Hey everyone, as most of you who follow this blog and visit my website know, I am an ardent fanfic writer, with Voyagers being my biggest subject. However, in the last 6 months or so, I had stumbled into a writer's nightmare...though most likely it's all in my head. It started shortly after the second 'Prisoners of Time' story. (A retelling of the origins of Bogg and Jeff, loosely based on 'The Time Machine' by H.G Wells) I was two chapters into the third installment and my mind just went blank and basically stayed that way for two months. I fought it valiantly, and in between I was able to write two short and simple Voyagers stories, 'The Perilous Journey of Sybil' and 'White flag.'
It's not like I didn't try to write more. I write stories for different fandoms (as they call them) and I was three chapters into an 'Incredible Hulk' story...and took it down, I just couldn't finish it...but yet I know how I want it to begin and end...sort of. Writing is often a delicate process, and you always make changes as you're typing stories out. That reminds me, I had a weird thought yesterday--I can't remember the last time I used pen and paper to literally write out a story...it had to be back in 2005. Now all I do is use whatever scrap paper is available to 'outline' and jot down notes and quotes that I think would work. I find that my thinking/ideas flow in line with my typing, and it's less pressure on my left hand...(Yeah, I'm a leftie!) Not to mention neater and I can actually read what I had just written.
I was three chapters into a story inspired by the show 'Lost'...that came down. I removed the third Prisoner of Time story as well. I couldn't bear the thought of having a story up there unfinished and I was unhappy with the direction of the plot. I had started an interesting first person science-fiction themed Voyagers story, called 'Existence' revolving around Phineas' being captured from certain death in his past and held in a destructive/world dominating version of Voyagers Headquarters...want to guess how many chapters I made it into before I said ENUFF!?
I now have the three-chapter rule. If things start getting funky by 3, I know I'm failing somewhere and I either have to let it go or rethink/re-establish the plot. I have not abandoned all these stories...I just have them on the back-burner for now. Including a long, long...long awaited sequel to my story, 'The Origins of Phineas Bogg.'
All this blockage and Polar mind freeze wasn't so bad, it gave my overworked brain a rest, as I was dealing with family dramas and stuff we all go through...but it also allowed me to focus on updating my websites and create this blog, and I really enjoy writing for this. It's free-flowing (Though my chapter reviews are somewhat outlined!) I'm not extremely pressured to do historical research and all that for the stories...I just write whatever I feel like.
But now onto the point of this blog post...why is the ice melting? Darned if Bogg knows!
Like the scorching lava that will be flowing in one of my future Voyagers! stories, (that's a small hint..) ideas just started coursing through my brain today. It really helps to work in a library. My favorite sections are the historical Non-fiction section and the Juvenile biography section. Two very important places to find ideas and 'historical' people to fill up all these stories.
I prefer the Juvie section because the majority of the adult bios are nothing but half-truth, glorifying, overblown, three hundred or more page waste of trees about modern day celebrities and their often self-inflicted 'traumatic' and messed up lives, overpaid and steroid bombed sports 'heroes,' and other bric-a-brac people I've never heard of -but someone decided that they were important enough to write about. Not that I've never read any of them or been intrigued...I certainly have...but when I feel the burning desire to write my fanfic, there's no time to sift through all the purple prose.
The Juvie bios get to the heart of the situation and person in question. Once I read over the book (which could take me all of ten minutes tops) I know immediately that this would be an awesome time, place or person of history to incorporate an adventure with the boys....oh how I love the boys!
Today I came home with three books on two different subjects. When it's time to do my 'adult' research, I pop on the Internet and find as many viable sources as I can on the topic and away I fly. Writing has become an integral part of my being. As a child I was an avid and advanced reader and devoured everything I could get my hands on...well, it had to spark my interest of course! I veered toward science-fiction, adventures and mysteries...though I unabashedly admit I read every book on Sweet Valley kids, twins, high and the Baby Sitters Club back in the eighties and early nineties. I've also read a lot of horror-Stine, Pike, King and Koontz- but that is a genre I no longer care for.
