Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Don't Write What You Know. Do What You Write.

No. I'm not a zombie. Yet.

I'm talking experience.

I've just returned from a trip half way around the world. I didn't do this trip to help me with my writing, or to gain particular experiences that I felt would allow me to talk in any authority about certain subjects. But I ended up doing that anyway. So I'm going to. I experienced things that I write about, and I experienced them for the first time.

Now when I write about them, I know what I'm talking about.

I know what you're thinking. Oh, used a gun for the first time? Ate fried chicken for breakfast? Stood in the scorching heat of a different country?

Yes, yes and yes. I did.

But no, that's not what I'm talking about.

I can feel the 80's flowing through me...

Think more 'everyday'.

How do people talk? What are shops like? The roadways? Attitude?

Want to know something?

TV lies.

TV lies about everything.

We do not look like this... Mostly.

Britain is not Downton Abbey. The US is not Miami Vice. And France? Well, actually... (I jest!)

I was in a bar in Charleston. I sat ordered drinks and put a 20 on the bar. Ten minutes later the 20 is still on the bar and I'm about to finish my drink. That doesn't happen in the UK. In the UK we treat the purchase of alcohol in a bar the same as the purchase of anything else. I order a beer. I'm expected to pay for it when the goods are handed over. The fact that I seemed to be able to get up and walk away without paying seemed bizarre.

And don't get me started on adding tax at the checkout. Here when an item in the grocery store says £1.00, it costs £1.00. No more, no less.

These little details will make the story flow better for the reader if they already know. And if they don't? They won't notice.

But in a short, it could mean acceptance or rejection.

Think about it... 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

A Master of the Macabre: Dale Eldon

And today, FilingWords picks at the twisted mind of Mr. Dale Eldon.
The gorgeous Dale Eldon

Horror maestro Dale works in fiction. I have born witness to his work. It is truly stomach turning, but stomach turning in a good way. The best way. 

FW: Dale, welcome to FilingWords. First of all, tell us a little about yourself:

DE: I'm just a dude who works fast food by night, and plots dark stories by day… well okay I plot at work too :^P

FW: Your horror is certainly dark, twisted material. Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you to write such things?

DE: Various places. Some come from a picture that will spark an opening scene, and then I go from there. Others come from my own darkness, and since I tend to have conscience, I let that dark side run rampant in my stories. Right now I still have a stack of stories I'm supposed to already have out under my self publish line, but that's going a tad slow to say the least. But it's cool as I don't want to rush anything. But some of those that will be coming out down the line have a lot of myself in them, things that I've had to deal with or watch others deal with.

In a short story that will be expanded into a novella, ESCAPE FROM LIMBO, it starts off with the ghost of a very bad man who travels back in time into the body of his younger self, where he is able to reset his wrongs. This story is based on my late grandfather who didn't change even up to his very end. The idea occurred to me when my grandmother (the best grandma in the world, mind you) passed away. I wondered, what would my grandfather think as he watched her life ebb away? What would be thinking or feeling if he had the chance to set things right? He left a huge scar on my family, and my grandmother was ready to leave it all behind.

Other stories have elements of my childhood, and there will be some that I have taken from previous relationships. Though lately I have either been writing about the various crazy conversations between me and my girlfriend, or I just make it up off the top of my head.

In my opinion, most of the best writers out there have a huge range to draw from on their ideas; they don't have just one or two.

FW: How long have you been writing?

DE: I have tinkered around with it for the pass thirteen years, but only really got serious in the pass five. Although it was still not on a regular basis, to me I have only been writing for the pass two years, since those years have been the most productive. When I was a kid I wanted to be a writer, and I tried to write, but aside from dad who wrote some in his youth giving me some coaching, I really had no clue what I was doing. I didn't even really grasp the basics until much, much later on.

Coming June 2013!!
FW: In tune with another of the blogs themes, why horror?

DE: Because horror is all around us. It unites us, and divides us. It is something we want to see, and at the same time look away from. While right now I'm writing horror mainly for sheer entertainment, I have some other works on the backburner with deeper meaning, all horror in some way or another.

When I first started out writing, I focused a lot on sci-fi thriller, but horror always intrigued me.

FW: How do you find life, being an author?

DE: Frustrating. I want to do this for a living. I don't have to live in a mansion or drive cars worth more than US debt, but I want to live comfortable without having to do anything else for a living.

It also separates me from non-writers, which a lot of times I don't mind. But even readers don't always grasp where I'm coming from. As an author I look at the world under a very different lens. I put myself in the shoes of others, and my feelings and thoughts are quite a bit of the time outside of the understanding of others. But at the same time I put my point of view into a character, or a non-bias piece, and people will love it. So there is a reward to it.

Despite the emotional solitude, I wouldn't want to be anything other than an author. No matter how much I fail as a person, no matter how much this world goes to hell, I'll always be a writer, and I'll always have a story to tell.

FW: You have taken the leap into self publishing; tell us, what was it like?

DE: Broke. LOL. Right now I only have a short story out, but I have sold more copies on Amazon than on Smashwords. Though I'm working on a werewolf horrorotica at the moment, and as soon as I can, I will be releasing it. After that I'm taking a break from self publishing to finish a Bizarro novel I tend to use to shop around a few presses that take the crazy shit I write.

FW: And the biggest hurdle to overcome...?

DE: Focus. Like for any writer.

FW: What’s coming next?

DE: MYTHOS, a werewolf horroroctica.

SMELL OF THE DEAD, a zombie novella through Crowded Quarantine Publications June of 2013.

FW: And one piece of random writing advice:

DE: Don't stop these three things: Write. Read. Love.

You can find Dale at the Eldon Blog, here, his Facebook page, here, and his Amazon Page, here.

And go here. Buy this:

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Tips for writing awesome. Like what I do.

I am not a serial killer. I just feel like one.

I don't know what it's like to be a vampire. I really don't. And yet I can write about being a vampire. It's not about knowing what a vampire is. It's about characterizing the vampire. If you can put yourself in the frame of mind of the vampire, feel the vampire, the actions will flow. You'll know what to do.

Never cross the line. What line?

Being of sound mind and body, like all writers (not the alcoholic, socially retarded, weirdy-beardy I may lead you to believe), there are social conventions that one never speaks of. There is the line. But that's real life. Writing isn't real life. Writing is a fairytale land where unicorns frolic amidst golden showers, and everything is fapulous. As a great man once said, "'re so far past the line that you can't even see the line! The line is a dot to you!" How right he was.

A great man. Wise.

Dip your toes in the syrupy goodness of genre.

Yeah. Try something new. You might like it. And if you don't? It's experience. That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.

You should expressly avoid writing too much.

Said no one, ever.

Stuck? Experiment like a teenager at college.

I've had writers block. It's awful to sit there and not know where to go, what to write, especially when in the middle of something. The usual advice is, "Just write. Anything. It will start the juices flowing." And it's good, sound advice. But it's not easy advice. Wanna tip? It doesn't matter where you are, or what your characters are doing, just throw something in. The most inexplicable thing you can imagine. After all you can change anything, right? You're the puppet master. Middle of a wake? Emotional turmoil got you stuck? Have a postal worker burst in and kill ever last motherfucking one of them. Hostage situation? Tense? Nail biting? Orgy! It will put a smile on your face. And that's half the battle, kids.


Turn off the damned internet. Yes, you heard. I have a PC now that I write on that isn't connected to the web. It's like I'm in the dark ages. It's like I suddenly need to write letters to people and put them in envelopes and shit. But you know what? I write like a writer when I'm at that PC.


Hope this might help. If not? Sorry. My bad.