Snapshot

“Was there any human urge more pitiful-or more intense- than wanting another chance at something?”
—-Joe Hill

From Snapshot, by Joe Hill

Oblique Strategy: Honor thy error as a hidden intention

Four down, ninety-six to go.

A few days ago, while working on my goals for 2018 I decided to set a goal of reading a hundred books in the year. Thinking about it, I decided the only way to pull this off was to read short books. I made a list of 66 short novels and wrote about it. Thinking more about it, I was excited enough to jump the gun and start the 100 books immediately. The first one I read was Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. The second was Zastrozzi, by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The third was The Room by Jonas Karlsson.

Next up is a Novella, Snapshot by an author I have never read before (to my memory), Joe Hill. Not sure where I read about Hill, but I did read about him somewhere and he sounded like something I’d like so I put his collection of four Novellas onto my Kindle.

And Joe Hill is an author that I’m interested in.

You see, I have this odd theory of literature. It’s not the only theory – but it is one that I think about a lot. There is the ordinary life that we all live – but it is a small amount of four-dimensional space in the whole of reality. Beyond this little island of our everyday, comfortable world is the bottomless sea of chaos. There is a thin barrier, a translucent membrane, separating us from this tractless void that surrounds us. Certain fictional people, certain stories, rub up against- or penetrate completely this delicate membrane. Sometimes the characters return, sometimes not. This is what I’m interesting in writing about and reading about.

In Snapshot the character is an overweight unpopular teenager and his experience with the void is in defending an addled old woman against a lunatic tattooed man with a very strange and dangerous camera. It is a crackerjack tale. I especially like it because not all wrongs are righted and not all secrets are revealed.

Another nice thing is that there are three other novellas in the collection – though they will have to wait for later.

From Snapshot, by Joe Hill

Daily Writing Tip 44 of 100, Recognize Them When They Show Up

For one hundred days, I’m going to post a writing tip each day. I have a whole bookshelf full of writing books and I want to do some reading and increased studying of this valuable resource. This will help me keep track of anything I’ve learned, and help motivate me to keep going. If anyone has a favorite tip of their own to add, contact me. I’d love to put it up here.

Today’s tip – Recognize Them When They Show Up

Source – On Writing, by Stephen King

Let’s get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.

Let me tell you how story ideas feel to me.

Where they come from, I have no idea. When they will come, I can’t predict. Why they come, I can’t explain – but come they do.

They feel like a serious itch – or like a stone in my shoe. Something that I, no matter how hard I try, can’t get out of the forefront of my mind. I really can’t think of anything else.

Until I write them out – write them away. Then and only then will they leave me alone and I can get on with my life. It’s a need, an addiction – graphomania, if you will.

Everyone has addictions – the question is if you can live with your addiction or even control it and make it work for you. I think that for me, for my graphomania, I can work it out.

Daily Writing Tip 32 of 100, Exhaustion

For one hundred days, I’m going to post a writing tip each day. I have a whole bookshelf full of writing books and I want to do some reading and increased studying of this valuable resource. This will help me keep track of anything I’ve learned, and help motivate me to keep going. If anyone has a favorite tip of their own to add, contact me. I’d love to put it up here.

Today’s tip – Exhaustion

Source – On Writing, by Stephen King

The bigger deal was that, for the first time in my life, writing was hard. The problem was the teaching. I liked my coworkers and loved the kids – even the Beavis and Butt-Head types in Living with English could be interesting – but by most Friday afternoons I felt as if I’d spent the week with jumper cables clamped to my brain. If I ever came close to despairing about my future as a writer, it was then.

There are so many days that I plan on writing in the evenings, but as I stare at the terrifying blank screen I realize I am too exhausted to think, let alone write. I’m sure everyone that has to provide feels the same way.

I don’t have a solution, sorry. The only advice I can offer is to cheat – to find nooks and crannies of time where you can scribble before the day is wasted. Television is the enemy, too… I find if I even glance at the tube I’m not going to get any writing done – it sucks the ideas out and chews them to death.

What’s the old typical awful advice? — Oh yea, You are are going to have to buckle down. Buckle down? That’s not very useful, is it?

Unfortunately, I haven’t come across anything better.