Tag Archives: stories

A wry smile to judgemental people

How many stories did you choose not to write because you felt you weren’t original enough, because you have found something similar during writing your story?

I wager it happens almost on a constant basis and you feel you can’t win, you can’t be original and guess what… you’re partly right… you can’t!

But then again no one can, all stories, movies etc are from borrowed ideas, the thing is, they were not written by you, in the exact way you want to write it, so in a roundabout way, it is original.

There have been hundreds of stories I gave up over the years because I felt defeated over their content, it was like the world was taunting me with “it’s already been done you fraud”. 

But if you read a lot of non-fiction, particularly biographies of other writers and even book and film reviews etc, you will find that you are not alone and you are not a fraud.  Around 2015 I nearly gave up writing altogether, because I had a hundred ideas and all of them were taking several times over in some way or another.

Even Harry Potter has been done multiple times and there are two similar stories where the main character is called Harry Potter!  A very low budget 1980s horror movie called Troll had a main character called Harry Potter who didn’t realise that his neighbour was a witch battling an evil wizard who kidnapped and possessed his sister in the basement after turning into a troll.

Even if you want to be so unique writing fantasy, the chances are, your unique conglomerate of a name may have already been done somewhere, either as fiction or a foreign cultural mythos.  I was caught with this a few years ago, I thought I had a wonderfully unique name for two characters in my fantasy story, Shannara and Melissandra… two of the biggest fantasy works out there had already used those names and I didn’t know until a friend asked me who I was trying to kid!

I thought nobody would be silly enough to write about man-eating rabbits and guess what they have and from what I read in Danse Macabre by Stephen King it was a jolly good horror movie as well!  Then, I felt the world was testing me again, because a year after my idea the movie “Curse of the were-rabbit” came out, but thankfully it was nothing like the thing I wanted to write (which for your information I decided against).

I also felt like a fraud when I wanted to put pen to paper to write a story where all the childhood heroes, Santa, Easter Bunny etc would team up together in another world because something happened to the children on Earth – but again I gave up that idea because of a movie which came out that was similar – a movie by the way that I love and is a family favourite nowadays!

I had this idea of a post-apocalyptic world where the only survivors lived on a permanently mobile train to survive because leaving the train was too dangerous… Hello snowpiercer!  I worked on this novel for five years whilst I was learning the science behind the stuff I wanted to do in this book – after seeing the movie I had a three year sulk, the book may still get written but it definitely won’t be because of climate change now!

The main heartbreaks happen when you realise that you don’t know your subject well enough that this and that has happened before – vampires my dears, my vampires have been done so much before the world has become bored and complacent over them – that is heart wrenching, but when you discover you worked hard for three decades on something and find a big corporation older than you have done half of your ideas, you get to feel like you shouldn’t bother anymore!

I got to the point about a year ago where even a novel title would get my heart racing for all the wrong reasons, because oh my god, it is another thing that is going to prove to me I am wasting my time as a writer!

I force myself to read and watch reviews of similar things lately and even read or watch them, just to make sure if I am panicking for no reason… Paul assures me my ideas are similar but so far removed that it won’t be considered a copycat.  I am still nervous nonetheless.

I am also nervous about the fact that around a third of my books I consider comedy, not all of them, just around a third and that some of my ideas may come across as cameos of works that have already been done by other people and may be received with criticism, because they think I am being critical of them!  Yes, I know I am a worry wart, but it is something to consider!

The thing about me is that I like comedy, but I also like to be considered serious in other works.  I don’t know how to balance that out if I were to become a published and known author.

I have thought about making it uniquely refined by choosing two pseudonyms, one which concentrates on family comedic fantasy and the other which is for my darker and more serious themes in horror and dystopian fiction.

But as the world grows ever more sensitive to the content of fiction, it also raises concerns in whether or not I might actually be too taboo for my readers?  I worry about the state of the world in that people are developing such horrific sensitivities about bad things in life, that they want to hide it all, thus making it go further underground and making it lost to history so that history will eventually and inevitably repeat itself, because it is just too god awful to be shown and be remembered!

