Dreams and landscapes

Writing what is often termed Speculative fiction (though this is a very large umbrella under which numerous genres shelter), is enjoyable and sometimes frustrating, though never dull. There’s something very therapeutic about thinking up unusual events and characters, yet do we really create the things we write, or do they emerge from some other place other than our imagination?

I have a life separate to the one I present to the waking world. And although I have no photographs or mementos from my experiences there, I find it no less tangible than the one in which I currently reside. I have friends in this other realm, and places to which I have grown fond of. And before you begin to think that the place I speak of is all sweetness and light, know that whilst beauty and wonder is abundant there, just as in this physical world, so too is darkness and strife. And just as in life, it creeps unexpectedly, catching you unawares. I am of course speaking about dreams.

Throughout my time on this spinning rock I have had a number of what are known as recurring dreams. Though recurring is somewhat misleading as this indicates I have the same dream over and over, and that the details of them remain the same with each telling. True, whilst the places and people (though people is generalising, sometimes the personalities take on forms far from what could be termed human) are known to me, the events and actions experienced are always unique, and more often that not, a continuation of what has come before. For example: Continue reading

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Word counts and the forgotten scene

Word counts. I am in constant battle with them. I can see the reasoning behind them when it comes to publishers, but damn, they frustrate me.

At present I have a story titled ‘The progeny host’ out for submission. The maximum word count cited by the publisher (which will remain nameless at present) was a strict 6000 words. Plenty to play with you would think. Wrong. The word count on my laptop soon gets eaten up and upon completion of my story it was standing at 9500. Way over. I put the story away for a few days, then feeling refreshed, when to it with a large editing knife.

I cut and cut, re-arranged and re-wrote, and though I was now sitting in an abattoir of words, I had managed to squeeze it into the word count… just: 5998 words. Phew!

I sent the submission, but I felt a little disappointed in the story. Fitting it into the word count had meant I had to change quite a bit. My vision for it was diluted, the story now merely a promise of what could have been so much more. You see, by changing it, I had taken away the very essence of what I wanted to tell. I wanted the story; though a horror story, to be more than that. I wanted it to have some fantastical elements to it also. These parts; the fantastical moments, were lost. Only the horror remained.
I still like the story I sent. The writing is fairly tight, and I had fun working on it. But, still, it’s a shame isn’t it?
The ending in particular was hard to cut. The ending in the original version was nearer what I wanted. It was dark, yet beautiful. Horrific, yet comforting. Alas, it was too long. Way to long. It had to go. The re-write ending is simpler, shorter, and completely different. It works, but was it better?
For those few who have read the version I submitted, and for those who haven’t, but who just like to read this stuff anyway, I include the original ending here, in its first and only draft. Perhaps i should have cleaned it up, but then some things are best left as they are. How else are we to learn from our mistakes.

Continue reading

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The Act of Writing

The worlds of writing and acting share the same ground. Though each can present rules (rules often broken in the name of the very art practiced) pertaining to their craft, the writer and the actor’s paths often cross, and in some cases they may find themselves walking along the same road, or indeed treading the same boards.

A writer; and I’m speaking about fiction writing here, not Joseph Stone at the local paper, doesn’t just write; he inhabits. To make characters readers will care about, fear for, and in the case of some talented authors, come to love, it isn’t enough to breathe life into our creations. We have to be them for a time, don their skins, and see the world we have created through their eyes. In short, just as the fore-mentioned actor plays a part, we too have to know our role.

The roles may be abhorrent to us, the mask ugly, the skin uncomfortable, or they may give us a glimpse of a life that we had always hoped for, but for some turn of chance eluded us. We need to give them a voice, so we write phrases and responses. We read these words aloud (reciting dialogue is often said to be the best way to get it right), adding yet another layer to our imaginary characters skins. And if we are feeling passionate (or in most cases if we have the house to ourselves), we may mimic a tone or accent that is unnatural to our voice, breathing yet more life into our written creations. It is at this point we are no longer writers, but actors. And the better we play the part, the more believable our characters become.

For knowing each personality; we gain insight into what makes them tick, and this in-turn, will hopefully give them a life worth caring about.

Currently reading: The girl who played with fire by Stieg Larsson
Listening to: Smoke and mirrors by The Eden House

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Welcome Back!!

Welcome to the new website/blog.

We had some hosting issues with the last lot, so new we are trying a new company. So far so good (fingers crossed).

So, what’s new then I hear you ask. Well, as we lost EVERYTHING when the last host went down, we have had to start from nothing again.

But the site will be here to do it’s job, which Is keep you good people In the loop on what I’m up to with my stories, be it story samples for you to comment on, or any news on my stories being published, you will see it here first.

It’s basic, but it will serve it’s purpose well I can assure you all.

So keep visiting, keep commenting, and keep spreading the word about the new site/blog.

I thank you all.

**Oh, by the way. To leave a comment on ANY news/article we post, just click the news/article name, It will bring up the comment section. You MUST be logged in though**

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