My second and final "short" story for 2013 is now complete and available for free on the A Single Sentence page of this site. Entitled 'The Tenth Crusade', it is just under 11,000 words in length. (For comparison sake, Apocrypha is 14k words and FYSM is 7.5k)
This story gave me hell. As I already posted in detail last month, I hated the original version of this story. After rewriting it, I realized I now hated the new ending. So that was 4-5 pages that went in the trash before I came up with a new ending. Not to mention there were parts of the new story that I then rewrote two or three times before being happy with them. I'm relatively certain when I say that this has been the most I've struggled with any story I've ever written.
After this, there will be a bit of time before I write another story. Not an infinite amount or anything, but some. Basically, both the plot elements for The Tenth Crusade and for Apocrypha started bumping around in my head before I even finished writing A Kind of Drug. So, without a doubt, they were the next two stories I would write. Now, however, my brain is clear of ideas for the first time since I can remember. Not that I don't have any more ideas for stories, mind you, just that I don't have any that are nagging at me day and night. So until that happens again (which usually takes anywhere between 1 day and 4 months) I just don't have anything to write.
Which, in some ways, is fine. I need to start getting serious about sending A Kind of Drug to prospective publishers as well as try to get some of my current short stories either (a) published in magazines or/and (b) published digitally on Amazon, iTunes, etc. It's something I need to really start concentrating on and it's literally impossible to write and work on the back end of getting published at the same time.
So, I do hope you enjoy the tale that is The Tenth Crusade. Till next time, party people.
So, a few years ago now, I wrote one of these entries about what happens when you write something and later realize it's crap. The entry in question was about Chapter 3 of A Kind of Drug and how I wrote quite a volume of pages before I realized I hated it and had to start from scratch.
Well, hoorah. Cause I've done it again.
Before I even finished my newest short story - A Single Sentence: Tyrants, Heathens, and Other Men of Grace - I realized there were elements about the story that were rubbing me the wrong way. But that's not infrequent and they're usually issues that I can polish up in the editing process. Unfortunately, this was not one of those times.
About a week or so ago, I realized that I pretty much hated the story. It wasn't awful, per say, but I didn't like half the characters, the pace, and even the overall plot was something I had not only used before, but in another A Single Sentence story to boot. So, after a lot of thought, I decided I'd be throwing the whole thing away.
Now, a lot of the base plot elements I was still happy with. Even one or two of the characters I still liked. The general world as it existed I was happy with, I just was unhappy with the direction that I decided to take it in. So, I thought about it over for a few days and, on Monday, took the idea from scratch and decided to come up with an entirely new plot.
The good news is, I did it. The bad news is, I still have to write it.
This means there is a negative 5,000% chance I will have a new story done in a week. I plan on begin writing again tomorrow night and at this point I have no idea how long it'll take for me to finish the story. I usually don't. It's one of those things where I just sit down and write and eventually find out if it's a 10-page story I'm writing or a 400-page story. (I thought Apocrypha would be about 15-20 pages before I started writing. It was 40. A Kind of Drug was originally a 6-page short story. Now it's 600 pages.)
The title of the story will also be changing. To what, I'm not sure yet. I'm throwing a couple of ideas around. But with the plot changing so violently, the original title doesn't make any sense. I might call it The Oracle of Babylon. I might call it The Third American Civil War. I might call it The Seven Gods of Parliament. I might call it none of those things.
But overall, my deepest apologies for building this story up for months and then dropping the ball at the last possible minute. I'm a dickhole. I know.
After deep consideration, I’ve decided to remove my short story, ‘Fuck You, Stephenie Meyer’ from Amazon.com. The primary problem is the quantity of negative reviews I received on the few occasions the book was offered for free. On the Amazon page, the negative reviews are now prominent and greatly overshadow the positive reviews. And while I don’t particularly care about negative reviews, I do care about the negative reflection those reviews could have on ‘A Kind of Drug’ which is a work I care deeply about. For me, it is not worth the $1/day I was making off FYSM to possibly ruin the reputation of AKOD. It’s true that even bad PR is good PR, but this wasn’t PR. It’s not like my name was in the news or anything. Plus, I don’t want to be known as the author that writes something so awful that it gets famous and I make money. There’s enough of those out there. FYSM was intended to be a joke and too many people did not get the joke. And I have no intention of damaging the story I spent 2 years writing over a joke that only a handful of people are laughing at.
‘Fuck You, Stephenie Meyer’ will remain on sale at iTunes and Barnes & Noble until the day I feel action is needed on those sites. I’m also considering reuploading it for free on my own sit, but we’ll see how that goes.
A very large and sincere thank you to those who supported the story and could laugh at it, even if it wasn’t your normal jam. I really do appreciate your and everyone’s continuing support.
Whisky & women,
So, I never gave a proper update when I put ‘Apocrypha’ online 2 weeks ago. Why? Cause I’m a big fucking asshole, that’s why. (Actually, it’s cause I didn’t get my edits finished and it uploaded until nearly 1am on a school night and I went to bed without ever making the post. Then I forgot about. Sooo, eat it.)
