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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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.

Write. Because one day, you’ll be dead

It’s true. A little morbid, but true. I’m not talking about a legacy here, I’m talking about writing because you want to and need to. There’s a drive under your fingertips and ideas in your brain that won’t let you stop, I know there is.

So don’t, because one day you won’t be able to write anymore. At all.

Who cares if your stuff never gets officially published by publishing company? There are other places your can post your writing. You’ve got DeviantartArchive of Our OwnScribophileWattpad, and a thousand other places to put down words where people will see them and appreciate them. There are places to get noticed that don’t involve being published, where people will see and appreciate your work. So don’t stop just because you got one rejection letter.

Sure, this might not be what you want, but it’s a place to start. You can work your way up to the big, grand publishing world. Even though that isn’t what matters, what matters is the fact that you’re writing. That’s good enough.

Writing is the first step, the one that you never really leave. You always bounce back to it. Don’t give up because you can’t keep up with ‘the best’. I know, for so many writers, it’s got something to it that keeps you going.

So keep writing, before you’re dead and you can’t.

 

Rewrite Challenge

I’ve decided that it’s time to revisit some of my older writings and give them a good, thorough, heavy rewrite. Top to bottom, complete redo.

Why? Because I’ve been so busy writing fresh, new stories, that I kind of feel like I forgot that all writers start somewhere. I’ve forgotten how far I’ve personally come. I’ve been so wrapped up in my editing and rewriting and disliking my own work that I don’t realize my leaps and bounds and improvements. I’ve got my blinders on in regards to my own writing.

Hell, I got published this year and I’m still worried about forever being a ‘dream writer’.

Not only that, but it’ll be a great way to get some content out to people who don’t know my writing style. It’s a fun little challenge that will make me feel better and give you some fresh, wonderful content.

I’ve picked out five ‘shorts’ (I hesitate to call them shorts because they’re mostly 200-500 word pieces, but they’re not flash fiction either. They’re the drabbles of someone who is figuring out what writing is.) from 2011 and one short from 2014 (this one is actually a full short story, beginning, middle, and end). I’ll be writing down the titles, throwing them in a hat, and taking a stab at the first one that pops up.

Once I’m done with these six, I might dig through some of the scraps of paper I kept with ‘stories’ on them. I think that will be a harder challenge, considering my paper writing is horrid. Even now, I can only bang out a few sentences that are horrendously lackluster on paper before switching to my laptop for better results.

Have you ever tried a challenge like this, or are you interested in giving it a go? I’d love to see someone else revamp something from their childhood that they might have permanently locked away.

Wish me the best of luck! I’m hoping to have some stories out in the next couple of weeks for you guys.

Stealing Inspiration

Inspiration to write can often be one of the hardest things a writer faces. There’s just nothing to write about.

For me, a blank word document, half-finished tea, and ‘never the right music’ have become staples of my ‘lack of inspiration’ periods. And trust me, they suck ass. Even when I’m trying to work on a project, it just seems like I’ve got nowhere to go. I’ll have plenty of places and ideas in my head, but putting it on paper? Just not happening.

It’s a form of writer’s block, I think. This complete lack of being able to write anything at all.

But here’s the catch, you can do something about it. Least, this is what works for me.

Steal something. Steal it loud and proud and twist it into something different. I love using photographs, drawings, or paintings as my inspiration. I’m a highly visual person, so those sorts of things can really spur me into writing something. I’m also a fan of quotes (not particularly written writing prompts or single words, they tend  to bother me more often than not). Finding something to inspire you can work wonders when you’re suffering a block, even if it means turning away from your main project.

Even working on something else for a night can be enough to get you back into the main project groove.

If you can’t find anything online (images, art, text, quotes, etc) that throw that writing spark at you, get a little personal. Sometimes the reason why you’re blocked is because there’s something going on in your life that’s blocking you. Write it out. It doesn’t need to be a short story for publication or a memoir (unless you want it to be), but writing it out can seriously help. It gets rid of all that blocked up feeling.

I know a script writer who bases her plays on things she can’t figure out. She wrote a fantasy play where Prince Charming was beating up Cinder because she couldn’t figure out why her friend with a good job and supportive friends wouldn’t leave an abusive relationship. So she wrote a play about it, trying her hardest to see what the hell was going on in both of their heads.

It worked for her. Sometimes, introspection is the best way to get through a block. Deep down, there are things for you to write, even if you can’t write them yourself.

Here’s some things that helped me through some blocks, maybe it’ll help you:

  • “And so I decided I was going to kill the moon.” – my shower thoughts
  • “The air I breathe in a room empty of you is unhealthy.” – John Keats
  • “When you do what you fear most, then you can do anything.” – Stephen Richards
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  • “I think hell is something you carry around with you, not somewhere you go.” -Neil Gaiman
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  • girlwithrifles

Keep writing my friends!