Posts Tagged ‘short story’

Finding Motivation for New Writing

Just posted a new short story:

It is the product of a Northwest Independent Writer’s Association writing challenge. The challenge was to write a story of a supernatural event that happened to you. The catch, however, was that the story could be fact or fiction. In effect, it was a sort of “campfire” tale involving yourself. What do you think? Did this happen?

What is Northwest Independent Writer’s Association? It is a group I help start to help indie writers with every aspect of the writing process, from pen-tip to publishing. Part of that process is providing motivation to write, and then a place to show it off. For the time being we have a Google Group site until we have our own web-home. There, as well as a place to post your short stories, there are Writing Challenges. A member proposes an idea to write about and other members take it up and post their results. The challenge can revolve around an idea, a photo, song lyrics, or what-have-you.

Actually, that is the real reason I helped start the group: Laziness. I needed motivation to write more. Now I have deadlines and peer pressure to get stuff submitted. Damn. Out smarted myself.

So feel free to check it out. Maybe join. Who knows, maybe you need motivation too.

Hope you like peer pressure.

The Creation Process: How a Song Can Shape a Short Story

How one song was part of the inspiration process for my most recent short story and the latest product of what I call “Thumb Fiction”—works of writing created purely on my smartphone with a thumb keyboard:

I am inspired by music much the same way background music in a movie or TV show cues you to feel a certain way. When you hear gentle, sentimental music you’re being prepped for an emotional scene. Likewise, if you hear upbeat, exciting music chances are you’re watching an action scene and you’re heart is racing. The better and more accurate the music, the more impact it has. That’s why producers pay big bucks to get big name artists to make memorable music for their scenes. If nothing else, they may pay big bucks to use an existing, highly recognized song for a trailer or other promotional purposes.

Sometimes it works the other way around. Rather than add to a scene, a song or music will create a scene out of thin air (well, in a person’s mind). Who hasn’t had psychedelic images roaming through their head when listening to a Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd song? While working at my laptop, iTunes playing in the background, my playlist will fabricate all kinds of movie scenes against the projector screen of my brain. “Ooh, that music would be EPIC for a cavalry charge,” I’d think to myself, for example.

Such was the case when listening to a mournful ballad called “Spanish Doll” by the artist Poe (who is more known for the song “Hey Pretty“). The lyrics and the haunting tune evoke images of sadness, suffering and longing. A desperate desire to reunite and make amends:

A stranger in this world without you is all that I can ever be,
All I know that is pure and clear,
You left with me here,
In this souvenir

The context of the song easily could be taken for a lover mourning the loss of a relationship. A little research, however, shows that the entire album from which “Spanish Doll” comes from is an ode to the singer’s deceased father and unresolved feelings.  A state that has left her feeling like a worn child’s toy.

Every piece of art, however, is seen from a different perspective by different people. From my vantage, the movie projector in my head was telling a different story. A story of a father missing his deceased daughter. A father with his own unresolved issues which come to head when he comes across a music-playing doll in an antique shop (the same music that inspired the story from the get-go). Add my penchant for the supernatural, add a dash of hope and…voila!…you have Adam Copeland’s bittersweet version of “Spanish Doll.”

What does that look like? You can see it here:

New Short Story from Adam Copeland

I’ve written a new short story. I’ve long struggled with shrinking my stories down to manageable lengths. The upside of writing very descriptively is that I create beautiful scenes that leave no mistake as to what I’m trying to show. The downside is that these scenes can go on, and on, and on. With “In the Isle of the Beholder” I practiced packing a lot of info into a minimal amount of words and descriptions that, hopefully, evoke just as much emotion.

What is “In the Isle of the Beholder” about? It is:

” ‘Lost’ meets the ‘Twilight Zone’ on a secluded tropical island where a young girl, who has only known the island and her parents, is faced for the first time with the ‘Pale People.’ People she had always thought, until now, her parents had made up. Especially when describing them as wearing turtle shells for hats. But now they are here and threaten their way of life…and her definition of what is beautiful.”

And you can read it on this website under the tab “Other Writing.”

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