Approaching the Zenith

Anticipation builds as I approach the most climatic moments of Blestemul.

As a writer, I find these feelings difficult to deal with. Sometimes, I can accept them. Channel them. Sometimes, the thought of finishing a book, or writing along to the end is very intimidating. It’s not the size of the project (a book is done when it’s done) its the…well fuck. I don’t know what it is. It’s a weird backwards anxiety that wants to be embraced and ignored all at the same time.

Writing hand to hand combat scenes, gunfights, large scale battles, these are things that are well, once again, intimidating. The violence and intensity, and the utter intimacy of combat is difficult to capture. And I still don’t know if I am doing it well enough. And it’s not just action sequences- there are many large and powerful plot points that are coming up, ones that will completely change the face of the book and allow it to go into a different direction. There’s a lot of pressure there, but then again, all I’m doing is tellin’ a story.

But that point is trivial. The feelings are still there.

Big moments in books come in many shapes and sizes, and they are all a little scary to face and actually flesh out. You name it: love scenes, loss scenes, pivotal parts where your protag meets your antag, killing important characters, dialogue, oh the list goes on and on, and every author worth their salt meets these challenges head on and the good ones execute with precision and merciless vocabulary. And the gravity of these plot points can be daunting to anyone that means to tell a story. But it must be done.

I guess the purpose of this entry was mostly confessional. I talk harsh, violent, and to the point, but I’m still a human wrapped in a greasy shell of meat, and I can still feel fear. Anxiety. Sheepish. And…I think that’s okay. Such vulnerabilities makes a better author, which in tern makes a better book. What about you?

How do you deal with such pivotal points in your stories? Novel or no, you’ve faced these challenges in fiction, and in different forms with non. Confess to us all. You’ll feel better.

And you’ll be a better writer for it.

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Creating Natural Dialogue

Dialogue can be difficult.

I think the hardest part about it is making it seem natural. In all honesty, a writer is simply an individual that talks to him/herself. So when you’re just talking to yourself, how the hell can you create good dialogue? I took a gander on the internet to see if other people had tips, or stories to share. One link I found was pretty good. I usually stand against NaNoWriMo materials, but this one seemed pretty on par.

But, I didn’t read all of it. Couldn’t be bothered cuz I really didn’t give a shit, but you may. I don’t think I’m the master of dialogue. In fact, I fuckin’ hate writing it. It’s annoying, and it NEVER completely feels naturally to me, even when I’m reading the works of supposed “masters”.  Once again, I fucking HATE writing dialogue, but it’s something that must (should?) be done.

Dialogue usually comes in good moments. Or at least I’ve found that. I’ll have days where things just fit between two characters. I don’t have to think, and their personalities literally allow a conversation. But let’s be real, shall we? I’m simply talking to myself. So here’s something I try that actually works pretty well.

Literally, I speak dialogue out loud (when alone, or one the shitter hopefully alone) like I’m rehearsing a part for a play, or movie. I’m tellin’ you, it works for me. It works, and I’m gonna stick with it. Sometimes, I play out entire plot points in real time. Often in the car. I’ll choreograph fight scenes, plan conversation/confrontation, and see how they play out. Also, you have to know your characters.

That is one thing I can say with confidence. I know my characters very well, and when they surprise me, I’m delighted. These sudden left turns add definition to a character, and keeps readers interested while punishing them at the same time. Also, being an only child with OCD, my imagination is stronger than my concept of reality, and it helps me weave decent stories and dialogue. Fuck, I hate writing it so much I had to find a way to make it fun for myself.

What about you? How do you create dialogue? Plot? How do you move the story along?

Kone 2.0 Concept Art and…Other Things

Life is one long stretch of time where shit happens that is good and bad.

True is this for real people and fictional characters. This blog entry will focus on Kone, one of Alistar’s friends in Blestemul, the new book I’m writing. Kone is an Ironsoul, which means that he has mechanical parts mixed in with organic ones. After a particularly nasty bit of business in the plot line, Kone had most of his living body destroyed, meaning now he is almost completely mechanical. His brain did not survive; rather they stuffed “Kone” into an extremely sophisticated CPU, where he is who he is, but now he can process like a computer. Traumatic to say the least, but not without its benefits. Kone now is a sophisticated war machine, meaning that he has all sorts of military-grade treasures and goodies (I won’t reveal why). Navigation systems, enhanced tracking and sensory awareness, strength, reflex, and agility augmentation, hacking, electronic disruption, and a whole laundry godman list of other terrific shit. Take a look at some (shitty) concept art that I drew for Kone 2.0:

KoneConceptArt2_TCoUBlestemul

The skin on him cannot even fit over the mechanical parts, making it look unnatural. The face plate is synthetic, and does nothing to add humanity. I can’t say why I did this to Kone. And not in a “reveal the ending” kind of way, I truly don’t know why I did this to him. Perhaps I deemed him uninteresting, and needing a new angle. Maybe I was getting lazy, and needed an ace in the hole for later chapters. Maybe I just felt…cruel that day. Or maybe it was a combination of something else entirely. I don’t know.

