Posts Tagged ‘writerslife’

Still my most popular stories, Whiff: A Novella and The Smell Collector are certainly still available to read for free online.

“The Smell Collector” was a serial I published many years ago.  It is a whimsical and quirky story of a man with limited social skills and an extraordinary sense of smell.  For a full blurb click the above link.

“Whiff: A Novella” is the product of an editor who read The Smell Collector and said “Dude!  You need to write this as a book!”.  So I did–smaller than I had expected–but perhaps that is all it needed to be!  Whiff is written from the perspective of the main character, Jim Bronson.  Although the quirky nature of the original serial is evident, it is more in the style of literature.  Both are short reads and have something unique to offer.

If you are looking for light and funny, read The Smell Collector.  If you are looking for a more in-depth literary experience, then Whiff.

It means a lot to me when people read and comment on these stories.   Enjoy!

 

 

Back to the 90s!

Posted: September 6, 2018 in writing
Tags: , , ,

My current project has a lot 1990s backstory.  I went to college and started my career in the nineties, so I know a thing or two about it, but it’s not really about the nineties.  It’s about the relationship between the protagonist and the woman who would become his wife and ultimately the reason he has left Oklahoma in the 2007 timeline.

Getting back into the 90s frame of mind is not exactly easy for me.  My world was very specific.  I spent half the nineties in the School of Music at the University of Oklahoma studying how to be a singer, how to direct a choir, and how to teach people how to sing.  I was not immersed in the times.  I was immersed in a centuries-old art form, studying Western music from the middle ages on.  I knew little of Notorious B.I.G. or fashion.  But I’m piecing it together.  I wasn’t entirely blind.  It was all happening around me.

My protagonist is a computer science major, but he joins the choir and his girlfriend is a voice student.  This allows me to write something a little closer to home even if it’s from an outsider perspective.  I’m a computer programmer myself even though I didn’t study it in college, but much of his college chapters centers around the music school and music majors.

I’m having to deal with language and culture and issues like sexuality in pre-millenial ways.  It’s hard to peal back 20 years of remarkable change in the world.  No cell phones.  The internet barely in place.  The 90s perspective on being gay, especially in regard to being black and gay…which one of my characters is.

I’m writing very steadily right now.  I’m getting in 2-3k a day mostly on breaks at my day job plus a few hours on the weekends.  I have topped 40k words today.  I’m drafting at the moment.  When I draft, I like to think of it like a graphic artist does a comic book.  He/she sketches out the frames.  No color or shading, less detail.  Rough.  There is very little color or style in the book so far.  I just want to tell the story and nail down as much as the dialogue and action as possible.  I’ll color it all in later.  I want a really tight, compelling story.  I can give it beauty and atmosphere and pathos on a second write.  I look very much forward to doing that once I have bones.

Not being a pro, there’s not really any kind of pressure to produce this.  I don’t even know if and when I will publish it.  I have two or three other projects lined up after this, and I might write or draft them before publishing anything.  At least, that’s one self-publishing strategy….to have something ready to go soon after the launch of a book to get readers hooked into my writing.

My readership is tiny right now.  I’ve been honing my craft over the last 15 years or so, waiting for the right time to produce a full-blown novel, and I’ve decided this is the time.  My kids are grown.  My career is settled.  I have more free time.  I have a better idea of how to write something potent and compelling.  I’ve got no place to go but up!

About ten years ago I wrote ten short parts of a web serial called Bay City Runaway.  Here’s a five chapter teaser.  It’s about an alcoholic who has left Oklahoma in the 2000s to live in San Francisco to get away from his old life and the demons that haunt him, and his entanglement with a seventeen-year-old runaway girl.  There is plenty of 90s background story as well.

Once every year or two I’ve gone back and reread this incomplete work and I found it to have some potential, but I could never figure out how to continue it.  Then a year ago, I sat down and wrote a sketch of what it could be if it were a novel and revised the existing writing into a form more suitable for a novel.  Then I put it away again and didn’t think about until I logged into Wattpad a few weeks ago and read some comments.  People had read my original incomplete serial and were asking me to write more, so I did.  I added about 1200 words.  It felt good.  It felt so good that I decided to write ten thousand more.

Now, I feel I have something to work with and the motivation to do it.  So I’ve taken most of it offline and have written about 25k words.  I think this will be my first full-length novel.  I self-published Whiff: A Novella on Amazon, which I’m now publishing as a serial to gain some readership, but I couldn’t get more than 32k out of it.  I believe Bay City Runaway will be more than twice that making it my first complete novel.

I’m writing at a pace of between 2000 and 3000 words a day, mainly on my lunch hour at my day job as a software engineer.  That’s a lot to expect in one hour or even in a day, and I’d be surprised if I could keep that up for long, but it’s very gratifying for now.

Don’t expect anything very soon.  I have a long way to go.  But it is a thrill to be writing again!