Not so Perfect Attendance

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General

I’m drained. My eyes ache, my jaw hurts from popping every time I try to stifle a yawn, and my brain feels like it‘s been padded with wool. But I’m here. I sat in front of this damned keyboard as a small victory to celebrate my return to writing after almost a year-long hiatus. Surprisingly, coming back after that much time has much the same dynamic for me as it does even when I’ve been writing in the trenches and need to return for my daily tally mark. It seems to me that I can think of a million other things I need to complete before I can focus on writing, whether I’ve been away for a day or a year. And it’s odd because it’s not that I don’t want to write. I love that I’m a writer. I’ve been yearning to get back to it ever since I left, but there’s this easy to give in force that wants to shuffle me away. Read More

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To Write is to Kill and Forgive

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General

It’s the responsibility of an artist to bring forth whatever treasures are hidden within them. As a writer, it’s my responsibility to birth an idea and articulate it into words. But how do I pluck one from the vast multitude of them colliding around upstairs? What’s my guiding principle to manifest something? Learning that as a writer is such a difficult thing. For me, it’s been largely a case of trial and error and a lesson in forgiveness. Read More

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Weekly Short – The Apprentice

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Short Stories
City Construction Workers

Inevitably, I smashed up against a brick wall with writing short stories. My good luck with churning them out every week was bound to wither up, and that’s exactly what happened with this story, The Apprentice. I rewrote it 4x (hence the delay) before I could muster up an appreciation for it. I struggled with the length of the story the first time; it was threatening to rip out of its form and become a novel, so I retraced my steps to see if I could rewrite it with brevity in mind. My tinkering pretty much ruined the story. I ended up decommissioning it, starting fresh, and finishing it only to hate the characters. So I started fresh again, and I finally settled on a story that appeased the inner writing gods. Read More

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Weekly Short – Lonely Are the Free

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Short Stories

One fun thing I love about writing in a shorter form is the quicker feedback loop on trying different writing techniques. I get a more immediate response to what worked and didn’t work. They’re like mini-experiments for me, and I get to blow shit up.

This week I enjoyed meshing the weekly picture I received with song lyrics from a couple of songs I’ve been digging lately. What I believe the songs to be about intermixed nicely with the idea I had for the story. It kind of all just flowed and morphed itself together. Some of the lines are borrowed directly from the lyrics. See the footnote for song links. Anyhow, enjoy!

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Weekly Short – Mama’s Dogs

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Short Stories

I’m baaaack–well, sort of. Posts on the writing process won’t resume until November, but I am back to throw some weekly stories up on the blog. The goal is for them to hover somewhere in that hybrid word count between flash fiction and a short story. Like any writing guideline, it seems to change based on the person explaining it. Anyhow, a good friend of mine is helping with creating the stories by donating a weekly picture that will serve as the plot’s foundation. Enjoy this week’s story, Mama’s Dogs.

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MIA. . .

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General

I’m on hiatus from Creative Carnage until November 2015. My life’s circumstances have pared down my time for writing projects to the bare minimum. What remaining time I have goes straight to working on my second novel. I’ll be back for the holiday season cheer! Until then.

-A

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How to Build a Fictional World by Kate Messner

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Worldbuilding

Kate Messner goes over some great worldbuilding 101 concepts on how to craft a fictional world. Here are the questions she poses in the video to get the ball rolling on your terraforming:

  • Are you working in the past, present, or future?
  • How did the world come to be? What past events shaped the world to what it has become now?
  • What rules are in place here?
  • Laws of gravity?
  • Laws of society? What rules are in place to punish those that break them?
  • What kind of government rules?
  • Who has power? Who doesn’t?
  • What do people believe in here?
  • What does this society value most?
  • What’s the weather like?
  • Where do the inhabitants live, go work, and school?
  • What do they eat?
  • How do they treat their young? The old?
  • What relationship do they have with the animals and plants of the world?
  • What do those animals and plants look like?
  • What kind of technology exists? Transportation? Communication? Access to information?
  • How does this world shape the individuals that live in it?
  • What kind of conflict is likely to emerge with the characters in relation to the world you created?
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Should I Quit?

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General

I am struggling with writing my novel right now, and it’s been difficult to scuttle through this particular rough patch. Luckily, it occurred to me that one of the ways I could inch myself up this uphill, winding road is to write my way out of it and get to the root cause. And I don’t think there is enough in the writing blogosphere that is written when things aren’t going well for the writer. To me, it seems like advice from writers comes after things are gliding along smoothly for them. The tone in their advice has a feeling of fullness because they’ve already healed the cuts and bruises from scraping through the tunnel. Me, on the other hand, I’m still stumbling around in the dark; My WIP is dead in the water. The words aren’t flowing through like they did when I wrote my first novel. It’s mostly due to this rather fickle beast trying to commandeer my writing down two different directions: Should I quit and move on to another project? Or, should I weather on?
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