Realistic Endings

I don’t like nice endings, not in my fiction anyways. I hate the whole ‘hero gets the girl despite all odds’ and ‘good guys always win’. Well, I hate it when it’s a constant. What I look for in a story: a good, solid, and entirely realistic ending.

If there’s a war and my main hero is throwing himself headlong into the fight, he better get scarred and he better lose a buddy or six along the way. He better be emotionally traumatized for life. On the flip side, if my hero ‘dies’ he better not come back (thank you action movies for ruining every dramatic moment ever).

When I read a story, watch a movie, or write a story, I want my ending to make sense and be as real as possible. Deal with the devil? Of course there’s going to be some nasty consequences and buddy boy who made the contract won’t feel nice about it afterwards. My horror stories don’t end with a pretty rescue. They may not always end in death (though they most often do), but there’s something left afterwards.

Clearly, this isn’t for everyone. I don’t expect it to be. But it’s what I like and what I prefer. Here’s why:

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Don’t Forget to Recharge

First off: Special Announcement! My sci-fi short, “Glitch”, has been accepted for publication! It should be out sometime in June, so more information as it comes.

Haha, so this comes from to you because of one thing: I recently went on vacation and saw the ocean for the very first time. I’ve never been before and was presented with the opportunity, so I took it. And damn guys, it was great.

Which leads us quite nicely into today’s topic. I’ve noticed that I constantly forget to let myself recharge. Both physically and mentally. I’m constantly pushing myself to get more things done and stressing myself out. Let me tell you right now, this isn’t a good way to live. One should always make time to recharge, especially as a creative writer.

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Becoming Me: Know Before You Read

We is scared of Them. Sometimes, We turns into Them. We toss the turning ones from the nest, throw them out as they grow cold. They will destroy us. So We are terrified. We are always scared of something.
And sometimes, when We is sleeping, I think of Me and I am not scared. 

Becoming Me is a flash fiction piece that needs to be read to be understood. It is a literary tale that examines collectivism and individualism while being entirely surreal. Read for free here.

Alternative Story Telling

First thing I want to do here is clarify what I mean by alternative storytelling in this context. For today’s discussion, I mean medium that is not writing. Examples: film, video games, photography. I’ll be doing a post about alternative storytelling in fiction at a later date.

Now that we have that cleared up, allow me to rant.

I recently became obsessed with a visual novel on my PlayStation Vita. Novel in question? Here’s the trailer.  The basic story of the game: you play as a young woman named Cardia. She has a poison in her veins that makes it absolutely impossible for her to touch anything else or she’ll melt them. Even her clothing needs to be doused in a special chemical to prevent them from melting. While she’s about to be kidnapped by the government, a thief named Lupin steals her away. And so begins her adventure to cure the poison in her veins and find her father. Also, romance. There are five different romance options in the game, each of them exploring an entirely different alternative future for these characters. If you play all five (and trust me, I did), you’ll end up linking all of the potential futures and discovering some really interesting tidbits about the world.
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Project Updates: Uprising Review, Mr. Billy, and more!

I’ve been stupid busy lately, hence the lack of updates and the fact that this is appearing on a Wednesday. I’m going to resume posting every Saturday starting this week though! So we’ll be back on schedule. But for now, I’m going to throw a general update at you guys regarding my current projects!

 

The Uprising Review

In conjunction with some fantastic writer friend of mine, W.O. CassityStephen WillisEveritt Foster, The Uprising Review has been born. The Uprising is a literary magazine dedicated to promoting quality writing and free speech within creative writing. We all agreed there was a need for this after noting a trend where writers were restricted from writing what they wanted to or their art was only published if it included certain topics. There were even a few cases where a writer, themselves, needed to be X gender, sexuality, colour, etc.

The Uprising vows to judge a writer’s work by the merit of their writing, not the colour of a writer’s skin or their gender or sexuality. We want to encourage writers to write what they chose and find their own voice without fear of being rejected simply because their opinion is unconventional or different.

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February Writing Challenge Week 3

This week was mostly catch-up and I’ll be starting off next week with more of it. Despite that, I felt a lot better creatively and was able to flesh out some ideas I’ve had spinning in my head for a while now. The dates they were written on are liars, I often wrote two or more short stories in a day and then skipped a few here and there, but it makes more sense for me to keep track of them in this manner.

I’ve only written one straight up flash fiction, which is rather disappointing for me personally, but hopefully that’ll change. The editing binge I’ll be on after this challenge might kill me a little, but it’ll also be a great creative recharge after this whole endeavour.

Onwards to the next week!

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February Writing Challenge Week 2

This week was not as productive as I hoped it was going to be. Honestly, I was rather disappointed with myself. Despite that, I got some material to work with and I’ve got some stories down. The point of this is to write, and I’ve been writing. So that, in itself, is a success.

Even though I didn’t do the best that I wanted to do when it came to writing my own stories, I was able to get a ton of critting done on Scrib (probably my favourite writing community of all time) and revise one of my older shorts. I’m hoping to binge submit a couple of my stockpiled stories by the end of this month.

Oh! And one of my little flash fiction pieces ‘came out’. Becoming Me is a piece I personally fell in love with. It’s a literary flash fiction piece, my little odd ball baby, and I love it. Anyways! Results for my challenge this week:

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February Writing Challenge Week 1

Long time since I’ve updated! Unfortunately, I’ve been stupid busy with work and everything like that. So I decided to pile more busy on top of it all! Because, never enough busy. Anyways, to today’s topic:

I’m one of those writers who has a little notebook I take with me everywhere. In this little notebook I have dialogue snippets, story ideas, titles, that sort of thing. Reason being: I’m not always in a place that I can write and I don’t always remember the little bits and bobs that I would love to write about or that inspire me.