But, because I’m a swell son of a bitch, I decided to make that post now. And tell you all a little bit about the story’s background while I’m at it. Cause that seems like the cool thing to do.
‘Apocrypha’ began as two separate story ideas that I jammed together into one. The first was ‘What if it was mankind’s purpose to destroy the earth rather than save it?” and the second was “Humans (organic life) find it relatively simple to create machines & computers (inorganic life). Does the opposite apply? Would a machine find it easier to create an animal rather than another machine?”. Then I took those two ideas, combined them together, and gave them a MASSIVE dose of religious undertones (if you didn’t pick up on that, look up what the word ‘apocrypha’ means). As for the sciency stuff, some of it I learned along the way (like Von Neumann Probes), some of it I already knew (like the Fermi Paradox), and some of it I plain made the fuck up (like Speaking in Tongues).
Honestly, I found it funny that no one had ever thought of the whole “speaking in tongues” thing before (or, at least, no one has to my knowledge). I’ve read & watched a lot of science fiction over the years and having lots of alien species communicate seamlessly with one another is an issue that comes up frequently. It was also one that I had to mull over for a while, too, since I knew there’d be scientists from all over the world during First Contact. Why would The Machine know English and not German or Mandarin or Swahili? Or what if he did? How would he communicate those languages all at once? And this is when you learn to never be satisfied with your first idea. Cause my original idea was to have The Machine learn all of the Earth’s languages during the 3 days between the cowboy event and the scientist summit. Then it could just speak different sentences to different people as needed. The problem there was still the cowboy event. How would it say “This is awkward” to the cowboys? I debated deleting the line, but it just had too much weight. It was such a funny line for such an epic moment, it seemed wrong to remove it cause I was being lazy and couldn’t think of a better solution to my problem. So, I thought about it some more and realized The Machine shouldn’t even speak in language. If it’s so advanced, why is it using just simple, auditory syllables strung together into words & sentences? It should speak almost psychically, in bursts of thought that are simply understood or translated by the recipient. This, of course, would mean it would be speaking not just every language on earth at once, but every language in the universe at once since any animal capable of thought would be capable of understanding The Machine. Really, I never got into it, but technically The Machine could speak dog and dolphin and llama, too.
So, there you go. That’s how much thought went into just that little segment of the story. Honestly, in a lot of ways, ‘Apocrypha’ was harder to write than ‘A Kind of Drug’. All those technical bells and whistles required a TON of forethought, not to mention properly mixing them all together to get a story and not just a jumbled mess of information & ideas. And this has just been all the technical crap. I mean, none of this even gets into the characters of Lou & Eden. Or the religious subtext. Or that I was pissed that there’s currently a brilliant comic book being published called ‘Saga’ (cause that’s what I really wanted to name this story before I chose ‘Apocrypha’).
And I’m tired now. And this post is excessively long. So, I’m going to go now. Till next time. Cheers.
I have no idea what that title means. Don't ask.
Today I am debuting the first couple pages of my new "short" story, "Apocrypha". I say "short" because I finished it last night and it's around 14,000 words as of this moment. I know a bunch of stuff still needs to be added, so it might creep up to around 15,000. And let's be honest, that isn't much of a short story. Technically, I think it's called a Novelette. But that sounds really fucking lame. So, I'm going to stick with "short story".
Anyway, since "Apocrypha" won't be totally finished for another couple of weeks, I wanted to post a short preview of the first few pages. This is because the story is running behind (as usual) and so I wanted to give everyone a little somethin' somethin'.
So enjoy. Or don't. See if I care. Whor
First update in 2 months. Which is fair since I haven't really updated the site in 2 months either.
Now, I should've updated it a few weeks ago when the print version came out (on 12/12/12), but it was the holiday season and I was busy as fuck all. It only occurred to me the other day that maybe I should come back here and tidy things up for a moment. Soooo.....I have.
Apart from that, not much else is going on at this exact moment. I'm in the process of beginning to look for literary agents who will hopefully take a look at A Kind of Drug, think it's the best thing since sliced bread (which isn't really that great to begin with), and try to get it actually published. We'll see how it goes.
I've also nearly finished working out all the kinks and details to my next writing venture. The story is called "Apocrypha" and will mark my first foray into the territory of science fiction. No worries, though; there will be no laser beams or alien wars or anything cheesy like that. Nor will it be a novel. I'm not entirely sure how long the story will be when I'm finished with it, but I'm guessing it'll be somewhere in the ballpark of 20-40 pages. As always, I like to tell the story just until it's complete and not really worry about the size of it.
And yeah yeah yeah, I know. That's what she said.
So nothing more for now. Hope you're all doing good out there in TV Land.
So, there's a lot of things going on. Let's start at the top.
