Tag Archive: novel


I’m Furious!

Ever since I was little I’ve always been into superheroes. I don’t remember what age I was, but I do remember that I always loved watching the Spider-Man, Batman and X-Men cartoons. I was never a HUGE comic book geek like I am now, but I did at least make an attempt of getting my hands on a few books each month.

When I started writing, I was always focused on the regular story format since I was just getting my feet wet. Comic books and graphic novels have always been something that have come and gone in cycles with me, and it wasn’t until about 2008 that I had the idea of writing something with superheroes in it. I was instantly excited about the idea and started composing a “bible” for the series with character profiles, possible storylines, backstories and the like. The only thing I enjoy more about writing an actual story is planning it out. I remember that at first I wanted to have heroes who were something along the lines of environmentalists who would stop the efforts of oil companies, tree logging and slaughterhouses. Basically they were doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, which is a concept that I’m completely enamored with (this is also the time where I was really in to philosophy and psychology).

This idea didn’t quite have the scope that I wanted my story to have, so back to the writing board I went. Eventually I settled on one idea that really struck a chord with me (which unfortunately I can’t share here since it would spoil the series that I’m working on for it now). This was it. My first novel-length project. It was like trying a drug for the first time and being completely strung out, straight-up jonesed. I had the idea of making each novel into a season like a TV show and each chapter was an episode, which is something that’s become quite common now. (If this sounds like a format that you would enjoy, check out the serial stories on JukePop Serials, something for everyone there) I incorporated my love of music, TV shows and comic books into this project. It was a time in my life that I’ll never forget.

As I got close to the end of my first novel, it occurred to me that Adam Kensie, Bisset Torres, Giorgio Quintero, Leo Kennington, Noir and Detective Perry West had backstories that I HAD to tell. And that’s how my first novel then became the second novel in my planned series…and is now actually the fourth novel in the series.

At first I went with the name Fury Us as a play on words, but now it’s simply Furious. The first season/novel is titled Thus Spoke, from Thus Spoke ZarathustraThe first season is about Adam, Leo, Bisset, Giorgio, and other people around the world having their Alpha-Omega genes activated and gaining superhuman abilities. While everyone has an A-O gene, a person can go their entire life without it activating. There’s no way of telling how, if, or when this particular gene will activate. It could happen the next time you sneeze, the next time you go into REM sleep, when you turn 80, as you’re crossing the street or even when you die. The story is set in Dominion City and it’s in this city that we find Detective West who feels that he is terribly unprepared to protect his city from criminals who can burn through handcuffs, brush off bullets and out-fly or outrun a patrol car going full speed. Noir is a vigilante who believes that all criminals are infected and can never be rehabilitated, so he does the city “a favor” by taking criminals out, even those that have been released from jail or have sought treatment for their mental illnesses. Our vigilante soon discovers that he can copy the abilities of A-Os by injecting their blood into himself, which opens up a whole new world of possibilities for him…mainly new possibilities of mayhem.

The first novel can best be described as a coming-of-a-new-age story where characters who are in their late twenties and early thirties are basically going through puberty for the second time, only this time there’s no biology book to tell them what to expect or what’s normal and what’s not normal. They have to decide for themselves who they are now and how to readjust their lives around their powers in addition to re-imagining themselves into humans first and superpowered Alpha-Omegas later. I feel like/hope fans of the new Battlestar Galactica tv show, the author Charlie Huston, comic book/graphic novels written in prose and fans of contemporary sci-fi and speculative fiction will enjoy it most.

I’ve actually finished the second novel, Ye Mighty, and am in the process of editing it. I’m looking for beta readers for the completed Thus Spoke, so if you’d like to check out the full project send me an email at mercurialnature85@gmail.com. Looking forward to sharing it and hearing feedback!

So what were some of your first writing projects about? Did they become something more or just experiments?

Next Post: “And Ain’t I A Woman?” Writing female characters as a male author

SO I’M PRACTICALLY DONE WITH MY SECOND NOVEL!! There are just a few more passages that I have to go back and add, but for the most part it’s complete. I finished it up last night and looked back and couldn’t believe how much I’d written. I guess I was simply determined to stop at a good place. Afterwards I sat and felt…moved. It was like saying goodbye to a guest that frustrated you, made you mad, made you laugh, taught you things about yourself and showed you what you were capable of. Sometimes I feel like writing is simply another way of expressing yourself and other times I feel like it’s about discovering different parts of yourself. But the thing about it is that you don’t know what you’ve discovered until it’s all done and the final emotions and thoughts wash over you.

Creation

          Discovery

                   Accomplishment

                              Joy

                                        Sadness

                                                  Excitement

I’m gonna let it cool for a few days before I jump back in and put the finishing touches on it. Now that that project if FINALLY wrapped up, I can turn my attention to my neglected literary baby, Dark On The Rock. While I’ll still be writing about superheroes, Dark On The Rock doesn’t stick so closely to the rules and circumstances of our reality and I can allow myself more room creatively not to try so hard to make it so realistic.