Shit happens. We are all aware of this, whether it is fictional or real, everything happens to everybody for a specific reason. These reasons are either identifiable immediately, or take some time to reveal themselves. Sometimes, I can feel the world plotting. And I don’t mean people, I can feel the noose of life tighten around my fragile, mortal neck and then loosen when I least expect it. I felt the world plotting against me all my life, but I didn’t really understand what it meant until recently. Yesterday, my car got smashed into by an old man with shitty eyes and a big car. I could feel the incident looming long before it occurred.

Sometimes, I feel as though it maybe is death keeping my ego in check. God, devil, demon, angel, who knows. I worry. I worry because I this time of year always means trouble for me. And as the demons travel in threes, I worry. I worry because maybe this isn’t the end. I worry because maybe there’s more darkness to come.

I will always be on the edge of the abyss, staring into the black. It’s where I belong. Partially (mostly) by choice. And maybe sometimes this bleeds into my writing. Maybe all this shit means something, and I am just a lil’ ol’ pawn in a Chess game so grand and convoluted that I’ll never be anything more than just a basic piece. Maybe I’m full of shit.

Feelings of doom, bad omen, signs. They are everywhere. They can be heeded, ignored, embraced, destroyed, hidden, a whole manner of things. The feelings I get, the thoughts I have, the dream I dream. They are all connected somehow in a massive web that connects me to life, and all the forces that drawn upon it.

Or maybe I’m just a Pawn aspiring to be a King.

Dire Times = Dire Changes

So…Blestmeul ran wild last night.

I was just putzin’ along, writin’ my shit, and low and behold, the story threw me a curve. Not me, the story itself. In this situation, one of the main characters, Kone? He makes a very big decision that ultimately effects how the story will run. It’s strange sometimes how that happens.

Well, I don’t want to tell you what he did of course. It’ll fuck up the book if you ever want to read it. But I changed him completely all the same. Due to an event that I won’t disclose, Kone went from being partially cybernetic to almost completely all robot. That’s not all, either. He got a shit ton of military grade robotics and upgrades to make him a more efficient man-machine (I’ll post concept art detailing this in the near future). I’m not sure why I did that, to be honest. The story just…took a left turn.

This isn’t the first time its happened in this story. Originally, Kone wasn’t even a character. He came in to help progress the plot early in the book. I built him on a whim, and then added dimension as needed. No, he was supposed to forge a greater relationship with Alistar as time passed. I wanted them to be in each other’s pockets, but that might not be the case right now.

Turns out, Spek, my Groar character? He took over. His life force and personality in the story completely overshadowed Kone, and I simply ran with it. Now now, I’m not ditching Kone. I just found his purpose, and his purpose is not what I expected. The only relationship that is headed in the original direction I intended was with Jala and Alistar. Blestemul isn’t even the same anymore.

See, that’s why I don’t like to plan too much. I don’t like to have the whole story piece by piece, bit by bit laid out for me. If I start sticking to a well crafted plan I’ve made for myself, the writing turns to shit. I mean it too. Unreadable, even by friends or family. My mind is too obsessive and frantic to follow a plan. Does that make me better? No. But it does…force me to think in a different way. Special? No. Unique? I like to think so.

Anyway, this whole entry was on sudden changes if you’re playing the shitty home game. Sometimes, a story just doesn’t go the way you want it to. But that doesn’t mean that you no longer have a story. You simply have a new one. Everyone is so afraid of change, I feel. Especially writers. That’s why I don’t identify with that crowd.

Sometimes, a sudden turn in what seems to be the wrong direction can be the best godamn thing you can do for whatever piece of art you’re working on. Fuck, it can be the best thing for just living your life! Don’t be afraid if your novel is going in a place you don’t like, or understand straight away. Let it run! And if it still turns out shitty?

Just write another one.

Writing and the Mind- Getting Back on Track

Finding the strength to write is like gripping sand.

Dragging myself out of the brine of complacency, I have lied to myself as to where I need to be, and what I need to do. The mind is a terrible thing. Not to waste, but a terrible thing. I have imagined and seen things in my mind’s eye that have irrevocably changed how I think. By a little bit. Every day. Completely changing, over and over again. That’s how all minds work. Not just mine. I’m not unique there.

I’ve been writing again. Who knows why the flow slows? Who knows why my stomach drops when I think about slamming down a few more words outta a keyboard? I don’t know. And I’ve spent too much time in my life trying to figure out a final reason, a final truth. It might as well be a holy grail for Christsake. Unattainable. Impossible. Unreachable. The mind is too complex for me, or for anyone else to fully understand.

I’ve discovered that forcing myself to write just a little bit begins the flow again. I haven’t been able to write for hours in a long time, but I can feel the inspiration coming. It happens like this every time I write a novel; I reach a point where I’m goin’ through the motions, and then I come back full force. I can feel it. It’s there. As for drawing and art, there isn’t much left now. Concept art for Blestemul I mean. In case you couldn’t tell, I’ve been clutching and clawing for exposure through posting pictures. Simply because the content of my blog has been shit lately.

Time to get back on track. I’ve written over 200 pages in this new book, and I’ll I’ve been doing is pissin’ and moanin’ about how hard writing is when I should be doing the thing I created this fuckin’ blog for. So here we go.

