Monday, July 5, 2010

All In The Groove

I started writing again. I know, it sounds weird, but ever since I finished my latest project, I've been unable to come up with any kind of a story idea.


While I was posting my two incomplete novellas a couple of months ago, one story in particular, Caged caught my eye again. The more I read, the more I liked, until finally it became the necessary mini-obsession that is step one in my writing process. Step two is sitting down in front of my computer and pecking away (with typos of course).


Right off the bat, I incorporated quite a few elements not only from that one story but from a couple of others as well. Even though I changed the main character's first name from Valerie (bad juju with that name) to Melanie, I kept the overall characteristics and personality flaws from those original stories (acid scars on the face, chewed up chest, reduced breast size, monster chip on shoulders, crystal meth habit, and violent temper), as well as using the original setting of the entire second novella (hive/pod) as a background dump for this story.

I also kept the human food source (Jerry) and the former mentor (Bertha, now Fryja) the same, and introduced Cerberus, guard dog for Hell. Also brought The Platinum Queen and her Entourage back into the mix as well.

Jon, who was Melanie's husband, is something of an anomaly, in that he straddles both worlds. Completely human (as opposed to Melanie), he's managed over the course of his marriage and with help from Melanie, to incorporate a tiny bit of her world into his. Two of things that I decided to grace him with, is the ability to be telepathic and the ability to be like an energy drink for Melanie. In other words, being a food source when she needs a pick-me-up.

I gave him a weird job, but I haven't decided what that is yet. From how I described his old-fashioned wardrobe (bowler, vest, shirt, pants, and shoes all black; bow tie blood red) and the fact that he's a public face for a corporation called Dandelion Inc., I'm leaning towards him working in some particular facet of death.

As for Melanie, she is a bit more complex. I haven't identified her with any kind of non human species, save for calling her a "hybrid". However, I am dropping a few hints in the story on what she might be. Like for instance, her job: I have her working for a debt collection agency. She does have a taste for blood, she does possess supernatural powers (tired phrase I know), and she does have fangs. Other than that, your guess is as good as mine as to what she may be.

The one conscious decision I did make with this story, was to amp up the level of violence. Because I'm going through a little personal stress, this became the perfect vehicle story to unleash that stress and anger on. The violence isn't extreme, but it leans more to the gory aspect than the physical aspect, although that will probably change as it progresses. Also, since the original story does make a vague allusion to Hell, I chose to make that allusion more solid, simply by using characters that are more firmly associated with Hell.

This my friends, is the latest story to ooze from my pen. Also, this is the first story that I'm predominately writing by hand and then transcribing using my Dragon software, which has been giving birth to dust bunnies for the past few months. Still got this major hurdle in using it to exclusively write with, because for me, I turn into a human Popsicle the second I try to do original writing with it. So this is probably the only way I'm gonna be able to incorporate that software with my writing.

"Writing is an art form" is an archaic and seldom used phrase.

Now, "writing is a form of sticking bamboo shoots under your fingernails", is a phrase that I would be proud to be associated with.


  1. Glad to hear your writing is flowing. I'm buried in editing but hoping to construct some prose later in the week.

  2. That's cool. The prose, not the editing. Editing is a necessary evil, and I plan on jumping into that as soon as my manuscript comes back from my reader. So far, the only editing I've done is some basic pruning and converting the five large chunks of text (about 35 pages per chunk) into manageable and editable chapters.

    It's great that I've been able to find a usage for one of my older stories, and hopefully, it will lead on to bigger and better things.

  3. No writing over the weekend. Too much going on. I've got to get to some today.

  4. Glad you are doing what you love. :)

  5. Charles: So I've seen. Glad to see you got your latest up and out the door (so to speak). Good luck with it.

    Joe: Thanks. It's one of the few pleasures in my life that doesn't really require any monetary investment, just burning the brain a few cells at a time.

  6. The more I work in this medium the more I realize editing is the most important animal. And requires more than one set of eyes. Amazing what my wife and Elaine catch after I've already been through a story a dozen times. Your mind fills in little crevices and you don't even realize until someone else shows you that you're missing a comma, repeating a word etc. (or the cursed using to many adverbs)

  7. Hahaha! That last sentence is great. Don't worry, I think you're getting there ;)

  8. David: So very, very true. Even though I practice my editing skills on my blog posts (the bad perfectionist that I am. like things to be perfect, no matter what the medium), I still miss stuff. Even worse with my short stories, when I find errors after I sent them out for submission.

    This time, I plan on doing it with as many eyes as I can beg, borrow or creatively acquire from other sources.

    R.K.: Thanks. I figured you would like that one. Kind of applies to most writing situations, eh?

  9. I understand you're feeling 'writer's block'. When creating layouts or even taking pictures it can feel that way sometimes. After vacation and going to Boston, the shore, Vermont the everyday seemed, well everyday. And I can go months sometimes without doing any scrapbooking then pull things out and five layouts in one afternoon. Some say go with the flow but I've also heard sit down and apply yourself. Guess you have to use whatever works best for you. Stay cool! (I know even when you're hot you're 'cool' hehe)

  10. It really hasn't been that bad. Two months is the longest I've gone without writing anything original.

    I did start another story shortly after this one, but it petered out after four pages, simply because I had no where to go with it.

    This one is rolling pretty good, as I've been able to write it out by hand before sticking it on the 'puter. Wierd thing is that I've been able to write this with a clarity I haven't had in quite some time, simply because I'm writing it out by hand.

  11. A tad warm lately- Hope you haven't melted yet!

    Glad you're gonna practice that dragging Dragon thing- I'd prob do it that way too-
    Sounds like you're enjoying playing God of the Story elements- n Sounds like a very interesting planet you are concocting for us all to drink!

  12. Snaggle: I admit, it's kind of fun playing with God in the story, but I'm one of those people who enjoy leaning towards the older elements that make up the tapestry that is religion. I like using bits of mythology, The Divine Comedy and other assorted parts to flavor my writings.

    As for Dragon, I bought the software with the intent of writing with it. Since I got one ginormous mental hurdle that I can't overcome just yet, this is the next best way of using it.

  13. Glad to see you're rethinking the original scheduled post. I guess that's a necessary part of writing, even on the blogs ... Revising!

  14. Isn't that a great zone to be in, when the story oozes from the pen and almost can't be contained? Some writers say they feel more connected to the work when they write it out by hand first, as though it's really flowing from their thoughts.

  15. I'm finding that not only do I feel a little more connected to the story, but writing it out by hand amps up my level of concentration. It forces me to really think about what I'm writing and it allows me the luxury of doing it right the first time (always keep a an up to date copy with me, which also helps as well).

    Main reason why I'm doing it by hand that, is that the hand fatigue is getting worse. After spending five to seven hours whacking away on my computer at work, the hands are pretty much shot when it comes to doing anything that is time consuming (like writing) on the computer.

  16. Whoops! Forgot about your first comment.

    Yeah, you were right about letting the post simmer for a while. The more I read it and the more I thought about the people who would read it, the better the idea was.

    So I got it stashed to the side and we'll see what happens come the month of August.


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