Writing With Confidence Because ALI

Even this person had confidence in writing "SOTP"

Even this person had confidence in writing “SOTP”

I had a different idea for this post. It was going to go in a completely different direction. Like a 360° spin, go back 360°, and then take a 180° and exit.

But…

Shit does indeed happen.

With the passing of the greatest boxer of all time, a complete and gracious human being, a man that inspired others, and a great champion of a person, I thought this should be about being great, like Muhammad Ali.

Like him, many should aspire to be the greatest them they can be. I think we all worry too much about what we’ll have while alive; what we can buy with our money; what we can gain through being good; or, what will happen to our stuff when we die.

Instead, we should be thinking about what we can do for others while we’re alive; how we can help people; how we can use our resources to get things done for the betterment of humankind; and, how our life may impact people in a positive and meaningful way.

Ali represented more than boxing. He stood for his beliefs with respect to the outcome of said beliefs. He was courageous and had conviction to stand up for himself, and all people. He was a humanitarian and he transcended this strange thing we call life. He was larger than life. Bigger than any sport, any sports star, or any celebrity.

How’s this relate to writing?

It doesn’t really, but fuck it, ALI.

Hang on!

Actually, it does and here’s how: Writers can take note and fully appreciate that Ali approached every fight as a unique and creative challenge. He cultivated incalculable faith in himself, his training, his craft, and his work in order to solve his every challenge.

Writers are hit with challenges at every sentence and paragraph. It’s a tough task to meld those things, like pesky words, into meaningful and expressive sentences wedge-hammered in neat paragraphs within a book.

Allow your confidence to show in your writing and the swagger of your pen. Perseverance and confidence are two essential qualities for any writer. When you hammer keys with confidence, it shows in your wordslurry.

Posted in ScatteredNotes

Will My Character Be Dead Without Agency? (And What The Hell Is Character Agency Anyway?)

World Class Artwork

World Class Artwork

I met with a friend the other night and we got to talking about events in one’s life perhaps changing as a direct result of altering one choice or decision. In essence, and metaphorically, the butterfly effect. Without the complete chaos theory involved.

Yeah, I know, a stretch, but stay with me here.

Okay.

So yeah.

Choices and decisions and how they are involved in plot and story.

See?

Going somewhere with this.

And that leads to…

Character Agency.

*lungs reach for mass quantities of air.*

You might be thinking, “yeahwhat, I dunno.”

Why Character Agency?

Because what your character chooses through her decisions dictates plot and story.

We already know that Agency, in and of itself, is the capacity of a being to act in any given environment.(Oh, you didn’t know. NOW YOU DO.) Or, it’s the ability of your characters to act within a given scenario or plot, which, through those characters, you’ve created. Since characters shape your story, they are essentially responsible for where the story goes.

All directions.

You, the writer, are not responsible for plot.

You, the writer, are not responsible for plot.

You, the writer, are not responsible for plot.

You thought that was a typo.

Pfft.

Whatever.

It was important enough to repeat.

Three times.

One more time: Your character drives the story. She’s behind the wheel going one hundred into a hairpin turn. LET HER DRIVE.

You’re merely the sack of sludge, bones, and blood packing the vessel pecking at the keyboard (DO YOUR JOB) and reacting to what your character does through her agency; motivations, actions, reactions, and any push she gives to the plot through her decisions, whether conscious or unconscious. Her behaviors exist, whether voluntary or involuntary within the plot.

In other words, for rubes and simpletons alike, me included, character agency is the ability to make choices. One choice moves the plot in a different direction, whilst a different choice will twist said plot elsewhere. If your character decides to do X, that decision will have a distinct result whereas if the character decided to do Y, that decision would have a different result.

Go back and read one of your stories…

I’ll wait.

*taps fingers impatiently. didn’t think it’d take this long.*

Anywho.

Now take chosen story and change the first choice your character made.

See, completely different result. Completely different direction. THE CHARACTERS DRIVE THE DAMN CAR.

If your characters have no agency, they’re like a puppet that you’re controlling. Not one with the strings, one where you ramrod your hand up its tight fabric sphincter.

That’s as exciting as watching a Great White torpedo out of the sea and eat seal pups.

