Tag Archives: Novelist

Noir Fiction in the Works

Today, as I drove about 300 miles round-trip for my weekly Canadian border run, I found myself with a LOT of time to conceptualize a novel.

What started as a thought where a good soul tries to talk a man down from jumping off from a bridge, turned into the skeletal form of what has the chance to be a detective thriller/noir! The last book I read was Stephen King’s “Mr. Mercedes” and I feel like a lot of the inspiration that went into the building of my plot was derived from that story, as I found it perfectly dark with a touch of comedy. Like Donnie Darko without the drugs.

So I ended up with about 15 minutes of recorded audio on my phone of me talking out and conceptualizing this idea that, quite frankly, I am very excited about. I had previously been forming a dark comedy but for now that gets put on the back burner until I have some more ideas.

One thing I am beginning to notice, is that using a voice recorder (Androids have one pre-loaded) is INCREDIBLY helpful when you don’t want to forget a thought. It’s so nice to be able to go to my phone and listen to myself as I was coming up with these character progressions, main plot and side plots. I had been told as a child that I needed to start using one because of my forgetfulness, but I always turned the idea down, as I thought it was impractical and would only get in my way. Now that it’s on an app in my phone, there is no excuse!

As I was picking up files from the Calais hospital, I caught myself listening in to people’s conversations and trying to use the information as inspiration for new minor characters. This turned out to be quite effective. Who would have thought that drawing inspiration from every day events could be so easy? And with the plethora of people I am in contact with daily for work, there is an endless number of character possibilities.

The absolute BEST tool to expand upon an idea is to ask yourself questions. For instance, when I came up with the idea of a man trying to help a potential victim of suicide, I asked myself “What could go wrong? What are the consequences of these actions? Why would this person make this decision?” Questioning your own ideas is the easiest and more effective way to develop your very own plot.

I’m still quite hesitant with actually starting to write the book, as I feel as if I need more scene ideas and a better feel for what I want the readers to get out of the story before I type away. Until then, I will be observing my surroundings and exploring the caverns of my imagination for ideas. My phone is sure to be blown up with at least 200 audio recordings before I’m ready to put “pen to paper” (I’m totally going to type it, there’s no way I bought this mechanical keyboard so I could do this old school)

So I’m really pumped for this! And yes, I plan to still post with my progress and with any more poems or anecdotes that come to mind that I would like to share, so this will still be active for sure. The blogging community is a useful tool for inspiration, and I won’t give that up again.

I can tell you this:

This novel is going to be dark.
It’s going to be grizzly.
It’s going to make you question my sanity and stability.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way

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Fate or Coincidence?

As I was sitting here tonight, reading through articles for inspiration, I kept stumbling across information regarding the  formulation and outlining of a novel. Clearly I was intrigued, as it may come to no surprise to you if you read my last post about my dream career as a novelist.

So I’m sitting here, minding my own business, when I come across what I can only describe as the single-most important internet page any fiction writer could come across.

It’s called “The Periodic Table of Storytelling” and let me tell you, it just may have been the first domino, because it got the ol’ gears turning and as I’m writing this as quickly as I can, I have more and more thoughts of what I would like to see from my first novel.

You see, one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) problems I have faced in my life is my disorganization. In fact, it is very likely that my disorganization is the bane to my creativity. How does one expect to write great things if his desk is cluttered (for lack of a much more serious word) with Powerade bottles, pens, and fast food rubbish? I know, I am very untidy. I would like to take this moment to say that, at this particular time, my desk has only 2 bottles on it. That’s like, the cleanest it’s ever going to be. I’m pretty sure that the biggest creative geniuses in the world had problems with disorganization too, so I would love to attribute my little problem with that, if I could!

Did you check out that link? Well do it, because even if you are not into writing, it’s interesting to look at and learn about.

After perusing this periodic table for about thirty minutes, I began researching ways to organize my thoughts into an outline, as that is clearly important for a flowing novel with a consistent feel. Fortunately with blogging, outlining is not required and if you do outline your blog posts, you’re probably trying way too hard…or you’re just a Type A personality.

