the same amount of space--so thin characters would get the same space as thicker characters and it would be hard to see where the sentence ended.
Later, and still today, people continue to use double space as a rule they think is still in effect, or maybe they use it out of preference. I had started using double space myself a while back because I thought it was the right thing to do. A friend had finally convinced me that it was correct and I did a bit more research and found that a lot of people still did use it. So I jumped in and before long I became used to it. 
Years later and I'm reading how wrong it is and how everywhere people aren't using the double spaced rule any longer. Agents and editors are more often even accepting different fonts with submissions, as well. Computer word processing prog…

Possessed?

Are writers, musicians, actors etc. Possessed by spirits or paranormal entities when they work on their craft? Sounds like a conspiracy, but it appears to be more factual the more you look at it.

Halloween is among us and creepy things tend to happen around this time. A subject of interest I run across from time to time is possession of artists by "demons" and other entities.

Some claim that musicians are possessed by demons when they create their work. If you do a search on Google, and even on YouTube, you'll find some interesting mini documentaries on the subject--some questionable, some intriguing with the info they provide. I thought it might be fitting to take a closer look at this subject--being so close to Halloween and all.

The videos and articles I've read talk about musicians who are possessed by an entity that works through their human form and creates the song, or story/content of the song. Sometimes it even transforms the musician into another pers…

Procrastination

I admit, I have been a big time procrastinator. It's easy to put things off when life has so many things that need to be done. It's easy to get buried in the day to day grind. I really was shackled and pulled under the current on that one, for many years. 
I finally said screw this and got to it. Life is too short. So I finished my first novel and then my second. They aren't edited, but they are done. A HUGE step for me. I debated if I should start the third while i'm on this kick, but decided to get to work on editing the first one and begin sending it out. 
While I do that, working on short stories and social media fill in the gaps when I don't feel up to the editing. It's important to work on anything you can during the time you allocate for writing. If you can't do one thing, do something else, anything that moves you to your goal. You know how I feel about the social thing, but I do believe there is ideal time for it, especially with smartphones and work…

Still Here

It's been a few days. Not to many people are viewing this site yet, and that's okay. It will happen. Feels weird sometimes writing and talking to no one. Yet a part of me still feels that I am talking to someone. It's just going to be someone in the future. 

It reminds me of something I wrote on not too long ago about making the time for all this social stuff. How if you are focusing totally on all the social aspect and not doing the thing (writing/creating) that all this social stuff is aiming toward, then what is the point of the social presence to begin with? 

I used to scrutinize these posts for quite a bit, to make sure of what they were saying, their meaning, or would a reader take away a wrong impression about them. Would I sound like an amateur? Would I sound like an idiot who had no idea what he was doing? Then you hear all the comments about just do it, that you won't know what you are capable of until you try. And so I did. And now it's getting easier to j…

Never Lose Hope

A good episode of The Walking Dead aired this weekend, at least in my opinion. And sometimes it makes me think...are my stories good enough to go up against the ones at the top? Am I putting enough work into them? Is my dialogue stilted? I think about these things a lot, but it's best to be calm and get down to business. You can't please everyone...you know the rest. Do your best and edit and show other people your work--trusted people--and things will come together.

Remember those writers at the top were once where you are, starting out, looking for that idea that would explode. Worrying about their grammar, or pacing. It takes time.

Take Harry Potter. Imagine the agent before she found Christopher Little, or the publishing houses that turned her down? I can't even imagine how they feel, but it happens. 

I love hearing success stories like that, because it proves anything is possible. They give hope, and that's something aspiring writers need these days.

There will be…

Portable Writing

Even if you're out and about, there is still time for writing. A lot of the writing I do gets done while I'm on a train, or even on errands.

My phone is a writing powerhouse, with apps to manage my social media and website, to Microsoft Word--which they put out not too long ago on mobile and saves documents in the cloud, or only on your device (for those skeptical of the cloud.)

Even if I don't get everything done, I can start it off and finish it up later. Or if I have something that's just about ready to go, I can do some final editing while on the move. This saves time and allows you to be more productive with your writing. People will say, "Where do you get the time for all this?" And you can act as though it's all so strenuous, like those commercials where the person pretends to cook a full course meal only we find out its pre-made. :-D

Hey, I wrote and edited this post in bed before getting up!

Yeah it's the weekend, grab your smart phone or tab…