As of right now, I’ve been trying to develop character connections through difficult experiences and trust loops. Along with this, I’ve been changing my main character, twisting him into something the reader might not like. But I always have a plan when it comes to something like this. I won’t disappoint.

As for the beginning of the novel, it starts out simply enough. An alcoholic, washed-up “soldier” eeks out a living on some godforsaken shit hill town when an opportunity to redeem himself in the eyes of himself presents itself. Alistar, the main character, has given himself up to the demon, Blestemul, his symbiotic demon-pistol. Stuck inside his head, the demon goads, supports, and torments him as he strikes back at those who have held him down, and are continuing to destroy other peoples’ lives in plain view, under the guise of innocent righteousness.

I also tried to break stereotypes in this book. I created races that seem more bestial, but I developed them like any other “human” character. They have personalities, they wear clothes, cologne, they have opinions, jokes, likes, dislikes, loss and gain. It shows that a good person is a good person, and one can transcend any ignorance with a little effort.

Right now, one friend of Alistar’s, Kone, is missing. One recovered after a traumatic event that she (Jala) shared with AListar, and Spek is now looking for Kone inside of a primordial and very dangerous swamp. They are close to reaching the location of their main objective, and then the book should take off with aggression and grace.

That’s where I am. Now you know, and now I’ve said it. Wrote it. And I feel better. I’m giving you the writing you deserve to read. Am I god’s gift to the written word? NO. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have to try. Thanks for reading and sticking with my fury. I won’t disappoint you. I promise.

Weapons- Lots and Lots of Weapons

Imaginary worlds allow one to create anything.

That’s why I like writing the most. Fuck the whole writing for an audience thing- I might aw well be masturbating at this point. I like makin’ shit up and then having it work in a world that will never be. My own fantasies coming to life, could it get any better? Of course it could, but for me it’s pretty close to a perfect hobby.

Anyway, before I delete that last paragraph, I wanted to touch down on weapons. I like weapons. A lot. And more than liking weapons, I enjoy creating my own. I’ve always had a fascination with things that can kill. I don’t know why. I don’t hunt, fish, or do other activities that put animals directly in harm’s way. But I do like violence, and I do like bad people getting what they deserve, so I guess weapons always have, and always will, hold a special place in my thundering heart.

Here’s some pictures of shit I made up:

WeaponConcepts3_TCoUBlestemul

These sketches are some mixed concepts. I included a Fundament assault rifle (they’re the main baddies in the book) along with some Incub technologies. Incubs have one eye, so I tried to develop a weapon that would cater to that. Larger rifles would have a stock that one would put against the chest, and stare down the sight without being able to blink. The harmonic knife is a weird one…I’m not sure how it works but it disrupts atoms, literally shaking them apart to create horrific wounds when used on soft targets. Here’s another slab ‘o art:

WeaponConcepts4_TCoUBlestemul

These weapons are almost ALL of Incub design. The two worth noting are the plasma hook and the longshot at the bottom. The plasma hook is a lofty idea- you could generate an arc of plasmatic energy that moves like a boomerang (without returning to you) and explodes with tremendous violence upon impact. As for how it would work, I have no idea. The longshot at the bottom is basically the most accurate projectile weapon on Urth. As long as its sight/scope is calibrated properly, the shot will literally go wherever the crosshair/bead is. Only operator error can alter the shot. More shit:

WeaponConcepts5_TCoUBlestemul

These are all Groar weapons. Heavy, artistic, and functional, these weapons personify what being a Groar means. Their version of a pistol weighs forty pounds, and uses a projectile that pierces through tough armor, and then shatters into stages all along the soft and doughy insides of their target.

Well, that about does it for today. I’m tired and bored of boring you. Take a look at my shit, leave a comment, all that good crap. Bye-bye.

 

Twisted Emotions Change Books

These last few weeks have been…trying. I make no apologizes for the things I’ve neglected. Including myself and this blog, my mind has been elsewhere. Sandy shoved a fist in many people’s holes last week, and fortunately, all she did to me and my wife was some light BDSM. Needless to say, I’ve been elsewhere.

I have been writing though. But I’ve noticed something more and more as I progress in life and work on books and other pieces. My emotions and state of mind drastically alter what happens in my books, and what I’m willing to do to the reader and/or characters. Maybe I’m just having a little dick power trip, maybe I’m an artist, I don’t fuckin’ care/know. All I know is I want to write more when I’m in the shit, and what I write gets affected.

Violence and cruelty show up more in my work. I also notice an inability to write good dialogue, and a nagging itch to get to the next action sequence, or fight. Good moods produce good dialogue and shitty storytelling sometimes. Bad moods cut straight to the chase. I am a man of little patience and low self worth, so maybe it’s my own pathetic way of bullying a situation into something I can dominate and have control over. Hell, as long as what I write is good, who cares?

That’s not for me to judge. Is it?

Often I wonder what “famous” books would have turned out like if the author was a different person, or pissed off when writing a certain chapter. Often I wonder if book would have been better, or worse. Often I wonder…too often. What does your storytelling tell you?