Monday, May 30, 2011

Writing Journal: Write1 Sub1 -- First Week

Just to update you on how I did with my first-week attempt at the Write1 Sub1 Challenge:

I completed it!  > Small Victory! <  (Hence the trophy above that I awarded to myself)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Writing Journal: Write 1, Sub 1

You may notice a new badge over on the right side of my blog: "Write 1, Sub 1 -- 2011 / Weekly."  This is something I stumbled upon this past week, and I've gone and signed up.   Let me tell you about it...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Writing Journal: Cop Class

As a developing writer who is eager to improve his craft, and as one who likes to dabble in the mystery genre, I think one of the most important things is research.  I think it would be horrible to have somebody read something I've written and be wrenched out of the story by the realization that what I wrote was inaccurate, incorrect, or a jumble of completely ignorant ramblings.   

Yes, what I write is fiction, but it has to be believable fiction in order to hold the reader's interest.

That's where research comes in.  I want to try and make things as realistic and as accurate as possible, and so I need to research.  Even though I've only been writing a short while, I recognize the importance of research, and think I could probably write a whole blog post about it.

But this isn't that post.

This is instead, about one way I'm currently doing some research, a way that I'm finding fascinating, enjoyable, and one I'd heartily recommend to any writer:  Attending a Citizen's Police Academy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Writing Journal: 5/19/11 Update

My slow process of evolving from a "wanna-be writer" to a "writer" continues, and I thought I'd give you an update of how the writing is going:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Writing Sample: 50-Word Stories II

For this update, I'll give you another writing sample in the form of a few more fifty-word stories.  As I posted BEFORE, the idea of these stories comes from the blog 50-Word Stories where a new fifty-word story offered every day.

As I said in that previous post, the concept is simple – each story should be exactly fifty words.  Not 49, not 51 – 50 words exactly.  It's fun and a little challenging, but I like how just a little twist can really make these interesting.

I had mentioned before that I'd sent a sample of my 50-word stories ("She Left") to the owner of the blog as a possible submission.  However, I've heard nothing back so far -- either he hasn't had a chance to get to it yet (his site did mention that he'd recently gotten married and that surely eats into a blogger's time), or it's the dreaded "no reply = NO" submission response.

I'll probably try e-mailing at least once more, with a few more of these, just to see if there's any interest. 

But at least there's no issue of exclusivity according to his submission guidelines, so I'm always free to post them here on my own blog, regardless if he accepts them or not.

As always, I hope you enjoy these, and your comments and feedback are always welcome and much appreciated!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Thoughts at Large: How Often?

As I set down to write a new post, I felt like I should begin with an apology for not having put anything new on this blog since last Wednesday.  I have been busy, and I certainly don't want anyone who visits here to ever think they're ignored or unappreciated, or that I don't care enough about them to post new material for them to read.

But then, I began to wonder:  How often should I actually be posting?  

Once a day is probably unrealistic given my schedule, but once a week seems like it might be too lax.  So what's the right balance?  Heck if I know -- I'm new at this blogification thing, remember?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Writing Sample: "The Look of Murder"

I guess it's time for some more reading fun -- so how about another writing sample?

I had mentioned in an earlier post that I've been working on a series at the Creative Copy Challenge.  I hadn't planned on putting any of it here since it was a series, and I want to focus on stand-alone pieces here, and besides, I'd be done with it soon because I was planning on making it around ten episodes or so.

Well, so far it has grown to thirteen episodes long*, and it seems clear that it will go to at least twenty* before I get to the final whodunit reveal.  Since it has expanded so much, I thought I'd go ahead and post the first segment here, to give you a taste of a larger piece of my work.  If you like, you can visit the CCC to follow along with the on-going story.  This first episode was HERE and I give a link to part two* at the end of this.

The story is a retro private-eye murder mystery, and gives me a chance to have some fun with a Raymond Chandler / Dashiel Hammett type hard-boiled protagonist.  I kind of call it my "Detroit Noir" series since its set in Detroit in 1949.

Of course, because this is being done at the CCC, each episode incorporates the ten prompt words from each day.  When I do a stand-alone piece on the CCC, its fun to improvise a story out of whatever comes to mind based on the words.  But with this series, I have set up some definite plot points I want to get to, so it becomes a case of trying to work the words into that pre-conceived story line -- definitely a different way to deal with the words.

For this first episode, the prompt words were

1.         Grim
2.         Gravy
3.         Gravity
4.         Sultry
5.         Torrid
6.         Frigid
7.         Blistering
8.         White
9.         Tempest
10.       Blizzard

Thank you very much for reading!  I hope you enjoy it, and your comments are always welcome.

* 6/13/11 UPDATE:  This series is now complete, having spanned 24 episodes and over 28,000 words.  It is also now fully assembled into one place HERE.  Enjoy!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Thoughts at Large: Ideas?

Somebody who'd read a few of my stories asked me something the other day, and I believe it's a question that probably every writer will have to field at some point:

"Where do you get your ideas?"

Seems like a pretty open-ended question, but it's really a very easy one to answer:

Right here, in my brain, of course...