Hang on, that’s actually pretty damn exciting. But it gets boring. Eventually. Trust me on this one.

If your characters have agency, they’ll do and say things to shape the narrative, thus spinning the plot better than a black widow. And multiple characters, because no story has just one character, will create push and pull conflicts through their own decisions and motivations, which ratchets up the intensity, commotion, and intrigue of a plot.

Posted in ScatteredNotes

The Blank Page Can Suck It

ideasThe other day I wrote about The Process you can find it here. It got me to thinking and wondering, back off, I CAN do both, back to a college creative writing class where the prof had us write to fill a blank page.

This was a time when electronic notebooks were not even a thought. It was when iPads, cell phones, MacBooks, laptops, and personal assistants weren’t brought to class because, well, they didn’t exist. In fact, a notebook still consisted of college-ruled white sheets of paper.

And we used pens and pencils.

Wait. Guess those are still in play.

Anywho.

Back to the class.

Yes, a blank piece of paper to fill in one hour. He might as well had me explain the theory of relativity. Or offer an understanding of Peace and War.

This is where I’ll tell you that creative writing is not about filling a blank sheet. That notion is invariably WRONG.

Creative writing is finding realism within the things in ones environment. Seeing the color red as more than blood. Seeing the sun as more than a lifeline of existence. Seeing people of every size, shape, and color and knowing there’s a story there. Creative writing is knowing there’s a story in everything and anything all at once. It’s so much more than allowing yourself the freedom to write whatever with reckless abandon. It’s making the unreal real. Making the non-existent exist. It’s taking something meaningless and minuscule and fabricating it into a morphing giant. It’s the power inside all of us just waiting to be dragged out by its gnarly hair.

It is not, however, asking a teenager or anyone to fill a single sheet in an hour. That, well, that’s just pure torture. Sure there’s writing prompts and whatever other bullshit we can use to break out of doldrums, valleys in Writersville, or bleak spots in Inkcity. And yes, they may or may not work.

But filling a blank page in a small amount of time is not creative writing.

While it’s creative, it’s not goddamn improv. You’re not in front of fifty drooling humans demanding a story while paying ten bucks for a drink.

Creative writing takes time. Stories take time. Sure, this shit is made up, but hey, we research a lot of stuff to get the details right. And details can make stories great.

 

Posted in ScatteredNotes

Why Strong, Lead female Protagonists Are A Good Thing

yumaWhile I do not, I’ll repeat that, I DO NOT have the full answer to my own blog, I will attempt the following without dismembering said self through a jackfucked example.

Herein, I shall explain Why Strong, Lead Female Protagonists Are A Good Thing.

Allow us all to source our inner female for a moment. No, not the #womancard, not a feminine side: A genuine POV from a woman’s perspective, capturing the voice (not literally), the essence, likeness, abilities, and of course, the mannerisms. While artistic creativity allows the writer particular freedoms in storytelling, it needs to be said that creating any strong character is difficult.

But what is strong?

I’m not talking physical strength here. Kickassery does not matter.

In fact, a female character who does little more than ass-kicking is no better than one who is there to be rescued by a man. Both are overdone. Both are boring. Neither advance the character.

I feel a strong character has presence. A personality. An intelligent mind. Someone who demands the attention to be front and center. Someone who counts in the story more than enough to keep the story together. It’s someone who’s own story strengthens the entire tone of the story itself. In other words, strong can easily reference the greatness of the character.

Nothing changes if that character is a woman.

Nothing.

What changes are the experiences of the character.

If we’re being honest, and I don’t know you well enough to lie to you, women are handcuffed with difficulties in the real world. They are too real, too often, and many have again come into recent light in Hollywood, all have been around too long. The handcuffs include a glass ceiling. Pay inequality in every profession. Discrimination. A culture of preeminent dismissal brought by male oppression. Rape culture also brought on by male oppression. Gender bias, again, brought on my male oppression.

These are all real and present experiences that CAN be present in fiction.

YES, fiction can be real. DON’T FUCK WITH REAL.

A great character must have emotion, be compelling, have flaws, show complexities, and [sometimes] be able to overcome those flaws and complexities. Women in your stories needn’t be any different.

Ever.

Just represent their experiences and remember that they too can do anything.