First, the full version of A Kind of Drug. As far the re-edit and all that goes, it's about 90% finished. It's an incredibly slow and tedious thing that have to find every punctuation, spelling, and continuity error in a 150,000 word manuscript. I think I've now gotten them all and am just making the finishing touches to the last chapter and a half (which had the most continuity errors due to the time it took to write the whole book and my brain being an imperfect place).
Second, the book cover. That's coming a little more slowly. Mostly because I haven't been able to meet up with my friend who's working on it for a number of reasons. The current reason is the hurricane that's left half of Manhattan in the stone age (I have friends who have had no power, heating, or hot water for 5 days now). Hopefully we'll have power back in the city tomorrow and I can meet up with him soon. If not, I'll be creating a place-holder cover because......
My goal was to have the completed AKOD live by November 1st. That obviously didn't happen. So, now I'm gonna shoot for the Friday, the 16th. When that happens, YOU WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO READ ALL OF AKOD FOR FREE ON THIS WEBSITE. That's right, once the completed version of A Kind of Drug goes live on iTues, Amazon, etc, I will delete the last half of it from my website. So if you or any of your friends have ever wanted to read it for free, now's your chance. The price for the full book will be $4.99.
With that said, however, I would strongly suggest people to wait for the re-edited version. All in all, I've probably corrected around +500 mistakes throughout the manuscript. So, there definitely will be a good reason to read this new version as opposed to the old.
Oh, and when A Kind of Drug goes live, so will my short story, "Fuck You, Stephenie Meyer". It will be available for FREE still and the idea is to make it pop up in people's iTunes when they search for anything Stephenie Meyer related (since the last Twilight movie comes out in a couple of weeks). I figure people will either like it and then purchase AKOD or they'll hate it and make a big stink about me and then other people will purchase AKOD. Not a bad plan, eh?
And again, this will all go on in roughly 2 weeks from now on Friday, November 16th.
LASTLY, I am still at work trying to figure out what to write next. At this point in time, I have very little interest in starting another novel. I currently have the skeleton structure for 3 short stories bouncing around in my head and really just need to sit down and see which one is gonna grow meat first. Two of the stories are part of the "A Single Sentence" series while the third is actually sort of a science fiction story. I was hoping to get something else written by the end of the year, but that's looking unlikely at this point in time. By the time I get AKOD really finished and out there, Thanksgiving will be around the corner and I won't really be able to get anything solid and scripted. So maybe by mid-late January. Seems more reasonable.
I guess that's all for now. Thanks again for reading and sticking around.
Oh, and um, poop, or something.
Back in 2005, I wrote a short, 7-page story about the last man in a world completely overrun by addicts of a strange, new drug. The drug was a weird language written on a piece of paper that made you feel things like Lust, Wrath, and Delirium. It was also highly addictive.
About 3 pages into the story, I sort of slumped down and said, "Shit". I realized that the wealth of material going on was way too intense for a story of such a short length. However, at the time, I was still in school and the story was for a creative writing class. I finished the story as best as I could, turned it in, and even remarked to the class how I planned on turning it into a full novel one day with each chapter being named after and centering around the different drugs...or, in the case of the story....DjerRUckqS.
Some time later, I decided that calling them 'Words' was way more interesting and way simpler.
Reading it, you can very easily see which elements I brought into the book and which elements were so stupid that I ditched them. Like having Words come from Atlantis. Cute, but overall pretty cheesy. And Word-Goggles? Ugh. I must've been drunker than normal on that one.
But Wrath Addicts beating down my door. My girlfriend named Vanessa. The whole world slowly decaying around me. All that stayed. Not to mention the ending which - while is a little different - is still ultimately the same climax.
Anywho, this is also the last hurrah. After this, I got nothing left. In a month, the completed, 1-volume edition of AKOD will be released (which is in the middle of a nice, re-edit right now) and then it'll be on to new stories and new frontiers.
Thanks again for sticking around for the last two years. G'night.
No, that does not mean I'm a man who's always on the go. It means I'm a man who never shuts up. If you ever meet me, you'll probably say, "When the hell does this guy ever stop talking?"
Or, in other words: "Did this guy really just write a 150k word novel and then decide to ramble on about it for a few more pages?"
The answer is yes, yes he did.
So today I give you a couple, SHORT pages of random notes on the book. Where some inspiration came from. How the book took shape. How long I've been working on it for. Etc, etc.
And with that, I'm off. I am hungover and underslept (surprise, surprise) and desperately need to go....and.....I don't know. Do something else.
That's right. The end of A Kind of Drug is all about bunnies. That's the big reveal. Blew your goddamn mind, didn't I?
[Untranslatable] II - at 3,500 words - is by far the longest part of AKOD. But as I mentioned before, it's the climax of an entire 150,000 word novel. Breaking it up into two sections just seems stupid. Essentially because you'll already know the big reveal. Next week's section would've just been additional information and wouldn't be nearly as "fun" to read.
Stay tuned for the next couple of weeks though. I'll be posting some notes about the novel as well as the original short story I wrote 6 years ago that AKOD is based on.
Thanks again for sticking with me for the last year and a half everyone.