Blast from the past

I wasn’t always a smarty-pants know-it-all when it came to fiction. No no. I went through plenty of stages of learning, most of them trial and error, to get to a point where I felt comfortable about talking about fiction with some slight authority. And that is why it gives me great pleasure to present a public showing of the first short story I wrote way back when in my first creative writing class in college.

First I just have to fire up my old computer to get the file.

The old girl isnt doing to well.

The old girl isn't doing to well.

But that’s okay, I got what I needed. Enjoy:

Advertisements

What’s your perspective?

By this, I’m talking about the narrator of the story. From which perspective is your story being told? Picking your perspective is more then just whatever you feel like. Each one brings a stylistic difference with it that will change the way your story is told.

First person

I’ve heard people call first person amateur, but I disagree. It does tend to be the voice most used by beginning writers. First person is easy to start, but hard to master. It is best used in situations where the action is very focused on your main character and they have a very strong voice. Things in the story should be colored toward their opinions and ideas. You should really know your character before jumping into the story.

Second person

Rarely used, and for good reason. Since second person is ,”you,” you’re making the reader the main character. This could be used to create an interesting mood or to place the reader in an uncomfortable situation (I’m thinking the Beatles song, “For No One,” off of Revolver).

Third person limited

Possibly the most versatile voice you can use in short fiction. There is a lot you can do by being detached to your character but only having access to their thoughts. You know have the freedom to describe the actions of other characters separate from the interactions they have with your main character, but since you only have access to their thoughts you can show how they shape that person. It can also give you a detachment, a sort of coldness, to your main character. A desperate emotional situation, with an unfeeling narrator, can feel that much worse.

Third person omniscient

Another voice that would be rather difficult to use. This time, only because of the space requirements. This is much easier to use in novels, where you have the time and space to jump around between your characters. By doing this in a short story, you are limiting how much you get to know about each character you move to, and you already have so little to work with.

Sharing is Caring

And that being said, I thought I would share a work in progress. The goal for this one is to sit comfortably around 10 pages, but here is an early preview.

Looking for something to read?

If you’re looking for something a little more professional to read, I found a couple of useful lists.

Here is the Barnes & Noble list of short-story collections listed by newest first.

And here is a user-made list of some short-story collections on Amazon.

Of course, you can always go to the library and get any of these for free 😉

Writer’s Block

It affects us all sometimes. Anyone who writes for any means, be it pleasure or work or a creative writing class that fills a general requirement, knows the trouble in overcoming writer’s block. I guess it could be seen as ironic that a blog about fiction writing would be suddenly stopped with a bad stretch of the block. But there are ways to get past it.

Not quite sinister enough.

Not quite sinister enough.

Read for inspiration. Try reading some short stories or maybe a good book. Sometimes great inspiration can come from another. For example, when Eddie Van Halen invented finger tapping after listening to the solo from “Heartbreaker.”

Tackle the block head on. By this I mean, sit down in front of your medium and accept that you have writer’s block. Good, now think about whatever is on your mind lately or current emotions that have been prevelent in your life. Explore them. You might end up creating a masterpiece. Also, give fiction prompts a try. They might not lead to any pieces that you would want to keep but they could get you writing again.

Just leave it alone for a while. There is always the possibility of putting down whatever you’re working on for a while. Sometimes, inspiration takes time. When writing becomes so automatic, does it lose it’s creativity? I have no answer for that, though I think it would make a great discussion break.

That's a better representation.

That's a better representation.

So I definately feel my writer’s block crumbling. I have to admit, this is a way harder topic to writing about then I originally thought it would. I do enjoy this little project, and I’ve gotten some great comments, so I’m glad people appreciate what I’m trying to do here. I think I’m getting all sentimental on you guys. Let’s cut it before the waterworks. Peace in the East.

Resources for Writers

Okay, in all fairness this should be called, “Resource for Writers,” but then it just makes this sound like a paid advertisement, which it isn’t, but could be. I accept paypal.

Tonight I bring all of you aspiring writers Newpages.com. This is like me as a webpage and without the sarcasm charm. I’m going to focus on the parts of the site that would be most important for us, so don’t yell at me if you see other things up there I didn’t talk about. What I see them as being most useful for is their comprehensive list of literary magazines. newpageslogoorangeblack

Unfortunately, these are not divided into online or print only categories. This means some of the content could be hidden behind a subscription fee.

What I really like, though, is the list of current writing contests. They also have a list of lit mags that are actively looking for content right now. Some plus, some negative but still worth checking out. Good link to have bookmarked.

Best link to have bookmarked? Me fools.

Fiction by Request

Ask and you shall receive. Writing fiction for myself can be a difficult process. I have a bad tendancy to dislike something three or four pages into it. I am currently working on a piece but it’s been taking longer and longer. This go on and on, but anyway here is a story I finished writing about a semester or two ago. I have my issues with it, in fact I don’t even have a title, but I do think this is a decent story.

Maybe you guys can add a title for me. Also, please bring on the criticism. You can only become a better writer by opening yourself up to the criticism of others. Enjoy.

Also, if anyone has any stories of their own they would like to “submit” to my blog I will gladly post them. Having online workshops placed between my posts would be pretty awesome. Pretty awesome indeed.