It’s October 23, 2015. Marty McFly finally made it to the future two days ago, and you couldn’t turn around but get smacked in the face with another person asking “Where’s my damn hoverboard?!” Full disclosure: I was one of those idiots. I’m not perfect, damn it.
My future is not written yet, and I have no Delorean with a flux capacitor and Mr. Fusion to guide me to it. I’m basically winging this shit and seeing what happens. To that end, I’m writing, almost every day, working on as many different things as interests me. OK, so I’m mostly interested in short stories and novels, fantasy and science fiction, but you are what you eat I suppose, and that’s the diet I grew up on as a kid. Maybe a little poetry just to mix things up and keep folks off balance. Throw it up on the wall, see what sticks. Though now that I’ve read more of Jennifer’s poetry, I think I’ll let her stick to that, she’s far and away better than me.
I keep perusing the writing forums at Reddit, looking for nuggets of wisdom I can apply to my own efforts. Obviously and admittedly Stephen King’s book, On Writing, has gone a long way in inspiring me and giving me some guidance in improving the writing I already do. Like a metric shit ton of guidance. You have nooooooo idea how many modifiers – particularly those pesky little adverbial LY words that seemed to crop up every other sentence – I was using. Take that shit out as much as possible, replace those weak nouns and qualifiers with a strong noun instead. “He moved quickly” turns into “He ran.” Shorter, faster sentence, better denotes the action. Whoopie!
I came across this gem of a note taking session from a free lecture by Brandon Sanderson. There’s some good nuggets in here, and I’ve been mining it the last day or two. I haven’t found anything as revelatory as “kill your adverbs”, but I suspect something from it will stick in my brain for a long time to come.
But that still can’t compare with discovering Story Grid, the blog postings and book put together by experienced editor Shawn Coyne. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around what he’s saying, all of which makes sense but goes into much deeper literary depths than I generally wade. I dip my toes in the shallow end of the humanities pool, and certainly haven’t even begun to look at the publishing ocean wallowing far off in the distance. I’ll cast my line that way in time, but for now check out the site and see what you can make of what he’s saying, it rings “true” in my mind, and when my reptile brain has more time, I’m going to dissect it in a thorough fashion. I’ll add both of these as links on the front page, though, so others can benefit from them.
My future is not written, but it is writing. Unless I fail, and failure is always an option. It won’t be failure from lack of trying, though. It’ll be failure because Biff married my mom and turned my home town into a Trump verson of sleazy Vegas. Now that’s a nightmare I could do without.