creative writing

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My very first set of #writemotivation goals.

Published August 11, 2012 by ltwilton

#writemotivation

Finally! I am at the stage of writing my goals for #writemotivation, and boy, do I need them. It’s been very easy to do the bare minimum lately (or get caught on twitter for aaaaaaages) so I hereby give myself a kick up the ass.

Here are the goals for the rest of the month of August:

1)      Finish the mystery story and submit.

2)      Enter at least one writing competition.

3)      Complete non-fiction writing task 1.

4)      Write at least 3 more chapters of Lily.

5)      Start sci-fi project 1.

6)      Complete at least one blog entry per week.

Now that may sound pretty vague to you, but it’s a lot of work. I think I can cross off a few of those, if not all of them but I might need to give myself a daily target too, to make it all a bit more manageable.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately learning about writing and about social networking. It’s the social networking part that’s killing me at the moment. I just don’t think I’m doing it right yet as it seems to be taking up a lot of time.

I’m also trying to transfer my blog from a wordpress.com to a wordpress.org account and that is causing me some minor headaches.

I think I’ll put a goal for the blog transfer on there for September.

OK. Now to spend less time online, and more time writing!Image

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Flash fiction challenge

Published July 19, 2012 by ltwilton

So, I decided to get involved in a flash fiction challenge set by Chuck Wendig at terribleminds.com. The challenge this week was to write a story with the beginning sentence: “The noticed android walks past a wondering chamber.”

The second requirement was to keep the word count below 1000. The deadline is tomorrow so I thought I’d better be quick. Here is my attempt:

Arrogance of an android.

The noticed android walks past the wondering chamber. Inside, Lara is frantically trying to finish the sequence of wondering but noticing the android distracts her and she loses grip of the wonder. Hopeless and desperate, she places her hands on the panels once again.

“Start! Goddamn it! Start!”

The wondering machine whirrs as it reboots but the android is already cutting a hole through the metal door. Lara’s face strains as the influx of information enters her head. She wills it to enter her long-term memory, her subconscious, so that when they put her under again she might regain control quicker next time.

“I… Will…. Remember….!”

Images flash before her eyes -future, present, past. She could not tell. She sees the human race fighting against the machines, the capture, the enslavement. She sees the memory suppressors, the deadened eyes of the afflicted, the lines of workers mining for metal, the occasional break for freedom and subsequent failure. But one image lingers. It is enough to give her hope. She sees escape, a group of humans on the outside, rebuilding, preparing, strengthening. As she falls to the ground and loses consciousness, a faint smile creeps over her lips.

“Remember hope.”

The android walks silently across to where she lies. His face is so human, his synthetic blonde hair neatly trimmed to frame his features. No wonder the humans were taken by surprise in the beginning. It was hard to tell friend or foe.  He pauses for a moment, studying her face, cocking his head to the side as if able to wonder. After his brief hesitation he injects her with sedative and hoists her up onto his long, back and carries her out the door.

They pass through the dark, empty corridors, the air dampened by the proximity of underground streams on the way to the maintenance chamber.  When they reach the large, silver door the android pauses to swipe his hand across the entry reader and the door slides open.

He places Lara on the table and waits.

When Lara wakes up, she realises she has been strapped to the medical table. She struggles in vain but the restraints are too tight. “Nnggh!!”

The android approaches.

“What is your… name?” he asks, monotone, emotionless.

“Why should I tell you? Why do you care?”

“I do not care.  I wish to know, however. This may be of use to us.”

“What do you want?”

“How did you reach the wondering chamber? How did you find out about its whereabouts?”

Lara had not known that the room was called a wondering chamber. She had learned about it over time, hiding the fact that she had regained some of her consciousness, her ability to reason and to make choices. She had pretended to be just like all the others and had explored the tunnels little by little over the course of a few months. She did not want to tell the android any of this. She had only been able to get as far as she did because they had underestimated her. They thought they had complete control, but she had slipped through. Now she just hoped,no, she knew, that others would slip through. She had seen it.

“Why do you need the wondering chamber?” she asks the android, avoiding his question.

He smiles at her, as if regarding a petulant child. “Such things are beyond the understanding of humans.”

Lara looks at him, studying his face. His face is expressionless but then… a flicker.

