Tag Archives: words

Remembering Why We’re Here…

This marks the first time I’ve missed my ‘new blog every Sunday’ rule. But I’ve been busy dammit!

Stop judging me!

 

 

London Film and Comic is coming up so I’ve been busy getting ready for that. But enough excuses!

What little time I do have is spent actually writing. But I’ve also been thinking about how I got into writing. I’ve always been an avid reader – something inherited from my parents – but what was that spark that made me really want to write? And why? And does it still inspire me? So in essence – what helped me comprehend the power of the written word and inspired me to try and weild such power?

The answer, for me, is below. It’s best read out loud, as with all of Poe’s work.

——————-

The Haunted Palace

BY EDGAR ALLAN POE

 
In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace—
Radiant palace—reared its head.
In the monarch Thought’s dominion,
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair!

Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow
(This—all this—was in the olden
Time long ago)
And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A wingèd odor went away.

Wanderers in that happy valley,
Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically
To a lute’s well-tunèd law,
Round about a throne where, sitting,
Porphyrogene!
In state his glory well befitting,
The ruler of the realm was seen.

And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing
And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
The wit and wisdom of their king.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch’s high estate;
(Ah, let us mourn!—for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him, desolate!)
And round about his home the glory
That blushed and bloomed
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.

And travellers, now, within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms that move fantastically
To a discordant melody;
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever,
And laugh—but smile no more.

Source: Poets of the English Language (Viking Press, 1950)

————————–

There’s still something about it that sends shivers through me. Sorry, *Poe fanboy alert!*

 

http://www.harkavagrant.com/

 

So give it some thought. What set you on this path? What inspired you?

 

All the best,

 

– Zero Nine

 

 

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Take a Break from Writing!

 

Wait! Come back! Close that search window… close iiiit.

Perhaps the title should be – Take a Break from What You’re Writing.

I’ve discovered the wonders of writing short stories. Now, like many writers out there, I am well and truly submerged in my ‘first real novel’. And by that I mean I’m writing something that I could imagine being published. It’s something that I’ve been working on for AGES! It’s hefty.

But in all this time I’ve never tried to get published in other ways. I’ve never seriously sat down to write something that could be submitted to a magazine. In essence I’ve been hiding behind my novel.

We’ve all been guilty of it ‘I can’t split my focus, I have to work on my novel’, and then what? Typing a couple of hundred words in the early hours of the morning?

Do you remember when you didn’t look at the word count? Do you remember losing track of the time because you’ve spent it all typing?

 

 

I lost that feeling for a long time. Then I got a kick up the ass to write a short story just to have something to submit for a magazine. I plunged in – with limited word count there’s less stress to have everything planned out. You really can go wild without the danger of plot holes (I favour sci-fi, plot holes are commonplace).

I’ve been flying through it! It might never see the light of day but everything is in perspective now. Once I’m done with it I’ll return to my novel with fresh eyes. I’ll submit it. Who knows, I might even get published before I’m published…

 

 

So if you can’t keep your eyes away from the dreaded word count – if you’re not as scared/excited of the events of your book as your protagonist is – maybe it’s time for a break.

Write something fresh, a little window into another world. Flexing your writing muscles doesn’t drain your creativity, the more you write the more you CAN write.

So stop writing, and start writing!

 

😉

– Zero Nine

 

 

 

 

 

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The Importance of Deleting Words

I know. It’s blasphemous. As a writer, whether published or not, deleting words is the hardest thing in the world to do. I could easily wax lyrical about every word being a beloved child but that’s simply not the case. Every word is another soldier for the grinder, driving you towards your goal. But not every battle can be won. Sometimes sacrifice is needed.

My latest writing project (which I’ll go into more detail about at some point) was going really well until the 40,000 word mark at which point I dramatically changed the direction of the story. The main characters went from being survivors to action heroes. I suppose I wanted more to happen in the plot but in doing so I belied the original intention of the book and made caricatures of my protagonists.

Yet I ploughed on into new plot developments, all the while worrying about where it was going. Before I knew it I had reached 60,000 words. But I wasn’t happy, and I felt that I was in too deep now to really turn back. I was stuck between not being able to carry on and not wanting to get rid of everything I’d written.

I remained in this no-man’s land for ages. Never writing, never reading. Always thinking about it. Then I bit the bullet. I deleted it. I knew the point that it all changed and I deleted everything I’d written after that point. Then I read through it and deleted more. I went on a delete-fest. I deleted myself raw. If the delete button had a mind it would…

Well I suppose it would have an existential crisis, not unlike this one:

But less fruit orientated.

I digress.

When the red haze dissipated I was left with around 35,000 words. With my goal being around the 80,000 word mark this set me back considerably. But that doesn’t matter: because I’m writing again. Not much I admit. It’s slow going. I’m restructuring everything. Re-reading and editing as I go.

It’s bloody difficult. But not half as hard as what my characters are going through. And without me they’ll never get to the end. So I guess it’s the least I could do…

– Zero Nine

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