Radio Silence

I know that I have never really been good at updating this blog in a proper/timely manner.  This is something that those of you genuinely interested in what I have to say have likely noticed. I tend to deem these extended periods of time “Radio Silence,” despite the mixing of medium metaphors. Honestly, I’m not happy with these periods, would very much like them to stop, and therefore be more prompt with my writings/blogging. Whether it’s a blog published elsewhere on the web or just a general update on my work and progress, there really is no reason I cannot post more frequently… besides willing myself to get up off my ass (or sit down on it, I suppose) and actually do so.

And aside from my extended blogging in 2017 for Sideshow.com, I have not been all that productive. I’ll spare you the laundry list of lame excuses and understandable reasons. Except one…

Genre writers and storytellers are sponges.  What I mean by that is, we see the world around us, absorb it, filter it, then spit it back out as something new we can call our own.  When things are bad, we create dystopian dramas with unlikely underdogs fighting back against oppressive regimes. When things are good, we create fantastic adventures through space and time, boldly creating and discovering new wonders throughout the universe.

To put it mildly, the state of the world around us right now… isn’t good. Absorbing and viewing in the swirling garbage around us, for me personally, makes it more difficult to feel creative. But you don’t really need to hear about my general malaise at the current state of our political, social, and natural environments. You’ve seen it. You know what is happening. I’m sure you are sick of it too, and wish for some big changes.

So I blocked it all out.

I have always been hesitant to post any social or political views here. I also try to avoid it on Twitter and Facebook aside from the occasional share/retweet which, let’s be honest, is the political equivalent of saying “Yes, I agree with you, but I’m gonna do it from behind this shrubbery where the bad guys can’t see me.”

I think that needs to change.

I know many readers prefer not to have a writer’s political/social views shoved down their throats. But no matter what you are reading, chances are that is exactly what is happening whether you realize it or not. I think it would be impossible for a writer not to include at least a little of their personal beliefs in their works. Whether it is intended is another matter entirely.

Where was I going with this long ramble?  Oh… right… Basically, I need to not be afraid to state my mind. Share my opinions, even if some people may find them unpopular. I think guarding my opinions so closely has been stifling my creativity in a way, because I didn’t want to anger the limited readership I have gained because of a differing opinion.
I think that is all I wanted to say for right now. Hopefully, this will be the first of many new blogs for 2018.
Thanks for stopping by,
– DAC

San Diego Comic Con 2017 Survival Guide

SDCC

There are a series of articles currently on Sideshow.com (written by myself) with helpful tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your SDCC Experience!  Check them out below!

SDCC Survival Guide Part 1: Pre-Show Planning

SDCC Survival Guide Part 2: Advice, Tips, & Tricks

SDCC Survival Guide Part 3: Keeping Updated on News

Enjoy and hope to see you on the convention floor!

 

Fledgling Ideas – Development

When you decide to become a writer, there are certain struggles you need to come to terms with. The first is that it will never be easy, and rejection is a difficult yet inevitable part of the process. Another struggle can be time management, the when/where/how of sitting down and physically typing words. This is especially true if you are writing around your time at a day job, as most new writers are. There never seem to be enough hours in the day, and there are few things worse than writing drowsy. Yeah, those pages always end up getting rewritten later.

Today’s struggle is about the development stage and nurturing the ideas that spring forth from your cranium space. Every writer does this slightly differently. Some sit and meticulously outline to the tiniest detail on every plot point and character. Other writers let it all flow naturally from the pen tip to the page with little planning. Many call this “seat of your pants” writing, or “pantsing.” I call it “going commando.” Don’t judge.

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Not wearing pants…
Most writers fall between these two extremes, including myself. I outline some, usually to get started, but it’s always very loose. Just a few ideas of what I want to touch on to get from point A to point C, and usually some important dialogue bits I want to include. This is done earlier in the day, around lunch time and during breaks, but I keep a pad of paper next to me in case I get a good idea at an inopportune time. Once I get home in the evening, I use that loose outline to direct my “commando.”  Sometimes the outlined points and dialogue gets used, sometimes better ideas come along, and sometimes they just doesn’t seem to work.

This is all well and good once you have a basic idea of what your story is, who your characters are, and what you want to say with the larger work. It’s more difficult when a new idea sparks inside you. Those times when the tiny light bulb goes off, and you find yourself mumbling out loud “Now, that’s an interesting idea.”  How do you take that and give it life?

This is where I am right now. I had an idea, and I think it is a pretty good one. Problem is, I’m not sure if this idea is short story material or if the concept is enough to be a novel. I don’t know who the supporting cast will be, what subplots will be present, or what the overall theme would be. All I have is a general plot idea and a main character, and even he (or she) is on the bubble.

So what do you do when this happens to you? What is your process of growing and cultivating the idea into a workable story?  Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

Till next time,

DC

Writing Prompt Wednesday – What’s in the box?

From now on, Writing Prompt posts will be on Wednesdays. Mainly so I have a bit more structure to stick to. Plus, Writing Prompt Wednesdays just rolls off the tongue, don’t you think?

Other posts about life, news, writing, and the like will pop up from time to time when I need to get something out of my brain, lest I  have some sort of Scanners type incident.

So, Writing Prompt Wednesday is officially a go.

There is the trope of the mystery box, one that has been around since the times of ancient Greece, with Pandora and her little gift. Your character or characters find themselves in a similar predicament, with an item of mysterious contents somehow coming into their possession. Do they open it? Do they not? What is inside? Who is affected if the box remains closed or if it is opened?  What chain of events does said box unleash upon the world?

With this prompt, let’s see how much creativity you can get out of this old trope. What can you do to turn it on its ear and make this idea fresh again?

I know it stirred a fun little idea inside me. So much short story potential.

Till next time,

DC

Writing Prompt – The Museum 

Your character decides to go to the art museum on a whim.  While inside, they see one exhibit that fascinates them.  On a closer look, this particular item seems very different than the others around it, maybe familiar, maybe out of place.  The museum curator sees them taking such a keen interest and…

What happens?  

Hope this stimulates some ideas.  I know it did for me.

– DC