Posted in Rant, ScatteredNotes

Dear Superhero Movies: NO MAS

superheroesgalorePlease no more. At least for a while anyway. Maybe take a year hiatus. Let us catch up.

Not all of us read comics as a kid. Some of us played baseball. Or rode bikes. Or played outside doing general kid things like start fires or catch bugs.

Oh c’mon. The fires were small. Ish.

We get the Bat vs Superman. Sure. Makes sense anyway. Wayne Enterprises gets destroyed in the fight between Superman and General Zod.

The whole revenge thing in that you destroyed the family legacy now I must impart my impending Bat revenge.

Got it. All good. The whole checks and balances thing. Righty-oh.

Yup. Makes total sense.

What doesn’t make sense to us that didn’t read the comics is this whole Captain America war against Ironman.

Both are cool and…Totally believable characters.

But…

Let’s be honest. The quality of these movies has been going down faster than the Titanic while the quantity has increased too fast to keep track. And it’s only getting worse. It’s reached market saturation.

And where did the idea go to have just one superhero in a superhero movie? I know, cuuhrazy, right?

Poof.

It disappeared faster than chocolate cream cake at an all you can eat buffet.

Now these films must have two, three, five, six, or more superheroes just to capture the audience’s attention.

My mind cannot keep up.

It’s a whiz of a whirlwind engulfed in a tornado of epic proportions.

Even Batman v. Superman had to have Wonder Woman… and Aquaman… and Flash.

And the movie was, well, just, meh.

It’s going to happen…

Guardians of the Galaxy will need to be saved by Captain America. But not just Captain, his while damn squad of Avengers will come too. The entire plethora of Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, oh goddammit, there’s way too many to mention. Then they’ll make a call via the red Bat Phone and he too will come zipping in on a wheeled wonder of a rig. And I’m sure Superman will be overhead. Somewhere. Watching and waiting for his call.

It just never ends, BUT IT NEEDS TO. NOW.

 

Posted in Rant, ScatteredNotes Tagged with:

The Process Of Process

My Process involves making a notes page.

My Process involves making a notes page.

Someone asked me about my writing process.

Not sure who, but it was someone.

My response was a simple, straightforward, and to the point, “Hmmmmmmm?”

Yes, I used all the m’s in hmmmmmmm because I had to ponder said question.

For some time.

Then I remembered there’s a reason my blogsite is called scatterednotes. But that’ll come later.

Seriously though, The Writing Process is vital. Any person who writes has to, must have, a process. Analyzing said process helps us better understand, well, The Process. Over time, you’ll want to tighten The Process. Maximize it in all its processual glory. Allow it to be a fully automatic weapon in your writing arsenal.

The Process, once you realize what the holy hell your process is, will make you a better writer. Consider The Process, like fresh-from-the-Earth crude, can be crass. And like crude, The Process can be refined for better results. The difference is that you’ll change, tweak, titty twist, and pound your process into perfection without adding more serious-as-shit chemicals to it. Yummy!

So, well, okay, here’s a brief look at My Process. I’ll skip straight to the writing part of The Process as not to dullify brain matter transforming it into useless goo:

First thing, I don’t have a typical time that I write. I can get into an ink-slinging groove in the evening or the middle of the day. Or morning time. Does’t matter.

Second thing is, I don’t have a writing desk, office, space with windows or doors, or specific coffee shop. Truth is, I can write anywhere. And I have.

Typically though, when at home, I sit in a cozy Ergo-Klectic leather chair. It gives perfect posture and support. I like it. This is where probably 80% of words get made into sentences.

I use Microsoft Word for Mac. I’m comfortable with Word. I’m used to it. I know my way around Word documents. I’ve tried to convert to Mac’s Pages, but it wasn’t quite the same. And I didn’t want to worry about relearning a new, albeit easy’ish, program. I’ve also tried Scrivener because so many people who’ve used it seem to love it. I DID NOT. Hey, if you use it, props to you. It’s your thing. It is not my thing. I did not appreciate the learning curve or the look, or even the feel. I will use Word through the draft stages to the finished product, all with Track Changes.

I have two things I do before words fly to page. First, I will set my font to Garamond 12-point. It’s what I like. Second, I’ll have tabs set accordingly and I like to double space. Call ‘em quirks, rituals, good luck charms, whatever.

