Something broke. That’s about the only way to describe it. About thirty years ago some underlying logic in our reality simply failed. Maybe we broke physics with the latest in bigger and brighter colliders, maybe god just died of loneliness. Whatever the reason, the immutable rules of cause and effect, the division between what the real and the imaginary, all seemed to begin to fail.
The dead don’t always stay dead anymore, you have to convince them. As for children, well let’s just say that there is nothing more terrifying than a child with an overactive imagination.
Sights and Sounds
Everyone likes a view, cityscapes, forests and the ocean can all be a source of creativity, but if it’s not an option put up some posters that are going to inspire you to hammer out those words. The same goes for sounds, some people find them inspiring and do their best writing to music, the sounds of nature or the cacophony of the city. For others, sound just gets in the way. Work out what is right for you.
If you write during the day make sure you have lots of natural light. There is nothing better for the creative mind (and mental health) than getting enough natural daylight. If you write at night make sure your light source doesn’t buzz or flicker. Some people get headaches just from the fluorescent lights, others don’t care.
Whether you’re working under natural light or artificial make sure your not being blinded by it. A nice cheat can be to write out things on paper during the day and transfer/edit that to your computer at night. Think of it as a quick and dirty revision process.
If you can’t sit still, are being sat on by pets, or ache, you’re not going to be getting a lot of work done. You don’t necessarily need a desk, a bean-bag and notepad might be right for you, just make sure your body won’t be constantly disturbing your mind.
Avoid them. Lock off facebook and Tumblr (there are apps for that) leave you phone in the other room and uninstall games from your work computer. Make sure you have the option of locking off your space to really get lost in the writing process.
Your reference books and materials should be kept close at hand. You don’t want to have to break your flow by taking the time to search through other rooms for what you need.
There are two schools of thought on this. One is to keep everything nearby. Carrot sticks or other
not so healthy items just an arms length away. Again so you don’t break your flow. The other school of thought is to keep those snacks the hell away from your keyboard/notes. Not only does this avoid the inevitable “hey what happened to the rest of the packet?” moments, but it also means you are regularly getting up to stretch your legs and in doing so get the blood and creative juices flowing. If you’re anything like me you’ll get up and boil the jug three or four times before actually remembering to make the coffee before it gets cold again.
They’re not as far behind us as we thought.
Due to our increasing technology and ecological footprint humanity decided in 2062 to pull back from the regions where primates live and instead focused on orbital and off-planet habitats. A few researchers remained in contact to chart the progress of our distant cousins, even as humanities earthbound population dwindled.
By the time the apes had reached the Iron Age equivalent in development, all they had left of us were half-forgotten myths. Legends told of tall, hairless, visitors who walked among them and shared the secrets of fire and agriculture. Godlike beings who sometimes inspired great building projects, but never stuck around for long.
By the time they themselves reached for the stars, we had moved onwards. Yet they still found traces of the races that came before.Those who had taken their first steps into the dark, and had left behind the cradle that we had called earth. That and the great machine left to welcome each successive race as it progressed from planetside evolution to spread out amongst the stars.
… and the cycle began anew.
1 In the beginning, the writer cleared the workspace.
2 And the story was without form, and vague; no words were upon the screen of the computer. And despair moved within the mind of the writer.
3 And the Writer said, Let there be a document: and there was a document.
4 And the writer saw the document, that it was blank: and the writer selected a font from the menu.
5 And the writer called the Font Times New Roman, and the document he called Draft 1. And the document with the standard font was saved, and this was the first day.
6 And the Writer said, Let there be a structure in the midst of the story, and let it divide the story into acts.
7 And the Writer made the structure and divided the story that was before the turning point from the story that was after the turning point: and it was so.
8 And the Writer called the document Draft & Structure. And the document with high-level structure was saved, and this was the second day.
9 And the Writer said, Let the first half be divided into beginning and middle, gathered together unto one arc, and let the stakes appear: and it was so.
10 And the Writer called the story-arcs plot; the gathering together of the structure called the acts: and the Inner Critic saw that it was coherent.
11 And the Writer said, Let the structure bring forth Situation, the set-up yield complication, and the middle yielding crisis after his idea, whose seed is in conflict, upon the story: and it was so.
12 And the structure brought forth Situation, and set-up yielding complication after his kind, and the middle yielding crisis, whose idea was in conflict, after his kind: and the Writer saw that it was not totally dreadful.
13 And the document was saved with a word count of 500, and this was the third day.
14 And the Writer said, Let there be a world in the story to divide it from the works of others; and let it contain cities, and characters, and locations and scenes:
15 And let them be for consistency in the story to give depth to the idea: and it was so.
16 And the Writer made two great characters; the greater character to be the protagonist, and the lesser character to oppose them: he made a supporting cast also.
17 And the Writer set them in the conflict of the story to give form to the idea,
18 And to rule over the story, and for the reader to identify with: and the Writer saw that it had potential.
19 And the document with its characters was saved, and that was the fourth day.
20 And the Writer said, Let the characters bring forth personality quirks and mannerisms that give them life, and the conflict may be fought in tavern or street, and with weapons and words.
21 And the Writer created great scenes, and every piece of dialogue that was spoken, which gave the scenes realism, after their kind, and every twist and surprise: and the Writer saw that it was good.
22 And the Writer cursed them, saying, I see grammar errors, and typos, and whole scenes that no longer fit, and I may have to re-write the beginning entirely.
23 And with much weeping, the computer was abandoned for the fifth day.
24 And the Writer said, I have a thesaurus and a writing guide, coffee, and chocolate, and time away from my day job: and it was so.
25 And the Writer made changes to his plot, and chapters after their kind, and every typo and grammatical error: and the Writer saw that it was better.
26 And the Writer said, Let us make the protagonist in our image, after our own self: and let them have victory over the villain of the story, and over the minor obstacles of the beginning, and over the crisis, and overall the conflict, and over every challenge that fills the story.
28 And the Writer cursed and said unto himself, There is no depth, and no surprise, and knew he would have to re-write his characters: and give them setbacks, and places where they failed, and a terrible defeat before the final victory otherwise the triumph would be meaningless.
29 And the Writer said, Behold, I have crafted a true story, which is filled with three-dimensional characters, and a good pacing, and an interesting world for all this to occur; to you, it shall be a good read.
30 And to every person on his friend list, and to every writing peer on the forums, and to everyone that had mentioned in passing that they liked this type of story, a message was sent, and this message was that the story had been finished: but it was not so.
31 And the Writer knew everything that he had made, and, behold, it needed a second draft. And the Beta Reader and the Editor were contacted on the sixth day.
(Might be vaguely familiar )
Also launched at Medium because I’m a sucker for new platforms
Smiley watches from atop the wall.
Jagged teeth, black and cracked give him his name. Teeth that rise from that dark mouth like tombstones in a graveyard.
Smiley knows where each small dead thing goes.
Of course he knows; he eats them.