I read a quote recently that said something along the lines of would I still write if I didn’t make any money from writing or never had my work published/read. I think the answer to that question is an emphatic yes. Although it would be nice to share my work with other people and get paid to do it, I think I’d be just as satisfied knowing that I had written something that changed my life if not anyone else’s. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that there are people in this world who don’t like to or feel that they can’t use their creative abilities or think that they don’t have any creative talent. But then again I’ve been writing since a very young age, so it’s hard for me to imagine myself as a non-creative individual, at least in the sense of artistic creativity.

While I’m both relieved that I finished the novel and sad to leave my character and their world for a while, I am excited about embarking on other adventures. I’ll be sure to keep you posted!

Take care out there.

How do you feel once you’ve finished a writing project? Overjoyed? Relieved? Pensive? Ready to start your next project?

Progress Report

 

I think now is a good time to update you on what’s going on with my writing…that and I don’t have an insightful idea for a blog. Hopefully I’ll get a few ideas in the coming days.

I just found out today that two of my flash fiction submissions were accepted by Super Flash Fiction. While I had submitted three, only two were accepted due to the fact that one was hard to follow. Their decision was perfectly understandable and one that was shared by my writers group. I wanted to show the direct aftermath of a superhero slug fest since that’s something I feel we rarely get to see in comic book. They always cut to a few days or a few hours after and gloss over the smoking rubble, sustained injuries and the immediate psychological effects the battle may have had on the characters. I think I’ll post it up here so you guys can read over it. Feel free to comment!

I’m supremely excited about “Dark on the Rock” being accepted to JukePop Serials. I’ve always loved the serial format of a TV show, and it’s one that I’ve blended into my writing style, so I’m eager to see how this new project turns out. With this and my superhero flash fiction, I may be getting calls or e-mails from Marvel, DC, BOOM! or another comic book company…or maybe even Joss Whedon himself to co-write The Avengers sequel!

I’m almost done with my query letter and I’ve got a list of agents to ship it off to. This is something that I’ve been dragging my feet on for a while. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the publishing business and I’m not sure if I still want to pursue traditional publishing. On the other hand, I’m not sure if I have a strong enough platform and enough insider knowledge to make a go at self-publishing. There’s just a deluge of self-published work out there, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to really stand out from the good authors and the not-so-good authors. But I think that if I express these concerns with an agent I’ll be fine. At the very least I can be content with the knowledge that  someone, or several someones, feel that I’m qualified enough to represent. Not that I need anyone’s approval, but still, publishing is a business and a business that requires a certain skill.

Still working on wrapping up my second novel. I’ve got a bit of the next to last chapter to finish up and a rough idea of how I want the final chapter/episode to be. Unbelievable to think that I’ve written one novel let alone that I’m about to finish another…and have mostly written the third seeing as I originally started with that one a few years ago. Ah, life.

So, as you can see, I’ve got a lot going on. I’ve come a long way, and know that I’m not ready to lay down in contentment yet, I don’t think I ever will be. I believe there’s always another step to take, another mile to go. It’s strange to think that I’m actually becoming a published writer with a query letter and almost two complete novels under my belt. We spend our lives dreaming, and when those dreams start to become reality it’s like they weren’t really dreams at all, just a skill we didn’t know we possessed. Can’t wait to see what else is in store for me…and for you, too.

Take care out there.

Origin Story

I guess now is a good time to expose my roots and tell you how I discovered that I wanted to be a writer.

I’d first have to thank my Aunt Ann. Without her love for reading, I don’t think mine would’ve been so strong. I remember sitting with her at my grandma’s house reading a book. That little seed would only grow and flourish as the years went on and I started to grow up. I mostly read fantasy novels, anything that was imaginative and took me away from the “real world.”

When I was…about 14 or 15, I decided that I wanted to be a photojournalist. I think it was a combination of watching Spider-Man and The Secret World of Alex Mack (anyone remember that show?). I never actually went out and bought a fancy camera, but I do remember taking lots of pictures for a short period of time. Then somehow I stumbled on fan fiction! For the uninitiated, fan fiction is where you write your own stories for TV shows, adding your own twist to them. It was like being pushed into an ocean with no idea of how to swim. But I was more intrigued than anything else. I had discovered an underground dimension, a galaxy of parallel universes.

So I started writing fan fiction. My first was a Power Rangers fan fiction. Yep, Power Rangers. I was a HUGE fan when I was young. So I guess I have them to thank too for helping me discover my passion for writing. While attempting to come up with ideas for my storyline, I was still under the impression that I wanted to be a photojournalist, even though ideas for original stories were constantly pouring into my head.

I remember one story was about a group of teenagers who were mystical ninjas with elemental based powers who had to travel to a different dimension and battle their evil twins. Another was about two sorceresses, a vampire/werewolf hybrid and a seer who were part of an evil group called The Deranteke who were attempting to bring back their dark lord…all while staving off the attempts of other baddies who wanted to curry favor with said dark lord. Sounds like bestselling material, eh?

