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(Fark)   "Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt." -William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure. This is your Fark Writer's Thread, "That was the best quote I could find on starting something" edition   ( fark.com) divider line
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152 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 07 Mar 2018 at 2:45 PM (32 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-03-07 02:19:28 PM  
In case you missed it, we kicked off the third annual Fark Fiction Anthology last week!  You can find the announcement thread here.

We've already started to get a good number of submissions in, so don't delay!  To recap, we're looking for short, original fiction from the Fark community, up to 10K words in length, in any of the following genres:

Fantasy
Science Fiction
Humor
Horror
Suspense/mystery/thriller


There's no minimum length requirement, but no more than three entries per alt, please.  Submit here!
 
2018-03-07 03:58:05 PM  
The best time to start was ten years ago.
The second-best time... is right now.
 
2018-03-07 04:25:44 PM  
Three pages into the new script this week.  Also started the new writing class I mentioned before.  I'm 80% sure it's a cult, but it's one with good guest speakers so... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Specifically, it's a cult about using writing to talk about yourself.  Your life, especially the most traumatic moments of it.  The instructor is big on finding the biggest trauma in a character's past and using the story to explore/confront it.  That's a good way of attacking characterization and story mechanics, but they're also big on using your own trauma to sell yourself as a writer.  'Your story (complete with icky stuff) is your brand,' that sort of thing.  I'm all for using what you know to inform writing and make it more immediate and powerful, but I got into this because I love good stories of the non-icky variety.  I'm FAR more likely to watch iZombie and Legends of Tomorrow than This is Us.  Not sure where that leaves me.

My class participation might look a lot like this
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-03-07 04:27:40 PM  
I'm currently working on my entry for the anthology, and have only a vague understanding of where it will go. But here's the raw first draft to date of my (allegedly) humorous piece:

Making Archibald Great Again
D. Paul Angel
Humor
x,xxx words


Archibald walked along the shore, enjoying the feel of the fine black sand under his feet as the growing dusk leached ever more of its stinging heat. The waves roared as they crashed out on the breakers, adding a lulling bass note to the trilling treble of the terns and gulls. He turned to face the sun as it edged ever closer to the horizon, giving a pastel, rosé wash to the billowing clouds marching off to sea, as the flowing tide wrapped itself against his feet.

And ankles.

And calfs.

And knees before receding back.

He braced against the outgoing flow, but found it wasn't as strong as he'd expected, even if it had splashed against his butt as it went. He'd always loved watching the ocean wash across his feet, the chaotic eddies it formed in its haste, and how he sank ever so more into the sand. Now as he looked down he realized that he was unexpectedly naked.

And tan.

And- ripped?  He also began wondering if his glasses were, for lack of a better term, selectively magnifying things, especially his-

WHUMPH!

The log slammed into his middle, knocking the wind out of him and dropping him to the sand.  It was covered in a wet mat of coarse, fetid hair, and was so heavy he couldn't move, could barely breathe! Then a harsh cry pierced through the surging Sea's succoring symphony:

AEghAEGHAiauHihEoUhaEAhghGHEEHGHAioih​u​gHGHUgHeuhgHEUGHagheAU!

Like a fell beast of hell with tuberculosis, its wet, gurgling rattle filled his ears, while a stench, not unlike an anthropomorphized garbage truck with halitosis, pushed deeper into his nose with every strained gasp.

And then darkness.

Waking darkness.

Alert near darkness.

An oddly incongruent darkness though. One with a rectangle's yellowish lines gently glowing in the near distance, an irregularly flashing green dot of light well away to his left, and a bright red glow to his right. Although it was a rather blurry red, there was clearly a pattern there.

He blinked.

He strained.

His eyes watered from the effort, but what strange message was this?  What arcane runes were these?  And was he worthy of their wisdom? Unless it ancient incantations? Or mayhaps dire, antediluvian rites? He had nearly given up, resigning himself to never knowing, when they resolved with a snap!

3:42

It was the alarm clock, it was the middle of the night, and this was their all too cheap motel. Archibald sighed as reality, in all its disappointing glory, set in.  He was sharing the bed with Burt, despite it having already felt small when it had only been him in it.  It took a few attempts to get Burt's arm off him because the sweat made his arm hair slippery, and it was a not insubstantial amount of flesh to move from a rather awkward angle.

