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What I’m After as a Writer

December 12, 2013 Leave a comment

No work again yesterday. So, I seized the moment.

I’m in the process of outlining my next book. The working title is “Out of Oblivion.” Themes, dialogue, clashes, escapes, love and betrayal is fragmented throughout a forest of notes that needs to be herded into my Scrivener – a word processing program for writers. The story is there and I know how it ends. Now begins the crafting of the physics of story structure, putting things in place that support reader interest.

As I gathered my copious notes scattered over different desktops my fidgety moves, scruffy face and worn jacket reminded me of Russell Crow’s depiction of John Nash in A Beautiful Mind, but not the beautiful part, the foaming at the mouth bat crap crazy part. I grinned and thought, God what am I after? Am I simply crazy and that’s all there is to this? Is it obsession or mission? And then I took a deep breath.

Fact is I know what I’m after. All that was settled but sometimes the contemplation of what I’m attempting is scary. It could be a colossal waste of precious time at fifty years old. That is why I need to know what my goal is. And, I think every writer should know exactly what he’s goal in life and story ending. If not logically—as in the book’s exact narrative and dialogue when the story ends—but at least a writer needs to sense the emotional payoff, the feelings of epic awesomeness born from that great moment when the One Ring melts in the lava of Mount Doom, or when the Death Star blows. When evil is turned back in the physical and spiritual world and hope does not feel like wishful thinking.

Story Structure: The Key to Successful Fiction by William Bernhardt

June 29, 2013 1 comment

I’ve been on a 5 year journey of writing and conceptualizing a heroic fantasy saga. For a couple of years I got lost in the confusing world of “no rules” style of how-to writing books (Can you say oxymoron?). Unfortunately, many areas of our postmodern world are full of new age “wisdom” such as “listen to the wind” or “stream of consciousness writing.” Granted, many writers find their story doing just that, but, in my opinion, it is a colossal waste of precious time when one has a fulltime job. Those writers, who write like that, are simply looking for the ah-ha moment that often obsoleted thousands of words and weeks of work. I know, I did it. What these types of writers are looking, and what I was looking for, was structure, that ah-ha moment. This book helps you find those moments, those milestones in story structure, those “Luke, I am your father,” moments.

Bernhardt’s book, and others like him, such as Larry Brooks, gave me a steering wheel, accelerator, brakes, a clutch and gear shift; a vehicle for the journey. They also helped me map out the road before I started the journey. Bernhardt’s book is appealing to me because it is succinct. If you are on the run, you can zip through it pretty quick on your smart phone e-reader app.

If you want to spend weeks, months, or even years pantsing, that’s your business. Good luck to you. But, you’re taking the long and laborious approach to finding story structure. Put some handles on it with books/teachers like Bernhardt, Brooks and James Scott Bell, too.

Story Structure: The Key to Successful Fiction (Red Sneaker Writers Series) [Kindle Edition] 4 Big Stars!

Dear John Lennon

December 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Dear John Lennon. That’s the title of a non-fiction book I want to write. I want to take each verse of his silly sentimental crap-song “IMAGINE” and make them into chapters where I systematically dismantle this liberal anthem and expose it for the absolute stupidity on a stick that it is. The meat of sacred cows is the tastiest. I think it would sell a few copies.

As a writer/storyteller, I laugh at the song’s childish, Marxist sentiments, but for a while in my life, as you perhaps did or do, I loved that song. I held up the cigarette lighter in the concert hall of my soul and swayed to the dreary melancholy self-righteousness of the song without questioning it. I wagged my finger, “maybe someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one[–you narrow minded stick in the mud.]” I failed to think through what it was actually promoting.

In 2013, the belief in the sacredness of the 60s ideals (which is what the Democrat ideal is) and the Beatles and all that good bit of rot make me think of the people who said, “We don’t like that negro music or rock and roll in this here town.” (Who where Democrats then!) But, alas, liberal message/ideal has been slick-o-fied by contemporary media, art, and culture.

When I tell stories of characters in my book, if there is “nothing to kill or die for” the story is road kill …and I will add so is existence itself if there is nothing worth dying for.

Lennon sings about life on earth, not heaven, because he’s already said don’t imagine heaven or hell, He wags a finger in your face when he sings, “I wonder if you can”. He sings about the ongoing liberal fantasy of Utopia, the persistent naïve belief that man can perfect man. As conservatives, we know this is impossible and we plan for it. We do not believe in the devine right of kings or the secular humanism of a Nanny Statist.

It is these types of songs, books, movies, education, and new age religions that have crept into the vacuum left behind when liberty-loving people retreated from the artistic and educational worlds. You can “get out the vote” all you want. But, if you ignore culture you are drawing from a dying source you are not cultivating.

My dear conservatives! CREATE! Stop thinking you can only help the world with one more vote or one more piece of legislation. The people who can appreciate your dreams are thinning out, seduced by weeds of political correctness.

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