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Tag Archives: january topic

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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my december story is finished

(derek you can read this)

so i assume all of you reading this (the two of you) have finished reading our november stories by now.  i can let it slip that i wrote a sequel to derek’s november story.  i think it’s pretty good.  tell me what you think –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

so?  i think i captured the essence of his story pretty well.  i actually picked up about twenty minutes after his story finished.  it may have been hard to pick out, but it was evidenced in the line ‘

‘  this was a lot of hard work.

 

(derek, stop reading this, for serious)

now that that silliness is out of the way, i know which of derek’s stories i’m going to base my december off of.  i’m going to write a direct sequel to ‘Finding Home,’ his january story.  you’ll remember (all six of you who read it) that it was his story of a young man’s slow decent into insanity after purchasing his very first home.  i’m going to continue this story after he has spent some time in the institution that he ended up in.  more than likely, i’ll pick it up on the day of his release.

most of my stories throughout the year have taken very dark turns (or started out in the darkness and never really worked its way clear).  this will give me an opportunity to go a little bit crazy in my story telling.  adding in a bit of randomness along the way as well.

it should be a good time, and i promise i won’t kill anyone this month.

maybe i should take that back …

 

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What an interesting month we’ve had (hopefully derek figures out when to stop reading this)

so after we had our editing teleconference, derek and i are still friends.  all in all the process went very smoothly, and i got to have an excellent conversation with derek’s oldest son about fruit cups and blue markers.  if i had one complaint about the process, it’s just that he lives in nevada, while i reside in new jersey.  when we finished up our conversation, it was closing in on way beyond when i usually go to sleep, while he was just starting his evening.  anyway, here’s how it all went down –

i knew my story had a few issues with it.  the biggest of them was that i had written close to 1400 words of a version that went straight to garbage.  when i started over i was using my previous version as a template and during the writing of the new story, i was mixing myself up in present and past tenses.  believe me, that was a million times better than what i had been putting out previously – an excerpt …

nah, i can’t do it, it was really, really awful.

what i will say about it, is that i discovered i had written 3 (yes, THREE) paragraphs where the house was debating the pros and cons of having his electrical supply upgraded to a more modern voltage.

yeah, it was THAT awesome.

when i couldn’t figure out how to write anything else, i first took a day away from my story.  when i sat down again and read what i had, i could barely get through it.  i knew that if i had spent money on something like that, i would probably hunt down the author and demand it back.  i had to start over.  there was no other way to write the story.

i’m glad i did.  in a couple days i had finished the first version and was pretty pleased with how it turned out.  as derek mentioned the other day, instead of writing from the perspective of the young man who bought and then moved out of a house, i wrote it as the house itself.  i mean, why not?

HEY DEREK STOP READING THIS POST NOW – I’M GOING TO TALK ABOUT MY FEBRUARY STORY

that’s enough warning, right?

so our february topic is ‘a time travel story involving teddy roosevelt’.  my initial idea for my story was that i was going to write some sort of sci-fi story where the ship itself was the U.S.S. Teddy Roosevelt.  the more i thought about it, the more that felt like a little bit of a cop-out.  if i was going to truly going to make the most of this topic, i would have to do something crazy like actually having teddy roosevelt go through time.

what a better way to do that, than to bring him into the future with a bunch of his cabinet members to hunt down  a criminal?

i think it’s going to be, at the very least, confusing.  well, confusing BUT loosely based on historical fact.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2012 in aaron's writing, monthly topic

 

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tonight is when we start to hate each other

later this evening, derek and i shall be going over our stories with each other.  both of us have a tendency to get overprotective of our creative processes and our output.  both of us are also super critical of other people and their work.  it looks like our project may be ending tonight.

actually, i think things will be fine.

i really liked derek’s story.  i enjoyed it so much it made me hate my own.  i enjoyed it so much it made me rethink decades of friendship.  now that i have inflated his ego enough, perhaps he’ll go a little easier on me with the edits.

during my first go round i really spent most of my time familiarizing myself with the story itself.    i don’t want to spoil to much of it, but it has something we can all relate to – crazy parents.  granted, i don’t know anyone with parents as completely batsh*t insane as his creation (although i do know some VERY interesting parental units).  my second read through i started to get a little critical of general grammatical issues.  it was during my third read that my printed copy started to resemble one of my old textbooks with notes in every margin and squeezed in between the lines of text.

it sounds a lot worse than it really is.  a lot of my frustrations with his story is a general lack of knowledge of MMORPGs.  well, that’s not true – most of my frustrations are jealousy at how awesome his story is (please be nice to me).  it should be an interesting conversation between the two of us, because for however fiercely we protect our own creations we each trust each others opinions at an almost equal level.

i’ll let you know on tuesday if we’re still talking.

on another note, i am pretty sure i have figured out how i’m going to go about writing our february story.  january’s didn’t turn out nearly as crazy as i thought it was going to be, but i am pretty sure that this month is going to be the one to push me into the realm of crazy.

