A Pasty Man

I’ve been struggling recently to write, so I’ve come up with this little idea to get things going; I’m going to try and write 200 words per day, and finish a short story with in the next few days. Once I’m settled back into a routine, I can go back and start working again on my longer works.

So, here you go:

Pasty skin, pasty lips, pasty everything. He had been born with a coat of ivory, and had gone through his teenager years being called “vampire”, “albino”, and “Mr. Freeze” by a kid with chipped tooth and a never-fading black eye. As a young man, he had spent two years and a couple of hundred greens on tanning sprays which turned him orange, and tanning sessions that he quit after his first cancer scare. At the age of twenty-two, he settled his vendetta with his skin-tone, and realized that perhaps he would forever remain pasty. The decision came slow, after being called paper-thin by ex no. 1, ex no. 2, and ex no. 4. His color wasn’t a big deal, he reasoned; some countries have populations that are even paler than he was, so just because his fellow country men had a nice glisten to their tone, it didn’t mean that handsomeness was bound to it. He was over it, except for when he pickpocket his sister’s bronzer on a few occasional dates (but he didn’t own, and that was all that mattered!). He never ever brushed it on his face though; only over his abs- or ab.
It was one particular day that he felt oddly confident…

Novel update

So, even though I had the momentum going for a couple of months, I haven’t been writing the last two. I keep trying to get back to Teacup Rebel, but it can’t get past typos, grammar, and plot holes even to power through the first draft. 

So far, I’m only writing two or three days per week max, and rarely ever hit the 1000 words mark. Very disappointing. 

Hopefully, I will be able to show more commitment from now on. I need to get more serious. 

So, anyone else having this problem?

 

Chasing after the first word

Writing doesn’t always come easy; regardless of how talented you are. It might be a strained muscle or voices muffled under the weight of life. Recently I’ve been chasing after the first word; the end of the string. I want to pull at the first word and then tug the whole novel back towards me chapter by chapter. But do you know how hard it is to find the right string once you’ve let it go? 

Sometimes we forget we’ve been holding our inspiration for too long, and we let it go. We let it slip from between our tips. 

Where did it go? It’s not there any longer.

Suddenly you’re not connected anymore, and all you could think about is:

It’s a key in the sea now. I won’t find it again.

Should you give up. No. So how do you get it back?

 

Raise or fold?

Isn’t “now” terrifying? Standing here in the midst of life, and thinking “that’s it?”.

This is the best moment of your life, and it’s mediocre at best. The thing is: you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing. The timesheet is punched in, and you’re hunched down over a document. On the 30th, dollars are transferred in your account. Hunger never grazed you, but are you happy? If five years from tomorrow was a copy of today, would you still put in the effort to breathe?

You pay a high price for security. You fantasize about it too, don’t you? Throwing it all away.

The heck with safe.

How about you chase your dreams with a craved in stomach? How about you never sleep warm again? Without a security blanket, you’d have  to succeed because your life depends on it, you think.

But there in the dark, even deeper inside of you than the self destructive fantasy, a voice of reason speaks to you; you’re not one in a million, you’re one of a million. Isn’t it terrifying? Now is not good enough, but it’s all you could ever risk to be.

Which would it be: Raise or fold?

Beware of the editing Succubus

The editing succubus, or in my case Incubus, has seduced me again. I’ve been stuck at 44,000 words for a while now, trying to fix the story line and add more details into the old chapter. On the good side, I’m still oppressing my obsession about spelling and sticky sentences- I keep telling myself there is no point in editing now when I could easily remove a chunk of text and toss it tomorrow. On the other not-so-good side, I keep rewriting chapter 3 and trying to come up with ways to improve it and then going back. I’m stuck in Groundhog Day, and it’s tiring! 

Anyway I’ve got to get over this hiccup, vanquish my demons, and get some wordage down. Any tips?

Moving from Fanfiction to writing original stories

I know a lot of writers frown upon fan fiction, but I’ve done it and loved it.

I published my first in 2009, and it sucked. The next few ones sucked even more, with no plots and the punctuation of two year old. Yet, with every review I got, the need to improve filled me, and it pushed me to put more effort into my writing.

About a two years later, I wasn’t a huge success but I had a bunch of people following my stories. I got hooked watching the stats of my chapters move up; views from tens rising to hundreds or thousands with one or two of my most popular stories. I enjoyed opening up my email after posting a new chapter, and having notifications with reviews and comments that I didn’t need to beg for. I don’t write for the stats, but knowing that what I wrote was being read was almost orgasmic (sorry, didn’t mean to sound like a perve).

Fan fiction is easy. The people read your work not because it’s amazing, but because it’s about characters they love. Plus, give anyone two interesting characters, and the scenes basically write themselves. It came to me effortless, especially that I was writing uncomplicated stories that I didn’t need to research. I knew I needed to write something that was 100% mine.

So I moved on to original fiction. When I posted a chapter, and it maybe got one or two comments, and only because I begged for them. I wasn’t getting my fix of views or comments anymore. I wasn’t being read; and it went right through my self-confidence, like a hammer through a vase.

I didn’t write fan fiction for a while afterwards, and somehow it managed to wean me off the gratification of the stats. I put my fingers to the keyboard, and I decided not to care because ‘I was working up to having stories that deserved to be read’. 

Anyway, today I opened up my email to a message from girl with fan art she had drawn based on my fan fiction. She dedicated it to me, and it made me miss my stats and my readers. I wonder if in the future someone will draw fan art based on my original stories…

 Any experiences moving from fan fiction to original one?

Snippet from “Teacup Rebel” and an update

The black-hole of editing and rewriting had sucked me back in. For some reason I stopped at chapter 11, and decided to go back and re-write a couple of earlier chapters. I’m suck at 45,500 words! 

This is the opening of the novel, right before the first chapter. I wrote it a couple of years ago. If you have any thoughts, please let me know. 

 

Coal black eyes gazed out of the window onto the gleaming city lights. As the breeze gusted against his pale flesh, his lips parted in a supple smile. Looking from the summit onto the small buildings far beneath; he felt gigantic for the first time in his life.

Suddenly, huge hands pulled the curtains shut; stripping away his freedom. He backed away from the closed window, and could only see steal. Rods of cold metal caged him inside. Realization set on him.

Tatsuo turned around and glared in resentment at the aloof interior of the pet shop he had spent his life trapped inside. Dozens of his kind enslaved in cages and stacked over the shelves. They were smaller than a child’s Barbie; tiny in size and frail, yet so similar to humans in appearance.

Like his kind, he had a petite body and an ‘insignificant’ soul. Why would he matter? He was a forlorn Chibi.

The real giants, humans, were the ones in command of his life. He would starve if the Chibi store owner didn’t feed him. He would be mauled if he ever tried to break out; Escaping was out of the question if he didn’t want to face the same end his mother had suffered.

He shivered as a cat peeked at him from outside the cage. The feline bared its fangs, forcing him to crawl into one corner. His heart hitched; face tainting in a hue of red. He was vulnerable and exposed.

That was when something snapped inside of him. He had had enough fear. He would not feel puny and helpless again. Unfaltering, he decided that someday he would take the world by a storm.

‘One day’, he swore, ‘Chibis will get their revenge.’