I made a decision today(1) and a kick in the butt for my writing.
I find I work better with deadlines – I was one of those kids at school that would do very little until almost the last minute then slam something out. Not always the best way to do it(2) but it’s how I was back then.
Nowadays I kind of acknowledge I need a deadline and generally work before there are only a few days are left. I’ve been working on upgraded costume parts for my Ghostbusters outfit in time for “The Love of Sci Fi” in December, I’m starting to work on things for the Larp I’m helping run in March(3) and so I figured I needed a deadline for writing something substantial, otherwise I would probably procrastinate the time away.
It all started with a mail I received about Angry Robot books open door submission window. This opened yesterday and runs until December 31st 2017
2 months to write a novel from bare bone background information I hear you say(4).
Nope. Even I know that in my most hyper-caffeinated, sleep deprived, sugar hyped(5) state I wouldn’t be able to manage that(6).
I’m setting myself the goal of having something that I can submit for NEXT years open submission window.
Which gives me between 364 days and 424 days to get something done.
I’m sticking a countdown up in the sidebar for the (probable) close date of the 2018 submission window.
Here we go.
- No. Not whether the underwear goes on the outside or not. Apparently that’s not an option.
- 72 hours or so straight awake working on my final project back in college would suggest it was never my wisest choices.
- Last year thanks to a combination of factors we had a grand total of 2 months to get everything together for the last game we ran…. Managed it, but it wasn’t exactly fun towards the end.
- I know your there. I can hear your breathing.
- For those that know – kinda how I end up on a lot of Larp events/games
- And the day job might get a bit grumpy if I didn’t show up for two months
So I’ve tried a new writing exercise today.
Rather it was from “Now Write! Science fiction, Fantasy and Horror” in the section by Diego Valenzuela.
In a nutshell it was to place your music library on shuffle (assuming that your in the modern era and have it on your PC/Ipod/whatever) and write the title of each song that comes along as a chapter title – missing out some that really, really don’t work (1)
What you end up with is a list of chapter titles, that may initially look random as balls, BUT with a bit of extrapolating of ideas based on the titles could give you the basis of an interesting plot.
The list I came up with?
- Chapter 1 Spiritwalker
- Chapter 2 Six feet under
- Chapter 3 Reich Mir die Hand
- Chapter 4 Arising hero
- Chapter 5 Ready to Go
- Chapter 6 Cry Little Sister
- Chapter 7 Tower of Strength
- Chapter 8 This Corrosion
- Chapter 9 At the End of it all
- Chapter 10 Futile
- Chapter 11 The Lost Children
- Chapter 12 Sent to Destroy
- Chapter 13 All the Small things
- Chapter 14 The Kill
- Chapter 15 Scarred
- Chapter 16 Adrenaline
- Chapter 17 Today we are Demons
- Chapter 18 Ritual Noise
- Chapter 19 All Pain is gone
- Chapter 20 Wasteland
- Chapter 21 Deliverance
- Chapter 22 Psychocult
- Chapter 23 the thing that should not be
- Chapter 24 Can I play with Madness
- Chapter 25 Battery
- Chapter 26 New form of silence
- Chapter 27 The Oxidising Angel
- Chapter 28 Kill on Command
- Chapter 29 Get out of my head
- Chapter 30 No Afterparty
Already It’s poking ideas of a dark/supernatural/horror story (2)
Might have to take it further one day
- Pong and Super Space invaders by Eisenfunk were two examples I skipped 🙂 )
- Not sure what this says about my playlist in honesty
Wow… 4 years. Thats a lot of tumbleweeds(1) to clean out..
Where have I been?
Mostly not in a good place. Mental health problems combined with (in hindsight) medication that wasn’t doing its job and a fair few other factors has basically made it all a mess so I basically withdrew from just about everything while we effectively rebuilt(3)
Over the past few years I’ve started cosplay now, and we have moved to a different larp system & faction (4). Add in purchasing a(5) 3D printer, I’ve been slowly working on getting my creativity levels back up
Cosplay-wise, I’ve also admitted to myself one of my big fandoms – I’ve got a beautiful photo from Bottletop photography of the first outing at last year’s local comic-con
The overall result of this, plus the lull in the Larp season for winter is basically why I’m coming back to working on my writing again.