Rape, suicide, racism etc are really awful things and I do nothing to glamorise it, but because I write it, it doesn’t mean I enjoy or partake in those things, it just shows my experiences in life and that this is life in all its cold and horrifying ways!  Why hide it?  Why criticise it to the extent it can’t be written anymore?  Most of my novels are not set in contemporary times; they are set in the past or the distant post-apocalyptic future.  You want realism and yet you can’t stomach it?

Grow a thicker skin for the sake of your children, because they need to know this stuff goes on eventually, so they don’t repeat the horrors of the past!

For me, writers block doesn’t exist – what throws me off writing is all the judgemental ass-hats out there who think that uniqueness comes ten a penny, when in actuality, it doesn’t exist!  What throws me off, is trying to please the masses by making my writing so passive and politically correct, you won’t want to read it because it’s too damned boring and unrealistic!  We can’t all skip around in daisy fields, kissing strangers and pretending we’re all care bears my dears, if we did that, you’d say we’re all a load of pot heads!

I have offended so many people with this post, no doubt you’re going to sweep me under the carpet and forget me and unsubscribe because I hit a nerve or I caused some kind of trigger in you… but hey, that’s life, trying to go around all the time pleasing everyone will send you mad and I am not even going to try anymore!

I am what I am and I write what I write, like it or dump it!

But know that regardless of what you choose to do right now, I love you, because we’re all cousins and you stood up for what you believed in by unsubscribing from this awfully mislead and evil person!

Happy reading!

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What is a trope please?

I am not au fait with the majority of the vocabulary of the writing community as such, primarily because I have more or less isolated myself in recent years from the community due to a mistrust of old friends I once had in the community.

Therefore I have been trying to learn some of the technical speech other writers now use.  I only learned the other day what DNF truly meant “did not finish” in regards to the book reading community.

I should really make a DNF shelf on Goodreads, didn’t know that was accountable until now.  Up until now, any books I read partially on Goodreads but did not finish was either said as such in the review or just removed from the currently reading list.

The word trope confuses me slightly too.  I thought I understood what the word trope meant until I started to speak to a friend about tropes the other day who seemed confused by what I was saying.  She then said, those are not tropes, they are themes or settings; they are not the same thing.  So, what exactly is a trope?

I watched about eight YouTube videos last night trying to figure it out, hence why todays post is late.  To me, I did seem to understand what a trope is, my friends are never really ones to explain themselves or correct someone fully, sometimes I feel that they are just critics for the sake of criticising and yes, some friends, this one included already knows I think that about them, because I am very open and say what’s on my mind!  But still, it never prompts them to educate – some will feel that saying “Google it” is justifiable, but as a friend surely the idea of friendship is a sharing of ideas and opinions and to educate one another?  Isn’t that what socialising means?

To me it does mean that – but to people I know socialising seems to mean to them a complaining of their lives, a competitive stance on their life with each other, a woe is me and sympathy chasing, gossiping about others, usually venomously or merely grumping about the state of the world.

So what I believe a trope is based on YouTube research is in fact based on themes and events that happen in the novel – such as found family, a bunch of friends get together with a communal task, or the story has a circus, or a vampire, or the scene is set in snowy Alaska, or it is autumn in the book, or there is a love/hate relationship.  I think those are tropes, because some tropes are also themed.

But forgive me if I am wrong, can anyone help me?

If you can tell me what you think a trope is let me know in the comments below.

I was having a conversation with my friend about what I liked as tropes and apparently I am wrong, most of what I said was not considered a trope.

If I can find out the difference between tropes, a scene, an event and what have you, then I will make a post about what tropes I enjoy in the books I read and the kind of tropes that are in my stories that I write!

Happy reading!

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To pants or not to pants that is the question…

“I don’t think I really want to wait for NaNoWriMo to start this new story idea, but would it be considered cheating if I started this early?”

This was posted on my twitter @CreativeTardy yesterday and I can only imagine my friends sitting there staring at their screens in disbelief shouting “oh, for fucks sake, just start, will you!”