It was my desire to be a writer since childhood, but life has many directions. It's not an impossible feat that I could one day write a book, and one day I hope I will...as I currently wet my feet in Fanfiction and improve upon my skills.
Some of the greatest writers didn't actually become 'writers' until well into their thirties and forties...that gives me about ten years to get the pen flowing and the fingers pumping on the keys. I find I really enjoy writing for what's already franchised, hence my love of Fanfiction. If anyone out there can tell me how to get the Voyagers franchise restarted in book form, I am all over it!
As for my other excuses...uh...reasons... for not writing something 'original' is that I sometimes just feel that everything's been done before. (The Wise King Solomon said that 'Everything has been done under the sun.' and he said that over three thousand years ago!) It's really all just a matter of presentation and creating that little twist on an idea which creates something 'new.'
As I grow into cranky quarter-age...getting months closer to the big 30, I find I have no real taste for certain genres that are super popular....most notably, immature, im and A-moral teens and big city adults, vampires, witches and zombies...and that's just the tip of the iceberg out there in book land.
So...long blog a little longer...I'm gleefully back in the FF writing game!!! I'll be finishing up my Cover Up story, 'The Depot' by the end of the weekend if not sooner.
After that I have two..count em...I said 2 new Voyagers stories to pursue! One, a quirky tale involving Phineas on a voyage..and gasp! It's pre-Jeffrey! Not to worry, I'm always testing the limits of canon, and this one, as I outlined a bit of it on my work break, sounds like fun to me. I get to explore something with VHQ that I haven't thought of before. The other one I hinted at already, so phooey!...alright a few more hints...lava, archeology, a cosmic blip and one very very confuddled pirate named Bogg and a frightened out of his wits and just as confused little partner, Jeffrey. Let's hope I can deliver whatever I'm promising here.
Now...to get back to life off the box (The name bestowed by my dad for the Computer) Gosh I love, love my Macintosh!!...nobody understands why my hard drive is named 'Mac Harper.'
Obviously, I love this Mac too..
For any of you budding or struggling writers out there, I cannot recommend this book highly enough...
'Writing Tools: Fifty essential strategies for every writer' by Peter Clark.
I still haven't finished reading it, but I have seen MARKED improvement in my recent writing because of it and it's a thorough and fun book filled with ideas and exercises. Clark talks to you like a human being, not a 'struggling' artist, and whittles writing down to not an 'art form' but to fluency in writing. After reading these few paragraphs, I knew I uncovered the best writing book I could ever find...Here's the excerpt that cinched me-
'The ability to read, society tells us, contributes to success in education, employment, and citizenship. Reading is a democratic craft. Writing, in contrast, is considered a fine art. Our culture taps only a privileged few on the shoulder. We are the talented ones, and you're not. The teacher read our stories aloud in class, or encouraged us to enter an essay contest, or pushed us toward the newspaper or literary magazine. We thrive on such recognition, but think of the millions left behind.
If you feel left behind, this book invites you to imagine the act of writing less as a special talent and more as a purposeful craft. Think of writing as carpentry, and consider this book your toolbox. You can borrow a writing tool at any time, and here's another secret: unlike hammers, chisels, and rakes, writing tools never have to be returned. They can be cleaned, sharpened and passed along.
These practical tools will help dispel your writing inhibitions, making the craft central to the way you see the world. As you add tools to your workbench, you'll begin to see the world as a storehouse of writing ideas. As you gain proficiency with each tool, and then fluency, the act of writing will make you a better student, a better worker, a better friend, a better citizen, a better parent, a better teacher, a better person.'
And there you have it. Now I've pumped myself up to write! I will hopefully get in 2 more chapter reviews over the course of the weekend.
On an Off topic note: I made a strong personal decision years ago to not celebrate holidays...so you don't have to feel compelled send me any seasons greetings.
(For those that did already or plan to, I sincerely appreciate your kind thoughts.)
However, to everyone reading, please stay safe and enjoy yourselves with the time off to spend in the loving company of family and friends and lots and lots of food! :D