So there we are. I’m not saying I’ll post loads of stuff, but the idea is the blog gives me a bit of a kick for writing.
- Finding an image for this google gave me this link I have to admit, that reading the first couple of lines that google showed I was half expecting a horror movie(2)
- Well.. B movie along the lines of Attack of the killer tomatoes
- So,, if you haven;t had any experience of mental health problems this won’t make much sense. Tough. 🙂
- These Guys. Being “evil” rocks 🙂
- Well 2 as so many plans 🙂
This is a copy of the first (and so far, only) piece of creative writing I’ve ever felt confident enough to share on writing.com It’s something I wrote about 15 years ago now. I read a lot of Poppy Z. Brite’s work at the time, so that may explain the slant on the work.
Funnily, when I look at it now it comes across as more of a synopsis/summary than short story type of affair. I may work on expanding it to short story length.
If nothing else it’s kick-started me, which is good as I was having major blocks on how to get started.
Martin is a 20 year old student, with a fairly wiry build and non-descript face, the sort of person who could easily be lost in a crowd. He has landed a job in a city pub during the summer vacation, he has been working there for several weeks, getting to know the landlord, Alvin, a slightly built, ephemeral looking person, in the process.
One night during the week, a woman begins to frequent the bar, she looks about 30~ish, fairly bulky, with a somewhat masculine figure.
After a couple of nights, she introduces herself as Karen, and starts talking rather ‘freely’ to Martin, giving him all the signs that she really likes him.
Eventually, Martin plucks up the courage to ask Alvin for a night off work, so he can take Karen out for dinner. Alvin acquiesces, and allows Martin the time off, but he also gives him not so much a warning, more of a piece of trivia, that Karen is allegedly somewhat of a man-eater, and that she may chew him up & spit him out.
After the meal, Karen suggests that they both go back to Martin’s flat, and, being a little the worse for wear from being plied with drink all night, Martin ignores Alvins ‘warning’.
Upon arriving at his flat, Martin directs Karen to the drinks cabinet, while he chooses what music to put on the stereo. When he turns back round, he finds two drinks on the coffee table, and Karen putting away a mobile phone.
When he asks who she was phoning, she tells him she was checking her answering machine.
About 15 minutes later, the pair are making out heavily on Martin’s settee, when Martin pulls off Karens top, and finds she has some fairly nasty looking scars on her chest. When asked what they are, Karen replies ‘their from the sex-change operation’.
Any further questions are forestalled when somebody arrives at the door. Martin goes to answer it but finds his legs give out on him as he gets part-way across the room.
As Martin passes out, Karen goes to the door and lets in the visitor. The last thing he hears are two voices, discussing how to get him into a van.
When he awakens, Martin finds he can move, but he has been strapped down to a bed, blindfolded & gagged, apparently in a moving van. Eventually the van pulls off & it feels to Martin that it travels down a dirt road for some time, eventually it stops, and two people come into the back of the van.
When one of them removes his blindfold, Martin see’s that they are Karen & Alvin. Reaching into a cupboard, Karen takes out a large kitchen knife & approaches Martin. When Martin looks pleadingly at Alvin the landlord simply says ‘Told you she was a man-eater….’
I’ll admit it.
I seem to be developing an urge to do something about the apparent amount of preposterous elitism that seems to perpetuate many, many aspects of the writing community.
In a drive to expand my horizons and help myself along with my writing I’ve been looking for local groups* as well as online ones.
I locate one, that along with its own facilities has courses, workshops, classes. The whole 9 yards – everything someone starting on the writing path, or further along it could want.
It’s not expensive to join. works out at about £5 a month. Not that much in this day & age really.
On looking at the how to join, I inferred a fair bit from these little bits below (I’ve edited out any identifying information) Highlights are mine.
To join, fill in our Membership Application Form and send it to us along with a short sample of your writing.
Alternatively you can contact us with any questions at email@example.com or on 99999 999 9999.