Gotta do them.

My writing time varies, and as of the most recent, it hasn’t been very long. Yes, that’s in the works to change. I like to hit at least 1000 words. Those words are in the form of story notes (scattered, if you will), novel work, or short stories. Although, if I’m doing a short story, say 1500-3000’ish words, I’ll hammer that out in one sitting.

Then I’ll take a break. Or set things aside. Breaks are good because, well, fuck off time is necessary. I’ll Internet shit, Twitter around, listen to tunes, walk the dog, or eat. Or just play with my goddamn iPhone because iPhone. DUH.

Background noise is part of My Process too. I will either have a game on in the background, Sports Center, MLB Network, or a music channel. Not sure why, but it feels natural to have words come to me with the noise. Same as writing in a coffee joint. Ambient noise just feels right.

I’ll go through my first drafts, make any changes, again, all in Word and then if all seems good, words are shipped via the magic of cyberspace to an editor I have never met.

Then edits.

That is My Process. It’s not perfect, but it’s mine. Over time, I shall fine tune, polish, refine, hug, and cuddle it in order to make things easier for this writing thing.

So, what’s your process? How long do you write? Where’s your preferred spot to make words happen? Like a pile of doggy doo, every writer’s process is different. Sure, some may look alike, but they’re just a little different. Or they can be strangely different. Doesn’t matter because it’s theirs or your process.

Posted in ScatteredNotes

Goodbye, Brody. (2004-2016)

The early days and at his comfiest.

The early days and at his comfiest.

A writer writes, but sometimes we take a break to remember those things that we hold dear, like dogs.

I shall not extol the marvelous talents of my pitbull.

Yes.

YES I WILL.

Okay, it’s not like he was classically trained to play the piano or whatever, but maybe he was.

YOU DON’T KNOW.

He was a dog. A good great dog. My dog.

I got him at a time when I needed something. I needed a change. Not sure of what, but something. Then I saw it.

That blue eye shown out in his picture. It called to me. It was the magical sapphire that grabbed my heart: Brody, the blue-eye bandit.

I took care of him, but more so, he took care of me. Gave me a purpose, a reason to have cause. Because of him I volunteered at a pitbull rescue; helped train pitbulls; and, will always be their advocate. Like I said, PURPOSE.

I owe him a lot.

And that included helping when he needed it most.

I thought I was ready. I prepared mentally. Be tough as chiseled stone, I thought – hard, emotionless, don’t crack.

I bawled like a hungry baby. Tears still stream while writing this.

I have a friend who went through this a year ago. It was a difficult decision and she opted to be in with her little pooch to comfort him. I went too. She was strong. I am not; therefore, I will not attend the peaceful sleep. I prefer to remember my dog in a different way.

With pets, we have to when it’s time to say goodbye. When do we let go? The answer isn’t ever easy. The Internet does’t show us, Google can’t help. The dog can’t tell us his level of pain or struggle. We have to  observe; listen for signs; see if there’s a change in appetite; pay attention in full detail.

Almost three years ago he was diagnosed with severe arthritis in his hips so I figured about another year. Anything after that would be bonus time. For a dog that played like a triathlete, bad hips were debilitating. He liked the bike…to pull it as fast as he could. He tore up the field at the dog park. The Usain Bolt of dog fiefdom. Slower dogs wanted to be him. Faster dogs couldn’t catch him.

Showing off mad in-water jumping ability.

Showing off mad in-water jumping ability.

But for a dog with power, speed, and agility, he did the most important thing: he was obedient. He listened. He followed commands. He was a model for his breed. He studied diligently for the Canine Good Citizen program.

And therefore, I prefer to remember the good and some of the bad, for it was the “bad” that made him, well, him. The him I will always remember.

There was the time he almost ate himself to death by opening his food container and wedging his enormous skull inside until his tongue could no longer reach food. Frenzy over, he managed to scarf almost twelve cups of dry food AND get his head stuck. Fun night cleaning up mounds and piles of vomit. Yet, he came through like a trooper.

I remember a hike back in 2007. We were walking along an ice-frozen lake in Michigan when I slipped on the muddy embankment and he suddenly found himself sliding on the lake. Alone.

Just hangin' 'round in the pool. Literally.

