Ideas Versus Plot Versus Characters

Upon looking over a bunch of stories, I figured something out which kind of makes me get what I am trying to do with my writing, and what causes some of my shortfalls.

And that is, I like stories around an idea.

Now, I don’t mean that as an implication that stories often don’t have an idea behind them; I mean different stories have different priorities. Continue reading

Flash Fiction: Broadcast (Part 2 of 3)

(In case you haven’t read it yet, here’s a link to part 1)

“Now we’re talking. Careful with the camera then. I’m doing first contact here. A huge step.”

“I’m sure someone already beat you to that.”

“Not on a live web feed.”

A rumble, somewhere, shook the ceiling. A few tiny rocks plopped down and made the water again ripple. The sensation of something stalking them was prevalent. And not altogether impossible. It was egg-like. There could be a mother. Continue reading

Knowing Your Own Tropes

I speak from experience when I say: if you write enough, fast enough, you will repeat yourself. And you will notice that you are repeating yourself.

And I don’t just mean certain words or phrases or descriptions. I mean entire plot points. Character types. Ways to have a situation play out—down to the pacing of it. Your artistic “voice” is like a thumbprint, and you can’t help but put it on everything you touch.

And, since I am—perhaps—too aware of myself, I worked out some of my “tropes” and trappings, which I cannot help but do. When I brainstorm, these are what I will go for as an automatic thing. And, since I figured it might be fun, I’ll present a few of them in a random order as I think of them. Continue reading

Flash Fiction: Broadcast (Part 1 of 3)

(Due to some time distortions, and several Gods, I am getting this out to you a little late. Hope you enjoy it all the same, and I should be able to get thing back to relative normal soon.)

Somethings should not be on camera.

I call this story:

Broadcast

“Are we live?”

The light shined weak against the skin.

“Yeah, this is live. We’ve got…ten viewers already.”

“Okay, wow.”

“Getting a clear image is hard. The camera doesn’t like it.”

“No, I’m betting it doesn’t.” Continue reading

Flash Fiction: New Age Virus (Part 3 of 3)

(Due to an error on my part, I don’t have a discussion article for Wednesday. Instead, here is the finale to the three part story of a man and his computer. If you haven’t read them yet here’s part 1 and part 2.)

 NEW AGE VIRUS


Segmented boxes flashed up on screen and he perused them, watching counters tick up and down in wide amounts until one was within acceptable range for him to join the conversation.

Well, “conversation” may have been a stretch of a word choice, as down in this level, the communication was numbers and code words and strange symbols zooming across the screen like news tickers on a major network. A series of waving lines showed he could speak now if he wanted to, and Bernard did not feel like keeping up the typing speed required for full immersion.

“Auditory. Virus. Attack.” Continue reading

Flash Fiction: New Age Virus (Part 2 of 3)

(For those who have not read it, here’s part 1)

The response took five minutes. The incoming message symbol fluctuating several times in the span of only seconds. This irked Bernard, but he was willing to observe patience if this was indeed something as interesting as he hoped.

Yeah. It is.

Under one second it took Bernard to type a response.

When and where did you get these pictures?

From a forum. Week old. Continue reading

The Clever Stuff

Three of my favorite shows of all time: Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica. What do these all have in common? Well: they’re damn clever.

And, as I’ve mentioned before, I try to pull off the same sort of clever stuff in my work to the detriment of my actual story. But, this is my counterargument to myself, to that article I wrote. Can you really blame me for idolizing that aspect of media when I keep seeing someone (or rather groups of show staff) pull it off like it was effortless whenever I bother to sit down in front of a television? Continue reading

Flash Fiction: New Age Virus (Part 1 of 3)

In present day, technology is already changing our lives. But it can go a lot further. A story not so far-fetched called:

New Age Virus

Part 1

— 

Bernard Burn, resident of 1010 Parry Street, sat and glared at the string of symbols on his computer monitor. Without looking away, he pulled at the skin beneath his eyes, trying to make them less dry, and less exhausted.

The room: dark, but he did not turn on the light. If he did, the fan would turn on, and Bernard was already too cold in his house. He was never without his blue, too big for him jacket. He shivered and continued looking at the rows and rows of numerical and alphabetical gibberish. Continue reading

Taking Stock And Being Better

Okay, so, here we go. The new year. 2017. A fresh chance, after a year which was a little…umm, turmoiled for people. Myself included. Though most of it began it’s growing period the year before and only came to fruition after it finished fermenting. I used to call the onrushing changes which I could see coming “The Wave”. And when it continued for even longer than expected, I called it “The Rollback.” Continue reading

New Year’s Book Cheers (Part 2)

Another year, another set of books I read. Here are reviews of some of them.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Now, let it be known that I don’t like romantic comedies—with a few exceptions (2015’s Man Up and 2013’s Not Another Happy Ending being my weaknesses—Simon Pegg and Karen Gillan are joys). I just cannot get into them. And, as a guy, I’m not expected to do so. But, for whatever reason, I read a lot of romance novels. Blame it on me liking Paper Towns by John Green so much, I guess. In any case, I ended up reading both this and one of its sequels, The Boy Most Likely To, and found them both strong in the same way: realistic, lived-in characters—even with a huge cast—and surprisingly complex moral dilemmas. The characters end up facing huge, realistic gray morality conundrums, and though the solutions for them are not perhaps what the audience wants (and might be a little too neat and clean), it is still a compelling puzzler for how a person would deal with them up until that point. And, for that, and some genuinely sweet romantic moments, it is worth a recommendation if romance novels are your thing. Continue reading

Christmas Collection #1: Favorite Flash Fiction! “Flash Fiction: Across A Year”

(Originally posted July 16, 2016)


I have no idea if the weight of two people on the hood of a car is good for it. But I don’t care. It holds us up in more than one way.

I stare out at them, the stars, and I think a lot of things. I’m told that’s a pretentious thing to say. I’m told we live in a world full of clichés and platitudes. And yet, like so many before me, I like looking at them, and wondering.

“You’re thinking again,” she says, and I like to hear that voice of hers.

I like to look at her too, even if it’s only this time for a brief sidelong glance. Continue reading

Christmas Collection #2: Favorite Microfiction! “Microfiction: Piano Player”

(Originally posted October 17th, 2015)


“I get to play. I get to play. Wrong note. Wrong note. Wrong note. Wrong note. Wrong note.” His little fingers leave red marks on the white keys.

“Hahahahaha. Don’t you love the songs I play?”

His wrists dislocate. The music gets faster. Continue reading

Christmas Collection #4: Scariest Fiction! “Flash Fiction: Waking Nightmares”

(Originally posted March 11th, 2015)


For those that don’t read the comments at the end of my articles (read: everyone), my blogger friend Nemo proposed the idea of a story that used a location as the central character. (You can read the conversation here: Click me). I decided it sounded like a cool idea.

Here’s my attempt at it.

It’s called:

Waking Nightmares

It occurred to me on a random summer night, while I was laying on the singular bed inside a house with no fewer than fifty rooms, that I will never kill anyone. Continue reading

Christmas Collection #5: Funniest Fiction! “Flash Fiction: Complicated And Nuanced”

(Originally posted April 2nd, 2016)


Nobody ever said creating art was easy.

A flash fiction called:

Complicated And Nuanced

“AHHHH!” the man screamed at the empty sheet of paper, making it move in a slight, wavering fashion on the mahogany wood table.

He reared back, his face taking on a bluish tinge, and he breathed in and out. The man sounded, vaguely, like a squeaky toy caught underneath a car’s tire. Continue reading