A Writer's Life

A madman's quest to become a recognized author

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Working Hard

My recent decision has left me invigorated. Last night I sat down and wrote two pages for my novel and I went surfing the net for some ways to make money. I don't know if I can make enough money to stay at home but I figure it's worth a shot. The less time I have to dedicate to work the more time I have to do what I want to do.

I also added links to blogs that I read - the ones related to what I do on this blog. At the moment there are only two but if anyone wants to exchange links I'd be happy to as long as your site is related to writing. Just leave a comment on this blog, I'll have a look at your site and add the link within the next day.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Longing to be a writer

Yesterday I was thinking to myself about how much my life isn't what I thought it would be. I guess I'm singing the same tune that many others sing but I really made a decision to do something about it. I really want to be a published writer. At the moment there is nothing more important to me. I already started looking at self publishing and I think that this is the way I'll eventually go as long as I can bring enough attention to my work.

At the moment I have no idea if I'll have any success but just thinking about spending another year or two doing a job I hate in a place I hate gives me a hollow feeling. Much less having to settle down and accept defeat like most people do. I just don't think I can be like everybody else. I've never been my entire life and I don't intend to start now.

Friday, August 25, 2006

A Love Story

I see her everyday on my way to school. She is always one step ahead of me; she is always out of reach. I leave home earlier and earlier each day, trying my hardest to catch up with her as she leaves her house and walks to the subway station. Each morning I am always too late. I am always in time to see her close the door to the house that lies to the far end of the street. She clutches her books closely to her chest and she turns around and walks to her destination. Each day it is the same - she never deviates, she never looks back.

Who is this mysterious girl that has moved into my neighborhood? I see her on her way to school each day but I never see her come home. I never see her in the street with the other teenage girls as they gather daily to share gossip and chat about whatever teenage girls chat about. No, she is different. She can’t be bothered by such trivial matters. She is too mature. She is too sophisticated to spend her evenings that way. I’m sure of it. She is different - I can feel it.
I plan for her the next morning. Today we will finally meet. Today I will not take no for an answer...

Get the complete story HERE

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Getting Back On The Horse

I recently stopped writing for a few weeks and was really finding it hard to do anything creative for a while. Well I'm glad to say that I have turned that corner and I started writing again. Last night I just had a gush of inspiration and I started on a short story that I will post soon. It went really well and I will soon resume working in my novel.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Killing Characters

One of the things that can really cause a jolt in a story is the death of a character, when done with the proper situation and timing. Doing this can bring a wave of emotion over the reader, especially if it was not expected.

There are many ways in which you can kill off a character to bring that maximum response that you seek. For example, a minor character can finally come to his own and step up to the plate when he is needed. Finally proving to himself and to the world what he was capable of.

The always familiar 'hero making the ultimate sacrifice' is still a good way to I think. I don't think that it will ever get old. There is just something about sacrificing one's self that brings that emotion out. After all there aren't many greater things that one can do.
The same can also be true for the death of that final great evil. Making a final death both original and spectacular can be very difficult but is definitely worth it. I mean everyone remembers when the Death Star was destroyed and I haven't seen that movie for more than ten years.

Something that I sometimes like to do is create a character for the simple purpose of being killed. It may sound bad but getting to know a soldier who is about to give his life can only be a plus in my book. You can get to know why he fights and get deep inside his head as the scene is onfolding. When he finally dies his death means a lot more at that point. I like this strategy in particular for writing about a tragedy or ill fated mission.

One of the things that I don't particularly like is the false death or 'warrior returning alive'. That is when someone you thought was dead returns later on to play a pivotal role. If you can pull this off then by all means make the most of it but it has been done so many times that it would have to be something really special to make it stand out.

All in all, killing characters can be a good thing whether to spur on a hero or just to keep things fresh or interesting. You just have to make sure you do it right.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Getting A Good Start

Recently I've been really stressing about getting a good start to my writing and I started to wonder - how important is a good start anyway?

I mean, I know that hooking a reader in the first few lines is always a good thing and that it holds well for the rest of the novel. But how much does the first page or so truly tell you about a writer's ability? I mean, would you stop reading a book after the first page if you didn't like what you had read so far. I must admit that I have stopped reading books after a few pages generally if I did not like the author's writing style but i personally don't know many people who do this.

Some authors like to start their novels very simple. A nice simple situation with no real conflict where main characters and introduced and you get to know them in quite an ideal setting. Just as long as the writer has the skill to keep it interesting I find this quite acceptable.