Just hangin’ ’round in the pool. Literally.

Being him, he took advantage and chased after the first rabbit scurrying for a hiding spot. The rabbit never really had a chance until, crack, the ice broke. Brody hung to the side and I remember one word escaping my lips, “Fuck!” I knew the water was waist deep for me, but freezing to a dog and, well, deep. And scary.

He clung.

I scuttled out, grabbed the scruff of his neck, and heaved. Wet dog over my shoulder, we hurried back to the car for towels, blankets, and high heat. Regulation of body temps in check, I think he was disappointed that we had to cut the hike short. But, he made it.

He should have bit the dust after speed pounding a bag of coffee beans. Including the bag because, well, apparently the beans just didn’t fill him up. And caffeine and canines don’t mix. He made it through.

After we moved to Arizona, he became Houdini at escaping his dog run. He would strategically climb the only spot that was no-climb fence and chill by the pool. In the 112 degree Phoenix summer sun! With only one tree for shade! And a pool full of chlorinated water for relief! He survived.

Guess what I’m saying is that perhaps my beloved Pitbull was maybe a cat with the whole lives thing.

His favorite spot to chill.

His favorite spot to chill.

The arthritic hips didn’t take him down. Slowed him, sure, but he refused to not do his thing. He still swam better than Phelps. He still went on walks…kinda anyway. There was that one time he had to be carried two blocks home because he had no more go to give. That’s a seventy-pound sack that’s, come to find out, very fussy about how he’s carried. He preferred to face front, legs straight out. Hey, he wanted a view.

 

This! This is how I shall remember my Brody. Because no matter, he's way better than some jumping shark.

This! This is how I shall remember my Brody. Because no matter, he’s way better than some jumping shark.

But after all this, it was an unsuspecting “growth” in the larynx that made it difficult for him to breath.

“Fuck you growth.”

*shakes fist*

“Fuuuuuuck. You.”

If his facial expressions, side eye looks, face-diving into the carpet, or trying to be a seventy pound lap dog didn’t get you, that solitary blue eye did the trick. It had powers to chase away the blues.

Sometimes I’d catch it staring at me, watching. I couldn’t help but smile and be in a good mood.

He understood the “leave it” command, but sometimes the wafting smells of food sitting on the kitchen counter called to him. They were too much a temptation for him to overcome. It was a battle of self-control versus wanting to be obedient. At times, his dog urge took over and my breakfast would be gone in three point six seconds. Yes, record time. Other times he would be completely still until told to eat a treat sitting on his paw. Oh, the fine contradiction. To this day I guard my plate like a prison inmate.

However, (yes, there’s always one of those damn “howevers” thrown in to fuck things up) I’t’s said that all good things come to an end, but when it comes to the lives of our pets, we have to ensure that the end, for them, is a good thing, too. As humans, it’s a difficult decision to make. We don’t want the animal to suffer and we know we can’t be selfish and hang on too long. It must be a non-suffering, humane, and gentle path. They gave us the gift of being them, we need to be sure we give them that gift back.

Goodbye, good friend. I'll miss you.

Goodbye, good friend. I’ll miss you.

Posted in Dogs, ScatteredNotes

What Motivates You To Write?

motivationPeople, I’ve been asked a question. It’s a deep, thought-provoking sonofabitch too. In fact, I had to sit down and do something difficult – think.

The question addressed, and which took me aback: “What motivates you to write?”

The audacity of that single loaded question rattled in my skullbox.

I mean, I’ve been asked before how I write and my answer was simple: I sit in front of my Mac and peck at the keys hoping some shit will be good. It’s like literally throwing word vomit on the screen and wishing for sentences.

But, this new question…

I dunno.

It makes me shake and quiver. It gets me all giggly inside too. It makes me feel, I dunno, weird.

I’ve concluded by logical deduction that my motivation for writing is apparently is a four-walled box.

Here then are my top four motivations for writing:

1. A Fuck Bucket Of More. Always More And More. 

My primary motivation for writing is that I get a good idea in my brainspace and like a demonic possession it needs to get the hell out, exorcist style. Yes, my head turns three-sixty and green chunkyjuice spews from my lips and then my hands move with alternate speed and words happen. Hey, it’s a process, so…

2. Make My Stuff Better Than A Crappy Book I’ve Read.

The motivation for my first book, Twisted Sanity: Stories Beyond Reality came from reading a shitty book where a close friend told me, “Hey, you can write better than that.”

