A little something I wrote a while ago and never posted… Until now that is, and after such a long hiatus. I wonder, how long will I stick around this time?
Category Archives: Writing
Recently I’ve been talking with someone about Star Catcher and it’s been great getting to hear the thoughts that have gone through their head while reading the story. I love hearing what people have to say about my stories, how they view the characters, if they like them or hate them, are drawn in by one aspect or another of the story. But lately it’s gotten me thinking about how I wrote Star Catcher, the style that I used, the wording, the description, the emotion, everything. Thinking back on when I first wrote the story during NaNoWriMo, I remember pounding out as many words as possible to meet the count for that day and nothing else, but I when I go back and read the story, the level of immersion that I feel with the characters, with the universe, boggles my mind.
Over the last year or so I’ve been working on two more novel length stories that follow after Star Catcher and as I think about how I’m writing them, the wording that I’m using, the description, the emotion that I’m trying to convey in them, it feels forced. The characters have changed and it feels as if they are only partly there, like I’m missing some aspect of them that I somehow included in Star Catcher but seem to have lost in the preceding time between the stories.
I guess in that time between stories, I’ve changed as well. I find myself rarely thinking about the universe Star Catcher is set in. Granted there have been times that I have had spurts of inspiration to write and post some random scene from that universe to here, but even in those, they don’t feel the same as Star Catcher does when I reread it. So, what’s missing? Is it the forced creativity brought forth in the rush of NaNoWriMo? The innocence of a freshman college student? The lack of stress during those days? The new-found freedom of being on my own?
I also find myself reading less and less these days. I have not had the drive to search out or pick up a new book to read. I attribute this mostly to financial and college stresses. There were days when I would give anything to stay lost in a bookstore for hours on end and spend my wallet dry. I find the same thing happening with video games. My list of unfinished games is growing and though I have some initial elation from getting new games I barely make time to pick them up, instead turning to mindless internet surfing to fill my down-time. Granted, Minecraft has been an addiction that has helped to fill my time as well and I enjoy playing with family and friends, but even that has suffered from this lack of drive that I seem to have acquired.
I would like to attribute this all to the stresses of college and working to obtain an engineering degree, but I feel there’s more to it. I have lost habits that I have had in the past and have developed new ones to replace them that I feel are less productive in some sense of the word. While anime has sufficed to provide me with the level of story immersion that I recall experiencing from books, I do long to return to my paper-bound roots, as it were.
While my thoughts these days reside with financial, career, and future choices, as well as food and house-hold chores, in my late night introspective musings, as I write this, I find myself considering all the changes that have happened in my life to bring me to this point in my writing. I started this blog as a way to promote myself, Star Catcher, and any future writing. I have long since fallen off with updating it regularly, much to my own disappointment and possibly that of others. Since going a second year in the dorms, obtaining roommates, and having lived in two different apartment arrangements, I feel I have lost that sense of freedom that I once had when I first was left to my own devices at college.
Now, I know I’ve rambled completely off topic I’m sure from my original intent for this post, but let me come full circle. Rereading sections of Star Catcher, Jayko’s character, while reserved and not without troubles, is happy and care-free. While I tried to capture some of that in the second story, I find he is less of the character he was, without depth and missing that extra energy. The setting of the story doesn’t help this in any way I suppose as I decided to start crumbling his world around him, but even with that, he should still be able to achieve that depth of character. I feel this is worse in the third story, where I have thrown him into the military war-machine in an attempt to mold him into the future character that I had set up so long ago. But I feel he’s losing that happy, care-free side of himself in all of this and that part of him needs to survive if I want to keep that depth for him. And truth be told, I’m probably describing my thoughts on this in the most side-ways way possible and this could all be attributed to random, delusional, late-night, caffeine-induced, introspective musings.
But, and I stress that ‘but’… I have gained several things that I know I need to do:
- I need to pick up a book again. Maybe a past book, one that I loved, get myself back into the series, reread it to bring back the enjoyment that I once felt when I first cracked it open.
- I need to reread Star Catcher. I need to get that feeling of the original story back in my brain. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick up on my old writing style and merge it back into my current stories, improve upon it, etc.
- Revisit character bios and get a feel for who my characters are again. I’ve lost touch with them, that much I can feel. I need to do more character spotlights and develop them, build upon old bios and flesh them out to get a feel of who they are in the current stories while retaining certain aspects from past stories.
- I need to write. Doesn’t matter what, I just need to start writing again. Not bi-monthly, not bi-weekly. I need to do some sort of writing at least every other day to pick up the pieces of my shattered creativity. (We’ll see how well I stick to this one. It is something I need to do however.)
I guess as the days march along I will find out if I will stick to any of these goals or if they are just random, delusional, late-night, caffeine-induced, introspective musings that won’t amount to more than another blog post. Here’s that I will.
