Archive for November, 2014

Humane

Posted: November 15, 2014 in Poetry
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People like writers and poets often question ideas of morality. Musicians do to. However, there is a certain ironic word that I couldn’t accept so here is a poem.

Humane

Humanity… it steals the fruit of others’
hard labors – corrupt.
We fall into the arms
We lust after our hearts desires… even blood

A reminder of what we are. Acting and
jumping on our horses of heights.
Green monsters never wishing the best for others.
A romantic horror show of ourselves.
We chase a dream, but dream a nightmare.

Humanity, we scoff at true morality
Humanity, we are intelligent,
but compared to what?
We trample each other to reach pyramidical
tops.
Humanity we are enslaved by ourselves.
We moan and groan.
We see what we want
we want we want we want
And rightly so… there is a
gaping hole

A man kills another man and we
call him inhumane.
I beg to differ and strive to see true inhumanity-
morality. Too bad I’m human.
God help me.

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Transition to Fiction

Posted: November 15, 2014 in Uncategorized
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We all like the idea of change especially if it is for the better, yet our minds create patterns that make us very comfortable. Take work and school for example versus holidays. I love holidays, but everything comes to pass and I need to return to school. The thing is I like school too. Then what is the problem when I need to return and more importantly what has this to do with writing?

The problem is we humans love to get into a rhythm. We don’t mind change but to change has this strange effect on our minds. This applies to writing as well. If I haven’t written in a while then the simple act of placing myself in front of my laptop seem like a drag. I feel like I sometimes let my characters down, but when my fingers start hitting those keys and I gain rhythm again in my writing it does boost my confidence. I get lost in my worlds then everything is fine, until I need to do some things in the real world.

Now, a lot of authors can and will handle this dilemma by simply organizing their time and also by incorporating writing as part of a daily schedule. This is a good idea. Why create a transition when you may as well just be a better manager of time? A manager of the most valuable commodity. Some will argue that they can’t and that they just don’t work like that. I’m one of them. I can write as long as I have something on my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I am not one those people that wait for muse, but I need a readiness. This can only happen for me if I have thought about my next chapter before even thinking of when I am going to write. It may not be a good idea to write if you aren’t feeling inspired unless that writing in itself inspires you. It has worked for me before when I write a bunch of nonsense and somehow that leads to another pattern of thought.

So even as this may pose a small problem or a feeling like blasé . Suck it up and push on. If you are good at organizing your time and satisfied to let your own writing inspire you then do it. If you need inspiration then seek it. When this is done give people a postcard from your land of fiction.

A Writer’s Ground

Posted: November 11, 2014 in Uncategorized
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I adore a certain drink that many other authors also love. We all have our writing habits. I listen to music, drink a ton of my special drink, and think the whole day about my characters. We have our ground and this poem explains.

A Writer’s Ground

Words on paper
pouring forth like
streams of water in the ground

There is nothing so close to a mind as a writer and his
daily grind, but
ground, yes
and escape will come

As he sits and stands with machine in hand…
the hand and the mind and the tongue…
lapping up inspiration as it comes.

Virtually my greatest tool

Posted: November 10, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Have you ever heard a famous quote and shrugged or have you ever seen a scene in a film and said that it was okay. (while your friends where fangirling and fanboying) I have too. Not all things do impress us, but when they do they can change a writer’s life for the better. I am going to discuss something that really got me into writing.

Video games. Yeah, that… Now before you close this post and write me of for just expressing my love for games, hear me out. Some of us are fortunate enough to be weak. Cowboys don’t cry, but cowboys don’t write. Am I saying that authors are criers? No, but I needed something to make me feel. I needed games. I needed to know how art can make people emotional before I attempted the same. Now, if you aren’t a gamer… which of course you guys probably aren’t, I am going to talk a lot about this love of mine.

I play all kinds of games. I don’t play every game, but the ones I know have a great story. Why? As I have mentioned before writers need a skill that actors have. We needs to know our characters. Video games allow this at a click of a button. You make choices in many games… many of which have moral consequences. You lose characters that are close to you. It has the ability to quickly turn you into someone that can relate and yes that is an important skill. This is why I am also a film lover. Not that novels can’t do the same. I am a novelist after all, but the stimulation broke my cowboy. I have never cried for fiction before and I confess to you that it took a game to change me. Maybe you are better than me, but like music it has become a great tool I use.