This is where I began my dalliance with exploring the “bad guys.”

I believe I finally decided I wanted to become a writer when I started writing the Bo Quintin series. Bo was a feral (a werewolf who doesn’t transform) and bounty hunter who received his assignments from an unknown divine source. I remember how much enjoyment it brought me to sit at the keyboard fleshing out this supernatural world and coming up with ideas. I even had a playlist for when I was writing fight scenes, and to this day writing a good fight scene is one of my absolute favorite things to do when writing. I was writing the Bo Quintin series when Angel and Buffy were on, and I was most definitely influenced by the Whedon world. I even had a spin-off series for one of my characters much like Angel was a spin-off of Buffy.

This is also where I developed the habit of jumping from project to project and starting things and not finishing them.

Next I visited my good friend Noel  in Kansas where I saw the movie Sin City.

This is where I was introduced to my good friend noir.

I was immediately held in thrall by this film. The colors, the music, the dialogue, the lighting, the story. It felt like a dark angel had descended from the corners of heaven, kissed me on the lips, blew out my soul like a jittering old car engine and gave me wings of my own. I remember going back to her apartment after the movie and starting my own noir story, one about an assassin and a vigilante named Vigil and Whisper. They were both gay and lived in a world where there were no women, save one, and they only operated at night. “Sons of Entropy”, as I called it, was some of my absolute finest work up until that point. I had cowboys, clones, a femme fatal, swords, strippers, courtesans, a gritty romance, drugs and the classic twisted noir ending.

I think I need to pull that story out and take a look at it. Who knows, could get it published after I polish it!

After “Sons of Entropy” came “SanGuine” and various other short stories, some of which I tried to get published and received my first rejection letters. I’m not sure when I got the idea for my first novel, “Fury Us,” but I do remember that it was originally ” X-Treme Quarantine.” I started writing it when I realized that there was much more to the story, and that I had to go back before writing about the XQtioners.

Presently, I’ve written an ish-ton of short stories, some finished, some not, one novel, some scripts, several poems and I’ve got about three chapters to finish on my second novel. I’ve come a long way, and I know that I have even further to go. I’m glad that I decided to share this, even the part about writing Power Ranger fan fiction, which I was apprehensive about. I guess you never know where “that moment” will come from. It’s always nice to go back and retrieve wisdom, passion and smiles that you’ve experienced on a personal journey.

Now, back to working on my latest short story!

Take care out there.

The Long & Short Of It

As with many writers, I dream of having more than a few bestselling novels under my belt while I’m still senile enough to recognize myself in the mirror. Writers may sit at their laptops, notebooks and in coffeeshops trying to develop a fantastic and wholly original idea for a novel or series of novels. We come up with a cast of characters, map out chapters and might even develop a series bible if we’re really feeling ambitious. We start foaming at the mouth at the idea of starting this epic and sprawling adventure.

And then it happens…

…you run…

…out…

…of steam.

Three or four chapters in you realize that that fully realized idea was only a premature birth and needs more time in a creative incubator before it’s developed enough to run rampant through the literary world. This has happened to me on more than one occasion. I’ve realized that forcing a novel hardly ever works. I’m starting to realize that some ideas are meant to be novels, and others are short stories and should only exist as such. This isn’t to say that a short story can’t eventually become a novel, but simply that you should first write it as it’s intended to be before going back to see if there’s more underneath that pile of 5,000 words. Think of it as a buffet: rather than getting excited and heaping as much as you can on your plate, sample a few of your top favorites and see if your stomach can handle more.

Short stories are a magnificent exercise, regardless of if you’ve written several novels or have just started dabbling in writing. They allow writers to release the short bursts of creativity that may be keeping them from sleeping or fully focusing on other projects. Short stories force you to cut down on excess word fat, tell a tight, contained story and shape up your writing style.  I really enjoy variety and switching from genre to genre every now and then. In the past I would bind myself to working on my novel and only my novel.

I now realize how foolish that was.

Rather than forcing my creativity to go in a certain direction, I should instead allow my creativity to force me in a certain direction. It’s not as if my novel will evaporate or die if I don’t give it constant attention, but I also shouldn’t spend more time than necessary away from it. Switching writing projects and working on projects of different lengths is like exercising every muscle in your body as opposed to only working your upper body. Ever seen a bodybuilder who obviously spent more time working out their arms and chest than they did their legs? Do yourself and your writing body a favor and give yourself a complete writer’s workout, exercising your short story quads, your poetic pecs and your flash fiction calves. Writing isn’t just a world, but an entire galaxy! Start exploring, even if the journey may be fraught with danger and failure.

Here’s a link to an extremely helpful blog entry about writing short fiction. There you’ll also finds some ways to make some money from your short stories. Now, I’ve got your attention!

You should also check out DuoTrope to find thousands of both paid and unpaid markets for your work. I use it to find places to send my other material when I’ve hit a wall or need to step out of the world of my novel for a while.

And that’s the long and short of it!

Take care out there.