As of late, well, let’s call it a while, I haven’t really kept up with blogging all that much. I’ve posted a few Random Short Stories, and more of Black-Heart, but not many ideas or updates on life or writing, which I feel is what people would rather read than waiting for a new update on Black-Heart. I know I get frustrated when my favorite web-comics don’t update on time. Regardless, I haven’t been active on the blog and that can drive readers away too. And if content is bland and there are days when I’m pretty bland– I digress though.
The reason I’m writing today is just what the title says. I’ve got some ideas and inspiration that have been popping into my head and I want to expand upon them.
Lately, when I’ve had a good chunk of time, I’ve been binging on an anime called Fairy Tail. Great anime in my opinion (if you are an anime fan or know what anime is. If not that’s ok too, just skip ahead). I describe it as a combination of Naruto and One Piece, silly but with some serious parts. Lots of epic battles and a great overarching storyline. Sadly it ends at episode 175. I hear it cuts out mid-story-arc, but I’ve heard a rumor (not sure if it’s true) that it’s going to start up again in September sometime. I’m hopeful!
All the epicness going on in the story-arc I’m in right now has been getting my mind whirling with ideas and epicness for my own stories. I’ve been fixated on Jayko lately and a specific scene which has been developing in my head. I want it to be epic and to have a multitude of things going on at once as it’s a battle scene. I’ve already posted about three parts of the scene as Random Short Stories. But there’s still more to come. I just haven’t worked it out completely yet.
So, far I’ve brought back the Commandos from a previously trunked story, set up a massive fleet for Jayko to command, taken that fleet to the doorstep of the enemy, dropped mechs right into the middle of a battlefield and set up the main characters to head into heavy fighting. I’ve got ideas whirling around that I need to develop on where the Commandos and Jayko have to fight their way to a key control center. I want them to encounter heavy resistance and to be not be able to stop the Wormhole Gate they are assaulting from being activated.
Trying to add on to the epicness that I’m trying to go for, Jayko calls in Helios Station, an ancient space station of massive proportions that drops from FTL into the middle of the space battle and absorbs the brunt of the energy projected into space by the Wormhole Gate, stopping it from opening.
What’s been difficult for me with all of this, has been trying to convey everything that’s happening in the battle at once, to give the reader a rush as they progress through the battle following the Commandos. To convey the size of the Gate and Helios Station. The awe as it drops into battle, scattering dreadnaught size battleships as it moves into position over the planet.
So my question to all you other writers out there is this: How do you convey something that’s supposed to be fast paced, that’s supposed to have something big happen that makes your characters stop and stare, and think, “Holy-sh–t!”?
And if you’re not a writer but a reader: What do you think makes a scene in a book give you that same feeling described above?
Jayko faced the kid standing several meters from him in the small field of grass in front of his house. The kid had an over-confident smirk on his face as he stared at Jayko over-top of his reflective shades.
On the balcony above stood the rust colored dekk watching the two of them.
Both the kid and the dekk had interrupted his morning work out routine and the kid had demanded a rematch from the evening before.
Jayko was happy to oblige. They already knew his identity and where to find him. His cover had been blown, so he figured he might as well have some fun with it. He was going to wipe the smug grin off the kid’s face.
Dressed in a pair of sweat-pants, Jayko stood shirtless and shoeless in the morning sun, his bright red hair still mussed from his early morning exercise routine. Spreading his legs shoulder length apart and balancing on the balls of his feet, he relaxed his body and raised one arm, crooking a finger at the kid.
“Show me what you’ve got,” he said casually, a small grin spreading on his own lips.
The kid ginned even larger and immediately threw back his arms, kicking up dirt as he lunged forward in a fast dash at Jayko.
He ducked low, coming in swinging as fast and as hard as he could.
Jayko bounced back on the balls of his feet, arms slack, swaying his body in dodge after dodge as the kid threw swing after swing at him. He twirled out of the way as the kid lunged at him. The grin on his face had vanished. He was in the moment, predicting each of the kid’s movements from just his stance and follow-through alone.
He was surprised by the kid’s nimbleness as the kid leapt up lashing out in a strong kick.
Jayko ducked under it easily enough. The kid saw his movement though and changed to a downward kick, trying to bring his full force down on Jayko.
Raising an arm, Jayko blocked his kick without budging. Pushing off the ground, he shoved the kid’s leg high into the air, expecting to see surprise light the kid’s face, instead the smirk was still plastered there as he leapt up, using the motion to do a flip backward, landing on his feet, hands at the ready.
“Not bad,” mumbled Jayko, impressed. Louder he said, “Let’s try to step it up though.”
Standing from his half-crouch, Jayko pushed off the grass, coming up beside the kid in the blink of an eye. He could see the excited grin on the kid’s face in the moment before he swung his body around in a high kick. In that same instant, the kid touched the circlet on his wrist. There was a small gust of air and Jayko’s kick swung around, unimpeded.
