Are emotions material?
Where is the line that separates physical from spiritual?
Can hate kill? Does fear really produce indescribable monsters from the darkest fogs of our imaginations? Can love really form an unconquerable bond that overcomes all?
If unleashed, could pure imagination make or destroy worlds?
Were the deepest, most secret halls and corridors of our minds brought to light and set free — thoughts, feelings, memories, fears and dreads — what would happen? What creations would be made? What messages would be communicated that would have otherwise remained silent?
What unspeakable horrors would be composed from emotion and imagination and thrust into reality?
Or are they already here? Is this even reality? What really is reality? Is it what we see or what we feel? Is there a difference?
Too many questions? Do you really want to know the answers?
Beware your emotions; if this weren’t reality, they could kill you.
Or is this reality?
What if we’re the ghosts?
Light is good; dark is bad. Happiness is good; pain is bad. Love is good; hate is bad. Beauty is good; ugly is bad.
Except when it’s not.
No matter who you are or where you are from, there are always some things that we all come to know as generally known and accepted facts. They are canon — general rules or principles that most everyone abides by. Many people get so used to things being a certain way that they come to take it for granted that that is how they will always stay. They cease to think about them.
In fact, altering them can turn downright terrifying.
One of the most fun and satisfying things to do as a writer is to ask “What if?” Another one is to turn the normal things into the things that make people shiver. What do you do when the places that have always kept you safe turn on you? What happens when the things that used to comfort you turn sinister?
It sounds like it should be difficult, but think about how many of those things that usually make people smile already can cause you chills at times. While a child’s laughter is a wonderful thing, a child’s laughter from the dark doorway of a charred, long-abandoned playroom does little to warm the heart. An innocent thing like a doll or a rocking chair can take on an entirely new and terrible appearance.
Many things can break a person’s spirit, but when you start to take away their safe places — or better yet, turn their safe places against them — it doesn’t take long for true desperation to set in. It can take many forms: the monster that doesn’t stop chasing you when the sun comes up; the demon that hides behind the eyes of an innocent child; death that comes in brightly colored beauty; the kind, grandmotherly deranged killer. So many creative opportunities present themselves when you place a character in a position where the light no longer protects them. What is left to them? Where else is there to turn? Does salvation reside in the dark where they would never have thought to look? Or is there something even worse?
These thoughts make you uncomfortable? To the writers, I say, good; it means you’re already thinking. Make the canon un-canon.
To the rest of you, you’re welcome; you needed a something to shake your mind up today.
Everyone has their opinions about the world. Most people tend to be pretty set in their thoughts. Writers are no different, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Opinions are like faces: everyone has one, no two people’s are the same, and not everyone is going to like yours.
For many writers, the crafting of their work is the only outlet for their outlook on the world, their ideals instinctively being ingrained into the words and actions of their characters.
However, without opposition, there can be no conflict. Without conflict, therein rarely lies any remarkable story. To make a story truly complete, a writer cannot fail to delve into the opinions and beliefs of those that directly oppose his own. It is impossible to show a set of beliefs to be in the right without offering another up for comparison. Someone who is too set in his own ways to hear the thoughts of others is blind. Someone who is too afraid to face an argument that could put his beliefs in doubt or up for debate is a coward and not himself convinced of the things he professes.
I believe that a good writer cannot afford to be either of these things.
Exploring the world from every facet is one of the most important jobs that a writer takes on. It is our job to explore the places that others rarely go and question the things that others take for granted as fact. It is our place to turn reality on its side and ask the hard questions. What if gravity went up? What really makes the bumps in the night? What if the greatest world-held truth turned out to be an elaborate lie?
People may call us crazy, but we will see things that they will never dream of.
Think for a moment why you read.
Now think about the kind of people you read about.
Now think for another moment about why people write about those people.
Life for most people is boring. We read and write to escape into another room of the universe where there are interesting people. But the thing about imaginary people is that they are still just as boring as real ones unless they do interesting things. Yes, average or even weak people can make for interesting stories, but only if they are exposed to extraordinary circumstances. It can sometimes be therapeutic to write about such general day to day life, but no one wants to take the time to read about someone who lives their drab day to day life and never encounters any difficulty to overcome.
The best people to write or read about are the ones who fail, the ones who are beaten down, the ones who fall over and over and over again… and then get back up and do something about it.
The people who are worth our time are the ones who face down the dragon and get stomped on, but survive. They nurse their wounds into scars and then they hunt the dragon down and try again to save the day, even though it could very much mean their end.