Now that Archibald was awake, he knew the volume of Burt's rapacious snoring would make falling back asleep nigh on impossible.  He was still trying to decide what to do when the gas station nachos that had been last night's dinner demanded his immediate attention.  He made haste to the bathroom, closed the door, and turned on the light. In lieu of actually spinning, the bathroom's fan buzzed with the resonance of an electric motor straining against too heavy of a load.  He would have preferred darkness to the sound and faint smell of ozone, but the switch was too far away and the matters of the throne would brook no such interlude, no matrter how brief.

Blessedly, the nachos wanted to quit his acquaintance as badly as he did theirs, so there wasn't nearly as much paperwork he thought there'd be.  Plus the buildup of ozone wasn't so bad that that a fire seemed imminent, so after flushing and turning off the light/death fan he felt like he was through the worst of it.

"The fark's wrong with you Archie!?" Burt barked. "Waking me up in the middle of the night flushing the toilet so loudly I mean I gotta sleep ya know-"

"I had to use the bathroom," Archibald said.

"Yeah, my nose ain't blind you know?  It smells like shiat.  Now shut up cause I gotta sleep.  Big day tomorrow."

"Yeah," Archibald said mostly to himself, internally shrugging and looking to the clock which now read 4:04. Life not found he thought, giving up on the bed idea and heading to the lumpy and all to short loveseat.  He was tired enough that he might just be able to fall asleep after all, just so long as it took a bit for Burt to fall back asleep too.

AEghA
    EGHA
        iauHih
            EoUha
                EAhgh
                    GHEE
                        HGHAi
                            oihugH
                                GHUg
                            Heuhg
                        HEUG
                      HagheAU
      AEghA
          EGHA
             iauHih
                EoUha
            EAhgh
          GHEE
             HGHAi
                 oihugH
                     GHUg
                       Heuhg
                          HEUG
                            HagheAU


Dammit.

Archibald spent the rest of the evening trying to recapture the joy that had been that quiet tropical beach, but its essence had eluded him, even if the images had remained.  One of these days I really do need to go to Hawaii.  Or the Bahamas.  The Maldives?  No definitely not there, he thought, It's just too easy for me to mispronounce. At one point Burt's snoring abruptly stopped and Archibald snuggled into the rough fabric of the couch, happy to finally find some sleep sleep.  Then Burt ripped a loud, wet fart, before sighing and smugly snoring even louder.

The only way Archibald knew he had eventually slept was his shock and disorientation at the alarm going off.  It was loud enough, and jarring enough, that his first instinct upon standing was to see what was on fire. He wasn't wholly sure that there was no immediate danger until Burt fumbled with his phone and the noise abruptly ended.

"Too loud for you, huh, Archie?  Not me.  I sleep too hard for anything less than jet fighter to wake me. That's why it's called the sound of freedom.  Did you know that?  It's what keeps us free Arch."

"I just wasn't expecting it is all," Archibald said, trying to stop the fusillade of insults before it could get rolling.

"No one is!  No one.  Had to find it special.  Cost me $10 can you believe that?  Ten bucks for an app.  Now that's the racket, Arch.  'Apps.' Sweet baby Jesus on a swing can you believe the money this farker must making for the easiest work ever?  No busting his ass like the rest of us, just tappy-tappy-tappy on a keyboard," which Burt exaggeratedly mimed in time with his words. "It's called, 'Wanton Klaxon,' if you can believe it?  I mean, he names an alarm app after Chinese food and he's still getting money hand over fist.  Damn."

Archibald moved to correct Burt but then thought better of it.  Nothing good would come from it.  Nothing.

"You going to say some Archie?  Huh?  Surprised I know about Chinese food, huh?  Nah, I get it.  But, you know the food over there ain't nuthin' like what they serve here.  Nothin'.  So the way I figures it, Chinese food, the real stuff, not that third world shiat, is here.  So yeah, I know it."