Well, you see, I have never been one for breaking the rules… well… certain rules.

“Bloody Hell, what rules?  Fuck rules! Just get on with it, creativity has no blooming rules”! 

OK, tone down the language please.  No these are not real actual replies on twitter… but, I do know there are friends who talk like this to me from time to time in private.

I frustrate them no end, I can see that it takes a lot for the poor dears not to slap me one when I get like this!

 Usually I plan my stories a little.  I have certain ideas about what I would like to include in the story and the types of characters even if I have no idea of the direction of the book, I usually have some sort of idea about some of the future of the story before I write it – sometimes I don’t know how the stories end, sometimes I don’t know the middle but I know its beginning and end.  I don’t usually pants it, as the NaNoWriMo vernacular goes, I am or was a planner.

I am thinking this new story idea called Dragon 2 will be totally and completely pantsed, but I am fighting against it at the same time.

I am, in my personal life, a little bit of a control freak – I don’t like micromanaging people, I am not that type of control freak, but I like things organised and simplified in my own personal life and I don’t like surprises!  I am prone to panic attacks when surprises jump out at me, my brother often described me to his friends as the “rabbit in headlights”.  I am the sort of annoying person who always asks for reassurance and a reminder of what to expect at certain events and so on and Paul has a lot of patience with me as he tells me for the fifth time that day that it will assuredly be such and such.  I am only like this in certain things, not everything.  I am not constantly like this throughout my life, just things that could potentially… terrify me. 

Funnily enough, I am not somebody who suffers from stage fright or being surrounded by large groups of people, especially people I know even a little bit.  I am not like that.  I am more likely to be jittery around small circles of people I hardly know or never met and I am more likely to be this way around my birthday, Christmas, parties hosted by other people I don’t know well or anything regarding health… occasionally I can be like this when food shopping, I don’t like being around small groups of strangers alone, at all.

Never really understood why – but Paul reckons it has a lot to do with things that have happened in my past with my mother.  My mother is usually antagonistic with strangers especially if she feels there are no witnesses to dispute what happened!  She often dragged me along with her for whatever ride she hoped to have from the event she caused.

I like to be organised – artist friends are astounded at how neat my areas are when they used to visit, how as I painted I would wipe up spills and go back and forth from the kitchen cleaning the water jars I used as I did my work.

Reader friends who note my bookshelves look twice at my shelves and cannot believe that my books are in genre and alphabetical order and that I had at the time eleven bookcases around the house, now I have twelve.

I also have around thirty box files all with different genre story ideas, poems, research files etc., those are not in order at the moment because I am struggling for space and that is damaging my mental health no end, the torment knowing that those are not in order when everything else is – it makes my writing work very hard!

They mostly reside on the upstairs landing balancing on our very wide bannister at the top, that acts like a half wall and guests who use our bathroom sometimes sheepishly quiz us on why there is a box marked vampires and another marked dragons by the bathroom door?

One such visitor joked that they thought perhaps I was some kind of cryptozoologist as a secret life.

No, but it would be interesting…

I know I was a pantser before 2006, but I was told that planning is key, strangely enough my writing habits have been declining slowly ever since! So I became a planner, I know being a pantser should be as easy as it was in the past, but I don’t really know anymore.

Anyway, back to the NaNoWriMo story – I would like to start in a few days’ time, but at the moment I am trying to decide whether I should plan the characters and some of the scenes now or let it flow naturally?

Paul suggests naturally – but I have never worked that way before… I have had a lot of dreams regarding this book; a lot of the dreams suggest it will be very successful if only…

Happy reading!

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Imagination from the shadows

The shadow world surrounds me and inspires my heart

Stories to tell and wondrous art

Fantasy, horror, I love them all

They dance in my head in their raucous ball

I sit and I write about courageous fights and dragons protecting their nest

I write about angels betraying God and I think I like those the best

But the thing I love more than all of these things

Is the fantasy that someday I may inspiration bring

To other writers and artists like me

To help and set their imagination free

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Hyper-thoughts a mental illness?

