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Well, it would appear Derek beat me to the punch today

i’m about halfway through reading and critiquing derek’s story, and thought i’d post an update since it’s been a little while.

i like it.

that is all.

 

the thing i find amusing about this version of our project is that we decided to not use the same topics, but we still ended up writing something similarly based.  the stories are pretty much total opposites in content, but there’s one idea that sort of hinges them together.

based on derek’s post just before, i think i already know what some of his ideas for my story will be.  when i sent him my first draft, i already had about seven or eight things i wanted to change, but i got delayed in finishing it up, so i didn’t want to wait any longer.  conceptually i really like my story, but i’m not sure it worked as well as i wanted it to in this form.

i wrote what basically amounts to a comic book super hero origin story.  which i think worked at times, and others it was a bit difficult to translate into a short story.  if i was working with an artist and actually doing a comic book, it would improve tenfold.  a lot of what i was trying to get across would have been so much easier with narration text and images, instead of what i felt was someone telling you every little detail of the past year of their life condensed into 3500 or so words.

i’m awaiting what he has to say about it, because i think we may be on the same page with a lot of things.  but then again, this is derek we’re talking about, so i’m sure he’ll surprise me and come at it from an entirely different angle than i’m expecting.

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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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thankfully 2012 has been the longest year on record

running into its 37th month, just so we don’t have to change the name of this blog.

first, let me welcome everyone back. it’s been a long time coming and we’ve finally decided to push ourselves again this year. we did have plans last year but they sort of fell through, i forget why. anyway, that’s besides the point. the point is, we’re here to write some more stories that end in awful deaths and/or sadness.

second, we have a new way to follow the process. a new twitter account. you can follow us @shrtstryprjct because we have no vowels. that, or any decent name was taken or too long for twitter. most everything on there will probably just a a note updating about a new post here, but perhaps we’ll slip in some different information as well. or just randomly spew hashtags, as i am come to believe is all twitter is good for.

and now on to the fun stuff

so as derek mentioned, we’re only going to be writing four stories this year. possibly a 5th one thrown in for good measure with one of our ‘crazy’ themes from last year (where we each wrote the into for the other one to finish, had to work the same sentences or characters into a story, had to write a prequel/sequel to one of the other’s stories), but the year is long and we have plenty of time to decide on that in the future. for this month, we sent each other a list of around 15-20 characters/themes/locations to choose from. i’ve had a few ideas for things floating around in my head since we were probably working on this project the last time and i’ve never done anything with them. some of the things on my list reminded me of ideas i’ve had, and after some modifications i think i can finally write one of them.

now, keep in mind our subjects don’t have to be verbatim this year. it really started to become a chore trying to shoehorn some things into my stories because they had to be there, and i know there were times when it was forced. very forced. i had zero way to include my final sentence into that story, so i literally just threw it in anywhere. did it work? maybe. did it work well? oh god no. i got a note about that. did i change it? are you crazy? i had a newborn sleeping on me as i wrote most of that one, so i was running on fumes and didn’t care at that point.

anyway, the topics i am forming my story from (i’m not giving the entire list, just what i’m using in some way or another) –

  • a strong central female character (maybe lead, maybe not) that has a crippling fear or addiction
  • a code needs to be cracked in time
  • create a reality in which laws of physics are different but accepted
  • a sound that could kill someone

like i said, i’m using bits and pieces from each of these ideas to form my story. i guess i can talk about it, since we aren’t writing the same topics and are trying to keep things hidden from each other until our first round of edits. so this is it, my first reveal of this year.

i’m writing a superhero story.

now, before you are all shocked and thinking ‘what does he know about superheroes?!?’ i’ve done some research (i watched two episodes of the tick) and i think i’ve got this. actually, i’ve been reading comic books since i was little. i’ve always wanted to give writing one a chance, and while i’m not actually writing a comic, this is basically the next best thing. it’s only a little tougher because i can’t just write a description of some action for 6 pages and let the artist do their thing. i don’t think it’ll be that bad, and i’m up for the challenge.

the actual story is based on a girl with powers that is trying to defend her neighborhood from the triad’s influence and hostile intrusions. the strong female character is her, she basically has to stop something before it happens, the new reality is that super powers exist and people know about them, and her powers will be auditory in nature.

at least i don’t need to do insane amounts of research for this one. not like when i wrote elihu root and charles fairbanks into modern day times.

why do i do these things to myself?

