Monday, January 26, 2015

Prompt

I realize that numbering these is going to be problematic in the future but without numbering them, it will become hard to find them so it's the lesser of two evils.

Today's prompt is rather short and sweet:

Discuss a regular event from childhood that you looked forward to. Some ideas include holiday gatherings, visits from friends and family, school fieldtrips, and more.

© C Harris Lynn DBA The Weirding, 2015

Friday, January 23, 2015

Write What You Know

If you have never heard this bit of advice, it is one of the truest principles in writing. Sure, with enough research you can fake it, but writers with hands-on experience in a matter bring insight to which researchers have no access. This experience can establish and reinforce verisimilitude in your story which can be vital if your setting or characters' professions are important.

Those who research subjects for use in their work are to be lionized for their work but, without the hands-on experience or bearing witness to a matter firsthand, they lack the details that ring true to readers with firsthand knowledge of the subject, event, or location. It's hard to write about Los Angeles' nightlife if you've never even visited the city, just as it is difficult to write about a waitress' duties if you've never waited tables. Sometimes, just visiting or shadowing a person on the job can provide all the detail you need for verisimilitude.

If you have firsthand experience with a subject, be sure to note the special, small things only those in your field experience or understand. I worked as a neon lights processor for several years and can discuss aspects of that job no one outside the field would even have contemplated. The double-edge sword is getting too caught-up in such detail regarding something that a majority of your would-be audience is unaware of and will not understand. You will be the one who first introduces readers to such a world, so keep it simple, because a lot of people are going to breeze through lengthy exposition without fully registering what they are reading.

It's important your stories have some amount of verisimilitude so that readers can relate to your work and characters - their plights, flaws, successes and failures - but too much "inside knowledge" can have the opposite effect. Find a pleasant middle-ground and realize that the majority of your audience does not pursue that career, live in that area, follow that kind of lifestyle, or whatever the matter may be. This is obviously untrue if your work is aimed at a specific group or demographic.

© C Harris Lynn DBA The Weirding, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

Instant Coffee Woes

It's the middle of the month. I have money (not in the larger sense but in the more conventional one) but I'm drinking instant coffee because I forgot to go shopping. Okay, more like resisted going shopping. Either way, I am down to drinking rather awful instant coffee and pouring out my woes to an online crowd because I let things go as usual until I had no options.

I tend t do this a lot, especially if I'm working on something which then becomes the premiere thing in all the world - an applecart I'm terrified to upset. But things do go on and I do have things that I have to do when they have to be done, work of my own or no, and those things do get done. I know there are far worse things in the world, I just wanted to make note of yet another time I've found myself going without or doing with less than I deserve because I was too "busy" to do what I should have when I should have done it.

Work, even when it's important to us for greater reasons, has its place and should be kept in it. It does not demand perpetual sacrifice to any degree. There are certainly greater hardships than having to drink instant coffee (although this brand is particularly unpleasant) but it reminds me that I could be drinking better coffee, had I practiced greater will over my writing time instead of allowing it to control when I do what needs to be done.

© C Harris Lynn DBA The Weirding, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

HP Lovecraft Brews

A small brewer out of Boston is making a line of brews dedicated to HP Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. Narragansett is set to release the first honey ale in the series on the 19th (January 2015) then an ale related to his short story The Shadow Over Innsmouth will appear in April.

One representative for the company said the first brew in the series is more of a prologue on whom HP Lovecraft really was. The idea came from yet another of Lovecraft's works, "The Festival," in which one of The Old Ones drinks a space mead. Another source said it would be remarkable if any of the series were available outside of Boston except by special order, given that the demand will be high and the brews are only released locally.

© C Harris Lynn DBA The Weirding, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

Prompts

In coming months, we'll be posting a lot of writing prompts. These prompts are meant to inspire a story within you (albeit a short one for our purposes) which you tell the group in the comments. You can even link to your response on another blog or written platform.

Prompts are a great way to let your imagination run wild while keeping an eye on the length. Typically speaking, prompts are supposed to inspire one-page or a handful of paragraphs of writing. If they inspire more in you, that's great! But only share smaller portions or links in these comments. Thanks.

1. Imagine you have an extremely rare disease that forces you to tell the truth (like the movie with Jim Carrey) then introduce yourself to someone (in your story) - it can be anyone you like. This person will listen intently for as long as you speak (write) and asks who you are. What do you say? Go into as much detail as you like and remember, you have to tell the truth.

© C Harris Lynn DBA The Weirding, 2015