I was like, “Fuck yeah I can.”

And I did.

*pats self on the back because no one else will because writer*

3. Finish My Shit.

Motivation now comes from wanting to finish my shit. I have stories that need to be completed, words and thoughts and thingies that need a place to be put; smashed onto a white screen. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the thinkmachine. My fucking fingers only move so fast whilst hovering over the magic keys that make words.

4. Land That Sucker At The Hooves Of A Magical Unicorn.

I’ve been guilty – guilty? perhaps, nay, not the correct word, but fuck it – of saying that it only takes the right person, one person to read your story and want to run with it.

Run where, you ask?

Well okay, you didn’t ask, but you will. YOU WILL.

So, another motivation is that a story might land in the right hands. Maybe some dudes named, say like, Quentin Tarantino or Richard Rodriguez, or whomever-the-fuck has a twisted mind for movies.

Coincidentally, you should check out the movies by Whomever-The-Fuck. Good stuff.

There it is, my motivations for writing. Now go forth and find your very own writerly motivation. So, if you’ll excuse me, I shall shout and ramble into the void whilst writing words in a sequence.

Posted in ScatteredNotes Tagged with: ,

Shit I internetted

internet-afpWhen it comes to Internetting shit, I’m not saying I’m leading the way, but it’s some strange – very strange – shit indeed.

Herein lies the far reaches of the Internet and cyber universe of which I have traversed endlessly with bloody fingertips pecking the way.

And now, behold as I share my top ten recent Google searches for a novel:

10. Things hookers do.

You read that correctly. But, before you judge, I…oh hell. Go ahead and judge. Anywho. You’d be surprised what I found.

9. Best Way To Kill A Person.

Thanks to the NSA, I’m expecting a call form local law enforcement any time now.

8.Star Wars Technology.

No, not that Star Wars. Think 1980’s.

I can’t say exactly why I Googled this one. It’s a surprise. A huge fucking intergalactic space odyssey surprise thingy. And holy shit, if your brain freezes and you forget the first “y” in odyssey, you’ll definitely have a sensational time trying to spell the goddamn word. Dammit.

7. Wal-Mart.

That’s it. Just a fuckbucket worth of info on the superchain conglomerate. A separate economy within the economy. It practically broke my Internet machine.

6. 49th Parallel North.

I was curious how our neighbors to the North patrolled this land boundary. Okay, I could barely write that last sentence without laughing.

5. Boundaries Of The Old USSR.

I had to hatch an escape plan. And, I may be mapping my strategical weapons deployment as you read this. You’ll never know. Well, you would know, ’cause the news.

4. Best route from Manitoba to Oklahoma.

The end result showed, and this is solid Internet truth: “Why the fuck would you want to go from there to there anyway?”

3. Big Razor.

This is something I loathe. I feel that all the razor companies are colluding to fuck the American public, and all publics for that matter, out of every nickel and dime available. I shall get to the bottom.

2. Cities in the old Czech Republic.

We’ll just say this was a geography lesson. Perhaps an escape plan of sorts from the USSR, ehh comrade?

1. World’s smallest unmanned aircraft.

I have an ant friend who’s looking to purchase…seriously though, it’s none of your business why this was searched, just know it was.

Relax.

I’m a writer so I’m allowed to Google really weird shit. At least that’s what my therapist tells me.

And, all that Googling makes for one interesting story.

So there you have it, my next story apparently includes: A hooker who does things and moonlights at Walmart when she realizes that she has family in the old (now new) Czech Republic and they must escape the USSR via Manitoba to Oklahoma to get her out of hooking. Or is it hookery?

Hmmmm.

Anywho.

Back to the story…

Their escape into the US apparently crosses the 49th Parallel North, which may or may not be patrolled. But careful they must because of border drones. And they’re not only saving a hookering daughter, they’re going to attack big razor and kill the person behind worldwide razor collusion. This, of course, will be done with Star Wars Technology. DUH!