Some people accept their dull, boring lives. Some people accept defeat as finality. Some people even fight their whole lives for a success or victory that they never actually wanted.
But some people take the plunge. They open themselves to the opportunity to fail. They fall. But that gives them the chance to get up even stronger, to change things, to make a good story. Those are the people who are worth my time to create.
One of the most liberating things about writing fiction is the ability to be completely honest.
Honesty is an increasingly rare and frowned upon opportunity. As a writer however, you have the freedom to say whatever you want about anyone or anything… and the beautiful thing is that no one even has to know.
This, I think, is one of the greatest appeals of fiction writing. You can express your thoughts or feelings on any subject, no matter how controversial, but you can literally invent another person to say it for you. You can show it through any situation that you can create. You can wrap it up in an analogy that people may never even see through. But you get to say it, and that’s what matters. That’s more than a lot of people ever get.
Your only limitation is your imagination and your ability to come up with creative and interesting disguises for what you want to say.
Then all that matters is whether or not you have something worth saying, because in the end, that’s what really matters.
I am a writer.
The characters I create are not me.
They are a part of me.
They are the part of me who is
They are the parts I hide.
The parts I wish to be,
The parts I have been,
And the parts I will be.
Every story is based on a truth… My truth.
I know not everyone is an Arnold Schwarzenegger fan, but I also think that good words are good words, no matter who says them.
So often, whether in writing or in career or just life in general, people want a step guide to success. They want a way to be rich and famous that’s already planned out for them. They think they’re willing to do what it takes to be successful, but they want someone else to find the way for them.
I think that people have lost sight of what success really is. It’s not about just being rich or famous; it’s about dedicating yourself to something worthwhile and then putting in the time to see it through. It’s about working your way through the obstacles and making yourself better so that you can do or make something great. They want to pass over what Arnold names as the most important rule of all: nothing worthwhile is gained without a lot of hard work.
“None of my rules of success,” he says, “will work unless you do.”
When it comes to success — no matter the area or subject it is applied to — I think we need to follow Arnold’s advice and just get back to the basics of what it means to dedicate yourself to something and then work hard and be creative until you have accomplished it to the best of your ability.
“You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in the pockets.” ~Arnold Schwarzenegger~
I will come right out and say, I love good quotes, especially about writing. Such being the case, allow me to warn you in advance: many of my posts will most likely feature or derive from some random quote that I took a fancy to that week. 😉
This probably sums up almost every urge to write that I have ever had.
How many times while reading have you come across a small jewel of a thought that stuck with you and made you think, “It would be cool if someone took that concept and took it farther, or maybe in a totally different direction. Someone should write that story.”
The good news is, you thought of it, possibly before anyone else. The question is, what are you gonna do with it? I mean really, you thought of it, so who better to carry on with it than its originator? Who knows better how this story should go than you, the person who is right now wishing it into existence? If you are a writer, you have been given a gift and an opportunity that would be a shame to squander. You have the chance to create something that no one else can make, because no one else can write like you.
There comes a point for every person when they start to think about their life. They think about where they’ve been, what they’ve done, and where they’re going. At some point along this thought process, they should start to realize that, whether for the better or the worse, their life did not happen the way they thought it would when they were a kid.
No matter who you are, you can most likely look back and find at least one small thing that childhood you wanted to do or be that just never happened. Yes life happens. Yes, it’s probably a good thing that older you realized that becoming Batman or a princess wasn’t the most realistic of aspirations. But there is always that one thing that you wish you had done but just didn’t have time for in the end.
True, I, personally, have not quite reached the age of looking back on things that can now never be, but what about when I do? What will I one day look back on to find that I got busy with life and just never got around to doing it?
Along this line of thinking, I realized that the one thing that I would most hate to lose into that time abyss is my writing.
Starting as a pastime and evolving into an obsession, creating stories has been a large part of my life throughout my teens and to present day. It was something I cared about greatly and my biggest hope was to someday have a published work. But, with graduation came things like full-time jobs, bills, rent, and all the other fun responsibilities that come with adulthood and, over the last few years, writing has begun to take more and more or a sideline.
This blog is my hopeful attempt to not allow my writing to disappear from my life. I believe it is too important to me to let “life happen” without it. So, I am beginning this venture with the hope that it will help me to keep it there, in some form at least. I hope that those of you who come with me on this venture will be able to glean some inspiration for some of your own projects, or just some enjoyment from the various topics that I find to explore.