 

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one of my biggest worries

going in to this project i knew that a few things could happen –

  • i could write total garbage
  • derek could join me in writing said garbage
  • we could write stories that we each really liked and were vastly different

or my one real worry about this project

  • we could write stories that we were very happy with and then upon trading the stories realized we had written pretty much the same thing

well, so far, we are 0-for-1 in that respect.  our january stories could not have been any more dissimilar.  i don’t want to give too much away about the actual content of the stories until they are closer to being finished, but i think i am very pleased with how this project may turn out for the both of us.

we each deal with themes (on the january story topic of ‘a young man buys his first house, moving out of his parents place, only to become increasingly lonely and ends up moving back in with his parents’) of depression, anxiety, madness, and loss; but the different angles we came at those themes is what got me the most excited about this project in the first place.

derek wrote a little bit about his editing process, so i’ll give a little background on how i usually work in these situations.

when i was reading his novel, i ended up converting the word document and putting it onto my kindle so i could read it wherever i wanted.  when i was going through it, i had a notebook with me where i would jot down all of the questions, comments, or errors i came across.  i’d shoot derek an email every few days with what i had come up with, but of course, since i was in a different format if i said ‘on page 29 paragraph 4 …’ it was almost a guarantee that it would be nowhere near where it was in his copy.  on my end, it was nice and easy, but to go back and make corrections on derek’s part was probably a real annoyance.  i stand by my assertion that if he had a basic grasp of the english language it would have been much, much simpler for him.

since our stories are much shorter in length i’m going to go at it a little bit differently.

today, after i received the email with his january contribution, i printed that sucker out.  i sat down on the couch, put my feet up and just read through it once to get a feel for the story he is trying to tell.  after i finished the first read, i grabbed a pen and made a couple little notes about some things i came across that may have continuity issues and some other very minor tweaks.  after a day or so, i’ll sit down with it again and really go through the story in more of an editorial mindset.  we’ve set friday evening as when we are going to get on the phone and talk through the stories together.  based on our stories it should be an interesting discussion.

i’ll be honest, during my first read through i didn’t come across a whole lot that needs to be improved on – derek’s shocking lack of knowledge of MMORPGs notwithstanding.  it was a pretty solid read from start to finish, and for me to not pick up on where the story was heading until pretty much just before it happened is quite an accomplishment.

in other news, we have settled on what the february topic is going to officially be – A Time Travel Story Involving Teddy Roosevelt.  now i know what you are all thinking, it’s been done a million times before.  and while that may be true, i think that what we come up with will breathe fresh life into a genre verging on overkill.  there was a brief conversation about the story involving fdr instead, but that would have just devolved in to both of us writing a great depression musical that i have been brainstorming for years.

but that’s a story for another time.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in derek's writing

 

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the january stories go out on monday

after debating the logistics of this project for a couple weeks, we still don’t really have a definitive idea of what’s going on.  what we do know, after a series of emails and text messages today, is that we are going to send our stories to each other on monday.

when we first started this project, i was unsure how the actual timeline of our work was going to play out.  did we turn in our stories on the last day of the month?  do we turn them in as soon as we had a completed version that we were satisfied with?  would i even be able to finish the stories in time?

derek and i both had moments of clarity and were able to pump out the january story very early on, which came as a surprise to both of us.  after having my completed story sit for a few days i went back to it to give it one last once over.  again, a few tweaks were made, but otherwise it stayed pretty much as is.

so there i sat with nothing to do for the next two weeks until i send my story through the wonderful world of the internet on its way to the land of nevada and on to derek’s computer.  that’s when i received this text message (in the middle of a conversation about the recent revelations that fausto carmona is not actually fausto carmona) – “Wanna send stories on mon?”

um, yes.

a few more days to make sure everything is completely in order and then its on to tearing apart reading derek’s story.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in aaron's writing, monthly topic

 

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i think i’m finished

at least until about 15 minutes from now when i decide i need to re-do the entire thing once again.

i also think i’m happy with how the story turned out.

when i first told my wife my premise for this month’s short story, after staring at me blankly for a minute or two she told me that i had problems.  after reading my first draft, she seemed to enjoy the story a lot.  now i’m stuck trying to figure out where i went wrong.  either that, or she is the one who has the issues.

she noticed a few things i needed to clean up (apparently she couldn’t follow a story that bounced between tenses unintentionally).  let that be a lesson to me, i should read a story through after i finish writing it and before i hand it to someone to look at.  so i did a little bit of cleanup, expanded on a couple ideas, removed a couple things that i didn’t think worked so well, added those things back in, re-worded them, removed them, and then settled on how they were originally.  all in all, it was an annoying process.

now comes a little time off.  since the end of the month is still two weeks away i figure i’ll just forget about this draft for another few days.  the time off will, hopefully, let me go back with a clear enough head to see it differently than i have been.

also, the time off gives me a little time for some work on another story i’ve been working on (unrelated to this project) and some historical research (related to this project).

how did me wanting to ease back into writing turn into research?

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in aaron's writing

 

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