Emotions

I read somewhere, that emotions are the most addictive chemicals known to man, and I think there is a lot of truth in this statement.

Emotions are also very blinding. Under the spell of a strong emotion, we think thoughts and commit actions, that we would never usually think or do otherwise. It’s like being intoxicated with a drug (ever been drunk and knew without a shadow of doubt that sending that text message was the right thing to do? Only to awake the next morning and realise what a complete idiot you were?) I know when I’m under the emotion of anger, I want to lash out in irrational ways that just don’t serve me, in fact, they destroy my integrity. The other week an individual said some things about me, and it sent me into a rage. I just wanted to lash out, tell them how much of a fucking idiot they were, physically assault them, and everytime I think about the event, it sends me back down that track. It even brings up othe thoughts related to issues in the past that also made me angry, which further angers me, and a strange irrational child like cycle begins.

Now, this is of course an issue I have to work out in order to grow as a human being, but I think it also points to how complex a character can be in our writing.

Most characters have a stable pattern, a predictable way of behaving in situations, and a lot of writing teachers recommend this. Saying that a characters behaviours have to be consistent in order for the story to make sense, and this is true, to an extent. Under stong emotions, our characters will do things that “aren’t them”, a good guy will lash out and accidently kill someone, or an evil character may commit an act of kindness. These “circumstances” that challenge the fundamental personality of our characters, and in someways, the most profound to read. Personally I love stories that put good natured people into bad cirumcstances that make them commit acts of evil. To me, it challenges my way of thinking and percieving the world because it makes me ask the question “what would I do in that situation?”

Anyways, thats enough for me today.

Peace outttt


Writing Is More Than Good Writing

When I first started writing, I believed, that good writing was all that mattered. But after getting a handle on the basics (activing language, POV, omitting needless words, descrptions, getting good at grammer, spelling, dialogue) etc, I realised there’s an entirely new art on top that requires even more attention to detail then just “good writing”.

This is when plot, charecterisation, building suspense, creating conflict, and strong voice come in, and I just want to comment on a few of these.

When I wrote my first draft, I would check all the spelling, the grammer, and made sure the story flowed. That, was enough for me, and after that, I would send it off, only to be dissapointed and confused when I recieved a rejection letter in my gmail inbox. I started to look for answers, I began to read a number of blogs and began to realise that I was completely neglecting the other side of writing, and that is the art of story telling its self, not the writing. It’s still something I’m working on, as I’m still working towards becoming a published writier, but I just want to begin by expressing what I have learnt and how I have changed how I approach it.

Now, after that first draft, I don’t pay attention to the writing its self…yet. First I look at the chapter its self, is it engaging? Are these any cop-outs? Are the characters developing? Where can I make it more exciting? Where can I raise the steaks? How can I make it worse for the character so that there’s more to overcome?

It’s these kind of questions that as a novice writer I completely neglected, and it’s these kind of topics I really want to address in this blog in the next few weeks.

P.S I’m heading off to India next week for a 2 month backpacking tour. There’s something about backpacking in the third world that inspires me creatively. I think getting back to the human things in life, you know, travelling on the train with a bunch of people from other walks of life, running after a train to catch, seeing poverty, seeing hardship, experiencing another way in life that seems to fuel my writing. I hope to finish my second novel in the process, and get my online writing group onto it and hopefully push for a publication in the next 12 months (but more likely 24 months)

Anyways, I doubt anyone is reading this blog yet 😛 But hopefully soon!


The Creative Zone

After I open up Microsoft Word, and place my fingertips on a keyboard. A stream of nervousness flows through my veins, but why? There’s no one there to see my work, and no possible way I can fail, yet, there it is, staring up at me.

Have you had this experience? For some reason, as writers, we feel that we can’t put anything down on the screen unless its perfect, unless a stream of inspiration flows through us and expresses its self as if automatic. But in reality, this isn’t isn’t the case. Writing, like any form of art, is about crashing and burning as much as it is inspiring and fullfilling. Its a slog fest, full of up’s and downs, and the only way to get through it with a great piece of writing at the end is to give yourself the right to fail.

I go by the rule, “the first draft doesn’t matter”. Get anything out, hell, right down your favourite porno vid, scene by scene, image by image, or for the less sexually inclinded, write down your shopping list and call it the next art of war. It doesn’t matter, as long as you get your fingers moving.

I like to think of it the same way I do as picking up women. When you go out and talk to a girl, the first one always sucks, but as you keep approaching and talking, something opens up, and the charm and charisma begins to flow. It’s the same with writing.

My first few sentences are clunky, but as I continue to write with no outcome attached the words begin to flow, and before long, gems are starting to emerge from the dirt. The gems will still be covered in dirt, but dont worry, keep going, and after your done, come back and polish them!

P.S I think I may sign up for the premuim package at scribophile. I have been debating wheather to spend the $80 for the year membership. But today on the way back from Lund (small Swedish town) freezing my ass off, I thought, hell, I spent that much getting drunk and dancing my ass of friday night, why not spend it on what i want to make my LIFE! seems a no brainer in the end.

 Anyway, if you’re reading this and aren’t a member of Scribophile I would highly recommend checking it out. You don’t have to pay to be a member, but you are limited to how many pieces you can upload. So if you’re looking at getting a novel critiqued, and you’re serious about your work, I would suggest getting the premuim package.

Anyways peace out world, I got to go help the girlfriend cook some lasagne!


Over Describing

“Say all you have to say in the fewest possible words, or your reader will be sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words or he will certainly misunderstand them.” — John Ruskin

I have critiqued several works over the past few days, and if theres one thing that has stuck out the most its over describing things.

I use to do this too, and still do it a lot. New writers believe that vivid and beautiful prose is good writing, and that nothing else matters. I use to write paragaphs of flowering description and thought that because it sounded so poetic that it would keep readers engaged and they would keep on reading, but after several rejections I began to question my talent. It turns out that flowery prose isn’t good writing, in fact, in a lot of cases it can actually be the opposite. Now, I’m not saying that vivid language is bad writing, in fact vivid language can bring a story to life. The problem is when its used for the sake of the langauge its self, rather then the story. Let me repeat that. The story is the number one priority in any work, if you forget the plot, forget that deal.

A story should always be moving forward, an event should always be turning into another event and so on. The suspense should be building, the images should be moving the reader in to new images, eager to discover the second image. In elements of style (a book I think every writer should read) the author says that If a basic more direct would will do, use that, instead of using a bunch of flowery words that are nothing but metpahors. Metaphors should really only be used to show the character of the voice. As human beings we use metaphors a lot to express our personalities. I believe this is really the only situation flowery prose serves its purpose.

To me the mark of good writing is when a complicated scene can be described with basic, direct language.

anyways, off to try and understand some swedish television


My First Post

Welcome to my first post, glad you can join me.

This blog is going to be an exploration, a way of improving my writing and hopefully improving yours. Everyday I’m going to post musings, useful links, and updates as I write and edit my own works.

I’m not a published author, but I hope soon to be, so le’ts get going and rock out some literary genuis.