He puffed his hairy chest out, daring Archibald to counter him.  Archibald demurred, and in a desperate panic, tried to change the subject. "No, I, uh, had just noticed your boxers and had never anything like them."

Burt looked down and beamed.  They were patterned as a faded, american flag with the blue square of stares up front, and the red and white stripes wrapping all the way around.  With bright red MAGA hat polka dots. Then Burt ran his thumbs around their waistline pulling them out in his pride much, much further than Archibald could have possibly dreaded, "They're made by MAGA Glory.  Great company.  Just the best.  They only make men's sizes too.  Nothing smaller than a 48 inch waist.  None of that rail thin 'hispter' shiat, real men only."

"Wow," Archibald said, truly at a loss for words.
 
2018-03-07 04:34:07 PM  

K.B.O. Winston: Three pages into the new script this week.  Also started the new writing class I mentioned before.  I'm 80% sure it's a cult, but it's one with good guest speakers so... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Specifically, it's a cult about using writing to talk about yourself.  Your life, especially the most traumatic moments of it.  The instructor is big on finding the biggest trauma in a character's past and using the story to explore/confront it.  That's a good way of attacking characterization and story mechanics, but they're also big on using your own trauma to sell yourself as a writer.  'Your story (complete with icky stuff) is your brand,' that sort of thing.  I'm all for using what you know to inform writing and make it more immediate and powerful, but I got into this because I love good stories of the non-icky variety.  I'm FAR more likely to watch iZombie and Legends of Tomorrow than This is Us.  Not sure where that leaves me.

My class participation might look a lot like this
[img.fark.net image 267x199]


While dealing with past traumas can be healthy and empowering, focusing in on it as a marketing tool just sounds like a recipe for disaster. I wish you the best, and hope it doesn't go too far off the rails.
 
2018-03-07 05:34:54 PM  
Scrabbling about for ideas for the new story collection; work has me at a place where it's hard to focus in off-time. Trying to recharge with some reading - currently downing some Bulgakov, with the new Joe Hill collection in the queue. Good luck, everyone!
 
2018-03-07 05:41:25 PM  

D_PaulAngel: While dealing with past traumas can be healthy and empowering, focusing in on it as a marketing tool just sounds like a recipe for disaster. I wish you the best, and hope it doesn't go too far off the rails.


Thanks!  Much appreciated!

The wacky part is I took this class because the person teaching it runs a prestigious fellowship, complete with small group/in-person tutelage.  I've gone from "I hope this will improve my odds" to "maybe I shouldn't even apply."

I'm not in a position to turn down serious career development, but the fact this class is online may be the only reason I get through it without people doubting my commitment to Sparkle Motion.
 
2018-03-07 05:58:23 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size

This is true for writing too.  Esp. #3.
 
2018-03-07 06:03:51 PM  
What a quote about starting something might look like:

I said you want to be starting something
You got to be starting something
I said you want to be starting something
You got to be starting something
It's too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
You're too low to get under (yeah, yeah)


Getting ready to start starting my Fark Anthology story.
Currently, I have a "premise" but I'm still developing the "character arc" turning that premise into an actual story.

Since my "day job" is freelance writing for the local newspaper, my writing sometimes gets interrupted by writing assignments. It is an interesting problem to have. There is nothing quite like attending the ribbon-cutting of a new museum at 3pm, writing a 600-word article and submitting it before 5pm, and then seeing my article on the front page of the next day's newspaper. "Yep, still got it. Back to writing my novel..."

As an aside, for Writers struggling to connect with their Muse, I recommend watching the cheesy 70s movie Xanadu, with music by ELO. Olivia Newton John plays a muse who comes to earth to assist a struggling painter, coming to live from his own painting:
ELO - I'm Alive (from Xanadu) (1980)
Youtube J9YIfEzXSHA

Olivia's song "Magic" is only played in the background in the movie, but is essentially about a Muse gently guiding her Protégé:

Come take my hand / You should know me
I've always been in your mind / You know that I'll be kind
I'll be guiding you

Building your dream / Has to start now
There's no other road to take / You won't make a mistake
I'll be guiding you

You have to believe we are magic / Nothing can stand in our way
You have to believe we are magic / Don't let your aim ever stray
And if all your hopes survive / Your destiny will arrive
I'll bring all your dreams alive / For you


In Roman mythology Terpsichore, the Muse of Dancing, was the favorite of her sisters.
Whenever she began dancing the other Muses would gather to watch her.
While, as a Historian, Kleio is the Muse guiding my pen, I have found that upbeat dance music always helps get the process started, and keeps my fingertips dancing across the keyboard.

