61 Days – Have I learned anything?

A small check in to say that I’ve just hit 40k words on my longer project -OPERATION MEZZANINE.

I’ve been aiming to write 300 words every day as a very small and manageable goal to keep me sane as I work from home Monday to Friday.

But, roughly, I’ve managed about 655 words a day on average for 61 days.

Nyaaaatt bad.

Ran (1985) - Akira Kurosawa : CineShots
One of the many cool shots from ‘Ran’

I’d hoped to be a little bit further ahead by now, but no matter, the work is still alive and each day I’m finding something new to excite me about the project and writing, generally.

I’ve also had time to pen a couple of much smaller things and submit them. So it’s been a very productive time.

Here’s a couple of things I’ve learned writing half (I’d guess) of my novel over the last two months, in no particular order…

  • I like rough drafting scenes and then trying to fix them the next day. Fixing sentences and nuances every other day makes me a fan of what I’m actually writing. I feel less like I’m jumping from plot point to plot point and actually crafting a story someone other than me might enjoy reading.
  • Characters need to want something (yes) in every scene (pretty obvious, Johnny) but giving them a reason to not satisfy that desire for something else they hope is far better in the long run makes scenes spring alive. (I assume at this point every writing manual in the world is moaning a prolonged duhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… but shush.)
  • Making characters lie is fun.
  • Being cruel to my characters doesn’t come naturally to me… but the writing is much better when I do.
  • I don’t seem to work well on Thursdays…
  • But Mondays are my JAM!
  • If I don’t read something for more than a day I start to feel sluggish on the page. I can still write and I do but words/ideas/images don’t spring as quickly into my head.
  • If I don’t write for more than 2 days I become incredibly irritable and begin to question what even is the point…
Baltimore, Vol. 1: The Plague Ships by Mike Mignola
  • Every other week I become obsessed with a new writer, director, or musician and they are fuel to me. This past two months, among others I’m sure I’m forgetting, there’s been Denis Johnson, Akira Kurosawa, Mike Mignola, Thundercat, Joe Begos, Marlon James, Michael McDowell, Blake Butler, and this week China Mieville with an emerging appreciation for Jeff VanderMeer.

What any of this means is oblivious to me at the moment. But I’m looking forward to the next 40k or so more words.

Hopefully it won’t take as long.

Arm Cast Podcast

Recently, I was the guest on the Arm Cast Podcast hosted by Armand Rosamilia.

We talked about the anthology we’re both in (Arterial Bloom), pretending to be pro wrestlers, getting started in fiction, and the ever-changing game of publishing.

It was my first ever podcast interview and Armand was a really great person to chat to.

Happy listening!

My Daaaark Place

This has just been sitting on my computer for too long and I can’t think of a witty title.

But, yeah, Garth Marenghi is right. Things aren’t ideal and yet…

Also, they should totally release Garth Marenghi books. I desperately want to read Black Fang…

Just popped over to Goodreads and he actually has a profile. With one book, Slicer, which clocks in at 666 pages.

I’ve always loved the great tragedies, King Lear, The Poseidon Adventure, Superman 2.

– Garth Marenghi
Garth Marenghi's Darkplace

Arterial Bloom Review

“Arterial Bloom injects the ‘literary’ piece into the horror genre with works that excel in well-crafted surprises, powerful senses of place and character, and works that stand out from the crowd. Contributors to this anthology are diverse in their approaches, plot development, and themes, and so under the general ‘horror’ umbrella there is no unifying purpose other than to gather works that are truly exceptional.”

http://donovansliteraryservices.com/april-2020-issue.html?fbclid=IwAR0E0a3NGli8zKQaenuKV3m9xfSMrgmSyPN6rmhZokNxHl3xcziZHOlNp3M#abb

The Fire of Fiction

So this is a little celebratory post* for myself because…

Just hit 10,000 words on my current WIP which I shall name – OPERATION MEZZANINE.

It is named for the Massive Attack album which I first listened to on the day I began writing this draft (March 19th). And also my girlfriend’s cluttered mezzanine where I hope to one day craft an office space… if she’ll let me.

During this whole quarantine period it’s been nice to have something to work on that’s long and can distract me for long periods of time. Plus I’m always thinking about it in the back of my mind.

This is my third? or maybe fourth? first novel draft I’ve written. The others were very bad and very unworthy of being read. And that’s okay. But I’m feeling good about this one.

Even if it doesn’t go anywhere I’m making it as weird and personal as I can which should be a lesson I’ll try to keep putting into practice Post-Quarantine.

(*I told myself I’d post on here at least once a week last month but so far I’ve been negligent, however, I have lots of *actual* fiction writing done. Which is a good trade off. )