My personal preference is to start in the middle of a conflict. I like putting the reader in the situation where you have no idea what is happening but the tension is still there and the reader is pulled in quickly. I believe that characters can be shown to have depth much earlier and I think that this makes them more interesting from the start.

I guess that no matter how you look at it the opening is really important but as the how important is left up to the reader I suppose. The best thing to do I guess is to strive for that perfect opening until you have it locked down. Play it safe

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Japanese Anime

Japanese Anime is one of those things that have a bit of a negative stigma attached to it, mainly because of a small group obsessive and aggressive fans. But I happen to be somewhat of a fan. Though I must admit that I don't watch that many animes I have a few really great ones. One of my favorites happens to be Last Exile.

The thing I really like about anime is that it is usually 26 episodes long and so the story teller has a chance to really develop the story, the characters and the relationships. I always like looking at anime to get that artistic feel like you get from reading a book.
In Last Exile the characters and emotion are really what I like best about it. The writer creates a massive world and makes you feel the emotions of the characters so much so that you find yourself wanting what they want and feeling their delight when a goal is achieved.

Anyway, the reason I'm mentioning all this is because I really respect writers and other artist who can make you feel real emotion through their work. Its one of the main things I strive for when writing. I often delete pages of work at a time if I don't think they meet a high standard. Things may be a bit rocky for me at the moment but I know that soon I'll be a able to feel the words and get creative again. Its only a matter of time.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Taking A Break

I've decided to take a break from writing my novel for a while. It has become clear to me that I'm not at my best right now and anything I write will probably have to be deleted anyway.

I'm going to write a short story or two and see how they go. I'll post them when I'm finished.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Creating An Opening

Yesterday I struggled for over an hour trying to come up with an opening paragragh for my novel and failed miserably. Every time I came up with something it never seemed good enough to open with. What used to be so simple seems to be getting harder and harder by the day.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Inspiration

I started writing again, only to restart once more. I'm having a real problem with my writing these last few weeks. I wrote a few pages to begin. But after looking it over, the quality just was not there.

I know I can do much better so it really frustrates me and it in turn makes it harder to begin again. For the first time in a long time I find myself questioning whether I can even do this novel at all.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Paperback Writer's Challenge

I was just reading Paperback Writer's blog and an ebook challenge was issued. You can read it here.

For my entry I submit THE JOB. I wrote this over a year ago but I still love it.

The Story

Hello. I've decided to give a little idea into the story line of the novel. The following is just the highest level idea of the story and not what makes it special, so giving it away is not a problem.

The Earth is attacked by a powerful outside force that is in the process of capturing planets and placing them under the control of a being known only as the Monarch. The planet is told to surrender peacefully but we refuse and a war commences in which we are almost completely whipped out.
A hidden power on the earth is brought out from dormancy and catches the eye of the League of Planets who are the most advanced planets in the universe. They oppose the Monarch and make a deal with the humans. They save some of the remaining and exchange they fight in their armies.
But the agreement has fine print that League uses to turn humans into fast multiplying fodder for their front lines.

The fight is on as the human race looks for a hero and try to survive at all costs. Coming 2007....

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Gabriel

In the short chapter of duality that is available for download one of the main characters is Gabriel. He is actually one of the people central to the storyline.

In the deleted chapter his personality was sort of a tortured killer\someone who is depressed by his life. At first this was pretty good and fit in with the theme of duality nicely and the reader could still like the character, particularly after his past comes to light. But I spent too much time on what was to end up as conflict between him and Roque. The prevailing situation was a bit intense but it started to turn into something unintended.

I'll have more to say a little later. Goodbye

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Analysis: Duality pt1

For those of you who don't know, Duality is the tentative name that I have given to my upcoming novel. The duality of characters and situations is one of the central themes of the novel. By that I mean that one does not have to be a bad person to do something bad- there are at least two sides to every story.

When coming up with this idea I thought about a world where no one is innocent and where no one appears to be worth of living. But when you look closer you get to understand why they do what they do and what caused them to become the way they are now. But how can you judge a person's actions in a world where survival is as good as it gets. In this book no one is good or evil but everyone has a role a play and they will fight to ensure that they do all they can for their survival no matter who is hurt in the process.

Seeing as how I am probably at least a year from completing it I will not let too much of the story line slip but this is one of the major undertones of the novel

http://phoenix-writer.43i.net/

The website http://phoenix-writer.43i.net is now fully operation and will be hosting any files that I will have available for download now and in the future. There are currently only two files available but I hope to have more reading available soon.

I am pretty happy with the overall design of the site and I think that this blog will also receive a make over very soon.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.