Anyway, I came across this great link from the Writer’s Digest, “How to Organize and Develop Ideas For Your Novel” and after reading it through, I grabbed the closest notebook, of which I own at least 6 kicking around in random areas of this room, and began jotting down some ideas.

The article revolved heavily around the usage of note cards, which I quickly realized I needed, as our minds do not think linearly when we are trying to channel our inner author.

So it’s 9:40 at this point, I throw on some pants and drive to the closest store for some note cards. Wouldn’t you know it, I made it 10 minutes before they closed and I grabbed the absolute last pack of cards. Was this a sign from fate validating and urging me to continue on with my ideas? Or is it simply coincidence?

I don’t believe in coincidences.

Catch you guys later, I’ve got ideas that are begging to come to life.

Thoughts on My Dream Career

I want to be an author. I want to be one of those people who makes a living by storytelling.

This has been my ultimate dream for a very long time, quite honestly from as far back as I can remember.

I started out by crudely stapling 10 pieces of office paper together and coming up with Detective stories starring my brother and I. We would come up with very basic stories about murders or missing animals, and we would very horribly attempt to illustrate these literary masterpieces. My gift is my writing, not my drawing! That went on for quite some time…I only wish that they had been saved so I could show them all to you. We really had fun with it.

In 3rd grade, I discovered my love of acting as well. I learned that playing a role was an extension of writing. It was taking words that you did not write and expressing them with your own spin. There was a lot of fun to be had in that.
I was cast as Alex, the main character for our play “Alex in DinoLand”. I only remember two scenes:
The opening scene was supposed to be me simply coming out from side stage, sitting down on the edge and starting my monologue. I remember thinking that it was way too simple and deserved something a bit more imaginative. So what I did was, I came out from side stage and acted like I was using a machete to cut back thick overgrowth. I zigged and zagged for 30 seconds or so, then saw a “nice spot”, sat down, and pretended to fish. And while I was reeling, I started my monologue.
The second scene I distinctly remember is one where I completely forgot my lines the first run of the show. The play was obviously an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, and this scene was when I was talking to the caterpillar (who was some sort of dinosaur. All I remember is James’ aunt had made him a really cool looking outfit and I was jealous.) and there was dead silence as I realized I had no idea what I had to say next. My teacher ended up coming to the front of the stage and read me the first few words, then I handled it from there.

Overall, it was a great experience that I wish I had pursued throughout my education. Instead, I took college level classes, went home, maybe did my homework, and played video games to take up every last second of my free time. I did absolutely nothing extracurricularly to better myself or to find my passion.

4th – 6th grade, I remember being very excited about writing prompts. I knew I excelled at writing, but would never write in my free time. There were just too many video games to play. I’d write short stories that would blow my teachers minds out of the water. I watched as my English and writing scores blew through the roof until I was writing at a high school level.  But I did nothing with that skill.

Nothing.

This isn’t meant to bring me down, and I am certainly not unhappy with myself now. I’m just glad that I’ve finally found the sense to start making something of my gifts and actively pursuing my own betterment through this medium and community. The amount of bloggers I see on this site is astounding, and I love to see so many others who share my passion. It can take a lot to open yourself up to the world, and I have nothing but the utmost respect to those who do.

My next step is to keep posting on this blog every day, as much as I can. I was reading an article earlier saying how writing is a muscle, and that we as bloggers and writers and authors must use that muscle every day to get better at what we do. Something else that really stuck out to me was when he wrote that even if it’s crap, write EVERY day. Not every piece of work can be a masterpiece, I need to realize that. Utilizing this as a tool for the betterment of me as a writer is what I need to be thinking of.

This blog may begin to look a bit more random and personal than my original focus was set to. But you know? That’s okay.

Once I get enough skill, though I know that is completely relative, and in my mind I will probably never have enough, I will begin a book that I WILL finish. I want to see that money come in and see my phone explode with movie deals and book signings.

That’s my dream career right there.