I think one of the biggest reasons why I dislike reading novels are because they feed my imagination and make me think of new stories and I am not in any shortage of story ideas as it is.  I think reading fiction can add to my insanity at times, overflowing me with too many ideas that sometimes it literally does feel like my creativity really is driving me insane!

I am the same if I am overloaded with looking at other people’s art, new movies and playing new games.

I do all these things with caution but not matter how cautious I am in doing these things, reading, watching movies and looking at art etc, I can’t help but become over exposed to stimulus that feeds my imagination at least three new story plots at a time!

There are times I have actually bought on strained wrists or my carpal tunnel syndrome to just write the ideas down fast, I can never do so fast enough and I have even had people buy me Dictaphones to try and help me but again, I can never speak fast enough!  It is actually quite horrible, people say it sounds like you are blessed, but in my head it is utter chaos, I can’t focus at times and this is a huge part of my procrastination in general, because I can’t seem to focus on one idea, my brain thinks about multiple things at once.  I am sure this is actually a mental illness, but I don’t think there is a known mental illness out there for people who can literally think about several subjects and problems all at once and then get confused when they have to try and focus to explain to others what those ideas and thoughts are!

I wish telepathy was a thing, it would solve a lot, I could have a room filled with people who would be writing separately all of my ideas for me and help me organise the chaos and bring it into reality as fiction or art.

I have been suffering from this strange mental problem even more in the past few weeks; I am inspired by almost everything I have access to lately.

 I suffer from migraines frequently and it could be my auto-immune inner ear disease doing it some of the time, but most of the time I think it’s the hyper-thoughts as I like to call them. 

I have been told I can’t be a very good writer unless I read a lot of fiction and I don’t generally.  I read more non-fiction than fiction, so I feel lately I have to throw myself into some more novels by other people.  I am finding it hard to fit into creative circles because of two major flaws I have, the lack of fiction reading and the lack of social media I indulge in.

Ugh, I don’t know what to do.

But I do know this; it is affecting productivity lately at a major scale.  Whenever I sit down to write stories these days I don’t enjoy them as much as I used to, I sit there sometimes and cry, because my thoughts can’t seem to align themselves.  I am confused and often confounded by the goings on in my head that I stare at my previous words in awe that I finished those at least, but I can’t seem to move on and I can be like this for over an hour before giving up.

I am trying to do what other people recommend that I do, that is focus on one to three novels and finish those before doing others.  This is not working for me and I am so out of focus these days I find it hard to go back to my old way of writing – which is to literally write towards one idea until the others call me and so on.    This has meant in the past I once had as many as 27 separate novels on the go at once and the average time it took to complete just one of those stories was around 5yrs.

What has put the pressure on me the most I think is the notion that I have been told that some of my words in progress will be of out of date or over used themes by the time I get it to publishers that they won’t be interested in it when I get around to it.  That is so very demotivating.

I don’t really know what to do right now because of it.

Happy reading

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Update 30th May 2021

I will be adding new content to the blog soon in the form of a handful of series of stories.

I plan to add five possibly six series, I may revive Daisy Chained on here again, but ultimately I want to add other things too.  I want to add some of my vampire work on here, a story based on the journals of two characters in separate stories, a fairy and a witch and I am also going to do some fan works.

I also want to update you all on the fact that I am starting to write a sequel to one of my most favourite musicals, whether or not I will get permission from the originators to ever get the story known is as of yet, unknown to me, but I hope that there is a way that I can get it seen in the world!

So basically I am writing a play, but that is something I have always wanted to do anyway, I have a lot of musical ideas in my head that are original too, not just a fan work of one that already exists.

Happy reading!

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Tidying up ideas

There are lots of papers all around my house of various story ideas that have never been started yet; many of these papers contain less than one paragraph of what that story will be.

I have decided over the next few weeks to start writing in a new offline journal all of these ideas in more details, so that when I want to work on a new story, I am not sitting there flummoxed about the kinds of things I want in that story and forget them altogether for an entirely new idea.

