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One of those months

where i had around 2500 words and realized i hated the voice of the story.  i liked the story itself, but man was it starting to get tough to write.  so in typical me fashion, instead of going back and fixing things, i just scrapped it all and started over last night.  i’m sitting around 300 words now (everyone seems sick in this house and i didn’t have much time to actually sit and work) but i’m actually enjoying the story.

i’m not sure why i disliked the first draft so much, but after i got off to a hot start, it just stopped giving me any pleasure in writing.  part of it was that i’m writing a much more visually descriptive story than i usually do.  most of the time i like to give enough description to inform, without going overboard.  one thing that drives me crazy is when an author over describes everything.  it’s just a personal preference, but i don’t need you to describe the thread count of the bed sheets in a room the characters walk past, and never venture inside.  because i’m writing in a sort of comic book style, i have to get in some more description than i’d like, but it feels like it needs to be there.

as for now, i’m going to take a night off of writing to do a little re-plotting – i swear it’s not because i have no ending in mind yet.  we shall see how tomorrow goes with the writing.  i’m pretty sure i can knock out a decent amount of story in a short time, because it’s just fun to write this sort of thing.

when you do it correctly.

perhaps.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2015 in aaron's writing, Uncategorized

 

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Testing…

Testing… testing… is this thing on?

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

in response to derek’s rankings

before i go back and re-read (and possibly re-work) my stories again, i figured i’d give my own rankings of my stories.  it may change after reading them again, so this ranking list may change.  i’ll do it in reverse order as well –

12. The Baker (October) – after realizing that an awful lot of my stories ended up with someone’s death, i decided to write a choose your own adventure which let me include a whole lot of death.  painful and ridiculous deaths.  while i liked my idea, i didn’t really think i managed to pull the story itself together as well as i would have liked.

11. The Ledgers (August) – this was the first month that i decided i would attempt to throw in crazy names for things.  the merchant of tennis as the guys pro-shop name is possibly my favorite of them all.  the rest of the story just didn’t really do much else for me.

10.  Gaius the Bold (March) – i really like the idea behind this story a lot (what does your dog do all day when you aren’t home?  protect the house from alien invasion, duh), but i did end up throwing at least two of the sentences in for the sake of inclusion.

9. Sign of the Times (January) – if i wrote this story later in the year i think it would have been about a million times better.  that being said, it’s one of the ones i know i want to go back and fix.

8.  Rigging the Future (February) – william taft stealing teddy roosevelt’s time machine and heading into present day america?  roosevelt and a bunch of his cabinet coming here after him to bring him back?  what could possibly go wrong?  besides me getting to include a bunch of odd historical references pretty much everything else.  another one i think i could do a much better job with.

7.  The Fat Man (April) – this one sort of just slides by.  i don’t dislike any of it.  i just don’t like it all too much either.

6.  Year of the Stone (July) – i think the best part of this story is that it let derek write ‘The Birth of the Stone,’ his december story (which incidentally may be my favorite of his stories this year).  that’s pretty much the only reason why this one cracked the top half of my list.

5.  Dark November (November) – a short, short story.  i wrote this one in just a couple hours the night i emailed it to derek.  it was also a complete departure from my writing style in any other month.  considering those facts, i think it came out pretty good.

4.  My Name is Cashew (December) – it’s no great secret that i usually make fun of derek’s bizarre names for his characters.  it’s not all the time, but you won’t find any ‘randolph jones’ in his stories, you’re more likely to find a ‘phytzler swagtragler.’  i really did like his january story, and when the idea for a sequel came up, it was my first instinct.  it let me be a bit more loose and comedic than i had been for much of the year, and it also let me make fun of his naming abilities.

3.  A Life in Rouen (September) – writing a short story about an author where all his stories come to life was a lot of fun.  including references to all eight previous stories i had written (be it locations, characters, or objects) made it even more fun.

2.  Climbing for Her (May) – derek and i disagree about the ending.  not that it was good, only what exactly happened.  i’m pretty sure i’m right, but i won’t spoil what my intentions were so you can interpret it however you’d like.  also, i had a lot of fun with this story.

1.  Project Titan (June) – i’m seriously considering submitting this one for consideration in some contest or another.  the only problem is that derek wrote the first page.  my defense is that i just used it as a spring board and didn’t build from it.  i mean, there’s no way i would have thought of my idea without his start, but that doesn’t mean anything, right?  this was far and away the best thing i wrote all year.  i felt the most confident about it when i sent it to derek to review, and i still think that it holds up pretty well.  this was the first month i really felt comfortable with my writing, and it’s definitely evident.  from this point on i think my stories got stronger, not always better, but the writing was much improved.

so … i guess i’ll have to go back and read derek’s stories again to rank them.  hopefully i can get that up by the end of next week.

