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,
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
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.
Geez, where to even start....
I had the first idea for A Kind of Drug so long ago, I can't even remember it. Well over a decade. Long before I ever had any desire to be a writer. The idea was simple: What if a language existed that you could understand without learning it and what if it could spread like a disease? I then just sat and toyed around with this idea in my head for years upon years.
Eventually, around 2004, I decided I wanted to see if I could write. And so I wrote a short story called "DjerRUckqS" about a man living in a post-apocalyptic world that had been destroyed by Words. About four pages into it I said, "Shit" out loud. I realized that there was too much material in the short story and that it needed to be a novel. And so, a year later, I came up with the idea of creating a chapter centered around each different Word. I thought about calling the novel "A Kind of Drug" and thus the core of the novel was birthed. Again, this was 7 years ago now. (Oh, and I plan on releasing that original short story once A Kind of Drug is finished. I can't release it yet cause the endings are still very similar. Don't want to ruin the climax for all of you.)
But anyway. Due to college and life and work and existence, the idea sat on the shelf for another 2 years before I decided to try another hand at it. But my original idea was to not "start at the beginning" with Rapture and Beth Vacey. I wanted to start 2/3 of the way through the story with a crazy, dense, dramatic chapter and then, with chapter 2, rewind back to the beginning.
However, after talking to numerous professors and fellow students, they told me I was a fucking idiot and that I should just start at the beginning like a goddamn adult. Which I obviously did.
But by the time I decided to listen to them, it was too late. Chapter 1 - Wrath - was already written. I had penned the story of two guys, practically alone in the world, and scared to death of people Addicted to Wrath. But the world of that old chapter and the world of A Kind of Drug as you know it today are radically different. And in a thousand ways, I'm glad for it. I'm much happier with the direction I chose to take with the novel. Starting from the beginning turned out to be some good advice.
Either way, I figure a lot of you might get a kick out of what A Kind of Drug looks like in a sort of "alternate universe". This was how I originally envisioned the world after Despair, way back around 2007/2008. If you've ever read it, it's sort of reminiscent of Richard Matheson's novella, "I Am Legend" (which is way different from the Will Smith Zombie flick).
Anyway, keep an eye out for the pieces of story I obviously decided to keep and the ones I obviously decided to trash. But overall, I hope you just enjoy the read and you're much happier with what I chose to do with AKOD instead.
Thank you. And good drunk.
Around 2005, I was reading a whole lot of Philip K Dick and Kurt Vonnegut. Somewhere in the midst of all this, I came up with an idea for a short story that asked the very Dickian question of "What is reality?". In 2006, I took this story idea and crafted the tale of The Problem with Roger for one of my Creative Writing courses. The style of writing is VERY reflective of the Vonnegut books that I was reading at the time (very playful and detailed) and very dissimilar to my more current works (very serious and dickish).
But I never turned the story in to my professor. Why? Because I gave it to a friend to proofread and she immediately called me and asked if I was serious about the ending. I had no idea what she meant. She then proceeded to explain to me how the ending is the exact same as a very famous Stephen King novel. Not being a fan of King's work, I was blown away. I went online to research the book only to find out that she was completely correct.
The story has been in my scrap bin ever since. I release it now into the world simply because it's a fun story and it will hopefully keep some of you sated until A Kind of Drug returns in 2012.