Your mileage may vary.
 
2018-03-07 06:53:51 PM  
D_PaulAngel:

Nice, very enjoyable and sometimes all too vivid!  I hope it has a happy ending (like, something bad happening to Burt :) )

I got a little sidetracked by a couple of your word choices, though:  "succoring" and "rapacious" - neither one fits where you put them.
 
2018-03-07 08:07:45 PM  

nartreb: D_PaulAngel:

Nice, very enjoyable and sometimes all too vivid!  I hope it has a happy ending (like, something bad happening to Burt :) )

I got a little sidetracked by a couple of your word choices, though:  "succoring" and "rapacious" - neither one fits where you put them.


Thank you! I often write by instinct and I'll choose words that sound good for the beat or feel I'm going for, even though ultimately they don't mean what I thought they did. One of my dearest friends is an English major and it would drive her up a wall when she would read my early drafts, so as part of my editing process I now include looking up words such as these.
 
2018-03-07 08:24:31 PM  

D_PaulAngel: I'm currently working on my entry for the anthology, and have only a vague understanding of where it will go. But here's the raw first draft to date of my (allegedly) humorous piece:

Making Archibald Great Again
D. Paul Angel
Humor
x,xxx words


Archibald walked along the shore, enjoying the feel of the fine black sand under his feet as the growing dusk leached ever more of its stinging heat. The waves roared as they crashed out on the breakers, adding a lulling bass note to the trilling treble of the terns and gulls. He turned to face the sun as it edged ever closer to the horizon, giving a pastel, rosé wash to the billowing clouds marching off to sea, as the flowing tide wrapped itself against his feet.

And ankles.

And calfs.

And knees before receding back.

He braced against the outgoing flow, but found it wasn't as strong as he'd expected, even if it had splashed against his butt as it went. He'd always loved watching the ocean wash across his feet, the chaotic eddies it formed in its haste, and how he sank ever so more into the sand. Now as he looked down he realized that he was unexpectedly naked.

And tan.

And- ripped?  He also began wondering if his glasses were, for lack of a better term, selectively magnifying things, especially his-

WHUMPH!

The log slammed into his middle, knocking the wind out of him and dropping him to the sand.  It was covered in a wet mat of coarse, fetid hair, and was so heavy he couldn't move, could barely breathe! Then a harsh cry pierced through the surging Sea's succoring symphony:

AEghAEGHAiauHihEoUhaEAhghGHEEHGHAioihu​gHGHUgHeuhgHEUGHagheAU!

Like a fell beast of hell with tuberculosis, its wet, gurgling rattle filled his ears, while a stench, not unlike an anthropomorphized garbage truck with halitosis, pushed deeper into his nose with every strained gasp.

And then darkness.

Waking darkness.

Alert near darkness.

An oddly incongruent darkness though. One with a rectangle's yellowish lines gently glowing in the near ...


That's good. You have a gift for a nice turn of a phrase.

Like a fell beast of hell with tuberculosis

That's a lovely description.
 
2018-03-07 09:10:43 PM  
So this week my 32 year old cousin was killed in a freak work accident. And tonight a tree fell on my house.  (Mr Spawn and cat-spawns all ok.)
Everything sucks and I'm done being an adult.  You will recognize my submission to the anthology because it will be in crayon.
If anything else bad happens I will dip my tentacles in blood and write my story that way.
 
2018-03-08 12:00:39 AM  

Spawn_of_Cthulhu: So this week my 32 year old cousin was killed in a freak work accident. And tonight a tree fell on my house.  (Mr Spawn and cat-spawns all ok.)
Everything sucks and I'm done being an adult.  You will recognize my submission to the anthology because it will be in crayon.
If anything else bad happens I will dip my tentacles in blood and write my story that way.