Jayko glanced around behind him as the kid came flying down, trying to land a heavy blow on his back. He reacted instantly. His feet planted solidly, he swung around, grabbing the kid the moment before he hit the ground. Surprise lit the kid’s face then, as Jayko’s hand gripped the back of his head.
Suddenly the kid found himself looking straight at the ground. Jayko saw his arms shoot out and was surprised by how the kid was able to catch himself and soften his impact as Jayko pinned him to the ground.
He hadn’t intended to smash him into the ground very hard, but seeing that he could react like that, Jayko held his grip on him lest he try to get away.
“Not bad, not bad at all,” Jayko said, holding his grip. “You’re still a long ways off from matching me though.”
“That’s what they all said in training too. I’m the best of the best in my class, though,” said the kid, confidence still ringing clear in his voice.”
“And what class is that?” asked Jayko.
“Once I beat you and you come with us, you’ll see!”
Jayko felt a grip as the kid twisted around, having grabbed one of Jayko’s legs. He shifted his weight on the ground under Jayko’s grip and Jayko felt his own balance waiver for a moment.
It was all the kid needed though. He twisted and rolled from under Jayko’s grasp, leaping up from the ground, ready to go.
Jayko saw his fingers graze the circlet again.
He let a smile play on his face as he lunged forward, swinging his arm. His eyes met the kid’s for an instant. The confidence was still there, but this time the kid didn’t dodge. He swung his arm the instant Jayko’s fist was within reach.
Jayko felt the impact as his blow was deflected. His eyebrows shot up in surprise.
He leapt back from his lunge, putting a couple meters between him and the kid. “Now you’ve peaked my curiosity,” said Jayko quietly. He held his hands at the ready, waiting to see what the kid would do with this sudden change of tactic.
The kid drew his arm back, as if to make a swing. Then, bracing his feet, he lunged forward at Jayko. His movement was slower than before, but Jayko could tell he was up to something.
Shifting his stance, Jayko kept his own hands at the ready as he concentrated on the kid’s movements.
“This is going to hurt,” he mumbled to himself.
Putting all his force into his motion. The moment the kid was close enough to complete his swing and Jayko started to feel the force from it impact his hands, he shoved back with all his might. The impact of the blow hit harder than it should have for the kid’s size and speed, but it did, and Jayko felt it radiate through his body and into the ground. The surprising thing was, that the kid’s fist had never made contact.
Then suddenly Jayko felt something give and the kid lost his footing thrown back by the force of his own blow. He landed in the grass on his back with a shout.
“Damnit! That was supposed to work!” he said, sprawled out on the ground, his breathing heavy.
Jayko’s own chest heaving from the exhaustion of countering the kid’s final blow gave a small chuckle. “That was impressive.” He looked the kid over, focusing on the silver circlet around his left wrist.
Letting himself collapse into a cross-legged sitting position, Jayko gave a small nod. “Alright,” he said between breaths. “I’ll hear you out. Then if what you have to say is of the level of importance you tell me it is, I’ll come with you.”
Jay pushed himself up off the ground, his breathing heavy. He ran the back of his hand across his jaw, wiping away the trail of red blood. It was only a slight shade darker than the red markings on his armored gauntlet.
“Damn,” he muttered glancing at the fracture running through the armor plate. “I was sure this would last me a little longer.”
Standing straight, he released the clasps holding it in place and let it fall to the ground with a clatter. Trading hands, he released the clasps on his other gauntlet. It fell next to the first.
“Not that I really needed those anyway.” Working the clasps on his arm plates and shoulders, he let rest of his torso armor covering his dark, crimson long-coat fall to the ground. Unbuckling his boots, he stepped from them.
Van watched him closely, his sword held at the ready, his eyes hard. “Shedding that armor is going to be your defeat, you know this.”
Jayko rolled his shoulders and took up his fighting stance again fists held at the ready. “The only thing that armor was doing for me was holding me back.”
Van’s eyes narrowed and he lunged, striking fast, with his sword, trying to end it with one last jab. Straight though the heart.
Jay vanished in the space of an instant. Van felt a hand on his back and heard Jay’s voice, the confidence evident. “Missed me.”
He felt Jay’s weight disappear and whirled, bringing his sword around in a wide arc. Jay was well beyond the reach of the blade though, having danced back a good distance. He shifted his weight lightly from foot to foot, his hands held at the ready.
Van transitioned smoothly from his sweep into a lunge, bringing his sword straight for Jay.
Jay lunged at the same instant.
The same tactic. This time he won’t surprise me with it.
Changing mid-lunge he tried to redirect his blade, swinging the instant Jay came within reach.