In order to join, you must:
- live in or be connected with xxxxx;
- demonstrate a commitment to developing your writing;
- demonstrate a commitment to reaching an audience with your work (e.g. through publication or production).
Membership is at the discretion of the xxxxx Board of Directors.
Now, from this I had a few questions.
- What if you were either only just starting out writing, or did not feel comfortable sharing your work with others (short or long-term)
- What if you didn’t want to be published, but just wanted to join and learn more purely for writing for fun
From this, I inferred that
- You have to already have been writing before joining (No beginners here ,Thank You!)
- If you haven’t been (or didn’t want) to be published or produced then you were not considered a real writer and as such, we don’t want anything to do with you.
These are further reinforced by the ‘members’ snapshot on the website – All published in one way or another.
Just to see if I’m alone in this and have completely lost the plot, or if it reads the same to others I’m inviting comments below as well.
I’ve also emailed the organisation concerned with a link to this to invite them to respond if they wish.
*This is quite a large step for me, having suffered from social phobia for many years
Almost a year.
Wow, even for me thats a cracking bit of procrastination.
Or is it? Well, not really.
I’ve not done anything I’ve deemed really worth putting on here. I’ve got myself painting more (See Warped Reality for more on that), and I’ve got myself working on some bits of writing.
Admittedly it’s been mostly for our groups WFRP campaign, and more outlining a setting that working on stories. After all there just wouldn’t be a point to writing a story for a roleplaying group – the players are meant to be the main characters and they are meant to be the ones that flesh out the details in the story.
Not that some of the group have quite grasped the concept, being a little stuck in the hack’n’slash mindset thanks to D&D & similar line ’em up & knock ’em down settings.
The main thing that has seen my return to 1m1k is actively getting on with working on my writing. This has recently (Ie last week) received a huge kick in the behind to get started thanks ironically, to Amazon Local offers.
I had the offer for a comprehensive writing course drop into my e-mailbox with a whacking 89% off! As it was payday, and I’ve been looking for something like that to kick-start me it would have been rude not to sign up for it. So I shelled out the requisite £39. Oddly, 2 days before a free open course on “The Future of Storytelling” has also appeared on the Radar, so I’ve signed for that too *.
The final piece I think has oddly been a new pair of glasses.
For a while now I’ve had problems reading. My tablet has been relatively fine as I can resize the text, but I’ve amassed a large wodge of material that I’ve just not been able to concentrate on.
So I’ve got myself a pair of reading glasses, as well as my regular ones. This was after a debate** with my optician, that I was too young to need reading glasses as I wasn’t 40 or over. (Heh. I love it when an average is used as an absolute value). So I did a bit of work myself (In Sainsburys pharmacy) to work out what lens worked for each eye and ordered a pair online.
I love ’em. They have helped my painting too, or at least the details.
Anyhow, I’m waffling again, probably becasue I’ve got the writing bug, and I’ll have to chopthis down in an edit like a hockey-mask wearing, machete wielding psychopath ‘edits’ teenagers…
There are other things that h ave hindered me writing this year, and painting, and doing a fair few things, and that has been my ongoing battle with depression and low self-image. It’s not been easy at all, but I’ve got a good support network. I may put some stuff on here regarding the challenges*** of writing with depression****
Anyway, time to be off. I’ve got to get myself sorted in time for the Black Library Weekender tommorrow.
* With the added bonus that the main lecturer on that looks like Deborah Anne Woll in “True Blood” *grin*
** Read: Argument
*** I refuse to call it a problem.
**** Yes, I know. Most people would suggest a pen, or a keyboard.
Me.. Hoom, well.. what to put, what to put…
I’m me. that’s who I am.
Yeah, ok – that doesn’t help much I suppose……
Gamer, Geek, wannabe writer, amateur Foamsmith and Larper, aging Goth, champion procrastinator and all round low-grade sociopath (apparently).
I’m planning to use this bog as somewhere to vent my spleen occasionally, actually kick myself in the backside to actually write, rather than keep procrastinating about it.
In the meantime.. Something that makes me chuckle