I'm so sorry, that's a helluva lot to land on you. I'm also sorry for your loss, that's just horrible, but I'm glad you, Mrs. Spawn, and the cats are OK. Take care.
 
2018-03-08 12:02:40 AM  

Wenchmaster: D_PaulAngel: I'm currently working on my entry for the anthology, and have only a vague understanding of where it will go. But here's the raw first draft to date of my (allegedly) humorous piece:

Making Archibald Great Again
D. Paul Angel
Humor
x,xxx words


Archibald walked along the shore, enjoying the feel of the fine black sand under his feet as the growing dusk leached ever more of its stinging heat. The waves roared as they crashed out on the breakers, adding a lulling bass note to the trilling treble of the terns and gulls. He turned to face the sun as it edged ever closer to the horizon, giving a pastel, rosé wash to the billowing clouds marching off to sea, as the flowing tide wrapped itself against his feet.

And ankles.

And calfs.

And knees before receding back.

He braced against the outgoing flow, but found it wasn't as strong as he'd expected, even if it had splashed against his butt as it went. He'd always loved watching the ocean wash across his feet, the chaotic eddies it formed in its haste, and how he sank ever so more into the sand. Now as he looked down he realized that he was unexpectedly naked.

And tan.

And- ripped?  He also began wondering if his glasses were, for lack of a better term, selectively magnifying things, especially his-

WHUMPH!

The log slammed into his middle, knocking the wind out of him and dropping him to the sand.  It was covered in a wet mat of coarse, fetid hair, and was so heavy he couldn't move, could barely breathe! Then a harsh cry pierced through the surging Sea's succoring symphony:

AEghAEGHAiauHihEoUhaEAhghGHEEHGHAioihu​gHGHUgHeuhgHEUGHagheAU!

Like a fell beast of hell with tuberculosis, its wet, gurgling rattle filled his ears, while a stench, not unlike an anthropomorphized garbage truck with halitosis, pushed deeper into his nose with every strained gasp.

And then darkness.

Waking darkness.

Alert near darkness.

An oddly incongruent darkness though. One with a rectangle's yellowish lines gently glowing in the near ...

That's good. You have a gift for a nice turn of a phrase.

Like a fell beast of hell with tuberculosis

That's a lovely description.


Thank you! It's really hard with humor to know if it actually works or not, so I'm glad it is.
 
2018-03-08 01:16:03 AM  

Spawn_of_Cthulhu: So this week my 32 year old cousin was killed in a freak work accident. And tonight a tree fell on my house.  (Mr Spawn and cat-spawns all ok.)


My condolences on your loss. I had a cousin about that age just drop dead one night. It always seems harder with somebody so young passing so unexpectedly. The worst part is all the meaningless platitudes from well-meaning friends.

I give you permission to grieve in your own way, for as long as you feel necessary.

Of course, you don't need my permission to do that.

Looking forward to reading your anthology submissions written in crayon, and not in blood.
 
2018-03-08 11:38:23 AM  

Spawn_of_Cthulhu: So this week my 32 year old cousin was killed in a freak work accident. And tonight a tree fell on my house.  (Mr Spawn and cat-spawns all ok.)
Everything sucks and I'm done being an adult.  You will recognize my submission to the anthology because it will be in crayon.
If anything else bad happens I will dip my tentacles in blood and write my story that way.


Very sorry for your loss. I'm 32 and recently survived a freak accident that easily could have killed me. And then my roughly 69-year-old uncle died this week. I'm going to have to stop my brain from thinking about how his funeral could have easily been my own.
 
2018-03-08 03:12:07 PM  

Spawn_of_Cthulhu: So this week my 32 year old cousin was killed in a freak work accident. And tonight a tree fell on my house.  (Mr Spawn and cat-spawns all ok.)
Everything sucks and I'm done being an adult.  You will recognize my submission to the anthology because it will be in crayon.
If anything else bad happens I will dip my tentacles in blood and write my story that way.


I'm so sorry for your loss, though I'm relieved to hear that your household got through the unexpected tree okay.  Feel free to Magnetic Poetry that anthology entry.  I bet you'd rock it!
 
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