The truth is that the script writers for video games don’t always get the recognition they deserve. The Last of Us, Bioshock, Telltale’s Walking Dead, Dishonored. I have tons of respect for the people that wrote games like these. Without them my novel would not even be a dream. I know now how important inspiration is and that you can seek it. Now, I have this media as well. I needed a heart so I found a virtual one.

LastOfUsStill1

Shadow

Posted: November 9, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Teachers are always oh so smart. They always spoil stories for me when we analyze novels. They point to every bit of foreshadowing with wisdom they seem to be born with. (yeah right)

Shadow

Sitting in the sun it’s easy
to see the
shadow ahead.
Shed some light… and the
shadow moves and doubles. Shed too much and
it dissipates

Guiding the man that chases the
shadow…
Upholding the truth of the lie.
The treasure seekers… can smell it and others
can only say, Oh the
Shadow and yes yes it moves and goes like
this
as if they knew before the end.

Then the man in the light shifts the figure
as they
figure and figure and figure.

Relationships (part 1)

Posted: November 8, 2014 in Uncategorized
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I introduced my ideas about characters before and I will continue to do so. I shift my focus onto something arguably as important and often stereotypical: relationships.

Where do you begin? Friends, acquaintances, romantic interests, enemies and family bonds like brothers and sisters, fathers and sons etc. This is a simple summary I quickly came up with. And let us not forget a relationship with authority.

Since relationships are one of the few things that writers need to keep as normal as possible, (unless your story is about a weird ones) certain things may look stereotypical, but aren’t. The way you treat them can lead to those clichés. Shall we explore a bit… scratch the surface? I begin with family bonds. Let us not remind ourselves that teenagers act out. (as an eye witness… I agree) They don’t always see eye to eye with their parents. The minority are wild though, so depicting a parent-teen relationship where the readers eyes will go rolling is a great possibility. Let me take a step back and focus on parent-child relationship. (doesn’t matter what age) Conflict will always arise. Be it rebellion, laziness and over protection. I am a fan of parent-child relationships. Few relationships effect other characters in a way that may change their worldview as much as this.

Moving on. Romance. I won’t try it yet as my mind is still hurting from all the fanatics of novels I haven’t read. I am not saying I won’t ever try this. I am still figuring out how I can utilize my creativity in this. They do exist in my novel, but play a very minor part. When done right you can make certain people cry. (may I mention a gender and age or will that be discriminate?) If you are really good you can make any reader emotional. Okay, most.

Friends. Who doesn’t want friends. Even I, as asocial as I am, want friends. So do characters. The strength of the bonds is up to the writer and his tales. Even groups of friends will work. Three Musketeers, anyone? Best friends also exist believe it or not and can be used efficiently. Sure, there are things we have seen before, but I won’t discard any of my summaries. What you make with it is up to you.

Enemies. This can vary from mere nemeses to literal enemies to opponents. It can also refer to the relationship between protagonist and antagonist. Without this my first novel would fall apart. To what lengths do they go to make each other angry or to beat each other?

Acquaintances can go hand in hand with the authoritative relationship I mentioned, but I will set them apart in my future discussions. Acquaintances: think about coworkers complaining about the boss who is clearly an authority figure. Your protagonist won’t dare to speak to a voice of authority as to his office buddies. No way. Unless he wants to quit his work in a unique way. I can see a lot of humour in these types of relationships.

Certain characters fall apart without these relationships and understandably so as they are great characterization tools. Please, comment on what you like to use and share your thoughts. I will go in depth when I have time and explore them in more detail.

The mine

Posted: November 7, 2014 in Uncategorized
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I tell you, my shallow friend… to grab a shovel
and to dig deep.
See the gravel. Water seeps.
You respond by jumping…
jacks are more like shots.
You drown your worries
in ethanol

Shallow, but social, you mock me
Am I just a Piggy?
A thinker tinkering with words?
No, my friend I worry.
I guess the sunlight doesn’t make it deep into this mine of mine,
this mind of mine…

But oh the stories I come up with in
this asocial mine…
sublime.

A writer’s faith

Posted: November 7, 2014 in Poetry
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A question any writer with faith faces. Will they use it in their writing? Does it impact them? It impacts me and although my novel is not about my faith (horror drama)… some of my poems are. In a world like today, I, as a Christian don’t expect love. We are not political correct. We don’t tolerate certain things. Atheists who claim to tolerate everything usually hate Christians… especially the ones that read that Bible and actually believe it. They are okay with mild Christians. So, sorry to the unbelievers, this post isn’t for you.