Posted in ScatteredNotes Tagged with: ,

Why Resolutions Are BULLSHIT; No Star Wars Spoilers (And Other Various Ramblings)

16085712032010112522Forgive my prattle. A preamble, if I may.

A resolution for a writer is a setup for failure and writers fail enough; therefore, FUCK THE RESOLUTION.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell, I just…yeah, actually I did mean to.

The mighty resolution is a future of sucking a boatload of failjuice through a bendy straw. Resolutions are not goals. True fact. G’head, check the Entire Internet Machine.

I don’t ask a lot of you…haha. Yes I do.

The resolution is like being in a room with a mosquito that you can’t see. You hear the little bastardazoid, but his cloak of invisibility works all too well against your swatting hands. Resolution, same damn thing. It’s there, but you can’t see it. You feel the force…of it (see what I did there?) but it remains invisible.

Where was I going with this? Probably nowhere.

Oh yeah, I shall be guilty of fomenting New Year’s resolution unrest.

Why, you ask.

Well, maybe not you, but someone asked.

Anyway, the resolution is a decision or determination to do something and a goal is the result toward which effort is directed. I computered that shit, so it’s true.

Why’s this even matter?

Because writers should have goals, not waste time making podunk fuckwit resolutions.

Alas, I shall list five lofty goals for the year of 2016 for writers and me. We shall reconvene in one year to speak of that which we have succeeded or failed. Because, goddamnit, there is success from failure.

1. WRITE-STRONG.

Unlike LiveStrong, BostonStrong, and every other fuckin’ whatever or whomever strong, YOU need to have strong writing.

Hmmmm?

It’s okay, here’s a FEW hints, sunshine.

Plot: shit rarely goes according to plan in real life. It shouldn’t in your story either. Ratchet the intrigue and intensity of conflict. Make things happen.

Characters: if you have only one character, your story WILL suck. Just like the moons of Jupiter help the planet, support characters will make your MC stronger buy hindering, helping, making miserable, etc. Support characters need to be unique, have their own story, desires, and agenda. These are separate of the MC. Don’t fuck it up, sunshine.

Pace: strong writing means NO dullness. Your story doesn’t necessarily need to be a strict action-packed read at every word, but shit needs to happen. You want the reader to keep reading so don’t just tidy up chapter endings. Make things hang.

Depth: strong writing makes the reader think. Don’t be afraid to tackle and question themes. Maybe it’s societal norms, racism, or political bullshit or whatever.

2. WRITE.

Maybe it’s 500 words a day. Maybe 1000. Maybe 1500. See where I’m goin’ here? Make time to write. Whack out chunks of time. Power out the world around you and be the word ninja you are. Write every day.

Wait!

Take the weekends off to recharge and retool. The brainspace needs rest and craniums crack under pressure…literally.

Remember, you don’t necessarily need to open your story and add chapters or hammer out paragraphs like a crazyant. Sometimes writing 500-1000 word notes for your story helps as much for setting things up as opening the document and adding word salad. So don’t discourage yourself if that story isn’t opened, just write.

3. FINSIH YOUR SHIT.

No, not literal shit. At least not here anyway. Sorry, this is not scat or German porn.

*disappears for fifteen minutes*

Where was…oh yeah. German…

WAIT!

Yes, that’s it, finishing what you start.

*raises hand. blurts words*

Yes. Yes. Yes. I am guilty of not finishing all my work, but then again this is a GOAL for 2016 so back off.

It’s important to keep the upper hand in your writing and that helps in finishing started works. I mean, how many fucking WIP can we have anyway?

4. READ.

Sure, this blog is a start, but I mean really read.

Read good shit. Read bad shit. Read outside your genre bubble.

We learn from reading and as writers, we learn what does and doesn’t work. We learn from others. We generate thought which leads to ideas and ideas lead to stories and stories lead to success. WHAM!

5. TAKE IT EASY ON YOU.

This one goes without saying. Our harshest and most demanding critic is us. As writers, we can fall into self-loathing. We berate ourselves under our musty breath. STOP!

Here’s the deal: don’t be a dick to yourself. Focus on accomplishments, not on failures. Rather, learn from possible failures. Let’s face it, shall we, writing is hard fucking work – HFW, if you will – and even people who say, “I should write a book.” don’t.

Why?

Because writing is HFW!

 

 

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