 

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upon further review

i really like the topic of this month.  reading an entire back story of a character i didn’t put much thought into (during my original story) was a lot of fun.  it fills out the universe of the story quite nicely, going way more into detail than i ever came close to thinking about.

when we were discussing the stories the other night, derek said basically the same thing.  how it’s fun to see how creation doing something else.  i completely agree.  once a few massive gaping plot holes were resolved (i think in both of our stories), they came together pretty well.

since it’s new years eve, we probably won’t have a chance to go over the new edits for a day or so.  expect the final versions out (hopefully) by the end of the week.

it’s been a fun year.  now to figure out what, if anything, we do with ourselves in 2013.

 

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so we’ve exchanged stories

i see derek’s post with his chart breaking down how he picked which story or mine to use this month.  my process wasn’t nearly as complicated.  almost immediately after deciding on our december topic, i knew i was going to use his first story.  there was something about writing a continuation of someone’s descent into insanity that piqued my interest.

also, since i had so much death and despair through my stories this year, i figured i could write this one in a more lighthearted way.

my story picks up on the day of Portis Goolsby’s release from the asylum.  it’s mostly his re-adjusting into life with his parents at their home.  i kept it WAY more ‘up’ than most everything else that i’ve written this year, which was actually a nice change of pace.  i was able to knock out pretty much the entire story in two sittings (the second of which was about 3500 words to finish it off when my boys were good enough to take a nap while i was off of work that day).

derek’s story this month came as a bit of a surprise to me.  we were avoiding each others (infrequent) posts about what we were writing, and not giving any clues at all about which story we had picked to base ours off of. when i saw the name of his story i thought immediately of my ‘sword in the stone’ story from july.  then, when i started reading it, i wasn’t sure if that was the right story or not.  it took a few pages (and a familiar character’s name) for my suspicion to be confirmed.  it was just set in the past.

a couple centuries in the past.

it actually was a fun read for me, because he based the story off of a character that, while not being meaningless, was far from the focus of the original story.  it was his origin story.  seeming how i didn’t give any thought to this character slightly more than what i absolutely needed to know, i enjoyed finding out more about my creation.  if that makes any sense.

since it’s christmas eve, i’m not sure when derek and i are going to have time to skype for our reviews, probably at the end of this week.  i’m not sure what he thought of my sequel, but i know it’ll be an interesting conversation about his prequel.

all in all i’m pretty happy with this month.

 

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Defeat!

so as i was about 900 words into my story i realized i didn’t like it.

i liked the idea, i liked how i was writing it, i just didn’t like it.

so i’m starting over.  it may not have as many civil war references, or any (for those wondering, i was originally writing about the second battle of bull run).  but the concept is going to be the same.

i’m pretty sure once i take out any historical aspects of this story and just sort of write it as something that is on its own, it’ll work a lot better.  we’ll see how tonight goes.  i may return to my original idea and just finish it off.

 

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what is going on here?

it’s the 6th and i already have my story (basically) plotted out?  is it also true that i’m going to start writing it today?  why yes it is.  i had a little bit of inspiration, and i think i have a decent idea.  i had to do a little research to see if it’s been done before, and while i’m absolutely positive it has, i couldn’t find it anywhere.

derek, you should stop reading here unless you are set into your own story this month.

did he stop reading?

ok, now that he’s gone, let’s talk.

so we have character names that were submitted by our readership.  when we reviewing the names to use, one stuck out in my mind.  i had no idea what i would do with it, but i kept coming back to one name.  derek wasn’t so keen on it, mostly because it was a pun, so when i suggested it for both of us he said no.  of course, when i picked my own 3 names, this was first on my list – clair voyant.

i was thinking about it the other day, and i figured out how to use her.

she’s going to realize she’s a character in a story and tries to put an end to it.  i’m not exactly sure how she’s going to go about doing this, but there’s a good chance derek or myself may end up as characters in this story as well.  we’ll just have to see where this story takes me once i start writing.

 

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