So this book has become a saviour of a sort because it stores all of these random little tidbits that I haven’t used.

Here’s where the problem comes in. I have so many short stories I’m in the process of finishing and editing, plus the first draft of my novel, that I never get around to enacting these ideas.

Hence the birth of the February Writing Challenge. I’m going to write an entire (or as much as possible) short story every day for the entire month. Will I die? Possibly. But it wil get done to the best of my abilities. For the entire month of February, my blog is going to be focused on this challenge. So you’ll get weekly thoughts, feelings, and updates as to whether or not I’m failing or succeeding this challenge. Woot woot!

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Writing to be Read

So a few weeks ago I covered the topic of writing to write and how a writer shouldn’t give up and the rough patches that can happen while working on the skill that is writing (you can read that post here). In that post, I mentioned how writers also write to be read.

Hold onto your seat, because we’re diving straight into that bucket of worms today.

I love writing. I absolutely adore it with a passion. But that does not mean I want to spend the rest of my life writing privately to myself. Sure, there are certain projects that won’t see the light of day. Certain projects that are much too personal for my comfort. There are going to be many projects like that over the years, that’s normal. Perhaps, in the future, they’ll see the light of day.

But we’re talking about the now, and the now is what we’re concerned about.

Writers can’t bottle their work away and be satisfied that it has been completed. There’s a huge part of us that is absolutely begging for someone to read and comment on it, someone to tell us that we did our job as a writer and hit them right in the feels. With a sack of hammers and a glass bottle of nails.

Don’t literally do that. This is writing, it’s all figurative.

That feedback though, that’s what a writer craves. Even if it’s a simple “Wow, I really liked this!” it can give a writer the motivation to keep writing for months. It doesn’t seem like much, but pointing out a chunk of dialogue that grabbed you or a character that makes you laugh means absolutely everything to the writer. So find a little writer near you and tell them that they need to keep writing because you’re there, quietly rooting for them to get published or get a favourite or a star or kudos for their piece posted online. You, as a fellow reader or writer, are completely in control of helping another writer out.

We all want to be read, we just need to know someone out there is reading.

Mr. Billy, an adult picture book

So I apologize this post wasn’t released on Friday. I ended up spending a night in the hospital and have been recovering since. That being said, I have recovered and everything should be back on schedule as usual. A flash fiction story will be posted this Friday for you and blogs will resume as normal afterwards.

To the point of this blog, I’m here to tell you all about my current project: Mr. Billy. Have a blurb.

Abby always played in the woods behind her house, among the birtch trees and the bramble bushes. Her dad told her to be careful and she always was. Until she stumbled across Mr. Billy. He dripped ink from his finger tips and fed her candy canes in the summer and promised to take her nightmares away if she let him be her friend.

So she did, because she was tired of dreaming of all her teeth falling out. 

Mr. Billy said he would take the bullies in her class away to a place where no one would find them, not even God. They were friends, and friends needed to stick up for each other.

And they went missing, child by child. Abby heard her dad whisper to her mom about the things the police found in the woods behind her house. Terrible things, tiny teeth and bones with ribbions of red flesh. Things that came from the other little boys and girls that went missing.

But Mr. Billy told her not to worry. It was just a game of hide and seek and God was the seeker.

What is Mr. Billy? 

Mr. Billy is a horror story of about 10,000 words. I’m still in the first few drafts of the story, so it’s subject to change. It focuses on Abby, a young second grader, and a friend she finds in the woods named Mr. Billy. It’s a dark tale focused on showing how the innocence of youth is a dangerous thing and how parents, no matter how hard they try, can’t always be a shield of protection. I’m looking at sometime 2017 to publish it.

A picture book for adults?

First off, who doesn’t like beautiful artwork in their stories? Works by Brom, such as Lost Gods and The Child Thief, are absolutely wonderful twisted tales with illustrations. My goal with Mr. Billy is to have a short story for adults with beautiful illustrations, much like Brom’s work. There’s four concept images for the main story so far, exluding the cover art. Here’s the concept for the cover:

 

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This is going to be the style for the story. The art will be done traditionally, most probably painted with acrylics before being scanned. The book will include a terrifying story and hauntingly beautiful illustrations.

Why this project? 

Mr. Billy actually has a huge place in my heart. I fell in love with the story and the characters while writing it and knew this was something I needed to keep ‘for myself’. I also knew I needed full creative freedom for this piece, which is why I’m self-publishing instead of going the traditional route.

Now, I usally publish horror under the pen name ‘George Spisak’. As you can see on the cover art, I’m using the name ‘Kyra Spisak’ for this horror piece. There’s a reason for that. This story will be one of the few horror pieces to be published under Kyra Spisak because I am working on it with my grandfather. It’s a project between the two of us with me as the writer and him as the artist.

He may have told me my pen name is stupid and I may have decided it wasn’t worth the explaination or the agrument.

I’ll be updating you guys on the project at least once a month so that everyone is on the same page. I’m seriously pumped about this, and I’m hoping you guys will fall in love with Mr. Billy just like I have. More information will be coming along as the project developes and expands, so stay tuned!