A Writer's Life

A madman's quest to become a recognized author

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How Do You Do It?

For the past two weeks or so I've been really busy. It seems like all I do is sleep, travel and work. By the time I get home it's like I hardly have any time to do the things that I want. Then I started to think about what it would be like if I had a wife and some kids to go with all of that. I know that there some people out there who have all of this and more on their plate each day but they still manage to write. My question is simply how?

Things at work will eventually settle down and I'll have more free time but its really hard when your trying to balance writing with life and a full time job.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Being Scary

I was watching a horror film the other day and I couldn't help but think about how forgetable horror movies have become these days. This is one genre in which literature has a distinct advantage I think. When I watch a movie I never get scared any more. Most of them are all about blood and gore and hardly any substance. This sort of thing may have scared me when I was much younger but these days it doesn't even make me look away.
Books on the other hand have always been the pinacle of horror for me. While movies and books both have their respective advantages and disadvantages, books come out on top in this battle. Books have been able to scare me and leave thinking about what I read for days afterward.

A really good horror story creates a mood that is thick and unescapable. It submerges you in world where you are both wanting to find out what will happen next and at the same time scared to keep reading. Two of the most essential things I always include when writing horror are confusion and helplessness.

There are few times as a human being that you are more scared than when you have no idea what's happening around you. The confusion of being in a situation where everything is foreign is a major component of being scared. I mean, how many horror stories can really occur in your everyday life. Even familiar surroundings can become foreign when a special situation is attached. Think about your office being suddenly invaded and everyone held hostage - that is scary. Think about having to run for your life down a path that you'd never been before, the area is dark and you have no idea what you're running towards - that's scary.

Helplessness is one of those things that can really be frightful. Being forced to do something against one's will or seeing something happen to a loved one and not being able to help are both examples of this. Think how you would feel if you saw something about to cause you harm but you could only watch it happen. You stand frozen and as the danger gets closer and closer knowing there is nothing you can do about it. Helplessness is definitely scary.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Why I chose Sci fi/Fantasy

Saying that I am a sci fi/fantasy writer would be at its core a gross inaccuracy. I have done writing in many different genres, from romance to non fiction. But it is in sci fi/fantasy that I chose to write my first novel.

You may ask
why? But the answer isn't all that complicated. It's simply the genre that I like to write the most. Baring in mind that any novel I write will have romance, action, suspence, human drama and all that. Sci fi gives you the flexibilty to do just about anything you want to do. But of course you can't go overboard or the result will be something that no one can relate to or something where the plot doesn't make any sense. You can really use your imagination and do things that you couldn't in other genres and still have characters that people can relate to.
Basically its up to you to decide how much influence the setting has on the story. I mean, you can have a regular human story but have it take place some time in the future or in some warped Earth like setting. You can make regular people into heroes or distort reality into anything you want it to be.
Sci fi/fantasy is a setting where you can really let your creative juices flow.

Being Original

With all the different literature and film around these days it's getting harder and harder to be original. And if you intend to do fantasy/sci fi like myself, then you'd better try hard. I never want to be thought of as just another sci fi/fantasy writer - there seems to be tens of thousands of them across the net. One of the things that I think about before writing is how do I make this different?
I always intend anything I release to leave an impression on whoever reads it. Whether it be short or long lasting impression isn't always relevant but if I can get a person to think something like '
that was different/strange/original' or 'I didn't see that coming' then I think I did okay.

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