 

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Ranking Aaron’s stories

As I said in my last short post, I’m going to list my order for Aaron’s dozen stories last year. I’m not going to go into great detail about them, as I did a writeup each month afterwards, but this will show how they “aged”. Perhaps I should do this later than a few weeks after December’s story was turned in, but meh, I’m doing it now. I’m going to be pretty brutally honest. I wonder how this would jive with Aarons’ take on his own stories? Anyway, we’re off:

 

12. Sign of the Times – January – I think he was trying to find a voice and was caught in the middle of tense-land. Good idea, but not enough to hold even a short story, and the writing was rough.

11. Gaius the Bold – March – The story ideas were getting better, but I felt like he was forcing the sentences in just for the sake of using them up, and not using them to propel the plot.

10. Rigging the Future – February – I think it’s telling that my least favorite 3 were the first three he did. He definitely grew as a writer as the year wore on. The plot was fine, I just thought the main character was wholly underdeveloped. 

9. The Baker – October – The entire plot hinged on a motivation that I just couldn’t find myself buying. However, total bonus points for it being a choose-your-own-adventure. And his “just wear the damn dress” line was one of the best of the year.

8. The Ledgers – August – I find myself forgetting about this story more than his other ones. It’s not bad by any means, but I just feel nothing really stands out except his Merchant of Tennis reference.

7. The Fat Man – April – I felt this was his first story (chronologically) where he really started playing and having some fun. He took it in a very different direction and featured his best writing up to that point. Yay bloody showdowns!

6. My Name is Cashew – December – I have to admit that there’s some bias here – this was based off one of my favorite of my stories, so I automatically come into the review with an extra-critical eye. He did a good job of modeling the world I created, but my biggest gripe is I feel, as a sequel, it is TOO close to the original plot-wise (thematically is fine, but I would have liked to have seen a varied plot).

5. Climbing for Her – May – As I said when I first reviewed it, the story itself is decent. However, the commitment he gives to the ending is superb. It really makes the entire story 500x better.

4. A Life in Rouen – September – Of all his stories, this is the one I feel like could be expanded on. The idea isn’t anything mind-blowing – tons of stories out there have writers whose creations come to life. But using his characters to figure out why it’s happening is pretty awesome. I think this definitely has legs to be a novella.

3. Dark November – November – Easily the most out-of-the-box for Aaron, this story just reads so differently that that alone makes it noteworthy. As I said to him personally, I don’t particularly *like* the style of story, but I won’t deny that it is one of his best.

2. Year of the Stone – July – I feel like this is the story where he fleshed out the world best. The characters are varied and detailed, the plot is clear, the ending is a nice little twist. A well put-together story.

1. Project Titan – June – This isn’t even close, this is far and away his best story. While I think the characters could be expanded on in a fuller treatment, the plot is fantastic and the ending genuinely surprised me. I’d like to take credit for this story as I provided the first 750 words, but really, all I did was giving him a diving board and he went in headfirst. Read this story.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Haven’t Done a Damn Thing

This month seems to be the story of life getting in the way. I got a good idea that I like and just haven’t had the time to dedicate to getting it down on paper. Maybe I’ll just wait until the 13th like I do every other month.

Instead, I want to talk about ‘Dash. It’s the board game Balderdash – quite a fun game by its own right. However, my friends were always so creative growing up that playing the game under normal rules became pretty boring. You’d have 6 funny answers and then “a bone in the neck” or something. You KNEW which one was real. So we changed the rules where you just write whatever you want, and you vote for whichever you like best. If you’re the reader and have the actual definition, you have to incorporate it VERBATIM in your answer, but can add whatever you like before and/or after the text. Which is precisely what we’re doing with this month’s story. I’m trying to keep as “pure” as possible – not changing any of the hes to shes, and not changing the punctuation. The punctuation might be a problem, as I have one sentence that would work much better with a colon than a period. But I’ll figure that out if I ever get around to writing it.

Anyway, I have a Dash Dictionary on my website that I keep of my all-time favorites throughout the years. There’s tons of good stuff on there. But I’m going to save you some time and list my favorites that were REAL answers that were altered. Enjoy.

bobabza – a mine rich in ore, similar to Bonanza, a show rich in horses (Aaron)
breastweed – a lizard’s tail, used to cure inflammation of the breast: “Hi, have we met? I’m a lizard” (Paul)
capernoited – slightly tipsy, not drunk, but tipsy enough to get your head stuck in a Trapper Keeper (Stacey)
loppet – to stumble, while walking or running, into a vat of ill-tempered wolverines with ADD, so they forget to hurt you and you can just swim through (Bryan)
wanion – the realization that menstruation is actually bad luck due to the waning of the moon (Cyrus)
Anton Van Leeuwenhoek – inventor of the microscope and centrifuge. Sometimes he gets really drunk and tries to find out how dizzy he can make an organism get (Mitch)
George Blaisdell – invented the Zippo lighter that, once lit, never goes out until a forest disappears (Caroline)

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Uncategorized