I don’t want to jinx things, but I think I’m going to have a pretty strong showcase of work in 2015. I’m working on yet another short story, currently untitled, for release next year in addition to Emergence and Revolver, which will be appearing alongside some other mighty fine pieces in a sci-fi anthology. Phew! Keep an eye out for updates on all three projects as they develop.
| Smashwords |
As you may be aware, today is Halloween. You owe yourself a treat, and a bit of a fright. If you haven’t done so already, might I suggest a read-through of my latest work, Consumption. It’s available on a bunch of different platforms, and only 99 cents.
This short story is a nasty bit of work, a grisly, bloody affair. According to some of the reviewers over at Goodreads, it’s maybe the kind of story you might not want to read too closely before or after dinner….
Here’s the description:
Reclusive chef Heinrich Schauer has invited six guests to a blind twelve-course tasting menu.
What You Eat
While snow blankets the isolated Swiss valley surrounding his estate, the guests feast eagerly, challenging one another to guess at the secret tastes plated before them.
Meat Is Murder
As they eat, each guest is overtaken by carnal appetites, unaware of their host’s savage plans…or of the creature lurking below.
One thing is clear: There is more on the menu than any of them have bargained for.
Consumption is a 12,000 word (approx.) short story. It contains graphic depictions of sex and violence, and is intended for mature audiences.
| Smashwords |
Since I know there’s more than a few of you out there who are into the writer’s process and constantly looking to hone your own technique and pick up some helpful tips and wise words of advice, here’s a new release from Chuck Wendig. Check out the link, above, for purchasing links and more details on this release.
Here’s the lowdown:
30 Days In The Word Mines takes you on a month-long journey of writing, offering pages filled with practical writing tips, motivational throat-punches, and ruminations on the craft of writing and art of storytelling. Whether you’re running with National Novel Writing Month or just want to hunker down and write to see just how far you can get, this book will help you every step of the way with a new tip, trick or thought every day of the month-long journey. From the mad mind behind terribleminds comes an original companion book to help you navigate the maze of writing every day. Good luck, and art harder.
I plan on checking this one out soon. In fact, I just bought it on Amazon this morning. I follow terribleminds regularly, and if you do, as well, then you know he’s chock full of terrific, on-the-money, frequently vulgar yet sage advice. And personally, I am always happy to throw money to supplicant the Wendig, that great, hairy beast of lore.
Go check it out!
While Interstellar looks to be my go-to sci-fi film for 2014, the upcoming Ex Machina might take the crown for 2015 if these trailers are anything to go. Penned by Alex Garland, who did the screenplays for Sunshine and 28 Days Later, Ex Machina marks his directorial debut and looks to be a pretty taut, creepy thriller. Look for it in April.
The old adage – writing is rewriting – is a small and wise nugget, but inside this little phrase is a whole world of magic. Maybe that’s a bit too much wide-eyed mysticism, but, damn it, there is power in the rewrite. Old world hoodoo. I’m a believer.
Writing isn’t easy. It’s not working in a mineshaft or being a grave-digger or garbage man difficult, but it can be incredibly frustrating, exhausting, and mind-numbing. The act of carving loose a story is tricky business. Stories, you see, they lurk. They hide and cower, shriveling away in stubborn obstinance, and sometimes they require a tremendous amount of coaxing to do with it what you will.
Not all stories are like this. Not all of them, and not all the time. But sometimes you get a good idea that you just cannot get a solid grip on. It’s an idea that wants to be a story, but which is slimy and feisty and refuses to be pinned down in a corner. That’s when you have to go at it from a different angle. That’s when you rewrite and trap it.
Convergence came somewhat easily, but that second draft…man, that was full of rewriting, trying to get those ideas lined up right and flowing sensibly.
I wanted to follow it up with a horror novel whose idea has been percolating in my head for about six years. I couldn’t even get through the first chapter. It was awful. I had no idea how to start it. Or, at least, I did have an idea but not a proper way of executing it. The idea still lingers, and I’m working on a new approach now. We’ll see if I can nail it down or not.
I shelved it for a while and tackled Emergence, a sequel to Convergence. Again, it came easily. Three months of solid writing and I produced a first draft I was really happy with. I sent it off to my editors at Red Adept. There’s a lot of rewriting in store for me again. I spent this past weekend rewriting and rearranging an entire chapter early on in the book’s going. I’ll be rewriting the ending and expanding it. There’s a whole litany of notes from my content editor, and a heck of a lot of work ahead before it’s publishable. But it’s all doable. I already did a lot of the heavy lifting. Now it’s just finessing and modifying and cleaning shit up.
Consumption came easy, fired out after three days of frenetic writing. That one bled out of me, and took on a life of its own. I wanted to follow it up with another short story for an anthology I’ll be taking part in next year. The first idea I had was solid, but again, the execution was a failure. Just couldn’t figure it out.
I came up with a new idea. It’s called Revolver. It wasn’t always called that, but it is now. I sat down to write it and got about three thousand words in. I was not feeling it at all. There was no direction. There was too much infodump. I had the big idea of splitting the narrative into present day with flashbacks to flesh out the character. It drained the story of any energy, robbed it of any sense of necessity, and felt a lot like chasing after myself in a big damn circle, getting nowhere.
I started over. Not right away, no. I let the ideas run free and waited for the story to come to me. I couldn’t force it, not this time. Trying to deliberately write Revolver was trying to hold onto a fistful of water. No matter how hard I tried, it just kept running away from me, leaking away. I waited and waited, until the story came and told me how to tell it.
Every story is a lesson. There’s always something new to learn, a new approach, a new mechanism. The imp inside Revolver wanted to change everything – narrative choices, point of view, characters, everything that surrounded the core concept of that small, initial kernel of an idea.
Sometimes, you just have to wait and listen hard. And rewrite.
Excuse me while I freak the fuck out!
I am absolutely amazed and astonished by this uncanny news report of all-new Marvel movies coming up over the next few years.
Check out Comic Book Resources full report:
It’s hard to believe that Avengers: Age of Ultron is coming out soon, and yet it still feels so far away… That trailer blew me away and has become a frequent source of viewing since it released last week. I’m definitely looking forward to more footage during tonight’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s coming up, according to CBR, with Ant-Man official kicking off Phase III.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron – May 1, 2015
- Ant-Man – July 17, 2015
- Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016
- Doctor Strange – Nov. 4, 2016
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017
- Thor: Ragnarok – July 28, 2017
- Black Panther – Nov. 3, 2017
- Captain Marvel – July 6, 2018
- Inhumans – Nov. 2, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity Wars (Part I – May 2018) (Part II – May 2019)
I really cannot express how tremendously excited I am by all of this. I’m ridiculously happy to see Carol Danvers finally getting her big-screen dues in the Captain Marvel movie, but, damn it, not until 2018.
I’m also really curious to see how Infinity War plays out. Captain Marvel could be the bridge that helps connect the intergalactic adventures from the Guardians movies to the rest of the Earth-based MCU. And with Marvel’s propensity to borrow from recent story-lines, as with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I’m wondering how much Hickman’s epic war story, Infinity, will serve as a basis for the Avengers two-parter. Especially given the prominence of Black Panther in that comic’s pages and as a member of the New Avengers. And, can I just say, an Avengers two-parter?!?!?!?!?! Wow. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes to all of this.
There’s just so much to absorb here, and even more to speculate, wonder, and day-dream about. Maybe even a little too much.