The Red Carpet

The limelight makes her shine so bright
everyone smiles. Her heels sink into the carpet
red
A true character on and off the set.
So down to earth
Ain’t we all?

She imitates those whom she is not.
Dark characters.
She is strong and a pillar so liberal. Waving the ironic flag.
A promise that it won’t end again in a watery way.
The last wave will be fire. Glamour dies.

I got the part, I got the part.
Alas, everyone suffers a fatal slip.
Down to earth?
Ain’t we all?
Depart. Depart.
She never knew Him

The plates we know

Posted: November 1, 2014 in Uncategorized
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For those of you who aren’t inclined to Google a lot and those of you who didn’t Google something as obvious as this. This title won’t make sense.

I’ll break it down. I am talking about clichés. It is a reference to the French origin now long forgotten. You can also call it a stereotype, but this you ought to know. We hate clichés. Why do we hate clichés? Because we have seen them before, that’s why.

Now this plate that has been used before is not bad, automatically. It is bad because someone else has done it before and we have seen it before. There was a time however when certain plot ideas were considered revolutionary and they are just… okay for us. We have seen them before. So I call them the familiar plates.

Since the word stereotype and cliché have a similar origin I will discuss it as well. Some of our characters we have seen in other places or at least a large part of them. Did you make that man the genius or that guy the thief? Or that guy the thug? Stereotypes usually have a truth to them and so do old clichés. With the world going on and millions of writers out there, it makes you wonder if someone isn’t taking your idea as you are reading this blog. I am just kidding. Don’t wonder. It happens.

Now quit your worrying about an original idea and think of the plates that worked. They were brilliant once and all you need to do is to show them in a different light. Don’t discard all clichés. Rather hide them among your ideas. Put two old ideas together and you have a new one. It doesn’t matter how much we hate these old plates, for if we strip them from the press, guess what will happen. Fiction will collapse into chaotic madness.

Don’t believe me? Take away the stranger in town, take away an abusive parent, take all orphans away, take dying mentors away, take certain relationships away, delete all romance, serial killers, certain plot twists and a hero that sacrifices himself for others.

Some of them are clichés you’d hate to see go. Not all, but some. For me, each one houses a place in modern literature as long as each author can make it his own. Maybe it’s nostalgia, but these are the plates we know.

A Broken Clock that Ticks

Posted: November 1, 2014 in Uncategorized
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In my home language at school we did a novel called Kringe in ‘n Bos (Circles in a Forrest)

I want to stop there, but this novel had received even a good international reception after it had been translated. The thing is that it is the writer’s voice and not the plot nor the characters that saved it. Saved it? Must be bad, huh? No, not bad… not great either. I gave it three stars in a review.

One of the biggest problems with this novel was how it handled its characters other than the main one. The main character wasn’t great either. I call him Super Woodcutter. I am here to discuss the antagonist. He is a liar, slaver, shrewd businessman and prospecter that hates mother nature and trades ivory. He is ruthless, evil, bad. That is an idea repeated in many ways. So it is a flat character, so what?

You never get to see his motives beyond greed. No history. He just loves oppressing others. This is not necessarily wrong, but if a writer neglects his antagonist and just makes him do stuff it makes you wonder if that world is normal. Whether it is or not, if this happens a reader will want to know more about the bad guy. I never got acquainted with him.

I will discuss the golden good guy and the rotten bad guy in detail later.I am referring to how some writers strip their antagonist of all humanity and seeming thought. How then should a reader react? Like I said, it could work. So I will ask you this: who is your favourite bad guy in a novel or movie? Why?

Firstly, bad guys do deserve more time. If not, the reader may lose interest. Secondly, he needs some form of history. At least for me. I want to know what makes the broken clock still tick. Thirdly, most bad guys are human and believe it or not they also want friends, love and other things normal people want. This is how a reader will see his true motives and even identify with him. These bad guys are often more powerful than the evil monster we sometimes imagine. All of us have been the antagonist in some situations, but we most probably had the right motives. This is my favourite type of antagonist. Not an animal, not crazy, but somewhat delusional or even disillusioned.