I am surprised to find that I have 354 known ideas so far and not all of those papers are gathered yet!  If I had been asked how many ideas do you suppose you have lying around?  I’d suggest that maybe it were a little fewer than 90, but not 354+, that’s both tremendous and sad, because they’ve been neglected in some cases for as much as 25yrs!  Some of the ideas I had when I were only ten years of age! 

Thankfully a few of those ideas I delayed, because had I of written them all those years ago they would have been garbage in comparison to the fresher stances I have these days towards them.  Sometimes it is best to procrastinate as sometimes the ideas get better or more solid and real.

I was so sure back in 2006 how I wanted a dystopian tribal story to go, but had I of done it back then, it would have been boring and full of plot twist flaws; these days, the ideas have consumed me a lot and they are showing me better ways to form themselves and I find it very exciting and less flawed.  There is more drama, adventure and excitement in the story and more characters have a proper defined role whereas before they would have been better off not existing – basically, they’re starting to add to the plot now rather than act as a page filling distraction, which upon reflection I realised they were back then.

I am trying to prepare myself to put the vampire aside for a while and make a decision on which novel out of eight I’d like to start writing for NaNoWriMo July 2021.  I think there is only really two to decide from really, the steampunk fantasy series or the dystopian tribe.

It is very likely that I will not get any books published until late autumn of 2022, because of certain events going on in the family between now and then – it would make me a little too busy, with the sickness as well, to start a career until that moment.  Things should have calmed down family wise around then; in fact Paul is almost certain of it.  It is very likely we could be moving house you see, as well, not to mention, Paul has promised me that he knows someone with a pregnant bitch, who’ll give us a puppy just in time for my birthday!  It will be a border collie.

Also it’s my Henry’s 11th birthday today!

Anyway until next time, happy reading!

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The Shadowlands part 1

The shadowlands swamp the world with its biting shadowy glaze

Covering the mortal realm like a blanket with a cold sharp wind

Frozen to the bone the mortal men pray for the darkness to be vanquished by sunlight

But the darkness just keeps biting

Biting the tears of the mortal men as the tears drop onto the cheeks of the men and groan

Will the darkness ever cease?

I hope not, for I call it home

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A writers question

I have a question – how many times can a person use an idea for their writing before their readers start to find the author predictable and boring?  Can the same idea be used in many different types of storylines?  This is a question I am struggling to find answers for lately; I have many good ideas for many different types of stories, but I can’t decide which one to go with – I’d like to eventually go for them all, but I worry that my readers will lose interest if there are too many differences of the same old storyline. 

I have ideas for mermaid stories; many ideas, depicting the mermaids in different lights and scenarios and in each story their culture and their ways are very different as much as their personalities are.

The same with my vampires, I have many different personalities for vampires and many different concepts of how they should live their lives within my stories – but – should an author be known for always depicting the vampires and mermaids that they write about in the same or similar way as they always have done?  Should they be known for that kind of vampire and that kind of mermaid rather than many types?  Do the readers expect consistency in every story about vampires to be alike or similar to another story they have read from the same author – or are big changes from story to story acceptable?

I wish I knew more about this.

I have never joined a writers circle or anything before and I have never really socialised amongst other writers, it is difficult for me to get to group sessions because of my illness and disabilities, so as long as it is free online I can’t really find out more.

What are you views on this subject?

 

 

 

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Friend for a procrastinating writer

I need a kick up the bum

A good writing chum

Who will nag at me all day!

To sit and write and get on with something

To focus and not to play

I need someone formidable

Who will watch me as I write?

Making sure I do not wander

Making my schedule really tight

I need someone to bother me

Have you done it yet?

Which story do I ask them?

The one I told you pet!

Oh OK you see, I wandered

I did this instead you see

Now haven’t I always told you?

To focus on A first then B?

Ah, yes, sorry dear

I will try my best

Yes you will or I will nag

I need that kind of friend, a person with zest

So where are you friend I need?

The one who will make sure that I will bleed

Every little ounce of my blood

Onto the paper in a creative flood

A story that I’ve started to end

All because of that elusive friend

Where are you friend?

Please come quick, I need these stories to end

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