“You call it a wondering chamber,” she says, “but why would you need it?”

“We do not need it, foolish human.”

“But you’re so logical. You wouldn’t build something you didn’t need.”

Once again she sees a flicker of something in his face. What did she see? Anger? Arrogance? Impatience? No. Jealousy. What she sees is a hint of jealousy. Lara’s face lights up with realisation.

“You want to be like us. But there is something missing; the ability to imagine, to wonder. You think you have beaten us but you won’t because you don’t have what we have. And despite your best efforts you can’t get it. It bothers you –  no- it’s killing you! And you know we’ll keep going until we break free. You won’t ever be able to break us down. You can’t kill our hope!”

Slap! She cries out. The android stands over her, ready to strike her again, but instead reaches for the memory suppressor. He cranks it up to maximum, places the headpiece over her head and presses the start button. Lara screams in agony until it is finally done. The android lifts the headpiece and looks at her face carefully. Lara is staring into the nothingness, stripped of her former passion, her determination, her consciousness. He releases the restraints.

“Get up,” he commands her.

Lara lifts herself off the table and stands, facing the door, awaiting her next instruction.

“Join the others in the holding chamber.”

Lara walks towards the door, away from the android, a faint smile creeping across her mouth. Next time, she would know what to do.

(850 words)

Non-fiction or fiction? That is the question.

Published July 10, 2012 by ltwilton

I currently find myself torn. I’m wondering if I should start trying to earn money by producing some articles for magazines  to build up my skills and my experience before embarking on writing a novel.

I just don’t want to write a novel that is shit. I don’t want to find myself going back over it to try to improve the writing, the structure, the characters, the POV because I didn’t have enough practice before I started the project. I realise that I could write short stories in the meantime but I find that this distracts me a little from cooking up the characters and plot for my novels. I say novels as I have more than one in mind.

I’m also having another problem; which genre should I be writing in? Do I have to pigeonhole myself or can I float around on the cusp of a genre or two? My tendency is to write dark tales but some of my ideas are clearly sci-fi and others are more fantasy. Then there are others which are downright horror.

So, what would you do? Write to make some money (if I’m lucky) and get some practice before I launch into the big project or just go ahead and write the darned thing now?

How do we begin to write?

Published July 9, 2012 by ltwilton

There are so many of us who would be so called “aspiring writers”. Now, this morning I read a blog post by a writer named Chuck who expressed in great detail his annoyance with this term and with some of the whinges these “aspiring writers” have been known to make. So, I made a mental note – I was not going to use the term “aspiring writer” any more. Now I am a writer. I am just an aspiring paid writer.

Apparently there are people who write, and there are people who want to write but don’t have the time, can’t, won’t etc. I’m definitely going to slot myself into the category that writes.

I’ve also read that the world and its mother want to write. Everyone wants to be a writer apparently. Hey, that’s cool enough, but it does mean there is a lot of competition out there. Well, we knew that anyway but I think the difference is that some are more determined than others.

I’ve been reading Stephen King’s book, On Writing, lately and he is a good example of a writer with perserverance. Keep on going, despite the rejections. He used to pin them to a nail on the wall above his bed until the nail couldn’t hold the rejection slips any longer. The guy wanted to write and he wasn’t going to stop for anyone. So, no excuses anyone. If you want to be a writer you can’t give up. No whingeing, no excuses, no procrastination. In the words of Nike, “just do it!”

So, this brings me back to the question: where do we begin? I’ve heard of people who have to sit and make ideas happen and those who have ideas just “happen” to them. I happen to be one of the latter. I can be walking down the road with the pram and the dog and some idea will just pop into my head. I’ll think to myself yea, that works, and then this could happen….. Trouble is, I don’t have the opportunity to write them down instantly but so far this isn’t causing much of a problem. One problem which is causing me some difficulty, however, is that at any given time I can have up to 5 different book/short story ideas swimming around my head simultaneously. Sometimes they overlap and that can be a bit confusing. It’s no real hardship though. I think it would be a lot worse if I had no ideas at all.

I decided to take a writing course to give some structure and technique to my story ideas and I’ll write about how that’s going as I go along.

Just a question then for all you writers out there: How do you begin your process?

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