Suddenly he felt his blade being pushed. Van’s eyes went wide as Jay ducked nimbly under the swing pushing the blade up and away with the flat of his hand. In the next instant Van saw him raise his other hand palm forward, as if aiming with it. He drew his arm back, twisting and swinging with his other fist. The jab came too quickly for Van to follow and stuck him mid chest.
The wind rushed from his lungs and he skidded backward, trying to keep his balance.
He lost his sight for a moment, but regained it quickly, tracking Jay as he danced back. Suddenly stepping to the side, Jay vanished again. Van tried to react, sensing where he would strike, but coming up short. The blow to his back sent him tumbling forward. He caught himself mid fall though, stepping into it and using the momentum to swing his sword up and around.
The blade grazed Jay as he retreated from his next attack.
I underestimated him. The armor made him stronger before, but it impeded his true speed.
Van stepped forward, following through with another swing, trying to catch Jay off guard. Jay danced and ducked out of the way. His face was serious, but Van could tell that even though he was on the defensive again he was confident. Too confident.
Suddenly Jay ducked low under Van’s swing, lunging backward out of the blade’s range. Van saw the flash of sliver as the pistol came up.
Damnit! Van gripped his blade, tilting it as the single shot struck it, deflecting the shot away from him.
It had all been a ruse to get his weapon back. Van had lost track of the position he’d been keeping between Jay and his weapon. That had been his objective all along.
The glow of the power cell under the barrel of the pistol shown a bright blue-white.
Jay smirked at Van. “Sadly I’m only here to buy time. I know enough about my own strengths that I can’t defeat a true immortal such as yourself.”
The shadow crossed over the two of them briefly, vanishing within seconds with a gust of wind on it’s tail.
Van’s gaze moved for only a second, but he caught sight of the man drop from the airship.
He landed in a crouch in between them. The black metal of the revolver he held glistening in the sunlight.
As it turns out, there is no such writing under any copyright law that states that a title can be copyrighted. Titles can be trademarked and whatnot, so I wouldn’t go naming anything Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, but they can’t be copyrighted. Quite the new and interesting fact I’ve just learned today! And if you don’t believe me, Google it!
Also in other news, it’s a little on the late side (but you know how life gets in the way sometimes) happy 2013! It’s a new year and with it comes new excuses to slack off. And unfortunately that applies to me in every aspect. From college homework to Christmas thank-you cards. I’ve been slacking on it all. Today is the first step to ending my slacking streak hopefully.
And with the new fact I’ve learned about copyrights and titles I can start by getting at title set for Theo’s Story! Yay!
Ok, cheering over. Nonetheless though, I should avoid having a duplicate title. Thankfully though, I’ve done my research and there are no other titles that are similar to what I’ve been thinking all this time.
I really want to go with the title 2103. I did find that this title was the title of an older movie that I have never heard of and I doubt most people would have as well (if you have heard of it and/or seen it then you’re a step ahead of me!) and it’s not a common enough title that they would have trademarked it either. So—going off of that I want to attach something else to the title to change it up. I know the story is going to be a trilogy, or at the very least it will have a sequel and I would like for them to have similar titles.
Here are some candidates that I’ve been thinking on:
2103: Silent Darkness (or a variation on that)
2103: The Coming Storm
2103: Post Earth (seems reminiscent of a movie that’s coming out soon)
2103: Serene Gail (the name of the ship that Theo ends up traveling aboard)
2103: Legacy (referring to Theo’s Uncle and how the FTL drive is his legacy)
FTL Drive (or a variation on that)
Though, what I’ve been really leaning toward has been 2103: Destiny. I’ve been thinking that fits more with the story as the plot focuses around one character more than the FTL drive itself. And stemming from that, the sequel work off of a similar theme. For the two books I want to write after to continue the story, I was thinking 2104: Divergence, and 2110: Drive. These are just tentative titles though, but I’ve been putting quite a bit of thought into them.
What do you think?
For me that is… everyone has their own gripes about it, but this is the hardest thing about writing for me, currently sitting in the number one spot: Picking up a half-finished manuscript after leaving it sit for a long while, maybe a year or so.
It’s hard to get back into it, to get into the mindset of writing, or working on it, of who the characters are/were at the time. I’ve decided that I want to get at least one of the two unfinished manuscripts I have lying around completed so I can start the editing process and get something else out there. I’d have Theo’s story out there already but I still don’t have a title or cover for it and that’s sitting in number two on my list of gripes about writing. Titles are hard to come up with. Especially if you want it to fit the story and be catchy at the same time or something like that.
Number three on my list is tying to remember to get a blog post out there more or less frequently. I’ve become terrible at remembering as I haven’t the mindset to do any form of writing.
Today, I’m going to sit myself down and force some words on to the page. They may end up being a jumble of randomness, but I will at least have something to go off of.
So, what do you think are the hardest things about writing?